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spent! And this is what the world calls pleasure! But Oh, how has this pleasure partaken of the nature of pain ! inexpressible and dreadful pain!'
“While indulging in these reflections, I looked to see who was with me, and found that little Flora was sitting by my pillow; and, as soon as I moved, she enquired whether she should fetch me any thing.
“While the little girl was holding a cup to my mouth, and trying to raise my head, in order that I might drink the more easily, I lifted up my eyes to her face, and asked after Miss Chatterton.
“«Shall I call Miss Amelia ?' said the little girl, who had been told not to talk to me.
I made no reply, but turned on my side, (for I was very weak,) to look into the next room, where all was perfectly still; and where I presently distinguished the figures of Amelia and Miss Beaumont, the one sitting by the bed of Miss Chatterton, and the other by that of Miss Atkins, each of them holding a punkah, with which, at intervals, they fanned their patients. Their fine countepances were thoughtful. But where are all the bosom friends and intimates of these unhappy young women ? Had they all forsaken them, and left thein, in their extremity, with those whom they considered as their rivals and enemies? Is this worldly friendship! Such were the reflections which suggested themselves to my mind.
“I looked for a while: all was silent, and I hoped that my unhappy companions might be better.
At length, Miss Chatterton spoke: her voice was feeble and hollow, and her accents were peculiarly melancholy. She said several words, but I could distinguish only one: it was death.
In reply to which, I heard Amelia remark, • Dear Miss Chatterton, it is never too late to apply to the Redeemer; He is ever ready to answer such as sincerely call upon Him: and though the hour may be late, he surely will not reject those to whom he has given the desire to seek him.'
“I heard no more; for the powerful medicine which I had taken again overcame me, and I fell asleep.
“When I next awoke, it was quite dusk. Miss Beaumont was by me, and, without speaking, gave me some medicine. The gloom of evening added to my melancholy feelings, and I could not refrain from weeping. My
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attention was, at length, arrested by voices in the next room, and I heard Miss Chatterton speak. · The Ariadne !' she said, “yes, the Ariudne!-- she is sailing in an ocean of blood! Her masts rise higher than the clouds! Her sails are wider than the earth! There is no shore to that sea!'
“ In reply to these delirious ramblings, I heard the voice of Amelia, saying, “Dear Miss Chatterton, think no more of the Ariadne; that affair is past. You will see the Ariadne no more; you are now sorry that you ever saw her: let us think of better things. There is a Saviour, who extends his arms to you, who calls upon you, who bids you repent of your sins and come to him: think of this dear Saviour. Think of what he has done for you; place your trust in him; and you will assuredly be happy.'
“ Miss Chatterton groaned deeply; and, seeming not to have comprehended what Amelia had said, she again alluded, in some confused and horrible manner, to certain events of the past night, and then said, • Did
you see the gates of the burying-ground? They were opened wide last night. I saw them; neither could they be closed.'
".0, Chatterton! dear Chatterton !' said Miss At kins, her voice issuing from the other bed, 'for Heaven's sake, do not talk in this way; I cannot bear it:' and, even at the distance where I was, I heard her sob distinctly.
“ Miss Chatterton took no notice of the address of her former friend; for, being seized afresh with spasms and retchings, Amelia was obliged to call for more help: and, in a few minutes, lights were brought; and Mrs. Patterson, Madame de Roseau, and, shortly afterwards, Dr. H came into the room.
• Immediately on the arrival of Dr. H -, he ordered the doors to be closed between me and the other sick persons; and, as I had taken several very powerful opiates, I soon sank into a deep sleep, which, with little intermission, continued till the next day.
“ In the morning, I was still very weak, but the danger was past; orders, however, were given that I should be kept exceedingly quiet, and as easy as possible. I was surprised, however, to see little either of Amelia or of Miss Beaumont during the whole of the day, and to find, moreover, that the door between my room and that of the other sick persons was fastened ; neither could I well hear what was said in the next apartment, as Dr. H- had ordered my bed to be taken up, and removed to that end of the room that was most distant from the chamber of poor Miss Chatterton.
“ As I thus could neither see nor hear any thing that might have been going forward, I was compelled to be content with the society of little Flora, who sat by me all day. But Flora had been told not to satisfy my curiosity; accordingly, to whatever questions I asked, she only said, Shall I call Miss Carrisforth ?' Being, bowever, under the influence of laudanum, I lay with more composure amidst niy ignorance than I should otherwise have done: and thus the whole day wore away.
