« AnteriorContinuar »
adding that, as it was the practice of pear; that he was unsuccessful, and civilized nations to punish criminals in gave no satisfaction to his employers, the usual course of justice, Gustavus nay however be inferred from his beConningham standing in that predica- ing under the necessity of retiring to ment, was therefore about to be sent to Paris, where he spent the remainder of England, to receive that punishment a life now drawing to its close. The from his injured country which his revolution soon after broke out, and crimes should be found to deserve. He not finding employment in the derangwas accordingly put on board the ed and useless state of the French naGrantham packet from New York, vy his spirits failed, and he sunk into which landed him at Falmouth, in Ju- such abject want, that Captain Blackly, 1779, and he was immediately lodg. den was obliged to raise a small sum ed in the Castle; but no sooner was by way of subscription in order to buhe confined, than bis ingenuity exercis. ry him; he died in the utmost povered itself in contriving the means of es- ty, in June, 1792. cape-which he in a short time accom- Being a Scotchman, he was deemplished by burrowing under the foun- ed a Calvinist, and as the laws relatdations.
ing to the interment of persons of From this time till 1783, little is that persuasion were not then ab: known of Paul Jones; but in the rogated, it was necessary to make month of December of that year he ar- an application to the General Assemrived in London from Paris, with des- bly, who not only revoked these laws patches from Congress to Jobn Adams, as far as they interfered with his case, the American Resident. He had but voted that a deputation of its memó crossed the Adantic from Philadelphia bers should attend his funeral. Whatto France in the short space of 22 ever might be the reality, a semblance days; and after delivering his papers, of attachment to the national religion be set out at 3 o'clock the following remained, and a few of the Assembly morning for Paris,to proceed to America. objected to this mark of respect on ac
During the peace his mind seems to count of his being a Protestant, but this bave languished for active employ- idea was scouted by a vast majority; ment; and in March, 1788, being and the remains of Paul Jones were es then at Copenhagen, he made an offer corted to the grave by many who were of his services to the Emperor of Rus well calculated to emulate the darkest sia, and was accepted; but how or and most desperate deeds of his eventwhere he was employed does not ap- ful life.
ANN STAVERT AND AMOS BRADLEY. TSAAC COLLINS was the proprie- bling band dropped them into her lap,
tor of a small farm in Lancashire, wrapped up in loathsome rags, that had and having been from his youth of pe- long mouldered in impenetrable connurious habits, he was, at the age of cealment. His old rheumy eyes gloat. sixty, possessed of considerable wealth. ed on the yellow glare of the gold, and He had never been married, and had then on the luxurious shape of her on no near blood-relation alive, so that it . whom he lavished it in agony; and was often talked of in the neighbour- then he kissed alternately the hard hood, what would become of his riches edges of the coin, and the warm lips of on the miser's death. It was generally his wedded paramour. “ Dost thou agreed that they would fall to the not love thine old kind Isaac ?" and King,—for Isaac, it was said, hated the she pressed him with her bare and very sight of a woman; and besides, snow-white arms, close to the heaving who would marry a being so despicable fulness of her bosom. The doting and hateful ? “Ay, forsooth, many a miser would thus fall asleep, grasping young and pretty maiden too would in his lean fingers a few yet unglched marry old Isaac, with his money pieces of coin, of wbich he dreamt bags,” chuckled the hoary miser, when along with the hot kisses that had spitefully he heard the banters of his cajoled him out of their too slippery neighbours, and leered upon them with brethren.. the glistening eyes of avarice and mis- What happiness could Ann Stavert anthrophy. 6 Let youth, health, have in gold i-She was beautiful ; and strength, and comeliness, go woo in she was proud of her beauty. Now vain; but I can charm the fairest she could adorn ber tall, commandwitch in Lancashire into my chaff-beding, andaluring person in garmet and withered arms. What think ye which set off all its temptations,-could of Ann Stavert of Fell-side ?” and the outshine all her rivals—and dazzle the dotard laughed in the mixed joy of his eyes of a hundred lovers. She knew pride, bis lust of gold, and the dregs of that her husband was an object of pity, desire dulled by age, infirmity and a contempt, and scorn; and she did not stony heart.
conceal that he was so to berself, more Ann Stavert was the most beautiful than to all others, as the glance of her girl in all the country side. She was bright and bold eyes met the faces of an only child; and her mother, who men at church or market. But she had long been a widow, was now re- enjoyed their admiration and delight in duced to the lowest ebb of poverty. her rich ripe loveliness, even while she When first Isaac Collins the miser leant it against the palsied side of old asked Ann in marriage, the souls of Isaac the miser. “And will be not both mother and daughter recoiled in soon die ?” was a thought she feared horror and disgust. But in less than not to let come questioning to her a week afterwards, Ann had promised heart, for she loathed and abhorred the to marry him; and in a month she was body that was half ready for the corruphis wife.
