Selections from the miscellaneous posthumous works of Philip Cohen Labatt : prose and verse

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Selections from the miscellaneous posthumous works of Philip Cohen Labatt : prose and verse
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Kingston, Jamaica
R.J. DeCordova, Printer
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1 online resource (viii, 106 pages)


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Jamaican literature ( fast )
Jamaican poetry ( fast )
Short stories, Jamaican ( fast )
Jews ( fast )
Jamaica ( fast )
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Oxford University
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University of Florida
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INTRODUCTORY. N mrniious are the motives which incite men t.o become public writers. Ambition and Fame are, principally, the powerful levers which move the human mind to action. The influence they exercise is almost as potent as that of the golden god himself, of whose supreme sway BAooN" thought not when he assigned to Knowledge the power which Wealth enjoys. Ambition's ideal goal, however, none can reach. Like the miser, who, howe'Ver rich, is ever poor, the ambitious man has ever something to secure that is unattainable-his lamp ot glory, replenish it ash~ may,never burns with sufficient brightness, and that which to-day is the M plm ,u1t1'a of his desires, will, to-morrow, be considered merely as the stepping stone to a more ex alted destiny Equally illusory are the fascinations of Fame-the twin sister of Ambition-who was worshipped by the ancients as a powerful goddess ; her gaudy temple, hung with the most costly and dazzling decorations, when once inhabited, presents the appearance of a dimly-illu mined apartment, and new beauties, which erst arose in all the splendour of loveliness, suggesting the idea of human perfection, sink into insignificance, rapidly making way for brighter charms. Gold is the world's potentate. Know ledge has, and too frequently would, moulder and decay within the gloomy cell of poverty, did not the golden key remove the bar and usher it forth to light the paths of men. History need not be invoked to bear witness to the truth of this allegation. Wealth and Ambition then, are among the motives which have made places for those who people the literary world," as well as for others whose glories are not born upon the "field of letters The incentives named are as commendable as they are Digitized by Google


V1 INTRODUCTORY, necessary to the progress of our age. Without them, the world would be a blank, and man would live taking not a step towards the fulfilment of his great destiny. ,v ealth, Fame, and Ambition are the bright guiding stars to the summit of the earthly pinnacle to which we dare aspire Their light is bright and refulgent,-it dazzles whilst it guides. But how placid and mild is the light of true genillS-Of modest retiring talent, acquired from a natural love of its allurements and when acquired used, not merely for personal advantage, but for the good of others. Thus applied, it contrasts with that which is dimly shed by the love of self, as the sweet works of nature contrast with the rude rough works of art. Unobtrusively, the works of such a genius steal before the world, and doubly in creased is the respect his pen deserves. More favorable still must be the reception given tu writings whose author, was known only to conjecture, until death stole from the busy world all of him that was mortal, but gave existence to a name that will attest the genius of its late possessor. Such a name belonged to the author of the varied matter contained in the succeeding pages of the little volume which now offers itself as a candidate for public favor. Oh popular applause I What heart of man Is proof against thy sweet seducing charms ? asks CoWPEB. The heart of PHILIP CoHEN LAB.A.Tr, whose memory these pages will commemorate, was proof against thy "sweet seducing charms "-popular applause With abilities unknown even to himself, and which, but for his hasty summons from the scene of life, time would fully have developed, he was unpretending in the extreme, and meek even to a weakness. Devoted to the ordinary tasks Digitized by Google


LNTRODUCTOBY. Vll of life, and claiming by bis industry a livelihood from the world for himself, the beloved and now bereaved partner of bis heart, and an aged and widowed mother, his time could not be undividedly devoted to literary pursuits. Still was every spare hour he could command occupied in storing his fruitful mind with those innumerable treasures which in part are entombed with bis mortal remains. The present little book contains many gems of thought. Some of the selections of which it is composed have al ready appeared before the public eye under popular cog nomens : others owe their introduction to the eye of charitable criticism to surviving friends of Mr. LABA.Tr, who, with an object as worthy as the work itself, con fidently place them before the public. That object is associated with the merits of the little volume in soliciting the support of a generous community. In the preceding pages more has been said of the writer than of the work itself. This will not be disap proved of in a preface, when it is recollected by the in dulgent reader that the author of the work is no more. His mortal remains are mingled with their mother dust, and the pen of friendship, in inditing a preface, may enjoy the privilege that could not be exercised by the writer of the work to which it is prefixed. The tongue of eulogy is dumb in attempting to do justice to a character whose literary qualifications were the result of intense ap plication ; and who, much as he may be appreciated, and his memory revered by a perusal of the following pages, still in a great degree was unknown to the public, before whom-too unassuming even to take credit for much that was hie own-he allowed laurels to fade rather than they should deck the brow of him whose mind had earned them. Digitized by Google


viii INTRODUOTOBY. Mr. LABATT was a native of this city, and would have completed his 32nd year had his life been spared to the 1st of January last. Essentially "a man of letters," he was a valuable member of the Literary Society, estab lished some time since in this city, before which he de livered a most entertaining lecture on the popular super stitions of Jamaica; a copy of which, it is regretted, cannot be found to increase the size of the present volume. About the year 1846, he published a weekly miscellany called the "Echo," which, from no defects of its own, was doomed to be short-lived. And a most valuable school book, the Catechism of Jamaica," compiled by the de parted, and now in use in many of the seminaries of this island, bears evidence of the research of Mr. WATT, and of his intimacy with the history of his native country. His latest production is the last selection in the present edition," Help, or we Perish," called forth by the thrilling accounts that reached us of the sufferings of the J ewe in the Holy Land. Mr. WA'IT leaves many bound by ties stronger than those of friendship-by the ties of love and duty-to deplore his death. Upon the object of its publication-upon the merits of its contents-upon the liberality of the public-is the hope grounded that this little book will be favorably received, and that it will deserve a place in many a library beside the works of greater, though not of better, men. I. LAWTON. Kingdon, Jamaica,, JlMch, 1866. Digitized by Google




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NEXT OF KIN: OR WHO IS THE HEIR? A FilOE, IN ONE A.OT. SCENE !.-LAWYER CooNOVIT's Ojfice-,Book8, desk8,.files ofpapera, &x ,.fill up the acene-JoE CUDDLES diaC()'l)ered at a desk, writing. I likewise give and bequeath unto my dearly beloved grandson the sum of Hu! Gracious Providence! Oh Joseph Cuddles, Joseph Cuddles, five and forty years is it since the world was first honored with your presence, and never yet has it been your good fortune to have the most distant prospect of becoming the en vied possessor of I don't believe I ever had a grandfather! its overpowering-it is against the laws of nature? (writing) "Provided" I breathe again. There is a proviso What would our profession be without provisos? They are the very essence of law -its very existence. Do unto others as you would wish to be done by--i!o says the Christian axiom-but what says the law. Undo in a proviso all that you have done, or you'll be done for. (knock.) There's old Cognovit, I dare be sworn ; wait old fellow. One good turn deserves another; you have made me wait long enough for my salary. 15. per annum payable quarterly. Oh the fortune of a lawers clerk (knock repeated.) There's this old coat that has had new elbows to it fourteen times-one would suppose that from the excessive wear and tear in that portion ofmy garment, I had elbowed my way in the world to some purpose, (loud knock) Bah! I'm coming. ( OpeM door and admit8 CooNOVIT.) Cog. Mr. CuddlesJoe. I know what you're going to say. I made you wait, didn't I? I know it. You need'nt say any more. Its a way I've got Every body waits on me. My laundress, the woman who washes my two shirts, waits for her money-My landlady ditto-there is a chalk-pit on the door of the ale house I frequent-that comes of my host's wait ing-my stomach waits alas, very frequently for its dinner,-myCog. Enough, sir! (aside) Curse the fellow; where he not ser viceable and cheap I should have been rid of him already, but 15 per annum is uncommonly cheap, and thenDigitized by Google


4 NEXT OF KIN. Joe. Mr. Scruple's been here. He wants the assignment of Tom Grabbit'sjudgment. I didn't give it him, as he hadn't brought the foes. Cog. Right sir, right. He is a scoundrel. Joe. Spoken very fee-lingly. Do you want me? Cog. Yes. Go to Filch and Catch. Ask if there have been any applicants respecting old Smith's next of kin. Did you take the ad vertisement to the Times? Joe. Yes, last night. Two men have been here to you. I told 'em to come back at one o'clock. It's not far off that time now. You had better not go out again. (k,wck) Ah! shouldn't be surprised if that s one of them. Cog. Go to the door. [JoE opens door. Enter FREDERICK AousTUS TOPPLES wlw bows to COGNOVIT.] Top. Mr. Cognovit, I believe, (Coo. bows) happy to know you sir. Heal'd much of you from my friend Frank Blazer. Capital fellow that A man, sir, who can put his three bottles of port under his waistcoat, and foci none the worst for them. He is, sir I may say, considered to be one of the genteelest fellowsJoe. Bah I Draw it mild Cog llfr. Cuddles do me the favor to retire. (to 'orrr,Es) l\Iay I, sir, enquire your buaineBB-your pleasure seems pretty e, idcnt to rue Top. Ah-why, sir, it's amere matter of-ah-'-as Frank Blazer would say, sirCog. Mr. Blazer's observation, sir, cannot be of the slightest con sequence to me. May I again enquire what you desire of me. My time is precious. Top. well, you are, a rum'un However, sir, to come to the point, I was brought here by ah-ah-an advertisement, or to speak correctly, by a cab, or to speak yet more correctly, by a horse, which drew a cabCog. Sir I must request a direct answer to my question. Top. Was ever such an individual I what sir is your opinion of flights of fancy? Would you, sir, tie a man to the merest matter-of fact terms of expression? Pon honor, its too bad-as Frank Blazer would say-(CoGNO'l"IT exhibits signs of impatience) well, well, sir, I have called respecting an advertisement which I preccived in the Times of this morning. I need not mention the name of the party I suppose? Cog. There are, I believe, sir, several advertisements, in the Times of to-day. May I be permitted to know to which you refer in parti cular? Top. Gracious heaven! must you have the name? It is sir, oh horror, Smith, filthy SmDigitized by Google


NEXT 01" KIN. 5 Cog. You am, then, interested in the matter of Mr. fimith's next of kin. 1'op. Precisely so. Cog. You are of course prepared \\ith the proofs necessary to es tablish your claim. Top. Why, ah-d'ye see-it is not a matter of much consequence to me whether I shall succeed or not. The fact is I-ah-prefer my claim more as a matter of right than of necessity, for my fortune, is -ah-very ample at this moment, and ah-you understand. It wus observed to me by Frank Blazer, no later than an hour ago, that I might possibly derive some trifling advantage from an application in this quarter-and consequently I-ah-looked at some family papers which-ah-my poodle had not entirely destroyed, and here I have brought them. ( Takes them out of a pocket book and gives them to GoGNOVIT. You will observe, as I said before, my fortune is very am ple (drops a paper which Joe picks up unobserve

