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my soul !
laughter; and he laughed loudly in answer. “ It is a dream I am in ! -I know it is -- though I cannot rouse myself out of it, and must get on with it-waken, sir, waken!”
He tottered nearer to the sofa. His father started up-and« Who calls ?" he thundered out.
William fell back, and with a smile of fatuity, which wore miserable, deprecating expression, muttered incoherently—“No one -no one did call-why, here is Sir Miles Hutchinson !”
“ William !--what do you here ?” continued his father, mournfully and wailingly; “William Hutchinson, my only son, what do you want with me?”
He laid his hand gently on the wretch's shoulder, and William writhed under the feathery pressure, and cringed from it as if he had been clutched by a lion—“ Nothing, father-nothing, indeed-no, on
I turned in by chance your door was open, and I just turned in-faith and honour, yes ! that's it—and nothing more.'
“ Perhaps you came to steal a visit to this picture, William. Well, look at it; you will never look upon the likeness of a better woman, or a better mother-look at it.”
The hitherto demoniac young man, as his hollow eyes rested on the portrait of the mother he had loved, and who had well loved him, recognising, at the same time, in the chubby imp on her knee, a likeness of himself in childhood, uttered a low, doleful wail, and after turning a glance to his father, hid his face in his hands. The sound of that cry had a kind of expiative misery in it; and it only indicated his feelings. Even on his hesitating way from his prison-chamber to his father's dressing-room, nature, feeling, reason began to stir into life
ain in his bosom, amid all the passion which raged around them, and trampled them down; his heart found out that it had only given way, for a moment, to a raving, self-deluding impulse, instead of having formed a resolution. Now, although sense and reflection had by no means reasserted themselves in him, he felt that he had been working under a horrible, and sinful, and detestable fantasy. The soft touch of his father's hand on his shoulder, and the godlike smile of love of that beautiful young mother upon that happy infant, undeceived him at once-instantaneously-like a miracle. “It was a lie!” said his heart; a black lie! I was not hated -and I did not hate- I do not hate !"
He unconsciously spoke the words aloud.
“ What do you speak of, William ? demanded his father. “Hatred ! what hatred ?what words are these ?—who could ever have hated you, or given you cause to hate ?”
They were interrupted by the harsh, ringing report of a pistol-shot in the house. Both started; but William, from the shattered state of his nerves, looked greatly terrified-indeed helplessly so.
He dropt on a seat.
The physician entered the room, almost as much alarmed as either of them.
“Good God, my dear Sir Miles, all this is too horrible !” he said, glancing with a shudder towards William ; “but, Heaven be thanked, I have come here-here, to this room-time enough, at any rate.”
“What do you mean ?” asked the baronet;
" that shot-can you explain it ?”
“I can indeed; it was fired by your unhappy nephew into his own head, and he lies dead-dead by his own hand !”
William turned, gasping, to the speaker. He grasped tightly the chair
upon which he sat, and red flushes now flew over his hitherto white face. Sir Miles, scarcely less fevered, asked for more explanation.
" 'Tis soon given,” answered the good doctor. “I suspected who it was that had destroyed your poor little grandson, the moment we met Mr. James on the threshold of his study some hours ago."
Uttering a pitiable exclamation, which interrupted the physician, William suddenly stood up, still holding by the back of the chair for support. “ Do I understand you aright, sir ?” he asked; “ is my boy dead ?”
He got his answer, and was silent. The explanation continued.
“ Your nephew's nervousness afterwards at the sight of the poor little corpse, in his study, heightened my suspicions. Before leaving the room, I found between his books a small phial, which confirmed them. You
remember that I returned hastily to Dublin. There I soon ascertained at what shop the poison had been bought, and what kind of a person had purchased it. I returned with police officers to this house, and, without consulting you, Sir Miles,-pardon me, but I thought I should best do my duty by avoiding you in the first instance -the cruel babe-murderer was arrested. He attempted no defence -no denial ; le could not, for our evidence against him was demonstration. He asked permission to sit a moment at a table in his study. He did so.
