Carlisle herald. (Carlisle, Pa.) 1845-1881, December 06, 1861, Image 1

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A . K. KffitEE3l, proprietor:
Wm: 31: PORTER,' Editor:
VOL. 62.
The lamps are lighted, the streets are full,
For, coming and going, like the WHVO 4 of the sea ;
Thousands are out this beautiful night;
They jostle each other, but shriek front me!
Men hurry by with a stealthy glance,
Women pass with their oyes .cast, down;
liven the children seems to ISIIONV
The shameless girl of the town
Mated and shunned I walk tho street,
Iluntiug—for what? For my prey, !tie sold;
I look at it though in a different light,
For this mighty Shaine is my . tially breadl
My boi, my shelter; tho clothes I - wear!
Only for this I might starve or drown;
The world has disowned me, what can I do
But live and die on the town 7
The warldis cruel. - . lt may be
To crush the has let; but grant it so,
What made her the guilty thing she is?
For she was Ihnocent once you know. :
'Twas love: that terrible word tel tells all I
She loved e man, and blindly believed
Ws vows, lily kisses, his crocodile tears;
Of course the fool was deceived!
Whit h .d Lt,ri gain by a moment's stn,
To weigh in the scale with my innocent years,
lily worn inly shame, my ruined name,
My father's curses. my mother's tears?
The fore of manl Tt 'Was 130115- lit itr,i• u,
Was It worth itl The price its a soul paid pain;
Did 1 got eta Foul in exclMoge? -
Bulmld me hero on the town I
n.Y , ur gul . t was heavy:" the wot ld will nay,
"And heavy, heavy iour doom mutt be;
Fur to pit), and pardon woutao's fall
Is to set no value on chastity!
You un :ervalue the vlrgn's crown,
The spotless honor that mites her dear."
But 1 ought, to knew what the bauble Is worth,
D. When the logs of It brlnii the lieie f'
But pity and pardon! Who are you, '
'Cu talk of pardon, pity to me?
What I risk Isjustice, justice. sir!
Lot both be punished, or both go free.
If It be in woman a shameful thing,
sr hat is It In man, now? Coin-. ho just;
Iteuirubtr, slur falls through hor-lovo for him,
Ha through his selfish lust:
Tell me what is done to the wretch
Who lcinpts 4 tind riots in W 01111 1 .1 1 .8 fall?
Nis father car'ses cud casts him ell?
His Meals forsake?, Ifs is:scorned of all?
Not he—his judges are man like himself;
Or thoughtless women who humor their whim:
" Youug hitssi"—.. Wild eats"—.. Better hush it up?
They soon forget it—in !
Even as mother, who ought to know
The woman nature, mad bow It is won,
Fru meta thousand excuses for him,
Because, forsooth, the mon is her sou!
You have daughters, madam, Ow told me se)
Fair, In omen t daughters- - Woman what Chop!"
Some mother may have a sun Alto ) ours—
DM thorn beware or 113011!
IBA sr his coach in the street te_da-y, •
Dashing along on the Xlde,
With a liveried driverMo the boa;
lolling hack in her listless pride,
Thu wife o his bosom took the air :
She was bouxht in the mart where hearts are sold;
I gave myself away for his Ito
She sold herself fur his gold!
Ho lives, the) say, in a prin,ly way.
Fhaterol and rel,ted thle dark eight
Sumo devil lea mu to pass his how, t
1 saw the svititiost, u blaze of light;
The music whirled lo u inudthulittg naiad,
1 11,11,1 the fall of dancers' Is,•t.
Bitter, lattur, thu [bought,' 1 hod,
6t....ditig there in thu atroot
Bark to my gaudy don I went,
Marked to my molt in grlia drspalo,
Pried my oyes, painted my choolts,
And Used a Hower or two in my hair
Cakrkx Were pupping, wino ves lira i ng,
I seized a beeper and tweed it doe n ;
One must do aqmotAling to, :ill I the time,
And lit unu'soelf fur the town
I meet his boy in the park eometimes,
And my heart roue over towards the child;
A frank little fellow, with fearless eyes,
lie smiles et mu as his father smiled!
I hate the wau, but I love the boy,
Fur I think vihat my own had hu lived would be;
Pere It is he come Lack from the deed •
To fialler, alas I not Inc 1
But I stand too long In the shadow hero,
Let me out Ins the light - again;
Now for Insult, blows perhaps,
And, Utterer still, my own disdain I
1 take my place in the crowd of men,
Nut like the simple womou l bee;
you may cheat them, man, as mochas you pions°,
You wear no masks with me!
Kuo w yet Roder your honeyed wOrde
Tharp lurks it serpont ; your oaths are lies;
Thoru's a lustful fire in your hungry hearts—
I 800 it Iheming up in your eyes I
Cling to thorn, I:ldles t and shrink from me,
Or roll at lily boldnoss—well, hove you done?
, 111adonu, your husband knows me wall I
Mother, I know your son! •
But go your ways, and go mine;
Call me opprobrious names if you will;
Ms truth is bitter—think I have lied;
•• .1 harlot ?" Yes—buts li . untan still I
Gul said avid to a woman like Gee r
"Go: Bin uo moral" or your ISMloa 110;
But you, you mangle hls mordful words
To—"Go and aln till you die!"
