Page images

The wheels are guarded well against corrosion,--
The springs are easy, and the seats well set,_
The roofs are all impervious to the wet,_
But every now and then occurs explosion'
'Tis true, you go at thirty miles an hour
Along an iron railway—yes, you fly
When you thus run—but now and then the power
Raves, and you sprawl, in no time, in the sky!
Oh, sweet invention “ever new " as Gray
Calls it; (Invention rarely gets of age)—
Still keep the farce up, ay, play out the play,
Still shake, -break—bubbled man, in his Moth-pilgrimage?

Oh! pleasant writer of all-pleasant books,
In these unpleasant days '
'Tis thy undoubted praise—
That, with no whim like Hood's nor tale like Hook's,
Thou writest like an excellent old man,
All that a green old age in wisdom can.
A good Shakspearian lesson from baths hast earn'd :
Water to wise ends turn'd.

Farewell!—indeed farewell !
Best of old souls' Author whose tellings tell !
Forgive my glittering nothings. They are out!
Gone (I trust) like thy gout.
My Ode's a bubble—and my Muse hath nurs'd
Many an airy, bright delusion,-such
As could not bear the death—material touch
My Ode hath now been blown—and oh, 'tis burst !
Nothing can come of nothing—so spake Lear,
(The sire of two bright hollow, heartless children,
Two human bubbles all his life bewildering ;)
“Nothing can come of nothing”—that is clear !
Thou livest, and wilt live, “Age cannot stale
Thy infinite variety.” In thee
We see how talents o'er the trite prevail;-
How genius charms to wealth mere poverty.
Thy ever pleasant pages, wisdom-bred,
And feeling-nourished, not in my mind only,
But with the light, the thoughtful, and the lonely,
Do equal honour to the heart—and HEAp!


Death of Donna Francisca—The Steinberg Tragedy—The Scientific Show-off— Affair of the Castor — Scotch and Irish Scenes — Recent Accidents — Slave Emancipation.

DEATH of DoNNA FRANciscA.—The past month has been more than ordinarily fertile in events; and although the world of fashion has dissolved, and “ left not a rack behind,” and London is as empty as its pleasures are when it is full, still enough has occurred of varied character since we last made our bow to our readers to call for our notice and merit their observation. Amongst the most important events of a domestic character, is the death of Donna Francisca, which occurred at the Rectory House of Alverstoke, near Gosport, at which place her Majesty had been for some time residing. The immediate cause of her death was inflammatory fever, but its fatal effect may be attributed to a weakness of constitution, induced by sufferings of the severest kind, both mental and bodily. Previous to the escape of the Spanish royal family to England in the Donegal, this unfortunate lady, hurried, at all hours of the night, from place to place, frequently sleeping, or trying to sleep, in the open air, having with her own hands cooked the scanty meal for her illustrious husband and her children, gradually sunk under the fatigues she encountered; and when at length, permitted by the grace and favour of our liberal government, she had found a quiet, although humble, retreat on our shores, her anxiety and solicitude for her husband and his cause told fearfully upon her shattered constitution; until at length her bodily disorder having assumed a definite character, it overcame her, and she died a stranger in a foreign land, to whom no honour had been paid, no attention shown, no ordinary civility offered. No sooner, however, was the illustrious lady dead, than the constituted authorities of Portsmouth made visits of condolence to her royal sister, the Princess Beira,_guards of honour were offered for the funeral,— Spanish ensigns were to be hoisted half-mast high in the men-of-war, minute guns were to be fired from the batteries, and muffled drums were to roll in the melancholy march of death, and, from the highest to the lowest, all the dependents of Government went to work, bowing and cringing to the dust of her whom they had studiously, and under orders, neglected whilst living. A magnificent funeral ceremony took place, and her Majesty’s body was deposited temporarily in a vault built on purpose in the Roman Catholic chapel at Gosport, where a service of nearly four hours and a half was performed. Lord Stuart de Rothsay officiated as one of the In OurnerS. Her Majesty, who was a daughter of King John IV. of Portugal, and sister to Don Miguel, was born April 22, 1800; was married on the 29th September, 1816; and leaves issue—Don Carlos Louis Marie, born 31st January, 1818; Don John Carlos Marie, born 15th May, 1822; and Don Ferdinand Marie, born 30th October, 1824.

