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reason warped. She unhesitatingly believed the calumny. This belief was confirmed, by finding in her husband's linen-drawer a pair of soiled white gloves—things certainly not worn by any of the Society of Friends. To her jaundiced eye this was sufficient proof. The young wife assumed a coldness equal to what she felt to be her injuries. A wild thought took possession of her brain; pondered on, it became moro and more tangible—what was it T Why, that she, too, would don gay clothes, visit the house of sin, and with her own eyes behold if the husband of her choice was there, partaking with her favored rival these worldly snares and vanities. And Martha truly thought them thus, for though latitudinarian as a Quaker, still she went not to the extreme of longing after stage-plays, and such like vanities and temptations. Her inner life was still pure and intellectual. If this presumed slander proved to be a truth, her fate was decided. This resolution formed, she felt impatient till it was acted on. As her maid Rachel could by no means be trusted, Martha had to undertake the difficult arrangements of this matter herself. She availed herself of the excuse that she required choice nets, to visit the house of a fashionable modiste, and requesting to speak with the principal, she ordered (not without much confusion, as she marked the smile of the dressmaker, a Frenchwoman) a suit of clothes proper to appear in at the scene of gayety, which she was now quite determined to invade. She requested that the dress and a large gray mantle, with which she meant to hide it from the eyes of her staid household, should be sent by a messenger to her house. She took good care to be in the way when it arrived, and conveyed the strange habiliments to her own apartment. That very evening she had ascertained there was to be an opera, at which their majesties were to be present, and she had, through the means of the foreign woman, the dressmaker, obtained a ticket, which was inclosed with the dress. She had, in her own phraseology, "determined to go forth to the house of Belial" that very night. Now, in a Quaker household, such a resolution was not easy of accomplishment; but Martha had seriously resolved, and she determined to brave all. After the three o'clock dinner, which, as usual now, passed in silence, Everard Wilson retired to his room, and soon after went out: stung to the quick, she also went to her own apartment, locked the door, lit the candles herself, and unfolding her finery, surveyed it with any feelings but pleasurable ones. In another hour's time she looked at the time-piece, and perceived it was six o'clock. The opera began, she was told, at eight. She reluctantly proceeded to clothe herself in the costly garments, in which for the first time, the only time, she would enter the world of fashion. The pale-blue satin sacque, over a petticoat of the color "maiden's blush," the costly Mechlin lace which adorned the robe, the gipsy-lookjng cloak and hood of Murrey velvet which served to adom, not conceal this exquisite toilet, enhanced Martha's perfect beauty so greatly, that for a moment she forgot the cause of this strange metamorphosis, and
gazed, enchanted. The gray Cashmere went over all, and a black silk whalebone hood, and then she rang the bell,, and desired her maid to bid them call a hired chair. Rachel obeyed, not without a look of surprise. Telling her woman that she should be late home, she stepped into the sedan, and the Irish chairmen boro her away. The adventure was fairly commenced, it must be finished, and in a short time she would enter the temple of Apollo alone. Yes, alone; she had forgotten till now that even the daughters of the world usually went into public with a cavalier to attend on them; she felt the color rush into her face, as she was ushered to a seat in the pit, which then, as now, was the resort of the Macaroni, and such of the citizens' wives as affected, in spite of not comprehending Italian musie, a taste for this fashionable amusement. Martha could not fail, in spite of her extreme perturbation, to perceive that she was an object of the general gaze, and murmurs reached her ear which made her sink into the nearest seat she could find. Not daring to look up, she bent her eyes on her fan, wishing devoutly for the Cashmere cloak which she had left behind in the sedan chair. Her groat beauty and unprotected appearance led the gentlemen around to regard her with an impertinent curiosity, and the ladies with an affected shrinking. The universal opinion being, I am sorry to say, in spite of her modesty, youth, and timidity, that she was any thing but a woman of reputation. Such was the predicament into which the pure, retired young Quakeress had involved herself. The opera had commenced, but she attended to nothing on the stage. Her eyes, when, indeed, she mustered sufficient courage to raise them, were busily employed in making a survey of that brilliant assemblage. Suddenly her eyes dwelt on a box on the second tier, in which a young girl of exquisite beauty sat conspicuously forward. Further back, dressed h-la-mode, sat Martha's husband. "Yes, it was truth, then; she was glad she was there to confront him; glad that she sat there a living witness of his shame." She gazed for some minutes on the pair. The young girl cast her brilliant eyes about the house—she seemed asif seeking some one amidst the splendid throng.
