Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

been added a return of that undue ex. dual enterprise, according a premium
pansion of the currency, which, in its to the illicit trader at the expense of
inevitable re-action, has carried general the honest merchant, and compelling
prostration and ruin to the trading por- the consumer to pay an unequal tax
tion of the community. But soaring to benefit a few wealthy manufac-
far above all other considerations in its turers.
influence on the welfare of the people, This state of things creates the ne-
is the moral pestilence which pervades cessity for an army of official spies to
the atmosphere of a gigantic moneyed neutralize the efforts of the ingenious
institution, undermining, as it does, the evaders of governmental restrictions,
very foundation of public and private thereby increasing the burthens of the
confidence and integrity, and engender- producing classes, and withdrawing
ing evils which are entailed on suc- from the vitals of the community, in a
ceeding generations. With a steady covert manner, the aliment which feeds
currency based on the precious metals, and pampers a host of greedy stipend-
of uniform value, and not subject to iaries.
sudden expansions and contractions, Thus, step by step, the Federal party
we may confidently anticipate a slow were marching onward in their path
but certain return to a state of perma- of encroachment on the liberties of the
nent prosperity

people, when the unsustained firmness Like the law to establish a Govern- of John Tyler planted an insurmountment Bank, that which authorizes the able barrier to their progress. In the distribution of the proceeds of the pub- prompt appreciation of purity of purlic domain is fraught with evils of no pose and patriotic adherence to right, common magnitude. It is, indeed, an the Democracy of the country are ever embodiment of that vicious principle true to their generous impulses. To in legislation—the distorted child of errors of mere policy they are lenient, Federal parentage-which creates gi- while the ground of principle is firmly gantic schemes of national extrava- maintained. They justly appreciate gance with the view of dazzling the the value of integrity in high station, people with the semblance of prosper- and are mindful that the day may not ity, the better to fleece them of their be far distant when a new combination honest earnings.

of untoward events may again require Thus, the exploded schemes of in- the exercise of similar firmness to avert ternal improvement to be carried on by the like calamities. Mr. Tyler is now the General Government were attempi- separated from the Federal party by an ed to be revived through the agency of impassable gulf. To secure the contithe States, and the money of the people nued approbation of the Republican was to be squandered indirectly on party his measures must be essentially those objects against which the Demo- Democratic, holding no compromise cracy of the country have declared an with the enemies of popular rights. eternal hostility. The demoralization The talents and education of Mr. Tyler and debasement which have ever fol- have qualified him for the proper dislowed in the track of similar expe- charge of the duties of the high trust dients in all ages and countries should he has assumed, and his annual and warn the American people of their special messages are marked by vigor danger. That system of duties on im- of thought and felicity of expression. ports which operates as a bounty to As a debater he possesses easy fluency one class of individuals at the cost of and a graceful delivery, and his conthe remainder, is equally exceptionable versational powers are of a high order. in principle, and scarcely less injurious To a pleasing but dignified demeanor in practice. Having for its basis the he unites the frankness and gallant false theory of coercing foreign nations bearing of a Virginia gentleman, and into becoming the tributaries of our his opinions on all subjects are given own, through a system of prohibitory with freedom and candor. In person duties levied on the products and ma- he is tall and rather slightly formed, nufactures of those states, it results in with prominent features, whose expreschaining down the energies of indivi- sion is decidedly intellectual.

1

HARRY BLAKE,

A STORY OF CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE, FOUNDED ON FACT.

BY JOHN QUOD, ESQ.

CHAPTER I.

