Imatges de pÓgina
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The words filtered through May's ears triumph over some one; and she liked to as she lay on the arm of the good Samaritan. please, except when she could have her will She sat up and wondered how her secret without the trouble of doing so. Her voice had been found out.

was shrill, and as she sang, coming down “Deary, don't mind an ould woman !” | the kitchen-garden, there was a cruel harshsaid Bid. "Sure I love Paul Finiston ness in her song which might have made mysel, an' I have swore, on my knees, the birds shiver. It was dusk, but the that the divil'll never get him. I niver put girls could see one another as they met up a prayer that wasn't answered in the between the ranks of the cabbages, and end; an' harm shall not get Paul while his May wondered greatly at Katherine's fancy friends has tongues to pray !"

for vegetables. The latter stopped her May sat on a stone opposite Bid, who song upon a high, sudden note, while she exhorted her thus, with finger uplifted and picked the clay in pieces from her carrot. a sybil-like look on her weather-beaten "Perhaps you are looking for Paul," face.

she said, with a careless air of superior “The curse is against me," said May, knowledge. “He is gone home to his farmdespondingly. “It is creeping closer round house. He will not be here to-night.” him, and I am too weak to save him from "I dare say he is busy," said May. it."

Katherine shrugged her shoulders and Bid looked frightened. “You won't smiled. “I don't think he has much give him up, avourneen ?" she asked. business in his head,” she said. “I believe

“Give him up !” said May, and she rose he is not in the humour for our company. to her feet, glowing with sudden energy. He is not happy in his mind. Why don't “No, I will not.”

you make him happy ?” "God love you, my jewel!” said Bid, " for “He has a good deal of care,” said May, you're fit to have the hope of the country not noticing the insolence of Katherine's in yer hands. Of course ye'll manage him tone. “He will be happier by-and-bye.” well, for the quality does know how to deal “Perhaps he will,” said Katherine, and wid one another; but I'm thinkin' it's turned her back on May, and went on mostly the same wid high an'low, an I wanst towards the house. lost a lover wid floutin' an' poutin' at him. In Paul's absence conversation was apt He

got tired o' a cross face, an' went off to to flag of an evening between the ladies at seek a pleasanter wan; so you just de- Monasterlea. Since experience had respise yon flauntin' hussy, an' smile at Paul vealed Katherine's character to Miss Finiston till ye smile the divil out o' Martha, the young lady took no longer him !”

any trouble to amuse her hostess; who "You are a kind friend,” said May; treated her, nevertheless, with all politeand she began to think of how strange it ness and attention, for hospitality is a was that she should thus give her con- tyrant, and the unwelcome guest must be fidence to a beggar-woman. But she put treated like the guest who is most desired. down her pride with a true instinct. “Àsk Katherine knew this, and made herself the people to pray,” she said, “ for you are comfortable accordingly. On this evening, right in saying that this is the affair of the while May sewed and Miss Martha knitted, country.”

she yawned over the pages of a novel. Her “Ay!” said Bid, “it is the affair of the entertainers were not sorry when she bade whole counthry; for if Paul Finiston gets them good-night and yawned herself away into evil hands there'll be another miser to her own chamber. o' Tobereevil, an'a star the less in heaven. When she had gone, May turned with An'. do you keep up yer heart an’ smile; her sewing to the fire, for she could not for they say the divil does fly away before bear Miss Martha's eyes. She had known the smile o patience."

for a long time that her aunt wanted to May went home with the beggar's speak to her, and she felt that she could lesson in her heart, and, coming through not endure the things that the old lady the kitchen-garden, she met Katherine would surely say. But now she plied her tripping along, carrying a large carrot by needle wildly, knowing that the moment its

green top, which was soiled with clay, had come when she must listen to a lecture having just left the ground. The guest with patience; that a conversation was was singing loudly, as if in the highest going to take place which it would be very spirits. She seldom sang except when hard for her to forget. unable to control the outpouring of her

Miss Martha was evidently making a

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great struggle to begin. Her knitting- will not make it worse by leaving him needles flew faster, and pecked at each when he most wants a friend." other wickedly, never heeding dropped Miss Martha winced. Simon's words, stitches. Her mouth twitched, and her “You who deserted me in my need," came chin went up in the air and came down across her ears, as they had many a time again.

done since the day they were spoken. "May," she said, "is it possible that But May's doctrine was not acceptable to you have got nothing to say to me; now Miss Martha's faith. It must lie in people's when we are alone, and not likely to be own will, whether to be bad or good. interrupted ?”