6 NEXT OF KIN. and there just now I was copying Mr. Counsellor Longbricf's opinion on a case of libel. I am sure if you mistook what I meant it wasn't my fault, was it? Top. Dcmn the fellow ; is that all ? Joe. Honor-all-not a word more. Here I'll shew it you (takes paper from desk.) Look here, there's the sentence-" I said you are a scoundrel, a thief and a liar" these are the words of the defendant ('roPPLES endea'Dours to get away-JoE follows him, reading) stop, hear the rest of the evidence-He further goes on to-day, you are a cowardly, dastardly, miserable blackguardTop. Demn the fellow I That'll do ; let me go will you? Joe. (follOUJing him round the stage) A cowardly, dastardly, miserable, blackguard-the destation of the good-the recreant rascal who robbed-('roPPLES breaksfrom him and ruBhes out at the door.) Ha! ha I ha! Fairly played. That's what I call a good game. But let us see what's in this paper. (Reads) "Mrs. Sopem wants to know av Mr. Tupples is agoin' to pay her the thriffle he owes her for his washing, betoken that av Misther Tupples wishes to defraud an honest woman with ten childer, and that uses the best of soap, and the clearest of starch, not to say mending and darning and putting on buttons arout number, it's a dishonest thing Mr. Tupples would be after doing, and it's my boy William that's got the fever, and ne'er a bit of doctor's stuff I have got the money to buy."-Phew I (imitat ing TOPPLES.) My fortune-ah-you understand, ah-is very ample and-ha! ha! ha! this iB a lark, (knock) Who the deuce is there now? ( opens, door, and seats himself COnBpicuously in Oogno'Dil 'a chair-enter PETER LEnnocK with a newspaper. Joe. Well, what do you want? Peter. Mr. Cognovit-your he? No? His Clerk? JoE nods) You'll do, wont you? Joe. Don't know, what do you want. Peter. The paper-old Smith-next of kin-understand? Come about it. Joe. You next of kin? To Methusela you mean. W ern't you in the Ark with Noah? Peter. Might have been-forget just now. Joe. Well, what are your claims ? Peter. Grandmother's name Smith--i!aw paper-badly off-porter, Tucker and Freeman-understand? Joe. Deuced if I do. Can you whistle. Peter. Don't know-never tried-like to learn. Joe. You'd bctterdo so at once. Mr Cognovit is out. Leave a mes sage for him, if you like; I will deliver it. (PETER takes a dirty pa per from Ms pocket and gives it to JoE) What's this? Peter Ler rock, is that your name? ah? Grandson of Anne Smith. This is the register of your baptism, eh? Well, you may leave it. Mr. Cognovit will soon be in and I will give it him. You may go. Digitized by Google


Peter. Can't. Joe. Why not? NEXT OF KIN. 7 Peter. Paper-wont leave it. Joe. Oh, you wont eh? Look here, old fellow, if you come here to insult me with your cursed insinuations I'll just make minced meat of you. Peter. (Doggedly.) Don't care-ain't afraid. Give me that pa per, (M attempts to snatch it from JoE, who struggles to retain it in the scu/fle PETER falls-JoEjumps on the table, waves a dirty handkerchief and shouts "Brayvoo--Huzza-Huzza" whilst PETER on the ground, is holding his nose, and shaking hisjist at him. SCENE II.-MARY's apartment-She is sitting at a tabk working -her back towards the door. Hcigo I I do believe I'm in love-at least I have all its symptoms. My mind wanders from every subject save one, and that one it makes me so happy to think on, and yet, perhaps I only like him as a dear kind brother, such a brother as my poor Charles, his friend, was to me Good kind Edward! I would I were his sister-yet, no, I fear my heart does not join in that wish. He bas been looking melancholy of late-be seems ever pensive and thoughtful. Can he love another? Oh my heart, my heart, I fear it would break were such the case. (resumes her .work-EDWARD HARLEY enters unperceived.) Edw. She docs not perceive me. She apears abstracted, and yet her busy fingers ply their honest toil as though her mind were bent on what she does. Why do I continue to see her-why brave the temp tation which besets me when in her dear presence? Ob poverty, po verty how many a heart has been crushed-how many sweet affoc tions blighted and destroyed by thy chilling influence! Would that I could tell her all I feel-tell her all, all my blissful dreams, dreams, alas I of future happiness with her. But it cannot, it must not be I and yet I cannot fly her presenc~annot leave the spot her presence renders so dear to me. ( Comes forward and touches her on the shoulder) M.ary I Mary. (joyfully) Edward I (reproachfully) It is two days since we have met, Edward. Edw. Two long, long days Mary I And how has the time passed with you? Mary. I have just been thinking on you, and of what a sad, naughty boy you have been to keep away for two days. Edw. My mind misgives me, Mary. I feel I have of late intruded two frequently onyour time and kindness. Mary. Intrude, Edward! You hurt me, indeed you do. (weeps) Oh I am a foolish, silly girl-an unkind word from one I loveEdw. And you love me, Mary, love me other than as brother? (takes Mr hand) as I love, nay adore, you? The time has come, Digitized by Google


8 NEX'l', 01<' KIN. dearest, when I can no longer restrain the feelings which I have in vain endeavored to struggle with ; and yet, Mary, I feel I'm actbg an ungenerous part when I declare that I love you-that I have loved you in secret for months, long, Jong months. Even now I will not take advantage of your kind heart For you, I would contend with privation and poverty, would toil for years and years, and not a murmer should escape my lips, but with you Mary, it must not be-at least until better times shall dawn upon us. Say, dearest, say that Edward will still remain the happy possessor of Mary's affections, tho' years may pass before he can accomplish all he desires? Mary. I cannot disguise from you Edward, what I have until this moment endeavored to conceal from myself. I loved you as the dear friend of my poor, dead brother-I loved you as the kind protector of my helpless girlhood, who, when fortune frowned on the unliappy orphan, clung to her with a brother's love, and gave her something to live for-and now, Edward, now that accumulating years have en dowed me with increase of judgment-now that my heart can see and feel, and bl e ss you for the love which you bear me-I love you, not as much I fear as you deserve to be loved-but with a soul that is all yours-with all, all the full gushings of a woman's heart. Need I say more? Time will not change me. Years will but increase the res pect and devotion which the knowledge of your goodness and gene rosity had long since ins~illed into my breast. (they embrace ) Ed 10 Indeed, Mary, indeed I do not deserve such praise from you. You ha.Ye made me too, tco happy-One kiss dearest, as an earnest of our future happiness and joy. The first sweet kiss of pure and disinterested affection (kisses her.) And now let us talk of our prospects You are aware that my means will not permit me at this moment, and perhaps for some time to come, to make you my wife, but I have a hope, a strong hope that a bright change will soon take place in my prospects. Look at this dearest (takes a newspaper out of hill pocket) read it. Mary, "Next of Kin. The he~rs or n

NEXT OF KIN. 9 the idea of visiting his native land. It is now eight years since these occurrences, and this is the first intimation I have received of his de mi<;e. I have every reason to believe that he was unmarried at the period of his death, and if such be the case, dearest, there is yet a hope that fortune has some gifts in store for us. I am now going to Messrs. Filch and Catch. It is only half an hour since I saw this ad vertisement, and I had determined not to say a word to you until I had had an interview with the lawyers, but you know, Mary, what has occured to rob me of a resolution which I had long prided myself on having had the moral courage to maintain. Mary. Speak not now of that Edward. The brighter time will come and thenEdw. Then, dearest when you are my wife, my own fond wife, then, when happiness shall fly from wealthier homes, and seek our quiet hearth-when content shall add its charms to competence, and the merry laughing voices of our children, MaryMary. (Putting her hand to his lips.) Hush naughty one! are these things to tell to a young lady? Go away now sir. Edw. You are right Mary, there is no time to be lost. I shall now call upon Messrs. Filch and Catch, and am all impatience to know my chan<,cs of success. God bless you, dearest, till we meet again ( kisses her) Mary. Success attend you, dear EdwardEdw (going and then returning) And, Mary, when the merry, laughing voices of our children-(llinv, playfully slaps his faceand he runs off.) Mary. Oh am too, too happy. I could dance, could sing, nay, could weep, for very joy. What a wayward thing is woman's heut -and love! whi.t is love? "lis as the poet sings, of man's life a thing apa1t, but woman's whole existence. SONG. A maiden sat in her lonely bower, And thus she sang and sighed, "Who would yield to love's changing power Oh would be a bride I Not I, not I, for .he fuire$t youth That ever trod the heatherIn man we find nor faith nor truth His love's but April weather. A comely youth heard the maiden's song, And straight he sought to woo herl ?rfoiden, he said. thy thought is wrong Than mnn's heart nought is truer. Long love and true heart will unite, And timo may never rend them; 'Ti8 wo11111n's fault 'tis woman's slight, 'Ihnt generally end them." Digitized by Google Exit


10 NEXT OF KIN. SC~NE m.-.A room-Mns. CoRPus diaCO'Ded at breakfaat. Vos hever sich a hojus puss'n has my Billy. 'Ere ave hi been a calling of him for the last 'alf a nour and he haint come to me yet. Oh the things that ve poor vomen 'ave to put up vith. Vont I I wring his ears ven he come. (calling) Billy, I say Billy I Corpus. ( Without) Coming my love, in one minute I Mrs. 0. Billy if you don't come immejate, I'll come and fetch you, and you know vot that means, Billy. [Enter CoRPus, hastily, half

NEXT OF KIN. 11 man (runa about) a wretched being. But rve one resource left-and that's in suicide (sefaes razor as if about to cut M,11 throat) Good bye Betsey-good bye I'm going now-I-I am going to kill myself Betsey -What's the good of living if I live only to make you wretched? (putll razor to his throat) Mrs. C. (snatching it from him) Oh Billy, Billy don't. fll never thump you again-I'll never hilltreat you-you may 'ave as much sugar as you pleage in you tea-as much beer has you like--as much -as much-Oh I (BW0/)11,IJ in chair, dragging dinon CORPUS t0ith her.) Corpull. (releasing him11elf and shaking hill t0ife) Betsey, Betsey, oh what shall I do, wake up, wake up Betsey, open your blessed eyes again Betsey-Oh she is dying-What can I do, where can I find some water? (seizes tea-pot and pours some of the boiling tea in her faceMas. C. startlJ up half blinded with the tea and mad t0ith pain) oh I have made it worse again-rve scalded my dear wife with the boiling tea I (Mlls. C. rushes at CoRPus who in endea1Jouring to escape f alllJ againat the table and upsets er;erything on it, MRS. C. falling O'Der him.) SCENE IV.-A street-PHELni: O'DuooAN without, singing "LO'De is the IJO'U!l of a nate Irishman "-JoE enters bearing a large packet of papers-Enter PHELlll, and as he concludes hill Bong JoE rushes against him

12 NEXT OF KIN. steady yourself. Phelim O'Duggan's not the man to let a poor fellow go a begging pardon of him, without saying, it's little I minded what ye did or said to me. What's all them papers about? Joe. They belong to Mr Cognovit, my employer-they are law papers. Phe. Misther Cognovit? Sure that's the very man I was going straight to ownly I couldn't find out the way. It's him as has adver vertised for a next of kin, isn't it. Joe. The same. Phe. Sure, an' I thought I was right. I am going to offer my sarvices to him May be it's better than my new purfcssion which is the carrying of letters, for thats been an uncommon bad business iver since Misther Rowland Hill has tuk it into his head to turn postman. Joe. But are you related to Mr. Smith ? Phe. Devil a bit. But what's that to do wid the matther? Av the situation is good an' it suits Misther Cognovit to give it me, what's it to him av my name is Smith or Phelim O'Duggan, which by the grace of my godfathers it is. But come along, an' shew me whar Misther Cognovit livesJoe. You seem to misunderstand the nature of the advertisement Mr. O'Duggan-it'sPhe. Oh bother-come along, will ye, come along. Follow me and show me the way. [Exit PnELIM d1agging JoE aJ.ter kim. SCENE V.-.A room in a public house-FnANK BLAZEit, shabbily dressed, and DoNALD M'CnEE discovered drinking at table. Don. An' ve1Ta fortunate it was, sir. (they comeforwar