For a considerable time I saw him remain silent and motionless—the quietness of despair alone sealing down his features. He at last opened his table-drawer, and saying that he would write a little, seemed to search in it, as if for paper, I supposed. Then he said it would be useless for him to write that a message by me to his cousin would do as well.”
William was heard to breathe fearfully short, loud, and quick, and he did so still more as he stood up, his inflamed eyes devouring the speaker. The doctor resumed. 6. Well then, sir,' he said, - go
look for dear cousin in his father's dressing-room, where, by this time, he is standing over his father's dead body, and tell him from me that he has killed a father who never gave him cause for such a vengeance-who, much as we have spoken of the matter together, loved him only too well, instead of hating him, as we said, -and who, in the very last scenes that happened between them, put on a show of severity, and talked of leaving him to suffer for his sins, only to frighten him into being a better boy for the future, and to make forgiveness the sweeter;
– teil cousin William that I know such to be the case of my own knowledge—tell him that, Mr. Doctor, and then this !'
“ Your nephew, Sir Miles, here suddenly withdrew his hand from the table-drawer, and, before it was possible to hinder him, the pistol was at his head, and the trigger pulled.”
Loud cries, screams indeed, broke from William Hutchinson, even
before the good man had ended his melancholy narrative, and “ Father ! father!” he exclaimed, throwing up his arms wildly,
mercy !--not life now; no, but mercy !—the only mercy I can hope for--wish for -- death, father !-death, in reality !--death, father of my being !-God of Nature, death!”
As if the knitting power of every joint in his body gave way together, he fell, where he stood, in a heap; and these words were the only coherent ones which, for a long time, the poor young fellow uttered. At first he lay quite insensible on the floor, then came back to animation only to work in strong convulsions. The longgathering malady—the kind of long-fuzing shell burst, at length, in his brain, shattering and prostrating him. They raised him, and the physician pronounced him to be in a raging fever. They bore him to bed, and he lay three days and nights raving, and all his ravings told of terror and horror, of his late errors and crimes, and love of his father. They wandered, too, to his wife and his little son; and he would beseech her to intercede for him with his father; or he thought that the infant had been placed by her in his arms to rock it asleep, and he would sit up, and go through the show of holding it to his bosom, and carefully nursing it. His senses returned to him; he lay on his back, feebler than the new-born babe; he recognised a strange attendant; he strove to speak; the kind woman made signs for perfect silence. He drank a little weak cordial ; he slept; he awoke again to consciousness, and in a degree to recollections of the past. . Still the nurse would not permit him to speak; but she told him how very ill he had been, and that his life was now out of danger. Nature, mere animal nature, glowed warmly and gratefully round bis heart at this information; he felt a kind of weak, muscular happiness. He slept again and again, he awoke again and again, each time a little more capable of thought and true feeling, the feeling of principle ; and his gratitude for life restored was now a moral and a holy gratitude, rendered humbly, meekly, religiously, child-like, to God. His heart gave deep and awful thanks for the prospect of a future opportunity on earth to atone for his crimes, to redeem his character, and to prepare himself, as a christian man ought, for, in reality, the dreadful summons from earth to the face of his Maker.
Hours wore on. He thought of his father, and shed blessed tears of remorse, contrition, and tenderness. He yearned, but dreaded to see his face-even to ask after him. Upon awaking out of another sleep, and a slightly refreshing one, an additional attendant, old Martin, stood at his bedside. This was a luxury. The old man spoke of his father and of his wife ; and, when he got stronger, they would come in turn, he said, to see him. In turn ? and which of the two would come first? William prayed it might be Fanny.
And it was. The next day he folded her in his arms. She spoke much to him; and though of nothing distinctly, still much that softly insinuated into his humbled soul a slight return of self-confidence. He asked after their boy. Fanny was prepared for the question. The babe was well, she said, very well -- a happy creature ! and on this point he remained undeceived for the present. It was strange that the last circum
stances which he had heard the good doctor relate in the dressingroom were now totally obliterated from his mind and his memory.
There was a pause between the young husband and wife. Fanny thought she saw him labouring under a question he wished to put. She anticipated it; asking him, did he think he should be strong enough the next day, or the next, to receive another visiter ?
