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of a slate and slate-pencil which he with the corn-miller, Overblink, as he always carried about with him. He was resting at the inn with his carts. also wrote so fair a hand, that he was The schoolmaster repaired on the spot employed by many persons, and even to Overblink, inquired who was the sometimes by the authorities, to tran man with whom he had conversed and scribe or copy writings for them. shaken hands some days before at the Some time before, an unknown person inn; and the miller, without much had appeared in the village, had in- hesitation, answered, that he rememquired after the deaf and dumb young bered the day, the circumstance, and man in the schoolmaster's absence, the man, very well; and that the latter and had taken him with him to the was his old acquaintance the baker, alehouse to write out something for H from the town. The schoolhim. The unknown had called for a master bastened to lay these particuprivate room, ordered a bottle of wine, lars before the authorities. and, by means of the slate, gave him How, then, was the well-known to understand that he wanted him to baker, H– implicated in this affair, make a clean copy of the draft of a which seemed gradually to be expandletter which he produced. Hech- ing itself so strangely? The facts as ting did so at once without sus to the robbery itself seemed exhausted picion. Still, the contents of the by the confessions of the carpenter and letter appeared to him of a peculiar his associates. They alone had and questionable kind, and the whole broken into the house—they alone had demeanour of the stranger evinced carried off and appropriated the stolen restlessness and anxiety. When he articles. And yet, if the baker was came, however, to add the address of entirely unconnected with the matter, the letter, “ To Herr Van der R what could be his motive for mixing Burgomaster of M—" he hesitated himself up with the transaction, and to do so, and yielded only to the writing leiters, as if to avert suspicion pressing entreaties of the stranger, from those who had been first accused ? who paid him a gulden for his Was his motive simply compassion ? trouble, requesting him to preserve Was he aware of the real circumstances strict silence as to the whole affair. of the crime, and its true perpetrators ?
The deaf and dumb young man, Did he know that the Blue Dragoon when he began to reflect on the matter, innocent ? But if so, why felt more and more convinced that he employ this mysterious and cirhad unconsciously been made a party to cuitous mode of assisting him ? some illegal transaction. He at last con Why resort to this anxious prefessed the whole to his instructor, who caution of employing a deaf and at once perceived that there existed a dumb lad as his amanuensis ? why close connexion between the incident such signs of restlessness and apprewhich had occurred and the criminal hension, such anxious injunctions of procedure in the noted case of the silence? Plainly the baker was not robbery. The letter of the cor- entirely innocent: this was the conporal had already got into circula- viction left on the minds of the judges; tion in the neighbourhood, and was for it was now recollected that this plainly the one which bis pupil bad baker was the same person who, on been employed to copy. The school- the morning when the robbery was master, at his own hand, set on detected, had contrived to make his foot a small preliminary inquiry. way into the house along with the He hastened to the innkeeper of officers of justice. It was he who had the village inn, and asked him if he lifted from the ground the match concould recollect the stranger who some taining the half-burnt receipt, and days before had ordered a private handed it to the officers present. His room and a bottle of wine, and who excessive zeal had even attracted attenhad been for some time shut up with tion before. Had he, then, broken into the deaf and dumb lad. The host re the house independently of the carmembered the circumstance, but did penter ? Had he, too, comınitted a not know the man. His wife, how- robbery—and was he agitated by the ever, recollected that she had seen him fear of its detection ? But all the talking on terms of cordial familiarity stolen articles had been recovered,
and all of them had been found with but a community of interests and purthe carpenter. The mystery, for the suits drew them together. moment, seemed only increased; but The baker and corporal had been it was about to be cleared up in a way long acquainted; the former baked wonderful enough, but entirely satis- the bread for the garrison company, factory.
