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The Georgia mirror. (Florence, Ga.) 1838-1839, April 02, 1838, Image 1

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BY GARDNER & BARROW. THE GEORGIA tfIRKOR, Is published every Monday, in F i.orf.ncf, •Stewart county, Ga. at THREE DOT)LARS a year, if paid in advance, or I'OUR DOLLARS, «f not paid until the end of the year. Advertisements will be conspicuously inserted at One Dollar per square, (15 lines) the first, and cents for each subsequent insertion. Nothing under 15 lines will be considered less than a square. A deduction will be made for yearly ad vertisements. All advertisements handed in for publication without a 1 mutation, will be published till forbid, and charged accordingly. Sales of Land and Negroes by Executors, Ad ministrators and Guardians, are required bv law to be advertised in a public Gazette, sixty days pr ious to the flay of sale. The sale of Personal property must be adver tised in like manner forty days. Notice to Debtors and Creditors of an estate must be published forty days. Notice that application will be made to the Court of Ordinary for leave to sell Land and Ne groes, must be published weekly for four months. (CjF’ All Letters 'on business must be dost paid to insure attention. ' jHfoxiKT* From th e Southern Literary Mrs ten <>rr. BALLAD, nr e. r jc. The ring is on iny hand, And the wreath is on my brow— Satins and jewels grand, And many a rood of land, Are all at my command. And I am liappy now ! He has loved me long anti well, And, when he breathed hi» vow, I felt iny bosom swell, For—the words were his who fail In the battle down the dell, And who is happy now ! And h" spoke to re-as-uro m*. And lie kissed my pallid brow— Hut a reverie came o’er me. And to the church-yard 1 o rne, And I sighed to him before me, O, I am happy i.ow *” And thus they said I plighted An irrevocable vow— And my friends are all delighted That his love I have requited— And my mind is much benighted If I am not happy now ! Lo! the ring is on my hand, And th" wreath is on my brow— Satins arid jewels grand. And many a rood of land. Am all at my command. An ! I must be happy now! I have spoken—l have spoken— They have registered the vow— And though my faith be broken. And though my heart be broken, Behold the golden token That proves me happy now ! Would God I could awaken ! For I dream—l know not how ! And my soul is sorely shaken, Lest an evil step be taken. And the dead who is forsaken May not be happy now ! From the Philadelphia Visitor. THE FRIAR’S TALE. In several convents situated among the rr.oun tains which divided Franee and Italy, a custom prevails that does honour to human nature: in these sequestered cloisters, which are often placed in the most uninhabited parts of the Alps, stran gers and travellers are not only hospitably enter tained, but a breed of dogs are trained to go in search of wanderers, and are every morning sent from the convents with an apparatus fastened to their collars, containing some refreshment, and a direction to travelers to follow the sagacious ani mal : many lives are by this means preserved in this wild romantic country. During mv last visit to the south of France, I made a trip into this moun tainous region, and at the convent of . where I was at first induced to prolong my stay by the majestic scenery of its Environs; as that become familiar, I was still more forcibly detained by the amiable manners of the reverend Father, who was at that time Superior of that monastery ; from him I received the following pathetic narrative, which I shall deliver, as nearly as I can recollect, in his own words. About two years ago. (said the venerable old man) I was then in the 57th year of my age, and second ot my priority over tnis house, a most sin gular event happened through the sagacity of one <o( these dogs, to which, I became mvself a wit ness. Not more than adoz.cn leagues front hence •here lived a wealthy gentleman, the father of Matilda, who was his only child, and whose his tory lam going to relate. In the same village lived also Albert, a youth possessed of all ihe world deems excellent in man, except one single article, which was the only object of regard in the eyes of Matilda's father. Albert with a graceful person, cultivated mind, elegance of man ners, and captivating sweetness of disposition, was poor in fortune; and Matilda's father wn« blind to every other consideration; blind to his daughter’s teal happiness, and a stranger to the soul-delight ing sensation, of raising worth and genius, de pressed by poverty, to affluence and indepen dence. 