The STEINBERG TRAGEDY.—The annals of great crime have, during the past month, received a tremendous addition; as far as this country is concerned, we believe its extent and horror are unprecedented. The hero of the bloody tragedy, however, is not an Englishman. Steinberg was a man whose ostensibly mild manners and apparent regularity of conduct had acquired for him confidence and even respect amongst his acquaintance and neighbours. He married, and lived respectably by his business, which was that of a whip-maker. If, as has since been stated by a son grown up to man’s estate, he was at times subject to violent paroxysms of rage, so violent, indeed, as to lead to the belief that he was of unsound mind,-he must have been an able dissimulator, for his external demeanour was that of a sedate, steady man, an amiable and affectionate husband. Seven or eight years since, he separated from his wife, not, as it was stated in the newspapers, on account of an attachment which he had formed for a beautiful young woman, Ellen Lefevre; for it was not until after he had quitted his home, and taken lodgings somewhere in the Hampstead-road, that he first saw her. She then attended him as a servant; but their association produced feelings of a nature different from those which their relative positions, in the first instance, were calculated to inspire. She became his mistress, and bore him a child, in the house where he had originally become a lodger. During the period of her confinement and convalescence, his care and attention were constant and marked. He subsequently removed to another house, where, having by his gentle bearing and regular conduct conciliated the esteem of his neighbours, he remained for two years and a half. Whilst they remained in that house, Ellen brought him two more children, to whom, with herself, he appeared devotedly attached,—never leaving home for relaxation from business without taking her, who was always considered his wife, and his infants, to share in the recreation with which he indulged himself. Eventually—their course of life appearing everywhere much the same—they removed to a house, No. 17, Southampton-street, Pentonville. ...There her fourth child was born, and there he remained, until, hearing of the illness of a relation in Germany, he resolved to go thither, in order, as it since appears, in case of that relation's death, to claim some property in right of his wife, whom it was his intention to represent as dead. In the execution of this plan, he proceeded to the continent, taking with him his second wife, as he called her, (in order, no doubt, the better to establish the fact of the death of his first,) his children, and an English maid-servant, Harriet Pearson, leaving a young man of the name of Bruneish in charge of his business until he should return. It now appears—not in evidence, but from statements which seem to be authentic—that Mrs. Steinberg, the real wife, to whom he allowed 10s. a-week, and whom, it is said, he periodically visited for the purpose of paying that allowance, had heard of the illness of the relation in Germany, and had written to her friends there, in order to apprize them of the fact of her being alive, and to undeceive them as to any claim her husband might assert in right of her. The result of this measure was naturally the defeat of his pretensions, and the loss of a suit which he had instituted;—events which, from their effect both upon his character and circumstances, greatly affected his mind. He returned with his family and the servant to his home, where the excitement under which he already laboured was considerably increased by the supposed inattention, during his absence, of the young man Bruneish to the business, which he had left him to superintend. He was heard speaking angrily to him; and, as it appears, the young man, who had in some degree merited his displeasure, was discharged the same day. This was Saturday. On the Monday, Steinberg, in whose manner or spirits no alteration was perceptible, (indeed, if anything, his spirits were considered better than usual by those who were aware of the difficulties in which he was placed,) went out; between eleven and two o'clock he bought at a cutler's in St. Paul's Church-yard a knife, such as butchers use for slaughtering pigs; this was wrapped in brown paper and deposited in a side-pocket of his coat. He subsequently called on Bruneish, the young man whom he had discharged, and, apparently in a much better humour than Bruneish expected, made an appointment for him to call upon him in Southampton-street at eight o'clock that evening, when he promised, contrary to the young man’s anticipations, to pay him two sovereigns which he said he owed him. Steinberg was subsequently seen in a coffee-house near Carey-street, with another man, at which time the landlord noticed the brown paper in his side-pocket, which inclosed the knife. Monday evening wore on, and