the latter had the charge of receiving it While the schoolmaster and the from him. The corporal had soon demiller Overblink were detained at the tected various frauds committed by Council-Chamber, the baker H the baker, and gave the baker the was taken into custody. A long and choice of denouncing them to the circumstantial confession was the re- commanding officer, or sharing with sult, to the particulars of which we him the profits of the fraud. The shall immediately advert. From his baker naturally chose the latter, but disclosures, a warrant was also issued hated the corporal as much as he for the apprehension of the woolspin- feared him; while the latter made him ner, Leendert Van N. and his wife continually feel how completely he -the same who had at first circulated considered him in his power. the reports and suspicions against the A still deadlier enmity existed bedragoon; and who had afterwards given tween the corporal and the woolspinsuch plausible, and, as it appeared, such her and his wife. The latter had frank and sincere information against formerly supplied the garrison with him before the court. Both had taken gaiters and other articles of cloththe opportunity of making off: but the ing, and he had reason to beliere that pursuit of justice was successful---be- the corporal had been the means of fore evening they were brought back depriving him of this commission, by and committed to prison.
which he had suffered materially. But The criminal procedure now pro- the corporal had still a good deal in ceeded rapidly to a close, but it re his power; he might be the means of lated to a quite different matter from procuring other orders, and it was the robbery. This third associa necessary, therefore, to suppress any tion of culprits, it appeared, had as appearance of irritation, and even to little to do with the carpenter and his appear to court his favour. comrades as these had with the dra Such an association as that which goon and his inmates.
But for the subsisted among these comrades, where housebreaking, in which the persons each hates and suspects the other, and last arrested had no share, the real nothing but the tie of a common incrime in which they were concerned terest unites them, can never be of long would, in all human probability, never duration. The moment is sure to arhave seen the light.
rive when the spark falls upon the The following disclosures were the mine which has been so long prepared, result of the confessions of the guilty, and the explosion takes place, the and of the other witnesses who were more fearful the longer it has been deexamined.
layed. On the evening of the 29th June, These worthy associates were playthere were assembled in the low and ing cards on the evening above-mendirty chamber of the woolspinner, tioned: they quarrelled; and the quarrel Leendert Van N-, a party of card- became more and more embittered. players. It has already been men The long-suppressed hatred on the part tioned that this quarter of the town of the baker and the woolspinner burst was in a great measure inhabited by forth. The corporal retorted in terms the disreputable portion of the public equally offensive; he applied to them only a few houses,like those of Madame the epithets which they deserved. Andrecht, being occupied by the better From words they proceeded to blows, classes. The gamblers were the Cor- and deadly weapons were laid hold of poral Ruhler, of the company of Leon both sides. But two male foes and Lery, then lying in garrison in the a female fury, arrayed on one side, were place, the master baker H and too much even for a soldier. The corthe host himself, Leendert Van N-poral, seized and pinioned from behind The party were old acquaintances; by the woman, fell under the blows of they hated and despised each other, the woolspinner. As yet the baker
had rather hounded on the others than The object, then, was to give to actually interfered in the scuffle ; but the authorities such bints as should when the corporal, stretched on the induce them to pass over the houses of ground, and his head bleeding from a the baker and the woolspinner. The blow on the corner of the table, which woolspinner's wife had the merit of he had received in falling, began to devising the infernal project which utter loud curses against. them, and to occurred to them. The Blue Dragoon threaten them all with public exposure was to be the victim. A robbery had -particularly that deceitful scoundrel taken place. Why might he not have the baker-the latter, prompted either been the criminal ? He had often by fear or hatred, whispered to the scaled the hedge—had uften entered woolspinner and his wife that now the house at night during his courtwas the time to make an end of him ship. But then a corroborating cir. at once; and that if they did not, cumstance might be required to ground they were ruined.
