ADVENTURES OF RODNEY ROVERTON.
n He cast his bundle on his back, and went,
lie knew not whither, nor for what intent;
o8 stole our vagrant from hi warm retreat,
To rove a prowler, and be deemed a cheat."
APP'.OVED BY THE COMMIT?= OP PUBLICATION.
AMERICAN BAPTIST PUBLICATION SOCIETy,
680 ARCH STRUT.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1862. by
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetta
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 and
sentiments have been remembered, the
language that clothed them has been for-
gotten, and, in a few instances, the
grouping together of incidents that actu
ally occurred at wider intervals than here
represented, for the sake of the unity of
BODNEY UNHAPPr IN A GOOD HOE, * 7
REVOLVING AND RESOLVING, * * 18
BODNEY IN NEWYORx, ..... YORK 26
RODNEY FINDS A PATRON,. .. ... .. 88
RODNEY IN PHILADELPHIA .. * * 44
THE PUNISHMENT BEGINS, ...... . 53
THE WATCH-HOUSE,. .. .. . 60
RODNEY IN JAIL, ..........., 78
THE DUNGEON, . 88
THE HOSPITAL o .o o o. 9
THE TRIAL, .. ....... .118
)NOLUBION, .. . . 0 128
RODNEY UNHAPPY IN A GOOD HOME.
T was a lovely Sabbath morn-
ing in May, 1828, when two
lads, the elder of whom
about sixteen years old, and the younger
about fourteen, were wandering along
the banks of a beautiful brook, called
the Buttermilk Creek, in the immediate
vicinity of the city of Albany, N. Y
Though there is no poetry in the name
of this little stream, there is sweet music
8 RODNEY UNHAPPY IN A GOOD HOME.
made by its rippling waters, as they rush
rapidly ald('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 Buttermilk Falls. It was
a charmnog spot, notwithstanding its
homely name, before the speculative
spirit of progress- stern foe of Nature's
beauties -had pushed the borders of the
RODNEY UNHAPPY IN A GOOD HOME. 9
city close upon the tiny cataract, hewed
down the pines uponoba s, and
opened quarries among its rocs.
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
stream, 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
Why, she will be very likely to pun-
ish me," said Rodney; "but you know
I am used to it; and, though decidedly
unpleasant, it does not grate on my
nerves as it did a year or two ago. Van
Dyke, my teacher, says I am hardened.
10 RODI~Y UNHAPPY IN A GOOD HOME.
SBut I would rather have a stroll here,
and a t er it, than be shut up
in school church all day to escape it.
I wish, Wiu 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 ino
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
RODNEY UNHAPPY IN A GOOD HOME. 11
work," replied the younge oy. I
do not think I ever shall When
I am roused up early in 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
The boys threw themselves upon the
ground, under the shade of a large pine,
and, reclining against its trunk, remained
some minutes without uttering a word.
12 RODNEY UNHAPPY IN A GOOD HOME.
At length, William Manton, whose
thought evidently been running in
the champ 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
came to be a sailor. He said that his
RODNEY UNHAPPY IN A GOOD HOME. 13
uncle, with whom he lived wh he was
a boy, promised him a beatiniRe 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 pushing a plane."
Rodney sprang up from his reclining
posture, looked straight in his compan-
ion's face for a moment, and exclaimed,
"That would be glorious! How I should
14 RODNEY UNHAPPY IN A GOOD HOME.
like to go to London, to Canton, to Hol-
land, wo the old folks came from,-
to travel all over the world But,"-
and he leaned btck 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 con-
tented in some employment adadpd to
"Bah, Rodney, don't be a baby!"
RODNEY UNHAPPY IN A GOOD HOME. 15
was the jeering expostulation of Will
Manton, when he saw the tea; "cry-
ing never got a fellow~gt of a scrape.
I believe it is easy ebugh 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,
"Of course; you would not want to
take them with you, would you ? "
"But I could not tell them Iwvas
going. I should have to steal away
without their knowledge."
"You could write to them when you
16 RODNEY UNHAPPY IN A GOOD HOME
"I might never see them again."
"You are as likely to live and come
back as Captain Ryan was."
"But the 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!" waN the reply.
SDo as you please; but, I tell you,--
RODNEY UNHAPPY IN A GOOD HOME. 17
and I trust the secret to you, and hope
you won't blo~ ij I have~made up
my mind to go to t, "
"Will you run
"Indeed I will.
