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that he made a very respectable living out of it, and was very well satisfied with the bargain. "As a caution to young girls, (although I know from experience that it is of no use giving it,) I will inform them, that most of the fortune-telling folks, both males and females, are in league with smart looking young men, who pay them for information, particularly when much impatience is shown for a husband, and a little money is saved up for the occasion. I knew a young man who in one year courted and brought to the eve, and some the morning, of marriage, that obtained their money and decamped, making a sum within the twelve months of upwards of three hundred pounds.
Coming back to myself, and the class in which I was cast when a boy, it is worthy of remark, that all the family of the crosses (offenders against the law) are naturally fatalists, or as I have heard the parson call them, predestinarians. It is a doctrine which suits their habits; it relieves their consciences; and persuading themselves that things are ordered to fall out just as they do, they thus get rid of their own responsibility. No expression is so often used by a thief as the following: "Well! and if it must be so, it must; how can I help what is to be?” Tell them they are sure to be hanged, and the answer will be, “How can I help it? but I hope I shall have better luck in the next world to make
for it.” The doctrine they preach to one another is, “Go along, Bill, or Tom; if we are to be hanged we are to be hanged, we didn't make ourselves thieves, and can't help what is to be.”
Somewhat in this frame of mind I now resolved to rob the grazier, viewing the matter as a part of my predestined career, which I could no more avoid than I could my birth or death: and had I known that I should have been certain of apprehension and subsequent execution, I believe, at that period, it would have made no difference in my movements. Like the rest of the fraternity, I used to say, “If it's ordered for the beaks and old Black Jack to lay hold of me, how can I prevent it?". In this mood, then, I went into Essex, took a careful reconnoitre, made my arrangements accordingly, and accomplished my business in the following
It happened that the night I had fixed upon for the attempt, that the grazier went home half seas over ; a short time, therefore, after I had watched him into his house, I entered it by means of my key, and getting into the passage took off my shoes, which I put into my coat pocket. I then stationed a well-trained lad, (who came down at my request to assist,) inside the street-door, to keep his hand upon the lock, in case I should wish to make a hasty retreat ; in the event of which it was my intention to lock the door outside, and leave the key in, so that I might be enabled to make my way to the chaise, which was in readiness, before my pursuer could get out of the house. After waiting about half an hour in the passage, I heard the grazier busily engaged in what I conceived to be no artificial snore; I then went up stairs, and opened the bed. room door, which was fortunately unlocked, and again waited a quarter of an hour to make all as safe as possible. At length satisfying myself that the cattle-ilealer was in a real sleep, I crept upon my hands and knees to his bed, then taking a cord which I carried for the purpose in my pocket, I passed it over the bed, making both ends fast to the bedstead upon the opposite sides, so that if the sleeper should suddenly wake, and start up, he must for a time be impeded by the rope, during which I hoped to escape without violence on the part of either the robber or the robbed. There was just sufficient light thrown in by the moon, which was on the wane, to enable me to distinguish the furniture in the room ; remaining therefore still upon my knees, I took a good look round for the cupboard before I proceeded further to business. My instructions were so accurately drawn up, that I was not long in finding it out, when, rising
gently, I unlocked it. The money I was informed would be found in a small box, which it was my object to bring away, but the cupboard was so dark, that it was only by the touch I could hope to find it; pausing, therefore, I again satisfied myself that the man whose money I was about to take was asleep, the assurance of which I could only collect from the bassoon-like notes he drew from his nasal organs.
At length I grasped the box, not however without disturbing some crockery ware, which occasioned me fears of disturbance. Having got it into my hands, I incautiously gave it a gentle shake, to assure myself of it being the real money-box. The sound of money will all but rouse a miser from the grave; that the well known music, therefore, should awa. ken a sleeping man need not be wondered at. Up started the grazier at the first shake, and away went I with the box, making my way for the street-door, my ears all the way being saluted with the call of “ Thieves ! thieves ! thieves!” Running about a hundred yards, me and the boy quickly jumped into the chaise, and was off as fast as a good horse could draw us. As we rode along the road, we could distinguish lights moving about in various directions behind us, occasioned no doubt by the grazier and his neighbours seeking for the thieves.
This occurred about twenty-two miles from town, but in crossing the country we made our journey upwards of thirty before we reached London, never once stopping to bait at any house. About seven o'clock in the morning I was put down at Whitechapel Church, when I wished my companion a good morning, receiving orders in four days time to call for a letter as heretofore at the seed shop. In due course I received ninety pounds for this exploit, there having been obtained, as I was told, nearly seren hundred pounds when the box was opened, a great part of which, however, being in bank post bills, was obliged to be put on one side for a year or two before they could be circulated with any tolerable degree of safety. My share was large upon this occasion, because I had played the chief part in the plot.
( To be continued.)
THERE's not a charm that stays: all earthly pleasures fade,
But as the golden sun, when gliding down the west,
THE BRIDEGROOM DREAM.*
BY MRS. CRAWFORD.
I HEARD a voice call,
As a voice from the tomb,-
Weave the chaplet of gloom !
A cheek like the rose,
Ere to-morrow shall close.”
As the breath of the wind,
Chased the dream from my mind;
Of love at my side,
The lips of my bride.
To feast in the hall,
His blithe welcome to all ;
From goblets of gold,
At tales of the old.