Dio I tho'word hes nploasant sound,
Tho toreotuct vu hoard thin , ninny a year;
It teem!' to Promise no out to pain,
Anyway lt,wlkl end It—lno
Suppose I.tbroteanyeelf In the street
Before the horses a, old trample rue down,
Some would.befriundtnight snatch
And thrust we beck of the town!
But Molt, the rived From whore I stand
I see It, I almost hear It flow;
.Down on the dark and lonely pier-,
It ishut a stop—l can and my woe I
plungo asplash, and all will bo der, _
'ho doathshinelt waters will drag me down
'boa Ituoive whore I But no mutton whore,
So I am oil ilia toWn I
"'- - For some Which it does not eon
cern its now to investigate, Kentucky; un
der tho' dominion of the White, man, has
continued, to - justify its — mitife :'Homo" of
' 4 , 1 Dark and Bloody Ground," in' bciiig the
soone_of_ a retnarkithle; inunber of trage,l
dies in
.Orto ei,these, less knorpin to . the puYlie
in later limes ) . wo thinlCtranseends, all
the Others' in boldness of coneeption,.,re-'.
gularity, of 'plot, - variety of, passion , and
-character displayed, and:horror and pathos
of cattietrophe. It might"havelOnislied
a - worthy subject - to the - pen — of: - Bophooles - 7
,S hakspeare p one - that.. they .would
. have
found; ayeadieast into a highly drama - tie,
reqUiring•on)y;Atting - wurds to:.eon
rey Cad plisgions of the actorS. Littleinr , ••
Dl Y :'top p pi , ,; lel e//' I !1 , 11.17 .- ;'w/l!ai
have been needed, for neither could bo
imagined more intensely interesting; nor
could the most finished artist have.con
structed a plot more coherpnt in all its
details, or more strictly in accordance
with-the- rules- of composition,—even •to
the preservation of the ,Aristotelian uni
ties of time and place. So perfeot, in
deed, does it seem, that, were it.not sub-
staiitiated in every point by the records
of a judicial 'tribunal, it might well be
taken for the invention of some master of
human nature and the dramatic art.
Captain Cyril Wilde, the hero, orja
ther, the victim, •of the events we are
about to narrate; was one of those perfect--
ly hippy men whom every one.has learn
ed to regard-as-favorites-of -Fortune, and
on whom no one ever expects disaster to
fall, simply because it never has done so.
_descended, at a period -when good
birth was a positive honor-in-itself,-and
connected, either by affinity or friendship,
with the best society in Keptucky, he
held, by hereditary right, a high position
anion that old aristocracy which then:
and for a long time afterward stoutly inairr
tained its own against the encroaching
spirit of democratic equality, and whose
members Still kept in 'mind - Many or the
traditions, honored in their own persons
the dignity, and strove_to 'preserVe in
t ar households somewhat of the man
ners, of the Cavaliers of the Old Domin
ion. Nor was -wealth wanting to complete
his happiness,—at-least, such wealth as
was needed by one of his simple tastes
and unostentatious habits. lie was rich
beyond his disposition to spend, but not
beyond his capacity to enjoy,—a capacity
multiplied by as
,many times as he had
.friends to stimulate it;,-._--sutritner friends,: -
alas ! too many of them proved to be.—
His character was without reproach; his
disposition easy and genial his mind of
that happy middle order which always
commands respect, while it feels none of
the restless ambition' and impotent long
ing for public recognition that usually at
tend the possession of superior abilities.
Such was the position of Captain Wilde,
and such was 'the character he bore dur
ing the first thirty-eight years of his life. -;-
Not many have known a more lengthened
prosperity,—and few, very few, a more
sudden -and terrible reverse. --Fditune,
like a fond mistress, had lavished hei
gifts on him . without stint,—bnt,like
jealous one, seemed resolved that he should
owe.everything to her'gratuitous bounty,
and the moment he sought to win an ob
ject of desire by MS Own exertions turned
her face away forever, perSecuting her
former favorite thenceforth with vindic
tive malice. Continuing to yield, for
tiliaeoVith implamucy::ss . ..very:77 - 3
boon he sought, she treacheronsly con
cealed therein the germs of all his woes.
In the -year 17—Captain Wilde was
persuaded to better his already happy
condition by marriage. The lady he
chose, or suffered to Le chosen for him,
was a Miss Id , a scion of one of those
extensive-families, not now so common as
formerly, which by repeated intermarriage
and always settling together develope
spirit of clanship, so exclusive as to make'';
them almost incapable of any feeling of
interest outside of their own name and
connection, and render them liable to re
gard person of different blood, who may
happen to intermarry among them, as an
intruder. In some parts of the Union
these clans may still be found -flourishing
in considerable purity and vigor,—the
name sometimes prevailing over a district
of many- miles,—a fact which an obser-
vant traveller would surmise from a cer-
tain prevailing cast of form and feature.