the suspicion. It was supplied by the The deadly counsel was adopted : possession of a handkerchief which he they fell upon the corporal: with a had accidentally dropt in her house, few blows life was extinct; the corpse, and which she had not thought it neswimming in blood, lay at their feet. cessary to restore to him. It might be The deed was irrevocable; all three placed in any spot they thought fit, had shared in it; all were alike guilty, and the first links in the chain of susand had the same reason to tremble at picion were clear. the terrors of the law. With the body The invention of the baker came to still warm at their feet, they entered the aid of the woolspinner's wife. One into a solemn mutual engagement to be token was not enough; a second proof true to each other; to preserve invio- of the presence of the dragoon in Malable secresy as to the crime; and to dame Andrecht's house must be deextinguish, so far as in them lay, vised. The baker had, one day, been every trace of its commission. concluding a bargain with a peasant
On the night of the murder, they before the house of the dragoon. He had devised no plan for washing required a bit of paper to make some out the blood, and removing the body, calculation, and asked the host for which of course required to be dis- some. who handed him an old excise posed of, so that the disappearance of permit, telling him to make his calcuRubler might cause
no suspicion. lations on the back. This scrap of The terrors of conscience, and the paper the baker still had in his pocketapprehension of the consequences of book. This would undoubtedly comtheir crime, had too completely occu- promise the dragoon. But then it bore pied their minds for the moment. the name and handwriting of the baThe next morning, however, they ker on the back. This portion of it met again at the woolspinner's house was accordingly burnt; the date and to arrange their plans. Suddenly a the signature of the excise officer were noise was heard in the street,-it was enough for the diabolical purpose it the commotion caused by the news of was intended to effect. It was rolled the discovery of the robbery at Ma- up into a match, and deposited by the dame Andrecht's. The culprits stood baker (who, as already said, had conpale and confounded. What was more trived to make his way along with the probable than that an immediate police into the house) upon the floor, search in pursuit of the robbers, or of where he pretended to find it, and the stolen articles, would take place delivered it to the authorities. into every house of this
suspected and The machinations of these wretches disreputable quarter. The woolspin- were unconsciously assisted by those ner's house was the next to that which of the carpenter and his confederates. had been robbed; the flooring was at The suspicion which the handkerthat moment wet with blood; the chief and the match had originated, body of the murdered corporal lay in the finding of the pocket-book within the cellar. Immediate measures must the house of the dragoon appeared to be resorted to, to stop the apprehended confirm and complete,—an accidental search, till time could be found for re concurrence of two independent plots, moving the body.
both resorted to from the principle of
self-preservation, and having in view the robbery, might serve both ends. the same infernal object.
It gave a chance of escape to NichoBut this object, so far as concerned las: it accounted for the disappearthe baker and the woolspinner, had ance of the corporal. Hence the been too effectually attained. They letter which represented him as had wished to excite suspicion against alive, as the perpetrator of the robNicholas, only with the view of gain. bery, and as a deserter flying to ing time to remove the corpse, and another country; which they thought efface the traces of the murder. This would very naturally put a stop to all had been effected—their intrigue had further inquiry after him. served its purpose; and they could not But their plan was too finely spun, but feel some remorse at the idea that and the very precautions to which an innocent person should be thereby they had resorted, led, as sometimes brought to ruin. The strange inter. happens, to discovery. If they had vention of chance—the finding of the been satisfied to allow the proposed pocket-book, the accusation by the letter to be copied out by the woolcarpenter, filled them with a secret spinner's wife, as she offered, to be terror ; they trembled : their con- taken by her to Rotterdam, and put sciences again awoke. The thought into the post, suspicion could hardly of the torture, which awaited the un- have been awakened against them: fortunate innkeeper, struck them with the handwriting of the woman, who borror. It was not the ordinary fear had seldom occasion to use the pen, of guilty men, afraid of the disclosures would have been unknown to the of an accomplice-for the dragoon burgomaster or the court. The deaf knew nothing, he could say nothing to and dumb youth, to whom they recompromise them,-it was a feeling sorted as their copyist, betrayed them: implanted by a Divine power, which step by step they were traced outseemed irresistibly to impel them to and, between fear and hope, a full conuse their endeavours to avert his fate. fession was at last extorted from
They met, they consulted as to their them. plans. A scheme occurred to them Sentence of death was pronounced which promised to serve a double against the parties who had been purpose-by which delay might be concerned in the housebreaking as obtained for Nicholas, while at the well as in the murder, and carried into same time it might be made the means effect against all of them, with the of permanently ensuring their own exception of the woolspinner's wife, safety. To resuscitate the murdered who died during her imprisonment. Corporal Ruhler in another quarter, The woolspinner alone exhibited any and to charge him with the guilt of signs of penitence.
