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Mystery there was none as to the motive of the murder — manifestly it was a hoard of money that had attracted the assassin; but there was great perplexity as to the agent or agents concerned in the atrocious act, and as to the mode by which an entrance, under the known precautions of the lady, could have been effected. Because a thorough-bred horse could easily have accomplished the distance to and fro (say three hundred miles) within the fortyeight hours, and because the two extreme dates of this forty-eight hours' absence tallied with the requisitions of the Bristol tragedy, it did not follow that X must have had a band in it. And yet, had these coincidences then been observed, they would certainly -now that strong suspicions had been directed to the man from the extraordinary character of his nocturnal precautions not have passed without investigation. But the remoteness of Bristol, and the rarity of newspapers in those days, caused these indications to pass unnoticed. Bristol knew of no such Knutsford highwayman-Knutsford knew of no such Bristol murder. It is singular enough that these earlier grounds of suspicion against X were not viewed as such by anybody, until they came to be combined with another and final ground. Then the presumptions seemed conclusive. But, by that time, X himself had been executed for a robbery; had been manufactured into a skeleton by the famous surgeon, Cruickshank, assisted by Mr. White and other pupils. All interest in the case had subsided in Knutsford, that could now have cleared up the case satisfactorily; and thus it happened that to this day the riddle, which was read pretty decisively in a

northern county, still remains a riddle in the south. When I saw the College Green house in 1809–10, it was apparently empty, and, as I was told, had always been empty since the murder: forty years had not cicatrized the bloody remembrance; and, to this day, perhaps, it remains amongst the gloomy traditions of Bristol.

But whether the Bristol house has or has not shaken off that odor of blood which offended the nostrils of tenants, it is, I believe, certain that the city annals have not shaken off the mystery: which yet to certain people in Knutsford, as I have said, and to us the spectators of the skeleton, immediately upon hearing one damning fact from the lips of Mr. White, seemed to melt away and evaporate as convincingly as if we had heard the explanation issuing in the terms of a confession from the mouth of the skeleton itself. What, then, was the fact? With pain, and reluctantly, we felt its force, as we looked at the royal skeleton, and reflected on the many evidences which he had given of courage, and perhaps of other noble qualities. The ugly fact was this: In a few weeks after the College Green tragedy, Knutsford, and the whole neighborhood as far as Warrington (the half-way town between Liverpool and Manchester), were deluged with gold and silver coins, moidores, and dollars, from the Spanish mint of Mexico, &c. These, during the frequent scarcities of English silver currency, were notoriously current in England. Now, it is an unhappy fact, and subsequently became known to the Bristol and London police, that a considerable part of poor Mrs. Rus

borough's treasure lay in such coins, gold and silver, from the Spanish colonial mints.

Lady Carbery at this period made an effort to teach me Hebrew, by way of repaying in kind my pains in teaching Greek to her. Where, and upon what motive, she had herself begun to learn Hebrew, I forget: but in Manchester she had resumed this study with energy on a casual impulse derived from a certain Dr. Bailey, a clergyman of this city, who had published a Hebrew Grammar. The doctor was the most unworldly and guileless of men. Amongst his orthodox brethren he was reputed a "Method

ist; and not without reason; for some of his LowChurch views he pushed into practical extravagances that looked like fanaticism, or even like insanity. Lady Carbery wished naturally to testify her gratitude for his services by various splendid presents: but nothing would the good doctor accept, unless it assumed a shape that might be available for the service of the paupers amongst his congregation. The Hebrew studies, however, notwithstanding the personal assistance which we drew from the kindness of Dr. Bailey, languished. For this there were several reasons; but it was enough that the systematic vagueness in the pronunciation of this, as of the other Oriental languages, disgusted both of us. A word which could not be pronounced with any certainty, was not in a true sense possessed. Let it be understood, however, that it was not the correct and original pronunciation that we cared for-that has perished probably beyond recall, even in the case of Greek, in spite of the Asiatic and the Insular Greeks —what we demanded in vain was any pronunciation

whatever that should be articulate, apprehensible, and intercommunicable, such as might differentiate the words: whereas a system of mere vowels too inadequately strengthened by consonants, seemed to leave all words pretty nearly alike. One day, in a pause of languor amongst these arid Hebrew studies, I read to her, with a beating heart, "The Ancient Mariner." It had been first published in 1798; and, about this time (1801), was re-published in the first two-volume edition of "The Lyrical Ballads." Well I knew Lady Carbery's constitutional inaptitude for poetry; and not for the world would I have sought sympathy from her or from anybody else upon that part of the L. B. which belonged to Wordsworth. But I fancied that the wildness of this tale, and the triple majesties of Solitude, of Mist, and of the Ancient Unknown Sea, might have won her into relenting; and, in fact, she listened with gravity and deep attention. But, on reviewing afterwards in conversation such passages as she happened to remember, she laughed at the finest parts, and shocked me by calling the mariner himself "an old quiz;" protesting that the latter part of his homily to the wedding guest clearly pointed him out as the very man meant by Providence for a stipendiary curate to the good Dr. Bailey in his over-crowded church.* With an albatross perched on his shoulder, and who might be introduced to the congregation as the immediate organ of his conversion, and supported by the droning of a bassoon, she represented the mariner lecturing to advantage in English; the doctor

* St. James', according to my present recollection.

overhead in the pulpit enforcing it in Hebrew. Angry I was, though forced to laugh. But of what use is anger or argument in a duel with female criticism? Our ponderous masculine wits are no match for the mercurial fancy of women. Once, however, I had a triumph to my great surprise, one day, she suddenly repeated by heart, to Dr. Bailey, the beautiful passage


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"It ceased, yet still the sails made on," &c.

asking what he thought of that? As it happened, the simple, childlike doctor had more sensibility than herself; for, though he had never in his whole homely life read more of poetry than he had drunk of Tokay or Constantia,- in fact, had scarcely heard tell of any poetry but Watts' Hymns, - he seemed petrified and at last, with a deep sigh, as if recovering from the spasms of a new birth, said, “I never heard anything so beautiful in my whole life."

During the long stay of the Laxton party in Man chester, occurred a Christmas; and at Christmasthat is, at the approach of this great Christian festi val, so properly substituted in England for the Pagan festival of January and the New Year there was, according to ancient usage, on the breaking up for the holidays, at the Grammar School, a solemn celebration of the season by public speeches. Among the six speakers, I, of course (as one of the three boys who composed the head class), held a distinguished place; and it followed, also, as a matter of course, that all my friends congregated on this occasion to do me honor. What I had to recite was a copy of Latin verses (Alcaics) on the recent conques

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