It was with a family of this kind that
Captain Wilde was, in an evil hour, indu-
eed to ally himself,—a step which soon
proved to be the rst in a long career of
misfortune.- The lady possessed that worst
of all tempers, a quick and irritable, but
at the same time- bard and unforgiving
one. And she soon showed, that, in her
estimation, the feelings and interests of
her husband were as nothing in compari
son with those of her family, and that, in
any variance, she would leave the former
and cleave to the latter. Such variances
Irere ' unfortunately, almost inevitable; for
the family of Mrs. \\Tilde differed both in
politics and religion froM her husband,—
a fact, it may here be remarked, which
had no small influence on his subsequent
flue,—and the narrow, bigoted exclusive-
ness of the wife-was utterly incompatible
with the free and open-hearted fellowship
with which the husband' received his ac-
quaintances, of whatever sect or party.—
In a very few months, therefore, it . begati
to be whispered abroad that the ,hitherto
happy and joyous bachelor's•hall had be-
,come a scene of constant«bickerings tmd
• •
• But mere incongruity of tempers and
habits was not, as was supposed by their
neighbors, the only'source of domestic
discord. This might in thnehave entire
ly :disappeared;_ he_d_cOnjugal confidence
only been allowed its natural growth, all
might have been passably welt in the end,
in spite.of such serious drawbacks;. for,
from the necessity of his nature, the hus.
band would in time have . become com-
pletely subservient to the sterner spirit of'
his wife, which, in t urn, might hare been
mollified in Siiiii . o . diiffree amid thepeace
ful 'duties of borne; a state of, thinS that
hiiwaisted:in - inany fainiliesOshichliari47-7
neiiertheless, .enjoyed a fair Aare of do-, -
inestic happiness in spite of' this inversion
of the natural relations of their heads
I.3ut ,Mrs. Wilde had" brought into her
Jiusband's house that deadlielit foe of, do-
inestio peaoe, an . elderly, ill tempered,
suspicious female relative, serving in the
capaeity.of , confidante, : 'This .-curse-was
- embodied -- irut lie - person — orron
sioter,_who liapp.ened'te.bo_:noither MOO;
orzividow, and; hi - Ving once effect-
cd an entrance-under the pretence of as --
sigting to orange the disordered. liouse-
hold affairs, easily contrive"
.to render her
pOsition, a permanent one. - So soon' as
this- was-achievedi- sbeappears to , have
begun litr hateful work of sowing disiord
between thq new-married pair. Raving
shace*blighted her ii*iishoppiqf hap-
pi t i essi seemed 'tp find no consolation
at, PERIM,
not--that she -had no love for her sister;
on the contrary, her loVe. such-as-it Was,
was . really strong. and lasting; andiii!her
fierce grief for that sister's death she met
a- punishment almost equal to her deserts.
Nor was it long before she provided-her
self with a most effectual means of accom
plishing her malicious, object, of, inflarn
ine,•the troubleir of the household into
which she had intruded, herself. This
was the'Aisebvery, real or pretended, of - a
former illicit connection between her
brother-in-law and a pretty and .intelli
gent Mulatto girl, about eighteen or-niner
teen years of age, who was-still retained
. in._ the familyin_. the-- capacity-of-house-'
- _once • struck - ..thiS jarriog
chord, she continued to plug upon-it with
diabolibil skill. - -To' those who Watched
_ the course of her Unholy labors the ener
gy and ingenuity with which.this wretch
ed--woman-wrought at 'her task and the
completeness of her success,. would have
seemed a subject of admiration, if the re
sult' had not been so deplorable_ cis to
merge ail other emotions in indignant de•
So thoroughly had her design been ac
complished in the, course of a single year,
the birth - of as sweet a - child as ever
smiled upon fond parents, instead of ser
vingas a,point of union between Captain"
Wilde and his wife, only increased their
estrangement by furnishinr , another sub
ject or centention, Alas I the peace of
Eden was not more utterly destroyed by
the treacherous wiles of the serpent than
that of this ill-starred household by the
whispers of this serpent in woman's shape.
Under her continual exasperations, Mrs.
Wilde's temper, naturally harsh, became
ht I outrageous and unbridled_as to
render her unfortunate husband's life one
long course of humiliation and misery.—
Far from taking any pains to hide their
discords from the world, she seemed to
court observation by seizing every-oppor
tunity of inflicting mortification upon him
in public, reckless of the reflectiona such
improprietiel might bring upon herself.
- But why, it May be asked, did not thith
parties - seek a separation, when affairs-had
_cached such a state as this ? First, be
cause. Captain Wilde, though advised
thereto, naturally shrank from the scan;
dal such a step always 000asioes; and, on
the other Side; -because his wife was gift
ecLiyith- one of - those intolerable tampers
that make some women cling to a partner
they. hate with a jealous tenacity which
love could scarcely inspire,ssimply for the
reason that a separation would put an end
to their power, so dearly prized, of inflict
ing, pain; 7 -for hatred has its jealoux as
well as - love,
women in causing; thedeepest mortifica
tieu to the unfortunate gentleman, when
ever Fate and his own weakness gave
them the power, we will notice one in
stance, on account of the important influ
ence it. had bringing about the dertoue-
iiunt of this domestic tragedy.
