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ton, and the Littlejohns. His friendship with the manager was unbroken; but he avoided the festive board. To Cooke he adhered until death severed the link.
Let not my readers think that our remaining pages are to be devoted to gloom. If there has been heretofore too much, it is not my fault. I profess to tell the truth, and if I looked for a subject all bright, all happy, or even all pleasure or content, I must look beyond this world. If I invented a story all joy and gladness, I should give a false picture of human life. Life is a tragi-comedy. Those dramatists who have mingled mirth and sadness, wisdom and folly, pleasure and pain, joy and sorrow, life and death, in their scenes, have been the only true copyists of the world's theatre.
Although the young and strong and brilliant Mrs. Spiffard had been consigned to the tomb and the worm, the dying Sophia Williams lingered in life. At the request of Eliza Atherton, (made through her nephew) Emma Portland accompanied him to the house of the general. Spiffard krew he was absent. The general made frequent visits to Philadelphiasome said to see his sister-some said, for other purposes. It was generally during these visits that the nephew visited his aunts.
Mis3 Atherton left the chamber of her suffering sister to receive Emma Portland. During their conversation a person unexpectedly arrived whose presence threw light on some previously detailed incidents of our story, which had been somewhat mysterious to Emma, and perhaps to our readers.
A gentleman entered, whose voice, as he directed a coachman to deposit his trunk in the hall, had made Emma start; but she was startled still more, and shocked, when he was introduced to her as General Williams. In this accomplished character she saw the man who had professed himself her lover-who had been so interested in her welfare as to wish to withdraw her from her theatrical relatives-had pursued her with such flattering perseverance-the worthy Alderman of Mott-street-the ardent Corydon of the theatre and its alley.
Miss. Atherton introduced the general to Miss Portland, who opened her eyes as the military hero cast his to the floor. He bowed. Both were silent.
“ Mr. Spiffard,” said bis aunt, " you know the general.”
“ Yes, madam," was emphatically answered, “I do know him."
Emna thought, “ I do know him," but she said nothing. She was shocked to find in General Williams the detested
fligate, ruffian and hypocrite, who had persecuted her; but her accustomed presence of mind prevented any marked appearance of surprise or recognition; and her prudence suggested that nothing in her deportment ought to attract the attention of Miss Atherton, or excite inquiry from her or Mr. Spiffard. She looked steadily at the blushing face of the criminal before her ; coldly answered his profound bow, while he half articulated “ Very happy that Miss Portland had called ;” and before the sentence was completed, Emma took leave of Miss Atherton, (who not only reciprocated the American shake of the hand, but saluted her with a kiss,) and taking the arm of Spiffard, withdrew.
Can any one believe that virtue does not reward its votary, and vice punish its slave ? Even “on this bank and shoal of time” does not the honest, the frank, the true, the well meaning, “ look aloft” and breathe freely, while the consciencestricken wretch writhes, and cowers, and shrinks in his pre
Here stood the female orphan, poor in worldly endowments, without relations, and without fortune ; but rich in conscious purity_with a mind unclouded by the remembrance of any act which might suffuse the face, or depress the eye.
Before her stood one possessed of wealth ; endowed by education with knowledge, and the means of acquiring wisdom; enjoying the world's smiles, with health, strength, towering stature, and a person of nature's fairest form and proportions ; —yet abashed, trembling, quailing at the prospect of detection and exposure ; feeling the sickness that might wish for annihilation ; scarcely breathing in the presence of the frail being who could testify to his deep depravity.
Such criminals say, with Macbeth, “ We'll jump the time to come.” But they cannot, (and they do not) escape the sword of Macduff, or the still more biting contempt they de
Of the hereafter-we judge not. Mere human reason is an impartial judge. The criminal never escapes the condemnation of the court within him. The judge may be hurled from his seat; but there is neither harmony nor peace in chaos : and the judge regains his throne.
Spiffard and Miss Portland departed. The accomplished hypocrite turned to Miss Atherton, and inquired, in softest tones how Mrs. Williams did. Eliza thought there was something very strange in the behaviour of her friends, and of the general; but it might be attributed to their dislike to his character. Her mind was soon after occupied altogether by the
sufferings, both of mind and body, that thronged around her unhappy sister, and she forgot the introductory meeting of Emma Portland and General Williams.
He, much disappointed that the final scene was not over, was called by pressing business again to Philadelphia ; promising to return at farthest in two days.
Happily I am not under the necessity of going into a detail of physical distress and mental agony; the sure followers of former follies, vices, or crimes. We may
control causes, but effects are unavoidable.
Some weeks passed before the death of Mrs. Spiffard was followed by that of Mrs. Williams. Though these persons were in character and circumstances widely different, they fell by the same fatal errors.
