Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

conducts the observations in Scotland, Sir James Ross that it is about time the metropolis should be shamed in England, and Rev. Dr Lloyd in Ireland; names into doing something to remove the reproach from the which are a sufficient guarantee that the work will be Thames. well done. When done, there will be valuable data at Among proceedings in geology, we find something hand for Professor Hansteen of Christiania, who, as interesting in the researches of Baron de Beust, chief our readers are aware, has been for some time engaged director of the mining department in Saxony, who has on a theory of terrestrial magnetism derived from been led to the conclusion that minerals are diffused actual observation. About a year ago, he wrote to throughout his native country, and Europe generally, the Astronomer Royal, stating that the dip, as recorded according to certain simple laws. He shews that the at Greenwich, was much more in amount than, accord- porphyry veins of Saxony run in lines corresponding ing to theory, it ought to be. The Greenwich dipping to the direction of the mountain-ranges ; and wherever needle was thereupon examined, and found to be porphyry is found, it is an indication of the presence extremely defective, depriving observations made with of useful minerals. Taking Europe at large, he finds it of their value. It was at once rectified, with the three principal metalliferous zones; the first, comeffect of shewing the dip to be the same as inferred mencing in Bessarabia, runs through Hungary, Saxony, by Professor Hansteen. The publication by General the Hartz, and across the Channel, to the lead-districts Sabine of his third volume of Toronto Observations is of Derbyshire and Cumberland; the second begins opportune, as it contains a comprehensive review of near Lisbon, and ends in Transylvania ; the third, all the phenomena of terrestrial magnetism.

400 miles in width, begins in the north-west of Spain, Specimens of sheet-iron have been laid before the traverses the continent to Brittany, from thence to Franklin Institute at Philadelphia, described as "gum the smaller Channel Islands, touches South Belgium, elastic coated and impregnated iron,' which is said to and intersects the first zone. The tin of Saxony lies be better for roofing purposes than any other kind in the same line, as produced on the map, and runs hitherto invented. No galvanic action takes place from north-west Spain to Limoges; and a line drawn between the iron and the coating; hence disturbing through the quicksilver deposits of Spain and Tuscany, influences of that kind are avoided. Sir Benjamin if lengthened, will pass through Idria, and end in the Hall has confessed before the House of Commons that veins of mercurial gray copper in Upper Hungary' the galvanised iron roof of the great Westminster Instructive facts these for mineralogists! EndeaPalace is beginning to shew signs of rust. It might vours have already been made to turn them to account. be worth inquiring whether the gum elastic coating Mines long neglected in Bohemia are to be reworked, and impregnation wou | afford the desired protection. for, with improved knowledge, geologists believe them -We hear that the iron trade is so good in Wales, to contain much undiscovered mineral wealth. That that new furnaces are being built at Dowlais, by which certain deposits take certain lines through the earth, the manufacture will be doubled, hundreds of tons has been for some time known. Haidinger shewed in of bars rolled every week, and additional employment | 1849, that whenever boracic acid is found either free afforded.

or combined with the rock, all the places lie on a line Many a visitor has gone down to the Isle of Dogs running north and south—from the Lipari Isles to to look at the Great Eastern, without at the same Arendal in Norway. From the latter place, a branch time noticing thirty "hopper barges, built of iron, shoots off to the west, and terminates in Salisbury for dredging the Danube, in accordance with the Crag, Edinburgh. Other lines, which have been terms of the treaty recently made with discomfited partially traced, favour the belief that extraordinary Russia. They are constructed with trap-doors in the mineral deposits will one day be discovered in the bottom, for the discharge in deep water of the sand Caucasus. It is a remarkable instance of commercial and gravel raised from the shoals. And this reminds enterprise, that auriferous quartz is now brought from us that the Netherlands Land Company have just Virginia to Frodsham, in Cheshire, where it is calcined reclaimed seventeen hundred acres of land, which with and crushed, and the gold is extracted at a profit, even the former reclamation makes a total of nearly three should the yield be not more than an ounce and a half thousand. Their operations are carried on in the of gold to the ton of quartz. shallow channel which separates South Beveland from In Paris, two ingenious Frenchmen have made a the mainland in the estuary of the Scheldt. And successful attempt to improve water-lenses. They have there is talk of reclamation at the mouth of the overcome the difficulties which have hitherto caused Mersey, as may be seen in a Report just published by failure, and produce lenses, as we are told, which Mr George Rennie, the engineer. The project is, to have the purity and perfection, nearly, without the build a break water out from Rock Point, on the cost of lenses of solid glass.' This success is likely to Cheshire shore, across the shoals to a distance of three prove beneficial in more ways than one; for a watermiles, the end to finis with a light-house. By the lens properly illuminated will send its light to a protection of this breakwater, it is estimated that distance of ten or twelve miles—the very thing, as from 30,000 to 40,000 acres of land will be won from it would seem, for railway signals, and for ships

