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dant of their secrets and their most inti- plore the consolation of religion, nor mate thoughts; he magnified the most enter the church. The alms I received, simple circumstances of their lives into yours especially, M. Abbé, aided me to guilt, and invented the frivolous crime hoard a sum equal to that I stole from of conspiracy. This calumniator, this my former masters: here it is. The false witness, I am he! The fatal sen- objects of luxury which you remark in tence of death was passed upon the my room, this watch, this crucifix, this whole family, except the young son, an book, these veiled portraits, were all unhappy orphan, destined to weep the taken from my victims. Oh! how long loss of all his kindred, and to curse his and profound has my repentance been, assassin, if ever he knew him. Resign- but how powerless! M. Abbé, do ed, and finding consolation in their vir- you believe that I can hope pardon from tues, that unfortunate family expected God ?” death in prison. A mistake took place “My son,” replied the Abbé, “your in the order of the executions. The crime, no doubt, is frightful : the cirday appointed for theirs passed over, and cumstances of it are atrocious. Orphans, if nobody had meddled with it they who were deprived of their parents by would have escaped the scaffold, it being the revolution, understand better than the eve of the ninth of Thermidor. A any one else, all the bitterness of the man, impatient to enrich himself with anguish suffered by your victims! A their spoils, caused the error to be rec- whole life passed in tears is not too much tified; his zeal was rewarded with a di. for the expiation of such a crime. Yet ploma of civism. The order for their the treasures of divine mercy are imexecution was delivered immediately, mense. Relying on your repentance, and on that very evening the frightful and full of confidence in the inexhaustjustice of those times had its course. ible goodness of God, I think I can asThis wicked informer-I am he! At sure you of his pardon.” the close of day, by torch-light, the fatal The priest then rose up. The beggar, cart transported that noble family to as if animated by a new life, got out of death! The father, with the impress of bed and knelt down. The Abbé Paulin profound sorrow on his brow, pressed in de St. C- was going to pronounce the his arms his two youngest daughters; powerful words which bind or loosen the mother, a heroic and christian-like the sins of men, when the beggar cried woman, did the same with the two eldest; and all mingling their recollec- “ Father, wait! before I receive God's tions, their tears, and their hopes, were pardon, let me get rid of the fruit of my repeating the funeral prayers. They crime. Take these objects, sell them, did not even once utter the name of their distribute the price to the poor." In assassin. As it was late, the executioner, his hasty movements, the beggar snatchtired of his task, had entrusted a valet ed away the crape which covered the with this late execution. Little accus- two pictures. “ Behold !" said he tomed to the horrible work, the valet, on “ behold the august images of my masthe way, begged the assistance of a ters!” passer-by. The latter consented to help At this sight, the Abbé Paulin de him in his ignoble function. This man, St. C- let these words escape : “My is myself! The reward of so many father! my mother !” crimes was a sum of three thousand Immediately, the remembrance of that francs in gold; and the precious articles, horrible catastrophe, the presence of the still deposited here around me, are the assassin, the sight of those objects, seized witnesses of my guilt. After I had upon the soul of the priest, and yielding committed this crime, I tried to bury to an overwhelming emotion, he fell the recollection of it in debauchery; the upon a chair. His head leaning on his gold obtained by my infamous conduct hands, he shed abundant tears; a deep was hardly spent, when remorse took wound had opened afresh in his heart. possession of my soul. No project, no The beggar, overpowered, not daring enterprise, no labour of mine, was to lift up his looks on the son of his crowned with success. I became poor masters, on the terrible and angry judge, and infirm. Charity allowed me a pri- who owed him vengeance rather than vileged place at the gate of the church, pardon, rolled himself at his feet, bewhere I have passed so many years. The dewed them with tears, and repeated, remembrance of my crime was over- in a tone of despair_" My master! my whelming ; so poignant, that, despairing master!" of divine goodness, I never dared im- The priest endeavoured, without lookyou ?
ing at him, to check his grief. The it was early in the day, he began his beggar cried out:
ascent leisurely and carelessly; and, as it “Yes, I am an assassin, a monster, might be expected, it was not long before an infamous wretch! M, Abbé, dispose he entirely missed the way. He had of my life! What must I do to avenge gained a considerable height, when, at
last, he began to find himself involved in “ Avenge me!” replied the priest, difficulties, and surrounded with precirecalled to himself by these words— pices, among which he saw no way either avenge me—unhappy man!”
of advancing or retreating without dan“ Was I not then right in saying that ger. His attempts to extricate himself my crime was beyond pardon? I knew and gain a place of safety, only made bad it well, that religion itself would repulse worse, till, at last, he found himself in a
Repentance will avail nothing to spot where all chance of escape seemed a criminal of so deep a dye ; there is no utterly hopeless : a narrow ledge of rock forgiveness for me—no more pardon-- a few inches broad, was all he had to no forgiveness ?"
