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alone with my wife in her room. She was talking of the folly of some men, in not being contented with what they possessed, and for being ever on the search for more. 55 How many hearts have been agitated-wound up to the highest pitch, this afternoon, in hopes of drawing a prize,' said she. What could I do? I was there, and had to listen to her, although each word seemed like a burning coal at my heart. She continued—
And how many have spent that, which should have gone for bread and clothing for their families-and for what? For a vain hope of obtaining more! for a piece, of mere coloured paper! And think you, my husband, there has been no vows violated, no oaths broken this 65 afternoon?' I made no answer, and she went on-' If there are any such, and if they have been unfortunate, how bitter must be their disappointment, and how doubly keen their remorse! Are you not, David, better pleased with yourself this evening for not buying tickets 70 allowing you had not pledged your oath not to meddle with them-than you would have been, had you purchased them and made money by it?' Thus did the woman talk to me, as though I were as pure and guiltless as herself. She knew not that at the moment her 75 words were like daggers to my heart-that at every motion of her lips my soul writhed in agony;—she knew not that my pocket book was crammed with the accursed tickets-blank tickets! And when she poured out her soul in prayer that night, she knew not that he, for 80 whom she prayed, dared not listen to her words, but * So it was. stopped his ears.
'Do, my dear husband, stay at home, one evening this week! You shall read to me, or I will read to you! come, keep me company this evening.' Thus said my 85 wife one evening, as she took me affectionately by the arm, a tear at the same time filling her eye. Brute that I was! I shook her off repulsively, scarcely deigning her a reply as I went out. I was an altered man-my innocence had departed from me I had perjured my90 self. My oath once broken I still continued to break Not a lottery was drawn but that I had some chance Ill luck attended me. Blanks-blanks were my portion. Still I kept on. Most of my hours were spent in lottery offices. I neglected my business-debts ac
95 cumulated-wants came upon me; and I had nothing to satisfy them with but a hope-a hope, that at the next drawing I should be lucky. As cares increased I went to a tavern for relief. Remorse gnawed at my heart like a worm. It had drank up all my happiness. When 100 I first broke my oath I thought gold would still my conGold I had none, so I attempted to ease it by strong drink. Rum burnt up my tender feelings-my better nature; but it only added to the quenchless fire that was raging at my heart. It was not uncommon for me 105 at this stage, to get intoxicated every night. Oft have I staggered home to my patient, dying Eliza-for my conduct was making sad inroads on a constitution naturally delicate; and without a shadow of cause fell to abusing her. What insult and misery has not that wo110 man endured! and all brought on by me, her husband, her protector! About this time our child died. I dare not think of his death-how it was brought on. The poor child might have lived longer-perhaps he might-but he complained of being cold sometimes, of wanting 115 clothes; and sometimes his cry for bread was vain. It was a great shock to my wife; and her gradual failing, day by day sobered me, and made me thoughtful. But what had I to do with reflection? The past was made up of sharp points, and when I turned to it I was 120 pierced! and the future-what could I anticipate? what was there in store for me? So I closed my ears-shut my heart to the starving condition of Eliza, and became, a brute again.
It was in the evening of a wet, cloudy day, that I sallied forth from my boarding hovel, to shame and sin, to learn the fate of my last ticket. To obtain it, I had to dispose of a Bible, which belonged to my late wife-my 5 dead Eliza-and which was the dying gift of her mother. It was the last thing that I held that had belonged to her. One by one, had I disposed of what little effects she left, to gratify my passion for drinking and gambling. I had lost all feelings of shame. My wife 10 had been dead two years.
