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found his tumultuous and bewildering feelings considerably tranquillized, as he paced hurriedly towards his destination. The grey light of early morning was dawning in the east; and the voice of opening nature, awakening from the night's oblivion, was rising on the hills. Reginald now turned from the beach, and followed a path, which led directly to the house, and the nearer he approached, the stronger and more hurried did his heart beat. He caught a glimpse of the mansion, and his keen and quickened eye perceived that a column of thin, light smoke, issued from more than one of the chimnies. He increased his pace, and ran into the court-yard ; and there he saw that lights were hurrying to and fro through the house. He reached the hall-door, and found it fastened. He knocked loudly, and was challenged by a servant from one of the upper windows, who presented a loaded blunderbuss, as he spoke.
"Let me in quickly," cried Reginald. “It is I, Reginald Owen!"
The door was instantly opened, and Reginald admitted. He read in the sorrowing countenances of the servants the strength of his worst suspicions; and hastening into the usual sitting-room of the family, they were too truly confirmed by the scene which presented itself. Janet was gone! Mrs. Meredith sat weeping on the sofa. Mr. Meredith, with a father's sterner sorrow, sat, or rather reclined, pale, and almost stupenied, in the large arm-chair, which he generally occupied. His neck-cloth was unfastened, and his waistcoat unbuttoned, as if to afford a greater degree of expansion to his oppressed and grief-stricken heart. The two young men stood by him, well armed, and dressed, as if for an expedition. The flush of wrath was on their cheeks, and an eager, panting, impatient anxiety was expressed in the quick and restless roving of their flashing eyes. They both welcomed their friend with outstretched hands, while the poor agonized father attempted to rise, but fell back in his chair, and burst into tears.
Reginald soon heard the dreadful tale. Just before they retired to bed, they heard a scuffling noise outside the house; and before they could go out to ascertain the cause, three or four ruffians rushed into the room with blackened faces, and after seizing Janet's jewel-case, which lay on the table by her, they carried her away with them. Their object did not seem altogether to be plunder, but it was most probable that a ransom would be exacted, as such abductions were not at that time uncommon in the upland districts. Reginald now told his tale; and there could be no doubt as to the identity of the ruffians. But where was Janet ? That Rob evidently knew; and it was promptly decided, that the young men should go directly and seek him out, and demand from him an explanation. In the mean time, Mr. Meredith, who was a magistrate, granted a warrant for the apprehension of Evan Jones, his wife, and sons, and some men were despatched to execute it. So, after Reginald had armed himself, he and the two young Merediths proceeded with all possible liaste to the spot which Rob was supposed to inhabit.
This was not more than two miles from Glanwern, and in about half an hour they approached the rocks amongst which it was situated. The spot was well known to them all; but Reginald, being the most anxious of the party, led the way, which task he found to be none of the most trifling. The approach to Rob's domicile was over a ridge of stunted black rocks, which, at high water, were nearly immersed in the tide, and which at all times were covered with slippery sea-weed and slime. In places on their surface, were deep clefts, over which it was necessary to jump, and frequently the opposite ridge was so sharp and narrow, as scarcely to admit of two persons standing side by side upon it. It required, therefore, a steady foot, and a quick eye to perambulate these barriers; both these requisites were possessed by each individual of our party, and, aided by their long hunting-poles, they made good progress towards Rob's lair. After passing over two or three layers of the ridge, they reached a rock, broader, higher, and more craggy, than any they had yet passed over. It shot up into the clear morning sky-a huge pyramidical barrier; and the young men were now at a loss which way to proceed. After a sharp scrutiny, Reginald descried a small, narrow track--path it could not be called—which wound round one extremity of the rock, between the furze and heath, and it was wet, slippery, and therefore perilous, from the rain which had fallen in the night. Without hesitation, however, he ascended, and was followed by his companions, one after the other, as the track was not wide enough to admit of more than one person at a time.
Reginald reached the summit of the rock, and found himself on the brink of a steep, high, and almost perpendicular precipice; and another step would have precipitated him to the depth of some hundred feet. They all expected a different termination to the path, for, in their anxiety and haste they overlooked, what was now sufficiently evident, that they had been pursuing a goat-track, which led only to the top of the rock, where two or three of these venturesome animals, startled at this intrusion on their solitude, fed swiftly down the very path, which they had just ascended.
What was to be done now? It was about these rocks that they had often seen Rob, flitting in the twilight, like some restless and unhappy demon. His dwelling could not possibly be below, as there was a large extensive turberry, stretching in every direction before them; and there did not seem to be any means of access to it from the rock. Their deliberation was speedily at an end; and it was resolved that they should return, and endeavour to discover his retreat in their way back. This was equally fruitless and unsuccessful. No vestige~no trace whatever of human habitation, or even of human existence, could they discover in this little wilderness: all was desolate, silent, and barren. Reginald shouted the name of the strange being whom they were seeking: the rocks alone sent back the sound in a prolonged and vexatious echo. “He shall hear if he be within reach," said Reginald, as he fired one of the pistols, which he had in his belt. The sound returned lone, magnified by a thousand harsh and loud echoes, that mingling with the screams of myriads of aquatic birds, which the report had disturbed, caused a chaos of noises, which would have roused the Seven Sleepers, had they been within hearing.
