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attended by the surviving and complaining brother, should; at sunrise the next day, dig up the remains of the last buried sister. At the appointed hour, they at tended in the burying-ground, and having, with much exertion, removed the earth, they raised the coffin upon the ground; then, displacing the flat lid, they lifted the covering from her face, and discovered what they had indeed anticipated, but dreaded to declare. Yes, I saw the visage of one, who had been long the tenant of a silent grave, lit up with the brilliancy of youthful health. The cheek was full to dimpling, and a rich profusion of hair shaded her cold forehead, while some of its richest curls floated upon her unconscious breast. The large blue eye had scarcely lost its brilliancy, and the livid fulness of her lips seemed almost to say, "loose me and let me go."

In two weeks, the brother, shocked with the spectacle he had witnessed, sunk under his disease. The mother survived scarcely a year, and the long range of sixteen graves, is pointed out to the stranger as an evidence of the truth of the belief of the inhabitants.

The following lines were written on a recollection of the above shocking scene:

I SAW her, the grave-sheet was round her,

Months had passed since they laid her in clay; Yet the damps of the tomb could not wound her, worms had not eized on their prey.

O, fair was her cheek, as I knew it,

When the rose all its colours there brought;
And that eye,-did a tear then bedew it?
It gleamed like the herald of thought.

She bloomed, though the shroud was around her,
Her locks o'er her cold bosom wave,
As if the stern monarch had crowned her,

The fair speechless queen of the grave.

But what lends the grave such a lustre ?

O'er her cheek what such beauty had shed? His life-blood, who bent there, had nursed her,

The living was food for the dead!


[From the same.]

WHETHER it is that the human mind delights in cherishing the impressions which most affected it in infancy; or, that from habits of indolence we neglect the means that would free us from their influence, and thus subject ourselves to feelings, whose causes are indefinite, and whose effects are sometimes ridiculous-often fatal, certain it is, the legends of childhood are often verified in age by the very influence, which these fables exercise upon our minds; and those, who have sacrificed whole fortunes to the delusive promises of some pretended alchymist, or juggling astrologer, have not been beguiled more by the tempting lure of the gilded bait, than by the greedy hankerings of a morbid appetite, which would seize even the unbated hook. It is a fact, which speaks, perhaps, something in favour of the goodness, as well as the weakness of the human heart, that in all cases of gross and general deception, the deceived themselves, so far from being passive, contribute more than the deceiver to their own delusion.

The good people of the old colony, have, from time immemorial, been more or less influenced by the predictions and warnings of some old sybil, who pretended peep into fate through the bottom of a tea-cup, and discern the movements of the heavens by the settling of her coffee-grounds.


One of these beldames had for many years inhabited a hovel, which had before been distinguished in the more dignified use of a fish house, situated near the extremity of a promontory, which overhung the centre of Plymouth bay. The ease, with which she could derive subsistence from the shores, and, in the season, from the neighbouring fish-flakes, had probably induced the Pythoness to establish herself in so dreary a domicile; and the profit, which she derived from predicting fair winds and favourable weather, did much towards conciliating the affection of the owner for her otherwise unpromising habitation.

So long and so successfully had Rachel foretold, to the inquiring seamen, the weather of the coming day,

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(an art which those, who live on the seaboard, know to be easily acquired,) that they almost felt that she had an influence in the fulfilment of her own predictions, and not one was ever known to calculate a voyage into the outer bay, without consulting "aunt Rache" upon the morrow's weather; nor on their return, did any neglect to leave a portion of their takings as a reward to her, who had predicted or perhaps procured their success.

There were, indeed, a few in the village, who affected to deride the talents of Rachel, and sneer at those who were influenced by her predictions; but it is said, that even these, the minister, school-master and physician, were always able to find an excuse for delaying any expedition, the event of which, she might have pronounced against. And I, myself, recollect when a certain ordination lacked one of its council by the officious boldness of the prophetess of the storms.

The pleasure, which Rachel found in the solitude of night, in watching the flux of the sea as it cast its intrusive waves farther and farther upon the sand, served, if indeed any thing was necessary, to add to the awe with which her neighbours contemplated her character.