Then, on the Lancashire side, a sea-wall is navigating the Channel. to be built of the same length, and behind that there A desideratum long sought for has now been will be a saving of 2000 acres : hence the value of achieved that is, a means of perfectly cleaning the land is no unimportant item in calculating the articles of silver without injury to the metal. It is result. The form of the wall and of the breakwater the discovery of Professor Böttger, a German. Take will be such as to make a trumpet-mouth to the river, a glass or glazed vessel sufficiently large for the whereby the navigation will be greatly facilitated, and purpose; fill it with a strong solution of borax or of ample protection will be given to the North Docks at caustic potaslı; drop into it an inner vessel made of Liverpool

, which now are scarcely accessible in blowing zinc, and pierced with holes as a sieve. Then take weather. And besides, wrecks will be prevented, and your silver, plunge it into the liquid, moving it up the cost of steam-tugs saved, which is also no unim- and down, being careful that at each plunge it comes portant item in a port entered every year by 40,000 into contact with the zinc. The effect is magical; for ships, amounting in gross burden to 4,000,000 tons. under the combined action of the solution and of What has been done, and is still being done at Port- the electricity evolved by the contact of the two land and Holyhead, 'shews how easy it is to build a metals, the silver loses all its dirt and discolorations, breakwater far out to sea; and we should like to and becomes as bright as when first manufactured. see the project carried out. Liverpool so completely Should it not be convenient to use the inner vessel of outshines London in all that belongs to her river, 1 zinc, the cleansing may be accomplished by sinking

the sea.

the silver in the solution, and stirring it about with a of boric acid and 80 of aluminum are exposed, during five small rod of zinc. It is essential to success that the hours, to a violent fire in a black crucible coated with two metals touch each other frequently.

charcoal-powder. The mass is then left to cool; and on breaking the crucible, two distinct strata come to view

-one consisting of vitrified boric acid, or boracic acid ADVICE TO YOUNG WORKING-MEN.

containing some alumina; and the other of aluminum Join a benefit club; you will not miss the periodical contri- | in a metallic state, mixed up with crystals of boron. To bution yon have to pay. Do not defer doing so because you separate the latter, this metallic mass is treated with boilare healthy now; there is no knowing how soon disease maying caustic soda, to dissolve the metal; then with boiling prostrate your energy and strength. Never join a club the hydrochloric acid, to carry off the iron which may have sole recommendation of which is the smallness of its contri- been separated from the plumbago of the crucible; and, butions. Avoid a club held at a public-house ; you will find lastly, with a mixture of nitric and hydrofluoric acid, to disit cheaper in the end. Have nothing to do with a society solve the silicium left by the soda. “After this, the boron the contributions of which are all alike. The existence of is obtained pure in three varieties of crystals-namely, 1. such societies depends on the introduction of young and Black and opaque laminæ, which will cut diamond, though healthy members. See that the society is properly not so well as diamond-powder: 2. Long prismatic crystals, enrolled, and the affairs conducted by a committee of perfectly transparent, and as brilliant as diamonds, but business-like and sober men. Do not throw yourself upon not so hard as the former variety; if without flaws, they the funds every time you cut your finger, or wish for a might be used for jewellery: 3. Very minute but distinci week's holiday. Do not be content with providing against crystals of a red chocolate colour, and quite as hard as sickness alone; but provide a sufficient sum to be payable diamond. They may be used as diamond-powder, and at your death, so that the wife you cherish may not have give a fine polish.—Galignani's Messenger. to find a home by marrying again when you are dead, or your children become chargeable to the parish, or dependent on the bounty of friends, simply because in life you have ON RECEIVING A BASKET OF VIOLETS cared more for your own little comforts than for their

