|Chapter Number||The Last Chapter|
|Chapter Title||The Destroyer|
|Newspaper Title||The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842)|
|Trove Title||Passages from the Diary of a late Physician|
Passages from the Diary of a late
Physician.-The last Chapter.
(From Bluckwood's Magazine, August, 1837..)
(Concluded from our last.)
" By all means," replied Lord °eek ington, .calmly. " I have no doubt that any friend, Captain Lei coster, whom I know to be in tou n, will act with you immediately on my behalf. Probably he is at this moment at-'s, where you 'could hardly fail of meeting him," look- ing at his watch.
" Perhaps your Lordship will favour ?me with a line addressed to Captain Lei- cester, intimating the nature of my appli-
" Undoubtedly," replied Lord Seck ington ; and sitting down, he wrote a few lines to the desired effect, and folding up the note, directed it, and gave it to Major Darnley.
" Probably Captain Leicester will be ?with your Lordship shortly-small I fell him that 3'our Lordship waits here for
" I beg you will do me that favour. Pray, Major Darnley, let no time what- ever be lost," added Lord Seckington,
with a smile which it would have been a
luxury to a fiend to witness. Ile rang the bell, and Major Darnley took his 'leave. The instant that the door was
closed, Lord >eckington, after a sieken .ing glance round at tlie spacious and splendid apartment, threw himself upon
-the sofa in a state of mind that it would
be in vain to attempt to describe.
Having agreed to dine that evening
with one of Ins old friends who had suc- ceeded to a dukedom since they had met, and who had quitted Loid Seckington * only half an hour before Major Darnley's -arrival, it became necessary to write off
immediately, and announce his inability to be present. He did so, and stated ii to be owing to very pressing engagements, and the thought which had since occurred to him that fie ought not to dine out till after his uncle's funeral-well knowing that his own funeral might probably take place at the same time. It may be easily
understood that ho was in no humour to
renew the business details which Major Darnley's arrival had interrupted. Ile sent a message to that effect np stairs to his solicitor, to whom he had promised to return, begging him to be in attendance in the morning ; and or.lering dinner to be prepared and served at a moment's notice, he again tin ew himself upon the sofa. Ile was roused from his dreadful reverie about a quarter before eight o'clock by Captain Leicester. Ile was in full dinner-dress, having been mot by Major Darnley, ju-t as he was preparing to go to the Duke of-'s, where he was to have been surprised by the ap- pearance of Lord Seckington. * After his hurried interview with Major Darnley,
he had come off direct to-Street.
" Well, Alverley,-Seckington, I mean-you see it's just as I suspected," said he, hastily stepping up to Lord Seckington.
" Yes," he replied, shaking him cor- dially by the hand, and unconsciously sighing. " May 1 reckon on your ser-
" Oh, of course-I am here on the husiness now."
" Where were you going when Major Darnley found youl" enquired Lord Seckington, alluding to Captain Lei-
" The Duke of-'s."
" Ah, I was to have been there too," said Lord Seckington. '* They'll suspect that something's wrong by our both so suddenly sending refusals."
" And let them-they're not likely to send us peace-officers, if they do suspect They'll only be deviliJi sorry to lose the company of two deuced good knives and
forks-that's all !"
41 I have ordered dinner here to be
ready at a moment's notice," said Lord Seckington, as the servant brought in
«andlcs. He viust have observe! the troubled and pallid -countenance of his Lord ob he placed them upon the table near which Lord Seckington and Captain Leicester were stand i*nr. " You can stay
" I think, perhaps, I have half-an-hour to spare," replied »Captain Leicester, for duellists, like lovers, must eat, it would seem;-"but I can't spare one second more, for I've engaged to meet Darnley at -:-'s by a quarter to nine o'clock." Lord Seckington rang,
and ordered dinner to be served immedi- ately.
" This blood-tlíirsty devil, St. Helen," said Lord Seckington, as the servant closeil the door, " must have been watch- ing for my arrival - Major Darnley was
.with me in less than an hour after I had got into the house."
" Very probably. No doubt he hail
hired some fellow to lurk about and
bung him word of your arrival. You' know, my dear fellow," added Captain1 Leicester, " there's no disguising the thing; we are likely to have d-d' sharp work on our hands in the morn- ing."
