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Quintus Servinton Volume Three




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Chapter I

“The charge is prepared—the Lawyers are met,
The Judges all ranged—a terrible show.”

BEGGARS OPERA

The dread—the solemn day that was to decide Quintus's fate, was ushered in with all the noise and tumult, by which the morning that succeeds the calm quiet of a Sunday, is ever distinguished in crowded cities; but by Quintus, and many other hapless beings, who, like him, were to be arraigned as criminals, for the outraged laws of their country, the sounds were heeded not, their own breasts affording ample food for meditation. At length, one of the turnkeys, as good and feeling a creature as ever existed, came softly to his apartment, with the summons that all was ready for proceeding to the Court; offering him at the same moment his arm, towards supporting his tottering steps as he traversed the room, in making his way to the door which led to a long flight of stone steps, immediately communicating with the keeper's residence.

If it be assumed in general, that those who have the charge or controul of offenders, naturally become steeled against the sorrows of others, the sympathy extended towards Quintus, the respectful attentions he invariably received, from one and all the functionaries of his present abode, form an exception that well deserves to be recorded. The considerate kindness of the superior, or Governor as he was called, was caught as an example, and industriously followed by all his subordinates; and by none more so, than by the humane and honest James, who now attended him. Having presently terminated his sad duty, by conducting his charge to the parlour, where, already were assembled some of the parties, who, in various capacities, had to take part in the approaching drama, and where, what had to Quintus almost the appearance of the entertainment by which funerals are preceded, various refreshments were on the table, and were freely pressed upon the company, the poor fellow, who had evidently all this time been labouring to smother his emotion, seized Quintus's hand with the power of a vice, and retaining his iron grasp, said in a tone, nearly subdued by feeling, but yet the most compassionate possible, “God in heaven, bless and protect you.” It had been with difficulty that the sufferer could master his own internal agony, wrought as it was to the highest pitch, and the expressions of condolence he now received from James and others, were


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cruel, in the midst of well-meant kindness. The keeper of the prison saw it, and felt for him; hastening therefore to change the scene, by a removal from such aggravated misery, he beckoned him to follow, as he led the way to the Court, where he was ushered into a private apartment, there to await the hour of trial.

Here he remained a prey to his own solitary reflections, more than two hours, combating with nature under her heavy load, by the use of stimulants, being determined to do his utmost, towards maintaining composure through the scenes that awaited him.

But the task so imposed upon himself, required the exercise of his utmost fortitude. He could not divest his mind of a certain alarm, although, on the other hand, his confidence in those who had urged him to plead guilty, was unabated; and when at length the door opened, and an officer of the Court entered, and intimated that his presence was now required, he was seized with a momentary faintness—his legs almost refused to support their burthen, and a sort of instinctive knowledge of what was in store for him, took hold of his spirit. He made an effort however, to rouse his latent energies, and leaning upon the attendant's arm, proceeded a few paces, when, looking up for an instant, he found himself in the awful presence of the Judge, arrayed in all his pomp and dignity. On each side sat a number of Aldermen, clad in their splendid robes of office—at the two extremities of the Bench, were the Sheriffs—the Clerk of the Arraigns was immediately in front of the criminal, with the momentous indictment lying before him—the Jury were already impannelled—a host of Lawyers and Barristers at the table—officers, constables, and other equally important personages, served to fill up the area near the bench, and every nook and corner of the hall was crowded almost to suffocation, by well dressed persons, among whom, particularly in the galleries, was a considerable number of ladies. What a sight for such a man, under such circumstances! He sustained his part however in this trying moment with wonderful firmness, notwithstanding that, upon a hasty glance he cast around him, he recognised many and many countenances he well knew, and observed that every eye was bent upon him. One look therefore sufficed, and he afterwards kept his face covered by a handkerchief, resting his head upon his elbow; nor, unless now and then, when it was rendered necessary for a moment, did he ever once change this position, throughout the whole of this dreadful crisis.

After the usual preliminaries had been gone through, and the Clerk had read the indictment against him, obscured as it was by various technicalities, so as to be almost unintelligible, and wearing nineteen forms of putting one solitary offence, he was called upon, in a loud voice, “How say you, Quintus Servinton, are you guilty


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or not guilty of the crime laid to your charge?” A breathless silence followed these solemn words—not a tongue spoke—not a foot moved; but, in less than a minute, the hapless being who had been so addressed, removed the handkerchief from his face, looked wildly yet deliberately around him, and in a firm, decided tone, pronounced the momentous word, “GUILTY!” A slow, convulsive sort of murmur instantly succeeded this direful acknowledgment, and extended to all corners of the hall. People could scarcely credit their ears—they looked aghast, each saying to his neighbour, “Did I hear him right? did he plead guilty? what can this mean?” The Recorder himself seemed horror stricken, or appalled—but presently addressing the victim of an outraged, but disgracefully sanguinary law, said “Prisoner at the Bar!” (what a sound!) “You have pleaded guilty to the indictment with which you have been charged, but your plea is not recorded.—Consider the awful situation in which you have placed yourself, and let me entreat you to withdraw you plea, and to take your trial. I trust no false expectations have induced your present course—I can assure you, that any hopes you may have founded thereon, will prove delusive.”

Quintus gave no appearance of attending to these words, full of import as they were, until the Recorder had finished speaking; when, again uncovering his face for an instant, he said, with infinitely more composure than before, “Guilty, my Lord!” The Judge was now evidently distressed—the expression of his features bore a mixture of persuasiveness with half displeasure, as he replied, “Quintus Servinton, be advised by me, withdraw your plea, and take your trial—indulge no false hopes—your present course can do no good whatever—consider ere too late—for if your plea be once recorded, nothing can save your life—do not be in a hurry, but consider how you are circumstanced.” Once again Quintus's countenance was exposed to the gaze of the numerous spectators, who were almost paralyzed by this unlooked for scene; and he repeated his plea, in a firm, deliberate manner, adding, as well as he could utter the words, “I cannot alter what I have said.”

“Let him be removed from the bar for a while,” said the Judge—“Why will he so sacrifice himself? Let him retire, and be brought up again, presently.”

During the time that he was so withdrawn, one or two of his friends and legal advisers came to him, endeavouring to persuade him to act upon the Recorder's advice; for they entertained gloomy apprehensions from his tone and manner, and anticipated the worst, should the fatal word be recorded; but Quintus was not a man to be turned from a point, at which he had arrived, after so much painful deliberation, as he had exercised on this occasion. In this general


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character, he had little, or no obstinacy; but he was endowed with great strength of mind; and, when once conviction had been wrought upon it, he had enough firmness to go through any thing. It was therefore out of their power to alter his determination, and returning to the Court, and being once more appealed to in emphatic language by the Recorder, he again clearly, and resolutely repeated his former plea.

A great and sudden change, was at once discernible in the Recorder's manner. “Let the plea be recorded,” he said—and, ere the clerk could have dipped his pen in the ink, which was to write the indelible word, the black cap, the never failing symbol of death, was placed on the Recorder's brow, and he instantly proceeded to pass that sentence, which was to cut short the thread of a fellow creature's existence, in the very morning, or prime of his days.

In the course of this affecting duty, he indulged in a very severe philippic against the self-denouncing criminal, urging his birth, education, and station in society, as great aggravations of his offence. Unable to endure this, Quintus interrupted him by saying, “My Lord, I did not know the nature of my offence. Had I chosen to repeat it, as I afterwards might, I should not now have been here.”

“Silence! Quintus Servinton!” rejoined the Judge. “The Court cannot now be interrupted. You have brought disgrace upon yourself, and upon a respectable family, by your conduct.—You have outraged the laws of your country, and your assumed ignorance will not avail you—you are convicted upon your own confession, as you have declined relying upon the evidence you might have adduced, or upon the bias in cases of doubt, towards persons situated like yourself.—Your plea of guilty will not save you from the punishment, which the laws have awarded for your crime; nor can I attach the least importance to any thing you have said. The sentence of this Court is that, you be taken from hence, to the place from whence you came, and from thence, to the place of execution, where you are to be hung by the neck till you are dead; and, may the Lord have mercy on your soul.”

Ere these solemn words were well uttered, a faint, hysterick shriek was heard from various parts of the Court, and two or three persons who were sitting at the table, appropriated to the Barristers, rose hastily, and attempted to address the Judge on behalf of the prisoner; but the look of stern displeasure with which they were regarded, silenced them until he had completed his duty. In the number of those who so wished to intercede, was Mr. Trusty, upon whose depositions, false in matter of fact, but true in substance, the unhappy criminal's life had been now adjudged forfeited, a cruel sacrifice to the commercial interests of his country. On his countenance


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were plainly expressed the most agonized feelings; and, in a perturbed, incoherent manner, he now loudly exclaimed, “My Lord! my Lord! spare him—spare him, we entreat you, my Lord. He has done us no injury—we have lost little or nothing by him—oh! my Lord, spare him.” The Recorder scowled and looked angry, but before time was permitted for him to say any thing, the leading Counsel for the prosecution rose, and energetically, in the name of his clients, supported the recommendation; urging that, it was not a case requiring extreme severity, and that the protection of the monied interests, which alone was the cause of the prosecution, would be sufficiently attained by a less rigorous punishment than death.—The foreman of the Grand Jury too, a gentleman of leading rank and influence, put in a strong appeal to the same effect—but all was useless—not a muscle of the Judge's hard countenance relaxed; but turning to the officers of the Court, he said, “Let the prisoner be removed from the bar, and the other business of the Court proceeded with.” The whole of the tragedy scarcely occupied one quarter of an hour—in as little time nearly, as the scene might have been shifted at a theatre, was Quintus Servinton thus brought forward, arraigned, passed through the form of trial, and doomed to an ignominious death.

The result was undoubtedly very different to what he had expected; but he still was unwilling to relinquish his faith, either in the sincerity or power of those, who had volunteered their interference.—He retired therefore to the place allotted him, with more tranquillity than could have been expected, or indeed than was evinced by some of those around him, who scrupled not to bewail in his hearing, the hard destiny that awaited him. Notwithstanding the dreadful shock he had received however, he continued to preserve a composure or serenity, that perfectly surprised those who witnessed it; such a smile even, as denotes inward peace, hovering around his lip, as if unwilling to depart for ever from a countenance, it had long illumined.

But his faith had yet to be more severely tried—his serenity yet more to be worked upon. The keeper of the prison, who ceased not in his sedulous kindness throughout any part of this eventful day, presently came to him, and said, “I shall want you in five minutes to return with me. Are you able to go without help?”

“Quite so, whenever you please. But tell me—I thought sentences were never passed until the end of the Session—why is my case different to all the others to-day, as well as to what was usual formerly?”

The gaoler seemed rather perplexed at this question, and averted his face to conceal his emotion; he then took Quintus by the hand, pressed it gently, and replied, “Do not be alarmed—I dare say it


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was well meant, so as to save your being brought forward a second time. Are you ready to go?” Receiving an answer in the affirmative, they left the hall, and shortly entered the gaoler's private residence.

Tired and exhausted by what he had gone through, and anxious to retire to his apartment, there to pour out his troubled spirit, and thus to seek consolation, he was turning to proceed thither as usual, when his sympathizing conductor said, leading him at the same moment towards his parlour, “Step this way, and take a little refreshment first, for I am sure you must want something.”

Although he had no heart for any thing of the sort, the wretched man offered no opposition; and, after listlessly partaking of what was placed before him, renewed his request to go to his room. In reply, the gaoler feelingly said, “My dear friend, you have had some severe afflictions, and I fear they are not yet over. Do not give way to despair, for all may yet be well;—but—you will not be the less fit to live by preparing to die. I have orders to change your apartment; but every thing that can be done for your comfort, will be thought of. I grieve to say thus much to you, but my duty requires it.”

“Good God! have I been deceived?” exclaimed Quintus. “Have I indeed only exchanged my chance of acquittal, for hollow sounds of delusive good wishes?”

“I am unwilling to say as much as that,” replied the gaoler. “We do not always understand how things of this sort are done, but it would be folly to disguise from you, that things have taken a very different turn to what I expected—and a preparation for the worst, will not make a happy change the less agreeable.”

This was indeed a heavy blow, upon the already heavily afflicted sufferer; and when, following the benevolent turnkey who had attended him in the morning, he reached the chapel, and instead of proceeding to his usual chamber, saw him turn towards the cells, set apart for those condemned to die, the big drops of cold sweat stood on his forehead—his knees tottered, and he cried out, “James! James! I can go no farther.”

“Would to God, I might take you any where else,” said the feeling creature, “but alas, Sir! what can either of us do? Try to come on, Sir—you have acted like a man hitherto. Step on, Sir, and pray to God, for HE can help you, when I cannot.”

Aroused by this appeal, he followed the turnkey a few steps farther, when, unlocking a door, bearing the ghastly words, “Condemned cell, No. 1,” he was ushered into a small, arched room, where already was placed his bedding, upon a small iron bedstead. “Make my bed for me James, and let me retire there at once—that's my kind fellow. I am sorely troubled, but, as you tell me, I will trust in God.”




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“Do Sir—do—he will never desert you; you have trusted man too much already; but I can't think now after all, 'twill ever come to the worst.”

“I will endeavour to prepare for whatever may happen, my good James—pray make my bed and leave me.”

Left to himself, he soon sought the comfort of his pillow, and so worn out was he by bodily fatigue and mental suffering, that nature kindly sent him many hours of sound, uninterrupted sleep, awakening from which the following morning, the horrors of his situation, reduced as he was (to use his own words), to the very lowest depth of human misery, recurred with their full force to his agitated mind.

The kindness and affectionate attention of his relatives and friends, were now, if possible, redoubled. Poor Emily was early by his bedside, and never left it, unless upon unavoidable occasions, and then only, for short absences.

Notwithstanding all that had occurred, neither Quintus nor Emily, nor any of their immediate friends, who were privy to all the circumstances of the case, could altogether renounce their faith in the assurances they had received; and, as the Sessions were still sitting, they continued to hope that, for particular reasons, best known perhaps to the parties themselves, the course adopted had been intended as a means of giving more effect to the solemn warning, which they had been told was alone the object of the prosecution; and that, more favourable intelligence would therefore reach them, in the course of a day or two. Thus, half hoping, half fearing, three or four days passed over, in the very acme of disquietude; the distressed party not yet considering the time ripe, for taking any measures towards developing the extraordinary incidents, that had preceded the trial. In the midst of these anxieties, people pressed upon Quintus from all quarters with letters of condolence—religious tracts, and offers of visits—many of them from persons, with whom he had no acquainance, even by name; and in more instances than one, a zeal of this nature, was so obscured by ignorance of the party they were addressing, that it might have been imagined by the tone and expressions used, that the object of their solicitude was an unlettered malefactor of the worst sort, instead of a man who had little to complain of, in the way of general instruction; and besides, whose delinquencies were venial, if estimated by the injury they had caused, or by the test alone, of a breach of either of the divine commands—but the laws of his country had been broken; and by them, and not by a higher code, had he been tried and condemned.

Some of the letters he thus received however, were of a different nature, and operated as a balm upon his lacerated heart; and in this number may the following be considered, being from a gentleman


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of rank, fortune, and education, and of whose correspondence, any man might justly be proud:—

  B——Castle, 9th April, 1795.

 MY DEAR SIR,

The painful duty which recently devolved upon me, as foreman of the Grand Jury, led me to reflect upon your situation, with peculiar interest and sympathy—and these feelings suggested to me the idea, of requesting that you would allow me to offer you the memoirs of Count Struensee, which, I trust, have ere this, been transmitted to you, as coming “from a friend.” It will afford me the most sincere satisfaction, to bring before your view, one or two other books, could I be assured that, in so doing, I should not appear in your eyes, guilty of improper instrusion.

I know that I am taking a great liberty, but feeling that I owe myself, every thing that I most value in life, to the great truths of the Bible, and believing that the door of mercy will never be closed to the sincere penitent, by an all merciful Saviour, I felt and still feel an anxious desire to be allowed to bring before your view one or two books, which appeared to me to develop in an able and consoling manner, this great and blessed truth.”

With my most sincere good wishes, and earnest prayers for your eternal happiness, believe me, dear Sir, very faithfully yours,

   J.S.H.

All this time too, he continued to be most kindly and charitably attended by one or two Clergymen, whom he had always esteemed for their unobtrusive piety and goodness, and who had the sense to adapt their conversation to their hearer, instead of, as is too often the case, implicitly following one beaten track, upon such occasions as the present. He had never risen from his pallet since the moment of his entering his present melancholy abode; all worldly concerns were withheld from him, his Emily and his religious employments, occupying the whole of his time.

Mr. Rothero had unfortunately left town the day preceding the trial, and although the failure of his repeated assurances had been instantly communicated to him, no reply had yet been received; nor indeed did there seem much, if any probability, that any thing he could now do, or say, would avert the impending doom over Quintus. Whatever hopes however might have been hitherto indulged—whatever trembling anxieties might have still held sway, over the minds of the wretched and constant inmates of his cell, were destined to be but of short duration; for, on the fifth morning after the trial, the Sheriffs visited him with much solemnity, and formally announced that his fate was irrevocably fixed, and that fourteen revolving suns, would terminate his earthly pilgrimage.




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Chapter II

“Death is a fearful thing—
But shamed life a hateful.”

SHAKSPEARE

Notwithstanding there had been no appearance of measures on the part of Quintus's friends, during the few days of distressing suspense immediately succeeding the trial, by which it would appear that they were seeking to avert the awful doom that hung over him, they were neither idle nor indifferent; and no sooner was it considered ripe for them to show themselves more active, than a kind of council was formed, consisting of his brother Charles, Mr. Clifton, a Gentleman of eminence in the law, and an intimate friend or two, who undertook to arrange, in a shape fit to be submitted to the fountain of mercy, the extraordinary incidents connected with this remarkable case.

The Home Minister of the day was a man of strict and rigorous adherence to the cruel law, under which Quintus had been sentenced. He was a good man, but too often inexorable to the plea of mercy. He was besides, always glad of a sacrifice to the penal statutes of his country, when taken from among classes who were dignified by birth or education, it being his opinion—how far well-founded it is not pretended to determine—that one example of this sort, was worth a hundred from an inferior station, towards deterring evildoers.

On this sad occasion, several of the higher branches of the unhappy culprit's family connexions, now made a considerable stir on his behalf, and at first thought to influence parliamentary and other interest; and so general was the feeling, that this was by no means a case for the extreme penalty of the law, that in the course of a few hours, a petition to the King, which was prepared by one or two persons wholly unconnected with him, and without the knowledge of his friends, and which they benevolently intended should come in aid of whatever might be the proceedings of his own family—received nearly two thousand respectable signatures.

In the number of those who stepped forward, seeking to arrest the arm of justice, ere the fatal blow should be uplifted, was the venerable and highly respected Earl of Montrevors, who called one morning at Whitehall, purposely to solicit of the Minister a commutation of punishment; but having to wait a short while, and the


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conversation with the Under Secretary happening to turn upon Quintus Servinton, and upon Lord Montrevors observing, “It is on his behalf that I want to intercede with Mr.——; there is a sort of connexion between his mother's family and my own”—“Faith, then, my lord,” was the reply, “unless you want him hanged outright, say nothing about him. If Mr.—— only surmises that there is a drop of good blood in his veins, nothing will save him. He has given orders that Mr. Davison, the City Member, who spoke to him on his behalf yesterday, is not to be again admitted upon the same business; but that every thing connected with it is to reach him in writing. I really think you will do more harm than good by seeing him. He seems to have imbibed his usual strong prejudices, against offenders who have moved in the poor fellow's late station in life; and nothing but a strong case of facts—not mere sympathy, nor even the strongest interest in the world—will prove effectual.”

Lord Montrevors found, in the interview to which he was presently admitted, that the picture thus drawn of the Home Secretary was correct; and that neither Quintus nor his friends had any thing whereon to build hope or expectation, beyond the sheer, absolute merits of the case, whatever they might be.

With such a man to appeal to as the stepping-stone to the throne, it was well that there were facts, capable of being wrought into a shape which must, of themselves, when once made known, enforce attention; and it was to prepare these facts, and to collect the necessary corroborative proofs, that the Gentlemen who had undertaken their interesting task, now applied themselves with diligence.

It was their first business to embody in a petition to the King, in the most clear and succinct manner possible, the several circumstances that are already before the reader, and which was signed by the unfortunate man's nearest relations. But in order to give it more weight, it was accompanied by numerous affidavits, in support of the several facts it detailed, and among them were the following:—

Lionel Clifton Garner, maketh oath and saith, that, on the 6th April instant, he applied to George Trusty, one of the prosecutors of Quintus Servinton, for an explanation as to the accuracy of the said George Trusty, in the information taken before the Magistrates, on the charge against the said Quintus Servinton, on which charge, he has since been convicted, on a plea of guilty—and, upon stating to the said George Trusty, the nature of the transaction as always explained by Quintus Servinton, such statement created in the mind of the said George Trusty, great doubts as to the accuracy of his deposition before the Magistrates,


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and also before the Grand Jury; and in the end, George Trusty admitted that he was not certain he had ever received the bill for five hundred pounds, whereon Quintus Servinton had been convicted, from the said Quintus Servinton—nor in fact, was he certain that, in any way, he had had any communication whatever with him upon its subject.

The next two were by Charles Servinton and Mr. Clifton, corroborating the different points stated in the petition, which had reference to Mr. Rothero, Mr. Stephens, and other essential parts of the narrative. Then came a second by Mr. Lionel Garner, who was a young gentleman of much promise, and nearly related to Emily, wherein he stated that, in a communication with Mr. Alderman Stephens, the day before the trial, when Quintus's letter to Mr. Clifton and its enclosure, in both which Mr. Stephens had been referred to had been shewn him, he had not contradicted any of the inferences Quintus had drawn. Another affidavit was by Mr. Gordon, the gentleman who had given Quintus the first intelligence as to the nature of the offence he had committed; and by which the fact of ignorance was placed beyond all doubt.

Besides these, were the following letters:—

 SIR,

As Solicitors for the late prosecution against Quintus Servinton, for forgery, we beg to acquaint you, that our case was, that the names to the bill, on which the indictment was founded, were fictitious—and not the names of real persons.—We are, Sir, yours, &c.

  ——— and ———

To R. Davison, Esq., M.P.

But the next, was one of the most important documents, it being a letter from Mr. Rothero to the City Member, Mr. Davison, who had kindly undertaken the conduct of the affair, as the organ of communication with the Home Secretary; and who was unremitting in his endeavours to procure the anxiously sought-for mitigation. After giving sundry explanations, not necessary to be here repeated, he adds, “I am ready to verify, on oath, what I have herein stated—and you know me too well to suppose that any consideration would induce me to do so improperly. Having most unexpectedly found myself called upon, and in a situation, to invalidate the testimony which my partner gave before the Magistrates and Grand Jury, I am bound to say, that a more conscientious man does not exist; but he has been most certainly greatly mistaken in supposing and stating, that Mr. Servinton ever delivered the bill in question to him. It has


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occurred to me that I ought farther to add, that Mr. Quintus Servinton was a clerk in my house for some time—and I have been constantly since consulted by him, about his pecuniary and other affairs. Circumstances have arisen, which create no doubt in my mind, as to his ignorance of the nature of the crime he committed, and it is only due to him to bear my testimony to his general good conduct, since I have known him; which is now, nearly fourteen years.”

The prosecutors still further supported the appeal to mercy, by a memorial, in which they state, among other things, “That your memorialists, having discharged a painful duty they owe to society, humbly, but earnestly implore a merciful consideration of the case, upon the ground that the firm of which Quintus Servinton was a partner, and which he made liable to us, by his endorsement, was solvent, at the time the bill was uttered, and he entertained a reasonable hope and intention of paying the same at maturity.”

To sum up the whole, the following remarks, accompanied the foregoing, and many other documents;—

“The case which the relatives of Quintus Servinton humbly presume to lay before His Majesty, as a ground for mercy, consists of two parts—the one that he had a defence which would have secured his acquittal—that he knew it, and that he replied upon it; the other that he abandoned that defence, and admitted guilt, at the instance of one of the gentlemen by whom his case was represented to him, as in a measure to be decided, and of one of his prosecutors, conforming, in his own emphatic language—“to public justice, whilst he appreciated private sympathy.” Let each be investigated. Upon the first point, no one who reads Mr. Rothero's letter, and Mr. Garner's affidavit as to what passed between himself and Mr. Trusty, can doubt that the latter must, upon cross-examination, have admitted the incorrectness of his memory; and the serious charge must therefore have failed. It follows, that the very indictment under which Quintus Servinton is convicted, is founded on untrue evidence. This proposition is undeniable. If it be said, that his intended punishment proceeds upon his own admission of guilt, then the second point should be well considered; viz., that he abandoned his known positive defence, and which, it is now admitted, would have been effectual to save him—not of his own free will, nor by any collusion on his part with his prosecutors—but at the unsought, voluntary instance of Mr. Alderman Stephens and Mr. Rothero. The proofs in support of this are abundant: indeed, if any were wanting to confirm it, look at what is said by Mr. Garner, with reference to his interview with Mr. Stephens, when the latter was shewn Quintus's letter to Mr. Clifton, enclosing his reflections. If the unhappy man had drawn an inference unwarranted by what had passed, would not Mr. Stephens


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have at once said, “Send or go to Servinton directly, and undeceive him; and let him distinctly understand that I have marked out no “course” for him”—that being the forcible expression Quintus uses? On the contrary, after keeping these documents a whole day, they were returned, without any objection being made to the inference he had drawn.

There are still many auxiliary arguments which may be fairly urged in support of the preceding, should the peculiar circumstances they develop, remove, in ever so small a degree, the necessity of putting Quintus Servinton to death; and which widen, rather than contract, the reason for extending mercy to him. Take of these the following:—The nature of the forgery, and the solvency of the house. The former being merely fictitious names, could not, under any circumstances, injure any other party than those to whom it was uttered; and in this instance, even these could not be injured, as, at the same time that he gave them the bill, he also gave them an available remedy, by the real endorsement of a solvent firm. It was upon the credit of this, and this only,—not upon any pretended or implied responsibility of any other party,—that the prosecutors received the bill.—Secondly, his ignorance; which, however questionable at first sight, is confirmed by what Mr. Gordon has sworn to, and by Mr. Rothero's testimony.—A third cause is, that the same facility as before was still open to him, and was particularly presented by an offer made by the Mining Company, to discount any bills bearing his endorsement, a few days previously to his leaving town; but from which he abstained, knowing, as he then did,—but not before,—the enormity of the offence.

It is upon the whole humbly submitted, that the question upon this peculiar case, viewed with that tendency to mercy which is ever the Royal prerogative, is—whether circumstances may not be found, which will relieve the constituted authorities from the necessity of enforcing the dread sentence of the law—whether or not it is a case imperatively calling for loss of life? Nothing suggested here or elsewhere, seeks to relieve him from punishment; but only that—having lost a substantial defence, by an unsolicited and powerful interference and influence, such as few could withstand—he may not now lose his life.”

Notwithstanding the strength of this appeal, and the manner in which it was corroborated, Mr. —— and the Recorder before whom he had been tried, adhered pertinaciously to the strict letter of the law, urging, he has acknowledged himself guilty of an offence, for which the laws of his country have awarded death, and it is upon this that we proceed. Nor was it until the then Lord Chief Justice of England had been consulted, and who, after acquainting


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himself with all the particulars of the case, had emphatically said, “You may certainly hang the man upon his own confession, but it will be a legal murder”—that the unfavourable bias of the others gave way, and a reprieve was ordered.

The boon of mercy which was so wrung from the Home Secretary, proved indeed, joyful intelligence to many; and the news of it flew, as it were upon the wings of the wind, to the house of misery, where the hapless sufferer was counting out the few remaining sands of his glass; for, some time ere it could have reached it by any common means, a sort of whisper ran through the place, that Mr. Charles Servinton had been seen entering a coach, after leaving the minister's office, and that his countenance bore a smile, which had long been a stranger to it—hence, justly enough, a favourable inference had been drawn.

The report so circulated, gained increased strength, each succeeding moment; for the sort of intelligence or knowledge, that had at first been acquired as if by intuition, being happily well-founded, messenger after messenger breathless with haste, pressed towards the prison gates, anxious to be the first herald of its confirmation.

In a very short while afterwards, the two Sheriffs were announced, bearing in their hand, the important document that was to relieve them of a duty, at the very contemplation of which they shuddered. Entering the cell where the wretched Quintus was lying on the little pallet, that he had never left since he had become an inmate of these vestibules of the destroyer, one of them approached him and said, “Our last interview with you, was one of the most painful moments of our lives—the present occasion is one of the happiest—your sentence has been commuted to transportation for life. We have given directions”—“Say no more! say no more!” quickly interrupted Quintus, springing from the bed as he spoke, “but leave me, I beseech you;” and then, not heeding their presence for the moment, he proceeded to pour out in devout thanksgiving to an Almighty Providence, the overflowing effusions of his grateful heart, for this signal deliverance.

Whilst thus employed, his Emily, bearing in her hand their child, entered the place, and was quickly followed by other of his anxious and affectionate relatives, all desirous of sharing in the joy of the moment; and presently a scene was witnessed, interesting in the highest degree. One by one, his kind visitors, who, through his late troubles and anxieties, had been so many ministering angels of pity, proceeded as they passed the door of the cell, to prostrate themselves before the throne of mercy, joining with fervent devotion, in the example that had been set by the now happy sufferer, and caught and acted upon by Emily; who, bidding her boy repeat the prayers


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he had been taught by her to offer up night and morning for his unfortunate father, although the little fellow could scarcely comprehend the passing scene, was presently addressed by him in a whisper, seeing her eyes suffused by tears, “Won't you ever leave off crying, mamma? Is my dear papa going to have any more trials?”

“No, my darling,” said Emily, “we hope all his trials are over, and I now cry from joy—not as before from trouble.”

“Will papa go home with us then to-day?” replied the child. “I am so glad all his trials are over; a'n't you mamma?”

“Yes, my love, I am indeed; but your papa, my dear Olivant, has many things to go through before he will be at home with us again,” answered his mamma, scarcely yet able to speak for her tears, “but we have all much reason to be thankful. Come, my love, kiss your dear papa, and I will tell you more another time.”

After the family group had spent some half hour or more, in their expressions of gratitude, and in mutual congratulations, the humane keeper of the prison entered, and invited Quintus to his parlour, until, as he said, his former apartments could be again prepared for him. Next came the good, honest turnkey James, willing to participate in an occasion so replete with joy; and who, presently calling to Quintus's recollection, the conversation he had held with him, when, a fortnight ago, he had nearly sunk under his strong emotions, again seized him warmly by the hand, and said, “I am so glad, Sir, but I always thought how 'twould be, when you put your trust in God. He can always change sorrow into gladness; and I am sure he's done so to-day, within these walls.”

Every one indeed seemed rejoiced; for Quintus himself was a favourite with many—his situation and sufferings had been much commiserated, and his story, sad enough in itself, had received an additional interest from the very estimable character of his wife, whose virtue, and many other amiable qualities were well known, and materially helped to raise up for both, a very strong feeling of compassion. Happily however, for the present, many anxieties were now removed.

Although neither Quintus nor Emily, nor a few intimate friends, who were privy to the whole case, could ever bring themselves to abandon hope, their fears and painful apprehensions had been extreme. It must be admitted too, that these latter feelings were allowed sufficient scope; for one day only of the measured span of his existence remained, when the communication was placed in the Sheriff's hands, as a substitute for the fatal warrant.

