Albert and Eliza, a novel written by Isaac Mitchell, was serialized in the Political Barometer, a New York newspaper. Its first installment appeared on June 8^th^ 1802, and it was published weekly until July 13^th^ 1802. The author Mitchell not only wrote novels in the Political Barometer but was also the editor and publisher. Born near Albany, New York in 1759, he joined the newspaper business in 1798 in Poughkeepsie, New York. Though Mitchell worked with several newspapers, he was involved with the Political Barometer for the longest time from 1802 to 1806. The Political Barometer, a Poughkeepsie, New York weekly newspaper, was first named The Guardian when Jesse Buel and Nathaniel Joyner started the paper. The paper was an open advocate of Thomas Jefferson. When Mitchell, purchased Joyner’s interest in 1802 the paper was renamed to Political Barometer. By May of 1805, Buell’s name was removed as publisher and editor and Mitchell remained the sole proprietor of the newspaper, until 1806.
In its first publication on June 8^th^ 1802, Mitchell and Buel stated that the paper aims to incorporate both domestic and international materials and claims it is open to political discussion from either Federalist or Democratic-Republican parties. However, it was clear that Mitchell and Political Barometer was more in the favor of the Republicans. On September 16, 1806, Mitchell published his farewell editorial in his the Political Barometer. Within this farewell address, Mitchell stressed the important role that he and his newspaper played within the current political climate. As a fervent supporter of Republicanism, for Mitchell, nothing was more important and nothing was more vital than preserving his political party’s influence.
Although Mitchell went on to work as a newspaperman at other journals, it is during his time at the Political Barometer that his most popular works of literature were produced. In addition to Albert and Eliza, Mitchell also wrote and published two other longer novels: Melville and Phalez (1803), and Alonzo and Melissa (1804). Mitchell died from Typhus on November 26, 1812 and is buried in the Dutch Church Cemetery in Poughkeepsie, New York, next to his wife, Anah.
Mitchell’s three novels, Albert and Eliza, Melville and Phalex, and Alonzo and Melissa, were serialized and published in the Political Barometer. Alonzo and Melissa was later edited and published in a book with the title The Asylum in 1811 and now has become his most known novel. Aside from Mitchell’s editing and re-publication of The Asylum, his three novels at times have been ascribed to other authors. Albert and Eliza, for example, was pirated by Russel Ladd and was reprinted as a book in 1802. This was due to the common practice of literary piracy that took place in the early American republic. It is clear, however, from a note to his work Albert and Eliza that he is indeed the original author of all three Political Barometer works.
As with other serialized works, Albert and Eliza is also composed with complex subplots. The main story is about a young woman named Eliza’s fidelity and faithfulness to her betrothed Albert. Compared to the topics surrounding Albert and Eliza, such as fidelity, sentiment, and virtue, other characters raise rather proactive issues. For example, when it is revealed at the end of the novel that Blake, one of Eliza’s admirers, had married Ms. Smith without knowing the fact that she was actually his half-sister or when Blake kills his half-brother Palmer in a duel raise the issue of incest and fratricide. Along with the complex subplots, the lapses between each installment create curiosity and anticipation of the next story which is another feature of serialization. Whereas book readers can jump right into the ending, serialization creates terms between each episode and extends the reading experience to readers. Albert and Eliza also has intentional breaks between installments that heighten the tension in the story.
Davidson, Cathy N. Revolution and the World: The Rise of the Novel in America. Oxford UP, 2004.
Fichtelberg, Joseph. “The Sentimental Economy of Isaac Mitchell’s The Asylum.” Early American Literature, no. 32, vol. 1, 1997, pp 1-19.
Giles, Paul. “Translantic currents and the invention of the American novel.” The Cambridge History of the American Novel. Ed. Leonard Cassuto, Cambridge UP, 2011, pp 22-36.
James Fenimore Cooper Society Website. “Isaac Mitchell: Collected Works”. James Fenimore Cooper society, http://external.oneonta.edu/cooper/introduction/mitchell/mitchell.html. Accessed 26 April 2017.
Platt, Edmund. The Eagle’s History of Poughkeepsie: From the Earliest Settlements 1683 to 1905. Platt and Platt, 1905.
ALBERT AND ELIZA.–A TALE
[1. 8 June 1802]
The public are assured that the principal incidents * *in the following story are literally true. They * *were transacted more than one hundred years * *ago, and have never before appeared in print. IN the early settlement of North-America, the only son of a gentleman of Long-Island, de- voted his addresses to a young lady of his neigh bourhood, and as no unpropitious impediment op- posed their union, the marriage day was appoint- ed under the most flattering auspices. Previous, however, to the consummation of that event, the father of the young man received advice from England, his native place, that by the death of one of his predecessors he became rightful heir to a considerable inheritance, and that he himself, or some immediate branch of this fami- ly, should appear to substantiate the claim. As the old gentleman was considerably advanced in age, and his health in decay, it was concluded to send his son, whose name was Albert, and that his marriage should be suspended until his return. This was a heavy stroke to the young lovers, but as the circumstance was indispensable, they sub- mitted to the decision, and Albert immediately prepared for his voyage, expecting to return in a- bout one year. The parting scene was of the most tender nature; but with the greatest confi- dence in each other’s fidelity, they looked for- ward to the time when they should, happily, a- gain meet, and all past sorrows be lost in days of uninterrupted felicity.
Albert took his departure for England, and Eliza (the name of the lady) from Montauk- Point, pursued the ship with her eyes, until it mingled with the blue glimmer of distance, and, lessening, gradually receded, first the hulk, then the sails, till at last the whole was totally lost beneath the convexity of the billowy main. She stood a long time anxiously gazing at the place where the ship disappeared, and at length pen- sively returned to her father’s house. Eliza was a girl, whose feelings were alive to all the refinements of sensibily. In her present situation, therefore, melancholy superceded her high-wrought expectations of happiness, which manifested itself in gloomy manners and rigid se- clusion. She would frequently wander along the shores of Montauk, and from its extremest point, would rivet her eyes to that distant part of the ocean where the ship which bore her Albert a- way was lost to her view. Here fancy presented innumerable barriers to the completion of her hopes. Perhaps the ship in which Albert sailed was already buried in the waves. Perhaps the fatigues of the sea, or some deleterious fever had forever closed the eyes of him she loved. Or, perhaps, absence and the charms of some trans- atlantic beauty might dissever his attachment from the maid of his vows, and bind them to more advantageous prospects. These reflections tend- ed to sink her still deeper in dejection. Her health became impaired, and her friends, after vainly attempting to arouse her attention to visi- ble and cheerful objects, resolved to send her to reside awhile at the city of New-York, with her father’s brother, hoping that change of situation might produce a change of ideas, and she again be induced to realize the blessings of society. To this arrangement she consented, more out of complaisance to the solicitations of her friends, than from her own choice.