" The morning? I shall go mad if I liave io wait all through the night 1" ex- claimed Lord ßeckington vehemently *< p-n me if I could not infinitely
prefer fighting to-night-why could it not be ut-'8 ? You coulil easily manage it, Leicester. You really must ai range it bo ! I shan't have a chance, if we wait til! the morning!"
" You know, it can't bp done," replied Captain Leicester, quietly, as soon as Lou! Seckington had ceased-"It's not selon la regie - there's a method in every thing, and duelling is nothing without it. Darnley would laugh at me if I pro- posed if."
" Well, I am of course in your hands. You must do as you think proper," said Lorl Seckington, with a sigh.
" I'll parade j ou--let me see -Five, or six o'clock-either will do," said Cap- tain Leicester, thoughtfully. " However, we shall discuss every thingjfully to night
" Did you ever know of such an unhappy devil as I am, Leicester?" exclaimed Lord Seckington, abruptly walkin«- to and "fro-ujttU now to be
" Alf, and for such a canoe, that's the ugly part of the story-but what «loes that .signify"?' 'Twas an adventure carried on with the utmost spirit-you could not command success, you know-eh ? isn't
that the word ?"
" It's d-d hard to pajt with all this!"-exclaimed Lord Seckington, sadly, pointing to the fine library '-'Hell must be a joke to what Fvc suf- fered since I got your last letter "
" I thought it would have that effect, when I was writing it -But,"-shrug- ging his shoulders, " the thing's done now, and you must try not to think of it. 'Tis woi-be than useless. Make your will, and snap your fingers at every thing and every body in the world. That's the way a man of sense and spirit should meet death, and then he conquers it. By the way, if you wpre to make your will it might be as well. There's an infernal heap of money iu the funds, you know"
" O Leicester, don't torment me Î I shall do what is proper, you may depend upon it."
" Well, my dear fellow, don't take it ill. 'Tis no more than every second should do for h's principal when he expects warm work ! Of course, St. Helen, you know, will try d-d hard to hit you ; but after all there's no cer- tainty, even with the deadliest shot in the
" Oh, curse the.!" groaned Lord Seckington, coupling Mrs. St. Helen's name with the vilest epithet that could be applied to a woman.
" No, no, Seckington-yon forget j'ou "self. I call that very unhandsome
nay, it's ungrateful - it's-bad taste !" -said Captain Leicester, seriously.
" You should only know the kind of life she's led me since we went abroad !" exclaimed Lord Seckington, vehemently.
" Poor devil, you ought not to speak of her in that way," said Captain Leices- ter, with a grave air of displeasure. " Pray remember, Seckington, that what- ever she is, you have made her. It is not handsome to speak so of the woman that has denied you nothing, and lost every thing for your sake.
" Well," exclaimed Lord Seckington, after walking violently to and fro-" 1 suppose I may say that I wish I had been in .- before I had ever seen her."
" Ah, yes-quite another matter ; but we mustn't have any thing unkind said of poor pretty Mrs. St. Helen."
' " Pretty ! By-, you should see her now ! Pretty !"
' " Well, I hope you have, settled some-
thing handsome on her."
" Five hundred a-year."
" Devilish liberal,* certainly. Would she speak to me if we met at Paris ?"
Lord Seckington made no reply, but, with his arms folded, kept walking to and fro, heaving heavy sighs.
" Take my advice, Seckington-make a brave effort, and throw it all off your mind, I can do you no good-it will do you infinite harm. Fancy 3'ourself plain Charles Alverly the dodged of duns-drop 'my Lord,'-think nothing of your rent-roll or your funded property, they'll all be the more delightful if you escape to-morrow ! Why do you pro- voke your fate ? Hope for the l'est. Depend upon it you're too good a fellow to be ordered off just in the nick of time -oh, it's impossible."
Lord Seckington grasped his hands and looked unutterable things.
" You know, Leicester, it is not death that I care for, come how or when it may," said he, " I'm a little above that, I should hope."
" Don't fear Bogy, then, eh ?" inter- rupted Captain Leicester, with a smile.
" Pshaw ! -But, by the way, what am
I to do ? How often am I to receive his fire?"
