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Charles and Alice, and in her hands their plastic minds and tastes were moulded to her wishes. Upon the character of Edward she failed to produce any impression; but she embittered his peace by her goading complaints of his want of success. She urged his removal, by every argument her ingenuity could suggest, and at last resorted to the means she recommended to her husband, and told him he must no longer expect any assistance from his father. Edward was struck to the heart by this sudden announcement. It seemed as if he were now cast adrift upon the ocean of life, without a sail or a rudder.* He had entered upon his profession with high and noble aspirations, and had fixed his eye upon some prominent and glorious model, whose example he endeavored to follow. He devoted his days and nights to study, and his laborious research and patient toil had their reward in the overflowing treasury of his expanded intellect. He had ever refused to support the cause of crime and injustice, for he thought it his duty and his privilege to maintain the just and the right, and to redress the wrongs of the oppressed. Although he naturally expected that his profession would afford bim support, yet he had never dreamed of making it a source of wealth, or of turning his attention to it as a means of immediate profit. With most students and learned men, he had no idea of the value or necessity of money, until it was forced upon him by being obliged to have occasional recourse to his father. It was then that he bitterly felt how slow had been his progress in gaining practice, and he became a prey to disheartening despondency. It was when suffering under its gloomy depression, that his mother tried her last experiment upon him. It succeeded. He took a hasty farewell of his family and friends, and embarked with his little library, his only treasure, in a vessel bound to New-Orleans.
It was true that his pecuniary gains had been but trifling, but he had a growing reputation, that would have finally placed him among the highest and most successful in his profession. It arose not with the bustle of workmen or the clink of bammers, but it was silently and progressively springing upward from the slender sappling to the lofty and wide-spreading tree. His opinions were frequently sought by his seniors in age and experience, and he had the high respect of all classes, on account of his moral as well as his intellectual superiority. And he was driven to leave the coming harvest of profes. sional wealth and distinction, and the friends who appreciated him, for a doubtful success among desperate adventurers.
Shortly after the departure of Edward, Alice gave her hand to Mr. Linton, and the bridal party started upon a fashionable tour. After their return to the city, Mrs. Vernon was sorely disappointed by Mr, Linton having signified his intention of taking permanent lodgings at a private boarding-house. He said he was getting too old to
. *Although every young man should endeavor to depend upon his own exertions, and should do w
cuniary assistance from his parents as soon as possible, yet no father should permit his son to enter a profession, without expecting to contribute to his support during the trying years of his early struggles. This is a time of fierce trial, and one thrown upon the world without money or assistance, runs the risk of sacri. ficing his integrity and high-mindedness to his necessities, or of falling a victim to des pair, insanity, or suicide.
indulge in his former extravagance, and must learn to economize, and to husband his resources.
Poor Alice, in suffering from the wreck of her vapor-built castles, had soon after the additional misfortune of becoming the nurse of a paralytic husband, for whom she had no affection. Mr. Linton, conscious that she could not love him, jealously forbade her going out or receiving visitors, and exacted from her the most slavish attendance. Mrs. Vernon's last hope for Alice was, that she would soon be left a rich widow; but in this also she was doomed to disappointment. Mr. Linton lingered on for more than four years after his marriage; and when the contents of his will were made known to the anxious mother, she found that he had left Alice a moderate annuity, and had bequeathed the remainder of his property to the family of a deceased brother.
A few months after the death of Mr. Linton, Mrs. Vernon received the following letter from Charles :
'I hasten to inform you, my dear parents, of the melancholy death of our poor Ed. ward. He fell a vicum to one of the prevailing diseases of the country, after a few days' illness. I was absent in a neighboring state, upon some pressing business, and on my return, found that my dear brother was dead and buried." This country did not suit his tastes or habits. He was too conscientious, and too scrupulously-honorable, to succeed in a place where all come determined to make a fortune as soon as possible, and by any means not openly dishonest. He found no companionship or congeniality, and he fell into a morbid state of melancholy depression, which no doubt weakened his frame, and laid him open to the attacks of disease.'
