"Father, father, what words are these ?"

"Milk-livered boy! Why blanches your cheek, when I hold within your clutch the very satiety of vengeance? Why clench you not the precious boon? Or are you a man but in seeming, and a puling infant in resolve?"

"Speak on, father-speak on,-it seems to me as if each word you utter burns deeper and deeper into my brain-searing, as it goes, those doubtful agitations of my soul, that would raise a trembling opposition to your bidding. But they shall not! No, no! Down, down! Your wrongs shall answer the cry of humanitymy mother's fatal end the appeals of tenderness!"

"Now," cried Lockwood," I know you for my son. But we have talked too much-action should be doing. The death of our foe is appointed for the third day from this; and I have learned, beyond doubt, that owing to there not having been an execution in Okeham for many years, the Sheriff finds great difficulty in procuring the proper functionary. It was this that stirred me to the hope that you would volunteer to the office; and I thank you that my hope has not been deceived. You must away to the Sheriff instantly, and get appointed; that attained, I trust to be able so to instruct you, that failure in the performance will be impossible."

I obeyed-ay, I obeyed! I was successful! The honesty of human nature was scouted from my heart by the towering voice of the worst passion that ever cursed the breast of man.

The morning of execution arrived, and found me ready for my office. As the time had gradually grown nearer and nearer, my father had perceived, with dread, that misgivings, in spite of myself, shook my whole frame; and, in order to be more sure, he had kept me at carouse the whole of the previous night, in the miserable back street lodging that afforded us shelter.

The morning arrived; and, drunk with passion, vengeance, and brandy, it found me ready for my office. The solemn tolling of the prison bell announced the hour of death to be at hand, as I awaited the coming

of the prisoner in the outer cell. How I looked-how I acted-I know not; but, as well as I remember, it seems to me now as if I was awakened from a torpor of stupefaction on hearing the clanking of the chains that announced the approach of Foster; the sound reached my ear, more heart-chilling than the heavy tolling knell, that answered as if in echo; but I had not forgotten my lesson; I beat my hand against my brow, and whispered vengeance" to the spirit that was so ill at ease within. It was at that moment, that, for the first time, I beheld Edward Foster; he was not such as my soul had depicted. I pined for him to look hateful, ferocious, and bloody; but his aspect was placid, gentle, and subdued. I could have stormed in agony at the disappointment.

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My first duty was to loosen his arms from the manacles that held them, and supply their place with a cord. As I fumbled at the task, I could feel myself trembling to the very fingers' ends; and it seemed as if I could not summon strength to remove the irons. My agitation must have attracted Foster's notice; for he looked at me, and gently sighed.

Gracious God, a sigh! I could as little have believed in Foster sighing as in a tigress dandling a kid. Was it possible that he was human after all? How frightfully was I mistaken! I had imagined that I had come to officiate at the sacrifice of something more infernal than a demon!

At length, with the assistance of a turnkey, every thing was prepared, and we mounted the scaffold of death. Short shrift was there; but it seemed to me as if the scene was endless; and when I looked around on the assembled multitude, I imagined that it was to gaze on me, and not on Foster, that they had congregated.

All was prepared. With some confused recollections of my father's instructions, I had adjusted the implement of death; and the priest had arrived at his last prayer, when the dying man murmured, "I would bid farewell to my executioner.” The clergyman whispered to me to put my hand within those of Foster.

I did do it! By Heaven,I did do it! But it seemed as though I were

heaving a more than mountain load, and cracking my very heart-strings at the task, as I directed my hand towards his. He gently grasped it, and spoke almost in a whisper.

"Young man," said he, " I know not how this bitter duty fell to your lot-yours is no countenance for the office; and yet it comes upon my vision as a reproach. God bless you, sir! This is my world-farewelling word; and I use it to say-I forgive you, as I hope to be forgiven."

My hand, no longer held, dropped from his; and the priest resumed his praying. I could not pray! Each holy word that was uttered, seemed not for Foster, but for me-stabbing, not soothing.

At length the dread signal was given; and mechanically—it must have been, for the action of my mind seemed dead within me-mechanically I withdrew the bolt, and Foster was dead-swinging to the play of the winds-the living soul rudely dismissed, the body a lifeless mass of obliterated sensations.

A deep hoarse groan ran round the multitude-that groan was for me. It gave token of an eternal line of separation drawn between me and the boundaries of humanity.

Oh, that the groan had been all !— But there was one solitary laugh, too-dreadful and searching. It was my father that laughed, and it struck [To be concluded

more horror to my soul than the groan of a myriad.

