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a passage to the rest. The brick floors were sunken enjoined, and not being a frequenter of caffès, was now and uneven ; and the furniture, which consisted of beguiling the time by a stroll on the sea-shore. tarnished mirrors, high-backed stamped-leather chairs, Assuring the consolessa, who had a vision of banditti carved worm-eaten tables, with discoloured gilding, before her eyes, that even a delay of two hours would all looked faded and decaying. The beds, with their not hinder our reaching Loretto before sunset, and heavy brocaded quilts, canopies, and hangings, did not offering his escort in lieu of Monsieur V, whose look particularly inviting ; but in the total absence politeness was combated by his dislike to any marine of sofas, they served for an hour or two of repose: expeditions, we soon obtained the good pair's acquiesafter which, refreshed by such ablutions as the scanty cence. The consul went back to the episcopal palace washing arrangements permitted-nothing beyond the to take a second nap; his spouse, faithful to her duties, usual tripod containing a small basin and jug being cheerfully prepared to accompany us, too amiable to allotted to each chamber, or procurable throughout give herself the satisfaction of looking victimised. Two the whole palace-we assembled for breakfast. Here boats were soon selected from a host of applicants, who one of the middies narrowly missed upsetting the remained furiously wrangling among themselves, and general harmony by relating his fruitless attempts to hurling imprecations at the head of their successful obtain a tub, winding up his narrative by the remark, comrades, long after we had pushed out to sea.
that these padres must be a queer set, decidedly not Although the men pulled vigorously, rather more hydropathic. This observation being unfortunately than the stipulated time elapsed before we descried a overheard by the chevalier, who perfectly understood dark speck at the base of the white cliffs which rose, English, was immediately interpreted into a want of without a strip of intervening shingle, abruptly from reverence for the priesthood. Turning very red, he the water's edge. As we approached, this proved to said with emphasis : 'It was extremely unfair and be an aperture wide enough to admit the entrance of narrow-minded to cast that as an imputation upon a boat, and crouching as we glided under the low, dark one class of the community, which was decidedly a passage, we found ourselves in a lofty circular cavern, national characteristic;' and an awkward pause with no place for the foot to rest upon except å narrow ensuing, we should all have felt very uncomfortable, ledge of rock, two or three feet wide, that ran around if the entrance of several bottegas, waiters from the it. A mournful interest, derived from well-authenticaffè, bearing a number of little brass trays containing cated facts, is attached to the Grotta de' Schiavi-that each person's cup, tiny coffee-pot, milk-jug, and allow- is, of the Slaves-to which its name especially bears ance of powdered sugar, had not given a happy turn reference. It was here, as the sailors told us, and to the state of affairs. The price of this collation, the dottore confirmed, that in those times when the including a liberal supply of rolls and cakes, did not Adriatic coast was ruthlessly swept by the Algerine exceed five bajocchi a head (twopence-halfpenny). More corsairs, they used temporarily to confine their prisubstantial fare was supplied by the remaining contents soners, and deposit the booty they had collected. of the basket that had furnished last night's supper; Landing them upon the narrow ledge within the and being now completely recruited, we all sallied out grotto, they would leave them securely bound while to see something of Umana.
