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terms, the virtues and goodness of her friend, and the worthy man was no less touched than surprised at a narrative which, strange as it was, bore so strongly the impress of truth that he could not doubt its authenticity. His pain was the greater, that it was wholly out of his power to influence the fate of the women, or take any steps in consequence of his conviction.

So says the legal report from which we gather our story; but that, under such remarkable circumstances, the minister should not have had sufficient influence to procure a further investigation of the case, seems certainly very extraordinary, and says little for the government under which the worthy and devout inhabitants of Nuremberg lived in the year 1789.

An hour elapsed; the executioner, the minister, and the subordinate officers remaining on the scaffold, and the assembled crowd beneath. At length a murmur arose amongst the outer ranks of the people that the messenger was returning. Every neck was stretched, every ear was open; the hand of the executioner shook with agitation, for he, too, was satisfied the women were innocent ; the lips of the minister quivered with anxiety. The crowd, eager to hear the sentence, scarcely drew breath, lest a word should escape them. The two women alone were calm and unmoved; Ann was almost indifferent about the result, and Maria, who did not understand the imperfections of earthly justice, believed that they were certainly saved. She could not imagine that where her denunciation had been so readily admitted her honest retractation would be rejected. For herself, she wished to die, but of herself she thought nothingher thoughts were wholly with the friend she had wronged.

The messenger ascended the scaffold and delivered a sealed paper to the executioner. The man's countenance betrayed its contents : it was an order to proceed with the execution.

A terrible cry burst forth from a thousand bosoms—a thousand voices cried aloud for justice! The minister fell upon his knees and burst into tears; but a flash of joy illuminated the wan features of Ann Herlin. Calmly she arose from the bench she had been seated on, calmly she laid her head upon the block, and in a moment the axe had divided it from her body.

The instant the blow was struck, the executioner fell senseless on the planks, and a cry of horror and indignation burst from the people. His deputy was thereupon called forward to complete the work, but when they turned their eyes upon the other victim, they saw that no axe was needed— Maria Schoning was dead. Without a struggle or a sound, unobserved by the assistants, the poor sufferer had expired. The stroke that had slain her friend had slain her too

Thus it was looked upon by those who witnessed this terrible catastrophe. But advancing science suggests a fearful suspicion. The report goes on to say, that when they turned to Maria they not only found her dead, but that her body was stiff and cold-a condition that could scarcely have arisen in so short a space of time, had she been really dead. The probability is, that she was in a state of nervous catalepsy; and it is by no means impossible, that she was not only buried alive-since as a criminal she would be immediately laid in the grave--but that she was perfectly conscious of the whole proceedings, though unable to testify by word or movement that she was so.

What a fearful history! and what a fearful termination to her most wretched life! And yet, surely, a better disposed, more virtuous, and self-denying creature could scarcely exist. The archives of human misery present few more melancholy pages than those which record the fate of Maria Schoning.

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THE DEATH-KNELL OF DEATH. [Suggested by the following expression of an eminent philanthropist, on hearing of the recent reprieve of a condemned murderess :-“ This rings the knell of punishment by Death !”] BY THE AUTHOR OF “OLD TIMES,”-A PRIZE POEM.

Its knell is rung !-its knell is rung !--
Long, long the bells have swayed and swung ;
And now booms forth each brazen tongue !-
The knell is rung !—the knell is rung!
" What bells now swing ?—what knells now ring,
“Elate! afar; on echo's wing?”.
The bells which swing, and the knells which ring
Of the death of Death the tidings bring !
The death is the death of a feudal law,
Mumbled from some grim tyrant's maw,
That erst delighted to batten and knaw
The blood and the bones of the victims he saw.
They knell the death of the HANGMAN's trade.
Oh, God! that thy creatures should ever be made
To stop the breath THY BREATH conveyed,
When to quicken Thy work Thou first essayed !
That Man should presume, in his pride of power,
To shorten existence by one poor hour;
And in punishing murder should murder do,
And commit the evil himself anew !
The issues of Life and Death, 'tis said,
In the Hands abide by which Life was made;
Shall a worm, then, turn those issues aside,
And a Deity's province dare deride ?
Was 't for this a Saviour's blood was shed,
And the curse removed from the Sinner's head ?
Was, alone, the Murderer exempt
From the blessing high that all should tempt ?
Did the Saviour not, with His dying sigh,
Lift up His voice to God on High,
And plead for His slayers, with lip and eye,
Saying, Father, FORGIVE them ere I die."
And, if men like those were left to live,
Shall we not to meaner sinners give
The boon of life for its destined space,
To fit them for a Saviour's face ?
And where is the moral, the good result ?
The end achieved, what cause t exult ?
Hath “ blood for bloodone red drop saved ?
Enfranchised one spirit by guilt enslaved ?
Hath “ BLOOD for BLOOD" unstained one hand ?
Or plucked from the furnace a single brand ?
Hath the

THINE for MINE,” that with halters hang,
Brought back one life, or assuaged one pang ?
Is this lex taliones a ruthless thing,
With vengeance and cruelty on its wings?
Seeking to plunge an erring soul,
While unprepared, into endless dole.

