« AnteriorContinuar »
sarily imperfect and uncertain as they confess- | rabble are accustomed to yield up a culprit edly are.
unto the offended laws of his country. I allude We shall only advert to one other remedy, not to instances of gross criminality. We know turpentine, which Dr. Knight reports as suc that the immutable code of Christian law hatla cessful in his hands beyond all other medi- decreed that life shall be exacted for a life, that cines. “Gratified," says Dr. Burrows," by Dr. an eye shall be rendered for an eye ;* and it afKnight's success in this intractable disease fords no striking instance of human humility, [maniacal epilepsy,] I requested a more expli- that these decrees of holiness are suffered to cit account of his mode of treating it; but I remain unimpeached. But with regard to the was sorry to learn that the experience of the chastisement of crimes of mere mortal, or legal medical officers of the Lancaster Asylum re creation,-crimes of conventional imagining, futed Dr. K.'s statements.” (p. 658, note.)
crimes that have neither name nor reprobation Before we read this note, indeed, we per. among the canons of Christianity, however faceiv ed from Dr. Knight's own volume, that tal to the interests of social order, I confess ther e had occurred some unpleasant differences that the patient acquiescence of that class between him and the official department of the among which the malefactors commonly arise, Lancaster Asylum, who appear to have refused appears to me little less than an instance of him access to his own papers and journals of divine influence and ordination. cases. (Knight, Pref. p. v., also p. 89, &c.) I have been led into this train of reflection We have no concern in these differences, far by the remembrance of an occurrence, which, ther than they may tend to affect the authenti some years ago, chanced in one of our southcity of the reported cores. It is but justice, ern colonies; one which never recurs to my however, to Dr. Knight to state, that he is not mind without rousing feelings of painful emoalone in his account of the effects of turpen. tion, and which I shall not refuse myself the tipe, his testimony being corroborated by that melancholy pleasure of detailing, as I feel that of Dr. E. Percival, of Dublin, who produced my inferences can do no mischief in the order by its means a partial cure in twenty cases of of society to which they are addressed, and epileptia mania.
that my story may touch the minds of those in whose hands are the powers of life and death. It
may soften the human heart, but it will be too feebly told to rouse the rebellious into mu
tiny, or the disaffected into an evil interpretaSUBORDINATION.
tion of my meaning.
One sultry evening in August, an anxious “He diell, as erring man should die, Without display-without parade!"-Byron
group of civil and military employés was col
lected in the chief square of a city of some imAmong the many wondrous things which portance among our Mediterranean possesuse and habit enable us to contemplate with sions. The day had been oppressive, and irri. ont surprise, none more strongly excite my ad. tating from glare and mosquitos ; sufficiently miration than the steady maintenance of social so, indeed, to account for the hectic upon seorder in England, and the unswerving subordi veral cheeks among the little knot of dispunation of its moral world. The intemperance tants, and for the angry inflexion of their of a few starving frame-breakers,—the perpe voices. During the whole morning, the chief tration of an occasional burglary,-an elope square, which formed a sort of parade before ment,-or a corn-riot, can scarcely be consi the Government-house, had been ominously dered as arguments against the orderly regu- deserted; save when some lazy Padre was seen larity established among us, shaming even that deliberately traversing its scorching sand, in of the most highly polished of continental order to ascend the steps of some lofty portico, countries.
the palace of one of his chartered penitents; But in looking, and looking admiringly upon or when, at an earlier hour, a bannered proces. the existing order of things, in considering the sion, with pyx and crozier, had directed itself goodly pile of civil and military organization towards the church of Santa Medoarda from a which we have constructed to restrain the evil convent in the suburbs. But although a seaimpulses of the land, let it not be forgotten breeze had already sprung up, and was gushthat its "polished corners," and buttresses of ing in freshening sportiveness across the strength, have been cemented with human square, as if in mercy to the white stone blood"; and that if “millions died that Cæsar walls which were basking under the prolonged might be great;" hundreds and thousands of glow of the setting sun-although the scent lives have been also sacrificed, in order that of a thousand orange blooms was borne upon we may sleep securely, hoard our glittering its wings, no idlers—none at least of British dross without dread of the midnight robber, seeming-came forth to enjoy the restoration and find protection in the well disciplined actio of the evening coolness, until the little party vity of our armies against foreign invasion and to which I have alluded, emerged from the civil tumult. Let us not overlook the tears portico of the Government-house, and gatherthat have been shed, the stern self-denial that ed itself round one of the field-pieces, which, hath been exerted, when the sweet preroga more for ornament than defence, were planted tive of mercy became a dangerous temptation, along the esplanade. in order thai our lives and properties might be They had apparently left the dinner table of secured from the spoiler, by the warning of Sir Ralph Stanley at this untimely hour, in orpublic example!