they went in quest of further plunder, confident that Our appearance on the piazza created an immense no means of egress, or possibility of rescue, lay before sensation. It was evident the presence of strangers the wretched victims they had torn from their homes was no common occurrence to the industrious citizens and kindred. pursuing there the dolce far niente. Then, too, in This scene gave rise to an animated conversation, in addition to the flattering notice of the outdoor popu- the course of which the physician drew a parallel lation-the barber, the apothecary, the keeper of the between the Christian slaves and the political victims lottery-office, the tobacconist, besides whoever hap- still crowding the dungeons of Italy. pened to be making conversazione with them at the It was a sombre picture-yet the bright sunshine, moment, all stood at their respective doors to look the sparkling waters, the ineffable beauty of the at us, and bowed with flattering urbanity. This tran- cloudless sky, as we emerged from the grotto, were quil demonstration, however, was soon eclipsed by an irresistible spells to counteract any feeling of dejection. inroad of beggars, who had at first presented them- Duly drawn up on the piazza, we found, on selves in limited detachments; but as nothing could regaining the shore, the two vetture previously restrain our sailor-friends from distributing small bespoken, surpassing specimens of that delectable coins in profusion, their numbers soon became astound-style of equipage-each with three spectral horses, ing, and we ran the risk of being pulled to pieces in whose mean bodily appearance was supposed to be their eagerness, or deafened by their clamour. Atatoned for by an extra supply of gingling bells and this juncture, the consul and the three delinquents, scarlet worsted tufts; the drivers, fierce and bravoforming themselves into a body-guard, faced round like; and the interiors painfully redolent of musty and menaced the most importunate with their sticks, straw. There were six places in each, two in the while we availed ourselves of the opportunity to cabriolet, and four inside ; and the consul and Madame escape further pursuit, and laughingly descended a V— respectively taking the command of a division, steep stony path leading to the beach.
with many expressions of thanks and good-will to the Here some fishermen at once gathered round, and dottore, whose presence had formed a very agreeable assailed us with inquiries as to whether we would not interlude to some amongst the party, we set forth like to see the famous Grotta de' Schiavi, distant half an in great style. The whole mendicant population, hour's row along the coast. This had not formed part at least half apparently of the inhabitants of Umana, of our projected itinerary; but the sea being exqui- escorted us, like a guard of honour, as a tribute to sitely calm, and the weather delightful, the majority the largesses of our good-humoured tars, and filled of the party were strongly inclined to follow the the air with their benedictions; while a number of suggestion. While the point was still in discussion, boys and girls, even after the horses had been urged an unexpected ally in surmounting the opposing side into a feeble trot, pursued us indefatigably for at presented himself in the Chiarissimo and Dottissimo least a mile, the former making wheels of themselves, Signor Dottore (most enlightened and most gifted, and bowling along after the most approved fashion; and thus he would be styled officially), the most popular the latter springing up to the windows to offer their physician in Ancona, and an especial favourite in my bunches of flowers, and obtain a farewell token of uncle's household. Summoned the previous night to English liberality. Umana for a consultation, he had promised to remain After a drive of four hours or thereabouts, through till evening to await the result of the treatment he country equally fertile and diversified, we drew near
Loretto, situated on the brow of a very steep hill, concerned in the infamous conspiracy against him with crowned by the church of the Santa Casa. As we volleys of unflattering epithets, till silenced by 'Taiswound slowly up the ascent, we met the peasants in toi, cochon!' emphasised by a sharp blow on his mouth large numbers returning from some neighbouring fair, with the hilt of the officer's sword; whilst Harry and were struck by the scowling looks with which they Webbe, whose face had blanched to the hue of death, eyed us, and a general air of menace and defiance. and whose knees smote each other at the bare appearSingularly enough, it is notorious that the population ance of the soldiers, presently gave unresisted way to in the vicinity of this venerated shrine is the worst the mortal terror which he had vainly struggled to throughout the whole pontifical dominions. This is a master, and sinking down with a cry of horror at perplexing fact to persons who, like the V family, Captain Lenoir's feet, abjectly clasped them in the were perfectly sincere in their belief of the legend delirium of fear which deprived him of all self-respect of the holy house's miraculous transportation by and control. angels from Nazareth ; and who naturally would infer "Get up, miserable coward !' exclaimed the officer, that the immediate presence of such a relic ought spurning the wretched suppliant with his booted foot. to have produced a salutary effect upon public morals. My blood flamed at the humiliating sight, and
Their explanation of this inconsistency was briefly, casting off the hold of the soldier to whose more that the town having been for centuries the resort of immediate custody I had been consigned, I darted pilgrims of all ranks and from every clime, the Loretani forward, lifted young Webbe by main strength upon had become corrupted by ever-changing intercourse his feet, and retorted upon Lenoir with : with these strangers : an hypothesis we unquestioningly 'It is you who in perfect safety insult a young man accepted, for it must not be forgotten we were now whom a-a sudden surprise has overcome for the on delicate ground, and many an observation that moment, that are a miserable coward! Courage, might have jarred on our foreign companions, had Webbe!' I added, vainly the while striving to make to be altogether suppressed or carefully kept amongst him stand upon his feet. "Courage !-a Frenchman's ourselves. The sinister aspects of the groups we bark is a much grander thing than his bite at all encountered gave a clue to the numerous robberies times; and so it will prove in this case. The bullets perpetrated in the neighbourhood; to say nothing that will kill you and me are not cast yet, take my of the darker tales of murder and revenge, of which word for it.' the way-side crosses, so frequent during the last few Let not the reader suppose that this was a very miles, were ominously suggestive.