Everard, on his part, appeared to be absorbed in constantly watching her, though apparently he seldom spoke. At length Martha, who had gazed at this sight till her woman's heart, burning with excitement, she could bear it no longer, rose up and abruptly quitted her seat. Some of the beaux who were lounging about started up also, and, to her extreme vexation, she was surrounded by offers of assistance; she hardly knew what impulse caused her to take the arm of the least obtrusive, but she did so, saying, in her formal phraseology (to which being accustomed, she could not, under excitement and irritation, alter to more conventional forms), "Friend, I accept thy proffered assistance; be respectful, I entreat thee, and convey me to yonder small compartment—that one hung with scarlet, wherein thou scest that fair but shameless woman." You may guess the amazement of the votaries of Fops' Alley at hearing thU Quaker language; but though conceited and a fashionable lounger, the young man addressed had still the feelings of a gentleman; so quietly clearing the way from his contemptuously-smiling companions, he said, with some respect, "Depend on me, madam; you honor me by trusting me," and in a very short space of time they arrived at the box-door. Calling the box-keeper, the young nobleman, for such he was, signed to him to open the door; be was obeyed, and on Martha thanking him, he bowed and rejoined his friends below, who were engaged in an animated discussion as to the pretty Quakeress in disguise. As the box-door opened, Everard Wilson turned, and I will not attempt to depict the expression on his face as he, with some difficulty, recognized his wife. "Thou!" said he, knitting his brows; then taking her by the wrist, he led her toward the door. "Martha!" he exclaimed, "dost thou understand thine actions? art thou departed from reason? This dress? Oh, shame! that thy husband should blush for thee."
"Shame on thyself," said the exasperated wife. "Darest thou to confront me, thou and thy shameless paramour V
The young female, who had hastily drawn the curtains, and had sat apparently much amazed at this scene, and who, with her eye-glass directed toward the excited Martha, seemed likewise considerably amused, burst at this crisis into a loud laugh. She was about to address Martha, when Everard laid his hand on her arm.
"Silence," said he, "I will not have her addressed by thee—dost thou understand? not one sentence." Then turning to the disgusted and alienated wife, "Woman," he said, "I am thy husband; on thy duty I command thee to depart home. This is no time or place to explain, if I even chose to do so—but I do not. Come, I will assist thee to thy conveyance. Edith," to the strange female, "do thou remain here—alone— mark me. I trust thee for a few short moments; let me not on my return find myself deceived;" so saying he took his wife's hand and led her out, resistless, powerless, stupefied with combined anger, terror, and apprehension. As one in a dream, she suffered him to lead her; then as Everard dispatched a messenger for a chair, she demanded if he meant to leave the " Woman of Belial," and depart with her?
"I do not," said Everard; "my duty leads me to remain here: ask no questions, for I shall answer none. Thou hast much transgressed this night, and it will need all my love to accord thee pardon."
"Thou," said Martha, "pardon me! I thank thee; thou hast said well; henceforth join whom thou wilt. Street," she said to the chairmen, as, repulsing Everard's assistance, she entered the sedan; the bearers went on, and Martha, in the midst of her indignation, was reminded by her chilliness that she had lost the wrapping in which she came, so that she would have to enter her own house in her assumed dress was very evident. When the chair stopped at her own
home, she gave orders to the men that her women should bring a cloak out; her order being obeyed, she enveloped her person in it before she quitted the sedan. But, truth to say, the quiet Quaker household were sufficiently scandalized at their mistress's proceedings without beholding with their own eyes her strange and unseemly transformation. Martha's first step, after destroying her opera costume, and securely hiding the remains from the prying eyes of Rachel, was to abandon her own apartment, and lodge herself in a remoter one; she had succeeded in discovering the source of her unhappiness; she felt degraded in her own estimation; her husband had all but avowed that she had forfeited his, and a more thoroughly miserable woman perhaps did not at that moment exist.