Oh, that the groan and the laugh had been all! As I crept away through the prison area, where each one shrank from me with disgust, I passed close to a youth deep bathed in tears, and some one whispered to another, "It is poor Foster's son!" What devil tempted me to look in his face? I know not the impulse; but I know I looked-and he looked!Oh, consummation of wretchedness, it was Foster's son-and it was he also who had offered to share with me his slender pittance on my first arríval at Okeham! As he gazed on me, a deep heavy sob seemed as though his heart was breaking.

I rushed from the spot like one mad. In all my misery, in all my wickedness, I had fondly clung to the recollection of that youth and his goodness, as the shipwrecked mariner to the creed-born cherub that he pictures forth as the guardian of his destiny. But this blow seemed to have destroyed my only Heaven. I had not even this one poor pleasurable thought left me to feed upon. His sob thrilled in my ear, as though it would never end; and the womanly sound was more overwhelming and more excruciating than the despising groan of the mob, or the atrocious laugh of Lockwood.

in next Number.]

No. IV.


SING me of Hermes, son of Jove,
And fruit of gentle Maia's love;
Guardian of Cyllene's Hill,

And flock-engendering Arcady-
To the gods, and their high will,
Hermes, herald-deity——
Wing-shod apparitor, most meet
Purveyor-Him the nymph discreet,
Fair Maia, bore 'mid shadowy rocks,
Secreted in a cave from sight
Of prying god or mortal wight;
There, in the soothing hour of night,
When sweet sleep Juno's jealous eye
Had kindly closed, did the Godhead lie
With the Nymph of the wavy locks;
But when the tenth month 'gan fulfil,
In the heavenly course, his mighty will,


Then Hermes sprang to birth.

And many the wonders, strange and wild,
That mark'd him a rare and fitful child,
Subtle in wit and mirth;

A gazer of stars, a driver of beeves,
Pilferer, trickster, thief of thieves,
Keeper of doors, and watch o' nights,
Giver of dreams to drowsy wights,
Surest of shufflers he-

The very compound of art and trick,
And the gods soon learn'd from his rhetoric
What he was like to be:

For, on the fourth day of the moon,
Born in the morning, in sooth 'twas soon,
He played on the lyre when it was noon;
In the evening of the self-same day,
The cows of Apollo he stole away.

It was not for him, with sleepy eye,
In his cradle a lumpish thing to lie,
For he sprang away in his merry mood,
To pilfer the kine of the king divine-
At his cavern's mouth he stood;
For when he had bounded across the floor,
He saw a poor tortoise the cave before,
Eating small herbs at the threshold door.
(It was Hermes who first the tortoise made
To chant and quaver and serenade,
And taught him the nice musician's trade.)
Then the darling boy
Was ready for joy

To jump out of his skin,

When he saw the creature's crawling pace,

As it was creeping in ;

Then stooping him down with hand on knee, With curious eye he peer'd into his face, And laughing out loud, quoth he,

"Now good greeting,

Thou pretty sweet thing,
Lucky the hour that thee doth bring,
Sweet joy, my toy,

To my welcoming;

Oh! thou shalt be mine own plaything,
And boon companion at merry cheer,
At dance and feast, my mountaineer,
With thy painted shell so speckled and clear.
Thou art too precious by half to roam,
"Twere better by far to be safe at home,
So I'll take thee to mine, my own delight,
And I'll make thee of use, and honour thee

Not leave thee to linger in luckless plight.
And though I know well

Thou hast power and spell

To guard me from magic, while yet in life, Yet its ways are rough, and its troubles are


And I'll make all smooth with my little knife

And bethink thee how thou wilt sing when dead."

With both his hands, as this he said,
Hermes took up the toy, and went
Within delighted, and so sped
With a shining steel-scoop instrument,
That quick as the twinkling of an eye,

Or a thought, when thoughts do quickest fly,
He did not leave one single shred

Of life, but scoop'd it cleanly out; This Hermes did from tail to snout. Then cutting reeds he fixed them in, At proper distances, along

The back, and stretch'd a leather thong
Over the holes, fastening a pin
Upon each side, and at each end

He made a bridge, from bend to bend,
Straining seven strings of tendons fine,
That did symphoniously combine.

This done, he aptly held his new-wrought toy,

And with his plectrum smartly struck

The strings alternate, that off shook

Up from beneath his hands sounds of wild joy Wondrously bright.—Then gain'd he skill to reach

A prelude in true notes, to each

Carelessly humming, not with speech
Articulate, at first, and story,

Till warm'd he reach'd his infant glory,
And broke forth improvisatore.

