Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

arrested for an infamous crime as "a Jews are decidedly superior to the same Jew.” They say that, before the law, class among ourselves. They are far Jews are citizens merely; the word less given to drinking; their religious Jew being now descriptive, not of their customs enforce a certain amount of nationality, but of their religion. Why cleanliness, both personal and in their not, they ask, report that Patrick O'Mul- dwellings ; and two families are never i ligan, a Roman Catholic, was arrested found inhabiting the same apartment!” for drunkenness, or John Smith, a Pres- We can hardly be surprised at the byterian, was tried for forgery ?

Jews for regarding the maintenance of But nothing irritates this good-tem- such societies as a standing menace pered people so much as the societies and insult. Fifty thousand pounds a maintained for the purpose of convert- year, drawn from the limited benevo-, ing them to the faith which for so many lence fund of Christendom, is too much centuries made their lives shameful to waste upon such missionaries as and bitter. Amiable as they are, they write the reports in the magazine of really resent this effort with some the London Society for converting the warmth. They point with derision to Jews. the fact that the society in London Our Israelitish brethren in the Unitexpends fifty thousand pounds ster- ed States have their own battle to fight. ling per annum in converting a dozen It is substantially the same as ours. or two poverty-stricken wretches, and They, too, have to deal with oversending abroad, on highly interesting whelming masses of ignorance and tours, a few plausible renegades. The poverty, just able to get across the very organ of this society confesses ocean, and arriving helpless at Castle that poor Jews in London are morally Garden. They, too, have to save mosuperior to poor Christians. “As to rality, decency, civilization, while the their moral qualities,” says the editor old bondage of doctrine and habit is of Jewish Intelligence, in the num- gradually loosened. In this struggle ber for November, 1862, “ the evidence Jews and Christians should be allies; seems to show that the lower class of and allies are equals.

James Parton.

JOSEPH AND HIS FRIEND.

come.

Lucy looked from one to the other, CHAPTER XXIV.

and back to the livid face on the pil“I?

T cannot be !” cried Joseph, look low, unable to ask a question, and not

ing at the doctor with an agonized yet comprehending that the end had face; "it is too dreadful !”

Joseph arose at the doctor's “ There is no room for doubt in re- words. · lation to the cause. I suspect that her

“That is my guilt,” he said. “I nervous system has been subjected to was excited and angry, for I had been a steady and severe tension, probably bitterly deceived. I warned her that for years past. This may have induced her life must henceforth conform to a condition, or at least a temporary mine: my words were harsh and vioparoxysm, during which she was — you lent. I told her that we had at last understand me — not wholly responsi- ascertained each other's true natures, ble for her actions. You must have and proposed a serious discussion for noticed whether such a condition pre- the purpose of arranging our common ceded this catastrophe.”

future, this afternoon. Can she have

It was

away!

misunderstood my meaning ?

happens, and Mr. Asten is not now in not separation, not divorce: I only a state to bear much more. At least, meant to avoid the miserable strife of we must save him from painful questhe last few weeks. Who could im tions until after the funeral is over. agine that this would follow ?"

Say as little as possible to him : he is Even as he spoke the words Joseph not in a condition to listen to reason : remembered the tempting fancy which he believes himself guilty of her death." had passed through his own mind, “What shall I do?” cried Lucy: and the fear of Philip,- as he stood on “ will you not stay until the man, Denthe brink of the rock, above the dark, nis, returns ? Mr. Asten's aunt must sliding water. He covered his face be fetched immediately." with his hands and sat down. What It was not a quarter of an hour beright had he to condemn her, to pro- fore Dennis arrived, followed by Philip nounce her mad ? Grant that she had and Madeline Held. been blinded by her own unbalanced, Lucy, who had already despatched excitable nature rather than conscious Dennis, with a fresh horse, to Magnoly false ; grant that she had really loved lia, took Philip and Madeline into the him, that the love survived under all dining-room, and hurriedly communiher vain and masterful ambition, - and cated to them the intelligence of Julia's how could he doubt it after the dying death. Philip's heart gave a single words and looks, - it was then easy to leap of joy; then he compelled himself guess how sorely she had been wound to think of Joseph and the exigencies ed, how despair should follow her fierce of the situation. excitement! Her words, Go