Few things are more admirable than the re This article is selected from the Naval and signation and sense of justice with which the | Military Magazine.
der to indulge in some discussion upon which my uncle's grave sonorous voice, as he ad. his presence had been a restraint.
dressed the prisoner. I did not think so much “I knew how it would end," observed one true dignity lay hid under bis every-day sloueh; of the younger officers : “ from the moment of nor that he was capable of the deep emotion his arrest-nay, from the day of his enrolment which thrilled through his words at the close in Majendie's company, I predicted some black of his charge. He could not fix his eye upon conclusion. Frank Willis is too fine-hearted a poor Willis's fine manly figure as he pronounced fellow to match with the Adjutant. But you ihat one horrible concluding word; and while were on the Court-martial, Vernon,-how did he spoke, there was not a sound stirring in the Frank stand his ground,-how did the lad get crowded Court, except the hard breathing of through his defence?"
one or two of our youngsters. I know that “ He atteinpted none. The charge of hav my own heart swelled till it choked me." ing struck his superior officer was clearly sub " There is not a smarter soldier than Willis stantiated, and was recorded with all the tedi- | in our ranks," observed one of the subalterns, ous precision of legal definition. Corporal Ru.
after a pause.
" He seems to belong, by ditherford swore to having seen Willis disorder vine right, to the regiment, for he was born in ly on parade that very afternoon."
a retreat in India, in Blackshaw's time ; and “ But there was no witness who could speak his father, who was serjeant-major, was left to the principal charge?”
behind to scoop a grave in the sand for bis “ None!" 'exclaimed Arthur Stanley, the wife. I remember hearing several of our old Governor's nephew, and youngest aid-de-camp. India fellows relate, when I joined, how Frank “ And Majendie gave his evidence in such a was swathed in a wallet, and tossed into a bag. cursed, shuffling, apologetic style, that I was gage waggon, with little or no care from the in hopes the Court would have found Frank women, who were busy with the sick and guilty only on the minor counts. But old Ked wounded." jeree, my worshipful kinsman, after a cross “ Frank Willis served with us through the examination which appeared to me, and indeed Peninsula,” observed another; "and he has to most of our fellows vexatiously persevering, the Waterloo medal.”. called upon the prisoner for his defence."
" What think you, Vernon ? is there no hope “ You have not told us how Willis bore up for him?" inquired another of the group. "I! against the evidence. Did he seem cast down is revolting, to see a fine fellow cut off under when it went bard against him?"
such circumstances; for although Willis scorn“ I never beheld a firmier deineanour. If the ed to bring forward the name of his young wife fellow had been carved out of the rock on which in his defence, yet not a man in the regiment we are standing, he could not have shown a doubts under what irritation the assault was more stern and resolute countenance. There comunitted. Majendie's character is so well was not a variation of colour upon his cheek, known,-and his admiration of Bessy Willis nor a glance of passion in his eye, even when was apparent even to ourselves." that red-headed Judas, our worthy adjutant “ Most true," replied Vernon. 6 But old who, by the way, could not conceal his trepi. Stanley, saving Arthur's presence, is a marti. dation even by the deliberate drawl in which net in points of discipline; and, to say the he was pleased to drone out his declaration-truth, I believe pardon, in such a case, would swore to a thousand facts of general and parti. be altogether unprecedented." cular insubordination in Willis's conduct. “ Ici bas, l'on peut tout ce qu'on reut, quand There was not so much as a start of surprise or on veut ce que l'on doit vouloir." indignation to be detected.”
