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for I presume some sort of imperceptible | carpet spread beside it—a position that enarespiration must have been going on. bled me to contemplate the scene before me.
“ You see, Griffith,” continued the fore- The sexton's brent and snowy head glistenman, “ if you have but the least opening in ed, and his sharp eyes twinkled in the light, the world, it do help to keep the stiff-un so as he counted, in the palm of his shriveled uncommon fresh. Ah! we don't often get hand, the ten shillings with which he had such a prize as this ; only three or four days doubtless been bribed for giving admission dead ; sweet as a vilet; almost as good as if to the vault. His accomplice, in spite of he were alive. I can tell Tall Holloway one his revolting occupation, exhibited a not unthing-he shall pay me double for this here pleasing physiognomy, and screwed down corpse afore ever he do stick a knife in him.” the lid with a complacent smile, as if he were
From the pinnacle of ineffable transport well pleased with his night's work. The and ecstasy upon which my soul had perch- piled coffins at the back of the vault were ed, in the conviction of my reprieval and mostly thrown into deep shade, though here restoration to life, these withering words and there an unrusted nail or inscriptionhurled me instantly down, - down to an plate caught the flickering ray; or some abyss of unutterable loathing, and horror, and ghastly bone, escaped from its mouldering despair, that made all my previous sufferings receptacle, gathered a sickly gleam around appear a heaven. Tall Holloway was the it. The whole picture was framed in the familiar name of a professor in the neighbor- black arch of the vault. ing town who gave lectures on anatomy, al- When the lid of the coffin had been reways illustrated by the dissection of human placed, the men rolled the carpet around subjects; and it was manifest that the intru- me, raised me on their shoulders, carried me ders in the vault, instead of coming as my out, and laid me on a flat barrow or truck. deliverers, and the agents of Dr. Linnel, as I I heard the door cautiously locked, and at had so fondly conceited, were sacrilegious the same moment I felt myself to be trundruffians, whose purpose was to steal my body ling along the churchyard path; the wheel and sell it to the surgeons for mutilation and being almost inaudible, owing to the softness dismemberment !
of the ground, for it was still raining heavAgain with elastic speed did my thoughts ily. rush forward to the probable result of their proceedings ; but oh! how miserably different were my present anticipations from those in which I had so recently indulged! One On emerging from the burial-ground into only glimmering of hope was perceptible in the high-road, a sudden gust of wind turned the hideous prospect before me. It was back a portion of the carpeting, allowing the just possible that Mr. Holloway, an expe- rain to beat against my head and face, and rienced surgeon, discovering my entranced enabling me again to use my eyes, so far as state, might stay his uplifted hand, throw the darkness would allow. 'If I had been away his scalpel, and succeed in effecting my peculiarly impressed with the beauty and resuscitation. But how much more proba- splendor of the sunlighted world as displayble that the progress of his operations mighted to me through the window when they reanimate me for a time, only to writhe and were first placing me in the coffin, I was still die under the agony of my wounds; or per more deeply affected by the midnight glories haps to be patched up after I had been half- that irradiated the sky, where the black and
, butchered, that I might stagger under the driving clouds partially revealed them. They load of life as a maimed and disfigured
a maimed and disfigured drew my thoughts upward to the mysterious cripple, a misery to myself and a revolting and omnipotent. Unseen, the Creator and object to my friends!