At New-York, objects widely different from any which Eliza had before experienced, present- ed themselves, which, in some measure, a- woke her from the stupor of thought. She had never, before, seen the gay and busy world. So sudden a removal from the scenes of rural simplicity, to the theatre of active and brilliant life, could not fail to illuminate the dark mists of sad- ness, which, by degrees, gave place to more lu- cid ideas.
There were no stage-representations in New- York, at this early period; but there were fashi- onable amusements, and polite company. To these was Eliza frequently introduced, and every effort was made, by her new acquaintance, to ren- der her situation pleasing and interesting. Her uncle was one of the settlers who came over from England with a splendid fortune, and classed with the first characters in the city; consequent- ly the best company resorted to his house. He had a daughter of about the same age with Eli- za, and a son somewhat older. Nothing was wanting, on their part, to promote the happiness of their friend, and by all the visitors she was held in the highest consideration. Her bosom felt the pleasing power of social reciprocity, and the discordant thrill of anguish more feebly vi- brated the chords of affection. While she wan- dered along the margin of the shore, and beheld the distant approaching sails, as they dimly ap- peared to rise out of the farthest verge of the o- cean, she breathed a sigh to the remembrance of former joys, fondly anticipated a speedy return of those happy hours, which would effectually obliterate every vestige of former care and anxie- ty, and became tranquil.
(To be continued.)
[2. 15 June 1802]
AMONG those who visited at the house of Eliza’s uncle, was a young man of the name of Blake, who was nephew to the Go- vernor of the province. Pleased with the man- ners and appearance of Eliza, he frequently at- tended her in public, and sometimes in com- pany, only, of her cousins. He experienced, or fancied he experienced, greater happiness when in her presence, than he could any where else en- joy, and he became a more constant visitor to the family.
Blake was considerably older than Eliza. He had seen some gay days in England, which place he had left soon after the death of his father, by whose will he became possessed of an ample for- tune, and came over to America with his kins- man on his appointment to the supreme magis- tracy of the colony. He was a youth of fashion- able taste, of easy address, engaging manners, and of an agreeable appearance. He was one of those characters who are distinguished by the appellation of a Lady’s man. He had no idea of forming any serious connection with Eliza; but he esteemed her innocent gaiety, admired her beauty, and was charmed, with those indescriba- ble graces, which are ever the attendants of sym- metry of form, sincerity of mind, and a vivacious, uncontaminated simplicity of manners, Eliza received his addresses as he designed them. She suffered him to attend her because she was wil- ling to be attended by some person of distinction whenever she appeared in public; and to visit her on account of the respect with which he was treated, both in her uncle’s family, and by all with whom he was acquainted. Balls were the principal amusements, and at these he was, with few exceptions, her partner. Her being ushered into notice by so conspicuous a character as Blake, gave her general eclat among the gentle- men, and caused her to become an object of envy to some of the ladies. It would be vanity to say that such flattering attention did not, in some degree, elate the heart of Eliza, for what bosom is there which is totally unsusceptible to the fa- scinating powers of adulation!
Blake had been particular to a Miss Smith, a lady of distinction in the city, who now became neglected, and consequently piqued, by his at- tendance upon Eliza. She considered her as a rival, and of course became her enemy. Of this, however, both her pride and her interest prevent- ed her from making an avowal. She put on the appearance of the sincerest friendship to Eliza, and assiduously participated in her most retired in- timacies.
The fame of Eliza had also raised up a serious rival to Blake. A Mr. Palmer, a man of gal- lantry, obsequiously bowed to her charms, and assiduously strove to ingratiate himself into her fa- vor. Blake and he seldom met, unless in pub- lic, but Palmer sought every opportunity, in the absence of his competitor, to engage her atten- tion, and, if possible, diminish the preference and esteem which he supposed she entertained for Blake; this stimulated the latter to a more vigi- lant perseverance; his visits to Eliza became more frequent, and his attention more sedulous. He waited on her one evening to offer him- self as her partner at an approaching ball, and found, to his extreme vexation, that her hand had been previously engaged to Palmer. He did not remonstrate; this would have been im- proper; besides, he could claim no privilege so to do. He soon took leave and withdrew, in chagrin and disappointment.
At the assembly Blake danced with Miss Smith, but his spirits were sunk, and his natural vivaci- ty depressed. On this he was rallied, and he complained of an indisposition. Miss Smith and Palmer well knew what antidote would have re- moved the malady.
The next day he seriously consulted his situa- tion. He found himself under the controul of an unconquerable passion; a passion which, like the electric fluid, finds no restraint but in the ob- ject of its attraction, or in its own dissolution. What was to be done? Was not she who had raised this tempest in his bosom worthy of honor- able proposals? Was it not probable she would accept them if made then in an honorable way?– Blake new nothing of Albert, or of her being under any prior engagements. But were there no other barriers to a union with Eliza? There were, and serious ones too.–Barriers which none except himself and one other person were acquaint- ted with, on this side of the Atlantic. Were these impediments insurmountable? Could they not be removed? No plan which had hitherto presented itself, appeared of sufficient validity to enable him to surmount the obstacle.
Under the pressure of these reflections, he wan- dered, when evening came, along the banks of the Hudson, above the city, where the elms and the willows, on the verge of the river, cast a dun, umbrageous shade. The Sun was retiring behind the blue western hills, while the brazen summits of the steepled fanes, alone, held the last gleam of his reluctant ray. “The breeze’s rust- ling wing was in the tree,” and the faintly mur- muring wave dashed in melancholy cadence upon the pebbly shore. Twilight gathered around, when he heard voices and footsteps approaching. They came on–it was Eliza and her cousins, who were returning from participating the beau- ties of nature in an evening walk. He joined them, and the gloom which hovered about his mind was, in some measure, dissipated.
As they moved slowly on towards home, the company walked on, and Eliza and Blake were left together. She observed that an unusual pen- siveness hung about him, and gaily enquired the occasion. This presented a fair opportunity for an ecclaircissement. The before mentioned obsta- cles rushed across his mind, but Eliza was pre- sent, and the consequences vanished. He, there- fore, freely disclosed his situation, as it respected her; told her that in attending to her from com- plaisance, his happiness had become seriously in- terested. That on her determination all his fu- ture prospects rested; and that if her feelings did not forbid a reciprocal return of affection, he stood ready to proffer her his hand and his heart. Had a peal of thunder burst, in sheeted flame, from the heavens, it would not have shocked E- liza more than did this solemn declaration. She had never considered any attention which she had received from the gentleman, other than the offi- cious, refined politeness, which is common to the superior walks of life. She had esteemed Blake as her friend, but never thought of him as a sui- tor; and although she was pleased with him as an obsequious gallant, yet when set in compari- son with Albert, whose likeness still glowed upon her heart in as lively colours as ever, he sunk into deformity. She wished not to realize the idea that any person except Albert should enter- tain, for her, a more exalted sentiment than that of friendship and esteem. To the professions of Blake, therefore, she could make no answer, which, had she attempted, her sensations would have choked her utterance. She hastily with- drew her hand, which he made but a feeble effort to detain, quickened her step and soon overtook the company. Blake attended her to her uncle’s door; as he withdrew he whispered her, “am I to receive no answer?’’ She hesitated, and then with vehemence replied, “Sir, it is impossible,’’ and immediately retired to her chamber.