IN WAX. future welfare. Do this, and when the last hour comes,

WHERE, oh where do the violets dwell? and you have to wrestle with the angel of death, the pang Sweet April breeze, I pray thee, tell! will be lessened by the knowledge that those you have Thou hast wandered far over vale and glen, loved and are leaving are provided for by your own fore Ere thou hast entered the haunts of men; thought; and the memory of your kindness and your love

Thou hast breathed on the wealth of the spring's will continue as green as the grass which waves above

young green, your pallid head.Benefit and Sick Clubs: their Ruingus

Through sunlit valleys thy path has been, Condition and Causes of Failure. By Charles Hamilton,

Through copses where last year's leaves lie still, Sheffield.

Where the brambles dip in the wandering rill, THE LATEST NEW THING.

O'er wide green meadows, o'er bleak hillsideA spider-tank is the last novelty, and likely to be the

Tell me, sweet breeze, where do violets hide ? most popular one introduced. It should be furnished with Down some quiet glen where the moss is deep; a perforated glazed top, and be not less than ten or twelve

At a gray rock's foot where the lichens creep; inches high, formed upon a square base of some six or Under branches gemmed with the morning dew;, more inches. The one we have, says a correspondent of a In a bower of leaves which the sun glints through; contemporary, contains three dozen spiders, acting, like a 'Mong the thick gnarled roots of an old oak-tree, body of ants, or like a hive of bees, under a chosen ruler, Unvisited save by some wandering bee; and the arrangement of the nest and the formation of the

'Mid the deep wood-silence, unbroken all day, web have been the work of the most perfect subdivision Save by babbling brook or rustling spray; of labour, cach individual spider performing its allotted Like a gem in the shade of its deep leaves set, task, without interfering with that of its neiglıbour. The

You may find the coy sweet violet! Argyroneta Aquatica, the diving water-spider, when isolated froin its companions, builds a cup-like nest close to the

Alas, for me! I may not go top of the water, and the membrane which surrounds the Where the wild fern bends to the waters' flow, body being transparent, when inflated with air, assumes

Chained are the steps that would gladly roam the appearance of a glittering metallic substance. So In the track of the breeze to the violet's home. charged, the spider descends to the bottom in search of

I dwell ʼmid the tide of eddying life; prey, but frequently is itself devoured by fish before it The very air with its sound is rife! reaches its destination. To guard against this, nature has

I may not leave these streets and walls taught it that unity is strength, and when acting together

For lone wood-dells and water-falls; in a body, the web is so strong, and of such dimensions, So deep in its own sweet verd'rous gloom, that fish themselves are entrapped, and become food for Unseen by me, must the violet bloom ! the colony. The immense activity of the spider, con

Yet have I violets! See my prize! tinually ascending and descending, glittering and bright in its airy dress, makes it one of the most amusing additions

Purple and white, with their golden eyes!

Violets vying with Nature's best, to the vivarium, and the spider-tank guards it from the

Tenderly set in a mossy nest! danger to which it is subject if placed within the general

Better in this, that these dainty flowers aquariun.--Newspaper paragraph.

Fade not away with the fleeting hours ;
A NEW KIND OF DIAMOND.

But their beauty will last with the fancies they raise, That diamond is nothing but the substance of charcoal,

Through rain, and tempest, and wintry days. or carbon in a crystallised state, is a fact pretty generally

Then thanks, warm thanks, to the skilful hand, known; but that there is another elementary substance,

And tenfold thanks to the heart that planned called boron, which bears a strong analogy to carbon, is

This graceful gift! So these flowers shall be

Ever a source of sweet thoughts to me, less so, perhaps, because boron has hitherto been obtained in such small quantities, that it is still a curiosity even in

And thongh storms blow wildly, and skies are drear, the laboratory of the chemist. MM. Woller and Deville

Shall bring dreams of spring-time through all the have lately made most interesting experiments upon this

year! body, from which it appears that it can exist in three states, exactly corresponding to those of carbon-namely, Printed and Published by W. and R. CHAMBERS, 47 Patreo the amorphous, the graphitic, and the crystallised state. In order to obtain the latter, 100 grammes (3; ounces)

sold by William ROBERTSON, 25 Upper Sackville Street, Dublin, and all Booksellers.

