Page images

too rapid increase of executive influence, as trine of the Whigs, that the President is not upon the conviction that a President elected invested with a judicial or a legislative power, under a pledge to use it without scruple for and that, therefore, the less he meddles in legisthe ends of his own party, would effectually lation the better. If we look merely at the letter, check all legislation during the term of his there is, indeed, nothing written in the Consticontinuance in office, and so defeat the most tution which directly forbids the constant parsalutary measures, passed by large and con tisan employment of the executive veto; but stant majorities, and evidently necessary for in this, as in other instances, we are obliged the defense and welfare of the country, but to study, not merely the letter, but the spirit odious to the minority merely because they of that document. It would have been imposemanated from the opposition. If the Consti- sible to trace the exact limits within which the tution intended to concentrate in the President veto should be employed. In all governments the three functions of judicial, legislative, and the employment of such a power must be executive authority, then it also intended that | left in great part to discretion, and its use be the veto power should be employed by the regulated by the custom of ages. Custom and President as a means of controlling the entire usage have limited the employment of the legislation of the country. By simply an negative of the crown in England upon acts of nouncing that he will veto every public mea Parliament. The election of Whig Presidents sure originating with the majority, the Presi- will in the same manner fix and limit the veto dent is able to throw the entire legislative power, with the sanction of public opinion in power of the nation into the hands of his America. The entire argument is but one of friends in the minority-a condition of things many which go together to convince us that which, in this country, would end in a civil | the safety and dignity of the nation depends in war. An unscrupulous President is able, by great measure upon the election to the executhe use of his patronage, by threats, and by tive office of great and conscientious men. personal influence, to maintain a pretty strong “During the administration of Washington, the minority, even in the height of his unpopularity. executive branch of the federal government,

The means of doing this are almost always at great as was its influence, never overstepped his disposal. Our author has shown that this its lawful limits. So far was Washington government is constitutionally so adjusted as from improperly interfering with the action of to favor the majority, and to throw the weight the co-ordinate branches of government, that, of power into the hands of the greater number. for example, while Congress was engaged in It will not be denied by either party that in discussing the measures of the proposed sysgeneral it is right for a well-ascertained and | tem of finance, he strictly abstained from any constant majority to have the greatest weight expression of opinion respecting them. Wherin legislation ; but to admit at the same time ever precedents may be found for buying that the President may constitutionally exer congressional votes with executive promises, cise his veto power as a steady and constant or making the support of executive measures stumbling-block to a fair majority in both | by legislators the ground for rewarding them houses of Congress, is to admit a power totally with lucrative and honorable offices, or for subversive of the ends of government, and bringing any sort of illegitimate influence into hostile to the spirit of a republican constitution. the halls of legislation, the first President, no

The Whigs, therefore, have elected a Pres. | less pure in mind than firm in authority, set ident pledged, not to carry their measures none of them."— See Article on Washington's against a natural majority, but pledged only not Administration, American Review, July, 1849, to interpose his negative against a clear and pages 13-14. constant majority in Congress. It is the doc

[blocks in formation]


" Man is fearfully and wonderfully made.”—King David.

A YOUTH and a maiden—a comely, well- | ment he was ardent and excitable. She suited pair-were walking in a forest. It thought too that be avoided her society. was a forest of pines. Minute fragments When they did meet, his greetings wantof leaves, the deposite of many years, ed cordiality, and he often turned suddencovered the ground with a carpet softer ly away, as if he experienced relief in than ever was woven in loom. The tall, separating from her. She was pained at columnar trunks, supporting the dense all this, but felt nothing like resentment. canopy that intercepted the rays of the Had she indeed believed that he was sun, had long since cast off the lower really as much estranged as appearances branches, which might have obstructed indicated, she would have suffered her the ramble of the lovers. The western heart to break rather than have humbled gale, which was frolicking without, and herself to reproach him for the desertion. spreading the newly made hay a second But although a girl in years and in lovelitime over the meadows, could only mur ness of character and person, she posmur among the tree-tops of the forest, sessed the traits of a strong-minded without power to penetrate its recesses. woman, and, far from giving way to penIt was a lonely, and it might seem to sive tears, was determined first to ascersome a melancholy spot, yet we envy not tain the true nature and extent of the the man who is unable to find a pleasure calamity which seemed to impend over her. in the high and solemn thought which They had strolled more than a mile into such a scene tends to excite.

