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Exordium of a Speech on a Trial for Murder:--WEBSTER. 1 AGAINST the prisoner at the bar, as an individual, I can not have the slightest prejudice. I would not do him the smallest injury or injustice. But I do not affect to be indifferent to the discovery, and the punishment of this deep guilt. I cheerfully share in the opprobrium, how much soever it may be, which is cast on those who feel and marrifest an anxious concern, that all who had a part in planning, or a hand in executing this deed of midnight assassination, may be brought to answer for their enormous
crime at the bar of public justice. Gentlemen, it is a most 2 extraordinary case. In some respects, it has hardly a pre
cedent any where; certainly none in our New England luistory. This bloody drama exhibited no suddenly excited ungovernable rage. The actors in it were not surprises! by any lion-like temptation springing upon their virtis and overcoming it, before resistance could begin. Nor did they do the deed to glut savage vengeance, or satiate longsettled or deadly hate. It was a cool, calculating, moneymaking murder. It was all “hire and salary, not revenge.”
It was the weighing of money against life; the counting 3 out of so many pieces of silver, against so many ounces 01 blood.
An aged man, without an enemy in the world, in his own house, and in his own bed, is made the victim of a butcherly murder, for mere pay. Truly, here is a new lesson for painters and poets. Whoever shall hereafter draw the portrait of murder, if he will show it as it has been exhibited in an example, where such example was last to have been looked for, in the very bosom of our New Eng.
land society, let him not give it the grim visage of Moloch, 4 the brow knitted by revenge, the face black with settled
hate, and the bloodshot eye emitting livid fires of malice. Let him draw, rather, a decorous, smoothfaced, bloodless demon ; a picture in repose, rather than in action ; not so much an example of human nature, in its depravity, and in its paroxysms of crime, as an infernal nature, a fiend, in the ordinary display and development of his character.
The deed was executed with a degree of self-possession and steadiness, equal to the wickedness with which it was
planned. The circumstances, now clearly in evidence, 5 spread out the whole scene before us. Deep sleep had
fallen on the destined victiin, and on all beneath his roof. A healthful old man, to whom sleep was sweet, the first sound slumbers of the night held him in their soft but strong embrace. The assassin enters through the window, already prepared, into an unoccupied apartment. With noiseless foot he paces the lonely hall, half-lighted by the moon ; he winds up the ascent of the stairs, and reaches the door of the chamber. Of this, he moves the lock, by soft and
continued pressure, till it turns on its hinges; and he en6 ters, and beholds his victim before him. The room was
uncommonly open to the admission of light. The face of the innocent sleeper was turned from the murderer, and
the beams of the moon, resting on the gray locks of his aged temple, showed him where to strike. The fatal blow Šis given! and the victim passes, without a struggle or a motion, from the repose of sleep to the repose of death! It is the assassin's purpose to make sure work; and he yet plies the dagger, though it was obvious that life had been
destroyed by the blow of the bludgeon. He even raises 7 the aged arm, that he may not fail in his aim at the heart,
and replaces it again over the wounds of the poniard! To finish the picture, he explores the wrist for the pulse! he fecls it, and ascertains that it beats no longer! It is accomplished. The deed is done. He retreats, retraces his steps to the window, passes out through it as he came in, and escapes. He has done the murder-no eye has seen him, no ear has heard himn. The secret is his own, and it is safe!
Ah! gentlemen, that was a dreadful mistake. Such a 8 secret can be safe nowhere. The whole creation of God
has neither nook nor corner, where the guilty can bestow it, and say it is safe. Not to speak of that eye which glances through all disguises, and beholds every thing, as in the splendor of noon,—such secrets of guilt are never safe from detection, even by men. True it is, generally speaking, that “murder will out." True it is that Provi. dence hath so ordained, and doth so govern things, that those who break the great law of Heaven, by shedding man's blood, seldom succeed in avoiding discovery. Especially, in a casa exciting so much attention as this, discovery must
9 come, and will come, sooner or later.—A thousand eyes
turn at once to explore every man, every thing, every circumstance, connected with the time and place; a thousand ears catch every whisper; a thousand excited minds intensely dwell on the scene, shedding all their light, and ready to kindle the slightest circumstance into a blaze of discovery. Meantime the guilty soul cannot keep its own secret. It is false to itself; or rather, it feels an irresistible impulse of conscience to be true to itself. It labors under its guilty possession, and knows not what to do 10 with it. The human heart was not made for the residence
of such an inhabitant. It finds itself preyed on by a tori ment which it does not acknowledge to God nor man. A. vulture is devouring it, and it can ask no sympathy or assistance, either from heaven or earth. The secret which the murderer possesses soon comes to possess him; and, like the evil spirits of which we read, it overcomes him, and leads him whithersoever it will. He feels it beating at his heart, rising to his throat, and demanding disclosure.