According to the kindly custom of that
time, Captain Wilde had on one occasion
requested the assistance of some of his
neighbors in treading out his grain; and
' the party had set to work at dawn, in or
der to avail themselves of the coolerper
tion of the day. After waiting with long
ing ears for the sound of the breakfast
horn, they finally at a late hour, repaired
to the house, uncalled. Here the host,
supposing all to be ready,' led his friends
unceremoniously into the dining-room,
where he was astonished, and not a,little
angered, to find his wife and sister seated
composedly at their meal, which they had
already nearly finished, with only the
three customary plates on the table ; and
no apparent preparation for a larger num
ber. On his beginning to remonstrate in
a rather heated tone, his wife arose, and,
remarking that she had not been used to
eat in company with common laborers,
swept disdainfully from the room, follow
ed by her sister. No more unpardonable
insult could have been offered to Ken
tucky farmers, at the vo.l foundation of
whose social creed lay the principle of
equality, and of whose character an in
tense and jealous Boling of personal dig , .
oily was the most salient feature: for
these men were of independent means,
who had come rather to superintend the
labors of their negroes than tolabor them
selves,—such occasions beitig regarded
only aspleasant opportunities for free and
unrestrained sociability, far more agreea
ble than formal and ceremonious visits
On these occasions, - the host would con
duct his friends over his farm to survey
the condition• of hiscerops, or point out
to their admiration his fine cattle, or cb-
Lain their opinion concerning some con
tempiated improvement; a most admira
ble means of drawing closer the bonds of
neighborly feeling and interest . A more
bitter mortification, therefore, could hard
ly hit - Ve been deViSed for one who always
prided himself on his open-hearted Ken
_tacky hospitality.even to strangers. Just
ly enraged by suorfoolish and MAMA
rudenessihe flung a knife; which he had
idly taken up, violently upon the table;
swear'ng that his, friends should, in his
house, be' treated as gentlemen ; at the
same time calling to the mulatto,,Fanny,,
he bade her prepare breakfast, and added,
in tt• tone. but half suppressed,ArYou are
thii only woman on the place who behaves
- like7a - - lady." Thin- inzpriidenFrefiiii* -
WaS Overheard by,tlie.eyvaoeSeriOsiiiter.t.
the use she - wade . of it . nia'Y be
In this unpleasant state of his domestic
,relations, the character of Captain Wilde
secured to'undergo- an entire, transforma
tion. From being remarkahle for his
love of quiet retirement; he became rest
- less - and - disiirithified - ; - and instead - of latigh.7
inn. as fornierly I at_Pirblio employment
eL, •
only vanity and vexatien, he, now that a
greater vexation'assailedlini in his plum•
pf,t t oSful home; eagerly metight relief, net,
as a yonnger and less virtuous man mi.glit
have done, in disiipation, but in• the dis
tractions• of public - `business: 4arheiri
again his evil fortnne grantrid,to desired
boon • in the'shape pregnant with future
diiaster. The 'hostility of : 14rri Wilde's
whish I had now become deeply ex-,
eitp4l, - ---I:mild,i..(l will' mrn.
• r •
~-,pAipskyi,.- i TA.,: : . FA1,154 - :X. i - ,4? . ,,Q 1
heteradoxy,—forbade - tiny hope,ef.!kttain
ing a place by popular_ choice;: an ,in an
evil, hour his friends sueeeeded
ing him the office of exciseman...T.:::
Now there is no peculiarity, Morctmark
ett•in,all the branches of the Alig4Saion
race than the extreine impatiene,n;Viith
which they submit to any direct i9terfer
ence of the government in the -pri.,,itite'laf
fairs of the citizens; and' no fortshf Stich
interference has • ever beenso , gen - erally
odious - 0 the excise, and, by'consequence,
no officer so generally detet3ted'as tlie ex
ciseman.- This. feeling, MI account:ofttie
very large number of persons• engiked in
distilling,.waz. then-formidably
,StrOng ia
Keatticky;_r n all _the' more-so that thiiform
taxation_mas &favorite measive. i nf , the
exiting Federal Administiliticiti. - Iliose
who ventured to, accept so hateful atioffice
at the hands of so hated a government
were sure to Make themselves, highly-un- .
pop-dar. In time, when the people be
gan' ta learn their own strength.and the
...weakness of .the authorities ' Pleenforee
ment of the law,.:dan,,rrerons, and
at last altogether impossible. Thetwriter
has been told, by a gel - la - email; hOlaing a
re - s - Pa;ible
_po.sition under our : judicial
system, that the na° of his_gratiiiiiither
—the name.
last Kentucky exciseman—to this
day stands charged' the---govdrrimeint
books with thousands 'of &la lars.arrears,
although he was a ina.n.of great, courage
and not 'at all likely to be deterred front
the - discharge of his duty by any ordinary
obstacle. '
Suck was the place sought and obtain
ed- by Vie , unfortunate Wilde as a refuge
from domestic wretchedness. 'Tlie.conse
pence it was easy-to foresee. few
months, he..who.,had_beed„aecustOined to
universal goad-will became art object of as -general dislike; and as people
are apt to attribute all sorts:of evil to one
who has by any means incurred their hos
tility, and are never" satisfied until' they
have blackened the. whole character in
which they have found one offensive qual
ity, the family.difficultios of the'unpopu
lar - official soon beearne a theme of-coin=
mon scandal, all the blame-, of course, be
ing laid upon him. This state of things,
disagreeable in itself, l pro.vod.ritopt unfor
tunate in its influence on his_.subseiinent
fitte; for, had he retained his previous po
pularity in the county, the last deplorable
catastrophe would certainly never, have
happened: since every lawyer knows full
well; that in capital cases especially, ju
ries aro merely the expnnents of 'public
sentiment, and -that the, power of, any
judge to cause the sympathies Of a.corn
inanity to sink into -cajni . indifferenep at
the,railing - of;3fee
,pre-ss-was-rtre,coniti an "t"
arresting the in-rolling waters of the ocean.