tion of the grave. The fondness of the dotard now But Isaac, though palsy-stricken, was held a constant struggle with the ava- tenacious of life. Now two strong rice of the miser. Bold and beautiful, passions kept his bloodless body above heartless and unprincipled, Ann Sta- the ground. He drank existence from vert drained the blood from his wither. the breath of his young wife, and from ed heart, as she coaxed, and wheedled, that of his coffers. The very struggles and kissed, and embraced him out of of his avarice--the tear and wear of his long-gathered, and hidden stores of his soul, bartering one kind of joy for gold. The very chinks of the walls another, both equally aimless and ungave out their guincas; and his trem- natural, seemed to lend a sort of shri. yelled strength to the body they con- not love Amos better than old Isaac ? sumed; -and week after week, mooth my pigeon, give me a kiss."-She kissafter month, year after year, had Ann ed his loathsome lips with a shudderStavert to cajole and to curse, till at as she thought of him whom she had last she fell down on her knees, and just left, and bis endearment that had prayed to God that the old wretch searched her very soul" No, no, my might die; for her soul was sickened kind Isaac—thou art not so old yet into angry despair, and she longed to let us to bed ;"— while the dotard see him in his shroud,—his coffin,-his knowing, and yet forgetting his wife's grave.
infidelity, with a leer rose up, and taking Ann Stavert had sold her body for his rush-light, which his penurious soul gold, and the soul is often lost in such repined should be wasted, tottered into a bargain. She had strong passions his bed-chamber, and with flashes of
- they had long slept, but at last they anger and vengeance diinly breaking were kindled. She singled out from through his decayed memory, and the many who admired her, Amos then lost again in the fascination of Bradley, a tall stripling of 18; and fondness and fear, he laid down his she swore an oath within her soul, that withered body on the bed from which it she would deliver herself up to him, was never again to be lifted up in life. soul, body, and estate. Her eye spoke She had left Amos Bradley in hid
and in the arms of Amus Bradley, ing, and now she returned to his arms. she cursed with a more bitter soul her “Oh! Amos, the old villain has seen old palsied miser, and with more pas. us in our joy, and he leered at me with sionate prayer called upon his Maker the face of a devil. Perhaps his old to shorten bis hated life. The pas- lean fingers will strangle me in my sions of hatred and love wholly dark- sleep.” « Don't suffer him, Ann, to ened her conscience; from the bed of touch your bosom or neck again. You disgust and horror, she flew to the bo- are mine now, and cursed be the slaver som of desire and enjoyment; and of his drivelling lips !” “No, Amos, when clasped in the embraces of guilt, never shall the toad pollute my bosom she dared to think that God would for. again; but dost think he will kill me, give even the murder of her wretched Amos? He is cruel in his old age, and miserable husband.
and hates even when he hugs me. As The old man saw into her heart, the Lord liveth, Amos, for thy sake I with the craftiness of his half-extin- will shed his blood! This knife shall guished intellect, and he hobbled out go to his heart!" 66 Ann, wilt thou og his crutch into the night-darkness, marry me if we murder him." “ Yes, a spy on their secret assignations. Amos, and thou shalt lie between my Blind and deal to other things, here he breasts for ever.” “Swear it then beboth saw and heard, and knew in the fore God.” “I swear before God, as I decrepitude of his soul and body, that hope for mercy at the day of judgment.” his wife was an adult ress. “Shall I They went together into the old drive her out of my house without a man's room, and he saw them by the penny, except what she has stolen, or glimmer of the rush-light. There was shall I put poison into her drink, and death in their eyes; and the miser sat punish her for cheating the old man ?" up, shaking with terror and palsy, But as the miser was sitting in these cruel and clasped his shrivelled hands in thoughts, with bis dim red eyes fastened prayer. « Thou wilt not murder thine on the floor, his wife entered the room old friend Isaac-wilt thou, Ann? with her flushed visage, and sat down by Take her, Amos, love and cherish her ; his side. She looked up, and the fase I will not see it, but spare my nie. cination of that face in a moment There is a bag of guineas in the wall changed him into willing and content- vonder, near that cobweb-dig it out, ed abasement. “Where wast thou, but save the old miser's life; Amos. Ano? I thought I saw thee with that Ann. I am afraid of hell.” One helct. younker, Amos Bradley-thou dost his throat, and the other struck mm
34 ATUENEUM VOL. 1. new series. with his knife ; but the hand that held
the knife had trembled, and the feeble Ann Stavert and Amos Bradley stood blow glanced off the ribs of the wretch- beside the corpse, and, borne down by ed old man. “I cannot strike again, conscious guilt, and fearful evidence of Amos, but we must finish hiin, or we circumstances, looked for a short space are dead people.” The stripling took on each other, and confessed that they his grasp away from the throat, and were the murderers. the old grey head fell back on the pil- Amos Bradley was a mere boy, selflow. The murderers stood still for a willed and deplorably ignorant, but he minute, and by the rush-light glimmer. had never dreamt of committing a cruing in the socket, they both saw that he el crime, till the night on which he was dead. “Don't stare upon me so grasped the old man's throat with a ghastly, Amos, thank God there is no deadly purpose. He was tempted, blood." " Thank God!-did you say and in a moment fell. Now, in the sithank God ?" A blast of rain dashed lence and darkness of his cell, his mind against the window, and the murder was wholly overpowered by a sense of ers started. “God preserve us, Anos! guilt, and sunk almost into idiotcy. - did your hear voices ? Hush, it is But Ann Stavert had long been faminothing. Nobody will suspect, and I liar with horrid thoughts, and for a will marry thee, my sweet Amos, and while her soul rebelled in a fit of unrewe shall be rich and bappy.” They lenting obduracy. Neither did the lifted the body, and laid it down on fear of death extinguish her guilty and the floor; and, once more renew. burning passion. Nightly did she ing their vows of fidelity before God, dream of him she had seduced to desthey lay down in each other's arms till struction, and awake from troubled past midnight. Then Amos arose, and delusive raptures into the dreadful and returned before dawning to his conviction of chains and approaching mother's house.