(To be continued.)
[3. 22 June 1802]
ELIZA flung herself upon her bed, but with- out any inclination to sleep. Her spirits had been agitated, and it required time to com- pose them. She saw herself in a dangerous situ- ation. If Blake was sincere, which she had no reason to doubt, when comparing his conduct with his declaration, she knew not to what lengths the matter might be carried, nor how deeply she might be involved in the consequen- ces. She therefore resolved to write to her fa- ther, desiring him to send for her home; this de- termination gave some relief to her mind, she became less restless, and at last fell asleep. In the morning she was roused by her aunt, who brought her a letter which the carrier had just handed in; as soon as she fixed her eye up- on the superscription, she knew it to be from Al- bert. She broke the seal and found it contained the particulars of his voyage to England, and the kind reception he met with from the friends of his father’s house. His business was nearly completed, and he expected in about three months from the date of his letter, to set sail for Ameri- ca. This letter had been written upwards of two months, and was dated nine months after he left America, so that the time was nearly ar- rived when he was to leave England. Albert, in his letter, had breathed out the tenderness of his soul to Eliza, lamented their long absence, and the wide distance which separated them, and fi- nally, pourtrayed in vivid colorings the joys of their expected meeting.
This letter banished almost every trace of sor- row from the bosom of Eliza. She considered the affair of Blake, and was surprised that it gave her so much anxiety. He had compliment- ed her charms–this was not uncommon. –She believed him to be actuated by generous princi- ples, and that if he understood her situation, he would withdraw his attention. She therefore resolved, whenever a proper occasion should of- fer to give him some intimation which might deter him from continuing his addresses. This, however, did not prevent her from writing a re- quest to her father to permit her to return home. Quite different were the feelings of Blake.– He had been repulsed where he had the most san- guine hopes of success. He had, hitherto, supposed himself not disagreeable to Eliza. Had he not oc- casion to believe she held him in preference? – What then could be the cause of her sudden a- larm, and seeming disgust at his proposals? No- thing appeared more probable than that some o- ther person had, recently, secured her affections, and this person could be no other than Palmer. This conclusion pierced his soul–Among all the embarrassments in love, none strike so deep– none wound so keenly, as the idea of a rival. Eliza’s reply on Blake’s pressing for an answer, was, “it is impossible.” But what was impos- sible? Was it impossible that she could then come to a determination? or that she could ac- cede to his proposals? The former he wished to hope; the latter he had great reason to fear. To extricate himself from the torture of sus- pense, he determined to see her that day, and, if possible to bring her to a decision. As he en- tered the door of her uncle’s house, he met Pal- mer, who had been to invite Eliza to ride out with him on the following day. They bowed to each other with distant civility, and Blake was admitted into Eliza’s room, who happened to be alone. As he entered, an involuntary tremor seized her; but it was momentary; with her usu- al cheerfulness, she desired him to be seated, and his confidence, which had forsaken him as he ap- proached the house, returned.
Blake soon introduced the subject he came up- on. He asked pardon for the discomposure his declaration had thrown her into, the preceding evening; but as his happiness depended upon the result, he desired her to be explicit. She told him that she esteemed him as a friend– thanked him for his former complaisance, but that both her feelings and her situation forbade her to encourage his addresses; that she was ex- cited to deal thus frankly, from motives of delica- cy to them both, but that she must consider her- self excused from any further explanation. So ingenuous a decision disconcerted every ar- gument which Blake had prepared to enforce his suit. His mind became paralyzed and his tongue powerless. They both sat silent, and were hap- pily relieved from a very embarrassing situation by the entrance of company. Blake immediately arose to depart; Eliza waited upon him to the door; he disconsolately took her hand, bowed, and bade her good night.
Palmer had not been more particular to Eliza, than to several other ladies of the city; conse- quently his attention was less to be feared. She at first declined his offer to ride out with him, the day following, but he solicited, and she fi- nally consented. He came at the appointed hour, which was about three o’clock in the af- ternoon–Eliza was handed into the coach, and they drove out towards Kingsbridge. It was that season of the year when decaying nature was fast sinking to her wintry tomb. As they passed along, Eliza was highly interested in the picturesque scenes which the landscape exhibit- ed. The yellow splendor of the faded foliage; the lofty grandeur of the rugged mountain; the solitary lapse of the winding stream, as it mur- mured along the hollow valley; the rustling sound of the lingering gales, as they idly pursu- ed the withering leaves over the variegated fields; the plaintive melody of the autumnal birds, all conspired to thrill her bosom with a pleasing, me- lancholy sensation. They passed Kingsbride, and drove a little distance into the country, where they stopped for refreshment, and loitered away the time until evening. As they were about to return, they perceived a shower arising. They hastened into the carriage, and Palmer or- dered the postillion to drive on with speed. They passed Kingsbridge, and came very near Haer- lem before the shower overtook them. There were, then, but few scattering houses in this (place, and but one inn of any respectability.) Here Palmer proposed to stop, to which, as the storm became furious, Eliza agreed. They were shown into a decent room; Palmer ordered wine and a dish of fruit. The violence of the storm did not abate till sometime in the evening. E- liza grew very uneasy, particularly as she observ- ed that Palmer drank very freely of wine. She in- treated that they might proceed: he raised ob- jections; the storm had not entirely ceased– when it had they could soon reach town. He drank more wine, she perceived he became in- toxicated, and insisted upon going on immediate- ly. He went out as though to give orders for the necessary preparations, but soon returning, and seating himself beside her, “Dear Eliza,” said he, “the postillion is asleep, the evening is advanced, the roads are wet and slippery; you must content yourself to stay here until morning, and then, my blooming charmer, I will, with pleasure, convey you to your friends.” Thus saying, he clasped her, with ardor, to his breast; she screamed for assistance; two men rushed into the room and disingaged her–it was the inn- keeper and Blake! Palmer attempted to resist them, and ordered them to leave the room; Blake asked Eliza whether she was detained there against her will, she answered that she was; he removed her immediately from the room; as they were going out, Palmer seized her arm and attempted to rescue her, but he was thrust back by Blake with so much force that he fell, with violence, to the floor. “If you can be found to-morrow,” said he to Blake, as he rose up, “I shall consider it my duty to acknowledge my ob- ligations for this politeness.” “You are not unacquainted that I reside at the government house,” replied Blake, and Palmer withdrew to his room.