“We must go back as we came, I fear,” said the elder Meredith, “I see no chance of finding Rob here."
** Nor I indeed," replied Reginald ; " fool that I was to have parted with hiin as I did! But I will find him," he continued, as he reloaded his pistol; “ and if I do not get some satisfactory ar:swer, this." placing the loaded weapon in his belt, “shall be his portion. But we must return quickly, or the tide will hem us in."
And, so most assuredly it would, had they delayed much longer; for it was already flowing most rapidly, hissing, boiling, and foaming round the stunted black rocks in angry vehemence. Speed. swift and silent, was in accordance with the agitation and hurry of the young men; and they sprang over the narrow fissures between the rocks with so much energy and agility, that they quickly regained the shore. Hastening to Glanwern, they soon reached the house; and their mortification and anxiety were increased by the unsuccessful return of the party, that was despatched to apprehend Evan and his family. Not a soul had they found in the house, and no single particle of information had they obtained, which could lead to the discovery of their retreat. The men had ransacked the house, but had found nothing beyond a few articles of the most ordinary domestic kind; and although tl:ey had inquired at every hut and cottage in the neighbourhood, they could learn no tidings of the miscreants.
Reginald now remembered that, on an occasion which we have mentioned, Rob requested, or rather commanded him to seek him alone, if ever he wanted his assistance or advice; and alone did he proceed thus to seek him. He retraced, with a hurried step, and a flashing eye, every step of the road we have described; and fonnd, to his great annoyance, upon his arrival at the river-side, that the tide had cut off all communication with the dwelling of his kinsman. He sat down in despair upon one of the heath-clad rocks, which overhung the rippling waters, and, absorbed in painful reflection, awaited with intense anxiety the slow-ebbing of the tide.
From this reverie he was aroused by the well-known voice of his kinsman, who exclaimed in his deep, peculiar tone—“Have you had enough of misery? I told you of it, and I suppose you will now believe me?"
Reginald rose hastily from his reclining posture, and the flash of passion beamed from his dark eye. “Robert Owen !" he said, “I have sought you, and I have found you! Tell me, where is Janet Meredith ?”
“You asked me the same question once before, and I answered you,” said Rob, as he stood unmoved before our hero, “and I
VOL. II. NO, XII.
Uncle Tom is married--of course, as self-interest is his ruling passion, his marriage was not one of love. He might have had the beautiful and rich Miss V-; but weighing the disadvantages of her temper and character against her loveliness and wealth, the former preponderated in the scale; and then comparing Miss V- with the mild and placid, although pennyless, woman who is now his wife, he found the odds much in favor of the latter. He never would have conjugated at all, but self decided that wedded life was more conducive to happiness, than single, even with the addition of blessedness to it. And when this wife lay ill of a fever, and he attended her with all the anxiety of a fond and doting husband, watching and satisfying every half-breathed wish, giving with his own hands the medicines prepared for her, Uncle Tom would be very much nettled at any eulogy on his conduct, (for he is in reality a modest man) and considering every such commendation as an attack on his favorite dogma, would assert vehemently, that all the care he had so lavishly bestowed upon her, was only spent in the hope she would soon recover the full bloom of those charms, which first awakened his interested attachment.
There is not a better master than Uncle Tom. His assigned servants are comfortable and happy—with money sufficient for their wants, and plenty to ensure their cleanliness and respectability. Still Uncle Tom's inducement, if we are to believe his own assertion, is, and nothing but, self-interest. “ These men,” argues he, “if I am not kind to them will rob me, or commit some depredation on my neighbours, by which I shall get into hot water, and so to preserve peace between myself and those in the vicinity, it greatly affects me to secure to my servants every advantage necessary for them in their situation.” Thus Uncle Tom is affectionate to his wife, and kind to his servants from a motive, which is generally esteemed any thing but a commendable one, namely, selfishness!
When in England, Uncle Tom was in the habit of visiting gaols, and prisons, giving counsel and relief wherever it lay within the compass of his power; and here the poor, the afflicted, and the sorrowful may pour the full tide of their miseries into his ear, certain of his assistance and condolence; he would go a long way out of his course to aid with his purse a poverty-overtaken family, he would listen patiently and sympathetically to a tale of distress; and far from allowing the least praise for his truly generous conduct, he will study and exert his utmost to convince his friends, that his favorite position is still unshaken, as, in spite of all their arguments, he will prove, that his only motive was the love of selfapprobation, and that he would not plead guilty to such acts of benevolence, only that the inward satisfaction he experienced, more than rewarded him for the slight inconvenience he might undergo.
Such is Uncle Tom, forgetting that whatever increases our own happiness, without encroaching on that of others, ceases to be selfinterest, he has assumed a theory, which is founded on a false basis; yet it would be well for the world if all metaphysical questions were settled, and all theories put into practice after the example of Uncle Tom.
Mountains! ye who laugh at time,
Ye, who catch the earliest gleam
Mountains ! it was ye, who first