« ZurückWeiter »
when I recollected the expectations rific wildness that compelled me, for a which his youthful promise had raised moment, to turn away my eyes. I in all his relatives-when, too, the ex- could not bear to contemplate the cellent education which he had receiv- shocking image of suicide. He strug. ed, and the talents which it bad unfold- gled with the attendants to get his hands ed, occurred to me; and when I con- loose, that he might prevent the surlemplated the sad and piteous reverse geon from sewing up the wounded of all this which he now exhibited, I parts : this caused the blood to gush could not avoid regarding him as a afresh; at length, however, he sunk dreadful example of that subjugation fainting into that gentleman's arms, to evil, by which a youth, who discards who requested me to withdraw for a all restraints of pious and moral in- few moments, until he should adminisstruction, and opposes the perverseness ter the miserable patient a composing of his will to the advice of the wise, is medicine, il he should be able to receive induced to unite himself to the libertine it, upon his coming out of the fit. association of the wicked and the vile : I withdrew accordingly. Wben he at first, perhaps, without intending to recovered from this state of insensibility, go all lengths with them ; but, at last, he made signs that he wished to write; compelled to do so, by an influence the materials were brought him ; and which he cannot regist; and to which, he wrote the following words in a by the destructive habit of continued hurried and scarcely legible character. intercourse, he willingly surrenders all “For God's sake do not let Mr. his better prospects, and happier bopes. go away-I want him-I must see
I had attended him as an old ac- him--bring him back-l will be, I quaintance of his family ; and, I trust, am more composed." The surgeon's I may add, as the friend of his soul - assistant came for me, and telling me and I was the more disposed to use my that he feared the wound was too large most anxious exertions to reclaim him and deep to be effectually sewn up, from his guilty course, because I fear- recommended me to be prompt in wbated, that in his then distracted state of ever I wished to say or do, as he had mind, despair might lay hold of him, little doubt of his going off in the next and precipitate him into a lower deep attack of faiptness. of misery, in which he would find “DO I re-entered the room; the blood place for repentance, none for pardon had ceased to flow, and his countenance left.” My fears were too soon realized, appeared more calm and settled. He
The letter addressed to me, informed pointed to a chair at the head of the me of the fatal fact. I scarcely stopped bed, and clasping bis hauds in an attito read it through, and instantly has- tude of prayer, seemed to implore me tened to the prison ; I cannot describe with great earnestness, to supplicate the horror of the scene that presented the Throne of Grace jn bis behalf. I itself. Upon a bed, in the apartment complied with his desire. I had finishappropriated to the purposes of an bos- ed, and had seated myself upon the bed pital, lay the ill-fated votary of this nearly overcome with oppression of world's false delight. The bed-clothes heart, when turning towards him, I were covered with his blood, which, in saw his eyes listed upwards, and fixed in spite of all the efforts of the surgeon to a trance of fervor, in which he seemed staunch it, still oozed from the wound to be wholly absorbed. His lips moved with which the poor wretch had pierced as he lay engaged in mental prayer, but bois throat. He had nearly divided the no articulate sound proceeded from windpipe, and all power of speech was them. I watched him for some minutes, completely destroyed. When I ap- when, suddenly discovering that I had proached him, he looked up, and shook ceased to pray, he lified bis head from his bead. Never shall I forget the the pillow, and seeing me seated by ghastly countenance, in which the ago- him, he caught hold of my hand, and nies of despondence, remorse, and des- grasped it convulsively. The pain which peration, were all combined in a ter- the motion of his head bad occasioned
Young Man in Prison,
forced him to resume his former pos- he shed tears. As they rolled down his ture, but he still retained his hold of cheeks, the surgeon carefully wiped them me, as if he dreaded to let go lest be off, that the dressings might not be should siok for ever. It was with dif- disturbed by his own effort to do it. ficulty that I could command myself; I took this opportunity of rising from when, with a faultering voice, I entreat- the bed to depart, when, taking a diced him to be tranquil-“I will come tionary, which he requested in writing again to you in a few hours," said I, might be handed to him, he turned “when I hope in God you will be better over the leaves to find the principal abie to attend to me." He lifted up words by which he might convey his his left hand and spread it upon his ineaning io me. By the means of this breast, by which I concluded that he expedient, the following communicameant to convey a grateful acquies- tion took place between us :cence in my design. I then gradually “Can be forgiven ? Is there any attempted to withdraw my hand from hope for such a singer as myself? O his; but as I moved it, be pressed it speak ! you are a minister of God! more closely; and when I had succeeded Dare you bid me hope ?". in disengaging it, he raised his own “ Yes, I dare bid you trust in the and let it fall immediately, unable to Divine Mercy, if your repentance be support its weight.
sincere." I left him with very little expecta. “ How can I know that my repention of seeing him alive at the hour tance will be accepted?" . when I proposed to return.