He thinks the whole world sees it in his face, reads it in 11 his eyes, and almost hears its workings in the very silence of his thoughts. It has become his master. It betrays his discretion, it breaks down his courage,
prudence. When suspicions, from without, begin to embarrass him, and the net of circumstance to entangle him, the fatal secret struggles with still greater violence to burst forth. It must be confessed, it will be confessed, there is no refuge from confession but suicide--and suicide is confession.
LESSON LXVI. The Indian as he was and as he is.-SPRAGUE. 1 Not many generations ago, where you now sit, circled with all that exalts and embellishes civilized life, the rank thistle nodded in the wind, and the wild fox dug his hole unscared. Here lived and loved another race of beings. Beneath the same sun that rolls over your heads, the Indian hunter pursued the panting deer; gazing on the same moon that smiles for you, the Indian lover wooed his dusky mate.
Herc the wigwam blaze beamed on the tender and helpless, the council fire glared on the wise and daring. Now
they dipped their noble limbs in your sedgy lakes, and now 2
they paddled the light canoe along your rocky shores. Here they warred: the echoing whoop, the bloody grapple, the defying death-song, all were here; and when the tiger strife was over, here curled the smoke of peace. Here, too, they worshipped; and from many a dark bosom went up a pure prayer to the Great Spirit. He had not written his laws for them on tables of stone, but he had traced them on the tables of their hearts. The poor child of na-ture knew not the God of revelation, but the God of the universe he acknowledged in every thing around. He be3 held him in the star that sunk in beauty behind his lonely dwelling; in the sacred orb that flamed on him from his mid-day throne; in the flower that snapped in the morning
breeze; in the lofty pine, that defied a thousand whirl* winds ; in the timid warbler that never left its native grove ;
in the fearless eagle, whose untired pinion was wet in clouds; in the worm that crawled at his foot; and in hiş own matchless form, glowing with a spark of that light, to whose mysterious source he bent, in humble, though blind adoration,
And all this has passed away. Across the ocean came a pilgrim bark, bearing the seeds of life and death. The former were sown for you; the latter sprung up in the path of the simple native. Two hundred years have changed the character of a great continent, and blotted for ever from its face, a whole peculiar people. Art has usurped the bowers of nature, and the anointed children of education have been too powerful for the tribes of the ignorant. Here and there a stricken few remain, but how
unlike their bold, untameable progenitors! The Indian, of 5 falcon glance, and lion bearing, the theme of the touching
ballad, the hero of the pathetic tale, is gone ; and his degraded offspring crawl upon the soil where he walked in majesty, to remind us how miserable is man, when the foot of the conqueror is on his neck.
As a race, they have withered from the land. Their arrows are broken, their springs are dried their cabins are in the dust. Their council fire has long since gone out on the shore, and their war-cry is fast dying to the untrod
den west. Slowly and sadly they climb the distant moun6 tains, and read their doom in the setting sun. They are
shrinking before the mighty tide which is pressing them away; they must soon hear the roar of the last wave, which will settle over them for ever. Ages hence, the in, quisitive white man, as he stands by some growing city, will ponder on the structure of their disturbed remains, and wonder to what manner of persons they belonged. They will live only in the songs and chronicles of their extermi.
Let these be faithful to their rude virtues as men, and pay due tribute to their unhappy fate as a people.
The discontented Pendulum.- JANE TAYLOR. 1
An old clock that had stood for fifty years in a farmer's kitchen, without giving its owner any cause of complaint, early one summer's morning, before the family was stirring, suddenly stopped. Upon this, the dial-plate (if we may credit the fable) changed countenance with alarm; the hands made a vain effort to continue their course ; the wheels remained motionless with surprise ; the weights hung speechless; each member felt disposed to lay the blame on the others. At length, the dial instituted a formal inquiry as to the cause of the stagnation, when hands, wheels, weights, with one voice, protested their innocence.
But now a faint rick was heard below from the pendulum, who thus spoke :—“I confess myself to be the sole cause of the stoppage; and I am willing, for the general satisfaction, to assign my reasons. The truth is, that I am tired of ticking.” Upon hearing this, the old clock became so enraged, that it was on the very point of striking.
Lazy wire !” exclaimed the dial-plate, holding up its hands. Very good!" replied the pendulum, it is vastly easy
Mistress Dial, who have always, as every 3
body knows, set yourself up above me,- it is vastly easy for you, I say, to accuse other people of laziness ! You, who have had nothing to do all the days of your life, but to stare people in the face, and to amuse yourself with watch