1 hereton* on Matilda's confession of un alterable attachment to her beloved Albert, the cruel lather resolved to take advantage of the power which the laws here give a man, to dispose both of his daughter and of his wealth at pleas ure ; the latter he resolved to bequeath to his nephew Conrad, and Matilda was sent to a neigh bouring convent; where, after a year’s probation, she was to be compelled to renounce both Albert and the world. Conrad, whose artful insinuations had long worked on the mind of this misguided father, was not content with having thus separated these lov ers, but by inciting persecution from the petty creditors ot Albert, drove him from his home ; and, alter many fruitless endeavours to communi cate with his "lost mistress, he lied for sanctuary to this convent. Here (said the hoary muuli) I became acquainted w ith the virtues of that excel lent young man, for he was our guest about ten months. In all h s time Matilda passed her days in wretchedness and persecution; the abbess of her convent, Sister Theresa, who, to the disgrace of her profession and our holy church, disguised the disposition of a devil in the garment of a saint; became the friend and minister of Conrad's wicked purposes, and never ceased to persecute Matilda by false reports concerning Albert, urging her to turn her thought from him to that heavenly spouse to whom she was about to make and ev erlasting vow. Matilda scorned her artifice, and iove for Albert resisted every ellirut of the abbess to shake,her confidence in his fidelity. She was in the last week of her noviciate, when her father became cbu>vN'coUsly ill, and de sire.l on-e mme to see her. Conrad used every endeavour to prevent it, hut in vain: she was sent for; and the interview was only in the presence of Conrad and the nurse; but when the dying father perceived the altered countenance of his once beloved child, Isis heart condemned him, he reflected that the wealth which he was going to quit for ever, belonged to her, and not to Conrad, and he resolved to expiate his cruelty by cancel ling the will, and consenting to the union of Al bert and Matilda. Having made a solemn dec laration of his purpose, he called for the will; th"n taking Matilda’s hand in one of his, aud pre -1 seating the fatal writing with the other, he said, “Forgive thy father! destroy this paper, and be happy: so be my sins forgiven in heaven!” The joy of his heart at this first effort of benevolence, was too much for his exhausted spirits, and he expired as he uttered the last words, letting fall the will, which he was going to deliver. Matilda’s gentle sou! was torn with contending passions, she had lost her father at the moment w neit he had bestowed fresh life; and in the con flict betwixt joy and grief, she sunk on the life less corps, in an agony of gratitude and filial ten derness. Meanwhile Cmead did not slip this oppor tunity to complete his plan, which, by the dying words of his uncle had been defeated; he secured the will, and corrupted th" nurse by promises and bribes, never to reveal what she witnessed; halt pursuading the interested clouting old woman, that it was only the effect of delerium in the deceased. This iriea was but too well supported by the first question of Matilda, who exclaimed as she came to herself; “Where am I sure ’tis a dream! iny father could not say I should be happy, he could not bid m: tear that fatal will ? Speak !am I really awake, or does my fancy mock me with such sounds ?" The artful Conrad assured her that her father had only mentioned Albert’s name to curse hint; and, with his last breath comman ding her to take the veil at the expiration of the week. All this the perjured nurse confirmed; and then Matilda, being perfectly recovered, first saw the horrors of her situation. It was in vain for her to deny what they asserted, or remon strate against their combiueJ perfidy. She was presently, by force, again conveyed to her nun nery, in a state of minil much easier to imagine than describe. Here she felt more violently than ever There sa’s persecution, who urged with increased vehe mence, the pretended positive commands of her dying father; ami by the advice of Conrad, used severities of conventional discipline, w hich almost robbed the devoted victim of her reason: still pleading that Religion justified her conduct.— Can it be wondered, that such cruel treatment should at length disturb th t piety and faith of poor Matilda? and induce her to exclaim, with presumptuous bitterness, against the holy institutions of our church, and brand the sacred ordinancer of c ur religion with unjust suspicions. ‘Why! (said she) why are these massy grates permitted to exist, why are these naked walls sad prisons of innocence and youth, where fraud and cruelty have power to torture and coniine the helpless? Religion is the plea; Religion which should bring peace, and not affliction to its vota ries; then surely that religion which justifies these gloomy dungeons must be false, and I will adjure it; yes! I will fly to happier regions where prisons are allotted only to the guilty; there no false vows to heaven are exacted but Al bert and Matilda may v**t be happy.” The pos sibility of an escape had never before