« ElőzőTovább »
No species of writing seems more worthy of cultivation than biography, since none can be more delightful or more useful;-none can more certainly enchain the heart by irresistible interest, or more widely diffuse instruction to every diversity of condition.—DR. Johnson. E
Thomas Harris kept the Rising Sun, a public house, about eighteen miles from York, on the road to Newcastle. Harris had a man and a maid-servant: the man, whose name was Morgan, he kept in the three-fold capacity of waiter, hostler, and gardener. James Gray, a blacksmith, travelling on foot to Edinburgh, stopped at Harris's, supped, and lay there. Early in the morning, Morgan went secretly to the magistrate, and gave information that his master, Harris, had just then murdered the traveller, James Gray, in his bed. A warrant. was issued, and Harris was apprehended. Harris positively denied the charge, and Morgan as positively affirmed it; deposing that he saw Harris on the stranger's bed, strangling him, but that he came too late to save him; and that Harris's plea was that the deceased was in a fit and he was assisting him.— Morgan further deposed that he instantly retired, and made a feint, as if going down stairs, but creeping up very softly to an adjoining room, he there, through a key. hole, saw his master rifle the breeches of the deceased. Harris preremptorily denied every part of this story from beginning to ends; and the body having, by order of the magistrate, been inspected, and no marks of violence appearing thereon, Harris was nearly on the point of being discharged, when the maid servant also, desired to be sworn. She deposed that almost directly after her master came down in the morning, as she must conceive from the travel. ler's room, she saw him go into the garden, (being, unknown to her master, in a back wash-house which overlooked it.) saw him take some gold out of his pocket, wrap it in something, and bury it at the foot of a tree in a private corner of the lace. - *
Harris turned pale at the information
He would give no direct answer as to the circumstance of the money ! A constable was despatched with the girl, and the cash to the amount of thirty pounds, was found ! The accused acknowledged the hiding of the money, but acknowledged it with so many hesitations, and answered every question with such apparent unwillingness, such apparent unopenness, that all doubts of his guilt were now done away, and the magistrate committed him for trial. Harris was brought to the bar at York summer assizes, which happened about a week after his commitment, in 1642.Morgan deposed the same as before the - The maid-servant and the constable deposed to the circumstance of the money; the first, as to the prisoner's hiding, and and both as to the finding of it. And the magistrate gave testimony as to the confusion and hesitation of Har: ris on the discovery. Harris, on his defence, endeavored to invalidate the charge, by assertions that the whole of Morgan's evidence was false; that the money which he buried $o his own property, honestly come by, and that he buried it there for its better security; and that his behavior before the magistrate on this particular, arose from the shame of acknowledging his natural covetousness—not from any consciousness of guilt. The judge then summed up the evidence, remarking strongly on the circumstance of the hiding of the money, and the weakness of the prisoner's reasons for so hiding it; and the jury, just consulting together two minutes, brought in a verdict of—guilty. Harris was executed pursuant to his sentence, persevering in his declarations of innocence, but desiring all persons to guard against the effects of an avaricious disposition; for it was that soldidness of temper which had led him, he said, into general distrustfulness, and that into the expedient of hiding his money; which circumstance had alone furnished the means to his enemies, (for what reason they were so, he said, he knew not, but whom he forgave,) for bringing him to . an ignomineous death, The truth of the case at last came ont, Harris was indeed entirely innocent — Morgan and the maid were not only fellow-servants, but sweethearts. Harris's
suspecting covetous temper was well known to both, and the girl once, by accident, perceived her master burying something, discovered the same to Morgan; he, acting as gardener, took an opportunity when at work, to dig for it; it proved to be five guineas; he left it, and informed the girl of it. They settled it not to touch the money, but to keep watching their master, as they had no doubt but he would add to it; and when it arose to a good sum, they agreed to plunder the hiding-place together, marry, and with the spoil, set up in some way of business. As they imagined so it happeued; they got several occasions to see the stock increasing, but, being equally covetous with their master, the golden harvest was not yet ripe. One day, in a quarrel, Harris strikes his man Morgan several times. Morgan determined on revenge. At this fatal period arrived James Gray: Morgan finds him next morning dead in his bed. The diabolical thought strikes Morgan of first charging Harris with the murder o robbing of Gray, and then plundering o master's hiding place, whilst he (the master) shall be in prison. Morgan com. municated his intention to the maid; she approved of it; they consult and fix the plan, and Morgan gives the information to the magistrate, as before related.