Upholder of the universe, amid whose countWhile tortured by these harrowing ideas, less worlds the globe which we inhabit might the lid of the coffin was removed, and be deemed no more than a particle of starry Hodges, turning his dark lantern full upon dust ; but in the belief that not even the my face, said to his companion—"What dy'e humblest dweller upon this insignificant speck think of that, Griffiths? There's a beauty would address himself to Heaven in vain, of a stiff-un! don't know as ever I see a finer. and that the Creator of all would listen to Just take hold of his legs, will ye, and help the prayers of all, I silently implored forto lift him out.”
giveness for my past sins, and supplicated a By their joint exertions I was raised from deliverance from the terrible fate that menthe coffin, and deposited upon a piece of old aced me. Supported by this act of devo
tion, I awaited my doom with less agony of probably for the purpose of changing his wet soul than I had previously endured.
clothes, for his absence was of some duration. The road being that which led to my own Either from the effect of the refreshing house, I was familiar with all the objects of night-air on my being taken out of the vault, which I could obtain a glimpse as I passed or of the shower-bath to which I had been along. My heart yearned strangely toward subjected, or of the reaction produced by them; and as I gazed, fully believing it to be my present exposure to a flaming fire, I be
Ι for the last time, upon a well-known tree, or came sensible, at this precise juncture, of a even a field-gate, I felt as if I were being change in my corporeal system. It began torn away from an old friend. Guess how with a gentle thrilling and throbbing at my immeasurably this tender sorrow must have bosom, succeeded by scarcely perceptible been increased when we reached the en- tremors and shudderings, and a slight twitchtrance to my own residence, and Hodges, ing of the limbs, accompanied by a sense of putting down the barrow, said,
painful numbness and cold at the extremities. “ Hang me if I baint a’most tired. The My frozen blood, thawed by the grateful stiff-un aint no great weight, but these sandy warmth, struggled to resume circulation, roads be so uncommon heavy a'ter rain. though its first efforts were sluggish, and Why, this is the old cove's roosting-place, I limited to the neighborhood of the heart. do declare. Ah! shouldn't wonder if he'd Slowly, however, it crawled onward to the give a good lot of his money-bags to get out members, and, after a while, I found that I of the barrow, ring the bell
, walk upstairs, had the power to move my limbs, but only in and turn into a warm bed, instead of being a very small degree. Doubting the reality stretched out on a cold dissecting-table." of this incipient reanimation, and wishing to
In every fibre did my heart feel the con- test the delightful hope that thrilled through trast ; for memory conjured up the
I my nerves, I summoned my newly-awakened had passed, and the many social and domestic powers by making a strenuous effort to change pleasures I had enjoyed in that home which I my position ; and though I did not quite sucwas never to see again, which had now, by ceed in my object, I had the satisfaction of such iniquitous means, become the property hearing the truck upon which I was stretchof my parricidal son. At this moment my ed creak beneath me. Ineffably dulcet and grief and indignation were aggravated by a harmonious to mine ear was that untuneful sound of hilarious laughter from the dining- sound, for it confirmed the cessation of my room, where I conjectured that the miscreant catalepsy, and announced, as with an angel's and his boon companions from Newmarket voice, the glad tidings of my speedy restorahad not yet concluded their Bacchanalian tion to life, and light, and happiness. orgies. A thousand times more than ever But how far inferior did that voice seem to did I now languish for a restoration to life, the matchless music of my own, when, after that I might expose and punish his atrocities, several vain efforts, my tongue was partially and dispossess him of the estates he had so untied, and I succeeded in uttering the words villanously usurped.
-" Thank God! Thank God !” though they Owing to the lateness of the hour and the were breathed in an almost inaudible whisper. inclemency of the weather, we did not en- Scarcely had it passed my lips ere the forecounter a single wayfarer on our further pro- man re-entered, walked to the fire, and was gress to the house of Professor Holloway, in the act of raising it with the poker, when which stood on the outskirts of the town. I my spasmodic twitchings shook the carpeting was conveyed to the garden-gate, which with which I was covered. The fellow had Hodges unlocked ; and again securing it, been too long conversant with midnight viowheeled me to the back of the dwelling, lations of the grave to have any apprehenopened a door, and passed with the truck into sion of ghosts, but he was evidently frightena small room, appropriated to Hodges for his ed, for he started back with the poker in his disinterred bodies, in which a good fire was hand, ejaculating, as one of my legs again burning
moved“ This looks comfortable,” he said; “I “ The Lord above! The Lord above! May knew I should want a good drying a'ter such I never stir if the stiff-un baint alive and kicka job on such a night. I feel quite shivery, ing !" and sha'n't be no worse for a rummer of hot While he was still staring, utterly aghast brandy and water. Where did I put the and bewildered, I sought to draw him toward bottle ?”