Of my bride ; and my dream
For gone was her bloom,
That reign'd in its room.
As a voice from the tomb,
Weave the chaplet of gloom!"
Forgot its sweet tone,
Unloved, and alone.
That the judgment was wise,
My soul from the skies;
Than heaven's sweet grace,
But darkness embrace. These stanzas were suggested by an affecting event, which happened in the family of Sir Charles Lee, of Billislee, in 1662.
THE FIERY VAULT.
". The story's still extant, and written in very choice Italian."
VENICE! The word frights editorial ringlets from their place, the revising pen flutters with revivified terror, and the ink rolls in troubled waves from its silver stand. The echo of a hundred tales rings in the ear-gondolas, red masks, daggers, cowls, tortures, and poison, float in an undistinguished mass before the eye. The sea Cybele fresh from ocean- -would she had left her historians at the bottom ! But let us see.
“ Truly, my son, thou sayest rightly; there will be feasting, and music, and mirth, in the proud palazzo to-morrow. But by the wings of the lion—" and old Carruchio paused, his eye fixed on the white towers of the Morentali mansion, but not in listlessness.
“ The duke, my master, is a gallant gentleman, father, and liberal; and I warrant me, has done wild deeds. I have often, when steering his gondola, seen him glance among female faces as though
“ Silence, my son, would better become a faithful servant. Nay, were the duke to hear thee judging his looks, there are warmer places for tattling spies than even these stones at noon. Forget not thy friend, Miollano, who for merely recognizing a trinket in a maiden's hair, had the pleasure, as every body believes, of shrieking out his life in one of yon fiery prisons.'
" True, father; but his master was not the Duke Antonio di Regola, nor, after all, is it quite certain that it was Miollano's scorched body that we fished up.”
“ Santi! if thou thinkest the doubt worth solving, the burning chamber is still there. For me, I love a cooler abode. Farewell, I see a fare yonder;" and the old gondolier stepped upon the prow of his dark and elegant boat, a vigorous effort brought her round, and in a few moments he was far from the marble stair. His companion, a muscular young man, with features strikingly handsome, yet on a second look bearing a sinister expression, removed his broad slouched cap from a brow of bronze, and fanning himself therewith, soliloquized.
“ Dungeons, and death—mayhap it may be so, yet I am free to think. That same proud Count of Morentali, too, whose daughter is to wed Lorenzo the duellist, might thank me for keeping his secret. By St. Mark, I am inclined to let him know his obligation. He would, perhaps, repay me with a lodging under the care of the Three, as he favoured poor Miollano. Truly the prospect is pleasant, but how am I to blame? A grandee visits a woman who lives near me, doubtless on an errand of charity; nay, I am sure of it, for he gave her money, and on leaving her house the mask falls from his face, and I discover Count Morentali. What of it? If, indeed
“ If what, friend?" said a third person, advancing.
“ If I could get a fare this morning before my hour of attending my employer, it would lighten my heart, and load my pocket.”
" What noble of Venice is happy in the service of so prudent and veracious a gondolier ?"
“ He must be a stranger here who knows not the badge of the Duke di Regola."
“ I am one,” said the masked speaker ; “ I would see somewhat of your city; give me a cast of your office along the most notable streets, if you call them so, and enlighten me as to some of the owners of these gorgeous piles."
They are floating on the deep blue waters; the stranger reclines under the half-drawn awning.
“Who inhabits that beautiful building?" said he, as the bark glided near one of the palaces of Venice. The stone front, interspersed with marble-edged openings, long and narrow; the first and second stories centered each by a large window, richly ornamented with arabesque tracery; the terrace projecting a few feet from two doors appropriated to visitants, ascended by short stairs, the two other entrances at opposite sides, level with the water which flowed into them to dark platforms beyond, one for the domestics and humble citizens, the other for the more secret movements of the master of the mansion ; the lofty turret-looking chimney, and the shaded verandas, bespoke the haughty abode of a wealthy noble.
“ That is the palace of Count Morentali.” “ I have heard the name, I think. What character does he bear?”
“ It is not for such as myself, signore, to talk of those so far above me.”
“ Nay, thy words need not flow so niggardly to me. What care I for the count or his affairs ? I ask but for curiosity, and methinks thou mightest oblige me."
“ You can be silent, signore ?".
“ I shall be forgetful, in a week, of thy whole history, which is the same thing. There is an earnest of my secrecy.”
“ Thanks, signore,” said the gondolier, taking the piece of gold. “ All I can tell you of this count is, that he is considered haughty and cruel. We know he is rich; and that he is merciless, was shown in the fate of a fellow-boatman, who, for some trifling indiscretion of the tongue, was put to a horrible death in a dungeon of the Council."
“ How is that known ?" said the stranger.
“ I myself, with my father, dragged up the burned and mangled body from the canal." “ Were there witnesses of your discovery ? Such a sight is not
I should think.” “ None, signore; for we speedily replaced the corpse, not choosing to meddle with the business of others."
“ A prudent course, friend. Pray, is the count married ?"
“ His lady died many years ago, in giving birth to a son and daughter. The young countess is now in the palace, as beautiful as Venus. Her wedding is to take place to-morrow, to Lorenzo di Castiglia, the duellist, as he is called.”
" Ah! and the son ?".