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tempted the violator and murderer-suppose had forsaken. As free from sin himself as him both-yea, that man at the barsworn to might be mortal and fallen man-mortal beby all the parish, if need were, as a man of cause fallen-he knew from Scripture and from tenderest charities, and generosity unbounded nature, that in “ the lowest deep there is still a -in the lust of lucre, consequent on the satiat- lower deep" in wickedness, into which all of ing of another lust-o rob his victim of a few woman born may fall, unless held back by the trinkets! Let loose the wildest imagination arm of the Almighty Being, whom they must into the realms of wildest wickedness, and yet serve steadfastly in holiness and truth. He they dared not, as they feared God, to credit for knew, too, from the same source, that man cana moment the union of such appalling and not sin beyond the reach of God's mercy-it such paltry guilt, in that man who now trembled the worst of all imaginable sinners seek, in a not before them, but who seemed cut off from Bible-breathed spirit at last, that mercy through all the sensibilities of this life by the scythe the Atonement of the Redeemer. Daily—and of Misery that had shorn him down! But why nightly-he visited that cell; nor did he fear try to recount, however feebly, the line of to touch the hand-now wasted to the bone defence taken by the speaker, who on that day which at the temptation of the Prince of the seemed all but inspired. The sea may over- Air, who is mysteriously suffered to enter in at turn rocks, or fire consume them till they split the gates of every human heart that is guardin pieces; but a crisis there sometimes is in ed not by the flaming sword of God's own Serman's destiny, which all the powers ever aphim-was lately drenched in the blood of lodged in the lips of man, were they touched the most innocent creature that ever looked on with a coal from heaven, cannot avert, and the day. Yet a sore trial it was to his Christiwhen even he who strives to save, feels and anity to find the criminal so obdurate. He knows that he is striving all in vain--ay, vain, would make no confession. Yet said that it as a worm-to arrest the tread of Fate about was fit-that it was far best that he should to trample down its victim into the dust. All die—that he deserved death! But ever when hoped-many almost believed that the pri- the deed without a name was alluded to, his soner would be acquitted—that a verdict of tongue was tied; and once in the midst of an “Not Proven," at least, if not of “Not Guilty,” impassioned prayer, beseeching him to listen would be returned; but they had not been to conscience and confess he that prayed sworn to do justice before man and before shuddered to behold him frown, and to hear Godmand, if need were, to seal up even the bursting out in terrible energy, “Cease-cease fountains of mercy in their hearts-flowing, to torment me, or you will drive me to deny and easily set a-flowing, by such a spectacle my God!” as that bar presented-a man already seeming No father came to visit him in his cell. On to belong unto the dead!
the day of trial he had been missing from In about a quarter of an hour the jury re- Moorside, and was seen next morninga-(where turned to the box--and the verdict, having been he had been all night never was knownsealed with black wax, was handed up to the though it was afterwards rumoured that one Judge, who read, “We unanimously find the like him had been seen sitting, as the gloaming prisoner Guilty.” He then stood up to receive darkened, on the very spot of the murder)the sentence of death. Not a dry eye was in wandering about the hills, hither and thither, the court during the Judge's solemn and affect- and round and round about, like a man stricking address to the criminal-except those of en with blindness, and vainly seeking to find the Shadow on whom had been pronounced the his home. When brought into the house, his doom. “ Your body will be hung in chains senses were gone, and he had lost the power on the moor-on a gibbet erected on the spot of speech. All he could do was to mutter
you murdered the victim of lowed lust, and there will your bones bleach ually, without one moment's cessation, one unin the sun, and rattle in the wind, after the in- intelligible and most rueful moan! The figure sects and the birds of the air have devoured of his daughter seemed to cast no image on your flesh; and in all future times, the spot on his eyes-blind and dumb he sat where he had which, God-forsaking and God-forsaken, you been placed, perpetually wringing his hands, perpetrated that double crime, at which all hu- with his shaggy eyebrows drawn high up his manity shudders, will be looked on from afar forehead, and the fixed orbs--though stoneby the traveller passing through that lonesome blind at least to all real things beneath them wild with a sacred horror !” Here the voice flashing fire. He had borne up bravely—alof the Judge faltered, and he covered his face most to the last—but had some tongue syllawith his hands; but the prisoner stood unmov- bled his son's doom in the solitude, and at that ed in figure, and in face untroubled--and when instant had insanity smitten him! all was closed, was removed from the bar, the Such utter prostration of intellect had been same ghostlike and unearthly phantom, seem- expected by none; for the old man, up to the ingly unconscious of what had passed, or even very night before the Trial, had expressed the of his own existence.