the depths of the pines, and hitherto Thomas Austin and Jessie Rosse had scarcely a dozen sentences had been exgrown up together; and each succeeding changed between them. day seemed but to have increased their “ Thomas," she said, with an effort, attachment. Austin's father, though a “have I offended man of integrity and respectability, was “No,” was his reply, “how can you imboth poor and ill-educated. Mr. Rosse, agine such a thing? So far from it, you on the other hand, was by no means love me more than I deserve-I would wealthy; yet he possessed a competence, that you loved me less." and by personal qualities was fitted to “It is true, then,” she said, turning her adorn any society. With too much dis- | eyes upon him sorrowfully, “it is true, cernment to be unaware of the direction then, that the rich Thomas Austin despises which the growing affections of his daugh- the lowly Jessie Rosse.” ter were taking, he did not attempt to “Oh, Jessie, Jessie, you torture me. I change it.

ought indeed to allow you to adopt any Within a twelvemonth past the relative impression that might serve to wean your situation of the parties had become quite heart from me-I ought to suffer you to different. Thomas had inherited a large believe me the contemptible, purse-proud estate. Jessie, too noble to suspect that thing you suppose. I ought to bear even this accession of property had altered his this, miserable wretch that I am—but I sentiments towards her, could not how cannot. No, Jessie, all that estate does ever but observe in him at times a cold- not equal, in my estimation, one hair of ness of manner which seemed not more

Hate and despise me, for I contrary to his long-cherished affection would have you both to hate and to desthan to his very nature, for by tempera- 1 pise me; but not on this account.” VOL. IV. NO. II. NEW SERIES



your head.


Dear Thomas, tell me”-

and strengthened with my strength. I He interrupted her—"Ask nothing, for had leaned upon that assured trust as the you must not share that fearful burden vine leans upon the oak, and the moment which is crushing me to the earth; come, which tore it away might well resemble let us hurry home.”

the commencement of the agonies of dis“ Have you so little confidence in me, solution. Something else was not wantThomas ? What use is it for human ing to add a pang even to such sufferings. beings to love, if they cannot share each | My own headlong passions, my own more other's sorrows? Many a grief, Thomas, than brutish folly, had caused all the ruin! which, if retained in the bosom, will gnaw I must at length have dropped into some through one's heart, may be banished by sort of slumber, for the sound of voices the counsel of a faithful friend."

in the adjoining room was the first intima“But it is for your sake, Jessie, that I tion I received of the arrival of guests. I do not tell you—your happiness must not overheard their conrersation as a be ruined.”


listens in a dream. Every word fell upon Oh, I care not for happiness," replied my ear with the utmost distinctness, yet it the animated girl, with flashing eyes excited no emotion. A matter was dis* tell me—hesitate not-tell me all !” cussed which might have startled the in“You do not know what you ask, Jes- nocence of childhood, or the apathy of

old age, yet I-I-s0 vitally interested, “ And for that very reason it is that I heard, but felt not. I recognized the perask it," she gaily rejoined.

sons talking. One was our nearest neighHe smiled at her eagerness, but it was bor, that excellent and respected man, a melancholy smile, and he remained si Mr. Rosse-your father, Jessie. He asked lent after it. She renewed her solicita a question: tions, and so earnestly, that his reserve at "You have said the body was taken length gave way.

to Mrs. Walker; how did you get it there ?' The pair walked on almost unconscious " • I'll tell you all about it.' This ly, as Austin delivered the following nar- speaker was Richard Smith, a very steady rative:

young fellow who manages bis mother's “I had been to see my uncle. I reach- farm on the edge of the next countyed home again the evening of the eighth Well,' said he, 'when Trott and I found of June, excessively tired. It was long the corpse as we've told you, we at once after dusk, yet as I passed the windows I began to think what to do. We saw perceived from the appearance of the ta- plain enough that Walker had been struck ble, that supper had not been taken. on the head as well as stabbed, and we I was not surprised at this, inferring at couldn't be certain that he was not rather once that there were no strangers in the stunned than mortally hurt. Trott spoke house, and that my sisters, as might be ex about the coroner ; but for my part I felt pected in the mistresses of a small country no notion to be waiting for any coroner, inn, had little appetite for a lonely meal. when perhaps the poor man might be Disappointed and heart-sick as well as brought to. It's a very lonely place there, weary, I went at once to my chamber, and no dwelling-house within three miles; so placing the carpet-bag behind my large when I heard the rumbling of a wagon chest, threw myself upon the bed. I ahead, off I starts down the road for it.' could not sleep. Though the door com " • And you were gone a great while,' municating with the common sitting-room interposed Trott, and I felt real peculiar was wide open, the sultry heat of the too, staying by that bloody corpse. evening probably had something to do “I believe Smith laughed slightly as he with my restlessness, for I had not taken continued : It warnt so long as you in time to remove any part of my clothing: your scariness supposed, but I was kept Mental distraction, however, contributed back some little time. After a couple of far more to render me wakeful. That miles or more I came up with a person in day had seen the annihilation of a hope | a two-horse wagon. It was Coward the which I had cherished from infancy; a marketman-Wat Coward, who goes hope which had grown with my growth huckstering all over the country. When

