Imágenes de páginas

miserable woman (however she might have comebution overtaking him, I can only say I heartily by her death) was found dead—that a coroner's hope Retribution may prove in the long-run to inquest inquired into the circumstances that be the more cunning customer of the two. There the evidence showed her to have entered the is not much prospect of it at present. The dochouse as a patient—and that the medical inves- tor's friends and admirers are, I understand, tigation ended in discovering that she died of about to present him with a Testimonial, “exapoplexy. My idea is, that Mr. Midwinter had pressive of their sympathy under the sad occura motive of his own for not coming forward with rence which has thrown a cloud over the openthe evidence that he might have given. I have ing of his Sanatorium, and of their undiminished also reason to suspect that Mr. Armadale, out of confidence in his integrity and ability as a med. regard for him, followed his lead, and that the ical man.' We live, Augustus, in an age emiverdict at the inquest (attaching no blame to any nently favorable to the growth of all roguery body), proceeded, like many other verdicts of which is careful enough to keep up appearances. the same kind, from an entirely superficial in- In this enlightened ninteenth century, I look vestigation of the circumstances.

upon as one of our rising men. " The key to the whole mystery is to be found, I firmly believe, in that wretched woman's at- To turn now to pleasanter subjects than Santempt to personate the character of Mr. Arma- atoriums, I may tell you that Miss Neclic is as dale's widow, when the news of his death appear- good as well again, and is, in my humble opined in the papers. But what first set her on this, ion, prettier than ever. She is staying in Lonand by what inconceivable process of deception, don, under the care of a female relative-and she can have induced Mr. Midwinter to marry Mr. Armadale satisfies her of the fact of his exher (as the certificate proves), under Mr. Arma- istence (in case she should forget it) regularly dale's name, is more than Mr. Armadale him- every day. They are to be married in the self knows. The point was not touched at the spring-unless Mrs. Milroy's death causes the inquest, for the simple reason that the inquest ceremony to be postponed. The medical men only concerned itself with the circumstances are of opinion that the poor lady is sinking at attending her death. Mr. Armadale, at his last. It may be a question of weeks or a quesfriend's request, saw Miss Blanchard, and in- tion of months—they can say no more. She is duced her to silence old Darch on the subject of greatly altered-quiet and gentle, and anxiousthe claim that had been made relating to the ly affectionate with her husband and her child. widow's income. As the claim had never been But in her case this happy change is, it seems, admitted, even our stiff-necked brother practi- a sign of approaching dissolution, from the medtioner consented for once to do as he was asked. ical point of view. There is a difficulty in makThe doctor's statement that his patient was the ing the poor old major understand this. He widow of a gentleman named Armadale was only sees that she has gone back to the likeness 'accordingly left unchallenged, and so the mat- of her better self when he first married her; and ter has been hushed up. She is buried in the he sits for hours by her bedside now, and tells great cemetery, near the place where she died. her about his wonderful clock. Nobody but Mr. Midwinter and Mr. Armadale “Mr. Midwinter, of whom you will next ex(who insisted on going with him) followed her pect me to say something, is improving rapidly. to the grave; and nothing has been inscribed on After causing some anxiety at first to the medthe tombstone but the initial letter of her Chris- ical men (who declared that he was suffering tian name and the date of her death. So, from a serious nervous shock, produced by cirafter all the harm she has done, she rests at last cumstances about which their patient's obsti-and so the two men whom she has injured nate silence kept them quite in the dark), he have forgiven her.

has rallied, as only men of his sensitive temper“Is there more to say on this subject before ament (to quote the doctors again) can rally. we leave it? On referring to your letter I find He and Mr. Armadale are together in a quiet you have raised one other point, which may be lodging. I saw him last week, when I was in worth a moment's notice.