" Ah, Tve been considering that point a little. Why, I think-twice."
" Fire wide the first time, of course." " But I don't think it is quite such a matter of course, Leicester."
" Oh, nonsense, it's clear as day-light.
" Really, it's devilish hard-he'll try to take my life.-It's throwing away my only chance. It's going out to be clean
"Seckington, put yourself into my place. You know that what I say is the correct thing.-It must be so, or I am not responsible. If nothing happens, of course he'll demand another shot ; and then, you may perhaps-hem !-I don't say what you ought to do, but I think I
know what J should do. And the same if a third is askod for."
" Why the devil does not the fellow announce dinner ?" exclaimed Lord
Seckington, violently pulling the bell.
"Hush-don't be so feverish; he announced it five minutes ago-I've been on the move ever since : I've now only a quarter of an hour."
Here the servant made his appearance,
and Lord Seckington in silence followed' his companion to the dining-room. Both of them cast one significant glance at the splendour of the side-board display-and,' indeed, of everything about them.
"Tlie first time you have ever done the honours here, I presume ?" said Captain Leicester, as he took his seat.
"It is probably the last," thought Lord Seckington. Alas! what would he have given at that moment to undo what he had done-to have begun nothing of
which he had not well considered the end
-to escape from the mortal thraldum he was now enduring ! Perhaps, ha'd he been calm enough, a lesson of his earlier days might have recurred to him before the fearful lesson of the ensuing morning.
" Auiliro est opera: pratium, procédera roete
Qui mochis non vultis-ut omni parte laboront Utqne illis multo tormpta doloro volnptas,
Atipie iin;c rara, cadat dura inter sope pericia !"* It was settled by the seconds that the meeting should take place at five o'clock on the ensuing morning in Battersea Fields, and as both of them anticipated its turning out a desperate alfair, they made all necessary arrangements to meet contingencies, providing for the instant flight of the survivor and themselves - or, it might be, of themselves alone-in the e\ent of any thing fatal occuring. Two experienced surgeons were also in attendance. Their arrangements, inshort,
.were admirably matte, for they were both of them somewhat experienced in such affairs. Within a very few moments of eacli other's arrival were tile two hostile parties in the field. Botli Colonel St. Helen and Lord Seckington were very finely-made men, and of a most gentle- manly appearance. The former was (1 ressed in a blue surtout and light trowsers, the latter in black-black from head to foot-not a spot of colour about him
noihing thal might possibly serve to point the weapon of his antagonist-a precaution of his thoughtful second, of which he had readily availed himself, but which was totally disregarded by Colonel St. Hellen. Tlie process of loading was soon got through'--the distance, ton paces, duly stepped out by Major Darnley -and there Lord Seckington stood, in fearful con- tiguity, in the immediate presence of his irreparably injured and mortal foe. Lord Seckington did not attempt either
to sustain or return the dreadful look with which Colonel St. Hellen regarded him ! Pistols were quickly placed in their hands
-tlie seconds withdrew to about a dozen paces.
" Gentlemen, are you ready? Fire !" exclaimed Major Darnley.
Both pistols were discharged ns he uttered the last word, and the principals remained standing unhurt. Lord Seck- ington fired as ho bad been enjoined,
wliile Colonel St. Helton's ball whistled
closely past the chin of his opponent.
" Are you satisfied?" enquired Captain
" By no means," replied Major Darn- ley- .
They loaded again, and withdrew, having placed fresh pjstols in the hands of their respective principals ; again was the word given-again both fired simultane- ously, but again' without effect. It was evident that this time Lord Seckington liad fbllowcd'the example of his opponent, for his ball passed close behind Colonel
St' Helen's shoulder.
" I presume you are now satisfied ?" enquired Captain Leicester.
" Certainly not," replied Major Darn- ley. " I must insist upon a third shot."
" I really cannot permit it"
" Load again !" exclaimed Lord Seck- ington, in a low tone ; and the seconds resumed their gloomy functions.
