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driving exactly in the direction of the body. I called to the postillion, but either he heard me not or the horses ran away; for the carriage proceeded with redoubled speed, and, soon after, I heard the crush of the wheels passing over the head of the unfortunate being in the road. I hastened towards him to give every assistance in my power, but, alas, he had ceased to exist.

port. He said, that he had, on the preceding evening, on the road to Strasburg, near Colmar, between the hours of eleven and twelve, met a man uttering dreadful imprecations, that he had seized the stranger's stick and beat him over the head until he fell down dead, and that he was now come to deliver himself up to justice, to punish his atrocity aud rid him of a weary existence.

The spot this unhappy man described as the scene of his guilt, was precisely that on which I had found the lifeless body of the man who had been crushed by the Strasburg mail. I was also present at an inspection of the corpse of the murdered man, who was a Jew, named Heyman, well known in Colmar, where he had spent the day on the second of August; the murder was committed on the third. The surgeon who examined the body observed, that, according to my report, the head had been crushed by the wheel of a carriage, but whether his death was occasioned by that circumstance, or whether Heyman had ceased to live previous to that accident, it was almost impossible to decide. He was, however, of opinion, that, had he been dead any length of time, at the period of the wheel passing over his head, the effusion of blood would have been less abundant; that some would have flowed through the apertures of the fractured bones; but that the large wound in the face would probably have been less liable to such copious bleeding.

It was now between two and three o'clock, I removed the corpse to the road-side, and proceeded with all haste towards Colmar. I informed the officer on guard at the gate of the city, of the event which I had just witnessed; and we were preparing to return to the spot, where the disaster had taken place, when a person, covered with rags and tatters, entered the guard-house, 'and surrendered himself a prisoner, declaring, at the same time, that he had just as sassinated a man, I looked at this unhappy being; he was in the prime of life, about the middle size, but much emaciated. The extreme paleness of his face was still more conspicuous, from the jet black hair which nearly covered his forehead. His look was stedfast, and his countenance bore the character of profound melancholy, and fixed resignation. There was something in his whole appearance so unusual and so unlike guilt, that he inspired me with compassion, rather than with horror. I was present when he was brought before the authorities to be examined: he said his name was Joseph Ignatius Platz, a native of Switzer- This declaration enlightened imland; that he was on his return from mediately my mind; I hastened to Russia, where he had lived for sev- the prison in which the wretched eral years in a situation little remov- Platz was confined, and, by dint of ed from slavery. Forsaken by the persuasions and entreaties, I prevailwhole world, and reduced to the need on the unfortunate man to accessity of begging his bread, he had become weary of the wretched existence to which he was doomed, and had formed the resolution of committing some crime which should induce the laws of his country to relieve him from the burthen of life, which he was no longer able to sup

knowledge that he had not committed the murder of which he had accused himself. "You have extorted my secret from me," said he, looking stedfastly at me," do not divulge it; do not take from me the hope of being soon in presence of my Judge, my Creator, my God;" and he took

up a small prayer-book that he had laid down on a seat, on my entering, knelt down before an image of Christ, which he had fixed to the wall, and shedding a flood of tears, and striking his head against the walls of his cell, he began to read aloud the psalms of the dead.

I hastened to inform the magistrates of the confession which the unfortunate Platz had made; one of my friends was entrusted with his defence, and we succeeded, by our entreaties, in making him promise to tell the whole truth before the Court. "Then I am again to be condemned to live," said he bitterly; "why will you restore me to an existence that I abhor?" We tried to reconcile him to life.

"You have not only exchanged the inhospitable climate of Russia," said his generous defender, "for the soft sky of France, but you have passed from the station of a slave, to that of a man. Will not this give you a claim to the assistauce and sympathy of your fellow men? Many will succour you without your knowing the hand that supports you; many a generous heart will seek to bind you to existence by the tie of gratitude; and you will then bless the day that gave you for judges humane and noble-minded


Platz shook his head doubt ingly, and we left him to prepare his defence.

The trial was fixed for the seventh of December. As a witness, I was obliged to be present; the Court was crowded, and, in the countenances of those present, there was more of pity than of that feeling of horror which crime generally inspires. Platz was brought to the bar of the accused; he bowed his head before the image of Christ placed over the President's chair; and, after making several times the sign of the cross, he sat down, and it was evident from the motion of his lips that he was pray ing.

"Platz," said the President, addressing the accused, "you stand charged with having committed a murder."

Platz, (inclining his head,) replied, "God's will be done!"