London. His face showed signs of wear and “You ask if there is reason to suppose that tear, very sad to see in so young a man. But the doctor comes out of the matter with hands he spoke of himself and his future with a courwhich are really as clean as they look ? My age and hopefulness which men of twice his dear Augustus, I believe the doctor to have been years (if he has suffered as I suspect him to at the bottom of more of this mischief than we have suffered) might have envied. If I know shall ever find out; and to have profited by the any thing of humanity this is no common man self-imposed silence of Mr. Midwinter and Mr. --and we shall hear of him yet in no common Armadale, as rogues perpetually profit by the way. misfortunes and necessities of honest men. It “ You will wonder how I came to be in Lonis an ascertained fact that he connived at the don. I went up with a return ticket (from Satfalse statement about Miss Milroy, which en- urday to Monday) about that matter in dispute trapped the two gentlemen into his house—and at our agent's. We had a tough fight; but, that one circumstance (after my Old Bailey ex- curiously enough, a point occurred to me just perience) is enough for me. As to evidence as I got up to go, and I went back to my chair, against him, there is not a jot—and as to Retri- and settled the question in no time. Of course

I staid at Our Hotel in Covent Garden. Will. “Have I any thing more to tell you before I iam, the waiter, asked after you with the affec- leave off? Only one thing that I can remember. tion of a father; and Matilda, the chamber-maid, " That wretched old Bashwood has confirmed said you almost persuaded her that last time to the fears I told you I had about him when he have the hollow tooth taken out of her lower was brought back here from London. There is jaw. I had the agent's second son (the young no kind of doubt that he has really lost all the chap you nick-named Mustapha, when he made little reason he ever had. He is perfectly harmthat dreadful mess about the Turkish Securities) less, and perfectly happy. And he would do to dine with me on Sunday. A little incident very well if we could only prevent him from gohappened in the evening which may be worth ing out in his last new suit of clothes, smirking recording, as it connected itself with a certain and smiling, and inviting every body to his apold lady who was not at home when you and proaching marriage with the handsomest woman Mr. Armadale blundered on that house in Pim- in England. It ends, of course, in the boys lico in the by-gone time.

pelting him, and in his coming here crying to “Mustapha was like all the rest of you young me, covered with mud. The moment his clothes men of the present day-he got restless after are cleaned again he falls back into his favorite dinner. 'Let's go to a public amusement, Mr. delusion, and struts about before the church Pedgift,'says he. “Public amusement? Why, gates, in the character of a bridegroom, waiting it's Sunday evening !' says I. 'All right, Sir,' for Miss Gwilt. We must get the poor wretch says Mustapha. "They stop acting on the stage, taken care of somewhere for the rest of the little I grant you, on Sunday evening—but they don't time he has to live. Who would ever have stop acting in the pulpit. Come and see the thought of a man at his age falling in love ? last new Sunday performer of our time.' As and who would ever have believed that the mishe wouldn't have any more wine there was no- chief that woman's beauty has done could bave thing else for it but to go.

reached as far in the downward direction as our “We went to a street at the West End, and superannuated old clerk? found it blocked up with carriages. If it hadn't “Good-by, for the present, my dear boy. If been Sunday night I should have thought we you see a particularly handsome snuff-box in were going to the opera. What did I tell Paris, remember—though your father scorns you?', says Mustapha, taking me up to an open Testimonials—he doesn't object to receive a door with a gas star outside and a bill of the present from his son. performance. I had just time to notice that I

“Yours affectionately, was going to one of a series of 'Sunday Evening

"A. PEDGIFT, SENR. Discourses on the Pomps and Vanities of the “Postscript.- I think it likely that the acWorld, by A Sinner Who Has Served Them,' count you mention, in the French papers, of a when Mustapha jogged my elbow, and whisper- fatal quarrel among some foreign sailors in one ed, “Half a crown is the fashionable tip.' I of the Lipari Islands, and of the death of their found myself between two demure and silent captain, among others, may really have been a gentlemen, with plates in their hands, uncom- quarrel among the scoundrels who robbed Mr. monly well filled already with the fashionable Armadale, and scuttled his yacht. Those feltip. Mustapha patronized one plate, and I thie lows, luckily for society, can't always keep up other.