"You have the warrant of your SaThe time arrived, and to my great viour's words to justify your hope that astonishment I found bim sitting up in it will be— lam come to seek and to bis bed, supported by pillows. The save those that are lost.' surgeon still continued with him, under “I fear I am lost for ever!" the apprehension that a hemorrhage “Not so! God is the judge! He would come on. As soon as the young looks upon the heart; and as he alone mao saw me, he beckoned to me to can judge of the sincerity of your penicome near him; and writing upon a tence, he alone can give you hope of piece of paper, gave it me:-“O my forgiveness.” dear sir! My worthy friend ! Comforter “O my kind friend! ould I die in of my soul! do noi-O do not, I be. this hope, I have no deure to live.” seech you, let my rash action be ever “Do not mistrngt ihe Power and imparted to my afflicted mother, should Will of your God and Saviour. Even she regain her senses.” I promised it now he has touched your soul with conshould be kept from ber knowledge. He viction that you require bis forgiveness. would have bowed his head to thank Meditate upon this conviction until I me, but the stiffness of the wound see you to-morrow, and in the mean checked him. He then again made while I commend you to his Grace and signs for me to pray with bim, and pre- Mercy.” pared himself to join me, by putting He then closed the book, and signihis hands together. When my voice fied to the attendants that he would lie ceased, he closed his eyes, and remained down again. I bade him adieu, which perfectly still for near a quarter of an he answered with a look of assent. hour; and then opening them again On the morrow I repaired to him full upon me, I was rejoiced to see that again. I found by the report of the their frantic stare was changed for a surgeon that he had slept for three mild and complacent gazema smile of hours, and had awaked much refreshed, grateful respect reposed upon his lips ; but that from the appearance of the and he again took my hand, but with wound there was great cause to apless force than before. His pressure prehend that mortification had taken was gentle, and repeated at intervals. place. I learnt also that he had emle laid bis other hand upon it, and for ployed nearly two hours in writing the first time since the dreadful deed a letter to me. When I went to him
he Lad the letter in his hand; he held the hand that I had taken fell lifeless it out to me, and putting it into mine, upon the bed ; and an inward groan again had recourse to the dictionary: was the last symptom of life that shewand pointing to the word “resignation," ed itself. The next moment he was I said “ I would base it so."
numbered among the dead ! Heshook his head, and put bis finger I returned to iny house smitten with upon the word “rejected." I then grief, and subdued by the sad spectacle understood that he felt his resignation which I had witnessed. I know not, might be rejected, as he had aitempted indeed, a more difficult, or a more tryto take away his own life. I asked himn ing duty of the pastoral office, thao that if this was what he meant? He pressed which calls him to the death-bed of the my hand in assent.---" If you feel re- self.nurderer. In instances of insanity, signed, it is the effect of your repentant the question is not left to his decision ; consciousness. The wound which you but in those which the overwhelming have inflicted upon yourself, was the force of disappointed pride and infuriresult of despair ; but resignation is the atrd passion produce, the responsibility companion of hope. You resign your- of a spiritual counsellor is fearfully imself to the merciful goodness of your plicated — He is conscious that he dares God-You acknowledge your unwor- not inculcate an unqualified hope, and thiness-You rely on the intercession of he feels that it is not for man to consigo your Redeemer-You abhor the ini- his fellow creature to condemnation and quities of your life-You abjure the in- despair-he can only in such cases fidel principles which actuated you to wherein time is given, between the deneglect every religious duty--You shud- plorable act and the hour of death, exder with the deepest contrition at the cite the repentant reflections of the dydeed of self-destruction-- You repulse ing man to an abhorrence of the rashevery idea of self-justification--You ness of the deed, and of the criminal cast away every plear every argument pursuits which have led to it. Yet as which the unbeliever bas advanced in it generally happens, that, when reflecdefence of suicide. The death you tion returns to the perverted mind, it have sought, you now dread as likely brings with it a profound regret at have to deprive you of everlasting life. Do I ing prematurely cut itself off from the interpret you, wind aright ?"
continuance of life, it requires much He turned on the pages of the dic. penetration to discover whether the tionary with haste, and put his finger penitence avowed be the genuine soron the word “ Yes," then upon that of row of a renewed heart:--and notwith“ Believe”-“Saviour"--"Eternal"- standing the most faithful efforts on the “ Blessedness.”
part of the minister to make this discov“Well, then, you would have me ery, be is too frequently compelled to conclude that you die in this beliet ?" content himself with recommending the
· He placed his hand upon his breast, wretched offender to the Divine Merand raised his eyes to Heaven.
cy, and with assuring him that it is in fiI theo told him, that he was in the nite, and extends beyond the contracted hands of his Almighty Creator, and I limits of human judgment still, le committed him to his disposal, implor- trembles at the possibility of the affrighting a sentence of mercy for his soul. ed soul's clinging to a presumptuous
He stretched out his right hand to- dependence on the one hand, or on the wards me, and lifting his left to his other, sinking into the sinful desponhead, I saw that the surgeon's appre- dency of a repulsive inistrust. It is a hension was realized. A drowsiness most afflictive strait, both for the bewilwas already come upon him ; and the dered patient, and for him from whom short convulsive twitches of the body, he looks for comfort and support in his which usually precede dissolution when last moments of remorse and dread, mortification takes place, became more The humane sympathies of the man frequent. At last, a general insensibil- may incline the minister towards the ity spread itself over his whole frame milder course of administering consola
tion to the patient-but the godly faitb- iniquity, which at once becomes the fplness of the christian guide forbids limit of his crimes, and the calise of . bim to temporize with the justice of their punishment. It is then that reHeaven. It is true, be calls to mind flection returns, and his conscience arios where it is written that “ mercy rejoiceth itself against him-that couscience against judgment,” but with the ac- which might have preserved bim, had knowledgement of the one he is con- he listened in time to its seasonable adstrained to blend the convictions of the mooitions, now persecutes him with other, and he knows there is no imme- maddening thought on what he has diate alternative. In the case before been, what he is, and what he night me, I beheld a young man, who, from have been. He pow possesses 11o pow. the earliest period of expanding intel- er to remedy the past, no opportunity lect to the dreadful iostant of self-mur- to secure the future, and no escape from der, had given the reins to bis passions, the present. He feels tbat he is accurs. and had unhesitatingly violated the pu- ed by man, rejected by God, and haterest principles of moral, social, and reli- ful to himself, The burden of reflecgious restraint-the profligate notions tion becomes too heavy for his mind to of the libertine, and the corresponding bear, weakened as it is in all its best insolence of the infidel, had supplanted energies, by a life of dissipation, and every just, honourable, and pious feel- overwhelmed by self reproach, no ing of the heart; the most lamentable strength is left for endurance, do forticonsequences ensued, and even before tude offers its aid to hold him up bebe bad contemplated the probable issue neath the pressure of that retribution —for it is repugnant to humanity to that crowds upon his soul in all the suppose, that, had this heedless criminal various shapes of personal disgrace, uniforeseen the destruction which his guilt versal execration, and a reinorselul re" produced, he would have deliberately miniscence, fruitless of every other conpersevered in his evil ways-that, could sequence but such as leaves him in the be bave contemplated, as the insepara- forlorn state of utter privation of all ble certainties of his transgressions, a good, and a desolate copsciousness that father's heart riven in twain, and a mo. he suffers the deserved recompense of ther's intellect overturned by his impla- bis iniquity, unpitied and disowned by cable disobedience a friend's wife de- all who knew him. He awhile surveys graded to infamy and contempt, and his condition - he looks around him that friend himself murdered, by bis lic frein the brink of the precipice on which centious villainy-he would have delib. be stands-he sees the clouds of darkerately arranged his plans to effect the ness behind him, he hears the thunder progressive acconiplishment of deeds so of wrath and judgment threatening him fuil of horror and perditio y But, of on all sides, even now, the lightnings of all the delusions to which man is sub- divine vengeance burst upon biz desna ject, those with which his own corrupt red head ! No kindly reinge presents heart obscures his judgment, are the itself--no friendly arm opholds him most subtle and destructive-“So far po shelter, no delence within his reach! I will go, and no farther," is the decep- In every blast of the storm denunciation t ve persuasive with which he satisfies astounds his ear. He casts a look bebimseif at bis first outset in vice. Vain, neaib bir--a fathomless abyss yalvos presumptuous resolve !-Some other to receive him. He thiuks no longer, allorement courts his senses, the gratifi. he rushes upon the terrible alternative, cation of which demands a farther lor- and inakes his woes eterna!! ferture of honour and virtue. this ateB ut, sir, I will no longer dwell upon tained, apoiher, and another still suc. so melancholy a picture, which there is ceed, until he finds himself so enveloped too much reason to fear, hears the porin the maze of depraved enjoyment, that traiture of the life and death of many a he loses all power to retrieve himself by self-destroyer, anong ibose victin.s of a ir treat, and he pluoges forward with a faithless world, who bave sacrificed a desperate ardour, to some enterprize in life of early hope and future promise 10
the contaminations of the law less and mangled remains of mortality. And the vile, and have involved in the mise- most ferventiy do I pray that it may ries of their fall, the happiness of pa- arouse the salutary emotions of earnest rents, and the consolations of all who coosideration in the heart of every have relatively or socially been unfor- youth who reads it, and so induce him, tunately allied to and connected with before it be too late, to make the wiser them. I now subjoin the letter wbich choice of that path of life thro' which the individual whose death I witnessed, religion and virtue will guide bis steps put into my hands a few moments be- in peace, into the happy possession of a fore his burthened soul shook off the glorious immortality.
ANCIENT PUNISHMENT OF SCOLDS, &c.
From the London Monthly Magazine. FROM ORIGINAL PAPERS IN THE 3d ducking stool, of plain oak, with an BRITISH MUSEUM.
iron bar before it to confine the person
in the seat, but made no inquiries about DUCKING STOOLS. “ITRUMBELLUM is an engine of
of it. I mention these things, as the prac
tice seems now to be laid aside. I punishment wbich ought to be in
Cole, 48, 172. everie libertie that hath view of frank pledge, for the coercion of scoldes and An Act that every Alderman's Wife shall have unquiett women, vulgarlie called duck
a Scarlet Gown. ing stooles ; but these lumbrills, as you Md. 7 Oct. 2d. Eliz. It was ordainmay read in an auncient statute, were ed that every alderman who has been also ordayned for the punishment of mayde before Christmas next shall buy bruers breaking the assize."'*
for his wife a gown of scarlet ; and that When I was a boy, I remember to every mayor, before the Michaelmas have seen a woman ducked for scold, next, after his election, buy for bis wife ing ; the chair hung by a pulley fasten- a scarlet gown, upon forfeiture of 10l. ed to a beam about the middle of the five pounds to the use of the town, 50s. bridge, in which the woman was con- to the poor man's box, and 50s. to the fined and let down under the water use of the mayor. And that their three times, and then taken out. The wifes shall wear their gowns at the bridge was then of timber, before she feasts following Christmas day, Easier present stone bridge was built. The day, Ascension day, Whitsunday, $c. ducking stool was constantly hanging &c. To forseit 20s. for every dejant; in its place, and on the back pannel of 5s. to the or's box, 5s. to the mayor, it was engraved, “devils laying hold and 103, to the use of the town. of scolds," &c. Some time after a new O rdinance for the town of Cambridge. chair was erected in the place of the
Cole, vol. 20. old one, having the same devices carv. ed on it, and well painted and orna- . THE GULE OF AUGUST. mented. When the new bridge of The Gule of August, a term frestone was erected in 1754, this was ta- quently used in old deeds, means no ken away, and I lately saw the carved more than the first of August, from the and gilt back of it nailed up by the Latin word gula, a throat ; from a shop of one Mr. Jackson, a silversmith, person at Rome being cured of a disorin the Butcher-row, behind the town, der in that part by kissing the chains who offered it me, but I did not know of St. Peter, with which he was bound what to do with it. In Octob. 1776, in the persecution under Nero. The I saw in the Town-ball the old one; I same is also called Lammas-day, softmean behind, or rather partly on the ened by us from Loaf-mass ; a mass of southerest corner of the modern one, a thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth,
* Statute 51, Henry III. statute of assize, or of the corn, being anciently celebrat