Bruneish went to keep his appointment; but when he reached the house he saw a candle burning on the parlour table, and another in the room above. His heart misgave him, and he felt assured that the good nature of his master had been assumed, that his offer of the money was delusive, and that his intention was to inveigle him into the house, and then deliver him over to the police ; this was the extent of his suspicion, but so strong was it, that he left an umbrella which belonged to Steinberg at a neighbouring house, and made the best of his way homewards to his lodgings. At eight o’clock, the hour at which he had appointed to meet Bruneish, Steinberg and his supposed wife were sitting in the kitchen ; he was then remarkably cheerful, and had been nursing one of his younger children. He directed Harriet Pearson, the servant girl who had accompanied them to the continent, to fetch some beer and gin, and when she had given them to her master, he complained of being very tired, and said he was anxious to go to bed. In consequence of this declaration, the girl, who never slept in the house, was ordered at half-past eight o'clock to go home, and to come as usual at six o'clock in the morning. Steinberg had previously asked Mrs. Steinberg if she was ready to go to bed, to which she replied it was too soon. She then paid Pearson her wages, and enjoined her to come in time in the morning; the injunction was followed by a laugh from Steinberg. The servant-girl departed, and the doors were closed for the night. When they were next opened, what was the scene that presented itself! According to her promise, Harriet Pearson went to the house before six; she knocked, but who was there left to answer After remaining some time, she returned to her mother; they went back together, but their efforts to obtain admission were unavailing; and at eleven o'clock an entrance to the house of blood was forced. In the kitchen, lay Steinberg on his back, stone-dead, his head nearly severed from his body, and by his side the butcher's knife which he had purchased, reeking in gore. The police were summoned, and the search after the other inmates pursued. In the bed-room up stairs, they found the hapless beautiful Ellen Lefevre, lying butchered on the floor, in her night-dress, saturated with blood, and at her feet her innocent babe of seven months old, decapitated. The bed and bed-clothes were one mass of blood, and the pillow marked with blood, as if the wretched man had reached over the body of his first victim, for the infant, whom it is believed he laid upon the floor, in order to sever the head from the body. Yet was not the horrible scene complete. They proceeded to the rooms above, in one of which stood a small cot and a bed; in the bed, Henry, a fine boy of four years and a half old, lay dead, his throat cut from ear to ear; and by the side of the cot lay a lovely innocent, named after her ill-fated mother, Ellen, two years of age, whose head had been severed from her body, in the same manner as that of the infant below. Still one child was missing—the eldest boy, John; he was not in the room, although he slept with his brother Henry. A momentary glance into the next apartment, which had been fitted up as a workshop, told the sequel; there lay the child, butchered like the rest. The presumption is, that he had seen his father murdering his brother and sister, and had jumped out of bed, in hopes of escaping; for on the shoulder of this victim was the mark of a heavy blow of the knife, probably aimed by the unnatural parent at him as he was endeavouring to evade him; while the evidence is strong that the poor fellow attempted some resistance, since one of the fingers of his left hand had been cut off, and was found at some distance from the body. Is there anything on record to equal this bloody tragedy? Is there any writer of fiction, be his mind as much as possible imbued with horrid fancies or designs, who could have imagined such a catastrophe P The bodies of Ellen Lefevre and the four innocent partners of her fate have been interred in St. James's Church-yard, and the carcass of the murderer, who was pronounced by the coroner’s jury sane at the time of the murders, was borne at night to a deep hole in the poor-ground of the parish, into which it was precipitated head foremost, amidst the execrations of the people, whose groans and yells continued while a man smashed the skull with an iron crow-bar, and the attendant parishofficers shook the flaring filth off the torches, by the light of which he was buried, on the blood-stained body. Mr. Steinberg, jun., who seemed very much irritated at the verdict of the coroner's jury, contending that his father was mad, called the next day at his late parent’s late residence, in Pentonville, with a cart, paid the rent, and took away the furniture, &c. ' ' ' The mother and sister of Ellen Lefevre are in bad circumstances, and

« PreviousContinue »