I A third time their principals stood 'awaiting their' signal, and as the word ¡"Fire!" escaped from the lips of Major Darnley, both were observed taking deliberate aim. Neither fired till a second or two after the word had been
¡uttered, when theirpistolsflashedtogether, and Lord Seckington sprung upwards, and instantly lay extended upon the 'ground. Colonel St. Helen's ball ap- peared to have passed through the head of his opponent, while he himself, still convulsively grasping his weapon,
mained standing, looking silently and grimly at his prostrate antagonist.
"Fry! For God's sake, fly!" ex- claimed Major Darnley, looking towards Colonel St. Helen from ibeside the insensible figure of Lord Seckington.
" Is he killed ?" whispered Colonel St Helen, as Major Darnley rushed up to him repeating his entreaties.
" Yes, yes, 1 fear he is," replied the Major. " Why, St Helen ! St Helen 1 are you hit?" Bushing forward, he caught the Colonel in his anns, and both fell together on the ground.
The surgeon who had accompanied lum to the field was instantly at his side, and pronounced Colonel St. Helen to have a fit of apoplexy. Lord Sccking
ton's ball had all but to«ched the breast of Col. St. Helen, who with truer and more deadly aim had eo directed his ball that it passed right through the bones of the nose, immediately beneath tlie ej'e brows, carrying away almost the whole of the nasal bones. Lord Seckington was not dead, though perfectly insensible
-the wound that he had received was one that, if he survived, would occasion him the most frightful disfigurement for life. He was carried insensible to his
carriage, a handkerchief having been thrown over his face, and hurried off at the top speed of his four horses to -
Street. It was found necessary to bleed Colonel St. Helen on the spot from both arms, and as soon as the incisions had been hastily bandaged up, he was con- veyed with difficulty to his carriage, and taken home to General Ogilvie's a dismal spectacle !
A short time before the carriage con- taining Lord Seckington reached -
.Street, a post-chaise drew up opposite to his door, in which were two females, one of whom appeared violently agitated.
" Knock and ring- ring hard !-open'
the chaise-door-make haste !" exclaimed one of the n in a breath ; and as soon as the hall-door was thrown open bj' the alarmed porter-for all the servants liad a suspicion of the dreadful nature of the engagement which had taken Lord Seck- ington away so early in a carriage-and four, and were now awaiting his return in the greatest trepidation-she rushed in.
" Is Lord-Lord Seckington -is heat home ?" she gasped.
" Yes-no," replied tlie affrighted porter in a breath. " Do you know any tiling about his lordship ? " By this time the valet, who had accompanied him to France and had returned with bim, made his appearance, and whispered to the 'porter, who, then, in a Fomewhat less respectful tone," enquired, ". Does his lordship expect you, ma'am ?"
" No, my lord does not, I can answer for that," interposed the valet ; " he thinks you're at this moment in Paris."
" Silence, sir ! show me instantly into the diningroom," said the lady, as indignantly as her violent agitation would
" Excuse me, ma'am," said the porter, placing himself between her and the | dining-room door, " I-I cannot admit
you ! Are you a relation of his lord- ship's, or what ? What's your business
" Hinder me at your peril, sirrah !" exclaimed Mrs. St. Helen-for she it was, with all her naturally commanding tone and manner ; and at the same time pushing bim gently aside, without further opposition, she entered the dining-room.
" Order in my maid from the ¿liaise !" said Mrs. St. Helen, sinking exhausted II into the nearest chair, scarce able to , I stand, or to see whether her orders were
attended-to.- There was a sudden muster of servants in the hall for a few iriomenta ; and after a hurried conversation together, the diningroom door was opened by the
" I hope, ma'am, you won't make it necessary, ma'am, for us to do our duty. I know, ma'am, who you are," he com-
menced with a determined air.