presented itself, and indeed, it could never have occurred but to one whose reasons disordered, for she well knew that the doors w ere secured by many bars and looks, and that the keys were always deposi ted beneath the pillow of the Abbess. Her imagination was now too much heated to attend to any obstacles, and wish a mixture of for sight inspired by insanity, she packed up all her little ornaments of value, carelesly drew on her cloaths and put in her pocket some bread and provision which had been laid in her cell; then wrapping round her elegant form one of the blan kets from the bed, she iighted a taper, and fear lessly walked tow ards the cloister door, idly ex pecting that it would fly open of its own accord, to innocence like lu re—and now methinks I see her, w ith hair dishevelled, face pale and wan, hrr | large black eyes wildly staring, and the whole of FLORENCE, GA. MONDAY, APRIL 2, 1838. her ghastly figure, lighted by the feeble glimmer ot her taper, majestically stalking through the gloomy vaulted hall ; arrived at the great door, she found it partly open, and scarce believing w hat she saw, she quickly glided through it; but, as she passed, an iron bar which she had not ob served, and which projected at the height of her forehead, slightly grazed her temple; and though she scarcely felt the wound, yet it added new hor rors to her look, by covering her ghost-like face with streaks of blood. Although Matilda had never considered the im probability of passing this door, she now reflec ted with wonder how she had passed it, and fear of a discovery began to operate, as she with more cautious steps moved silently through the clois ter towards the outer gate; which when she ap proached, she heard Therca’s voice whispering these words: “Adieu, dear Conrad; but remem ber that your life, as well as mine, depend on the secrecy of our conductthen tenderly embra cing each other, a man ran swiftly from her, and the Abbess turning round, stood motionless with horror at the bloody spectre firmly approaching. Tha guilty mind of Theresa could only sup pose the horrid vision to be the departed spirit of one whom she thought her cruelties had murder ed ; and while the panic seized her whole frame a gust of wind from the gate, extinguishing the taper, Matilda seeim'd to vanish, as she resolute ly pushed through the postern door still open. Theresa was too well hackneyed in the ways of vice, to let fear long take possession of prudence: the night was dark, and it wotdd have been in win pursue the phantom, if k«r recovering courage had suggested it; she therefore resolved to fasten both the doors, and return in silence to her own apartment, w aiting in all the perturbation of anxiety and guilt, till morning should explain this dreadful mystery. Meanwhile Matilda, ennscious in her innocence and rejoicing in her escape, pursued a wandering course through the unfrequnted paths of this mountainous district, during three, w hole days and nights; partly supporting her fatigue by the pro visions she had taken w ith her, but more from a degree of insanity, which gave her powers beyond her natural strength; yet, in her distracted mind, this last instance of Theresa’s wickedness, had excited a disgust and loathing, bordering on fury against every Religious or Monastic institution. During the whole twelve months of Matilda’s noviciate, no intercourse of any kind hid passed betwixt her and Albert, who continued under the protection of this house, alike ignorant of her father’s death, and of all the other transactions which I have now rebated; yet know ing that the term of her probation was about to expire, he re solved once more to attempt some means of gain ing admittance to her convent. With this view he made a journey thither in the disguise of a peasant; and, on the very morning in which his mistress had escaped, he presented himself at the gate. C’onrad, who had by letter from the Abbess been informed that her prisoner was fled, was de sired to conic immediately, and devise some ex cuse to the sisters for what had happened; for al though both to Conrad and Theresa the fact was evident enough yet the sister nuns were distrac ted in conjectures; till, by one of those artful stretches of assurance, which consunmto villany finds it easy to exert, Conrad recommended a plausible story; —And now Religion (that con stant comfort of the good, and powerful weapon of the wicked) presented itself, as the only re source in this emergency. Theresa was taught to say (for the present,) that she had no doubt the sinful reluctance of Matilda to receive the veil had excited the wrath of Heaven; and that she was mimculosly snatched away, or perhaps anni hilated, to prevent the dreadful profanation of the holy ceremony at which she must that day have assisted. This plan had been settled, and Conrad, was going with all haste in pursuit of the fugitive, when, at the outer gate, he met the pretended peasant.