SOMEWHERE about the time when the ill story, drank his ale, and smoked his feeling, which had long been gathering pipe, with any man, in the country; strength and venom, between England and so he could but get a crony at his and her American colonies, was ripen- bar-room fire, he cared litle whether ing into a rebellion, there stood on the the fellow had an empty pocket or not, road between Albany and Schenectady or whether the ale which was making a fantastic old building, whose style him mellow was ever to be paid for. I had been hatched in the foggy brain, is no wonder, then, that the Blue House and whose walls had been reared by became the delight of the men, ang the the sturdy hand, of some Dutch archi- horror of their wives, who wondered tect. It was a substantial, antiquated that their husbands would wander off house, time-worn, grey, but noi dila- of nights to old Garret Quackenboss's pidated; half smothered in trees, with house, and listen to his yoystering stoodd-looking, wings stretching out in ries, when they could be so much more every imaginable direction, with little usefully employed in splitting wood or reference to uniformity or regularity. rocking the babies to sleep at home. Sharp gables, with steps to the tops of Rumors of their venom reached the them, jutted up among the green ears of old Garret; wat he smoked branches of the trees; crooked chim- his pipe, closed his eyes, and forgot neys, forked for the benefit of storks, them.His customers did the same, which never came there, and of all and, in spite of conjugalopposition, the possible forms, were perched on the bar-room of the Blue Horge was farely roof; some of them stiff and upright, empty. like stark warriors on guard, and others This bar-room was a large barn-like twisting and bending, like so many chamber, with a wide, gaping fireplace, inquisitive old fellows, endeavoring to and great sturdy fire-dogs squatting in peep into the narrow little windows front of it, with huge logs of wood which garnished the second story. But resting on and warming their hinder everything about it was solid, strong, paris,-- by the way, an application to and old. The very barns had a gener. warmth in a direction which has latous look. They were low, roomy, and terly become quite common, not only extensive, with broad, wide doors and to fire-dogs, but to all frequenters of windows, and had a comfortable, libe- bar-rooms. Heavy rafters, blackened ral air, not unlike some sturdy, short- by time and smoke, crossed the top of legged fellow, with a large stomach the room, and from them projected and ample breeches pockets.

hooks on which hung hams, hind From the lowest branch of a large quarters of smoked beef, baskets, ketsycamore, in front of this house, hung tles, and various articles of culinary a sign-board, ornamented with the use. Over the chimney were several figure of a horse, of a deep blue color guns, covered with dust and cobwebs, -a variety of that animal possibly and which probably had never been common in those days, but at present used since the landlord was a boy; but extinct-indicating that it was a place on which he now occasionally cast an of public entertainment. Such an in- anxious eye, as rumors of war and timation, however, was little needed strife reached him from the more eastin its own immediate neighborhood, ern colonies. Wooden chairs, wooden for the Blue Horse was a place noted tables, a wooden dresser, garnished throughout the whole country round with pewter plates, shining like so for its good ale, its warm fireside, and many mirrors, and a huge arm-chair its jolly, jovial old landlord, who told a in the chimney corner, with Garret

sant one.

Quackenboss's fat body and jolly face he was about as ugly a looking fellow in the midst of it, completed the furni- as one would wish to see. ture of the room.

He turned slowly to the old man who It was about five o'clock in the after- spoke to him, and snapping his fingers noon of a fine bright day in autumn, in his face, said, “D-n old Garret! and in this very room, and in the midst Let him go, let him; and as for this of a group of half-a-dozen men, with dispute with that boy, it's my affair, the face of the landlord of the Blue not yours; so don't meddle with what Horse shining out, like a red sun, from don't concern you." among them, that we open our narra The old man drew back abashed. tive. They were all men of the same But the opponent of Wickliffe, a young class as Garret-plain, sturdy, substan- fellow of three or four and twenty, tial-mostly farmers of the neighbor- whose frank, handsome countenance, hood, who had loitered in to pick up and glad eye, seemed a warrant of an the gossip of the day; or those who, open, generous disposition, now put in. on their way from Albany or Schenec Well, Wickliffe,” said he,," if you tady, had dropped in to have a talk will quarrel, I won't. I didn't want to with old Garret, before indulging in drive Garret out of his own bar-room, that same pleasure with their better and you know he never will stay halves at home.

where there's quarrelling. So drink The subject, however, which now your ale, and we'll say no more about engrossed them was far from a plea- this matter."

It seemed so even to the “But I will say more about it,” relandlord, for he was silent, and turned torted the man, half rising from his a deaf ear to all that was going on; it seat, and at the same time shaking his being a fixed rule of his, to interfere in fist at him, “I will say more; and no man's difficulties but his own. And who'll hinder me, I'd like to know as this, which was a hot dialogue be- that? And as for you, Mr. Harry tween two of the party, was evidently Blake, I will say too, that in spite of fast verging into a quarrel, after eyeing your big carcase, you have no more the parties steadily for some time, he spirit than a woman. That is what thrust his hands into his pockets, and I'll say." quietly left the room. Before closing “Well, well, say it, if you please," the door, he turned and looked so- replied Blake, going to ihe fire and lemnly at the disputants, to let them seating himself on a bench, in front of see that, owing to their misconduct, it, “I'm sure I don't care.” they were about being deprived of the As he spoke, he laughed; and leanlight of his countenance, and then ing forward, picked up a chip which shaking his head, and emitting from lay on the hearth, and commenced his throat a grumbling indication of stirring the fire with it, at the same supreme discontent, he shut the door time whistling, and paying no attention and went out.

