Imatges de pÓgina

rosity, disinterested friendship, and unbounded affection, that I could scarcely have believed possible to exist, had I not been an eye-witness of the truth of such an interesting fact.

She subsisted on the meanest possible fare, for like all the other prisoners, this murderer depen. ded upon charity for the means of existence, and his share of the general stock, raised by the bounty of the public, never exceeded two shillings per week, but was very often considerably less; this being the case, the unhappy woman who attended him, not only deprived herself of a large portion of her own food, but even begged on her particular account from those that visited the dungeon and all that she gained by these means she gave to him.

Thus altogether without motive of reward, save that which she derived from the heavenly consolation of her own feelings, did this astonish. ing woman endure for so many years all the calamities and dreadful evils attendant upon such a miserable state of being:

Yet amidst sufferings that would have born down the strongest of resolutions, this poor woman seemed to feel no other pain than that arising from the perpetual contemplation of the misery which the unworthy object of her attachment was compelled to undergo, and which she endeavoured to mitigate by every means in her power.

I slipped some money into her hand, and she nstantly, even without looking at it or me, thrust it through the bars of the cage and gave it to the prisoner, and it was not till after a long explanation on my part that I was able to convince her it was intended for herself, and even when she was assured I meant the charity for herself only, I could not prevail upon her to keep it.

This remarkable incident dwelt so strongly upon my imagination, that I could pay but little attention to the other departments of this hideous and loathsome receptacle for the most wretched outcasts of society; and upon my return home I dispatched the Laquais de Louage back to the prison with a further sum of money for the service of the miserable pair.

He departed in a moment and I saw no more of him until the next day when he came smiling to me, and appearing much delighted, told me he had delivered the money, and that the woman expressed the utmost gratitude. “ Nothing, “said he, “ could equal her joy, or the delight of her children, they (poor things). had never seen so

much money before and when it arrived they were absolutely starving."

I was not a little astonished when he men. tioned children, for I was well assured the poor wretch in the prison, had had none for many, many years But upon examining this varlet a little further I found he had deceived me, and was consequently extremely angry, and was about to chastise him in the manner he deserved, when the fellow burst out into a violent fit of laughter, and said in very bad French, to this effect: “ You intended to do a kindness, and I did not give the money as you directed me, but I

gave woman, that has a great number of children, whom I knew to be perishing for want; and as her distress was much greater than that of the woman in the prison, and as you meant to do a charity, I performed it, if you are angry with me for what I have done, I cannot now help it."

This blunt declaration not only dissipated all my anger but gave me such heart-felt delight that I could scarcely refrain from clasping the hones and noble fellow in my arms; but before I rewarded him as he deserved, I thought proper to enquire into the truth of his tale, and I soon had the delightful satisfaction to find every thing as

it to a poor

he had stated. There was something so extra. ordinary in the character of this Laquais, that I enquired a little into the particulars of his life, by which I learnt he was born at Constantinople, and had there entered into the service of the French Ambassador, in which station he had managed to obtain some trifling knowledge of the French language.

After he had quitted that place he came along with some Fronchmen to Moscow, but his master dying soon after his arrival in this city, the Laquais was left hanging loose upon society with a precarious subsistance, but notwithstanding his straightened circumstances, he soon became fa. mous in Moscow for his extraordinary generosity and benevolence towards the poor, and more especially towards those who were confined in the public prisons for trifling debts.

Both men and women are here imprisoned for

very small sums, and whenever this benevo. lent Laquias (who in his humble sphere was not in any respect inferior or less worthy of praise than the justly celebrated and immortal Howard) had been able by dint of extreme industry, or by serving strangers as a valet-de

to the prisons and liberated the most unfortunate of the debtors, as far as his small fund would enable him.

Consider this story, all ye who riot in splendid affluence, and roll in superabundant luxury; ye, who would even deny the crumbs that fall from your overladen tables, and at the moment you are denying relief to a poor naked, hungry, and miserable fellow-being, who is perishing for want at your doors ; you select the choicest bits of your delicacies, lavish your wealth and your carcassess upon some paultry insignificant brute, as a favorite lap-dog or cat, or parrot, &c. &c. but a day shall come when you shall behold beings like this inestimable Laquais (and who in this scene of vexation and disappointment fill stations so low and obscure that your proud vi. sion cannot descend to their humble sphere of action), receive their eternal reward of joy and bliss, and glory, that knows no end.-When the Almighty God, and just disposer of human events, shall ride on the destructive whirlwind of re. turning chaos, and weigh the balance of fate, he will hold forth his mighty hand to those happy mortals who have laboured towards the extinction of evil, and have as far as was in their

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