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family, and recent prospects, I received a brief but painful recital. His anxiety for his parents, and his beloved Emma, was excessive. While I sat by his side, I became his amanuensis, penning the effusions of his soul-in which piety and affection were blended-to his Emma and his parents. Another week passed, and hopes—faint ones indeed—were entertained of his recovery. He had so far recovered his strength, as to be able to rise; which circumstance he improved, by walking amid his fellow-sufferers, from bed to bed, and directing their minds to the realities of a future state. The incessant labour he had bestowed upon the soldier, was happily succeeded by the most beneficial results. His attention had been roused, and the latent feelings of his mind brought into vigorous play.
“On entering their ward one morning, I found Alfred sitting by the bed-side of William Clark (so the soldier was called), in close conversation with him. A violent degree of agitation possessed the bosom of Clark, and yet there was a change in his countenance of the most pleasing kind. Alfred had urged him to the recital of some scenes of his past life, to which he had repeatedly referred, with much evident mental suffering, without mentioning anything distinctly. As 1 drew near him, he held out his feverish hand to me, at the same time observing,— Sir, I shall soon leave this world; but before I die, I feel wishful to make a disclosure of the most painful kind: a disclosure which will
indeed stamp my memory with infamy; and yet I feel it necessary to make it. I know no persons more fit to make it to than yourself, and this kind friend, to whose attentions I shall be indebted for ever. Will you, sir,' he continued, listen to me! The earnestness of his manner was peculiar; and perceiving that it was likely he would soon be past the power of communication, I assured him of my readiness to hear him, -when he thus commenced.
* Twenty years have rolled away, since I left the house of the most indulgent of parents ; during which period I have wandered like an accursed spirit through the earth, seeking rest, but finding none.—Yes, twenty years have passed, since I perpetrated that crime, which has blasted all my happiness, and brought me to my present miserable end.
“I was naturally of a morose and churlish disposition. Pride and jealousy were among my besetting sins; and these were, perhaps, fostered by the mistaken kindness of my parents towards
I was their first-born child. The birth of a brother four
after my own, tended in some degree to divert their adoration from me. ceived, or fancied I did, that as he grew up, their attentions towards myself became weakened ;-and well they might, for he was worthy of all their heart's affections. He was gentleness itself, and goodness personified. My proud heart could not bear a rival, and secretly, but resolutely determined
to remove him out of my way.--I shudder while my thoughts go back to the dark purposes of my mind. We grew together,--we slept together,we ate and drank together; still my purpose was unbroken. The very kindness which he showed me, maddened me to rage against him. I had attained my sixteenth year, when I artfully enticed him from home, to which I determined he should return no more alive. I led him to the deep bosom of a wood, not far from my father's house ;-a place well fitted for my purpose of blood. Nature seemed to execrate the deed I was about to perpetrate. The distant thunders rolled awfully; vivid lightnings darted betwixt the closely-matted trees of the forest. My brother became alarmed, and urged my return, which I as resolutely opposed. I had led him to the opposite side of the wood, without devising any precise means for his destruction, when he refused to proceed any further, alleging as the reason for his wish to return, the pain our absence would cause to our parents. That which ought to have touched the finest sensibilities of my nature, stung me to the quick.– I seized the trembling youth, and tearing a rude stake from the boundary hedge, aimed at him a deadly blow :-I see him staggering from me now:
- he fell, exclaiming most beseechingly, as he lay prostrate at my feet,—'Oh! brother, spare me.'But pity had fled my satanic breast. I stayed not my hand until I had stained my soul with my brother's blood. From a gaping wound in his forehead I saw his life ebb out. A fearful clap of thunder roused me from the stupor into which I had fallen: all the atrocity of my crime flashed upon me, and I fled from the spot, like a second Cain, with the cries of my brother's blood— Oh! spare me,'--sounding in my ears.
“To prevent pursuit and discovery, I threw my hat into a river which skirted the wood; judging it probable that my parents, from whom I had now separated myself for ever, might, should it be discovered, conceive we had been robbed and murdered, and that I had been thrown into the stream. I wandered on without knowing whither. Night soon wrapt the heavens in awful gloom.Oh the horrors of darkness to a murderer's soul. I rested from my flight, and, as I listened, heard the sound of voices; they drew nearer, and I crept, serpent-like, into the thickness of a bush, overhung with honeysuckle. Scarcely had I cringed myself up, with breathless stillness, before the flashing light of torches penetrated my recess, and the voice of my father, calling my brother and myself, as he passed the bush, tore my very soul. -I saw him then, but I saw him po more: he passed on, and darkness and silence again succeeded.
“Fearing detection, I left my hiding-place, and early on the following morning met with a hoard of gipsies, to whom I told a tale which easily satisfied them. I exchanged my clothes, and assumed their garb, discoloured my face, and became
one of their wandering tribe, and was soon initiated into all their mysteries and villany. Frequent repetitions of petty thefts hardened my seared conscience,-but still the blood of my brother spoke out, and the cry of 'Oh! spare me," sounded ceaselessly, like the knell of my destruction.
“Three years I wandered thus; and then, under an assumed name, entered the army. The novelty of my new situation, and the constant change and bustle of a soldier's life, awhile diverted my attention. I plunged into every species of vice, and took the lead in every daring enterprise. But conscience only slumbered ;-it was silenced, not conquered. There were times when it did speak out; and oh! the misery of an awakened conscience. The information I had received from a pious mother, prevented my crediting the falsehood I would fain have believed,—that I did not possess an immortal soul;—that there was no hereafter ;-that death was an eternal sleep! I felt a hell within me: comfort had fled my guilty bosom. I even wished for death, but death fled from me.
I have visited each quarter of the globe; have been engaged in various battles ; have revelled in every kind of riot;—but, when pleasure appeared within the reach of my grasp, such pleasure as sin can yield its votaries,-its slaves,'Oh! spare me, brother!' has thundered through my brain, and driven my soul near to madness.
“Three months since, our regiment was sent to Gibraltar: many fell beneath a malignant fever,