most confident trust of his son's acquittal. Surely now he will suffer his old father to Nothing had ever served to shake his convicvisit him in his cell! “Once more only-only tion of his innocence-invugh he had always once more let me see him before I die!" were forborne speaking about the circumstances of his words to the clergyman of the parish, the murder-and had communicated to nobody whose Manse he had so often visited when a any of the grounds ơn which he more than young and happy boy. That servant of Christ hoped in a case so hopeless; and though a had not forsaken him whom now all the world I trouble in his eyes often gave the lie to his lip
when he used to say to the silent neighbours, any thing could have been seen, had been shut "We shall soon see him back at Moorside." fast against all horrid sights--and the horses' Had his belief in his Ludovic's innocence, and hoofs and the wheels must have been muffled his trust in God that that innocence would be that had brought that hideous Framework to the established and set free, been so sacred, that Moor. But there it now stood-a dreadful che blow, when it did come, struck him like a Tree! The sun moved higher and higher up hammer, and felled him to the ground, from the sky, and all the eyes of that congregation which he had risen with a riven brain? In were at once turned towards the east, for a dull whatever way the shock had been given, it had sound, as of rumbling wheels and trampling been terrible ; for old Gilbert Adamson was feet, seemed shaking the Moor in that direcnow a confirmed lunatic, and keepers were in tion; and lo! surrounded with armed men on Moorside-not keepers from a mad-house-for horseback, and environed with halberds, came his daughter could not afford such tendence on a cart, in which three persons seemed to be but two of her brother's friends, who sat up sitting, he in the middle all dressed in white with him alternately, night and day, while the the death-clothes of the murderer--the unpityarms of the old man, in his distraction, had to ing shedder of most innocent blood. be bound with cords. That dreadful moaning There was no bell to toll there--but at the was at an end now; but the echoes of the hills very moment he was ascending the scaffold, a responded to his yells and shrieks; and people black cloud knelled thunder, and many hunwere afraid to go near the house. It was pro- dreds of people all at once fell down upon
their posed among the neighbours to take Alice and knees. The man in white lifted up his eyes, little Ann out of it; and an asylum for them and said, “O Lord God of Heaven! and Thou was in the Manse; but Alice would not stir at his blessed Son, who died to save sinners! acall their entreaties; and as, in such a case, it cept this sacrifice !" would have been too shocking to tear her away Not one in all that immense crowd could by violence, she was suffered to remain with have known that that white apparition was him who knew her not, but who often-it was Ludovic Adamson. His hair, that had been said-stared distractedly upon her, as if she almost jet-black, was now white as his face had been some fiend sent in upon his insanity as his figure, dressed, as it seemed, for the from the place of punishment. Weeks pass- grave. Are they going to execute the mured on, and still she was there-hiding herself derer in his shroud ? Stone-blind, and stoneat times from those terrifying eyes; and from deaf, there he stood-yet had he, without help, her watching corner, waiting from morn till walked up the steps of the scaffold. A hymn night, and from night till morn--for she sel- of several voices aroser--the man of God close dom lay down to sleep, and had never undress- beside the criminal, with the Bible in his uped herself since that fatal sentence for some lifted hands; but those bloodless lips had no moment of exhausted horror, when she might motion-with him this world was not, though steal out, and carry some slight gleam of com- yet he was in life--in life, and no more! And fort, however evanescent, to the glimmer or was this the man who, a few months ago, the gloom in which the brain of her Father flinging the fear of death from him, as a flash swam through a dream of blood. But there of sunshine flings aside the shades, had dewere no lucid intervals; and ever as she moy- scended into that pit which an hour before had ed towards him, like a pitying angel, did he fu- been bellowing, as the foul vapours exploded riously rage against her, as if she had been a like cannons, and brought up the bodies of fiend. At last, she who, though yet so young, them who had perished in the womb of the had lived to see the murdered corpse of her earth? Was this he who once leaped into the dearest friend-murdered by her own only devouring fire, and re-appeared, after all had brother, whom, in secret, that murdered maid- given over for lost the glorious boy, with an en had most tenderly loved that murderous infant in his arms, while the flames seemed to brother loaded with prison-chains, and con- eddy back, that they might scathe not the head demned to the gibbet for inexpiable and unpar- of the deliverer, and a shower of blessings fell donable crimes--her father raving like a de- upon him as he laid it in its mother's bosom, mon, self-murderous were his hands but free, and made the heart of the widow to sing for nor visited by one glimpse of mercy from Him joy? It is he. And now the executioner pulls who rules the skies-after having borne more down the cord from the beam, and fastens it than, as she meekly said, had ever poor girl round the criminal's neck. His face is already borne, she took to her bed quite heart-broken, covered, and that fatal handkerchief is in his and, the night before the day of execution, hand. The whole crowd are now kneeling, died. As for poor little Ann, she had been and one multitudinous sob convulses the air;wiled away some weeks before; and in the when wild outcries, and shrieks, and yells, are blessed thoughtlessness of childhood, was not at that moment heard from the distant gloom without hours of happiness among her play- of the glen that opens up to Moorside, and mates on the braes.
