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Townsman. Who should lament for him, sir, in
Love had no place, nor natural charity?
Was the sole science he was ever taught;
When yet he was a boy, and should have breathed
o give his blood its natural spring and play, He in a close and dusty counting house, Smoke-dried, and seared, and shrivelled up his heart. So from the way in which he was train'd up, His feet departed not; he toil'd and moil'd, Poor muckworm! through his threscore years and ten; And when the earth shall now be shovelled on him, If that which served him for a soul were still Within its husk, 'twould still be dirt to dirt.
Stranger. Yet your next newspaper will blazon him For industry and honourable wealth
Before the thought comes that he is not there
When at the cool, grey break
Of day from sleep I wake,
With my first breathing of the m ning air,
To Him who gave my boy;
Then comes the sad thought that he is not there!
I'm with his mother, offering up our prayer;
I am, in spirit, praying
For our boy's spirit, praying-he is not there!
The form I used to see
Was but the raim n: that he used to wear;
Is but his wardrobe locked-he is not there!
He lives!-in all the past
He lives! nor to the last,
Of seeing him again will I despair;
And on his angel brow,
I see it written, "Thou shalt see me there!"
Yes, we all live to God!
FATHER, thy chastening rod
So help us, thine afflicted ones, to bear;
Meeting at thy right hand,
'Twill be our heaven to find that he is there!
BY RICHARD CHENEVIX TRENCH.
A dewdrop falling on the wild sea wave,
A COMMISSION OF LUNACY.
BY CHARLES F. BRIGGS
Him, too, I drove from Yet these are the men
to swathe me in wet sheets.
I was once called to decide upon the case of a person who was thought by his friends to be insane. He had been sent to a mad-house, and in one of his lucid intervals had demanded a trial of the county judge, and a trial was granted. A jury of six men, It was a perfectly clear case of lunacy, and a pitiof whom I was one, were to decide upon his case. able one. But when we retired to the jury-room, one He was a healthy looking gentleman, with nothing of the jurors would not agree with the other five. unusual in his appearance excepting a restlessness He stretched himself upon a bench, threw a handof his eyes, which might not have been observed had kerchief over his head, and requested us to wake him he not been accused of insanity. The proofs of his when we had come over to his way of thinking. madness were very clear, but he showed so much For myself, I was not disposed to be bullied out of coolness and clear thinking in his cross-questioning my opinion, so I too lay down upon a bench, deterof witnesses, that I felt some hesitation in pronounc-mined not to yield an inch of my right to think for ing him unsound of mind. His case was a very sad myself, and in a few minutes fell fast asleep; but I one, and he melted the hearts of all who heard him had better have kept awake, for the moment that when he appealed to the jury. my eyelids fell, I had to perform the part of a juror again.
It was the same ill-lighted room, the same dull Judge who slept through half the trial, the same clownish spectators, the same everything, except the defendant, who yet seemed to be the same person in a different habit.
"I deny that I am insane, gentlemen," he said, when the Judge gave him leave to speak, "but that is a matter of course. No man ever thought himself insane; neither can any man ever think himself so; for, having no standard of soundness but what exists in his own mind, he cannot be unsound to himself, though he may be manifestly so in the mind of ano- He was a good looking youth; indeed, I have never ther. But who shall determine what is madness seen a finer; his dark chesnut hair and sandy beard and what is not? Be careful, gentlemen, how you were equal to a patent of nobility, for they proclaimpronounce me mad, lest to-morrow I be called to pro-ed his Saxon blood, and proved him of a race that nounce you so. The proofs that have been offered to came upon the earth to conquer it. His eyes were you of my madness, are to me proofs of entire sound-gray and his complexion fair. But, poor man! he ness of mind. I would be mad were I anything dif- was out of his mind. His father was a merchant, ferent from what I have been represented. They and he wept while he gave evidence to his son's inhave brought three physicians, who all say that I sanity. He, the son, would wear his beard, and this am mad. Yet I will compel you to admit that the was the proof of his madness. In spite of the jeers, madness is in them and not in me. I was sick, very the sneers, and the laughter of the world, he would sick, sick at heart, for you must know that I had lost let his beard grow as nature intended. Poor fellow! my Bessy and my little boy-my little boy." Here We all pitied him. So intelligent, so gentle in his the unfortunate hesitated and seemed to lose him- manners, so happily circumstanced, and yet mad! self entirely. "I said that I was sick, but it was He had the hardihood to declare in open court, that Bessy. But it must have been me. Yes, I was he saw no reason why he should deprive his face of sick, very sick, sick at heart, for my little boy and the covering which God had put upon it. Bessy. Bessy again. Yes, Bessy had been sick, but now it was I. I was sick, and they brought me a physician. He felt my pulse, he looked upon me with his cold gray eyes, and then reached me a tumbler half full of a nauseous liquid, which he said would quiet me, and do me good. But all the while I was quieter than a rock, and colder, and harder. I thought that he needed the stuff more than myself, so I caught his head between my knees, and though he struggled hard, yet I poured it down his throat, gentlemen, and he was glad enough to escape. Then they brought another to me, who gave me a little globule of sugar, a pin's head was a cannon ball beside it, and told me that it would cure my fever. Do you blame me for thrusting the madman out of my chamber? Then they brought me another, who would give me no medicine at all, but ordered them
"No reason," cried his mother, "O, my son, does not your father shave, your uncle, your brother, all the world shave but yourself? No reason for shaving? O! my son!"