Without some such intervention therefore, less than four and twenty hours would have numbered Quintus Servinton with the


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dead. He was to live however; and so prone are we to estimate our joys or sorrows, rather by comparison, than by their intrinsic deserts, that nearly as much delight was felt by his relatives at the boon thus bestowed, as if little else had been left them to desire—losing sight for the moment, that his future existence was to be one of misery, degradation, toil and trouble—that he was now become one of a herd of outcasts and felons—that he would have to endure the gaze of reproach—to brook contumely and oppression—was liable to be ordered to move or stand still, according to the pleasure of some domineering task-master—in a word, had exchanged a station of comparative rank, respectability, influence and comfort—for disgrace, dishonour, shame, and wretchedness. Nevertheless, at first, this consideration had small weight with either of the party—that his life had been miraculously saved was the impression—let us be thankful for it, and leave the rest to Providence.

Thus, within the short space of four months, had he been twice snatched from the jaws of death—twice, had the grave yawned to receive him—twice, was the victim in the power of the destroying angel—twice, did it seem that, no human means could have averted the arrow, when a Providence whom he had too much neglected and despised, towards whom, he had too much felt, “I am so strong I shall never be moved,” stepped in with its interposing aim, and rescued him from destruction.

The congratulations he now received, were not confined to his relations, but many distinguished persons also, joined in expressing their satisfaction at the change in his circumstances. His friend Mr. Davison, wrote him the following letter:—

   April 25, 1805.

 DEAR SIR,

I heartily congratulate you, on the late merciful dispensation; and I pray God that it may tend to your temporal and eternal good. It is to God alone, on bended knees, to whom we must attribute this great and almost unlooked for deliverance.—The true reward which I shall receive will be, the witnessing throughout your future life, that integrity of conduct, which will make amends for this, your first offence, and restore you to your own estimation, and to the confidence of your family and friends.

Your brother's exertions were truly fraternal and highly useful.—My good wishes will attend you at all times,

I am, dear Sir,

  your faithful and obedient servant,

   R. DAVISON.




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The following also reached him, from the same gentleman, whose former letter is already before the reader.

 DEAR SIR,

Be assured, I enter with cordial sympathy, into the affecting terms in which you allude to your recent deliverance,—and I am much gratified by your telling me, that the consolations which have attended you in the dark and trying hours, through which you have passed, have lost none of their interest, by this happy change in your circumstances.

The principles developed in the books you so much admire, are, I am deeply persuaded, our only safe-guard against the dangers of prosperity, as certainly as they form our surest and best consolation in the dark and dismal hour of affliction.

With my sincere wishes for your future happiness, believe me dear Sir, to be

  Your faithful servant,

   —. —. ——.

The next step to be gained, and to which, the energies of his friends were now directed, was to render the dreary prospect yet before him, as free from some of its attendant horrors, as possible; and for this purpose, interest was set in motion, with the view of obtaining such interference, as might accomplish their object. But the Home Secretary, robbed, as it may be almost said, of his victim, at the very foot of the altar, was not inclined to add to the boon so reluctantly bestowed, by any farther acts of grace,—and every application on Quintus's behalf, was either met by a stern negative, or by some such remark as, “He has had as much done for him, as falls to his share.—He must now take his chance, with others of the same class, and I desire not to hear his name mentioned again.” His friends succeeded however, in obtaining an order for his leaving England, by the first conveyance for the settlement, then only recently formed in the Southern ocean; and where, they confidently expected that, the field which would be open for a man of his varied talents, possessing as he did also, a general good character, excellent health, and a robust, uninjured constitution, would enable him to recover his broken fortunes, so as yet to spend many happy days with his Emily. It was hoped that, the awful lesson he had been taught, the bitter pill he had been obliged to swallow, the providential deliverance he had experienced, and the state of subjection and thraldom, to which he was reduced, would eradicate every weed from his heart—restore his better propensities to their proper influence upon his conduct—check the ardent temperament of his nature—in a


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word, would replace him in the grade in moral society, that he held, when he first gained the affections of Emily Clifton. It was manifest to those immediately around him, that his solitude and imprisonment, had already done much, in the way of improving and correcting his wayward inclinations—and a tolerable earnest was thereby afforded, that the work of reformation, would still proceed. Emily, not only promised, but did so, with the full concurrence of her relations, that she would join him so soon as he should be able to receive her. Relieved from the heavy load, by which he had been so long oppressed, looking forward with the buoyancy of hope, to a reunion with his wife, and encouraged in pleasurable anticipations, by the accounts that reached him of the Colony whither he was destined, two or three months now passed with comparative ease and happiness; and at length, when he received an intimation that the vessel by which he was to leave England, would be ready to sail in a fortnight, so far was the information from creating sorrow, either to himself or his friends, that they wisely regarded the approaching separation, as the only means of even hoping for happier days; and when the morning for his departure arrived, and the prison gates were opened, for the purpose of removing him to the next stage in his career of punishment, he left the dismal building, his heart bearing full testimony that, it was a place, by no means irreconcilable with peace of mind, contentment, or intellectual, moral, and religious improvement. Indeed, it might be almost said of him—

Melius est sic penituisse quam non errâsse.




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Chapter III

“————— You were us'd
To say, extremities were the triers of spirits;
That common chances, common men could bear;
That when the sea was calm, all boats alike
Show'd mastership in floating.”

CORIOLANUS

A short while sufficed to bring Quintus to the termination of his journey, and to open to him new and unexpected scenes.

Like many others, he had read unmoved in the hour of his prosperity, the tales of suffering, endured by criminals at their various places of punishment; he had glanced slightly over occasional paragraphs in the newspapers, connected with those floating prisons, the hulks, but intelligence of this sort had passed him unheeded, and he had never thought of acquainting himself with any other than general information, respecting their internal management and condition. Little dreaming that it might ever fall to his own lot to acquire such knowledge by personal experience, he had merely felt, as is commonly the case, that bad as they might be, they were quite good enough for their inhabitants, and had troubled himself no farther about them. Hitherto he had endured few of the pangs of imprisonment beyond the loss of liberty. He had been allowed an unrestrained intercourse with his friends, had been kept separate and apart from other unfortunates, had been free from all distinguishing emblems of his condition, all which circumstances had greatly tended to mitigate the severity of his fate. But, as the carriage that was rapidly conveying him to Woolwich, approached the Arsenal, and he saw crowds of men in irons, all dressed alike, some dragging carts filled with rubbish, some up to their middle in water, labouring by the river side at excavations, some carrying timber or other burthens, others in saw-pits, or employed upon different sorts of artificers' work, but observed that every gang or set was closely attended by soldiers, with muskets and fixed bayonets, and that here and there a task-master was watching a party, apparently under his immediate charge, an apprehension crept over his mind, that all distinction between himself and others, was now at an end. He derived some little consolation however from reflecting, that a few days would accomplish his departure from England, and he willingly associated brighter prospects with a foreign land.




  ― 286 ―

Leaving the Warren, and turning a sharp angle of the road, the stupendous, black, dismal looking hulk, which was to be his temporary abode, met his eye, as it floated on the still water, its towering sides rising an immense height, and its crowded decks presenting a mixture of busy activity with idle curiosity, many being the lookers on at the “swell,” who was coming to add to the number of its inhabitants. No sooner had he ascended the wooden stairs, fixed to the side of the vessel, than he was conducted to the superintendent, or captain as he was usually styled, who scarcely however deigned to look at his new charge, but turning to a writing-desk and signing his name to a paper, laconically said to the person who accompanied Quintus, “Here, sir, take your receipt, and now we change situations as to this notable gentleman. I would rather have twenty of the common sort, than one of these swells, but they must all herd in the same mess at my shop.” Quintus caught part of this uncourteous speech, and met the glance that was turned to survey him by a certain look, which induced the man to relax somewhat of his asperity. The fact was, this Captain had been elevated to his present rank, such as it was, as a reward for long and faithful services in subordinate situations, and he thought perhaps to strike awe upon the minds of strangers, by assuming a monstrous pomposity of deportment, calculated, as he conceived, to give a wonderful idea of his own importance. In this he sometimes failed, although at the same time, he was successful in concealing qualities, of which he might well have been proud; as under the assumed garb of official severity, he really possessed a good and feeling heart. His appearance was in keeping with his manners—smart, but vulgar in his dress—unpolished in his style of speaking, and evidently illiterate—prone to obsequiousness towards his superiors—fond of being flattered—haughty to his equals and inferiors, but kind at the bottom towards the wretches, over whom he held nearly uncontrolled sway. Quintus had mixed too much in good society, to be easily abashed by such a person as he now encountered, and assuming perhaps a rather more than usual elevation of mien upon the occasion, feeling too, his pride a little hurt by the levelling system now adopted, and for which he had been little prepared, soon saw the character of the man, and in a few minutes so contrived to impress his new master in his favor, that he received civility from him, to say the least, in the remainder of their interview, and the pains and penalties attached to his situation, were softened in point of rigour, compared with many of the others who were around him.

Yet, although mitigated, he thought them sufficiently severe; for no sooner had he withdrawn from the superior's presence, than a veteran, grow grey in the service, approached him and said, “Come


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along with me, my smart chum; we'll see how the grey uniform suits your complexion;” then leading the way, conducted him to a small apartment, filled with stores of all sorts, where, looking at a paper he held in his hand, he read aloud, “Let's see—five feet eight—fair complexion—brown hair—hazle eyes—ah! let's see, a suit No. 2 will do—No. 2 shoes too, I think. We'll make the best we can of him.” Presently he handed him a bundle, in which were a grey cloth jacket, waistcoat and breeches; worsted stockings, and thick heavy shoes; two check shirts, and a broad brimmed, low crowned hat. “Here, my master,” said he, “doff them there handsome traps, and put on these —we don't make fish of one, and flesh of another, here. Give all your gew-gaws, and what else is in your pockets to the clerk there in the office, who'll give you a receipt for them—we don't allow no money here, but 'twill all be returned safe to you when you goes away—I supposes we shan't have you no great while.”

“I hope not,” replied Quintus, in a good humoured tone, determined to conciliate those around him as much as lay in his power, well knowing that, bad as any thing is, it is capable of being made either worse or better by our manner of treating it. “I hope not, but so long as I remain here, I hope to meet with no worse friends than yourself, for I see you do not seek to add to my troubles more than can be helped, and I am obliged to you.”

“Lord love your heart,” said the man, “I always tells a real gentleman by the very cut of his jib, and I know how to behave to him. We be all born to trouble, rich and poor, as the saying is, and there's many a swell, I dare say, as ought to be here now worse than you, and yet holds up his head as high as the highest. I loves to take down the conceit of some of them there flash gentry as comes under my hands, cutting such capers as if King George was their uncle; but you won't find nobody behave bad to you here—any body can see you are of another kidney; but I say—I am afraid he'll have to clap the darbies on you.”

“I trust not,” said Quintus. “I'm sure he needn't be apprehensive of my trying to escape—that's the farthest thing in the world from my thoughts.”

“'Tisn't for that,” answered the man, “but you see as how there's near a thousand chaps here, and many of 'em are real hell-fire devils —thorough out and outers—and 'twont do to draw no distinctions like, with new chums—howsomever don't say nothing, whatever happens—there be more ways of killing dogs than hanging 'em, as the saying is, so cheer up my fine cock, and now, as you be ready, come along with me to the captain.”

This dialogue had taken place during the time Quintus was changing his dress; and being now apparelled in his new livery, he


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ascended the steps of one of the gangways, and was again ushered upon the quarter deck, in the presence of the captain of the hulk.

Approaching him with a bow, the man of authority slightly returned it, calling aloud, “Let Quintus Servinton be placed in the second class, and have a single basil,” waving with his hand at the same moment for him to withdraw. He immediately retired therefore, with his veteran friend, and underwent the ceremony of having a small iron ring, fixed by a rivet, upon his right ancle, and which completed the equipments for his new habitation.—Whilst this was going on, the old man said to him, with a look of satisfaction, “I told you to cheer up—see how much better you be off than the rest of 'em,” directing Quintus's notice to the crowds of men heavily ironed, by whom he was surrounded—“and besides,” added he, “he has given you the best berth in the place — and where you'll have the best company as is going — there's a soldier officer as was lagged three years back, and he's a proper cock-of-the-walk there — and a fine fellow he is too. Him and you will suit one another exactly — come along, and I'll take you to him.”

Thus encouraged, he descended the steps leading to his quarters, with tolerable cheerfulness; and was speedily introduced to the unfortunate soldier officer — as he had been called, and who was now to be his companion. It was certainly a relief to him, to find upon entering the apartment, which was one of several, formed by divisions of the lower decks of an old seventy-four, that by the style of its principal inmates, manner and address, he was a gentleman; and Quintus, adapting himself to his circumstances with the best grace he could assume, they were soon engaged in general conversation, with as much life and energy, particularly on the part of the ci devant officer, as if they had known one another for years, and had now re-met in a state of mutual prosperity.

It may perhaps appear strange to those, who have never experienced a reverse of fortune — who have always basked in its sun-shine, free from the storms and troubles of adversity, that such a situation as two gentlemen now found themselves in, the one Quintus, as he has been described to the reader, and the other, the once gallant, gay, fashionable captain Spendall, formerly of His Majesty's ——— regiment of infantry, they should have been able so to forget their calamities, so to lose sight of their falls, or so to unbend their oppressed minds, as to enter upon any light, or trifling subjects of conversation; but the fact is, that through all “the changes and chances of this mortal life”, man is, more or less, the creature of circumstances; nor is it among the least of the merciful dispensations we receive at the hands of a Divine Providence, that the back is ever suited to the burthen, and that even


  ― 289 ―
the worst of our afflictions, are invariably attended by some extenuations. In the present instance Quintus, who, in his own language, had had but the other day as it may be called, one foot in the grave, was well inclined to receive gratefully, and to thoroughly appreciate, the kindness and attention he received, even though the best that could now be afforded him, fell immeasurably short of the least, to which he had been accustomed from childhood; and with regard to his companion, he had been long innured to his present habitation; his anguish, whatever it might have been at first, had yielded to the influence of time; and almost forgetting the days that were gone by, the novelty of having a well informed gentleman at his elbow, produced an exhileration of spirits with him, which imperceptibly drew on to a display of great powers of entertainment.

It was not long until Quintus discovered that, strict as were the rules and regulations of this den of misery, they were capable of being evaded; and that, notwithstanding the restraints that were imposed with the view of making it really a place of punishment, such of its experienced inmates as had the command of money, and who chose to pay the price at which connivance might be purchased, were enabled to introduce various luxuries, that were positively forbidden by the authorities. Mr. Spendall presently alluded to the subject, by feeling his companion's pulse, as to his inclination for a bottle of wine; to which Quintus replied, “I like it well enough, at proper times and seasons, but I don't at all mind going without it. I understand nothing of the sort is allowed here.”

“Pooh! pooh! nonsense! do the rascals think a gentleman is to go without his wine, because he happens to be in quod? — no, no, a d———n to the whole set of them — they fancy we are to live on bourgu, black broth, psalm singing, and a bit of carrion now and then; but I haven't served three campaigns in North America for nothing — every dog has his price, and I'll soon shew you how I manage things.”

With this he gave three raps upon the wooden partition, that divided the apartment where they were sitting, from the one adjoining, and in the course of a few minutes, one of the guards entered; a man, whose duty it was to search all persons at their ingress and egress, to and from the hulk, and generally to watch the prisoners. Shutting the door with caution, and looking around him, he made a sort of half bow, and said, “Well, my noble captain, what's your pleasure?”

“Why, you imp of the Devil you, don't you know we have a new chum, a gentleman, a man of birth and education, eh, you rascal!


  ― 290 ―
and can you ask what my pleasure is? Presto, hie, begone! and let's have something fit to put before a gentleman.”

The guard looked significantly, and answered, “But I say captain, is he real thorough-bred? Does he know how to treat gentlemen, when they run risks for each other? Waur hawks among partridges! I know you, captain, but I don't know him.”

“Get thee gone, thou prate-a-pace, and do as thou art bid. Have I lived so long, ate with gentlemen, drank with gentlemen, fought with gentlemen, cursed, swore, and gamed with gentlemen, and do I not know a gentleman by instinct? Begone, and take me for thy surety, that 'tis all as it should be.”

The man retired, with a grin upon his countenance, and saying in an undertone, but which did not altogether escape Quintus, “Aye, and haven't you cheated gentlemen — and will you not pluck this pigeon too, if you are able?” And, in about a quarter of an hour returned, bearing a small basket, from which he took a cold fowl, bread, butter, various et ceteras, and two bottles of wine, for which he was paid by Mr. Spendall one guinea and a half.

“If you want a drop of something comfortable by and by, for a night cap,” the fellow said, as he pocketed the money, “I can serve you — but I say, my new friend,” addressing Quintus, “mum's the word, or else look out for squalls.”

In the course of the evening, Quintus saw enough of his new acquaintance, to form for himself a line of conduct suited to the occasion, and which determined him, that if the ci devant captain intended to play at his expense, any of the sharper's tricks which he had been relating with a sort of pride, he should find himself mistaken in his man. Mankind is so prone to draw distinctions, that even persons who have outraged the laws of their country, do not lose sight of this principle of their nature; and although the offence for which Quintus was suffering punishment, had been adjudged to be deserving the most ignominious of all penalties, he felt that it had not so far compromised or degraded his bearing as a gentleman, as the low, petty larceny transaction, for which Mr. Spendall had been sentenced to seven years transportation; as it arose from having swindled tradesmen, by obtaining goods on hire, and then pawning them. And yet, circumstanced as he now was, his part was rather a difficult one. He resolved therefore, that obligation should be rather conferred than received by him — but even whilst he had been partaking of what was before him, neither his principles nor his prudence were quite at ease, at being a party to the clandestine breach of the regulations by which it was obtained, and he almost regretted, that an endeavour to diminish his


  ― 291 ―
misery, had been the means of introducing him to such a person, as he now had for his chief companion.

Such were his meditations as he lay in his hammock, a prey to sleeplessness and many bitter recollections, scarcely closing his eyes until just as the morn was breaking, when he was again aroused by the noisy summons of the different overseers, who were calling the inmates of the place, to their daily stated labour. When it came to his turn, to be marshalled upon deck, and to answer to his name “Here, sir,” the captain cried out, “Let Quintus Servinton belong to Mr. Atkins's gang,” and he was accordingly removed to a group standing at a little distance, at the head of which stood a short, fat, good humoured looking personage, whom he rightly enough judged to be Mr. Atkins.

“Keep near me,” said the man, in an under tone. “I don't fancy all you can do will help King George much. Let's look at your hands, and I'll soon see what I must put you to.” As he obeyed this mandate, Atkins continued, “Ah! fitter for a midwife, I think, than for me — why, twenty such, wouldn't earn salt for their porridge, at the best day's work they could do. Ah! I think I must appoint you my deputy to-day, and make you look one way while I look another, after these other rogues — well, there, go along. Walk up and down, when you go upon the Warren presently, and keep a sharp look out, but don't go out of sight.”

In this manner passed the first day of Quintus's sojourn at the Woolwich hulks. It was quite evident to him that, without departing from the rules of the place, there was every inclination to soothe his troubles; and he considered that the best return he could make, was to hide his aching heart, under an assumed cheerfulness and serenity. He found that, with the exception of Mr. Spendall, and perhaps a dozen or two others, who filled situations on board which exempted them from labour, the whole of the prisoners passed and re-passed twice each day to the Warren, in large punts or barges, where they worked in different ways, according to their qualifications and strength. Wisely enough he congratulated himself, that it would not last long, and that the transport, which was expected in three or four days from Deptford, would close his present disagreeables — meanwhile, he could not help acknowledging to himself, that things were capable of being much worse than he had hitherto found them, and was disposed to be thankful for what he so enjoyed.

With these feelings, it was extremely agreeable to him to be told on the second morning, not to go on shore, but to wait for the doctor to see him. He had heard a very high character of this gentleman's humane and excellent disposition, and he readily


  ― 292 ―
adopted the idea that, some improvement in his own situation, would be the result of the interview. He found in him a middle aged man, of benign countenance, and very expressive features — one who had the faculty of drawing in a particular manner, the attention of persons with whom he conversed — rivetting their notice, by the searching look with which he regarded them. When Quintus presented himself before him, he took hold of his arm, as if to feel his pulse, and still retaining it in his hand, said “Your health is not very good, is it?”

“I have nothing to complain of on the score of bodily health, Sir,” he replied.

The doctor gave his arm a gentle squeeze, as he let it go, and darting a very significant glance at him, exclaimed “Nothing to complain of, do you say? don't you feel very weak and languid — I can't be deceived by your pulse.”

“Yes, Sir, I haven't nearly my usual strength.”

“Ah, I knew that in a minute — I knew that — and here are orders for shipping you off, on a six months' voyage, in a few days; and how by the devil and his dam is it to be supposed you are to go? — we shall be more likely to have to ship you somewhere else upon six men's shoulders. Captain! this man is suffering under low debility, and must be immediately removed to the hospital ship — he requires great care and good nursing, and we must have this thing knocked off his ancle.”

“Certainly, doctor, your word is my law, you know. Jinks, lower the wherry, and let Quintus Servinton go to the hospital ship immediately — but first, clear his ancle.”

Thus, in less than five minutes, he unexpectedly bade adieu to all his recently formed acquaintances, Mr. Spendall among the rest, who told him he was a confounded fool to leave such good quarters, as he had been shewn he might command, merely to exchange them for a parcel of caudle and cat-lap; and advising him to tell the doctor he was very well, and did not require any nursing. But, if no other inducement for the removal had existed, a sufficient one in Quintus's estimation was to be found, in his desire to leave the very command of the good things, which weighed so differently with Mr. Spendall; as he had sense and experience enough of life, to have resolved from the first, to adopt for his principle the seeking to acquire favour with his superiors, whoever they might be, by a strict observance of all established rules.

In this new abode, free from all restraint or interference, perfectly the master of his own time, and receiving daily instances of considerate kindness and attention from the doctor, he spent nearly a fortnight, waiting the arrival of the ship, that was to convey him


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for ever from his native land. Emily much wished once more to see him before he left England, and wrote often to say so; but although comparatively comfortable, there were many things connected with his situation, which he knew would pain her to witness. Leavetaking was, besides, a species of self-torture, inflicting, in the words of his early friend, Dr. Simpson, great and unnecessary anguish — and he felt that it would be cruel to his wife, and harassing to himself, to have to go through a repetition of the trying scene, that had attended their recent parting. From the first mention by her of the subject therefore, he had discouraged the idea, telling her that, under their present cruel destiny, they must dwell in each others' minds only, and hope for happier days. She on her part, although unwillingly acceding to the propriety of her husband's view of the question, endeavoured to prevent her memory from dwelling too much upon the past, by seeking constant employment, and for which abundant occasion was presented, by the necessary preparation for the voyage. In this labour of love and duty, none could be more assidous than she now was; and it was the wish of all Quintus's friends, not only to furnish him with such an outfit as would secure for him many comforts to which he had always been accustomed, but might also assist towards pushing his way on the new stage, upon which he was now to be an actor.

As regularly as the day came was she his correspondent; but among the regulations in force at the place he now inhabited, was one, by which all letters both to and fro, were subjected to a surveillance, before they were permitted to reach their destination. This naturally threw a restraint upon Quintus's style and manner, which he could not explain to Emily as he wished, and who being therefore ignorant of the cause, could not help occasionally feeling a something, that a good deal bordered upon mortification or disappointment. One morning however, the worthy doctor brought him a letter, and breaking the seal in his presence, immediately handed it to him unopened, saying, “I am sure no treason can be concealed under such pretty hand-writing as this — when you write to the same party, give your letters into my hand.”

“Thank you, Sir,” he replied, “I have one ready written, if you will have the goodness to take charge of it.”

“Certainly I will — but add two lines — I dare say you can find something to say that may prove agreeable, and then I'll seal it.”

Quintus was not slow to understand the excellent man's meaning — and adding the few words, “Heaven be praised! I may now open my heart to you, without fearing an odious surveillance, which has hitherto existed and your letters to me will also be as private as they ought to be—more to-morrow,” he laid the letter before the


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doctor, who immediately closed and sealed it, saying, “It is only in this way, that such characters as Mrs. Servinton is represented, ought to be treated, I'll take care your letter goes safely.”

When the day for his embarkation arrived, he took leave of this kind and humane gentleman with feelings of sincere regret; but the doctor's benevolence did not end here, for he made a point of speaking of him in the most flattering terms possible, to the surgeon superintendent of the transport, warmly interceding for whatever indulgences, he had it in his power to bestow during the voyage.

Thus had he been hitherto peculiarly fortunate, in the persons under whose authority he had been immediately placed; nor, when he exchanged the hospital-ship for the finely equipped Tamar, bound for New South Wales, did this good fortune leave him, as he still fell among those who were sedulous in trying to heal his wounded spirit. In good truth, an universal sympathy was felt towards him, and which received additional strength with those about his person, by witnessing the fortitude and resignation that marked his conduct, in this, his hour of severe affliction.




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Chapter IV

“My native land, good night.”

LORD BYRON

Quintus was not long in discovering the good effects of the favourable manner, in which he had been spoken of by the humane gentleman, who had been latterly his immediate superior; for, scarcely was his name enrolled among the two hundred unfortunates, who, like himself, were destined to traverse the mighty ocean, separating the Mother Country from the then newly settled Colony, known at present by the term Australia, but at that period, more commonly as Botany Bay, than the surgeon superintendent of the vessel sent a messenger, desiring his attendance in his cabin. This gentleman, who was named Bruce, was of about the same age as Quintus; possessed very engaging manners and agreeable appearance — rather precise in his personal economy, and now wore the undress of a surgeon in the navy, in the cut and style of which, was an evident regard to the “exact thing.” His accent bespoke his nativity to be the land of cakes, but not disagreeably so and altogether he looked the well-bred gentleman.

Upon entering the cabin, Quintus observed a trunk belonging to himself, placed on a chair, and was at once addressed by the surgeon, “You must find those clothes very disagreeable, Mr. Servinton. I have had one of your packages brought here at a venture, but if it should not contain what ye may require for a change, Waitwell shall fetch ye any other ye may name. After ye have dressed, I'll have the pleasure of holding a leetle conversation with you.”

Quintus thanked him with real gratitude, and saying that he believed he should find every thing he required, the surgeon withdrew, treating him by his deportment, quite as one gentleman usually behaves to another. This was the first time lately that he had been addressed, other than as plain Quintus Servinton — the word “Mr.” seemed strange to his ear, and raising upon the whole of Mr. Bruce's behaviour, various expectations with respect to the voyage, his spirits received a fillip, which made him for the moment forget all his cares and troubles.

In general matters, Quintus had never been a man who much valued outward show, or demonstrations of respect; but, he had knowledge enough of human nature to be aware that, the same principle of action, which could have suggested the delicate


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attentions he had just received, could only have sprung from a good and amiable heart; — and it was this, and not the silly vanity arising from hearing himself addressed as formerly, that created a glow of contentment or satisfaction upon his countenance, that was plainly discernible, when, presently having exchanged his garment of slavery for his usual attire, he ascended upon the quarter deck to pay his respects to his new master.

“Ah!” said Mr. Bruce, with a good-humoured smile, as he approached “now ye look mair like yerself; but I am sure I need na say to you, that so long as we are in port, the less ye may be seen by strangers, who'll perhaps come here, to stare at ye, the mair agreeable, and the better it may be — Pray use my cabin as much as ye like, and by and by, I'll see what I can further do to make you comfortable. — Do ye understand any thing of medicine?”

“I cannot say that I do, Sir — but I have no doubt I could render myself useful, after a little instruction.”

“I believe as much, fra what I have heard of you. I mean to appoint you my assistant, during the voyage. — There will be some pen and ink work every day, and I daresay, ye will have vary leetle, if any difficulty upon other points. It will give you many trifling advantages, and help to fill up your time — two very good things, for a long voyage. When you're inclined for exercise, or fresh air, you'll use the quarter-deck; and the less ye mingle with the prisoners, the mair I'm sure, 'twill suit your inclination.” The conversation was here interrupted by the approach of some persons, who applied to Mr. Bruce for orders; and Quintus wishing to avoid any thing like intrusion, retired.

The effects of this behaviour, did not end here; but were presently discernible, in the deportment of other persons on board — who, taking their cue from so high an authority as the surgeon, evinced in many ways, that his example was not lost upon them. Thus relieved from anxiety, as to how he should be personally treated — for Quintus was none of those who despised the comforts or conveniences of life — he had time and disposition to acquaint himself with the nature of the arrangements that were adopted for the transporting with security, and at the same time, with regard to health, so numerous a body of criminals, as were on board the Tamar.

He soon learnt that the surgeon-superintendent had the supreme command on board, exercising a sway or authority, nearly equal to that of a captain of a man-of-war; the duties of the master of the vessel, not extending beyond its navigation. The place where the prisoners were confined, was between decks; and was fitted up by the construction of upper and lower sleeping-berths, each capable of containing four persons. The forecastle was converted into a


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hospital, in case of sickness. In the midships, were accommodated the military guard and sailors; and the after part, was reserved for the surgeon, the master, and two or three individuals, who being in the public service, had a passage to the settlement, provided by Government. Each convict upon embarkation, had a bed, blanket, and pillow given him — each was also furnished with all necessary clothing; and Quintus saw, by looking over the inventory of stores that, great attention had been paid to laying in a supply of every thing likely to be required, in case of sickness, a protracted voyage, or other cause, that might affect the condition of the prisoners. With the exception of Quintus, and two or three others, who were distinguished by their previous good characters, all the convicts wore heavy irons, and were allowed to come upon deck at intervals only; but the cleanliness and wholesome state of the prison, for so the space inhabited by them was named, were not among the least remarkable or creditable parts, of the surgeon's management.

Several days were occupied in completing the necessary preparations for the voyage, during which, Emily continued a regular correspondent to her husband, receiving from him also letters, that were well calculated to relieve her anxiety as to one part at least, of his career of sorrow.

The same affectionate strain that had distinguished her throughout, still pervaded her every expression — the same reliance upon a Divine Providence, that had supported her in her unexampled distresses, still was her tower of strength and of confidence — the same resigned and holy spirit, that had whispered to her to regard every thing, not as proceeding from the hand of man, but of God, now supported her through a separation from him, who had subdued, and ever afterwards retained possessor of, her virgin heart; and hope, founded upon faith, bade her look forward, and see at the termination of the vale of tears, through which they were travelling, regions of peace and happiness.

She had an indescribably sweet way of conveying her language, either in speaking or writing. In the former, her musical voice, set off by the soft and feminine beauty of her countenance, now matured by time, and changed from the elegant sylph-like girl, to the handsome woman, gave her words a peculiar charm. Her figure was rather more settled and formed, than when Quintus first became acquainted with her; but the alteration was greatly in her favour: giving to the regular fall of the shoulders, the beautifully rounded arm, and taper waist, a grace and elasticity, that well corresponded with her mild and expressive eye, under its dark, fringed lashes, her small, well-formed mouth, her roman nose, and the general contour of her other features. — It was impossible to see her, without


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admiring — to know her, without loving — or to hear her speak, without having one's attention rivetted. One of her last letters to her dearly beloved husband, was as follows:—

When we are many, many thousand miles distant, my dearest Quintus, it may be a pleasure to you, to have something that I have worn. — I enclose a little sleeve which I wore when a baby. — Accidents may occur to prevent our ever seeing one another again — God grant it may not be so, but that we may sooner meet than we expect; I can be happy and contended with very little, so that you are with me. — This you know, and be assured, whenever you can let me know you are ready to receive me, I shall not be long in packing up. — Ever my dear Quintus, I am yours and only yours,

   E. S.

Numerous as had been the instances of her regard and tenderness, her husband was sensibly affected by this new demand upon his feelings. He took the little token in his hands, kissed it again and again, wept over it, and said within himself, “How can I ever requite such a wife — neither time, absence nor any change of circumstances, shall ever banish her from my heart. — We must, we will, yet be happy together.” And in good truth, through the remainder of his life, never did he forget the excellent creature, who had done and suffered so much for his sake.