daring act on my part. I must have felt, without Equally unfavourable were our first impressions of reasoning upon it, that nothing I could say would in the town, as we drove through a narrow street, lined legal parlance damnify my actual position in the on each side with booths, where every description of slightest degree. I was, besides, greatly irritated by medals, chaplets, rosaries, and other objects of devotion Lenoir's brutal conduct towards Sicard as well as lay exposed for sale, which we were loudly called upon to Harry Webbe; and then Maria Wilson, to say nothing purchase. Slipshod women, their black hair escaping, of Clémence, was looking on. matted and disordered, from the coloured handker Captain Lenoir stared at me with rather an expreschiefs bound about their heads; beggars, in every stage sion of amused surprise than of anger. You crow and form of human misery-blind, palsied, maimed; well for so young a cock,' said he. We shall presently squalid children; lean, fighting dogs ; portly priests; see whether it is true or false fire that gives life to dirty pilgrims with staff and scallop-shell: such is the such bold words. As to this poor devil,' he continued, appearance of the crowd that greets the traveller on there must be, I think, some mistake, for he cannot entering Loretto.
surely be the young desperado denounced by Monsieur On reaching the inn, we found a fresh assemblage Auguste Le Moine. If he were'of mendicants drawn up in array in the courtyard ; No-no-no; I am not he!' screamed the wretched objects so dirty and revolting, that one involuntarily youth. "It was not I that slew Captain Le Moine: I shrunk from contact with them; and clamorous, even was below in the cabin, and took no part in the fight peremptory, in their demands, which are in general -no part whatever, I swear to you.' liberally complied with. Their trade is supposed to be Still your name is Webbe; and it was he that'a thriving one, since the majority of persons repairing No-no; it is a horrible misapprehension! This to the town, do so from religious motives, and esteem is he,' added the fear-frenzied young man, turning this promiscuous alms-giving a stringent duty. Besides fiercely upon me-- this is he who on that dreadful these, we encountered upon the unswept stairs several night led the boarders of the Scout. Speak, Linwood; women with baskets of rosaries and medals, which they deny, if you can, or dare, that it was at your hand kept importuning us to buy, that we might have them Captain Le Moine met his death; that it was you blessed at the Santa Casa; and lastly, two or three whom Auguste Le Moine denounced at Avranches'tottering old men waylaid us on the landing, and His eye suddenly encountered Miss Wilson's, and pressingly offered themselves as our ciceroni to the instantly checked in his passionate appeal to me, he shrine. But it was too late, or rather we were too cast himself at her feet, and with sobbing agony weary for any more sight-seeing that day; and as exclaimed: 'Ah, God! I am ruined-undone-lost!' soon as dinner was concluded, we were glad enough to ‘On the contrary, you are, I think, gaved,' remarked betake ourselves to repose.