“You cannot stay here alone,” he you have killed me !” were now ex said. " Madeline must keep you complained. He groaned in the bitterness pany. I will go up and take care of of his self-accusation. What were all Joseph : we must think of both the the trials he had endured to this ? living and the dead.” How light seemed the burden from No face could have been half so which he was now free! how gladly comforting in the chamber of death as would he bear it, if the day's words and Philip's. The physician had, in the deeds could be unsaid and undone ! mean time, repeated to Joseph the

The doctor, meanwhile, had explained words he had spoken to Lucy, and now the manner of Julia's death to Lucy Joseph said, pointing to Philip, “Tell Henderson. She, almost overcome with him everything !” this last horror, could only agree with Philip, startled as he was, at once his conjecture, for her own evidence comprehended the situation. He begged confirmed it. Joseph had forborne to Dr. Hartman to leave all further armention her presence in the garden, rangements to him, and to summon and she saw no need of repeating his Mrs. Bishop, the wife of one of Jowords to her; but she described Julia's seph's near neighbors, on his way convulsive excitement, and her refusal home. Then, taking Joseph by the to admit her to her room, half an hour

arm, he said: before the first attack of the . poison. “Now come with me. We will leave The case seemed entirely clear to both. this room awhile to Lucy and Made

“For the present," said the doctor, line; but neither must you be alone. “ let us say nothing about the suicide. If I am anything to you, Joseph, now There is no necessity for a post mortem is the time when my presence should examination: the symptoms, and the be some slight comfort. We need not presence of arsenic in the glass, are speak, but we will keep together." quite sufficient to establish the cause Joseph clung the closer to his friend's of death. You know what a foolish arm, without speaking, and they passed idea of disgrace is attached to families out of the house. Philip led him, mehere in the country when such a thing chanically, towards the garden, but as

mean

they drew near the avenue of box-trees the physician's fears, — her last inJoseph started back, crying out: complete sentence, “I — did — not "Not there! — 0, not there !”

” indicated no such fatal inPhilip turned in silence, conducted tention, but the reverse. Moreover, him past the barn into the grass-field, she was too inherently selfish, even in and mounted the hill towards the pin- the fiercest paroxysm of disappointoak on its summit. From this pointment, to take her own life, he believed. the house was scarcely visible, behind All the evidence justified him in this the fir-trees and the huge weeping-wil- view of her nature, yet at the same low, but the fair hills around seemed time rendered her death more inexplihappy under the tender sky, and the cable. melting, vapory distance, seen through It was no time to mention these the southern opening of the valley, hint doubts to Joseph. His only duty was ed of still happier landscapes beyond. console and encourage. As Joseph contemplated the scene, the “ There is no guilt in accident," he long strain upon his nerves relaxed : said. “It was a crisis which must have he leaned upon Philip's shoulder, as come, and you took the only course they sat side by side, and wept pas possible to a man. If she felt that she sionately.

was defeated, and her mad act was the * If she had not died !” he mur consequence, think of your fate had mured, at last.

she felt herself victorious !" Philip was hardly prepared for this " It could have been no worse than exclamation, and he did not immedi- it was,” Joseph answered. “ And she ately answer.

might have changed: I did not give “Perhaps it is better for me to talk,” her time. I have accused my own Joseph continued. “You do not know mistaken education, but I had no charthe whole truth, Philip. You have ity, no pity for hers!” heard of her madness, but not of my When they descended the hill Mrs. guilt. What was it I said when we Bishop had arrived, and the startled last met? I cannot recall it now ; but household was reduced to a kind of I know that I feared to call my punish- dreary order. Dennis, who had driven ment unjust. Since then I have de with speed, brought Rachel Miller at served it all, and more.