Blake engaged the inn-keeper to furnish a ser- vant with a horse and chaise, to convey Eliza to town. He mounted his horse and rode behind until they arrived at her uncle’s; he handed her into the door, tenderly bade adieu, and retired to his lodging.
(To be continued.)
[4. 29 June 1802]
PALMER was not a libertine in principle. He felt no extraordinary attachment to E- liza. He esteemed her as a gay, fashionable and lovely girl, but had formed no dishonorable designs respecting her. He had not even an in- tention of tarrying all night at the inn in Haer- lem, when driven thither by the storm; but be- ing warmed with wine, which at times, he was accustomed to use with too much freedom, added to the idea of so enchanting a girl in his posses- sion, his senses became perverted, and his reason overpowered by the arbitrary influence of passi- on. It is not, however, probable that he would have proceeded to any indecencies; a repulse would have awed him into reverence: but the delicate feelings of Eliza, abhorrently alive to every appearance of indecorum, could not brook an advancement beyond the most strict bounds of civility. Blake, under the melancholy burden of disappointment, unconscious of the excursion of Eliza and Palmer, had rode into the country merely for amusement, and on his return had a- lighted at the inn, a short time after them. —- This accounts for the incidents of Haerlem affair.
The next morning, Blake arose at an early hour, determined, as soon as convenience would permit, to call at the house of Eliza’s uncle, to learn something concerning the affair, of which, as yet, he knew but little. He supposed that her attachment to Palmer was the principal cause of his rejection, and he secretly rejoiced at the pros- pect of a rupture between them. About nine o’clock he went to the house. Eliza was alrea- dy up, and as soon as she understood he was there, desired to see him. She related to him every minute circumstance of the preceding day’s adventure, while he endeavored to represent the conduct of Palmer in the most odious light. Blake was invited to stay to breakfast, which in- vitation he accepted, and shortly after took his leave, complimented with the polite obligations of the family, and the grateful acknowledgments of Eliza.
When he returned home, a servant was wait- ing at the door, from whom he received the fol- lowing note.
To J. Blake, Esq. “Sir, “You must undoubtedly have expected to hear from me before this time. You will accept a reasonable excuse–I slept late, and have but this moment arrived in town. A few hours can- not be considered too long to examine our pistols, and prepare for, possibly, serious events. I, therefore, take the liberty to request you to meet me, with a single friend, in the fields, one mile north of the town, just back of the new build- ing, precisely at 5 o’clock in the evening. – Should you have any objections to these arrange- ments, you will please to notify me. “Yours, &c. S. PALMER.” 9 O’clock, Thursday morning.
To which Blake returned the following answer.
To S. PALMER, Esq. “Sir, “I shall punctually attend to the ar- rangments pointed out in your note of this mor- ning. “I am, &c. J. Blake.” Thursday morning, 11 o’clock.
Blake immediately made the necessary prepara- tions, and at the hour appointed, they were both on the spot. They agreed to fire, on a signal given by the seconds, at the distance of ten pa- ces. They took their stands, in a cool and deli- berate manner, and at the signal given, Palmer fired, and Blake received the ball in his breast. He staggered, but did not fall. A momentary pause ensued—- “Do you intend to fire?” enquired Pal- mer.
Blake. Are you now satisfied? Palmer. You are wounded? Blake. I am. Palmer. Is the wound mortal? Blake. It is only a flesh wound. Palmer. Then I am not satisfied. Blake. I must then act in my own defence–
They both fired, and Palmer fell. He rolled up- on the ground, and expired with a single groan. Blake fainted through loss of blood, but soon recovered, His wound, it is true, was only a flesh wound, but it was deep, and had opened an artery. Palmer was shot through the region of the heart. His body was removed to the new building, which was unoccupied, and secretly buried in the night. The connections of the parties hushed up the affair, and as no surgeon was called, no other persons were privy to the affair, except the seconds. It was given out that Palmer had fled, on account of a prosecuti- on about to be set on foot against him by the friends of Eliza. Blake kept his chamber a few days, and again appeared in public.
Eliza considered herself under the highest ob- ligations to Blake. He had extricated her from a dangerous dilemma; and although she could not receive him on the footing of a suitor, yet grati- tude forbade her, totally, to refuse his visits. He was, therefore, frequently at her uncle’s, and sometimes permitted to attend her abroad. His conduct, now, appeared disinterested. He did not attempt to renew his addresses, but behaved to her more like a guardian friend and brother, than a lover; and so generously candid were all his actions, that she finally admitted his visits without reserve.
Winter came, and the time had elapsed in which Albert was expected. Eliza had, one day, been reading his letter, when she was suddenly called away by her aunt, on some business. In her absence, Blake entered her room: Albert’s letter lay open upon her dressing table; he hasti- ly ran over the contents–he was thunderstruck! A crowd of chaotic ideas rushed into his mind. He found that Palmer had been only the ostensi- ble barrier to his wishes, and although this ob- stacle was now removed, yet he had a more for- midable one to encounter. But who was Al- bert? He had never even heard his name menti- oned. Whoever he was, it was certain he had not yet returned. It was possible he never might return. Or if he should, it might not be so soon as was expected, and in that case, perhaps Eliza might change her mind; at least his own happi- ness demanded that nothing should be wanting, on his part, to influence her so to do. Blake hurried away without seeing Eliza, resolving to pursue such measures as future circumstances should require.
Eliza became dejected, as the months rolled away after the time she had calculated for Al- bert to arrive. She framed a thousand excu- ses for this delay, and abandoned them almost as soon as framed. She had written to him, after receiving his letter, but had no answer there- to; hence she concluded that he must be about to return, or he would have written to her; and though gloomy presages often crossed her imagination, yet she consoled herself in as- surances of his speedy arrival.
Blake was constantly inventing some new en- tertainment to divert Eliza. Balls, select par- ties and visiting were the amusements of the win- ter. As Eliza returned from a visit one evening, attended by Blake, she was agreeably surprized to find her father, who had just arrived, and had come, upon her request, to carry her home. Eliza was highly pleased with the idea of re- turning to her family, and again enjoying the pleasure of her native shades; but when her fa- ther’s business was made known, her cousins so earnestly urged her to tarry through the winter, that, with her father’s leave, she consented. The old gentleman, upon an invitation, through Blake, waited on the Governor, and in a few days returned to Long-Island.
