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“One stern, tyrannic thought, that made
All other thoughts its slave; Stronger and stronger every pulse
Did that temptation craveStill urging me to go and see
The dead man in his grave!
Heavily I rose up—as soon
As light was in the sky,
With a wild misgiving eye,
For the faithless stream was dry !
“ Merrily rose the lark, and shook
The dew-drop from its wing;
I never heard it sing :
Under the horrid thing.
“ With breathless speed, like a soul in chase,
I took him up and ran-
Before the day began!
I hid the murdered man!
“ And all that day I read in school,
But my thought was otherwhere ;
In secret I was there :
And still the corse was bare !
« Then down I cast me on my face,
And first began to weep,
That Earth refused to keep;
Ten thousand fathoms deep !
“So wills the fierce avenging sprite
Till blood for blood atones !
And trodden down with stones,
The world shall see his bones!
“Oh God, that horrid, horrid dream
Besets me now awake!
The human life I take;
Like Cranmer's at the stake.
“ And still no peace for the restless clay
Will wave or mould allow;
It stands before me now !”
Huge drops upon his brow!
That very night, while gentle sleep
The urchin's eyelids kissed, Two stern-faced men set out from Lynn,
Through the cold and heavy mist; And Eugene Aram walked between,
With gyves upon his wrist.
BLACK, WHITE, AND BROWN.
All at once Miss Morbid left off sugar.
She did not resign it as some persons lay down their carriage, the full-bodied family coach dwindling into a chariot, next into a fly, and then into a sedan-chair. She did not shade it off artistically, like certain household economists, from white to whitey brown, brown, dark-brown, and so on, to none at all. She left it off, as one might leave off walking on the top of a house, or on a slide, or on a plank with a further end to it, that is to say, slapdash, all at once, without a moment's warning. She gave it up, to speak appropriately, in the lump. She dropped it, -as Corporal Trim let fall his hat,-dab. It vanished, as the French say, toot sweet. From the 30th of November, 1830, not an ounce of sugar, to use Miss Morbid's own expression, ever - darkened her doors."
The truth was she had been present the day before at an AntiSlavery Meeting; and had listened to a lecturing Abolitionist, who had drawn her sweet tooth, root and branch, out of her head. Thenceforth sugar, or as she called it “ shugger," was no longer white, or brown, in her eyes, but red, blood-red-an abomination, to indulge in which would convert a professing Christian into a practical Cannibal. Accordingly, she made a vow, under the influence of moist eyes and refined feelings, that the sanguinary article should never more enter her lips or her house; and this pretty parody of the famous Berlin decree against our Colonial produce was rigidly enforced. However others might countenance the practice of the Slave Owners by consuming “shugger,” she was resolved for her own part, that “no suffering sable son of Africa should ever rise up against her out of a cup of Tea !”
In the mean time, the cook and house-maid grumbled in concert
at the prohibition: they naturally thought it very hard to be deprived of a luxury which they enjoyed at their own proper cost; and at last only consented to remain in the service, on condition that the privation should be handsomely considered in their wages. With a hope of being similarly remembered in her will, the poor relations of Miss Morbid continued to drink the “warm without,” which she administered to them every Sunday, under the name of Tea : and Hogarth would have desired no better subject for a picture than was presented by their physiognomies. Some pursed up their lips, as if resolved that the nauseous beverage should never enter them; others compressed their mouths, as if to prevent it from rushing out again. One took it mincingly, in sips,-another gulped it down in desperation, a third, in a fit of absence, continued to stir very superfluously with his spoon; and there was one shrewd old gentleman, who, by a little dexterous by-play, used to bestow the favor of his small souchong on a sick geranium. Now and then an astonished Stranger would retain a half cupful of the black dose in his mouth, and stare round at his fellow guests, as if tacitly putting to them the very question of Matthews's Yorkshireman, in the mail-coach—“Coompany !-oop or doon ?"
The greatest sufferers, however, were Miss Morbid's two nephews, still in the morning of their youth, and boy-like, far more inclined to “sip the sweets” than to “hail the dawn.” They had formerly looked on their Aunt's house as peculiarly a Dulce Domum. Prior to her sudden conversion, she had been famous for the manufacture of a sort of hard bake, commonly called Toffy or Taffy,—but now, alas! “Taffy was not at home," and there was nothing else to invite a call. Currant tart is tart indeed without sugar; and as for the green goose. berries, they always tasted, as the young gentlemen affirmed, “like a quart of berries sharpened to a pint.” In short, it always required six pennyworth of lollipops and bulls’-eyes, a lick of honey, a dip of treacle, and a pick at a grocer's hogs. head, to sweeten a visit at Aunt Morbid's.
To tell the truth, her own temper soured a little under the prohibition. She could not persuade the Sugar-eaters that they were Vampyres ;-instead of practising, or even admiring her
self-denial, they laughed at it; and one wicked wag even compared her, in allusion to her acerbity and her privation, to a crab, without the nippers. She persevered notwithstanding in her system ; and to the constancy of a martyr added something of the wilfulness of a bigot :-indeed, it was hinted by patrons and patronesses of white charities, that European objects had not their fair share in her benevolence. She was pre-eminently the friend of the blacks. Howbeit, for all her sacrifices, not a lash was averted from their sable backs. She had raised discontent in the kitchen, she had disgusted her acquaintance, sick. ened her friends, and given her own dear little nephews the stomach-ache, without saving Quashy from one cut of the driver's whip, or diverting a single kick from the shins of Sambo. Her grocer complained loudly of being called a dealer in human gore, yet not one hogshead the less was imported from the Plantations. By an error common to all her class she mistook a negative for a positive principle; and persuaded herself that by not preserving damsons, she preserved the Niggers; that by not sweetening her own cup, she was dulcifying the lot of all her sable brethren in bondage. She persevered accordingly in setting her face against sugar instead of slavery; against the plant, instead of the planter; and had actually abstained for six months from the forbidden article, when a circumstance occurred that roused her sympathies into more active exertions. It pleased an American lady to import with her a black female servant, whom she rather abruptly dismissed, on her arrival in England. The case was considered by the Hampshire Telegraph of that day, as one of GREAT HARDSHIP; the paragraph went the round of the papers —and in due time attracted the notice of Miss Morbid. precisely addressed to her sensibilities, and there was a Warren tone about it, that proved irresistible. She read—and wrote,-and in the course of one little week, her domestic establishment was maliciously but truly described as consisting of “ two white Slaves and a black Companion.”
The adopted protégée was, in reality, a strapping clumsy Negress, as ugly as sin, and with no other merit than that of being of the same color as the crow. She was artful, sullen, gluttonous, and, above all, so intolerably indolent, that if she
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