We passed through two doors into a appearances; and, in their case, Rogues and long room crammed with people. And there, Retribution do occasionally come into collision on a platform at the farther end holding forth to with each other." the audience, was—not a man, as I had expected, but a Woman, and that woman MOTHER OLDERSHAW! You never listened to any thing

CHAPTER II. more eloquent in your life. As long as I heard

MIDWINTER. her she was never once at a loss for a word any The spring had advanced to the end of April. where. I shall think less of oratory as a hu. It was the eve of Allan's wedding-day. Midman accomplishment for the rest of my days winter and he had sat talking together at the after that Sunday evening. As for the matter great house till far into the night-till so far of the sermon, I may describe it as a narrative that it had struck twelve long since, and the of Mrs. Oldershaw's experience among dilapi- wedding-day was already some hours old. dated women, profusely illustrated in the pious For the most part the conversation had turned and penitential style. You will ask what sort on the bridegroom's plans and projects. It was of audience it was. Principally women, Au- not till the two friends rose to go to rest that gustus—and, as I hope to be saved, all the old Allan insisted on making Midwinter speak of harridans of the world of fashion, whom Mother himself. “We have had enough, and more Oldershaw had enameled in her time, sitting than enough, of my future,” he began, in his boldly in the front places, with their cheeks rud- bluntly straightforward way. "Let's say somedled with paint, in a state of devout enjoyment thing now, Midwinter, about yours. You have wonderful to see! I left Mustapha to hear the promised me, I know, that if you take to Literaend of it. And I thought to myself, as I went turc, it sha'n't part us, and that if you go on a out, of what Shakspeare says somewhere—'Lord, sea vorage you will remember when you come what fools we mortals be!'

back that my house is your home. But this is



the last chance we have of being together in our and about myself. No clouds, raised by my old way; and I own I should like to know-" superstition, will ever come between us again. His voice faltered, and his blue eyes moistened I can't honestly tell you that I am more willing a little. He left the sentence unfinished. now than I was when we were in the Isle of

Midwinter took his hand and helped him, as Man, to take what is called the rational view of he had often helped him to the words that he your Dream. Though I know what extraordiwanted in the by-gone time.

nary coincidences are perpetually happening in “You would like to know, Allan," he said, the experience of all of us, still I can not accept “that I shall not bring an aching heart with me coincidences as explaining the fulfillment of the to your wedding-day? If you will let me go Visions which our own eyes have seen. All I back for a moment to the past, I think I can can sincerely say for myself is, what I think it satisfy you."

will satisfy you to know, that I have learned to They took their chairs again. Allan saw view the purpose of the Dream with a new mind. that Midwinter was moved. “Why distress I once believed that it was sent to rouse your yourself ?” he asked, kindly—“why go back to distrust of the friendless man whom you had the past ?"

taken as a brother to your heart. I now know “For two reasons, Allan. I ought to have that it came to you as a timely warning to take thanked you long since for the silence you have him closer still. Does this help to satisfy you observed, for my sake, on a matter that must that I, too, am standing hopefully on the brink have seemed very strange to you. You know of a new life, and that while we live, brother, what the name is which appears on the register your love and mine will never be divided again?” of my marriage—and yet you have forborne to They shook hands in silence. Allan was the speak of it, from the fear of distressing me. Be- first to recorer himself. · He answered in the fore you enter on your new life, let us come to few words of kindly assurance which were the a first and last understanding about this. I ask best words that he could address to his friend. you—as one more kindness to me to accept "I have heard all I ever want to hear about my assurance (strange as the thing must seem the past,” he said; "and I know what I most to you) that I am blameless in this matter; and wanted to know about the future. Every body I entreat you to believe that the reasons I have says, Midwinter, you have a career before you for leaving it unexplained are reasons which, -and I believe that every body is right. Who if Mr. Brock was living, Mr. Brock himself knows what great things may happen before you would approve."

and I are many years older ?" In those words he kept the secret of the two “Who need know?" said Midwinter, calmly. names-and left the memory of Allan's mother, "Happen what may, God is all-merciful, God what he had found it, a sacred memory in the is all-wise. In those words, your dear old friend heart of her son.

once wrote to me. In that faith, I can look “One word more," he went on—"a word back without murmuring at the years that are which will take us, this time, from past to fu- past, and can look on without doubting to the ture. It has been said, and truly said, that out years that are to come.” of Evil may come Good. Out of the horror and He rose, and walked to the window. While the misery of that night you know of has come they had been speaking together the darkness had the silencing of a doubt which once made my passed. The first light of the new day met him life miserable with groundless anxiety about you as he looked ont, and rested tenderly on his face.


