6 THE BEADFORD OBSERVER, THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 1871. LITERATURE. LOVE AND DEATH. I said to Death, " Give me my love ! All-devourer ! soulless fate ! Could naught thy hunger satiate But my consoling dove ? " Drearly came the far reply As wind beneath a starless sky : " True that I am soulless fate, But no all-devonrer I I but hold the open gate ; They in silence pass me by To a darker bourne than mice ; Thou canst gain no love of thine Till thou, too, shalt die." " Sullen death, though this be se, Open me the gate," I said ; " Dauntless in my love I go To the lone region of the dead. A chasmed gloom, a deeper dark ! Opened the gate, and I seemed hurl'd Afar into the black abyss ; Vanished the sun and moon and world, The sweet 6tars vanished spark by spark, And I aid, " Is death like this ? Eternal omnipresent gloom, Is this the region past the tomb ? I seem a waif from time and place, A flitting memory lost in space." Even as I spoke my being broke In one great burst of boundless light : Before me shone in sapphire stone The walls, and gates of glowing white. And there, behold, with awful eyes, On flashing wings an angel hung, And music murmured through the skies As when the stars of morning sung Stronsr in my love I spake to him : " I have come to seek my love Through death's portal cold and dim ; Open me the gate above." The music of his wings was stilled, Melting in words that throfigh me thrilled. " In thy probation on the earth What hast thou done to prove thy worth ? " Abashed, within myself I shrank ; I saw my life, a waste of years, Of failure, vain remorseful tears, And strength that briefly strove, and sank. But, strong in love, again I spake : " Guardian of the gates above, Open, if not for my own sake, Tet, fer the sake of my strong love." " Thy love cauld not subdue thy sin How hath it strength the heavens to win ? " Doubting even love, I bow'd my head ; How could I sin, and love indeed ? And for awhile I feared to plead, But whispering, once again I siid, " Guardian of the gates above, If for my sake it may not be, Nor for the sake of my strong love, Tet for the love she bore to me ! " Pealing like living harps of gold The gates of heaven backward roll'd The far-off deeps of srace were riven With light from them , and, lo, my love ! Fairest of all the hosts of heaven, She smiled on me my dove ! I chsped her heart against my own, Her eyes in mine a moment shone, And one eternal kiss I drank ; Then lightning struck me, and I sank A dreary fall from deep to deep, From h-.-aven, through worlds of death, to sleep ; And I awoke from sleep, and knew My dream of love a faded dream t 'Tis sad that nothing that is true Can be as fair as things that Eeem ! P. Taebet Macattlay. Job xxxviii. 7 : " When the mommy stars sang together and the sons of God shouted for joy." Colonial Questions pressing for Immediate Solution in the Interest of the Nation and the Empire. By R. A. Macfie, M.P. London : Longmans, Green, Reader k Dyer. This shilling pamphlet comes out opportunely. We cannot congratulate Mr. Macfie upon making the best possible use of his facts, but we are grateful to him for having put together so many precious clippings on what is to England at present the most important of questions, viz., the confederation of the United Kingdom and the colonies into a British Empire. It is remarkable how public opinion changes. We remember a time (not long back) when we advocated this view, without meeting with any response. Indeed, Mr. Macfie himself was the first public man who stood up for it. Earl Granville's disintegration policy is now abandoned by his own colleagues. The people have been taught that union is strength, and that the waste land of the colonies is their most precious material inheritance. The Australian Handbook and Almanack for 1871. Gordon and Gotch, 121, Holborn, London. This is a shilling publication. It has reached its second year's issue. It contains much information that is indispensable to people trading with the Australian colonies. Intending emigrants will also find it very useful, for it contains good topographical notices, and tell much about land and industries, the arrivals and departures of Australian mails, and other things which are not always to be found in costlier publications. The arrangement of material might surely be improved. It is rather confusedly thrown together in the present issue. The Ripon Bioceian Calendar and Church Almanack for 1871. Dewsbury : Printed and published by Joseph Ward, Caxton Square. We have too long neglected noticing the ninth annual issue of this publication. It presents no new features on the present occasion, except in so far as that it gives copious extracts from the Bishop's Charge, containing valuable statistics respecting the Diocese. The editors Canon Bur-field and Mr. Greenwood Teale are able to say once more that "in no former issue have the returns been more numerous." The Almanack, we know from testing it pretty often in connection with our daily occupations, has gradually improved from its first appearance, until now there is not much room for further improvement. There is, however, a strange hiatus in the present issue. Information concerning the National and Sunday Schools is wanting. The editors say that "the returns sent to them were so imperfect in mere than half they were omitted that it did not seem desirable at this juncture to give any information of education which could only (if accurate and reliable) be very partial and hence of no public Diocesan value." Whether the clergy send their educational returns or not, the editors, we should think, will have no difficulty in supplying school statistics next year. The TJnnking Man's Friend. By W. Dixok. Part I. Manchester : Tubbs & Brook. Bradford : Draper. This is a series of Essays on the Being and Attributes of God. The writer may be a "thinking " man, probably is, but he is not a deep thinker. He is a bold one i.e., he ventures to think, and what is more bold, to write his thoughts on vast problems which have puzzled many a wiser man, but his thinkings strike us as superficial. They will gratify those who think with him namely, hyper-Calvinists, because thev will find the articles of their creed stated in - osn'oc rf fine nhilnannhifil nrnnrisifcirma Knf these pages will not help free thinkers who are troubled with doubts about the great doctrines which our author finds it so easy to accept. The fault of these essays is their great assumptiveness. The author assumes everything, and defends his 'nnts only by bold assertion, somewhat in this "o : "The Unitarians think so and-so, but this -;rely a mistake." Again, "To insist on God's -;ng so great as to forgive the sinner without 'dus atonement is only to show our ignorance ure." The book abounds with such asser-iom followed by anything like logical Jhe scepticism of the present day needs weapons than are found here to fight it. j.cn Organs Abeoad. Some of the conti-1 orgars are celebrated for their size and magnifi-i tones. They are mostly in the cathedrals.' At xours the organ has sixty stops ; at Weingarten, sixty-fonr ; at Stuttgardt, sixty eight ; at Hamburg, seventy ; at Prague, seventy-one ; at Seville, the same number ; at Frankfort, seventy-four; at Meiseburg, seventy-five; at Rotterdam, seventy-six ; at Liibeck, eighty-two. Re-nembering what we have just said, that a stop comprises long row of pipes, we shall be prepared to understand how complex must be the internal arrangements of an organ containing seventy or eigty stops. Most of the pipes are made of metal, a combination of tin and lead, with sometimes a