F. S. H.

[graphic]

Science and Irts.

CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS.

No. 187.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 1, 1857.

PRICE 11d.

CHAPTER I.

not in the Isle of Wight, whither she removed some KIRKE WEBBE,

twelve months previously to the departure of my THE PRIVATEER CAPTAIN.

father and mother for the United States of America, in 1804, a destination they never reached ; the vessel

in which they sailed having been captured in the I AM about to transcribe an episode in my youthful Channel by a French letter of marque, and carried experience, which, though comparatively brief, if into the port of Havre de Grace, in or near which measured by time only, has so impressed and shaped commercial capital of maritime Normandy my parents my life—now past its sixth decade—that it stands had since been detained as prisoners of war, on parole. out in the light of memory as a towering mind-mark, This was pretty nearly all of our family history that to which all subsequent events appear subordinate, my inexorable grandame had decided, in her perempand to chiefly owe their form and colour, their shadows tory have done-talking-of-it sort of way, should be and their sunshine.

confided to me till I attained my legal majority; or In that episode, Kirke Webbe, captain of the Scout the advent of peace permitted my parents to continue privateer, was a prominent actor, and his character their voyage to America, and me to join them there, and history, as developed by the scenes in which I a return to England not being, it would seem, contemhappened to be associated with him, possess, I think, plated as a possible eventuality. an interest and value-especially now, when the Meagre as was this information upon matters of species' to which he belonged may be said to be such paramount interest for a son, I should have been extinct-apart from his influence upon my own indi. happier, less irritable, captious, when the subject was vidual fortunes. If, however, the ordinary sketches incidentally alluded to, had not certain fragmentary of his class which one meets with are to be deemed images or impressions looming through the mists of authentic portraitures, Captain Webbe, who was memory, suggested an affrighting solution; the more neither a vulgar ruffian nor a melodramatic hero, affrighting because vague, dark, undefined—of the cannot be presented to the reader as an average mystery before which the kindest hands in the world specimen of the privateer. He boasted of having had drawn, and persisted in keeping drawn, an been a scholar of Christ's Hospital; was certainly impervious veil. well read in English literature; and his seamanship I remembered that, in the far-off time, I had been the he acquired by six years' service in the royal navy petted favourite of a tall, portly gentleman, living in as midshipman. Further than this, those of his deeds a fine house; that I had frequently ridden with him to which I am about in these pages to bear witness in a glittering carriage, drawn by prancing horses, must speak for him; though, if proof of their verity and usually accompanied by my mother, whose pale, be required, I can only refer to the internal evidence pensive face, and soft, low, tearful voice, seemed ever supplied by the narrative itself: if that suffice not, I as vividly present to me as on the night I was have no other to offer, as I do not choose to publish awakened to receive her farewell blessing previous to my own real name.

her departure with my father for America. The tall All that I positively knew of myself, of my ante- portly gentleman was, I knew, my mother's father, and cedents and belongings up to the second week in for a time we were his only companions ; but after February 1814, may be shortly set forth. My name, a while, another lady and another child dwelt in the we will say, was William Linwood. I was unquestion- fine house, and rode in the glittering carriage with ably a strapping fellow of my age—then a trifle over us; and I was finally carried off by Dame Linwood twenty years; and not absolutely frightful in features, to her comparatively humble abode in South Wales, or it could scarcely be an article of faith with me that and never, that I could remember, had I seen the tall, Isle of Wight lasses, especially in and near Ryde, portly gentleman again. were, and doubtless still are, unless the presence of My mother came frequently to Llanberris, someall-shadowing royalty has frozen the genial current times, not often, accompanied by her husband, whose of their souls, some of the sweetest-tempered damsels image dwelt faintly in my memory. On one occasion, in creation. For the last ten or eleven of those twenty and the last time I saw him, he came alone. Evening years, I had been domiciled at Oak Villa, near Ryde, was falling when he arrived, and I, then about six on the road to Newport, with my grandmother, Mrs years old, was hurried to bed, but not so hastily as Margaret Linwood, one of the oddest, worthiest, and to prevent me noticing that he was strangely flurried, most absolute of womankind. My earlier years had and that a few whispered words communicated his also been chiefly passed with Mrs Linwood, though | agitation to my grandmamma. His face, too, was

deathly pale, and, as I felt when he kissed me, cold for many years invested upon an average L.800 as stone, like his hands.

