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MARTIN FABER.

CHAPTER I.

“ This is a fearful precipice, but I dare look upon it. What, indeed, may I not dare—what have I not dared! I look be

fore me, and the prospect, to most men full of terrors, has few or none for me. Without adopting too greatly the spirit of cant which makes it a familiar phrase in the mouths of the many, death to me will prove a release from

strifes and terrors. I do not fear death. I look behind me, and though I may regret my crimes, they give me no compunctious apprehensions. They were among the occurrences known to, and a necessary sequence in the progress of time and the world's circumstance. They might have been committed by another as well as by myself. They must have been committed! I was but an instrument in the hands of a power with which I could not contend.

many

Yet, what a prospect, does this backward glance afford! How full of colors and characters-How variously dark and bright. I am dazzled and confounded at the various phases of my own life. I wonder at the prodigious strides which my own feet have taken --and as I live and must die, I am bold to de.. clare,-in half the number of instances, without my own consciousness. Should I be considered the criminal, in deeds so committed ?

Had not my arm been impelled—had not my mood been prompted by powers and an agency apart from my own, I had not struck the blow. The demon was not of me, though presiding over, and prevailing within, me. Let those who may think, when the blood is boiling in their temples, analyze its throbs and the source of its impulses. I cannot. I am a fatalist. Enough for me that it was written !

My name is Martin Faber. I am of good family-of German extraction—the only son. I was born in M— village, and my parents were recognized as among the first in respectability and fortune of the place. The village was small-numbering some sixty families; and with a naturally strong and shrewd, and a somewhat improved mind, my father,

Nicholas Faher, became the first man in it. The village of M- was one of those that always keep stationary. The prospect was slight, therefore, of our family declining in influence. My father, on the contrary, grew every day stronger in the estimation of the people. He was their oracle—their counsellor -his word was law, and there were no rival pretensions set up in opposition to his supremacy. Would this had been less the case ! Had Nicholas Faber been more his own, than the creature of others, Martin, his son, had not now obliterated all the good impressions of his family, and been called upon, not only to recount his disgrace and crime, but to pay its penalties. Had he bestowed more of his time in the regulation of his household, and less upon public affairs, the numberless vicious propensities, strikingly marked in me

from childhood up, had, most probably been sufficiently restrained. But why speak of this ? As I have already said—it was written !

The only child, I was necessarily a favorite. The pet of mama, the prodigy of papa, I was schooled to dogmatize and do as I pleased from my earlier infancy. I grew apace, but in compliance with maternal tenderness, which dreaded the too soon exposure of her child's nerves, health and sensibilities, I was withheld from school for sometime after other children are usually put in charge of a tutor. When sent, the case was not very greatly amended. I learned nothing, or what I learned was entirely obliterated by the nature of

my

education and treatment at home. I cared little to learn, and my tutor dared not coerce me. His name was Michael Andrews.

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