The next morning, having spent the night is tears and lamentations, she dispatched a letter to Everard, requesting that if he could not satisfactorily account for his conduct, he would prepare measures for an immediate separation. Everard turned pale when he read this letter, so haughty and uncompromising in its tone—as he thought, so unwifelike. He had been all that night preparing for a humiliating confession,but one which would have restored him Martha's unbounded love and confidence. Now, the demon of pride stepped in and w hispered, "To act thus, I will not wound my own feelings to save hers." He therefore returned an answer, avowing it impossible to explain at present, the matter involving another person's honor. He also requested his wife to summon her parents and provide her own man of business. Martha, heart-stricken, and firmly convinced of his guilt, did as he desired, and the result of these proceedings was, that she returned to her own family in a state of health which afforded the most serious grounds for apprehensions of the worst kind
Thus did twelve months pass away, mournfully enough to Martha. Her appearance was so altered that, save for elegance of demeanor, few would have recognized the beautiful Quakeress. Her own fortune had been returned, and all allowance from Everard declined.
She never heard of him, for all communication between the families was interdicted. Quakers are silently vindictive, and Friends Clifton, loving their daughter fondly, resented strongly her wrongs. One day she received a note written in a small female hand, requesting Mrs. Wilson would visit a house in a street named in the neighborhood of Bloomsbury, where there was a dying woman who had injured her. Such an invitation Martha would scarcely have refused at any time, but perhaps a foreboding of who this enemy might be, induced her still more urgently on this occasion to go. She desired Christiana Marcourt to attend her thither, and Christiana, who possessed her confidence and was much respected by her, consenting, they departed together to the locality indicated in the note, and arrived at the door of a mean-looking house. A womanservant ushered them to a room on the first floor; there, stretched on a couch arranged as a bed, lay a girl evidently in the last stage of rapid decline. The invalid beckoned her visitors to take chairs close to the couch, for a cough, distressing oven to hear, interrupted the poor girl every minute. Martha, who had recognized her opera rival, turned pale, and the tears came into her fine dark eyes; she evidently anticipated a heart-rending confession of wrougs and injuries done to herself; judge, then, how great was her surprise, when, after a paroxysm of coughing was, over, and the sick girl able to speak, she addressed Mistress Wilson by saying, "I sent to tell you —for I could not die till I had done so—that your husband is innocent of all guilt as regards myself, for I am—his sister." An exclamation burst from the lips of Martha. She continued, "Hear what I have to say while breath is yet given me. It was shame first sealed Everard's lips, and pride seals them now, and the fear that false shame and wounded pride together will seal them when I am gone, has induced me to send for you to-day." A pause ensued; the unhappy young creature was breathless and nearly fainting; when a little recovered, she related such circumstances as I shall narrate precisely as I heard them.