NEXT OF KIN 13 .Frank. (aside) How to keep him from going to Cognovit's Could I only gain time until Fred. returns we might concoct something be tween us to bother old Sawney (to DONALD) And where does this Mr. Cognovit reside ? IJon I dinna preceesely ken whar it maun be. The paper says he reseedes in Tbreadneedle street, but I dinna fash mysel' aboot that-I can easily find him I suppose I Frank. The easiest thing in the world It is not more than five miles from this, and a cab will take you there in half an hour. (aside) Luckily thought on I shall put him in a cab, tip the cabman a wink, and send him to Stoke Newington or some other place in a contrary direction. But, if I mistake not, here comes Fred.; and who the deuce has he got with him? [Enter TOPPLES with three shabby-genteel '!JOU11{J men ] Top. Ah Frank I Let me introduce my friends Will Coney, Tom Pepper, and Dick Flash-Pepper, Coney, Flash-my very particular friend Frank Blazer (all shake hands.except DONALD-FLASH, PEPPER and CONEY light their cigars and retire to table) But whom have you got here, Frank ? Flrank A fellow whom you'll assist me to bother when you learn what he is going about He is as he says a gentleman frae Glasgow, who wants to establish his ajfeenity to old Smith. Top. The devil he does What's to be done? Frank. \Ve must contrive to do something. What do you say to sending him in a contrary direction, or to getting him drunk, and so make sure of him until to-morrow? Top Capital idea! Lets have a good supply of the rosy, and lots of the weed. Ring for John. [FRANK rings-enter JOHN.] John. What may I have the pleasure to do for you gen'lemen ? The sarvices of yer obseqvious his at yer commend. Top. Bring us as much liquor as we can get through in a night and as many cigars as will make a Scotch mistJohn. You aint going to mystify the old Scotchman are you? however you shall have them immejate-gen'lmen your most ob seqvious.-[ Exit.] Frank. Now boys we are going to make a night of it. And Mr. M'Cree we'll be happy of your company to a pleasant tete-a-tete of six. IJon Ye are verra kind, sir, but a lectle beesness-Top. Business? Oh business be figged-you must join us sir, indeed we'll take no refusal A gentleman of your apparent convi viality would be an irreparable loss to our small reunion ; and-ah let me tell you, sir, we can appreciate-can't we boys? All Oh of course, yes, decidedly IJon It's no' for me to deespute what ye are pleased to say, sir, an' if the leequor be good, I dinna mind haeing a bleeze wi' ye. It's


14 NEXT OF KIN. Ian sin' I bae ul~t in onr, way, for ye mann ken, my seester TibbJ wba's a carefu hoosewife has an unco' eye on the bottle, and she gars me aye drink sparinly. Frank. Well said old gentleman. But where's John with the coneomitants t [Enter JORN.] .Tohn. Gen'lmen I have the exqvisite pleasure to say that the tbmgs is fetched. Top. Place them on the table. lhit JoHN-thdy all dr(],11J round the table.] Gentlemen I have to propose the health of our worthy guest Mr. Donald M'Cree, and drink to our better acquaintance (all drink.) Pr~k. Well, gentlemen what do you think of the last move of the Duke or Wellington 1' .All What is it? P,.01T1,k. He has positively banished cigars from the army .All. Impossible-indeed-where did you learn it? FrOITl,k, Oh the papers are full of it, but as Dick Jones says it mmt eventually end in smoke. Top. Who ever heard of such oppression and tyranny? Why it is decidedly-ah-banishing and utterly-ah-distroying the stamina ofsociety. Jn my opinion a man's love for his cigar, should take pre cedence of his reverence of his governor ; and, gentlemen, as an ernest of my opinion I beg to propose the illustrious memory of Sir Walter Raleigh-the man gentlemen who contributed more to the civilization of Europe than ever did the boasted achievements of nine-tenths of those who claim the honor. Gentlemen have the goodness to fill your glasses (all.fill) Here's to the memory of Sir Walter Raleigh! No heel-taps gentlemen, and with three times three (all drink and turn doum their gla8ae,) You'll take the word from me, gentlemen-Hip, hip, hip, hoora .All. Hip, hip, hip, hoora (thi,a i, repeated three timea.) Top. This is what I call glorious. (alapa DONALD on the baek) What do you say Mr. M'Cree? Don. Why, I'll no say but it is mighty pleasant, tho 'gin my sees ter Tibby war here she 'd ca' it an unco waste o' guid leequor to drink till the halth o' a mon wha's defunct. Frank. Gentlemen I'll trouble you to fill again. (all.fill) In honor of the worthy gentleman who is now present, and who is I have no doubt a distinguished native, I beg to propose the prosperity of the Land o' Cakes. Here's gentlemen to the prosperity of old Scotland, the home of liberty and learning. (all drink-DONALD risea) IJon. Its' no tor me jontlemen, an unworthy representateeve to speak in honor o' that country whar I was born, but yer kindness maks me bauld to say I gie' ye mickle thanks for yer just appreecia tion o' my native land. As I aye tell my sister Tibby, jontlemen, the Digitized by Google


NEXT OF KIN 15 speerit o' our ancesters is no yet extinguishit., and wha kens the gnid day-s in store for the auld country P Frank. Indeed, sir, you are correct. And as a gentleman of my acquaintance once said, every native of Scotland is fully persuaded of its greatness and glory-when he is out of it. But this is dull work gentlemen, let us have a song-I a'm sure Mr. M'Cree must recollect some of the glorious ditties which have immortalized the name of Robert Burns, or perhaps some one else will set him the good example Top No, let's have a round. All Aye, a round, let's have a round (much Miae and wnfmwn, all now getting drunk and commence "We wont go home till morn ing"-at the conclmwn they join hand, and dance r()'!J,nd the table.) IJon. (very drunk) That is axcellent--we maun hae it again(sings) We winna gae hame till-(falls off his chair andfinifhes the remainder on his back.) Top. Bravo, boys, bravo. Once more-hip, hip, hoora I All Hip, hip, hoora I SCENE VI.-Mn. CooNoVIT's o.ffece-PHELDC and JoE diBCO'Dered. Phe Divil a bit Misther Joe It's myself that wants the situation and ne'er a foot will I budge until I see Mr. Cognovit. Joe. You don't mean to say Mr. Phelim, you are so stupid as not to understand that Mr. Cognovit does not want a servant? Phe. Arrah be aisy, will ye. Is it me Phelim O'Duggan yer want ing to say with your dirty tongue, is stupid? Av father Doolan war here he'd tell you that never a brighter bol, than Phelim O'Duggan was iver turned out his school-and sure 1t was turned out I was all because of Norah Doolan, the father's own niece. Och it was a swate girleen she was, for the matter of that; and it was herself that fell in love wid yer humble sarvant, betoken she couldn't help it. It was my prutty eyes that killed her outright. Joe. And you fell in love with her of eourse ? Phe. Sure an' I did. How the divil could I help it. It was more than flesh and blood could stand-an' didn't father Doolan catch us a smacking togither behind his own blessed back when he was fast aslape in his owld chair. And that's the whole truth of the matter and niver another word at all, at all Faix I he turned me out of the school, forasmuch says he as I cam there to larn my letters and not to take to courting, which was a thing he wouldn't undertake to tache. But who comes here. [Enter OooNOVIT.] Cog. Mr. Cuddles, who is this person? Joe He is a manPhe. A jintleman av ye plaise Misther Joe. It's myself sir as has come about the situation of next of kin; an' av yer honor likes to give it me, why its Phelim O'Duggan yer humble sarvant., that will do his best to sarve ye. Digitized by Google


16 NEXT OF KIN. Oog. The man is an idiot Phe. By yer lave sir, it's an Irishman I am; an' its not ashamed I am to confess it, tho' its ofthen I have been mistuk for an Englishman on account of the illigant brogue of me Oog. My good man, I have no time to attend to yon. It appears to me you have mistaken the nature of my ndvertisement, and have come here under the impression that I want a Rernrnt. Yon will do me the favor to retire. I do not require the services of any one-mv clerk is sufficient for me. Joe. (aside) And devilish cheap at 15 per annum, payablo quarterly. Oog. I want only an heir to an estate which-Phe. Och ? sure yer honor that's the very thing that will do for me. I have no objection--(knock-JoE opena door and adrnita DoN ALD M'CREE with his head bound up) Don. Hae I the honor to address mysel' till Meester Cognovit? Oog. I am Mr. Cognovit, sir. What is your business with me? Don. A' in guid time, sir. My name's Meester Donald M'Cree, an' I hae come here to inqueer a' aboot tho next of kin wha ye hao adveertisit hep the paper. It's mickle time I hae lost in this ceety already--and some waefu' scamps wha I hae been haeing a bleeze wi', hae no athegither settled my head upon business; but you maun ken I wish to establish my affeenity till Meester Smeeth, an' I hae come here for the purpose o' learning a' the parteeculars, foreby if it be sateesfaetoryOog. From what I can understand of your address, sir, you wish to establish your claim as being next of kin to Mr. John Smith. Is it not so? Don. Preceesely, sir, Oog. I'll trouble you then, sir, to step with me into my private room, when we shall be better able to converse on the matter. Will you do me the favor to follow me? (DONALD bows-118 they are le(ll/) ing great knocking ia heard at the door-JoE opena it and admits some 20 or 80 persona, conaisting of men women and children, in at tires 'Oarying from that of the finished exquisite w that of the mn.~t squalid benar-and each carrying a newspaper.) Phe. Hallo! Is the whole of yes Smiths? Don. The deil Whae's a' these ? Oog. (mo'Ding about distractedly) For heaven's sake, clear the room-what do ye want here-who are ye ? All (in full chorus) We are the next of kin to Mr. Smith Oog. The devil ye are What's to be done ? Herc, Mr Cuddles, Mr. Cuddles-damn you sir, why do you stnnd there grinning like a turkey-cock with the pip, and the house rnn down by parcel of raga muffins-Rend for the police -call any body-call firf', murder, arson, rape, anything, so that you rid me of these people Gracious henvrn ,vas ever such a persecuted individual as I am? (r1ins al,out-1,wre Digitized by Google


NEXT OF KIN. ,wi,e and C()'Tl,f'lt8i<>n, ehildren commenee crying, men pmhing eaeh other dof/Jn and struggling to get at Co0Nov1T-Enter BLAZER LERROCK-TOPPLEs-CoNEY-PEPPER-FLASH-JoE r11,n, abQ'Ut in great gl,ee ea,claiming "Oh I This is glorious I glorious I") Cog. What I More Smiths ?-Gracious heaven, is the world inhabited by Smiths alone--the animalcula we breathe must be Smiths-the air is impregnated with them I Will no body rid me of these people l' Here Police I Police I (more noise and confusion.) Enter MR. and MRs. CoRPUS. Mrs. Corpus. ( To Corpus who iB lagging behind) Vy don't you come in, Billy? Mr. Cognovit hisn't agoin' to bite you-How do you do to-day sir-(to CooNOVIT, offering her hand which he sta1es atand pushes from him ) Cog. What do you want now? I suppose you have brought all that fat to cause the fire to burn brighter-who the devil are you ? Mrs. C. Hi disdains to give you hany hanswer-sich treatment bis vot hi hisn't used to sir-and you Mr. Corpus hare you a man to stand and see the vife hof yer huzzim hill treated in this ere manner? Hanswer me, sir, immejate, hare you a man? Corpus. (Frightened) I-I-be-believe I am my dear-at least I always thought so before I married-but since then my dear, things appear to have changed-and' .Jlfrs. C. (Furiously) It's false you willin, things hi;, jist as they vos-nuthin's changed-you vos halvays a hojus chicken hearted follcr-you vos halvays afoard hof your hown shadder. Oh Billy, Billy! hif hi 'ad honly the viii hof you I voukl-(t1Lrning to Coc NO\"IT as if about to assriult li:irn)-yis, sir, you can take hcvery ad wantagc hofme-(putting lier Jttce close to his)-perhaps you vould like to slap my face-perhaps it voulrl pleage you to border me hout sir-yis sir, any think you lik e -do me any think-my husband there vont say nay to it-any think that he can't do hisself he vould be glad for you to do to me. Cog. This woman will drive me mad-woman-she-devil-tigress what do you want here? Mrs. C. Yis go on-hi likes to hear it-don't you see vot a 'usband h'ive got-{seizes CoRPrs and turns him round before Co0No,T-a-ll except CooNOVIT laugh)-yis you may hall larfhif you likc-(Cou PUS is sneaking off when she runs after him and drags ltim back 'by the coat-tails)-come 'ere sir, vere vos you agoin you whitelivercd fcllerCorpus. I wasn't going any where my dear. Oh Lord! Oh Lord! what will become of me. Mrs. C. Billy take off your coat imm