The winter passed away, and spring arrived, but no news from Albert. Eliza became melan- choly, and could scarcely be prevailed upon to see company. One afternoon, as she, with her uncle’s family and Blake, was sitting in the pi- azza, in front of the house, a well-dressed man approached, who, after politely complimenting the company, enquired if a gentleman of the name of Blake was there. Blake answered to the enquiry: The stranger said he had just arrived from England, and had the charge of a few let- ters, one of which was for him; he handed a let- ter to Blake, and then asked if post-offices were established in this country, saying he had a letter from a young gentleman in England to his fa- ther on Long-Island, which he had engaged should receive safe conveyance. “What is the gentle- man’s name?” asked Blake. He mentioned the name of Albert’s father. “Is the young man about to return to America?” enquired Eliza’s uncle. “I believe he will not soon return,” an- swered the stranger; “he went over to take pos- session of an estate which descended to him from his ancestors, and which he obtained.” –“You know him, then!” interrupted Eliza’s aunt. – “Know him, madam! very well, indeed; he is my particular friend. –Had it not been for my advice, he would not so easily have made his for- tune. A young lady, with thirty thousand pounds in her own power, fell desperately in love with him; he made some scruples, and talked of at- tachments in this country, but we soon jeered him out of such silly notions; he married the la- dy, and now figures away in his coach and six, among the first characters in London.” During this short narration, Eliza, with all the symptoms of the keenest anxiety, kept her eye fixed upon the speaker, until he mentioned the marriage of Albert, when, suddenly a death- like paleness overspread her face, intermingled with flashes of glowing red; she was sinking from her seat, when her aunt took her arm and assisted her into the house, and the stranger de- parted.
(To be continued.)
[5. 6 July 1802]
FOR several days, Eliza did not leave her chamber, and could scarcely be prevailed upon to take any kind of nourishment. She gave herself up to the keenest reflections, and the severest anxieties of grief, which, —-“Like a worm in the bud,” “Fed on her demask cheek.” As the tide of sorrows gradually abated, she was left a monument of its ravages. On that coun- tenance where joy and delight, late sported with a thousand varying graces, pale melancholy now fate enthroned, in gloomy silence. The wound which Albert’s perfidy had inflicted in her bosom, was too deep for the balsam of time to heal. – Could it be possible he should prove thus faith- less? Could he give that hand to another, which, with the most solemn adjurations, he had devo- ted to her? Could that heart become suscepti- ble of other impressions, which once glowed on- ly with her charms, and bear for her alone? – “Cruel fortune,” she would say, “how wretch- edly hast thou deceived him! Thy gold, thy tin- sel, and thy splendors, have allured him from the paths of rectitude; for although he has given his hand to another, his heart is still with Eliza; and though he may, for a while, riot in luxuri- ous dissipation, yet shall the pathos of repentance wring his bosom, when the gay, deceptive ob- jects which now surround him, shall be stript of their false attire, and lose their delusive power to charm!” –Infatuated girl! thou hast yet but partially experienced the fascinating influences of grandeur and of novely. Thy thoughts are in- nocent; deception finds no place in thy breast. Such was Albert when he left the peaceful shades of his rural dwelling. He loved, and his love was as sincere as thine. But so sudden a transi- tion from the simple walks of Nature, to the most exalted refinements of Art; his immediate ac- quisition of property; frequent intercourse with fashionable circles; the long absence, and the wide distance which separated him from the maid of his early choice; and, above all, the delicate and irresistable attractions, and tender solicitudes of female blandishment, must, unless Albert pos- sessed more than human firmness, weaken, at least, if not totally disengage, all prior attachments. This extenuation, however, did not present it- self to the anguished mind of Eliza. She consi- dered him as the murderer of her peace, and as the assassinator of all her future prospects of hap- piness. Recollection, and the disappointed delu- sions of anticipation, constantly harrassed her senses, and she languished under all the bitterness of the most poignant sorrow.
But the storm of grief began, at length, gradu- ally to subside. Pride came to the assistance of disappointed hope, and a delicate resentment, prompted by a deep sense of injury, succeeded to sensations of the most ardent affection. Was Albert capable of such perfidious volatility? – Could he, in defiance of the most sacred obligati- ons and seemingly sincere professions, thus a- bandon her to misery and wretchedness, for the paltry consideration of property and fame? Or was it more probable that the brilliancy of new objects had raised a new passion in his bosom? Amid the constellated beauties of Lon- don, some one had been found whose charms and graces had dissolved the ties between herself and Albert, by changing his boasted sincerity into in- constancy, and rendering the simple Eliza, the object, perhaps, of ridicule and contempt; at least of cold neglect and inattention. Whatever was the cause, his affections were now, inviola- bly, the property of another, and she determi- nately resolved,
—-“To drive him out from all her thoughts, * *“As far as she was able.” —- After taking this firm resolution she became more composed, but was averse to receiving any kind of company. Blake had frequently called, and was told she was indisposed; but as soon as she was able to walk out, he was permitted to at- tend her. Their walks were, by her desire, in the most unfrequented parts of the city, and ge- nerally, in the twilight of the evening. When she was not disposed to walk, he would frequent- ly sit in her room, and read to her passages from some amusing book, which tended to exhilarate her spirits, detach her ideas from gloomy subjects, and lead them to the more brilliant fields of fan- cy. Sometimes she consented to ride out with him, a little distance from the city, in his coach. By such attentions he became her principal con- fidant; but she did not entrust him, or any other person, with the affair of Albert. Her uncle and aunt had some little knowledge of the circum- stances; her cousins knew nothing of them. – Her indisposition was imputed to other causes; her aunt, however, had reason for a different o- pinion.
About this time Eliza received a letter from her father, in which he desired her to inform him whether she wished to return home. In a postscript to the letter, it was mentioned that Albert’s father, whose health had, for some time, been on the decline, was dead; that on an investi- gation of his accounts, his estate was found to be insolvent; that his property had been divided a- mong his creditors, and that Albert’s mother had gone to reside with one of her brethren upon the continent. Albert’s return was mentioned as doubtful; Eliza’s father knew of but one letter he had written to his parents, the contents of which he appeared to be unacquainted with. He, therefore, gently admonished her not to place so strong a confidence in distant and uncertain pros- pects, as her peace would be destroyed, should her expectations be disappointed.
