Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Rodney Unhappy in a Good Home
 Revolving and Resolving
 Rodney in New York
 Rodney Finds a Patron
 Rodney in Philadelphia
 The Punishment Begins
 The Watch-House
 Rodney in Jail
 The Dungeon
 The Hospital
 The Trial
 Back Cover

Title: The runaway, or, The adventures of Rodney Roverton
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00001950/00001
 Material Information
Title: The runaway, or, The adventures of Rodney Roverton
Alternate Title: Rodney Roverton
Adventures of Rodney Roverton
Physical Description: 136 p., <1> leaf of plates : ill. ; 16 cm.
Language: English
Creator: New England Sabbath School Union ( Publisher )
Hobart and Robbins ( Printer )
Publisher: New England Sabbath School Union
Place of Publication: Boston
Manufacturer: Stereotyped by Hobart & Robbins
Publication Date: c1852
Subject: Redemption -- Christianity -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Runaway children -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Child labor -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Embossed cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1852   ( rbbin )
Bldn -- 1852
Genre: Embossed cloth bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
General Note: "Approved by the committee of publication."
Funding: Brittle Books Program
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00001950
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002236831
oclc - 23916176
notis - ALH7309
 Related Items
Other version: Alternate version (PALMM)
PALMM Version

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front page 1
        Front page 2
        Front page 3
        Front page 4
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
    Rodney Unhappy in a Good Home
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
    Revolving and Resolving
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
    Rodney in New York
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
    Rodney Finds a Patron
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
    Rodney in Philadelphia
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
    The Punishment Begins
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
    The Watch-House
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
    Rodney in Jail
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
    The Dungeon
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
    The Hospital
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
    The Trial
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
    Back Cover
        Page 138
        Page 139
Full Text

pp. 29


- %, t o l .


.. c*' .
H'kw rif I *. -* L^ watri r- enat,
reo OA *F t.4!? z ,);A

*.'^ \L I; *. M 'l-*' 0^ r A-' -'*^N




S ..
i, --- CS
rr I; -CTL`
r'f .~
.. +
s;: i 1
~8 ''
).Z r :r
.t~;;' '~5c~ a j~iC

:~tl:' c ;I a-i
.i I
-i r\ $!-

;t~r; ...
r '.;t :t: :r .tr (
SR~ -
r. ~ril r

.~ ';1 f~
D ( ,rl

=` 3
r, r 3.
i .u.
1 ;
t ;,-e -~Y .t-
-"~ ~t B ''
.% ~;L~F~;
.... )t r
-ii'i 1 ,:.z
'k. r

-- r ...~-

\ L~CIG=Ll~d.~
1YP~'~L~L-~*ir .-:- 'I

~J3C~~ ;`' ;-'~; .C





SHe cast his bundle on his back, and went,
He knew not whither, nor for what Intent
So stole our vagrant fom his warm retreat
To rove a prowler, and be deemed a cheat."



W. HEATH, 79 r~Oounu


entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1862. by

In the Crk's Of6e of the District Court of the District of Massachus t

Stereotyped by


A truthful narrative, not a tale of fic-
tion, is presented in the following chap-
ters to our readers. All that the imagi-
nation has contributed to it has been the
names of the actors,- true names hav-
ing been withheld, lest, perhaps, friends
might be grieved, -the filling up of the
dialogues, in which, while thoughts azd
sentiments have been remembered, the
verbiage that clothed them has been for-
gotten, and, in a few instances, the
grouping together of incidents that aetu-
ally occurred at wider intervals than here
represented, for the sake of the hit of
the story.








THE WATCH-HOVS, . . . 60

-- -' -- ----~- --~LL `~~------~-.- .--


ODNEY IN JAIL, .........

THE DUNGEON, o o v .

THE HOSPITAL, ....... ... ...

TH TRIAL, ............ .

CONCLUSION, .. ... ....

...... 78

...... 88

..... 99


. .128




T was a lovely Sabbath morn-
s ing in May, 1828, when two
lads, the elder of whom was
about sixteen years old, and the younger
about fourteen, were wandering along
the banks of a beautiful took, called
the Buttermilk Creek, in the immediate
vicinity of the cityof Albany, V. Y.
Though there is no poetry in the nape
of this little stream, thert is sweet music


made by its rippling waters, as they rush
rapidly along the shallow channel, fret-
ting at the rocks that obstruct its course,
and racing toward a precipice, down
which it plunges, some thirty or forty
feet, forming a light, feathery cascade;
and then, as if exhausted by the leap,
creeping sluggishly its little distance
toward the broad Hudson. The white
spray, churned out by the friction against
the air, and flung perpetually upwards,
suggested to our sires a name for this
miniature Niagara; and, without any
regard for romance or euphony, they
Called it kattermilk Falls. It was
a charming spo4 notwithstanding its
homely name, before the speculative
spirit of progress---stern foe of Nature's
beauties had pushed the borders of the


city close upon the tiny cataract, hewed
down the pines upon its banks, and
opened quarries among its rocks.
It was before this change had passed
over the original wilderness, that the lads
whom we have mentioned were strolling,
in holy time, upon the banks of the little
stipam, above the falls.
"Rodney," said the elder of the boys,
"suppose your mother finds out that
you have run away from Sunday school,
this morning; what will she say to
you ?"
"Why, she will be very likely to pdH-
ish me," said Rodney; "but you knhir
I am used to it; and, though decidedly
unpleasant, it does not grate on ity
nerves as it did a year or two ac. Vai
Dyke, my teacher, says I Mn hiAened.


But I would rather have a stroll here,
and a flogging after it, than be shut up
in school and church all day to escape it.
I wish, Will, that mother was like your
grandfather, and would let me do as I
please on Sunday."
"Now that I am an apprentice,"
replied Will Manton, "and shut up, in
the shop all the week, it would be rather
hard to prevent my'having a little sport
on Sunday. I think it is necessary to
swallow a little fresh air on Sunday, to
blow the sawdust out of my throat; and
to have a game of ball occasionally, to
keep my joints limber, for they get stiff
leaning over the work-bench, shoving the
jack-plane, and chiseling out mortices all
"Well, Will, I, too, get very sick of

~`~Car~'~-~~9~11~- --r


work," replied the younger boy. "I
do not think I ever shall like it. When
I am roused up early in the morning,
and go into the shop, and look at the
tools, and' think that, all day long, I
must stand and pull leather strands, while.
other boys can go free, and take their
sport, and swim, or fish, or hunt, or play,
just as they please, it makes me feel like
running away. Now, here am I, a little
more than fourteen years old; and must
I spend seven years in a dirty shop,
with the prospect of hard work all my
life ? It makes my heart sick to think
of it."
4 The boys threw themselves upon the
ground, under the shade of a large pine,
and, reclining against its trunk, remained
some minutes without ut 4 a word.
'* I-


