Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

and it would tell how that pale cheek was once wont to flush with hope and pride—it would tell what sighs had burst from that breast in which despondency has crushed enthusiasm—what unseen tears have fallen from those eyes, now lustrous with the light of the tomb. Silently we withdraw; and, giving a passing glance into the adjoining room, we see poverty and sickness draining the life-blood of those dearest to him on earth, thus completing an amount of suffering which may perhaps, ere long, be terminated by the poison-cup or pistol. Oh, fatal gift! who would covet thee at such a fearful price?

6 One breast laid open, were a school

Which would unteach mankind the wish to shine or rule." Does

any utilitarian put the favourite question, “ Cui bono,” to the efforts of genius? Does he ask in his heart, what business such a man has in this world ? Doubtless there are moments when, in bitterness of spirit, the man of genius asks himself the same question ; when high thoughts are contending with paltry necessities ; when, with ill-concealed disgust, he distinguishes the cringing homages which follow the track of men's doltish idol-wealth; when, feeling himself to be compounded of contradictions in all things relative to his well-being, he asks himself—" To what end was such a one created ? ' We will answer the question for him. He was created to work up and spread the leaven of Mind through the lumpish mass of human clay-to reveal man to himself in the faithful mirror of his own brilliant thoughts—to open a channel for pent-up woe, breaking up its stubborn hold, and drawing it forth with melodious murmurings to the relief of the overcharged breast-to touch with softening finger the harsh features of relentless sorrow, throwing a heavenly light over the heart's wintry landscape, like to the sunbeams breaking through the dark masses in the stormy west—to water with refreshing streams the scorched verdure of the soul, that haply one green spot might escape the desolation of the spoiler-to knit spirit to spirit with a bond electrical and indissoluble, and to bequeath to his native land a ray of that glory which exalts her amongst nations. If men truly estimated the worth of such minds, and were aware how much they are indebted to them, would they allow the man of genius to struggle unassisted through trials he is ill-adapted to encounter ? Would they permit his heart to sink for lack of kindness, sympathy, and encouragement, which would cost them but little, but which

66

would be deeply appreciated by him ? Would they suffer the dark clouds of anxious care and threatening want to shut out the light of joy and hope from his morning sky? No! instead of placing a pillar of stone over his grief-worn remains, resting in that dreamless sleep long coveted as his only refuge, they would have placed on his barren table the essentials of existence ; instead of gratifying their sight-seeing propensities with the view of apartments in which inspiration and suffering had long dwelt together unnoticed and unknown, they would have clothed their desolate walls with comforts which would have brightened the dim eyes of their cheerless inmates, ere death had sealed them for ever! Not that we object to the veneration and honour which posterity justly pays to the memory of the great: far from it; but we say,

Do the one and leave not the other undone ; revere the mighty dead, but remember the suffering living ! “The heart knows its own bitterness,” and its chiefest sorrow is too often incommunicable. Let us be more solicitous to lessen those trials and soothe those griefs which will yield to humanity's touch, and to remove, if it be only a single thorn, from the painful path of those who give us such rich and lasting treasures. Honour be to them! May they

“ reach their native kindred skies,
And sing their pleasures, hopes, and joys,

In some mild sphere ;
Still closer knit in friendship's ties
Each passing year."

A. J.

YOUNG WATSON; OR, THE RIOTS OF 1816.

IN FOUR PARTS.-PART III.

AFTER congratulating Young Watson on his safe arrival, a consultation was held as to the best means of carrying out their plans for his safety and security. With a large family, and in a small house, Mr. Holl conceived positive concealment to be impossible. His eldest son, a youth in his eighteenth year, was

taken into their confidence, as his suspicions, and perhaps imprudent observations, might otherwise have hazarded the safety of their charge. He would not have been so easily blinded, as ta the real character of Young Watson, as the younger members of the family. It was also suggested that Watson should pass by another name, and be received into the house as a young man who came as a pupil to Mr. Holl to study engraving. This proposal was readily accepted. But another, and more difficult one remained.

Mr. Holl had at the time two persons in his employ, Mr. Roffe and Mr. Brilly. They had been boys and fellow pupils together. He had the fullest confidence in their honour and integrity, and no consideration, he felt assured, would induce them to a breach of trust. He would have placed his own life in their hands ; Young Watson must do the same; since, being all day, and part of the evening in the house, it would have been impossible to have kept Young

Watson out of their sight, or knowledge : the particulars of his description would at once have led to that. The notion of the young man passing for Mr. Holl's pupil, was apt, and likely to succeed, but how to keep that pupil shut up in a room, in secrecy and seclusion, when the study was his proper place, was the natural question forced upon their minds. Their present position was attended with too much danger to hazard speculation as to who, or what this young man might be, and Mr. Holl proposed that both Roffe and Brilly should be confided in, or, that refused, Young Watson had better at once remove to where such speculation was not rendered necessary, as he felt it impossible to receive him into his family without the knowledge of these two gentlemen ; their suspicion, as to who he might be, would otherwise lead to the ruin of himself and his protector.