three figures, one far in advance of the others, The Morning of that Day arose, and the come flying, as on the wings of the wind, to Moor was all blackened with people round the gibbet. Hundreds started to their feet, and the tall gibbet, that seemed to have grown,
“ 'Tis the maniac-'tis the lunatic !” was the with its horrid arms, out of the ground during cry. Precipitating himself down a rocky hillthe night. No sound of axes or hammers had side, that seemed hardly accessible but to the been heard clinking during the dark hours-goats, the maniac, the lunatic, at a few despenothing had been seen passing along the road; rate leaps and bounds, just as it was expected
the windows of all the houses from which he would have been dashed in pieces, alighted unstunned upon the level greensward; and once that now indeed they looked on the murnow, far ahead of his keepers, with incredible derer. The dreadful delusion under which all swiftness neared the scaffold-and the dense their understandings had been brought by the crowd making a lane for him in their fear and power of circumstances, was by that voice astonishment, he flew up the ladder to the hor- destroyed--the obduracy of him who had been rid platform, and grasping his son in his arms, about to die was now seen to have been the howled dreadfully over him; and then with a most heroic virtue-the self-sacrifice of a son loud voice cried, “ Saved-saved-saved !” to save a father from ignominy and death.
So sudden had been that wild rush, that all “O monster, beyond the reach of redempthe officers of justice—the very executioner- tion! and the very day after the murder, while stood aghast; and now the prisoner's neck is the corpse was lying in blood on the Moor, he free from that accursed cord-his face is once was with us in the House of God! Tear him more visible without that hideous shroud-and in pieces-rend him limb from limb-tear him he sinks down senseless on the scaffold. into a thousand pieces !" “ The Evil One had “ Seize him-seize him !” and he was seized power given him to prevail against me, and I but no maniac--no lunatic-was the father fell under the temptation. It was so written in now--for during the night, and during the the Book of Predestination, and the deed lies dawn, and during the morn, and on to midday~ at the door of God !" “ Tear the blasphemer on to the HOUR OF ONE-when all rueful pre- into pieces! Let the scaffold drink his blood !" parations were to be completed-had Provi- _“So let it be, if it be so written, good people! dence been clearing and calming the tumult in Satan never left me since the murder till this that troubled brain; and as the cottage clock day-he sat by my side in the kirk-when I struck one, memory brightened at the chime was ploughing in the field-there-ever as I into a perfect knowledge of the past, and pro- came back from the other end of the furrowphetic imagination saw the future lowering he stood on the headrigain the shape of a black upon the dismal present. All night long, with shadow. But now I see him not-he has rethe cunning of a madman-for all night long turned to his den in the pit. I cannot imagine he had still been mad-the miserable old man what I have been doing, or what has been done had been disengaging his hands from the ma- to me, all the time between the day of trial and nacles, and that done, springing like a wild this of execution. Was I mad? No matter. beast from his cage, he flew out of the open But you shall not hang Ludoviche, poor door, nor could a horse's speed on that fearful boy, is innocent;-here, look at him--hereroad have overtaken him before he reached the I tell you again--is the Violator and the Murscaffold.