annually : she would have grudged nothing to her only Nancy Dow, my grandmother's confidential servant, son. No; they were not the agents of a grasping looked as scared as they; and as she undressed, put home in unscrupulous pursuit of their quarry!

creditor, that had broken into our peaceful Welsh me to bed, and kept guard over me, poured forth a

He must, then, have been seized by officers of torrent of talk, to drown, if possible, the sounds of criminal justice. Yet had Mrs Linwood, when veheweeping and lamentation, fitfully surging up from mently pressed by me to give some slight explanbelow.

ation of the occurrences of that memorable evening, She succeeded to a certain extent for a while; but declared that my father had never been arraigned for ere yet-spite of her repeated entreaties that I would, any offence whatever; and she was incapable of falselike the good boy that I was, go to sleep—the slightest hood. Never arraigned for any offence! Those were

The offence had perhaps been feeling of drowsiness had come over me, a loud, fierce her guarded words. knocking at the front door startled her into silence, then, or such a course would have been

impossible.

compromised-hushed up. Not a very serious one, as it did my relatives below, for the house was hush

No serious offence ! A rotten cable that to hold by. as death when the knocking ceased for a few moments, Dame Linwood's inexorable silence--the expatriation to be again and again renewed with increasing violence. of both my parents—the careful avoidance of any Rude voices, too, made themselves heard from without, allusion to Mr Waller and his second wife, extinguished imperiously demanding admittance; and presently that hope as soon as it was formed. there was a crash of glass, as if the window had been

An incident which occurred about six months prebroken through, followed by an explosion of discordant vious to the before-mentioned second week in February cries and exclamations. Nancy Dow flew down stairs, 1814, threw a ghastly light over the mystery.

It was my father's birthday, and I was sitting with and I, not daring to get up, lay sobbing with terror, Mrs Margaret Linwood in the miniature drawing-room till the gradual subsidence of the incomprehensible of Oak Villa, of which the French windows opened tumult permitted slumber to weigh down my aching upon our finely cultivated pleasure-garden, and beyond eyelids, and I sank into the dreamless sleep of child-commanded a splendid view of the silvery Solent. It hood.

was a cloudless antumnal evening; and the faint seaI was early awakened by poor Nancy, who had breeze, which barely sufficed to dilate the white sails evidently not taken her clothes off, and whose very of the numerous sailing-craft afloat upon the glancing decided features were swollen by weeping into exag, with the rich perfume of flowers, to a fragrant caressing

waters, was subdued by the time it reached us, laden gerated unloveliness. She told me that my father and sigh, in unison with the serene--and to us, absorbed by grandmamma were gone to London, and would not, the painful thoughts suggested by that particular day perhaps, return for some little time; and I was of the year-solemn silence that reigned around. My emphatically cautioned not to speak of what had venerable relative, to whom those anniversaries were occurred the previous evening to the outdoor servants bitterly afflictive, seeming to tear open afresh the and helpers, when they came to their work-Mrs hidden wound that was slowly, but surely eating her Linwood managed, and successfully, a very large life away, was more than usually sad and thoughtful

, dairy-farm of her own-nor express surprise at my between us.

and for the last half-hour or so, not a word had passed relative's absence.

She was sitting with her back towards me, according The memories of children, however precocious, and to her wont, when unwilling that I should observe the mine was remarkably so, rarely take note of periods emotions that swept over the tablet of her face, which of time; and I could not say how long-reckoned by was, however, clearly revealed to me in a tall mirror days and weeks—Mrs Linwood, as I call her from opposite ; and swift tears, I saw, were trickling through habit—she having always greatly disliked to be 'grand- her thin white fingers. mothered'-remained absent; but measured by my late, uppermost in my thoughts.