me, that I might be the better heard, by utHe withdrew into an inner apartment, 1 tering the word—“ Hodges!”—a sound at
which he started in still greater alarm, mut- | instantly obeyed, I was left alone to reflect, tering perturbedly to himself
with a devoutly grateful heart, upon the “He's no more dead than I am, and he strange life-involving perils to which I had knows my name! Here's a fix-here's a been twice exposed, and upon the still more precious job! Sure as fate I shall be pulled strange, not to say providential, occurrences up afore the magistrates, and it's a Botany by which I had been hitherto saved from Bay affair, that's what it is. 'Twouldn't destruction. take much to hush up the matter, and make all sure with this here”—his eye fell upon the poker as he spoke—"and I'm blessed if I don't think it would be an act of
kind- Curious as was the concurrence of circumness to put him out of his misery ; besides, stances which had produced my apparent a fellow may always take another chap's life death and real burial, the concatenation of to preserve his own.”
events which terminated in
disinterment My new danger flashed upon me in an in- and my restoration to life was by no means stant, and not losing a moment in trying to less extraordinary. Among the subordinate repair the perilous mistake I had made by causes contributing to the latter result, was the mention of his name, I said, in the loud the fortunate fact that Doctor Linnel, reachest tone I could utter
ing his home at a late hour, and having an life and I will make your for- accumulation of letters to read, had not retune !"--words which acted like a charm. tired to rest when Hodges rang the nightHis altered countenance showed that a new bell and gave him a hurried statement of light had broken in upon him; he came close what had occurred; so that he was enabled to the truck, and putting down his ear, asked to hasten back, and to be kneeling by my me what I had said ; exclaiming, as I dis- side in a very short time after the despatch tinctly repeated my promise
of my messenger. “It's a barg'n-it's a barg'n. Save ye? “Do not speak a word,” was his first inLord love ye, that's what I will, with all the junction ; "you have no strength for talking. pleasure in life. I'm a reg'lar body-snatcher, Leave everything to me; I will take care of as many a better man has been, but I baint you.” a murderer, I wouldn't go for to Burke a Ordering a mattress to be brought and to fellow-creature. No; that's the very last be spread before the fire, he placed me upon thing as ever I should think on.”
it; bottles of hot water were applied to the On intimating that my feet felt frozen and soles of my feet; he poured into my mouth dead, he uncovered them, and placed the a renovating cordial ; after which prelimitruck in such a position that they faced the naries I was rubbed with warm flannels unfire; and on my pronouncing the word “tea," til both my operators were thrown into a for I was miserably faint and thirsty, he cried, profuse perspiration, and I myself felt a with an expression of ineffable contempt vital glow thoroughout my whole frame.
“What's the use of them wishy-washy “ All goes well,” said the Doctor; “but things? No, no ; you shall have something I must have you in my own house and under better than tea."
