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the deed to glut savage vengeance, or satiate long, settled, and bloody hate.
2. It was a cool, calculating', money-making murder. It was all “ hire and salary', not revenge'.” It was the weighing of money against life'; the counting out of so many pieces of silver against so many ounces of blood'. An aged man, without an enemy in the world, in his own house, and in his own bed, is made the victim of a butcherly murder, for mere pay. Truly, here is a new lesson for painters and poets. Whoever shall hereafter draw the portrait of murder, if he will show it as it has been exhibited in an example--where such example was last to have been looked for—in the very bosom of our New England society, let him not give it in the grim visage of Moloch, the brow knitted by revenge, the face black with settled hate, and the bloodshot eye emitting livid fires of malice.
3. Let him draw, rather, a decorous, smooth-faced, bloodless demon': a picture in repose rather than in action; not so much an example of human nature in its depravity', and in its paroxysms of crime', as an infernal nature'; a fiend, in the ordinary display and development of his character. The deed was executed with a degree of self-possession and steadiness equal to the wickedness with which it was planned. The circumstances, now clearly in evidence, spread out the whole scene before us.
4. Deep sleep had fallen on the destined victim, and on all beneath his roof. A healthful old man, to whom sleep was sweet,—the first sound slumbers of the night held him in their soft but strong embrace. The assassin enters, through a window already prepared, into an unoccupied apartment. With noiseless foot he paces the lonely hall, half lighted by the moon;
he winds up the ascent of the stairs', and reaches the door of the chamber. Of this he moves the lock, by soft and continued pressure, till it turns on its hinges without noise'; and he enters', and beholds. his victim before him.
5. The room was uncommonly open to the admission of light. The face of the innocent sleeper was turned from the murderer, and the beams of the moon, resting on the gray locks of his aged temple, showed him where to strike. The fatal blow is given ! and the victim passes, without a struggle or a motion, from the repose of sleep to the repose of death! It is the assassin's purpose to make sure work, and he yet plies the dagger, though it was obvious that life had been destroyed by the blow of the bludgeon. He even raises the aged arm, that he may not fai in his aim at the heart, and replaces it again over the wounds of the poniard!
6. To finish the picture, he explores the wrist for the pulse !
He feels for it, and ascertains that it beats no longer! It is accomplished. The deed is done. He retreats, retraces his steps to the window, passes out through it as he came in, and escapes. He has done the murder; no eye has seen him, no ear has heard him. The secret is his own, and it is safe! Ah, gentlemen, that was a dreadful mistake! Such a secret can be safe nowhere. The whole creation of God has neither nook nor corner where the guilty can bestow it and say it is safe.
7. Not to speak of that eye which glances through all disguises and beholds every thing as in the splendor of noon, such secrets of guilt are never safe from detection, even by men. True it is, generally speaking, that “murder will out.” True it is, that Providence hath so ordained, and doth so govern things, that those who break the great law of Heaven, by shedding man's blood, seldom succeed in avoiding discovery. Especially in a case exciting so much attention as this, discovery naust come, and will come, sooner or later.
8. A thousand eyes turn at once to explore every man', every thing', every circumstance connected with the time and place: a thousand ears catch every whisper'; a thousand excited minds intensely dwell on the scene', shedding all their light', and ready to kindle the slightest circumstance into a blaze of discovery. Meantime, the guilty soul cannot keep its own secret. It is false to itself; or, rather, it feels an irresistible impulse of conscience to be true to itself.
9. It labors under its guilty possession, and knows not what to do with it. The human heart was not made for the residence of such an inhabitant. It finds itself preyed on by a torment which it dares not acknowledge to God nor man. A vulture is devouring it, and it can ask no sympathy or assistance, either from heaven or earth. The secret which the murderer possesses soon comes to possess him; and, like the evil spirits of which we read, it overcomes him, and leads him whithersoever it will.
10. He feels it, beating at his heart', rising to his throat', and demanding disclosure! He thinks the whole world sees it in his face', reads it in his eyes', and almost hears its workings in the very silence of his thoughts'. It has become his master. It betrays his discretion'; it breaks down his courage'; it conquers his prudence'. When suspicions from without begin to embarrass him', and the net of circumstances to entangle him', the fatal secret struggles with still greater violence to burst forth! It must be confessed'; it will be confessed': there is no refuge from confession but suicide', and suicide is confession.
THE ISLES OF GREECE.
BY LORD BYRON.
SAPPHO, (saf' fc,) a Greek poetess who lived about 600 B.C.
Where burning Sappho loved and sung!
Where Delos rose and Phæbus sprung!
But all, except their sun, is set.
The hero's harp', the lover's lute',
Their place of birth alone is mute
Than your sires' “ Islands of the Bless'd.”
And Marathon looks on the sea';
I dream'd that Greece might still be free:
I could not deem myself a slave.
Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis;
And men and nations : all were his !
And, when the sun set, where were they?
My country? On thy voiceless shore
The heroic bosom beats no more!
6. 'Tis something, in the dearth of fame',
Though link'd among a fetter'd race',
Even as I sing, suffuse my face';
For Greeks, a blush',for Greece, a tear! 7. Must we but weep o'er days more bless'd ?
Must we but blush? Our fathers bled.
A remnant of our Spartan dead !
To make a new Thermopylæ.
Ah, no! the voices of the dead
“ Let one living head,
'Tis but the living who are dumb. 9. In vain',-in vain'! Strike other chords';
Fill high the cup with Samian wine'!
And shed the blood of Scio's vine !
How answers each bold bacchanal! 10. You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet;
Where is the Pyrrhic phalanx gone?
The nobler and the manlier one?
he meant them for a slave ? 11. Fill high the bowl with Samian wine !
We will not think of themes like these :
He served, but served Polycrates,
Were still, at least, our countrymen. 12. The tyrant of the Chersonese
Was Freedom's best and bravest friend';
Oh that the present hour would lend
13. Fill high the bowl with Samian wine !
Our virgins dance beneath the shade;
To think such breasts must suckle slaves.
Where nothing, save the waves and I,
There, swan-like, let me sing and die
THOUGHTS IN A CEMETERY.
BY H. W. LONGFELLOW.
1. As I passed on amid the shadowy avenues of the cemetery, I could not help comparing my own impressions with those which others have felt when walking alone among the dwellings of the dead. Are, then, the sculptured urn and storied monument nuthing more than symbols of family pride ? Is all that I see around a memorial of the living more than of the dead, -an empty show of sorrow, which thus vaunts itself in mournful pageant and funeral parade? Is it indeed true, as some have said, that the simple wild-flower which springs spontaneously upon the
grave, and the rose which the hand of affection plants there, are fitter objects wherewith to adorn the narrow house?
2. No'! I feel that it is not so'! Let the good and the great be honored even in the grave. Let the sculptured marble direct our footsteps to the scene of their long sleep'; let the chiseled epitaph repeat their names', and tell us where repose the nobly good and wise'! It is not true that all are equal in the grave'. There is no equality even there'. The mere handful of dust and ashes,—the mere distinction of prince and beggar, of a rich winding-sheet and a shroudless burial, of a solitary grave and a family vault,- ,—were this all, then, indeed, it would be true that Death is a common leveler.
3. Such paltry distinctions as those of wealth and poverty are soon leveled by the spade and mattock; the damp breath of the