"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
f out where the tex: was, so that I
can tell the old folks."
1 ,! .
CONVERSATIONS similar to
S 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 hinm.
One Monday morning, in June, as he
REVOLVING RESOLVING. 19
was returning from his work, he saw
Will Manton's old grandfather standing
before the door, looking up and down
the street; and he 0laed 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
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 Fri-
"It is very strange," said the old
man. He has not been at home since
20 REVOLVING : D RESOLVING.
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
messenger 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
REVOLVING AND RESOLVING. 21
scarcely ever out of his thoughts. e
would follow him in fancy, bouh ling
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 t was
over, he fancied the noble ship, having
weathered the storm, stemming safely
the high waves, and careering grace-
fully on her course. Or, if he *as
wrecked, he imagined that he must be
east upon some shore where the hopita-
22 REVOLVING AND RESOLVING.
bleinhabitants hurried down to the beach
to the relief of the crew, bore them
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, Ind thd
narrow streets of Calcutta and Canton.
"0," 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
s a life as I lead, following the same
weary round of miserable drudgery every
But it was Rodney's own fancy that
G AND RM SOLVING. 26
p H p joyment of a sailo
life. anton did not tdl so
pleasant in reality. There 'was more
menial drudgery to the poor cabin-boy on?
ship-board, than he had ever known in th
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 re, he crept to his hard, narrow
bunr, he lay and cried himself to sleep,
thing of his kind and pleasanthome.
*Uen Fancy pictures before the rest-
less mind distant and unknown scenes,
sh4divests them of .94 the rough realities
which a nearer view and a tried experi-
ence find in them. The mountain4
looks smooth and pleasant from a..dis-
24 REVOLVING ANbf RESOLVING.
tance, but we find it rugged and weari-
some when we attempt to climb 4.
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 diamed 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, theA 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.
He was very unhappy, because he
knew that he was purposing wrong He
could not be contented with his employ-
REVOLVING %D RESOLVING.
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 b bec a
sailor, he detem ecd, ,to
make the attemit ;
Unhappy a% sowing, for
his own reaping, the.. a bitter
harvest of wretchedness temorse.
RODNEY IN NEW YORK.
N a beautiful SabWth morn1-
ing in July, Rodney stood ii
the hall of the old Dutch
house in which succe' ve generations of
the family had, been born, and paused to
look the last farewell, he dare not speak,
upon those who loved4.hin, and whom,
notwithstanding his waywardness, he
There sat his pious and venerable
grandmother, with the little round stand
before her, upon which lay the old faf.
ily Bible,' over which she was intently
bending reading and -commenting to
RODNEq NEW YOR: 27
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
ipply it to herself and others. And now-
he th ght tht, in all propbity, he
would never .ee her again, and he ha-lf
repented his determination. But LI
preparations were all made, and he coui
not.now hesitate, test his purpose should"
He looked at his'mother, as she was
arranging the dress of a r and
only brother, for the Sl th-school.
As she leaned over him, andfnwuohed
down the collar she had just Ylitened
round his neck, Rodney, with heart "d.
eye, bade farewell to both.
28 BODNEY IN N YORK.
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
Iemed highly interested and delighted
by the conversation.
*p 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-
,ic unhappiness, and introduced her into
that blessed heaven where thrwicked
| cease from troubling, and the weary are
And that prattling infant has become,
RODNEY NEW YORK.
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 glance
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
forgt-- that moment, or the emotions
tlwt thrilled his heart as he turned away
He had hidden a little trunk, contain-
ing his clothing, in the stable, and thit~r-
he hastened; and, throwiq'his trunk
upon his shoulder, he stole 86tpf the
back gate, and took his course thlh
bye streets to the dock, where he went 4
30 RODNEY IN 1pW YORK.
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
'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-
RODNEY IN NEW YORK.
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 sent home.
At last he made up his mind to ask a
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 yqaB
want to go to sea? What can such a
32 RODNEY IN NEW YORK.
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
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
RODNEY FINDS A PATRON.
ATE in the afternoon Rodney
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 him! 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
34 RODNEY FINDS A PATRON.
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
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 sat down beside him, and
asked him, Where 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
RODNEY FINDS A PATRON.
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, nor sir, took him
with himself into a large room. Here he
saw a great many sailors, from various
parts, gathered together, who laughed,
and shouted, and sang, and drank, until
long past midnight. Rodney had 4eyer
RODNEY FINDS A PATRON.
witnessed such a scene. He had nevex
heard such shocking language as they
used, nor seen such very bad 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! "
And 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 around him all seemed to be
swearing and fighting together.