Gently I ventured to approach the subject ever, of pining inquietude, a long, long interval of dreary time elapsed before she returned. And then how changed, at the house in Cavendish Square ?' said I, my gaze

My grandfather, Waller, still resides, I presume, even to my childish appreciation! It seemed that a the while intently fixed upon the mirror. There was sudden, untimely frost had frozen over the genial a slight start, and the partially concealing hand was current of her nature. True, it still flowed with as half withdrawn from the face. The emotion was but kindly and generous a warmth as ever beneath the momentary. cold, stern surface; but she had, as it were, placed a "Your grandfather, Waller, still resides at the house barrier of ice between herself and a world in which in Cavendish Square,' was the quiet reply: she had no longer faith or hope.

“With his second wife, Mrs Waller, of course ?' What could have been the nature of the calamity "With Mrs Waller, his second wife, of course. that had so suddenly darkened good Mrs Linwood's Captain Webbe met them, not long ago, in one of the clear noon of life?--for though a grandmother, she parks.' was considerably on the sunny side of fifty-was the 'Strange, was it not, that, having a grown-up question which, as the years grew on, and threw the daughter of his own, Mr Waller should have married light of their experience back on the scene enacted at again ?' Llanberris Farm on the evening of my father's last ‘Not strange at all. He was not more than five or visit, incessantly pursued and harassed me.

six and forty years of age ; and Mrs Hamblin was a I could not doubt that he had upon that occasion widow, not far off, I should think, of thirty, though been subjected to legal arrest-for debt, mayhap! | Time had dealt so gently with her, that she looked Strive as I might, it was impossible to hold to that nothing like so old. A singularly beautiful woman,' precious suggestion. Many circumstances concurred added Mrs Linwood with a sigh, 'and beautiful in to convince me that pecuniary difficulties had not been mind as person. The marriage was in all respects an felt in our family. My father, who had never been in unexceptionable one.' business, was neither a gambler nor a spendthrift. Mr "You once shewed me her portrait: the expression, Waller, the portly gentleman of my childhood, was it struck me, was a peculiar one-sweet, but very sad. very wealthy; and Mrs Linwood herself had, I knew, That, however, might be only fancy.'

And my

“True-a boy's fancy.'

the facts disclosed by Louise Féron during the tumult "And the beautiful child, I so well remember, and agitation consequent upon the discovery of the dreadwhat— Good Heaven, what have I said—done?' ful crime-facts not the less morally conclusive that they

Lightning seemed with my words to have smitten were not declared, and have not since been confirmed my venerable relative. A sharp cry of anguish upon oath. Mrs Waller, the bereaved mother, is, we are escaped her, and her face, no longer masked by her rejoiced to hear, recovering from the effects of the attack hands, which tightly grasped her bosom, was convulsed of brain fever, which it was at one time feared would have with horror.

resulted in confirmed insanity.' I leaped to my feet in terrible dismay; but before,

A vertigo seized me as I read; the dreadful lines in my confusion and affright, I could think of what swam, flashed as if written with fire, before my should be done, or summon others to do it, strong; shrinking, blinded eyes. I had barely strength to willed Mrs Linwood had, by a supreme effort, mastered close the terrible volume, stagger towards and ring her betraying outward self.

the bell, and then dizzy, sick-sick, as if unto death, Sit down!' she exclaimed with peremptory stern- I fell senseless on the floor. ness. It was a passing spasm-nothing more. I

Upon recovering consciousness, I found myself lying must consult Mr Beale, for these attacks grow in upon a couch near an open window, and sedulously frequency and violence of late. You may fetch me a ministered to by the landlady of the Blue Posts and glass of wine from the dining-room.' •You were speaking, William,' said Mrs Linwood, and sickness had passed away, and, thanking them for

one of her sympathising handmaidens. The vertigo as she replaced the emptied glass upon the table, and their kindness, I asked to be left to myself—a request with her face still carefully averted from me'you which, after I had given proof of the repossession of were speaking, William, of—of Lucy Hamblin-Mrs my faculties by swallowing the greatest part of a Waller's beautiful little girl. She died young-early glass of spirits and water, was complied with. in her fourth year.'

