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immediately before me, one of the actors on life's stage. Extensive forgeries had been committed, and so ingeniously too, that the rogue had already realized from the brokers upwards of forty thousand dollars. These drafts were purported to have been drawn by a large cotton house in New Orleans, on their agent in New York. When I first heard the circumstance and the name of the firm in the Crescent city, I was struck with the curious coincidence that associated my gambling acquaintance with the forgery. The name by which he was known in that city was Morton, and the drafts I ascertained were made payable to Mortimer. True the similarity in name was not in itself sufficiently striking, but what strengthened my suspicion was the fact, that the gentleman alluded to in the second page as being robbed, was a clerk in the very house by whom the drafts were said to be drawn. Satisfied in my own mind of the truth of my own surmises, I immediately started off to the broker to get a sight of one of the drafts. Just as I reached the corner of the street in which his office was located, who should I meet but the object of my suspicions.-He was followed by a black man carrying a heavy trunk, as soon as he saw me he changed color, and passed rapidly on, with head averted purposely to avoid me. He is guilty, I exclaimed, and has filled the third page of the book of life!
PAGE IV. THE MURDER.
"Blood hath been shed ere now, in th' olden time,
Ay, and since too, murders have been perform'd
It was in a wild part of the state of Pennsylvania, in the year 1837, where the huge mountains rise up almost per
pendicular, and seem as if they were playing hide and seek with the clouds. I was there for the benefit of my health, as was also some thirty or forty others. We enjoyed our time most delightfully, hunting and fishing occupying twothirds of it. Then we made up parties for sailing, and when the moon poured down its silvery rays upon the water, we sang to the wild notes of music, which gave to the scene a romantic tone, and which found a corresponding chord to vibrate upon in every heart. I shall never forget my visit to the mountains of Pennsylvania. In a place so remote from the infectious vices of a populous city, it was to be expected that the people were virtuous and happy. Nor had there occurred aught to disturb the tranquillity which prevailed there, until the second week after our arrival.
One morning the body of a young girl was found on the bank, or rather the margin of a small stream which washed the base of the mountain, near the town. It was recognized as being the daughter of a poor woman who mangled for the boarders of the hotel. How did this fearful accident occur? was in every mouth. Ah, here are marks of violence, and evidence of foul play." Suspicion soon rested upon a young man, who had been seen lurking in the neighborhood, and whose sudden disappearance gave rise to the report that he must be the murderer. On her person was found a piece of paper with the words, evidently written in haste, "Meet me at eight-at the usual place," signed M.
The paper I saw, the letter M staggered me; there was something in its appearance that attracted my attention; it seemed to speak. A mysterious feeling crept over me as I gazed, and mentally exclaimed-it is Morton! I turned the piece of paper over, examined it closely, it was evidently written on the back of a letter. "Ah! what do I see"-on a portion of the address, these letters were visible, "timer,"
part of the post mark was on it, and I could plainly decipher 66 eans, La."
It required no key, it was plain the letter was post marked New Orleans, and directed to "Mortimer!" Strange: Murder completed the fourth page of the book of life!
PAGE V. THE EXECUTION.
As wretches have o'er night
That wait for execution in the morn."-SHAKSPEARE.
The fifth page presents a view of the gallows. The scenery around it differed from any that I had ever gazed upon before. On the right rolled the waters of the Susquehanna, on the left arose the blue mountains, covered with the mighty oaks, those old forest trees, whose ages could alone be reckoned by the wood rangers; for they bore the impress of centuries. An immense multitude had assembled to witness the execution of a hardened criminal, one convicted of committing a most horrible murder. It was a fearful sight to gaze upon. The scaffold was erected at a point of
the forest known as the cross roads: it was a rude constructed thing, but firm. The clouds were gathering in dark folds above us, but ever and anon the sun would dart forth its rays, and striking the dark shade of the trees gave to that portion of the scene a supernatural appearance of brightness. Around and about the gallows stood the anxious. spectators, there was a mingled look of pity and defiance to feeling on each countenance, which gave to the uplifted faces of the thousands, an unearthly if not fiendish expression. At last the culprit ascended the ladder, followed by the hangman; the rope was arranged, a solemn silence reigned among
the vast crowd-not a sound was heard-respiration itself was suspended! The clouds had passed away, a sickly ray of light shone for a while upon the awful preparations. Again it ceased to shine, the clouds gathered in fearful blackness, the thunder rolled, the lightning flashed, and a breeze which swelled to a mighty wind, swept down from the mountain. At that moment the unhappy man raised his head from his heaving breast, and gazed around with a wild and maniac stare-I started-the action attracted his attention, our eyes met, and the next moment he was launched into Eternity! It was Morton! The fifth page of the book of life is completed!
I entered a dilapidated dwelling in an obscure street near the Schuylkill river, and introduced myself to its inmates by presenting a tract to a female, (in whose arms lay an infant) whose haggard face and sunken eyes denoted sickness and distress. I inquired of her what was her disease or the occasion of her grief? "Ah, sir," said she, her eyes filling with tears, "I have buried my husband, and my little boy, that I fondly loved, took sick, and in two days was a corpse; and now I am left with five small children, and without any means of support." But I found although
poor in this world's good she was rich in possessing the religion of our Lord Jesus Christ; and while we bowed together in prayer and supplication, she rejoiced in knowing that God is too wise to err and too good to be unkind.
I visited another family in the lower section of the city, consisting of a mother and nine children, who had once been in tolerably good circumstances; but, through the treachery of a professed friend and the death of the husband and father, after a protracted illness of six or seven months, had lost their all. And being "strangers in a strange country," they had no friends to assist them, and were consequently thrown upon a cold and unfeeling world to seek a livelihood as they could. When I called upon them, I found one of the oldest daughters apparently at the point of death, and desiring some one to pray with her, feeling that she was unprepared to die. I pointed out to her the sinner's friend, and then knelt beside her bed,--while the mother, who is a christian, and the rest of the family were bathed in tears, and offered her up to God in prayer, and the Lord was pleased to hear and answer, by liberating her captive soul, and she was then and there enabled to praise the Lord for her deliverance. Since that her health has been mending, though she is yet in a very weak and precarious state. Some of the brethren belonging to the board, had heard of this family before I visited them, and after inquiring into their circumstances, and ascertaining they were quite respectable, commenced a subscription and raised twenty-five dollars for them, which, with fifteen dollars given to them by the St. George's Society, has enabled them to open a small millinery shop, and they are now procuring a comfortable living.
I entered a small house in West Kensington where I had learned an individual lay dangerously ill. And, O! brethren!