A day or two now intervened only, when the bustle and confusion that were visible among the sailors, the boats that were leaving the ship, freighted with loving doxies, who had just taken a last farewell with many slobbering kisses, of their thoughtless lovers, “who find a wife in every port, in every port a home;” the orders that confined the prisoners below deck, and presently, the “Yo yeoe,” heard in various notes, as an accompaniment to the turns of the windlass, whilst the anchor was slowly being raised from the mud, all these were evident indications, that the hour for departure had arrived — and that, a short while only would elapse, until the scene would be wholly changed.

Notwithstanding, that by Quintus this had been for some time anticipated, and that, now the moment had arrived, it bore with it many extenuating circumstances, which he scarcely had had reason to hope for, there are few, it is believed, who can turn their back upon their home and their country, even under the expectation of a speedy return to them, who do not feel the separation acutely; and when, as in this instance, the man who had been born and educated a gentleman — who had preserved through thirty years, an irreproachable character — a character beyond suspicion, until tarnished by the


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offence, that had hurled him in an instant from an enviable station, to the mingling his name with a common herd of felons — when such a man as this, was bidding a long — probably an eternal adieu, to the land of his fathers, it cannot be supposed that he was either unmoved or indifferent. — As the vessel was presently scudding through the Nore, with a light and favourable breeze, Quintus stood upon the quarter-deck, leaning over the gunwale, absorbed in deep musing, and scarcely regarding the objects on shore, that were now being left in rapid succession, when he was accosted by Mr. Bruce, “It is an interesting scene we have on the banks of this beautiful river — but the feeling one has upon leaving it, is vary different from what it is, upon returning to it after a long voyage.”

“It must be indeed, Sir,” replied Quintus, “but what must a man's feelings be, who is leaving it, as I am, without the most distant hope of ever returning to it?”

“Why should you say so,” answered Mr. Bruce; “How know ye what good gifts may yet be in store for you? I myself once experienced a singular visitation, and what at the moment gave me great pain; but I have since lived long enough to learn, that the ways of Providence, although mysterious, are wise and good, and I've no doubt ye will find it so yerself.”

“I trust so, Sir,” replied Quintus. “My lot requires some such consolation to make it endurable. It is certainly consoling to believe that nothing befalls us by chance.”

“Yes,” said Mr. Bruce, “it is — and I'll give you an example of what happened to myself, and which since makes me receive with contentment, whatever happens. I had served many years assistant surgeon on board a frigate, and being at last promoted, I was particularly anxious to be again appointed to the same ship, as there was a vacancy in her at that moment, and I put every possible interest in motion to attain my object. But it was in vain — another surgeon was appointed, and I received orders to join another vessel. I was so mortified and disappointed at being prevented sailing with the brother officers, who were endeared to me by long acquaintance, that I had almost resolved to retire from the service, and it was only the earnest solicitation of a friend, which prevented me from at once tendering my resignation; but I soon had a lesson taught me, by which my pride was effectually humbled. I shortly afterwards saw in the newspapers of the day, that the frigate in which I had so long sailed, and which had just taken her departure for the West Indies, had been wrecked on the coast of Ireland, during a dark foggy night in the month of November, and that every person on board had perished. My own voyage, on the other hand, proved singularly happy and fortunate, and I drew a moral from the


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circumstance, which I have since often applied, and have always deduced the same result. — Ye may rely upon it, that twenty years hence, and may be much sooner, you will become a disciple to my doctrine, and will bless the hand, by which you have been chastened.”

The vessel continued to make her way gallantly through the Downs, with a fine steady breeze from the north-east. Deal soon became lost to the sight, and Dover Castle, standing upon its commanding eminence, was gradually wearing a less and less appearance; the white cliffs near its base, were rapidly assuming a duskish grey, when the pilot, who still accompanied the vessel, looked anxiously from time to time at the current of the clouds, as they were forming and passing in the air, and presently gave orders to take in the studding and top-gallant sails, and directed the helmsman to keep the vessel well up to the wind. In reply to an observation made by the master, he said, “The orders for sailing were just twelve hours too long in reaching Sheerness. The wind is changing to the south-west, and if we don't well clear the land before it meets us, we may be wind-bound for I don't know how long. Luff! luff! keep her well filled — two hours more, and she'll have plenty of sea room, and then we can see what she's made of.”

Meanwhile, order after order portended that the wind was becoming still more unfavourable; and the tumbling and tossing of the ship, crammed with human beings, begat a scene that may be conceived, better perhaps than described.

Things continued in this state during the night and the next forenoon. It was impossible to make way against the powerful element, that was now become directly opposed to their progress, and after numerous zig-zag tacks between the English and French coasts, for upwards of eight and forty hours, without making one league's progress in the voyage, the word of command for “about ship,” was reluctantly given, and presently the vessel was quietly at anchor at Dungeness, where she remained wind-bound nearly a month.

The seasoning Quintus had thus obtained in the pleasures of the ocean, removed from his mind, some of the apprehensions that are inseparable from those, who for the first time tread the plank, that alone separates them from eternity. He had suffered no inconvenience from the turbulent motion of the vessel; on the contrary, the buoyancy of his spirits rose, as he watched the foaming billows following one another in rapid succession, and noticed how the ship, riding upon them like a water-fowl, sometimes mounted on high, apparently to touch the heavens, and at the next moment seemed upon the point, of being swallowed by the unfathomable


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deep. He paced up and down the quarter deck with the facility of an experienced seaman, and, elated with a prowess in which, after all, many an inferior animal was greatly his superior, joined at times in some of the jokes and jeers that were made by the sailors, at the expense of others, less fortunate than himself, who too plainly exhibited how little the sea agreed with them; assuming, as we frequently see through life, a certain degree of merit, for the possession of a mere fortuitious gift of nature.

Whilst so amusing himself one day, after the voyage had been resumed, a presbyterian divine of the Scotch kirk, who was a passenger on board the vessel, came up to him and said, “I should na have expected that the sufferings of a fellow creature, could have afforded ony pleasure to sic a young man as yersel. It is na in vara gude keeping, I'm thinking, with one who has sa mich to be thankfu' for upon his ain account.”

“I feel the force of your reproof, sir; and am sorry you had occasion to offer it. It was the remarks of the sailors which made me laugh; not, I assure you, sir, any delight in witnessing a fellow creature's pain.”

‘I dinna doubt it, young man: I think na less of ye. I dare say you've been brought up vara deferently fra the maist part of the misguided puir creatures who are now aboard with us. You'll excuse the question, but has ony regard been paid by yer frien's, to yer religious instruction?”

Quintus was glad to find the conversation take this turn — as, thanks to his mother in his childhood, to his good preceptors in his youth, and subsequently, to his connexion by marriage, he was tolerably versed upon all points bearing upon different religious faiths — knew the distinctions between the doctrines of Calvin and Luther — between those of Socinus and Arius — was acquainted with the various texts, whereon each grounded his respective opinions — was well read in every thing relating to the reformation — to the difference between Presbyterianism and Episcopacy, and understood the tenets of the numerous sects of Dissenters. The Scotchman, on his part, was equally pleased to have touched a string, from which, to his ear, so musical a chord as Quintus's answer vibrated; and from that day, throughout the voyage, he generally spent part of each forenoon with the reverend gentleman, who soon took the utmost interest in every thing relating to him. Among the passengers also, were a military officer, with his wife and family, from whom Quintus received much kindness and attention; so that, in one way or other, what with his daily avocations in the service of Mr. Bruce — his chit chat with the passengers — his discussions with the Presbyterian — and his own taste for literary employments, the usual dull


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monotony of a long voyage, yielded to the charms of time well occupied, and such a thing as ennui was unknown to him.

One morning as he was sitting, engaged in writing, the cry of “Sail! ho, a sail on the larboard bow,” threw the ship into a momentary disorder, and all hands were immediately in motion. The master and chief mate had their telescopes in their hands in an instant, endeavouring to ascertain what the stranger was like; and after a few doubts and conjectures, she was first clearly made out to be a ship — next it was discovered that she was of large tonnage, and lastly, was put down as a sloop of war or frigate. Every one was instantly hazarding conjectures as to her nation and quality. The idea of meeting an enemy was not the most agreeable thing imaginable, considering the nature of the cargo on board, and it was determined by the master, that as no good, but possibly some harm, might result from coming to close quarters, the safest way would be to keep as far distant as possible.

The Tamar was sufficiently well armed not to fear the attack of an inconsiderable enemy, but although herself a five hundred ton vessel, the stranger, notwithstanding she was still perhaps, twenty miles distant, appeared at least double that size. — Any opposition therefore, should she prove to belong to a hostile power, would have been an unnecessary sacrifice of human lives. As they were at present steering, the Tamar had decidedly the advantage of the wind, so that to make away from the other, seemed easily practicable. All sail therefore was crowded, and giving her the direction known by experience to be most favourable to her qualities of speed, away she scudded before the wind, as fast as canvas and judicious steering could force her.

But notwithstanding her utmost exertions — notwithstanding she was running upwards of twelve knots an hour, being one more than had ever before been got out of her, the increased, and increasing size of the stranger, who had also changed her course, and was in the direct track of the Tamar, told plainly enough that all her efforts would be useless; and that, long ere she could be enwrapped under the cloak of night, she must inevitably be overtaken by the pursuer. A sort of council between the master, the surgeon and the passengers was now held to decide whether it was better to continue the endeavour to avoid a meeting, or to make the best front in their power, and prepare for the event which seemed inevitable; and after some discussion, the latter was agreed upon, and was soon adopted. — Proceeding to take in some of the extra sail that had been used, thus slackening their progress, the stranger rapidly continued to gain ground, and shortly a column of smoke rising from the water, gave a


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momentary warning that a gun had been fired, which was at once understood as a signal to heave to; and in the course of a minute or two — another, and then another, repeated the summons. The fears and anxieties of some on board were now at their height; for they had not only to apprehend that the ship by which they were chased, might be an enemy, but they knew full well, that they carried within themselves, a still more dangerous enemy, in the restless spirit and turbulent disposition of the convicts; and which, would induce many of them to embrace with eagerness, any chance of avoiding the punishment due to their crimes, even at the alternative of placing themselves in the hands of a foe to their country.

Meanwhile, the stranger had approached near enough, under an immense height of canvas, to enable them to discover that she was not English man-of-war rigged, nor yet did she look like a foreigner; and the probability was suggested of her being an outward bound Indiaman. Scarcely had this idea been well circulated, than each minute, something or other arose, to give it additional strength; and it is impossible to describe the rapture that ran through the Tamar, when it was presently confirmed beyond doubt; and when, after a while, the Indiaman backed her yards, and dropped close alongside, the cheers with which the English flag was saluted — the interest with which the usual interrogatories were made, and replied to — and the glee that shone upon every countenance, well betokened how much more welcome was their companion, than at one time had been apprehended.

Those only who have been at sea, who have for days and weeks had but one view before them, and that view, but one wide expanse of waters, merely varied by occasional shoals of porpoises playing around the vessel, or by the timorous flying fish, seeking by a momentary exchange of element, to escape its ravenous enemy; or at other times, by the elegant little nautilus, challenging all-sufficient, conceited man to trim his sail, and to steer his bark more securely, more judiciously, if he can; or again, by the leaps of the beautiful dolphin, when quickly pursued by the all-devouring, terrific shark — or, to change the scene, who have been for hours lolling over the gunnel, observing with intenseness, the evolutions of the constant sailor's companion, commonly known by the name of Mother Carey's Chicken; or, as the Southern latitudes are reached, the various sorts of water-birds that are perpetually hovering around the vessel, varying in size and plumage, from the small Cape pigeon, to the powerful, majestic albatross — it is those only who have had such sights as these, for their daily solace, for weeks, or perhaps months, that are able to enter into, and to sympathize with, the feelings that


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seize hold on the human breast, when, meeting a friendly sail in the midst of the unfathomable deep, salutations and enquiries are exchanged, with an interest that greatly exceeds their real deserts. It is the hearing the same language spoken by some other voices, save those, to whom our ear by long custom has become indifferent — it is the novelty of the meeting, and again of the separation, with its reciprocal good wishes for a prosperous voyage, that attends these breaks upon the monotony of a life at sea, that strikes home to the mind, telling the individual, that although surrounded by mighty waters, he is not alone in the world — that although far, far away from his father-land, he is yet in the land of the living.

But there is one, and perhaps only one, still greater delight attending a voyage, and this is, its termination. Let those who have tried it declare, what was the state of their breasts, when, even according to their own imperfect reckoning, the sight of land was daily expected — let them recollect how unwillingly they quitted the deck, even for short intervals, fearing lest some other more fortunate person, might have had his sight blessed by the distant view of a cape or head-land, a minute or two earlier than themselves; and when at last, the man at the masthead, after a few perplexing doubts, whether some object he has been contemplating be land, or a dense cloud, removes all suspense by the short, emphatic, “Land ho! land on the starboard quarter!” can their memories present to them any one moment of their lives, that has afforded such pure, such entire, such unalloyed felicity? It was Quintus's fortune to participate in such sensations, four months after his departure from England; but had it not been, that he knew how much his re-union with his wife and child, must depend upon his future exertions, the manner his time had been occupied during the voyage, the kindness he had received from Mr. Bruce, the improvement in various sorts of knowledge he had derived from the Scotch Minister, and the delicate attention to his unfortunate state, that had been manifested by the other passengers, had so impressed him, that he almost felt sorry he was shortly to be parted from the many amiable characters, by whom he was surrounded.

In the mean time the vessel, after making land, steadily pursued her course — regardless whether she was the occasion of happiness or misery, freedom or slavery, to her numerous inmates; and gliding under easy sail, close alongside the magnificent rocks that rise in massy columns from the water's edge, flanking the entrance to the harbour, she dropped her anchor within a quarter of a mile of the shore, just as the last rays of the sun, were gilding the summits of some thickly wooded hills, on the western horizon.




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Chapter V

“Eating the bitter bread of banishment.”

RICHARD II

Five and twenty years ago, New South Wales was not, what it has since become, an important English Colony, but partook more of the nature of a mere penal settlement for the reception of offenders, transported from the Mother Country, and was under a form of Government, precisely in keeping with this character. Still, some of the properties belonging to it, and which have subsequently served to exalt it to its present station, were known and appreciated; and scarcely was the anchor cast, than Quintus availed himself of every opportunity that the intercourse with the shore permitted, towards acquainting himself with such particulars, as he fancied might help to give a direction to his future movements.

Relying upon his uniform, previous good character — upon his offence having been a solitary blot on his escutcheon — upon the means that were still at his command through friends — upon his experience both of men and manners — and upon his acquirements, which fitted him for many a varied sphere of action, he had all along indulged the notion that, banishment from the land of his fathers, would be nearly all he would have to endure, upon reaching his destination; and his fervid imagination easily enabled him to skip over some three or four years of his life, at the end of which, he fancied he already saw, more ease, happiness, and contentment, than had long fallen to his lot. In proportion therefore to these flattering dreams, were his chagrin and disappointment, when the true nature of the state to which he had fallen, became revealed to him, by the different persons with whom he now conversed. There had been a time, he found, when convicts, who possessed superior recommendations, in almost any way, had been treated with distinguished favour and attention; but this had gone by; and he learnt that his whole reliance, towards obtaining a different course of treatment to that which would attend those around him, was, superior excellence of future conduct.

But, although disappointed, he was not dismayed. Mr. Bruce, who had been sedulous, from the moment he first held communication with the local authorities, to procure for him every indulgence that was possible, said to him the day before the disembarkation of the prisoners was to take place, “I am sorry, that I have no very good


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news for you, as I find it is impossible to do so much for you, as I had hoped; I have just been with the Governor on your behalf, and I have told him that your whole behaviour has been most exemplary; but it is the future, not the past, I am sorry to find, that'll do ye any good. — However, you have one source of consolation, and it is a great one. The Governor is said to be a kind, good man, and as I've no fear of how you'll behave, I daresay you'll find things all work well in time. You must go ashore to-morrow along with all the others, and must wear the same sort of dress as they do; but I am sure your mind is above such a trifle as outward garments.”

Quintus had been prepared for all this, by what had already reached him, and replying that, he trusted he should never give Mr. Bruce cause to regret his kind interference, retired, busy in preparing for the new scenes, in which he was to be an actor.

Early the following morning, taking his place in the common herd of which he was enrolled a member, he once more trod his mother earth, and being conveyed to a large building, was ushered into a yard, where, being marshalled in regular order, he awaited some hours, what was to be the next step in his career of degradation. At the end of that time, the unusual stir and bustle that were evident among the attendants, portended the approach of some great personage; and presently, the emphasis with which the yard door was thrown open, was the immediate forerunner of the entrance of the Governor of the Colony, in full regimentals, and attended by his whole suite.

He was in about the meridian of life — not tall nor short — nor displaying in his personal deportment, any consciousness of his exalted station. His features were distinguished by a mildness of expression, but were not particular for their regularity; as the eye of the observer was more attracted by the index of the mind they exhibited, thus losing sight of their mere natural formation. Sagacity was among the lines of his countenance, in a very marked degree; and there was a glow of benevolence in his style and manner, as he addressed the unhappy beings by whom he was surrounded, exhorting them to good and orderly behaviour, and holding out in forcible language, the many horrors that were certain to attend any other course. He enquired of the convicts how they had been treated during the voyage, and whether either of them had cause of complaint upon any subject; continuing to tell them, that he would always equally redress grievances, and generally protect them, as he would enforce their obedience. After thus speaking, he walked along the line, as it stood drawn up, until he came opposite Quintus, when Mr. Bruce stepping forward, and drawing his attention for a moment, said, “Please your Excellency, this is Quintus Servinton.”


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The Governor upon this, stopped, bent the whole force of his searching eye upon the object he was contemplating, then paused for an instant, and said, in a clear impressive tone, “Quintus Servinton, attend to me! The Surgeon Superintendent of the vessel has spoken to me in your favor, and tells me that your conduct has been most exemplary. Persevere in this course, and your troubles will be comparatively light. I trust I need not point out to you, what would be the effect of the contrary behaviour. You will have opportunities of shewing your diligence, and I hope I may hear you as well spoken of as I have already.” Quintus expressed his sense of what had been said to him by a low bow, and presently, when the business of the day was over, received orders to follow an attendant, by whom he was conveyed to his new destination.

Notwithstanding the sort of whirl in which his mind now was, he could not help being much struck, when, leaving the dismal yard in which he had passed through these preliminaries, and turning a sudden and sharp angle, he found himself in the centre of a large, well laid out town. He had scarcely thought such a thing possible, considering the few years that had intervened, since the ground he now paced, had been an almost impenetrable forest; but the hand of convict labour is most efficacious; and it may be questioned whether the United States could ever have attained its present rank in the scale of nations, had it not been for the fostering aid thus bestowed; for it is a lamentable truth, confirmed by the experience of many years, that a more than average share of talent is to be found in any given number of offenders against the laws of their country, compared to what is met with, in others. Some there are, to whom nature has been particularly bountiful in accomplishments, which lead to bad company, and thus beget vice. Some who, by possessing particular skill at a trade or business, can earn as much in one day, as others in two, and thus become idle — next dissolute, and lastly, vicious. Some, who find less difficulty in bringing into practice the inventions of the head, than in reducing the hands to labour; hence again, springs crime with its hydra-head; and lastly, we see as in this history, that there are others who, stepping beyond the bounds of sober discretion in the indulgence of parts of our nature, which are good, so long as well curbed, but are nearly allied to vice, when suffered to run riot, allow themselves to be drawn on step by step, until all at once they become swallowed up in the whirlpool, whence there is no retreat. Other causes for the same effect might easily be given, but whatever they may be, the fact is incontrovertible that, much human talent shines in soils, that are sadly overrun with weeds.

In the particular instance of the Colony, to which Quintus was


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now transported, both convict labour and talent had been so applied, and were now kept under such restrictions, that they were a valuable public property, and in this manner were advantageously used. Hence, large, handsome buildings met his eye at every step — gardens, with a rich profusion of beautiful flowers and shrubs, enlivened the face of the town, and the carts, horses, and foot passengers, every where around, presented a scene which he had little anticipated.

After proceeding through one of the principal streets, he was conducted to a low pile of buildings, standing a little off the road, where he was informed he was in future to attend daily, and devote his time wholly to the service of Government. After waiting in an ante-chamber some half hour or more, he was summoned into an apartment, where the gentleman was sitting, from whom he was now to receive his orders. He was quite young, wore the undress of an infantry officer, had a mild and pleasant set of features, very gentlemanly in his deportment, birth and breeding being equally mixed with the soldier, and spoke in a tone of condescending good nature, although still preserving both official and military dignity, in their full vigour. He acquainted Quintus that his daily attendance must be from ten till three — that at all other hours, he was at liberty to do what he pleased — that he would receive little or no remuneration for his labour — all that Government provided, being mere sustenance and lodging — and that he must not forget the state to which he was reduced, and expect attentions that it was impossible to pay — that he would find himself treated in a manner, at which he could take no exception, so long as he did not attempt to depart from the sphere in which he was now compelled to move; but that all the distinctions he might have once experienced in England, were at an end.

One year had just about ended, from the time that his hapless flight was undertaken, when he was once more thus enjoying comparative liberty, and had entered upon the new avocations that were now assigned him. His readiness in performing most things that were given him to do, although the employment was of a very inferior description, to what he would have chosen, had an option been allowed, soon attracted towards him some attention on the part of his superiors, and by degrees, what at first was considered by him, particularly irksome and disagreeable, made way for other duties, rather more fitted to his education and acquirements. He found little difficulty, in so managing his stated tasks, as never to be in arrear with them; and thus had quite as much time at command, as he knew what to do with. Society he could not keep, because to that alone, of which he had always been a member, he could no


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longer be admitted; and to no other, could he bring himself to belong. He acquired no tastes or habits by his separation from home, that ever led him to depart from the strictest propriety; but he possessed a mind naturally too active to rest satisfied with half a dozen hours of task work daily, leaving the remainder of his time to be filled up as he could; and the consequences soon began to shew themselves, in a manner, of which had he been aware, this and other properties would have been effectually curbed.

But Quintus Servinton was in some respects, still Quintus Servinton. Although lowered and humbled, one or two of the roots that had heretofore put forth noxious branches, still were green and flourishing in his heart, and the change of climate nourished and encouraged their second growth. He still clung to the gigantic nature of schemes, that had proved his destruction — still viewed things with that capacious eye, which makes a mountain appear a hillock, but often finds, that hillocks are mountains. His general knowledge of business had caused him to be repeatedly applied to upon occasions of intricacy, as well by private individuals, as by some who held official situations; and hence his means of indulging his spirit of enterprise, received a considerable accession; for he was one of those, who, if he rendered a service to another, thought himself fairly entitled to claim a service in return, and failed not to seek it, in such a manner as might best serve his ends. Besides, he felt at present, that few would shew him much favor or good will, unless they had some particular end in view; and instead of being flattered by occasional instances of civility, usually found they were the prelude only for some assistance that was required at his hands, and determined therefore, that the sun, if it shone at all, should shine on both sides of the hedge. By this line of policy, he gradually made for himself influential adherents, through whose means, before a twelve-month had expired, he found abundant opportunities of indulging that restless spirit, which had already proved his bane.

Always punctual to his prescribed duties, ever at his post, and easily accomplishing all that was required of him, the hours set apart from business, and which many, circumstanced like himself, devoted to idleness, he sedulously employed in objects, calculated as he hoped, to better his condition; but he did not sufficiently discriminate — he forgot the log that was attached to him, impeding his movements at every step; and that which, would have been proper, nay, praiseworthy, in a person not under the trammels of the law, became imprudence with him, and reached in its effect, both himself and others. Another stumbling block was also in his way, of which, having no conception, he could not guard against it, until too late. It was his misfortune to have arrived in the Colony, at a moment


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when party spirit ran high — when certain mal-contents were endeavouring to light the torch of discord, and to stimulate a feeling of dissatisfaction with all the measures of the local Government. This faction, for it could be called nothing else, was principally led by two or three persons, but more particularly by one, who, possessing talents of a superior order, and having been born and bred a gentleman, gave to the measures of his party a tone and energy, which they could not otherwise have possessed.

There is no reason to suppose that, in singling out Quintus as an object, through whom, on account of the comparative respectability of the employment that had been allotted him, in consequence of his pretensions, both as to character and attainments, he meant any personal ill-will towards an individual, who rather deserved commiseration than aught else, but the occasion seemed too good to be lost; and almost from the moment of his landing, every thing that occurred to him was carefully noted, and made the subject of most unjust, cruel, and malicious statements to the Home Government. The little indulgences he obtained as a reward of good conduct — the time he had at his disposal, resulting from a greater facility he possessed than some others, in accomplishing his stated labours, the indefatigable exertions he made during these hours, in pursuits which, had he been other than what he was, would have been most highly commended, the respect with which he was treated by all classes, and the degree of comfort to which he had thus raised himself, all these, were construed into instances of partiality and misrule, too flagrant to be passed over by those, whose minds were bent on mischief; and letter after letter reaching Downing-street, teeming with complaints of the manner in which Quintus Servinton was treated — magnifying the small dole of favour he really received, for the hard-earned reward of exemplary behaviour, into “unlimited confidence” “improper favouritism,” and other distinctions, equally false as cruel.

The consequence, as might have been naturally expected, was that, orders came from home in rapid succession, all bearing upon poor Quintus. He was made the scape-goat of the designing men, who, through him, sought to annoy and bring into disrepute the Local Authorities, and unhappily, they but too well succeeded.

Mr. ——, from whom the commutation of punishment had been extracted, with as much difficulty as though it had been his heart's-blood, still continued in power. His spirit of consistency required a perseverance in his desire to wreak upon the sufferer's head, the full measure of the law's rigour; and he seized with avidity the representations made from the Colony, to ground upon them


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such instructions as, whether the reports were true or false, would render a continuance of any thing like indulgence, impossible.

Accordingly, after Quintus had advanced some months in the second year of his residence in the Colony, one morning upon entering the office as usual, he was told by the orderly in attendance that, one of the gentlemen in the Governor's household, required to see him in an adjoining apartment.

He had not waited many minutes when the gentleman approached and said, “Oh! Quintus Servinton! His Excellency has directed me to acquaint you that, there is no longer any occasion for your services in the office — there is no fault whatever on your part, that has produced this alteration; for on the contrary, there is every reason to be satisfied with your general conduct; but it is the wish of the English Government, that none but free persons should be employed, and you are therefore to be removed to another department, where your past assiduity and regular conduct, will be borne in mind to your advantage, as much as possible.” Quintus was both grieved and surprised, at this communication — he felt it to be a sort of hurling him from the slight elevation he had attained, and that, he had now lost some of the vantage ground, he so dearly prized. Hitherto, his career of misery had been attended by many extenuations, which were little to bestow, but much to receive. Throughout the whole of it, he had found some who, viewing his case with sympathy, had endeavoured to serve and oblige him; and although the duties attached to his late employment, were not less burthensome than those connected with other public offices, a certain pride of birth, and the associations of his earlier years, reconciled him to the badge of slavery, more contentedly, when in the immediate train of the Governor of the Colony, than if attached to inferior departments. Besides, although he had not exchanged a single word with the Governor, since the day he first saw him, he had witnessed so many instances of his excellent qualities; of his humane and feeling disposition; of his strict and impartial justice; and had formed so high an opinion of his talents that, he had really become much attached to him — and held him in very great veneration. All these considerations, served to create in his mind, a strong reluctance to the change. He knew however, that, any display of this feeling, would be ineffectual, but, in the fulness of his heart, and ere he took leave of the office, he sat down, and wrote the following letter:—

Sir,

I beg leave very humbly thus to approach your Excellency, to offer an expression of sincere and respectful gratitude, for the


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intimation with which I have been honored through Mr. ———, that my conduct, whilst acting as clerk in the office, has received your Excellency's approbation; and that, no cause of dissatisfaction, has occasioned my removal to other employment.

Feeling, as I have always done, and have endeavoured to manifest that, my duty requires the best exertion of whatever means may have been within my power, in the performance of such services as have devolved upon me, no higher nor more gratifying reward could have been bestowed, than to be permitted to know that my behaviour has been approved — and it will still be my earnest endeavour, whilst passing through the remainder of the ordeal, which is the necessary consequence of my unfortunate situation, so to continue that, nothing on my part, shall occasion the forfeiture of the point, I have been so fortunate as to attain.

I have the honor to be

Sir,

  your Excellency's

   most obedient humble Servant,

    QUINTUS SERVINTON

To His Excellency the Governor

Excepting, so far as he considered that any change from his late employments must be for the worse, he had no cause to be dissatisfied with his new master, or with the nature of the services required of him. The latter continued to be somewhat of an order, that demanded the exercise of the head, rather than of the hand, and comprehending subjects for which, he was particularly well qualified; nor was it difficult for him to perceive that, representations had been made in his favour, calculated still to preserve to him a continuance of many things, he much valued.

It was about this time that his talents for business, brought him closely acquainted with a Mr. Crecy, a gentleman of birth, education, and high connexions, and who stood at the head of a large agricultural establishment, which had been entirely formed by the perseverance and energy of his own character. This gentleman, although the manager of one of the most extensive concerns the Colony possessed, had been little accustomed to the dry detail of office work, but rather shone in active, out-of-door occupations, in all which he was completely au-fait; perpetually conceiving grand and useful projects, the carrying into effect of which, he would willingly leave to others. Warm in his friendships and disposition, sanguine in his enterprises, a quick and ready observer of merit, and possessing a heart, full of sensibility and generous feelings, it mattered little to him, what were the adventitious circumstances


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that attached to an individual, so that he possessed qualities which entitled him to esteem. In Quintus he found much that rendered him both useful to, and respected by him; and who, having upon one particular occasion, acquitted himself in an affair rather of intricacy, entirely to his satisfaction, the acquaintance became strengthened, until by a concatenation of events, it assumed a height, that in the end materially affected the fortunes of both.

Mr. Crecy was liberal in the extreme, and often pressed upon Quintus a remuneration for the services he thus rendered; but the latter, acting upon the principle he had adopted throughout, preferred the other advantages that followed in the train of so powerful a connexion, and always declined; replying that, there were other ways, in which he could be much more effectually requited for any little assistance he had it in his power to render, than by a pecuniary recompense; hinting at the same time, the value of Mr. Crecy's countenance and support, in the pursuits in which he was engaged, and particularly the use an occasional loan would be to him, when, by the peculiarity of his circumstances, he was deprived of the means of accommodation, usual in the commercial world. Mr. Crecy instantly replied, “Any thing I can do for you, is quite at your service — I have a private income as you know, of five hundred a year, and so far as that goes, I will at any time lend you, whatever sum you may ask me for — more than that, I cannot do; as I can never interfere with, or touch, the partnership funds; but in any of your future plans you have a carte blanche to reckon upon me, for the loan of a year's income. I need not say that I have a very good opinion of you — I wish to shew it by my conduct.” Quintus expressed his gratitude in a fervent manner, and continued to render Mr. Crecy constant and valuable assistance — becoming by degrees, completely his homme d'affaires. On the other hand, he received from that gentleman, open and general support; not merely confined to good words, but comprehending pecuniary loans to the extent he had named, and which mainly served to invigorate and strengthen, Quintus's various enterprises.