" Audacious wretch !" exclaimed Mrs. St. Helen, roused for a moment by his extraordinary insolence, " if you don't instantly leave this room, sir"
" Ah, ma'am, leave the room ? Pray, ma'am, are you mistress here ? I leave the room, ma'am ? You will leave it first, ma'am, I can tell you, if it comes to that-that's flat 1" ho con-
tinued, pushing wider open the door. " Do you think, ma'am, I'm goingo to be talked to in this way by you? I know who you are, ma'am, quite well ! Do you think I had'nt my eyes and my ears open at Paris? My Lord's done the handsome thing by you, and you ought not to come following him about the town in this way ; ah, ma'am, you may look, but I fancy my Lord's done with you ; he's got other fish to fry just
now-believe me." At that moment a
vehicle was heard approaching rapidly,
and a hubbub in the hall drew the valet thither, " Drive away that chaise !" exclaimed half a dozen voices in the
street, and Lord Seckington's carriage dashed up to the door. Mrs. St. Helen sprung to the window, hearing her chaise ordered away, expecting some new in- sult was prepared for her ; and beheld the miserable figure of Lord Seckington in the act of being carried out of the carriage, his head covered over with a blood-spotted white handkerchief. She Vushed from the d'ningroom, and, with a piercingshriek, wasflying clown the steps, when one of the agitated servants, cither designedly or nccidently, tripped her foot, exclaiming at the same time, " Get out of the way, you d-d-!" and she fell with her forehead upon the corner of one of the steps, where she lay insensible and disregarded till Lord Seck- ington had been carried in, when the hall door was closed. There she might ihave continued but- for the humanity of one or two persons in the crowd that had gathered round Lord Seck jngton's carriage. They raised her from the ground ; and having been informed from the area that she did not belong therej and that they knew nothing what- ever about her, they carried her, still in- sensible from the stunning effects of her fall and-of the violent mental agitation to the nearest public-house, whither her attendant in the chaise followed her.
From the representations and entreaties of the latter, the surly publican consented to receive Mrs. St. Helen for the present into his house, and a medical man was
.This was the once beautiful, happy, innocent wife and mother, Emma St. Helen, who had torn herself from her hapless children, her affectionate hus- band ; who had, opened her foolish and guilty ear and heart to the tempter ; who had-fled fromthe pure arms of her hus- band to the blasting serpent-like embraces of an adulterer; who could pity her ? Here, discarded by the menials of her seducer, she lay dishonoured in her extremity among low and-unwilling mer- cenaries ; lier beauty entirely gone ; wasted to a skeleton ; heart-broken ; paralysed with the dreadful spectacle of her dead paramour, whose hand had, perhaps, that morning, too, been dyed
with the blood of her husband !
" It seemed that, as soon as ever she recovered her senses when at Paris, and discovered the departure of Lord Seck- ington, and learned from her maid the too probable object of his abrupt disap- pearance, she determined on following him, and engaged a passage in the very next conveyance that started, so as, by travelling night and day, to reach Street the 'very morning after Lord Seck- ington's arrival.
" I was called in to attend Colonel St. Helen about ten o'clock, and found him in almost precisely similar circumstances to those in which he had been placed when I formerly attended him, only that the present was a far more serious attack, and the probabilities of its fatal termina- tion infinitely greater. All our efforts to relieve the labouring brain proved unavailing, and we all gave up the case in despair. On the Saturday evening after his fatal meeting with Lord Seck- ington, I was returning on horseback from a visit to a distant patient resid- ing about two miles beyond General Ogilvie's house, and determined to call in to enquire after Colonel St. Helen, if he yet survived ? When within a few yards of the house, I overtook two men carrying a coffin on their backs. I stopped my horse-my. conjectures were right-they opened the General's gate, and went up to the house. So it was at length all over ! Poor, broken-hearted St. Helen, victim of the perfidy of the wife of .your bosom,-of the villainy of your brother soldier, your sorrows were at length ended. After pausing for a few moments I despatched my groom, desir- ing him to enquire whether they wished
to see me. The General sent back word
that he particularly desired to see me, and I dismounted. * He met me at the door, and with the utmost grief, visible in- his countenance and manner, told me the event that had taken place. I followed him into the room he had just- quitted, and we sat down together. Colonel St. Helen expired that day about twelve o'clock-only nn hour after I had been with lum. " He lay," said the General, " in the same state in which you left him, almost to the last, in a dull stupor. I wns sitting on one side of the bed, and Mrs. Ogilvie, contrary to my wishes-entered the room I had a little before insisted upon her quitting, and resumed the seat she had before oc- cupied on the bed-side. The noise she made seemed to rouse him slighly from his lethargy. He slowly opened his eyes-the first time during his illness looked dully at her ; I think his lips seemed to move, and on bending my ear, till it almost touched them, I think I heard the word ' Emma !' His head sunk back
upon his pillow, he breathed heavily for a moment or two, and St. Helen was no more ! No doubt," continued the General
with great emotion, " he liada confused
notion that it was Mrs. St. Helen who was sitting beside bim-alas that such a polluted being should have troubled his last thoughts ! Yet there seemed no anger or disgust in his manner if it had any character at all, it was one of forgiveness !"