" At her usual hour Amelia came to bed. She looked fatigued, having been up the whole of the precedin night, and it was evident that she had also been crying very bitterly. Miss Beaumont came in with her, as they intended to spend the night together. Amelia,' I said, on their entering, how are poor Miss Chatterton and Miss Atkins?'
“I hope they are easy,' she answered. must not talk, Clara: go to sleep, my dear.'
“I closed my eyes, and tried to sleep; but the influence of the opium being spent, I was particularly wakeful, and amused myself as invalids often do, in watching the motions of the persons in my room.
We had a light burning, which was to be continued all night; and, before the young ladies got into bed, they both went through the door between the two apartments, and staid a considerable time. Amelia came back first, and Miss Beaumont followed. Amelia called to Miss Beaumont to fasten the door; but I perceived, after they had been in hed a little while, that this had not been done, and that it had been left a little
open. “ The young ladies, being, no doubt, worn with fatigue, were soon asleep, and the whole house lay in solemn silence. I thought on the loud laughs and screams of merriment which had so lately resounded through the bed-rooms at this hour of the night, and was struck with the remarkable contrast; for now not even a whisper
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stirred in the galleries. I lay during a great part of the night awake; but, about two o'clock, Amelia got up, and gave me something to drink; and, seeing me restless, she lay down by me, and laid my
her bosom, talking to me a while in the tenderest and sweetest manner, and pointing out the blessings of religion, and the perfect peace attending it, assuring me, that, if I would now endeavour to do well, all that I had done amiss would be forgiven by Mrs. Patterson, and probably be never known to my father. And thus she soothed me: and having composed me to sleep, she withdrew; and I enjoyed a refreshing slumber till breakfast-time the next morning.
“When I then awoke, I found myself alone; little Flora, who had been left with me for a while, having gone down to fetch our breakfast. I had quite recovered from the effects of the opium, and felt myself considerably better; for in hot climates recovery from illness is often as speedy as the progress of disease is rapid. I therefore sat up in my bed, and put on my dressinggown; and it then occurred to me, that, as the door between the two rooms was open, it could not do any
harm for me just to go through, and ask Miss Chatterton how she did: for the season was so hot, that there could be no fear of my catching cold; and, if I know myself, I had no intention, at that time, of doing this slyly, as I resolved to mention the circumstance to Amelia when she next came up.
“I, accordingly, proceeded softly into the next room, but was a little startled at finding a standing screen behind the door; by which, however, I soon made my way, and advanced between the beds. The room was perfectly silent. I turned to Miss Chatterton's bed: it was not only empty, but the very beddings and curtains were removed. Astonished beyond measure, I turned to Miss Atkins's bed; when Oh! conceive my horror, on beholding that miserable young woman extended upon it, a livid and putrefying corpse; for she had died during the night, and the work of decomposition was already commenced. I looked for a moment, thinking I might be deceived: the features, however, were not so altered, but that I easily recognized the vain, light, and unhappy creature who, but two days before, had been the companion of my folly. I uttered a shriek of horror; and, running back to my bed, was, shortly afterwards, found lying upon it, totally insensible.
“Oli having recovered from my fainting, I found my sweet Amelia sitting by me, and administering to me all that my situation required. O, Clara, my dear,' she said, “what have you been doing! where have you been?'
Amelia, dear, dear Amelia!' I replied, 'I have done wrong; I acted without your advice, and I went into that dreadful room. I know not what more I said, but I cried violently, and begged to be told what had become of Miss Chatterton.
“Amelia answered, that she had died about midnight on the night subsequent to that on which she had been on board the Ariadne; and that Miss Atkins had lingered for twenty-four hours longer, hopes at times having. been entertained of her life. She added, too, this further information, that Miss Jackson was also dead, as well as two other young people who had been with us in the ship; and that several of the ship's officers had been so seriously ill that their lives were despaired of. She informed me that the sudden deaths of so many young persons had occasioned much talk in Calcutta; and that the medical men in vain endeavoured to account for the circumstance, some supposing it to be owing to the animal effluvia from the skins with which the ship was laden, some attributing it to fatigue, and others to some unwholesome food accidentally administered to the guests. She also informed me, that my name had, providentially, not been brought forward in the affair, and earnestly expressed the hope that I might consider this as an encouragement to act better for the future; for,' added she;. . such a report against a young person might ruin her reputation for ever.'
“Poor Miss Atkins was buried about eight o'clock that morning, and I was fully aware of the awful moment in which she was carried away, from hearing the heavy steps of those who bore the coffin; when I exclaimed, in agony, 'Oh, my God, keep me! Henceforward leave me not to my own counsels, but guide me by thy hand, lest I fall again, and fall for ever!'
“ Amelia wept very bitterly; little Flora and Miss