Imagens das páginas


me, angel upon earth, there may yet be mercy for me in Heaven !-But no! no! it cannot be,* continued he, after a pause, “ it cannot be! Oh for an endless night of oblivion, for mercy never, never can be for me!” With these words, dropping the rug, he again shrouded himself in darkness, and sank down on the bed, the violence of his mental agonies being manifested to all around by his deep and repeated groans.

Miss Malcolm advanced towards the pallet, and hung over it like an angel of peace. words dictated by the purest religious faith, she endeavoured to pour the balm of consolation upon his guilty and tormented soul; and her kindness, as well as her eloquence, seemed to operate powerfully upon him. He wept plentifully, and the big tears chased one another rapidly down his weather-beaten cheeks. They were like the refreshing rain drops to an arid soil, where good seeds had long lain dormant, until its quiescent energies were put in action by the fertilizing fluid. Ten thousand painful, but beneficial emotions were awakened in his bosom. He sobbed audibly, and sitting up in his bed, he continued to wring his hands without uttering a word, but

with a countenance completely subdued from its former fierceness, and that sufficiently indicated his internal sufferings.

Shocked by his agony, but, at the same time, gratified with the change that seemed to have been produced upon his mind, where contrition had manifestly begun to operate, Miss Malcolm promised to send some pious clergyman to converse with him, which afforded him inexpressible comfort. Meanwhile, she endeavoured to soothe his distracted mind with all the consolation she could urge, exhorting him to endeavour to prepare himself for the reception of those divine truths which God's minister should unfold to him. The miserable man listened with eager attention, and with his eyes fixed upon her as if he would have drank up her words.

Suddenly, however, they wandered beyond her as if to some object in the door-way, and all their former wildness was restored to them.

“ What do I see ? Can it be real ? or do the phantoms of the past night return to torment me? Come then,” continued he, as if assailed by sudden frenzy;

come you, too, and be revenged. There is enough here to glut the vengeance of

you all!-To you I have been ruin. You were young and innocent as the lamb of a month old. I fondled you as a child, and you loved me. You became a woman, and I stole your unsus pecting heart, nay robbed you, and your poor mother of yourself, soul as well as body. Yet still you grew to me," added he, in a less violent tone ; you sighed often, but you blamed me not, and climate, and storms, and hardships, and dangers, were set at nought in the ardour of your affection; and though amidst the bustling scenes of my daring trade, I often treated you harshly, yet I have loved you, and love you still as truly as ever sailor loved !"

Miss Malcolm had turned round at the beginning of this abrupt address, and on looking to wards the door, she beheld the poor girl for whom she had procured admission into the prison, standing with her head thrust within the doorway of the cell, as if afraid to venture further. Her countenance was working with a combination of emotions, as Brandywyn continued speaking. Throwing the door wide open, she attempted to rush towards the miserable couch, but ere she had reached the middle of the cell, her feet tota

tered, and she fainted away in the arms of some of the people of the prison, who only reached her in time to prevent her receiving a dreadful fall on the pavement. She was speedily conveyed to a bench in the wall, the only seat the cell afforded, where Miss Malcolm did all she could to restore her, and she soon began to recover.

The wounded man was so violently agitated by the suddenness of her indisposition, that he endeavoured to spring from his pallet to her assistance; but his strength being gone, the effort was vain, and he sank back into his straw.

The Mayor already beginning to think the scene far too much for Miss Malcolm, urged her departure, and as she now saw she could be of little further use, she left the prison, recommending Brandywyn and the unfortunate girl to the care of those iron hearts generally found within these iron gratings, whose base and stubborn metal she en deavoured to soften by the application of gold


I will clear their senses dark
What may suffice, and soften stony hearts
To pray, repent,


Shall I again, a renovated soul,
Into the blessed family of the good
Admittance have? Think'st thou that this may be ?
Speak if thou canst : 0 speak me comfort here!
For dreadul fancies, like an armed host,
Have pushed me to despair. It is most horrible-
O speak of hope ! if any hope there be.

Miss BAILLIE's Dc Montfort.

It was heavenly charity that led Miss Malcolm to the prison, and she nobly fulfilled its dictates. As the Mayor attended her home, she besought him to do every thing for the prisoner that circumstances would allow, and she put into his hands a sum of money to be employed for that purpose. She left it with him to select one of the ablest members of the church, to visit Brandy wyn,

« AnteriorContinuar »