derer!” No need was there to hold the miserable But shall the men in authority dare to stay man. He who had been so furious in his ma- the execution at a maniac's words? If they nacles at Moorside, seemed now, to the people dare not that multitude will, now all rising at a distance, calm as when he used to sit in together like the waves of the sea. “ Cut the the elder's seat beneath the pulpit in that small cords asunder that bind our Ludovic's arms" kirk. But they who were near or on the scaf- -a thousand voices cried; and the murderer, fold, saw something horrid in the fixedness of unclasping a knife, that, all unknown to his his countenance. “Let go your hold of me, keepers, he had worn in his breast when a ye fools !” he muttered to some of the mean maniac, sheared them asunder as the sickle wretches of the law, who still had him in their shears the corn. But his son stirred not-and clutch-and tossing his hands on high, cried on being lifted up by his father, gave not so with a loud voice, “Give ear, ye Heavens! much as a groan. His heart had burst-and and hear, O Earth! I am the Violator-I am he was dead. No one touched the gray-headed the Murderer!"
murderer, who knelt down--not to pray--but The moor groaned as in earthquake-and to look into his son's eyes and to examine then all that congregation bowed their heads his lips—and to feel his left breast—and to with a rustling noise, like a wood smitten by the search out all the symptoms of a fainting-fit, wind. Had they heard aright the unimagina- or to assure himself—and many a corpse had ble confession ? His head had long been gray the plunderer handled on the field after hush
- he had reached the term allotted to man's of the noise of battle that this was death. mortal life here below—threescore and ten. He rose; and standing forward on the edge of Morning and evening, never had the Bible the scaffold, said, with a voice that shook not, been out of his hands at the hour set apart deep, strong, hollow, and hoarse-"Good people! for family worship. And who so eloquent as I am likewise now the murderer of my daughhe in expounding its most dreadful mysteries ? ter and of my son! and of myself!" Next The unregenerate heart of man, he had ever moment the knife was in his heart-and he fell said-in scriptural phrase-was "desperately down a corpse on the corpse of his Ludovic. wicked.” Desperately wicked indeed! And All round the sultry horizon the black clouds now again he tossed his arms wrathfully-so had for hours been gathering-and now came the wild motion looked-in the wrathful skies. the thunder and the lightning-and the storm. “ I ravished--I murdered her-ye know it, ye Again the whole multitude prostrated themevil spirits in the depths of hell!” Conster-selves on the moor-an' 'he Pastor, bending nation now fell on the minds of all and the over the dead bodies, said, truth was clear as light-and all eyes knew at
“THIS IS EXPIATION !"
“ KNOWLEDGE is Power.” So is Talent—so sing “many a lovely lay," that perished like is Genius-so is Virtue. Which is the great- the flowers around them, in praise of the est? It might seem hard to tell ; but united, Power at whose footstool they “stooped their they go forth conquering and to conquer. Nor anointed heads as low as death.” Even then is that union rare. Kindred in nature, they has Genius been honoured, because though it love to dwell together in the same “palace of ceased to be august, still it was beautiful; it the soul.” Remember Milton. But too often seemed to change fetters of iron into bands of they are disunited; and then, though still roses, and to halo with a glory the brows of Powers, they are but feeble, and their defeats slaves. The wine-cup mantled in its light; are frequent as their triumphs. What! is it and Love forgot in the bower Poetry built for so even with Virtue? It is, and it is not. bliss, that the bride might be torn from the Virtue may reign without the support of Ta- bridegroom's bosom on her bridal night by a lent and Genius; but her counsellor is Con- tyrant's lust. Even there Genius was happy, science, and what is Conscience but Reason and diffused happiness; at its bidding was rich by birthright in knowledge directly de- heard pipe, tabor, and dulcimer; and to his rived from the heaven of heavens beyond all lips“ Warbling melody” life floated by, in the the stars?