At length, William Manton, whose
thoughts had evidently been running in
the channel opened by the last remarks
of Rodney, said,
"I have often thought of it."
"Thought of what, Will ?"
Of running away."
"Where could you go? What could
you do ? How could you live ?" were
the quick, eager inquiries of Rodney.
"Three questions at once is worse
than the catechism," was the laughing
response; "but, though I never learned
the answers out of a book, yet I have
them by heart. I will tell you what I
have thought about the matter. You
know Captain Ryan?--he was in our
'shop last week, and was telling how he
cai0 to belpsiolor. He said that his


uncle, with whom he lived when he was
a boy, promised him a beating, one day,
for some mischief he had done; and, as
he. had often felt before that his lashes
were not light, he ran off, went on board
a ship as a cabin-boy, learned to handle
sails and ropes, and, after five or six
voyages, was made mate of a ship; and
now he is a captain. I have been think-
ing about it ever since. Now, if I could
get a place in a ship, I would go in a
minute. I am sure travelling over the
world must be pleasanter than spending
a life in one place ; and pulling a rope is
easier work than pushiik a plane."
*Rodney sprang up from his reclining
postxrq, looked straight in his compan-
ion's face for a moment, and exclaimed,
"That would be glorious! How I should


like to go to London, to Canton, to Hol-
land, where the old folks came from,---
to travel all over the world But,"
and he leaned back against the tree again
as he spoke, -" but it is of no use to
think about it; mother would not con-
sent, and nobody would help me; no
ship would take me. I suppose I must
pull away at the leather all my life."
He spoke bitterly, and leaned his face
upon his hands; and, between his fin-
gers, the tears were seen slowly trick-
ling. In truth, he had no taste or incli-
nation for the trade to which he was
forced. If the bias of his own mind had
been consulted, he might have been conPf
tented in some employment adapted to
his nature.
"Bah, Rodney, don't be a baby!"

---* *P---- 7PII T T


was the jeering expostulation of Will
Manton, when he saw the tears; cry-
ing never got a fellow out of a scrape.
I believe it is easy enough done. If we
could only get off to New York, they say
that boys are so much wanted on ships,
that the captains take them without ask-
ing many questions."
"Do you think so?"
"Don't you think it is worth a trial ?"
"But I should have to leave my
mother, and grandmother, and sister,
and all."
Of course; you would not want to
take them with you, would you?"
"But I could not tell them I was
going. I should have to steal away
without their knowledge."
You could write to them when you


"I might never see them again."
"You are as likely to live and come
back as Captain Ryan was."
But they would feel so much hurt,
if I should run away."
Will Manton curled his lip into a
sneer, and said, scornfully, "Why, Rod-
ney, I did n't think you was so much of
a baby. You are a more faint-hearted
chicken than I thought you."
Well, Will, the thought of it fright-
ens me. I have a good mother and a
good grandmother; and, though they
make me learn a trade I hate, yet I do
not think I should dare to run away."
Well, you poor mouse-heart, stay at
home, then, and tie yourself to your
mamma's apron-strings !" was the reply.
"' Do as you please; but, I tell you,--


and I trust the secret to you, and hope
you won't blow it,--I have made up
my mind to go to sea."
"Will you run away? "
"Indeed I will."
"When? "
"Why should I tell you, if you will
not go with me ?"
"Well, I want to be off with you,
but how can I ?"
"Easy enough. But I will see you
to-morrow night, and we will talk it
over. It is time to go home."
"I must see Dick Vanderpool, and
find out where the text was, so thaI
can tell the old folks."




those recorded in the last
chapter, were frequently held
between the two lads, during the next
month. Will Manton's determination
was fixed, and he was making secret
preparations to start upon his wild jour-
ney. Rodney, though equally desirous
to escape the restraints of home, could
not yet make up his mind to risk the
adventure. He regarded his comrade as
a sort of young hero; and he wished he
had the courage to be like him.
One Monday morning, in June, as he


was returning from his work, he saw
Will Manton's old grandfather standing
before the door, looking up and down
the street; and he noticed that he
seemed very uneasy, and much dis-
tressed. When he came opposite the
house, on the other side of the street,
the old gentleman called him over, and
asked him, "Rodney, do you know where
ill is ?"
The boy's heart beat wildly, and his
cheek turned pale; for he at once sur-
mised that his comrade had carried out
his purpose. He stammered out, in
"I have not seen him since last Ar
day night."
S"It is very strange," said the old J
man. i He has not been at home since i


last Sunday, at dinner-time. What has
become of him?"
Will Manton was gone !
To the anxious inquiries that were
made, his friends discovered that he had
left Albany in the evening boat, on
Tuesday, for New York. Though a
messehger was immediately sent after
him, no trace of him could be discov-
ered. A few months after, they received
a letter from him, written from Liverpool,
where he had gone in a merchant-ship,
as a cabin-boy. His friends were very
much grieved and distressed, but hoped
that he would soon grow weary of a hard
and roving life, and return to his home.
There was a romantic interest in all
this for young Rodney. In his imagina-
tion, Will Manton was a hero. He was


,arcely ever out of his thoughts. He
would follow him in fancy, bounding
over the broad sea, with all the sails of
the majestic ship swelling in the favor-
ing breeze, now touching at some island,
and looking at the strange dresses and
customs of a barbarous people; now
meeting 'a homeward-bound vessel, and
exchanging joyful greetings; and now
lying to in a calm, and spearing dol-
phins and harpooning whales. When
the storm raged, he almost trembled lest
he might be wrecked; but, when it was
over, he fancied the noble ship, having
weathered the storm, stemming safely
the high waves, and careering gro$e*
fully on her course. Or, if he was
wrecked, he imagined that he nim be
cast upon some shore where the hospita-


ble inhabitants hurried down to the bei
to the relief of the crew, bore thA
safely through the breakers, and pressed
upon them the comforts of their homes.
His wild imagination followed him to
other lands, and roved with him along
the streets of European cities, among the
ruins of Grecian temples, over the gar-
dens of Spain and the vineyards of Italy,
through the pagodas of India, and the
narrow streets of Calcutta and Canton.
," thought he, "how delightful
must be such a life! How pleasant to
be roaming amid scenes that are always
new! And how wretched to be tied to
such a life as I lead, following the same
weary round of miserable drudgery every