He sang of the passion of Jove

For the nymph of the sandall'd feet, Fair Maia their meetings of love

That were both stolen and sweet. He sang of his birth, as became

The son of his father and mother; Without them adopted his name :

Of the servants one after the other He sang, of the pots and pans

In the nymph's magnificent hall; Of the nipperkins, cups, and cans,

The skillets, and kettles, and all.
Blithely of these Childe Hermes sang,
And more was in his mind;

The hall it rang with the merry twang,
But to more he was not inclined.
For he was bent on thievery;

Therefore his lyre, his well-scoop'd thing, Within his sacred crib hid he;

And after due depositing,
Longing to know what meat might be,
He bounded out of his scented cave,
Over the hills and far away,

Schooling his wits, like a perfect knave,
To a deep-laid scheme of cheatery :
So noted thieves, at close of day,
Ponder, and plan, and expedite
Villainous plots for the dead of night.


Phoebus was sunk to his ocean bed,
And bathed his steeds and glowing wheels,
When o'er the Pierian mountains, spread
In shadow, Childe Hermes plied his heels;
Where the soft pastures, ambient
In herbage, the fat herds divine
Of the immortal Gods frequent :
But Hermes cut off fifty kine;
Argicide Hermes fifty drove,
Nor let them forward-wise to rove
Over the sandy line of shore,
But with their hinder feet afore,
The fore behind, he managed them;

And never forgot his stratagem

Of walking backwards; and first discreet
He took the sandals off his feet,
And threw them across the watery sand;
And gathering with most cunning hand
Twigs from the tamarisk, and such trees
As grew around, with leaf and rind
A bandage for his soles he twined,
As one that might rough ways unravel,
Shunning the way-worn path of travel,
Thus from Pieria went the God,
Not unperceived-for while the sod

An old man in his vineyard turn'd,
The traveller Hermes he discern'd,
As toward the level ground he pass'd
Of rich Onchestus' pasturage.
Then Maia's wily son address'd

First with these words the man of age: "Old fellow there, with thy broad shoulders bent,

Delving and digging, have a care, good friend, Thou dost not, ere thy fruit-time, sore lament; Old men are given to blabbing without end; Be blind, be deaf, and, above all, be dumb, Or thou wilt find thy talking troublesome." Nor more said he, but urged with speed

His herd, that jostled horn with horn, O'er hill and echoing dale, and mead Dappled with fresh flowers newly born. Now night that served him in good stead, Was yielding to the dawning morn, And the pale Pallantean-moon divine Had just walk'd forth abroad to shine, New-glistening from her own boudoir. Farther the Godhead drove his kine

To lofty stalls and reservoir,

From which th' Alphæus' streams were flowing,

With verdure round them ever growing.
There fed he them deep-lowing on sweet fare
Of lotus and cyperus steep'd in dew;
And gathering, fuel conn'd invention rare

To fashion fire, and rack'd his wits anew. (Hermes first taught how sparks would catch, And thus invented tinder-box and match.)

Where thick the bay-trees grew, A dry branch took, and stripp'd the bark, Rubb'd piece 'gainst piece, till spark by spark Was kindled, and the flame upflew. Then on the ground into a pit A fagot threw, and lighted it, And ere the fire was yet quite fit For roasting, out he dragg'd two cows Bellowing, and on the earth hard by Upon their backs he threw them wondrous


And while their gusty nostrils blew
Steams of thick vapour, to the ground
Stooping him down, he roll'd them round,
Adroitly struck them in the spine, and slew.

Then commenced busy work, with spits,
And skewers of wood for nicer bits,
That dropp'd and fizz'd into the fire-
The lordly sirloins roasted he entire.
Then chopp'd he meat most small, and laid
An entrail open, into that

Forcing the morsels, and he made
Black puddings with the blood and fat.
The hides he stretch'd on a sharp stone.
So now a-days we cut up beeves full grown,
Selecting after much discrimination;
But happy-hearted Hermes dragg'd away
To a smooth place the whole fat preparation,
To the twelve Gods apportioning the prey
In twelve good parts, with judgment nice;
The savour his immortal sense
Provoked to thoughts of sacrifice,
That he would institute from thence.
But though that savour rich and sweet
Might well delude a god to eat,
His real godship to denote,

No morsel reach'd his sacred throat :
But fat and flesh, he laid up all
Within the precincts of the stall;
And that no trophy might be spied
That he had been a Bovicide,
The horn'd heads and hocks entire,
With all their hair, and flesh, and bone,
He burnt to ashes, having thrown
Heaps of dried wood upon the fire.
This done, the bandages he drew
Off from his feet, and smartly threw
To the Alphæus's deep pool.