This caution was unnecessary. Eliza had al- ready experienced all the disappointment which her father’s letter contemplated and she had sur- vived the shock of conflicting passions, which suc- ceeded. She could not forbear dropping a tear over the ruins of Albert’s family, but she did not feel that interest in the circumstances which she once would have done. To return home, at the present juncture, she had no inclinations. Every object which there presented, would awaken feelings which she now wished might be oblitera- ted. She therefore wrote to her father that, if consistent with his family arrangements, she would continue a while longer with her uncle. While the summer passed on, Blake was inde- fatigable in his exertions to amuse Eliza; and, for this purpose, a continual round of entertain- ments was kept up. Excursions into the coun- try, in coaches and on horseback; walking along the banks of the East and North Rivers, and barge- sailing in the harbor, were among the first di- versions. As they were out on one of the last mentioned recreations, one pleasant after- noon, it happened that the barge in which were Eliza, Miss Smith, and others, lingered a little behind the rest. They were standing up; Miss Smith, in walking hastily along the boat, made a false step, and fell forcibly against Eliza, by which she was suddenly precipitated into the deep. A scream was raised by the ladies; Blake, who was in another boat, at a little distance, turned his eyes, and saw Eliza struggling with the waves. He immediately plunged into the water, and swam to her relief. Before he reach- ed the place, she sunk, but as she arose he caught her, and, with much difficulty, conveyed her safely to the barge. This accident discoura- ged Eliza from again venturing upon the water. Some time after this, as Blake was sitting with Eliza, in her apartment, he addressed her as fol- lows: –“You cannot be insensible, madam, that it is with the highest pleasure I have been per- mitted to devote some little services to you; in- deed, I can truly say, that since I became ac- quainted with you, I have experienced more real happiness than I ever before enjoyed. But the time has now arrived, when a continuation of these services may, as it respects yourself, be considered improper. I am set down as your admirer:. If I continue my attendance, it may prevent you from receiving offers more agreeable to your mind; and, what is more, it may, as to the fal- lacy of public opinion, hazard your reputation, which is far dearer to me than my own. There is, therefore, but two alternatives, and these de- pend on your own choice. The first is, to break off all connection instantly; in this case I shall leave America immediately, and strive, by travel and change of objects, to divert a hopeless passi- on; for, when banished from you, I shall never more see a moment of real comfort. –The other is, that you accept my hand, which, with all the powers of my soul, shall ever be devoted to ren- der your situation as happy as this life will admit. I will now leave you, that you may think of the subject, and will call to-morrow evening for your answer.” He then withdrew, and Eliza was left to her own meditations.
Eliza felt the candor of this declaration. It was ingenious–it was honorable. Blake had been, to her, the sincerest friend. He had once snatched her from the verge of death, at the risk of his own life–once from that which, perhaps, would have been worse than death. He was a character held in high estimation–his property large–his connections respectable. Her father was a man of but moderate income; the time might be near when he would be no more, and then where was she to look for a guardian! She had no brother, and only two sisters, who were very young. Affection, it is true, she had none to bestow; but if ever she thought of connecting herself to any one, was it probable she would find a person of purer principles than Blake? She de- termined, however to do nothing rashly, and to take proper time before she gave an answer. When Blake called the following evening, she told him that so important an affair demanded serious consideration. That its consequences must embrace a variety of objects, and therefore some time would be requisite; that, for the present, she thought it advisable for him to withdraw his visits: and that, in one month from that time, she would give him a decisive answer. Blake ac- knowledged the propriety of these remarks, and after acceding to the plan, retired.
Eliza laid the affair before her uncle and aunt, who highly recommended Blake, and advised her, by all means not to reject so fair an opportunity, as they expressed it, saying there were few ladies in the city but who should think themselves much honored by being placed in her situation. Eliza stepped into a milliner’s shop, one day, and was obliged to wait for the following dis- course to be ended, between the milliner and a strange lady, before she could be waited upon.
Milliner. Married, do you say, and to a lady of fortune in London? Stranger. Not only to a fortune, but to a lady of family, and one of the first beauties in En- gland. Mil. And keeps a coach? Stran. A coach and livery servants; and when I left London, about two months ago, there was talk of his purchasing a title. Mil. Well, this is a strange business. I knew the family of the *******’s (here she mentioned Albert’s family name) very well when I lived on the Island; they were always exceeding clever * *bodies; it has happened well for this young man, for his father died not worth a groat. —-Here she fixed her eyes on Eliza, and supposing she wanted something out of her shop, the discourse was broken off. Eliza purchased the articles she wanted, and left the shop. “And is it thus,” said she, as she returned home, “is Albert to become an English nobleman! The time will most assuredly come, when in tears of blood, he will mourn over his sacrilegious honors, wither- ing in the dust.”
The day which Eliza had set to give an an- swer to Blake, had now arrived–the longest month which she had ever experienced. Eliza in- formed him that she had concluded to accede to his proposals, provided her father’s consent could be obtained. This answer fully compensated Blake for the anxieties under which his mind had for a long time labored. He immediately wrote to her father, and received for answer, that, as he had been well informed of Blake’s situati- on, connections and character, he had no objec- tions to the union.—-As winter had now arri- ved, it was concluded to defer the nuptials until spring, when they were to be celebrated at her father’s house.
At a ball, one evening, as Eliza and Miss Smith were sitting together, after the fatigues of a contra-dance, Miss Smith took Eliza’s hand, pressed it with vehemence, and sighed deeply, “Eliza,” says she, “I esteem and pity you; your innocence and your credulity, my dear girl, are soon to be wrecked upon the shoals of des- pair.” “What means such a portentous pre- diction?” replied Eliza. ‘“That you may here- after know,” answered Miss Smith, “but never from me.” At this instant Blake joined them, which put an end to the conversation. Eliza supposed these observations proceeded from the disappointment which Miss Smith had experien- ced, as her regard for Blake was no secret. Eli- za, however, related the circumstance to Blake, which she thought appeared a little to shock him, but he changed the discourse, and no farther no- tice was then taken of it.
Soon after this, Miss Smith disappeared.– Blake informed Eliza that she had gone to New- Jersey, on a visit to a friend, and would not re- turn in a considerable time. Eliza thought it a little singular that she had never informed her of her intentions. But as Miss Smith had lately, in some measure, withdrawn her intimacies, Eli- za imputed this reserve to the same cause which produced the conversation at the ball. The winter passed away, and spring at length arrived, the time in which the Hymeneal rites were to be celebrated between Blake and Eliza. Preparations were, therefore, made for the jour- ney home, in which she was to be attended by Blake and the family of her uncle. The night before they were to set out, Eliza dreamed she was riding with Blake in his coach, when a sud- den flash of lightning issued from the heavens, followed by a loud peal of crashing thunder! The horses started, and ran furiously forward towards a dangerous precipice, beneath, which a raging torrent foamed among the rocks. She thought that she endeavored to disengage herself from the carriage, but in vain; they were hurried along, with amazing swiftness, to the top of the cliff, and were just upon the point of being hurled down, when a man, who appeared to descend through the air, seized Eliza by the arm, and, in an in- stant, bore her, in safety, to the other side of the river, from whence she beheld the coach, with Blake and the horses, precipitated headlong from the tremendous height, and dashed in pieces up- on the rocks below. She awaked with a scream, and rejoiced to find the scene illusory. The lineaments of the stranger’s countenance were not entirely erased from her memory; they ap- peared familiar, but she could not recollect where she had seen the original. The consequence of the dream hung ominously upon her imagination; but the bright rays of the sun which now darted in- to her chamber, dispelled the gloom that hovered around her. She arose immediately, got ready for her journey, and at evening she, with her un- cle’s family and Blake, was at her father’s house Scenes of tenderness ensued upon Eliza’s re- turn to her family. As it was but a few days before the intended nuptials, invitations were im- mediately sent abroad. Blake’s friends soon ar- rived from New-York, among whom was the go- vernor. On the afternoon of the day in which, at evening, the marriage was to be consum- mated, Eliza walked out alone, to contemplate the beauties of the spring. It was the latter part of the month of May. The air was embalm- ed with the fragrance of the surrounding flow- ers, and the mingling melody of various birds echoed along the adjacent grove. She roved, she scarcely knew whither, until she was instinc- tively led to the shores of Montauk, and found herself at last upon the very spot she stood when Albert’s ship disappeared from her sight. It was now something more than three years since that time. She earnestly fixed her eyes up- on the place; a tall ship was beating in for the port. The joys of past days rushed, like a tor- rent, upon her memory. She was suddenly a- roused to a solemn sense of her desperate situati- on. The lightnings of conviction flashed, and the thunders of terror followed!–she was about to deceive a worthy character, by yielding him her hand, while her affections were dead to all except a hopeless object. What was to be done? To advance was destruction!–to re- treat–impossible! She hurried home, and strove to suppress contemplation, amidst the hilarity of the guest.