the officer, “if what you say is true; and your friend
It would be folly to do so, now that'-
'Enough! enough! interrupted Lenoir. "You are THE PRIVATE ER CAPTAIN.
not compelled to criminate yourself. It is a pity, besides, that a brave lad should perish to save the life
of a wretched cur that But time presses. Fall I may not deny that with the commanding officer's in, if you please. And I advise you, Monsieur Webbe, words a great fear fell upon me, although pride to recover the use of your legs without delay. Quick Maria Wilson being present-enabled me to assume -quick! It is only ladies, be pleased to remember, an air of defiance, which no doubt favourably con- that are privileged to faint,' he added with a glance at trasted with the demeanour of my fellow-prisoners. Maria Wilson, who had swooned in Madame Dupré's Jacques Sicard's suspended breath burst forth in a arms. If you do, the remedy we shall use will be the torrent of wordy, ignoble rage, bespattering his captors, sharp point of a bayonet liberally applied. Oh, you can the court-martial, and all others directly or indirectly I walk, I see. Adieu, mesdames." March!
Thus suddenly collapsed Mr Harry Webbe's fighting North Rampart, at four o'clock precisely, it then being reputation, destroyed by himself in the very insanity a few minutes past three. of terror, since a moment's cool reflection would have "The scoffs and curses of the canaille,' said Father shewn him that if the military authorities of Havre Meudon, who walked close beside me, “are fortunately were determined to be revenged upon Webbe, the much less formidable than offensive, and I am not privateer captain-and that, I felt, must be their without hope—a faint one, I grieve to say—that their chiefly actuating motive, as well as Mr Tyler's—by the brutal wishes may yet be ba ed.' legal murder of his son, the violation of parole would 'Is my mother,' I asked, 'cognizant of the gravity of be quite sufficient excuse for such a deed. I sincerely my position ? pitied the unfortunate young man, whose timidity was, Not as yet. She believes you to be simply accused there could be no doubt, constitutional, impressed upon of the minor offence of making use of false papers. It his being by the circumstances attending his birth, will, however, be impossible to conceal long the dread and uncontrollable by any effort of his will; and now, truth from her, now that savage denunciations of the should he escape the menaced doom by court-martial, English spies and pirates are resounding on all sides. the grace and ornament of life were gone for ever. Le Capitaine Webbe,' added Father Meudon, in a voice Maria Wilson, he must have read as plainly as I did subdued to a whisper, ‘has, I hear, fled from Havre: in her look and gesture of astonishment, indignation, there is no hope of aid, therefore, from that quarter. contempt, as she freed the skirts of her dress from his But what could he have done to help us had he trembling grasp, was irrevocably lost, and what more remained ? Nothing, after all!' afflictive stroke than that could fate have in reserve The court-martial was to assemble in the Hôtel de for him!
Ville; and as Father Meudon was speaking, we turned And if lost to him, might she not be won by me in out of the Rue de Paris into the flower and vegetable the bright future which, upborne by Love's light market, where the crowd was so dense that it was wings into the airy regions of romance, and loftily with difficulty our escort hurtled slow way through it. overlooking with youthful Hope's bold, creative eyes, Suddenly, there was such extreme pressure upon us the cloudy screen of present doubts and fears, was, I that the line of march was broken in the rear of where fancied, already flushing the horizon with rising, rosiest I walked ; and the soldiers and prisoners were for a light! Assuredly I might win her; and that thought minute or two mixed up with the mob. I looked back, glowed within my heart, inflamed my blood with fire and saw a man wearing a blouse and a flapping broadfrom heaven!
brimmed black straw-hat, which completely shadowed, Some gleams of that transcendental illumination and, except to a very near observer, concealed his of mind must have been reflected upon my features, features. He had viciously assaulted Harry Webbe, for Father Meudon, who entered the prison in a state whose coat was nearly rent off his back in the struggle; of extreme agitation, whilst we were halted for a few and it was with difficulty the soldiers rescued their minutes in the fore court-yard, was struck with prisoner from the man's ferocious clutch. As I gazed, astonishment by my aspect and bearing.