It was a part of the pains and penalties, attached to persons in his unfortunate situation, that although in matters of business they might be received, and treated with the respect due to former station and conduct, the intercourse between themselves and the free inhabitants, went, generally speaking, no farther. Any thing like familiarity, or approaching to sweet converse, was totally out of the question — to have invited such as man as Quintus to break bread, or drink wine, would have been thought little short of profanation, even by those who were ready enough to be benefitted upon easy terms, by his talents. In the hours therefore, not devoted


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to any of his multifarious employments, he was absolutely and literally, alone in the world. His habits and inclination alike led him to shun low, or inferior society — the threshold of any other, has been already said to have been shut against him — and it therefore well suited his state of mind, to have as little time as possible for contemplation. Some men similarly circumstanced to himself, readily formed fresh connexions, bestowing upon a new lover, or mistress, the affections due to the far distant wife. Others gave themselves up to intoxication, or some other vice calculated to kill time; but, with him it was different. He loved Emily for herself — he esteemed her, for her superior endowments — and he felt grateful to her beyond measure, for her uniform, her consistent and devoted attention. These feelings, had the two-fold effect of preserving him from all improper society, and of stimulating him to exertions, which by keeping his mind upon the full stretch, might prevent its reverting too much, to the happy home he had left.

But in this case unhappily, motives such as these, good and creditable as they might be in themselves, could not have found a worse breast, wherein to be implanted. They too much coincided with some of those principles of his nature, which had already been productive of the melancholy results, detailed in this history — and the readiness evinced by many, as well as Mr. Crecy, to take him by the hand in affairs of business, presented increased facilities, which it would have been far better for him, had they been withheld. The same wicked, malevolent spirit, that had originally led unfavourable representations with respect to him, to be made to the English Government, still continued to animate the leaders of the party, and perpetually occasioned statements to be made, bearing upon the treatment he received, and which required all the care and watchfulness possible on his part, so to meet and counteract, as to prevent his being sacrificed, a victim to such unworthy principles.

A second year had thus glided away, certainly flattering to him in many respects, although the horizon of his destiny was still clouded. Emily had done all that could be expected of so good a wife, under the circumstances that attended their painful separation. She was his correspondent by every opportunity that was presented, constantly repeating her readiness to join him, the moment he told her she might do so with propriety. Already therefore, had hope dispelled much of the recollection of the past, and in the flattering picture it drew for the future, little else than happiness appeared to await him. Notwithstanding the doom under which he had been banished from his native land, instances were of every day's occurrence to justify the expectation, that in a few years he might be in a situation to return to England, should it be his desire so to do; in


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the mean time, he was in one of the finest climates upon the surface of the globe — had conquered numerous difficulties by his energy and activity — had made many powerful friends — and been altogether void of offence, either in his compulsory duties, or in his private relations. Every letter to Emily was full of the many agreeable subjects, connected with this state of things — he described in glowing colours, the beautiful scenery that surrounded the residence he had provided for her — pourtrayed in fervid language, the individuals who had been most kind to him — descanted upon his pleasing prospects, so far as worldly concerns went — and re-echoed her own words, “But what is all this, whilst we are parted from each other?” Words she had lately used, when relating to her husband, in one of her letters, the endeavours made by her friends to dissipate, by every act of tenderness, the gloom and melancholy that were ever arising, from contemplating her state of half-widowhood. In good truth, she wanted nothing said to her as an inducement to undertake the long and fearful voyage, by which alone the anxious hopes of each could be attained; on the contrary, prudence rather needed some check upon her inclination, which would have almost prompted her departure, without waiting a summons from her husband; but, when not only his own communications, but the intelligence conveyed through other channels, all concurred in representing the respectable footing he had attained, and his favorable condition in general, every impediment vanished, and a letter from Mr. Clifton announced to Quintus, the agreeable intelligence that, Emily and his grandson were to embark in a vessel then about to sail for the Southern Hemisphere, and that he might thus hope in the course of a few weeks, once more to see the two beings, to whom, more than all others in the world, he was most dearly attached.

Emily was well aware, for she had been told so, not only by her husband but by others, that upon her arrival in the Colony, she would have to share the disgrace and obloquy, attached to his fallen fortunes. She was apprised that few houses would be open to her, for that, the line of demarcation, which the customs of society had established, would extend to her as Quintus's wife, excluding them both, as well as their child, from any interchange of civilities, common among well-bred persons. But she had been also told, that there were some that had minds superior to such prejudices; and in this number was one who, possessing as he afterwards did, a material influence on Quintus's chequered fate, deserves an introduction to the reader's acquaintance.

His name was Leicester, and he belonged to the class of free emigrants, among whom he was distinguished, less by his station


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in life or by his riches, than by the various and sterling excellencies of character, pourtrayed in all his actions. He was a man who respected good qualities, wherever he found them; — who delighted to cherish the latent seeds of a restoration to the paths of virtue, even though they were exhibited by a convict; — who took pride in extending the hand of protection and encouragement to his erring fellow creatures — who knew the depraved tendency of our nature, and fully participated in that beautiful expression which illustrates the joy felt on high, at a sinner's repentance — and who entertained and acted upon the conviction that, it was each man's duty to open as widely as possible the gate leading to so desirable an end as reformation.

Like some others, he had formed a favourable opinion of Quintus, but was not blind to his faults or failings; and among the latter, the active restlessness of his mind, the towering grandeur of his projects, and the extent of his operations, occasioned him sometimes regret, as well as disquietude. He often admired his adroitness in managing intricate cases — was frequently struck with his manner of accomplishing his designs, but was still more attracted towards him by the uniform correctness of his private life — by his strict morality — and by his evident entire devotion to his absent wife. His house was therefore always open to him — he was ever a welcome guest there, call when he would — far from considering himself disgraced by the acquaintance, he ever spoke and acted differently — and whenever the advice of a friendly counsellor was sought, it was bestowed with sound judgment, and thorough integrity. In this excellent man's wife, was found an able and cheerful coadjutor in her husband's line of conduct — she could not but admire the manner in which Quintus avoided the blandishments he was exposed to, knowing as she did, that he was shielded from all of them, by his attachment to Emily; and, although she was less acquainted with his other points of character, that alone, in such a breast as hers, where hymen's torch had long burnt with its brighest lustre, was fully sufficient to induce a strong sentiment of goodwill, and to lead to a ready acquiescence in the friendly attentions, which her husband took pleasure in bestowing.

There were several others, who perhaps felt towards Quintus, similarly to the Leicesters; but some were unwilling to brave the opinion of the world — others, were loth to be too prominent in departing from established usage, although civil and hospitable, if chance threw him in their way — so that, from one cause or other, so many things had operated in his favor, that when Mr. Clifton's letter arrived, bringing the joyful intelligence that Emily was on the point of embarkation, he had abundant reason for self


  ― 317 ―
gratulation upon the reception he thought he had provided her — he proudly looked around him, and fancied how comfortable she would find every thing — what kind friends would greet her — kind, although perhaps, not quite so elevated in circumstances, as some she would have left, but proved to be sincere, by that most trying of all tests, disinterestedness; for surely, a man so situated as Quintus, had good right to consider those disinterested, who, spurning all prejudice, and leaping over a line of demarcation, established by society, shewed him kindness and friendship, for himself alone. And such were the persons, last introduced to the reader's notice.




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Chapter VI

MIRANDA.—Oh! I have suffered
With those that I saw suffer—a brave vessel
Who had no doubt some noble creatures in her,
Dash'd all to pieces.

PROSPERO.—Be collected.
No more amazement — tell your piteous heart,
There's no harm done.

TEMPEST

Enough has been already said of Emily's devotedness to her husband, to render it nowise difficult to be conceived that, when the time for her embarkation to join him was finally arranged, she scarcely thought of, or applied herself to, any other subject. She who, through many trying occasions, had so admirably acted as a wife, could not possibly be other than an affectionate sister, or a most dutiful daughter; and it was not without many a tear, and many a heartfelt pang, that a separation was now contemplated by the kind relatives, with whom she had continued to reside, after Quintus had left England.

But although she loved all these very dearly, she loved her husband still more so; and, although from her infancy, she had always felt an indescribable horror at the water, so much so indeed, that rather than cross an inconsiderable ferry in travelling, she had often made a circuit of twenty miles by land, all apprehensions vanished before the delight that took possession of her breast, when she pictured to herself the renewed society of him, to whom she had plighted her affianced troth.

The feelings of regret which were so natural to her friends, when the long, long voyage she meditated was considered, could not therefore be other than mingled with admiration at the firmness, wherewith she resolved to brave all its dangers and difficulties, and at the exemplary constancy that governed its end and object. It was accordingly the endeavour of one and all, that she should go in a way fitting to her deserts, and to the station in society she had ever maintained; and it became a principal part of their anxieties to select for her such a vessel, and under such a master, as were likely to ensure as comfortable a passage, and as free from the usual horrors of the sea, as possible.

The character of a Captain Anselm, who commanded the Dawson, then about to sail, was found upon enquiry to be a sufficient


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guarantee for the reasonable expectation that, Emily would have little to apprehend from any of the causes, which too often attend a voyage, rendering it, of the many miseries of human life, one of the principal; and it was settled for her to join the vessel at Plymouth on a given day, that had been at length fixed for her final departure.

It was the middle of winter, when, all preparations being thus completed, Emily and her boy took leave of the family circle in which they had dwelt, and commenced their journey to the distant outport, where the vessel was to touch. The painful word, “farewell,” had passed like a solemn knell around the sorrowing group — each member, bathed in tears, had been anxious to obtain the last embrace — the “one kiss more, dearest Emily, do let me have one more, my darling Olivant” had severally been uttered by each, when the carriage drove to the door and Mr. Clifton reluctantly tearing his daughter and grandson from those, who were still clinging to them, although himself shewing little more composure than the others, led them towards it, and hastily handing them in, the door was closed, and the rapidly revolving wheels had soon far removed them from a spot, endeared by so many tender remembrances.

As they left the town, and their route opened upon the dreary and dismal prospect of a wide, open country, covered with snow, various recollections, connected with the last sad occasion, when, at about the same season of the year, Emily, her son, and her parents had travelled in a similar manner, to bid Quintus farewell, upon his projected departure for America, crept over the minds of the party, and produced a chill at the heart, that effectually destroyed conversation. Even Olivant, who was become a lively, sensible boy, exhibiting knowledge and acquirements beyond his years, and was often a most agreeable companion, partook of the general dulness, and seldom a word was spoken, calculated to dispel the starting tear, which stood in the corner of the eye, the certain index of strong internal emotion. After journeying two days, and part of a third, the distant glimpse of Mount Edgcumbe, with the peep now and then obtained of the mighty ocean, appearing more like the serene stillness of a lake, than displaying any part of its real character, intimated to the travellers that their journey was nearly ended; and the same sort of feeling that lays hold on us, when, towards the close of summer, we contemplate some of its departing beauties, and participate from the heart in the sentiments so sweetly expressed by minstrelsy, in the “Last Rose of Summer,” imperceptibly stole across the mind of each, and intimated with sufficient clearness, that the approaching moments of final separation, would be abundantly distressing. As the carriage still advanced, and they


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caught a nearer view of the place, noticed the romantic situation of the Saltram Woods, now thickly studded with hoary icicles, in exchange for the many varied hue of the recent autumnal clothing, which had again succeeded by its golden tints, to summer verdure, saw at a distance several gigantic men-of-war, some riding quietly at anchor, others under easy sail as they were coming in for reequipment, whilst for a nearer object they had a sight of the ramparts of the citadel, well fortified against foreign aggressors, and Olivant was in vain racking his memory to recall sufficient of the particular appearance of the Dawson, to enable him to discover which was her, from among two or three hundred sail of merchantmen, Mr. Clifton took his daughter's hand, and said, “We shall soon be parted, my dearest Emily, but God cannot but approve your undertaking and will, I am sure, bless and protect you. I resign you to his care until you are again with your husband, and afterwards, I trust you will find Quintus an instrument, in God's hands, for your peace and protection, and that He will have you both, under his special guidance. It is a painful sacrifice we are making, my child, but our duty requires it, and we must not repine.”

Emily's heart was too full to make a reply, but her eyes spoke for her most eloquently, and presently Olivant observed, “I am sure grandpapa, my mamma and I are very sorry to leave you, but only think of my poor dear papa, so far off, and all by himself. I am so glad I am going to see him; an't you mamma?”

Emily could only say with a half whisper, as she kissed her child, “Yes, indeed I am,” and turning to her father, added, resting her head upon his bosom as she spoke, “But I wish I was not obliged to leave you Sir, yet Quintus is my husband, and I must go to him.”

“Go to him, my child, go to him, and go with my blessing,” he fervently replied. “I hope he will know your worth, and treat you as you deserve, but he will have a difficult task.”

“Oh, no—he will not,” said Emily, “I know him so well that I am not afraid of his behaviour to me—I am sure he is very sorry for all the pain he has ever occasioned us, and I do not fear its repetition.”

“Nor do I, Emily,” answered this worthy father of an excellent daughter, “I do not fear that he will ever be otherwise than kind to you — his unfortunate circumstances are all that I dread; but God is wise and good — we must trust in him, and hope that virtue, such as yours, will not go unrewarded — but here we are my love, at the inn door — once more, I say, may God bless you all.”

Many hours had not elapsed after their alighting from the carriage, when it was announced by the waiter, that a gentleman wished to be admitted, and presently the master of the vessel was introduced.


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He was in the prime of life, civil, well-behaved, and tolerably courteous. He had not many of the vulgarities peculiar to the wagoners of the deep — on the other hand, he wanted that polish, alone to be obtained by mingling with well-bred society. There was a neatness in his dress and general appearance, that was rather pleasing; and upon the whole, the report that had reached Mr. Clifton in his favor, was fully confirmed by this interview, and any lurking anxieties he might have felt, as to the safety of the precious charge about to be entrusted to him, were fully allayed. Captain Anselm had called to acquaint them, that on the following morning, at day break, the vessel would weigh anchor, and recommend Emily to go on board that evening; but, desirous of remaining to the latest moment with her father, this was overruled, and it was settled that, so soon as the next dawn should break, a boat was to be in waiting to convey her to the ship, so that the travellers were left to themselves, for the remainder of the evening.

The next morning at an early hour, all was in motion connected with the approaching embarkation. Neither of them had slept well, their restless slumbers having been partly disturbed by the noise, incidental to an inn — partly by the state of their anxious thoughts, and partly, by the slow, solemn murmur of the deep, as it responded to the hollow rustling wind, through the old fashioned casements and chimnies of the house, creating a sort of sound that is sometimes fearfully awful, and not unusually a presage of bad weather. As the grey streaks of the morn were tardily chasing the gloom of night, the jagged and broken appearance of the clouds, when the sun feebly rose above the horizon, occasioned an instinctive apprehension of a coming storm, in the minds both of Mr. Clifton and Emily; but they said little, and being shortly summoned to the boat, as the vessel was already under weigh, Emily leant upon her father's arm, and with a trembling step, proceeded to the water's edge. A few minutes sufficed to place her upon the deck of the Dawson, when, taking the last farewell of her father, and once more receiving his benediction, the word of command was given, by which the previously flapping sails were quickly filled, and ere one half the inhabitants of the town had risen from their couches, Emily and her child were rapidly leaving their native land.

As the forenoon advanced, the fearful signs of the heavens became less equivocal — nevertheless, the wind continued fair, and although the pilot every now and then cast his eyes aloft, and ordered another, and then another reef to be taken up in the foresail, altogether clewed the mainsail, had taken in the studding sails, and all the top-gallants, running the vessel under no more canvas than was merely enough to carry her along, little else than a squall was


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anticipated, and as the ship was now steadily losing sight of the land, not a fear as to any thing serious, was entertained.

Still, the sea gulls and other birds continued by their piteous noises, to testify their knowledge of the approaching war of elements — still, they continued hurrying forwards towards the shore, flapping with widely extended wings against the vain efforts of rude Boreas, in arrest of their progress. Hour after hour was thus numbered, the aspect of the horizon becoming in each, more threatening than before — the sky rapidly assumed more and more overcast blackness — the wind rattled fearfully through the rigging — and the whole scene became one of awful grandeur, when a flash of lightning at a distance, followed by a slow, solemn, rumbling clap of thunder, gave the first sure token of what might be expected, and was almost instantaneously succeeded by a gust of wind from the south-west, so sudden, so unexpected, and so terrible, as nearly to baffle the helmsman's skill, and to throw the vessel on her beam ends. A terrific gale from an adverse quarter now seemed certain. The doubtful half light of a wintry evening, was soon lost under the mantle of a night, so dark, dreary, and appalling, as almost to shake the stoutest heart, and to create the most gloomy apprehensions. Meanwhile, the lightning was each instant more and more vivid, darting its rays along the heavens, in that long, narrow, forked shape, known by sad experience to be ever fraught with danger, and closely followed by thunder, that seemed to shake the earth to its very centre, and to make its inmost recesses speak. The sea ran mountains high, acted upon as it now was by a gale from the south west, that forced it upon the shore with tremendous violence, whence it instantly recoiled with a turmoil, more frightful than can be well conceived. The raging billows broke over the deck in rapid succession, carrying away every thing before them. Water casks, fowl coops, and all the other usual lumber, by which the decks of merchant vessels are crowded, broke from their lashings, and added to the universal scene of terror and confusion. It was indeed an awful night, well calculated to excite alarm. For two or three hours, it had been utterly impossible to keep the ship within many points of her course, nor was there any light or beacon, save that of the continued flashes of liquid flame, with which the heavens were teeming, whereby a correct judgment could be formed of their distance from the land. To add to the dismay of the navigators, a strong tide was now setting in towards shore, and which, coming in aid of the wind, presented the almost inevitable prospect of being driven upon some of the rocks, by which the entrance to Plymouth Harbour is flanked. Emily had retired to her cabin immediately upon going on board, and notwithstanding their alarming situation, her


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presence of mind never forsook her, but she awaited the issue of this dreadful scene, with calm resignation and fortitude. When nearly every hope had forsaken them, all endeavours to keep out at sea having been baffled, as the most skilful efforts of the sailors seemed ineffectual in counteracting the power of the wind, Captain Anselm knocked at her cabin door, and said, “I fear madam, we shall be unable to save the vessel — she is driving in upon the coast — but be ready at a moment's notice, for if any one person on board be saved, it shall be you. God, madam, may do something for us, but I fear we are beyond the help of man.”

“He will save us! He will save us!” wildly exclaimed Emily; “but never mind me, Captain Anselm, take care of my darling boy, and if God pleases to take me, I shall then die contented.”

“Be calm and tranquil, my dear madam, I beseech you,” replied the master, “I will save you both, or perish in the attempt; but I must not stay talking — be both of you ready to come to me, the moment I call you.”

So soon as the Captain had left her, she besought of that fountain of grace and mercy, which is ever open to us, to take compassion on their helpless condition, and to give her strength to walk through this valley of the shadow of death — nor were her prayers disregarded. The middle watch of the night was now past, and the admirable management and exertion of the pilot, and all others on board, had still protracted the momentarily dreaded crash, which would inevitably have sealed the fate of many who were now in the full strength and vigour of their days. “If we can but keep her off the rocks till day light,” said an old sailor, “there's none of us 'll breakfast in Old Davie's locker, after all, I'm thinking;” and, as the crisis was still delayed, and the tempest, having spent much of its rage, was now gradually subsiding, a glimmering of hope was admitted by all into their bosoms, and the endeavours to keep from drifting inwards, were redoubled. At length after unparalleled efforts, the dawn was slightly visible, as it succeeded the shades of this miserable night; and still the ship floated — but presently, as the light somewhat increased, the pilot upon looking round, saw that their situation was yet alarmingly awful, as they were within a short distance of some tremendous breakers; and had not the storm just now abated, a few minutes would have opened a watery grave to every person on board. It was now also discovered, that the vessel would no longer answer the helm; and passing, almost by a miracle, within a few yards of this appalling spot, she gradually drifted towards shore, the wind yet blowing a hurricane, and, although every sail was furled, she continued to be thus propelled, until all at once, she came broadside foremost upon a rocky part of


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the beach, and in a few minutes had fallen over upon one side, a complete broken-backed wreck. Fortunately the communication with the land was easy, and every person was speedily disembarked with entire safety. Nearly the whole of the cargo was destroyed, but in the providential escape that had been experienced, the loss of property was a secondary consideration. All felt sufficiently thankful for the boon which had been vouchsafed; and more than one stirred not from the spot, until their effusions of gratitude had been poured forth to Him, at whose word alone, the foaming billows had been stilled, the boisterous winds hushed, and the darkness of the night removed, in time to continue in the land of the living, nearly a hundred beings, who seemed a few hours previously, devoted to destruction. The effects of this tremendous storm were not confined to the wreck of the Dawson, but were felt by many of the vessels in the harbour, several having parted from their anchors, and been driven on the rocks; and the large trunks of trees that lay on the ground, torn up by the roots, as though they had been mere shrubs — the unroofed cottages which were passed—and the shattered and distracted appearance of all around, denoted plainly enough, the extent of the devastation, committed by the late tumult of the Heavens.

Emily bore up with her usual strength of mind, under this inauspicious commencement of a voyage, upon which she had long placed her fondest hopes. We sometimes hear of a species of superstitious feeling, by which, when persons share in any general calamity, such as had now befallen her, they are apt to apply it as a sort of augury to themselves, forgetting how many others, might equally do the same, and that, it is impossible it can affect all, although perhaps, it may now and then chance to appear fitted to a particular case. Those who have a proper sense of the Supreme Being, well know it to be inconsistent, either with his goodness, or his relative connexion with the children of men, to involve many, in any measure of punishment, that may particularly bear as such, upon one or two. He has other means, more suited to each necessity. — He produces his own ends, in his own way — and, when he rides upon the tempest, and pillows upon the storm, when he makes the mountains speak, and the earth part asunder, let not the vain presumptuous man who is permitted to see the grandeur of the passing scene, entertain the idea, that so insignificant a worm as himself, has any influence upon the hand, by which it is guided. It may reach his heart, and bid him quake and tremble, how he offend such omnipotence, and this it should do; but, it would be the height of presumption, were he to fancy, as there are some wicked enough, and foolish enough to do, that himself, or his concerns are pointed


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at, by such displays of God's all-ruling power. — Emily was one of those who viewed this subject in its proper light. Some perhaps, would have been deterred, from farther thinking of an undertaking, upon which Heaven had appeared to frown — but with her, a very different conclusion was formed — for she felt she had been preserved by God's goodness alone, — she felt that, twice had her husband been saved from the jaws of death, and notwithstanding all the ills by which they were still beset, she farther felt that having been joined together in the sight of Heaven, the same Heaven that gave them to one another, had yet preserved them for each other.

Upon her return to the inn, which she had left under such different circumstances, four and twenty hours previously, she found her father anxiously awaiting the intelligence, that was now to be so interestingly communicated; for, as the sky had continued lowering and heavy throughout the preceding day — as, each time he had taken a survey of the dense body of clouds which had gathered, one after the other, each more black and portending than its fellow — or as, strolling upon the water's edge, even the bracing sea air was insufficient to counteract the effects upon the frame, of the general depression of the atmosphere — or again, as the wind whistled with sepulchral tones, through the lofty evergreens of Mount Edgecombe, he was unable to divest himself of alarm for the fate of his beloved daughter — he could not shake from his mind, the apprehension of an impending storm — and often and often did he wish, they had not embarked. He found it impossible therefore to leave the spot, until this dreadful crisis of anxiety was over; and, as every thing rather tended to increase, than diminish his solicitude, towards the close of the day, he determined to postpone his departure until the next morning, when, should no unfavourable tidings be received, he might hope that much of his disquietude might be removed.

The meeting of these near and dear relatives, was such as might have been expected, looking at the character of each. After some of the first gratulations had been exchanged, Mr. Clifton observed, “I fear my love, Heaven does not smile upon your work — all ideas of the voyage for the present must be over; and so soon as we see the extent of the mischief, with respect to the property you had on board, we will return to Mapleton. — It is indeed a sad termination of our journey. — This is the second time, my dear child, when an unpropitious issue has attended our expeditions connected with Quintus — I fear you must not think of another.”

“Do not for a moment say a word of the sort, my dear father,” Emily replied. “I never will believe that Heaven will refuse its sanction to my joining my husband; and, if I were wrecked ten


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times over, I would persevere as long as I had life, until I was again with him. What otherwise can I do, when I consider how he is circumstanced? No! my dear father — I must and will go to him — I must write to him directly, and tell him what has happened, and that he may still expect me. I am sure you will not urge me to the contrary, but will do as you have before done, and now help me to look out for some other ship.”

“I certainly shall not oppose your desires, my dearest child,” said Mr. Clifton — “but Quintus will be sadly in debt to you. We will stay here a day or two, and see what happens; perhaps Captain Anselm will proceed in some other vessel, and I should certainly like to have you under his charge.” — He then paused for a moment and added, “It is grievous to be parted from such a daughter, but God forbid that I should ever seek to separate man and wife.”

The tear glistened in Emily's eye, as her father thus spoke; but she endeavoured to rally her spirits, and replied with a smile, “If you think so highly of my society, Sir, what must my poor husband feel, without it! You know you have many daughters, but he has but one wife.”

“And I only hope he will ever know the worth of that wife,” answered her father. “If he do, much of the pain he has occasioned us, will be atoned — I cannot say Emily, that I fear him, yet man is little to be trusted, and it would almost break my heart, if I were hereafter to hear that, he treated you with neglect or unkindness.”

“And it would quite break mine, Sir, but I have not the least fear. We have been long enough married to know one another pretty well by this time, and besides, haven't I often heard you say, that it greatly depends upon the wife, what the husband is like? — and when you have been complimented as a husband, haven't you replied, that the merit belonged to Mamma, and not to yourself, for that it was impossible to be otherwise than kind to her?”

“Ah! my child,” he replied, “you are like your excellent mother. — When you are determined to carry a point, it is useless arguing with you — either by our weapons, or your own, you are sure to conquer us. — Whatever course you take, will, I am sure, receive my approbation, and I can only farther say, I am indeed proud I have such children, as your Mamma and I are blessed with.”

Emily was somewhat apprehensive, until this interview with her father, that he might have endeavoured to discourage her from prosecuting the voyage, after its late unfortunate commencement. She was consequently greatly relieved by the general substance of his conversation; for, notwithstanding her own mind was decidedly made up, the principles of duty and affection to her parents, which she had imbibed from her earliest years, would have made her loth


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to act upon her own judgment or inclination, when not fully meeting their concurrence; on the other hand, her fixed and strong attachment to Quintus, exceeded even the dutiful regard she bore her parents.

So buoyant and elastic is the human mind that, thinking nothing of the occurrences of the last few hours, in consideration that the greater evil had been avoided, the little party soon resumed much of its natural cheerfulness, and when, towards the latter part of the day, Captain Anselm paid them a visit, an indifferent byestander might have imagined their conversation to have referred to the termination of some prosperous voyage, rather than the sad event that had befallen them.

Mr. Clifton and Emily derived great satisfaction from being told, by Captain Anselm, that he intended immediately to equip another vessel, and that it would be ready in a few weeks. He offered to send letters by a ship, then upon the point of sailing, which would give the first intimation to Quintus of the cause of the detention; and upon the whole, they had cause to hope, that the lapse of a few months, would eventually be the principal extent of their misfortune. They learnt from him that very little, if any, of the cargo would be saved; but as insurance had been effected on all that belonged to Emily, this again was comparatively of little importance — and having made an engagement to renew the voyage, when he might be ready to proceed, in the course of a few days they returned to Mapleton, where Emily quietly resumed her place under her parents' roof, instead of being as she had fully expected, upon the mighty ocean. So little do we know from one day to the other, what is before us.




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Chapter VII

“And so no man that hath a name,
But falsehood and corruption doth it shame.”

COMEDY OF ERRORS

From about the time that, according to Quintus's calculations with respect to the voyage, he thought he might fairly reckon upon its termination, he counted the hours, nay, almost the minutes, that were to bring him to the goal of his happiness. But day after day succeeded each other, yet still no Dawson. Constantly did he ascend a steep hill upon the coast, that commanded an extensive view over the surrounding ocean, and resting his telescope upon some stump or tree, so as to afford a steady sight, would he fix his eye attentively upon the mighty expanse before him, and carefully watch to discover the little speck upon the horizon which, first resembling a bird floating on the waters, gradually increases to the view, until by little and little, its real character becomes developed, the white sails affording decisive proof that it is a vessel. When this hoped-for result had, now and then, rewarded his anxiety, the next consideration would be, the bearings and size of the object; and more than one occasion having arisen, when the representations that had been made with respect to the Dawson, happened to correspond in many essentials, with what was thus presented to him, his hopes and expectations had risen for the moment to a height, only to increase the poignancy of the subsequent disappointment, in a ten-fold degree.

At length, after many weeks of this distressing suspense, a letter from Emily revealed to him the cause of the delay, but also telling him that it would be temporary only, as another vessel was nearly ready, by whch she purposed renewing the voyage.

Although, after having as he had supposed, the cup of bliss, that he had been contemplating with the whole force of his mind, for the last three years, so near his lips, he could ill brook its being again dashed from them, even for a short while, there was so much cause of rejoicing in the consideration that Emily and his boy had escaped the perils of shipwreck, and were now probably a second time on their way to join him, that he was soon enabled to become reconciled to the event, and to learn from it how much, even in our greatest calamities, we have cause to be thankful, that they are visited upon us by a hand, that is guided by unerring goodness and mercy.




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But at this time, his own affairs were prolific in their calls upon the energies of his mind, and demanded his utmost care and attention. Representation after representation had continued to be made in allusion to him, to the Home Government, and notwithstanding that nearly every thing so said, was utterly groundless, and that the whole offence either committed by, or through him, was that, a stirring spirit of industry in whatever he undertook, gave him leisure which was not enjoyed by others, and that he occupied this leisure in pursuits that set an example to certain free emigrants, which they could by no means brook at the hands of a convict, every opportunity was industriously laid hold on, to ground allegations against the indulgence it was said that he received; although it was well known even by the very parties themselves, who were most clamorous upon the subject, that he had never been exempted from the strictest course of official duties, that attached to persons in his unfortunate situation. By having long considered him in the light of a cause of offence of this nature, he became by degrees, perfectly obnoxious to some of the party; and coute qui coute, his destruction had long been resolved upon.

In one way or other therefore, the gathering storm had for some time been assuming a more and more threatening aspect; and at about the time when he had been first taught to expect Emily, his career of seeming prosperity was changed, and disaster after disaster followed quickly upon each other, each exceeding that before it, in severity. Nor was this all. The demands made upon his time and thoughts with regard to his own affairs, urgent as they were, were not suffered an undivided place in his breast; for Mr. Crecy, who had uniformly continued towards him a steady patronage, had now occasion for a very full portion of all the best and most useful faculties he possessed, arising from some very important circumstances, that bore immediately upon himself.