"True," replied the unfortunate youth, as he stroked his beard with ineffable content, C true, but they are all mad or they would not. I need my beard to protect my face and throat from the wet and cold. It helps to hide the sharp angles of my jaws, it makes me more comely, adds to my strength, and keeps me in health. Do I not look more like a man than my father, with his smooth, pale face, who has nothing but his clothes to distinguish him from a woman? Look at him; he has scraped all the hair off his chin, and placed another man's hair on his head. Beautiful consistency. To shave his chin and put false hair on his head! What a mad outrage upon
nature. Hair is not always necessary to the head, I me to this dreadful alternative," said the old man for it often falls off as we grow old, but it never after he had been sworn. My poor son has been drops from the chin. I appeal to this honorable afflicted with his disorder for two years. We have court-" tried all gentle means to cure him, but he grows "Silence!" cried the honorable court, who at that worse and worse. The proofs of his madness are so moment woke up. glaring that he cannot be kept from the mad-house.
"Justice never sleeps, excepting on the bench," He is now in his twenty-fifth year; he has had a good observed the youth, in a low voice.
"Go on," said the honorable court, whose business, when out of court, was horse dealing, which fitted him in an eminent degree for the responsibilities of his office.
I appeal to this honorable court," continued the insane youth, "I appeal to you, gentlemen of the jury, and I would, if I were permitted, appeal to these fair ladies (there were several old gossips in the room) to say whether I am not more sane than my father."
"I can't allow such audacious remarks as those in this place," said the honorable court, rising and wiping its honorable face with a dingy handkerchief. "This thing mus'n't proceed no further. I don't know, gentlemen of the jury, as I have ever been more seriously affected in my life, than I have been by this melancholy trial."
"Probably not," said the maniac.
"The court will allow no interruption from no one," said the honorable court, fixing its dreadfully stern eyes on the madman, and stretching out its stumpy fore-finger in a threatening manner. My heart has been melted by the scene we have witnessed."
education, the best that money could procure; he has made the tour of Europe; he has had all the advantages which my extensive business connections could give him, and yet, gentlemen, regardless of my wishes, and his own welfare, he has married a poor young woman, and gone to bury his splendid ac complishments on a farm. Is it not dreadful, gentlemen, to witness such a sacrifice? I offered him a share in my business, I proposed to establish him in a splendid distillery, but such was the poor creature's derangement of intellect that even this bril. liant offer could not draw him from the obscurity of the country. Look at his dress. gentlemen; if the court please, is not that prima facie evidence of his insanity?"
The court thought it was, but would not give a decided opinion without first looking into somebody's reports.
"Look at him, gentlemen, would anybody believe that he was the son of a rich merchant? That disgraceful blouse, like a common laborer's. That coarse straw hat! O, gentlemen, pardon a father's weakness! I can say no more."
The mother of the insane man appeared next, but her distress was too great to admit of her giving
"A very little heat will melt ice," said the mad her evidence in a straight forward manner. youth.
"My feelings is too much for me to proceed," continued the honorable court, "I resign the case into your hands, gentlemen of the jury, only remarking that the young man is mad, and so you must give in your "werdick."
She believed her son to be crazy. Had first suspected it on his return from Paris, on account of his plain clothes; he had left off coffee and tea, and drank nothing but cold water; he talked strangely about the country; quite unlike her other children, who were fond of style, and lived respectably; insan
her husband; had seen her son laugh with the coachman; had opposed his marriage; thought it a decided proof of insanity to marry out of one's own circle; had been the first to propose sending her son to the insane retreat.
After the witnesses delivered their testimony, the court told the maniac that he might address the jury.
The poor youth was immediately put into a strait-ity not peculiar to the family; was not influenced by jacket and dragged away, yet he still seemed to stand at the bar, but his appearance was changed. He wore a broad-brimmed hat made of oaten straw, a linen blouse which reached below his knees, and a shirt of snowy whiteness open at the throat, so that his manly neck was fully exposed. His complexion was brown, his eye clear and bright, his laughing mouth displayed teeth of a pearly lustre, and he appeared to receive great pleasure in snuffing the fragrance of a bunch of field flowers which he held in his hand. I thought, as I looked at him, that I had never seen a youth who bore so many marks of unequivocal soundness of mind and body. But he was mad, notwithstanding all. His own father was the first witness examined. Poor old man! he could hardly articulate the words which a sense of duty to his child compelled him to utter.