18 NEXT OF KIN. roualy at CooNovn -A 11oice, "a ring-a ring-three bob to von on the little 'un "-the crowd gather round them-rwiae and e<>nf~ Co0NOVIT endea11ors to escape but canrwt break thro' the ring.) Cog ; What, am I to be assaulted, too? Who are you woman will you answer me-who the devil are you-what do you want here? Let me out---curse you all-will you let me go? [Enter EDWARD hastily-he takes CooNOVIT aside.] Edw. One word with -,ou sir, if you please, in private (Jog. Impossible sir-1mpoSRible-how am I toEdw. Be calm sir, and I will get these people away. My name is Edward Harley-not SmithOog. Thank Heaven l Edw I have with me sufficient proof to establish my claim to the property of Mr. Smith-who died in Jamaica-I have just left Messrs Filch and Catch, and those gentlemen will place you in po;:session of all the particulars. Perhaps you will do me the favorCog Any thing my dear, dear sir. You have come to me like a guardian angel to deliver me from the clutches of this rabble-(to th.e mob)-Here all of you-listen to me 'fhis gentleman has proved himself to me to be the legal heir of Mr. Smith-(cries of "let him prove it to us-let him prove it, or we wont go away!) Cog. Merciful Providence! Do you hear them sir-do, do speak to thcmEdw. Gentlemen I do not deem it necessary to render any account to you. Mr. Cognovit is fully satisficdCog. Perfectly so-and if ever again Mr. Cognovit has any thing more to do with anything or anybody connected with the name of Smith, may Mr. Cognovit be utterlyJoe. Damned to eternityCog. Silence sir!-(attempts to sftrike JoE tJJho escapes and en f!elopt'-8 himself in the skirts of MRs. CoRPus's dre88.) EdtJJ. Mr. Cognovit, gentlemen, as I said, is fully satisfied as to my indentity, and I must now in his name request you to retire-(they are m

THE GOLDEN TABLE, OR THE USURER OF LA VEGA. A Legend of the Rio-Oobre. And much of wild and wonderful In thi, fair /ale might faney eull. Lag of the la,t MimtreL --How quickly Nature falls int& revolt, When Gold becomes her object. Henry IV., Part ht~ A BELIEF that tho clear stream of the Rio Cobre yet conceals \'\;thin its bosom a table of pure and solid gold, 111\s still possession of the minds of some "old goers," who declare to the truth of the tradition, and would swear to having seen the objc-ct of thdr belief, at certllin hours of the day, when the sun's rays dart pcrpendicuhLrly beneath the glassy surface of the stream. Numerous and frequent, say they, have been the attempts to recover this valuable treasure from the river, but they have all signally failed. Chains have been paiised around it, and it bas been raised almost to the surface, when the strong iron bonds have suddenly snapped as though they were threads of glass, and the table has once more sunk to the crystal depths of the Rio Cobre. Men have descended to the river's bed, have seen, felt and grasped the object which had lured them on to almost certain death, but every effort to obtain possession of it, to separate even a part from the mighty bulk, has P.roved vain. Those, and other mstances of ill success, have been sufficient to in vest the tradition with an air of mystery and magic; and it is said, that the Evil-one has had more to do in the matter than the incredu lous are inclined to allow. We are ourselves candid enou~h to admit that we think there is a great deal of truth in these assertions, and that they posseSR "much of the wild and wonderful." "There are more things in Heaven and Earth Than are dreamt of in our Philosophy." About thirty years before the subjugation of this ishmd by the British, there resided in a large gloomy mansion of the Calle de San Digitized by Google


20 THE GOLDEN TABLE, Thomas, in the, then magnificent city of St. Jago de la Vega, the S.inor Don Francisco de Todogano Don Francisco was reputed rich, and truly if the most extortionate usury and miserly economy con duced to the making and hoarding of money, the Senor was well off in worldly possessions. Don Francisco was a Spaniard, of high birth and connection-the purest Castilian blood flowed in his veins, but the all-absorbing de Rire of gain had obliterated every trace of that generosity for which his nation is so celebrated ; it had blunted every feeling of honor within his breast, and shut his heart against the simplest acts of charity or benevolence. In person he was diminutive and ungainly; a large head, on which the organ of acquisitiveness stood prominently forth, contrasting strongly with the dwarfish proportions of the rest of his body, added not in the least to the beauty of his personal appearance; whilst his thread-bare and almost tattered garments hung upon him, as though they had been made for a man of a much more portly figure. The Senor was somewhat advanced in years; sixty summers had consi derably bleached the Ion~ and unkempt locks which yet remained on his head, but this gavti not so much the air of a more advanced age to his appearance, as did the deep lines expresHive of avarice and ill n : 1ture, whbh furrowed his disagreeable countenance. His sharp, i;1rnill, gray eyes, undimmed by age, looked keenly from beneath a pair of thick overhanging brows, fixing their snake-like gaze, as thouzh they would have searched to the inmost soul. Such was the Senor Don Francisco de Todogano, and, it "'ill not he wondered at, whun we say that the mansion occupied by him never rung with the sounds of mirth or revelry-the domestics glided from one chamber to another like beings of another world-thin, meagre, and emaciated, looking as if they had been fed on offals, and that most sparingly, and the doors were never opened, save to admit the victims of their owncrs's rapacious avarice. 'l'he family of Don Francisco consisted of only one daughter, in giving birth to whom her mother bad perished. The Senora Anita was at this time just budding into a womanhood, which promised a rich and ripe maturity: she was about seventeen years of age, and yet her figure was perfectly formed, in that beautiful mould about which Camoens has so much raved ; but nothing could exceed the bewitching grace of her features ; the ripe and ruby lip, the sweet ver million of the cheek contrasting with the clear olive of the complexion, and the long, gazelle eyes, all conspired to invest the young Anita with an angelic loveliness. Unlike, however, the generality of Spanish girls, there was a tinge of melancholy in her disposition. This might, perhapR, have arisen from the almost total seclusion in which she was kept, her father seldom or never permitting her to leave the house un accompanied by himself, except on the occasions of Divine service. Until her sixteenth year, Anita s heart was untouched by love, but Digitized by Google


Olt THE n-n:mm OF LA YlWA. 21 wicked Cupi,l had now aimed hi, dart at her in the shape of a pair of black aud brilliant eyes in the poss,s,ion of a certain Lmlovko Encara. This gentleman had, after many fruitless endcarnurs, at la"t been en abled, one day at church, to slip a note into her hand, brcathin~ 1m alterable and duvobl affoction, and offering up his hand and heart at the shrine of her beauty. Unfortunately for Ludovico Enca.ra how ever, the offer of hand and heart was not accompanied by tho sli!!hl'"t hint respecting a marriage settlement; in fact, cxcc,pt au excccdin:.;-ly neat person, and the before-mentioned eyes, Ludovico Encnra was as innocent of the possession of any worldly wunlth as a Cupnchin i,, or ought to be; and Don Francisco (to whom Anita., in the guilclcssucss of her heart had shewn Encara's letter) deemed it at once necessary to put an end to the connection, by forbidding her further attendance at church. Things had remained in this state up to the time when the events which we are about to relate occurred. It was about ten o'clock on the night of the 10th March, 1635; the wind howled fearfully through the deserted streets of the city of St. Jago de la Vega; the rain fell in torrents, such as are only seen in the Tropics,-and loud and deafening peals of thunder, accompanied by almost incessant flashes of lightning startled the sleeping inhabitants in their quiet beds. It was a night on which one would not have turned out his enemy's dog. But, notwithstanding the roar of the elements without, every thing within the mansion of Don Francisco was as quiet as the grave. Anita was safely locked away from all harm and Don Encara-tho serving men were wrapt in deep slumber, as was sufficiently attested by their heavy breathing, caused partly by a cold caught while sleep ing without bed clothes, and a cholic, induced by an unusually abun dant meal, which they had for once enjoyed at the expense of a neigh bour-the cat--no, there was no cat; not eYcn a mouse could find subsistence within the walls of such a dwelling; all, however, was still and sleeping within the house, save the proprietor himself. En veloped in a large wrapping gown, Don Francisco s:it perched up on a little stool at a high desk with his books of accounts open before him. Besides the before-mentioned wrapping gown, the person of Don Fran cisco was adorned by a tarnished velvet Greek cap, which was placed with a jaunty air upon the crown of his head, permitting his long grey locks to escape. A large tallow candle in a brass candlestick flared, beside him, and cast its dingy light upon the musty folios, "Gray with the mildew's wing." Don Francisco took not his eyes from off the books; they gloated over the immense sums set down there against some of the first houses in the city, an

22 THE GOLDEN TABLE, Orlando the richest merdumt in la Vega ? Hugh how it rains," and Don Francisco snuffed the candle with his fingers "So-so-" con tinued he, turning OVtJrthe leaves of his ledger-"So-so-Don Gus tan, querido mio, an thou bcest not ready with a thousand crowns against the 15th, Don Francisco will e'en try whether thine honesty or a prison will prove harder Ah I who is here ? whew Su Euellencia el G01Jernador-Maldita I five thousand pistole8---for what? Where is the surety? E'en in thine own life, Don Francisco. Ave Maria I but it was a sorry venture. Who would have thought the old man would have moved heaven and earth against me? but he did, he did-and five thousand pistoles are gone to arrest the hand of justice, and give her bandeau a tighter twist-Como estamos, Senores Guchado y Sobrino; ye have but three days more, and then--" At this moment a loud knocking at the outer door interrupted Don Francisco ; and, rising from his stool, he hastened to see who claimed admittance on such a night, and at so late an hour. "Jocope, Juan, Diego," exclaimed Don Francisco, calling up his snoring domestics; "most vile of serving-men ; are ye dead, that r,e answer not? or hath the supper which thou can'ts gorge, but can ts not earn, benumbed thy senses? llo varlets, arouse ye, and see who knocks at this hour of the night. But stay, stay! I will go with ye, myself; reach me there my blunderbuss. By our lady who knows but it may be one who would rob the old man of his few hard earned reale,a." So saying, Don Francisco stlized the candle, and taking the blunderbuss under his arm, proceeded, followed by his servitors, to the street door, and in his loud and querulous tones en quired who demanded entrance. "This is no inn, good Sir," said he, catching the tones of a man's voice, and just enough of the words to discover that the stranger wanted a bed. "This is no inn, but the residence of a poor and an old Hidalgo, who asks from none and gives to none." "Pardon, Senor! replied the applicant, "but on such a night as this you surely would not refuse admittance to a weary and wayworn traveller? I am drenched to the skin, and only crave admittance until the morning." By this time Don Francisco had cautiously opened one side of the door, but still held it in his nervous grasp, the streaming light fell upon the stranger's face and garments, and, as he had said, the latter were completely drenched ; nevertheless, their rich and costly orna m e nts shone yet undimmed by the rain. Don Francisco was decided ; this could not be one who sought for plunder, and the stranger might reward him, as his appearance showed he could, for his timely shelter. The door was consequently thrown open, and the Cavalier entered, the water from his clothes running off in a stream from the spot on which he r;tood. He was a tall upright man of thirty or thereabouts, of a dark, nay, 11,lmost swarthy complexion, his features were regular and well formed, Digitized by G oog [ e


OR THE USURER OF L.A VEG.A, 23 yet there was an expression about them which awed, whilst it di s gusted; his g-,mncnt.s were rich in the extreme, and the hilt of hi>! long Spanish sword, was inlaid with diamonds and other precious stones. Advancing through a long narrow passage, Don Francisco led the way to the great hall, where he was wont to receive his visitors on business. 'fhe 11tranger spoke not a word during this period, but on reaching the hall, he addressed himself to Don F'randsco, taking off at the same time various portions of his upper-garments. "Will the Senor favour me with his name?" said he "Don Francisco de Todogano," was the laconic reply. "Ab? said the stranger, "methinks I have heard the name. ls not Don Francisco the uncle of the young Count de Gratia ? "Ay, and as graceless a nephew as that same Count is, ne'er breathed," replied Don Francisco, "such extravagance and wasteful expenditure Who e'er heard of one having three pairs of velvet doublets at once, two greens, and a blue? His poor mother, my sister, (ah! she was a pattern for wives, not the end of a candle was thrown away,) always endeavoured to impress upon his mind the danger of extravagance ; but it was to no purpose, his father was just such another one as he is. I remember he once paid three hundred pistoles for a bay gelding, which fell the next day, and broke his knees-the very next day, sir." "He will mend soon," said the stranger, alluding to the nephew, not to the gelding, the Count de Gratia is yet young, and the hot blood still riots in his veins, but in a few more years, when he shall have acquired a portion of his worthy uncle's experience, he will settle down i_nto a tame economical man. Believe me, Senor, the youth whose passions are unrestrained will make a better man than be whose days have been immured within stone walls, and whose spirit has been checked in its full flow and violence. With the first, perhaps before his 25th year, the endless round of pleasure and dissipation soon palls, the desire and ardour of pursuit fall before the satiety of possession ; it is however contrary with the latter, he will throw off the trammels of restraint at the first opportunity, and rush headlong into all the excesses and extravagances from which he has been de barred in his earlier days." The old man made no reply to this, but expressing by signs his im patience of being kept up, the stranger immediately took the hint, and asked for a couch on which he could repose until the morning "We are but poorly provided here," said Don Francisco, in reply, but if the Senor --" "I am called Don Carlos de Medelin," interposed the Atranger. If the Senor Don Medelin," continued the Usurer, will be con tent with a hammock it is at his service; our poor house can afford no better, the old man's powers are failing him, and a large fatnily--'' "Nay, nny," interrupted Don Carlos, "I am perfectly satisfied with Digitized by Google