"Fiddle-de-dee," said Miss Martha again. "I, Aunty ?”

'People walk into crooked ways with their “Yes, you. Who else ? Is it possible eyes open, and then they rail at fate for not that you have nothing to complain of ?" putting their feet into straight ones.”

Complain! Why should I complain ?” “I don't think Paul is deliberately walk“We shall not get on very far if you ing in crooked ways,” said May; "and-unecho every word I speak, said Miss less he himself throws me off I will hold to Martha, testily. “You may as well be him even at the cost of being thought to frank with me-not look on me as an have no spirit. I know him better than enemy. I am old and fidgety, but I am you do, and I believe there are stranger not at all sure that you have another things in the world than you

think of." friend in the world."

“You think he is bewitched, so that he May's lips moved, but no sound came. doesn't know what he is doing,” said Miss She tried again and said, “Only one Martha in amazement. besides, Aunty."

"I cannot say what I think. He is Miss Martha's irritation was soothed under some influence which seems to have away. She drew her chair a little nearer, changed his hole nature. If he be quite stretched out her soft wrinkled hand, delivered up to it the change will be comand laid it on May's shoulder. “Are you pleted, and he will become” May sure that


have that one, May ? Come, shuddered and paused. trust the poor old woman! Inward grieving “You have grown as superstitions as will rot the soundest heart.”

himself,” said Aunt Martha. “I really May's lips quivered, but her mouth soon give you up. All I can say is, I wonder steadied itself, and her eyes kept dry and you can sit by neglected, and see him bright.

prefer another woman. "Now turn round to me, for I want to May turned pale, and her hands knotted see your face. If you have got nothing to themselves together in a knot of pain. “I tell me, then I must speak out to you; I cannot say that I have seen that yet, wish in the name of Heaven that you had Aunty.” never set your eyes on Paul Finiston.” There was something of agony in the You must not say that.”

young girl's voice, that smote


Miss “Yes, I will say it; for I fear he will | Martha's heart, and made her regret her break your heart. I will say, also, that I impatient speeches. thought you had more spirit. If I were in Perhaps you are right, love,” she said, your place I would bid good-bye to him at after a pause. “I am a peppery old woman; once, and let him go about his business." but your happiness is the one object of my

“I can't do it, Aunty; and if I could, I life.” dare not.”

“I know it, dear Aunty ; but listen, and Dare not!”

I will tell you about my happiness. It is “Oh, do you forget ? Paul is not like staked on one person; his welfare is my another man. It is the shadow that he has welfare, his affliction is my affiction ; I always dreaded that has come over him, have no business in the world except to be that is all.”

true to Paul Finiston. His cares, and “Fiddle-de-dee !” said Miss Martha; even his wrong-going, must all be upon my " that old nonsense! I tell you I won't shoulders. I believe it would be a great listen to it; it is a sin against Heaven. I misfortune to him if he were to love Kathethought you had more sense than to get rine Archbold, therefore I will do all in my smitten with his madness."

power to prevent such a thing happening. “It may be madness,

,” said May; “but If I saw her truer, more loving, more madness is a misfortune, not a crime. likely to make him good and happy than Something has gone wrong with him; Il myself, I think-I think I could give him

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up to her; but I do not believe he likes household gods looked down and could not her, and there are other things which I soothe. But it was only for one moment dread for him more than her influence. that this cruel doubt was harboured. He is not in a condition at present to meet