Nothing but a hope that judicious medical treatment may restore my son to his senses, could induce
"I have nothing to say in regard to the testimony," said the youth “but that it is all true. I prefer the sweets of a country life to the bitter toils of business. I have a wife whom I love; she brought me no fortune, it is true, but she helps me daily to earn oue. I have a little farm which yields more than I need; I have good health, a quiet conscience, and two lovely children whose minds and bodies I am striving to rear in conformity with the dictates of nature. For these I prefer a moderate fortune in the country to an immoderate one in the city. Besides I look upon the judgment pronounced upon
Adam in the light of a command, and I was never happy until the sweat of my own brow seasoned my daily food."
The jury pronounced him mad without leaving their seats.
"A righteous werdick!" said the honorable court. He was led from the court-room, and yet he still stood there, such are the inconsistencies of dreams.
He was now dressed in rusty clothes; his countenance was subdued by thought; he was unhappy but not uneasy; his eyes were cast down, his lips were more closely pressed together, and the vigorous look of youth was changed for a gravity of demeanor that sat upon him well, though it seemed too grave for his years. There was literally a cloud of witnesses to his insanity. He had been heard to pity a condemned felon; he had said irreverent things of the law; he had spoken against the clergy; he had abused physic; he had given his money to vagabonds; he laughed at the fashions; he had cried at a wedding; he was opposed to war; he had been struck without returning the blow; he had pitied a slaveholder; he had. But the jury would hear no more. They pronounced him mad with one voice. All Bedlam seemed now broken loose. No sooner was one maniac pronounced upon than another occu. pied the stand. The obscure little court-room began to look like the ante-room of the revolutionary tribunal. To expedite business a whole lot of maniacs were put up together and judged in a lump.
One was a young girl of eighteen who had married her father's poor clerk whom she loved, when she might have married her father's rich partner whose money her friends loved; a Wall-street broker who had refused usury on a note; a grocer who had recommended a customer not to buy his sugar because he could buy cheaper elsewhere; a man who corrected a post office error when his letter had been undercharged; a political orator who had refused an office because he did not think himself entitled to one; a lawyer who refused to advocate the cause of a rogue on the pretence of conscientious scruples; a critic who doubted his own infallibility; a lieutenant of marines who gave up his commission and earned his bread by his own labor; an editor of a newspaper who had never called names; an English traveller without national prejudices; a midshipman who never damned the service; an artist who painted from nature; an author who was satisfied with a review of his book; a young lady who was offended at being told that she was pretty; a poet who considered himself inferior to Shakspeare. These were all pronounced mad. But the noise of their removal woke me, and finding that the other jurors had gone over to the one who was for rendering a vedict of not insane, I too, instructed by my dream, concluded to coincide with them, lest I should establish a precedent by which I might at some future day be pronounced mad myself.
Down in the wave below,
Health's cheek, with ruddy glow, Blooms like a girl's
Pressed to the waters down,
See the lips meet her own,
Tell not of "rosy wine" Crowning with "joys divine" Life and its cares;
Blood shot and sunken eyes, Tears and half-uttered sighs, Tell, of its votaries,
Sorrow is theirs.
Children of bitter wo,
Come, mourners, come! Come ye where pleasures swim Round the Spring's grassy brimFly from the demon grim,
Couched in the RUM!
Joy, with her sunny locks,
Where the Spring flows;
Nature smiles sweetly thereFlowers scent the summer airAnd the dull fiend of care
Flies with his woes.
Some of thy mournfulness serene,
Some of thy never dying green,
Put in this scrip of mine,
That grief may fall like snow flakes light,
Oh sweetly mournful pine.
A little of thy merriment ;
Give me, my cheerful brook,-
Ye have been very kind and good
But good bye kind friends, every one,
And so my journey's scarce begun. Heaven help me! how could I forget To beg of thee, dear violet;
Some of thy modesty,
That flowers here as well, unseen,
BY. L. E. L.
The moon is sailing o'er the sky,
For somewhat of companionship,
And felt it were in vain she shined:
Earth is her mirror, and the stars
Are as the court around her throne;
She is a beauty and a queen,—
But what is this? she is alone.
Is there not one-not one-to share
That grows, my mother earth, on thee, So there were others of my kin
To blossom, bloom, droop, die with me.
Earth, thou hast sorrow, grief, and death; But with these better could I bear, Than reach and rule yon radiant sphere, And be a solitary there.