stand upon-below was a frightful preThese last words, pronounced with a cipice-above, the rock sloped upward so terrible accent, recalled to the mind of steep and smooth, that he despaired of the priest, his mission, and his duties. being able to clamber to the top of it. The struggle between filial grief and the Desperate, however, as the attempt apexercise of his sacred functions ceased peared to be, it seemed to offer the only immediately. Human weakness had way by which he could extricate himself; for a moment claimed the tears of the and being endowed with a very cool saddened son. Religion then stirred the head, and great strength of nerve, he soul of the servant of God. The priest resolutely began to scale the rock, clingtook hold of the crucifix, his paternal ing to every little crevice in its smooth inheritance, which had fallen into the surface, as in a matter of life and death. hands of this unhappy man, and present. By painful and fatiguing exertion, he ing it to the beggar, he said, in the gained a height of about ten feet from strong accents of emotion :
the ledge; but here he found that all “ Christian, is your repentance sinfarther progress was utterly impraccere?”
ticable. While in this perplexity, his “ Yes."
stick (a baton ferre, an iron-shod staff or “ Is your crime the object of profound pole, generally used by travellers among horror ?"
the Alps) slipped from him ; and rolling “ Yes.”
down, struck against a ledge, and bound" Our God, immolated on this crossed over, and he was doomed to listen, by men, grants you pardon! Finish with feelings which cannot be described, your confession.'
to the sounds it made as it descended Then the priest, with one hand up. from crag to crag, warning him of the lifted over the beggar, holding in the depth and ruggedness of the precipice other the sign of our redemption, bade over which he had the awful prospect of the divine mercy descend on the assassin being immediately hurled. He found he of his whole family!
could no longer hold by the rock; and With his face against the earth, the when he thought of the narrowness of beggar remained immoveable at the the ledge, and the force with which he priest's feet. The latter stretched out must come down upon it, it seemed to his hand to raise him up he was no him almost impossible that it could avail more! ng
N. Y. M. to stop his further descent. He was
forced, however, to make the trial, and, PERILOUS ADVENTURE. by a merciful interposition of Providence,
which filled his mind with wonder, graA gentleman, named Young, while on a titude, and encouragement, his feet caught tour through Switzerland, had engaged the ledge and saved him. Such was the to go, with a party, to the top of the force with which he had clung to the Mount St. Bernard, but, having taken a rock, when sliding down towards the walk in another direction, he did not ledge, that the points of his fingers were return to the hospice till after the party almost rubbed bare to the bone. had started, and were out of sight. He Placed as he now stood, he was, after resolved, however, to make an attempt all, in no better situation than before he to overtake them, or to gain the summit made his last desperate effort.
He conalone, though warned that the under- trived, however, to advance beyond the taking was one of extreme danger. As ledge, and he continued climbing and
scrambling, till at last he fairly got him- anxiety and suspense, which increased self into a position where he could move with the increasing coldness and darkness neither one way nor another. He was of the night. They stood in groups at fixed more than midway up the front of the convent door, tracing the glimmering a precipice, with his back to the rock; a light of the lantern, as it slowly and small projecting point of granite, not irregularly ascended the mountain, till four inches broad, supporting one foot, at last it came to a stand; and it was and the other resting on a still narrower hoped that the monks had reached the prop; but, fortunately, his hands were top of the rock, from which they were to comparatively disengaged. The rock let down the ropes to Mr. Young, in rose about thirty feet perpendicular over order to pull him up to where they stood. his head; and below, the precipice was In the meantime, supper was announced so high, that, had he fallen, he must in the convent, and the party sat down instantly have perished. To add to the little disposed to enjoy the good cheer horrors of his situation, the sun was now set before them, but encouraged to hope setting, and he was far too distant from the best, by the assurance and example the convent to be within hearing, but, of the brethren at the table, who tried to fortunately, he was within sight of it. dissipate their alarms about their friend, He began, therefore, as soon as he saw though it proved, afterwards, that they the hopelessness of any attempts of his were under the greatest apprehension own to escape, to wave his handkerchief, themselves. Supper passed, and still no and make every effort to catch, if pos- tidings from the mountain. It was found sible, some wandering eye at the convent; that the light had, for some time disand again Providence interposed for his appeared, and the imagination was left to relief. It happened that a Capuchin conjecture, either that it had fallen, and monk arrived at the convent the night been extinguished, in which case, the before ; and as he was looking about the whole party would have been exposed to vext day, on the surrounding scene, his great