But it was Rodney's own fancy that


tinted this enjoyment of a sailor-boy's
life. Will Manton did not find it so
pleasant in reality. There was more
menial drudgery to the poor cabin-boy on
ship-board, than he had ever known in the
carpenter's shop. He was sworn at, and
thumped, and kicked, and driven from
one thing to another, by the captain, and
mates, and steward, and crew, all day
long. And many a night, when, weary
and sore, he crept to his hard, narrow
bunk, he lay and cried himself to sleep,
thinking of his kind and pleasant home.
When Fancy pictures before the rest-
less mind distant and unknown scenes,
she divests them of all the rough realities
which a nearer view a -a tried experi-
ence find in them. x m ountain-side
looks smooth and pleasant from a dis-


tance, but we find it rugged and wearn-
some when we attempt to climb it.
One idea had now gained almost sole
possession of poor Rodney's mind. He
must go to sea! He thought of it all
day, and dreamed of it at night. He
did not dare to speak about it to his
mother, for he knew that she would
refuse her consent. He must run away!
He formed a hundred different plans, and
was forced to abandon them. Now Will
Manton was gone, there was no one with
whom he could consult. He was afraid
to speak of it, lest it should reach the
ears of his mother. Alone he nursed his
resolution, and formed his plans.
lHe was very unhappy, because he,
khew that he was purposing wrong. He
codud not be contented with his employ-


ment, and he knew how it would grieve
the hearts of those who loved him, if he
should persist in his design. Yet, when
he pictured to himself the freedom from
restraint, the pleasure of roaming from
place to place over the world, and the
thousand exciting scenes and adventures
which he should meet by becoming a
sailor, he determined, at all hazards, to
make the attempt.
Unhappy boy! He was sowing, for
his own reaping, the seeds of a bitter
harvest of wretchedness and remorse.




N a beautiful Sabbath morn-
ing in July, Rodney stood in
the hall of the old Dutch
house in which successive generations of
the family had been born, and paused to
look the last farewell, he dare not speak,
upon those who loved him, and whom,
notwithstanding his waywardness, he
also loved.
There sat his pious and venerable
grandmother, with the little round stand
before her, upon which lay the old fam-
ily Bible, over which she was intently
bending, reading and commenting to


herself, as was her custom, in half-audi-
ble tones. He had often stood behind
her, and listened, unobserved, as she
read verse after verse, and paused after
each, to testify of its truth, or piously
apply it to herself and others. Anynow
he thought that, in all probability, he
would never see her again, and he half
repented his determination. But his
preparations were all made, and he could
not now hesitate, lest his purpose should
be discovered.
He looked at his mother, as she was
arranging the dress of a younger and
only brother, for the SabbathK4 ol.
As she leaned over him, and smoothed
'down the collar she had just fastened
round his neck, Rodney, with heart and
eye, bade farewell to both.



He stood and gazed for a moment
upon his only sister, who sat with her
baby in her arms, answering the little
laughing prattler in a language that
sounded like its own, and which cer-
tainly none but the two could under-
stand. Some might doubt whether they
understood it themselves; but they both
seemed highly interested and delighted
by the conversation.
That dear sister, amiable and loving,
is long since dead. She greeted death
with a cheerful welcome, for the mes-
senger released her from a life of domes-
tic unhappiness, and introduced her into
that blessed heaven where the wicked
cease from troubling, and the weary are
at rest."
And that prattling infant has become,


in his turn, a runaway sailor-boy, flying
from an unhappy home to a more wretched
destiny, of whose wanderings or exist-
ence nothing has been heard for many
It was one hasty, intense glapce
which Rodney cast over these groups,
and each beloved figure, as it then ap-
peared, was fixed in his memory forever.
He has never forgotten he never can
forget- that moment, or the emotions
that thrilled his heart as he turned away
from them.
He had hidden a little trunk, contain-
ing his clothing, in the stable, and thither
he hastened; and, throwing his trunk
upon his shoulder, he stole out of tJ
back gate, and took his course thb
bye streets to the dook, where he went



on board a steamboat, and in half an
hour was sailing down the Hudson
towards New York.
He had no money with which to pay
his passage. He had left home without
a single sixpence. When the captain
came to collect the passengers' fare, he
told him a wicked, premeditated lie.
He said that, in taking his handkerchief
from his pocket, he had accidentally
drawn out his pocket-book with it, and
that it had fallen overboard. Thus one
sin prepares the way to the commission
of another.
He offered to leave his trunk in
pledge for the payment of the passage;
and the captain, after finding it full of
clothing, ordered it to be locked up
until the money was paid. Rodney ex-


pected to be able to get a situation in
some ship immediately, and to receive a
part of his wages in advance, with which
he could redeem his clothing.
He slept on board the steamboat, and
on Monday morning started in search
of a ship that would take him. He
wandered along the wharves, and at first
was afraid to speak to any one, lest he
should be questioned and Pent home.
At last he made up his mind to ask
sailor, whom he saw sauntering on the
dock, if he knew where. he could get a
place on board a ship.
The sailor looked at him a moment,
turned his huge tobacco quid over in his
mouth, hitched up his trowsers, and
"Why, you young runaway, do you
want to go to sea? What can such a



chap as you do on a ship ? Go home,
and stick by your mammy for five years
more, and then you 'll have no trouble
in shipping."
Rodney was a good deal frightened at
such a reply, and walked on for some
time, not venturing to ask again. To-
ward noon he went on board a large
vessel, and seeing a man, whom he took
for the captain of the ship, asked him if
he could give him a place.
"No, my boy," he replied; "we
don't sail for three weeks, and we never
ship a crew before the time."
'All day he wandered about' the
wharves, and to all his questions re-
ceived repelling replies, mingled often-
times with oaths, jeers, and insults. No
one seemed to feel the least interest for



ATE in the afternoon Rodney
S strolled up the East River
wharves. He was hungry,
for he had eaten nothing all day. He
was very sad, and sat down on a cotton
bale, and cried. In what a position had
a single day placed He! He had no
place where he could lay his head for
the night, no .bread to eat, and he knew
nobody whom he dared to ask for a
meal; and so, with a sorrowful heart,
he sat down and wept.
He buried his face in his hands, and


for a long time sat there motionless.
He did not know that a man was stand-
ing before him, watching him, until he
was startled by a voice :
"Why, my boy, what is the matter
with you ?"
He looked up, and saw a tall man in a
sailor's dress standing near him.
"I want to get a place on a ship, sir,
to go to sea," replied Rodney; I can't
find any place, and I have no money and
no friends here."
The man saC own beside him, and
asked him, Wi e are your friends ?
"In Albany, sir."
"What did you leave them for ? "
"Because I wanted to go to sea."
They talked some time together, and
Rodney told him truly all about himself


and his friends. The man seemed to
pity him, and told him that he was a
sailor, and had lately been discharged
from a United States vessel, where he
had served as a marine,- that he had
spent almost all his money, and was
looking for another ship. He told Rod-
ney to go with him, and he would try
what could be done for him. They went
into a sailors' boarding-house, and got
something to eat.
Then the man, who said his name
was Bill Seegor, and that he must call him
Bill, and not Mister, no sir, took him
with himself into a ball-room. Here he
saw a great many sailors and bad women,
who danced together, and laughed, and
shouted, and cursed, and drank, until
long past midnight. Rodney had never



