+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

seven Germans who had been condemned for
this crime had taken any part in it; they
solemnly declared upon oath, that none of
these seven men had ever belonged to their
band, and that they were entirely unknown
to them.

Wlien these two robber-chiefs were told
the history of the death and tortures of the
seven innocent men and the dispersion
and banishment of their families, steeped
in crime as they were, their horror knew
no bounds. Two other members of the
band, confirmed the depositions of Hannickel
and Vinceslas. The chief magistrates of
Stultz sent to the judge at Phalbourg, for
the procès-vérbal of the trial, and also for the
declaration of the two Jews; but the
conscience-stricken judge refused. Nevertheless,
the bailli of Stultz obtained the proofs
of the innocence of the seven men who had
been condemned, and lost no time in laying
them before the Duke of Wurtemberg. The
duke gave orders that search should be made
to see if any of the relatives of the
unfortunate victims still survived; but eighteen
years of sorrow and misery had done their
work,—of the forty or fifty who had been
driven from their homes, no more than eight
remained. The duke sent the procès-vérbaux
which attested the innocence of their
unhappy relatives, to his minister at the court
of France, and desired him to take every
means to obtain from the king the rehabilitation
of their name, as the phrase was, when
innocent people who had suffered were to
have the ignominy cleared from their
memory. An act was passed on the twentieth
of February, seventeen hundred and seventy-
seven, before the royal notaries at Phalsbourg
by which the widows of Ulrich and Gaspard
Beckvert, the two brothers, and the widow of
Michel Fix, the son and daughter of Ulrich
Beckvert authorised the President Dupaits,
to petition the king in their name for letters
of revision of the sentence on the seven
innocent men; which letters of revision were
at length granted.



LISTEN, listen to the hour!
Ten strikes from the old church tower.
        Now pray, and then lie down to rest,
        Ye whose minds are calm and blest,
        Sleep soft and wellin Heaven bright
        An eye wakes for you all the night.

Listen, listen to the hour!
Eleven, from the old church tower.
         Ye who still more labour find,
         Ye who read with anxious mind,
         Once more to God in Heaven pray,—
         It is too late. Now sleep till day!

Listen, listen to the hour!
Twelve strikes from the old church tower.
        Ye whom midnight still doth find
        With aching heart and troubled mind,
        God grant you now a quiet hour,
        And guard and keep you by his power.

Listen, listen to the hour!
One strikes from the old church tower.
        Ye who now with shame and fear,
        Thieving, steal through pathways drear,—
         I dare not hope,—but O! beware,
        Though none are nigh, your Judge is there.

Listen, listen to the hour!
Two strikes from the old church tower.
        Ye who, though 'tis nearly day,
        On your hearts let sorrow prey,
        Poor fools, repose and sleep are here,
        And God cares for you,—do not fear.

Listen, listen to the hour!
Three strikes from the old church tower.
         The morning twilight fades away;
         Ye who dare to greet the day
         Thank God, and fear not all is well.
         Now go to work, and so farewell.




MY first few days' experience in my
new position satisfied me that Doctor
Knapton preserved himself from betrayal by
a system of surveillance worthy of the very
worst days of the Holy Inquisition itself.
No man of us ever knew that he was not
being overlooked at home, or followed when
he went out, by another man. Peep-holes
were pierced in the wall of each room, and
we were never certain, while at work, whose
eye was observing, or whose ear was listening
in secret.  Though we all lived together, we
were probably the least united body of men
ever assembled under one roof.  By way of
effectually keeping up the want of union
between us, we were not all trusted alike. I
soon discovered that Old File and Young
File were much further advanced in the
doctor's confidence than Mill, Screw, or
myself. There was a locked-up room, and
a continually-closed door shutting off a
back staircase, of both of which Old
File and Young File possessed keys that
were never so much as trusted in the
possession of the rest of us. There was also a
trapdoor in the floor of the principal work-
room, the use of which was known to nobody
but the doctor and his two privileged men.
If we had not been all nearly on an equality
in the matter of wages, these distinctions
would have made bad blood among us. As
it was, nobody having reason to complain
of unjustly-diminished wages, nobody cared
about any preferences in which profit was
not involved.

The doctor must have gained a great
deal of money by his skill as a coiner.
His profits in business could never have
averaged less than five hundred per cent.;
and, to do him justice, he was really a
generous as well as a rich master. Even I, as