« 前へ次へ »
himself. A bow and arrows which l stantly. He came instantly, and stood had lately given him were there; per- before me yet panting with emotion, haps the boy could not resist looking his face all flushed, and his eyes sparkon them; they were lying on the floor ling with passion. Again he would when I entered afterwards. From that have spoken, but I would not hear.closet Maurice heard the sound of a “ Tell me, sir," I cried ; “ answer me whip, he heard quick and brutal one question ; are you right or wrong?" strokes falling heavily. Springing up, “ Right,” the boy replied proudly. he ran to the window ; beneath he saw Be argued with me-my fury burst one of the grooms beating, with savage out--- Alas, I knew not what I did !cruelty, his beautiful and favourite lit- but I snatched the whip from his hand tle courser. The animal seemed al. -I raised the heavy handle,-! meant most maddened with the blows; and not to strike where I did. The blow the child called out loudly to bid the fell with borrid force on his fair head. man desist. At first the groom scarce. There was iron on the handle, and my ly heeded bim, and then smiling coldly child, my only son, dropt lifeless at my at the indignant boy, told him that the feet. Ere he fell, I was deadly cold, beating was necessary, and that so and the murderous weapon had dropi young a gentleman could not under- away from my hand. Stiffened with stand how a horse should be managed. horror, I stood over him speechless,and In vain did my child command the rooted awhile to the spot. At last the brutal fellow 10 stop. The man pre- yells of my despair brought others to tended not to hear him, and led the me—the wretched groom was the first spirited creature farther away from be- who came.-I saw no more, but fell in neath the window. Instantly the boy a fit beside my lifeless child. rushed from the room, and in a few When I woke up to a sense of what moments was in the yard below. I passed around me, I saw the sweet entered the library shortly alter my son countenance of my wife bent over me left it. The person who had detained with an expression of the most anxious me brought news which had much dis- tenderness. She was wiping away the concerted, nay displeased me. I was tears from her eyes, and a faint smile in a very ill humour when I returned broke into her face as she perceived my to the room where I had left Maurice; returning sense. I looked vainly for him, and was very I canght hold of her arm with a angry to perceive that my request had strong grasp, and lifted up my head ;been disobeyed; the closet door was
but my eyes looked for the body of my open ; I sought him there. While I child-it was not there. “ Where is wondered at his absence, I heard his it?” I cried ; “ Where is the body of voice loud in anger.
For some mo
my murdered boy ?” When I spoke ments I gazed from the windows in si- the word “ murdered,” my wile shrieklence. Beneath stood the boy, hold- ed I was rushing out-she stopped ing with one hand the reins of bis me, and said, “ He is not dead-he is courser, who trembled all over, his fine alive.” My heart melted within me, coat and slender legs reeking and and tears rained from my eyes. My streaming with sweat : in his other wife led me to the chamber where they hand there was a horsewhip, with had laid my child. He was alive, if which the enraged boy was lashing the such a state could be called life. Still brutal groom. In a voice of loud an. his eyelids were closed; still his cheeks, ger, I called out. The child looked even his lips, were of a ghastly whiteup ; and the man who had before stood ness ; still his limbs were cold and mowith his arms folded, and a smile of tionless. They had undressed him, calın insolence on his face, now spoke and my mother sale in silent grief bewith pretended mildness, more provo- side his bed. When I came near, she king to the child, but which then con- uncovered his fair chest, and placed my vinced me that Maurice was in fault. hand over his heari ; I felt a thick and He spoke, but I silenced him, and languid beating there, but the pulse of commanded him to come up to me in- his wrists and temples was scarcely
perceptible. My mother spoke to me. lars of my conduct towards my poor * We have examined the poor child," boy. I stood beside him as he examshe said, “ but we find no wound, no ined the head of my child. bruise, no marks of violence. W bence him cut away the rich curls, and he is this dreadful stupor ? No one can pointed out to me a slight swelling beanswer me.” “I can answer you,” I neath them ; but in vain did he strive said ; " no one can answer but myself. to recover the lifeless form : his efforts I am the murderer of the child. Jo my were, as those of my wife and mother hellish rage I struck his blessed head.” had been, totally without success. For
- I did not see the face of my wife or five days I sat by the bedside of my my mother—as I spoke I hung my son, who remained, at first, still in