At sixteen years of age Edith Wilson, notwithstanding the strictness of her education and the sobriety of her father's household, possessed an incorrigible levity of heart and mind. Gifted with great beauty, her gayety was not the pardonable effervescence of youth, but the frivolity and natural vicious tendency of an idle disposition joined to strong passions. She formed, secretly, acquaintances out of the society; and many a night, when her parents deemed her retired to rest, had she quitted her paternal roof, and been a partaker of all tho secret and not over-reputable diversions, which even in the strict and Puritanical city of Philadelphia found votaries among the young and viciously inclined. Some natures are so warped, so gnarled, and knotted by secret vice, that not all the pious training in the world could bend them straight. One bad female acquaintance, many vile books, had so perverted Edith Wilson, that at sixteen she secretly laughed at all moral or religious notions. I do not wish, however, to dilate on the errors of this guilty young creature; suffice it, that when she was by her parents formally betrothed to a staid and somewhat elderly merchant of the Quaker persuasion, she eloped from her father's house, robbing his bureau of a large sum in money, and sailed from New York undiscovered, though her distracted brother and father lost no time in pursuit. She made her voyage alone and unprotected. On arriving in England, though to continue so formed no part of her plan, gifted with the rarest beauty and immense vivacity, destruction, seeking for it as she did, was inevitable. When her brother Everard (whose chief object in coming to England was to discover and reclaim her if possible), some short time after his marriage, did recognize her, to his unfeigned horror and subsequent torment, she was dressed in splendor, lolling in the carriage of a well-known profli
gate nobleman. Everard, though burning with shame and confusion, stopped the carriage, and addressing his sister by name, insisted on her alighting and entering a private hotel close at hand. The shameless girl defied him, till he, threatening to pursue her for robbery, she found herself obliged to succumb, and dismissing her gaudy equipage, accompanied her brother in silent rage to the house he pointed out. A long and most unsatisfactory conversation ensued. Edith persisting in Iter right to pursue any course | of life she pleased; her brother, equally determined to force her into decorum and submission, asserted his resolution never to leave her unwatched or unguarded. At first the wretched girl laughed the idea to scorn, but she soon found Everard was perfectly in earnest. He dispatched a messenger with a note to an old servant of his, now retired from service, and to whom he resolved to intrust the charge of his sister when he was forced to be absent. When the old man arrived, obedient to his late master's summons, he desired him to call a hackney-coach, and to look for lodgings in a certain part of the town he named; and leading the indignant Edith to the coach, placed her in it, and drove slowly thither. She had then recourse to tears and entreaties, but they had as little effect as her passion. "Lost as she was," he told her, "irretrievably for earth, ho would try to save her for heaven." She asked, with scorn and baffled rage flashing from her beautiful eyes, if he intended to take her to his house. He indignantly asked if she thought such a thing possible. What! pollute his pure and beautiful Martha's eyes with the sight of such a sister! Thus they reached the apartments which Andrew, who was waiting in a street previously agreed on, had hired; and here, these plainly-furnished rooms was Edith Wilson told she must consider her home for the present. She raved, stormed, and threatened, but to no purpose. She was never left unguarded by her brother or his servant; and being without money she had no means to break her chain. This life continued some time, till one day, reading the Gazelle, she discovered that a rich and childless relative, ignorant of course of her misconduct, had left her a large sum of money. Not being able to claim it without Everard's assistance, she formed a new plan—she affected extreme penitence and humility; and so perfectly deceived her brother, that having claimed the legacy for her, he was induced to place the power of disposing of it in her own hands, and hoped that she might be now trusted. She pursued this new conduct for some time, till Andrew and her brother off their guard, she gave unbounded license to her love of expense. Her object being to sec her former admirer, she engaged a box at the Opera; and Everard found to his horror that opposition was in vain; nothing seemed effectual but his constant surveillance.
A billet from Lord having been inter
cepted by Andrew, and Edith persisting that she would frequent her Opera-box, Everard announced his determination to go with her. It was received with the wildest shouts of laughter. "In that dress?" "No," said her brother, "I shall wear the dress of the world: to save my sister from further sin it will be admissible." And assuredly his presence did preserve her from the interviews she so much desired, when Martha's inopportune appearance surprised them. Edith was about to tell her the truth—it was then that Everard by an expressive gesture forbid her communicativeness. During his absence
that night she contrived to sec Lord ;and
two months after her brother's formal separation from his wife, she eloped in the dead of night to her profligate lover.
The rest of her history I daro not dwell upon; it was such as Hogarth has described in some of his matchless pictures. Cards and extravagance soon dissipated her own money; and ho, whose protection she had sought, became wearied of her expensive whims.
A short time before her interview with Martha her brother had discovered her perishing from hunger, illness, and misery, in a low and wretched dwelling—into such an extreme of misery had her vice plunged her. He would have taken the wanderer to his own home, for he perceived the end was at hand; but she so ardently begged to be alone, that he permitted her to choose the humble refuge in which Martha found her. She entreated that she might effect a reconciliation between her brother and his wifo ere she died; but to this proposition he would not listen. "He thought," said she to Martha, " that you should have trusted him better."