24 THE OOLDEN TABLE, the best you have, and if you will hasten the preparations for it, I shall be thankful." Don Francisco then quitted bis guest to prepare the hammock for him, and Don Carlos was lcfl to himself. So, so," muttered be, "it works well, as yet, but to prevent any misch1\nce, we must bring forth the tempter. Come forth, thou talis man, that opcnetb all hearts--the idiot who recognises not the voice, and knows not the meaning of his less unfortunate fellow-man, chuckles at thy m:irry tinkle; come, thou at whose touch virtue, honor, chas tity full and perish ; thou who raisest vice and loathsomeness to the companionship of the good and beautiful come gold,--our best agent, Hell's only hold upon earth," and he took from within the folds of his doublet a large and well-filled purse of doubloons--it fell heavily on the large mahogany table on which he threw it, startling Don Fran cisco, who now entered to inform bis guest that his apartment was prepared "Holy mother I what is that?" exclaimed be. A gift for the Church left by the chief of a band of brigands to be given for masses for his soul." Tho old man eyed the purse with all the eagerness of desire-" Wh what-all-all that," he almost shrieked. "Beshrew me! but if his cl'imes be as heavr as that bag, he bids fair to forfoit Heaven, and shy St. Peter. Mnld1ta an I had such a sum I would be happy for life "It works better," muttered Don Carlos; then raising his voice, and taking up the bag, (in which he took care to expose to the old man's gaze a magnificent diamond ring, which graced his little finger,) he bade him good night, and retired to his ~hamber. rt was now nearly midnight-the storm without, still continued with unabated violence, but quiet reigned once more within the man8ion of Don Francisco. All had again retired to rest, save the Usurer himself; he could not sleep-the sight of the money bag had banished all idea of slumber from his mind; he felt an eager impatience once more to look at it-to touch it-oh that it were his; but might it not be? and dark thoughts flew across his brain. No, no, it could not it belonged to Mother Church-it would be sacrilege-he must not touch it-and the old man shuddered at the idea of robbing the church Pshaw! it was a foolish prick of conscience-the Churh knew not that it possessed it, and consequently would not miss it; but then the stranger-he was young and active, and would dispute possession with him-but might not a knifo ?-No, no, no blood-he must not damn his soul ; what mittered it if he died possessed of a few hundred doubloons more or less ? Y ct a few hundred doubloons was a large Rum-a fow, a fe,v, that's indefinite-how many could there really h,~ ? Six hunclred ? Seven, eight, nine hundred perhaps-he should liko only to reckon them. Whilst these thoughts passed through the hrain of Don J<'nrnci>

OR THE USURER OF LA. VEG.A. 25 breathing of the occupant told that he elumbered heavily, and Don Francisco turned the key in the Jock-it yielded noiselessly to his touch, and he entered the room-all was dark ; but in a moment the moon breaking through some clouds which had obscured her disk, threw a flood of light in the room, the window having been thrown open by Don Carlos. The bright beams fell immediately on the bag and the rich sword which lay upon the table, and the old man crept noiselessly, but quickly, to seize his prize-he had it-the weight bent him down, but he staggered towards the door, and had almost passed through it when he felt a strong grasp upon his shoulders ; trembling in every limb, he dropped the bag upon the floor, and fell upon his knees before his guest. Don Carlos spoke not a word, but his countenance told plainly the thoughts which were passing in his mind. The fearfulness of that expression of his features, which we have before noticed, was doubly increased ; a most demoniacal frown sat upon his brow, whilst his mouth was distorted by a fiendish sneer. Ha ha I ha I laughed he ironically, Thou playest the host well, Don Francisco ; but rise up, old man, thou who bast the courage to be a villian must not grovel at the feet of him who has discovered thy villainy. Rise up and take that for which thou wouldst have bar tered the rights of hospitality-it is thine-and twice, nay, thrice as much--" What all, all, all ?" eagerly exclaimed Don Francisco. Oh, good Sir,-pardon and gold at once-all this beautiful gold ?" Aye, said Don Francisco;" "but there is a condition attached to the gift. I must have thy --" and Don Carlos stooped down and whispered in the old man's ear. Don Francisco trembled-tho perspiration in large drops stood upon his cold forehead, and the blood rushed to his heart. Don Carlos coldly and unconcernedly looked OIL Tho fiendish expression yet remained upon his counte nance, and his eyes continued fixed upon the usurer as though he exulted in the contemplation of his agonies. "No, no," at length gasped Don Francisco.-" I cannot-avaunt, fiend !-wouldst thou snare my soul ? What words are these which thou breathest to me ?" "Think well before you reject," said Don Carlos;" thrice as much as that bag contains-three thousand doubloons." Why, why, do you tempt me ? I will not. 0 God I keep me from shame I" "Thrice as much, remember." "No, no, pe1

26 THE GOLDEN TABLE, The morning dawned and found the parties in the same condition as that in which we last described them. Don Carlos was closetted with Don Francisco for two hours before he left in the morning. What it was that engaged their attention will appear in the sequel." The day passed with Don Francisco as day never passed before. There was a wild glance in his eyes, and he trembled violently, as if the recollection of some horrid circumstance shook his nerves-men noticed that his thought.s remained not on the subject on which they spoke to him, and every one thought that Don Francisco was about to die, for he lent two thousand dollars for six months, and only claimed five hundred as interest. Night again fell upon the city; the Cathedral clock had tolled the hour of eight, when Don Francisco enveloped in a large Spanish cloak, and supporting his steps on a stout cane might have been seen, slowly wending his way from the Calle de San Tlwmcu towards the Rio Cobre. It was a lovely tropical night ; the sky put forth it.s richest gems, and the sweet night breeze, cooled by it.s passage over the river fanned the brows of those heated by the glare of that day's sun. The Rio Cobre, swollen by the rain of the preceding night, rushed noisily in it.s narrow channel foaming and splashing on it.s muddy way. Don Francisco bent his steps to a large clump of trees, which stood about fifty yards from the stream. It was a gloomy spot; the mid-day sun never pierced through the dense leaves, and the river, murmured hollowly as it passed by "El Jardin del Diabw It was a place which was always deserted ; strange sounds and noises heard fre quently in its verdant shade had obtained for it the reputation of being the haunt of evil spirits, and after the hour of six but few of the in habitants of la Vega would venture near the spot. Superstition formed no part of the mind of Don Francisco ; never theless, he trembled violently as he entered the dreaded garden. But what a sight there presented itself to his eyes! At a table of solid beaten gold, on which were placed smoking viands in the most costly vessels, sat four individuals, one of whom he recognised as Don Carlos de Medelin. The other three were strange looking personages ; in complexion, somewhat like Don Carlos-but from their manners and appearance looking like persons who held very subordinate situations in life. Don Francisco's presence was greeted with a shout of joy, and he was immediately invited to a chair at the right hand of Don Carlos. Don Francisco de Todogano," said Don Carlos, know my friends Jocola, Capricoli, and Spionetta, three as mischievous little devils as ever lived,-and now having made you acquainted with each other, let us proceed to the business which brought us here. You Don Fran cisco de Todogano, do agree in consideration of the sum of six thou sand doubloons, and the governorship of Jamaica, to deliver up your soul at the termination of your life unto him whom men call Satan. Are not these the words of the agreement?" Digitized by Google


OR THE U~UHER OF LA VEG.A.. 27 "They arc," faltered Don Francisco, "but--" "No but," interrupted ho, whom we have called Don Carlos, "the deed is signed, and its conditions are unalterable." Don Francisco shuddered as the dreadful truth forced itself upon his mind. "We have further propositions to make to you, Senor de Todagano." "I listen," tremblingly replied Don Francisco." "You have a daughter, Don Francisco," continued Carlos. "Breathe not her name," interrupted the Usurer, "let not thy foul and blasting tongue utter the name of aught so pure and innocent. I tell thee, Carlos, Modlin, fiend, or what soever you are, you have me in your snares, your wiles have encompassed me about-and betrayed my soul into your cluches--hut her's-Heaven help me 1 am I mad?" and Don Francisco shuddered convulsively. Thou has not thought upon it., old man," said Spionetta ; my friend Carlos's proposition shocked thee at first., but thy good sense soon got the better of thine idle fears. Look ye now, a merrier set than we are never burnt brimstone. 'Tis not the place old man, 'tis the contentment which one introduces into it that makes the scene of happiness. The first man and woman made a Hell of Paradise. Let WI reverse the order and make a Paradise of Hell There is not wanting beauty equal to ,thy daughter's ; happily, loveliness is no charm against vice. The bright eye and the rosy lip, beam and bloom not less where we are, than they do upon earth, and I know that thou lovest a petticoat Don Francisco." The merry fiend then playfully inserted the tip of his long skinny finger between the fourth and fifth lib of the Usurer. Don Francisco knew not what to say-the scene, the actors in it the situation novel and fearfu~ all conspired to bewilder hiin, and set his mind in a confused state A sudden thought struck him. What if he agree to the fiend's proposition respecting his daughter, would kis consent be sufficient to place her soul within their power? No, no I it would not., and Don Francisco chuckled inwardly at the idea of cheating the devil. "A bumper to the health of our worthy guest.," said Jocola, inter rupting the thread of Don Francisco'ii thoughts, and pouring from a huge golden goblet, inlaid with rubies and emerals, a fragant and smoking liquid, "and may his shadow never be less, as they say in Turkey." Five minutes afterwards Don Francisco found himself on his legs, a goblet in his trembling hand and returning thanks for the very handsome manner in which his health had been drunk." Loud cheers at the completion of the Usurer's speech made El Jardin del Diablo ring again. The mirth had set in-the cup passed freely, and as Capricoli said,

28 THE GOLDEN TABLE. then preserved-he knew not what he did-goblet after goblet he poured down his throat, until he became almost mad from the effects of the foaming liquid. "A song, a song," shouted Spionetta, let us sing the song of wel come." The proposition was assented to, and they sang, shouting with the uproarious mirth of mad Bacchantes. "What says the jovial Don Francisco now," said Don Carlos, "will he make his daughter share in the mirth of such merry devils ?" "She is thine, she is thine," exclaimed the Usurer, his eyes almost bursting from his head, and his hand grasping an empty goblet-" but only on my terms." "Whatever these are we assent to them," replied Don Carlos. "I must have six thousand doubloons, and thistable which I see here." A shout of joy froln the assembled fiends iold Don Francisco that his terms were accepted. Break up the feast," exclaimed Don Carlos, and let the worthy Hidalgo take out what is his." "I'll have them now, I'll have them now," said Don Francisco; but how can I convey them to my residence?" "That difficulty is easily overcome," replied Jocola, and lifting up the solid table with the ease with which one would carry an infant, he hastened down to the river's bank, followed by Don Francisco and the rest. There, a small but buoyant boat, which was hitherto concealed in the thick underwood of the banks, was dmgged from its place of con cealment and the table placed carefully into it Step in here, Don Francisco," said J ocola ; and Don Francisco entered, he knew not why, into the boat There was no occasion, he thought, to go into it; but he had no power over himself-an invisi ble agency dragged him on, he felt, to destruction, and he could make no movement towards its prevention. The boat, with the weight of the table, was almost level with the water's edge, but Don Francisco noticed it not; his eyes were fixed upon the money bags, which some strange looking servants were bring1ng down to the river, and in the contemplation of so much trea sure he lost the sense of-perceiving any thing else. "The boat will scarcely carry any more," said Carlos. "It will, it will," exclaimed Don Francisco, "throw them in;" the sJio-ht bark sunk to at least three inches of the water's surface on the fi~t bag being thrown in. "Go on," said Don Francisco, "she can take them all They were all in, and the painter by which the boat was attaehed to the shore being loosened, she flew like an arrow down the stream ; the i:houts and cries of the fiends which now arose with deafening ,ioh nce, ~ecmed to give additional swiftness to her movements, and she sped fearfully on the agitated waters of the Rio Cobre. Don Digitized by Google