my own eye, or I cannot answer for your So saying, he took a case-bottle of brandy recovery. We must remove you before dayfrom a closet, filled a small spoon, and light. Bring me a couple of blankets immepoured it into my mouth. At first I was diately." unable to swallow, but the warmth of the These being found, and hung before the spirit gradually relaxed the muscles, and re-fire till they were quite hot, were carefully stored the power of deglutition, so that after wrapped around me, when the Doctor and a few fruitless efforts, it passed down my Hodges, both of whom were powerful men, throat. The dose was repeated three or placed me on their shoulders, and carried four times, its administrator observing that me to the residence of the former, where I
—“ if brandy wouldn't save me, nothing in was laid in his own bed, still enveloped in the world wouldn't save me.” Its effects, the heated blankets. Tenderly as I had at all events, were rapid, for I felt the been conveyed, the motion had quite exquickened circulation tingling through my hausted me; and I lay extended, without whole frame. In answer to his inquiry what speech or change of posture, until I fainted, he should do next, I desired him to run for or gradually sank into a gentle sleep. Doctor Linnel, who resided, most fortunately, All that could be accomplished by conin a neighboring street. This order being summate skill, combined with an unremitting
and most devoted friendship, was now ex- “You are aware that by my dear father's
I trance. Linnel had expressly stipulated was a foolish and unjustifiable act. What that my marvelous resuscitation should, for possible objection could he have had to such the present, be kept a profound secret. a man as Mason ?”
“ You cannot be restored to your rights,” “I believe that he had none whatever, urged that discreet friend, “ you cannot re- but I am sure that he acted from the kindest sume your station in society, without active motives, He thought that the daughter of exertions, and an exposure to social and do- so rich a man ought to make a grand alliance." mestic trials of too exciting, not to say too In other words, he wanted to gratify his harrowing a nature to be safely encountered own ambition at your expense.
A common in your present critical state. Any painful fatherly feeling, but not very paternal, for agitation might occasion a relapse—a danger all that.” against which we must especially guard our- “I had promised my dear father, in his selves. When you are strong enough to lifetime, that I would never marry Mr. Maface the world, I will not only give you no son without his consent; and nothing should tice, but will stand by your side to support have induced me to violate that pledge; but you in your undertaking.”
now that I am left-now that I am aloneNeglecting nothing that could contribute now that, unfortunately, I have no-no-to my cheer of mind, as well as to the corro. The dear girl's voice was broken by emotion, boration of my health, my kind friend, who and she paused a moment ere she could refrequently saw my daughter, brought me “Do you think, Doctor—I ask you such gratifying accounts of her deep but un- as his oldest and best friend do you think obtrusive grief for my presumed death, that it would show any want of respect to my I yearned with more than a paternal fond- father's memory, if, after the expiration of ness to clasp the dear girl once more to my two years, I were still to take this excellent, heart. Linnel, however, would not permit this exemplary, this irreproachable man as this until three weeks had elapsed, when he my husband ?” entered my room, saying:
“None whatever, if you think he is worth Here is a letter from dear Sarah, request the sacrifice of eight hundred a year, and ing permission to call and ask my advice, on Mason allows you to make it.” a matter of importance, at twelve o'clock to- “That was my great fear. Knowing the day. Now, if you will promise to command depth and delicacy of his attachment, and his your feelings as well as you can, you shall disinterested regard for my welfare, I doubtbe ensconced in the arm-chair of our little ed whether I should get his consent; but he back drawing-room, and overhear our inter- met the proposition with the frankness of a view; and after I have duly prepared her fine and noble nature.
• Were the cases refor the startling intelligence, I will announcé versed;' said be, my heart tells me that I your resuscitation, and apprise her of your should not hesitate a single moment to make presence."
the sacrifice to you; and I do not, therefore, All was done as he had arranged; but, hesitate a single moment in accepting the sacthough I had promised to lie perdu till the rifice from you. We shall still possess a modclose of their interview, I could not avoid erate competency; and though I am but indulging myself in one momentary peep as young, I have seen enough of the world to she entered the room. Her deep mourning, know that wealth without happiness is povand the shade of sorrow upon her features, crty, and that poverty with happiness is imparted a more touching interest to her wealth.' beauty. Oh! how lovely did she appear to “Mason is a wise man, and you are a senme at that moment! Oh! how my heart sible girl; but if you have made up you r thrilled when I caught the first accents of minds to this plan, why the deuce should you her soft and winning voice!
