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"What is it you aim at?”
"Don't you think, sir, that the same set of quizzers that made Mr. Čooke fight a duel, and no duel, might be playing the same sort of frolick again ?"
A beam of light flashed on the mental vision of the comedian, but only to confuse him. A sea of troubled thoughts tossed tumultuously on his brain. "Is it possible that any trick has been played off on me? Impossible !" And all the circumstances connected with Captain Smith were called up and examined in haste. They were dismissed. They were recalled. "Impossible! Could they? Would they, dare?” All this, and more, occupied but a moment. Davenport gazed inquiringly in his face; but could gain no intelligence from the mingling and shifting expressions he saw there.
"Again?" At length, said Spiffard, choosing the last word. Again? Surely there has been no attempt at quizzing Mr. Cooke while in his deplorable situation."
"O, no! That would be too bad."
Trusty paused. He was afraid he should do mischief. He wished to communicate his knowledge and his suspicions; but, thought he, " I may do more harm than good." He was silent and looked confused.
Spiffard inquired "What do you mean? What do you know ?"
"Why, Mr. Spiffard," said Trusty, "I do know what I mean, and I know I mean right, and I know you mean the
"I know," said Spiffard smiling, " that I don't know what you mean."
"I have admired at your endeavours, sir, to save Mr. Cooke, who, for all his faults, I do admire, though I should be sorry to imitate him; but, as I was saying, I feel interest for you the more for your interest in him. But as to what I know, I don't know but I had better keep it to myself, and that can do no good. I doubt whether I ought to tell, because I overheard it; not that I listened; that I scorn; but I was obliged to hear; and yet I heard nothing that I could make head or tail of; but I heard them talking in a way that made me think, whether I would or no, that some scheme was on foot, and going on, for their fun; and that it concerned you; and yet, as to what I know, I know nothing; for all I heard was altogether beyond understanding, because it was incomprehensible."
Truly, Trusty, you make out a plain case; but, if it was plainer, I don't see how I am concerned in it."
Now, Mr. Spiffard, I can't tell, for it was all buzz like, a little here and a little there; and if the thought had not struck me that it concerned you, I should not have put it together. One said, let Simpson do it.'No,' said another, he will know him.' Then somebody said, somebody, I did'nt rightly hear the name, he's the man.' Ay,' says another, ⚫ he don't know him.' And then they laughed, and all talked together, so that I could only catch a word now and then; but what made me certain that it must be either you or me that they meant, was, that I heard one say, If we could make him drink a glass of brandy, it might do; but it's hard to blind a water-drinker.' 6 Pooh,' said another, he'll believe any thing.' Then, thinks I, they can't mean me.'
Spiffard bit his lip and frowned; and the possibility of his having been made a sport for these young men again occurred; but how, was a perfect enigma. Besides, they were his friends. Some of them had proved themselves so. The thought was not to be reconciled to his previous knowledge of them. Captain Smith again occurred, and some misgivings; but these thoughts were so confused; so irreconcileable; so many circumstances appeared to contradict the images which Trusty had conjured up, that he dismissed them as mere creatures of the good fellow's imagination, entertained by him through good will.
"Do you know any thing more, Davenport?"
“I know nothing, as I said before it might 'a been me that they meant when they said, it's hard to blind a waterdrinker; but when they said, he'll believe any thing,' I knew they couldn't mean Trustworthy Davenport. Not that I mean to say-but I have sometimes thought that you were a very easy-believing gentleman for one who, like myself, have been a traveller."
Further colloquy was interrupted, and perhaps further discovery prevented, by the arrival of another person, whose communications and their consequence we shall communicate in due time. We must return now to other persons of our dramatic history.
Real repentance. Love.
"And what is love, I praie thee tell?
"Christianity embraced all speculative and contested maxims in those two great practical and incontestable truths;-adoration to one God and fraternity and charity amongst all men."-Lamartine.
"For charity itself fulfills the law;
And who can sever love from charity?"-Shakspeare.
"Those words which sum up all human godliness-My father, not my will but thine be done.-Lamartine.
"These are thy glorious works, parent of good,
Thus wondrous fair: thyself how wondrous then,
Like the lily
That once was mistress of the field and flourish'd,
"Mercy and truth have met together,
David King of Israel.
