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tom would denounce it and females frown it down forever! I heard the grating of the iron door; it opens, and the keeper entered with two gentlemen. The features of one of them were familiar. I shuddered as I gazed, it seemed as if the grave had yielded up its dead. The keeper spoke ;"Rise young man and behold the gentleman whom you last night wounded." "Not dead!" I exclaimed, starting to my feet "Not dead! ha! ha! I am no murderer, ha! ha!" and in the ecstacy of joy I embraced him. It appeared that the wound was slight, but the blow was heavy and felled him to the ground, and in my wild delirious state, as I gazed upon him prostrate I imagined the worst. Noble, generous man; he stepped forward and vindicated me, stating that he, (which he afterwards assured me was the fact) had struck the first blow, and so effectually did he plead for me, that I was liberated, by entering bail for my future good behavior. Future good behavior! I will not look into the future, but guard against the evils of the day!

Let no one boast of his strength, lest he fall. Palaces have crumbled before the power of man. Temples totter in their ruin in every age; cities have been swept from the face of the earth, by causes over which human efforts can have no control. And why not man? Is he not, weak and feeble, prone to err, and are there not times when reason's self bows to the power and influence of the tempter? Let us look more in sorrow than in anger. Let us shed tears over that rugged path which in madness we have trod, and passed in the whirlwind those days and hours which should have been as so many bright specks upon life's journey. Let us pause in this retrospective view, and as we mourn over those days lost, let them be as gone-by dreams, shadows of the past, that have faded and vanished away.

But now I am in my little room again. It looks just as

it did when I left it. But, Oh! what agony had I endured in one night's absence from it? But I won a friend; he who so miraculously escaped the deadly blow is now beside There he sits poring over that old copy of Davenant,* to which allusion has been made. He laughs, Oh! how it pleases me to hear his gay laugh, and listen to his remarks, elicited from those grim looking old books, and to know that



possess the means of rendering him what I believe he is in reality-my true friend!



"The World's a book, writ by th' eternal art
Of the great Author; printed in man's heart;
'Tis falsely printed, though divinely penn'd ;
And all the errata will appear at th' end."


"The World's all title page."-YOUNG.

THE pages of the book of life are more difficult to decipher, than all the hieroglyphics of Egypt. They are written by the mysterious agents of nature, and recorded by

*Sir William Davenant, born at Oxford, in 1605, and supposed by some to have been a natural son of Shakspeare.

The facts connected with this leaf occurred in New Orleans in the year 1831.

the angel of truth, and he who attempts to read, and penetrate the mysteries of the science, must have a key fashioned from his own observation, and rendered practicable by experience. I do not pretend to a knowledge of all the secrets of the book, nor have I yet obtained the means of doing so, but I am a humble student, and have read a few pages, the result of which I respectfully submit to my readers.


"A gamester, the greater master he is in his art, the worse man is he."-BACON.

opens with a view of There is a mixed as

THE first page of the book of life a gambling house in New Orleans. semblage of men, on whose distorted features could be read whole volumes of crime and passion. I counted thirty persons, beside those whose business it was to set the gambling machine in operation. The table was covered with money, upon which the excited wretches gazed with nervous earnestness, and as chance, or fraud, perhaps both, operated against them, the deep volcanoes of the soul burst out in wild exclamations, intermingled with oaths and A true picture of hell is a gambling house! One old man, whose grey hairs hung wildly about his neck, grasped dollar after dollar, as it turned up to his number, and the ghastly smile told how it soothed the anguish of his mind. He won, but there were those who lost; what a picture did their countenances convey of the passions that reigned within. Eyes distended, lips compressed, the nervous tremor all showed that the spirit of gambling was doing its horrid work. One young man there was, who more particularly attracted my attention, for in him I recognized


a fellow boarder.

He lost, but his countenance gave no indication of it, he smiled, but the close observer might have discerned a sudden twitch of the lower lip, and nervous action of the arm, which plainly told that all was not calm within. The book of life opened for him dark, and the page was blotted with the tears of an absent parent.


"The robber must run, ride, and use all desperate ways of escape; and probably after all, his sin betrays him to the jail, and from thence advances to the gibbet."-SOUTH.

It was in a large boarding house, the view from the balcony was beautiful; it opened out upon the Mississippi, whose dark waters rolled along toward the ocean, in all the grandeur and glory of the "Father of Waters." Myriads of steamboats floated along, laden with the riches of the 'upper land," and the huge ships freighted for Europe gave goodly evidence, that this indeed was the "Emporium of the West." This page of the book of life opened beautiful and bright, and as I gazed upon it, I wished in my heart that it might be eternal!

While I stood gazing, thoughts carried off on the wings of imagination were rioting in the anticipations of the future:

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"What is thought?

Imagination's vast and shoreless sea,

Which shifting light and darkness play athwart

In rapid change; inscrutable and free,

A mirror where we find forms of all things that be."

A friend approached me, upon whose countenance a shadow of grief rested and hid the sunshine of his heart.

So great a change struck me, and I inquired the cause. "I have been robbed," he replied, "robbed of my watch, and two hundred dollars in cash." At that moment the young man of the gambling house came up, I caught his quailed beneath my glance-was it guilt?




'Robbed, did you say," taking up the words of my friend-"how very strange; I too lost my watch, a valuable lever, the gift of my mother. We have a thief in the house." I gazed at him intently as he spoke, and calmly observed" yes, and a gambler too!" His face flushed, then grew pale as death, his lips quivered, and he hastily

left us.

"Look after that man, Sandford-he rooms with you, does he not?" I asked.


"Mark me, Sandford-that man is the robber!"

"He a robber! why he is the son of a Virginia planter. Why suspect him?"


Simply because I study the pages of the book of life." The first and second chapter of his eventful career are written and stereotyped on the eternal tablets.


"I will be cheater to them both, and they shall be exchequers to me."-SHAKSPEARE.

It was in another city, a vast, populous, commercial city, that I found myself busily engaged, and for a while neglected the book of life. I read men as they appear in the great mass. The pages were filled with trade and traffic, and in the hurry and confusion of my vocation I lost sight of individuality. But a circumstance occurred which brought up

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