witnessed such a scene. He had never
heard such filthy and blasphemous lan-
guage, nor seen such indecent behavior.
"Come, my lad," said a bluff sailor
to him; "if you mean to be a man,
you must learn to toss off your glass.
Your white face don't look as if you ever
tasted anything stronger than tea. Here
is a glass of grog, down with it! "
Aqd Rodney, who wanted to be a
man, drank it with a swaggering air,
Though it scorched his throat; and then
another, until he became very sick ; -
and the last he remembered was, that
the sailors and the women all seemed to
be swearing and fighting together.
The next morning he was awaked by
Bill Seegor, and found himself in a gar-
ret, on a miserable bed, with all his



clothes on. How he had ever got there
he could not tell. His head ached, and
his limbs were stiff and pained him when
he moved. His throat was parched and
burning, and he felt so wretchedly, that,
if he had dared, he would have begged
permission to stay there on the bed.
But Bill told him that it was time to
start and look up a ship, for he had N
money enough to last another day. Af-
ter breakfast they started, and inquirer
at every place which Bill know, but
without success; no men or boys were
In the afternoon, Rodney was terribly
frightened at seeing his brother-in-law
walking along the wharves. He knew
in a moment that he had come to New
York to search for him; and he darted


round a corner into an alley, and hid
himself behind some barrels, till he had
passed by. He afterwards learned that
his brother-in-law had been looking for
him all day, and that he had found and
taken his trunk, and had been several
times at places which he had just left.
0! if he had then abandoned his foolish
and wicked course, and gone home with
his brother, how much misery he would
have escaped! But he contrived to
keep out of his way.
That evening Bill said to him, as they
were eating their supper in a cellar-
"Rodney, to-morrow morning we
must start for Philadelphia."
"But how shall we get there ?"
"We shall have to tramp it."
"How far is it ?"


"About a hundred miles."
"How long will it take ?"
Four or five days."
"But how shall we get anything to
eat, or any place to sleep on the road ?"
"Tell a good story to the farmers,
and sleep on the hay-mows."
Rodney began to find out that "the
way of the transgressor is hard."
That night they went to the theatre.
Bill had given Rodney a dirk, which he
carried in his bosom. They went up
into the third tier of boxes, which was
filled with the most wicked and debased
men and women. While the rest were
laughing, and talking, and cursing, Rod-
ney sat down on the front seat to see the
play; but they made so much confusion
behind him that he could. not hear, so he


turned round, and said, rather angrily:
"I wish you wouldn't make so much
"Who are you talking to ? shouted
a rough, bully-looking man behind him,
with a terrible oath; "I 'I pitch you
into the pit, if you open your head
He rushed towards him, but, quick as
thought, Rodney snatched the dirk from
his breast, drew his arm back over his
head, and told the bully to keep off.
The man stopped, and in an instant the
whole theatre was in confusion. The
play on the stage ceased ; and there, in
full view, leaning over the front of the
box, stood the boy, with the weapon in
his hand, gleaming in the eyes of the
whole audience.


Bill Seegor rushed to him, pulled him
back toward the lobby, and took the
dagger from his hand. The bully then
aimed a tremendous blow at the boy's
face, which fortunately was warded off
by one of the women. Just then a po-
lice-officer came up, and, taking Rodney
by the collar, led him down stairs
Half a dozen men, who were Bill's
friends, followed; and when they got
into the street, they dashed against the
officer, and broke his hold, when Bill
caught Rodney by the arm and told him
to run. They turned quickly through
several streets, and escaped pursuit.
Do you think that Rodney was happy
amid such scenes? Ah! no; he was
alarmed at himself. He felt degraded
and guilty; he felt that he was taking



sudden and rapid strides in the path of
debasement and vice. He thought of
his home and its sweet influences. He
knew how deep would be the grief of
those who loved him, should they hear
of his course. His conscience con-
demned him, and he thought of what he
fras becoming with horror. But he
seemed to be drawn on by his wild de-
sires, and felt scarcely a disposition to
escape the meshes of the net that was
winding around him.
The sailors praised him, and patted
him on the back; told him that he was
a brave fellow, that he was beginning
right, and that there was good sthff in
him. And Rodney laughed, tickled by
such praises, and drank what they of-
fered, and tried to stifle his conscience


and harden himself in sin. Yet often,
when he was alone, did he shrink froni
himself, and writhe under the lashings
of conscience; and the remembrance of
home, and thoughts of his conduct, ren-
dered him very wretched.



OUNG Rodney was prepared
for an early start on the fol-
lowing morning; and, in
company with Bill Seegor, he crossed
the ferry to Jersey City just as the sun
rose, and together they commenced their
journey to Philadelphia. They were
soon beyond the pavements of the town,
and in the open country. It was a
lovely morning, and the bright summer
developed its beauties, and dispensed Its
fragrance along their path. The birds
sang sweetly, and darted on swift wing


around them. The cattle roamed lazily
over the fields, and the busy farmers
were everywhere industriously toiling.
All nature seemed joyously reflecting
the serene smile of a benevolent God.
Even the wicked hearts of the wan-
derers seemed lightened by the influence
of the glorious morning, and cheerily,
with many a jocund song and homely
jest, they pressed on their way. Even
guilt can sometimes forget its baseness,
and enjoy the bounties of the kind Cre-
ator, for which it expresses no thankful
ness and feels no gratitude.
At noon they stopped at a farmer's
house, and Bill told the honest old man
that they belonged to a ship which had
sailed round to Philadelphia; that it
had left New York unexpectedly, with-



out their knowledge, and taken their
chests and clothes which had been
placed on board; and that, being with-
out money, they were compelled to walk
across to Philadelphia to meet it.
The farmer believed the falsehood,
and charitably gave them a good dinner.
They walked on till after sunset, and
then crossed over a field, and climbed up
into a rack filled with hay, where they
slept all night.
In the morning they started forward
very hungry, for they had eaten nothing,
since the noon before, except a few
green apples. They stopped at the first
farm-house on the road, and, by telling
the same falsehood that had procured
them a meal the day before, excited the
pity of the farmer and obtained a good


Thus did they go on, lying and beg-
ging their way along.
On the third day there were heavy
showers, accompanied by fierce light-
nings and crashing thunders. They
were as thoroughly soaked as if they
had been thrown into the river, and at
night had to sleep on a haystack, in the
open field, in their wet clothes. Rod-
ney's feet, too, had become very sore,
and he walked in great and constant
In the afternoon of the fourth day
they stopped on the banks of the Dela-
ware, five or six miles from Philadel-
phia, to wash their clothes, which had
become filthy in'travelling through the
dust and mud. As they had no clothing
but what they wore, there was nothing



else to be done but to strip, wash out
their soiled garments, and lay them out
on the bank to dry, while they swam
about the river, or waited on the shore,
with what patience they could summon.
A little after sunset they reached the
suburbs of the great city; and now the
sore feet and wearied limbs of the boy
could scarcely sustain him over the hard
pavements. Yet Bill urged him on-
ward with many an impatient oath, on
past the ship-yards of Kensington,-
on, past the factories, and markets, and
farmers' taverns, and shops of the North-
ern Liberties, on, through the crowded
thoroughfares, and by the brilliant stores
of the city, -on, into the most degraded
section of Southwark, in Plumb-street,
where Bill said a friend of his lived.


