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Macon herald. (Macon, Miss.) 1841-1842, September 04, 1841, Image 1

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87065376/1841-09-04/ed-1/seq-1/

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The Constitution and the Laws—the Guardians of our Liberties.'
SEPTEMBER 4, 1841.
NO. 9.
Is published every week, in the town of Macon
Noxubee County, Mississippi, at Three Dol
lars per annum, in advance.
No mibiif rlpUoii tak/*n for a shorfertenn than Six
M'inilis. in which caw payment will he required in ail
V au ce ; and no subscriber stiflVird to withdraw, (hut at
tuooptioa ulthe I'roprrietors,) uiilUallarrearageaare
ADVERTISEMENTS, not exceeding one Square,
I HU dies, or less,) wilt be One Dollar lor the first, and SO
Ueuts tor each subséquent insert ion. Larger ones,in
proportion. Our advertising friends are requested to
mark t lie number of insertions they wish us to give
heir advertisements, on the iiiursiu—otherwise they
will be published untilforbid,audcliargedaceotdiiigly,
discount oi Twenty-live percent, to those who adv er
tiso by the year. Advertiseiiièiltefroiu »distance must
he accompanied with the Cash, or some responsible
reference, or Iliey will rmt t*. published.
lOB WORK expected to be paid for at the time
Con fessions of a Coward.
How many cowards, whose hearts are"nil as lake
As stars of sand, wear yet upon their chins
The beard of Hercules, and frowning Mars;
Who inward searched, have livers while as
milk !
It is not often that a man will suffer him
sell to be posted as a coward, even in the
circumscribed sphere of an obscure water
ins:-place ; and I cannot but anticipate some
share of contempt while I go a step be
yond that degradation, and acknowledge
myself thus, before the whole world of fash
a cowaid—a most scandalous cow
It is, however, with the hope of
changing that contempt into something of
a more respectful feeling—it is in the sin
cere expectation of exciting some degree of
sympathy, that I have brought rnysell to
make the avowal.
I was born th® hair of a most a respec
table and wealthy family, and entered life
under auspices of the most favorable des
cription : but before I had well quitted my
nursery, an event occured which has mar
ed every flattering prospect, which entered
like a canker into my very soul, and has
tinged every stage of my life with misery
and contempt.
I was about four years of age when my
paternal grandmother died : she had been
excessively fond of me, and would scarcely
suffer me to be a moment from her side. I
need not describe the feelings which this af
fection awakened within me. I returned
her love with the fervor and artlessness of
childhood, and I still cling to her memory
with a fondness which, amidst the contume
ly I have been fated to endure, has surviv
ed nearly all the kindly feelings of the
heart, and which in its purity and inno
cence imparts to my solitary moments the
most pleasurable sensations I enjoy.—She
is before me no/o in the dignity of seventy
winters; her tall figure scarcely more bent
than in use; her cheek still flushed with the
hue of health, her mild blue eyes beaming
kindly on me ; and her perfectly white hair
turned above a forehead, fair amidst itswrin
.klcs. It was my delight to sit at her feet
whilst she was employed in the homely oc
■cupation of knitting; and to listen to her
Bstories of our ancestors, or of her own ad
Kvent»res with the rebels in "the 45," when
■they occupied for a time, her father's house
f®n the north. I remember particularly the
^description of the horror she felt, a short
;§time afterwards, on entering Carlise, in re
Hjcoguizing over the city gate the heads of
■Several of these guests. 'This kind friend
land companion of my infancy died sudden
|ly, and her fate was kept secret from me :
ymy inquiries were met with the assurance
K&'they contrived to pacify me. One day,
■»however, while the servant was absent, l
happened to want a toy which I recollect
JB'ed l had left in my grandmother's room;
and proceeded thither, unobserved, to fetch
it. On entering the apartment 1 was sur
prised by the sight of what appeared to
a handsome chest, and with the curiosity
natural to a child, I climbed on the bed
stead to examine it. I lifted the covering,
and gazed for a moment in mute astonish
ment at the unexpected appearanee and si
tuation of my beloved relative. At first I
«ndeavored to awaken her by callmgon her
name : vexed at her continued silence, I
impatiently seized her hand ; its icy cold,
ness went to my heart, and the heavy man.
which it dropped from my releasing
Grasp increased my astonishment. At
length 1 lifted the eyelids, and the cold fixed
gaze which fell upon me completed my
terror, and forced from me a scream which
summoned the attendants, who bore me
away, and explained to me the work of
From this moment the cause which had
wrought this dreadful change became the
ruling sentimtpt of my mind. I listened
attentively to every narrative of the pro
gress of sickness and death, and the most
fatal diseases become objects of terrible an
ticipation to me. 1 frequently woke in the
mi Idle of the night—the silence and the
darkness were associated in my mind with
death and the grave, and I shrieked in ago
ny lest I should die before the morning.
My imagination, thus fearfully excited,
outstripped mv years; and I was sent to a
public school, in the hope that the bustle,
the emulation, and the amusements of such
a scene would prodt.ee a favorable effect
on my mind; but the shaft had struck toö
deeply—the impression was never effaced.
