« السابقةمتابعة »
liberty. Up to the breaking out of the war, he neither associated with any of the citizens, nor was he seen to speak to any one; but as if it were a prayer that he had been meditating upon, daily uttered his lament, “ Woe! woe! unto Jerusalem.” He neither cursed those that beat him from day to day, nor gave his blessing to such as supplied him with food: to all, the melancholy presage was his one reply. His voice was loudest at the festivals; and though for seven years and five months he continued his wail, neither did his voice become feeble nor did he grow weary, until during the siege, after beholding his presages verified, he ceased. For as he was going his round on the wall, crying with a piercing voice, “ Woe! woe! once more, to the city, to the people, and to the Temple,” when at the last he had added, “Woe! woe! to myself also,” he was struck by a stone shot from the ballista and killed upon the spot, still uttering with his dying lips the same portentous words.
If we reflect on these events, we shall find that God exercises care over men, in every way foreshowing to their race the means of safety; but that they perish through their own folly and self-incurred evils. Thus the Jews, after the demolition of the Antonia, reduced their Temple to a square, though they had it recorded in their oracles that “ the city and the sanctuary would be taken when the Temple should become square.” But what chiefly incited them to the war was an ambiguous prophecy, likewise found in their sacred writings, that “about this period some one from their country should obtain the empire of the world.” This they received as applying to themselves, and many eminent for wisdom were deceived in the interpretation of it. The oracle, however, in reality indicated the elevation of Vespasian — he having been proclaimed emperor in Judæa. But it is not possible for men to avoid their fate, even though they foresee it. Some of these portents they interpreted according to their pleasure, others they treated with contempt, until their folly was exposed by the conquest of their country and their own destruction.
SYLVESTER JUDD, an American novelist, poet, and theologian, born in Westhampton, Mass., July 23, 1813; died at Augusta, Me., Jan. 20, 1853. His remarkable romance “ Margaret” will always be remembered. “Richard Edney” is another romance; “Philo" is a striking poem; and his discourses on “The Church” were esteemed.
(From "Margaret.") The magistral investigation resulted in the discharge of all the family but Chilion, who was committed to answer before the Supreme Court — a stated session of which was at hand. The testimony of the witnesses was varied and confused, as their observation had been uncertain and indistinct. What with the trepidation of the moment, and the clouded condition in which the catastrophe found the party, it took no small sagacity and patience in Esq. Beach, who seemed disposed to conduct the case with entire candor, to distinguish, resolve, and average the singular materials that were submitted to his attention. Chilion himself would make neither confession nor denial.
These points, however, were ascertained : that Solomon Smith came to his death by a wound in the jugular vein; that the wound was caused by some violent blow, as, say, of a file; that Chilion was seen to throw the file, and the deceased was heard to cry out the moment the instrument might have been supposed to strike him. Furthermore, it was sworn that Chilion and the deceased had had differences, and that Chilion had threatened vengeance for the mischief Solomon was doing to the family at the Pond.
The deceased was buried the next day, and at his funeral was exhibited every circumstance of solemn array and mournful impressiveness. The body was carried to the Church, where Parson Welles preached an appropriate sermon, and followed to the grave by a long train of people swayed by an alternate and mingled grief and indignation.
On the succeeding day, Mr. Smith, the father of Solomon, came to the Pond claiming the forfeiture of the conditions on which Pluck held the estate, and ordered the immediate removal of the family. Pluck went off with his kit on his back to seek employment wherever it should offer. Hash and his mother were invited to Sibyl Radney's. Of Nimrod and Rose nothing had been heard. Bull followed Hash. Margaret barely had time to turn her two birds and Dick, the squirrel, out of doors, and gather a bundle of clothes and Chilion's violin, ere Mr. Smith nailed up the house. She besought her mother and Hash to take the birds and squirrel, but the hurry, preoccupation, and irritation of the moment were too great to pamper wishes of that sort. Up the Via Salutaris she saw her father and mother, her brother and Sibyl filing along, drearily, with heavy packs on their shoulders. Her own course had been resolved upon; she was going to Esq. Beach's to seek occupation, be near Chilion, and fulfill her engagement as Governess. She paused a moment, looking up and down the road, and back to Mons Christi, then striking across the Mowing, buried herself in the thickets of the Via Dolorosa. Reaching the village, she turned into Grove Street, and went directly to the Squire's, Mrs. Beach received her at the door, and asked her into the parlor. She was barely seated, when the door opened, and in poured a parcel of children.
