Зображення сторінки



STRANGER, well mounted, and attended by a servant in rich livery, entered a market town in Somersetshire, where the court was chen sitting and having put up at one of the principal inns, inquired of the landlorúas to the curiosities and amusements of the place.

2. The landlord, who was extremely well qualified to answer these inquiries, answered, with a low bow, that there was no want of entertainment, as the players were in town, and the court sitting, accompanying his remarks with a recommendation, that the gentleman should by all means go to hear the trial that morning, as a highwayman was lo be brought up.

3. The stranger made some objection to this invitation, upon the ground of his being unknown, and the little chance he stood of being properly accommodated. This difficulty was, however, removed, by the landlord's assuring him that a gentleman of his appearance vould be readily admitted.

4. Indeed, to make it more certain, he attended him to the Courthouse, and represented him in such a way to his fiiends the constables, that be obtained a seat at a little distance from the judge. The appearance of the stranger, who was of elegant person and polished manners, arrested for a moment the attention of the court.

5. The witnesses were not numerous, and the evidence was only circumstantial ; but altiough no person saw the atrocious murder and robbery committed, yet the circumstances which fixed the guilt upon the prisoner were very numerous, and his being unable to give any satisfactory account of himself increased the suspicion. The judge then, for the last time, asked the prisoner if he had any thing to say in his defence?

6. The poor culprit assured the judge, that he was not guilty of the robbery, and there were people, if he had time to find them, who could prove that at the time it was committed he was in another part of the country. At this mo


ment the poor wretch happened to catch sight of the stranger ard fell backwards on the floor.

7. He was however, with some difficulty recovered, when the judge humanely inquired into the cause of his extravagant behaviour.

The poor wretch exclaimed, with tears in his eyes, O my lord, how providential! for that gentle. man, on your left hand, can prove I was not present when the robbery was dope.

8. Pray sir, said the judge, addressing the stranger, do you know

any thing of this man? Upon this the traveller surveyed the criminal with the most scrupulous attention, and then said, I am very sorry to assure your lordship that I do not know the prisoner. I thought as much, replied the judge, it is mere trilling with justice.

9. The prisoner, however, still insisted that the stranger knew him, and the stranger again as positively denied ihe assertion, till the judge, displeased at the criminal's presumption, was about to receive the verdict of the jury.The pror culprit on his knees entreated permission to say one word.

10. Indeed, my lord, cried he, the gentleman does know me although he inay have forgotten my person. Only give me leave to ask him three questions, and it will save my life, The judge humanely consented, and the curiosity of all the spectators was strongly excited.

11. Pray, sir, said the prisoner, addressing the stranger, rid not you land at Dover about three months since? s believe I might, replied the gentleman. And pray, sir, do you not recollect that a man in a sailor's jacket, carried your trunk from the beach to the tavern? I cannot say that I remember it, returned the stranger, but it might possibly

be so.

12. At these words, the prisoner, not disheartened at the difficulties he had met with, pulled off his wig, and again interrogated the stranger. Do you not remember, sir, that the man who carried your truuk on that day, showed you a scar he had got on his bead, in fighting for his king and country? This is the same scar, look at it.

13. The stranger was astonished. I do, indeed, pefectly remember the circumstance, said he, and have every reason to believe this to be the man, although I had forgot


ten his face; but, my lord, added the stranger, I can determine the question to a certainty, for I have a memorandum of the day I arrived at Dover from Çalais.

: 14. The date was compared with the day mentioned in the indictment, and found to be the same. The whole court feltt

t the impression, and joy was visible in every face; when, after swearing and examining the gentleman as to his name and place of abode, the foreman of the jury.pronounced the verdict of not guilty.

15. A few evenings only had elapsed, when the prisoner, the stranger, and his livery servant, were all taken up on the road, in their original capacities of experienced highwaymen; and the circumstances of the above imposition being recollected, they were easily convicted, and all three executed together.


