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have proved unequal; but as her years ripened, a woman's intelligence, that precocious tact by which she supplies and sometimes outstrips the stronger judgment of the other sex, assisted her with its availing power. It is true that cunning and subterfuge were her only weapons; but as she was of an unshrinking temper, and as firm and implacable, in her own way, as her sire, she only disguised her hatred of home and its inmates, to find a fitting occasion to prove it. It was not singular that a temper by nature unconciliatory should be driven to cunning for its defence, and to hate those who made such defence necessary; but it was, indeed, singular that the misers never sought to send her from them to earn subsistence for herself, a boon she ardently implored. She thought it was cruelty that denied this to her, but it might be that these rigid and penurious men found a kind of satisfaction in gazing on the faultless face of their young relation, in watching the movements that perfect formation rather than early instruction rendered purely graceful; and they might derive an affectionate and pleasurable pride from the sensation that their blood flowed in the veins of so fair a creature. Fair, indeed, was the appropriate term to apply to her, for the bloom that almost dyed her cheek on her first arrival soon disappeared with hard fare and confinement; and though her spirit ultimately rose from its first depression, the bloom had departed for ever. Still no one could look upon a countenance moulded to the most delicate and purest beauty, though unsmiling and condensed in its expression, without admiration, and that sort of delight which the initiated feel on examining a fine picture. Little as Rebecca was suffered to quit her home, it was nevertheless sometimes necessary to allow her to go to mass; and as it would have interfered with the daily monotonous employments of the misers to accompany her, it was usual to suffer her on such occasions to depart alone, with injunctions somewhat similar to those which Shylock addresses to Jessica; and they were as admirably obeyed. Instead of going to mass, Rebecca sought in every casual acquaintance some relief from the disease-like oppression that at home was her constant suffering. At home she was her own centre, all her thoughts revolved round herself to harden her to the most callous selfishness. Sympathy with the misers was impossible; but it was no worse an evil to love the accumulation of gold than to lose all power of sympathy with the joy and grief of others. Rebecca possessed no youthful feelings, compression had killed them, and the result was fatal to her character and happiness. The temptations she encountered to change her mode of life for one more luxurious were not unfrequent; it was not the vice of the life offered to her choice, nor its shame and loneliness, nor its corruption and induration of the heart, that deterred her frem adopting it; for she felt so utterly degraded by her present state

and occupation, that she thought it impossible to sink lower in the scale of humanity. But she was guarded by that passion which alike leads to crime and guards from evil, in its various power too often omnipotent, especially with women. It would have been a happy accident had the man she loved proved worthy of her affection-he might have exerted a beneficial influence over her destiny. The chances were not, however, in this unhappy girl's favour.

Struck with her beauty, a young man, of open and prepossessing appearance, followed her home. An acquaintance commenced under such circumstances could scarcely prove fortunate in its results. It was but natural that one unused to even words of kindness, the common coin of affection, should affix an undue value to passionate love and admiration-it seemed to raise her to herself, and for this fanciful elevation she felt deeply grateful. From her childhood the fountain of affection had been closed, but the weight that had kept down its waters was suddenly removed, and they bubbled up, threatening to overwhelm and astonish by their lavish waste. The mixture of pain, however, always associated with the pleasure of a maiden's first affection, added to her habit of suppressing the outward expression of her most innocent thoughts, restrained her for a length of time from the confession of her love, and thus probably increased the passion of her lawless and abandoned lover.

We will not pursue the history of their unholy loves, but come at once to its result and the conclusion of our tale.

One stormy night, when the raging winds that howled through the air, the roaring thunder and beating rain, made such a confusion of noise as to render all other sound inaudible, Rebecca opened the casement of the closet within the room where the misers slept with their treasure, and silently admitted her lover through this entrance. It was the dead hour of night; the storm that raged without, alone might have appalled the hardiest; yet Rebecca's stern pale face, just discernible by the light of a lantern her lover held, exhibited no fear of the elemental war, her whole anxiety appeared lest Albert should be heard by the sleepers within. Of this there was little chance; and after closing the window, she stole softly to her lover's side. "Are you determined ?" she asked inquiringly. "Resolved," was his cold reply; and placing the dark lantern in her hand, he commanded her instantly to lead the way. The door that separated her closet from the misers' room was shut, and she opened it slowly and with difficulty. "Shall I go alone?" said Albert, who fancied her hand trembled. "Incur danger alone?" said Rebecca, reproachfully— 66 no, no, no, I have courage-fear me not." They entered the chamber.