"And so I should," said the weeping Martha, tenderly wiping the dying girl's brow, damp with the exertion of her narrative
Martha Wilson had many subsequent interviews with her fallen sister, and it was at the very last that, hastily summoned to the deathscene, husband and wife met again. It was by the side of that death-bed that they felt how slight had been their cause of dissension; and the only feeling which prevented a reconciliation—pride —in that awful hour of human suffering and expiation was crushed in the dust.
Edith Wilson died calmly and even happily, trusting that the tears with which, like the sinner of old times, she had washed her Saviour's feet, might in his eye wash away her many sins, and trusting, with a childlike devotion, that Faith in His mercy would save her.
THE YOUNG SURGEON.
THE rain fell heavily against the window-panes; the night was not only dark and gloomy, but a thick, black vapor seemed actually to penetrate into the interior of the mansion, the inhabitants of which were now locked in profound slumber. Not a single light appeared throughout the whole city of Brest, save in the windows of a large, square, dismal-looking building which stood on the left bank of the port. This edifice is the Bagne, or fatal prison, in which the captives, doomed to perpetual labor, are left to waste their useless sighs, or vent their idle execrations. In an upper room of that portion of this estab
lishment used as an hospital, a young man, in the undress uniform of a surgeon in the French navy, sat reading. He seemed so absorbed in his studies that he took no notice of the pattering rain, or the fast decay of the lamp which dimly lighted the book before him. On a sudden he started up, and carrying on the thread of the argument he had apparently been following, he exclaimed aloud, " True, true; the poor do but live, they do but exist, drag on a few miserable years, and then sink unheeded into a noisome grave. Riches alone can bring pleasure, and make each hour we live an age of enjoyment. Cursed is the lot of him unblessed by fortuno! At twentyseven years of age, here am I, doomed to a life of poverty, destined to pass my days in this miserable hospital! The author is right." And again De Launay plunged into his studies.
His task was, however, soon broken in upon by the entrance of one of the infirmary men, who came to inform him that " number seven had just breathed his last." Without the slightest emotion, save a shade of annoyance, which instantly stole over his countenance at this interruption, the young surgeon rose, and approached the double row of iron beds, each bearing the number of its tenant; for in the infirmary of the Bagne no prisoner bears a name. A single cipher stands for the appellative the convict has disgraced.
De Launay stopped when he came to '. number seven." He drew down the sheet which had been thrown over the face of the corpse, and gazed at it with deep interest. He placed his hand upon the head, and contemplated the form before him for some instants, then, as if struck with a sudden desire to ascertain some anatomical point, he ordered the body to be instantly carried into the dissecting hall. The wretched remains were those of one whose phrenological developments might have proved a study of deep interest. Condemned to hard labor for life, for robbery and attempt to murder, Pierre Cranon had now been an inmate of the prison for upward of ten years —ten years of continual study how to escape. No less than sixty times had the unhappy man endeavored to get away, and sixty times had he been detected and punished. For several months previous to his last illness had Cranon been bound to his labor by chains weighing some thirty pounds; every vigilance had been exercised by his guards to prevent the possibility of his flight, and yet the idea of escape haunted his imagination, and became a never-dying, never-yielding monomania. The pain, however, of his increased fetters, at length brought on a sullen despair. His strict confinement within the walls undermined his health, and wore out the last remnant of his miserable days. He pined; he sickened; and withering, sank.
The attendants re-entered with a bier, on which they placed the body, and carried it, as desired, into the dissecting-room. The anatomical hall of the Bagne, but rarely used, was still more horrible in its appearance than such places usually are. Strewed about lay several human limbs, thrown carelessly aside- half-eaten by the rats. Several shreds of human flesh, already putrid, clung to the large marble table used for dissecting, while the foot occasionally slipped as it glided through some filthy pool of half-coagulated blood. Near an open window hung a skeleton, which had already lost some of its parts, and which moved up and down, creaking and almost cracking as the breeze swung it about.
