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By these expensive amusements, the funds of the marauder were reduced, and it seemed as if the possession of this young creature made him less inclined to engage in new enterprises. When he could no longer conceal the poverty that rendered retrenchment unavoidable, he pretended that the English men of war had taken his ships ; and affected to lament his inability to support her any longer in the style they then lived.
This intelligence came wholly unexpected: the shock was violent; for the hope of enjoying affluence, and rising far above her menial station in life, had compelled her to listen to his overtures.
There was, at the period in question, living at a noted tavern in Amsterdam, an elderly person, calling himself a Polish nobleman ; his wife, an English lady, about ten years his junior ; and a plump well-grown young woman, who appeared to be full twenty years old, passed as their daughter, dressed out in style of a girl of fourteen.
By means of his accomplice before alluded to, M—-n heard that this nobleman had been suddenly sent away from London by the Alien office, at the instigation of the P- of that he was in distress, and wanted to raise a couple of hundred ducats, upon a rich star composed of brilliants of great value, and a set of jewels belonging to his lady.
To this nobleman, in the assumed character of an American merchant, the robber found means to procure an introduction ; and so well did the two adventurers sustain their respective parts, that they deceived each other; M—-n giving the sham Count fifty counterfeit ducats that a Jew had imported from England, and receiving, in return, a casket of false jewels, that bore a still less proportion, in point of value, to real gems, than the gilt ducats to those made of gold.
M–~n had arranged with his accomplice to quit Amsterdam, and make the best of his way to Berlin, if he should be able to gain possession of the Count's casket of jewels. Having examined these precious articles, the sham merchant agreed not to open the case for a given time, and each party set his seal upon the casket in which those gems were contained. To prevent accidents, as soon as he quitted the Count's presence, M-t-n hastened to depart; and to prepare the best expediter, he broke the seals, and took a broach to a Jew; for which the Count produced a bill of parcels, in which it was charged £31, 10s. To his utter amazement, he found it nothing but false gems : he had the rest examined ; and the whole proved to be counterfeit !
Upon this important discovery, he hastened back to the tavern, and caught the Count just as he was sporting his new ducats in a silken purse at the billiard table. A few words sufficed to produce a return of the jewels to the one, and of the ducats to the other ; and, as they perfectly understood each other, from that day they became associates in false gaming, in which they were adepts.
To this family M-tmn introduced the unfortunate Margaretta, as his wife ; and in their society her morals sustained further injury
A plot to entangle a nephew of the Procurator General of Amsterdam, into marriage with the pretended daughter of Count
having failed, which event being succeeded by a run of ill luck at the gaming table, the whole party were reduced to poverty: and the Countess advised Margaretta to quit Mr. M—t-n, and go again to service, till his circumstances mended.
Through the aid of some of her former friends, she obtained a situation as companion to an elderly widow lady, who lived in the Bagyn Hof, near the Engelske Kirk, in Amsterdam. There she might have lived in peace and happiness, but for the unfortunate connection with M-t-n, who had sought the acquaintance of an Englishman, who lodged at a working silversmith's, with a view to rob the workshop ; and just as he stood on the point of making the attempt, the wife of his accomplice, stung by remorse, and anxious to save an innocent person from suffering, went to him, and told the history of M-t-n, and of the crime he then meditated.
This person sent word to M-t-n that he was betrayed, and gave him notice, that within six hours his name, &c. would be given to the police! This warning, which, from erroneous though humane motives, was given to the criminal, proved the source of shame and destruction to Margaretta! The unhappy girl was then from home, attending her mistress. Thither M-t-n followed her; and, with suborned tears, said he must take a long leave of her, as a writ was issued against him on account of an unpaid bill of exchange. There is every reason to believe that his victim had not even then ascertained the real character of this miscreant; and that, melted by his entreaties, it is more likely that she gave him a key to her mistress's house, from a wish to protect her lover, than to enable him to rob the premises.
Be that as it might; when the lady and her attendant returned, the latter hastened to her chamber, in expectation of finding M--t--n there, who had visited her under the character of a cousin. But instead of finding him, she missed a small trunk, which contained the best of her clothes, and many of the presents the robber had bestowed ; and before she could calm her ruffled spirits, her mistress, pale and trembling, came to announce, that her bed room had been forced, and a case containing plate, jewels, and money, to a very large amount, carried off.
The wretched young woman fell senseless on the floor. Some neighbours being called in, one of them gave evidence that he had met M-n quitting the house with some packages under his arms; that he asked him by what authority he had taken those things, knowing the lady was from home; when M-t-n replied, that the lady was on a visit near Utrecht port, and having given him the key, he was, agreeably to her orders, carrying the articles in question to her.
Circumstances militated so powerfully against Margaretta, that the justitia schout, Beaumont, was sent for; and after a mature investigation, she was committed to prison for trial. After a laborious investigation, she was found guilty, upon the fact of M-t-n having followed her, on the day when the robbery was committed, to a house where she then was attending her mistress; and her haring, without her mistress's knowledge or consent, given the robber the key with which he had entered the house, and effected the robbery during their absence.
By the law of Holland, the offence of which she was convicted is one that is visited with the severest punishment, next to death. Her former master, from whose roof the robber had decoyed her, pitying her miserable condition, and believing her rather the dupe than the accomplice of the monster of iniquity, by whom she had been seduced, afforded her all the consolation her wretched state admitted, giving testimony as to her former good conduct, and procuring her the aid of the first advocates in Holland.
Even her mistress was so much affected, that if the preservation of Margaretta could have been effected, by her abstaining from giving evidence against her, she would have done so; but the public prosecutor was able to go through the process without her personal interference, further than what had taken place upon the commitment of the fair culprit to prison.
(To be concluded in our next.)
Mr. Bruce has furnished the following description of what occurred in his journey across the deserts of Africa :
“ We were here, at once, surprised and terrified by one of the most magnificent sights in the world. In the vast expanse of desert, to the west and north-west of us, we saw a number of prodigious pillars of sand at different distances, moving with great celerity, but which was afterwards changed to a majestic slowness : at intervals we thought they would, in a few moments, overwhelm us, and small quantities of sand did actually, more than once, reach us; then they retreated, so as almost to be out of sight, their tops reaching to the very clouds. The tops often separated from the bodies, and, once disjointed, they dispersed, and were lost.
“ About noon they began to advance towards us with considerable swiftness, the wind being very strong at north. Eleven of them ranged alongside each other at about three miles from us. The greatest diameter of the largest, appeared to me as if it would measure ten feet. With a wind at south-east, they retired, leaving an impression upon my mind to which I can give no name, though surely one ingredient in it was fear, joined to a considerable share of wonder and astonishment. It was in vain to think of escaping, as the swiftest horse, or the fastest sailing ship, could be of no use to carry us out of this danger; and the full persuasion of this, rivetted me to the spot where I stood, and let the camels gain on me so much, that, in my lame state, it was with difficulty I could overtake them.
“The same phenomenon again occurred in the course of a few days, but the pillars seemed to be greater in number, and less in size, than the preceding. They came several times in a direction close upon us, that is, I believe, within less than two miles. They began immediately after sun-rise, like a thick wood, and almost darkened the sun : his rays shining through them, gave them the appearance of pillars of fire. The Greeks shrieked out, saying it was the day of judgment.-Ismael pronounced it to be hell and the Tucowries said that the world was on fire.”
THE LION AN EXAMPLE FOR MAN.
A lion which had escaped from the menagerie of the Great Duke of Tuscany, entered the city of Florence, everywhere spreading terror. Among the fugitives was a woman with a child in her arms, whom she let fall. The lion seized, and seemed ready to devour it, when the mother, transported by the tender affections of nature, ran back, threw herself before the lion, and by her gestures demanded her child. The lion looked at her steadfastly; her cries and tears seemed to affect him, till, at last, he laid the child down without doing it the least injury. Misery and despair, then, have expressions intelligible to the most savuge monsters ; but what is yet more to be admired, is the resistless and sublime emotion, which can make a mother offer herself a prey to a ferocious animal before which all others fly! That loss of reason, so superior to reason's self, which can make a despairing
woman recar to the pity of a beast breathing only death and carnage ! This is the instinct of supreme grief, -it is not possible to remain inflexible to its feelings.
This beautiful reptile is in size and colour somewhat similar to a hornet, but its form is rounder; its legs are about an inch long, black, and very strong; it has two bright yellow lines, latitudinally crossing its back; it forms its web octagonally between bushes, the diameter being two or three yards, and it places itself in the centre. The web is so fine as to be almost invisible, and it attaches to whatever passes between its branches. In the cork forests, the sportsman, eager in his pursuit of game, frequently carries away on his garments this deadly assassin, who is said to always make towards the head of its object before it inficts its wound, and its bite is so poisonous that the patient can survive only a few hours.
CURIOUS EXPERIMENT ON RAYS OF LIGHT.
That the rays of light flow in all directions from different bodies, without interrupting one another, is plain, from the following experiment. Make a hole in a thin plate of metal, and set the plate upright on a table, facing a row of lighted candles standing near together; then place a sheet of paper or pasteboard at a little distance from the other side of the plate, and the rays of all the candles, flowing through the hole, will form as many specks of light on the paper as there are candles before the plate (each speck as distinct and large as if there were only one candle to cast one speck), which shows that the rays do not obstruct each other in their motions, although they all cross in the same hole.
INSTANCES OF ALGERINE CRUELTY.
It is stated by Sałamé, in his narrative of Lord Exmouth's late expedition to Algiers, that the Dey, who was compelled to submit to the power of England, having, while he was Aga of the Janisaries, caused the Bey of Oran, and all his family,