— The girl unexpectedly finds the accusation not sufficiently supported, and fears that her sweetheart, of whom she is fond, will be punished for perjury, if her master is released; who indeed, unfortunately, had just hinted as much before the justice. The expedient, strikes her to sacrifice the hidden money and her master, for the safety of her paramour; and the idea, as the reader already knows, fatally succeeded. The whole of this stupendous piece of wickedness came to light in the beginning of the year 1643 on a quarrel between Morgan and the girl, who, after the death of Harris, had lived together as man and wife. They were taken up in consequence, and committed to prison, but escaped the punishment due to their crime, by both of them dying of a jail disease. Harris's innocence was still further il. lustrated, by its being found out that James
morning of the 13th of August, in the
same sultry, close dry, zephyrless weather yoh we had been already passing uner. - * * Nothing occurred on our journey worth mentioning, till we arrived at the town of Louviers, where the passengers stopped to breakfast. Whilst my friend and I were enjoying ourselves with this meal, our party was augmented by the presence of a highly intelligent French mauufactu. rer, and we were preparing ourselves to receive a great deal of valuable informa. tion from him, when, much to our horror, up strutted a little forward, talkative, of. sensive, creature of an apothecary, from Oxford street, who had been passenger with us in the Elizabeth packet from Brighton. . With ineffable presumption, he claimed us as old and familiar friends We received him with a degree of cold ness which might have sunk a thermome. ter to zero. But he was not one to be. easily repulsed. He had secured a place in the same department of the Diligence in which we travelled, and he could there. fore neither be shaken off nor altogether Prevented from annoying us with his absurdities. He endeavored to intrude his vulgar observations and jockularities upon every occasion in the course of our fore. noon's journey, and made us quite ashamed of him as our countryman, when the party sat down to dinner at Mantes.— The wretch turned up his nose at every thing that was brought to him; vowed it was execrable, fit only, for an English
Gray, the supposed murdered person, had
pig; that no man accustomed to high
life, as he had been, could dine on such trash; at the same time, however, eating glutionously of almost every dish upon the table: In short, this impertinent creature: everybody with disgust, though Frémehopolitenosso confined the expression of to their most significant national shrug. *There was one young Englishwoman
dinner...This overy different indeedsrom o: ried omoments permitted by iéhtgārd-to an English stage. coach tòthe possengers, for bolting down jo mótols of some tough, though twenty times cooked fowl. Here the * atisfied. posure of the conducteur insures the any against any thing like this agonablé interruption. A desert .#. o , in which we had a delicious meloo'and a basket of grapes, the first, of the season. Even cafe and *C : cafe were not neglected, but gone through #ith the greatest deliberation. As Mońsieur le Conducteur had joined in the repast somewhat later than the rest, so he continued to prolong it for sometime after every one else had done. The little apothecary, having well gorged himself, had drank offsis own bottle .#vin de pays,
and whilst he abused the wine, as “abso. lutely trash,” he very coolly helped him. self to one or two tumblers filled with the half-emptied bottles of those to the right and left of him. Whilst so employed, his eyes happened to light upon the young Englishwoman, of whose pleasing appearance I have already spoken. “My dear creatures" said he in a tone, although meant for a whisper, was heard all over the room. “Where could my stupid blind eyes have been wandering all this time 1” And raising from his chair, and hurrying down the table, he squatted himself down beside the lady. “Mrs. Brookes' my dear madam, I am all enchantment at this most happy and unlooked-for meeting! Where have you been, my angel, for these many weeks past ! I have missed you from town most cruelly. Now that I have found you, angelic creature | I shall never submit to have my services refused. I can be of the greatest use to you in this here foreign country; I speak Frcnch comme ung nutive, as I may say, and I know all the peuple de qualite in Paris, both English and French. My introductions will be of inexpressible consequence to you—them French like to have to do with people of some importance. Moreover, I shall be happy to escort you to the French opera— the Jairdeng Tivoli—and all them sort of polite amusements.” “Sir,” exclaimed the lady, rising from her place and interrupting him, her cheeks crimsoned with blushes, yet with an air of dignity, which absolutely struck the little man dumb, “I am utterly at a loss to comprehend how you can thus dare to insult me. Though I have more than once before suffered by similar attempts at persecution from you whilst in my house at Park-lane, you are so utterly unknown to me that I am not even acquainted with your name. I therefore beg that you may hereafter cease to trouble me with vour impertinence, otherwise I shall be under the necessity of seeking protection from the police.” And gathering up her gloves, reticule, and parasol, she called to her maid to follow her, and hastily left the room.