little antimony added ; the others are made of wood. Some are square, seme are round ; some are opened at the top, others closed. Some are of stupendous size, thirty-two feet high by thirty inches or so in diameter ; they emit a gigantic rumbling growl, very Polyphemus-like, rather than a musical note. At the other end of the scale are pipes scarcely an inch long, with a diameter analogous to that of a barley straw, and a note such as that of a tiny bird. Some costly curiosities have been made on the continent in the way of organs ; such as the Duke of Mantua's organ, iu which the keys, pipes, and bellows were made of alabaster ; another, in which glass was used instead of alabaster ; and one in a convent at Madrid was made of solid silver. Dickens's "All the Year Rovmd.'J Can I Afford It r Pay your Stationer Gd. for a reply. Map of the World gratis in all Letts' s Office Diaries. Letts's 6d. and Is. Diaries give most value for your money Lette's Housekeepers and ladies' Diaries are much improved Letts's Invisible ink for Post Cards, 6d. per bottle. Ad vt . THE HAUNTED ROCK. Some years ago, throagh the interest of a relation, I received the appointment of a lighthouse-keeper. I did not much care about the work, as I dreaded its dulness ; but I was young and beginning the world, and could not afford to be nice in my selection of an occupation. The remarks of my friends, when they heard of my new career, were certainly not calculated to reassure me. Most of my companions were in one way or the other connected with the sea, and all the congratulations I got upon my advancement in life were ominous shakes of the head, and muttered remarks as to there being "queer tales about them lighthouse chaps;" the concluding practical advice being generally, " I wouldn't take it if I was you, Tom." This was certainly rather calculated to throw a damper upon my new employ ; but, as I argued with myself, if I did not take it, I had nothing better to look to, and I would not throw myself upon my friends ; so, determined to make the best I could of the matter, I I went down to Blackwall to be instructed in my new duties. It was not long before I made myself sufficiently acquainted with them as to be aw fait at the management of the lamps and apparatus ; and was at length pronounced fit to undertake the duties of supernumerary lighthouse keeper. These supernumeraries have to hold themselves in readiness to proceed to any part of the coast where they may be required to relieve others who, from sickness or other causes, are removed from their posts. A few mornings after my instruction was completed, I received a sudden intimation that I was required to proceed to take charge of a lighthouse on the coast of Wales. On making inquiries about the new charge to which I was posted, all I could learn was, that the legitimate keeper had deserted his employ some months before, and had not since been heard of ; that hia place had been temporarily filled up by a man from a neighbouring village, who it was hoped would have continued in it ; but that he had recently insisted upon giving up his berth, alleging as an excuse that the dulness of the life was more than he could bear. With this information (which was all the people at headquarters either could or would give me), I was forced to be content, and started off for Wales that very af ternoon, arriving at the scene of my future labours on the next day. At the first glance, the prospect was not alluring. It was at the end of October, on one of those dull, boisterous, dark days on which all nature seems mourning the brightness of the summer that's past, and lamenting the rigour of the winter to ensue. The wind came sometimes in strong chill puffs, that seemed to send the cold to one's very bones ; sometimes in soft sighs that moaned dismally through the half-barren trees, sending the leaves slowly fluttering from the branches to rot upon the oozy ground. The desolation of the scene seemed even to' have infected the few cottages by which I was surrounded, and in which the only signs of life appeared to be clouds of steam (evidently from washing) which came through the open doors ; while a few slatternly women went in and out on pattens, sometimes chiding the groups of children that clustered on the threshold, greedily eyeing the pools of mud and water beyond. Even had I wished to possess it, I saw that there was little information to be got there ; and as I was tired with my journey and anxious to be out of the cold as soon as possible, I put what effects I had into a boat (which I hired with some little difficulty), and set off for the lighthouse, which was built upon a rock at some distance from the land. On the way thither I thought that the boatmen eyed me somewhat curiously, and were not very talkative, simply hailing my volunteered information that I was the new keeper with an "Ah !" and a significant glance at each other. I did not notice this much, however, as I was occupied with my thoughts, speculating how I should pass my time in the grim building I was approaching, round which the eager waves leapt, as if atxious to engulf it, curling back with a sullen roar at their defeat. On my arrival I was received by the man whom I was to relieve with evident satisfaction. He was a gaunt beetle-browed Welshman ; and I could not help noticing the haggard anxious look his face wore. Almost the moment I set foot in the building he called out to the boatmen who had brought me to " wait, as he wouldn't take long setting his new mate to rights with the place, and they could take him on shore." This, however, I combated stoutly, and insisted on his at least keeping me company the first night, as I did not know how the lights worked : to this, after much demur, he consented, with evident reluctance, and the boat went back. My new abode consisted merely of the " lantern," in which the lights burned, and, beneath, the watch-room, furnished with a bed, chair, and table, and such culinary and domestic necessaries as the keeper required. A flight of stairs led to the door by which the building was entered, and a lower flight seemed to lead to cellars or recesses of some sort ; my companion did not, however, show me these, as he said they were never used, and it wasn't worth while going down in the cold. The evening drew quickly on ; and as the autumn twilight grew darkling over the waters, the sea and wind both seemed to rise, and the crash of the breakers as they leaped fiercely up the rock, and the whistling of the gale, were anything but agreeable adjuncts to a residence desolate enough in itself. For the first hour or two of the evening I was busily enough employed in learning how the lamps were trimmed, lighted, &c, and in reading the regulations by which the keeper was to be guided. When I had, as I thought, made myself sufficiently acquainted with the routine of the life that was before me, I sat down with my quondam companion (whose name was Morgan) ; and as we smoked our pipes by the fire, tried to gather from him the particulars oi tne late keeper s disappearance, and wuy ne mmseii was giving up tne situation. Mor gan, however, was anything but communicative he said he knew verv little about his -r) he was a sulky gloomy sort of chap, who lived here with a very pretty wife, and was said to drink hard at times (but that he didn't know about). One night the lamps were not lighted ; and when the coastguard put-off to see what was amiss, the lighthouse was found deserted, and as a good many metal articles of value were missing, it was supposed that the keeper and his wife had stolen them and made off. As for himself, he had