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but it was after labouring faithfully for hours, and fulfilling my assigned task. It is true, as you supposed, that the cause was sleepless nights; and for the sake of the cause of my sleepless nights, I will now show you the cause. See it here, sir !"
He stepped to his mother's curtains, and, for a moment, threw them open. He closed them; and again resumed a firm, but respectsul attitude.
6. There lies the cause. A sick, and, I fear, a dying mother. As for this dress, which draws upon me the titles of masquerader and reveller; this dress, unfit as you deem it, for the associate of a counting-house, has fitted me to associate with brave and manly companions, in an honest and honourable vocation. This dress fitted me for the duties of the sleepless nights which enabled me to procure necessaries for one who had laboured through life to give me an education and place in society that might guard me from vice or crime. Those sleepless nights which caused my strength to fail after the duties of the day, and dulled my senses, and suffused my eyes with blood, were endured cheerfully for a sick mother-and such a mother! A reveller and a drunkard! If I might feel pride for having done a duty, 1 should be more proud of this dress, than of that which fits me for your counting-house !"
My son! my son! forbear!” said the afflicted mother. There was silence after these words, and it continued för what appeared to be a minute; 'only that Cooke, on hearing the exclamation of Mrs. Johnson, whispered to Spiffard, “ What's that? Who spoke ?" and all was again silent.
Littlejohn was much affected. His agitation seemed to prevent speaking ; but with an effort, he at length exclaimed:
Young man! young man! you have humbled me! How little do we know of what is beneath the surface! What? have I so mistaken you, and the causes of your actions ? Have I done you, by thought and word, such base injustice ? For your mother—for your sick, widowed mother, you have watched night after night, to earn a pittance which our niggardly economy denied, though justly due to your daily toil at the desk!"
“Now, sir," said Henry, (his eyes filling with tears ;) “ Now you do yourself injustice. You gave me an opportunity of acquiring that knowledge which would entitle me to wages sufficient for
mother's support." Littlejohn appeared not to hear him. “I, who have flattered myself that I was an honest and a just man; a man of some observation and penetration into character-I have accused you of revelry, dissipation, and even odious ebriety-because
overwearied nature sunk under the weight filial piety had laid
Cooke repeatedly had inquired wildly, “ Whose voice was that?" and Spiffard was employed in persuading him to return to the house from which he had wandered in the storm ; but his only reply was, never! never!” Then again his confused thoughts reverting to Mrs. Johnson's voice, he would ask, " Who spoke ? what voice was that ?"
When Littlejohn ceased speaking, he appeared deeply affected.
Henry was silent. The silence caused Cooke to look around him, and seeing the constable sitting opposite to him, by the fire, very much at his ease, and totally inattentive to what was passing, he cried out in his harshest and most discordant tone of voice, “ Get up,
sir !" The officer remembering that he had pocketed the bank-bill, and not willing to provoke inquiry, obeyed with wondrous alacrity, without speaking.
“Go about your blood-sucking business, elsewhere, you harpy. I command you! Avoid the house! Avaunt! IGeorge Frederick Cooke, command you! I pay the rent !"
“ Never!” said Henry.
here to dis train for rent ?”
“ Yes, sir,” respectfully answered the officer
Fisty dollars, sir, for two quarters.”
I will be answerable.”
the rent !" shouted Cooke. He was unattended to. You shall repay me out of your salary.". My salary ?! “ The highest the firm gives is a thousand dollars. That is yours, commencing from last August. It was in August I first
saw you sleeping at the desk. It was then I first did you injustice. A half year's wages are due.
Take care that your mother has the best medical advice. I need not give you a charge as to any thing else; but, by all means, call in Doctor McLean. I shall deduct the fifty dollars from the half-year's salary, and send you a check for the balance, for you must not come to the counting-house to-day. Good by! You forgive me! But no more masquerades," said the benevolent merchant, smiling through tears," and no more sleeping at the desk. Mr. Spiffard-you and I and Henry and my son, must. meet soon over a dish of tea, or a sparkling glass of water.”
And taking Henry's hand, he pressed it, repeating," forgive me;" then pointing to his mother, said, “ go to her;" and he ran, rather than walked out of the house, without noticing the person he came into it to see.
The tide of which the poet speaks had now commenced its flood-the flood that leads to fortune. Henry Johnson was ready to embark upon the favouring current.
lad he not himself caused the propitious flood? Does not every man create the flood of his own fortune?
