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whirlwind upon me, have left an impression which can never be effaced while memory lasts. It is true, I hastened to get the mastery of my mind again, and trampled down those thoughts for the day. I bore me up heroically; I attended the summons to court with alacrity ; I walked through the gaping crowd with a firm step and manly look, and repeated the “not guilty, with a clear and determined voice. All the horrible pageantry of a trial had passed; the jury were empannelled; the witnesses were sworn, and among them that son of Belial, Benson. The attorney for the commonwealth had recapitulated all the disgusting circumstances of the murder, and showed their necessary and unquestionable connexion with me; my counsel had arisen to speak, when a slight movement among the crowd behind me caused me to turn my head, and I beheld my wife making her way to the bar. She touched the elbow of my lawyer and whispered in his ear. He received something from her, and then begged the court to excuse him for a few moments. They readily consented to do so, and in that painful interval, I rose and fixed my eyes sternly upon Benson, determined to watch closely his diabolical countenance. His eye quailed beneath mine, and an evident paleness came over his cheek. What had produced it? Had he seen what was tendered by my wife, or did his guilty soul simply tremble before the keen glance of his victim? In a few moments my lawyer returned, and addressed the court with a strong appeal to their feel. ings of humanity. He described the great peril of the prisoner, and the difficulties under which he labored in producing proof to rebut a charge which seemed to be corroborated by such strong circumstances, and said that he trusted the court would have patience and indulge him in any effort he might make to establish the innocence of the accused. He then stated the particulars I have already related respecting the wadding of the pistol ; its casual preservation, and its discovery by my wife, in the drawer in which I had left it. He exhibited it to the court, and asked at their hands the immediate arrest of the witness, Benson, and the detain
ing him in custody until a search could be made of his house, and that a warrant might issue for that purpose. He was willing, he said, to rest the hopes of his client upon the result of the investigation to be made, whether there was any thing in Benson's house from which the half-burnt calico could have been torn. It was staking all, he admitted, upon a desperate throw; but seeing no better chance, if the court would have patience to make the inquiry and it failed, he would at once surrender the cause and give up the prisoner to his fate. The court, of course, assented. Benson was forthwith arrested; the warrant issued, and the officers of justice went to make the search, accompanied by my wife and my legal adviser. Who shall count the ages which rolled away while that search was making ? The time seemed to me an eternity. Hope was awakened, and I could not suppress the throbbings of my heart. The court seemed as still as death. I fancied amidst that awful stillness, that every one could hear the pulsations of my heart. I tried every means in my power to be calm, but each effort seemed to increase my agitation. I listened for the sound of returning footsteps until I thought my heart would burst with the suspension of my breath. I turned my eyes again upon my foe, and he too seemed striving in vain to be calm. He seemed uneasy and restless. What was the cause ? Was he indignant under suspicion? or was he fearful of detection? I could not reason; my senses were confused by the rapid circulation of my blood. At last the sound of coming steps was heard; the blood curdled at my heart, and I should have fallen but for the cry of joy which burst forth from my wife, as she entered the court. “It is found! it is found !” she exclaimed, “and my husband will not die. He is innocent! he is innocent.” In an old chest, covered up by a pile of lumber in Benson's shop, was found a counterpane, from whence had been torn the piece of calico, used in loading the fatal pistol. The figure corresponded precisely, and this, taken in connexion with my constant declaration, that I had received the tobacco from Benson, would have been conclusive
against him, but in the same chest was discovered another pistol, the fellow of the one found in the hand of the murdered man. The testimony was thus so conclusive against him, that he acknowledged his guilt, and speedily suffered the penalty of his atrocious crimes.
Such were the baneful consequences which flowed from my education at an oldfield school, where the laxity of authority engendered every vice. In galloping across the country lately, it was my fortune to lose myself, and to emerge suddenly upon the very spot where once stood our school house. Not a vestige remained of it; the fine grove of oaks, beneath whose shade I had so often gambolled, were all cut down, and the broomstraw field was all washed by the rains into frightful gullies. Just so had time furrowed my cheek with the tears which had coursed them down, and I shuddered as I turned away from the scene of the contests of a Benson and a
TO MY MOTHER ON MY BIRTH-DAY.
At sunrise this morning I woke
Fifty-one years ago I was born ;
I thought of that joyful morn.
All nature seem'd ringing with glee
And kill'd him and brought him to thee.
Whom the huntsman were hunting that morn
Had entered the babe you had borne.
I've been hunted for many long years
Have I felt in this valley of tears !-
Unkennell'd that morning, I cried,
So rough was the greeting and rude, The hellhounds of life were untied
And the pack of misfortune pursued. Ever since have they followed me hard
I have doubled and foiled them long But the peace of my life has been marr'd
And I faint, and am hanging my tongue.
Dyspepsy, a dog of great wind,
Is now very near io my throat, And Colic comes biting behind
At the date of this comical note.
To whom shall I turn me, and when ?
To the mother who bore me that mornSo the fox will return to his den
When pursued by the hound and the horn. I turn then dear mother, to thee
And ask your maternal adviceAh where shall I turn me and flee?-
“My Son! to the Pearl of great price.”
MY LAST CANDLE.
All things must end that have a birth,
A candle too must die,
And we no more can buy-
And feel as if 'twere sick;
A feeble tottering wick.
That candle gives a sickly glare
Just light enough to scan The skeletons of riches here
Around me, lonely man! Some have expired with use-
chairs Are broken down and want repairs,
My table's propt to stand,
For Boreas lends a hand.
Of patience, on my need,
I cannot see to read
Thou 'lt soon be but a snuff Thou 'lt see no more, the poorness here, The total want of all good cheer,
In truth 'tis bad enough.
What genius hath enshrined,
The “vassals” of his mind,
Thy whiteness in a thrice,
To keep alive the mice.
Content I will not sigh,
Nor “shuts the window'd sky”
And cheers me with his rise, I can walk forth to lovelier scenes Than are begemm’d for kings and queens,
And may regale my eyes.