some one.'

I told him about Walker, he showed no soon as she saw it, declared it to be a
mind to go back. He said he reckoned piece of his carpet-bag. No doubt the
Walker was dead, and 'twas no use for fellow who attacked him tried to pull the
him to go way up the ridge again with his bag out of his hand, thinking there was
tired beasts. I told him then that I'd money in it, and Walker then held on so,
help him to remove the things from his tight that the cloth gave way and the
wagon, so that he might return empty. piece was left in his hand.'
He spoke out, very quick and short, that “ • But there was no money,' suggested
he would not do that, and said it was
hard for bim to lose his market for the « «No,' said Smith, he had put the
sake of a dead man. At last I told him money he got for his cattle in bank, in-
he must go back, and accordingly he did stead of bringing it home with him. So
go, but after a very sulky fashion. So the villain who killed bim got nothing by it.'
we put the corpse in on top of the mar “Of all that ensued after this, I was
keting, and brought it down to Mrs. unconscious. Fatigue, that powerful ano-
Walker, his wife--the house is right on dyne, gained the mastery of everything
the roadside


else. I must have slept very soundly, but “Mr. Rosse then spoke, and though he my slumber was not the 'slumber that lowered his voice almost to a whisper, I refreshes. When I awoke, the sun was heard every syllable— How did it happen shining into my chamber. I got up inthat Coward failed to notice the body stantly; but my head swam-I reeled, and when he came by at first? Is it possible would have fallen prostrate, but for the that he could have committed the murder ?’ | old chest in the recess. As I sank down

“After a pause Smith answered, “He is upon it, my hand, dropping behind, a dark, ugly-looking fellow to be sure, and touched the carpet-bag; I drew it forth acted strangely about returning for Walk- suddenly. A rent stared me in the face. er's corpse, yet I must say I don't think A piece was gone; where was it? Thought we have cause enough to charge him with flew at once to the rigid fist of the dead doing the deed. The corpse lay behind man. The lining was not torn, and reCarter's old stable—the Carter dwelling- tained the contents of the bag, but there house, you know, was burnt down some was no money in it; the words of Smith twenty years ago, and all the hill has long rang in my ears, “The villain who killed been out in common. But, since the body him got nothing by it! How easily that was behind the stable, no one of course fearful witness of guilt might have been could see it in passing along the road. Trott discovered by any one happening to come and I thought we'd get off the stones into the room! Suppose somebody should of the wagon-track by riding around the now enter-the reflection nerved me at stable over the old field, which we could once. I sprang up, buttoned my loose easily do, being on horseback.'

frock-coat over the carpet-bag, and stepped " Where is Coward now?' inquired rapidly out of the room. Mr. Rosse.

In going from the house, I heard the Oh, he'll be along before midnight I clatter of knives and forks; all were eatreckon; he said he was going to put up ing breakfast, and the way was clear. I here.'

had not been summoned to the meal, be“I have no distinct recollection of what cause my return was not yet known. Befollowed of the conversation, until Mr. hind the cedar hedge of the orchard was a Rosse put some query in relation to the deep and never-failing well, but the water baggage of the murdered drover. He is so brackish that my father, at considerawas travelling on foot,' replied Smith, and ble expense, conducted to the house some bis wife told us he was in the habit of years ago the stream of a distant spring. carrying a carpet-bag. Now, what is The well

, in consequence, has been quite curious enough, when we found him, he disused. I approached it, raised the covhad a small piece of worsted stuff like er, and was about to drop my burden; carpeting, griped so tight in his hand but a thought occurred to me. The little that it was as much as both Trott and I bag seemed very light-might it not float? could do to get it loose. Mrs. Walker, as I unlaced it—a soiled shirt was disclosed.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »