A judge, endeared to his own children by the kindest affections, feels no compunction of conscience while administering the law which denies a father his own children-which commands those children to be sold with the beasts of the field! Mark the slender cord upon which the fate of these unfortunates turns; mark the suffering through which they must pass.
The hand on the clock’s pale face marks four. His honour reminds gentlemen of the bar that it is time to adjourn court. Court is accordingly adjourned. The crowd disperse in silence. Gentlemen of the legal profession are satisfied the majesty of the law has been sustained.
Hence the guilty children, scions of rights-loving democracy, like two pieces of valuable merchandise judicially decreed upon, are led back to prison, where they will await sale. Annette has caught the sound of “Guilty!"-she mutters it while being taken home from the court, in the arms of an old slave. May heaven forgive the guilt we inherit from a mother, in this our land of freedom!
We change with fortune.
But a few months have passed since the popularly called gallant M’Carstrow led the fair Franconia to the hymeneal altar; and, now that he has taken up his residence in the city, the excitement of the honeymoon is waning, and he has betaken himself to his more congenial associations. The beautiful Franconia for him had but transient charms, which he now views as he would objects necessary to the gratifications of his coarse passions. His feelings have not been softened with those finer associations which make man the kind patron of domestic life; nor is his mind capable of appreciating that respect for a wife which makes her an ornament of her circle. Saloons, race-courses, and nameless places, have superior attractions for him: home is become but endurable.
In truth, Franconia, compelled to marry in deference to fortune, finds she is ensnared into misfortunes. M’Carstrow (Colonel by courtesy) had fifteen hundred dollars, cash down, to pay for Clotilda: this sad grievance excites his feelings, inasmuch as it was all owing to his wife’s whims, and the poverty of her relations. The verdict of the jury, recently rendered, was to his mind a strictly correct one; but he cannot forget the insane manner in which the responsibility was fastened upon him, and the hard cash-which might have made two handsome stakes on the turf-drawn from his pocket. His wife’s poverty-stricken relations he now detests, and can tolerate them best when farthest away from him. But Franconia does not forget that he is her husband; no, night after night she sits at the window until midnight, waiting his return. Feeble and weary with anxiety, she will despatch a negro on a hopeless errand of search; he, true to his charge, returns with the confidential intelligence of finding