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And the crowd were hushed, and bent reverently, as if in a holy presence.
“I would,” said another gentleman, “I would you had some relic which might be as a chain leading from our hearts to his.”
“I have such a relic,” replied the aged creature ; and with trembling fingers he took from his bosom a rude medal, suspended round his neck by a string. “This the Chief gave me,” continued he, “to mark his good-will for some slight service I did The Cause.”
“And has it been in his hands?" asked the crowd, eagerly. “Himself hung it around my neck," said the veteran.
Then the mighty mass was hushed again, and there was no noise—but a straining of fixed eyes, and a throbbing of hearts, and cheeks pale with excitement-such excitement as might be caused in a man's soul by some sacred memorial of one he honored and loved deeply.
Upon the medal were the letters “G. W.”
A few words the old man uttered; but few and rambling as they were, the people listened as to the accents of an oracle.
Then it was time for him to stay there no longer. So he rose, assisted by such of the bystanders whose rank and reputation gave them a right to the honor, and slowly descended. The mass divided, to form a passage for him and his escort, and they passed forward. And as he passed, the young boys struggled to him, that they might take his hand, or touch his garments. The women, too, brought their infants, to be placed for a moment in his arms; and every head was uncovered.
I noticed that there was little shouting, or clapping of handsbut a deep-felt sentiment of veneration seemed to pervade them, far more honorable to its object than the loudest acclamations.
In a short time, as the white-haired ancient was out of sight, the square was cleared, and I stood in it with no companion but the philosopher.
“Is it well,” said I, “that such reverence be bestowed by a great people on a creature like themselves? The self-respect each one has for his own nature might run the risk of effacement, were such things often seen. Besides, it is not allowed that man pay worship to his fellow.”
“Fear not,” answered the philosopher ; "the occurrences you have just witnessed spring from the fairest and manliest traits in the soul. Nothing more becomes a nation than paying its choicest honors to the memory of those who have fought for it, or labored for its good. By thus often bringing up their examples
before the eyes of the living, others are incited to follow in the same glorious path. Do not suppose, young man, that it is by sermons and oft-repeated precepts we form a disposition great or good. The model of one pure, upright character, living as a beacon in history, does more benefit than the lumbering tomes of a thousand theorists.
“No: it is well that the benefactors of a state be so kept alive in memory and in song, when their bodies are mouldering. Then will it be impossible for a people to become enslaved ; for though the strong arm of their old defender come not as former. ly to the battle, his spirit is there, through the power of remembrance, and wields a better sway even than if it were of fleshly substance.”
The words of the philosopher sounded indistinctly to my ears—and his features faded, as in a mist. I awoke; and looking through the window, saw that the sun had just sunk in the west-two hours having passed away since the commencement of my afternoon slumber.
BY JOHN QUOD.
It was one of those fierce storms that are remembered for years. For hours, from the north and east, clouds had been hur rying on-black as night, pile upon pile-crowding and driving each other forward, like a vast multitude of disorganized, reckless men. The wind suddenly sank its howl to a whisper, as if awed by the very demons itself had conjured up: and in the heavens were heard low mutterings, and deep jarring sounds, as if an army of mailed men were tramping through the sky. Mid-day darkened into a pale and ghastly twilight. The streets were deserted. Men, women, and children stole to their homes; gathered in groups, and watched the brewing tempest. Old men shook their gray heads, and told of storms which they remembered many years ago, when they themselves were boys. “This was like one of them.” Old women took to their prayer-books, and hoped “that the end of the world wasn't a-coming-they were afraid it was—it looked very like it—and perhaps it was-only the millennium hadn't come yet, and that was to come first—that was some comfort.” Even animals shrank away into holes, and lay trembling in dread of they knew not what. As the storm gathered, the
wind increased, growing louder and louder, until it became a hurricane, almost in an instant, and seemed to leap up like a refreshed giant, giving the signal to the tempest to begin its work. Down came the rain in masses, and away it went through the streets, hissing, foaming, and boiling-sweeping everything from its path, -tearing up paved streets, sapping foundations, and bringing to the ground old houses, which would have held up their heads against time for many a long year.
“ God! this is beautiful !"
In a damp, unwholesome cellar, filled with noxious vaporscrouched a miserable female at a fire, which scarcely dispelled the gloom about her: and from her this strange expression dropped. She was young-perhaps not thirty—but crime and want had done the work of years; and her look of youth had departed with her purity of heart. Her long dishevelled hair hung loosely about her shoulders, which were bare and exposed, indicating one reckless of appearance, and too far gone in vice to dream of shame-perhaps, like thousands, outcasts like herself, she had forgotten such a feeling. With sharp pinched features—a bright, wild, black eye--a compressed, resolute mouth-there were yet traces of beauty-a beauty which perhaps had led to her degradation. There was little else redeeming in the expression of her face, for it seemed made up of ferocity and despair.