The President continued-" You have several times declared that you were guilty of the crime.”

Platz rejoined "I have said so, it is true, but I am not guilty; my declaration was contrary to truth; I am indeed a sinner, a wicked man, but I have not committed this murder."

"Then," asked the President, "why did you accuse yourself?"

Never, perhaps, was man placed in so singular, nay, unprecedented, a situation, as that in which the coun sel for the unfortunate Platz now found himself. "Can it," said he, addressing himself to the Jury with enthusiastic warmth, "can it, gentlemen, be for a moment asserted, that the accusation preferred against this unhappy man, is supported by any forcible testimony? Is there a strong mass of presumptive evi dence, to bewilder your judgment and excite suspicions in your mind which it becomes me to remove? Who are the accusers at this awful tribunal? One, and one only, and that is the wretched Platz himself. His evidence alone supports the impeachment; he alone endeavours to baffle every effort of his defenders, and to devote himself to an ignominious, though welcome death. What witnesses appear against him?— None-the only testimony of his guilt is his own acknowledgment, and that is made under the influence of a morbid and melancholy state of mind. Numerous circumstances are in positive contradiction to this avow al, and contribute to render it in the highest degree improbable. When I reflect, (continued the counsel, in a tone of voice calculated to excite the most sympathetic emotion,) on a condemnation passed upon such proof or rather want of proof, I am naturally inclined to revert to those days, when a

Judge pronounced sentence of death on the wretched criminal whose confession of guilt had been extorted by the application of torture: yet even these unfortunate beings had

an advantage over my unhappy client; they could, by summoning all their energies to their aid, for a short period, resist the agonies of the wheel, But where is the mind endowed with sufficient fortitude to endure torture for a series of years? when each successive day brings with it a renewal of hopeless grief, with no diminution of suffering, no consolatory redection to mitigate the pang. We are all aware, how the strongest mind must sink under such baneful influence; how enviable the repose of the tomb must then appear, and with what eagerness it would be sought. And are not the means pursued by this unhappy man the most likely to effect his purpose? I shudder when I call to your attention, that, if prisoners are condemned on their own confession alone, the hand of Justice must frequently become the instrument of suicide."

This discourse of my learned friend excited strong emotion in his auditors, many of whom were bathed in tears. Platz alone remained unshaken, and seemed to regret that he should still be compelled to endure life. When the President, however, re-commenced the examination, he threw himself on his knees, and began to pray. "What a lesson," said the eloquent magistrate, "would the present scene afford to those whose illiberal and selfish minds would deprive the lower classes of society of the benefits arising from the diffusion of knowledge: what a striking example of the evils of their doctrine! Ignorance perverts the most valuable precepts of morality, as well as the most sacred laws of religion, wh ch forbid us to quit the post in which the Almighty has placed us, until it shall please him to relieve us; and, if any wretched being presumes to relinquish his life and his fate, how ever miserable, and rush unbidden into the presence of his Creator, he becomes liable to the just anger of his offended God. The unhappy pri

soner is not ignorant of this sacred law; his memory acknowledges it, but his reason is no guide in the fulfilment of it; deprived of the light of education, he is led astray by the errors of superstition. Thus, he acts in direct opposition to the very law that he considers most sacred; although armed with the most ferocious resolution against his own life, he dares not sacrifice it himself, lest he should provoke the anger of his heavenly Judge; he has, however, recourse to the dreadful expedient of compelling his fellow-creatures to inflict death upon him. To effect this, he has rendered himself guilty, either of an actual crime, or a wilful falsehood, and, should he appear in the presence of the Almighty, stained with the blood of his fellow-man, the judicial sentence will still leave some space between the commission of the deed and the hour of atonement; wherein he may endeavour by prayers and repentance to obtain the divine mercy. If, on the other hand, he has proclaimed himself guilty of an imaginary crime, he deceives himself even still more palpably. He thinks he has escaped perdition, because, by not being his own executioner, he has cast the guilt upon the judge, who, by means of his artifice, will have passed an unjust sentence upon him, which to you, gentlemen, as well as myself, would be a source of endless regret. With you, however, it rests, he continued, addressing the jury, to decide to which of these expedients the pri soner has had recourse."

After a short deliberation, the unfortunate prisoner Platz was acquitted unanimously by the jury, and a subscription was immediately made for him among the members of the Bar. I watched him closely when the acquittal was pronounced; he clasped his hands, and raised his eyes to heaven; then he leaned his head upon the crucifix, and his ges ture was that of perfect resignation.