The moment at length arrived in which cer- tainty must succeed to suspense and anxiety. E- liza trembled as she was led up before the priest, and she shuddered when the direction was given for joining hands.–At this instant a stranger was announced by the servants, who desired to be immediately admitted, as he had something of importance to communicate to Eliza’s father. It was a critical time–he could not then be at- tended to. The stranger did not wait for com- plaisance. –A pale and emaciated figure pressed through the crowd, and came near to the place where the ceremony was performing. Eliza’s eye caught his countenance–It was the person who had assisted her in her dream! But what was her amazement, when, upon advancing a lit- tle nearer, she perfectly recollected the fading features of her long lost Albert! She uttered a shriek of agony, and sunk, senseless, to the floor.
(To be continued.)
[6. 13 July 1802] The women flew to the assistance of Eliza, raised her up, and conveyed her to another room. The house was in confusion. No one knew the cause of her sudden illness. Albert was not even known to her father: he had but slightly noticed him, and amidst the disorder which now took place, he thought more of him. When Eliza recovered, she desired that all might with- draw from her except her parents; this being done, she then informed them, that the stranger who had thus suddenly made his appearance was Albert. She desired her father to enquire his business, but by no means to admit him into her presence. Her father immediately went out, and found Albert traversing the hall, seemingly in much agitation. A short conversation took place. Albert requested to see Eliza. Her fa- ther told him that she had already refused to see him, but that he would again consult her, and if she consented, he would have no objections. He then left him, but soon returned, and informed him that Eliza was willing to see him in the pre- sence of her parents, to whom he wished to add another person, and this was Blake, who, her fa- ther observed, had now an undoubted right to be present, when any thing of a personal nature which concerned Eliza, was to be communicat- ed. Albert intreated that he might be permit- ted to see her, for a few moments, according to her own stipulation, in the presence, only, of her parents. This her father granted, with a provi- so, that Blake should be previously acquainted with it, which being done, and Blake, with some reluctance, agreeing to it, Albert was immedi- ately introduced. Eliza was reclining upon a sofa; as he entered, a deep crimson suffused her cheeks, to which a livid paleness soon succeeded. Albert trembled–their eyes met–he hesitated.–
Albert. (As he slowly approached the sofa) “Eliza!” She answered only by a deep sigh. A solemn pause ensued—- Albert. (With more earnestness, advancing still nearer, and sighing responsively) “Eliza!” Eliza. “Albert!”
Articulation became suspended–they could not pronounce another word–their eyes spoke unut- erable anguish. Eliza sunk upon her mother’s bosom. her father then thus addressed Albert: “You know, Sir, that I sanctioned your preten- sions to my daughter, previous to your leaving A- merica. Your long stay in England; your im- plicit silence, in this long absence, except in a single instance, added to the reports of you connecting yourself in marriage in that country, have produced the events you now behold. There ap- pears some mystery in this business: circumstan- ces will not as you see, admit an explanation at present. If you will call to-morrow morning, at ten o’clock, the matter shall be investigated.– My daughter’s peace of mind lies near my heart; and although it is probable that what is already done cannot be retracted, yet it will not be amiss to know the truth.” Albert would have replied; but as Eliza had only partially recovered from the shock she had received by his sudden appear- ance, and a sense of her critical situation, the least irritation might cause a relapse; he there- fore retired, in much agitation.
Eliza’s uncle had related to her father the par- ticulars of the stranger’s story, who presented the letter to Blake, as mentioned before. Hence, as he observed to Albert, he suspected some mys- tery attending the affair. Eliza, from Albert’s manner and conduct, imagined she had been de- ceived, and her suspicions fell upon Blake. Al- bert’s sentiments were the same. Blake was ad- mitted into Eliza’s room after Albert was gone; he did not, however, stay long; she wished to be alone, and in this her parents chose to indulge her. His feelings were wrought up to the high- est pitch; Albert’s unexpected return had ren- dered his situation peculiarly interesting, and his hopes of happiness exceedingly precarious.–The guests were informed, that a sudden illness hav- ing seized Eliza, she was obliged to retire from the company; they, therefore, after partaking of the wedding feast, withdrew, except the friends of the parties, who were detained.