It was the misfortune of this gentleman to be connected in England with certain individuals who, though eminent for rank, station and wealth, were not by any means persons fitted to engage in an enterprise, such as that in which they were concerned. They had adopted a parcel of strange, visionary notions, with regard to the distant clime in which they had thought proper to obtain an interest, and almost associating the properties of Aladdin's wonderful lamp, with what they expected was to be the result of treading the earth there, had already pictured to themselves laps full of riches, as the immediate effect of the measures they had undertaken. Time soon undeceived them, and taught them that there was a great and expensive work to be performed, in laying the foundation, ere the superstructure could be raised, from which alone, their anticipated


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wealth was to flow. What followed? Mistaking causes and effects, smarting under the difference between paying and receiving, and willing to wreak upon another, the punishment due to their own folly, they conceived the notion that it was mismanagement abroad, to which their ill success was owing, and acting with a similar precipitancy to what had marked many of their other proceedings, dispatched an agent to the Colony, commissioned to supersede Mr. Crecy, and to dissolve the connexion.

Upon many accounts however, this was no very easy matter; for that gentleman being a partner, having originally been the chief cause of forming the establishment, and pursuing plans, which a thorough acquaintance with the nature of the place fully sanctioned, much negotiation was necessary, before this agent's powers were even recognized — and still more, before any steps could be taken, towards accomplishing the object he had in view. In all the discussions and deliberations that ensued, Quintus now had to take part; for having been long consulted by Mr. Crecy upon many points that had relieved him from a dry detail he disliked, and left him at more liberty to follow the bent of his mind in active operations, there were questions perpetually arising, which none could answer so well as himself. Hence, not a move was made without his knowledge, and Mr. Crecy's adversaries found themselves repeatedly foiled, in a manner they had little expected. It so chanced that the legal gentleman who was opposed to Mr. Crecy, was one, with whom Quintus had had many transactions; and latterly, a mutual dissatisfaction had occasioned their regarding each other, with no very friendly feelings. The differences between Mr. Crecy and the other party, not admitting of an amicable adjustment, now shortly partook of the characteristics of a personal quarrel; and as this became fomented by circumstances, it was not reasonable to expect that a man, situated as was Quintus, could hope to avoid the obloquy, attempted to be thrown upon his patron. The lawyer who was employed by the agent, thus took every opportunity to vilify and abuse him. Like a skilful commander who, having carefully inspected the enemy's line, directs his attack upon that point the least defensible, did he commence by levelling insinuations at Quintus, with reference to his share in Mr. Crecy's councils — first, in a sort of half-whisper, accompanied by a shrug of the shoulder, and afterwards less equivocally — uttering such expressions as, “It is a pity Mr. Crecy is in such hands — if he knew as much of him as I do, he'd kick him to the devil,” with others of a similar tendency. In time, leaven of this nature became mixed with the general mass, imparting its properties to the whole — and by degrees, some of Mr. Crecy's friends, who had hitherto always admired Quintus's faithful


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regard to that gentleman's interests, were tainted by the injurious impression so created, in the end, adopting and acting upon the belief that, many of the occasions of dispute between that gentleman and his partners, had chiefly arisen from Quintus's mismanagement of business that had been entrusted to him. Time however, fully revealed how base and unworthy, how utterly groundless, was the calumny.

Notwithstanding the partial success that thus attended the lawyer's insinuations, since for the time, they certainly shook the confidence that had been reposed in Quintus, the vast service of the knowledge he possessed, upon every point connected with his patron's affairs, his readiness in answering every question that was put to him, and his occasional suggestions as the business proceeded, were too highly appreciated, to allow Mr. Crecy's advisers either to exclude him from their deliberations, or in any other manner to treat him with less apparent attention than formerly; but he was not so unskilled in human nature, as not quickly to discern that he was suspected, to say the least —— and nothing but the sense of duty he owed Mr. Crecy, prevented him from exhibiting his mortification, by withdrawing with disgust. He saw and felt however, that he would yet be indispensable upon certain points of the utmost importance, and therefore resolved to brave all obloquy, and to trust to the event, for having justice done to his character. He had besides, another powerful motive for this course. One or two of Mr. Crecy's friends, continued his warm supporters and staunch advocates. One there was especially, whom upon every account he most highly esteemed and admired, and for whom, he would have delighted in any exertion, either of mind or body, that could have produced him the least benefit. A man of the world, a gentleman, in the full and true meaning of the term, humane, benevolent, and mild — in a word, the noblest work of God, a good man — holding a dignified situation, which he used more to promote the happiness of others, than his own aggrandizement, he had long had his eye upon Quintus, nor was his opinion of, or feelings towards him to be changed, by the evil repute of a designing party. He penetrated their motives, and treated their insinuations with the contempt they deserved; nor did he fail from time to time to put him upon his guard, and to assure him of his steady protection. He once addressed him in a note as follows:—“It has been represented by Forceps and others, that you have ruined the concern, and their agent is extremely hostile to you. I have said, I am sure there is nothing which you cannot explain, but you must be prepared for the worst. Mr. Crecy will support you as far as possible, but as you have so many powerful and active enemies, who all contend that you are solely to blame, with respect


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to the present state of affairs, I fear it must be upon yourself and your own explanations, that you must rest your chief dependence for justice — you should claim not to be condemned unheard. While I stand, I will support you, for I believe you to be a faithful and honest, although a most unfortunate man.”

When his state at this moment is fully considered, it must assuredly be admitted that these words were well applied, and that he was indeed a most unfortunate man. Alone, as it were, in a distant clime, without one to whom he was bound by the tie of kindred — without one by whom his hours of anxiety and misery could be soothed — degraded in rank and society — enrolled among burglars, highwaymen, and other criminals, in the one, sweeping, comprehensive term, CONVICT — he found that the very means he had carefully been using, during three years of toil and labour, under the vain hope of regaining some of his lost ground, had availed nothing, and that the fabric he had raised, mouldered and fell into dust, the very moment that it was most needed. That which would have gained him applause, had he been free, was converted into an offence by his bonds. — The very persons, whose duty it was to have rallied around him, and to have formed an invincible phalanx for his protection, too readily adopted an unfavourable bias, upon slight grounds; — and to complete his measure of misfortune, he had reason to believe that Mr. Crecy himself, lent his ear at times, to the reports now circulated to his prejudice, and like others, began to consider them as well founded. Of all those, who but a short time previously had ranked themselves his partizans, few remained thoroughly true to him; but in this number it must be owned were some, whose good opinion he had been taught by experience, most highly to value. Nevertheless, the constant and unwearying solicitude he was called upon to endure, was almost too much for him — his mind was ever in a ferment, incapable of performing all that was required of it — the difficulties of his own situation, arising from the bonds he wore, and forgetting which for a time, he had undertaken tasks, that none even, but very active and persevering free agents, could have hoped successfully to have performed — and latterly, the unfortunate state of affairs with respect to Mr. Crecy — all this together, so wore and harassed him, that instead of hoping for, he absolutely dreaded, the arrival of Emily, until some of the clouds that now encompassed him, might have been dispelled; but time waits for no man, nor does it otherwise study man's convenience; and it was now hastening with rapid wings, the full accomplishment of all that had been foretold when the Gipsy said, “Warn him from his cradle of from thirty to forty.” But, let us not anticipate.




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The Governor of the Colony at that day, was a man, in every respect well qualified for the high trust that was reposed in him. Combining an accurate knowledge of human nature, with great skill and tact in the difficult art of ruling, it was his delight to foster and cherish good behaviour, in all whom he governed, holding forth every possible encouragement towards reformation, but visiting with unrelenting severity, hardened offenders. Amiable in his private relations, he noticed with favour, a similar quality in others. His good will was always drawn towards those, who had strength of mind sufficient to withstand the temptations of bad company; and although, the parties themselves were frequently unaware of having attracted his notice, they were sure, in some way or other, to feel its beneficial effects. The husband that remained faithful to his absent wife — or the son that was dutiful to his far distant parents, never escaped his observation, let their state be ever so lowly. He was besides, an excellent judge of merit, seldom suffering his estimation of men or things, to be hoodwinked by interest or party spirit; and was endowed by that sort of firmness, which in the end, is ever sure to subdue factious opposition. In a word, he was an upright Governor, and a good man.

From the opportunities he had had, of forming an opinion of Quintus, he had been inclined to shew him any little indulgence that came within the established regulations, and, so long as he had reason to know that he was punctual and attentive to his duties, he regarded, certainly with no disfavour, the struggles he was making, towards recovering his station in society. He knew the strong motive that actuated him, and he respected and admired conjugal love and devotion, equally in a criminal, as in his highest officer of state. The irreproachable tenor of Quintus's moral life, was matter of notoriety, and had assisted more than once, in obtaining for him favours, which would otherwise have been withheld. Had it therefore only depended upon this excellent man, a calamity which was now suspended over him, as it were by a single thread, would probably have been averted; but the heads of distant settlements, although nearly absolute in many respects, are still, but instruments in the hands of the Home Government, and ever subject to their orders. Quintus's name had been so long, and so often dinned into the ears of the Secretary of State — he had been so pertinaciously adhered to, by the faction in the Colony, as an instrument for destruction, that the great people in England at length became wearied of his very mention. — It was not to be endured that, their valuable time should be perpetually occupied by so insignificant a person; and it consequently happened that at the crisis, when, in a state of anxiety about his own affairs, he was nearly overwhelmed


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by the load that had been farther placed on his shoulders, through and by Mr. Crecy, orders arrived from Downing-street, for his removal from head-quarters to the interior, where he was to be deprived of every mark of favour, and placed upon a severe system of convict discipline.

The Governor viewed this order with regret — Emily's arrival, was now a second time daily expected, and, as it had long been the custom, when married men were joined by their wives, that the latter, in capacity of free settlers, claimed their husbands to be assigned to them, thus virtually removing many of the pains of transportation, Quintus had always anticipated with confidence, that this would be his lot, the moment Emily put her foot on shore. Not only was he justified in so doing, by long and almost invariable usage, but, on two or three occasions, he had received intimations of a nature, as he considered, to place the thing beyond uncertainty. It was upon the faith of this, that he had entered upon many of his enterprising pursuits, with the spirit and vigour that had marked his course. Upon the faith of this, he had formed many heavy engagements — incurred many liabilities — chalked out, and was steadily persevering in, many plans. It was the hope of this, that had proved his sheet-anchor, through his many troubles and difficulties, cheering and supporting him on his way, and enabling him to bear all, with undaunted resolution. The active nature of his present employments for Mr. Crecy, and the necessity of his being immediately at hand, to render aid in forwarding the progress of an arbitration, which had been finally resolved upon, between that gentleman and his partners, served for a short time, to retard the carrying into effect, this new and severe order; and as Quintus was wholly ignorant of what was impending over him, he still fruitlessly but courageously struggled with his difficulties. But the hand of power, when once uplifted against an individual, is seldom averted, though sometimes delayed a little; and so it now proved, with this child of accumulated misfortune.




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Chapter VIII

“Did I but purpose to embark with thee,
On the smooth surface of a summer sea;
And would forsake the skiff, and make the shore,
When the winds whistle, and the tempests roar?”

HENRY AND EMMA

While the state of affairs in the southern hemisphere, was of the nature described in the last chapter, Emily, little fancying how great a reverse had taken place in her husband's fortunes, was busy in her preparations for a second endeavour to join him — thinking the five months that had intervened since the last occasion, had been longer in passing, than any other similar period of her life. They came to an end however at last, and with them, every arrangement, upon which her re-embarkation was to depend.

Her eldest brother had for some years been a partner of one of the very first-rate solicitors of the day, and was upon a footing of intimacy with most of the leading members of the bar. It so chanced that one morning, shortly before Emily was to re-commence her voyage, he was engaged on professional business, with a Mr. Malvers, an eminent Chancery Barrister, and a pause in the conversation having arisen, the latter took advantage of it to say, “I must really run away from you to-day — the Secretary for the Colonies has just nominated my son Alverney, to a high law appointment in New South Wales, and I am to wait upon His Lordship at two, to which you see it just wants twenty minutes. I believe you know what sort of a person Alverney is. Every thing with him, must be done in a minute; and as he has learnt that there is a vessel called the Mornington to sail directly, nothing will do, but he must go by her. I am sure you will excuse me.”

“Certainly,” replied William Clifton; “I will call upon you again at any time you may name; but your mention of the Mornington must be my apology, if I endeavour to avail myself of it towards procuring your son's good offices, for two persons who are very dear to me, and who intend also proceeding by that vessel. My sister and her child are going to join the unfortunate Quintus Servinton, who is, as I believe you know, her husband — and I am very anxious that she should go as well protected as possible.”

“Nothing will give either my son or myself more heartfelt pleasure,” replied Mr. Malvers. “Alverney will be delighted to have


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so agreeable a charge. — Neither you nor I, Mr. Clifton, require to be told, that a virtuous, and well-educated woman, never needs any other protector than herself; but all that the nearest and dearest friend can do for another, Alverney will, I am sure, do upon my recommendation for your sister. Let me see you again to-morrow, and, in the mean time, I shall have told my son the pleasure that awaits him.”

Emily was none of those affected characters, who fancy that because they have bestowed upon one happy man, their entire, their undivided heart, they must necessarily treat all the rest of mankind with chilling indifference. She knew, as well as any woman in the world, how to repress the slightest approach to improper freedom; or rather, the eye that could melt into a bewitching softness, when beaming on her husband or her child, could assume a forbidding aspect, should the general sweetness of her countenance have chanced to attract, what might be deemed a somewhat bold, or scrutinizing glance, from any other person. Upon this occasion, the mention of Mr. Alverney Malvers's name, as her probable companion for a long voyage, was received in the manner that might have been expected, considering through what channels, the introduction was to come.

“I am ever obliged to you, my dear William,” she replied. “You are very kind; but do tell me, what sort of a man Mr. Alverney Malvers is. I know very well that people may become better acquainted in one day, on board ship, than in a month on shore; but some are little to be trusted, and it is as well to be put upon one's guard before hand.”

“From all I have ever heard of him, he is a man to whom I can have no hesitation in implicitly confiding yourself and Olivant — I know his father intimately; but not much of himself; and Mr. Malvers is so very superior, and high-minded a person, evinces such nice honour, and such scrupulous correctness in all his actions, that we may safely be assured, he would not allow me to speak to you favourably of his son, if he were at all undeserving — but there is nothing like cautious prudence as you say, so I will make some enquiry of one or two, with whom I know he is acquainted.”

“Oh! I know how to take pretty good care of myself, if need be,” replied Emily; “pray therefore do not take any farther trouble, for we cannot do wrong to be wholly governed by what such a person as Mr. Malvers says — at all events, his son may be useful to Quintus, who will perhaps need him more than I may, and that will be something. Do you know how old he is?”

“Not more than four or five and twenty I think,” said her brother. “I have heard say, that he is very religious; but I will make it my


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business to learn what he is like in all respects, and you shall know the result — you can then do as you chuse about being particularly introduced, and have only to express your wishes.”

With a truly fraternal solicitude, William Clifton took every means in his power, of acquainting himself with the character of the youthful protector, to whom a beloved sister was thus to be confided — for he well knew, that notwithstanding Emily's principles were her effectual safeguard, the opportunities of becoming annoying and troublesome, would be neither few nor inconsiderable, should a person be so inclined, after having been requested by her friends, to assume some interest with respect to her; and he was therefore unwilling to place these opportunities in the power of any one, by whom there was the least probability of their being abused. But every enquiry produced only one general answer, and this, upon the whole, was favourable. All, who knew the young barrister, agreed in representing him as a man of high honor and integrity — amiable, well-informed, and of great strength of character. Some there were, who added, that he entertained certain romantic notions, and was a bit of an enthusiast, either for, or against any cause he adopted — and others, who knew him still more intimately, whilst they were anxious to do justice to his good qualities, admitted that, if a few charged him with an overweening self-sufficiency upon certain occasions, it was, in a degree, well founded. The result however, was considered to be decidedly of that nature, to justify the prosecution of William's idea with regard to his sister; and Emily, glad to think there would be some one on board, with whom she might associate with less reserve than is allowable, among the usual chance-medley of sea passengers — one, of whom she might seek help, in the event of difficulty or danger — one, whose society might be expected to cheer the long and dreary interval before her, ere her fancied happiness could be reached, hailed the decision with real pleasure, and before she had ever seen Mr. Alverney Malvers, was prepossessed in his favour.

Their first introduction to each other, was a day or two only before the vessel was to sail, and was attended by circumstances, which, as well as his appearance, were rather calculated to add to the favourable idea of his character, already entertained. Of the middle height, and rather slender, his features were well formed and regular; but it was the superior of his face that was chiefly calculated to attract notice; the shape of his forehead indicating thought and intelligence, and his eyes, which were large and dark, being peculiarly expressive. Around his mouth, a very agreeable smile often played, imparting to his whole countenance, the most benign and amiable cast. He wore his hair, very full and luxuriant —


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shading his features by locks possessing a natural curl, and bestowing a softness, well suited to the bland, mild tones of his voice, which was extremely flexible, and under most perfect command.

It has been already said that a more than usual share of the romantic tinged his composition; and there was something in Emily's story, well calculated to excite this feeling, in a remarkable degree. A young, elegant, and virtuous female, with her son, proceeding upon so long a voyage, and with such an object as hers in view, especially after a shipwreck that would have deterred many from a second attempt, was of itself, sufficient to ensure in the bosoms of most, a high and touching interest. It may be well supposed therefore, that such a man as Alverney Malvers should have readily accepted the trust offered him, and that, when Emily and he became acquainted, he should have felt inclined to serve and oblige her, less in deference to the manner of their introduction, than as a tribute to her own merits.

“I hope Madam,” said he, “that you do not intend the distinction which has been conferred upon me, to be a mere idle compliment; but that it may be expressly understood before the voyage is commenced, whatever services may come within my power to render, are to be claimed by you, as a matter of right. I hope to become well acquainted too, with this young gentleman;” then approaching Olivant with great affability — “What say you, Master Servinton? will you enlist me, as well as your Mamma?”

“Olivant and I are both much obliged,” replied Emily; “but I fear my brother will have imposed a very troublesome task upon you. Yon know I believe, that we have already had a tolerable breaking in, of what the sea is like, and we hope we shall not be such bad sailors, as if we were now to embark for the first time. — That was indeed, a dreadful day and night.”

“It must have been awful in the extreme. — The courage you shew in again braving the elements, will, I have no doubt, be rewarded. I have heard much of your story, when I little expected I should ever have had the pleasure of your acquaintance, and I feel confident that God will bless you, and all belonging to you, for your sake. It is much more easy to admire, than to follow such an example as yours. You see I already speak to you like an old acquaintance, but I have heard so much of you from my friends, that I seem to have known you a long time. — I anticipate great pleasure too, from this young gentleman's society. — Has he been much at school?”

“He has never had any other than private tuition, and even this has not been so much as I could have wished,” replied Emily. “His papa's unfortunate situation is greatly against him; but he is tolerably


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grounded in many essentials. — He is a very good and orderly boy, extremely fond of his books, and wants little beyond good teaching; I hope there is a school fit for him in the Colony.”

“You must place him under my charge, during the voyage,” said Mr. Malvers. “It will beguile the time — help to brush up myself, and at least, will do him no harm. What do you say, Olivant, to three or four hours a day, devoted to, as in præsenti, and propria quæ maribus?”

“I shall like it very much, Sir.” Then pausing a little, Olivant continued, “Do you like fishing and shooting, Sir, for I am told we shall have lots of them during the voyage? Mamma has bought me two nice guns, and plenty of fishing tackle.”

“They are all good in their turn, and I daresay we shall manage very well together. To-morrow, at day-break, I believe Mrs. Servinton, we are to embark. I will do myself the honor of calling upon you, so soon as I know all is ready, and now, is there any thing I can do for you, in the mean time?”

“Nothing, I thank you. All my luggage is on board, excepting three or four packages, for which the captain has promised to send this evening, and in the morning, I shall be ready whenever he lets me know.”

In this manner, the interview ended, and in the subsequent progress of their acquaintance, the whole deportment of Mr. Alverney Malvers was all that finished breeding could suggest, or Emily's circumstances demand; it was the familiarity of a friend, mingled with the respect of a stranger. No wonder therefore, that she considered herself happy in such auspices for the dismal period that was before her. No wonder that when she mounted the deck for the second time, and once more heard the well remembered tones of the sailors, as accompaniments to the preliminaries for unmooring the vessel, that she should have drawn comparisons between the past and present occasion, decidedly favourable to the latter; nor that, when she presently retired to the cabin, which she did not again leave until that cauldron of the ocean, the Bay of Biscay, was nearly passed, she should have trusted her boy with confidence to the care of one, who had shown himself in many ways, sedulously attentive and considerate.

As the voyage proceeded, the conduct of Alverney Malvers, continued the same. He evidently felt himself privileged to act the part of a Santo Sebastiano, but he did it in a manner, at which the most fastidious could not take exception. He was affable, unreserved, and courteous, but firm, decisive, and uncompromising to others, whenever the little incidents of a voyage, required his interference. He found in Emily, a well-informed companion, with whom,


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occupations of the mind were quite familiar; and some of the most esteemed authors of the day, formed materials for passing agreeably and profitably, time which, to others, was long and tedious. To Olivant, he regularly devoted several hours, cultivating his naturally good abilities, with the care and fondness of an elder brother, and afterwards, joining in his boyish amusements, with the zest and vivacity of a school boy. The course of their voyage now brought them to the Island of St. Jago, where the vessel touched for refreshments; and Mr. Malvers having taken Olivant on shore, and both returning to the vessel much pleased with their excursion, Emily was persuaded to make one of the next day's party. At first she felt reluctant, fearing to trust herself in the little coracles, by which alone, the intercourse with the shore could be carried on. This hesitation, Mr. Malvers interpreted differently, and said, “Of course, I cannot know what sort of a person Mr. Servinton is, and perhaps you think he might not like my rendering you the little services, which are the only pleasure of the voyage. If so, pray tell me, and I will shape my conduct accordingly — perhaps, you would rather I did not go on shore with you to-morrow. You know you have only to express your wishes, and to have them attended to.”

“I shall like very much for you to go with me. Mr. Servinton knows me so well, and I know him so well too, that you never need think of him. He is always obliged to any person, who is kind to me or his boy. I shall have much to tell him in your behalf, but every thing he will hear, either from myself or others, will, I am quite sure, give him pleasure.”

“I am very glad to find that your husband so well estimates you. I endeavour to treat you as I should wish a wife or sister of mine to be treated, under similar circumstances. Some men have, as you cannot but know, peculiar notions with regard to their wives; and I consider it a proof of Mr. Servinton's good sense, that he is not one of that number.”

“Papa thinks Mamma is so good,” said Olivant, “that her way is always the best, and so does Grand-papa with Grand-mamma — I am sure my Papa won't be angry with any thing you do Mamma, and so, you'll go with us to-morrow, won't you?”

“Indeed, I believe Olivant, that your Papa is always likely to be pleased with any thing that can amuse either of us, let us be where we may, and therefore I'll be one of to-morrow's party; although, to tell the truth, those little boats almost frighten me to death — I think much more of them than of your Papa's displeasure, I assure you.”

Mr. Malvers and Olivant both endeavoured to assure her of the perfect safety of the coracles, and at length partially succeeded,


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although the next day's trip was made in fear and trembling, which even the skill and facility in managing the little boat, that were remarkable, in a tall, brawny waterman, who appeared big enough, and strong enough to carry passengers, bark and all upon his shoulders in case of need, could not wholly dispel; and notwithstanding the ramble afforded some gratification, as serving to interrupt the tediousness of the sea, Emily, when again lodged upon the deck of the Mornington, felt a sort of conscious security, which it might scarcely be conceived so precarious a machine as a ship, could be capable of bestowing.

In all the little broils and differences that are almost certain to arise, where a large assemblage of opposite tempers and dispositions are cooped up within the limits of a quarter deck for many months, Mr. Malvers was always at hand, ready to support Emily or Olivant, whenever necessary. It was next to impossible that other than an unreserved intimacy, could spring from the very nature of the introduction, by which they had become known to each other; but it was an intimacy which she felt her husband would approve, as it was sanctified by her own pure and guileless bosom. At length, much in the manner that the patience of stage coach travellers is more tried by the last few miles, than by all the rest of the journey, every day seemed a week, as the voyage was judged nearly over, and expectancy was wrought to its highest pitch, all anxiously looking out for land; nor was it till the altered colour of the water, the new varieties of birds, and the floating masses of sea-weed, denoted beyond doubt, that the joyful event could not be very remote, that Emily comprehended the full extent of her long stifled emotions. In the course of a few hours after these signs had severally appeared and passed away in turn, a favourable breeze quickly wafted the Mornington towards the capacious harbour, to the possession of which, New South Wales is so much indebted for the prosperity she has since attained; and almost before Emily could subdue her high state of excitement at the idea of being so near her dearly beloved husband, the anchor was dropped, and in a few minutes she found herself once more reposing on his bosom.




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Chapter IX

“Into this wicked world, next calumny was sent,
To be the plague and scourge of wretched men,
Whom with vile tongue and venemous intent,
It sore doth wound, and bite, and cruelly torment.”

SPENSER

So soon as the first burst of joy, upon again meeting the husband of her heart, after a separation of nearly four years, had somewhat subsided in the breast of Emily, the settled mixture of care and melancholy that sat upon his brow, so different to what was natural to him, did not escape her affectionate observation. Her heart at once whispered to her, that their state of misery was not yet exhausted; for, she had so long and so attentively studied every turn and move of his features, she knew she could not be deceived. There was none of that light, elastic joy in his manner, which she had fondly pictured to herself, would attend her reception. He was kind, for he could not be otherwise, where she was concerned; but it was a chilling tenderness that struck to her very soul, and her imagination directly painted things in their worst colours. Quintus, on his part, aware of what was passing in her mind, endeavoured to divest himself of the load he had long carried, and, by rallying his spirits, to greet her endearing smiles with a corresponding return; but he found himself unequal to the task, and even her very presence served to increase his anxieties, by creating new occasions of sorrow in reflecting upon the troubles, in which she had come so many miles to participate.

But yet he was unwilling to abandon hope, or to believe for an instant, that there was any thing in his situation that need occasion serious disquietude. He was aware of the obloquy that had been excited against him, with reference to Mr. Crecy; but, as he felt that this was wholly undeserved, and that time, as it unfolded its secrets, was alone required to correct people's unjust notions, and to place his character in its true light, he determined, after some little self deliberation, to continue the struggle till the last moment, and not to impart a knowledge of his circumstances to Emily, unless he found it unavoidable.

Herein, however kind the motive, he committed a sad mistake, and prepared for himself the embryo of a calamity, in comparison with which, all his other sufferings had been nothing. His knowledge of her character should have warned him, how he trod on


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such dangerous — such forbidden ground, as to fancy he could have any cares or troubles, in which she did not claim to be admitted a full sharer. She saw he was unhappy — she every moment expected that he would unbosom himself to her — and when hour after hour passed on, and still he said nothing, mortified and hurt by his silence, the feeling crept into her bosom, that she was not yet treated with the unreserve and confidence she merited.

It was among her first communications to him, to describe the kindness and attention she and her boy had received from Mr. Malvers; and she did so with all the earnestness of gratitude, couched in a language, consistent with her pure and upright principles, and she finished by playfully saying, “Now I have told you all this, are you not longing to know what sort of a man has had charge of your little wife? — how old he is, and all about him? — not that I think you are jealous.”

“I must distrust you, Emily, before I can be jealous, and I am sure I shall never do that. As for Mr. Malvers, I shall like to see him, if only to express my thanks for his kindness to you. I know very well that you can have no other feelings towards him or any one else, than such as I might entertain for any young lady, without disturbing your peace, and I have no right to, nor do I expect more.”

“I was only joking, for I know very well that you would trust me any where, and so I told Mr. Malvers one day, when he thought you might not perhaps like the attention he paid me. You cannot think how very kind and considerate he was all through the voyage. He wishes to come and call upon me, but said he should wait my permission, after I had spoken to you — have you any objection?”

“No, my dear Emily, I can have no objection — but he knew little of the place, when he talked of coming under my roof. There is a gulf between him and a man in my situation, which nothing can pass — and he had better understand so at once.”

“You do not know him, or you would not say so. He knows all about those distinctions, but they make no difference to him. May I write and tell him he may call? and then he can do as he pleases.”

“Certainly, if you wish it—but pray so word your note that he may not fancy we want to lead him to pass the line of demarcation, which I have constantly told you existed. I assure you Emily, it will not do in this Colony.”

“Perhaps not generally — however, in order that I may not go wrong, do you write what I must say, and I will copy it. I shall be very much disappointed, if, after you have seen him, you do not say that I am right.”

Mr. Malvers soon replied to Emily's note, by being announced as a visitor; and his manner of meeting Quintus was courteous, to


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say the least; but it was more — it was of a nature to soothe and flatter a gentleman in misfortune, and to make him for the moment, forget his troubles. His conversation was light and cheerful, chiefly turning upon the incidents of the voyage, particularly all that related to his two fellow travellers. He afterwards spoke of the Colony, and Quintus took occasion to thank him for the honor he had conferred by calling, but to intimate, as delicately as he could, that he might be subjected to unpleasantness by so far departing from established usage, as to visit a man circumstanced like himself.

Mr. Malvers listened with great politeness, and replied, in his most engaging tone, “Do not be uneasy on my account. I serve a higher Governor than the Governor of a Colony, and what my conscience tells me is right, I ever do, fearlessly.” Shortly before he closed his visit, he took Quintus aside, and said, “I have heard you have some very pressing difficulties, at this moment. Let me see you to-morrow morning, at nine, and bring with you, such particulars as may assist in endeavouring to make some arrangements — I will not detain you now, but be punctual at nine, as I shall keep myself disengaged for you.”

It may naturally be supposed, that to find a person, exhibiting so friendly an interest in himself and family, as had been manifested by Mr. Malvers, was well calculated to remove from Quintus's mind, much of the load, by which it was oppressed. And, in truth, it was so removed — although he was still of opinion, that the position Mr. Malvers had taken, would be found untenable, and that his exalted notions could not be maintained, whatever might be his inclination. Indeed, upon after consideration, he was sorry to have seen him so adhere to it, when the subject had been introduced; for he had already sustained a loss of friendship, amongst certain of the higher classes, upon precisely similar grounds, and his experience of colonial men and manners, made him dread the consequences of Mr. Malver's avowed intention, of renewing his visits.

Could he however, have opened but one page of the book of fate, he would not have been rendered uneasy by any apprehensions connected with this subject. A few days sufficed to display Mr. Malvers in a very different character, exhibiting in him qualities, that had been concealed under better ones — or at least, were so much the extremes of what had hitherto tended to render him to be looked upon, as one of the most amiable of men, that with many, they would have been mistaken for any thing but what is praiseworthy.