“ Not in a garrison, Arthur; as you will one “ And when he was called upon for his de- day find to your cost. But that is not the fence?"
point. If any thing can be done to save Wil. " He replied that he had none to make, in a lis, or to mitigate his punishment, his previous voice as clear and deep as a nightcall at sea. ties upon us, and his manly firmness, demand The General, however, appeared to consider every effort at our hands. Sir Ralph oves me this answer as a mere ebullition of temper, some kindness," continued Vernon, lowering for he reiterated the demand in an angry his voice," as the surviving friend of his only voice."
son--as the receiver of his last breath; and “ Aye!" said young Stanley, “ and then you, Arthur, who provoke your Uncle's reprithere arose such a murmur in the Court as mands and curses from morning till night, cao brought all the hot blood into Kedjeree's bless little imagine with what indulgent tenderness ed cayenne countenance.
Speak your pro. he doaled upon poor Edward." vocation, Willis!' cried one voice.
Arthur Stanley drew near to listen. the russian !' shouted another. Be not bui “ Yoursell, Arthur, as his nephew and heir, chered in cold blood !'- Show the General can pretend to some claim upon the General's the sabre cut you got at St. Sebastian, cover consideration. We have given him time for ing his son in the breach.' Till the old gentle. his hookah; let us go back together, and say man, moved only to greater fury by this con what we can in furtherance of this petition, tempt of order, commanded the Court to be which bears the signatures of half the garrison, eleared,--and that in no holiday tone.". and all the regiment,-nay, even Majendie's,
“ The evidence was briefly recapitulated," who, I believe, would give his right hand for continued Vernon; "and, after a short consul. liberty to withdraw the charge." tation, sentence of death was recorded.”
" Go, and Heaven speed you !" exclaimed “ By Heavens !" exclaimed Arthur Stanley, every officer present. “We will wait here to “ I would rather have heard the opening of an
learn the result." enemy's battery rattling round my ears than Sir Ralph Stanley listened with gentlemanly
i Show up
forbearance to the succinct relation, made by ful influence. “ You cannot hope, Sir,” said Major Vernon, of the services and good con he to Sir Ralph, with little ceremony, " to have duct of the condemned soldier; of his claims, one peaceful hour of rest, after persisting in by birthright, of the good will of the regiment, your severity towards a brave man like Willis, and, by individual service, upon that of its com in consideration of the rascally and unsupportmandant. He entered into the affair at length, ed testimony of that sneaking shirking dog, or, as Arthur thought, at great length, prefac- Majendie. If Vernon's suppositions are just, I ing his remarks by a handsome acknowledg. only wonder, that Frank has not been condemn. ment to the friend of his deceased son, and to ed to death for cleaving the ruffian to the earth, that beloved son's unfortunate preserver. rather than for repulsing him by a paltry thrust
"Most willingly,” said he, "would I accede of his arm !" to the wishes of the corps, and the more so, as “ I was not aware, Captain Stanley, of hav. having been expressed ihrough a medium ho- | ing referred the case to your sapient judgment; nourable to their choice, and interesting to but when your boyish intemperance will per. myself, as that of Major Vernon. But a supe- mit you to listen,
-know, Sir, that a soldier rior duty commands me to close my feelings can sleep as freely after the conscientious disagainst such an appeal. The interests of the charge of a civil duty, as he can when the service, Sir, require that so gross a breach of cause of his country has embrued his hands in discipline should be met by the utmost rigour the blood of his fellow creatures. In either of martial law; and the public mind must not case, he is but an instrument in the hands of a be misled by the influence of private predilec- higher intelligence. I am myself Arthur, but tion. In short, Vernon, with due deference to the servant of the public and of the law ;-but your representations, and to Arthur Stanley's, I will not shape my doings according to your, who knows as much of the importance of what or any other enthusiast's, vague opinion. Be he asks, as if it were for the life of a poinçer they judged between myself, my country, and puppy, I feel that I should very seriously com my Maker! And now, Vernon, good night," mit myself by any show of leniency in an affair added he, kindly taking the hand of the Major, so importani to the maintenance of military forgive my apparent ungraciousness, and bediscipline."
lieve that I equally appreciate your rights upon Major Vernon--an old staff officer-was too my indulgence, and your forbearance and deliwell initiated into the mysteries of official re: cacy in using them. And if it be any pleasure plies to be staggered by this rébut. He only to you, Arthur Stanley, assure yourself that seemed to consider it as a signal for a patient my sympathy in poor Willis's fate is, at least, recommencement of his narration, and for a as keen as your own." still more earnest declaration of the warm in The veteran retired as he spoke; but, thanks terest which Willis's smartness, and courage, to gout and grape-shot wounds, not so actively and honourable feeling, as a man and a soldier, as to escape hearing the graceless comments had roused in his favour throughout the garri- of his nephew. “Go thy ways, thou heart of
“ I know of no instance," added he, “in bowstring and bend-leather! go doze in thine which an act of clemency would be more po- easy chair, thou incorrigible slave of form and pular."
prejudice, who would'st sacrifice one of the noBut General Stanley was inflexible, and blest of God's creatures to a mere automaton, sternly, although not harshly, proof against all moving only under the impulse of bad passions czpostulation." My good friend,” he replied, and evil thoughts.". " you have to deal with an old soldier, -one « What success ?" exclaimed twenty voices, with whom such qualities as you describe hold as they regained their expectant companions. more than sufficient influence. Judge then Vernon shook his head. - Inexorable !" rewhat it must cost him to porsevere in the exe. plied Arthur, doggedly. “ Nothing now recution of his public duty in such a case ; and mains for Frank Willis but to die—and he will do not add to the vexations which harass and dic-like a man." afilict him to-night, by unavailing solicitations. The roll of the evening drum warning the Captain Stanley will also have the grace to men to their quarters, and the closing light abstain from those shrugs of contempt and dis- around them, acted as signals of dispersion to trust; for I am perfectly sincere in speaking the dispirited party. Those officers whose duty of my professional duty on this occasion as compelled them to pass the gates of the cita.. most unsatisfactory and painful. To be short, del, observed that the challenge of the sentinel Vernon, the thing is impossible.-Willis must was spoken in a hoarse voice ;—those who redie !-his last sun hath set; and I doubt whe- gained the barracks, noticed that the men ther it will ever shine upon a finer fellow!" were gathered together in groups of four or
The old soldier walked to the other side of five, throughout the several quadrangles, some the chamber to recover his voice ; but notwith in silent concern, but still more engaged in standing his emotion, Vernon was satisfied anxious discourse with low and unassured of the ill success of his suit. He ventured, voices. Not a sound of merriment could be however, to glance at some circumstances of detected in that usually mirthful and tumultoelucidation respecting the Adjutant on whose ous region.--No fragment of an English ditty behalf and accusation Willis was sentenced to --no whistled cadence of the songs of home suffer, and the lovely young bride of the con. burst from the half-closed casements of the sol demned soldier, which staggered, although diers' rooms. — The women called not aloud to they could not conquer the resolution of the their children in their ordinary vociferation of staunch old Governor. Upon his ardent ne. motherly tenderness—they “ hushed as they phew, however, the mere recapitulation of that reproved," or caught up the unoffending impa which he already knew, had a far more power. into their arms, with an affectation of chiding
and remonstrance, in order to conceal the tears " Sit down, Frank, sit down," said Vernon. that quivered in their own swollen eyes. forcing him back to his straw. “ You have
One chamber of that many.windowed façade need of rest.". had been closed throughout the day; and the “ Not so, sir," answered Willis, affecting : grassy plot it overlooked was even more sadly more cheerful voice. “My rest to-morrow will silent than the rest of the Barrack-yard, and forestal your own; and when the dial shados many a pitying look was sent up to those de of the bastions falls upon noon, Frank's bead solate casements, and many an adjuration of will be lying among sleepers, as heavy as any “ God help her!" directed towards them. It we left at Quatre-Bras." was that of Bessy Willis, whose numbered Vernon did not rebuke this lightness of hours were passing rapidly away in the death speech, but he damped it by the tone of his reliness of utter despair. God was indeed will. ply. “I am come, Frank, to inquire whether ing to help her--he was taking her to himself! you have any commands to leave, which a friend
Conscious that the feeble condition of his may execute. Having never deluded you with wife would secure him from the bitter agony of hopes of mercy, I have the less reluctanee in an earthly parting,--since weakness bound her announcing to you that even your most sapto a dying bed,-Willis was the better enabled guine friends have ceased to cherish them to keep up the show of manly firmness which, Willis,—you must die to-morrow." from the first moment of his arrest, had distin “I have never thought otherwise, Major; guished his deportment. But he had never de- and I have therefore prepared myself to seek ceived himself with regard to his destiny. A from my Great Maker, that clemency which soldier's son--almost a soldier born-he was my fellow men withbold." keenly alive to the filting strictness of mili " I trust you have neglected no means of retary discipline ; and, so litile had be looked for conciliation, which our Holy Church affords mercy, so ill.exchanged would he have consi. to such as die in hope ;-hat you have no madered the doom of honourable death for one of lice still rankling in your heart against your acstripes or imprisonment, that he had never cuser ? striven to wake among his judges a sense of None !--Major Vernon;-none, as I trust the consideration due to his services, nor the in the goodness of God! I have need to be slightest degree of personal interest; nay, with thankful-humbly thankful-that my resent& delicacy worthy a better object, he had even ment against the ruffian who has sacrificed me foreborne to connect the outrage for which he did not betray my hand into the sin of murder was to suffer, with some grievous personal de. when my indignant spirit was at its height: tails of insult and injury.
I can declare that, from the bottom And he was to die!—The heavy irons upon of my soul, I forgive Capt. Majendie that which his limbs--the heavier bars of his prison win I fear he will scarcely learn to forgive himdows, through which the slanting red evening self. And indeed, sir, if I might presume to sunbeams bad found their way to dance and express a dying request to the gentlemen of quiver, as if in derision, upon the opposite wall the regiment who have so kindly interested of his cell-the straw which rustled beneath themselves in my favour, it would be that they him as he threw himself down, exhausted, not should forbear from marking by their conduct despairing, on his return from condemnation towards that self-condemned man, their sense all conspired to remind him that the last sands of my injuries." of his degraded existence were dropping, grain Vernon, instead of granting the pledge reby grain, and that a death of shame awaited quired by the generous victim, demanded, in a him on the morrow! He might have died in very low tone, whether he had any message to happier times--he might have perished in the send to the poor suffering creature he was about struggle of a battle-field, for he had seen many to leave to the tender mercies of a wide and such, and “honour and he filled up one monu selfish world. ment!" But had such been his fortune, he had " Tell my poor girl," faltered the soldier,not returned triumphant to that beloved Eng "the best and truest of wives,--that I should land, in whose most sequestered hamlet he had grieve more in shutting my eyes upon a world won the hand of Bessy from the reluctant fa which deals, as you say, but harshly with the "ther, unto whom he had sworn to love and to poor, were I not persuaded that we shall soon protect her-a promise but too fatally fulfilled! be united in a more equal country! And after The prisoner groaned heavily as these images all, sir, what avail the tears that we drop over called back to his mind the wife of his bosoin, a grave, what avail those which we shed og and the young boy which had blessed their mu the brink of that which is about to cover us. tual affection; and, as he sought to bury his Short will be the longest separation-a brief head in the straw, a compassionate voice waru moment in the endless day of the universe :ed him that he was not alone.
and in a few years, all alike will mingle in the He roused himself to inquire who stood be dust.--You, Major Vernon, if I may embolden bide him, amid the gathering darkness.-" It myself to make the request, you will see that is I, Willis," replied the gentle voice of Vernon. Bessy and the boy are decently sent home to “ It is your old master, who would fain ex her old father; and that he is told how truly change a few parting and friendly words with she formed to his last hour, the blessing of an you."
honest heart,-of the husband who died in her “ Your honour is very considerate," answer defence.” ed Willis, attempting to gain his legs. “You “ God of Heaven! it is then true that" have been ever so to me, Major Vernon; and “ No more, sir, on that head ;-my spirit
, things would have gone better with me if I had thank God! is tranquil now! Aye!--Bessy's heeded your reproofs of my fiery spirit.” father wavered lang ere he would give his dar
ling to a soldier, yet he little dreamed that unworthy of it. Father O'Halloran will not soldier would make an ignominious end." leave me to.night, nor-nor to-morrow."
At this moment, the entrance of the gaoler, " Farewell, Frank, and God be with you !" preceding a figure wrapt in a military clouk, said both officers, solemnly, as they left the interrupted the course of his comfortless reflec- cell; and old Stanley was fain to accept the tions.
arm of his aid-de-camp, as they wound together ** This is a late hour for visiters,--who have through the intricate stone passages. Between we here :" said the deep voice of Sir Ralph, the prison door, and the garden postern of the approaching the prisoner.