midst of all oppression, a not undelightful And may Genius and Talent indeed be, con- dream! ceive, and execute, without the support of But how has it been with us in our Green Virtue? You will find that question answered Island of the West? Some people are afraid of in the following lines by Charles Grant, which revolutions. Heaven pity them! we have had deserve the name of philosophical poetry :- a hundred since the Roman bridged our rivers, Talents, 'tis true, quick, various, bright, has God
and led his highways over our mountains. To Virtue oft denied, on Vice bestow'd ;
And what the worse have we been of being Just as fond Nature lovelier colours brings
thus revolved? We are no radicals; but we To deck the insect's than the eagle's wings. But then of man the high-born nobler part,
dearly love a revolution like that of the stars. The ethereal energies that touch the heart,
No two nights are the heavens the same—all Creative Fancy, labouring Thought intense,
the luminaries are revolving to the music of Imagination's wild magnificence, And all the dread sublimities of Song
their own spheres-look, we beseech you, on These, Virtue! these to thee alone belong.
that new-risen star. He is elected by universal Such is the natural constitution of humanity; suffrage-a glorious representative of a million and in the happiest state of social life, all its lesser lights; and on dissolution of that Parlianoblest Faculties would bear legitimate sway, ment-how silent but how eloquent-he is each in its own province, within the spirit's sure of his return. Why, we should dearly ample domains. There, Genius would be love the late revolution we have seen below honoured; and Poetry another name for reli- it is no longer called Reform-were it to fling gion. But to such a state there can, under the up to free light from fettered darkness a few most favouring skies, be no more than an ap- fine bold original spirits, who might give the proximation; and the time never was when whole world a new character, and a more maVirtue suffered no persecution, Honour no jestic aspect to crouching life. But we look shame, Genius no neglect, nor fetters were not abroad and see strutting to and fro the sons of imposed by tyrannous power on the feet of little men blown up with vanity, in a land the free. The age of Homer, the age of Solon, where tradition not yet old tells of a race of the age of Pericles, the age of Numa, the age giants. We are ashamed of ourselves to think of Augustus, the age of Alfred, the age of Leo, we feared the throes of the times, seeing not the age of Elizabeth, the age of Anne, the age portentous but pitiable births. Brush these of Scott
, Wordsworth, and Byron, have they away ; and let us think of the great dead-let not been all bright and great ages? Yet had us look on the great living--and, strong in methey been faithfully chronicled, over the misemory and hope, be confident in the cause of ry and madness of how many despairing spi
Freedom. “Great men have been among usrits fraught with heavenly fire, might we not better none;" and can it be said that now there have been called to pour forth our unavailing is “a want of books and men,” or that those indignations and griefs !
we have, are mere dwarfs and duodecimos ? Under despotic governments, again, such as Is there no energy, no spirit of adventure and have sunk deep their roots into Oriental soils, enterprise, no passion in the character of our and beneath Oriental skies prosperously ex- country? Has not wide over earth panded their long-enduring umbrage, where England sent her men, of men the chief, might is right, and submission virtue, noble- To plant the Tree of Life, to plant fair Freedom's Tree?" minded men-for sake of that peace which is Has not she, the Heart of Europe and the ever dearest to the human heart, and if it de- Queen, kindled America into life, and raised scend not a glad and gracious gift from Heaven, up in the New World a power to balance the will yet not ungratefully be accepied when Old, star steadying star in their unconflicting breathed somewhat sadly from the quieted bo-courses? You can scarce see her shores for som of earth by tyranny saved from trouble-ships; her inland groves are crested with have submitted, almost without mourning, to towers and temples; and mists brooding at in
Have bow'd their knees
tervals over her far-extended plains, tell of of Peer to that of Beggar. To live is the most towns and cities, their hum unheard by the many of us can do. Why then complain? gazer from her glorious hills. Of such a land Men should not complain when it is their duty it would need a gifted eye to look into all that as men to work. Silence need not be sullenis passing within the mighty heart; but it needs but better sullenness than all this outrageous no gifted eye, no gifted ear, to see and hear outcry, as if words the winds scatter, were to there the glare and the groaning of great an-drop into the soil and grow up grain. Procesguish, as of lurid breakers tumbling in and sions! is this a time for full-grown men in out of the caves of the sea. But is it or is it holyday shows to play the part of children? not a land where all the faculties of the soul If they desire advancement, let them, like their are free as they ever were since the Fall? betters, turn to and work. All men worth Grant that there are tremendous abuses in all mentioning in this country belong to the workdepartments of public and private life; that ing classes. What seated Thurlow, and Wedrulers and legislators have often been as deaf to derburne, and Scott, and Erskine, and Copley, the “still small voice” as to the cry of the mil- and Brougham on the woolsack? Work. lion; that they whom they have ruled, and for What made Wellington ? For seven years whom they have legislated often so unwisely or war all over Spain, and finally at Waterloo wickedly, have been as often untrue to them- work-bloody and glorious work. selves, and in self-imposed idolatry
Yet still the patriot cry is of sinecures.