She was met in one of her midnight rambles, by a party preparing for an early departure for the outer bay-fishing, who anxiously inquired the probability of the morrow's weather. Fair, said she, fair-tomorrow sees neither rain nor wind; the minister must have less corn in his own field, to make his prayers available. "But, aunt Rachel, (they always put the last syllable to her name when they spoke to her at night,) do you see yon cloud in the west ?" What have I to do with west or south, said she. I have promised fair, though you might have chosen a better day than Friday, considering you take but one voyage in a year. Just then a large vessel hove in sight. By the pale light of the moon, it was impossible to distinguish the class to which she belonged. She will come in, said Rachel, and for no good -we do not hear the sound of church bells at midnight for nothing. But that was Plymouth clock striking twelve, said one of the company. Do we hear clocks, said she, four miles against the wind? and Plymouth clock, too, a

wooden rattle, with scarcely more work in it than the windlass of yonder chebacco boat?

Before the party had prepared for their departure, the vessel, a large brig, had come too, and anchored near the shore. This vessel, owned in that place, and loaded with sugar by a Boston merchant, had put into the harbour to effect some trifling repairs to her spars. One only of the crew was a native of the village, and he, on the following day, conducted his messmates to Rachel's hovel, to inquire into the prospects of their voyage.


John Burgis, said the auguress to her townsman, as the party crossed her threshold, have you done well in entering the Betsey? The poor man's curse is on her. Think you the vessel paid for in exchange notes will make a safe voyage?" But aunt Rachel," interrupted the sailor, evidently wishing a better reception for his comrades, 66 we did not build her." "If you would not have her fortune, flee her company. And is it for this, John, (continued the old woman) is it for this, your father, the deacon, has prayed, that your mother has wept, that the blessing of the minister was given at your departure, to be found with wretches like these, land sharks, moon cursers!" "Avast there, old granny," said one of the strangers, "Give us none of your slack, or we will put a stopper upon your gab." A beam of fire seemed to flash from the old woman's eyes, as she rose from her bench, and threw down the coarse table on which she had been leaning. "You are known,' said she, "there's not a mother's son of you, that was not swaddled in the ruins of a wreck." "Damned hag!" said the oldest of them--but interruption was vain, the worst feelings of Rachel were roused, and, her most painful recollection excited, the volubility of her tongue expressed the intensity of her feelings. "There's not a moon curser of you all, that has not braved the northeaster to fix a light upon a pole, to mislead the pilot, and wreck his ship for depredation; when you would not wet a foot to save a seaman's life. And who, you children of devils incarnate, who but your fathers and mothers fastened the lantern to a horse's head, and thus, in a storm, wrecked the brig upon your cursed sands,


that left me childless and a widow? May he who rides upon the pale horse be your guide, and you be of the number who follow with him."

The last imprecation scarcely reached the ears of the objects of her curse. They went to their vessel, and meditated a revenge, every way worthy of the conduct that Rachel had charged them with.

The next morning about ten o'clock, the village was alarmed by a strong light, at or near the wharf. In less than twenty minutes, every inhabitant but the infant and decrepid, was at the place, and Rachel, half wrapped in the remains of an old sail, which had served as a bed curtain, was seen rushing from her burning hovel. No language can do justice to the looks and gestures of the infuriated wretch. She ran round the scene of conflagration, with the actions of a fury, howling her imprecations upon the cause of her calamity. Her grey hair was flying in the wind, and, as she stood between the strong light of the blaze and spectators, its upturned points seemed tipped with living flame.

The next morning, the brig prepared for sailing, and many of the inhabitants, either to see the ruins of Rachel's hut, or to watch the vessel's departure, flocked to the wharf, although it was Sunday.


The brig got under way, with a fine wind against the tide, and as she made her way smoothly down the channel, the attention of the spectators was invited to Rachel. She had seated herself upon a rock, which ele. vated its top considerably above the waves, although it was entirely surrounded by the tide.

The hollow moan, which she had uttered, was lost in the rushing of the waves upon the pebbly shore ; and indeed she had been scarcely noticed in the bustle of preparing the vessel. When she was observed, the owner of the vessel attempted to offer her some consolation for the loss of her house; she replied, without once withdrawing her eyes from the receding vessel, "you need not comfort me; every barn could give me a shelter, if I should need it; but in three days, I shall be tenanted in the narrow house, which yonder wretches cannot burn. But you! who shall console you for

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