O PRIDE of the days in prime of the months | Before our lines it seemed a beach
Now trebled in great renown,

Which wild September gales have strown When before the ark of our holy cause With havoc on wreck, and dashed therewith Fell Dagon down

Pale crews unknownDagon foredoomed, who, armed and targed, Men, arms, and steeds. The evening sun Never his impious heart enlarged

Died the face of each lifeless one, Beyond that hour; God walled his power, And died along the winding marge of fight And there the last invader charged.

And searching-parties lone. He charged, and in that charge condensed Sloped on the hill the mounds were green, His all of hate and all of fire ;

Our centre held that place of graves,
He sought to blast us in his scorn,

And some still hold it in their swoon,
And wither us in his ire.

And over these a glory waves.
Before him went the shriek of shells- The warrior-monument, crashed in fight,
Aerial screamings, taunts, and yells ; Shall soar transfigured in loftier light,
Then the three waves in flashed advance

A meaning ampler bear;
Surged, but were met, and back they set: Soldier and priest with hymn and prayer
Pride was repelled by sterner pride,

Have laid the stone, and every bone And Kight is a strong-hold yet.

Shall rest in honor there.

[graphic][merged small]

FRANCIS ASBURY. THERE is a man, not even named in our Francis. He and a little sister were all the


more deeply into American life in its social, home. She, though lovely and most dear to moral, and religious facts than any other who the small family circle, remained in it but a few lived and acted his part in our more formative summers, when the Good Father took her to his period. His name was Francis Asbury. His own home. The parents and brother cherished life is overlooked, and so spiritual, pervasive, her memory in love, and felt that heaven was and effective a force is left unnoticed. And this rendered more dear and attractive by her presis but an instance in which history is ever re- ence. The event, so sad in itself, camo accompeating its own method. How much broader panied with rich religious blessings. And who the place occupied by Julius Cæsar and Napo- can tell the result? Deep impressions in youth leon Bonaparte than by Plato and Martin Lu- often give tone to a long life. So it was here. ther in European history! Yet a tyro in his. And when, as in this case, that life is singulartoric study knows that the latter were incompar- ly good, and sends out influences that survive it ably the greater forces in forming the real life and go down the ages, only the divine mind can of Europe. So the names of Ethan Allen and estimate the benign results of that early im. Anthony Wayne have been more familiar to the pression. popular ear of America than that of Asbury; Childhood is ever much the same. The least yet how trivial their influence compared with differences are mainly in fable. Francis slept his !

and waked, smiled and wept, was caressed and In the parish of Handsworth, in Staffordshire, corrected much as other children. Still carly England, lived Joseph and Elizabeth Asbury, traits foretokened a good and useful life. He husband and wife, and among the best of the writes: “I remember, when I was a small boy peasant class. In the year 1745 they welcomed and went to school, I had serious thoughts, and to their cottage a little son, and called him la particular sense of the being of a God; and

[ocr errors]