Let the few sluggards that possess but cannot To despicable gods;"
enjoy them, doze away on them till sinecures Yet base, blind and deaf (and better dumb) and sinecurists drop into the dust. Shall such must be he who would deny, that here Genius creatures disturb the equanimity of the maghas had, and now has her noblest triumphs; nanimous working-classes of England ? True that Poetry has here kindled purer fires on to themselves in life's great relations, they loftier altars than ever sent up their incense need not grudge, for a little while longer, the to Grecian skies ; that Philosophy has sounded paupers a few paltry pence out of their earndepths in which her torch was not extinguish. ings; for they know a sure and silent deathed, but, though bright, could pierce not the blow has been struck against that order of "heart of the mystery” into which it sent some things by the sense of the land, and that all strong illuminations; that Virtue here has had who receive wages must henceforth give work. chosen champions, victorious in their martyr- All along that has been the rule—these are the dom; and Religion her ministers and her ser- exceptions; or say, that has been the lawvants not unworthy of her whose title is from these are its revolutions. Let there be high heaven.
rewards, and none grudge them in honour Causes there have been, are, and ever will and gold--for high work. And men of high be, why often, even here, the very highest fa- talents-never extinct-will reach up their culties “rot in cold obstruction.' But in all hands and seize them, amidst the acclamathe ordinary affairs of life, have not the best tions of a people who have ever taken pride the best chance to win the day? Who, in in a great ambition. If the competition is to general, achieve competence, wealth, splen- be in future more open than ever, to know it dour, magnificence, in their condition as citi- is so will rejoice the souls of all who are not
The feeble, the ignorant, and the base, slaves. But clear the course! Let not the or the strong, the instructed, and the bold ? crowd rush in--for by doing so, they will bring Would you, at the offstart, back mediocrity down the racers, and be themselves trampled with alien influence, against high talent with to death. none but its own-the native “might that Now we say that the race is—if not always slumbers in a peasant's arm,” or, nobler far, -ninety-nine times in a hundred—to the swift, that which neither sleeps nor slumbers in a and the battle to the strong. We may have peasant's heart? There is something abhorrent been fortunate in our naval and military from every sentiment in man's breast to see, friends; but we cannot charge our memory as we too often do, imbecility advanced to high with a single consummate ass holding a displaces by the mere accident of high birth. tinguished rank in either service. That such But how our hearts warm within us to behold consummate asses are in both, we have been the base-born, if in Britain we may use the credibly informed, and believe it; and we have word, by virtue of their own irresistible ener. sometimes almost imagined that we heard their gies, taking precedence, rightful and gladly bray at no great distance, and the flapping of granted of the blood of kings! Yet we have their ears. Poor creatures enough do rise by heard it whispered, insinuated, surmised, spo- seniority or purchase, or if anybody knows ken, vociferated, howled, and roared in a voice how else, we do not; and such will be the of small-beer-souring thunder, that Church case to the end of the chapter of human acciand State, Army and Navy, are all officered by dents. But merit not only makes the man, the influence of the Back-stairs-that few or but the officer on shore and at sea. They are none but blockheads, by means of brass only, as noble and discontented a set of fellows all, mount from the Bar which they have disturb- as ever boarded or stormed; and they will ed to that Bench which they disgrace; and continue so, not till some change in the Adthat mankind intrust the cure of all diseases miralty, or at the Horseguards, for Sir James their flesh is heir to, to the exclusive care of Grahame does his duty, and so does Lord Hill; every here and there a handful of old women. but till a change in humanity, for 'tis no more
Whether overstocked or not, 'twould be hard than Adam did, and we attribute whatever may to say, but all professions are full—from that l be amiss or awry, chiefly to the Fall. Let the