the broad, shadowing hat was slightly pushed aside, *How is this?' he exclaimed : 'you look as if you and I saw that the furious assailant was no other than were going to be crowned in the Capitol, instead of Captain Kirke Webbe himself! being dragged forth to suffer a violent, untimely He had achieved his purpose of secretly thrusting a death!'
scrap of paper into his son's hand, which, when we had The strength and sincerity of the good priest's reached the Hall of Justice, Harry Webbe glanced at, apprehensions rudely dissipated the volatile fancies and then passed to me. It contained these words: which uplifted and sustained me in the region of Be bold-fearless; deny nothing-confess nothing: dream-land, and I fell at once to the hard, common- I will save you yet.' place, matter-of-fact earth again.
The caution had come too late with reference to the 'I cannot bring myself to believe, I have not been confession which Captain Webbe was chiefly anxious able to realise the possibility,' said I, 'that the to prevent liis son from making, and as for the promise members of the court-martial before which we are to shield that son from the sentence of the courtabout to appear, will dare to carry out the ferocious martial, I could not, with all my superstitious faith purpose you impute to them.'
in the privateer captain's genius for bold expedients Dare! not dare l'echoed M. Meudon. Have I not and calculated daring, place the slightest dependence explained to you over and over again that there is thereon. Force was hopelessly out of the question, no daring in the case; that the will of the general and what could the subtlest cunning devise to arrest in command is the law during a state of siege, and a doom which would be carried into effect immediately Havre has been in a legal state of siege for several after it was pronounced ? His father's positive assurweeks past, though the military régime has not been ance had, however, a vivifying influence upon Harry rigorously enforced?. A few hours' delay," added the Webbe. A faint colour stole doubtfully back to his reverend father, "might have saved you; for there is white cheeks, his drooping frame grew erect again, and now no doubt that the restored government will super his downcast eyes confronted the grim array which sede General Véray; and that too, it is expected, by was presently before us with a trembling hope, a my friend Colonel Durand. Alas! the official mandate shrinking boldness as it were. will arrive too late.'
When we were marched into the Salle, two or three The reappearance of Captain Lenoir, who had been inferior officials only were present; but the public giving a written receipt for his prisoners, was the having been, after some demur, it seemed, admitted, signal to proceed: the heavy, sullen gates were thrown the Salle was in a few minutes densely packed with open, and the next minute we were in the midst of a excited spectators. Their impatience was not irrihooting, yelling mob, all of whom, whether Bourbonist tated by delay. Cries of Silence !-silence!' by the or Bonapartist, were unanimously in favour of shooting huissiers, preceded the entrance of General Véray, or hanging the two English pirates, as they were Colonel Durand, and three officers of inferior rank, pleased to designate Harry Webbe and me. The who took their places in stern silence at a baizesoldiers effectively protected us, however, from the covered table, before which Harry Webbe, Jacques physical assaults of the crowd, and their merely verbal Sicard, and I had been ranged in line with a hedge attacks were easily borne. One paramount, well- of glittering bayonets immediately behind us. established fact, Messieurs Mob were determined we General Véray was a fine, soldierly-looking, grayshould be fully impressed with-that our execution, haired veteran; in the strong lines of whose war-andnamely, had been already settled to take place on the age moulded features not a trace of human weakness