but I felt my wife's hand drop that death-like stupor, but gradually a from me; I heard my mother's low faint life-like animation stole over him; heart-breaking groan. I looked up, so gradually, indeed, that he opened and saw my wise. She stood before not his eyes till the evening of the fourth me like a marble figure, rather than a day, and even then he knew us not, creature of life ; yet her eyes were fix- and noticed nothing. Oh, few can ed on me, and her soul seemed to look imagine what my feelings were ! out in their gaze.“ Oh my husband," How my first faint hopes lived, and she cried out at length, “ I see plainly died, and lived again, as the beating of in your face what you suffer. Blessed his heart became more full and strong; God, have mercy, have mercy on him! as he first moved the small hand, which he suffers more than we all. His pun. I held in mine, and at last stretched ishment is greater than he can bear !" out his limbs. After he had unclosed She flung her arms around my neck : his eyes, he breathed with the soft and she strove to press me nearer to her regular respiration of a healthy person, bosom ; but I would have withdrawn and then slept for many hours. It was myself from her embrace. “ Oh, do about noon on the fifth day that he not shame me thus," I cried : “ remem- woke from that sleep. The sun had ber, you must remember, that you are shone so full into the room, that I parta inother." “ I cannot forget that I ly closed the shutters to shade bis face. am a wife, my husband," she replied, Some rays of sunshine pierced through weeping. “No, no, I feel for you, and the crevices of the shutter, and played I must feel with you in every sorrow. upon the coverlid of his bed. My How do I feel with you now in this child's face was turned towards me, overwhelming affliction.” My mother and I watched eagerly for the first had fallen on her knees when I con- gleam of expression.
He looked up, fessed my guilt ; my wife drew me to- and then around him without moving wards her; and rising up, she looked his head. My heart grew sick within me in the face. “ flenry,” she said, in me, as I beheld the smile which played a faint deep voice, “ I have been pray- over his face. He perceived the daning for you, for us all. My son, luok cing sunbeam, and put his fingers softnot thus from me.” As she was speak- ly into the streak of light, and took ing, the surgeon of my household, who them away, and smiled again. I spoke had been absent when they first sent to him, and took his hand in my own; for bim, entered the chamber. My but he had lost all memory of me, and kind mother turned from me, and went saw nothing in my face to make bim at once with him to the bedside of the smile. He looked down on my tremchild. I perceived her intention to bling hand, and played with my fioprevent my encountering the surgeon. gers; and when he saw the ring She should have concealed for a while, which I wore, he played with that, her son's disgrace; but I felt my hor- while the same idiot smile came back rid guilt too deeply to care about to his vacant countenance. shame. Yet I could not choose but My mother now led me from the groan within me, to perceive the good room. I no longer refused to go. I man's stare, his revolting shudder, selt that it was fit that I should - comwhile I described minutely the particu. mune with my own hear , and in my
chamber, and 'be still."— They judged him. These are harsh words, but you rightly in leaving me to perfect solitude. can bear them better than your own The calm of my misery was a change confused and agonizing thoughts. Rise like happiness to me. A deadness of up and meet your trial.- Tell me simevery faculty, of all thought and feeling, ply, that you obey me. I will believe fell on me like repose.-When Jane you, for you never yet have broken came to me, I had no thought to per- your word to me." I replied immediceive her presence.
She took my ately, rising up and saying, “ I do prohaad tenderly within hers, and sat mise to obey you. Within this hour I down beside me on the floor. She will meet you, determined to know my lifted up my head from the boards, and duties, and to perform them by the help supported it on her knees. I believe of God.” Oh! with what a look did she spoke to me many times without my noble mother regard me, as I spoke. my replying. At last 1 heard her, and “God strengthen you, and bless
you," rose up at her entreaties. 6 You are she said ; “ I cannot now trust myself ill, your hands are burning, my be. to say more.' Her voice was feeble loved,” she said. “ Go to bed, I be- and trembling now, her lip quivered, seech you. You need rest.”. I did as and a bright flush spread over her thin she told me. She thought I slept that pale cheek : she bent down over me, night, but the lids seemed tightened and kissed my forehead, and then de and drawn back from my burning eye- parted. balls. All the next day I lay in the Within an hour from the time when same hot and motionless state, I cannot my mother left me, I went forth from call it repose.
my chamber with a firm step, deterFor days I did not rise. I allowed mined again to enter upon the performyself to sink under the weight of my mance of my long-neglected duties. I despair. I began to give up every idea had descended the last step of the of exertion.
grand staircase, when I heard a laugh · My mother, one morning, came to in the hall beyond. I knew there was my chamber. She sat down by my but one who could then laugh so wildbedside, and spoke to me. I did not, ly; and too well I knew the sound of could not, care to notice her who spoke the voice which broke out in tones of to me. My mother rose, and walked wild merriment ere the laugh ceased. round to the other side of the bed, to. For some moments my resolution forwards which my head was turned.