And when the cinders now were cool,
He pounded them to dust, and spent
The night in the accomplishment.
Thus Hermes labour'd amid the kine,
In the mellow light of the sweet moon-


BUT at the peep of dawn he sought
Cyllene's mountain tops, nor aught
Met he, though long the way, no not a soul,
Nor god nor man; nor heard he bark of dog;
But ducking down, he slipp'd through the

Like a light blast of autumn, or thin fog. Straight through his cavernous temple then he stepp'd

On tiptoe trippingly, so light
Afoot, as if not quite

He touch'd the ground, and crept
Softly into his cradle opposite,

As if he were some new-born babe that slept ; And wrapp'd his swaddling clothes about him well,

His right hand round his knees, and slid

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His fingers, playing with the coverlid,
Most sly and his left hand close kept
Beside him his loved toy, his tortoise-shell.
But therewithal escaped not he,
The God, his goddess mother's eye-
"You little impudent," quoth she,
"So young and yet so sly!

Whence comest thou? Latona's son
Will teach thee how o' nights to run,
For soon will he be here to spy
What knave such tricks hath done-
And throw a cord about thy waist,
And swing thee round until you spin,
And pass the threshold in more haste
Than ever you came in.

Canst thou cajole him with lying lip,
And from his griping fingers slip?


Out on thee, mischievous !—or rather, Would thou hadst never been born! thy father

Begat thee a great plague to gods and men."

"Is it so?" quoth crafty Hermes; "then, Good mother mine, now what's the use Of all this nonsense and abuse; As if I were some baby thing, That fear'd a mother's bothering; Nor had one grain of sense to tell The difference 'twixt ill and well? I lack not wits, and, mother, rest Assured I'll use them for the best; And will most thoroughly provide For both of us; nor here abide In dismal cave to fast and pine, Alone of all the race divine Ungifted and unfed—not I— Though you advise-Divinity Is a fine thing, to share in all

The wealth, feasts, offerings that befall

The gods in heaven; not here to mope,
And starve in this shade-furnish'd cave;
And further, mother, be my scope
Such sacred honours as Jove gave
Apollo. Should my sire refuse

My asking, I can still contrive, and use
My privilege as Prince of Thieves,

And take my own without their godships' leaves.

Now to the matter of the beeves,

And this search-warrant of Apollo's-
Why let him come and mark what follows:
I'll go to Pytho, break into

His fine big temple, through and through
I'll ransack it; and pilfer thence
The boast of its magnificence;

Pots, tripods, cauldron, ewer, brass and gold,
And all his stuffs, most costly to behold.
E'en let him come, and coming rue it———
Nor care I, mother, who may view it ;
Yourself may come and see me do it.”


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And thus Apollo the old man bespake : "Old fellow there, that mak'st thy shoulders ache,

About thy vineyard gath'ring hedge-row thorns,

In this Onchestus, peering 'mong the boughs,
Say dost thou happen to have seen my cows?
You easily may know them by their horns
Bent backward-from Pieria, far away,
I'm come to seek my cattle gone astray,
Or stolen-all cows but the black bull;

For he was in a meadow separate-
Four savage dogs attended them, and sure
As any herdsmen ; yet, last evening late,
They left their soft meads and their grassy

Left too the dogs and bull behind, to me
A circumstance that seems no little strange.
Now, old man, tell me, hast thou chanced to

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And some with evil thoughts perhaps, some good,

But which have which is rarely understood.
I have been digging here, from morning light,
This vineyard trench, until the setting sun-
And now, I recollect, there cross'd my sight
A little boy-in truth, he seem'd to shun
Much note, an infant, and he tended kine;
But whose I know not, but they were not

And curiously he drove them backward-wise;
And held a staff, and look'd, with crafty eyes,
This way and that, as one who fear'd surprise."
Thus spake th' old man: with quicker


Did Phoebus on his way proceed;
Ere long, above his pathway hover'd
A bird of omen, and flew by;

From which, and skill in augury,
The thief-born Hermes he discover'd
To be the pilferer of his kine.
Then straight for speculation apt,
Round him a purple cloud he wrapp'd,
And hasten'd forward, thus accoutred,
To " Sandy Pylos, the divine,"
As by the omen he was tutor'd:
And spying tracts upon the sand,
Though somewhat puzzled, thus he cried:
"What, ho!-then here are signs at hand,
Though strange; nor can it be denied,
That these are prints of hoof of kine,
But towards the pastures turn'd, beshrew

These lead not from their home, but to it.
If marks of cattle, are they mine?
But what new trampings see I there,
No prints of woman, man, or child,
Nor lion, tawny wolf, nor bear,
Nor of the shaggy Centaur wild ?
There, there what a prodigious tramp
Was that, and there a broader stamp ! !

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