This is pecililiarlY true in this country,
where the people, both in theory anti in
fact, are so completely sovereign that the
institutions of government are only instru
ments, and none at all of antagonistic ac
tion. The advocate, therefore, always
watches the crowd of eager faces withmit:
the bar, with eye as anxious and far m 4.0
prophetic than that with which he stn.:.
dies the formal countenances whom he di
rectly addresses. "
There was one circumstance, arising
indirectly from his public employment,
that exercised no trivial influence upon
Captain Wilde's fate. On one occasion,
while engaged with a brother-official in
arranging their books preparatory to the
annual settlement, his wife, bccoming en-,
raged because he failed to attend instant
ly to her orders concerning son.m.trifling
dornestio, matter, rushed into his study
and caught up an armful of papers, which
she attempted to throw into the fire. Tim
documents were of great importance; and
to prevent her carrying her. ehildish pur
pose into execution, her husband was obli
ged to seize her quickly and violently, and
drag her from the hearth. The reader
will hardly recognize this incident in the
form in which it was afterward detailed
from the witness-stand • and it is only on
account of the effect which this and other
occurrences of like nature had in bringing
about the final event of our history, that
we take the trouble to narrate matters. so
trifling and uninteresting; for it appeared'
that every incident of the kind was care
fully. registered in the memory of the.
Erin nys of this devoted household, whence
it came out magnified and distorted into a
brutal and unprovoke_d outrage.
Wretched-iiidbe.d must have been the
state of that family in whieh_such scenes
whre allowed to meet the eyes of, strang
erS; And again it may be asked, Why did
not Captain Wilde take ineastires'to -dis
solve a unibn that had resulted in so much
unhappiness, and in which all hope of ini
provenient must now have uisappeared ?
Such a stop would certainly have been
wise; nor could the strictest moralist
have found aught to censure therein.—
But it was now too late. No observer of
•huhian affairs has failed to notice how
surely a stiongerCharactergains aseenden-
Cy over a weaker with-which-itistrought"
into familiar contact. No law ofman can
abrogate this great law of Nature. Talk
ns we may about the power of knowledge.
• or intellect or virtuc r the whole ordSring
of society shows that it is Strength of
character which fixes the relative .st-ctus
.of individuals. In,. whatever community
we may . liveove need only look around to
that its -- nifil Isadore — are Not - thy
merely intelligent,
.Oduoat.O4,__And „good,
but the energetic, the
,selfasierting, the
aggressive. Nor will mere passiVe strength.
of will.p r eyent stibjeetion for how often
do we-see a spirit, whose only prominent
characteristic is 'a restless • and tireless
ticity, hold - in -complete st bservieney
those who , are far superior_iii' actual
- stratigilrof - MindTpurelyztlitough:theapa„ ,
thy or thiilatteri.arid -their eindispelitiori
tolive a state of ionstarit effort. litis
because,thisietty domin.bering:temp,er,is,
found much`.' iviimen: : .than•;l6-
- nieh,- that we sec -a scare .of•.henpeeked
lihsbarids to. oriel' illitise& •wifei• •:W
.he'."- t 0...
theiOOn who' 'folio,into i iiiiiii i iiiiii of -sla
very46 a wicked wow:TO:for througlildin
she gill 'oeiiiinit acts she would never dare •
in her own iierson, ; a 4. double' woe 'to
.him ; if helm. not asitioked and hardened
1.-, The bargain: or the old
MBER 6, 1861.
. .
IYeviit- - bought magicians, was profitable
Compared with his; since he gets nothing
whatever for the soul he surrenders up.
In'the present ease, a couple pf years
,Burt* for the energetic and ever-bellig
erentlemper of the 'wife to subdue' com•
pletel i y the mild and peaceable nature of
the IMsband. At her bidding most of
his termer acquaintances were discarded;
and even his warmest friends and nearest
relations, no longer meeting the old hearty
welcome, gradually ceased to visit his
house; But• the bitterest effect of this
weak.and culpable abdication of his rights
was experienced by his slaves. Sad in--
deed 7.WaS the change from the ease and
abundanee-ef his bachelor's hall, where
slavex meant little, more-- than a --happy
exemption from care to their present con
ditioifi. in which it meant hopeless- sub
mission_to the power of a capricious -and
-cruel - Mistress. The worst form of female
tyranny is that exhibited on a Southern
plantation, under the sway oftermagant.
er paver to afflict is so co 'pieta and
all-pervading, that not an - hour, nay,
hardly a- minute of the victim's life is ex
empt, if the disposition exist to exercise
it. Besides, this species of domestic op.
pression has this in common with all the
worst tyrannies which have been worse
feared and hated by men; theseverities
are ordered by those -who neither execute
them nor witness their execution—that
being left to agents, usually hardened to
their office, libir who dare not be merciful,
even if so inclined. It adds two-fold to
the bitterness of such tyranny, that the
tyrant is able to acquire a sort of exemp
tion from the weakness of pity. It is
wisely ordered that ' few human beings
shall feel aught but pain in looking upon
the extreme bodily anguish of their fel
low-Men; and when a monster appears
who seems to contradict this benign law
he is embalmed as a monster; and trans
mitted-to future times along with such
rarer ayes as Caligula, Dowitian, and
Pans Sahib. • And here—as a Southern
man, brought up in the midst of a house
hold of slaves—let me remark, that the
worst feature of our system of slavery is
the possibility of the negroes falling into
the hands of a -brutal owner capable of
exercising all the powero(-the inflicting
misery which the law give S-him.