I caught hold of the balThere she stood, and spoke again sol- lustrade to support my trembling limbs, emnly. - Henry,” she said, " I com- and repressed with a violent effort the mand you to rise. Dare you to diso- groans which I felt bursting from my bey your mother : No more of this heart-I recovered myself, and walked unmanly weakness.
must not speak into the hall. In the westernoriel in vain, I have not needed to command window, which is opposite the doors by before. My son, be yourself. Think which I entered, sat my revered moof all the claims which this life has up- ther : she lifted up her face from the on you; or rather, think of the first large volume which lay on her knees, high claim of Heaven, and let that as my steps sounded near : she smiled teach you to think of other duties, and upon me, and looked down again withto perform them! Search your own out speaking. I passed on, but stopheart. Probe it deeply. Shrink not. ped again to gaze on those who now Know your real situation in all its met my sight. In the centre of the bearings. Changed as it is, face it like hall stood my wife, leaning her cheek a man; and seek the grace of God 10 on her hand. She gazed upon her son support you. I speak the plain truth with a smile, but the tears all the while to you. Your child is an idiot. You trickled down her face.
Maurice was must answer to God for your crime.- at her feet, the floor around him strewYou will be execrated by mankind, for ed over with playthings, the toys of his your hand struck the mind's life from infancy, which he had for years thrown
49 ATHENEUM VOL. 1. new series.
“ take me
aside, but had discovered that very head, and stared at the stag with a look morning, and he turned from one to of vacant astonishment. The whole the other as if he saw them for the hunt, with the full rush and cry of its first time, and looked upon them all as noisy sport, came near. Up sprung treasures. An expression of rapturous the boy all panting, and ghastly with silliness played over the boy's features, terror. “ Make haste, make haste," but, alas ! though nothing but a fear- he cried out, as I ful childishness was on his face, all the away ;" he threw his arms round me, childlike bloom and roundness of that and I felt the violent beating of his face were gone. The boy now looked heart as he clung to me. I would have indeed older by many years. The hurried him away; but as the dogs and smile on bis thin lips seemed to strug- the huntsnien came up close to us, the gle vainly with langour and heaviness, boy lost all power of moving. I felt his eyelids were half closed, his cheeks bim hang heavily on me, and raising and lips were colourless, his whole form his face from my shoulder, I saw that wasted away. My wife came to me, he had fainted. I took him in my and embraced me; but Maurice no- arms, and carried him along the banks ticed me not for many minutes. He of the stream, till we were far from all looked up at me then, and, rising from sight and sound of the chase ; and the ground, walked towards me. I then I laid him on the grass, and badreaded that my mournful appearance thed his face and hands with water.— would affright him, and I stood breath- He recovered slowly, and lay for some less with my fears. He surveyed me minutes leaning his head upon my bofrom head to foot, and cane close to som, and weeping quietly ; his tears me, and looked up with pleased curi- relieved him, and he fell asleep--I osity in my face, and then whistled as raised him again in my arms, and carhe walked back to his toys, whistled so ried him still asleep to his chamber. loudly, that the shrill sound seemed to
August the 19th. pierce through my brains.
My poor injured child loves me. I August the 15th. cannot tell why, but for the last few This day I have passed some hours days he has seemed happier with me with my poor boy. He is changed than with any other person.