He was buried at-; and there was scarcely an officer of distinction in London that did not insist upon following him to the grave. The kind-hearted Commandcr-iti-ChieP shed tears, I un deustood, when he heard of his death. Ile bequeathed his fortune to his children equally, leaving. General and Mrs. Ogil- vie guardians, whom he also empowred to allow Mrs. St. Helen, should she ever require it, such a sum as-would place her
out of the reach of destitution. The will
was dated only the day before that on which he fought with Lord Seckington.
I regret to have to mention that name again, and shall dismiss it briefly and for ever. I -did not attend him, but heard several details' concerning him from those who did. It would perhaps lia ve been a mercy had Colonel St. Helen's ball passed into his brain and deprived lum of life on the spot. It had utterly destroyed the nasal bones-and it is im-
possible to conceive a more repulsive ob-1 ject than he must have represented to every beholder during the remainder of his days. He endured intolerable agony for many months from his wound ; and when at length, through the carelessness of one of his attendants, he suddenly ob- tained a sight of his countenance in the glass, tlie dreadful and irremediable disfigurement he had sustained drove him almost to madness. He gnashed" his teeth, and yelled the most fearful and blasphemous imprecations ; an-l, in short; to such a pitch of frenzy was he driven by it, that it was found necessary to place him for some time under restraint, lost he should lay violent hands upon himself. He gradually, however, became calmer, and appeared likely in time to become reconciled to his misfortune. Colonel
St. Helen was dead-that was some gra- tification ! Lord Seckington had still vast solace left him ; he was, after all, a peer of tlie realm ; lie bad a fine, a noble fortune at his command ; and these, with other consolatoiy topics, were urged upon him so frequently and earnestly by his friends and attendants, as at length to satisfy them that they might lay asido their apprehensions, and release him from the painful-the intolerable restraint they had felt it necessary to impose upon lum, also relaxing the strictness of their surveillance. They did so ; and a clay or two afterwards, the event was duly announced in the newspaper as follows : "On the 29th ult., at-Street, in liis 33rd year, the Right Honourable Lord Seckington." If such a thing as a Coroner's Inquest took place, the papers took no notice of it ; and every body was satisfied that he died in conse- quence of the wounds he had received in his duel with Colonel St, Helen.
My pen now moves heavily and re- luctantly in tracing these painful, but, I hope, nevertheless, instructive scenes ; my head at lies as I recall them,-but ray long labours now draw to a close.
General and Mrs. Ogilvie, with their little precious charges-for precious they were, ami tlicy were themselves childless
-withdrew, in about a twelve-month after Colonel St. Helen's death, to a re- mote part of England, where they might attend exclusively and unremittingly to the important and interesting duties con- fided to them. Their departure, and the endless absorbing engagements of a busy professional life in the metropolis, caused the gloomy transactions above narrated gradually to disappear from my memory, which, however, they had long and grievously haunted. Three years after- wards, there occurs the following entry in my Diary : -
" Wednesday, 8th October, l8-." " * But shall I endeavour to describe
the scene exactly as it appeared to me. Maj' experience never enable me to de-
scribe such another !
" Hush ! stand here Doctor-," whispered Mr. B-, the proprietor of an extensive private-asylum near the me- tropolis, where I had called to visit a gentleman who had long been a patient of mine. " Hush, don't speak, nor be at all alarmed," opening a small, and, as it seemed to me, a secret door,-" these are my incurables. Hark ! I think I know what they are about. Step for- ward, here. Can yon see ?" I did as he directed. From my position-1 could not see very distinctly, but the room was long and narrow, and had a resemblance to a ward in an hospital, with about half a-dozen beds on each side of tlie room, on which were sitting as many boys, ap- parently from about fifteen to eighteen years old, wearing long blue dresses, and their hair cut as close to their heads as
possible. They were making all manner of discordant noises, and seemed eagerly talking together, but each remained sit- ting quietly on his own bed ; a circum- stance 1 mentioned to Mr. B-, expressing my surprise that so eager and violent as their gestures seemed, they should not quit their beds. " It would be very strange if they could" he whis- pered with a smile, " for they are all fastened to astaple in the wall, by a strong girdle passing round their waists. Bless your life ! if it was not fcr that, they -would soon kill one another, and eveiy body that came near thom. It was only
last month that one of them contrived to twist herself."