“ It is well that I have known him," she his enemies ; I must fight his battles for said ; " for I will save him if it cost me him until good times come. So don't be my life. When he is old, and the battle disgusted if I have got no proper pride, won, he will be glad to think that I lived.” but try to have patience with me, and with She dried her tears, and thought upon him for


Paul's case, acknowledging that the thing So spoke May, with a brave air; but that she dreaded most for him was the utter later, when quite alone, she walked about loss of his mind; that the curse and its the room, weeping silently. The cottage fascinations, or his horror of the same, was quiet, but the wind moaned loudly would in the end drive him to madness. round the cloisters, and the owls had begun What if after all it had been only a latent to hoot in the old belfry. Her thought insanity that had wrought through generatravelled through the dark night, along the tions of the race of Finiston, making them moorland path to the highest window in creatures unhappy and solitary, and shunned the gable of the farm-house. There was by the rest of mankind ? If so, then had Paul sitting alone and overwhelmed with Paul better fly from this place with its strange troubles, as far removed from her associations, and seek safety in another as if the sea had rolled between them. part of the world. She would send him Here was an hour in which Katherine could across the seas, and never look upon his not divide them, and yet that hour was as face again, if thus she could secure his peruseless to her as if it had no place in time. fect welfare. She longed to be a cat or a dog, that she Katherine at the same moment was also might sit beside his foot, and look in his awake and alive, though she had retired to face, or a bird that she might peck at his her room so early. The tall wax candles on window and gain admittance. Was he her chimney stood in candlesticks adorned reckoning the miser's hoards, or thinking with crossed and reverend figures which of Katherine? It seemed long, long since had been taken from the chapel

, having he and she had made their simple plans at been used on the monks' altar. Her woodthis fireside, counting the world a paradise, fire crackled merrily, her arm-chair was and all danger of harm and trouble at an drawn up beside it, and she was dressed in end. Now the night wind assured her that a long red flannel dressing-gown, with her these days would come no more.

hair unbound on her shoulders. Faster and faster her tears came down. As Katherine sat so she amused herself She despaired when she found herself with a quaint amusement. She held the weeping, thinking her courage quite gone, carrot in her hand which had excited and flung herself against the old arm-chair May's wonder in the kitchen-garden; and in the chimney-corner, burying her face in she had washed it and cut away its delicate its leathern lap. The old clock ticked in green plumes, and was carving it with a the hall by the stone angel, and its voice penknife into the likeness of a little man. came into the room and grew hoarse with She was making a mandrake in order to sympathy; the lamp burned low, and the keep her word to Tibbie, and she held it fire glowed in red ashes; and May was aloof, and laughed at it as her work protempted for once to think of her aunt's gressed. She had never seen a mandrake, vehement wish, and to doubt whether it but then neither had Tibbie, and in pleasing would not have been better for her if she the old woman she would follow her own had never seen Paul. She might have fancy. She was by no means an artist, had placid years in this home safe from the but contrived to throw a knowing look world; have made soups for the sick, and into the eyes of the little figure, making it knitted her life into warm petticoats and as ugly as it was possible that one could socks for the poor; have heard the winter make it. She pared, and picked, and howl past her in fearless content, and picked notched till its aspect had become sinister the flowers of the summers, and so travelled enough to content the most superstitious without a pang to her grave. Now the bag in the world. When all was done she turmoil of despair was in her heart, and a stained it a darker hue, so that the carrot prospect lay before her of endless uneasi- might not appear. ness and pain. The tranquil little home But what did Miss Archbold want with could not comfort her with its shelter; the Tibbie that she should thus humour her whims ? Katherine did not ask herself the led by a soldier named Upton, without question while she carved her ugly man- uniform or arms, also made the same pernikin. A spirit such as Tibbie's deserved fectly just application to Ensign Dearing, encouragement, that was all; and one who the paymaster. Soon after the governor's lived so near the miser could not but be dinner-hour, Wall ran out, beat one of the interesting to the future bride of his men who appeared to be drunk, and snatchnephew. Katherine wondered, as she ing a bayonet from the sentry, struck him worked, how long the old man could live. with it, and then put both men under arrest. How if his seventy years should multiply Thirsting for revenge on what he called until they counted a hundred? Katherine “the mutinous rascals,” who had dared to sat up long that night, with brows bent, ask for their rights, the governor ordered over the fire. She was beginning to feel the long roll to be beat, and parade called. care, she who had never met any obstacle The three hundred men, without firearms, to her wishes which had not been easily were formed into a circle, two deep, in the overcome. The owls hooted in the belfry, midst of which stood the implacable goand the winds moaned round the cloisters; vernor, the drummers, his obsequious capand even May was fast asleep before Kathe- tain, and pliant ensigns. Immediately the rine left her chair.