lived there Detter than three months, but it was so mortal dull, he couldn't stand it anv ioneer. This was all T could get from my new friend, and even this was only got out of him by close questioning. As the night wore on, I noticed that Morgan beeiueu to grow nageccy ana uneasy, and applied himself, rather more than I thought the authorities would have approved of, to a case-bottle of spirits on tne iaDie. it seemea to nave no effect on him, however ; and he at length volunteered to look after tne lights that night, so that L might have a good rest after my journey. I was too tired to gainsay this, and in spite of any uneasy feeling, which I could not account for even to myself, soon fell into a troubled sleep. Whether it was the novelty of my situation or not, I hardly know, but during the first portion of the night I scarcely slept half an hour consecutively ; and when I awoke, hearing the never ceasing roar of the waves, contrasting with the deep silence within the building, I always, in spite of myself, began wondering why the last keeper had left, what sort of a woman his wife was, and -whether he had really stolen the missing things. These speculations seemed so absurd, that l tried hard to dismiss them, but without success ; and it was only as the dawn was breaking that I tell into a deep unbroken slumber, from which did not wake till the morning was far advanced. Vhen I arose, I found it was a bright fresh morning, the gale having died away to a soft south west wind. As I stood by one of the open windows. how different the scene appeared to the gloom of yesterday ! Where the sunlight fell upon the still heaving billows it turned them, now to masses of sheeny opal, now into cascades of diamonds, as the spray was thrown high into the air. In the dis tance, like snowy sea birds, appeared the white s ail of the fishing craft ; and as the fresh wind cooled my fevered cheek, my spirits rose wonderfully , and I anticipated almost with delight the calm hours 1 might spend here with my books, surrounded by the ever-changing beauty of the ocean. Morgan now came down from the "lantern," and pointed to the breaKtast he nad got tor me ; his own, he said, had been hnished long since, and as soon as I was ready he would go on shore. Although I could not help being surprised at the almost nervous haste the man displayed to be off, I now had nothing to urge against it. I therefore finished my repast as expeditiously as i could ; and having lowered the boat attached to the lighthouse, we pulled on shore almost in silence. When within about half a mile of the land, Morgan, who had been thinking deeply, suddenly stopped pulling, and very abruptly asked me if 1 had any arms in the lighthouse. Somewhat startled at the question, I replied that I had a revolver, but it was unloaded, as I didn't see how I could require it. " Better load it," was the hurried answer ; " it's lonesome at times out yonder, and youll feel more comfortable if you've something by you as you can trust to." We were close to the land now, and in a minute or two my com panion sprang ashore, and hurriedly wishing me. good-bye, strode away through the trees, and was soon lost to sight. I knew no one in the little village ; so I thought I would go up to the coastguard station, as I had been desired to put myself under the orders of the officer in charge. There was no one there, at the time I arrived, but an old man-of-wars-man, to whom, however, I duly reported myself, and got him to give me some information as to where to get my provisions, &c. This he very good-naturedly did ; and while going down to the village, I questioned him about the late keeper's desertion, which somehow or other always seemed strangely to interest me. My new friend, however, could tell me no more than Morgan had, viz., that the man and hi3 wife were supposed to have stolen the articles that were missing, and decamped. I spent a good bit of the afternoon in making my little purchases, and returned to the lighthouse about four o'clock, in order to be in time to light the lamps before the approach of dusk. After the boat was securely fastened up, and the door locked and barred, I must confess that a dull sense of loneliness fell upon me. I shook it off, however, and busied myself with my work ; and what with trimming the lights, and preparing and discussing my evening meal, I got through the time Tn-ot.ir well fill fiicrht, nVlnrlr. when T wont nn l'-nfn the lantern to see that all was working correctly, ; and then sat down to commence my first night's watch, alone in the midst of the waters. I All anticipated evils seems smaller when really ! near. I had all along so much dreaded the dulness of my night-watchings, that now I had really com- menced one of them. I was fl.trrepAV.lv Hi'sarmm'Titpd at finding it much more endurable than I had expected. There was certainly an oppressive silence reigning through the building, and the monotonous boom of the waves dashing against the rock was not inspiriting ; but I had letters to write home, plenty of books to read, and my lights to visit every hour ; so that altogether the night passed quickly enough away ; and when the dawn broke, I went to bed with the hopeful exclamation " that it wasn't so bad, after all." The following day was Saturday, and I determined to devote it to putting my room in order. I did not rise till nearly two o'clock, and spent the remainder of the afternoon in arranging my books, clothes, &c. As the evening drew on, I trimmed and lighted my lamps, and then read till nearly nine. About this time I began to find a difficulty in confining my attention to my book. In spite of myself, my thoughts kept wandering to their old theme the late keeper's desertion of his post, and what sort of a life he had led in the room in which I was sitting, to induce him to disappear so mysteriously. I roused myself, by a strong effort of will, from these profitless speculations, and went to the window to see what sort of a night it was. There was no moon, and as far as the eye could reach, nothing was visible but the black heaving waves purposelessly swaying to and fro, sometimes tinged by a faint streak of phosphorescent light, as the white ridge in which they culminated rippled slowly away. It seemed very lonely to be built up there in that waste of waters, and a sort of cold chill seemed to settle on my heart as I began to revolve all sorts of improbable contingencies, such as having a fit, or the lighthouse taking fire. Altogether, I felt myself gradually getting into such a state of nervous excitement, that I could hardly bear my own thoughts. So, determined, if possible, to break the spell that seemed breaking over me, I mixed a stiff glass of grog, and sat down with my pipe by the fire. There was nothing to disturb my thoughts, and I sat conjuring up all sorts of home scenes, listening absently to the half-minute click of the lights as they revolved above, the only sound that broke the dead silence surrounding me. The clock had just struck eleven, and I was thinking of visiting my lights, when suddenly a confused noise of struggling and curses, intermingled with the sound of heavy blows, arose from beneath me. I sprang from my chair, my first impression being that thieves had broken into the lighthouse. While I stood listening, rapid steps ascended the stair ; and as I turned to seize the poker aa the nearest weapon available, the door flew violently open, and. to my intense horror, the sound of oaths and struggling commenced close by me, but not a thing which could cause it was visible ! The noise barely lasted a minute, lifetime as it seemed to me, and