doorn. Even in her cell she would The next morning it was known have bared her bosom to bim in pas. that Isaac the miser was dead; and sion unextinguishable till the day of many a careless or coarse jest was made execution. But the murderers were on him and his widow. But during kept apart. He could not hear her the day, the jesting was at an end; loud and angry shrieks--she could not and dark looks and suppressed whis. hear his low and miserable moans. pers told over all the parish that poor Each cell held, unheard without, its Isaac, of whom nobody knew any ill owo groans, and the clanking of its but that he was too fond of his money, own heavy chains. had had foul usage at last, and that his They stood at the bar together, and fair wife best knew how he had died. together they received sentence of The black finger gripes were on his death. He said nothing—but looked neck, and a slight wound on his side around him with a vacant stare. There near the heart. The prints of a man's was no expression in his countenance feet, all unlike that of poor lame Isaac, of any cruelty, or of any strong paswere seen all round the house and sion. His soul had died within him, barn ; and his widow, wheit a knife and to the crowded court he was alstained at the point with blood, and ex- most an object of compassion. But actly fitting the wound, was produced, Ann Stavert stood at the bar with all fell down in a mortal swoon. A neigh- her soul awake. " Then let me die. bour, who had been early a-foot, had - Repent? Why should I repent? met Amos Bradley near the house of Because I murdered that loathsome the dead man, and on awakening from wretch, and gave me to the youth I her swoon, the wretched woman, hear madly loved ? Had it never been dising his name, cried out, in desperation, covered, we should have been happy. “ Have you got Amos among you ? - Hear it, ye judges of the land ! I was Amos, Amos, they say we murdered happy in Amos's bosom the very hour him." An hour before midnight the of murder, although I saw the corpse crime had been perpetrated, and the lying on the floor by the moonlight. sun had not reached its height, when Hang me--give my body to dissec
tion—but as it lived for years in loath- ing introdaced into her cell, soon coning and abhorrence, so did it live for verted her into a frantic believer in the a few hours in joy and in heaven, and perfect remission of all ber sins. She that was enough. And now I shall now joined in horrid union with the be told that my soul must sink down name of her poor dear Amos that of to hell. But God is just, and I am the Saviour of mankind-kept continforgiven."
ually repeating that she was made pure They were removed from the bar- in his holy blood-and longed to be he, silent, and seemingly insensible to with him this night in paradise. The his doom ;-she, with hands clenched scaffold was erected before her husagainst the Judge who had pronounced band's door; and as she and her misesentence of death, and uttering blasphe- rable victiin mounted its steps, there mies. It is but a short time from Friday was a growl of thunder in heaven. till Monday, but great changes have Amos Bradley knelt down and prayed been wrought during it, short as it is, then kissed his mother, who was in the minds of those whose bodies with him on the scaffold-and turning have been in chains. Amos Bradley round, said, “ Ano, how dost thou was visited by his mother; and at the feel? Is it possible God may forgive sight of her his understanding, which us? he may be merciful to us, although had been nearly extinguished by the we showed none to old Isaac.” The weight of woe, was gradually restored. wretched woman rushed forward to He was reconciled to his deserved embrace him, but her arms were tied doom: and being made partially to with cords, and her strength was gone. understand the hopes and promises of “ This night, Amos, we shall be in the gospel by one who was indeed a Heaven." 66 Or hell, woman," uttered Christian, the wretched and guilty boy a hoarse voice. It was the Executionseldom left his knees, and was a true er, who bound her shrieking to the penitent. But Aon Stavert on the beam; and in a few minutes the crowd night of condemnation, was struck was dispersed, in tears, trembling, exewith sudden horror; and a fanatic be- cration, and laughter.