[ocr errors]

S any father so unnatural as to wish to have his son hanged, let him bring him up in idleness, and without putting him to any trade. Let him particularly inare him to spend the Lord's day in play and diversion, instead of attending on public worship, and instead of instructing him, on that day, in the principles of the Christian religion, let him rob a neighboring hen roost, while the proprietor of it is gone to divine service.

2. Astonishing it is to see so many of our young people growing up without being apprenticed to any bi siness for procuring their future livelihood ! The Jews had a proverb, “That whoever was not bred to a trade, was bred for the Gallows.” Every mussulman is commanded by the Koran to learn some handicraft or other; and to this precept, even the family of the grand Signior so far conform, as to learn so much about the mechanism of a watch, as to be able to take it in pieces, and to put it together again.

3. Are christians the only people in the world, who are to live in idleness when one of the injunctions of the


decalogue is. to labor six days in the week? and an inspired apostle has commanded us to work, under the express penalty of not eating indefault of it? “This we commanded you,” says be, that if any would not work, neither should be eat." "Train up a child," says king Solomon, 6 in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

4. But if you intend him for the gallows, train him up in the way he would go; and before he is old, he will proba.. bly be hanged. In the age of vanity, restrain him not from the follies and allurements of it. In the age proper for learning and instruction, give him neither. As to catechising him, it is an old fashioned, puritanical, useless formality. Never heed it lest his mind be unhapily biassed by the influence of a religious education.

5. Moses indeed, after saying to the children of Israel •Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might," thought proper to subjoin, “and these words which I command thee this day, thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children." But we know that Moses did not intend those children to be trained up for the gallows. His advice therefore is not to the purpose.

6. Mine, which is immediately directed to the object in view, must consequently be very different. And paramount to any other cirection which I can possibly give, I would particularly advise, as an essential part of the course of this education, by wnich a child when he arrives to manhood, is intended to make so exalted a figure, that his parents should suffer him every Sabbath day, during sum mer and autumn, to patris about the neighborhood, and to steal as much fruit as he can carry

off. 7 To encour ge him more in this branch of his educa: tion, in case the poor scrupulous lad should show any compunctions of concience about it, I would have his mother partake of the stolen fruil, and eat it with keener appetite ihan she does any of her own, or her husband's lawfully acquired earni gs. For his further encouragement, both his parents should always take his part whenever the proprietor of the stolen fruit p efers to hen his complaint against Lim; & by all means rufuse to chastise him for his thietery.

3. They should say, “Where is the harm of taking a little fruit? The gentleman does not want it all for his own use, He doubtless raised part of it for poor people.” This will greatly smooth his way to more extensive, and more profitable robberies.

9. He will soon persuade himself that many rich men have more wealth than they really want; and as they owe part of their affluence to the poor, upon the principle of charity, why should not the poor take their share without the formality of asking consent? He will now becone a thief in good earnest; & finding it easier, at least as he im. agines, to support himself by theft than by honest induslry, he will continue the practice until he is detected, apprehended, convicted, condemned and gibbeted.

10. Then he will have exactly accomplished the destis ed end of his education, and proved himself to have been an apt scholar. Under the gallows, and in his last dying speech, he will say, "Had my father whipped me for break in the Sabbath ; and had not my mother encouraged me to rob orchards, and gardens, and hen-roosts on that holy day, I should not have been brought to this ignominious punishment.

11 “But they have been the cause, by encouraging me in my early youth in the ways of sin, of this my awful catastrophe, and probably, of the eternal ruin of my immortal soul.” Parents, believe and tremble! and resolve to educate your children in opposition to the gailows.


PALESTINE, or Holy Land, is a tract of country

bordering on the east end of the Mediterranean Sea, and ie celebrated as the residence ofthe Hebrews, who, in an ear ly period, were conducted thither from Egypt, where they had been slaves. To Moses, their leader, who is the old est liistorian wiose writings have been preserved, we are indebted not only for their early history, but for the history of he creation and first serilement ofthe world itself 3

2. Previously

« НазадПродовжити »