Bat the natural law of:compensation is
universal , and if the most wretched being
in existence be a slave subject to the sway
of a brutal owner, certainly .he next is the
humane master who has to do with a
sullen, malicious, or dishonest ,negro,—
while fol. one instance of the former, there
are a hundred of the latter who would
willingly,,,:iziv_oup-the_vrhole. value. of their
human eliattles ni••o - iiiiiirtii - giffifiriif thii
vexations they occasion. And where
master and man were equally bad, we
have known cases in which it was really
hard to say Which -contrived to inflict
most misery: the one might get Used to
blows and curses so as not much to mind
them, but the other could never escape
the agonies of rage into which his contu
macious chattle was able to throw him at
any time.
Captain Wilde's temper was more than
usually mild and lenient; and he *as
probably the most wretched being , on his
own plantation during the bik two years
of his life,—a day seldom passing that ho
was not compelled to inflict some sort of
punishment upon his negroes. These,
however, never ceased to feel for him the
respectful attachment inspired by his
kindness during the happy years of his
batchelor-life ; but, strange as at may seem,
that feeling was now mingled with a sort
of pity; for they. well knew the
painful reluctance with which he obeyed
the harsh commands of his wife. Aud
of all who mourned the hapless fate of
this unfortunate gentleman., none mo'irned
more ; bitterly, and few cherished his
memory so long or-so tenderly, as these
humble dependants, who best knew his
real character.
But it was upon the mulatto girl Fanny,
particularly, that the tyrannical cruelty
,of Mrs. Wilde was poured out in all its
severity. From , some • cause,—whether
because her duties rendered her more
liable to commit irritating faults; or
whether, being always in sight, she was
simply the,most covenient object of abuse,
or whether on account of the alleged
former intimacy between this girl and .her
master,—,—certain it-is that di.; hatred with
which the miatress pursued her had
something in it almost diabolical. And
she seemed to tike a peculiar satisfaction
in-making her husband , the instrument
of hei•persecution ingehious method of
punishing both her victims, if the motive
were the last of those above suggested.
And truly bitter it must have been to
both, when the hand Unit had been only
too kind was'now forced to the infliction
even of str A lyes . ; so that one hardly knows
which to'roty.inog: though, if the essence
tot' punishment be. degradation, certainly
the legal slave .suffered lesS, of it than the
moral one--who'hatffalleti so 'low-beneath
the &minion of a termagant .wsfe , But
lot it be ever remembered to the honor
of this wretched daughter of bondage,
that, in spite of all, she never lost that
devotediattachment for her master, which
iin one•Of a more fairored race might be
called by a softer' triune. For, whatever
may' have been his feelings toward. her,
c an remeinlitTiliTebt of the nature
of hers-for: him, -L-so totiehivgly4lisPlayed -
at a sUbseinent • period, when ''she,,etist
away (the terror of violent death, so strong
in all her.race, and sought, .1.4' a _voluntary
confession of-guilt' never Wonted to her,
tp save him by taking his place upon the,
'scaffold. - -Surely, suoh heroic self.Sacriflei
suffloeS to' • • •
' •
-.lter , dark , dospali-liud-plead for. fig ono•artme."----.,
It,wai'prohably on .a discoveriof this"
feeling in the girl that the interme.ddling
sister4n•law founded bercharge against Tier
But there is e_point heYond whioh !au;
man endurance 'cannot- go,—at ivtiich .?
milder nature turns to voluntary death as
reing,i from further suffering;, and-fiercer
ones .begin'to ton'tomplato crimp with, se
vve complacency., ~ 'Towards this .poinV,
the ruthless ,and : persevering cruelty of •
these two women was now rapidly driving
their wretehed victim, and soon, they
were to learn that-they had been hunting,
not a latnb,., but' a . ,tigress, whose single
spring, when brought to bay, would boas
quick, .a.s - sure,"alid es deadly as was over
made frpm an Indian jungle. For now,
near the end Ofth l t; third year of Captain
Wilde's married life, its wretched scenes
of discord and tyranny were about to be
closed in a catastrophe - that was to over
whelm a great community with consterna
tion and horror, and blot an entire family
out of existence almost in a single night,
—a catastrophe in which Providence,
true to that ideal of perfect justice called
poetical, working out the punishnient of
two of the actors by means of their own '
inhumanity, at the same time mysterious-I
ly involved two others,—one clothed in
all the innocence of infancy, and the other I
guilty only through weakness and as the!
instrument of another. Seldom has de-
struetion been more sudden or more corn-
plate, and never, perhaps, was so annihi
lating a blow dealt by so weak a hand.