He winced a little, and, after remaining some time silent, told her that beforehand he should wish to see a clerical friend, whom he named. He had his wish. At length the day and the hour came for his father's visit. No one was present with them. Sir Miles walked softly but firmly to his bedside, holding his head erect, extending his hands, and smiling. When William saw him, he turned his face downward upon the pillow and wept, but not passionately.
“ Come, come, my poor Willy," he heard his father say, and at the same time he felt one of his father's hands passing fondlingly through his hair,—" not a bit of agitation now, not a bit of a scene, or I must leave you; our stern doctor says so."
“And dare I lift up my eyes to your face, father ?”
“ I have but one answer to make, William.” He took one of his son's hands in his. " And
you do not then keep your hand from me ?-can you forgive
“ One remark only, as I have said, William. We are Christians, both of us, and you are repentant. And I find it written in the book that is our common code of Christianity, that when, after much foolish and sinful wandering from his father's house, the humbled prodigal came home, at length, bare-headed and sorrowful, his father
Sir Miles's powers of exhortation here failed him, in spite of some little resolves to the contrary, and plain nature asserted her rightful sway, as, falling on William's neck, he added, “ O William, my boy, -my only boy !_did you say can I forgive you? William, may your Father in heaven forgive you as easily as I can-as I do!”
And from this day to the day of his death, a long period of time, William Hutchinson was a good son, a good husband, and a good member of society. We may add, that he lived to be a good and a happy father too, and to see poor Fanny the happiest of wives and mothers.
WINTER STUDIES AND SUMMER RAMBLES.I These studies and rambles were made in the course of the years 1836 and 1837, in Canada—a country which now in a peculiar manner occupies the attention of the public. It seems to be quite certain that the questions there at issue, as also the real condition of the country, have been misunderstood by all parties in England, not excepting those statesmen who have legislated for the important colony, or rather conquest and colonies. At this moment anything tending to throw light on the great question will be received with avidity. Although Mrs. Jameson does not profess to take up the pen of a politician, her keen faculty of discernment, her good sense, and the opportunity she enjoyed (more particularly in Upper Canada) of collecting information from the best authorities, and of seeing the true bearing of things with her own eyes, have all led to the writing of many pages, which may be considered as valuable contributions to political knowledge. We cannot too much commend her candour and impartiality. She is of nò party, but anxious for the good of all. We should, however, do an injustice to this graceful book, by sug. gesting the notion that its prominent merit was of this temporary kind. Nor should we be much more correct or fair, if we induced the reader to fancy that it is a mere book of travels, devoted to the description of the country, manners, and peculiarities, and nothing else ; for though there are descriptions of these kinds in abundance all hit off with a most lively and happy pencil—they comprise but a part of the work, being mixed and varied with numerous sketches and essays of a totally different kind. In some of these essays the fair and tasteful author exhibits powers of criticism of the highest order -imaginative and essentially poetical. The fine arts, poetry, the drama,-chiefly German poetry and the German drama,—are favourite subjects, upon which she discourses not only feelingly and originally, but wisely. There are several things worthy of the author of the “ Characteristics of Women,” and of that author as improved by time and earnest and devout study. We believe there is scarcely a living hand, except that hand which drew the delicious analyses of Shakspeare's female characters, that could have written the criticisms upon the “ Correggio" of Ochlenschläger and “Die Schuld” of Müllner, which occur at an early part of the first volume of “ Winter Studies and Summer Rambles.” Mrs. Jameson suggests that Coleridge must have had Müllner's tragedy in his mind when he wrote his “ Remorse.” There can be no doubt of it, though probably Coleridge was hardly aware of it himself.
To those who are unacquainted with Mrs. Jameson's Shakspeare Book, the following passage from the notes on the “ Correggio" will convey a notion of her happy manner of treating these dramatic subjects.
“ Here is a tragedy, of which the pervading interest is not low ambi. tion and the pride of kings; nor love, nor terror, nor murder, nor the rivalship of princes, nor the fall of dynasties, nor any of the usual forms 'Winter Studies and Summer Rambles in Canada. By Mrs. Jameson. In 3 vols.