D

If so, our crime is the worst of the two;
And the Hangman, who hangs for wages due,
Takes Usurer's interest. Is 't not true ?
His centage is soul and the body too!
But say that the soul be ready, though late,
For the realms of bliss, of which Churchmen prate ;
Well! what doth the Hangman then? Let's see.
For MURDER he giveth FELICITY!
So thus doth it stand—the damning fact-
Two destinies wait the self-same act;
And at random the criminal's soul is tost
On the stream of Chance, to be saved or lost !
"Twere matter for marvel and wormwood jest,
Did the earthly doom of a culprit rest
On the cast of a die. Yet his future lot
We stake at the hazard like dust-God wot!
No medium exists—the Law is such
That it takes too little or takes too much ;
Too little, if taking but life's dark ills ;
Too much, if the life of a soul it kills !
There are those who quote from the text divine
That a meed of bread and a measure of wine
From the blood-stained felon averts the ban.
THEN, IF GOD HATH FORGIVEN HIM WHY NOT MAN ?
When forgiven, a soul from guilt is free;
The curse and the stain have ceased to be ;
Yet the pardoned of Heaven must trembling stand,
And await the Hangman's red right hand !
No! let the murderer live-live on;
And atone with his life for the life that's gone ;
Not by laying it down where the gibbet rests,
But by fitting the trust for its Maker's 'hests!
Consign him not to an endless state
'Till you've proved contrition as true as late.
Wait till matured is the fear-born germ ;
He will live a prey to a living worm !
Give him chance to say “I was and I am."
Punish his spirit, but do not DAMN.
Purgation enough is a prison's cell.
His slain would not visit his soul with HELL!
The hemp has been sown, and the hemp has been grown ;
Has been hackled and twisted, has swung with its own;
It has strangled the INNOCENT! Snap it asunder!
That thought should alone bring its doom amid thunder.
Untwine it! untwist it! no effort relax!
Unsinew the rope, and restore it to flax.
Consign it to flame-execrating it first !
And there let it burn, like a thing that's accurst.
Let earth give to earth but an earthly doom,
And legislate only this side of the tomb;
There let us resign the avenging rod
To the hands of the ONE ETERNAL GOD!

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LETTERS ON THE CHOICE OF A PROFESSION.

1.-DIVINITY, LAW, AND PHYSIC.

MY DEAR GONDICARIUS,— You ask my advice respecting the choice of a profession for your son; but you forget that I am not acquainted with young Hopeful, and cannot, therefore, very accurately judge for what his tastes, talents, and character may adapt him. Perhaps, with the world in general, you hold that sons are rough blocks, and to be cut to any shape required. Well, I will not at present discuss that question with you; but presuming that the lad, as becomes the child of such a father, is sufficiently ductile and malleable to accommodate himself to whatever position in life may be chosen for him, I will, like a true friend and a discreet one, give you abundance of advice; cautiously hedging my counsel in such a manner that you shall hereafter be found to have acted upon it, or not to have acted upon it, just as shall best suit my book. Wary advisers give plenty of advice; but give it in such a manner, and with such qualifications, that you can never determine what they have advised. Nor, for the matter of that, can they themselves, until the right moment arrives.

Of course attention is first directed to the dignified trio, Law, Physic, and Divinity. Now, there's the Church, Gondicarius—the Church offers remarkable advantages. It is quiet, and cosy, and respectable. There is no other profession that makes a little go so far—a little, whether in the pocket or the head. I am talking of the matter now merely in a worldly view ; it should, certainly, likewise be regarded in another. But to consider it in a worldly view,-one lives genteely on a curacy of thirty pounds a year, and looks through the telescope of hope at a mitre or a three-cornered hat; or, sometimes, through an ordinary Dollond at, what is in general rather less remote, the Coma Berenices, whilst instructing a troop of young bread-and-butter eaters in the distances of the stars. Once a week one takes tea at Mrs. Smith's; and as frequently at Mrs. Jones's : and you may be welcome oftener, if you will abuse Mrs. Jones to Mrs. Smith, and Mrs. Smith to Mrs. Jones. It is not every curate, however, on thirty, or even on fifty pounds a year, that can make himself popular among the young ladies; and to do so among the old ones is even more difficult. I assume that your son, my dear Gondicarius, would be capable of accomplishing this ; and do but for a moment contemplate the result. A young friend of mine, not long in holy orders, who performs three services per diem in a large town parish, for a gratuity of forty pounds a year, received as presents last Christmas-day, four couple of bell-pulls, sixteen urn mats, fifty-two pairs of slippers, and a hundred and twenty-eight kettle holders—all worked in worsted. " But then he has a Grecian nose, a good delivery, magnificent black whiskers, and a rich grandfather. The kettle holders and slippers would last your son his life. But kettle holders and urn mats are only part of the advantage. My young friend has the choice of a wife among the two hundred presentees. The papas and mammas make no objections, and onlysinquire what cousins there