or indecision could be seen. Colonel Durand's hand *We are nevertheless informed,' said the subaltern some face wore a kindly expression, strikingly in officer who acted secretary, after translating contrast with the iron sternness of the general's; and what Mr Tyler said—'we are nevertheless informed the other members of the court-martial did not interest that William Linwood, whilst residing in St Malo, me much, thoroughly aware as I was that the fiat of was disguised as a French peasant of the proprietary the majority is conclusive of the decision of such courts, class.' so called. I shall pass briefly over the formalities “That may be,' said Mr Tyler; 'but I repeat that observed at that mockery of a judicial trial. We, the I saw him on the very day I left St Malo in the dress prisoners, were sternly questioned, and made to con- he now wears.' vict ourselves either by positive admissions or by “Although,' persisted the secretary-although you refusals to answer, which were held to be tanta- do not believe that the prisoner, William Linwood, mount to admissions of guilt. Harry Webbe, whose was confederate with Jacques Le Gros, otherwise the frenzied fit of terror had returned upon him, could corsair Captain Webbe, it is certain that he was not, for example, deny that he had given his parole on board the Scout when temporary possession was d'honneur not to leave Havre, and that he had violated obtained of your ship, the Columbia. It is also well that pledge by escaping to Honfleur, with the intention established,' added the officer, addressing the generalof passing over to Jersey-a fact which was wrung president, that William Linwood was one of the from Sicard. Colonel Durand ventured to suggest party at La Belle Poule cabaret, on the evening of the that the prisoner was garde à vue, which greatly miti- riot and rescue of his now fellow-prisoner.' gated his offence; and that it was besides extremely "Enough-more than enough ' exclaimed General probable that he had been coerced into breaking his Véray. "The facts are too plain to require either parole by his father, the notorious Captain Webbe, comment or interpretation. Who,' he added, fiercely who, it had been ascertained, was the Baptiste spoken addressing me—who furnished you with the passport of by the gendarmes as the originator of, and chief of Adolphe, Louis Piron, by aid of which you for actor in the riot at the cabaret.
a time baffled justice ?' “That is certainly possible,' remarked General I did not answer, and Sicard was asked if he had Véray; 'but that audacious corsair not being before not furnished me with the said Adolphe, Louis Piron's us, we must deal with those that are. It was not, at passport. The reluctant reply was a hesitating admisall events,' he added, with a look and voice of thunder, sion of the fact, followed by a vehement denial that he *Webbe, father, who, a few days after a combat with either then or now suspected or believed me to be a a vessel of the imperial navy, presented himself at spy, or in any respect the enemy of France. Avranches, a garrison-town, in the character of a There were but few more questions asked, and the citizen of the United States of America.'
court were about to withdraw, not to deliberate upon Harry Webbe's wild denial of that part of the in- our guilt and doom, but to formalise their decrees, formal charge was confirmed by M. Auguste Le Moine when Father Meudon rose and requested that I might himself, who I had understood was safe in Paris. at least be allowed to give my own version of the He stepped forward, and assured the general-president motives and purposes of my visit to France. That that, if the prisoner who had broken his parole was very reasonable request was peremptorily refused. A Webbe the corsair-captain's son, he certainly was not statement which could not be verified, the general the individual whom he, Le Moine, had detected and replied, would not refute or modify well-established denounced at Avranches.
facts. “That person is, however, before the tribunal : there The members of the court-martial then retired, is the young man,' he added, pointing to me, ' by whose and a buzz of animated conversation succeeded to the hand my uncle fell, in perfectly honourable combat, I strict silence which had been imposed upon the crowded admit, and who, a few days afterwards—seduced, cor- auditory. The conclusions that had been arrived at rupted, no doubt, by the execrable English government by nine-tenths of the spectators were freely bandied ---accepted the well-paid infamy, and will, I cannot about, generally accompanied by a jest or sneer—in a doubt, ' receive from this tribunal the reward of a few instances only by an expression of pity. It was traitorous spy.'
decided that I, at all events, would be shot at the A grim assenting smile flitted over the general's breaking up of the court, and at the open space near cast-iron countenance, and an approving murmur ran the North Barrier I heard a sous-officer say, in reply through the vengeful auditory. All eyes were now to a question from an acquaintance. Opinions seemed turned from Harry Webbe upon me; and the president, to be divided with respect to the fate of Harry Webbe; honouring me with a stern, stony gaze, demanded if and Sicard was quite forgotten in the eager discussion I admitted the facts stated by M. Le Moine.