" Herself!" I whispered in amaze- ment; " what do you mean, Mr.
" Why, what, I say, Doctor, surely -are you not aware that these are wo-
" Gracious God, women !" I exclaimed with a perfect shudder.
" Why, certainly 1 But, by the way, they don't look much like women either ; that close cut hair of theirs is so like the
head of a charity school-boy. Some of these people have been, and in point of family are, highly respectable. It may appear very shocking to you to see tliém in this condition ; it was so to me, until I grew accustomed to it. I assure you we use no unnecessary violence or re- straint whatever ; but, on the contrary,
give them every indulgence their un- fortunate condition will admit of. What can we do-with them? There are several
of them perfect fiends ii" they have the slightest license. I was obliged to have this room constructed on purpose apart from the rest of my establishment, their noises were so dreadful ;-now hork !"
" Whoo- whoo-whoo"- shrieked a voice louder than any of the rest, " who'll go to the ranon ? who'll go to the moon ? who'll go to the moon ?"
"I-I've got it 1" shouted, another " Pole ! Pole ! what have you done with
the moon ?".
" I go for tlie stars-the stars ! Whirr! whirr I whirr !-Away ! away ! away !"
"Ha! hal ha!-Ila, ha, ha!" said anothervoicc, burstinginto loud laughter, '. I've got a dog in my head-hark, how it barks -bow, wow., wow!-Ha-ha
" I've got a cat-mew !-mew ! mew! who'll catch the mouse? I feel it -mew !"
" Water ! water ! water I The world's on fire !-Fire, fire, fire !"
" Hush, you wretches," exclaimed another voice, " I'm going to sing for my
dinner-hush ! hark !"
" Hark ! the song-the song !" cried all the voices togelher, while the singer began ; and in a few moments her voice only was heard, though not very loud, uttering words sometiflng like the fol-
" Hark to the bell, the mprry, merry, merry bell,. It is his knoll,-the merry, nWry.merry knell" " Ding, dong!-Ding, dong !-Ding, dong !"
-sung the other voices in a kind of doleful chorus. The singer resumed
" Lullaby ! Lullaby ! Lullaby !
His head, oh, his head it is white
All white ! white !
-Dead, dead, dead !
-Sing, you wretches !" They re-
" Ding, dong !-Ding, dong !-Ding, dong I"
The sun at that moment shone into the dreary room, while I was intently gazing on the miserable scene' it disclosed. Mercy !-my flesh crept-I began to re- cognize in the singer, who looked wildly up into the sunshine-I could not be wrong, -Mrs. St. Helen !
" Who is that?" I enquired faintly, turning away from the room, while my companion closed and secured the door.
" Mrs. Jones is the performer, if it's she whom you mean."
, " Oh no, no, no ! Her name is not, it never was Jones !" said I, feeling very ,faint, and moving as quickly away as ¡possible into the open air.
. "Well certainly," said Mr. B-, after considering a little, "it is strange enough ; I have certainly now and then heard her mention your name, among others So you know very probably, her real name,-Mrs St. n~-?"
He mentioned the name I dreaded to hear.
" I have had her these two years ; she was removed thither from St.-'s by order of General Ogilvie, at whose ex- pense she continues here."
I got into the open air and began at length to breathe more freely. I protest that I never in my life encountered such a shock as that I had just experienced. Ile told me many sad, shocking things,
which I shall not record.
Oh moi'ßilnl uuel just God, govornor of the world, sometimes even in this life thy most tremendous wrath alights upon the heads of the guilty !
Thus ends the Passages from the Diary of a late Physician !
Reader, farewell !
London, July, 1837.