Scarcely had he put his foot on shore, than his ear was poisoned by some of the machinations of the party who were bent upon destroying Quintus, and to which he listened with more readiness, than was consistent with that spirit which he had professed to


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entertain. It was enough with many, that Quintus was already marked out by the finger of misfortune — that he was a recorded criminal by the laws of his country, for him scarcely to be supposed the possessor of one good quality. Because this was his unhappy fate, it was thought fit to deny him even that privilege, which the greatest malefactor may claim, and to condemn him unheard. It now sufficed for Mr. Malvers, that there were not wanting persons who, so long as they saw themselves heeded, poured into his ear, every sort of calumny with regard to Quintus, representing him in a very different light to what he really deserved. Unfortunately too, certain passing events gave a colouring to their tales, and which might have deceived a man of even more experience than himself; and although the charge originally entrusted to him, was never intended to last longer, than until Emily was placed under the care of her natural guardian many adventitious circumstances appeared to warrant the part he still seemed inclined to take, of continuing to her, protection, in case of need. When he paid his first visit at Quintus's residence, he had already collected an abundant mass of the calumnious reports that had been set afloat, in furtherance of the designs of the jealous and envious persons who had resolved his destruction; and had not Mr. Malvers been a man of honor and integrity, subsequent events almost might have given cause to doubt, how far the friendly proffers that were then bestowed, were founded in thorough sincerity. Quintus, however implicitly believed them, and attended at the appointed hour, when he was received with a great shew of friendly interest. He submitted to view, in a concise form, precisely how he was circumstanced, both as the world was concerned, arising from the nature and extent of his pursuits, and as to his prospects and general circumstances. He explained the many forms in which he was being perpetually harassed, and more especially that, by the instigation of some who were most hostile to him, he was at this very moment threatened with arrest for a trifling sum, which he had not the means immediately of meeting, chiefly in consequence of his degraded situation, which shut the channels of pecuniary assistance to him, that were open to others. While so employed, Mr. Malvers listened with attention, his arms folded upon the table, and looking at him steadfastly; and when he had concluded, said, “Then do I understand you, that if this can be settled, you have nothing farther to apprehend at present?”

“Nothing,” replied Quintus. “I have several friends, through whose assistance I shall be able shortly to put all my other affairs upon a safe and good footing. Mrs. Servinton's arrival will materially help me, as I have been promised to be assigned to her. This arrest has


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only been adopted as a measure of annoyance, just upon her arrival, and if it can be arranged, I have nothing more to apprehend.”

“Well, whatever is done, should be done quickly. It will not do to let you go to gaol for such a small sum, and yet I really have not so much about me. Go to the attorney directly, and request him to call upon me, and I will see what can be done. Do not delay, for I shall stay at home till he calls, or till I see you again.”

Quintus lost no time it may be well supposed, in this agreeable errand. All that Emily or his boy had said of Mr. Malvers, and all that he had witnessed himself, was of a nature to exalt him in his estimation, much above the common run of men. As he walked along the street, he could not help congratulating himself upon the powerful accession he had received, and a lightness or cheerfulness arose in his manner, to which he had long been a stranger. Some of Mr. Malvers's exalted notions of himself, and of his consequence, had not been lost upon him, but thought he, “Who is free from faults? and he must indeed be fastidious, who would suffer these small specks to dim the lustre of so bright a character.”

Shortly after this interview, he was informed that the suit was arranged, and he returned home, relieved of a great and anxious weight of care. He now pleased himself that he had said nothing to his wife upon the subject of his troubles. He resumed his usual habits and style of conversation. He discussed with her his future plans—talked of Mr. Crecy, Mr. Leicester, and his other friends— loudly extolled Mr. Malvers as man of superior order—in a word, became quite happy and animated.

But the next morning brought with it new sorrows. Mr. Crecy, the preceding day, in conversation with Mr. Malvers, although certainly not designing any injury, had spoken of Quintus in a manner that the latter had construed unfavourably, and had referred to some of his pursuits, in a tone little calculated to create in the mind of a stranger, any other opinion of him, than as a wild enthusiast— so that, whatever prejudices had been previously excited, by what had otherwise reached him, were thus abundantly strengthened by a man, whom Quintus always considered, and represented to be his fast and firm friend. Nor did the mischief end here. The following morning, Mr. Crecy called upon Emily, and in the course of conversation, took occasion to do justice to Quintus's talents for business, but counteracted his commendations, by hinting that he was likely to be a considerable sufferer by having befriended him. Now, had he been understood either by one or the other, in the manner that his uniform behaviour to Quintus, showed that he must have intended, the impression upon the mind of each would have been, “I have greatly befriended Quintus Servinton, and he has greatly served me.


  ― 347 ―
At this very moment, he has completed a difficult and laborious task, which must prove invaluable to my cause, and much serves to compensate what I have done for him. None but himself could have performed it, as circumstances have stood, and I shall long feel obliged to him.” But unfortunately, in the one case his expressions were addressed to a man, who was already infected with a prejudice against the object of his remarks, and in the other, to an ear, ever the most sensitive where her husband was concerned, and rendered fearfully vigilant by past events. Most assuredly, Mr. Crecy was far, very far, from wishing to increase the force of a stream, which he saw with regret was already too strong for one who was looked upon in a measure, as a protegé of his own; but a word sometimes inadvertently uttered, creates impressions, very different to the meaning of the speaker. So was it now. Nothing could have been more remote from his intention in what he said to Emily, than to disparage her husband; but she considered his words as bearing but one construction, and that construction, painful in the highest degree to a wife's feelings.

The part Mr. Malvers took was different, and seemed incapable of comprehension. He had undertaken, and well performed a particular charge—but, with the voyage, this charge had ended. He had excited in the mind of Emily, a sentiment of high esteem and gratitude, and this was immediately transplanted to her husband's bosom, where it was presently strengthened by the friendly treatment he himself had experienced. But, his readiness in imbibing unfavourable impressions, and the use he afterwards made of them, were so irreconcilable with his former conduct that the most charitable, perhaps the only, construction to be given was, that, possessing peculiar notions upon some of the principles of human nature, he fancied this a good opportunity of bringing them into action; forgetting perhaps what sacrifices might be necessary in order to attain his object. One of his ideas seemed to be that, Emily was much too good for the man she had married. It is certain he had as high an opinion of her excellent qualities, as any one person can entertain towards a fellow creature—he had witnessed enough of her character, of her firmness, her good sense, her amiable temper, her thorough devotedness to her husband and child, her unostentatious but sincere religion, to have ranked her as one of those few, but highly gifted individuals, who are sent upon earth in a beauteous form, probably to make us love virtue for virtue's sake, and to give us an idea of the happiness that is in store for us hereafter. What he thus thought of her had arisen from his own observation—his opinion of her husband was derived through poisoned channels—but, having once allowed it a place in his heart, he encouraged and fed it, although


  ― 348 ―
concealing it from the individual himself, instead of allowing him, as in common candor he should have done, an opportunity of explanation. With these different feelings towards the husband and wife, he paid a second visit, and it well suited his purpose, to find Emily alone.

“Well, Mrs. Servinton, how do you like the Colony? Are you not rather disappointed?”

“Every thing is so unlike England, that it does seem rather strange at first, but I dare say, it will soon be familiar.”

“Every thing is indeed unlike England, and I am not at all decided as to staying here. The place and the people are to me intolerable, and I shall be very glad if you have not shortly reason to say the same. Has your husband explained his circumstances to you?”

“Not much—he has told me you rendered him a great service on Monday—and that he and a trustee of his are engaged in an unpleasant dispute;—but he says every thing will shortly be settled.”

“He ought to have said more, and have concealed nothing from you. I should not acquit myself of the confidence placed in me by your relations, if I suffered any thing I can do for you to terminate with the voyage, fearing as I do, that my interference will be more than ever required, now that it is ended. I am very apprehensive that he has not dealt candidly by you—otherwise, I much suspect you would not now have been here.”

“Do tell me at once if any thing is the matter—I can bear any thing better than suspense—that concealing his troubles from me, is the only point whereon Quintus and I ever disagreed, as it was not placing, I always felt it, proper confidence in me. I saw something was dreadfully the matter the first moment we met, but he has been quite different the last day or two, and I thought whatever had been the cause, it was now over. Do tell me whatever you know.”

“I understand he is a good deal involved in engagements, but that I believe might be arranged—at least, so he says; but some of those whom he calls his particular friends, have intimated such things to his prejudice, as I fear will leave you but one course—and I am sorry to add, that from all I can gather, I fully believe what is so said of him.”

“Oh! pray tell me more. What is it people say? How I am again distressed, when I looked for nothing but happiness! but I hope God will yet support me.—Oh! Mr. Malvers, for what am I reserved?”

“I cannot be very explicit with you at present, but will endeavour to learn more, and will call again to-morrow. You have heard your husband speak of one or two persons as his friends, I daresay—I can tell you, that if one-half they say of him be true, you are indeed


  ― 349 ―
much to be pitied—I hope it is not so—but I see Mr. Servinton coming across the field. Say nothing I entreat you, of what I have mentioned, as it may all turn out well; only I could not avoid saying what I have done. If you please, I will drink tea with you to-morrow evening, and meanwhile will obtain further information. Promise me you will say nothing until I see you again. Will you promise me?”

“I do not like doing that—concealment is the only difference Quintus and I ever have had; and how can I find fault with him, if I do the very same thing myself?”

“I hope you believe I can only have the good of both at heart, and pray let me have my way this time. It will be better for all, I assure you.”

“I cannot say I am convinced Mr. Malvers, but yet I suppose you have a good reason for what you ask, and will do as you desire; but must say I hate concealment, and wish you had not——” Ere she could finish the sentence, her husband entered, and shortly afterwards, Mr. Malvers, who, in the few words that ensued, evinced his usual cordiality, made his bow and departed.

It was now Quintus's turn to mark the dejected and sorrowful demeanor of his wife—and all his endeavours to rally her, failed to dispel the gloom that encircled her countenance. Whatever line of conversation he originated she maintained with langour, her replies evidently shewing, that her mind was wandering from the subject. He tried to restore her ordinary placidity by endearment, but though her eye beamed on him as ever with love and affection, there was an inanimacy about it which he could not understand, and which greatly distressed him. Had he not thought so highly of her, as almost to approach adoration, an idea more horrible than can be conceived, might have crept into his bosom, and helped to solve the mystery—but, he would as soon have renounced his faith in a superintending Providence, or in his Redeemer, as in Emily; and if, for a half-moment, the idea that Mr. Malvers might be less indifferent to her than ought to be the case, stole across his mind, it was only to dismiss it with scorn, as unworthy a second consideration.

Meanwhile, her breast continued torn and distracted by the intelligence she had received—and she longed to repeat to her husband all she knew, and beg him to explain every thing to her—but a promise, ever in her view a sacred obligation, had been extorted;—its precise motive, it was true, she did not comprehend, but she regarded Mr. Malvers as endowed with such superior judgment upon all occasions, that she believed his object and intention to be good, and notwithstanding the pain it gave her, did not depart from the word she had reluctantly given.




  ― 350 ―

Yet her female ingenuity, as the evening advanced, devised a method of, in part, satisfying her curiosity, by leading the conversation in such a manner, as to cause Quintus to enter into much and general information, upon several points, bearing upon the hints conveyed by Mr. Malvers; and his open, ingenuous manner, his fervid discourse, and his total unreserve, found such an indulgent judge in one, so much attached to him as Emily that, by degrees, the mist which the interview of the morning had produced, was dispelled, and ceasing to think any thing to his disadvantage, she shone with all her native cheerfulness.

During this time, Mr. Malvers collected fresh and still more distressing materials for his next visit; but it is probable, that the decided prejudice he had so readily adopted towards Quintus, would have failed of the object upon which he appeared bent, if his high situation, by bringing him in immediate communication with the Head of the Government, had not possessed him of the fact, that orders from England, directed towards him, had for some time been impending, and would forthwith be carried into effect. From almost the first day of his landing, disappointed with the appearance of things around him, and probably unprepared for the privations and hardships of an infant Colony, he purposed that his own stay should not be long. People ever like to have converts to their opinions, whatever may be their nature; and because he, a single man, without either tie or connexion, chose to enwrap himself in peculiar notions, and, in his intercourse with the world, already to show some little of the misanthrope, it required with him that Emily, in exchanging the substantial comforts of her father's roof, for her husband's fallen fortunes, should equally with himself be disgusted with all she saw, and however strange it may appear—be persuaded to abandon what she had so laboured to attain, and return to her friends in England. Yes, extraordinary as the idea may be considered, merely because Quintus happened to be encompassed by difficulties at the moment of her arrival—because he was in a degree, in the hands of the spoiler, although, stripping his condition of the extraneous trappings attached to it by the information he had acquired, respecting his intended removal by the government, there was nothing which a little perseverance and energy might not have surmounted, were those who had been joined together, heart and hand, at the footsteps of God's altar,—who had been separated under a cruel destiny for years, to be again sundered, almost the instant they had re-met—was a man who had indeed drank deeply of the cup of affliction, to be deprived of that smile, which he valued as the choicest of Heaven's gifts, and to be again left, alone and wretched. Such was the course Mr. Malvers now wished to pursue,


  ― 351 ―
although he full well knew, it would be no easy matter to bring Emily to entertain an idea, so repugnant to every principle of her nature. He had seen enough of her to have perceived that she was firm and decided; and that, love for her husband reigned uppermost in her heart; but he had entirely miscalculated her in supposing that the most splendid luxuries of England, could compete in her estimation with those superior delights, known only in wedded life, and even in that only, where bearing and forbearing are practised, as they had been with her. Mr. Malvers however had none of these feelings—he regarded her as an interesting female, too good, according to his conceptions, for the man to whom she was united, and infinitely too good for his circumstances; nor could this idea prompt him to suggest any other remedy for present troubles, than that, she should at once leave her husband, with all his sorrows at his back, and again place herself under her father's roof.

To accomplish this, he was aware that one course only could be pursued. He had gone as far as he thought he might venture, at their last interview. Since that time he had collected fresh materials towards the same object, and unhappily for this ill-starred couple, when he paid his next visit he opened a budget, for which poor Emily was indeed, thoroughly unprepared.




  ― 352 ―

Chapter X

“To listen where her gentle voice,
Its welcome music shed,
And find within his lonely halls,
The silence of the dead,
To look unconsciously for her,
The chosen and the chief,
Of earthly joys, and look in vain,
This is a husband's grief.”

REV. THOMAS DALE

The seventh morning had now dawned since the re-union of Quintus and Emily; and it may be gathered from what has been said, that with the exception only of a few short hours, the whole period had been one of care and trouble. Even the enjoyment they had in one another's society, was stripped of half its relish, by the evident appearance of anxiety which, first occupying a prominent place upon Quintus's countenance, had latterly in a measure taken its departure from it, only to be removed to that of Emily.

Upon this morning, Quintus said to his wife at an early hour, “It is too bad my Emily, to run away and leave you so soon, but I have to go a few miles on some business to day, and the earlier I start, the earlier you know I shall return.—I shall not delay a minute longer than is necessary, but, will it make any difference if you dine an hour later than usual?”

“No, certainly; but do not stay longer than you can help.—I scarcely know how it is, but I don't like you to be away from home, just at present — Mr. Malvers is coming here this evening — where are you going? Cannot I go with you? you know I am a very good walker.”

“You may be quite sure I shall be with you again as early as possible, and that I should like nothing better than to have you with me; but I fear it will not do to day, for my errand is with farmer Sharpe, and is likely to take up a good deal of time. — We are going to value some property, about six miles off. Olivant can come if he likes, but I am sure it would not do for you. — Good bye, my Emily, and take care of yourself till I see you again. — Will you come with me, Olivant?”

“I don't think I can walk so far, papa — I soon get tired since I come from aboard ship — and mamma will be so dull by herself.”




  ― 353 ―

“Well, my boy, do just as you like. Come Emily, one more kiss, love, and God bless you till I see you again.” Emily returned his affectionate salute, in her kindest, most ardent manner, and he took leave of both, promising to return by five, at latest.

It was quite early when he left home, and proceeded towards Farmer Sharpe's, ruminating as he walked along, upon the untowardness of many parts of his destiny, but cheering himself by thinking that, after all, God had so mingled good and evil in it, as to make the first decidedly preponderate, Emily alone, being a set-off against much more ill, than had even hitherto befallen him. But, notwithstanding all such reasoning, and notwithstanding his utmost endeavours to be cheerful, he could not shake off a certain presentiment of coming harm, nor divest himself of latent apprehension, although unable to direct it to any particular object.

Emily, on her part, had much the same sensations. Mr. Malvers's communication still rankled in her bosom — his allusion to others too well coincided with what had reached her through another channel — his dark and mysterious mode of expression — his seeming interest in their affairs — his apparent solicitude for her husband — all were revolved over and over again in her mind, and she dreaded, yet hoped for, the termination of the day, which was to bring with it a visit, upon which she felt that so much depended. Long before even the forenoon was passed however, the moment arrived that was to put an end to the suspense, with which she was so cruelly tortured.

Quintus had not been absent many hours, before Mr. Malvers called at his house, bearing a solemn calmness in his greeting, which struck Emily to the very centre of her heart. He took hold of her extended hand, and said, with an air of great kindness, “I am come earlier, perhaps, than you expected, but I want to have a little conversation with you. Where is your husband?”

“He is gone upon some business a few miles off, and will not be at home till dinner time. But what have you to tell me? Speak at once, and do not keep me in suspense. I have been miserable ever since you were here yesterday. Do tell me every thing at once.”

“It is for that purpose I have now called. But do you think you will be able to act, if necessary, when I shall have made you acquainted with all I know? for I tell you before hand, all your courage will be required. I am aware that I may be thought passing the bounds originally proposed by your relations, when they placed you under my charge; but the circumstances that have come to my knowledge since we arrived here, impose upon someone, the necessity of interference on your behalf, and I feel it my imperative duty to be that person. The very delicate circumstances attending such


  ― 354 ―
interference have, however, caused me to consult a lady of the first distinction in the Colony, and I am sanctioned to use her name, in support of the advice I am prepared to give you. It is possible however, you may think any interference unnecessary, now that you are with your husband; but I hope even in this case, you will give me credit for good intentions.”

“Do not speak thus to me, I beseech you, Mr. Malvers. Tell me all — tell me every thing. What lady is it you talk of? and what is it about my husband? Oh, Mr. Malvers, withhold nothing from me! I can bear any thing, indeed, indeed I can, better than this agonizing suspense. Your very look frightens me, for I am sure you have something terrible to communicate.”

“It is useless to attempt to disguise from you, nor if it could, would it be proper to do so, that your husband has much to answer for in bringing you to this Colony. Nothing but the most cruel selfishness could have governed him in making the representations which——”

“Oh, no — no,” interrupted Emily, “none of his representations brought me here — you do him great injustice, indeed you do. It was my own inclination, and that only, which made me follow him, and so it would now, all over the world.”

“I grieve to speak harshly of a man with whom you are so closely connected but, I more than suspect your affection for him to be not only undeserved, but unrequited — indeed, I am much afraid this is the——”

“Really, Mr. Malvers,” again interrupted Emily, “if your object be only to speak ill of my husband, you must excuse me, I cannot hear you — indeed you do not know him, or I am sure you would not talk of him as you do — I assure you he does not deserve it.”

“My object is not to speak ill of him, more than I can avoid. With respect to not knowing him, I fancy I know him better than you do, and if you will give me your patience five minutes, I will explain to you all I have heard, and, if permitted, shall be happy to advise with you — but first, I must tell you, that Mrs. Cecil, whom you doubtless know by name, as the wife of the Chief Justice, has already discussed every thing with me, and that all I now say, is an echo of her opinions.”

Emily continued unwilling to hear her husband spoken of reproachfully; but so assailed, she was in a measure compelled to sit and listen to a long train of his alleged misconduct — in the course of which, things, true in themselves, were so distorted, arising from the sources through which they had reached her informant, as to lose all semblance of reality. Mr. Malvers told her, in its worst colors, the orders received from England for his removal into the interior—


  ― 355 ―
painted the utter hopelessness of his prospects — strongly insinuated that he had so comported himself, as to be again amenable to the laws — conveyed rather more than a suspicion of other delinquencies — mentioned the intention on the part of a person, whom Quintus had appointed trustee over some property, on account of his civil disabilities, of instantly seizing every thing she had brought from England, upon the ground that it now belonged to her husband, and became therefore, vested in him; and concluded by saying, that Quintus would, in all probability, be torn from her in the course of the day, either under an arrest for debt, or as a consequence of the interposition of Government.

Emily maintained her composure in silence, throughout this agonizing detail, although a task of no small difficulty, but when it was concluded, said, “And do you believe all this to be true? I never can, nor never will believe it myself — I know him better, and I am sure it is all false, and that he is calumniated. How I wish he was at home, that you might hear his explanations!”

“Perhaps, in some respects, the facts may be exaggerated; but most of what I have told you, I have ascertained to be strictly correct. But now however, will you allow me to think a little of yourself — and to repeat the conclusion to which Mrs. Cecil and I have arrived; for you must be aware that the interference of the Government with your husband, and which I have been assured will be immediate, is of itself cause sufficient for prompt and decisive measures on your part.”

“Yes, yes, I will do something directly — I will first see my husband, and tell him all you have said, and will then go and see the Governor. Oh! how I wish I had some person to send to Quintus — how unfortunate that he should be away to-day — cannot you ride to him, Mr. Malvers? he is only six miles off; and, as for the Governor, Quintus always speaks of him so highly, and says he is so good a man, that I am sure he will not refuse what I mean to ask him.”

“Indeed, my dear Mrs. Servinton, you must be more calm and collected, and allow your friends to think and act for you — indeed you must. Mrs. Cecil is an excellent woman, and well calculated to advise you. Will you allow me to repeat to you her recommendation — I assure you, your husband's circumstances are at present in a state, equally beyond your help, as mine; otherwise I should not offer the advice I am now doing.”

“I am sure you are wrong — a wife can always help her husband; at least I know I can help mine, and am determined to do so. But what does Mrs. Cecil say? I have heard her name so well mentioned, that I should certainly like to know, for I am so


  ― 356 ―
bewildered I scarcely know what I am either doing or saying. What is it that Mrs. Cecil advises?”

“You will I hope admit, that she can have but one motive in obtruding advice upon a person, with whom she is acquainted only by report. Her station in society, and her sex, are each a sufficient warranty, even with those who do not know her many estimable qualities, that she would recommend no course to you, but what you might follow both with honor and safety. Her advice is, and it is that in which I entirely coincide, that you and your son should immediately remove to town, and there wait the issue of events, with regard to your husband.”

“What! and leave him! Does Mrs. Cecil, herself a wife, recommend that? No, never, Mr. Malvers.”

“I assure you, that if I did not know your presence here could do him no good, but if any thing the contrary, I should be the last in the world to urge your removal. He is so circumstanced, that much of the help a wife is usually able to bestow upon her husband, cannot to him be available — and let me put it to you, do you suppose for a moment, that it could gratify him for you to be the witness of his being dragged from your presence? Or how will it be possible that a lady, like yourself, can remain in a lone house in the country, far away from all protection, as must inevitably be the case, if you stay here?”

“Even admitting for a moment that all you say be true, I cannot see what end would be gained by my going to town at present, or to what it is to lead. Surely it will be time enough to do any thing of that sort, after I have seen and talked to my husband, and I know, if it would produce any good, he would not object. Whatever may be the consequence, I must see him first.”

“Leave that to me. I will take care to see him, and so to explain every thing that, far from disapproving, he will I am sure, be obliged by our saving you from witnessing any of the distressing scenes, which are, I assure you, inevitable. The plain case, Mrs. Servinton is that, many things connected with him, are now brought to a crisis; and whilst it is breaking, you will be infinitely better under the protection of such a lady as Mrs. Cecil, than here. Your husband is, as you must well know, wholly in other people's hands, and beyond the immediate influence of your assistance. After the storm has burst, perhaps we may be able to serve him; and probably then too, a visit on your part to the Governor, may be better timed than at present. To go now, I assure you, could do no good.”

It has been already said, that Emily regarded Mr. Malvers, as a man of superior judgment and discretion. Throughout the whole


  ― 357 ―
of their acquaintance, he had treated her in a manner, well calculated to create esteem and respect; never suffering their familiar terms of intimacy, to exceed the barrier of the strictest decorum and propriety. Thus, she now continued for a long while, to carry on this painful argument under a great disadvantage, treating his opinions as she did with deference, and not being able to help feeling that, she was rather combating in support of her inclination, than of an unbiassed judgment. It is not surprising therefore, that so unequal a contest, supported as it was by the ingenious arguments of a practised pleader, and by the earnest counsel of one of her own sex, a lady, highly connected, well-informed, and considered in the Colony, quite the leader of the female world, should have forced her in the end to surrender, and to agree to be wholly directed by others. Her consent, at length reluctantly given, and contrary to the whisperings of her heart, was however only extorted from her by Mr. Malvers's positively undertaking, immediately to see Quintus, and to reconcile him to the step she had taken; farther insisting that, if he failed in that, or if any of the anticipated ills were averted, she was instantly to return. She likewise chose to leave a note for her husband, explanatory of her plans and their objects. But notwithstanding all this, she still felt dissatisfied with herself, and as, proceeding towards the town, she ascended a gentle elevation, the summit of which commanded a farewell view of the cottage, where her husband had taken an affectionate leave of her, only a few hours previously, but which was destined to present so unexpected a scene to him on his return, she stopped, looked round, and said, “Indeed, Mr. Malvers! I must go back — I am doing wrong, and must not leave my husband — Oh, my dear, dear Quintus, what will be your feelings, when instead of me, you have my note?”

“What! does not my dear papa know we are gone?” said Olivant; “Oh! mamma, I wish I had gone with him this morning, but may I go and look for him now? for I know where he is gone to?”

Emily could make no reply — her heart was too full; and if Mr. Malvers, by his subsequent conduct that same evening, had not shewn the extent to which he could go, in furtherance of what he conceived a duty, it might have been supposed that the evident anguish of one, whom he professed to be serving, would have induced him to relinquish his object; but with him, every thing gave way to what he considered to be right; and having adopted certain opinions of Quintus, it was not consistent with them that he should adopt any course, at variance with that he had once commenced. Besides too, he possessed so much influence over Emily's movements, by the general influence of his character, that


  ― 358 ―
in combating with him she was scarcely a free agent. A second time therefore he prevailed, and, sacrificing her opinions and feelings to his advice, slowly and hesitatingly she proceeded on her way, and was soon seated in her new dwelling.

Whilst this was going forward at the neat little mansion he had so lately left, Quintus was busily intent upon the business of the day, hurrying his companion much beyond his ordinary speed, in order to expedite his return. The old man, little accustomed to such haste, would every now and then stop, lean upon his staff, and say, “How now, how now, my friend, why such a hurry? The sun is hardly over our heads yet, and there's time enough in all conscience for what we have to do, long before it sets. Come, come, have some little mercy upon an old man.”

“I want to get all finished as soon as possible,” was the reply, “as I promised my wife I would not be late. You know, Farmer Sharpe, ours is like a second wedding, and the honey-moon is not yet over.”

“Ah! well-a-day, well! when you've lived as long as I have, I fancy the haste will be the other way. But there, never mind, we must all have our turn once, so come along, I wo'nt detain you from your wife.”

But dint of such haste as this, Quintus had finished his business at least an hour earlier than he had given Emily reason to expect, and returned in high glee, pleasing himself in the anticipation of the smiles that awaited him, as a reward for his diligence.

As he approached the house, he was somewhat surprised to observe that, although the door was open, all about the place was still and quiet; not a human being to be seen — but as he advanced nearer, he saw a servant lying on the grass plot, evidently in a state of intoxication. Unable to account for a state of things, so different to what his fancy had pictured would be his reception, he proceeded hastily onwards, and entering one of the parlours, saw on the table Emily's note. It had plainly been written in haste, and with much perturbation. — The hand-writing he saw was hers, — but the blow it struck was so sudden, so unexpected, and so terrible, that ere he had half read it, a sickness at heart came across him, and he sank upon the floor, deprived of all sense or recollection. — Partially recovering after a while, a thousand horrible ideas floated before him. He read the note more attentively, but not with more satisfaction. It was laconic, but every word told. It imparted little beyond mentioning whither she was gone, and that Mr. Malvers would immediately see him, and explain every thing. A prey to the most agonizing disquietude, still he rejected every incipient


  ― 359 ―
surmise, that could in the least impugn her faith or honor. In the language of Shakspeare, he said to himself —

My long experience of her wisdom,
Her sober virtues, years, and modesty,
Plead on her part some cause to me unknown,”

and so soon as he could settle to do any thing, he resolved to follow her, and to hear from her own lips, the causes that had led to so extraordinary, so appalling an event. But, notwithstanding the resolution thus taken, had the effect of somewhat calming the dreadful tumult that was raging within him, his brain was still on fire — his pallid cheek and wild piercing eye, denoted but too plainly the state of his heart, and when he reached the house, where she had said she was going, his manner and deportment rather resembled a maniac, than a rational being. Emily had been his all — his every thing — his mind, naturally strong and active, had been long wholly bent towards one point. This, had been attained, but was now almost instantaneously snatched from him. Through the many years of their union, they never had had a single quarrel or disagreement. True it is, this was rather owing to her pure, well regulated mind, than to any merit of his; but he had had sense enough, since his departure from England, to know and feel her value, and had delighted himself with thinking, that his future life would be devoted to testifying his full conviction of her worth. Had it been the will of an overruling Providence that her spotless spirit had been suddenly summoned into his presence, he could have borne the loss with composure, as it would have been accompanied by certain consolations, which he well understood and appreciated. But, to find in one moment, all his ideal happiness converted into misery, the pearl he valued beyond price, gone from him, and gone in such a manner too, no wonder that a mind, that had been long heavily laden, should have sunk under this accumulated burthen — that the bow, long closely bent, should have snapped under this new force applied to it — that Quintus Servinton, whose troubles had latterly in a measure arisen, from his facility in rendering assistance to others, in cases requiring mental exertion, should now be brought to a state, barely conscious of his words or actions.

As he knocked at the door, Mr. Malvers, who from the window had observed his approach, was waiting in the hall to receive him; and immediately attended him into an apartment. He at once saw the wreck, to which his pilotage had reduced a fair and goodly vessel; but, instead of seeking to repair the mischief, now rather added to it, by the manner in which the unfortunate man was


  ― 360 ―
treated. In reply to his earnest, his pathetic solicitations, to see his wife, he was refused in the most peremptory terms. He was even told, she could no longer be considered his wife in spirit; that she meant to return instantly to her friends in England, with much more in a similar strain; and when at length Quintus said, “Only let me hear this from herself, and I will believe it,” Mr. Malvers changed his tone, and threatened him with the consequences of thus seeming to doubt what was said to him, by a person of his exalted station.

As he concluded a speech which Quintus considered in the highest degree unfeeling, the aspect of misery that succeeded the horrible glare and fiery expression, that had previously occupied his eye, might have melted a heart of stone. But Mr. Malvers was immoveable. Like the high priests of old, whose sympathy was never excited by the sufferings of the victims that were offered upon the altar to the imaginary rage of some offended God, did he look upon a man, in every respect his equal, save only for one indelible blot of his escutcheon, without the slighest pity or remorse; and when, recovering for a moment his composure, Quintus said, “I am almost choking — pray give me some water;” his request was complied with, and he swallowed at one draught, a very immoderate quantity, but by which, the arid state of his mouth was scarcely at all allayed, it was coolly said to him, “There — you are better now — go home at once, I have nothing more to say;” and leading towards the door, he was literally turned into the street.

Would that the course of our story might allow a veil to be drawn over what followed. Quintus in a state, bordering upon distraction, returned to his lone, his desolate cottage, and clearing it under various pretexts of the servants, some of whom, upon the departure of Emily, had found access to liquor and were still under its effects, carefully closed every door and window, and was no longer master of his reason.