OR TilE USURER OF LA VEGA. 29 Francisco kept his scat firmly-he was surrounded with what he loved best, (how few men die so happily!) and he cared for nothing more-he saw not that black clouds were spreading their gloomy cur tains over heaven's face; he heard not the low muttering thunder gradually becoming loud and louder, and felt n()t the thick heavy drops which announced that the storm was about to vent its fury. At last it burst upon him-a sudden blackness spread around, through which Don Francisco thought he saw a diminutive and hairy figure seated upon the prow of the boat.-His hair stood on end, !'nd he felt his every limb and fibre tremble. The overla4en boat h~veii dreadfullf in the now swollen water ; she was caught in an eddy, and in five mmutcs nought remained to mark where she had been. One awful peal of thunder shaking air and earth, gave forth its dread artillery as she sunk, leaving Don Francisco struggling in the angry waters With the agony of despair he buffetted the waves ; life was sweet, and he yet strove for it, but his failii,g powers prp~ed insufficient for the effort, and the next morning his swollen and disfigured corpse was picked up some ruilcs below the spot at which he embarked on his fatal voyage. Not a vestige now remains of El Jardin del Diablo ; the flash of lightning preceding the peal of thunder, which burst over the city on the sinking of Don Francisco's boat, had blasted the guilty and un~ hallowed spot. * * * It is the 20th of May, 1636, somewhat better than a twelvemonth since tho occurrence of the events we have just related. The sun is shining merrily through the now-opened windows of the house lntcly occupied by Don Francisco de 'fodognno in the Calle de San Thomas ; the serving-men are bustling about, laughing, talking, and seemingly congratulating themselves on the approach of some very joyous event ; there is no lack of rare and dainty viands now in that once starving mansion, the chimney emits a goodly volume of smoke, and all the dogs from the neighbouring streets stand gaping before the door, snuffing the flavor of the unusual good cheer. Events have followed closely on that awful ni 9 ht when, led on by avarice and incited by cupidity, the Usurer sacnficed his life on the shrine of Mammon, regardless of all save the mere gratification of his grasping desires. His immense wealth has now become his daugh ter's-that which has for years been hidden from the very sunshine, is now casting a halo and a brightness around it, and is dispelling, by its cheering rays, the clouds and gloom which had threatened to cast a blight on the young affections of the lovers. Don Encara is about to become the happy husband of the Usurer's daughter, and this is their wedding day. The blithe and merry marriage peal now an nounces that two fond hearts are about to be united in the bonds of holy matrimony, that two beings are vowing to tread the world's paths Digitized by Google


30 CURGY's FUNERAL, together, each the other's st.ay and comforter. The sun is shining beautifully on the sombre and venerable walls of the Cathedral of La Vega-the spires gleam in the bright and glorious beams, whilst the organ sends its solemn and mellowed tones to the skies, wafting the just uttered vows to regions of eternal joy. The Usurer sleeps the last sleep in the narrow house, while Don Encara warms himself in the sun of his good fortune, and lives in the smiles of his daugh ter. Health and prosperity ever attend you, lovely Anita Happy, happy, thrice happy Ludovico I CURGY'S FUNERAL, OR THE OLD TIME BUSHA. MY friend Tom Moody was a very fair sample of that class which is now-a-days called the old time Plantocracy. Tom had his faults as well as many a worse man, but if his failings were many, his virtues were not less numerous. Hospitable almost toextravagance was Tom and as charitable a soul as ever breathed the breath of Heaven. He was honorable too, strictly honorable in his dealings with the world; but Heaven help the poor devil who might have been discovered in an endeavour to deceive him. Tom had no mercy for such rascally de linquents, as he termed them ; and if they happened to be persons over whom he had any control-his slaves for instance-he would flog them to within an inch of their lives. Not that Tom was fond of using the cat-that terrific foe to Quashie's peace of mind and corporeal comfort-on the contrary, I never knew a planter who took less ad vantage of his power over his human cattle than did Tom-hut ho .administered the castigation by way of medicine as he said-and tho ,stronger the dose the better for the patienl "'Tis all for his good, the nagur," he once observed to me, on his return from witnessing the punishment of one of his people. It's all for his good, poor Pompey. If I let him alone he would rob every cane off the property and damn his soul to eternity. So you see, Joe, my boy, I'm only endeavouring to rescue his soul from the clutches of his cousin, tho devil; but I dare say the scoundrel hasn't a piece of gratitude to give me in return for my kindness." It was about this period, during a rather lengthy sojourn at Moody's Hill," that the following circumstances came under my ob servation. Tom had a favorite slave, a good-looking, glossy-skinned n~alled Lycurgus; but notwithstanding Tom's partiality for the Digitized by Google


OR THE OLD TIME BUSH.A. 31 fellow and Curgy's apparent affection for his master, the latter had of late b;gun to entertain. some ~uspic}on of Curgy's fidelity: Tom's mind was rather prejudiced against bun by another slave of h.18, whose petty tattling, like a great horse fl)\ kept constantly buzzmg a~out the ears of his master, much to the mJury of Curgy who was entirely ignorant of all that was going forward to his prejudice. One morning Curgy appeared before his master, his head bound up with an old handkerchief and looking very ill and flurried. "What's the matter Curgy," said Tom, while his eyes sparkled with a peculiar meaning. What's the matter to-day ? You haven't seen a ghost have you?" Curgy groaned, and shuddered till his very teeth rattled against each other. "What the devil is the matter with the man," continued Tom, his anger fast getting the better of his patience. "Tell me directly, sir; is it a duppy or the devil that you have seen?" Ah! massa," replied Curgy, "data the ting sar: Curgy nearly dead, massa;" and then he entered into a long rambling explanation, half of which was Greek to me, of his having seen the perit" of his "grandy and of his having been warned by it of his approaching death. The result of his lachrymose tale was a hearty roar of laughter from his master and myself, and an injunction from the former to go about his business, and to take care that he was after no tricks. Curgy departed muttering and groaning, and I thought no more of the matter. Towards evening, however, while Tom and myself were discussing a jorum of excellent sangaree, one of the old women who usually performed the duties of nurse to the sick slaves, made her ap pearance, and intimated that Curgy was quite bad, and that she thought he would not outlive the night. Tom was rather startled, and rose immediately to satisfy himself as to the truth of the old woman's re port. We proceed together to Curgy's quarters, where, extended on a mat spread on the bare earthen floor, lay the unfortunate victim of superstition. We were much struck by the change which a few hour's illness had in the appearance of the poor fellow He replied not a word to the many questions put to him by Tom, but continued groaning and rocking himself from side to side during the whole time of our visit. Tom then quitted the hut for the purpose of compounding more medicine for the sufferer, and I followed him to the great house where on our arrival we found Curgy's rival, the slave alluded to, his face beaming with the importance of a great secret. We were about to pass him when he attracted our attention by a low sly chuckle, and with a request to be heard for a few minutes. Tom bade him follow us, and in a short time he was delivered of bis secret, apparently much to his own satisfaction and the annoyance of his master. I never saw Tom so much moved before. One fit of passion has scarcely subsided when be fell into another As, how ever, the greatest ~mpest will at last settle down into a calm, Tom's Digitized by Google


82 CURGY'S FUNERAL, n.gera,du&U,. decreased by itll very \>'iolence. .At last he turned to ~ apd ~n a. stern, quiet manner observed, "Sin~ he will, it shall be so-the ungrateful scoundrel." Fer Heaven's sake, Tom," I said, alarmed by the cool determina tion !l_xpressed, in his count.enance, for Heavon' s sake no violence." Don't be frightened" he replied, I will only pay him in his own coin.".; so 'Saying he opened 'his medicine chest and took out a bottle containing a dark ruby-colored fluid. He pouted about half an ounce pfit \nto a glass, and then be set down the bottle on the table, I saw that it was labelled ~111,. My heart sunk as I rood the inscription, and I started up to divert him from his dreadful purpose. u Tom.,'' said I, almost chocked by my feeling," Tom, this is cold blooded and deliberate murder, and I will not be a party to so foul and dreadful a deed. Mr. Moody, "I continued perceiving that he heeded not my remonstrances," this place is no longer a fit abode for an honest man. I feel it my duty to inform you, that not even our long established friendship shall secure you from the consequences of the deed you are about to commit, so far as I am concerned. Ile warned in time, ere it be too late. "Joe" he replied in the same quiet tone which had so much alarmed me. I honor you for your feelings, but I must at tlw same time inform you that you are making a great fool of yourself. What, in the name of heaven, do you take me to be ? Do you suppoi,c that I could for one moment, entertain the dreadful purpose which you attribute to me ? I assure you on the honor of a gentkrnan, that I intended no further harm to the ungrateful scoundrel, than to punii

Oft THE OI.U 'rTME BCAHA. "Here, Curgy" Tom, "I have brought you some physic which will make yon well in no time. Get up, if you

34 CURGY 1 S FUNERAL, Now it comes" muttered Tom, then aloud, what is it Curgy? Anything that I can do to ease your last moments shall be done." Ah me no bin say massa is a good buckra ? When Cresar (that was his rival in Tom's good graces) call massa one old drunken hangman, what me say to him ? Cresar you tell one big lie 'pon de poor buckra.' Nebba bin derc such a good massa as we hab, me tell him so massa, me almost fight wid him for you sake Ah, sa, Cresar is one great villain-him say-" "Never mind that now, Curgy," interrupted Torn, "ingratitude will always meet with punishment. Tell me what is it you want ?" Curgy da dead, massa ; him can't sarve you any mo' ; him hoe bruk and him cutlass dull-so, if massa please, Curgy would like to die a free man 'Pose massa gib Curgy him free paper now, him will die happy." Don't say another word, Curgy, you shall have it" ; then turning towards me, he requested that I would go to the great house for pens, ink, and paper. In five minutes the writing materials were forth coming, and Tom, placing the paper on the top of his hat, wrote a few words, folded the paper and put it in the hands of the emancipated negro. The eyes of the black sparkled with delight as he clutched the deed which conferred on him his freedom ; he poured forth a thousand thanks for his master's kindness, in the middle of which we quitted the hut and returned to the great house Neither Tom nor myself, however, retired to rest. The former's scheme remained yet to be completed and put in execution, and the morning's light found us busily engaged in the preparations for Curgy's funeral. By eight o'clock all was completed-the coffin made, the shroud pre pared and everything else that was necessary in readincss--even the grave was dug All being in excellent train, we proceeded to Curgy's cottage, preceded by a dozen negroes carrying the funeral gear. Curgy was still lying where we had left him, but the entrance of so many persons caused him to turn round towards them. Tom, how ever, and the negroes who accompanied him, the latter of whom were well tutored, appeared not to take any notice of his having stirrecl Curgy was supposed to be dead ; and all that remained to be done was to bury him. Accordingly four stout strong fellows raised Curgy upright on the bed and commenced to strip him of his clothes. Whether it was that the dead man was frightened into insensibility by the imposing preparations, or whether he was too weak from the effects of the emetic to make any resistance, I am not prepared to say; but he lay like a log in the hands of the negroes, by whom he was speedily dressed in his grave-clothes. I had donned an old gray dressing gown, and with a Johnson's dictionary in my hand, stood ready to act the part of the parson. Still Curgy moved not. The coffin was brought in-he seemed not to see it : he was placed in it, and yet was insensible of what was being done-but when the lid was about to be put on, then, and not till then, did Curgy afford any eviDigitized by Google