greatly feared both an oath and a lie. Wicked | mon of this day far exceeded his own experias my companions were, and fond as I was of ence, but that experience soon had large inplay, I never imbibed their vices.” He dates crease. Soon he began to hold meetings for the beginning of his spiritual life in his four- reading the Scriptures, prayer, and exhortation. teenth year; though he sincerely prayed and Many attended these gatherings, and holy influfelt God near as early as seven. His parents, ences rested upon the people. The fervency of intelligent for their class, were anxious for his his prayers and the eloquence and unction of education, but unfortunately were sadly balked his exhortations were singularly effective. Per. in their plan. When sent to school at the age secution soon arose and drove him from one and of seven he fell into the bands of a morose, cruel another place of worship, when the parental pedagogue. The wanton beatings which he suf- home became his sanctuary. fered, and only the severer as their victim was A beautiful fact is given in this connection. the better deserving, gave his feelings an uncon- This lad regularly accompanied his mother to a trollable revulsion from school, and turned his religious meeting of females, where he conducted thoughts to a trade. Their only good result, the exercises, giving out the hymns, and readand certainly one due to the good temper of the ing and expounding the Scriptures. These boy, was a deeper religious feeling and more must have been happy hours to his devout and earnestness in prayer. A sudden transition loving mother. And how pure and good the from under the rod of such a master into a fam- moulding of his own youthful life in such fellowily of wealth and fashion was a very great ships! After a while he sought fellowship with change. But here while his trials were not felt the Methodists, who highly appreciated his reto be so great his perils were really greater; markable gifts. Soon he was licensed to preach, and it is much to his credit that, with a con- and multitudes flocked to hear one so young and science peculiarly sensitive, the worst he could yet so effective in his ministrations. At twentywrite against himself is that he became a little one he began to travel and preach under the di. vain.

rection of the Wesleyans. This was in 1766. In his fourteenth year he began a trade which Hence it is a fact not unworthy of note that the for several years he prosecuted with great dili- beginning of his regular ministry synchronizes gence. Fortunately his home was with a kind with the origin of American Methodism, in the family who treated him as a son-a fact that founding and building up of which his own life bespeaks his own worth as well as their kind- would have its richest unfolding. ness. His religious feelings, for a while past John Wesley's thoughts were often beyond somewhat abated, now returned with increased the sea, observing the colonies rising on these force. He was regular in prayer and a devout shores. He anticipated their rapid growth, and attendant upon Christian worship. In West looked to them as fruitful fields for the earnest Brunswick he often heard Stillingfleet, Baynel, religious movement, with its peculiarly active Ryland, and others, men who preached the truth, and aggressive methods, now under his own diand who were eminent in the Church. Little rection. It was already begun here, but the thought they that they were ministering to an laborers were very few for fields so broad. So apprenticed lad who in real greatness and in the in the Conference of 1771, Wesley said, “Our breadth of his influence would so far surpass brethren in America call aloud for help; wbo them. His leisure hours were carefully spent will go ?" Young Asbury, with others, respondin reading and study. His selection of books ed. This call, though unexpected, did not take was most fortunate. While they informed the him by surprise or bring a new subject to his mind they also nourished his piety and inspired mind. Already, while preaching the Gospel noble purposes of a good and useful life. through Northamptonshire and Wiltshire, his

As, long ago, devout minds in Jerusalem wait- own thoughts were turned to America, and he ed for the Messiah, and gladly received him felt his soul strongly drawn toward her. Inwhen he came, so now the mind of young As- deed he had, in a measure, reached the conclubury waited for the manifestation of Christianity sion that here would be the field of his lifein its most spiritual form, and with a readiness labor. So, often, souls are moved by unconto receive it. About this time he asked inform- scious influences toward their true mission. Asation of his good mother concerning the Method- bury, in his peculiar inood, regarded this call ists—a sect much spoken against and in many as from the Master, and hence could not deplaces bitterly persecuted. She communicated cline or even hesitate. Of course so wise an the little she knew, and directed him to an ac- overseer as Wesley promptly accepted him. Imquaintance who would further inform him. Soon mediately he departed for home to commune his steps were directed to a Methodist preaching. with his fond parents, and to inform them of How strange it all seemed! No church; ser- his plan. The communication was a trial both mon without manuscript or notes even; prayers to himself and to them. Specially must it have without books; singing in full and mighty cho- been so to the mother, who had so wisely and rus; but the holy fervor that pervaded all the lovingly nurtured the son. He makes the folservice wrought deeply into his soul. Hence- lowing brief note in his journal: “I went homo forth he was a Methodist, though he did not to acquaint my parents with my great undertakformally unite with them till sometime after. ing, which I opened in as gentle a manner as The inner religious life as unfolded in the ser- possible. Though it was grievous to flesh and

« AnteriorContinuar »