LAURELS AND LAUREATES.
A young lady of Thessaly, cele- age of Homer; and coeval, as it were, brated for her beauty and modesty, with poetry itself. The disappointed was admired by a dissolute young lover of Daphne, the first poet, was gentleman, a native of the erratic isle also the first laureale, and placed the of Delos. This roving blade was of crown on his head with his own high birth and consummate address, hands, as many poets have done since, yet the nymph was more than coy; with a frank Napoleon-like self-apshe turned from him with aversion, preciation. Having afterwards quar. and when he would have pressed his relled with his father, and been suit, she took to her heels along the expelled from home for sundry extrabanks of the Peneus. The audacious vagancies, he returned with his lyre lover darted after her, as a grey- and laurel into Thessaly, the land of hound in pursuit of a hare; and the his first love-primus amor Phæbi, fugitive, perceiving that she must lose Daphne Pencia—and for nine years the race, implored the gods to screen served a prince of that country in the her. The breath of the pursuer was double capacity of poet and shepherd. fanning her “back hair;" his hands Thus, though the exact date is not stretched forth to stop her; but as he ascertained, the original tenure of the closed them, instead of the prize that honourable office of poet-royal is he expected to secure, he embraced an pretty clearly traced to Apollo himarmful of green leaves. The hunter self. had lost his game in a thicket of bay But if we proceed from Apollo, or female laurel. Inconsolable, he our chapter on laureates will be longer shed some natural tears; but having a than the tail of a comet.
We must conceit in his misery, he twined a apply our wise saws to comparatively branch of the laurel into a wreath, modern instances, hardly glancing for and placed it on his head in memorial a moment even as far back as the of his misadventure. A glance at age of Augustus, to observe that, of himself in the nearest pool of the his two laurelled favourites, Virgil river told him that the glossy orna- and Horace, the latter loftily mainment was becoming to his fine com- tains the dignity of the poet's position, plexion ; and the youth, being a poet when, in his Ode to Lollius, he shows and pretty considerably a coxcomb, that the alliance between poetic and wore one ever after; and it has been regal or heroic power, was mutually the custom ever since to adorn the important from the earliest ages. brows of all great poets, and of some Kings, wise and great, flourished small ones, with sprigs of laurel. before Agamemnon, but are utterly “ Tis sung in ancient minstrelsy
“ Vain was the chief's, the sage's pride! The leaves of any pleasant tree
They had no poet, and they died : Around his golden hair;
In vain they schened, in vain they bled ! Till Daphne, desperate with pursuit
They had no poet, and are dead." of his imperious love, At her own prayer transform'd, took root
Petrarch is, perhaps, the first emiA laurel in the grove.
nent poet, among Christians, whose Then did the Penitent adorn
genius is indisputably associated with His brow with laurel green;
the laurel crown, which was conAnd mid his bright locks, never shorn,
ferred on him with all form, at Rome,
by authority of the king, senate, and And poets sage through every age
people, in especial token of his quality About their temples wound
But the laurel was conThe bay."
spicuously the type of his fame in So sings our living laureate ; and this that character. His mistress was a authentic anecdote, familiar to every laurel in name, and a Daphne in schoolboy who studies ancient history nature, if we give credence to his in Ovid, shows that the coronatiom of melodious complaints of her coldness. poets was customary long before the Many persons have doubted the very
That Phæbus wont to wear
No meaner leaf was seen ;