The next morning he was awaked by
Bill Seegor, and fund himself in a gar-
ret, on a miserable bed, with all his
RODNEY FINDS A PATRON.
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 only
money enough to last another day. Af-
ter breakfast they started, and inquired
at every place which Bill knew, 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
38 RODNEY FINDS A PATRON.
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.
O 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. }1
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"
SHow far is it ?"
BODNEY FINDS A PATRON.
"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
kind of people. While the rest were
laughing and talking about him, Rod-
ney sat down on the front seat to see the -
play; but they made so much confusion
behind hi that he could not hear, so he
40 RODNEY FINDS A PATRON.
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'll pitch you
into the pit, if you open your mouth
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
RODNEY FINDS A PATRON.
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 others. 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
42 RODNEY FINDS A PATRON.
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
was 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 stuff in
him. And Rodney laughed, tickled by
such praises, and drank ihat they of-
fered, and tried to stifle his conscience
RODNEY FINDS A PATRON. 43
and harden himself in sin. Yet often,
when he was alone, did he shrink from
himself, and writhe under the lashings
of conscience; and the remembrance of
home, and thoughts of his conduct, ren-
dered him very wretched.
RODNEY IN PHILADELPHIA.
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
RODNEY IN PHILADELPHIA.
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-
gtor, for which it expresses no thankful-
U 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-
46 RODNE IN PHILADELPHIA.
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
RODNEY IN PHILADELPHIA.
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
48 RODNEY IN PHILADELPHIA.
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.
RODNEY IN PHILADELPHIA.
This friend was an abandoned person,
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 friend for whom he inquired
was at a house 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
vile people, 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
cracked, patched, and greasy fiddles.
50 RODNoY IN PHILADELPHIA.
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 chai~ J did
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 be sailors; and men, whose
scowling brows and fiendlike counte-
nances 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
RODNBY IN PHILADlEPBIA. 51
generally faded, some torn and some
padhed, and all seeming to be broug-
from the pawnbroker's dusty shop for
In a little filthy side-room was
covered with bottles and glasses, behind
which stood a large, red-faced man, with i
- ~" % big nqoe, and little ferret, fiery eyes,
now grinning like a satyr, now scowling.
like a demon, dealing out burning liqdirs
to his n~erable customers.
A man fell beastly drunk from nch
upon the floor. Take him up stairs,"
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
52 RODNEY IN PHILADELPHIA.
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,
1W scourge those who are taken in its
toils. It brings in its train disgrace
and infamy, woe and death.
THE PUNISHMENT BEGINS.
ILL SEEGOR found the
Person he sought, and soon
they returned to his 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 his friend
that he was entirely out of money, and
beg him to lend him five dollars for a
few days. After some hesitation he
consented, and drew out from under the
54 THE PUNISHMENT BEGINS.
bed an old trunk, which he unlocked,
and from which he took five dollars in
silver and gave it to him. Bill, looking
over his shoulder, saw that he took it
from a little pile of silver that lay in the
corner 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 were now nearly passed, and that
soon he should be upon the blue water,
THE PUNISHMENT BEGINS.
and in foreign countries, a happy sailor
But conscience would interpose its
reproaches and warnings, and remind
him of the horrible company into which
he had been cast,- of the scenes of sin
which he had witnessed, and in which
he had participated ; and he could not
but shudder when .he thought of the
probable termination of such a life.
But he felt that, having forsaken his
home,- and he was not even yet sorry
that he had done so,-- he was now in
the current, and that there was no way
of reaching the shore, even had he been
disposed to try; and that he must con-
tinue to float along the stream, leaving
his destination to be determined by cir-
56 THE PUNISHMENT BEGINS.
It is 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 hunts 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 people
were scolding and swearing angrily about
THE PUNISHMENT BEGINS.
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 people.
Bill Seegor was gone. He had got
up quietly when all were asleep, and,
drawing his friend's trunk from under
his bed, had carried it out into the yard,
pried open the lock, stolen the money,
The loser was in a terrible passion,
and his bitter oaths were fearful to
hear. Rodney pitied him, though him-
self abused. He was indignant at his
companion's rascality, and offered to go
along and try to find him. It was
two o'clock in the morning. He looked
round for his hat, collar, and handker-
58 THE PUNISHMENT BEGINS.
chief; but they were gone. The thief
had taken them with him. Taking Bill's
)ld hat, he went out with the people,
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.
They soon 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 man.
"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-
THE PUNISHMENT BEGINS.
Rodney protested that he knew~oth-
ing about him, that his omn 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
THE WATCH-HOUBL. "r
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 head down
on his knees, and his hat slouched over
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 no
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
RODNEY BEFORE THE MAGISTRATE.
THE WATCH-HOUSE. 65
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-houseafor assaulting the bar-
keeper of a tavern, was fined five dollars,
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.
SRodney 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 become bail for
him. And, if his friends hhd been 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
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 corner of a little alley, he asked the
constable to let him tie his shoe, the
string of which was loose. The man
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
That terrible cry, "Stop thief!" rung
after him, and soon seemed to be echoed
by a hundred voices, as the boy dashed
along Ninth stre.4 and down Market
street; a l, from behind him, and from
doors and windows, and from the oppo-
site side of the street, and at length
from before hi4, 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 corner, he suddenly
pushed out his barrow across the pave-
ment. Rodney could not avoid it; he
stumbled, fell across it, and was cap-
"You young scoundrel! is this one
of your tricks ?" said the constable, as
70 THE WATCH-HOUSE.
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 le 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 te watched."
RODNEY IN JAIL.
UCH are the rewards which
sin gives to its votaries; full
iof 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-
RODNEY IN JAIL.
gether; but ibwas deemed best to keep
the boys from associating with blder and
more hardened culprits, whose conver-
sation might still more corrupt them,
and they were therefore confined to-
gether, apart from the mass of t4e
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!"
RODNEY IN JAIL.
Rodney 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-
diating with them, regarding them as
criminals in jail. But he soon remem-
bered his own position,-- that he was
now one of them, and 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
Rodney told them his story, and pro-
tested that he was innocent of any
The boy, who was used to such
stories, looked incredulous, and said,
RODNEY IN JAIL.
"You can't gammon us, my buck;
come, out with it, for we never peach on
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 them 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,
RODNEY IN JAIL.
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 for 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 interposSon of
RODNEY IN JAIL.
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 probabi#ty, lose my soul,
and be cast into hel 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
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
RODNEY IN JAIL.
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.
"f wish we had a pack of cards
here," said one of the boys, one weary
80 RODNEY IN JAIL.
Can't we make a pack ?" inquired
And then the lads set their wits to
vyork, 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 the
oldest boy, "what did they put *ou in
here for ?f "
"Well, \said he, "I'll tell you.
RODNEY IN JAIL.
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-street,
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
RODNEY IN JAIL.
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 into 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 'l knock your teeth down your throat,
if I ever catch you."
These two boys had actually been
guilty of the alleged 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
RODNEY IN JAIL.
yet these wicked boys had tried to burn
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
"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
RODNEY IN JAIL.
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. One of them was caught,
trying to sell some of the things, and he
peached, and they jugged them all.
Isn't that the fact, Hank ?"
Well, it's no use lying; it was
pretty much so."
RODNEY IN jAIL.
(" What became of tne 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 great rascal 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." 9
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 hewould.
86 RODNEY IN JAIL.
have beencontaminated, 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 Jife 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.
RODNEY IN JAIL. 87
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
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 water and
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, wre
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
90 THE DUNGEON.
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
tae 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 I 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 became
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 sc
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. O 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 live."
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 sleep, 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.
Occasionally he felt a half-conscious-
ness that it was all a delusion,- a
mere vision of the brain; and yet
their fancied presence made him happy,
and he laughed and talked incessantly,
as if they heard him, and were wonder-
ing at his own strange emotions.
And then the gruff voice of the jailer
scared away his visions, and roused him
for a moment from his reveries.
You are merry, my boy, and you
make too much noise," said the keeper.
The interruption made his head swim,
and he attempted to rise; but he was
very weak and faint, and fell back again.
IHe turned to say, "I believe I am
sick;" but before the words found utter-
ance, the man had set down his pitcher
and bread, and was gone.
There was an interval of dreary, blank
darkness, and then there were other
visions, too wild and strange to describe,
and soon the darkness of insensibility
settled upon his soul. How long a time
elapsed while in this state of insensibil-
ity, he could not say; but he was at
length half-aroused by voices near him,
and he was conscious that some hand was
feeling for his pulse, and that men were
carrying him out of the dungeon. He
afterwards learned that it was.the jailer
and the physician.