cumbrous carriage of a six-pounder was

dragged into the circle, and the governor CHRONICLES OF LONDON

called Benjamin Armstrong out of the ranks. STREETS.

Five or six brawny black slaves then ap

peared, with an interpreter to give them NEWGATE (CONCLUDED).

orders, and unfortunate Armstrong was JOSEPH WALL, commandant of the African lashed by the wrists to the rings of the gun. Corps, was lieutenant-governor of the island carriage, to receive on the spot eight huu. of Goree, in Africa, and superintendent of dred lashes. The rope used was not the trade to the colony of Senegambia, in the usual whipcord tied to a wooden handle, year 1782. He was an Irishman of good such as the cord with which they sting family, but of a severe and unrelenting dis- garotters in Newgate at the present day, position, and liked neither by his officers nor even the tight-twisted log-line used on

At the revolution of the Ha- board men-of-war, but a long lashing of vannah in 1762, he had fought with especial rope nearly an inch in circumference. With courage, and won his well-deserved pro- brutal cruelty, Governor Wall ordered a motion. As a subordinate the man would | fresh black to take the rope every twentyhave been brave and loyal, as a superior he five lashes, and if the stalwart slaves was merciless and tyrannical, for power in- at all relaxed, he shouted : “ Lay on, you toxicates and brutalises some minds. His black beasts, or I'll lay on you; cut him to wife was an accomplished woman of noble the heart, cut his liver out.” birth. In July, 1782, the governor being When this cruel punishment was ended, affected by the disease proverbially so fatal to poor Armstrong, with his back“ Europeans, prepared to return to England. as a new hat,” walked to the hospital, saya The day before he sailed, at eleven A.M., ing he felt he should certainly die. Rowe; twenty or thirty men out of the three hun- the assistant-surgeon, found the rope had dred soldiers of the African Corps came up bruised and not cut the flesh, and the inin a body to the Government House, and juries were therefore the respectfully requested that before the pay. The poor fellow sank and died five days master left with the governor, they might after the governor left for England. In receive

money that had been stopped from March, 1784, Wall, who had been arrested their pay, for certain restrictions in food at Bath by order of Lord Sidney, escaped that the garrison had just before been from his majesty's messengers at the voluntarily enduring for some months, when Brown Bear, Reading. He then escaped provisions ran short. As spokesman at to France, changed his name, and there the head of these petitioners was a soldier and in Italy lived respectably and kept named Benjamin Armstrong, who advanced good company, much affecting the Irish hat in hand, and paid the governor every Officers in the French service, and the prol'espect. The governor, enraged at the fessors of the Scotch and Irish colleges in complaint of the men, instantly ordered Paris. In 1797, Wall returned to England Armstrong and his party back to the bar- and lodged in Lambeth Cut, and afterwards racks under threat of punishment.

in Upper Thornhaugh - street, BedfordThe men obeyed and returned without square, Tottenham Court-road, where his noise about two P.M. A second party, I wife visited him. In October, 1801, Wall

nor men.


as black

more serious.