Well, I had thoroughly succeeded in plucking out Ha!'

the heart of the mystery! I knew now, as well as “Yes: the sweet child was-was drowned in the Dame Linwood herself, that my father was adjudged Thames, near Gravesend.'

by public opinion to be a cruel murderer! Accursed * Drowned! By accident?'

knowledge ! compared with which the carking anxiety * There are various opinions ; I have mine-a decided I had previously suffered was happiness—felicity! By one, but, unsustained by legal evidence, worthless of public opinion so condemned! True; but assuredly, course. And now, my dear boy, go and send Nancy also--and the blessed thought flashed like sunlight to me: I do not feel quite well.'

upon my troubled soul-assuredly justly judging, This, as I believed, partial unveiling of the terrible clear-headed Mrs Linwood did not believe him secret, rendered further suspense insupportable. My guilty! O no!-a thousand times no! life was embittered, poisoned by it; and I passionately own mother, the pure light of whose mild eyes sank entreated to know the worst. Mrs Linwood was deaf so deep into my child's heart, that it still glowed as iron, unyielding as adamant to my supplications; there in undimmed, perennial brightness-she-I and I was still

, at the beginning of 1814, moodily eagerly recalling to mind passages of her letters that meditating the probable motives for her obduracy, I had been permitted to read-she, I knew, felt for chewing, as usual, the cud of dark and bitter fancies- her husband not love, compassion only, but respect, when my listless glance was arrested by an advertise- esteem, reverence. ment in the Hampshire Telegraph newspaper, stating Of what weight was rashly formed public opinion that Mr Harrison of Portsmouth, the printer of that opposed to such testimonies ? Not the slightest-of journal, had a complete file of the London Times from not a feather's weight; and, passing with boyishi 1798 to 1802, to dispose of. Might I not, it instantly impetuosity from despair to exultation, I laughed, flashed across my mind-might I not find in the shouted, wept with the inexpressible joy springing columns of that paper all that I longed to discover ? from a devout, unshakable conviction of my perseI knew in what year, and at about what period in that cuted, maligned father's innocence! year, my father's arrest had taken place. How was it Innocence which it would be my duty, my high that so obvious an expedient for ending the doubts and privilege to vindicate in the face of day before a fears by which I was beset had not occurred to me misjudging world. I would hunt up the woman before ? At all events, it should not be neglected now; Féron — trace the atrocious calumny to its vile and an hour had not passed when I took boat at the source! Success I could not doubt of, for I had faith old Ryde pier for Portsmouth.

in God and my own courage. But enough of these The bargain with Mr Harrison was readily struck; ebullitions of an undisciplined, puerile enthusiasm and the coarsely bound broadsheets having been con an enthusiasm with which I was shocked to find Dame veyed to the Blue Posts Inn, I was speedily glancing Linwood could not be persuaded to in the slightest through the leaves with feverish impatience. The degree participate. The discovery I had made through file was, I found, far from perfect; many numbers the newspaper pained, annoyed her, and she would add were missing of the most promising dates; and I was nothing to the information which I had, according to half inclined-partly from despair, partly from dread her, surreptitiously obtained. She knew nothing, could of finding what I sought-to give up the search, when guess nothing of the whereabout of the Frenchwoman my eye lit upon the following paragraph:

Louise Féron; and any stir in the unhappy business THE GRAVESEND TRAGEDY.—Mr William Linwood, by a rash, inexperienced boy could, she was quite satiswho has been so long in custody, charged with the murder, fied, lead to no useful result. Her son's vindication by drowning, of the child Lucy Hamblin, was yesterday would, she nothing doubted, be brought about in God's set at liberty, with the consent of the law-officers of the own good time; and for that time she, I, all of us crown, who have most reluctantly arrived at the conclusion, must humbly wait. that in the absence of Mademoiselle Féron, who can The worthy dame's obstinate fatalism, as I deemed it, nowhere be found or heard of, there is no legal evidence made me terribly wroth ; but all the indignation and to warrant his detention. No moral doubt appears to be eloquence in the world would have been utterly thrown entertained by those who have investigated the circum- away upon her, but for an occurrence which startled stances, of Linwood's guilt; yet it is right to add, that her into a belief that the good time she prayed the accused himself asserts his perfect innocence with an and waited for might be near at hand. That occurearnestness which, combined with his previous excellent rence, launching me into a sea of perils, the shadows character, might weigh considerably in his favour, but for | whereof, ever so faintly cast before, would, for all my

« AnteriorContinuar »