The last moments of Mrs. Williams were soothed by the virtues and tenderness of a sister, who, to the common observer, might have been supposed a child of sorrow, passing through life in the midst of misfortunes, and ever borne down by a load of grief. But was it so? No. She had seen that the misfortunes of her family were occasioned by their faultsand she was armed against those faults, and their consequent sorrows. She strove to repair the injuries others had inflicted. She saw that it was the will of Heaven that sin should bring sorrow—she was resigned to the will of Heaven ; but that resignation does not withhold the hand from exertion to save those who are under the influence of error; and although the good grieve for the faults of their brethren, it is a grief tempered by the consciousness of well doing, and alleviated by the exertions to save. The sorrows and faults of those who we love-of all our fellow creatures—but more especially those tied to us by the bonds of nature—will checker with many colours, the days of the most patient and pure of mortals ; and Eliza Atherton had seen in her family a succession of events caused by folly and guilt, and ending in sorrow and shame : but she had been taught wisdom thereby; and in the practice of benevolence had experienced her share-her full share of happiness. And the future promised still more : for now, her conduct during the last scenes of her family's sorrows—at the death-bed of her once beautiful, admired, cherished, gay and deluded sister ; while sustaining the withered, neglected, despised, and (but for her) desponding penitent; received that reward which her merits deserved, and her situation in life most needed; a husband worthy of herself. Not long after
the death of Mrs. Williams, Eliza Atherton became the wife Thomas Littlejohn.
I have said in the course of this history, (or intended to say). that no American can marry an English wife-(still less a French or Italian,) without imminent risque of confronting manifold domestic evils ; unless he preferred passing his life in his wife's country rather than his own. be many exceptions to this general rule, as well as all others. Certainly the union of the Rev. Thomas Littlejohn and Eliza Atherton is one. She, when a child, had been brought into this country; and although surrounded in her father's house by the contemners of every thing American, their opinions she had learned to distrust, (for children at a very eaily age discern good from evil,) and her own impressions and opinions formed at school, and among Americans, were all favourable to the country. When carried back to her native land, although one of the best and most favoured on earth, her portion of its joys was overshadowed by the weaknesses of her family, their errors, and their poverty. That poverty had been removed by an American From America she had roceived nothing but good. Relatives or intimates she had none in England. She had no London life to regret, nor any of the luxuries of refined society or literary facilities to contrast with a lesser degree of the same blessings in America. In consequence of the connection of her two sisters with the country, she had paid particular attention to its history and to its institutions. She had a strong mind from nature, improved by study and observation ; and she was far from concluding that a nation was composed of rogues because one of its adventurers was a swindler. She could not contrast happy days of youth in her own country, with those of the more sober decline of life, (however blessed by circumstances,) which must arrive to all. Above all-she had a disposition from nature, confirmed by experience and religious feeling to be happy, and make others so.
Such a woman, united to a man who could appreciate her worth, may be happy in America, let her be born where she will. over the time of mourning, courtship, and other affairs. The youngest Littlejohn and Eliza were married.
The reader already knows, or may imagine, where General Williams was during the last scenes of his wife's pilgrimage. He found reasons for frequent visits to his relative in Pennsylvania. After the last trying scene he remained for a time at home. He was overwhelmed with grief at the premature
death of his beloved wife. He observed all decent forms and ceremonies, as may be supposed. He had still an income, (the fruit of the marriage, which he enjoyed as well, and as creditably, as such a man might be expected to do. Mr. and Mrs. Littlejohn had no further intercourse with him. Emma never divulged the secret that was placed in her power. It is unnecessary to say that the other personages in whom we are interested, cut his acquaintance. I will do the same. He returned to Europe, either disgusted by the coarseness of republicanism, as Tom Moore, the disciple of Anacreon, and the mirror of elegance, has since been, or to avoid a kind of suspicion, (that was increasing upon him,) that his virtues, talents, knowledge and patriotism, were not so generally or highly appreciated as they ought to be. He passed the remainder of his days in France. A monument in the cemetery of Pere La Chaise commemorates his many
virtues. As his wealth died with him, he was never canonized.
We will return to other personages of importance in our story.
Spiffard felt, as a man of principle with his peculiar character, may be supposed to feel, under circumstances of so extraordinary a nature as had occurred to him. He regretted the sternness of his conduct towards his wife. He sometimes reproached himself as the immediate cause of her death. He treated her mother with tenderness. He felt no ties of a strong or durable nature between himself and his former associates, Cooper excepted, who had always been at bottom a. true friend; and who now yielded to his wishes of withdrawing from the stage, at least for the present. To Cooke his sympathies seemed to wax stronger, although it was apparent that the cord must soon be severed. When he accused him. self of hastening the death of the unhappy Mary, by behaviour at times harsh, at times sullen, always wavering, and to her inexplicable; he conceived that his conduct in part to the distress of mind he had felt, while urged on by his companions to violence, and involved in a supposed quarrel entered into from regard to her. He could not but think with regret of the want of confidence in his wife which his conduct implied; and which must have rendered his behaviour onerous. membered every unkind word or look that had escaped him. The hints of the honest yankee traveller occurred to him. He feared, yet he wished to sound Trusty on the subject; and an opportunity offered which led to further knowledge.
Trustworthy Davenport was like his countryman Spiffard in