danger, or, that the monks had sight was arrested by something he des- succeeded in their object, and that they cried on a distant rock; and on applying were bringing down Mr. Young by a a telescope, Mr. Young's situation was safer, but more circuitous road than the ascertained, and his signal of distress one by which they had ascended. At understood. He had now the satisfac- last, after more than three hours' dreadtion of seeing two monks leave the con- ful suspense, the glad sight of the lantern vent, and make towards the foot of the re-appeared at a short distance from the rock; upon which, with astonishing de. convent; and, in a few minutes, Mr. liberation, which has gained him a great Young was restored to his friends, with name in that quarter, he took out his lacerated fingers, and torn clothes, but pencil and a piece of paper, wrote a few otherwise unhurt. words in English and French, describing the extreme peril of his situation, picked EXTRAORDINARY INSTANCE a stone out of the rock, and tying up
OF COURAGE. the whole in a corner of his handkerchief, threw it down towards the monks. It (Translated from Les Memoires de la escaped, however, their notice; but find
Duchesse d' Abrantes). ing, when they reached the bottom of the rock, that they were still beyond While Murat was in Madrid, he was hearing of Mr. Young, they ascended, anxious to communicate with Junot in by ways known only to themselves, and Portugal; but all the roads to Lisbon with a dexterity and readiness peculiar swarmed with guerillas, and with the to the good monks of St. Bernard, to the troops composing Castanos' army. Murat top of the rock, from whence they spoke mentioned his embarrassment to Baron down to him, and learned the necessity Strogonoff, the Russian ambassador to of having recourse to ropes to extricate Spain. Russia, it is well known, was him from his critical situation. They at that time not only the ally, but the instantly descended to the convent; and friend of France. M. de Strogonoff soon after, six of the monks, accompanied told Murat that it was the easiest thing by two chamois hunters, set out on their in the world. “ The Russian Admiral benevolent and perilous errand.
Siniavin,” said he, “is in the port of The company at the hospice, particu- Lisbon ; give me the most intelligent of larly some gentlemen, who had been your Polish lancers ; I will dress him up Mr. Young's travelling companions, were in a Russian uniform, and entrust him now left in a state of the inost painful with despatches for the admiral --you will give him your instructions verbally, not wish to appear personally in the and all will go well, even if he should be matter, and summoned one of the officers taken prisoner a dozen times between of his staff, who went on with the exthis and Lisbon, for the insurgent army amination. The young Pole answered is so anxious to obtain our neutrality, in Russian or German, but never let a that it will be careful not to furnish a single syllable of French escape him. pretext for a rupture.”
He might, however, easily bave forgotten Murat was delighted with this in- himself
, surrounded, as he was, by a genious scheme. He asked Krasinski, crowd eager for his blood, and who the commandant of the lancers, to find waited with savage impatience to have him a brave and intelligent young man. him declared guilty, that is, a FrenchTwo days afterward, the commandant man, to fall upon him and murder him. brought the prince a young man of his But their fury was raised to a height corps, for whom he pledged his life ; his which the general himself could not name was Leckinski, and he was but control, by an incident, which seemed eighteen years old.
to cut off the unhappy prisoner from Murat was moved at seeing so young every hope of escape. One of Castanos' a man court so imminent a danger ; for, aid-de-camps, one of the fanatically if he were detected, his doom was sealed. patriotic, who were so numerous in this Murat could not help remarking to the war, and who from the first had dePole, the risk he was about to run. The nounced Leckinski as a French spy, youth smiled.
burst into the room, dragging with him “Let your imperial highness give me a man wearing the brown jacket, tall my instructions,” answered he, respect- hat, and red plume of a Spanish peasant. fully, “and I will give a good account The officer confronted him with the of the mission I have been honoured Pole, and said, with. I thank his highness for having “ Look at this man, and then say if it chosen me from among my comrades, is true that he is a German or a Russian. for all of them would have courted this He is a spy, I swear by my soul.” distinction.”
The peasant, meanwhile, was eyeing The prince augured favourably from the prisoner closely. Presently his dark the young man's modest resolution. eye lighted up with the fire of hatred. The Russian ambassador gave him his “ Es Frances, he is a Frenchman !” despatches; he put on a Russian uniform, exclaimed he, clapping his hands. And and set out for Portugal.
he stated, that having been to Madrid a The first two days passed over quietly, few weeks before, he had been put in but on the afternoon of the third, requisition to carry forage to the French Leckinski was surrounded by a body of barracks; and, said he, “I recollect Spaniards, who disarmed him, and that this is the man who took my load dragged him before their commanding of forage, and gave me a receipt. I was officer. Luckily for the gallant youth, near him an hour, and I recollect him. it was Castanos himself.