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wrote to Lord Pelham, then secretary of entered the cell

, and the prisoner joined state, announcing his readiness to submit to him devoutly in prayer. a trial. He was tried January 22nd, 1802. In that curious and amusing work, A The prisoner's defence was, that before Book for a Rainy Day, Mr. J. T. Smith, forArmstrong was punished an open mutiny merly Keeper of the Print Room in the had broken out among the Goree garrison. British Museum, says: “Solomon, a pencilArmstrong had refused to march the men dealer, assured me that he could procure back till their claims were allowed, and had me a sight of the governor, if I would said he should not leave for England. A only accompany him in the evening to prisoner had been released, the soldiers had Hatton-garden, and smoke a pipe with threatened to break open the stores, and a Doctor Ford, the ordinary of Newgate, with sentry had held a bayonet to his (Wall's) whom he said he was particularly intimate. breast. He denied that he had ever blown Away we trudged; and upon entering the men from cannon has had been reported. club-room of a public-house, we found the The prisoner was found guilty, and sentence said doctor most pompously seated in a of death passed. He seemed deeply affected superb masonic chair, under a stately crimby the sentence, but only requested the son canopy, placed between the windows. court to give him a little time to prepare The room was clouded with smoke whiffed for death. After two respites, the miser- to the ceiling, which gave me a better idea able man was hung on the 28th of Janu- of what I had heard of the Black Hole of ary. The night before the execution, the Calcutta than any place I had seen. There prisoner's wife, the Honourable Mrs. Wall, were present at least a hundred associates begged leave of Kirby, the jailer, to stay of every denomination; of this number my with her husband from nine to eleven, ex- Jew, being a favoured man, was admitted to pecting a reprieve. They parted in tears, a whispering audience with the doctor, which the miserable culprit saying he could sub- soon produced my introduction to him.” mit to his fate with Christian fortitude. Sunrise, the next morning, found Mr. About one A.M., Wall, who did not sleep, Smith waiting by appointment for his new inquired particularly at 'what time the friend, Doctor Ford, at Newgate ; and this scaffold would be brought out of the is how he describes the end of Governor press-yard, and if it would make a great Wall: noise. The attendant, unwilling to hinder “ As we crossed the press-yard a cock him from sleep, pretended ignorance. The crew; and the solitary clanking of a restpoor wretch fell asleep between four and less chain was dreadfully horrible. The five o'clock, and did not hear the noise prisoners had not risen. Upon our entering of the scaffold being dragged out to the a cold stone room, a most sickly stench of debtors' door, though it shook the whole green twigs, with which an old roundprison. But about twenty minutes after shouldered, goggle-eyed man he awoke with a start, as a mail-coach deavouring to kindle a fire, annoyed me passed and the horn blew cheerily, and almost so much as the canaster fumigation said to the turnkey guarding him, "Is not of the doctor's Hatton-garden friends. that the fatal scaffold ?" He did not fall “ The prisoner entered. He was death's asleep again after this, but asked many counterfeit, tall, shrivelled, and pale; and minute questions about the execution, his soul shot so piercingly through the particularly as to whether, being a tall port-holes of his head, that the first glance man, he could not avoid the jerk when of him nearly terrified me. the scaffold fell, although, as he said, he heart, putting my pencil in my pocket, God presumed the jerk was intended to dislocate forbid that I shonld disturb thy last mo. the sufferer's neck, and so put him the ments! His hands were clasped, and he sooner out of pain. His voice preserved was truly penitent. After the yeoman had its usual strength and tone, and he spoke requested him to stand up, he ‘pinioned of his approaching death with the calmness him,' as the Newgate phrase is, and tied and courage of an old soldier. At half-past the cord with so little feeling, that the six he asked an attendant whether the governor, who had not given the wretch the noise he heard was not the erecting of the accustomed fee, observed, 'You have tied scaffold. He was humanely answered in me very tight, upon which Doctor Ford the negative. Wall put on that eventful ordered him to slacken the cord, which he morning a mixed-coloured loose coat with did, but not without muttering. · Thank a black collar, a swan’s-down waistcoat, you, sir,' said the governor to the doctor, blue pantaloons, and white silk stockings. it is of little moment.' He then observed Doctor Ford, the ordinary, soon afterwards to the attendant, who had brought in an



I said in my

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