Those who remember the early times of
Kentucky know that the place of the agri
cultural and mechanics' fairs of the present
day was supplied" by "big meetings,"
which, under the various names of asso
ciations, camp-meetings, and basket-meet
ings, continued in full popularity to a
quite recent period,And were at last par
tially suppressed on account of the im
morality which they occasioned and en
couraged. It was to these holy fai'l's—.
asnow to secular ones—that the wealth
and fashion of early Kentucky crowded
for the purpose of displaying themselves
most conspiciously -- before the eyes of as
gembled counties. Mrs. Wilde, like most
women of her - temper, was passionately
fond of such public triumphs, and had de
'termined at a camp-meeting soon to be held
in the vicinity, to outshine all her rural
neighbors in splendor. For the full reali
zation of this ambition, a new carriage was,
in. her opinion, absolutely necessary.—
This fact she communicated to her hus
band, and upon some demur on his part,
a thing now very rare, her temper, as im
al, broke fortfi . in a storm of reproach and
abuse, so that the poor man, completely
subdued, was glad to purchase peace by
acquiescence in what his judgment re
garded as a foolish 6xpense ; and he pre
pared inn mdiately to sot off for L
to proeme the coveted vehicle. Bat be
fore he h d mounted, his wife, yet hot
r a
from their recent altercation, discovered
or affected o discover some negligence on
the part o
„the mulatto girl, who 'was en
gaged in n • rsing the ehild,which was at
this_ time sulfdringlrom._a _thrtgerousAll
ness. Now the ono tender trait of
violent womin was intense love 'for her
offspring; - but it was a love that, far from
softening her manner toward others, par
took,:on the contrary, of the fierceness of
her general character, and became, like
that of a wild animal for its young, a
source of constant apprehension to those
whose duty compelled them to approach 1
its object. Se now, seizing the weeping
culprit by the hair, she dragged her to the
and, after exhausting her own pow
ers of maltreatment, called to her husband
and ordered hint to bring, on his return,
a new cowhide,—" For you shall," cried
she, in an uncontrollable rage, " give this
wretch, in the morning, two hundred lash
es I" It was a brutal threat, falling from
the lips of one who was called a lady; for,
of all tortures,,that of the cowhide is for
the moment the most intolerable '
in its;
sharp, penetrating agony, as is well known
by those who remember even a moderate
application of it to their own person in
school-boy days. The victim know that 1
the execution of the barbarous menace'
vould be strict to the letter, and that it
would be but little preferable to death '
self. Yet, in spite of this, she now, for
the first time, failed to cower and trem
ble, but arose and faced her oppress- ,
or, erect and defiant. The last drop had,
now been dashed into the cup of endu. l
rance,—the final blow had been struck,
under which the human spirit either falls
crushed and prostrated forever, or from
which it springs uplempered to adaman
tine hardness, and incapable thenceforth
of feeling either fear for itself or pity for
its smiter. That one moment bad entire
ly reversed the relations of the two, making
the slave mistress's fate, while the latter
theneeforivard held her very existenee - at
the will of her slave. The cruel wom
an had raised up for herself that enemy
I more terrible even to throned tyrants than
an army with banners.; for there is Borne'
thing truly terrific in .the almost omnipo
tent power, of harm posseisedby any in
telligent being, whom hatred, or fanati
cism, or suffering has wound up to that
point of desperation where it is willing to
throw away its own life in order to reach
that adversary,—mich desperation as
inspired the gladiator Muternus; in his ro
mantic expedition -from the woods of Tryn-
Sylvania through the marsh - es - of . Panno - -
nia and the Alpine pasSes, to strike the
lord of the . Roman world in the recesses.
of his own palace, and in the presence of
his thousand guards. , He who .has' pro
voked such hostility can know no safety,
'but in the destruction of his enemy,—a
fact well under Stood by . .the elder Napole
on, who; however he might 'admire, never
son showed them utterly . reckleie :of - the
:safety of their own. , -- . .
And now;'for fifeiv" hours, the - whole
interest of our narrative - .contres• in,:- her
wltinn 'that moment' had but so' coippletAy
"transformed-and-made already a , murder
ess in heart. and in purse. .. And _hi*
thoroughly•must that heart •have f hien.
steeled,' and how entire - -inust , liaye -- heen
ings, When sheAmuld, fOr,a'' whole - day, 'in
•the niidstofa linusehold,offelloW 7 servatits,
iliffiltada ; . ih -- o-liOtalfel - eyes of an angry
.tuistrefsi . continue..ter dischargeler usual
iiiiiks,'bonring - this ;deadly-purpose-in-her
b r et i swyet.nei , ers, by : word, look, or ges
ture,!hotray the slightest indication ofits
fireadftil•Seoret, 7 -no, • pot- evert. so'!•nfuolf
as to draw-'suspicion toWitrd dieilolf „after
the discovery of the. odt:4'ol-here wei,tio
. .
time or ofivortnnity for' 'preparatiOn, : of
$ll . sedvanee
s2l:L o o.lenot paid in advance'
which little was indeed necessary; for" he- .
man life is a frail thing, and a determined'
hand is always strong. She had alreadf
undergone the most effectual preparation"
for such a task,—that of the soul; and
when that is once thorcitiglaY accomplish
ed, not much more is needed ; a fact which
seems not to be understood by those pa—
triotic assassins—French and Italian—
whose elaborately contrived infernal ma
chines do but betray the anxious precau
tions taken to insure lives which, accord
ing to their own professions, have been
rendered valueless 'by tyranny, and ought
therefore to bo the more freely risked_ - -
Felton and Charlotte Corday.. understood
their business better; but even their prep
arations-may be called elaborate 4 -compared
with those of this poor slave-girl.