THE Voice of Spring-the voice of Spring! I hear it from afar !

He comes with sunlight on his wing,

And ray of morning's star :

His impulse thrills through rill and flood,
It throbs along the main ;
"Tis stirring in the waking wood,
And trembling o'er the plain!
The cuckoo's call, from hill to hill,
Announces he is nigh :-
The nightingale has found the rill
She loved to warble by:
The thrush to sing is all athirst,

But will not, till he see
Some sign of him-then out will burst
The treasured melody!

He comes-he comes !-Behold, behold
That glory in the east

Of burning beams of glowing gold,
And light by light increased!
Already Earth unto her heart
Inhales the genial heat-
Already, see the flowers start
To beautify his feet!

The violet is sweetening now

The air of hill and dell:

The snow-drops, that from Winter's brow,
As he retreated, fell,

Have turned to flowers, and gem the bowers
Where late the wild storm whirled;
And warmer rays, with lengthening days,
Give verdure to the world.

The work is done ;-but there is ONE,
Who has the task assigned,-
Who guides the serviceable sun,
And gathers up the wind;

Who showers down the needful rain
He measures in his hand ;

And rears the tender-springing grain,
That joy may fill the land.

The youthful Spring-the pleasant Spring!
His course is forward now :-

He comes with sunlight on his wing,
And beauty on his brow:

His impulse thrills through rill and flood,
And throbs along the main-

"Tis stirring in the waking wood,

And trembling o'er the plain!

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ON leaving the baths of Carlsbad, tain, beside a range of white birch

in Bohemia, which are constantly thronged by visitors from all parts of Europe in quest of pleasure or health, I stopped for a short time at Egra and at Wunsiedel. I then proceeded to Alexandrebad, in the circle of the Upper Maine, in Bavaria, a place celebrated for its picturesque situation, and the recollections which the King and Queen of Prussia left behind them, when they visited the town during the first year of their marriage.

I entered Alexandrebad one fine spring evening, and without thinking about the mineral spring, which owes its reputation to the Margrave Alexander, or the castle, in which nothing either useful or agreeable has been forgotten, I procured a guide, and repaired immediately to the mountain of Louisaburg, which was the object of my journey, and I soon had an opportunity of admiring one of the most surprising and picturesque scenes which, perhaps, the face of nature presents.

There is no reason for supposing that Louisaburg has, at any former period, been convulsed by volcanic eruptions, and the most plausible conjecture respecting these huge masses of rock, which seem to be rolling down in one uniform direction, is that they have been produced by those torrents which descended from the heavens at the general flood, recorded in the traditions of all nations.

These masses of rock having become consolidated by time, trees and shrubs have taken root in their interstices. Mosses of various species, and creeping and parasite plants, fill up the clefts of the rock, and line these natural grottos. This wild vegetation produces the most beautiful effects, and creates changes which rise with magical rapidity before the eye of the observer at every step he advances.

Pursuing my ascent up the moun28 ATHENEUM, VOL. 9, 2d series.

trees elegantly cut, I reached a wall of rock, which appeared to be an insurmountable barrier to further advancement, for it bore the inscription nec plus ultra, dated 1794. It was not till the year 1805, that there was discovered beneath this huge block of granite, the entrance to a cavern which served the Knights of Luxburg to mark their place of concealment.

Above the ruins of this proud tower, now rises a modest hermitage, roofed with thatch and surmounted by an expiatory cross. On this spot, which was once the scene of crime

and boisterous mirth, nothing is now heard but those expressions of admiration and pleasure excited by the interesting scenes which crowd upon the eye of the spectator. The remains of the ancient walls of the castle are overspread with vegetation. The wild strawberry presents its scarlet fruit to the thirsty traveller, while a variety of sweet-smelling herbs and plants diffuse their fragrance over those banks of turf, which perhaps were once bedewed with the tears of misfortune.

On the left a path, edged with shrubs, leads, by the ascent of a few steps, to a garden which is so closely surrounded on every side with masses of granite, that neither its entrance nor its outlet is perceptible: the elder tree with its brilliant berries, which forms so picturesque an object in other parts of the mountains, flourishes here in remarkable luxuriance; while the lofty pine mingles its foliage with that of the service-tree and the birch.

From between the fissures of the natural walls surrounding the garden, the light filaments of a few creeping plants here and there shoot out and cling to the granite. Banks planted with birch trees and bordered with exotics with which the mosses of these mountains seem fondly to commingle, afford an agreea

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