It now became evident they meditated a deed of blood, for Albert

produced a hammer, and advanced to the head of the wretched bed on which the brothers slept. The woman held the lantern, turning away her face with something of the look of that exquisite painting in the Louvre, which represents Herodias' daughter bearing St John's head on a charger; the same disgust, not of the deed, but of the object before her; the same firmness of expression, so remarkably conjoined with feminine delicacy of outline and small accurately defined features. She heard a blow-a dead cold sound—a groan-another, and her old father was dead. A slight shudder passed through her frame, but did not disturb the pale, pure marble of her face; no other evidence did she give of emotion. In the meantime the other miser had awakened. Alarm for his gold was evidently strong as his love of life. "I have no money," he said, "I am a beggar, a poor old beggar, ninety years old-ninety years old and upwards—not a cent to bury me." Almost a smile curved Rebecca's beautiful lip. A laugh of scorn burst from the murderer as his heavy iron-armed hand fell upon the hoary head of the aged miser. But he struggled fearfully for his life and his treasure; he forced Albert's hand from his mouth, and cried for succour. One quickly stifled shriek, and the unequal struggle was over-it was the wailing of an infant in the grasp of a giant. Rebecca, during this dreadful scene, trembled violently, yet felt forced to look upon the deed; the struggle, brief as it was, seemed to her more appalling than the silent, painless death of her own father. There were the few and difficult tears of agethe cry for help, faint and unavailing, but never unfelt, unheard, in the secret heart of the veriest ruffian trained to a trade of blood. And now all was silent, yet the guilty pair stood face to face, without power to move. The clock of the cathedral struck; the subsided storm made now every stroke distinctly toned upon the silent night. Rebecca felt appalled by this natural circumstance. One little hour since that she had counted in trembling expectation of the murderer, and she was yet guiltless of any actual crime. Now the leprosy of guilt had spotted her sinful soul, and no hour could strike and find her innocent. But a softer feeling stole upon her mind, even in this first hour of remorse; for Albert, not for self, she had surpassed her sex in strength and courage, and alas! in crime. But his love would sometimes soothe her unexpressed agony; and sometimes bright brief passages of passionate love would lend a charm even to her parricidal existence. A tear trembled on her eyelids, and hung on her dark lashes, a tear that neither filial affection nor remorse could have won from her; and she turned the full expression of her softened eyes upon Albert-his refused to meet that glance; he pointed to the bed's head, that she might take the key of the coffer from under the pillow of her murdered relatives. She silently obeyed the motion of his

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hand, and as she did so, stained her hand with blood. She saw Albert's eyes were fixed upon the stain, whilst she unlocked the coffer, that gave him, along with herself, golden independence, and yet she felt chilled at their expression. "And now, Albert, let us fly this place for ever, and endeavour to forget the past." Her musical voice trembled, but more with love than with horror. "Fly with thee, woman!" was Albert's stern reply: "ay, I should feel well with the arms of a murderess about my neck. Could no tie bind you-not even the sacred name of father? What, court destruction at your hands when you may please to tire of me? Woman! thou art beautiful, and I loved thee, but now thy beauty seems to me that of a demon-I loathe thee!"

Rebecca heard breathlessly every word distinctly as it was uttered; the overwhelming thought that solely for him, at his bidding, she had aided a deed of blood, played false with her soul's eternal welfare; to be thus by him rewarded, choked the words that swelled her proud bosom for utterance; the beautiful small features became convulsed with feelings she could not express, yet far too powerful to bear suppression. Blood gushed to her mouth, to her nostrils, even her eyes seemed filled with blood, and she fell a corpse at the feet of the murderer.

A new emotion now took hold of this wretched man; he raised the girl in his arms, and tried to call the dead to life by the same weak weapons that had the power to kill. His passionate appeals were fruitless, and he remained stupified, like a drunken man, over his third victim, till he was thus discovered by an accidental visitor, who immediately delivered him over to justice :—with him justice was condemnation.

SONNET.

UNKNOWN MUSIC.

WHAT strain is this that comes upon the sky
Of moonlight, as if yonder gleaming cloud,
Which seems to wander to the melody,

Were seraph-freighted ?—Now it dies away
In a most far off tremble, and is still,
Leaving a charmed silence on each hill

Flower-cover'd, and the grove's minutest spray.
Hark, one more dip of fingers in the wires-

One scarce-heard murmur, struggling into sound,
And fading like a sunbeam from the ground,

Or gilded vanes of dimly vision'd spires:
But it hath tuned my spirit, which will recali
Its magic tones, in memory treasur'd all.

B.

375

THE GOLDEN AGE.

The antique world in its first flowery youth.-SPENCER.

WHEN untill'd fruitage clothed the ground,
And every man was lord of all
The loveliness around him spread-
When at blue evening's silent fall,
Beneath the shade of incense-trees,
The people of the young earth lay
To sleep, till through the glaucing leaves
Smiled in the crystal day;

When the shrill trumpet had not roused
Opposing hosts to deadly rage;
But peace her halcyon olive waved-
That was THE GOLDEN AGE.

When chains and captives were unknown-
Unknown the complicated crimes,-
The bitter griefs-the tragic deaths
Which darkened upon after times:
When the green world was open wide-
No barrier, save by nature given-
Free to the fearless foot of all,

As to the cloud its depth of heaven:
When he who loved such peaceful vale
As beautifies our pictured page,
Might make his home amid its bowers-
That was THE GOLDEN AGE.

SONNET.

ON SIR WALTER SCOTT'S QUITTING ABBOTSFORD FOR NAPLES.

BY WILLIAM WORDSWORTH.*

A TROUBLE, not of clouds, or weeping rain,
Nor of the setting sun's pathetic light
Engendered, hangs o'er Eildon's triple height:
Spirits of power assembled there complain

For kindred power departing from their sight;

While Tweed, best pleased in chanting a blithe strain,
Saddens his voice again and yet again.

Lift up your hearts, ye mourners! for the might
Of the whole world's good wishes with him goes ;
Blessings and prayers, in nobler retinue

Than sceptered king or laurelled conqueror knows,
Follow this wondrous potentate. Be true
Ye winds of ocean and the midland sea,
Wafting your charge to soft Parthenope!

From "The Literary Souvenir." 1833.

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