wait for two years ? Why not marry as soon After pleading the long intimacy that had as you are out of mourning ?” existed between myself and Linnel as an ex- “ Because I would not ask Mason to take cuse for the trouble she was giving, she con- me without some sort of marriage-portion, tinued
however small. By saying for two years
greater part of the handsome income which
“ My dear Sarah, I tell you once more that to dispossess him of the fortune and estates you are an uncommonly sensible girl, and I he had so flagitiously usurped, and to anapprove of everything you have done or have nounce to him his utter repudiation and disproposed doing, though I do not think it will inheritance. He was now on a visit at Oakbe necessary to defer your marriage for two field Hall, for he was too much infatuated years; and if you can listen to a long story, with the designing Julia to be long absent to a narrative of events so strange as to be al- from her. Linnel, who would not let me unmost incredible, I will tell you why.” dertake anything of an agitating nature ex
With infinite tact and the most guarded cept under his personal guidance, accompacircumspection, did he then begin to prepare nied me in his carriage to the Hall, where, on his auditress for the startling disclosures he inquiring at the park lodge, we were informhad to make. First reminding her that I haded that the party we were seeking had just been subject to suspensions of animation, entered the summer-house with Miss Thorpe, some of which had continued for many hours, that they might view the sport on the water, he added, that there were well-attested in- as Sir Freeman Dashwood had taken down stances of trances lasting so long, that the suf- the dogs to hunt ducks. Alighting accordferers had been buried, even after having been ingly from the carriage, and leaning on my kept above ground for the customary week, friend's arm, I walked toward the summerand had actually revived, as had been repeat- house, which stood in the immediate vicinity edly proved by subsequent inspection of cof- of the lodge; and on reaching it sat down fins and vaults. “Now, your poor father," upon the steps to recover my breath, when, he continued, “contrary, as I well know, to the door being ajar, I became an unintentionyour earnest, and even angry remonstrances, al auditor of the following colloquy : was scandalously hurried to the grave in “I say, Julia! wasn't it lucky that the three days after his death. Under these un- governor died before he made any alteration usual circumstances, there would be nothing in his will? I shall come into lots of tin, beimprobable in his revival, nothing improba- sides all the estates. When he took a crotchble in his being rescued from his miserable et into his head, he was as obstinate as a situation—nay, it is by no means impossible mule; and he had sworn that if ever I marthat at this very moment, recovered from the ried you he would cut me off with a shilling." effects of his premature interment, he may “And if he had, dear George! it would be-"
not have made the smallest difference in my “For God's sake do not trifle with my eyes. Where there is a sincere attachment, feelings,” said Sarah, starting up in the great- filthy lucre is never thought of. Thank est agitation, and vehemently clasping her Heaven, I am neither sordid nor selfish. Incompanion's hand. "Oh, if you love me, deed, if there's one person in the world whom tell me, do tell me—is there a chance, a hope, I despise more than another, it is the girl a possibility, that my dear, dear father may who marries for money." still be living--that I may again embrace “ All very fine ; but it's no bad thing to him—that I may devote myself to his recor- have the cash, whether you marry for it or ery—that I may testify my love, my duty, not. I tell you what— I have made up my my unbounded gratitude to Heaven by- mind to one thing. I'll have the best hounds
Unable any longer to restrain the fond and and hunters in all Suffolk, and the best drag impassioned yearnings of my soul, I sobbed and the best racers in all England at the next out the words,
Newmarket meeting. And there's another “My child ! my child ! my own dear thing to which I have made up my mind : child !"
I'll marry you before the month is out.” Recognizing my voice, she uttered a cry of “What, my dear George! so soon after joy, rushed into the back room, threw her your father's death ?” arms around me, pressed me repeatedly to “ Yes, to be sure ; why not? Waiting her heart, and kissed me over and over, in a for a twelvemonth would'nt make him more paroxysm of hysterical rapture.
dead than he is, as I told Sarah when she kept up such a bother about deferring the