—The penetrating eye, either of Love or Hatred, soon discovers a friend or enemy, how ever carefully disguised. Conrad and Albert knew each other.— Instantly the flames of hatred, jeal ousy and fury, kindled in their bosoms; and Con rad seizing Albert by the throat, exclaimed, “I’ve catlght “the villain, the sacrilegious “ravisher!” —A severe struggle ensued, in which Conrad drew his sword; but Albert (who had no weapon) dextrously wrenched the instrument from the hand of Conrad, and plunged it in his bosom— The villain fell; while Albert fled w ith the ut most precipitation from the bloody scene, and re turned in the evening to this convent. How shall I describe (said the good old Monk) the contrast betwixt the looks of our unhappy youth at this moment, and on the proceeding morning when he left us!— I Then iuuoccnce faint ly enlightened by a gleam of hope, smiled in his features, as lie cheerfully bid us adieu, and said “perhaps I may again hear tidings of Matilda, should the will of Heaven deny me happiness with her, I will cotne back resigned, and dedicate, my future life to holy meditation void of guilt.” But now, he returned breathless and pale, his hands be smeared with blood, his limbs trembling ; he could only utter, in faultering words, Save nte, reverend Fathers save me from justice, from myself, if pos sible! Behold a murderer!” ‘Some hours elasped before we could collect from him, the circumstances of a crime, which had produced this extreme degree of horror aud compunction in mind so virtuous and iunocent as that of Albert; and, having heard the whole, in which he took all the blame to his own hasty con duct, we promised him protection; and endeav oured, though »n vain, for two whole days to speak comfort to his troubled mind, and to inspire con fidence in the boundless mercy of his God. On the third day we were diverted from this arduous task, by the return and behaviour of one of our dogs; the poor animal, who had been out all day, was restless,and shewed evident marks of a desire that we should accompany him to the relief of some poor wretch, who was unable to reach our eonvent. *Faorcf Jerome and 1 resolved to follow him; and we proceeded about half a mile when we turn ed from the beaten track guided by our dog, to a retired glen where human feet had hardlv ever trod bclore.—Here, on a rock, which projected over a dreadful precipice, sat an unhappy half dis tracted object; 1 need not tell you, it was Matilda. She had crept with wondrous difficulty up a sleep ascent to a ledge of rock which overhung a fear tul chasm (the very recollection of the place free ze* my blood !) when we first discovered her. she was eagerly clinging to a branch of yew which grew from a fissure in the rock above, and which shaded her melancholy figure. * r l he dog followed her steps; but Jerome and I, unable to ascend a path so dangerous, stood unob served by her, at a little distnucc on the opposite side the glen. ‘Y\ hen Matilda first perceived the dog, she look ed with wildness round her; then fixing her eyes with tenderness on the animal she said, “Are you returned to me again ? and are you now my friend Fie fie upon it! Shall even dogs seduce the help less ! —Perhaps you repent of what you have done, You look piteously. Alas! Matilda can forgive you !—Poor brute you know 1 followed you for ever, but that you lrd tne to a detested convent Thither Matilda will not go—Why should you lead tne to a prison ? a dog cannot plead Religion in excuse for treachery!” She paused, then taking a rosay of pearls from her side, she fantastically wound it about the dog’s neck saying, “I have a boon to?sk, and thus I bribe you, these pre cious beads are yours : now guide tne to the top of this high mountain, that 1 may look about me, and see all the world.—" Then I shall know whether my Albert still be living—Ah, no! it cannot he! for then Matilda would be happy! and that can nev er be!” She then burst into a flood of tears, which seemed to give her some relief. ‘When I thought she was sufficiently composed, Jerome and I discovered ourselves. On this she shrieked, and litd her face; but calling to her I said “Albert is still alive.” fc-hr looked at us, till by de gress she wildly examined us from head to foot; then turning to the dog, she si i/.ed hint by the throat and would have dashed him down the' pre cipice, saying, Ah, traitor! is it thus thou hast be trayed me?”—But the animal struggled and got from her. She then firmly looked at us, and cried, “Here lam safe, deceitful monsters! safe from the tyranny of your religious persecution; for if you approach one single step, I plunge into the yaw ning gulph, and so escape your power.—Ha! ha! ha !”