Government house, there was not one sylla" A friend, dear sir!" replied Major Vernon, ble exchanged between thein. anxiously referring the Governor's untimely The morning gun boomed heavily over the visit to some motive of mercy,
harbour, as the dull grey dawn broke over the ** Willis!" exclaimed Sir Ralph, addressing waves, and many, or most of those who were the fluttered soldier, who stood erect before awakened by the sound, turned sickening him, as if still engaged in the execution of away,“ as if ihey loathed that light.” But the military duty, "I have too intimate a know- whole garrison was soon astir for parade, for ledge of the heart of a good soldier to believe the horrible ceremony by which it was to be that you entertain any ill will towards me for succeeded; and the hollow roll of a muffled the part you bave obliged ine to act in your drum was heard at intervals, as a sad prelude condemnation. But since you needs must die, to the dark array of death. Thrice did the dis--part we friends! Give me your hand, Frank tinguished regiment to which Willis had boWillis,—my son's preserver,--my brave son's, i longed-assembled by the ordinary and now -who is with God!–Give me your hand, boy ; revolting delay of the muster-roll---march and remember that your wife and infant from round the parade; the long, deep-drawn notes this hour become my children."
of the trumpet prolonging the funeral march "One of them will not, I trust, tarry long by which their steps were measured. It from the shelter of her Heavenly Father," an ceased; and a solitary human voice was heard swered the gratified Willis, pressing the vene reciting the service of burial for the dead;, a rable hand so cordially extended towards him.. solitary human voice, which pierced into the “And His blessing be with you, General, for inmost recesses of the heart to which it was your kind will towards the orphan. Make him addressed, which aniniated as it was with the
good soldier, sir, if it please you; unless you proudest instincts, and the most generous iin-
"We know it,--we acknowledge it,” replied vigorous human frame--the death-wound of a
Willis followed the minister, preceded by a degaoler, “first let us dispense with these; we tachment of the regiment in whose ranks he know, and will be responsible for our man." had so often rushed on to victory. He rusheil
As the sledge hammer was instantly applied not forwards now; his step was slow, meafor his relief, Willis appeared to shrink back in sured, resolute; his face stern but pale, like pain. “What is it?" inquired Vernon of the that of one to whom the encounter of death is gaoler, who exhibited unequivocal symptoms familiar, but appalling. of sympathy with his prisoner, now that he Yet although many a heart beat quick among found them sanctioned by his betters.
crowds assembled to look upon, and be ad. " The irons have galled an old wound,"re. monished by, a deed of death,—that of Willis plied the man. And Vernon remembered that kept temperate time;- although many lips the bone had been shattered by a musket ball, were compressed in agony at the solemn spec. in the affair at St. Sebastian's, during Willis's tacle of deliberate bloodshed, Frank's were active defence of bis friend Edward Stanley. gently parted, as if to inhale the last sweet The looks of all present showed their concern. breath of earth ;-although many eyes were
"General!” said Frank, approaching his for. earnestly strained, as if to save the big drops mer commander with a manly plainness, in from falling, in shame to their manhood,
spired by the knowledge that all earthly dis those of the victim were alternately bent in tinctions between them were soon to end, “do good will upon his former comrades, or humbly not distress yourself about me, when I am gone. lifted towards that sky which he trusted was The good of the service required an example not unmindful of his penitence. you have given it. Your own generous nature The ceremony was nearly at an end. Major suggested a redeeming show of mercy-you Vernon, accidentally in command of the rehave given it, sir, and where it has not been giment, gave contradictory orders, seemunfelt; for 1 die comforted—proud, if I may ed harassed and perplexed, and for the first say 50,-knowing that my children will not be time, on duty, lost his self-possession. The fatherless,
nor my poor widow unfriended and young officer at the head of Majendie's comdesolate.
Farewell, gentlemen!" continued pany, whom General Stanley had consideWillis
, perceiving that even the sternest of his rately despatched to an outpost on the coast, auditors was deeply touched ; “ do not prolong turned deadly faint, and could scarcely persist your sorrow for one whom the world declares | in his duty. The most unearthly stillness per