If I am a

dusk, and Philip and Madeline then child, why should I dare to handle departed, taking Lucy Henderson with fire ? If I do not understand life, why them. Rachel was tearful, but comshould I dare to set death in motion ?” posed; she said little to her nephew,

He began, and related everything but there was a quiet, considerate tenthat had passed since they parted on derness in her manner, which soothed the banks of the stream. He repeated him more than any words. the words that had been spoken in the The reaction from so much fatigue house and in the garden, and the last and excitement almost prostrated him. broken sentences that came from Julia's When he went to bed in his own lips. Philip listened with breathless guest-room, feeling like a stranger in a surprise and attention. The greater strange house, he lay for a long time part of the narrative made itself clear between sleep and waking, haunted by to his mind ; his instinctive knowledge all the scenes and personages of his of Julia's nature enabled him to read past life. His mother's face, so faded much further than was then possible to in memory, came clear and fresh from Joseph ; but there was a mystery con the shadows ; a boy whom he had nected with the suicide which he could loved in his school-days foated with not fathom. Her rage he could easily fair, pale features just before his closed understand ; her apparent submission eyes; and around and between them to Joseph's request, however, — her there was woven a web of twilights manifest desire to live, on overhearing and moonlights and sweet, sunny days,

It might

each linked to some grief or pleasure “How many persons know of this?" of the buried years. It was a keen, “ Only the physician and three of bitter joy, a fascinating torment, from my friends,” Joseph answered. which he could not escape. He was “ They must be silent ! caught and helplessly ensnared by the ruin Clementina's prospects if it were phantoms, until, late in the night, the generally known. To lose one daughstrong claim of nature drove them ter and to have the life of another away and left him in a dead, motion- blasted would be too much.” less, dreamless slumber.

“Eliza," said her husband, “ we must Philip returned in the morning, and try to accept whatever is inevitable. It devoted the day not less to the ar- seems to me that I no more recognize rangements which must necessarily be Julia's usually admirable intellect in made for the funeral than to standing her — yes, I must steel myself to say between Joseph and the awkward and the word !— her suicide, than I recinquisitive sympathy of the neighbors. ognized her features just now; unless Joseph's continued weariness favored Decay's effacing fingers have already Philip's exertions, while at the same swept the lines where beauty lingers. I time it blunted the edge of his own feel- warned her of the experiment, for such ings, and helped him over that cold, be. I felt it to be ; yet in this last trying wildering, dismal period, during which experience I do not complain of Joa corpse is lord of the mansion and seph's disappointment, and his tempocontrols the life of its inmates.

rary – I trust it is only temporary – Towards evening Mr. and Mrs. Bless- suspicion. We must not forget that ing, who had been summoned by tele- he has lost more than we have.” graph, made their appearance. Clem- “ Where is – ” Joseph began, enentina did not accompany them. They deavoring to turn the conversation were both dressed in mourning : Mrs. from this point. Blessing was grave and rigid, Mr. Bless- “ Clementina ? I knew you would ing fushed and lachrymose. Philip find her absence unaccountable. We conducted them first to the chamber of instantly forwarded a telegram to Long the dead and then to Joseph.

Branch : the answer said, “My grief is “ It is so sudden, so shocking!” great, but it is quite impossible to Mrs. Blessing sobbed; "and Julia al- come.' Why impossible she did not ways seemed so healthy! What have particularize, and we can only conjecyou done to her, Mr. Asten, that she ture. When I consider her age and should be cut off in the bloom of her lost opportunities, and the importance youth ?”

which a single day, even a fortunate " Eliza !” exclaimed her husband, situation, may possess for her at preswith his handkerchief to his eyes; “ do ent, it seems to remove some of the not say anything which might sound sharpness of the serpent's tooth. Neilike a reproach to our heart - broken ther she nor we are responsible for Juson! There are many foes in the cita- lia's rash taking off; yet it is always del of life : they may be undermining felt as a cloud which lowers upon the

our foundations, at this very mo- family. There was a similar case ment!"

among the De Belsains, during the No,” said Joseph ; "you, her fa- Huguenot times, but we never mention ther and motier, must hear the truth. it. For your sake silence is rigidly imI would give all I have in the world if posed upon us; since the preliminary I were not obliged to tell it.”