—Then recovering from a frantic laugh, she said, “Yet tell me, did you not say that Albert still lives ? Oil! that such words had cotne from any lips but those of a false monk! 1 know your arts; with you such falsehoods arc religious frauds; this ia a pious lie, to ensnare a poor helpless linnet to its cage: but 1 tell you cunning priests! here 1 defy you ; nor will 1 everquitthis rock, till A lbert’s voice assures me I may do it safely.” “You will easily imagine (continued the monk) the situation of Jercru* and myself. Ignorant of the manner in which Matilda had escaped, we could only know by her actions that it was she herself, and that her senses was impaired; per plexed how to entice her from this perilous retreat, and knowing that one false step would dash her headlong down the dreadful chasm that parted us, at length I said, “Gentle maid, be comforted; Al bert and Matilda may yet be happy.” Then leav ing Jerome concealed among the bushes to watch the poor lunatic, 1 hastened to the convent, to re late what I had seen. “Meanwhile, Matilda looking with vacant stare around her, from time to time repeated my words.” Albert and Matilda may yet be happy;” then paus ing she seem’d delighted with the sound re-echoed from the rocks, again reprating, “Albert and Matil da may yet be happy ;” still varying the modulation of her voice, cs joy, grief, doubt, despair or hope alternately prevailed in her disordered mind.” I w ill not long detain you (resumed the Rever end Friar) with the effect my narrative had on the dejected Albert, how he at first exclaimed, “Can there be comfort for a guilty wretch like Albert?” and eagerly ran towards the place: then moved more calmly on iny representing how fatal might be asurprt.se to one in so dangerous a situation; and at length shrinking back, as he approached the spot and turning to me, he said, “Father, I will go no further! Heaven has ordained as a punishment for the murder I have committed, that I should become a witness to the shocking death of the poor lost Matilda; at iny approach, in frantic exta sy she will quit her hold, and perish before nty sight.” I urged Him to proceed but it was in vain, he sit down on a bank,and was silently wrapt in an agony of irresolution, when he heard, at a little dis tance,the well known voice of the poor lunantic, still repeating my words; “Albert and Matilda may yet be happy. Roused by the sound, he started up, and cautiously advancing he exclaimed; just Heaven ! fulfil those words, and let them indeed, be happy! “Matildaknew the voice,and carefully treading a path, which would have seemed impracticable to one possesed of reason, she descended from the ledge on which she sat, and approached with cau tious steps; but at the sight of Albert, she flew impetuously forward, till seeing me, she as sud denly ran back, and w ould have again retreated to the rock, shrieking, “It is all illusion! priestcraft! it is not real Albert, and I am betrayed.” We pursued, and caught her; then finding my reli gious garb augmented th* disorder of her mind. I withdrew, leaving only Albert to calm her need less fears. “But no persuasion, even from him, could in duce her to come within view of the convent gates; I provided, therefore, accommodations for her in the cottage of a labourer, at some little distance; where for many days, her delirium continued, while a fever threatened a speedy dissolution. During this period, Albert was labouring under all the anxiety which his situation could inspire; the deed be had committed sat heavy on his soul, and he dared not hope for an event, which his own truilty thoughts reproached him with having not deser ved. “At length the crisis of the fever shewed signs of a recovery, and now his joy was without bounds, even the blood of Conrad scented a venial crime, VoL. I. No. I and he triumphed in the anticipation of reward for all he had suffered ; but this happiness was of short duration, for at that time I received a letter from the Abbess Theresa, demanding back the fu gitive, whose retreat she had discovered. This re quisition I knew I must obey; and giving the letter to Albert, I was going to explain the necessity of my compliance, when he burst out in bitter exe crations against this and all religious houses; cur sing their establishment as a violation of the first law ot nature which demands an intercourse be twixt the sexes. “Having heard, with a mixture of patience, pity and resentment, all that his rage or disappoint ment could suggest, I answered nearly in these words, beginning calmly, but by degress assuming all the authority the case required: “My son, blame not the pious institutions of our holy church sanc tified by the observance of many ages; nor impi ously arraign the mysterious decreess of Provi dence, which often produces good from cviL This sacred edifice has been consecrated, like many others, by our pious ancestors, for purposes hon - ourable to Heaven, and useful to mankind; these hospitable doors are ever open to distress; and tin chief object of our care is to discover and relievo it.. 1 his holy mansion has long been an asylum a ■ gainst the oppression of human laws, which drove thee from thy home; and, but a few days since, thou thyself blessed an institution which saved the wretched Matilda, perishing with madness. Nay, at this very moment, its mercy shelters frotn the hand of justice, a murderer! yet tliy presumption dares deny its general use, front thine own sense of partial inconvenience, and execrates monastic in stitution of the sexes, lewdness and sensuality are checked: but know, short sighted youth, that the world will not remain unpeopled, because a few of its members consecrate their lives tu holy medita tion; nor shall the human species become extinct, because Albert and Matilda cannot be united ti» propagate a race of infidels and murderers.” 