to what his opponent said, other than " Come, come-stop this, Wickliffe," by an occasional laugh at his evident said an old man, one of the party, on anger at being thus foiled. At last, whom at least Garret's look had pro- however

, Wickliffe, turning to a man duced an effect. “Don't you see you've who sat next to him, mutiered somedriven Garret off? This dispute is thing between bis teeth, which drew mere nonsense.”

the cry of “Shame! shame!" from The person whom he addressed was those around him, and of which Blake a short, square-built man, with a dark caught but the words, “ Mary Linsallow face, with a scar on the nose, coln.”—But they brought him to his and one crossing both his lips, as if he feet. had been slashed there with a knife; “What's that you say about Mary a dark black eye, that at times kindled Lincoln ?” said he, advancing towards and glowed, until it seemed a red hot the man who was looking at him with ball set in its socket; a low wrinkled a grin of satisfaction at having at last forehead, and lips that worked and aroused him. twitched, baring and showing his teeth “Nothing, nothing," replied several, like a mastiff preparing to bite. And at the same time rising and placing as he sat there, with his fingers work- themselves between him and Wicking with anger, and his lips writhing, liffe. “Don't mind him Harry;" don't

[ocr errors]

mind him. He's in a passion, and His laugh, however, was a short doesn't mean what he says."

one; for before the words were fairly “ But I do mean it," shouted Wick- out of his mouth, Blake was upon him. liffe. “I do mean it; and I repeat it, Exerting his great strength, now douMary Lincoln is-"

bly increased by fury, he fairly swung What ?" demanded Blake quickly, the speaker from his feet, and flung his eyes glowing with anger.

him across the room, and against the Wickliffe eyed him for a moment opposite wall; striking which, he fell with a fixed dogged stare; and it at full length on the floor. For a momight have been sharne, or it might ment, Wickliffe lay stunned; but rehave been a feeling of trepidation, at covering himself, he sprang up, and having at length aroused him, and at shaking his hand at Blake, and saying seeing the powerful frame of Blake, “ My boy, you may take your measure with every muscle strung, ready to leap for a coffin after this; for you'll need upon him, that deterred him; for he one,” darted from the room. A speedy turned away his head and said opportunity might have been afforded

“ No matter what. I've said it to him to have put his threat into exeonce, and that's enough. They all cution, had not several persons sprang heard it."

forward and seized Blake, as he was Harry Blake's face, from a deep following, and held him back by main scarlet, became deadly pale, as he an- force. swered: “Wickliffe, I did not hear “Don't stop me,” exclaimed he, what you said, but I dare you to struggling to get loose, and dragging repeat it. If you do, and there is one the strong men who held him, across word in it that should not be, this hour the room. • Let loose your hold, Dick will be the bitterest of your whole life. Wells, let loose your grip, I say,” exI'm not the man to make a threat and c'ained he to one who held him by the not act up to it.”

shoulders with a strength nearly equal He stood for a moment, waiting for

te his own.

"Let me go, or I'll strike him to repeat his remark, ans the

VOD tured on his ! te and walked *uth

No, you won't, Harry," replied the furupan enuttie in; and as detin olur. “ But even if you do, I'll not C., it was marked by several who let you go on a fool's errand. So there's timeline ting of si at the time, but no use scuffling in that way." Wu reser bered it long after, when Blake saw that nothing was to be Irry word then uttered, and every gained by a struggle with so many, action done, became important, that he and so he said, “Let me go. I'll proground his teeth together, and seizing mise not to follow him. But mark a large knife which lay on the table, me," said he, as they relinquished their with his teeth still set, drove it into the hold, “you have this night heard this table, and left it sticking there. scoundrel defame one of the purest

Still his adversary did not seem dis- girls that ever lived, because he had a posed to give up a dispute which, it grudge against me, and knew that she was evident, had already been carried was to be my wife. He shall pay for too far; for he demanded in an impa- it, if it cost me my life.” tient tone

Come, come, Harry; don't be a “What's Mary, Lincoln to you, my boy,” said the old man, who had before young fellow, that you bristle up so at interfered with Wickliffe. " The man the very mention of her name? What was half drunk and quarrelsome, and is she to you,” continued he, becoming saw that you couldn't stomach what still more excited, “be she pure as he was saying, and so he said it. No snow-or-or-or what I will not name ! one cares for him or his words. We G-d! One would think you were a all know that Mary Lincoln hasn't her sweetheart. A glorious pair you'd equal in these parts. God bless her! make! Your red hot temper would I only wish she was my own child. be finely balanced against her sweet Not but what my poor little Kate is a face and disposition. Sweet—very good girl; and kind and affectionate sweet-and

so d-d yielding-and ioo, poor little Kate is; but yet she's dovelike—that she cannot resist im- not Mary Lincoln ; but Kate is a good portunity, however improper-ha! ha! girl, though ; a very good girl.” And It makes me laugh."

