Affectional Alchemy. zi
ous, and laughless. JYo human being laughs then; for the wei ,!it
of worlds rests upon human shoulders.
It is a bad sign any man hangs out when he makes " fun" of what
ought to challenge his holiest emotions and most profound respect.
There was a young man of the fun-making genus, — a fellow whose
nature was inflamed nearly a year before his birth, and who kept it
up to boiling-point by food and drink, and the secret books he first
read, and then so artfully concealed, that the servant-girls were sure
to find them, — read, get detected, — of course, by the owner. — re¬
sult, destruction to poor she, — brag by he, who of course was petted
and made much of, while his victim's head, in time hung low, for a
bleeding heart was breaking. Well, this Lothario's eyes used to
fairly glisten when they rested upon any young female form, and the
burden of his talk was the victories he had won over too confiding
It so happened that he was one of a jury of inquest over the dead
body of poor Maria Lee, a child of sixteen summers, whom a rich
merchant of Loudon had betrayed, and then procured a double mur¬
der at the hands of an abortionist. Poor child! she bled to death
from a skewer of steel run clean through both the uterus and its con¬
tents. The rich merchant paid some money; — some more in
charity: — by-and-by joined the church, and his sin was forgotten.
The medical practitioner went to jail for six months ; was pardoned
out in five weeks ; and the babe went back to heaven in the arms of
its slaughtered mother.
But there she lay, poor child, upon the long work-table of good
Simon Scott, the carpenter, all pale and delicate as finest Parian mar¬
ble or wax-work, and beautiful! O God, how immortally beautiful !
—just as Deity had fashioned her before the rich merchant of Lou¬
don and his friends, the doctor and death, had finished the work so
fairly begun — finished her for the grave and heaven; for if ever its
golden portals swing wide to admit a shining soul, surely its hinges
will revolve like lightning to let in a ruined woman.
Well, the autopsy went on ; the facts were disclosed : and while
the surgeon plied his work, and a strong magnifying glass was
handed round among the jurymen, none were so eager and earnest