This friend was an abandoned woman,
who lived in a miserable frame cabin,
crowded with wicked and degraded
wretches, who seemed the well-known
and fitting companions of Rodney's pat-
ron. The woman for whom he inquired
was at a dance in the neighborhood, and
there Bill took the boy in search of her.
They went up a dark alley, and were
admitted into a large room filled with
men and women, black and white, the
dregs and outcasts of society.
A few dripping candles, placed in tin
sconces along the bare walls, threw a
dim and sickly glare over the motley
throng. A couple of negro men, sitting
on barrels at the head of the room, were
drawing discordant notes from a pair of
backed patched, and greasy fiddles.


And there were men, whose red and
bloated faces gave faithful witness of
their habitual intemperance; and men,
whose threadbare and ragged garments
betokened sloth and poverty; and men,
whose vulgar and ostentatious display of
showy clothing, and gaudy chains, and
rings and breast-pins, which they did
not know how to wear, indicated dis-
honest pursuits; and men, whose blue
jackets and bluff, brown faces showed
them to b~ sailors; and men, whose
scowl rows and fiendlike counte-
nanes marked them as villains of the
blackest and lowest type. And there
were women, too, some old at least,
they looked so and haggard; some
young, but with wretched-looking faces,
and dressed in tawdry garments, yet


generally faded, some torn and some
patched, and all seeming to be brought
from the pawnbroker's dusty shop for
the occasion.
In a little filthy side-room was a bar
covered with bottles and glasses, behind
which stood a large, red-faced man, with
a big nose, and little ferret, fiery eyes,
now grinning like a satyr, now scowling
like a demon, dealing out burning liquors
to his miserable customers.
A man fell beastly drunk from a bench
upon the floor. "Take himrnr airs,"
said the man at the bar. Rodney fol-
lowed the two men who carried him up,
and looked into the sleeping apartment.
The floor was covered with dirty straw,
where lodgers were accommodated for
three cents a night. Here the poor



wretches were huddled together every
night, to get what sleep they could in
the only home they had on earth.
Thus does vice humble, and degrade,
and scourge those who are taken in its
toils. From the threshold of the house
of guilty pleasure there may issue the
song and laugh of boisterous mirth ; but
those who enter within shall find dis-
grace and infamy, woe and death.



lILL SEEGOR found the
woman he sought, and soon
they returned to her house.
Here the bottle was brought out and
passed round; and, after much blas-
phemous and ribaldrous conversation, a
straw bed was made up on the floor,
and Rodney laid down. Before he went
to sleep, he heard Bill tell the woman'
that he was entirely out of money, and
beg her to lend him five dollars for a
few days. After some hesitation she
consented, and drew out from undar the


bed sp old trunk, which she unlocked,
and from which she took five dollars in
silver and gave it to him. Bill, looking
over her shoulder, saw that she took it
from a little pile of silver that lay in the
corer of the trunk.
For a long time Rodney could not
sleep. The scenes of the last eventful
week were vividly recalled to his mind,
and, in spite of his fatigue, kept him
awake. He tried to make himself be-
lieve that it was a glorious life he had
begun to lead, -that now he was free
from restraint, and entering upon the
flowery paths of independence and en-
joyment. Though he had met with some
difficulties at the start, he thought that
they ere now nearly passed, and that
soon he should be upon the blue water,


and in foreign countries, a happ ~ilo
But conscience would interp its
reproaches and warnings, and remind
him of the horrible company into which
he had been cast,- othe scenes of sin
which he had witnessed, and in which
he had participated; and he could not
but shudder when he thought of thi
probable termination of such a life.
But he felt that, having forsaken his
home,- and he was not even yet sary
that he had done so,- he was now in
the current, and that there was p way
of reaching the shore, even had
disposed to try; and that he mu
tinue to flidt along the stream, leaving
his destination to be determined by oir-


It ~s very easy to find the paths of
sin. 'It is easy, and, for a season, may
seem pleasant, to travel in them. The
entrance is inviting, the way is broad,
companions are numerous and gay. But .
when the disappointed and alarmed trav-
eller, terrified at the thought of its ter-
mination, seeks to escape, and hunis for
the narrow path of virtue, he finds ob-
stacles and entanglements which he can-
not climb over nor break. It requires
an Omnipotent arm to help him then.
Rodney fell asleep.
How long he had slept he knew not;
but he: was awakened by a violent shak-
ing and by terrible oaths. The side-
door leading into the yard was open, and
three or four wretched-looking women.
were soolding and swearing angrily about

THE .M up rIUMIt

him. He was confused, bewildered, but
soon perceived that something unusual
had happened; and he became very
much frightened as he at last learned the
"truth from the excited women.
Bill Seegor was gone. He had got
up quietly when all were asleep, and,
drawing the woman's trunk from ander
her bed, had carried it out into the Mr4i
pried open the lock, stolen the monwy
and escaped.
The woman was in a terrible passie,
and her raving curses were fearful to
hear. Rodney pitied her, though ihe
cursed him. He was indignant at his
companion's rascality, and offered to go
with her and try to find him. Ib was
two o'clock in the morning. He looked
round for his hat, collar, and handk:



chief; but they were gone. The thief
had taken them with him. Taking Bill's
old hat, he went out with the woman,
and looked into the oyster-cellars and
grog-shops, some of which they found
still open; but they could find no trace
of Bill Seegor.
The woman met a watchman, and
made inquiries, and told him of the rob-
"And this boy came with the man
last night, did he ?" inquired the watch-
"He did," said the woman.
"Do you know the boy ?"
"I never saw him before."
"Well, I guess he knows where he
is, or where he can be found to-mor-


Rodney protested that he knew noth-
ing about him, that his own hat, collar,
and handkerchief had been stolen, and
that he had had nothing to do with the
robbery. He even told him where he
had met with Bill, and how he came to
be in his company.
"All very fine, my lad," said the
watchman; but you must go with me.
This must be examined into to-morrow."
And he took Rodney by the arm, and
led him to the watch-house.