I never joined in the sports of my compa
nions, for we could play without quarrel
ling ; fighting was the natural consequence
of these contests ; but I had heard too
much of the fatal consequences of an un
lucky blow to venture a battle with even
the least boy in the school : I was conse
quently surrounded by a host of tyrants;
and happy was the day on which a share
of the little luxuries I was enabled to pur
chase procured for me an exemption from
unmerited blows. My time teas spent in
solitary misery in a retired corner of the
play-ground, where I sat continually
brooding over the horrors of death ; and 1
note wonder that my senses did not yield
to the terrible creations of my fancy.—
Sometimes I scarcely slept for weeks, for
fear I should fall into a trance, and be bu
ried while alive; at other times I imagined
that this catastrophe had already taken
place, and that the passing scene was but a
dream from which I should awake to die
amidst the stiflingsolitude of my tomb: fre
quently uas I so oppressed with the reality
of these fears, that I have poured out my
soul in agony to, God, and prayed that I
might never be conscious of the*awfulness
of my doom.
In these dreadful fancies and such as
these were passed rny hours of leisure, and
I protest that the recollection of them is
terrible to me even now. However, I pass
ed through the several forms of the school
with the greatest credit, and was sent to
Thither my character followed me, and
I became the butt and scapegoat of the
whole university: my name was given to
the proctor by every jacknapes who was
detected in any irregularity ; if a man had
a noisy party in his rooms, and was desir
ous of escaping the consequences, mine
was battered till they obtained entrance, and
mine the port that was swallowed till the
morning brought a head-ache and an indis
position. At length my name became as
sociated with so many breaches of disci
pline, that my father was advised to remove
me, in order to prevent the adoption of
harsher measures; but, so far from being
dissatisfied with my conduct, the old gen
tleman applauded my spirit, and rejoiced to
see me changed from the pusillanimous
character which I formerly bore. So
pletely were his views with respect to
altered, that he decided 1 should enter
uncle's regiment of horse ! My father's
commands l had never dared to dispute,
but this sounded like a sentence of death to
me, and appeared totally impossible to be
carried into effect. A regiment of horse!
Why I had never mounted the little quiet
poney which carried me round the park
without fears for the safety of my ' neck,
and I had never ventured beyond a walk
even upo/i him. Fortunately, however, as
ner in
I then considered it, there
was no vacancy
in the regiment at the moment ; and it
just then ordered to the Peninsula. My
reprieve was extremely short; a letter
speedily arrived from my uncle, stating
that the junior Cornet had been drowned
in the passage, and that he had reserved the
appointment for me; my commission
rived from the War-office in a few days
afterwards, with directions that I should
join the regiment immediately. My father
hurried my preparations, and I did rny
best to keep up my spirits; but do what I
would, a fit of sickness procured ne a
month's delay. At length 1 embarked ;
but the sensations with which I entered the
boat, was dragged up the side of the
sei, and saw the shores lessening to rny
view, and the waves beating around me,
with the fate of my predecessor ever in my
recollection, I will not attempt to describe.
In those sensations the separation from my
friends had no share: in my fears for my
self all kindly r affections were overwhelmed.
Dreadful sea sickness, which I suffered in
with my fellow-passengers, dis
guised all other feelings, and I landed
without having attracted the particular at
tention of my companions.
My uncle had just left the General when
I reached the camp, and congratulated me
on my good fortune, in having arrived at
a moment when they were on the point of
attacking the enemy, an event which /could
take place on the following morning. He
then made a thousand inquiries respecting
his friends in England; but imagining
lrom the incoherency of my answers that
I was greatly fatigued, he recommended
me to seek refreshment in sleep. Sleep,
and eternity at hand! I threw myself on
the earth, and endeavored to persuade my
self that this was one of my dreadful
dreams; but the regular tramp of the cen
tinel, and the canvas canopy above me, too
plainly assured me of the terrible reality.
A# one time 1 had determined on feigning
sickness—but even then danger would be
as present as in the battle; other plans I
endeavored to arrange for avoiding the fa
tal field ; but seeing no way of escaping, I
resolved to fortify myself with laudanum,
as the only resource against the discovery
of my fears. After a few hours of ago
nizing suspense, an old servant of my un
cle's entered my tent to assist me in accou
tring myself. I had read much, and with
feelings of strong commiseration, of the con
duct of criminals on the morning of exe
cution, during the participation of the
crament —the interviews with friends, mi
nisters, and sheriffs— pinioning the arms,
knocking off" the irons, arranging tire pro
cession, and oilier similar modes of increas
ing the suspense of the awful hour. Feel
ings similar to'those which I had imagined
must prevail on such occasions did I expe
rience, whiie the veteran was fluently
patiating on the probable events of the day;
and when he mentioned the pertainty of
our division having to sustain the brunt of
the fight, rny trembling would have Letray
ed me had the possibility of the existence
of such a sensation as fear entered the
mind of the soldier. , He mistook it for
the agitation of impatient valor, and beg
ged me not to be too eager, as coolness was
every thing cn these occasions. Heaven
knows I was cool enough—so cool, that
my heart seemed frozen within me. At
length the laudanum began to take effect ;
and I have only confused recollection ofre
ceiving the encouraging congratulations of
my uncle, mounting my high mettled
charger, joining my troop, the commence
ment of the battle, and the astounding ef
fect of the first volley of muyketry close
by me. I recollect, like a dream, the fu
rious onset with which he charged; and
the first occurrence at all clear in my me
mory, is finding myself left behind my
comrades, and alone on the side of a hill
facing a dragoon covered with blood, rid
ing at full speed towards me : not
- Mandragora
Nor all the drowsy syrups in die world,
could sustain me at such a sight as this.