appeared again to descend the stair. For a moment all was still, and I was beginning to try and persuade myself that I had been the victim of some horrible hallucination, when a wild shrill scream, the agony of which haunts me still, rang through the silent building, and a woman's voice exclaimed, " George, George ! for God's sake don't murder me ! " A dull thud, as of some heavy substance falling to the ground, a low gurgling noise, and all was still. Palsied with horror, I stood leaning on the chair to which I had clung for support, every nerve strained in agonised expectation of a renewal of the disturbance ; but minute after minute went by, marked by the sound of the revolving lights, and all remained as still as the grave. Little by little I recovered power over my thoughts, and sat down, trying to account for the scene I had just gone through. Could any joke have been playel upon me ? That hardly seemed possible, for I had barred and locked the door myself, and the key still hung beside me. I could scarcely bring myself to believe it was anything supernatural, for I had been all my life a sceptic as to such things ; but how to account for the scuffling in the room close by me ? I at length became more emboldened by the perfect quiet that reigned, and got out my revolver and loaded it carefully, and summoning up all the resolution I possessed, determined to go down and examine the cellars where the noises had apparently begun and ended. Taking a closed lantern in one hand and my revolver in the other, I cautiously descended the stair, looking around and behind me, I must confess, with fear and trembling. Nothing extraordinary was, however, visible ; the door was barred and fastened as I had left it, and all the things that lay about were in precisely the same positions as when I had seen them last. Not a sound was to be heard but the dash of the waves, which broke upon the walls around and above me now. I was somewhat reassured by finding everything as I had left it on coming in ; but as I prepared to descend the lower winding stairs, leading to the cellars, I felt a smothered sensation upon my chest, and my heart beat so loud that it would have been audible to any one standing near. Down the narrow stair I went cautiously, the air becoming colder at every step, while the light that came from the lamp I carried showed that the walls were dank with moisture, and covered with fungoid growths. When I arrived at the bottom, I found myself opposite a strongly-built door, not apparently fastened. The clammy sweat rolled down my face, and it was some minutes before I could summon up enough courage to thrust the door open with my foot. Holding the lantern forward, but almost dreading to see what its light might reveal, I found that two or three steps led down to a large cellar, made apparently in the rock itself. The walls, like those surrounding the stair, were dripping with moisture, and a peculiar earthy sickly odour seemed to taint the air ; but, with the exception of some billets of wood, a chopper, and a large hammer thrown into a corner, the place was perfectly empty. I satisfied myself that there was no outlet to it ; and barring the door as best I could, returned to the watch-room slightly relieved in mind, but more puzzled than ever to account for the scene I had gone through an hour before. I passed the remainder of the night in the " lantern ;" and may no one ever know such wretched hours as dragged their weary length along tilldawn 1 Out of the chaos of thoughts that yent whirling through my brain, I determined that, as soon as daybreak released me from my watch, I would instantly go on shore and inform the officer of the coastguard of the whole affair. At about eight o'clock I securely fastened up the place, lowered the boat, and taking advantage of the light wind, sailed on shore, and went straight up to the coastguard station, and asked to see the officer. The men gathered, I think, from my haggard looks and flurried manner, that I had something important to communicate ; and one of them took me at once to the officer's cottage, which was not far distant. Mr. Thomson, who commanded the coastguard, was a man of about thirty-three years of age. He had been a lieutenant in the navy, and was on half-pay. Being without private means, and seeing no immediate prospect of active employment, he had petitioned and petitioned the Admiralty until they had given him his present appointment ; and the men who served under iim said there was not a braver or better officer in the whole service. After I had told mv stnrv p-rant-.lv an t.hp mmnmafjinnpa 1 wVlilVh iroiru rica s if ns.nn.r-J TW.. TV. nv.cnT " t iovj wvj iu vvuiicu) uuiuauii gave: me a keen searching glance, and very abruptly asked me what stories the man I had relieved had been putting in my head. I replied, none ; that he was very uncommunicative, and. would hardly give any reason for leaving, except that the life was so dull. "Very well," was the quick answer; "I'll give you a man to stay a few days. Some one has been hoaxing you, or, more likely still, you've dreamt the whole affair. Here, Wilson, you must go off to the lighthouse for a few days ; this man here thinks he's been hearing ghosts, or some nonsense of that sort, out yonder, You'd better go with him, and show him what rubbish it is ; for I think you fear neither man nor devil.-' " Well, sir," was the reply, "as regards the devil. I never comp athwart his hawse yet, thank God ! but I do hope, by the aid of a fair conscience, as I shouldn't miss stays if I did." " Very well," was the reply, " that's settled. Wilson will keep vou comoanv for a fpw days, and I hope I shall hear no more of the matter. jmo ooubt you had a bad nightmare ; and I'd recom mend you to keep a sharper eye after your lamps, and then it won't occur again. That'll do." With this curt decision we were rh'smiswpH anA Wilson (who happened to be the ID. An tf whnm T V. nr? spoken on my first arrival) and I strolled to his cottage to get what things he required while with me. On my way I re-told mv storv and ftlthn.no he was evidently incredulous as to its being anything but a dream, he asked me to sav nothing nf it-. to his wife, who was very poorly. His wife evidently did not relish his going, but there was no disobeying the orders he had received ; so, after having our dinner at his cottage, we returned tegether to the lighthouse. Everything was in its place as I had left it, and when we explored the cellar together, the same fastenings were upon the door that 1 had placed there the night before. However, we now nailed it closely up ; and the evening, enlivened by Wilson's sea yarns, passed quickly enough away till twelve o'clock, without anything occurring ; and after that we agreed to take alternate two hour watches in the "lantern." Not a sound broke the stillness all night ; and as we sat down together to breakfast in the morning. I received the bantering of my companion upon my dream, as he called it, with an uncomfortable sensation of having made a fool of myself. The days passed away thus till inursaay, not a aincrl pvent OCCUrrinET OUt of the Common, and I had by this time thoroughly persuaded myself that I had fallen asleep and dreamt all the horrors about which I had made such a stir. Towards noon on that day, a boat came off with a message for Wilson, to the effect that his wife had had a bad epileptic fit the night before, and was then very ill. I could not offer anv ODDOsition to his departure under such , circumstances, and had even so well recovered my ordinary nerve, that when he asked me if he should I send another man, I said no ; all the noises I had heard must have been tne errect oi imagination, uuu T was ouite content to remain alone. So he went off. Friday, and Friday night, passed quietly enough, and on Saturday morning I was obliged to go on shore to get some provisions I wanted. I was doubtful at hrst whether i would go, as the day was dark and louringr, with heavy banks of leaden- looking clouds to windward, which betokened a coming gale. However, 1 determined to risk it, and make as much haste as I could ; and taking advantage of the wind (now rising every minute), was only away about two hours. On my return, I made all due preparations for a stormy night, doubly barring the doors and putting battens on all the lower windows. After the lamps were lighted, I stood for some time at one of the windows above, watching the warring of the elements. The black scud flew across the heavens as though rushing in terror from the fierce wind that howled across the waters, and the sea seemed turned into a gigantic cauldron of Seething foam, save when, like monsters arising from the deep, the huge black waves met each other with a furious roar, the foamy atoms into which they dashed themselves glistening in the murky night, till swept away by the wind. The scene was a grand one ; but, with a feeling of compassion for all in distress at sea that night, I turned to the more congenial view of my bright little fire, beside which I now sat down and smoked till nearly ten, arousing myself at that hour to write a letter of some importance to my brother. The subject upon which I was engaged had reference to some accounts which I had examined for him some time before, and respecting which he had written to me. The letter necessarily contained a quantity of figures, and I was so deeply engaged upon them, that I paid no heed to the fight of time, till, with a sense of horror amounting almost to sickness, I heard the sound of oaths and blowB emanating from the cellar. A moment's pause, and the footstep I had heard before ascended the stair ; and as I crouched into a corner, with eyes dilated and every hair upon my head moving in my agony of terror, the sound of scuffling commenced close by me, though, as before, not a thing was visible. Again the sounds appeared to descend the stair ; again, above the howling of the wind and the roar of the waves, arose the agonised entreaty, " George, George ! for God's sake don't murder me !" How I passed the remainder of that night, I hardly know. Nothing more occurred ; but I was so unstrung by what I had for the second time heard, that I remained, Heaven knows how long, crouching by my bedside, muttering incoherent prayers, and in a state of hysterical fear which almost bereft me of my senses. With the first streak of dawn I prepared to go on shore, at great risk to myself ; for though the sea had been somewhat beaten down by a heavy fall of rain, it was still much too rough to be quite saf6 for a small boat with only one man to manage it. However, I got safely on shore, and instantly went direct to Mr. Thomson's cottage, and told him what had taken place for the second time. " This is very strange, my man," he said, eyeing me with no particular favour. " This thing happened to you when you were alone before. I give you a man I can trust in, and notfiing takes place while he is there; but the moment his back is turned, you come to me with a cock-and-a bull story, which I tell you candidly I don't believe." I replied that he might believe it or not, as it pleased him : that I had told him nothing but the truth ; and begged to be allowed to give up my situation at once, as, I said, no earthly consideration would induce me to pass a night alone again in the lighthouse. He looked hard at me for a moment, and then said, "Of course, it is your own fancy ; but something has evidently frightened you. I will try you once more, and get Wilson to stay with you this next week ; and next Saturday night I will myself come off and stay with you." We went down together to Wilson's cottage ; and although his wife was still very unwell, Mr. Thomson got him to agree to come off with me at once, and stay the next week, and on Saturday he himself would join us. We returned to the lighthouse at once, Wilson in no very good temper, and evidently thinking me a cowardly fool, or that I was hoaxing him. When we got off, he insisted on going down to the cellar with me. Everything was as we had left it, save that the door, which we had fastened with long nails, was ajar, the nails seeming to have been wrenched from the wood .' I at once assured my companion that I had never been down the steps since nn was witn me. ne heard me m silence, but with evident incredulity ; and together we fastened up the door in such a manner that nothing short of sledge-hammers would open it, and returned to the watch-room. The days and nights went quickly by, nothing occurring to alarm or disturb us in the slightest degree. Vilson recovered his good temper on hearing that his wife (to whom he was much attached) was much better, and proved himself, a3 before, a most entertaining companion. At about four o'clock on Saturday afternoon Mr. Thomson came off, and asked us banteringly what we had heard. The reply of course was, " Nothing." "Nor ever will," was the answer. "However, I'll look out with you to-night." He then questioned me closely upon the exact situation and description of sounds I had heard, and minutely examined the whole place, lhe fastenings of the cellar door were not removed, but an additional padlock put on as also on the lighthouse door. air. .momson then said that, as the snnnrU appeared to begin and end in the cellar, towards cicTcu. uuwa. we wuum post ourselves, armed with revolvers, opposite the door, and wait the event. certainly aid not much relish the prospect ; but the other two seemed so cool and confident, that I could maxe no demur. We passed a pleasant evening in the watch-room, till, at twenty minutes to eleven, the revolvers were carefully looked to, and, with a large ship's lantern throwing out a brilliant light, we descended the spiral stair in a body, and hanging up the light, waited what might ensue. It was a very calm night, and the gentle ripple of the waves against the rock was barely audible, and so profound was the dead silence, that we could hear the slow monotonous ticking of the clock in the watch-room, As we stood and waited, we knew not for what, in almost the foundations of that lonesome building, the minutes seemed like hours, as we eyed each other and the damp grim walls around. Suddenly the little bell of the clock in my room rang out eleven, and during the minute or two that ensued we held our very breaths in expectation. All at once the struggling and oaths commenced close to us in the cellar. The words were audible now " Down, d n you, down '." in harsh rough tones, intermingled with heavy blows and feeble moans for mercy. Suddenly, before our very faces, the door which we had fastened so carefully flew open, and the step went by us as we crouched back almost into the very wall, fhe struggling now sounded up in the watch room, and then again seemed coming nearer to us, step by step, as if a heavy body was being lifted down the stair. I glanced at my companions ; they were both ashy paie, Dut seemeu cairn and resolute. he steps came nearer, nearer, and again passed into the cellar and again the wild cry of 'rGeorg George ! for God's sake don't murder me ! " ran;,' out close by ; and as the words died away, a vision appeared before us, the horror of which, even at this lapse of time, makes me shut my eyes in dread. By the light of a pale lambent flame that seemed to spring from every part of the cellar, we saw the dead body of a man lying on the ground, the face and head so battered and covered with blood as to make the features un-distinguishable. Over it stood a woman in her night dress, her arms extended as if to ward off a blow while from a gaping wound in her throat the blood poured down in torrents. I remember the agonised entreaty visible in the large blue eyes, and the rippling masses of golden hair contrasting strongly with the blood covered bosom but no mnt-P fnr T fell insensible. When I came to, I found myself in bed, and so deplorably weak that I could barely turn round. I had been nearly dvine. it afterward turned out, from an attack of brain fever, brought on, the doctor said, by over-mental excitement. It appeared, on after inquiry, that the vision scarcely lasted a moment after I became insensible ; that Mr. Thomson and Wilson, who had retained their senses, although terribly alarmed, had carried me upstairs, when, finding that I only roused out of my insensibility to become delirious, I had been removed to the hospital, where I had remained ever since. Mr. Thomson was so much impressed by what he had witnessed, that he determined to have the lighthouse thoroughly searched ; and next day, taking a large party and plenty of light, the cellar was closely mvestigated, and the hammer which lay in the corner found to bo covered with blood ai d human hair. Close by the wall, and, as nearly as they could judge, below where the vision had i appeared, a large stone had been apparently recently j moved, and Mr. Thomson determined to take it up. ; This was done ; and after removing a quantity of j loose sand, the decomposing bodies of a man and . woman were discovered exactly as they had appeared to us the woman in her nightdress with her throat cut, and the man with the skull horribly fractured and the face beaten In. The remains were identified as the wife of the late keeper, and the son of a neighbouring farmer, who used to be a good deal at the lighthouse. Information was at once given to the police of the discoverv of the double murder, as no doubt it was, and a strict ! search was instituted after the late keeper. It was months before he was traced, and then only found almost on his deathbed. Before he died, however, he confessed the crime with which he was charged, and even described how it was committed. It appeared that he had long suspected his wife of too close an intimacy with a young man in the neighbourhood , and one Friday night, while on shore, received what, to his jealous mind, was a confirmation of his suspicions, and, frenzied with rage, determined to have revenge. The next night he contrived to get the young fellow off to the lighthouse ; and after plying him with drink till he was almost insensible, he dragged him to the cellar, and dispatched him with repeated blows of a sledge hammer. Maddened with brandy, and now determined to complete his vengeance, he rushed upstairs and dragged his wife down from her bed ; and showing her the mangled remains of her supposed lover, cut her throat, in spite of her entreaties and declarations of innocence. Fearing lest the sea should reveal the crime, he buried the bodies in the cellar, and taking a few valuable articles to divert suspicion, fled the spot. Even while in the throes of that death which defeated the ends of justice, he declared that by day and night his wife had haunted him, and that, from the hour in which he had done the deed, to the time he had confessed it. he had never known one moment's peace. Philosophers may account for the scenes I have related, or learnedly disprove them, as they please ; I only know that, from being an utter unbeliever in the supernatural, I have now got so much faith in it, that, though my present way of life is quite unconnected with the sea, I never hear the plash of the waves without recalling with a reminiscent shudder the hours I passed on the " Haunted Rock." Belgravia, ONLY ON THE BOX. " Any one got a light ?" " Here, my boy, I have. The best matches in the world. Safest hing you can " " What, those things ! Won't let them near me ! I'd have tho patentees burnt with fagots of 'em. Why, I . paid for a box of them, and Jessie paid, teo, how much do you suppose ? Out of a shop, mind you !" " I can't telL I'm sure ; some fancy price." Only 50,000. I'll tell you how. Wait, I can't give up my smoke, even to gratify so just a vendetta. So for once I'll use the ill-omened thint?. I remember the last time I used, or tried to use them but you shall hear." You remember at the time when I and Jessie were going on together, old Foxberry, the million aire ; so he enioved the credit of though without any claim to the title, as it proved, for he had but seventy thousand pounds, and a mil lionaire, even by courtesy, ought to show at least two or three hundred thousand. However, he took all the airs, and enjoyed all the respect, of one, and so as far as he was concerned, it came to the same thing. He really showed a great interest in our cooing and wooing ; quite beyond what might be expected from a money grubber, such as he had been all his fife. The liking began on his side, through my presenting him with a pound of the choicest Turkish, which had been sent to me as a present. There was his weak place. He smoked smoked day and night, not like a chimney which often has its fires banked up, but like a mountain on fire. " Give me my pipe," he would say, taking a rather selfish view of the coa-mogonf, "and I don't care if the world turns upside-down." A rather weak logician once retorted on him: "But, my dear Mr. Foxberry, if the world turns upside-down, you and your pipe must turn upside-down with it." But Mr. Foxberry had him in a moment. " I say, sir," he roared, " if you had taken the trouble to attend I stipulate for the quiet enjoyment of my pipe. You like splitting hairs, sir, I see." I could see that this old gentleman took a kindly interest in my love for Jessie. Between huge clouds of smoke ho grunted out his approbation. " I like you," he said, " Bab, and that's a great deal. Not so well as my pipe, of course ; but mora than my money. I like you better than the greedy crew who are hunting me for it, and who will find themselves disappointed." Every one, of course, good-naturedly said that was hunting him, which was far from the truth, though I own I had the air of it, and liked listening to his .stories, his grim remarks, and, I own, the smoking some rare old cigars that ho had got from a sea captain. I visited him often when it suited me, took little trouble about him, and at last got a hint from a friendly solicitor's clerk that my name figured in " large caps," and in large figures, too, in hia testament. The next time old Foxberry was smoking hard, he said to me : " Why don't you name a day ? lie bold, man alive. Pluck up and don't stand shillyshallying. You won't lose by it in the end," ho said significantly. "I tell you what." he said, "I've got a new box of cigars over. We'll make a little party for a drive to Three-cross Abbey. Get her to meet you there. Settle it all off hand, try the new cigars, and have done with it." I was euchanted. This' indeed, looked like business. I wrote off a hasty note to Jessie and her aunt, telling them how much depended on their coming, and imploring them to attend. I wrote also to a jeweller for a couple of little lockets, as I wanted to make a tender offering. I was very happy and excited. Mr. Foxberry grew more and more oenignant. " There are pipes," he said, " that I knock about any way, and throw down after I