are, and how the old gentleman wears. This comes of being in the Church. Who ever heard of a barrister, or even of a doctor, being presented with one hundred and twentyeight kettle holders in one day? or, indeed, with one-half the number? Or of their having a choice among two hundred young ladies—in any place nearer than Constantinople? Still it must be borne in mind that not all clergymen have so extensive a field for selection. Some parishes are not so large, some noses not so handsome, some whiskers not so black, some voices not so clear, some grandfathers not so wealthy. I have even known a case in which a clergyman married his cook; and that seems to imply but a limited range to choose from. Not that I would deny the possibility of a cook making an excellent wife even for a clergyman; particularly when I consider how many clergymen there

fical;

are who would make but indifferent husbands even for a cook. But in the case to which I refer, the clergyman was at least a man of education ; and his wife was a woman of no education at all. You should have seen his blank look,

my dear Gondicarius, when having told her one day that he was going to step out for half an hour with his friends, and requested her to set the wine on the table in the interim, she assured him on his return that she had searched all the house for the interim, but had not been able to find it. But that is neither here nor there. I do not apprehend that your son will marry his cook. And though, as I have said, he may not have the élite of a large parish to choose amongst, depend upon it, if he is at all such a man as his father, he will not be driven to advertise for a wife. It was a question we lately discussed at our club-I am a member, you know, of the “ Wooden Spoons, "-whether red coats or black stand the best chance with the ladies ?-and the decision we came to was, that in these piping times of peace the cassock carries it away. In war time, the case may be different, for the ladies have a decided predilection for “ bloody noses and cracked crowns;" but they prefer the church militant to the barrack paci

and they put up with Exeter Hall in the lack of a Waterloo. By the bye, will you permit me to propose you as a “Wooden Spoon?" If I remember rightly your University history, you are eligible as a member; and I assure you the learning and ingenuity with which we discuss such questions as the above, are every way worthy of the lignean cochlearean ornaments of Alma Mater.

But a curacy with the mitre in perspective,-two things that stand to each other in the relation of potatoes and point-and the choice of a wife-a matter in which the clergy can seldom be taxed with "long choosing and beginning late”-are not the only advantages offered by the church as a profession. A clergyman has peculiar privileges in elbowing his way among the thorns of life; his “cloth protects him.” His nose is a noli me tangere; he has been dipped in the Styx, heel and all; he is “safe from shot, and Hash, and stab.” There is no part about him that can be wounded; there is no part that can even be kicked. It is true that you may endeavour to hurt him in his self-love. You may “tell him, if a clergyman, he lies.” But the shame will recoil upon yourself. You are striking a defenceless man. He will answer you meekly,"Scoundrel, my cloth protects you.” And the world will join with him against you, and cry "shame, shame!" An “ingenious writer"* has defined a monk to be “a coward that wont fight.” Wont he? Keep clear of him, I recommend you, Mr. Wallbridge, when his dander is riz." Read the “ History of the Crusades,” Mr. Wallbridge ; read the “Book of Martyrs' ;' read Ranke as touching the Popes; read the « Chronicles of the Middle Ages;" go and poke over the shelves of your nearest tractarian friend. Monks, I assure you, will fight. But then there are few truths that are universally true. Mr. Wallbridge is right as well as wrong. There are monks, and plenty of them, who are afraid of the battle of life ; cowards, who wont work; and there are some who will not fight, in the smaller sense of eschewing fisticuffs and hair triggers. Now the cassock is made a shield as well as the cowl; many men jump into it as though it were a petticoat, and cry, “Ah, you coward I would you strike me ?” The gown makes a good hedgehog-skin, and is a safe defence against the outward and literal knocks of the world. If your son wear a nose on his face which has given offence to any two fingers, and does not feel itself safe behind the machina arietaria of his four right fist knuckles, it might be worldly wise in him to seek sanctuary for it in the church; but remembering how your combativeness at school drove you to thrash the little boys, and to make the best in Gloucestershire know " when the big boys thrashed you, I cannot think that this consideration can weigh with the offspring of such a father.

There is one other matter which, if your son be at all of a lively disposition, may, though not very important, be worth a moment's thought. "It is this :

* See “The Council of Four," by J. Wallbridge, a waistcoat-pocket volume of wit and pithy aphorisms.

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