Without a moment's consideration! turned
my horse, spurred him into a full gallop,
quitted my saddle. On I went towards our
lines, fully assured, from the clatter of his
accoutrements, of being pursued by the
bloody dragoon: we came to the rear, but
still he pursued ; and it was quite evident
to me that he was determined to have my
life, though his own should pay for it.
length, in a close dell, whither my horse
had carried me at his will, he stumbled and
fell, and my enemy coming close after me,
fell over us: the two steeds were speedily
on their feet, and galloped oft! and I was
now sure the hour was come,
daring to look up I implored quarter most
lustily, and augured dreadful things lrom
the silence with which my entreaties were
received. At last I ventured to look up,
and hope revived when I saw the dragoon
extended at length beside me. Gradually
I gathered courage, or to speak more cor
rectly, I began to be somewhat less fear
ful, and, taking a full survey of this hardy
enemy, 1 discovered that it was my uncle's
old servant, whom I have already men
tioned, dead, as he no doubt had been du
ring the whole time of my flight, with a
pistol-shot through his breast.
This experiment of a. soldier's life was
forme; the victory being on our side, i
feigned sickness, and was sent to the rear :
then I received intelligence of the sudden
death of my father, threw up my commis
sion, end returned to England.
The winter after I took possession of my es
tate, I went to Bath with my mother, who in
troduced me to Julia Faulkner, a lovely girl
with an independent fortune of thirty thousand
pounds: she was extremely amiable and well
informed, and l paid her as much attention, as
my constitutional timidity would allow me. It
was evident that a more intimate connection
.between us was desired by our respective pa
rents, and I little doubt but in the course of
time I should have mustered courage to pro
E ose for her, and I doubt as little that I should
ave been accepted. A'confundedly tail irish
Colonel, however, with black whiskers,
and most ferocious aspect, appeared on the
scene, and became, .as well as myself, the con
stant attendant of Julia. But what chance had
1 with a fellow of his appearance, profession,
and impudence? His loquacity obliged me to
sit in their presence as silent as a statue ; or if
I ventured to make a remark, he was sure to
interrupt me before I could utter a sentence.—
If I secured her scarf to ensure rnysell the
pleasure of covering her ivory shoulders, he
would take it from me with the utmost coolness
and praise my attention to the ladies. I had
once seated her in rny cabriolet for a drive, and
was about to follow her, when the Colonel rode
tip on horseback, and leaping from his saddle,
entreated me, if I loved him, to try what I
could do to tame his animal, which, he said,
was so vicious that no horsemanship but ngne
would have any effect upon him. Without
waiting for a reply he seized the reins, leaped,
into the carriage, and drove off, begging me,
when I had done with the horse, to let my ser
vant take him to the stable :.thither indeed he
went, as soon as I had recovered from the ef
fects of this astounding piece of assurance.
One evening, as we were Iqgving Julians
house, the Colonel addressed ine in a very qui
et, and indeed almost a friendly tone : "Faith
now, my dear fellow," said he, " this won't do
at all ; as only one of us can marry this girl,
we must not both ®f us go on loving her at
this rate: so we'll meet to-morrow morning on
Lansdown, and decide which it shall be. Just
name your friend, and I'll desire my cousin
Bob, who always attends me on these occasion-,
to call and arrange ihe affair." All the warmth
of my atfection lor Julia thawed at these words :
i could live for her, but I could not die for het ;
so I protested that had I known hi* pretensions
to the lady I should never have made advances,
and should thenceforward think no more ol
her. This, he said, was so prodigiously hancU
some, that he should be happy to become more
particularly acquainted with me ; and we part
ed with an engagement that i should dine with
him the next day, having, he said, six elegant
sisters whom he was desirous oi introducing
me to. I went, and was- most graciously receiv
ed by the whole family, particularly by ML
O'Shane, the eldest daughter, a short thick gir!,
with flaxen hair, (now, like Lord Byron, ''I hate
a dumpy woman," and flaxen hair is my abo
mination), white cheeks, and no eyebrows.—
Next this ladv was seated atdlBner; in the
evening we went to the rooms, and with this
lady it was my late to dance. The next morn
ing' the Colonel called on me, and took me with
him to inquire after the ladies: they were about
to go on a shopping expedition, and Miss U
Shane was handed over to rny protection. In
short, by line extremely clever conduct of Mts.

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