the misfortune to deprive, in accordance with the usages determination of the members of the court-martialof war, Captain Le Moine of his life; and that at a Colonel Durand excepted-to condemn me to death, banquet at Avranches, I committed the folly of per- the confident opinions I heard expressed on all sides mitting it to appear that I was an American; but I that my fate was sealed, nor the cold, trembling presdeny, with all the indignation which so dishonouring sure of Father Meudon's hands enfolding mine, whilst a charge excites in the breast of an honest man, that tears streamed down his pale face, brought home I was in France for any hostile or unworthy purpose.' to me that the strong life dancing in my veins was
You will not deny that you assumed various dis- upon the verge of extinction. The day was briglit guises in France, and passed under at least two differ- and genial; the fresh breeze, admitted through the ent names. In St Malo, you called yourself Jean wide, open windows of the Hall, brought with it the Le Gros, and were confederate with Jacques Le Gros, odour of flowers, the merry voices of market-girls, the pretendedly your uncle, and really the corsair Captain laughter of children, and in the distance, a military Webbe.'
band was playing lively melodies. The common air was Mr Tyler, whom I had not before noticed, rose in a vocal with busy, lusty life, and refused, as it were, to tribune at the right-hand upper end of the hall, and entertain the idea of death—of black, dumb death, begged to state that he did not believe I was in the and especially of death by murderous violence! No slightest degree cognizant of Webbe senior's infamous question that this was a very illogical impression of schemes; and that he, Tyler, had seen me without mine; still, I felt it strongly, and it was not sensibly any disguise in St Malo-wearing, in fact, the very weakened till the door through which the court clothes I then had on.
had passed was again flung wide upon its noiseless
hinges, and the arbiters of fate stalked slowly to their the public weal requires it, I would not suggest, even places. The look of mournful compassion with which to such a contemptible caitiff as thou art. Listen: Colonel Durand regarded me, more startlingly impressed You are definitively doomed to be shot, and that me than the stern visages of General Véray and his sentence will be carried out within, at the latest, servile subordinates; and I suddenly awoke from a vain two hours from now, unless you are willing and able dream of security to find myself upon the edge of a to ransom your life by-by- Read the condition precipice, at the bottom of which yawned a newly dug insisted upon, Lieutenant Rogier.' grave! My breath came thick and short; a dizziness “The sentence of death passed upon Harry Webbe, seized me, and for a few moments I feared that I should a British subject,' said Lieutenant Rogier, reading disgrace my name and race by a degrading, and useless from a paper, will be remitted, if the said prisoner as degrading, exhibition of womanly weakness. By a can and will enable justice to lay hold of the corsair great effort, I fortunately managed to keep up an Captain Webbe, who is known to be either in Havre appearance of unruffled, defiant composure, which or the neighbourhood.' powerfully excited the sympathy of Colonel Durand, A cry of horror arose from the auditory as the and drew from General Véray a curt expression of atrocious proposal left the lips of the military secreregret that so bold a youth had rendered himself tary, and it was some minutes before silence could be justly liable to a shameful death.
restored. As for the son, he gazed aghast, speechless, The reader will understand that all this while Harry upon his tempters with an expression which no words Webbe was prostrated with abject terror; and I men- could interpret. tion this the less reluctantly, that it throws into high •Silence!' thundered General Véray, 'or the hall relief-gives, in fact, the only moral value to the shall be forthwith cleared. The proposal you have firmness he subsequently displayed, since what in him just heard,' he continued, addressing Harry Webbe, required an almost superhuman effort, would, to a son “is dictated by a stern sense of public duty. The of ordinary nerve, have been a matter of course. corsair-captain was the concocter of the traitorous con
The command of the huissiers to keep silence was spiracies that have brought you, and what is much superfluous. The auditory held their breath that they more to be regretted, the young man at your side, to might not lose a syllable of the tragedy of real life the brink of an untimely grave. You are now offered acted before their eyes.
