The one self-possessed person among us was the miserable woman who suffered the penalty of death.
Not very discreetly, as I think, the Chaplain asked her if she had truly repented. She answered, "I have confessed the crime, sir. What more do you want?" To my mind--still hesitating between the view that believes with the Minister and the view that doubts with the Doctor-- this reply leaves a way open to a hope of her salvation. Her last words to me, as she mounted the steps of the scaffold, were: "Remember your promise." It was easy for me to be true to my word. At that bygone time no difficulties were placed in my way by such precautions as are now observed in the conduct of executions within the walls of the prison. From the time of her death to the time of her burial, no living creature saw her face. She rests, veiled, in her prison grave. Let me turn to living interests, and to scenes removed from the thunder-clouds of crime.
. . . . . . . . .
The next day I received a visit from the Minister.
His first words entreated me not to allude to the terrible event of the previous day. "I cannot escape thinking of it," he said, "but I may avoid speaking of it." This seemed to me to be the misplaced confidence of a weak man in the refuge of silence. By way of changing the subject, I spoke of the child. There would be serious difficulties to contend with (as I ventured to suggest) if he remained in the town and allowed his new responsibilities to become the subject of public talk.
His reply to this agreeably surprised me. There were no difficulties to be feared. Obligations of duty made it necessary that he should leave the town immediately, and one of the objects of his visit was to say good-by.
I was not then aware that a minister of the Wesleyan persuasion has the spiritual charge of a place of worship for a period which is not allowed to exceed three years. The constituted authority under which he acts then removes him to another "circuit," as it is called; often situated at a considerable distance from the place in which he had previously ministered to a congregation. These periodical separations of the pastor and his flock, frequently productive of affectionate regret on either side, are justified by reasons on which it is not necessary to dwell in this place. With strong personal motives for re