have smoked them. There are others I take care of, and put by carefully. You are a good fellow, Bob. Will be a capital smoker one of these days, and I will take care of you." I thanked him cordially. Well, the morning came, and the carriage was actually at the door. Just then the post came in with two letters and a little registered card board box. One was from Jessie, saying that she was delighted to come. The other was from the jeweller, saying that he sent me two lockets, but that he wanted oko back at once " for a bridesmaid's order." The lockets were very pretty, and I admired them greatly. It was hard to choose between them. I was in difficulty when Mr. Foxborry decided me by roaring out from below that he was ready, that the cigars were in, and that we were losing the fine day. I had thus to make a hasty choice. So I chose one that seemed the most elegant, rolled it up in silver paper, and packed it up in a neat card board box. But how was I to send back the other locket ? A capital idea ! There was a match-box on the chimney-piece, which I emptied, packed away the locket in it, and sealed the box in white note-paper, tying it round with tape. " You," I said to a handful of the matches, " must not set the house on fire, and will be of use in my waistcoat pocket." And there I deposited them. My revered friend, a little cut of humour, was still calling for me. I came down with many apologies and away we drove. Before we had got a quarter of a mils he called out : " Hallo ! just like me ! Forgotten my fusee-box. Drive back at once." " Stop, sir," I said smiling, "I have thought of that;" and pullud a match from my pocket. He would have hugged me for this forethought. He said it shewed such a true smoking instinct. It certainly did. "Just fancy" he said, holding up his cigar ; " I should have let this out, and where should I have been then ? We don't pasa a village or even a cottage on the road to Three-cross Abbey, and there's not a house within miles of ii. vreise, ne aaaea reflectively, "I must have gone on smoking the whole day and the whole of dinner. I tell you solemnly, I think I should die if I lost my after-dinner smoke." I was a littla facetious on this, making imaginary plans as to how the sacred fare might have been kept in, or propagated ; making the coachman keep it alive during dinner, and the man-servant during the coachman's dinner, and I relieving both. " But only think of the risk," he said, M suppose the cigar had got choked, or the fellow got drunk, and let it go out. What would become of me then ? I declare," he said with "ferocity, " I'd have the fellow broke and dismissed. I'd work heaven and earth to punish him." ''Quite right," I said, laughing. " But I am happy to save the poor devil from auch a fate." " You would not," he said, sternly. " Where my pipe is concerned, I'd let nothing stand in the way. T really believe it to be the elixir of life ; and any one that interferes with that supply of vital energy I look on as interfering with my life. And I would deal with him accordingly." The cigars were certainly very good, and, after smoking two, he said " Mnw my boy, for a bit of self-denial. Not one more till aiter mncn, or amner, as we may call it ; and then how we shall relish it. That's the real time for enjoyment." We were now at Three Cross Abbey, a little old ruin in the middle of a sort of waste or common, with hardly a tree or a house near. It was a favourite spot lor a pic-mc, as the ruin was picturesque, and moss grown, and shady, sheltering us all from the sun. Jessie and her aunt were there waiting to met t us, Jessie looking lovely, as, indeed, old Foxberry as good as told her during lunch. "When your'e oth installed in a fine house, she'll look all the better for such a frame. Some one," he added, with meaniag, " will take care of you both." Dinner was over, and he called to his man to bring his cigar-case out of the carriage. " I never was in a better humour for a cigar," he said. " After that littlo repast, too, I shall enjoy it the more. Hore is a t:ood corpulent one for you, and another for me. I a' w ays say, give me my smoke and the world may turn upside-down. Ay, rnd every human being in it, too," he add :d. We laughed at the jest. Such little tribute was only due to him after the generous declaration about us. " Give me a light," he Mid sticking the cigar into a hole in the extreme corner of hia mouth, a position which fanatical amekers are fond of. I drew out my bundle of matches with triumph. "I have half a boxful in my pocket," I said, "ft never does to be without them." And I rubbed one on my boot-heel. It missed fire. I tried another. It missed also. I tried a third. It missed again. "What are you about?" he said, testily. "You're very awkward ; I thought any fool could strike a match " " My boot is damp," I said, nervously " I'll try the wall here." I did so, and failed with three more in succession. He now lost all patience. "Youarea more stupid fellow than I took you for. Here, give 'em to me." He tried himself, but in vain : they all failed one after the other. I felt my heart sinking. "The damp must have got at them," I faltered, trying again. " I hate delays," he 3aid in a passion, " it spoils my smoke. Are you a noodle ?'' " Why," cried Jessie, who had been looking at one of tham closely, " they are saff ty matches ! They light only upon the box." Old Foxberry flung his cigar over tho wall in a fury. He gave me one look and walked away to tho carriage. I rushed in despair to the coachman and the footman. " For Heaven's sake, a match! Twenty pounds for one," I whispered hoarsely. " Lord bless the man !" said the former, starting, " what d'ye mean ?" " A match, a match ! Quick, a common lucifer match!" " I ought to have one," he said, feeling his waistcoat pocket. " Wait no yes there is one, I do believe." He pulled ont one saved ! It was as precious as a gem, that littlo splinter of wood. Alas! with fraying in his pocket the top had all worn off. It was no good struggling with fate. I bowed my head and submitted. All tha way back he never opened his lips. When he got out he complained of being ill, and said to his housekeeper, "That blackguard had done it purposely, in hopes of killing me; but I'll be even with him." The Drxt day he altered his will. " Now," added Bob, " admit that I have reason to loathe the sight of salety matches that light only on the box." All the Year Round. An Intblliosnt Voteb. At the recent election in Macon, Georgia, a negro voter appears and offers a ballot. Inspector : What is your name ? Voter I dunno. massa. I'se sometimes called Ole Jo, but most allers Ole Cuss. Inspector : What is your age ? Voter : Look a-yere, massa, I'se jes a hundred. Inspector : Where were you born ? Voter : Golly, I dunno dat. My ole massa said I wasn't born at all, but dat I jes cn yeron a flat-boat. Inspector: Take hia ballot. American raper. An Organ Story. There is a capital story of a barrel-organ, told by Mr. Maguire in his " Life of Fath Mathew." When the great apostle of temperance was a young man, he assisted Father Donovan at a chapl in Cork. The place was too small for a church organ, and tbs congregation too poor to pay for one, and Donovan frequently expressed his regret at the deprivation. One day, however, he told Mathew, with great delight, that he had succeeded in procuring an organ. " Father Donavan explained how he had procured a barrel, organ, which pluyed ' Adeste Fideles ' and the ' Sicilian Mariners' Hymn,' and that these could be fittingly introduced during mass, and also at vespers. The musician worked under his control, and Father Donovan would