The ticket I now had was to seal my fate. I had fasted more than one day to obtain means to purchase
it; I had even stinted my drink for means, so strong was my passion for gambling. Well, I went into the 15 office and called for the prize list. At a glance I saw my hopes were frustrated; and crushing the list convulsively in my hand, I muttered a deep oath and stalked out of the office. That ticket indeed sealed my fate. 'The world owes me a living, and a living I will have!' 20 I said to myself as I turned away with a despairing heart and walked up the street. My mind was suddenly made up to a strong purpose. There is money!' I said between my teeth, as I sauntered along meditating some desperate deed. I knew not the time of night; 25 it was late, however, for the stores were all closed, when a man brushed by me. As he passed I saw it was the vender of tickets-the man who had sold me the first and last ticket!-the man to whom I had paid dollar after dollar, until all was gone. He had a trunk in his 30 hand, and was probably going home. This man,' thought I, 'has received from me even to the last farthing; shall not I be justified in compelling him to return a part? at least ought he not to be made to give me something to relieve my misery-to keep me from starv35 ing?' Such was my reasoning, as I buttoned my jacket and slowly followed him. Before reaching his house, he had to pass over a lonely space, where there were no houses, and at that time of the night but little passing. He had gone over half this space, when I stepped 40 quickly and warily behind him; and grasping with one hand his collar and with the other his trunk, in a gruff voice demanded his money. The words were barely uttered before I was grappled by the throat. He was a strong man, and he had a dangerous hold. I put forth 45 all my strength to shake off his grasp, striking him at the same time in the face and breast, but without availhe still kept his hold. Finding that something decisive must be done, for I could with difficulty breathe, I clasped him round the middle, and giving him a sud50 den jerk we both fell to the ground. I fell underneath and he had me in his power. I struggled in vain to free myself. He still held me by the throat, and he began to cry for assistance.-What was to be done? I had a jack knife in my pocket-there was no time for 55 reflection-my left hand was free-it was the work of a moment the hot blood spirted from his heart full in,
my face. His hold relaxed, and giving a terrible groan he rolled on the ground in agony. I sprang upon my feet and snatched the trunk; as I moved away in the 60 darkness, the death rattle in the throat of my victim
came fearfully upon my ears.
What followed until I found myself chained in this dungeon I know not. I have a faint recollection of flying from the spot where lay the dying man; of being 65 aroused in the morning by the officers of justice;—of a court room, where were displayed the trunk found in my possession, and a knife taken from the breast of the corpse with my name on the handle. I have a more distinct recollection of an after trial and of a condem70 nation; and tomorrow the jailer tells me I am to die— to be publicly executed. I acknowledge the justice of my punishment-I deserve death; and may God show mercy to him who showed no mercy!
Death at the Toilet.-DIARY OF A PHYSICIAN.
'Why what in the world can Charlotte be doing all this while?" inquired her mother. She listened "I have not heard her moving for the last three quarters of an hour! I'll call the maid and ask." She rung the 5 bell, and the servant appeared.
Betty, Miss J- is not gone yet, is she?" up to her room, Betty, and see if she wants any thing, and tell her it's half past nine o'clock," said Mrs. JThe servant accordingly went up stairs, and knocked 10 at the bedroom door, once, twice, thrice, but received no answer. There was a dead silence, except when the wind shook the window. Could Miss J have fallen asleep? Oh! impossible! She knocked again, but unsuccessfully as before. She became a little flus15 tered; and after a moment's pause opened the door and entered. There was Miss J- sitting at the glass. "Why maʼam!" commenced Betty in a petulant tone, walking up to her, 'here have I been knocking for these five minutes, and"- -Betty staggered, horror 20 struck to the bed, and uttering a loud shriek, alarmed Mrs. J, who instantly tottered up stairs, almost palsied with fright. Miss J was dead!
I was there within a few minutes, for my house was not more than two streets distant. It was a stormy 25 night in March: and the desolate aspect of things without-deserted streets-the dreary howling of the wind; and the incessant pattering of the rain-contributed to cast a gloom over my mind, when connected with the intelligence of the awful event that had summoned me 30 out, which was deepened into horror by the spectacle I was doomed to witness. On reaching the house, I found Mrs. J. in violent hysterics, surrounded by several of her neighbors who had been called to her assistance. I repaired to the scene of death, and beheld 35 what I never shall forget. The room was occupied by a white-curtained bed. There was but one window, and before it was a table, on which stood a looking glass, hung with a little white drapery; and various paraphernalia of the toilet lay scattered about—pins, 40 broaches, curling-papers, ribbands, gloves, &c. An arm chair was drawn to this table, and in it sat Miss J, stone dead. Her head rested upon her right hand, her elbow supported by the table; while her left hung down by her side, grasping a pair of curling irons.-Each of 45 her wrists was encircled by a showy gilt bracelet.
was dressed in a white muslin frock, with a little bordering of blonde. Her face was turned towards the glass, which by the light of the expiring candle, reflected with frightful fidelity the clammy, fixed features, 50 daubed with rouge and carmine-the fallen lower jaw→ and the eyes directed full into the glass, with a cold stare, that was appalling. On examining the countenance more narrowly, I thought I detected the traces of a smirk of conceit and self complacency, which not even 55 the palsying touch of death could wholly obliterate. The hair of the corpse, all smooth and glossy, was curled with elaborate precision; and the skinny sallow neck was encircled with a string of glistening pearls. The ghastly visage of death thus leering through the 60 tinselry of fashion-the "vain show" of artificial joywas a horrible mockery of the fooleries of life!
Indeed it was a most humiliating and shocking spectacle. Poor creature! struck dead in the very act of sacrificing at the shrine of female vanity!
On examination of the body, we found that death had