- what shall I call it ? — dis-harmony It was, at the best, a painful task; of views ? - would probably become a but it was made doubly so by exclama- part of the narrative.” tions, questions, intimations, which he “Pray do not speak of that now!” was forced to hear. Finally Mrs. Bless- Joseph groaned. ing asked, in a tone of alarm :

“Pardon me; I will not do so again.

our

ers it."

Our minds naturally become discursive do not pretend to be more than the merunder the pressure of grief. It is est tyro in geology; nevertheless, as I easier for me to talk at such times than lay awake last night, — being, of course, to be silent and think. My power of unable to sleep after the shock of the recuperation seems to be spiritual as telegram, - I sought relief in random well as physical; it is congenital, and scientific fancies. It occurred to me therefore exposes me to misconcep- that since the main Chowder wells are tions. But we can close over the great spouting,' their source or reservoir abyss of our sorrow, and hide it from must be considerably higher than the view in the depth of our natures, with surface. Why might not that source out dancing on the platform which cov- be found under the hills of the Ama

ranth? If so, the Chowder would be Philip turned away to hide a smile, tapped at the fountain-head and the and even Mrs. Blessing exclaimed: flow of Pactolean grease would be ours ! " Really, Benjamin, you are talking When I return to the city I shall need heartlessly!”

instantly — after the fearful revelations " I do not mean it so,” he said, melt- of to-day - some violently absorbing ing into tears, " but so much has come occupation ; and what could be more upon me all at once! If I lose my appropriate ? If anything could give buoyancy, I shall go to the bottom like repose to Julia's unhappy shade, it a foundered ship! I was never cut out would be the knowledge that her faith for the tragic parts of life; but there in the Amaranth was at last justified ! are characters who smile on the stage I do not presume to awaken your conand weep behind the scenes. And, you fidence: it has been too deeply shaken; know, the Lord loveth a cheerful giver.” all I ask is, that I may have the charge

He was so touched by the last words of your shares, in order — without callhe spoke, that he leaned his head upon ing upon you for the expenditure of his arms and wept bitterly.

another cent, you understand -- to rig Then Mrs. Blessing, weeping also, a jury-mast on the wreck, and, D. V., exclaimed: "O, don't take on so, Ben- float safely into port!” jamin!”

“Why should I refuse to trust you Philip put an end to the scene, which with what is already worthless ?” said was fast becoming a torment to Joseph. Joseph. But, later in the evening, Mr. Blessing “I will admit even that, if you desire. again sought the latter, softly apologiz- Exitus acta probat,' was Washington's ing for the intrusion, but declaring that motto ; but I don't consider that we he was compelled, then and there, to have yet reached the exitus ! Thank make a slight explanation.

you, Joseph ! Your question has hardly “When you called, the other even- the air of returning confidence, but I ing," he said, “I was worn out, and will force myself to consider it as such, not competent to grapple with such an and my labor will be to deserve it." unexpected revelation of villany. I He wrung Joseph's hand, shed a few had been as ignorant of Kanuck's real more tears, and betook himself to character as you were. All our expe- his wife's chamber. “Eliza, let us be rience of the world is sometimes at calm: we never know our strength fault; but where the Reverend Dr. Lel- until it has been tried,” he said to her, lifant was first deceived, my own case as he opened his portmanteau and does not seem so flagrant. Your early took from it the wicker-covered flask. information, however, enabled Then came the weariest and dreari(through third parties) to secure a par- est day of all, -- when the house must tial sale of the stock held by yourself be thrown open to the world ; when in and me, – at something of a sacrifice, one room the corpse must be displayed it is true ; but I prefer not to dissociate for solemn stares and whispered commyself entirely from the enterprise. I ments, while in another the prepara

me

« ZurückWeiter »