The old man shook his head, reproach

[ocr errors]

fully, as if there were a small voice with giant dead trees, stretching out whispering at his heart, that he should their leafless branches over them, with not have placed his own poor little Kate here and there a solitary crow, plumnext with Mary Lincoln.

ing its feathers on them, crowded up Harry Blake's fine face brightened, to the very path; and in other parts as he looked at the old man; and he there were miles of pines and cedars, took his hand and shook it warmly. shooting up amid sumachs and dwarf " You're right, Adams--you're right. bushes. Mary needs no one to speak up for her. They had passed that portion of the I see it. God bless you all for your road, which had been here and there kind feelings towards her. And now I enlivened by farms and orchards, and think of it, Adams, tell Kate that Mary were trotting briskly between two may not be Mary Lincoln long, and green walls of swamp and forest--a may soon want her to stand up with dreary spot—when suddenly, a sharp, her."

shrill cry rose in the air. It seemed to “I will do that, Harry, I will,” said proceed from the wood, a short disthe old farmer, rubbing his hands to tance in front of them. gether," and right glad I am to hear They were both bold men ; but their it; but, Harry, you'll not carry this cheeks grew white, and they instinctquarrel further-promise me-'I can ively drew in their horses. trust you, I know."

“Was that a shout or a scream?" Blake, however, laughed, and shook said Grayson, instinctively turning his his head. I'll think of it,” said he heavy whip in his hand, so as to have “• Beware of rash promises,' was what its loaded handle ready for a blow. I learnt from my copy-book. But now “ It smacked of both,” replied WalI must go. Five miles are between ton. "Hark," said old Caleb Grayson, me and my home.” As he spoke, he “there it is again.” turned from them and left the room, Again the same piercing cry shot and in a short time was heard gallop- through the air, and went echoing ing down the road.

through the woods, until it seemed to Harry Blake had not been gone die away in a low wail. many minutes, when one of the com There's foul play there," shouted pany, an old man, dressed in a suit of Walton, and striking his horse a heavy grey homespun, who had been sitting blow with his whip, the animal at the fire, an inactive spectator of the sprang forward at a full gallop. altercation, got up, and, turning to a " There it is again. By God! it's

who was leaning carelessly some one begging for mercy.”
against the opposite side of the fire “Stop, Walton," said old Caleb
place, said, “ Come, Walton, let's fol- Grayson, suddenly reining in his horse.
low Harry's example. Our paths are

Did
you

hear the name?"
the same, and we'll go in company ;
and as you are the youngest you can

“I did, and it was Harry. Can get the horses."

Harry Blake be settling scores with The person thus addressed seemed that braggart Wickliffe ?” to agree to the proposal, for, after "God of Heaven! I hope not !” exyawning and stretching bimself, he' claimed Walton. “ There was bad went out, and in a few minutes was blood enough between them to lead to heard calling from without that the a dozen murders. Go it, Jack,” said horses were ready,

he, again striking his horse, “ we'll be The road which they pursued was on them at the next turn of the road the same already taken by Wickliffe the bushes hide them now.” and Blake; and as they had far to go, A dozen leaps of their horses brought and it was late, they struck into a brisk them round the copse of trees, which trot, so as to pass a dreary portion of it, had shut out a sight that made them which ran through waste and forest, shudder. Within twenty yards of before the night set in. Part of it was them, extended on his back on the sad and solitary enough, shrouded with ground, lay Wickliffe, stone dead. tall trees, covered with long weeping Bending over him was Blake, grasping moss, trailing from the branches to the a knife, which was driven to the haft earth, and resembling locks blanched in his bosom.

Dense and tangled bushes “Good God! Harry Blake taken VOL. XI.NO. LIII.

65

[ocr errors]

man

No."

by age.

« AnteriorContinuar »