It was thus that the richly-gifted Edward died a stranger in a strange land, where he was unknown and unappreciated. His years of laborious study, his vast accumulation of legal and scientific knowledge, bis high promises of future distinction, all lost – all sacrificed upon the venal shrine of a mother's love for gold. When it was too late, she reproached herself for having driven him from his home and his friends. But her remorse could avail him nothing now. He had gone from the earth to his early grave!
The afflicting intelligence of Edward's death proved fatal to Mr. Vernon, who had long been sinking into a gradual decay of his corporeal and mental powers. After his estate was settled, there remained but three or four thousand dollars for the support of his widow. And with this sum, and the small income of Alice, the mother and daughter removed to a retired part of the city, and commenced a humble style of living, suited to their altered fortunes.
About a year after the death of Mr. Vernon, there was a rumor circulated through the city, that Charles Vernon had become a defaulter, and had suddenly left the country. The paragraph in the paper alluding to it, created quite as great a sensation in his native place as it must have done in his adopted state. The wealthy Charles Vernon — the enterprising Charles Vernon — the publicspirited Charles Vernon ma rogue and a defaulter! And there were whispers of another crime still deeper and still more disgraceful. It was hinted that he had forged several drafts, of a large amount.
These rumors reached not the ears of his mother and sister; and the first intimation they received, was from the following letter :
"This letter comes from your wretched son, Charles - an exile from his country for ever, and a fugitive from justice, as a defaulter and a forger. This, mother, is the effect of the work you have wrought upon Ime! Recall your endeavors to excite your children to the lust of gain, and remember your address to Edward and myself, when in front of Mr. Delville's mansion. It was then that you first stimulated me to the acquisition of wealth, and left the impression upon iny youthful mind that in successful dishonesty there is neither crime nor disgrace. It was this impression that has been my ruin! Oh, what might I have been, had you directed my energies and ambition to a nobler aim than to the debasing and accursed thirst for gold! And my poor Edward, too - he was your victim! Had you not driven him from his home, he might have been at this hour living amidst honors and distinctions, the pride of his country. But where is he now? Lying in a grave, among strangers, without a stone to mark his place of burial !
"Farewell, mother! This is the last you will ever hear of your miserable son!
THE ACCEPTED SACRIFICE.
"Give me thy heart."
What shall we offer thee, thou God of love!
Thou who didst build the heavens and mould the earth ;
And call'dst from darkness light and beauty forth!
What shall we offer thee ?
Shall we present thee gold and glittering gems,
Such as might wreathe the brows of royalty ;
Such as in summer's graceful bowers may be;
An offering fair and meet ?
Or shall we deck thy temple with the spoil
Of mighty cities, and rich palaces;
And pour around thee mingling melodies
Breathing up praise to thee?
Or shall we bring thee treasures of the field,
When the rich autumn fills her flowing horn ;
The clustering grapes, the golden waving corn -
Oh! which, which shall we bring ?
There is a voice which saith: 'Oh, dearer far
Than all the earthly treasures ye can give,
When in the light of Truth it loves to live :'
Our hearts, our hearts be Thine!
M. A. B
RANDOM LE A V ES,
FROM A JOURNAL OF TRAVELS IN ENGLAND, SCOTLAND, FRANCE, AND GERMANY.