Henry approached the bed, took his mother's hand, and sat down by her, enshrouding both by the curtain. Mr. Hipps, the constable, slunk unperceived away. Spiffard very soon engaged a sleigh that happened to be passing, and fortunately a covered sleigh ; for without hat or overcoat, Cooke, (who had consented to go to Jemmy Bryden's), would have made a pitiable appearance by daylight in the streets. Spiffard interrupted the conversation of the mother and son.
« Mr. Johnson, I have seen and heard enough to make me wish to know more of you. I have seen you before, without knowing you; and, in the confusion of the last night, had no recollection of ever having met you.”
“ We shall meet again, Mr. Spiffard. Your character is. well known to me, and I sincerely respect you."
" At present, this gentleman must be attended to.”
Cooke appeared unable to comprehend what had taken place in regard to the rent, and insisted upon paying it. With difficulty Spiffard quieted him, and removed him from a place to which he had been brought by means so strange, and for purposes hidden from all but the benevolent cause and source of all good.
Henry had sunk again on the bed-side, and drawn the curtain about him.
“My dear mother,” said he, “we are unknown to him; we must remain unknown.
“ He wished to assist—to relieve us, Henry."
“I cannot-yet. I will watch over him, and, if possible, save him from the effects of bis -. I would do anything to serve him, but I cannot forgive him-not yet.”.
The hoax goes on.-Confidence, and the lack of it—their con
sequences in domestic life.
"Heavy lightness, serious vanity."
"I would the surfeit of my too abundant riches
Cure by enlarged bounty.”
The rarest of all women.”—Shakspeare. "There are men who let their lives pass away without a single effort to do good, either to friend or neighbour; but wo to the man who is incapable of feeling that the greatest
possible good he can do for himself or for others, is to do his duty, and leave the consequences to God." --Coleridge.
Where was 'Trustworthy Davenport at the time his employer so needed his help? He had remained at the Tontine Coffee-house, (Cooke's usual boarding-place', during a visit to the house of an admirer, waiting only occasionally upon the tragedian to receive orders. The morning after the storm, Trusty called, and was informed that the old man had left the house after it was thought he had retired to bed, and that there was no trace of him. Returning to the Tontine to consult Bryden, be arrived just in time to relieve Spiffard from his troublesome charge, and convey the yet bewildered old man to his chamber and bed.
Spiffard returned home, content as man should be, with having done his duty. The active scenes he had been engaged in made him forget for the present the domestic evil he felt and dreaded. He was ready to enjoy his breakfast. But even this enjoyment was denied him. He found the following letter awaiting. The Philadelphia post-mark and handwriting took away all appetite before he broke the seal, on which an anchor was impressed: so careful and minute had the idler Allen been in his industrious preparation for mischief. Not that'mischief was meant in the serious import of the word. But who knows when he deviates from the track of truth where the by-path may lead him?
I do not like to receive a letter when I am preparing to sit down to breakfast or dinner. Good news is least wanted when a good meal is before me, and bad news spoils the most sayoury dish. Spiffard read what he anticipated from the outward signs.
PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 30, 1812. SIR :- I have to apologise for not meeting you at the Albany Coffee-house at the time appointed. I was called to this city on an affair that did not admit of delay. I will be in NewYork on any appointed day, previous to my departure for Europe, if it shall be necessary. My friend Thomas Beaglehole, Esq. is intrusted with the adjustment of our affair, and has received
my instructions. He will wait upon your friend and receive your determination. If he is satisfied, I am: otherwise, on receiving a line from him, I shall wait upon you with all speed.
Your obedient servant,
It is difficult to conceive the feelings of a man who, for the first time, is engaged in a duel. One who places himself in a situation intended to tempt his fellow-man to aim at his life, and intends to aim at the life of his fellow-man; one who has decided, or pledged himself, at the will of a third person, (called a friend or second), to place himself in a situation which may make of him a corpse or a murderer.
Such a man, after having given or accepted a challenge, and placed himself at the disposal of a second, is in a state of torture, troubled fluctuations, misgivings, or passionate excitement. His reason does not approve-cannot approve. He knows that he is acting contrary to the dictates of conscience and the will of his Maker, from fear of man's opinions. He makes his preparations for murder with affected calmness, while his mind is a chaos. He screws himself up to the deed, or the suffering, and while he must appear cheerful, curses on