a chance of avoiding that death. Which, then, do you Jacques Sicard, bourgeois and bottier of St Malo, choose life or death ?' was convicted and condemned to one year's imprison You cannot mean this,' gasped young Webbe; 'you ment. This was the first judgment pronounced; and are men, not fiends in human form!' although it excited the liveliest indignation on the We are desirous of bringing a notorious malefactor convict's part, the spectators seemed to be merely to justice. You can aid us to do so; and by so doing, annoyed that it should have been permitted to delay save your own life. What, once for all, do you say?" the more exciting announcements for which they 'I cannot_dare not-will not'impatiently listened.
'Enough!'interrupted the general; 'your blood be William Linwood,' continued the military secretary upon your own head. The court is adjourned. Captain as soon as Sicard's indignant remonstrances had been Lenoir, remove your prisoners.' silenced - William Linwood, a British subject, con One moment-hear me but for one moment ! victed of having entered two garrison towns of France screamed Harry Webbe. as a spy; of being confederate, whilst there, with Do you accept the condition offered you?' sternly the notorious English corsair Webbe, and of having broke in the general. "Yes or no?' planned with him attacks upon his imperial majesty's “No-no-å thousand times no!' shouted the young allies, the United States of America ; convicted, more man with the courage and energy of despair; I will over, of having conspired with the said Webbe to die first.' enable his son, Harry Webbe, to violate his parole “The answer does you honour, and seals your doom, d'honneur-is, by a plurality of voices, condemned to said the general. Let the prisoners be removed at be shot; two hours' respite being allowed, that he once.' may avail himself, if so disposed, of the services of a 'I have a question to ask of Monsieur le Général' minister of religion.'
said Father Meudon, pressing forward to the front of A piercing, convulsive scream, which I too well the tribunal. Does he pledge his word that if the recognised, broke in upon the last phrases of the corsair-captain, Kirke Webbe, is surrendered into the infamous sentence. A sword passing through me custody of this tribunal, the life of the prisoner, Harry would not have inflicted a sharper pang, and I leant Webbe, will be spared ?' for support upon weeping Father Meudon. 'I will go 'I pledge my word of honour to that effect. The to thy mother,' he said, 'but presently return. Be corsair-captain once in our power, his son shall be comforted : thou art nearer Heaven than any here- immediately liberated.' nearer than thy cruel judges will ever be.'
'I accept that pledge,' said a man, stepping briskly Harry Webbe, British subject,' proceeded the up. “I am Kirke Webbe, the corsair-captain ?' unmoved secretary, 'convicted of having broken his parole, and of being confederate with his father, Kirke Webbe, in piratical attacks upon his imperial majesty's
FOUNDED ON FAITH. allies, the United States of America, is condemned to In the neighbourhood of Bristol there exists an instibe shot'
tution but little known to the general public, yet of Mercy! Mercy!' shrieked the poor fellow; and such a singular nature that it may fairly be classed he continued to pour forth such a torrent of wild amongst the wonders of the age. It is situated at supplication for pity, mercy,that it was some time Ashley Down, one of the most beautiful suburbs of before the general could make himself heard and the city, and is simply and unobtrusively named “The understood, to the effect that the sentence of death New Orphan Asylum.' Within its walls, 300 fatherless would be remitted upon his, Harry Webbe's acceptance children, aged from a few months upwards, are fed, and fulfilment of a precedent condition to be named by clothed, and taught. The elder girls are instructed in the court.
sewing and all domestic arts, and at a proper age are * Anything—any condition, I will accept-fulfil,' each provided with an outfit and a suitable situation; gasped the prisoner.
the boys are similarly fitted out, and apprenticed; I believe that,' said General Véray, though that and all this is done without any regular funds or which I am about to propose is one which, but that I subscribers, by a man who neither does now, nor ever