ENGLAND - LONDON. To-Day I have visited the Tower and the House of Commons. The first is situated on the banks of the Thames, and is surrounded by a broad, deep ditch, over which there is a draw-bridge. The island thus formed, contains several acres, and is crowded with a motley pile of buildings, high and low, dwelling-houses and storehouses, palaces and huts, which almost entirely obscure the view of the Tower; and this itself is composed of three or four distinct structures. At the gate there are always several 'warders,' in scarlet-laced habiliments, who make a business of conducting visiters to the curiosities, and expect a shilling from each person for so doing. One of them was just entering 'Queen Elizabeth's Armory' with a party of four, which I joined. The matters and things which they show, and tell the history of, are “too numerous to mention,' but are described at large in the guide-book. I lifted the axe which struck off the head of poor Anne Boleyn, and despatched also him of Essex.' The hall is filled with specimens of armor, weapons, etc., of all sorts, which have been preserved from the days of Edward I., downward. • The Train of Artillery,' is in another building, and comprises a quantity of big guns, mortars, etc., which John Bull has at different times captured from his enemies. But the most curious and splendid sight is the “New Horse Armory,' where are arranged, as if in battle array, effigies of all the kings and several nobles, in chronological order, from Edward I. to James II., in complete armor, and on horseback, thus showing the style of armor, etc., of the different periods at a glance. The horses are in spirited positions, and it seems as if you might really shake hands with bluff old Harry,' or him of Richmond, as he appeared at Bosworth field, or my lord of Liecester, ‘and so on. There is an immense collection of curious affairs in this hall, arranged so as to present the most romantic and brilliant display imaginable. The Small Armory' is a vast hall, three hundred and forty-five feet in length, and very high, filled to the very ceiling with stacks of muskets and pistols, closely piled, coinprising two hundred thousand, and all kept brightened and flinted ready for immediate use. Melancholy reflection ! That such a wilderness of deadly instruments should ever be used by man against his fellow! Not feeling half a crown's worth of curiosity to see the crown itself, I departed by the Traitor's Gate,' thinking of the tragedies which had been acted within those once dreaded portals.
The apartment at present occupied by the House of Commons
* The reader may anticipate, we think, much entertainment and valuable information from these “Random Leaves,' wherein the author - writing only for the eyes of familiar friends, and avoiding the diffuseness of the journeying letter-writer - has recorded fresh impressions in a manner at once vivid and unstudied. Eds. KNICKERBOCKER.
is arranged much like Mrs. Willard's school-room, and is quite as plain, only on a little larger scale. Strangers, by paying half a crown, are admitted to the gallery, from which it is easier to hear than to see the speakers. The house was ‘in committee on the bill for the commutation of tithes. Lord John Russell, Sir Robert Peel, Lord Howick, (a very gifted young man,) and two or three others, spoke on the question. I was struck with their singularly calm and unpretending manner of speaking. It seemed more like a familiar drawing-room conversation, than the stormy debate which might be expected on such a question, which, as was remarked, was a very important one. Lord John, in particular, who has been the leader of the house, and long conspicuous in the political world, is as plain, straight-forward a man as one could wish to see. It would seem impossible to get him excited or violent in debate. Every speaker was listened to civilly, if not attentively, and the only interruption, or rather cheering, was the cry of Hear! hear !' which was often heard from twenty voices at once; and occasionally there was a hearty laugh. The gallery over the speaker's chair is filled with reporters for the different papers, who will take down a long speech in short hand, at twelve o'clock at night, and the next morning at daylight you will see it in print. The houses of parliament are opposite Westminster Abbey, and the new buildings are to be erected on the old site. The ruins of the old houses are adjoining the halls now temporarily occupied.
SUNDAY, APRIL 16.— Taking my usual walk of two miles or more down Fleet-street, I found the door of St. Paul's cathedral open, and so ventured in, with my hand in my pocket, expecting some civil, obliging person would tip his beaver, as usual, for a shilling: but, strange to say, I was suffered to pass unmolested. The greater part of the interior is one vast open space, extending into the four wings, and up to the very highest dome. As you stand in the centre and look up, it seems almost like looking into heaven. The unsophisticated mind cannot grasp the magnitude of the scene : it is incomprehensible. On the walls, and in the nitches and corners, are groups of statuary and monuments, some exceedingly beautiful, and most of them to military and naval personages. Public worship is held only in a chapel in one of the wings, forming a mere item of the whole structure. I was guided to it by the sound of the organ, echoing back from the vast arches, and impressively grand in its effect. Men in robes, with poles, stood at the door* beadles,' I believe they are called. The chapel was of much the same size and style as those at Oxford, and there were not more than one hundred persons in it — the larger part of them apparently strangers, attracted merely from curiosity, like myself. In fact, as I afterward learned, there are few or no regular attendants in this far-famed St. Paul's. Why, I cannot imagine. The chanting was done by boys. The preacher was a short, thick man, and read his sermon off like a book. It became so dark — being a rainy day — that he could not see to read, and he had to stop once or