He will indeed. All his manliness of character even leave his mother to follow me.is gone : he has become timid and fee. I feel as if my life were bound up in ble as a delicate girl. He shrinks him ; and yet to look on bim is to me from all exertion, he dislikes bodily ex- a penance, at times almost too dreadercise.-The weather was so delightful ful to be borne. How he did sit and this morning that I took Maurice out smile to-day among the books, for into the park; he gazed round upon whose knowledge his fine ardent mind the sky, and the trees, and the grass, once thirsted. They are nothing to as if he had never looked upon them him now—he had been before amusing before. The boy wandered on with himself by watching the swallows me beyond the boundaries of the park that were fying and tittering about the into the forest; he made me sit down windows ; when, taking up a book, I with him on the bank of a narrow tried to read. Maurice left the window, brook, and there he amused himself and sat down on the low seat where he with plucking the little flowers that had been used to learn his lessons.grew about in the grass, and throwing He placed a book on the desk before them into the water. As we sat there, him, and pretended to read ; he look
I heard afar off the sounds of huntsmen; ed up, and our eyes met. Again be · soon after a young stag came bound- bent his head over the volume : I had ing over the hill before us, and crossed a faint hope that he was really reading; the stream within twenty yards of the and, passing softly across the room, I spot where we sat. The whole heart of looked over his shoulder. The pages the boy would at once have leapt with- were turned upside down before him, in him to follow in the boldest daring and he smiled on me with his new, his of the chase; but now he listed up his idiot smile : he smiled so long, that I
almost felt as if he wished to give it must be a rebuke to know that one meaning to his look, and mock the an- heart is not unwilling, but unable to guish which wrung my heart.
pray. Bitterly I felt this as I looked August the 20th.
upon my child.
He stood before me I had ordered the Arabian horse to a rebuke to all the coldness and carebe turned out, and this morning I took lessness which had ever mingled with Maurice to the meadow where Selim my prayers.
His vacant features was grazing. The little courser raised seemed to say, 6 You have a mind up its head as we approached, and, re- whose powers are not confused-you cognizing its master, came towards us. have a heart to feel, to pray, to praise, Maurice had not noticed the horse be- and to bless God. The means of grace fore, but then he retreated fearfully, are daily given to you.” Oh ! God, walking backwards. The sagacious my child stood before me as a more animal still advanced, and, turning awful rebuke, as a rebuke sent from quickly, the boy fled from him ; but Thee. Did not his vacant look say the sportive creature still followed,can- also, “ Look upon the wreck which tering swiftly after him-Maurice your dreadful passions have made ?shrieked loudly like a terrified girl. Think upon what I was ? Think upon Groaning with the heaviness of my what I am ?” With a broken heart I grief, I drove away the once favourite listened to the words of life ; for while horse of my poor idiot boy.
I listened, my poor idiot child leaned Sunday, August the 30th.
upon me, and seemed to listen too I have just returned from divine When I bowed my head at the name service in the chapel attached to my of Jesus, the poor boy bowed his.-house, While the chaplain was read. They all knelt down ; but just then, I ing the psalms, Maurice walked softly was lost in the thoughtfulness of my down the aisle and entered my pew. despair : iny son clasped my hand, He stood before me with his eyes fixed and when I looked round I perceived on my face. Whenever I raised my that we alone were standing in the eyes, I met that fixed and vacant gaze. midst of the congregation. He looked My heart melted within me, and I felt me earnestly in the face, and kneeling tears rush into my eyes-bis sweet but down, he tried to pull me to kneel bevacant look must often be present with side him. He seemed to invite me to me--it seemed to appeal to me, it pray for him ; I did fall on my knees seemed to ask for my prayers. Sinner io pray for him, and for myself; and I as I am, I dared to think so.-It must rose up, hoping that for my Saviour's be to all an affecting sight to see an sake, my prayers were heard, and idiot in the house of God. It must be trusting thai our Heavenly Father feeda rebuke to hardened hearts, to hearts eth my helpless child with spiritual too cold and careless to worship there, food that we know not of
(La Belle Mag.)
THE TRYSTIN TREE.
WHEN winds are still, and silent eve
Comes stealing slowly o'er the lea; then, dear maid, thy cottage leave,
And meet me at the trystin tree : For 'neath its shade, in times gone by,
Hlave lovers breath'd their bopes and fears : Its leaves have trembled in their sigh,
Its roots have fed upon their tears. And fear not, though the star of night
In envy should forget to shine ; Perchance the wand'ring glow-worm's light
May lead thee to these arms of mine :
But, if no light from earth or sky,
To guide a lover's path you sec ;
And bright as noon the eve will be.
Shall each unruly passion flee;
To hear my vows of love to thee :
Comes stealing slowly o'er the lea,
And meet me at the trystin tree.