After some little deliberation between Young Watson and his two friends, Evans and Moggridge, Mr. Holl's proposal was agreed to.

When everything was thus far arranged, Mr. Evans said that his father and a few friends, had set a subscription on foot, for the support of young Watson, as they felt that no one person should be so taxed. To this no objection was made, provided it were done with due caution, and that Moggridge should be the sole agent between Mr. Holl and Mr. Evans. One pound per week was regularly paid up to the 9th of February—a space of some six weeks-when Mr. Evans and his son were arrested, and the payment ceased.

The most solemn assurances of secrecy and discretion were now entered into ; and it was agreed on the part of Evans and Moggridge, that the strictest silence should be observed, and

that Young Watson's abode should not be disclosed to any one. We regret to say, this pledge was broken on the part of Moggridge, who not only told his wife, but his daughter, a girl of some sixteen years old ; and it is a matter of no little wonder, their observations as to “ their knowing where Young Watson was,” &c., did not lead to his detection and death. The clue afterwards obtained, no doubt was the consequence of their imprudence, and his breach of faith. After repeating their assurances of secrecy and discretion, Mr. Evans and Moggridge departed.

The next morning, Roffe and Brilly were made acquainted with the responsibility Mr. Holl had taken upon himself in the cause of humanity, and at once gave the required promise, at the same time expressing their satisfaction at his confidence in their good faith. Their promise was never broken.

Young Watson was now introduced to his new companions, and regularly installed in the study, as a pupil in the art of engraving, to which, as drawing is a necessary step, he immediately applied himself.

In the hands of entire strangers, he at first appeared distrustful, and notwithstanding every assurance of their friendly inclination towards him, he exhibited a considerable degree of shyness and uneasiness. This however gradually wore off, and in a few days he became quite reconciled to his novel situation, and new friends.

Another difficulty was, how to delude the children? The name of

uttered in their presence, were sure destruction, as they might repeat it; and who could control å child's prudence, or discretion ? To avoid this necessity, and to invent a name as familiar as possible ; it was agreed to call him Mr. Henry Dudley, the brother of a young man whose name was in constant use in the house. And the better to account for his long continuance within doors, the family were told that Mr. Dudley's father was recently dead, and therefore he disliked company, and was quite indifferent about going out, his only pleasure being reading, drawing, &c. This artifice succeeded very well, and he soon became a great favourite with them, and to this day, though the remembrance of his person may have ceased, the name of: “ Mr. Dudley” is to them & household word.

The moles upon Young Watson's face having been accurately described in the Proclamation, became of necessity an object of

“ Watson,

[ocr errors]

much regard and anxiety. The children too might notice, or even mention them abroad. Triling in themselves, they became formidable in their consequences! Their removal was determined on, and caustic applied, not only for present safety, but future escape, since with those “ damned spots, the eyes of eager recognition would be at fault. Its operation was slow, and the better to conceal its effects, his face was muffled up, under the pretence of a violent toothache. This pretended malady called forth the commiseration of Mr. Holl's eldest daughter, who being a fellow sufferer, condoled with him on his assumed trouble and distress,

All exercise by day being of course impossible, Mr. Holl and his charge sometimes rambled out at night across the fields towards Kentish Town, that is, when the night was dark enough -on moonlight nights he never stirred abroad. Moggridge too was not neglectful of the health or comfort of the young refugee, and sometimes took him out his darkened walk, for exercise and air. But, strangely inconsistent in his wish to serve, and most unmindful of his promise, he came one night with Thistlewood, that dark mysterious man-who, it may be remembered, accompanied Young Watson during his flight on the 2d of December, and was his companion through the eventful days that followed. This was a clear breach of trust, and Mr. Holl commented upon it in strong terms, and at the same time declared he had no fellowship with Thistlewood nor men of his stamp : he but strove to save a life, forfeited (as he conceived) through youthful folly and imprudence, but he would not have his house made the haunt, either of conspiracy or crime. His feeling of annoyance was not lessened, when on Young Watson's return from his night walk with Thistlewood, he found him much excited, and loud and violent in his speech. Having with some difficulty restrained his impetuosity, he insisted that Thistlewood should never be brought to his house again.

The apparent shyness of Young Watson, and his dislike at meeting strangers, were matters of much speculation among the children, more especially the sudden running up stairs to his room-where he had pistols--if any one knocked at the door, and his only going out at night. . These and other circumstances were accounted for as occasion served, and neither the family, nor its visitors, had the remotest thought that the much-soughtfor Young Watson had found a home beneath their roof.

« PreviousContinue »