But, at the moment when it would have seemed that, no human aid could have availed him, the eye that never sleepeth nor slumbereth, was witnessing his severe sufferings, and preparing a ministering angel to be in readiness to fly to his succour. Emily had not for a single moment, been entirely reconciled to the prudence or propriety of the step she had taken. — She had acted in deference to opinions, deemed by her, wiser and better than her own; but her heart was not with her work; and no sooner was she seated in her new abode, than she wrote to her husband, in her kindest and most affectionate strain, telling him, how cheerfully she could share with him poverty, or any other calamity, explaining that she had yielded her judgment to others, whom she felt bound


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to respect, entreating him to write to her immediately, and assuring him of her unalterable affection. She saw him from the window, as he crossed an open hillock, upon his return from the interview with Mr. Malvers, and although the object of his visit to town had been concealed from her, she instantly guessed it. She thought there was a something in his gait and step, calculated to excite alarm; and knowing her influence over him, aware that a smile, a look, could at any time hush any little irritability of temper, she determined to lose not an instant, in despatching the letter she had written, ordering the horse messenger by whom it was sent, to be as quick as possible in its delivery.

Upon arriving at the house, finding every door and window fastened, and that no notice was taken of his repeated knockings, the man proceeded to force his entrance; but almost instantly retreated, full of horror and alarm, hastening back towards the town, indeed the bearer of melancholy tidings.

But now again, the arm of Providence was discernible. Within a hundred yards of the house, he met Mr. Leicester; and although a perfect stranger to him, he abruptly stopped him, exclaiming, “Oh Sir! oh Sir! such a sight at yonder house!”

“What is the matter, man? Speak—speak!” hurriedly replied Mr. Leicester.

“Oh Sir! I cannot—but go to him—though I believe, 'tis no use. I am off for a doctor, and must not stay talking — go to him at once — do Sir.”

With a terrible foreboding, did Mr. Leicester turn towards the spot, and his anticipations, gloomy as they might have been, were shortly more than realized. Stretched upon the floor of one of the rooms, weltering in a sea of blood, perfectly unconscious, and life's stream, if not already exhausted, rapidly ebbing from its source, lay the man to whom, through good report and evil report, he had proved the firm, undeviating friend, from the first hour of their acquaintance. In his hand was grasped a letter, the seal of which was unbroken — and the pertinacity he showed in clinging to it, when it was attempted to be taken from him, was almost the only sign, that he still existed. Greatly as Mr. Leicester was shocked at so distressing a scene, his presence of mind did not forsake him, and he instantly saw that, nothing but the most prompt and judicious assistance, could be of the slightest avail. Raising his friend, and adopting such means as occurred to him at the moment, for closing the sickening gash that was widely gaping to his sight, he had the satisfaction of observing that, the hand of death was at least arrested; and he began to hope that the surgical assistance he had sent for, might yet arrive in time to be of service. In a


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comparatively short space, three medical gentlemen, all of eminence, were by his side; and notwithstanding they agreed that, if there was a hope, it was so slight, as scarcely to deserve the name, they promptly resorted to their utmost efforts of skill; and, as the lamp of life was still lit, after their operations were completed, they said, that if he should have strength to bear what he must inevitably go through, during the next few hours, he might yet be saved. Throughout their visit, he never once exhibited the least symptom of consciousness or susceptibility, nor ever attempted to speak or move, excepting once or twice in convulsive struggles; his eye remained fixed and glassy; a cold chill of damp was upon his forehead, and his pulse were barely susceptible. His friend Mr. Leicester, staid by his side to witness the issue, fully however making up his mind that, before morning's dawn, it would be his melancholy duty to perform the last sad offices for one, possessing, according to his own words to one of the surgeons, “a more than usual share of qualities that had long endeared him to him, and among them, as kindly disposed a heart as ever beat.”

Through the painful, anxious vigils that ensued, Mr. Leicester did all that one fellow creature could for another. Quintus's sufferings were extreme; but he passed the dreadful crisis, and still breathed. Indeed, when the grey streaks of the morn became visible, he seemed to regard his friend with a show of recollection; and the vibration of his pulse justified the hope, that by great care and management, both mind and body, might yet be restored. His invariable temperance came greatly in aid of a fine constitution, and of the means that had been adopted — and notwithstanding that during the next four and twenty hours, danger the most imminent still hovered around his couch, he continued to gain ground, and bade fair to reward the great solicitude that had been evinced — particularly by Mr. Leicester, who scarcely for a single moment left the chamber of sickness and of misery.

In the first day or two that succeeded, his attendants were afraid of permitting him to receive what would have proved the best, if not the only balm to his wounded heart, and his situation was accordingly concealed from Emily with the utmost care. They did not know their man, and were apprehensive of the excitement which her presence might occasion, although Mr. Leicester for one, thought he could discover the arrow that it was evident still rankled in his bosom, and rightly judged that, by her hand alone, it was capable of being extracted.

They were not ignorant of what was going on elsewhere, under Mrs. Cecil's directions, and they had hopes that a turn might be given to the whole affair, very different to what at first seemed


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probable. They trusted therefore, that the intelligence it might be in their power presently to communicate, would counteract what it was feared, would be the operation of Quintus and Emily's again meeting; for they only regarded the simple connexion of causes and effects, and looking at the lamentable result that her absence had occasioned, naturally enough apprehended what might be produced by a re-action. They need not however have been thus scrupulous — but it is now time to return to Emily.




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Chapter XI

“The dearest friend to me, the kindest man,
The best conditioned, and unwearied spirit
In doing courtesies.”

MERCHANT OF VENICE

Mrs. Cecil, the lady under whose immediate protection Emily had now placed herself, was in every respect qualified by her high character and station, to shield her from some of the obloquy, which the mere circumstance of her having left her husband's roof, was certain to create. She was her senior in life a few years, and being distinguished for a sound good judgment, an amiable disposition, a soft feeling heart, and all the manners and habits of polished society, her countenance and her opinion of her protegé, as exhibited to the world by her present conduct, were not without their full effect upon some, in the manner that had been both wished and intended; nor were they either, without their corresponding influence upon the mind of Emily.

Situated as had been Quintus in respect to this lady, moving, compared with herself, in the very Antipodes of the Colonial world, it is more than probable that she scarcely knew that such a person as himself existed. It was not perhaps difficult therefore to persuade her that, in lending a hand to the separation of a pair, one of whom, base calumny had lowered, in full proportion as the other was extolled, she was rendering, both a good and acceptable service; and had she not been thus brought forward, it is certain that, Emily's innate sense of propriety, would have proved an effectual barrier to the measure. But all Mrs. Cecil's avowed and open countenance, important and appreciated as it was, proved insufficient to shield Emily entirely from censure, particularly among those who became acquainted with the circumstance, merely from the common report of the day, and with whom neither herself nor her character were sufficiently known, to give her the benefit of the extenuations that might have been offered. A cause too existed, that inclined the bias of part of the public opinion to lean towards her unfavorably, in the general estimation in which her husband was held, where neither interest, party-spirit, nor the other circumstances that have been named, were suffered to operate to his prejudice. There were a few, and perhaps but a few, who rightly understood both parties; and in this number was Mr. Leicester. Possessing as he had done,


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Quintus's entire confidence, he now felt certain that the utmost efforts of human skill would fail of their object, unless the cause that had wrought so melancholy an effect, were at once removed; and to accomplish this, he at once industriously applied himself.

Desirous of obtaining such a clue as might regulate his movements, he had exercised a friend's privilege, when first summoned to his assistance, and had broken the seal of the unopened letter that Quintus held in his hand. He immediately comprehended every thing, and lost no time in seeking an interview with either Emily, or her friends, in order that the sad steps that had so nearly proved fatal, might be retraced without delay. But his task was one of difficulty. When the heart-rending intelligence of what had occurred became known, upon the return of the messenger, it was first communicated to Mr. Malvers, who instantly saw that every thing depended upon its not reaching Emily, excepting in the most cautious and guarded manner. He now felt, in all its poignancy, the severity of the course that had been pursued; but reflections of this sort were scarcely permitted, as every thought was required towards yet repairing — or at least, preventing from proceeding further — the mischief that an indiscreet interference had already occasioned. — Measures were accordingly taken with so much tact and management, that Emily was thus kept for a while in ignorance of her miserable condition. She constantly wondered she did not hear from her husband, and hourly became more and more uneasy; but one ingenious excuse was framed after another, accounting for the delay, leading her on to indulge hopes and expectations, only to be again disappointed. Sullenness, she well knew, formed no part of her husband's temper; and such a feeling as resentment he seldom harboured. Presuming therefore for a moment, that he might have misconstrued or disapproved her conduct, it was unlikely that he would have treasured up a gloomy, sulky discontent, as she knew it was more in keeping with him, to carry

Anger as the flint bears fire,
Which much enforced, shews a hasty spark,
And straight is cold again.

When therefore, hour after hour followed each other in this state of sickening expectation, wondering that she had no answer to her letter, and one day and night had elapsed, yet still no tidings, her anxiety and impatience were extreme — she remembered all the insinuations to his prejudice that had been conveyed to her; — the words, “criminality and a prison,” rose to her mind with an acute anguish; and perhaps of the two, she was at this moment the most to be pitied; for on her part, the cup of misery she was compelled


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to sip was full, whereas that which had been presented to her husband, he had dashed from his lips, and was now reposing in almost unconsciousness.

It is only due to Mr. Malvers to say, that none could have been more anxious than himself, to co-operate with those who might more properly be considered Quintus's personal friends, in furthering the common object held in view, that of remedying the past; and that for this purpose, he now lent his aid, in every possible way. He had gone sufficiently far — and the many amiable points of character that had marked his conduct, now resumed their ascendancy, and induced a relaxation of the stern purpose he had meditated.

Mr. Leicester, having so far acted the friend and the Christian, in the accomplishment of an interview with him, that would at least bring matters to a crisis, by causing the whole of the tragedy to be made known to Emily without delay, returned to the bed of sickness and sorrow, upon which Quintus lay reclined, anxious to impart all the consolation in his power. It was now the third day that this melancholy duty had devolved upon him; and in the evening, whilst anxiously watching an opportunity of introducing a conversation, in which he felt that he could administer some little comfort, he was rejoiced to observe the sufferer fix his eye upon him for a moment with earnestness, then with a look of recognition seize his hand, kiss it, and instantly burst into tears. He saw that now was his time, and managed his part in the delicate and trying scene that followed, with equal prudence as kindness. He endeavoured by a nice and tender hand, to heal the wound whilst he probed it, and to calm the highly irritated and excited state of the other's feelings, by placing every thing of which he spoke, in its best light. Except however, when he mentioned Emily's name, and which always rivetted his hearer's attention, the latter seemed scarcely to heed any thing that was said to him; until at length, after an evidently smothered effort of violent emotion, he turned round and said, although scarcely articulate, “Tell me, have I been in a dream, or what? and why is there no other person here, but you? Would they not leave me my boy? He is my own — all my own. — Where is he?”

“Be calm and composed, my dear friend,” Mr. Leicester replied. “You have been ill — very ill, but are better now, and your wife and boy are both anxious to see you the moment the doctors will give them leave. You have been delirious, and did not know them, and it was feared their presence might make you worse.”

“But where are they? Oh! I have had such a dream — so fearful — so horrible, it kills me to think of it;” — then, pausing a little, and raising his hand, till he felt the surgeon's bandages, he continued,


  ― 367 ―
“Oh! my God, have mercy on me, and forgive me, for 'tis no dream, but I have lost my wife, and am wretched.”

“No, no, you have not — you will see her to-morrow. She has sent you a very kind letter, and if you will be quiet, I will read it to you — but pray be composed, for I assure you every thing will be well. You know me, and can trust to what I tell you — I am sure you can. Your wife will be here so soon as the Doctor will give her leave, and as you are much better to-night, I can promise you it will not be later than to-morrow.”

“They know little what they do in keeping us separate — it might kill, but would never cure me — and my boy too!'

“He shall come to-morrow, but you must not tire yourself by talking too much, although I am delighted to once more hear the sound of your voice — compose yourself now, and go to sleep, and trust to me for to-morrow.”

He made this engagement for the next day, in full reliance that he had not miscalculated Emily — nor did he. The happy change that had now taken place in the patient's condition, divested the intended communication of much of its horror, and upon a consultation between the parties, it was settled still to defer making it for a few hours, under the idea that the work of recovery would continue, and better enable the interview to be supported, which it was known would be certain to ensue. It was also arranged that the tale of woe should be made known by Mrs. Cecil, who would best understand how to impart it to one of her own sex; and that a confirmation of her report of Quintus's escape from present danger should be at hand, in the person of one of the medical attendants, and who might render any other aid that might be required.

It was well that so much considerate forethought had been borne in mind; for notwithstanding the intelligence reached Emily step by step, and with the utmost tenderness, it operated upon her mind much in the manner that the progressive pain, inflicted by the instruments of torture that were used of old, would upon the body; and at length, sickening and horror-struck, she cried out, “I can hear no more — Oh! my dear, dear husband, who could have imagined this? but I will go to you directly.”

Yet here again, she instantly adopted a new and equally distressing alarm. — “What, if misinterpreting my conduct, he should not wish to see me,” suggested itself to her bosom, and dreadful as was the idea, she could not for the moment dismiss it, nor did she dare give it utterance; lest, by asking questions, she might betray the state of her feelings. There were some around her however, who read, by the sudden transition from wild grief, to pensive,


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composed melancholy, how her heart was affected. Had Mr. Leicester been present, he knew enough to have been under no anxiety upon such a subject; but, not so, others, who were less in her husband's confidence; and, as they had rightly enough guessed the cause, so they hastened to anticipate, by the recommendation they proceeded to give, a remedy, calculated to relieve her disquietude, without permitting her to feel that they saw it.

Mrs. Cecil was the spokeswoman on the occasion, and said, “I fully approve of your seeing your husband without delay — but, do you not think, doctor,” addressing the medical gentleman, “that it would be better to prepare him for the interview, as it might otherwise perhaps, be too much for both of them? I would suggest that Mrs. Servinton's intention be hinted to him, so that it may be seen how he receives it, and then she can proceed accordingly.”

“Oh! no, no,” cried Emily, her conjugal love overcoming all latent apprehension, “I have already staid away too long from him, and will go instantly.”

The surgeon now interposed, and observed, “I really believe Mrs. Servinton, that my patient's safety requires us to adopt Mrs. Cecil's suggestion. The unfortunat cause of his present situation, must not be overlooked;” and then particularly addressing Mr. Malvers, he continued, “If I might recommend a course, it would be that you should accompany Mrs. Servinton to the house, and see, and converse with her husband a little, before he knows that she is there. You will find him very calm and tranquil, and I will go, if you please, and prepare him for the interview.”

In this proposal, there was much considerate kindness, as well as chance-knowledge of Quintus's natural temper. The surgeon was right in saying that, he would be found calm and tranquil; but conceiving it probable, he might still be smarting under the wound his peace had received, he thought that, by letting any resentment, be vented upon the immediate author of his sufferings, Emily would be spared a participation in it. To such authority as this, no opposition could be offered, and the proposed arrangement was forthwith acted upon.

Whilst presently, as part of the concerted measure, Quintus was led to converse upon the subject with one of his medical friends, it was observed to him, “Do you feel well enough to see a visitor? I should be glad if you would let me admit a person who is here, and has some intelligence that he thinks may be agreeable — it is Mr. Malvers. Will you oblige me by seeing him?”

At the mention of this name, a dizziness came across his temples — his pulse throbbed — and looking earnestly at the doctor, he replied, “See me! what can he want of me? I think I have seen enough of


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him already,” and then, exhausted by the effort, sunk half-fainting upon the pillow.

“He has news, that I am sure will be agreeable, and I particularly wish him to communicate it himself. You will let him come in, won't you? — but you must not give way to feeling.”

“Yes — he may come in — and do not fear me; but first, give me a glass of water. I felt unwell just now, for — for — I have suffered much — but I have no —— and — now, I think I am better.”

When Mr. Malvers entered, and stood at the foot of the bed, hesitating ere he advanced, the contemplation of a form which, only a few days ago, had worn all the bloom of health, and in the prime of manliness, now reduced to a pale lump of almost inanimate clay, little better than a corpse, was nearly too much for him. He turned aside his head for a moment, as if unable to bear the shock, and when his eyes reverted to the bed, and met those of Quintus, intently fixed upon him, their fearful expression struck him so reproachfully, that, unable to endure the scene, he dropped into a chair, overcome by his feelings. So soon as he had some little recovered, he said to the sick man, in his mildest tone and manner, “I fear you think I have not acted kindly towards you, but” — here Quintus extended his bony, death-like hand, and interrupting him, said, “This is no place for resentment, Sir — I forgive every thing.”

“I could so explain things, as I am sure would——”

“I want no explanations, Sir — I only wish to know where — where,” but unable to proceed, he covered his face with his hands, and sobbed bitterly.

Mr. Malvers was greatly affected, and replied, “Your wife wishes much to see you — would you like to see her?”

“Like to see her!! ah! they little know me who can ask such a question.”

“But, when she comes, I hope you will say nothing to distress her — she rather needs consolation, than an aggravation of her sufferings, I assure you. I trust you will not say a word of reproach to her.”

“Reproach my Emily, do you say, Mr. Malvers? she knows me better than that, if others do not. No Sir, I shall not reproach her, nor will I distress her more than I can help — that is, more than seeing me in such a condition will distress her.”

“Do you think you will be well enough to see her to-morrow? I can assure you she is most anxious for the visit, and will come as soon as you are able to receive her.”

“To-morrow is a long time — I was promised I should see her to-day. I am quite well enough, and am sure it is a mistaken kindness to keep her from me.”




  ― 370 ―

“Well then, if you wish it, it shall be this evening — but, pray endeavour to be calm, and do not look —”

“No, no — let me only see her, and I shall soon look better.”

“She will be quite as happy to have the interview as yourself, and, as you appear equal to it, I may tell you, she is now in the house, and I will go and bring her to you, but pray be tranquil.”

During the minute or two he was absent, various conflicting emotions occupied a place in Quintus's distracted bosom; but joy predominated, and when Mr. Malvers re-entered, supporting Emily, the difference of expression that sat upon his countenance, could not be mistaken. Silent, deep-seated grief, had yielded to a smile, that brightened the lower part of his face, and was in character with the look of animation, that once more glanced from his eye; and at the moment that his wife advanced close to the bed-side, leant forward, and imprinted upon his pallid lips an affectionate kiss, the balm ran through his frame like electricity, and he became altogether a changed and different man. He tried to soothe and comfort, where he saw it was so much needed, instead of having a comforter himself in his visitor; and it was soon feared that the excitement might be too much for his strength. A speedy end was therefore put to the interview, by the authority of the surgeon, who approached and beckoned Emily to withdraw.

“You are not going to leave me again, are you, Emily?” said her husband, as he reluctantly parted with the hand he was fondly holding.

The warm tear dropped from her eye, as she replied, half choked with feeling, “Only to get some tea ready for you, and to come back and nurse you — but do not say those words to me again. I have suffered quite as much as you.”

“Well, my love, God bless you, and do not stay away long — but when shall I see my boy?”

“This evening, if you are well enough; but you know you must be kept very quiet, and I fear I may have done you harm, by letting you talk too much already.”

“There is no fear of that Emily — I shall soon be well now that, the good physician visits me. God bless you once more, and thank you for the good you have already done me — I now only want to see Olivant, to be completely happy.”

Thus, after the terrible storm, that had nearly made shipwreck of a human life, a calm was on the point of succeeding, which for a short time made Emily and her husband, once more comparatively happy, in each other's society.




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Chapter XII

“Go — speak not to me — even now be gone —
No — go not yet! Once more before we part,
Embrace and kiss, and take ten thousand leaves —
Loather a hundred times to part than die.
Yet now farewell — and farewell, peace with thee.”

HENRY VI

In the calm repose and quiet that succeeded Emily's return to her husband's cottage, several days were spent, each strengthening the work of recovery already commenced; and her sedulous attentions and affectionate kindness, so assisted the excellent medical advice that had been bestowed upon him; that he daily made rapid strides towards convalescence.

But this consummation of many sincerely bestowed hopes and wishes, only served to renew the attention both of himself and others, to his unhappy circumstances; and in the discussions that ensued, those who more especially ranked themselves as Emily's friends or advisers, warmly participated, as they had seen enough to learn that they had hitherto pursued the wrong path, and now sought to repair the mischief, they had innocently been instrumental in occasioning.

It was one of Emily's first and most anxious steps, to endeavour to obtain from the Government, such a mitigation of the severe orders that had been directed from home against her husband, as had been made known to her were in existence; but although Mr. Malvers was most desirous of rendering her every assistance, towards promoting this object, he felt convinced from what had been imparted to him, that unless the known humanity of the Governor of the Colony could be wrought upon by the sufferings of the afflicted pair, little hope remained that their present tranquillity would prove any thing else than temporary. Partly by his advice therefore, Emily resolved to make a personal appeal to that high personage, on behalf of her husband, and to solicit that the same indulgence might be extended to him, which was usual when persons who were in his circumstances, were joined by their wives from England. Mr. Malvers bade her tell her tale fearlessly and boldly, and not be discouraged by what had hitherto reached her, adding, “You cannot do otherwise than like the Governor. — He will listen to you most


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attentively, and I am quite sure, if he be not so tied up by his instructions, as to fail in the power, he will not want the inclination to accede to your request.”

Thus encouraged, she sought and obtained an interview, upon which she felt that much depended. She found the distinguished individual before whom she was a suitor, corresponding in manners and deportment, with all that had been related to her; and although overcome by a momentary timidity upon first entering the room, his mild and placid tones, his soothing language, and courteous reception, by degrees re-assured her, and regaining her composure, she artlessly and pathetically told her story, ending, by an earnest supplication that her unfortunate husband might be assigned to her, as had commonly been the case, under similar circumstances.

The Governor heard her patiently, and evidently felt for her. “I would, Madam,” he replied; “that the granting your request, at all depended upon myself, and you should not entreat in vain; but really, your husband is entirely out of my hands, and I have no more control over him than yourself. — I fear he may thank his own indiscretion in some respects, for his present difficulties; and that he has been unguarded, in making representations which have done him no good. — I assure you, I grieve to say so, but I can do nothing whatever for him.”

“Let me entreat your Excellency to reconsider your determination. I have come from England, with my child, after a shipwreck, from which we only escaped with our lives, under the hope of living happily together. Very little will content us, so that we may not again be separated. Oh! your Excellency, let me implore you to think what it is to part those, who are everything to each other, as my husband, our child, and myself are; and do have pity on us. — If my husband goes where he is ordered, what in the world will become of us? Only think of us, your Excellency, and do not separate us, now I am come so far, and have suffered so much. — He has done nothing wrong, he is only unfortunate, and surely, your Excellency will not let him be punished for that, as if he had been guilty of an offence; pray do not, your Excellency.”

Emily was astonished at her own eloquence; but she saw that her hearer was moved, and as he did not attempt to interrupt her, she continued in this strain, urging whatever came uppermost, until at length the Governor replied most kindly, “I assure you that I deeply, very deeply commiserate your situation, and was sincerely sorry when I heard of your arrival; and if I might offer an opinion, it would be that, your best way is to return immediately to your friends in England. In a year or two, things may be better with Quintus Servinton; but at present, I really have no alternative—no


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option — my orders about him from Mr. ———, are imperative, and I must not act contrary to them.”

Emily heard this with dismay, but was still unwilling to yield — she felt relieved by the sympathy of the excellent person before whom she was pleading — she saw that there was a something favourable to her in his heart, and she determined once more to urge her suit. “Only let him go somewhere, where I can accompany him, if your Excellency cannot do more for me — pray do not refuse this, I beseech your Excellency. I cannot return to England — to leave my husband is impossible, and any place, no matter where will do, so that we are not parted.”

“I am far from wishing to part you, for I respect wedded ties, and would willingly contribute to their entire peace and happiness. My recommendation to you to return to your friends, had nothing more for its object, than Quintus Servinton's good; as I am satisfied, there will be no other way to obtain your wishes with respect to him.” He then paused and added, “I do not think Mr. ——— could refuse your personal solicitation. Think of what I have advised you, and in a day or two you shall hear from me, what I have finally decided with regard to your husband. I once more assure you, I do not wish to see his situation worse than I can avoid, and if, upon farther consideration, I can make any alteration in the orders I have already given, you may depend upon my doing so.”

With this promise, modified as it was, she was obliged to be content, and withdrew, grateful for the kind and feeling reception with which she had been honored.

In the course of a few days, she was made acquainted that the Governor had so far improved the condition of her husband, that it became barely possible for her to accompany him, into what might be almost termed a second exile; and she now thought it necessary that the whole should be imparted to him, as hitherto it had been judged proper to conceal from his knowledge, the sad change that was impending. She accordingly made the communication in a manner best calculated to mitigate its poignancy, concluding by saying, “Think not dearest, I will not go with you, wherever you are sent. The Governor has so far granted my request, as to have altered the place he had fixed for you, and I daresay we shall be very comfortable for a year or two. You know I am not particular, and I can do a great many things. They all want me to return to England, but I never will, till you are able to go with me.”

At the very mention of England, his countenance altered, a deathly paleness succeeded the faint colour that had now a little resumed its place on his cheek, and which, Emily observing, continued, “Do not look so — I cannot bear to see it. I know what is


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passing in your mind,” and sinking into his arms as she spoke, “I will never leave you again for a single day, unless you desire me.”

“Then, my love, you will remain with me until I close your eyes, or you do the same sad office for me — but I hope you do not think I mistrust you, for believe me, I have the most unbounded confidence in your good sense, your correct principles, and your affection.”

“I wish I could feel confidence that you think I love you, as much as ever I did, but you now always seem so different to what you used to be, that you really make me wretched. You believe I love you very, very dearly, don't you?”

“No, Emily, do not believe it — I know it — and do not distress yourself with any vain fears, or be uneasy — I have had sore afflictions you know, and although thanks to an all merciful God, I hope they are nearly subdued, I cannot, all at once shake off their recollection. But come, let us take a walk, for I cannot bear to talk any more of such dismals. Trust me, love, I fully know and feel your worth.”

The communication that had been now made, although a deathblow to all the fond hopes and expectations he had been indulging for the three years previously, did not find him disheartened or dispirited; for he was still permitted to feel that, like the fond clinging of the ivy to the stately oak, when the latter is robbed of all its rich foliage, by the iron hand of wintry frost, so was he not even now destitute, for his Emily shared his fallen fortunes.

In all the events consequent upon his recovery, Mr. Malvers did every thing that man could, to serve both parties, and anxiously sought occasions of rendering himself useful, towards improving Quintus's condition; but in the midst of these scenes, the climax of the whole came in a shape that was little expected, plunging this unfortunate pair irremediably in the pit of misery. But to explain how this was accomplished, the reader's attention must be carried for a moment, somewhat retrospectively.

With similar feelings to those with which a hunter contemplates his prey, when, after long and unsuccessful endeavours, he has at length encircled it by his wiles, past the possibility of escape, had certain parties been watching the recent progress of events, connected with their destined victim. To have found a powerful auxiliary in the very quarter, whence they apprehended a probable overthrow, had greatly elated them — nor, could one in particular, repress his savage joy, when he first heard the tidings of the immediate consequences of Emily's departure from her husband's roof. “He has foiled me more than once,” said he, rubbing his hands, and smiling with evident glee, “he has foiled me, but now my turn is come. It


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is well to have taken advantage of his wife's elopement, to act this catastrophe, but he knew well enough, that he dared not await the issue of what was hanging over him.”

This satisfaction however, was short lived; for with his recovery, came Mr. Malver's being enlisted on his behalf, and which, for the moment, rather impeded any active hostility from being brought to play against him. But the book of fate was shortly again opened most propitiously for their views, in a manner that, under the circumstances of the case, at once glutted the utmost malignity of some, while it showed the useless cruelty of others.

A drizzly rain had succeeded a hot summer's day, and just as the evening was closing in, and Quintus was sitting chatting with his wife upon their future plans, Olivant, who was looking through the window, exclaimed, “Papa, there is a man coming across the field from the road.”

“I know whom it is,” cried Emily. “It is one of Mr. Malvers's servants. He promised to send some papers for you to take into the country to-morrow. Run, dear, and open the door.”

Scarcely was this done, than the man, who, instead of being the person expected, was a stranger, brushed past the child, entered the parlour, and said abruptly to Quintus, “Sir, you are my prisoner — I arrest you at the suit of Mr. Newton.”

“Impossible,” replied Quintus, with the greatest surprise — “The money due to him is to be paid by my trustee, and I have nothing to do with it.”

“I know nothing about that, Sir,” replied the man, “I am only a runner to the bailiff, who will be here directly.”

At this moment, his superior entered, a remarkably well behaved, obliging person, and one who, in discharging an irksome duty, always sought to mitigate its rigours, by every possible courtesy. Bowing as he approached, he said, “I am come upon a very unpleasant errand, Sir, but I had no alternative; for my orders were express — but do not hurry or disturb yourself, if you have any arrangements to make, for as the writ is not bailable, there is nothing to be done but to take you with me.”

Both Quintus and Emily had been so schooled and disciplined by adversity, that this unlooked for visit, distressing as it was, produced comparatively little effect upon their composure; but Olivant, bursting into tears, crept up to his father's lap, and throwing his arms around his neck, said, “Will your troubles never be over, my dear papa?”

“Yes, my child, some day or other, either in this world or the next. — But now love, you must try and help me. Go to Mr.


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Leicester for me, and beg him to come here directly;” then turning to the bailiff, he said, “There must be some great mistake in this business, for my trustee joined me in security for this very debt. He holds all my property, and is the person to pay it. I must get you to be seated, and allow me an hour so that I may send to town about it.”

“Any thing I can do you may command with pleasure, sir,” replied the humane officer, “but if you think of sending to him, I fear it will be of no use, for his name is included with yours in the writ, and the lawyer and he were at my house together this afternoon, when the lawyer expressly ordered me to go and arrest you, but not to meddle with the other. 'Tis as well to tell you this, for, as for my part, I like things fair and above board, as the saying is.”

“What in the world is the use of arresting me, as they know I have not a shilling at my own command? They sold every thing I had, when the Governor ordered my removal, and they told all the money — they have managed to get every thing — what more can they want? Did you learn?”

“I said as much myself,” replied the bailiff. “I told them, as how 'twas no use to molest you, as you was only a Government servant like; and was known to have nothing, but one of them said, you had plenty left, as your wife had lots of property.”

Emily now approached her husband, and said, “What in the world shall we do? I wish I had the money here, I would pay it, and get rid of such people. What is there can be done? How can I manage to get the money? Do tell me Quintus.”

“No, my dearest, that shall never be allowed — I would rather lie in gaol seven years, than suffer any thing of the sort. I will go at once with the officers, as it is now so late, and we will consult with our friends to-morrow — but here is our dear boy come back with Mr. Leicester. We will just hear what he says.”

The consultation was short and decisive. Notwithstanding that it had set in a thoroughly soaking night, Emily was not to be deterred from going to town, late as it was, to lay the case before Mr. Malvers, and one or two other of her friends, who might be likely to aid, by good advice at least, in their present strait; and, accompanied by Mr. Leicester, she at once set out upon her dreary and melancholy walk.

Accustomed as had been Mr. Leicester to human nature, in all its colours, this endeavour to deprive a person in Emily's circumstances, of the little she was able to call her own — to increase the misery of a couple, so buffetted and tossed about by fortune as they had been — to take not only the skin, but absolutely to boil the


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very bones, for the sake of the oil they might contain, surprised and grieved him — and, although he joined in the bailiff's opinion of the hopelessness of present resistance, he cheerfully acceded to Emily's request, and escorted her to town, endeavouring to soothe and comfort her, by explaining that, even if the worst happened, it was impossible, from the very nature of the writ, and other circumstances, that her husband's confinement could be any other than of short duration.