OR THE OLD Tll\lE llllSHA. dence of his being a living man. He yelled, he shrieked, cursed, swore, tore the grave-clothes, and struggled so manfully, that it was with the utmost difficulty he was forced down into the coffin, and that the lid, in which several small holes were bored, was slightly fastened down. The old nurse, too, seemed to have been half mad at the ex traordinary proceedings. She declared that the poor boy was not dead-and that we were committing murder. Tom, however, silenced her by saying that the boy was dead, and that it was only the jumbi of his grandy which had appeared to him, that had entered his body and was playing such tricks. The old woman believed this probable explanation, and was immediately quieted. The procession now moved towards the grave, Cresar acting as chief mourner, and to show the extent of his grief, grinning until every one of his white teeth was seen-gums and all But how can I describe the scene which took place when the coffin was lowered into grave Curgy, who had not ceased his exertions while he was being borne along to free himself from his unnatural position, no sooner heard the first shovel full of earth upon the coffin, than fear lent him the strength of a giant; with one powerful kick he knocked off the top of the coffin-started up before we had time to hold him and fled away as if the devil was at his heels, the whole troop of negroes following helter skelter after him. A week elapsed before we heard anything of the resuscitated Curgy and then he was in --work-house, whither he had been taken as a runaway slave. His free paper which he kept, was of no use to him ; for it only bore these words :-" My black i;coundrel Lycur gus, otherwise called Curgy, has it in contemplation, aR I have heu1 informed, to obtain his freedom from me by means of a trick. Should he succeed in his attempt, this is to request the friends of the under signed to lodge the rascal in the.nearest house of correction until h(is seut for. THOMAS MOODY, Moody's Hill, St. Curgy, crestfallen and really emaciated, was brought home, and put to field work. He had hitherto been only a house servant. Poor Tom Moody I It is now twenty years since we acted together the farce I havejust set down. What changes have taken place during that period I Curgy, if he be alive, is now a free man-and thou, Tom, art numbered with the dead. Digitized by Google


AN INCIDENT IN THE LATE REBELLION IN JAMAICA. IT was about ten o'clock at night, towards the end of the last l'E> hellion, that five privates and a sergeant attached to the -company of the Trelawny Militia were located in an out-house on -estate, for the purpose of protecting that property in an anticipated attack of the insurgents. It was about as dark a night, reader, as I remember ever to have seen; the rain fell in torrents, not a star was visible, and the thunder broke over our heads in loud and deafening peals, and with a force, too, that shook to its foundation the crazy building in which we were posted. Not one of us had a dry rag about him; for as the dismantled old houf!e possessed but half a roo( and the pro portion of half a shutter to every three windows-to say nothing of a most lamentable deficiency of sash frames, the rain poured down as mercilessly on us as it did outside of the house "Vot a night for firevorks and Wauxall," said young Toosy-(the last importation from Cokai~e, who h\d joined our company just be fore the breaking out of the rebellion )-his teeth chattering in his head, and his lips as blue almost as indigo.-" Real stunning enjoyment I call this," continued he, "cuss the rebels, the black varmints, and juice take the Owrnol for bordering us on this dirty duty; you hain't got a cigar about you Dick, 'ave you? I do think I'd feel better for a veed." Dick's pouch was forthcoming at the word, but the cigars like everything else about him, were soaked through with water. Toosy, however, selected one which he thought he miJ?ht manage and crawl ing towards the single candle, which flared and sputtered in a porter bottle under a table, where it had been placed to protect it as much as possible from the rain, endeavoured to kindle his cigar at the puny flame. His exertions, were, however, ineffectual, and resulted only in his extinguishing the miserable light, and leaving us in utter dark ness. "Here's a go," exclaimed the unfortunate recn1it, as he groped his way back to his comparatively dry corner, amid a volley of abuse from his fellow-sufferers "Here's a cussed go, I do believe the devil himself has had a hand in everything that has happened to-night. Fust of all Tom burnt the priming of his gun near my face, as he says, by accident, and singed off von of my viskers ; next that d -d nigger gave me winigar for brandy, and now I have gone and blowed out the honly li~ht ve had. I'm blessed if it s not enough to drive von distracted;' saying which, poor Toosy coolly deposited himself on Digitized by Google


AN INCIDEN'l' IN THE LATE REBELLION IN JAMAICA. 37 a heap of empty bottles and broken gla8ses. It required but that to cap the climax of his misfortunes ; starting up with a yell which rung throughout the house, he ran towards the door, determined, as he afterwards told us, rather to brave the storm without, than to remain one moment longer in the house. But he was suddenly foiled in his attempt to escape. He had 11carcely reached the door when a vivid light !

38 .\.N J XCIDENT l.N" TIU.: 'l'he cautious reply of Sergeant S-drew forth some commcn datory remarks from young 'l'oosy, who was appa1 ently but little dis posed to lend the aid of his powerful arm and great military talents in carrying out the desires of the old woman. Whether it was that the warning contained in the m~gress's address damped his courage (and, between us, good reader, 'l'oosy was not blessed with any extraordi nary development of the organ of combativeness,) or whether he eon cdved that the misfortunes which had already befallen him, were suffi cient for the night, I will not undertake to decide, but his disinclina tion to trust himself to the guidance of the old woman was expressed in terms so forcible and explicit, that they drew upon his luckless head the entire burst of anger which she had been vainly endeavoring to repress Weak and timid fool," she exclaimed, your chicken-heart would but destroy our chance of success Remain here, if you fear to fol low me, and change your musket for a doll Is it with men such as you that the government expects to put down this outbreak ? Fools are they to suppose so If there are any ni,en among ye, follow me at once" ; she continued turning to the others, follow me this in stant, or lose the honor which you will acquire in taking one of the most daring and successful of the rebels." 'l'he tone in which she spoke, her excited gestures, and air of authority, together with the prospect she held out of our taking an in surgent chief, produced the desired effect. In an instant every man was on his foet, busily resuming the military accoutrements which had been thrown aside, and we were just about to follow our strange guide when the storm of rain and thunder burst forth with renewed fury, and for the moment compelled us to abandon all idea of the ex pedition. However willing we may be to accompany you, my good woman" said Sergeant --, addressing the negress, you perceive it will be impossible for us to do so at present. No human being could live in a night like this, were he exposed to the fury of the elements. Sit down, therefore, and let us know something more of the service which you require at our hand." She made no answer to this address, but commenced to pace up and down the dilapidated apartment, totally regardless of the heavy fall of water which poured down through the broken roof on her un covered head. After continuing this exercise for some minutes, she gradually drew near to the lantern which she had placed under the table, and throwing herself on the floor, begun to warm her long skinny hand at the flame of the candle, muttering some words the while, but in so low a tone as prevented our catching their import. Tooi,;y, who appeared to have recovered from the effects of all his late misfortunes, except that particular one which had resulted in the loss of his whisker, began to while away the time with a most melan choly ditty, which, as it belonged to that species of musical composi tion,; uisually tc1mcd sentimental, aided not a little in producing the Digitized by Google


LA.TE UEBELLitl:N IN JA:\L\IC.\. effects of a sedative on our scnsl : S. Kot that there was :mything par ticularly somnilic in th-: air itslllf-in fact it was rathllr an n~recable recital of the loves of a. certain Alice Gray, and an anonymous youth. 'foosy possessed little or no musical genius, und had a most cxtrnor dinary knack of converting demi-semi-quavers into brecves, and semi quavers into semi-breeves. 'l'he elfoct of this peculiar talent on the part of Toosy was, as may be supposed, that of extending the air to a most unconscionable length-and to such a height had he cmTied this new principle in music, that he once contrived to continue the ba.ttle of Prague through an entire fortnight ; at the conclusion of which, he relieved our ears with the welcome announcement that he had forgotten the remaining half of the piece. 'foosy, I say, had just commenced to while away the time with the afore-mentioned air, and we were just falling into a refreshing slumber, when we were startled by a sudden and loud exclamation from the old woman. Stop," she cried, stop for the love of God I 'l'hat song, that song, it will kill me There," blubbered out the luckless Toosy. "There, I've put my foot in it again." I a.lways thought you'd kill somebody yet with your cursed howling," said Dick, Can't you stop with that d--d thing you call a song ? It's enough to kill a. deaf horse, much less an old nigger woman .. I'm sure," commenced 'l'oosy, apologetically, I'm sure I didn't mean to do any harm to the old 'oman, but-" It's of no conse quence young man interposed the negress, and no apology is needed. ''l'was but a momentary spasm that caused me to cry out, and it has passed." 'fhe words, however, to which she had given utterance, refuted her assertion of sudden illness. I felt convinced there was some mystery connected with the old woman, and determined to make myself ac quainted with it. "You have not complied with our request, good mother," said I, We asked you to give us some information as to the nature of the service you require of us." 'l'he old woman appeared to reflect for a moment, then putting her hands to her eyes and dashing away a few tears which had gathered there, she said in a voice broken with emotion, Listen to me ; draw near all of you, and hearken to the story of my life-nearer yet, I must whisper it to you, for I fear I have scarce enough strength left me to tell it." We drew closer as she requested, and waited eagerly for the words to fall from her lips. Do I look like one who has suffered ?" she began ; do I look like one who has ever known what it is to be happy? Ye answer not ; but let me tell you, I was not always the miserable wretch I appear to be Age and misfortunes have broken my spirit, and poverty and neglect are hurrying me to the grave 1 was and Digitized by Google


40 AN l.N'CIDEN'l' IN THE am still a slave, though only one in name, for I was ever free to f!O and come as I liked. I belonged to -estate, and was a domes tic in the great-house, until I bore my first child, when I WB.8 called upon to perform the functions of a nurse. From these now dry and wicliered breasts, the only daughter of my dear mistress drew her first sustenance, her unfortunate mother having died in giving her birth I nursed my young charge from her infancy, and tended her until she reached the age of twelve years, when my master resolved on H uding her to England to be educated. At her entreaty and my o"n, I was permitted to accompany her, and I remained in England wi~h her until she returned to Jamaica in her 18th year. Shortly after th11t, event, my master died under circumstances which created suspi~ci->m1 of his having come to his end by violent me:tns ; but not withstanding the many investigations which took place into the cause of hi,; sudden death, the crime could not be traced hgmo to any one, and to all but myself it has been until this night buried in mystery Mis.i Harriet, as you may suppose, was considerably affected by the death of her beloved parent, and for some months she was plunged into a state of gloom and sorrow, from which I found it difficult to arouse her But unavailing regret, like every thing else, must have an end ; and about two years after her father's drnth 11he married a young Englishman, named Gray, who had but a short time before arrived on the island. It was about this time also that I manied the man with whom I had live

LATE HEl.lELLloN IN JA.\LHCA. 41 crime of 11111nlcr The nam~ of my late master escaped bis lips-my reeled a t the dreadful c o11fession and I tottered and fell sense less to the earth. My husband was a corpse ere I awoke from my swoon and I am to this moment ignorant of the motive which induced him to commit the awful deed, and of the means by which he concealed his guilt. "Heaven only knows what were my sufferings at that time. The reflection that my poor, lamented master was struck down in the prime of life by my husband's hand-that the child which I then bore in my womb was the offspring of a murderer-that perhaps it would come into the world with all the evils of its father's vile disposition inherent in its nature, drove me mad. Perhaps it would have been better for myself had I continued in that state, but it was ordained otherwise The birth of my child preserved my reason, and I awoke once more to the knowledge of my unhappy condition. "My mistress also gave birth at this period to a female child, which was called Alice, after its paternal grandmother. You know now why the song which the young gentleman sung had so great an effect on me. Alice Gray, my mistress's little daughter became my foster-child ; they were playmates in their infancy, and when my young mistress sprung from infancy to girlhood, Richard became her constant attend ant and favorite servant. Oh what a happiness what a consolation it was to me to see the affectionate care which my son took of his little mistress I It atoned almost for my past sufferings, and led me to look forward to an old age of happiness and peace How has the cup of hope been since dashed from my lips I How has the hand of my own offspring wrought misery to myself and to all whom I loved The serpent was then young ; it had not yet obtained its fangs But let me hasten over the few years that intervened between that period and the present. Days, months, years fled away, varying but little the one from the other My mistress had no more children during all that time, and she bestowed all her affection on Miss Alice. Viewing with horror the idea of a separation from her only and beloved daughter, she would not send her from her but had her educated at home ; and she grew up loving and worthy to be loved. Let me yet hurry on-let me hasten to the period when this unhappy country first began to be shaken by the actions of wicked, selfish, and designing men. The year 1881 opened as brightly as any that had preceded it. How did it terminate ? In misery: and warfare-in blood shed for its own sake ; for the party-word Preed