How beautiful is that religion which teaches to love God above all things, and my neighbour as myself! religion is benevolence, and benevolence includes every virtue. The truly benevolent cannot be uncharitable, cannot be unfaithful, cannot be censorious, cannot be impure in act or thought, cannot be selfish they love God and their neighbours, and they do as they would be done by.
But who is religious? Who is benevolent? Who is at all
times pure in thought and deed? Who is at all times free from censoriousness, from uncharitableness. None. No, not one. The precepts taught us as those on which "hang all the law and the prophets," the love of God and the love of our neighbour, may be impressed upon the heart and have the whole undivided assent of the understanding; while the mind is in this state the individual is religious. But the cares of the world must at times occupy the thoughts, and its jarring collisions divert the mind from this wholesome state. The passions which have been cherished by bad education; the indulgencies that have become habitual before the beauty of wisdom was perceived; the thousand and ten thousand occurrences which tempt the rich to uncharitableness, and the poor to envy and malice, all, by turns, banish truth from the mind. This has led men to the desert and to the monastery; to become hermits and monks; forgetting that religion requires to do as well as to suffer. Truth becomes effective by frequent contemplation; and the habitual recurrence of its precepts induces practice.
The mother and brother of Emma Portland had taught her those truths by precepts and example. And though the cares and conflicting incidents of life might have distracted her mind from them, and sometimes even suggested thoughts in opposition to them, yet she habitually cherished them, assiduously recalled them, acted in conformity to them, and drove from her pure breast the intruders of an opposite character as soon as she detected their presence; perhaps this is all that we can do; perhaps it is all that is required of us.
Eliza Atherton was another creature whose purity and whose soul was love. Her lot had been in all things different from Emma's. Yet the result was nearly the same. Miss Atherton had not enjoyed that love which begets love, or received that education, either by example or precept, which leads to wisdom. The education of Emma Portland guarded her from the intoxicating effects which the consciousness of possessing uncommon beauty, aided by the admiration it elicits from others, might have produced. Miss Atherton had not this temptation to contend with. And the almost repelling aspect produced hy disease, added to the neglect of her weak parents, and the preference given to her beautiful sisters, had operated to produce the cultivation of her mind, the love of wisdom, the desire for truth, and the practice of forbearance, forgiveness, love, and piety.
These two beings, so unlike in appearance, but so similar in
mind and inclination, were kept asunder by circumstances, at this time, which we have communicated to our readers.
On the night, the events of which, as they are connected with Mr. and Mrs. Spiffard, we have dwelt upon at some length, Eliza Atherton, and her trusty English servant, Ellen Graves, by turns watched with the almost exhausted Mrs. Williams. Though both were watchers, the difference between mental and physical, was, as the night waned, apparent. Ellen slept. Her mistress approached her sister to administer medicine, which was to be given at stated hours, and found that although under the influence of an anodyne, she was struggling and in agony. The tender sister raised her, to assist the efforts of nature; she opened her eyes wildly, with an expression of terror, and a cry of "save me, save me !"
"Be calm, dear sister!"
Help me! I can't go! He forgave me! Eliza !" "I am here, sister! be calm. You are in my arms." "Save me, Eliza! I am dying!" "You are not yet awake!" "O, such terrible sights!" "It was only a dream !"
"I know I am dying. I never felt so before. There is no hope for me here or hereafter! I saw my mother-my father! I murdered them! I am without hope!"
"They forgave you. I will send for Doctor Cadwallader." "Send for Mr. Carlton to pray with me. I can't pray.' "Ellen! Ellen! I will pray with you. Ellen! Ellen!" Eliza Atherton promptly roused the sleeping Ellen. The other servants were called, and one of the men was dispatched for Doctor Cadwallader, while Ellen being sooner ready to go out, from the circumstance of being a watcher, and dressed, was sent to request the attendance of the Reverend Doctor Carlton, whose church, she, as well as the rest of the family, attended, and whose place of residence was near. Ellen was unsuccessful. The reverend Doctor Carlton had not returned from a concert of sacred music then performing in his church. It was past eleven o'clock. As the young woman was descending the steps from the clergyman's door, and debating with herself whether she should go to the church, or return home, she saw a person approach, wrapt in a black cloak, and otherwise having a clerical appearance. She hastened to meet him, and addressing him as Doctor Carlton, requested him to attend Mrs. Williams, who, as she said, was dying, and wanted his prayers.