The next day Albert came at the appointed hour, and was received again into Eliza’s apart- ment, with her parents only. Her father then told him that they were ready to hear any expla- nation or communication he wished to make.– Albert informed them, that after he had accom- plished his business in England, he set sail for America; the second day after which they were ta- ken by an Algerine corsair, carried to Algiers, and sold for slaves. Some of the ship’s crew were redeemed, others died in slavery: Albert and four more were chained to the gallies, where they continued for upwards of eighteen months; it happened that they were then driven off the sea coast in a storm, and picked up by a French vessel, which carried them, and the two Turks who were their overseers, to Bordeaux, from whence Albert took passage on board a merchant- man for America.–This was the ship which Eli- za saw coming into port, the preceding after- noon; it arrived in the evening, and Albert, as soon as he came on shore, went directly to the house which formerly belonged to his father, and found it unoccupied: he called at one of the neighbors, who informed him of the circumstan- ces of his family, his father’s death, his mother’s removal, and the celebration of Eliza’s wedding that evening: almost in a state of distraction, he hastened to the house; his arrival there, and what ensued in consequence thereof, is already known. Eliza then mentioned what the stranger had re- lated at her uncle’s, when he delivered Blake the letter, and what she heard at the milliner’s. These circumstances Albert was enabled to ex- plain. A distant relation of his father, and of the same name, who lived on Staten-Island, had put in his claim, and obtained part of the in- heritance which fell to Albert; a young man of about Albert’s age, was the person sent over to claim the property, who had married to a fortune in London, and his father’s family had removed to Long Island some time before the stranger’s arrival at New-York, who brought the letter, and the intelligence which had given Eliza so much uneasiness. The father of the young man had died, after removing to Long-Island, which coincided with the milliner’s story. Albert had mentioned this circumstance in his letter to his father; he had written to his friends but once, which was just before he sat out to return, af- ter which he had not another opportunity. Blake was now called in. A cold and distant salutation passed between him and Albert. The circumstances were particularly related to him, and his opinion requested. He replied, that the decision must rest, solely, with Eliza; he was not, himself, so mad as to desire a connection with a person whose affections were placed upon ano- ther. A question then arose, whether the mar- riage ceremony had not been so far executed, be- tween Eliza and Blake, as to become legally binding. The officiating clergyman was sent for, who gave it as his opinion, that although the ceremony was not fully completed, yet, so far that he considered them really and firmly mar- ried. He advised, however, to send for the cler- gy of the city, to consult upon the affair. This was agreed upon, and two days after they were convened at the house of Eliza’s father. The parties and their friends were present at the con- sultation, the result of which was, that nothing except death or divorcement could separate Blake and Eliza. Just as this decision was given in, a woman was announced, who desired to be admit- ted before the convocation. She was immediate- ly introduced–it was Miss Smith!–Blake was agitated, and changed colour upon seeing her; she desired to be heard by the convocation, when the following circumstances were unfolded. Blake’s father, who was a nobleman, had been illicitly connected with a woman of family in a remote part of England, by whom he had two children, one son and a daughter. He afterwards married in London, but never had any other child by his wife except Blake, who, like the sons of noblemen in general, proved to be a wild youth. In making the fashionable tour of Europe, he be- came acquainted with a lady in Italy, whom he married. His father, indulgent to him in all things, sanctioned the marriage; but what was his astonishment when, on Blake’s bringing home his lady, his father found her to be his own daugh- ter, by the woman before mentioned, who had re- tired to Italy, where she died, leaving her two children, with all her property, which was consid- erable, to the care of a distant relation. This daughter, who was now the wife of Blake, was Miss Smith! To save the reputation of the fam- ily, their father projected sending them to Ame- rica, until a separation could be legally obtained; he however died before this plan could be put in execution, and Blake came over to America with his kinsman the Governor, as has been related; the Governor, however, knew nothing of the af- fair. Miss Smith soon followed, where they wai- ted, under fictitious names, for the interference of some friends in England, to obtain a dissolu- tion of the marriage, which had not yet been done. Miss Smith had not seen her brother since he was quite a youth when he went to live with a friend at Paris. At parting they had exchang- ed miniature likenesses, solemnly engaging never to part with them till death. After Miss Smith’s arrived at New-York, she resided with a relation of her mother, who knew nothing of her history. From the moment that Blake and she discovered their affinity, they broke off all connection; yet Miss Smith could never realize the brother in the lover;–hence she had endeavoured to frustrate his alliance with Eliza. She even acknowledged that she designedly pushed her from the barge, as has been mentioned, with an intent to drown her; for if she could consent to live in a state of sepa- ration, she could not submit to his connecting with another. By his persuasion, she had yielded to retire to Jersey; there she became acquainted with a gentleman who boarded at the house where she resided. One day, as they were walking to- gether, a miniature fell from his bosom, which she immediately knew to be her own likeness.– Surprised and amazed, she desired to know how he came by it: he informed her that it once be- longed to a friend, who was now no more, and who, shortly before his death, deposited it with him. Miss Smith then told him that this person could have been no other than her brother. This led to an explanation, by which it was found that Palmer, who fell in the duel with Blake, was the brother of Miss Smith, and the son of Blake’s father! and the person who now had the minia- ture in his possession, was Palmer’s second in that duel. Palmer had come over from France, and resided at New-York, under a feigned name.– Supposing his sister in Italy, he had no idea of her appearing in New-York, in the person of Miss Smith. Palmer was so much altered from the miniature which she still had with her, that although she saw him frequently, she had not the least suggestion of his being her brother. On her discovering the melancholy circumstances of his death, she left her retreat in New-Jersey, and hastened to New-York, where she arrived about the time that the clerical gentlemen were sent for, to consult upon the validity of the marriage between Eliza and Blake. She immediately took the resolution of proceeding to Long-Island, and laying the whole affair before the parties, and the clerical convocation; and although she thereby involved her own character, yet she should do a peculiar service to the innocent.—-This Miss Smith gave as the ostensible reason, but her prin- cipal design was to prevent Blake’s connection with Eliza.
At the close of this narration, the whole assem- bly was filled with amazement, and looked upon each other with astonishment. Blake shuddered with horror. He knew that Miss Smith had a brother, whom he had never seen, but he never heard a suggestion that this brother was Palmer. His emotions became insupportable. He had unconsciously married his sister; unknowingly slain his brother, and was now totally disappoint- ed in the only object of his future felicity. He hastily arose from his seat—distraction had seized upon his brain–he cast a wild dispairing look around him, and rushed out at the door. In a few minutes the report of a pistol was heard in his chamber, the people ran up stairs; his door was locked; they burst it open; he lay dead up- on the floor! The ball had pierced his temples, and he, probably, expired without a struggle.– Thus died a man of whom it may, with propriety, be said, was innocently guilty of offences at which human nature revolts with terror, and who, per- haps, had never been conscious of a single act which is generally denominated criminal. He possessed a noble, brave, and generous spirit; but the evil torrent of life bore too heavily upon him, and he fell a victim to the wayward and irresistable decrees of fate.
Some time after this, Albert and Eliza married: he had deposited the property which he had ob- tained in the English fund, which he now wrote for, and received. They then took leave of the place where these scenes were transacted; they removed on to the main, a considerable distance up Connecticut River, where they settled in an unfrequented part of the country. Albert sent for his mother, who with tears of joy was received by her children, Albert and Eliza. There they passed their days, in as much happiness as this in- constant and dissatisfactory life will permit.—- Their descendants were people of respectability, some of whom have held important offices under the government, others have been members of the legislature of Connecticut, and one of them has been honoured with a seat in the American Con- gress. The facts above related, have long been forgotten, except by the descendants of the fami- ly, or some person to whom those descendants have related them.
[It will readily be perceived that the foregoing narrative is designed only as a delineation, or has- ty sketch of that which, if in the hands of some person of leisure and abilities, might be made an interesting history. Should BROWN, the Ameri- can novelist, or some other person possessing equal powers of tale and invention, take up the subject, he might, by the introduction of a few new cha- racters, transferment of objects, and variation of scenery, form, perhaps, as interesting a novel as any of American manufacture.]