“Hang me but she's a game one I" cried the discomfitted little apothecary,
turning to us, and apparantly not altogether relishing the smile of satisfaction that was playing over our countenances, as well as over those of all present. “She's blood to the backbone, as my friend Lord John would say. But ha, ha! lovers' quar rels She has often been this way with one efore—a mere tantarum. I’ll bring her to by and by. She is the widow of a Cap. tain Brookes of the dragoons—husband killed at Waterloo-shot through both temples by a musket-ball—melancholy case—only six weeks married—the poor fellow left her a large estate in Hartfordshire, a good clear five thousand a-year, and a nice house in town. Quite unprotected, poor thing ! I must not abandon her, dio my heart tells me that I must not.” These last words were uttered with a tragedy air that was perfectly amusing, "and the little man strode out of the apartment with all the dignity of a young Roscius. “Bah!" cried the conductuer, casting a look of whimsical perplexity after him, “que faut li flare avec ce bete LA 7" and swallowing his scalding cup of coffee with wry faces and a “pester" he hurried out after the apotheGary in no very good humour. We fol. lowed to see the result. The little man was in the act of opening the door of the interieur, where the lady and her maid had already taken shelter, “Stop, that is hot your place, sir,” cried the conducteur in French—“your place is in the galerie; this way, sir!—this way, I tell you !” A gentle murmur of “bravo!” escaped from every one present, and the baffled apothe£áry took refuge in his old place from the half-suppresse laughter of the spectators. n taking our seats in the vehicle, we found a french officer of cavalry already there. He was a tall, handsome, extremely well-dressed and very gentleman-like mán, in the prime of life, though rather fattish in person; a circumstance to be attributed to his having lost a limb, and be. ing thereby curtailed of necessary exercise. Unhumbled by his recent defeat, the pert and rude apothecary gave this gentléman the . of rising to accommodate him with that side of the carriage where his weak eyes would be least affect. *d by, the light. Though it was almost painful for him to move imself, the stranłęr accommedated the puppy with incon
hat was coming, we inte § using some soothing language.
and some pretty strong expressions in Eg:
ceivable politeness. We found him to be a very superior man, and extremely well l
nformed. Talking of the comparative merits of the troops of the two nations, he very liberally bore testimony to those of the British. He said that our cavely were unquestionibly the findstin the world. He seemed to have a respo so the pre: sent dynasty, now that they were placed on the throne of Francose admited that perhaps the peace of Firepé the retirement of Napoleon, but a so well-directed observations' soon Qught out his admiration, nay, o thusiasm, for the o éoor. .."He'. was the darling of his aimy,” said, he in French, “and unquestionqoegoats: general in the worsd.o. of hôoogled
the apothecary, in his was a mere child to W
Any volunteers hiriohe, British service could have...beat, him!"
The officer looked at the log mangtfirst with anger, then with cotopt, anofinally with something bordering of said he, with a marked air of otrol over himself. “I believe the opioioshith you seem to hold of the emperor is: gular one.”
restored, we had leisure -ić, -sook at the country we were passing through -The first vineyards we saw were hałoway be. tween Rouen and Paris. But though they sound well in name, they are, wretched
hings in reality to look upon. Our hop.
grounds in England are magnifigent com: pared with them. They accompanied us all the way to Paris from where we fir"
mality in it all.
gay figures of both sexes.
saw them, being intermixed with small fields of potatoes, hemp, or grain, and apple and pear trees. But notwithstanding, its intrinsic richness, the face of the country is but meagre of beauty or interest. We passed along one side of the royal for: est of St. Germain, formally fenced with a huge wooden paling, and intersected now and then with long straight alleys. There are deer, and, I believe, wild boars in it...France has ceased to abound in the smaller game, such as pheasants, partridgos, and hares, which used to be seen flocking upon the high roads previous to the revolution. There is nothing remarkable in the town of St. Germain, but we enjoyed a very fine view as we descended the hill in leaving it, comprehending some grand reaches of the Seine, with numerous cha. teaux embosomet in banks of wood; but still there was a certain air of French for. ill. By this time we had enjoyed partial peeps now and then of some of the towers and domes of Paris, but the traveller, who approaches it by this route
- enjoys no general view of the city. The
entrance to it, is very grand and imposing. A very broad road, with a central pavement running between superb rows of trees
extends in one unbroken straight line for
perhaps three or four English miles. As we drove over this, carriages and equestrians began to thicken, but those bustling mazes that distinguish the environs of Lon. dón were altogether absent. We entered
... the Champs Elysees by the Barriere de . Neuilly, where we noticed the half finished
masonry of the triumphal arch begun in 1806, and we proceeded by the long Ave. nue de Neuilly. Here the throng of human
- beings and the hum of men became great
er; equipages of all varieties became more
“Jane; my dear wife " cried the officer
as she half threw herself into his arms.
turned to flee. But his cffort was vain,