42 AN INCIDENT IN THE to the earth? Why, oh God! why has this beautiful land been red dened with the blood of its children It was while these fearful occurrences were at their height,' that I discovered that my son was connected with a band of dissolute and and fugitive negroes ; but the discovery was made at too late an hour to enable me to snatch him from the gulf of depravity and sin He fled from me, and joined the insurgents Three months have elapsed since he left me. In the second, after his flight, my mistress's estate was burned to the ground, herself and her husband barbarously mur dered, and their daughter snatched from the flames and the assassin's knife to be reserved for a far more fearful doom How I escaped in the general massacre and ruin I know not ; but one week after the des truction of the property, I found myself lying in an out-house which the flames had not devoured-my hands and feet blistered and scarred, my frame weak and feeble, and my mind wandering and at times unsettled. I sat up on the bare earthen floor and strove to collect my thoughts about me, but was unequal to the task. 'fhrow ing myself down again with the intention to take a little repose, the sound of approaching footsteps struck on my ear, and shortly after wards the door opened and a human being entered the apartment. Oh Heaven I what a sight met my gaze as I cast a startled glance towards the intruder I could not believe the eviden c e of my senses, but started up, drew the object to an open window, and gazed long and earnestly on the pale and emaciated countenance. The wretched and unfortunate Alice stood, or rather crouched before me. She was almost naked ; her hair loose and torn, hung wildly about her once beautiful face ; her feet were shoeless, and bleeding from many wounds, and her whole appearance haggard and wretched in the ex treme. Great Heaven! what a wreck she presented of her former self! I would rather have seen her dead ; I would rather have seen her years before a lifeless corpse in her young beauty than the miserable thing she then appeared. Reason, speech, beauty, every thing had fled, and but the senseless torpid frame remained Instinct ively she must have retraced her steps to the home of her childhood. God only knows what she expected to find there What she did find, were ruin and desolation. I clasped her to my bosom-I washed her bleeding feet with my fast flowing tears I tore the wretched rags from off my back, and threw them over her shivering and exhausted body-but all wa.,;i unavailing She died within an hour in my arms, but not before s he informed me, in a temporary r e suscitation of her faculties, that her former play-fellow and servant-my son, the monster to whom I had given birth, was the heartless wretch who had wrought her n1in You know my story ; you have now to learn what motive brought me hither 'Tis revenge, full and ample revenge The blood of my

LATE l{Ell.ELLION IN ,J Al\IAIC.\, 43 ~re the feelings of a parent regain possession of my heart ; come ere I repent me of the deed I am about to commit." She rose as she ceased speaking. Her tall form appeared to expand to a gigantic size, as re-armed with the recital of her woes, she drew herself up and gazed on us as if she would have said, See, my mis fortunes have not yet broken my spirit ; I can still act and think for myself." Heaven only knows what thoughts were passing in her mind at that moment. Her eyes flashed, her nostrils dilated, and her breast heaved as though a fearful struggle were going on within her, but not another word escaped her lips at that time ; and she soon after regained her composure. The storm had now almost subsided. The wind would moan and sigh occasionally through the thick foliage of the numberless trees that surrounded the house, but there was no longer any rain or thun der, and the earth exhaled that peculiar odour which usually rises from it after a heavy rain. It yet wanted two or three hours of day light, and the old woman urged us to take advantage of the remaining hours of darkness, and hasten in pursuit of her wretched son. Ac cordingly we made every preparation necessary for the supposed difficulties of the expedition-deaned and dried our firelocks, exam ined our ammunition, and found that, fortunately, our powder was perfectly dry ; and put everything else in an effective condition. After about an hour's hard walking, we followed our strange guide into a narrow defile, overhung by towering and massive rocks A mountain torrent, swollen by the late rains, roared and splashed down a precipitous gully that ran along the entire line ofroad, extend ing in many instances over large portions of the path itself. Poor 'foosy's misfortunes recommenced as we entered on this portion of our march. First his hat was knocked over his eyes by an overhang ing branch ; then he lost one boot, which was with difficulty reco vered ; at another time his lankly feet became entangled in some under-wood, and he was thrown on his face with some violence. Again he lost his footing and plumped up to his middle in a deep hole filled with water ; and at last, in sheer desperation, he sat himself down on a piece of fallen rock, and swore not to budge another foot farther. 'fake your hand from off mine," said he to one of us who stood by him, "its as cold and clammy as hice: take it away, I say, and leave me here, I am determined I vont walk another inch. They may do vot they like with me. 'fhey may shoot me, or hang me, or do anything else they please ; but I vont go on to be drowned in any more cussed holes. There, now go and leave me. 0 Lord 0 Lord vot's this a-coming to me ? 'l'ake it off, take it off; it's a climming up my face." l'lc shook his right arm violently, and a snake of about a yard in length rapidly uncoiled itself from the limb, and escaped into the bush 'l'he outcries which the frightened Toosey made Rtartled the echcws to so gn,at.a degree, that I have no doubt many a sleopin; uini was rlcpl'ivcrl of its morning's nap From one extreme Digitized by Google


44 AN INCIDENT IN THE the unfortunate youth fled to another, and he begged and prayed us to take him away as soon as possible The dangers of remaining where he was appeared to him much greater than any which he might probably encounter in the onward march ; and he prepared with much alacrity to accompany us the remainder of the way. Order being once more established, we hasted to make up for the lost time, particularly as some red streaks in the east warned us that the dawn was approaching. Our way led, for about two miles farther, up the defile, when it was suddenly brought to a close by what appeared to us to be an insurmountable ohstaclc. An enor mous rock, clothed to its summit with rank vegetation; completely blocked up the path, and barred all egress in that direction. :Finding himself thus circumstanced, doubts of the honesty and good faith of our guide began to enter the mind of Serjeant S--. He imagined she had led us into this trap in order to give us into the hands of one of the numerous gangs of insurgent negroes who roamed about in all directions ; and his alarm momentarily increased. Daylight was now fast stealing on us, and it afforded some satisfaction to know that in the event of Serjeant S--'s suspicions being confirmed, we should at least be able to see and oppose the danger by which we were surrounded. See," cried Serjeant Ssuddenly Look there-to the right By heaven there are figures moving on the hill. Stand to your arms my men. We must now sell our lives dearly." Hola Draw not a trigger on our lives," interposed our guide, the men on the rock above are friends ; they come to aid us in this enterprise." How know we that ? What proof have we that you have not entrapped us into an ambush ? Look to yourself, old woman, your life shall answer for your treachery." The Serjeant stepped forward as he spoke with the intention of seizing her, but she sprung aside with an agility which her age did not betoken, and quickly scrambling up one side of the rock, divided with her powerful arm a thick cluster of underwood, and stepped into the path she had opened for herself. A few seconds elapsed and she once more appeared on a portion of the rock which jutted far out into the air. "You forced me to act as I have done," she exclaimed, as she took up her position above us, one word from my lips and riot a life among you would be spared-one musket discharged on this spot and you draw down destruction on your heads Think you that I brought you here to murder you. You have heard the story of my life-do I look like one who has not felt, keenly felt, all the sorrows I described? Heaven pardon you for your murderous doubts I will yet redeem the pledge I gave you, but think not you have frightened me into doing so." "See!" she added, as at a signal twelve or fifteen men rushed down the steep rocks and gathered around her, sec l could ha\'c crushed you all had I chosen to do Digitized by Google


LATE REBELLION IN JAMAIO.A. 45 so." She disappeared behind a portion of the rocks as she spoke, and soon after we perceived her descending into the defile, accompa nied by three of her followers. As she advanced Serjeant stepped forward and in a few words expressed his gratitude for her forbearance. He now declared his readiness to follow with his men whithersoever she chose to lead him ; and giving the word to march, we cautiously ascended a narrow beaten track which our guide pointed out to us. It was now day-break, but a thick fog which rose from the defile, and overhung the surrounding hills, rendered it ne cessary that we should tread with the utmost care the precarious path by which we mounted into the region of rock and wood high over ow heads. A quarter of an hour's toil and exertion brought us in frorit of what appeared to be a deep fissure in the mountain, the en trance to which was partly concealed by a quantity of brush-wood and fragments of limestone Cautioning us not to utter a word, and to keep within call, but not to show ourselves in the direct path to the cave, the negress strode towards it, followed by the three negroes who, I had forgotten to say, were armed with old rusty fowling pieces and cutlasses. The loud.barking of a dog within the cave be trayed the approach of the intruder, and the sound of a confused noise in the same direction, shortly after reached our ears. It was evident that the tenants of the cave were alarmed. The negress beckoned us to approach, which we did as quickly as the nature of the ground would permit. No one had yet issued from the cavern; the persons concealed within were doubtless acting on the defensive, and as it appeared a matter of no difficulty for a party of resolute men to defend the place for a long time, we began to dread that, un prepared as we were to carry on a siege, we would be compelled to retrace our steps without accomplishing the purpose for which wahad severely and laboriously toiled. Sarjeant S-called an immediate council of war, and it was determined to dispose of the few men he had under his command with as much effect as possible. Myself and another were ordered to advance towards the left of the ca,vern, where a narrow path was distinctly visible, to intercept wholllSOever might attempt to escape in that direction ; two of the negroes, and as many more of our own party, were directed to clamber over the rocks, and endeavour to discover if there were any outlet at tlltl back of the cave ; while Toosy and the remaining negro were poi,red some yards below, in the track by which we had ascended, and ordered give immediate alarm should any hostile movement be observed m that quarter. Sergeant S-himsel~ with the negJ\lSS and Dick, under took to keep possession of the path lea.din~ to the mouth of the cavern, and to resist every effort of the besetged to escape. Having thus disposed of our small force, we waited as patiently as we could until the opportunity should offer for the exercise of more vigorous and decisive measures. Half an hour passed away, and matters still remained in the same position. The sun rose in splendour, and Digitized by Google


46 AN INCIDENT IN THE LATE RERELUON IN ,JAMAICA, dispersed the thick mist which surrounded us Exhitusted with our previous exertions, and anxious to bring the business to a Rpeedy ter mination, Sergeant S-now determined to assail the entrance of the cavern at all risks. He recalled the party under my command which had been posted on the hill, and desiring us to co-operate with him, marched resolutely towards the cave. Before, however, we had advanced twenty yards, the brushwood which partly concealed the mouth of the cavern was removed, and a young negro of herculean build presented himself at the entrance. He was armed with a long cavalry pistol, which he carried in his hand ; by his side hung a broad shining cutlass, and in his belt was stuck what appeared to be a sort of dirk. He desired us to halt, and presented his pistol to enforce his command. Utterly regardless, however, of the threaten ing aspect of the rebel, Sergeant S-commanded us to move forward, but his temerity well nigh cost him his life. A sudden report, the sharp rustling in the air as the bullet flew through it, and the rapid disappearance of the rebel from the spot on which he had been standing, told that he had vainly expended his shot, and had retreated into the cave. "Onward," exclaimed Sergeant S--, "and quickly too, but be careful of being surprised in the cavern." We were now joined by the party who had been sent to learn if there were any other entrance to the cave. They reported their failure, which perhaps was fortunate for them, as the sequel will shew. Our force being thus augmented, w'll did not hesitate for one moment to enter the stronghold of the rebel. We" carried it at the point of the bayonet," but the object of our pursuit was nowhere to be found. We could not discover the slightest trace of him. He had wanished like a wision, as Toosy afterwards observed. Strewed about the interior of the cave, weru some broken victuals, a breaker of water, and some spirits in a bottle. In an aperture in the solid rock was a bed composed of dried leaves and grass, covered with several pieces of ragged blanketing, on which lay the dead body of a dog, doubtless the same which had warned the rebel of an approach, and which he must have slain under the apprehensi