1 stopped, for I perceived the gentle Albert was touched with my rebuke; and falling oa his knees, he cried in the j atlietic words of scripture, “Fa ther! 1 have sinned against Heaven, and in thv sight." “It is enough, nty son, I replied,) anil now I will compassionate your situation; I will do no more for though I cannot detain Matilda longer than till she is well enough to be removed; yet in that time (if Heaven approve my endeavours) i may contribute to your happiness, by intt rcedeing with her father, and should I fail in the attempt, this roof, which thy hasty passion has profaned, shall yet be a refuge to raise thy thoughts above rh<» trifling disappointments of a transitory world.” “I could not wait the reply of Albert, (said tbr» Prior) being at this time called cut to welcome the arrival of a stranger, who they said w as dangerous ly ill; this proved to be no other than the wounded Conrad. lie, in few worrit, explained the motive of his visit, telling tne that immediately after the. recountor, dreading that awful presence tn which no secret is concealed, and to w hich he apprehen ded lit was summoned by hit own sword in the in jured hand of Albert, he hadvov.d (if heaven would grant him life) to ripuirtke he lad committed. He had already executed a deed, re signing all the fortune cf her father in favour of Matilda; he had declared his guilty commerce with Theresa, that lie might repent, or suffer pun ishment; he had paid all the t dcbts of Albert, ant! justified his character to the*world; and, finally, he had resolved to implore the prayers of myself, and the venerable fathers of this house, to mak» him worthy of becoming one of o-ut holy order; that if he lived, he inighfbc useful; or if he died, he might be happy.” “The prior then concluded this interesting nar rative, by saying, that Albert and Matilda were uni ted, and are still blessed In each other’s virtues, improved by difficulties thus surmounted; that. Theresa had too far profaned the laws of Heaven to have any confidence in religion, and died by hes own hands; but that Conrad recovered slowly from his wound, and, after living many years an honour to the order he professed, he' died in peace : the faithful dog (lie said) was the favour ite companion of Albert and Matilda, who had lost their way, but whom he now brought to the hospital mansion of this virtuous pair. “He then briefly hinted arguments in favour of monastic institutions; yet liberally allowing that the religion of his country might in certain pointa be wrong, and knowingjne to be a Protestant, I suppose lie acknowledged more than 1 rutrht in justice to his candor to relate. For this I have pur posely suppressed the name and situation of his eonvent; but 1 shall ever remember these words, with which he finished this discourse: “True. Religion (said he) however it may vary to -outward ceremonies, or articles of faith, will always teach you to do good, to love and help each other; it will teach you, that no sin however secret can long remain concealed; and that when the world and all its vanities have palled the sated appetite you must seek refuge in conscious innocence, or a sincere repentance. Then no matter whether you choose a convent for retirement, or commune with your owu heart upon your bed, and be still.” BOOKS. There arc several capital mistakes in regard to books:—First, some persons, tliiriUgh their own indolence, and others, front a sincere belief in the vanity of human science, read no book but the Bible. But these men do not consider, on the same principle their ought to be no sermons. Then, there are others, who purchase large li braries, w ith the sincere design of reading all the books; a very large library is but a learned luxu ry. Nations may sometimes become celebrated by such accumulations—but the individual is like ly to be overwhelmed with the vastness of his stores. Book collecting and book reading are two very different things.— Visiter^ An Irishmen w ent into a store and asked for c pair of gloves; he was told that the kind he wan ted would come to one dollar and twenty-live cents—“Och, by my sow!, thin,” says he, “Pij sooner my hands ’d go barefoot all tire days of my life, than give ye that for 'em.”