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as he toiled and smoked and snorted along the pitch-dark road, the rushing chain seemed to be under his very feet.
When Hooks reached home he was rather dead than alive. The clatter of Jack's hoofs on the stones of the court announced his arrival, for his master had no strength left to do it. He was found lying on his horse's neck, clinging with his arms fast round it. He was lifted off by his servants and conveyed to bed, from which he never again arose. There are strange tales of the terrors of a guilty conscience still circulated in the village, of Sampson IIooks' death-bed; but not a soul pitied him ; on the contrary, there was a sort of sullen rejoicing, and there were even those who vowed that the corpse should not reach its grave in peace. My brother, Richard Ilowitt, in his Antediluvian Sketches, and other Poems," seems to have had this man in his mind, for he traced his story well, in the poem
THE VILLAGE TYRANT'S FUNERAL.
They have let down the coffin, and heap'd in the mould ;
The living they fear, and lament not the dead. But though the idea of this poem must have had its origin in this too true story, yet the circumstances attending his funeral were not exactly as here described. No moon shone thus peacefully on the tyrant's open grave, nor lighted him calmly to his rest. Man ragel, and Nature rayed with him. The villagers, to whom he had not left one single foot of their paternal soil, vowed that he should not have one foot of church-yard earth to rest in. They watched and watched, as described in the poem ; but Nature was more successful than ther. Nature, which takes to her bosom all her children, spite of their crrors or their crimes, raged, but only in mercy. Such a night as that on which the village tyrant actually went to his grave, the villagers declare never came down before or since. Wind in fierce tornadoes, rain in drowning deluges, thunder and lightning terrible and incessant, came sweeping, dashing, roaring and Haming together. The villagers, waiting in deadly wrath for the coming funeral, which had feared the face of day, were fairly driven by the fury of the elements from their purpose. In the midst of the tempest the appointed bearers staggered and reeled along to the grave, and every moment expected to be dashed with their burden to the earth. As they hurried along the avenue from the IIall, a stupendous tree fell with a crash of thunder across their path, and had nearly been the death of them all. As they approached the church, the storm was so furious, that they were compelled to lower the coftin from their shoulders, and bear it low, scarcely above the surface of the earth. At one moment the whole church and church-yard were lit with the fire of heaven ; the lightning seemed to play round every pinnacle with a lurid radiance, and to fill tlie church with its blaze, and then there was a darkness as of Egyptian denseness. And amid the blind buffeting and drenching of the tempest, the covering attendants, without bell or service, light, or the hearing of one another's voices, lowered down the coffin into its muddy, watery pit, and fled.
So went Sampson Ilooks to his grave; and thus, only by the gracious fury of merciful Nature, were his remains protected from the relentless fury of enabittered men.
THE DETHRONEMENT OF SUMMER.
A BEAUTEOUS Queen most desolate,
The shadows of those old oak trees
In vain the odorous breath of flowers
TIIE GIBBET-ITS DEATII AND BURIAL,
My Lord Juilge has just gone out of town with the black cap so smooth and unruflled in his wig-box, that it might be a seraph's wing for the mercy and gentleness that lies upon it. Yes ! snug in the veritable wig-box has it lain the whole circuit through, in all probability astonished at its quiescent innocence ; for it is a tough, hard, iron-souled old cap, that in its day has sat mighty and Haunting on the gorgon head of Statute Law, and crowned its judgments of blood !
But now Christ's mercy hides and blots out for ever the shadows of the pale anguished features that have gazed upon it, and left graven pictures of unutterable human woc !
Not that it hasn't on this day been near its work! A schoolman's atom would have weighed the balance and brought it forth. But jurymen on this day have belied their consciences and tricked the law, and said “ Not guilty ” when guilt has been as evident as the blood that has been spilt. Yet, no! Better let us cry senility of Statute Law; better let us knowingly for once leave the unscotched slimy serpent Evil crawl forth to prey upon society again; better leave the Law of Conscience to fashion its own unerring Law of Justice, than for us to give another text for another sermon of blood, and for another canonization of another saint, who in a week shall reach such an irrefragable, perfect, white-souled state of innocence, that not the equable justice of a good man's life might compare with it in glory. O hangman ! O halter! O gibbet! you have crowned more saints on earth than ethical foresight and political justice have had men courageous enough to shout into the disregarding car of convention the eternity and progressiveness of their TRUTIIS.
And yet, because of this unruffled and scraphic thing, one man
must starve ! Yes! Thugg, the hangman, who the sunimer circuit through has slunk upon the hcels of criminal law and cried “Give, give!” with the rociferating and endless croak of the carrion vulture ! Yet not one knot, not one noose ; no, the very rope frayed and limp in his pocket, and he starving : for isnt't his gaudy bandana, his flash ring, his knife, his waistcoat (that has once closed in a gasping, fluttering, ebbing human heart), all pawned ? and this for mere bread, till shall come a week's satiety and debauch after the jolly Farce of Saintship won by Slaughter! Yes, but judge and jurymen have plainly said injustice rather than blood : the crowd outside the court door re-echoes the verdict, till it reaches the hangman's car, and "Not guilty creates anew his ravening hunger ; till the already printed lying speeches are a unit without per-centage or use, unless to boil the provincial Catnach-pot ; and not one nature, save it be the few debased who scout upon the hangman's heels, crave the law's senile prerogative!
IIe slinks to the jail to borrow a few pence of the outer turnkey; but the good man, well fed and safe in office, hasn't any to spare for a vagabond so cleanly grown out of fashion as a hangman ; and with a gruff “ Be off !” he turns calmly to his pipe, leaving the other famished and drooping to creep away into the meanest streets of the populous town. IIa ! ha! Vice may soothe him, may give him bread ; le curses Good ; it is a demon pursuing his starving footsteps ! le scarches with greedy eyes for Sin ; but no! through humble windows the peacefulness of the virtues smiles, and words from the social heart make the wretch's desolation more pitiful ! One word with these many social ones.
6. The Cup, the Cup," never omitted in parentheses or otherwise, not by artisans, at their meagre suppers, who give savour to the hardearned bread by words of the triumph of principle ; not by old grey-haired schoolmasters, who rejoice to see at last the coming harvest from the seed long sown ; rarely by mothers, who whisper to their little tiptoed listening bedward children “ that the wicked man is not to die ;” not by men in the public houses, who crumple up beside them the newspaper, to call cheerfully for pipes and a fresh pint, and begin discussion of “ Death by the Law” now and then, just as a little honey-drop to dryness by old cobblers and old tailors who must, for the flourishing of curtain lectures at night, lose a thousand stitches over windy arguments regarding predestination and moral necessity; not by nameless frail women, whispering