OR poor Rodney there was no
more sleep that night, even
had they placed him on a
bed of roses. But they locked him up
in a little square room, with an iron-
barred window, into which a dim light
struggled from a lamp hung outside in
the entry, showing a wooden bench, fas-
tened against the wall. There were four
men in the room.
One, whose clothes looked fine and
fashionable, but all covered with dirt,
lay on the floor. A hat, that seemed
new, but crushed out of all shape, was


under his head for a pillow. His face
was bruised and bloody. He was en-
tirely stupefied, and Rodney saw at a
glance that he was intoxicated.
On the bench, stretched out at full
length, was a short, stout negro, fast
asleep. On another part of the bench
lay a white man, who seemed about fifty
years old, with a sneering, malicious
face, and wrapped up in a shaggy black
coat. The remaining occupant of the
cell sat in one corner, with his head4down
on his knees, and his hat slouched over
his face.
Rodney stood for a few moments in
the middle of the cell, and, in sickening
dismay, looked round him. Here he was
with felons and rioters, locked up in a
dungeon! True, he had committed nb.



crime against the law; but yet he felt
that he deserved it all; and the hot tears
rolled from his eyes as he thought of his
mother and his home.
Hearing his sobs, the man in the cor-
ner raised his head, looked at him for a
moment, and said:
Why, you blubbering boy, what have
you been about ? Are you the pal of
these cracksmen, or have you been on a
lay on your own hook ? "
Rodney did not know what he meant,
and he said so.
I mean," said the man, in the same
low, thieves' jargon, "have you been
helping these fellows crack a crib ?"
"Doing what? said Rodney.
"Breaking into a house, you dumb-

)"~ 7/'~
~ // Y



The boy shuddered at the thought of
being taken for an accomplice of house-
breakers; and told him he knew nothing
about them. He had read that boys are
sometimes employed by house-breakers
to climb in through windows or broken
panels, to open the door on the inside;
and now he was thought to be such a one
It was a dismal night for him.
Early in the morning the prisoners%
were all taken before a magistrate.
The drunkard, who claimed to be a
gentleman, and who had been taken to
the watch-house for assaulting the bar-
keeper of a tavern, was fined five dollars,
and dismissed.
The negro and the old white man had
been caught in the attempt to break into



a house, and were sent to prison, to
await their trial for burglary; and the
other white man was also sent to prison,
until he could be tried, for stealing a
pocket-book in an auction store.
Rodney was then called forward. The
watchman told how and why he had taken
him; and the boy was asked to give an
account of himself. He told his story
truthfully and tearfully, while the magis-
trate looked coldly at him.
A very good story," said the magis-
trate; "it seems to be well studied. I
suspect you are an artful fellow, not-
withstanding your innocent face. I shall
bind you over for trial, my lad. I think
such boys as you should be stopped in
time; and a few years in some peniten-
tiary would do you good."


What could Rodney say? What could
he do ? He was among strangers. He
could send for no one to testify of his
good character, or to beoe. bail for
him. And, if his friends had&en near,
he felt that he had rather die than that
they should know of his disgrace.
The magistrate gave an officer a paper
-a commitment and told him to take
the boy to the Arch-street jail. The
constable took him by the arm, and led
him out.
As they walked along the street, Rod-
ney looked around him to see if there
was no way of escape. If he could only
get a chance to run! As they came to
the corer of a little alley, he asked the
constable to let him tie his shoe, the
string of which was loose. The :6a


nodded, and Rodney placed his foot up-
on a door-step, sheering round beyond
the reach of the officer's hand, and to-
wards the alley. Rodney, as he rose,
made one spring, and in a moment was
gone down the alley. The officer rushed
after him, and shouted, "Stop thief!
stop thief! "
O, that I should ever be chased for
a thief!" groaned Rodney, clenching
his teeth together, and running at his
best speed.
That terrible cry, "Stop thief!" rung
after him, and soon seemed to be echoed
by a hundred voices, as the boy dashed
along Ninth street and down Market
street; and, from behind him, and from
doors and windows, and from the oppo-
site side of the street, and at length


from before him, the very welkin rung
with the cries of Stop thief! stop
thief!" A hundred eyes were strained
to catch a glimpse of the culprit; but
Rodney dashed on, the crowd never
thinking that he was the hunted fox, but
only one of the hounds in pursuit, eager
to be in at the death." At the cor-
ner of Fifth and Market-streets, a por-
ter was standing by his wheelbarrow.
He saw the chase coming down, and
truly scented the victim; and, as Rod-
ney neared the corer, he suddenly
pushed out his barrow across the pave-
ment. Rodney could not avoid it; he
stuinbled, fell across it, and was cap-
"You young scoundrel! is this one
of your tricks ?" said the constable, as


he came up; "I'll teach you one of
mine ;" and he struck him a blow on
the side of the head, that knocked the
poor boy senseless on the pavement.
Those who stood by cried, Shame!
shame !" and the officer glared furiously
around him; but, seeing that the num-
bers were against him, he raised the boy
from the ground. Rodney soon recov-
ered; and the constable, grasping him
firmly by the wrist of his coat, and,
drawing his arm tightly under his own,
led him, followed by a crowd of hooting
boys, up Fifth, and through Arch-street,
toward the old jail.
What a walk was that to poor Rod-
ney! The officer, stern and angry,
held him with so firm a grip as to con-
vince him of the uselessness of a second



Fatigued, and nearly fainting as he
was from the race and the blow, he was
compelled almost to run, to keep up with
the long strides of the constable. A
crowd of boys pressed around, to get a
glimpse of his face.
"What has he done ?" one would
ask of another.
Broke open a trunk, and stole
money," would be the reply.
Rodney pulled Bill Seegor's old hat
over his face, and hung his head, in bit-
ter anguish of soul, as he heard himself
denounced as a thief at every step; and
as he heard doors dashed open, and
windows thrown up, similar questions
and replies smote his heart. He knew
that he was innocent of such a crime;
his soul scorned it; he felt that he was



incapable of theft; but he felt that he
had been too guilty, too disobedient and
too ungrateful, to dare to hold up his
head, or utter a word in his own de-
fence. It seemed as though that long
and terrible walk with the constable
would never end, and he felt relieved
when he reached the heavy door of the
jail, amid two files of staring boys, who
had run before him, and arranged them-
selves by the gate, to watch him as he
entered. He was rudely thrust in, the
bolt shot back upon the closed door, and
he was delivered over to the keeping of
the jailer, with the assurance of the
policeman, that "he was a sharp mis-
creant, and needed to be watched."