Disappointment awaited her in every shape. Upon reaching her destination, she found that Mr. Malvers had taken his departure that very same afternoon for a distant circuit. Indeed, it would almost appear that his movements had been watched, and had served as the rudder to direct those that were adopted; and she returned in a melancholy, unhappy mood, only to receive her husband's blessing, and to hear him tell the officers he was ready to attend them, when just as the town clock was sounding the midnight hour, the ponderous key and heavy bolts were turned, first to admit, and then to close upon, the hapless Quintus Servinton, now unjustly become the inmate of a prison.

What important results sometimes arise from events, inconsiderable in themselves, yet influencing most powerfully, our lives and destinies! The arrest of Quintus was legal, because he had made himself a party to the instrument, under which the proceeding was taken — but, it was not equitable, insomuch as the person who held his property in trust, and was also a party to the same instrument, was the one who ought to have been applied to. When therefore a professional gentleman was made acquainted with the nature of the circumstances, and his advice was sought how to proceed, it appeared to him that, nothing but a suit in equity could relieve him, unless the Government, who had a right to his services, superior to all other claims upon him, thought proper to interfere. Once more therefore, Emily made an appeal to the Supreme Authority, but it was a subject that involved too many questions to be decided hastily; and instead of at once replying to the party who made the application, it was parried by renewing the recommendation formerly given to herself, to return to England. “Tell her,” said the exalted personage who spoke, “that any other relief he can obtain, will be partial only, and of no service to him. — Even if I were to order his discharge, the same thing will probably happen again — and unless the seat of the evil be cured, neither of them will be at peace.”

“I am most decidedly of the same opinion,” was the reply, “and so is Mrs. Cecil — and I believe, every other of Mrs. Servinton's friends. But I despair of bringing either her or her husband to


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that way of thinking, and I am quite sure, even if she agreed to the propriety of the course, nothing would make her act upon it, unless with his most entire, and unqualified concurrence.”

“She appears, from what I have seen and heard of her, a very superior woman, and I am much interested on her behalf. — Try, and convince her of the wisdom of returning to England. Mr. ——— cannot, I am sure he cannot, resist her personal appeal; I have seldom been more affected than when she so pathetically besought me to do an impossibility, but if she can be wrought upon to undertake the voyage, I will joyfully second her object, by every means in my power.”

When the substance of this conversation was repeated to Emily, she replied, “I see clearly that our inclinations must not be consulted. — Have you told me all, or have you yet more to communicate? because, when I know exactly how the question stands, I will take some little time for consideration, and then discuss it with you.”

“I have nothing to add to what I have already said. I have repeated precisely what passed; and if, after you have thought it over, you would like to see His Excellency, I have no doubt he will grant you an interview. — You must be aware that a humane anxiety, could alone induce him, to have considered your case as he has; and many reasons must at once strike you, that in recommending this course, he can have but one motive. His counsel, therefore, is entitled to your serious consideration.”

“All this I fully enter into, and so I have no doubt will Quintus. I know him so well, that I have only to convince his judgment in order to bring him to any thing. I must first weigh the subject in all its bearings myself, and if I arrive at the conclusion that my return to England is advisable, much as I know he would feel it, I am sure I could lead him to acquiesce. He knows me better I hope than to doubt, that the separation would be quite as painful to me, as to himself; but, if my duty either to him or my boy come in contact with my inclination, he shall find that his wife can forego every personal consideration, and cheerfully brave another voyage. I should think nothing of it, could I feel assured that there existed the least probability of obtaining for him a release by it, from any part of his present troubles.”

With such rules of action for her government, she spent several hours in cool and dispassionate reflection. She saw that a choice of evils was alone presented to her, and that the question at issue really was, whether she and her husband should continue for years to drag on a degraded and miserable existence, shackled by restraints that effectually barred the exercise of his talents and energies, or whether by temporarily sacrificing each other's society, she should


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undertake an arduous and distressing measure, under a well founded hope of opening brighter prospects for the future. Her next consideration was directed to the question, how far a probability existed, that the step recommended to her would be successful; and having revolved these subjects in her mind, in all their bearings, she determined to consult Mrs. Cecil, and afterwards see the Governor, ere she mentioned the subject to her husband; yet resolving that, whatever might be the result of these preliminary consultations, to be in the end solely guided by Quintus.

It is well for us when, in navigating our little bark through the ocean of life, we are able to avoid precipitancy and impetuous haste, and to call in the experience of wise and disinterested friends, in cases of difficulty, letting our judgment be influenced by their advice, rather than by our own inclinations. Had Emily in this instance acted upon the impulse of her heart, her determination would have been to stay and abide her husband's fortunes, be they good or bad; but she had strength of mind to check this feeling, and to make it yield to the dictates of mature reflection; and perhaps, all circumstances considered, she could not have had better counsellors, than those whom she now sought.

Mrs. Cecil, as one of her own sex, and like her, a wife, could enter into, and sympathise with all the feelings peculiar to her situation. She had become personally much attached to her by reason of her many excellent qualities, and, although she knew little of Quintus, as a married couple, she felt for them both — as the victims of a series of continued misfortunes, she pitied them, and she sincerely desired to witness an end to their sufferings. The important question now submitted to her, thus received an exercise of sound judgment, proportionate to the occasion; and after a long and interesting debate, she wound up all by saying, “I can enter into what will be your husband's feelings, by my own regret at the bare idea of parting with you; but tell him from me, that I am convinced it is the only thing to do him any good, or to give either of you a day's unmolested happiness hereafter; and that although I shall be most sincerely sorry to part with you, I shall be delighted for both your sakes, when you are once clear off upon your homeward voyage.”

Her interview with the Governor was the means of receiving from himself, a repetition of the advice that had already reached her through others. He told her, that if she made up her mind to go, she should be furnished with documents, confirmatory of the advice he now gave, concluding by saying, “And now, Mrs. Servinton, I have said all that occurs to me upon the subject. I dare say you will believe, that if I had not felt an interest in your unhappy


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circumstances, I should have merely carried my orders with regard to Quintus Servinton into effect, and have left you to your chance. If I could do more for you, I do not want the inclination — but I have not the power. I must however yet urge one more recommendation upon you. There is a vessel now in the harbour ready to sail for England — it is in every respect an excellent opportunity — do not delay, but go by her, and may you be successful.”

This last suggestion staggered her, but before she decided even to admit it to her bosom, she once more consulted her friend Mrs. Cecil, who observed that, so far from regretting, she thought it fortunate, such an opportunity offered. “You may depend upon it,” she continued, “that the most painful operation that can be inflicted upon the body, just in the same manner, that distresses affect the mind, receive additional poignancy, from long previous anticipation. Your voyage will not be one of pleasure — it is to attain a particular object — and the sooner that object is attained, and not till then, mind me, can you reasonably hope for happiness. Go at once to your husband, and reason with him. I have no doubt that at first he will decidedly object; but try and convince his good sense; and although the alternative must I am sure be most agonizing to him, do not hastily relinquish your point; I dare say you have not been married so long, without knowing how to manage him.”

Emily half smiled through her sorrows, as she replied, “I can do much more with him I believe, by persuasion, than any other way — I will go and talk with him, and if he agrees, will embark by this vessel, but most certainly not otherwise. Never again will I undertake any important measure, trusting to subsequent events to see him reconciled to it.”

Thus prepared, she directed her steps to her husband's abode of wretchedness, and in her own way, related to him every thing just as it had occurred. She was not mistaken in her estimation of him. His severe sufferings had not been without their full effect upon his mind; and he listened to all that was said, with attention and composure. Emily knew the very high opinion he entertained of the Governor, and how much also, he esteemed and respected Mrs. Cecil, and materially depended therefore upon the impression that would be produced, by the opinions of these two persons; and having made use of all that had fallen from them, she continued in the most touching manner, “Do not fancy for a moment, my dearest Quintus, that I regard myself, or my own happiness, in urging upon you the wisdom of my embarking by the Zara. I can never be happy, separated from you — and I solemnly pledge myself, that my absence shall not be one day longer, than is necessary for obtaining such a mitigation of the cruel orders now in force, as may


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present the probability of our living together, free from such storms as have latterly befallen us. You know, you always speak very highly of the Governor. I have repeated to you what he said; now let me show you what he has written; and then, as you will know every thing, I will leave you for a few hours, and you alone shall decide whether I shall go or stay — but my dearest, dear husband, you have often told me you could make up your mind to any thing. So can I, when either your good, or that darling boy's, who is every thing to us, is concerned, even to parting from you. Now do let me entreat you to profit by what is advised us, and not suffer your judgment to be influenced by your affections — you cannot feel the separation more than I shall — but I am reconciled to the idea of it, because I know that nothing else can serve you.”

The document left by Emily, when she withdrew from this painful interview, painful, from the very nature of its subject, but rendered doubly so, by the place where it was held, was a minute or memorandum, signed by the Governor, and addressed to herself, briefly, but pointedly repeating what he had before expressed verbally; and recommending to the Home Minister, a favourable consideration of her case. Left for a time to his own meditations, he weighed with calm composure all that had been communicated; and, notwithstanding he knew that, by the very nature of the writ that had been taken out against him, he would be able to obtain his release from prison in another fortnight, the prospect for the future was so dark and gloomy — the horizon was so obscured — the Governor's written language so unequivocal, that the deplorable situation of his wife and child, by keeping them attached to his forlorn and destitute condition, appeared to him a piece of injustice, before which, all personal considerations vanished; and, when Emily returned to him, he embraced her with a calm serenity, and said, “Go, my beloved, with your husband's full concurrence and blessing — God will bless and protect you, I am sure; for such as you, are always under his special protection. Go, my Emily, but do not let your regard for me, expose you to a refusal on the part of Mr. ————. I can bear any thing they chuse to do with me, for I am sick and tired of the world, and am become alike indifferent to its pains or pleasures; I can be contented even in this spot, and here I mean to remain.”

“I will not go, Quintus, if you talk in that way; and you do not use me kindly or justly, in what you imply by such expressions. — It is upon your account and Olivant's, wholly and entirely, and not to please or gratify myself, that the voyage will be undertaken; and do you doubt for a moment, my intention of returning to you, that you talk of remaining in this horrid place? No — I once more


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solemnly assure you, that if God spare my life, I will rejoin you; and that, no longer delay shall take place in your again seeing me, than is absolutely unavoidable. Let me only once gain the point I have in view, and I will never relinquish the pursuit till it be gained, you shall see how long it will be, ere I am again on the water to join you. We cannot help the loss of fortune, and believe me, I care nothing for being poor. Now do not, dearest Quintus, do not add to my troubles, by permitting me to think, yours is a sort of half concurrence. I will either go with your approbation unreservedly, or I will stay, and willingly abide the consequences.”

“You do not understand me, my dear Emily; but I let you go on scolding without interruption, as you look so interesting, when you talk upon any subject, you want to carry.”

Emily tapped his cheek with her two fore-fingers, as she interrupted him, through her tears and said, “No, no! I never misunderstand that turn of the mouth; I can always tell what is passing in your heart — but we will not pursue a painful conversation, for now, I can read by your countenance that you have full confidence in me, and in the object of my mission, and I shall take leave of you, assured, that you will do nothing, calculated to retard the object we both have in view. We live but for each other Quintus — of that I am sure, and we must, we will, yet taste happiness.”

The momentous step, once being resolved upon, Quintus readily adopted the ideas of others, respecting the advantages attending its being promptly acted upon, and fortune, as if to favor so interesting and holy an enterprise, presented opportunities in the ship that was now ready to sail, particularly rare and valuable to a female, unprotected as she was, excepting by her own innate goodness. The two or three days that intervened, until the Zara would be ready for sea, were wholly devoted to her husband — and when, at length, the morning arrived that was to witness her departure from a spot, her arrival upon whose shores, only three months previously, had long been associated with many visionary scenes of happiness, the signal from the vessel had been more than once made, until she could tear herself from the last fond embrace of one, with whom she was leaving an undivided, a truly affectionate heart — and again and again did she say, “One kiss more, my dearest, dear husband — think of me, and pray for me, for you will be in my constant thoughts and prayers, and, if I live, we will soon see one another again,” ere this excellent, devoted woman could summon courage to leave the place — when, presently embarking, a prosperous wind soon wafted her far, far away from the unfortunate Quintus.




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Chapter XIII

“No ceremony that to great ones 'longs
Becomes them with one half so good a grace
As mercy does —
——— It is twice blessed;
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes.”

SHAKSPEARE

Twenty or thirty years ago, imprisonment was generally attended by much more personal suffering, than at the present day. The excellent classification of modern date, in places of confinement, has greatly lessened their severity; and more especially with regard to debtors, the principle now obtaining that, detention of the body is all the law requires, and that, when this is attained, neither justice nor humanity sanction any farther restraint than what is consistent with safe custody, has so wrought a change in the system, that many, who are only acquainted with the subject, by their own personal observation, can form little idea of what was the general character of the place, that witnessed the parting scene between Emily and Quintus. Yet, wretched as was his situation, he had much, very much cause to be thankful, compared with the many unfortunates by whom he was surrounded; for a feeling of commiseration on the part of the superior of the prison, had induced an extension of indulgence to him in the shape of accommodation, by which, he could at least say that he had an apartment, in which he was neither subject to interference nor intrusion. This, to a man of Quintus's frame of mind, and of his pursuits and habits, was invaluable. The conferring it, bespoke qualities of the heart, of which the possessor may well be proud; and in this instance, it was a boon, both gratefully felt and acknowledged. — Here, after Emily had left him, he spent nearly the whole of his time, occupying his many leisure hours in a manner, for which his education and attainments best fitted him — seeking thus to heal the wound by which his heart was lacerated. Here, he calmly and resignedly abandoned all ideas of personal liberty, preferring the solitude he had at command, to any thing likely to be presented to him upon again entering on the world. Here he probed the seat of the disease, that had been productive of such melancholy fruits in his passage through life. Disconnected with all care or anxiety, as to the common occurrences of the day, here he was able to review the past — to sit


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in judgment upon himself — and the more he did so, the more was he confirmed in the wish to remain in seclusion. But memory, ever busy memory, will not suffer us to draw the veil of oblivion over events, that have caused us intense suffering; and many were the hours in which he had now occasion for all his fortitude and resignation. Yet, could he not be induced to change the design he had once adopted, and for doing which, an early opportunity was at his command; for scarcely had Emily left the shore, than his discharge from prison was at his command, and he might, had he been pleased, have availed himself of many kind offers of service, that were at the same time made him.

Solitude in some instances is attended with the most beneficial effects upon the human mind, although it has been said that, he who can enjoy it, must either be a beast or an angel. In such an instance as Quintus's, the term enjoyment was out of the question. It was a forced contentment — it was a submission to restraint — of which he knew, and could endure, the worst — it was a fortitude that was the creature of circumstances — but all these having existence, they jointly produced the result of entirely subduing his once ambitious and stirring spirit, and sobering him down, in many respects, into a man of changed views, both of things and persons. He was never unemployed, either in one way or other, as he possessed a fund within himself, upon which he could draw at pleasure; and although there were few of those around him, with whom he could have any satisfaction in associating, yet there were one or two fully competent to diversify the scene, by occasional rational converse, or otherwise to vary a monotony of life, which very few could endure.

In the number of these more particularly, were two, from whose example Quintus derived both patience and consolation. The one was a Mr. Allen, who having been torn from an amiable wife and family, had been incarcerated some years within the same walls, the victim of cruelty and oppression, and who tended much to reconcile Quintus to his fate, by a remark he one day made him. “Yours is indeed,” said he, “a very hard case,” in replying to an observation that had fallen from the other; “but tell me — where is the man with whom, in every respect, and without one reservation, you would change your condition?”

Quintus paused a little, and answered, “I cannot name one.”

“Nor can I,” said Mr. Allen, “with regard to myself, unfortunate as my lot is. Be contented therefore, and receive every thing, as designed for your good.”

Another party with whom Quintus felt that he could unbend that reserve, which it was necessary as a general rule to adopt, was


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a gentleman rather advanced in life, who had long moved in a highly respectable sphere, but had dragged on four or five years within a prison, under a process of the Courts at home, the distance from which caused delay, that found him month after month, and year after year, burying talents and scientific attainments of no common order, in the unprofitable soil of a gaol.

In this manner, and with such companions to give an occasional break to the sameness of long continued seclusion, did Quintus remain more than a year, the voluntary inmate of a place, with which the world generally associates every description of horror; for it had all this while been in his power to have left it, at an hour's notice, without charge or cost; but firm to his original purpose, he invariably declined the temptations with which liberty was attempted to be associated, by some kind and anxious friends who still adhered to him, patiently awaiting the issue of events elsewhere. No employment, no avocation, no abode was capable of yielding him pleasure, apart from Emily. Without her, all places and all things were alike to him. Next to absolute happiness, negative unhappiness he considered the nearest step, and as he now possessed this, he tried to say within himself —

Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage,
A free and quiet mind can take
These for a hermitage.

He had one satisfaction, however, and it was a great one, that resulted from his lengthened imprisonment, as his presence afforded an opportunity of silencing the calumniators, who had been so industrious upon Emily's arrival in the Colony; an investigation into all Mr. Crecy's affairs, which took place at this time, having ended most triumphantly, as well for that gentleman, as for himself.

Meanwhile, Emily was pursuing her task of love and duty, undaunted by any obstacles, and fearlessly encountering all difficulties. She arrived safely in England, almost the first to announce to her anxious relatives, the accomplishment of her outward voyage. In her, Quintus had an able and zealous advocate upon all the points of his sad story, which might have been capable of casting an imputation of blame upon him; and in recounting her own melancholy tale, she nothing extenuated, more than the real circumstances authorized. Directing all her energies from the moment of landing, to the grand and leading object, that was the polar star of her hopes and wishes, she felt desirous of becoming acquainted, as nearly as possible, with the character of the high authority, with whom she purposed interceding, in order that she might the better


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determine the course next to be pursued. When she had received the strong recommendations in the Colony, that had ultimately induced her return to England, it was emphatically urged upon her, “Go yourself to Mr. ————, go yourself, first having written to request the interview. Plead to him, as you have done here, and place before him the documents with which you will be furnished. I think you will succeed, but at all events am quite sure, that if you fail, no human powers of persuasion could have availed.” Yet, notwithstanding she had hitherto courageously pursued her way, had thought nothing of the dangers or privations of the ocean, and had now reached the threshold of the goal, she had been many months contemplating, the magnitude of the stake startled many anxieties that had hitherto lain dormant; and she could scarcely summon resolution to throw the die, upon which so much, so very much depended. On the one hand, it was a re-union with her husband, under circumstances that might be likely to procure for them, lasting peace and tranquillity; on the other, a painful and indefinite separation, added to the knowledge that, under the shade by which his talents and acquirements were obscured, the very best portion of his life was being wasted and frittered away, in occupations that were every way unworthy of him. All these considerations joined to many others, had a material sway over her gentle bosom, as her enquiries were directed towards obtaining the knowledge she sought to acquire; nor in many respects, was her anxiety lessened, as the answers reacher her. Mr. ———— was universally described as rigid, but humane. A man, who would not suffer his country's laws to be a mere child's play in weak, imbecile hands; and who took care not only to have active and clever persons around him, but that they should uncompromisingly perform the very letter of their duty. In other respects, easily accessible where justice was concerned, but thoroughly impervious to all applications for mercy, that had little to support them, beyond the interest of the party, and able to steel his breast and to listen unmoved to the most pathetic supplications, even when urged in their most engaging form, where his sense of the merits of a case, was opposed to the prayer of the suppliant. One feature of his character, however, gave her some anxiety; as it bore unfavourably upon her husband. Mr. ———— was one of those who deemed a sphere of life, at all elevated above the common herd, to be so defensive an armour against the infirmities of our nature, that a lapse from the path of virtue on the part of any such — no matter how extenuated by an irreproachable and exemplary previous tenor of life, was ever considered unpardonable, and was visited with an extreme punishment. Emily therefore had good cause for apprehension, since her husband too much came within the interdicted pale;


  ― 387 ―
but on the other hand, she was armed with a wife's eloquence, aided by the extraordinary events that had caused her to circumnavigate the globe, within a period of twelve months, and thus fortified, she trusted to overcome the only point upon which she had reason to fear, and so to influence her hearer's other traits of character, as not to have rendered all her efforts abortive.

At length the day arrived that was big with so portentous an issue to all her hopes of happiness; and after having gone through the usual preliminaries, where the presence of so high a personage as a Secretary of State is concerned, she found herself alone with Mr. ————, and had in him, a patient and courteous listener to whatever she had to say.

He was tall and of a commanding mien, his manners free from all affectation or pride, his countenance beamed with mildness or beneficence, and he treated his interesting suitor, just as a man of high breeding, a scholar, and a gentleman, always would behave to a lady under similar circumstances. To him, Emily pathetically related her whole story. She recounted her shipwreck — and afterwards, the more lamentable wreck still of all her fondest hopes, by the condition in which she had found her husband — brought, as he had been, to the climax of human misery, by a series of unexpected and uncontrollable events — described, in impassioned language, the interview she had held with the Governor of the Colony — related all her various exertions towards assuaging the rigours of her husband's lot — and concluded by saying, “Disappointment meeting me at every step, all my endeavours proving hopeless, I at length resolved to act upon the advice of my friends, and to return to England with my child, to lay before you our pitiable case — to submit to you the recommendations that were given me — and to entreat that the severity of my husband's punishment, may be mitigated.”

Mr. ——— received the papers she then presented to him, and replied, that he would give them every consideration — that he truly regretted the tale she had unfolded — and if, upon enquiry into the case, he found that her husband's condition was capable of being meliorated, without prejudice to the cause of justice, the almost unexampled exertions she had made for him, should not go unrewarded.

The language of office is oftentimes a civil negative only, under the various loopholes with which it is couched, when those to whom it is addressed, fancy they have received an affirmative quite consonant to their wishes. In this case, Emily had little reason to congratulate herself upon the reply that was made her, although she felt that it was so far gratifying, that it bespoke a sympathy


  ― 388 ―
that did the party honor; but there was in it so little, really to the point nearest her heart, that in withdrawing, her bosom smote her, that she would yet have much to do, ere such an answer as could not be mistaken, would be bestowed. Nor was she deceived — month after month passed away, but still she heard nothing farther, and time continued to roll on in this way, Emily feeling that more could not be ventured upon with Mr. ———— until some adventitious aid might arise on her behalf; and which, although deferred much longer than she had anticipated, at length arrived; when she received an intimation, that instructions would forthwith be sent to the Governor of the settlement, withdrawing the special injunctions that had been imposed with regard to Quintus, and sanctioning his receiving any indulgence from the local authorities, that his conduct might merit.

Months, nay years had followed each other, ere this tardy acquiescence to Emily's petition has been conceded; and when it reached the Colony, it found Quintus living in a calm retirement that had been provided him by the kindness of some friends, and in which, all the orders and prohibitions of the Home Government were strictly complied with, whilst at the same time, his habits and general modes of life from childhood, were as much as possible consulted. He had not been without many and strong temptations to have again embarked upon more bustling and active scenes, but he had purchased his wisdom at a sufficiently dear rate, to have been able to turn a deaf ear to whatever was so offered him. It was a source of infinite happiness to him, that he was able to feel that, many of those who had known him intimately during the whole of his abode in the Colony, continued to regard him most kindly and favourably under his reverses; and that more especially with respect to Mr. Crecy, not only by expressions, but by many substantial proofs, were his esteem, confidence, and friendly services often manifested.

Emily's manner of communicating to her husband the welcome intelligence that had the effect of rescuing, in a great measure, both himself and the energies of his active mind from the thraldom they had long worn, was like herself — kind and affectionate. She was anxious, she said, speedily to rejoin him, and only meant that her doing so should be deferred, until certain arrangements for their common good, that imperatively demanded her stay for a short while, could be accomplished. “Never for a moment, my dearest Quintus,” she observed in one of her letters “fancy that I allude to the subject reproachfully, but, for the sake of yourself, of our dear boy, and your much attached wife, do let me entreat you to profit by the past, and do not suffer the removal of restraint you


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now enjoy, to lead you into pursuits so much beyond your means, as you have hitherto attempted. It is to this, and this only I fear, that many of our troubles date their existence. We all know that you are fully competent to any moderate pursuits, you choose to adopt; but, by trying to do too much, you diminish your own value and create for all of us, much unhappiness. I am sure you will receive this caution from your Emily, in the same spirit that it is meant. You will see me perhaps, sooner than you expect, as you need not, I am sure be told, that the first wish of my heart is to be with you — so that we may assist each other, by our councils — and by applying the lessons we have been taught with so much bitterness, may go hand in hand, through the remainder of our lives, daily becoming both wiser and better; happy that we have been sifted and purified as we have been, thereby rendered I trust, fitter for another, and a better state of existence hereafter.”

Thus, by an extraordinary concatenation of events, much that had been implied, under the Sybil's words, “Warn him from his cradle, of from thirty to forty,” became almost literally fulfilled, in the case of Quintus Servinton. From infancy to about his thirtieth year, none amongst his father's numerous family, afforded his parents more comfort or satisfaction than himself — few could have been more esteemed in private life, and few were more endowed with certain qualities, that generally obtain favour with the public. But all was obscured by one feature of the mind, that caused the ten years that ended with his fortieth birth-day, to be a continued series of real and severe suffering, accompanied by danger the most imminent, in various shapes. With this stage of his life, however, came a newness of man — the stains that had marked him were removed by the discipline he had been made to endure; and it was a satisfaction to Emily through the remainder of her life, that the good work she had accomplished, was well requited; and she was permitted to feel that, notwithstanding all that had passed, her heart had not been bestowed unworthily.




  ― 390 ―

Conclusion

Thus far the manuscript, which was put into my hands, in the manner I have already described. How far I have redeemed the pledge, which served at the same time as my apology, for so bold an attempt as I have ventured upon, the reader has now been enabled to determine. I said that, “I defied the hand that might be lifted against the moral tendency of my tale;” and no one who follows it through, in all its parts — who discovers and traces the canker-worm that was the parent of so much misery — who has a soul that can enter into, and sympathise with, the many sufferings that were endured, until it was effectually destroyed — or who, in another point of view, is thus brought acquainted with the terrible consequences that sometimes, even in this world, follow in the train of a departure from thorough, undeviating rectitude, under any plea or sophistry whatever, and only in a single instance, will, I apprehend, be inclined to take up the gauntlet so thrown down. The preceding pages have embraced, as it will have been seen, forty years of my narrator's life. For information respecting the events that subsequently occurred, until I became acquainted with him, and which was a period of about twenty years, I was indebted to his verbal communication; and I do not know that I can do better than repeat, as nearly as my memory serves me, what was so related.

In a conversation upon the subject, Mr. Servinton observed, in the words of Richard Allison —

Cruel storms — far calms have brought,
After sharp showers the sun shines fair —
Hope cometh likewise after despair;

and then went on to say, “We are apt to estimate events by comparison. Thus, personal liberty, and the absence of restraint I now enjoyed, were listless and of no value to me, so long as I continued separated from my Emily. Libertas cara, carior uxor, seemed to govern me. I had no heart for any pursuits apart from her. I longed to pour into her ear the affectionate language of the lover, and at the same time evince towards her, the regard and esteem of the husband; nor until this period arrived, although I was resigned, did I ever know an hour's happiness. I cannot describe what were my feelings, when the joyful moment at length came, that brought us once more together; but this, I can say — it was one of the purest, most hallowed, and least alloyed in point of happiness, I had ever tasted. When first I saw her, as a young and interesting lady, she


  ― 391 ―
created my admiration, and afterwards, all the fervour of youthful love — when we previously re-met after a long separation, my mind was grievously oppressed by many and weighty cares, and I was unable to throw off my load, even in her presence. Subsequent events had operated I trust, like the winnowing, that parts good seed from chaff — and now, having abundant cause to admire the wonderful and inscrutable ways of Providence — to experience in my own person, how much and how frequently, events seemingly disastrous, and viewed by us at the moment with great repugnance, are made instruments to work out our temporal and eternal good; — when the dear creature, this second time, stood before me, yet in the full bloom of her loveliness, her superior mind brightly showing in the still undiminished lustre of her eye, I more than ever deeply regretted that I had occasioned sorrow to such a being; I regarded her as a treasure, more valuable than all the gems or riches of the earth — I felt reconciled to every thing I had endured, because it had conduced towards bringing me to a full sense of her worth — and so soon as the first burst of joy was over, and I was able to reflect a little, my heart whispered to me, in the words of the Psalmist —

It is good for me that I have been afflicted:
That I might learn thy statutes.”

Our subsequent days were a series of comparative peace and serenity. Adversity had taught us, to limit our wants within a narrow compass; and the many opportunities afforded, in the beautiful country to which I was exiled, for the exercise of the various knowledge I had acquired in early life, enabled me not only to provide a competency for immediate occasions, but also the means of laying up a moderate store for the future.

Nothing however, neither a powerful principle of my nature, nor some tempting offers I received, could ever induce me, again to venture upon pursuits, which had been fraught with such perils and evils, as had previously attended me. — I thought much and deeply, of the fable of the “Tortoise and the Hare;” and I found the slow and sure, so much the wisest, as well as the happiest mode of obtaining wealth, that having once entered upon that path, and trod it for a while, I was sometimes lost in astonishment, how I could ever have been mad enough, to have attempted any other.

It was not among the least of our sources of gratification, that our only child Olivant, grew up to manhood, displaying all his mother's excellent temper, affectionate and amiable disposition, and correct principles, accompanied by a great quickness of perception, and aptness at acquiring information — qualities, highly valuable in themselves, and of the want of which, I have no right to complain myself; but when not guided by the rudder of discretion, as in my


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case, oft prove misfortunes, instead of blessings. With him however, it was different. Under his mother's eye, from his infancy to his fourteenth year, her skilful hand eradicated weeds, the instant they appeared — his father's lot, was a beacon for him — and the excellent education he received, so confirmed and strengthened his mother's exertions, in seconding the gifts of Nature, that he became a comfort to his parents, and an ornament to society. The child you see, is his eldest boy.

After a few years spent in the Colony, the exertions of our friends obtained for me, an absolute and entire remission of all pains and penalties. Being thus in a condition to return to my native land— and which had always been the earnest desire of Emily, we made a rambling voyage, visiting all the countries we could conveniently include in our way, until the white cliffs of England once more delighted my eye-sight, and we safely landed upon its shores, greeted by all our surviving relations, with the most affectionate and hearty welcome.

Many reasons induced us to prefer a quiet, retired spot for our residence, to a scene of noise and bustle. We had been struck with the beauties of this neighbourhood, when we visited Devonshire under happier circumstances, many years ago; and this cottage, having become vacant, by the death of its former occupant, a half-pay military officer, just at the time we were upon the look out, we pitched our tent here — and the taste of my Emily, has been exercised in assisting Nature to make it, what you now see. We are seldom alone, as one or other of her sisters is generally with us. I should do wrong not to say that, I think her the best of the family; but they are all excellent; and, not one year of my life has passed, since I became acquainted with them, that I have not had more or less cause to feel that, God in all his chastenings, is ever merciful; and I am almost inclined to subscribe to the doctrine, that marriages are made in Heaven.”

Reader! I have now done. If I have succeeded in impressing you with the moral, which I myself drew, upon becoming acquainted with Quintus Servinton and his story, I shall at least have done a something. You will at all events have learnt that —

Virescit vulnere virtus.

   THE AUTHOR

  FINIS

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