Although accustomed to such scenes, Dc Launay felt a chill steal through his frame, a nervous sensation hitherto unknown to him, but now brought on by the dreary damp of the horrid amphitheatre, whose terrors seemed to dance in grim array, as the flaming light kept waving in the breeze. The young surgeon quickly produced his instruments, and approached the corpse. The dreadfully attenuated frame, the lacerated ankles, where the iron had actually eaten into the flesh, all lay displayed before him, and he paused for a moment. De Launay, seizing his dissecting-knife, was about to plunge it into the body, when a slight movement of the arm made him start back; in another instant, Cranon opened his eyes, and slowly raising himself, peered anxiously around. The young surgeon stood aghast. Profiting by this, the prisoner quietly but quickly started up, and rushed toward the window. In a moment De Launay saw the artifice; he darted on the unfortunate wretch, and attempted to throw him down. The love of life, the hope of liberty, for a moment lent their whole force to the miserable captive. A deadly struggle took place, in which youth and vigor gained the mastery, and Cranon lay at the mercy of De Launay, who placed his knee upon his chest.
"Your attempts are useless; you are in my power. A single call will bring the guard. Say, then, what means this fresh, this mad attempt at escape?"
"For the love of God, let me go! Surely my escape can not hurt you, and the Almighty will reward you for the good deed. Nay, do not spurn the prayers of a miserable old man."
"What! think you I'llconniveatsuchathing?"
"Just Providence! think what I've suffered! ten long years of misery, and now two months of cherished hope thus crushed in a moment. I, who for three days refused all food, in order to become ill, and bo admitted into the infirmary; I, who counterfeited death so well that even you were deceived. But no, no; you will not detain me. Good Monsieur De Launay, you have a heart. 0 give me, then, my freedom!"
"Why are you so desirous of obtaining it?"
"Why? Ah! you have never been a prisoner, a prisoner for life, or you would never ask why I desire liberty."
"But how would you gain a livelihood? You are too old, too weak to work. You would starve."
The captive smiled; an almost disdainful sneer of triumph curled his lip, as he replied, "I am richer than yourself."
"You are indeed, then, fortunate." This was •aid with a degree of bitter irony, which, while it
conveyed a doubt of the truth of the assertion,
told plainly how highly the young surgeon estimated the gifts of fortune.
"Would you also be rich? I have enough for us both."
"Do you take me for a fool, that you thus endeavor to deceive me?"
"I tell you I can make your fortune."
"Some robbery in which you would have me join?"
"No, not so; assist my flight, and I will place the money in your hands. I will give you half of all I have got."
"Silence! keep your falsehoods for those who are credulous enough to believe them, and come instantly back to the guard-house ;" and De Launay attempted to look careless, though his ears had drunk in each syllable the prisoner had uttered.
"Why will you not believe me V despairingly asked the captive. "On my soul, I lie not. How can I prove the truth of my assertion?"
"Show me your treasure."
"I have it not here. You know well I can not have it in my possession. Let me go, and I swear you shall have your share of it."
"Thank you! thank you for nothing! I will instantly sign the receipt in full. So up, and in again!—up !" and he shook the wretched man.
Cranon groaned heavily. He pondered for a moment, and then suddenly exclaimed, in a tone which left no doubt on the mind of the young surgeon that he was speaking the truth. "Listen to me; so help me Providence, I possess the money I speak of. It is no fancy, no well-invented lie; I have a fortune enough to make us both rich. Now, say, if I prove this to be the fact, and consent to give you half, will you%allow me to escape V
"We'll see; go on."
"Not so, till you promise."
"Well, I suppose I may do so safely."
"Swear that you will."
"Well, then, on the beach at St. Michacl's, just behind the rock of Irglas, in a pit six feet deep, ten years ago I hid an iron case, containing 400,000 franes in bank-notes."
De Launay started. "Where did you get that sum?"
"From a traveler wo assassinated near the spot."
"Four hundred thousand franes," repeated the convict, with a voice of triumph, "is enough, I hope, for two—enough to make us both happy. Say, will you have half!"
The young surgeon paused, then added in a tone of doubt, " The tale seems scarcely credible. You have been a prisoner here for upward of ten years."
"Right; it is fully that time since Martin and I, being closely pursued, buried the treasure in the spot I have told you of. The very day after we were seized at Plestin, and brought here. Martin died within these walls last year, and