Captain Wilde returned late in the eve
ning with the coveted coach; and•the
whole family, white and black, of course„,,
turned out to admire that 'Crowning addi-,
tion to the family splendor. But.arnong
the noisy group of the latter there stood
one who gazed upon the object of admira
tion with thoughts far different from those
of her companions; and soon the careless
mirth of all was checked and chilled- into -
silent fear, when they saw their master
take from beneath one of the seats a now
specimen of the well-known green cow- -
skin, and hand it, to his wife. Ah ! they
all knew that appealing look well, and the
hard, relentless frown by which it was an
swered, as well as they knew the use of
the dreaded instrument itself. But there
was only one among them who compre
hended its itnmediatepurpose. The glance
of cruel meaning which the tyranness, af
ter having examined the lithe, twisted rod
critically for an instant, cast upon the ob
ject of her malice, probably banished the
last lingering hesitation from "he breast
of the latter;—who turned away ostensi
bly to the performance of her accustomed
duties,- but in reality lii'settle the details '
of a crime unsurpassed in coolness and
resolution by - aught record of pirate or
high waytnan. It was probably during the
hours immediately succeeding Captain
Wilde's return that her deadly purpose
shaped itself forth in the plan finally exe
cuted; Weause it was not till then that she
became cognizant of all the circumstances
which entered into its formation. Sel
dom have more nicely calculated combi
nations entered into the plots of criminals,
and never was a plot depending on so
many chances more completely successful.
Yet the pivot of the whole, as often in
nan.we extensive schemes of homicide, is
to be found in the reckless daring and ut- -
ter disregard of personal safety manifest
ed throughout: - __For..this:aloneshe seems-
to have made no calculations and taken
no precautions; her whole mind being
bent apparently on the solution of one sin
gle difficulty,—how to approach her ene
my undetected.
As to the details of this affair; let us
mention one or two facts, and then the
conductof the murderess will itself explain
'them. We have already stated that
the only child of Captain and Mrs.
Wilde, an infant about eighteen months
old, was at this time dangerously ill.
For a fortnight it had been the custom
of the parents to sit up with it on alter
nate nights, this night it being the father's
regtilat turn to perform that duty; but
his trip of twenty five or thirty miles had
fatigued him so much that it was judged
best for his wife -to relieve him.—his
slumbers being usually so profound as to
be almost lethargic, so that, when once
fairly asleep, the loudest noises even in
the same room would fail to arouse him,
and it being feared, therefore, that the
little patient might suffer, if loft to his -.
care in his present state of weariness.
in the same room slept a young negro
girl, whose duty it was - to carry the child
into tho pen air when occasion required,
-an office whioh Fanny herself had more
than once performed. The reader will
note how . ingenioesly every one of these
circumstances was woven into the girl's
scheme of dtath, and how each was , made
subservient to the end . in view.
At ton o'clock on the night of the 18th
lof July, 17—, everything had become
quiet about that lonely farm-house, so
completely isolated in the midst of its
wide plantation that the barking of the
dogs at the nearest dwellings-was barely .
heardin the. profound stillness. A dim,
light, as from a deeply shaded candle,
shone from one of the casements tot he
right of the hall-dour, showing wherelli.i
parents watched by the bed of their suf
fering i n fan t.• Along the high-road which;.
a lbw rods in front, stretched white and
silent in the moonlight between its 10ng...
lines of worm-fences, a solitary traveller
on horseback was journeying atAbifi hour.
This gentleman afterward remembered be
ing more usually impressed bithe air of *.
peace and repose that reigned about Ate
place, as he rode 'under
.the tall' locust
trees which skirted the yard and cast their ' '
- dark-shadows - over
But he did-not see-it female form flitting
furtively from the negio-quarters . in, the ",
rear, toward the house; and a ,shado - . of
suspicion might have' crossed his mind,
had ho glanced back a moment later and"'
beheld that form approach the ligh,ted*."'
window with stealthy, cautious steps, *I
peer long and intently through the para. , „ 1 .
in, then, Stooping low, glide"• along Abe:: ,
moonlit walland disappear beneath. the:;'
short flight.of webien.Steps that led .
to. the front, door. - : •
Here enscimped, safe.frora observation;
the murderess lay ; . listening to every
sound in the sick room above. Ten,•4v,.
eltiien,-, talye&-one,—sontid9d front,
the @tick in theAlining-rooni,,, on-the:oth: ...,.
er side of the hall. ...For, thro hours has
ihi iiiiiitWeiTthEe-,:viii*,-\--iimoturat---
2she eipe'eted - has :00,4014 - otne",',. The',:;
moon .Was aettiFig and 'dllepihirlitieSir be l ,,
ginning to envelop tlar64C '' . 4ytgnVllo4'
US . Ole Was about' to stecilliti 40 rpe n
her, cabin ntiobservedithi'd *ilthb:ie-herhl.„..
head opened, and the SToting . nes&4o l A , ,,
still half-asleep;POO-iPrk, 01419411.4T.:1•4^ ,
i upon hOPlen uponth&tekei4et-titeplo.reil*K
her senses ' and than, With the witillogin- . .''
[coNcL ioii lan , v'iso...] ....:
NO.. (2.