When we caught him, I told my comLeckinski was aware that he was lost, rade, this is the French officer I deif he were discovered to be a Frenchman, livered my forage to." consequently he determined, on the in- This was correct. Castanos probably stant, not to let a single word of French discerned the true state of the case : but escape him, and to speak nothing but he was a generous foe. He proposed to Russian or German, which he spoke let him pursue his journey, for Leckinwith equal fluency. The cries of rage ski still insisted that he was a Russian, of his captors announced the fate which and could not be made to understand a awaited him, and the horrible murder word of French. But the moment he of General Réné, who perished in the ventured a hint of the kind, a thousand most dreadful tortures but a few weeks threatening voices were raised against before, as he was going to join Junot, him, and he saw that clemency was was sufficient to freeze the very blood. impossible.
“ Who are you?” said Castanos, in “ But,” said he, “ will you then risk French; which language he spoke per- a quarrel with Russia, whose neutrality fectly well, having been educated in we are so anxiously asking for ?” France.
“No,” said the officer, “but let us Leckinski looked at the questioner, try this man. made a sign, and answered in German, Leckinski understood all, for he was “ I do not understand you."
acquainted with Spanish. He was reCastanos spoke German, but he did moved, and thrown into a room worthy
to have been one of the dungeons of the ready made to our hands, and they preinquisition in its best days.
vent us from thinking for ourselves. Of When the Spaniards took him prisoner, old, when there were no books, men he had eaten nothing since the previous could not maintain opinions through sucevening, and when his dungeon-door cessive generations, — they could only was closed on him he had fasted eighteen transmit the incidents of their history, hours; no wonder, then, what with ex- and the exploits of their warriors,—hence haustion, fatigue, anxiety, and the agony it is that a simple and uneducated man of his dreadful situation, that the un- is most commonly the profoundest and happy prisoner fell almost senseless on correctest thinker; as that which he his hard couch. Night soon closed in, ventures to utter, is that which he has and left him to realize in its gloom, the tried, proved true, and tested by his own full horror of his hopeless situation. He experience. Books preserve opinion, and was brave, of course; but to die at as opinion perpetually changes its shape, eighteen ;--'t is sudden. But youth and and daily puts on new and contradictory fatigue finally yielded to the approach of forms, it follows, as a necessary consesleep, and he was soon buried in pro- quence, that they must perpetuate error, found slumber.
and misrepresent continually, while they He had slept perhaps two hours, when continue to defeat the purposes of nature. the door of his dungeon opened slowly, This is the true reason of human disand some one entered with cautious content and misery. And what, in steps, hiding with his hand the light of another point of view, must be the evil a lamp; the visitor bent over the pri. fruit of this tree of knowledge, in the soner's couch, the hand that shaded the abridgment of social enjoyment, in the lamp touched him on the shoulder, and diminution of converse between the sexes a sweet and silvery voice, a woman's –in the general curtailment of popular voice, asked him, “Do you want to sports, without which, no people can be eat!”
moral, and scarce any condition innocent The young Pole, awakened suddenly in the fettering of manners—in the by the glare of the lamp, by the touch inculcation of a habit of indifference to and the
words of the female, rose up on the claims of one another-in the hahis couch, and with eyes only half- bitual solitude—the sour melancholyopened, said in German, “ What do you the eating sickness—the questioning and want!”
critical analysis of each other's language “ Give the man something to eat at —and in the generation of that most once,” said Castanos, when he heard the grotesque monstrosity of all—a woman result of the first experiment, “and let who chops logic, and presumes to be him go.
He is not a Frenchman. independent of her own petticoats. These How could he have been so far master evils are the evils springing out of books, of himself? the thing is impossible.” and books only. Nor are these all. The
dance ceases to go on under the old tree
-the minstrel no longer gathers around NOTES OF A READER.
him the wondering circle, made happy by his legends,--we learn to neglect the
ancient grand-dam, whose stories of an We copy the following half-jesting, half- evening chained us to the fire-side, and serious, but very beautiful thoughts, kept us from wandering
away into for. from the American Monthly Magazine bidden places. Books are the substituto for June, in which they form the con- for all these—they make us wise, and clusion of an admirable article, entitled they make us unhappy. They teach a “ The Sins of Typography:" it is written thousand evil lessons. They instruct one by Mr. Simms, the author of Martin to claim a higher seat than anotherFaber.
they beget pride, ambition, and a down“ Could the Evil one have devised a looking jealousy. They take from us better mode for making the innocent our simplicity and leave pretension in its unhappy, than by making them indepen- place. Nor are the satanics who first dent of one another, in this way defeating brought them into exercise, content even the natural tendency of man, which is to with this extended measure of human society? The machine for casting darts affliction. They bring with them a fearwas said by a savage warrior, long before ful and subtle demon, whom thcy call our time, to be the grave of valour : now Science. This is the coldest monster of books, to my mind, are the burial places them all; and is the same, I am perfectly of thought; since they furnish opinions satisfied, whom the Germans call Me
THE EVILS OF LITERATURE.