She was hovering near the fire, like a half-frozen animal, with her arms clasped about her knees, listening to the howling of the storm without, or occasionally casting a stealthy look toward the dim corners of the apartment. It was a dreary place indeed, stagnant and noisome, with the stifling closeness of a church vault. The floor was of clay, and wet, and muddy from the leaking in of the rain. Long cobwebs, on which the dampness had settled like frost-work, hung from the walls, -and a thick, white mould, like down, grew upon the stonework, from which the water oozed and trickled to the ground. A wooden bench, one or two broken chairs, a deal table, and an old chest, comprised all the furniture of the place; and amid this sat this wretched woman, a fit tenant for so dreary a home.
“How the wind shouts !" said she, rubbing her hands, and holding them over the flame. “ This is a night for them, by G-d! Burn, burn, burn,” said she, heaping the file with wood; "burn, I say : for if they come, and are cold, I'll catch it. Hist-what's that?" She stopped and held her breath; for even amid the wailing of the storm, her quick ear caught the sound of approaching steps. The next instant there was a violent knocking
Vol. X., No. XLV.-34
at the door communicating with the street. The woman rose, and went to it.
“Who's there ?" demanded she, putting her ear close to it, to hear the reply
“D-n you, open the door, and you'll see. Be quick, for we're drenched to the skin,” shouted a rough voice from the outside, A volley of kicks, which threatened to beat in the door, accompanied the response.
The woman made no other answer than drawing back a heavy bolt, when the door flew open, and two men, dripping with wet, came in.
“ Curse this rain!” exclaimed the eldest of the two, stamping the wet from his feet, and flinging off a heavy great coat, saturated by the storm; "what a night it is! and you—d—n youyou'd have kept us there bawling all night. I could find it in me to murder you."
“Could you ?" said the woman, in a harsh voice. “I ain't what I have been; but you're not the man that could do it ; nor both of you. Take care how you tempt me,” and she shook her fist in the very face of the savage man who had spoken, at the same time baring an arm which seemed as if it could effectually back her menace, although they were both powerful men. “ Now that you are here, cease your bawling, if you wouldn't wake up the neighborhood.”
The man looked at her for a moment, as if in doubt whether to reply; then turning to his comrade, he said, in a surly tone:
“Why don't you get out of your rags, and come to the fire ?"
“'Cause I can't," replied the gentleman thus addressed, fumbling at the collar of his cloak. “This article is did up uncommon, I borrowed it out of a gen'lmen's entry, only yesterday, and I ain't got the hang of it yet. That gen'lman always patronises the latest inwentions; this is one of 'em. There, that's it,” said he, throwing the wet garment on the table.
“How are you, my beauty ?” said he, addressing the female, who was looking at him without speaking ; " as handsome as ever, upon my soul!"
The woman stood for a minute or more, without making any reply; then she said, as if in continuation of some train of thought that was going on in her mind, “ Fine feathers make fine birds, Charley Roke. When you had that cloak on, you looked like a gentleman, and now you look like what you are.” “Well, old girl," said Mr. Roke, dragging a chair across
to the front of the fire, swinging it to its feet, and
seating himself in it, and holding his feet to the fire, “what's that ?!?
“A thief,” replied the woman, sharply.
" I say, Tinker,” said Mr. Roke, turning to his comrade, “don't you think the lady's personal? When I was a little boy, an old aunt of mine used to say thieves wasn't respectable people. She was an unenlightened old woman, that aunt of mine-horrid vulgar, and, in coorse, her opinion wasn't worth much.”
The man to whom this remark was addressed looked up smiled grimly, and then gazed steadfastly at the fire.
“Come, Sal,” said he at length, more good-naturedly than his looks warranted, “get out the rags, and the barkers, and the other trinkets. It's most midnight, and you know we've got a job on foot which must be wiped up afore daylight. I don't see what daylight was inwented for, 'tain't of no use."
“You're wrong there, Tinker,” replied Mr. Roke, in a grave tone ; “Providence,” said he, pointing with his foot up the chimney, “never made nothin' in vain. Without daylight we couldn't see how the land lays, nor what to do at night. That's what daylight was inwented for — properly applied, it's not so bad.”
The woman in the mean time went to the chest before mentioned, and unlocking a heavy padlock which secured it, took out two coarse great coats with large pockets, a large bag, a number of saws, files, skeleton keys, small dark-lanterns, and various other implements of burglary, which she laid on the table.
“Where's the new keys? I want them," said the Tinker, going to the table, and turning over the different implements ; "they was made a purpose for this job.”
The woman made no reply, but returned to the chest, and brought out a number of skeleton keys, which looked bright and
Them's them,” said the man, turning them over in his hand, with an appearance of much satisfaction. “They'll do the busi
Now for the barkers, Sal; and hand me that knife the stout one
and the small crowbar. We may want it. Come, Charley," said he to his associate, who still sat at the fire, about, man.
It's getting late."
who was holding it, and, after several violent exertions, struggled his way into it.
“Where did you get this ere garment, my wirgin ?" “You stole it yourself,” answered the woman.
“ Did I,” said Charley, gravely ; " then I'm paying for my offence; for it's squeezing my guts out. Nothin's wickeder than