UCH are the rewards which
sin gives to its votaries; full
Bof soft words and tempting
promises in the beginning, they find, in
the end, that it biteth like a serpent,
and stingeth like an adder." Thoughts
like these passed through Rodney's
mind, as the jailer led him to a room in
which were confined three other lads,
all older than himself. At that time,
the system of solitary confinement had
not been adopted in Pennsylvania, and
prisoners were allowed to associate to-


gether; but it was deemed best to4ep
the boys from associating with older and
more hardened culprits, whose conver-
sation might still more corrupt them,
and they were therefore confined to-
gether, apart from the mass of the
At first Rodney suffered the most
intense anguish. A sense of shame and
degradation overwhelmed him. He stag-
gered to a corner of the room, threw
himself on the floor, and, for a long
time, sobbed and wept as though his
very heart would break. For a while
the boys seemed to respect his grief,
and left him in silence. At last one of
them went to him, and said,
Come, there 's no use in this; we
are all here together, and we may as
well make the best of it!"



Rpdney sat up, and looked at them,
as they gathered around him.
They were ragged in dress, and pale
from their confinement, and Rodney in-
voluntarily shrank from the idea of asso-
ciating with them, regarding them as
criminals in jail. But he soon remem-
bered his own position, -that he was
now one of them, ant he thought he
would take their advice, and make the
best of it."
"Well, what did they squeeze you
into this jug for, my covey ?" asked the
eldest boy.
Rodney told them his story, and pro-
tested that he was innocent of any
The boy put his thumb to the end of
his nose, and twirled his fingers, saying,



" You can't gammon us, my buck;
come, out with it, for we never peach on
one another."
Rodney was very angry at this mode
of treating his story. But, in spite of
himself, he gradually became familiar
with the companions thus forced upon
him, and, in a day or two, began to
engage with the& in their various sports,
to while away the weary hours. Some-
times they sat and told stories, to amuse
one another; and thus Rodney heard
tales of wickedness and depredation and
cunning, that almost led him to doubt
whether there was any honesty among
men. They talked of celebrated thieves
and robbers, burglars and pirates, as if
they were the models by which they
meant to mould their own lives; and,


instead of detesting their crimes, Rod-
ney began to admire the skill and suc-
cess with which they were perpetrated.
The excitement and freedom, and wild,
frenzied enjoyment of such a life, as
depicted by the young knaves, began to
fascinate and charm his mind. Some-
thing seemed to whisper in his ear, As
you are now disgraced, without any fault
of your own, why not carry it out, and <
make the most of it ? They have put
you into jail, this time, for nothing; if
they ever do it again, let them have
some reason fon.it." Who knows what
might have been the result of such
temptations and influences, had these
associations been long continued, and
not counteracted by the intepbosjtion of
God? ? ta



But then the instructions of child-
hood, the lessons of home and of the
Sabbath-school, were brought back to
his memory, and he said to himself,
"What, be a thief! Make myself de-
spised and hated by all good people!
Live a life of wickedness and dread,-
perhaps die in the penitentiary, and
then, in all probability, lose my soul,
and be cast into hell! No, never! I
shall never dare to steal, or to break
into houses; and as for killing anybody
for money, I shudder even at the
thought !"
So did the bad and the good struggle
together in the heart of the poor boy.
How many there are who, at the first,
feel and think about crime as he did,
but who, in the end, become familiar


with vice, lose their sense of fear and
shame and guilt, become bold and reck-
less in sin, having their consciences
seared as with a hot iron, and violating
all laws, human and divine, without
compunction, and without a thought
save that of impunity and success!
All the elements of a life of crime
were in the heart of this wayward boy;
and had it not been for the instructions
of his childhood, which counteracted
these evil influences, and the providence
and grace of God, which restrained him,
he would have become a miserable out-
cast from society, leading a wretched
%life of shame and guilt.
"I wish we had a pack of cards
here," said one of the bo d4o



Can't we make a pack ?" inquired
And then the lads set their wits to
work, and soon manufactured a substi-
tute for a pack of cards. They had a
couple of old newspapers, which they
folded and cut into small, regular pieces,
and marked each piece with the spots
that are found on playing cards, making
rude shapes of faces, and writing
"Jack," "King," "Knave," &c., under
them. With these, they used to spend
hours shuffling and dealing and playing,
until Rodney understood the pernicious
game as well as the rest.
Joe," said Rodney, one day, to thp
oldest boy, "what did they put you in
here for ?7"
"Well," said he, "I 'l tell you.


Sam and I run with the Moyamensing
Hose Company. Many a jolly time we
have had of it, running to fires, and
many a good drink of liquor we have
had, too; for when the people about the
fires treated the firemen, we boys used
to come in for our share of the treat.
There was a standing quarrel between
us and the 'Franklin' boys, and we
used to have a fight whenever we could
get at them. I heard one of the men
say, one day, that if there was only a
fire down Twelfth or Thirteenth-str ,
and the 'Franklin' should come up in
that direction, we could get them foul,
and give them a good drubbing. Well,
there was a fire down Twelfth-street the '
next night! I don't mean to say who
kindled it; but a watchman saw Sam



and me about the stable, and then run-
ning away from it as fast as we could.
The fellow marked us, and as we were
going back to the fire with the machine,
he nabbed us, and walked us off to the
watch-house, and the next day we were
stuck injo this hole."
"But did you set fire to the stable ?"
What would you give to know? I
make no confessions; and if you ever
tell out of doors what I have said here,
I '11 knock your teeth down your throat,
if I ever catch you."
These two boys had actually been
guilty of the dreadful crime of setting
fire to a stable. It was used by two or
three poor men for their horses and
carts, which was the only means they
had of making an honest living; and


yet these wicked boys had tried to bur
it down, just for the fun of going to a
fire, and getting up a fight! There are
other boys, in large cities, who will com-
mit similar acts ; but such young villains
are ripe for almost any crime, and must,
in all human probability, come to some
dreadful end.
Hank," said Rodney to another boy,
--his real name was Henry, but Hank
was his prison name, -"tell us now
what you have done."
"I '11 tell you nothing about it."
"What is your last name, Hank ?"
inquired Sam, after a few moments'
"Johnson," said Hank.
"Ah! I know now what you did. i
read it in the paper, just before I came



in, and, somehow, I thought you was
one of the larks as soon as I clapped
eyes on you.
You see, Hank and some of his gang,
watching about, saw a house in Arch-
street, and noticed that it was empty.
The family, I suppose, had all gone to the
country, and it was shut up. So, one
Sunday afternoon, four of them climbed
over the back gate into the yard, pried
open a window-shutter, got in, and
helped themselves to whatever they
could lay their hands on. After dark
they sneaked out at the back gate with
their plunder. Ofe of them was caught,
trying to sell some of the things, and he
peached, and they jugged them all.
Is n't that the fact, Hank ?"
"Well, it's no use lying; it wa-
pretty much so."