be responsible for the admirable effect of this delightful innovation. The Sunday, fraught with anticipated triumph to Father Donavan, arrived. The organ and its operator were in the little chapel, and Father Donovan was having a vigilant eye to both. Nothing could be a more decided success than the AdeBte, for many besides Father Donovan thought it heavenly. Nor was the effect lessened by the plaintive sweetness of the hymn. Tears of rapture stood in the eyes of Father Donovan. It was a moment of unalloyed triumph, snch as mortals experience but rarely in this life. The last gospel was just being read by Father Mathew, who was the celebrant, when the operator commenced a third air ; but horror of horrors instead of one of those gentle and spirit-breathing strains that lift the soul to heaven in a flood of lovely melody, out rattled the too well-known air of Moll in the Wad. It would bo impossible to describe the bewilderment of the coneregation, or the rage and confusion of poor Father Donovan, at this awful scandal, which nearly threw him into a fever from ehame and humiliation. His friends were thenceforward rather cautious in their allusion to mechanical music, and indeed organs of all kinds." Dickens'3 " All the Year Round." Drawing-Boom Alcoholism. We are sensible of a distinct moral relaxation among women, and of a new sort of unwomanly recklessness in the presence of men. We complain of a prevalent coarseness even among the virtuoaf, not only of manner, but of imagination and pursuit, and we are sometimes tempted te prefer the ago of Nell Gwynne or Madame de Pompadour to the actual confusion of daredevil women and unabashed spinsters. It would seem that alcohol has something to do with this disorder, for the physical effects of it on women are proved by medical investigation to be precisely what would denaturalise them. We know how repulsive are moat forms of mania in women, and, hard as the saying may seem, the development of impulse and the lessened self-control which follow the slightest excess in strong drink are sjmptoms of a brain excitement that is the precursor of disease. A line, we think, can be drawn; and it is certainly time to observe the limits where wine ceases to be useful as a stimulanc of circulation, and becomes poisonous as a narcotic, and morally ruinous. What appeal can we make that will be most likely to succeed - Let every woman who, from whatever cause, finds herself increasing her old quantity of drink, take timely alarm. In the earlier stages of dipsomania the victim will rationally acknowledge every fact connected with it, and will even expatiate on its herrid possibilities, but five minutes after she will swallow an increased dose of the confessed poison. Education and intelligence are rather against her than otherwise, for they make her believe that she at least is safe. Women seldom drink for the gratification of their palate and the pitiable dram-drinker sometimes loathes the spirit she gulps down. Good or bad wine, potato-brandy curacoa or gin will satisfy her if only her nervous organisation be sufficiently saturated. The volume ot light wine or beer sometimes taken is almost incredible. And it is a bad sign when little is drunk at meals by a lady whose flushed face and full eye and hot hand betray that alcohol has been freely applied to her blood, whose loosened tongue and slightly reckless manner announce unhealthy brain action. Had she taken her allowance of wine with food, its effects would not have been so powerful or so immediate. I tis easy to guess bow deceit becomes as habitual as her vice, and how her daily life is a struggle to secure her dose at any cost of self-respect. She is continually driven to act a part, and is never at ease except when she arrives at the "tone" she requires. To do this an increasing quantity of alcohol is needed up to the time when debility sets in or orae accidental trouble reveals her alcoholisation. Then the doctor appears, and if any of our readers wish to know what chronic alcoholisation involves we will refer them to that bland official, and hope that in this one class of disease he will not conceal the truth. But before the doc-tor is called in and he indeed is not able to do much in cases where woman s wit and weakness combine with poattive disease to baffle him might not husbands, fathers, and whomsoevar family life may concern, interfere and endeavour to control tho doings of their womankind? it will not do to poohpooh the dangers of drinkiDg for our world of fwr ladies" of whom we have been aa proud and foreigners so envious. We doubt if half-a-dozen Regencies and a Napoleonic Empire would be as baa for them as brandy and soda of a morning, or untimely sherry, or any tampering with the agent of so much possible mischief, sanctioned as its presence is on e7.u at evcrystreet corner. And it is a mi-chiet that rapidly becomes irremediable for women of the higher classes. Few husbands would care to send a wife to a reformatory, and home-watching is very difficult and destructive of happiness. Yet not only the rice, but the temptations to it, are increasing with our modern hurry and excitement and with that vague religiosity which hs taken the place of Christian duty. It will need some courage to oppose fashion, and keep away from had example, and struggle with hereditary depression. Bat one important step will be gained if the use of stimulants between meals is sedulously checked. The test of sarety in tne moaerase use or aiconolic drinks Beems to te the power in persons of fair health to leave off their accustomed beer or sherry without inconvenience or morakeffort. This test might be occasionally applied by rational women to themselves or insisted on by their mankind, and we believe that a sensible improvement in nLT" f ndPhr.lcal 11-being would generally aor-pnse the fair abstainer. Had we thought it useful, we should have quoted the latest analysis of popui wines, lhmOWD.h7 11 ta serviceable they are in the a.imai economy ; but in this matter, and when womanly charac Sl5 C?re?ud' v8 Perred to dwell on the moral rather than the physical reasons for extreme and increased caution in the use of the common domestic sherry and the feriew 7 COmmon dttestic champagne. Smlurda A Dead Child Csbd as a Weapon Tha Manx Sun reports that a poorly-clad woman, named Catherine Turner, living in Laxey, was charged before the High Bailiff with being concerned in a disturbance en the 24th of December last, and in having taken up the body of her child, which lay dead in the house at the time, and struck thorewith a woman named Siuuh Gilmour on the head. Defendant, together with saratt Gilmour and others, lived in a common lodging-house in Laxey, kept by an old woman named Margaret Kewley. Gilmour said : Mrs. Kewley keeps a lodging-house and takes in lodgers, traups, travellers, Ac. There are two rooms in the house, and very little bedding. On ChristmaO Eve I was in the house, and in the course of a quarrel Turner took hold of the corpse by the leg and struck mm with it. She then placed the corpse between two ch:l ren who lay on a bed. The prisoner denied the charge. Hia worship committed her for trial, offer ing to tnk- baiL herself in .10, and two sureties for j510 each. Billiard Table at Home ! Complete, 48s. 1 No extra room required ! Full aised balls, cues, rest included. Liagram post free. Patent Table Billiards Co., &i Bath Street, Bristol. Advt.
What members have found on this page
Get access to Newspapers.com
- The largest online newspaper archive
- 18,900+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
- Millions of additional pages added every month