“Julia, William,” said Mrs. Beach, “why do you behave so ? How often have I told you not to come into the house with a noise ? and those other boys haven't scraped their feet.”
“I have got a tame squirrel here, ma,” said William Beach.
“What are you doing with that dirty thing ?” exclaimed Mrs. Beach.
“ It's the ma’am's,” said Julia Beach; “ Arthur said it was.”
“We found it trying to get in at the door,” explained Arthur Morgridge.
“ She isn't your ma'am now,” denied Mrs. Beach. “ Isn't she going to live here and teach us?” asked Julia.
“ Not as we know of,” replied the mother. “You take away the squirrel, and run to your plays.”
Dick, meanwhile, wrested himself from the hands of the boys and leaped into the lap of his mistress.
“ Take the creature away,” reiterated Mrs. Beach. Margaret interceded in behalf of her pet. “I sha'n't touch
it, if the ma'am wants to keep it,” said Consider Gisborne. “Come, let us see if we can't get the kite up.".
The children retreated with as much impetuosity as they entered.
“Did you expect to bring that animal with you ?” asked Mrs. Beach.
“I know not how he came,” replied Margaret; “ I left him at home;” and she might have added, that delaying on her steps two or three hours in the woods, the squirrel, shut out of doors, and growing tired of silence and solitude, concluded to follow her, — a trick he had more than once in his life attempted.
" What have you in that green sack?” inquired the lady.
“It is my brother Chilion's fiddle,” replied Margaret. “I thought it would be of some comfort to him in the jail, so I brought it down.”
“ Your brother, indeed!” rejoined Mrs. Beach. “I must inform you that the Squire and myself have concluded to dispense with your services. We thought it would be extremely bad to have one of your family a member of ours. Since the dreadful things that have happened at your house, it would be unsafe to our property, and perhaps to our lives, and certainly detrimental to the morals of the children, to have anything to do with you. And it would be wrong not to break a promise made with those who have proved themselves unworthy to keep it.”
What shall I do?” asked Margaret, passionately.
“It is no use to practice dissimulation, Miss Hart. A sorry crew of you! I quite wonder that you should have had the presumption to come at all. We were going to send word that we did not want you. But your anxiety for your brother, it seems, has brought you down even sooner than was anticipated. If worse comes to worst, you can go to the poorhouse; you may be able to find employment with that class of people to whom you properly belong. I am not unreasonable — for the time has arrived we must no longer tamper with low-bred and mischief-making characters.”
The appearance of the lady discouraged parley and silenced protestation, and Margaret withdrew. She stood on the doorsteps, with her bundle and squirrel in her arms, disordered in purpose, palsied in feeling, and almost blind in vision, from this unforeseen turn of affairs. The children, who were trying to fly a kite on the grounds in front of the house, came around her.
“ Are you not going to stay ?” asked Julia Beach. “No,” replied Margaret.
“Won't the ma'am help us get up the kite ? ” said Consider Gisborne.
“ Yes,” replied Margaret.
“The string is all in a snarl,” said Arthur Morgridge. Margaret, most mechanically, most mournfully, fell to getting out the knot, and then, dropping her luggage, ran with the string, and when the kite was fairly afloat, she handed it back to the boys.
“She's crying,” said Julia Beach. “She is crying!” was whispered from one to another. The kite was at once abandoned, and the children huddled about their disconsolate Mistress.
** What makes you cry?” said Julia.
“I cannot tell,” said Margaret; “I have no home, no friends, no place to go to.”
“Never mind the kite,” said Consider. “ I'll carry this,” he added, seizing the sack containing the violin; “I don't care if she did put me on the girl's side, she is the best Schoolma'am I ever went to.”
“I will carry this,” said Arthur, taking the clothes bundle from her hand.
" I want to have the squirrel,” said Julia. “Let me take hold with you, Arthur,” said Mabel Weeks. “* Where are you going?” asked Margaret.
“I don't know,” said Consider ; “we wanted to help the Schoolma'am.”
"I am going to take the violin to my brother, who is in the jail; he loves to play on it. Perhaps you wouldn't like to go there.”
" Deacon Ramsdill was at our house, and said he didn't believe he meant to kill Solomon Smith,” said Consider.
“I remember what you said when you kept the school, that we mustn't hate anybody,” said Arthur.
“ Ma said people wasn't always wicked that was put in jail,” said Mabel.
Preceded by the children with their several loads, Margaret went towards the Green. Approaching the precincts of the jail she found her way impeded by large numbers of people, who