"What became of the other fellows,
Why, their fathers or friends bailed
them out, and I have no father, or any-
body who cares for me. But"- and
he swore a fearful oath- if ever I
catch that white-livered Jim Hulsey,
who was the ringleader in the whole
scheme, and got me into the scrape, and
then blowed me, to save himself, I'll
beat him to a mummy, I will."
And these were the companions with
whom Rodney was compelled to associ-
ate! Sometimes he shrank from them
with loathing ; and sometimes he almost
envied the hardihood with which they
boasted of their crimes. Had he re-
mained in their company much longer, .
who can tell to what an extent he would
8 ,



have been contaminated, and how rapidly
prepared for utter moral degradation and
eternal ruin ?
What afterwards became of them,
Rodney never knew; but they are prob-
ably either dead, God having said,
" The wicked shall not live out half their
days," -or else preying upon society
by the commission of more dreadful
crimes, or perhaps spending long years
of life in the penitentiary, confined to
hard labor and prison fare.
One day, after he had been about two
weeks in jail, Rodney took the basin in
which they had washed, and threw the
water out of the window. The grated
bars prevented his seeing whether there
was any one below. He had often done
so before: It had not been forbidden.
He did not intend to do any wrong.



But it happened that one of the keep-
ers was walking under the window, and
the water fell upon his head.
He came to the door, in a great rage,
and asked who had thrown that water
out. Rodney at once said that he had
done it, but that he did not know that
he had done any harm.
The man took him roughly by the
arm, and, telling him he must come with
him, led him through a long corridor to
another part of the prison, and thrust
him into a small, dark dungeon.




HE room was very small, a
mere closet, lighted only
by a narrow window over the
door, which admitted just light enough
from the corridor to enable Rodney to
see the walls. There was some scrib-
bling on the walls, but there was not
light enough, even after his eyes became
accustomed to the place, to distinguish
a letter.
There was neither chair nor bench,
not even a blanket, on which to lie.
The bare walls and floor were unrelieved


by a single article of comfort. Here,
for four long days and nights, Rodney
was confined. There was nothing by
which he could relieve the dreadful
wearisome time. He heard no voice
save that of the surly jailer, once a day,
bringing him a rough jug of wateidilhd
half a loaf of black bread. He had no
books with which to while away the
long, tedious hours, nor was there light
enough to read, had there been a whole
library in the cell.
The first emotions of the boy, when
the door was locked upon him, were
those of indignation and anger. Why,'
said he to himself, am I treated in this
way ? They are brutes! I have done
nothing to deserve this barbarity. I am
no felon or thief, that I should be used



in this way. I have broken no rule that
was made known to me, since I have
been in this place. The heartless wretch
of a jailer thrust me into this hole, to
gratify his own spite. He knows that
I could n't have thrown water on him
purposely, for I could n't see down into
the yard. He never told me what I was
to do with the dirty water, and there
was no other place to throw it. He
deserves being shut up in this den him-
self 0, wish I had him in my power
for a week! I would give him a lesson
that he would remember as long as he
"Was there ever such an unlucky
boy as I am ? Everything goes against
me. There is no chance for me to do
anything, or to enjoy anything, in this
world. I wish I was dead !"



A bitter flood of tears burst from him,
which seemed, as it were, to quench his
anger, and gradually his heart becawa
open to more salutary reflections.
"Do you not deserve all this ?"
whispered his conscience. "Have you
not brought it upon yourself by your
own wickedness and'disobedience ? You
had a good home and kind friends; and
if you had to work every day, it was no
more than all have to do in one form or
another. Blame yourself, then, for your
own idle, reckless disposition, that would
not be satisfied with your lot. You are
only finding out the truth of the text
you have often repeated,--' The way of
the transgressor is hard.'"
He thought of his home, as he lay upon
that hard floor. The forms of his pious



old grandmother, and of his mother and
sister, all seemed to stand before him,
and to look down upon him reproach-
fully. He remembered now their kind-
ness and good counsel. He groaned in
bitterness, 0! this would break their
hearts, if they knew it! I have dis-
graced myself, and I have disgraced
them." He had leisure for reflection,
and his mind recalled, most painfully,
the scenes of the past. He thought of
the Sabbath-school, of his kind teacher,
and of the instructions that had been so
affectionately imparted. How much bet-
ter for him would it have been, had he
regarded those instructions!
And then he thought of God! He
remembered that His all-seeing eye had
followed all his wanderings, and noted


all his guilt. He had sinned against
God, and some of the bitterness of pun-
ishment had already overtaken him.
The idea that God was angry with him,
and that He was visiting his sins with
the rod of chastisement, took possession
of his soul. Now he ceased to blame
others for his sufferings, and acknowl-
edged to himself that all was deserved.
Again he wept, but it was in terror at
the thought of God's anger, and in
grief that he had sinned so ungratefully
against his Maker.
He tried to pray; but the words of the
prayers he had been taught in his child-
hood did not seem to be appropriate
to his present condition. Those prayers
were associated with days and scenes of
comparative innocence and happiness.



He now felt guilty and wretched, and felt
deeply that other forms of petition were
necessary for him. But he could not
frame words into a prayer that would
soothe and relieve his soul. "God will
not hear me," was his bitter thought.
" I do not deserve to be heard. 0 if
God would have mercy upon me, and
deliver me from this trouble, I think I
would try to serve and obey Him as long
as I lived."
He kneeled down upon the hard floor,
and raised his clasped hands and stream-
ing eyes toward heaven; but he could
find no utterance for his emotions, save
in sobs and tears. Prayer would not
come in words. Again and again he
tried to pray, but in vain; he felt that
he could not pray; and, almost in de-


spair, he paced the narrow cell, and was
ready to believe that God's favor was
forever withdrawn from his soul, that
there was no ear to listen, and no arm to
save, and that nothing was left for him
in the future but a life of misery, a
death of shame, and an eternity of woe!
On the third morning, he awoke from
a troubled leep, and, as he rose with
aching bones from the bare planks, his
limbs trembled and tottered beneath him.
Finding that he could not stand, he sat
down in the corer of the dungeon, and
leaned against the wall. His head was
hot, and his throat parched, and the
blood beat in throbs through his veins.
A sort of delirious excitement began to
creep over him, and his mind was filled
with strange reveries.



He saw, or fancied he saw, great
spiders crawling over the wall, and ser-
pents, lizards, and indescribable reptiles,
creeping about on the floor; and he
shouted at them, and kicked at them, as
they seemed to come near him. Soon
they were viewed without dread or ter-
ror. He laughed at their motions, and
thought he should have companions and
pets in his loneliness; still he did not
wish them to come too near.
Then there seemed to be other shapes
in his cell. His old grandmother sat in
one corner, reading, through her familiar
spectacles, the well-worn family Bible.
His sister sat there, playing with her
baby, and his mother was singing as
she sewed. And he laughed and talked
to them, but could get no answer.


University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs