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Goethe's Works illustrated by the best German artists, Volume 4, Part 1

Material Information

Title:
Goethe's Works illustrated by the best German artists, Volume 4, Part 1
Creator:
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
Place of Publication:
Philadelphia, Penn.
Publisher:
G. Barrie
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
5 v. in 10 : ill. ; 30 cm.

Notes

General Note:
v. 1. The life of Goethe / by Hjalmar H. Boyesen ; Poems (Songs ; Familiar songs ; From Wilhelm Meister ; Ballads ; Antiques ; Elegies ; Epigrams ; The four seasons ; Sonnets ; Miscellaneous poems ; Art ; Parables ; Epigrams ; God und world ; West-Eastern Divan ; Hermann und Dorothea) -- v. 2. Faust ; Egmont ; The natural daughter ; The sorrows of young Werther -- v. 3. Goetz von Berlichingen ; Iphigenia in Tauris ; Torquato Tasso ; Clavigo ; Stella; The brother and sister ; A tale ; The good women ; Reynard the Fox -- v. 4. The recreations of the German emigrants ; Wilhelm Meister's apprenticeship -- v. 5. , pt. 1. Wilhelm Meister's travels --Elective affinities.

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JPr. Teckt cjnx-




5


N the unhappy pe-
riod, so fruitful
in disasters to
Germany, to Eu-
rope, and indeed
to the whole
world, when the
French army
overran the Con-
tinent, a family
of distinction
was compelled
to forsake their
property on the
first invasion,
and to fly be-
yond the Rhine.
They sought to escape those calamities to
which persons of noble birth were inevitably
exposed, in whom it was considered criminal
to be descended from an honorable line
of ancestors, and to inherit those privileges
and possessions which the virtues or the
valor of their forefathers had bequeathed to
them.
The Baroness of C--------, a widow lady of
middle age, distinguished for every domestic
virtue which could promote the comfort or in-
dependence of her family, evinced, upon the
occasion of this unforeseen calamity, the most
noble spirit of activity and resolute determi-
nation. Brought up amid a wide circle of ac-
quaintance, and already experienced, to some
extent, in the reverses of life, she was con-
sidered perfect in her private and domestic
character; and she was remarkable for the
real delight which she ever felt in the active
6
employment of her faculties. Indeed, the
great purpose of her life seemed to consist in
rendering services to others, and it is easy to
suppose that her numerous friends never failed
to provide her with employment. She was
summoned, at the time we speak of, to take
the lead of a little band of emigrants. Even
for this duty she was prepared; and the same
solicitous though cheerful temper, which had
invariably distinguished her at home, did not
forsake her in this hour of general terror and
distress. But cheerfulness was not an entire
stranger to our band of fugitives; many an
unexpected incident and strange event afforded
occasion for the indulgence of mirth and laugh-
ter, of which their easily-excited minds readily
took advantage. The very flight itself was a
circumstance well calculated to call out the
peculiar character of each individual in a re-
markable manner. The mind of one, for in-
stance, was distracted by vain fear and terror;
another fell a prey to idle apprehensions; and
the extravagances and deficiencies, the weak-
ness, irresolution, or impetuosity which was
on all sides displayed, produced so many in-
stances of vexation and bad temper that the
real trouble of the whole party afforded more
mirth than an actual tour of pleasure could
possibly have occasioned.
As we may sometimes preserve our compo-
sure, even during the performance of a farce,
without smiling at the most positive drolleries,
though we find it impossible to restrain our
laughter when anything absurd occurs in the
representation of a tragedy, so in this real
world, the generality of accidents of a serious
nature are accompanied by circumstances
7


cither ridiculous at the moment or infallibly
productive of subsequent mirth.
We must observe that the baronesss eldest
daughter, Louisa, a cheerful, lively, and, in
her hour of prosperity, an imperious young
lady, had to endure an unusual degree of suf-
fering. She is said to have been quite over-
whelmed with terror at the first alarm, and,
in her distraction and absence of mind, to
have packed together the most useless things
with the greatest seriousness, and actually to
have made an offer of marriage to one of the
old servants of the establishment.
She defended herself for this step with much
obstinacy, and would not allow her intended
to be made a subject of ridicule. In her
opinion she suffered enough from her daily
fear of the allied army, and from the appre-
hension that her wished-for marriage might be
delayed, or even frustrated, by a general en-
gagement.
Her elder brother, Frederick, who was a
youth of decisive character, executed his
mothers orders with precision and exactitude,
accompanied the procession on horseback, and
discharged, at times, the various duties of
courier, conductor and guide. The tutor of
the baronesss younger son, who was a well-
educated young man, accompanied her in her
carriage ; whilst Uncle Charles and an elderly
clergyman, who had long been an indispensa-
ble friend of the family, followed in another
vehicle, which was also occupied by two fe-
male relations, one young, the other some-
what advanced in years. The servants fol-
lowed in an open carriage, and the procession
was closed by a heavily-packed wagon, which
occasionally loitered behind.
The whole party, as it is easy to suppose,
had abandoned their dwellings with great re-
luctance, but Uncle Charles had forsaken his
residence on this side of the Rhine even more
unwillingly than the others; not that he had
left his mistress behind, as one might, perhaps,
have conjeCtured from his youth, his figure,
and the warmth of his nature: he had rather
been seduced by the brilliant phantom, which,
under the denomination of freedom, had se-
cured so many adherents, first in secret, then
in public, and which, notwithstanding that she
was a harsh mistress to some, was all the more
devotedly honored by the others.
Just as lovers are generally blinded by their
passion, did it happen in the case of Uncle
Charles. They pant for the possession of a
single happiness, and fancy that for this they
can endure the privation of every other bless-
ing. Position, fortune and all advantages
vanish into nothing, compared with the one
benefit which is to supply their place. Pa-
rents, relatives and friends are now looked
upon as strangers. One desire fills and ab-
sorbs their whole being, to which everything
else is to give way.
Uncle Charles abandoned himself to the in-
tensity of his passion, and did not conceal it
in his conversation. He thought he might
express his conviction the more freely because
he was of noble birth, and although the second
son, yet the presumptive heir to a noble for-
tune. Even this fortune, which was to be his
future inheritance, was at present in the ene-
mys hands, by whom it had been shamefully
wasted. But, in spite of all this, Charles could
not hate a nation which promised such advan-
tages to the world at large, and whose princi-
ples he approved, according to his own admis-
sion and the evidence of some of his associates.
He constantly disturbed the peace of the little
community (seldom as they enjoyed such a
blessing) by an indiscriminate praise of every-
thing, good or bad, which happened amongst
the French, and by his noisy delight at their
success. By this means he irritated his com-
panions, who felt their own grievances doubly
aggravated by the malicious triumphs of their
friend and relation.
Frederick had been already engaged in fre-
quent disputes with him, and latterly they had
ceased to hold communication with each
other. But the baroness, by her prudent man-
agement, had secured his moderation, at least
for a time. Louisa gave him the greatest
trouble, for she often used the most unfair
methods to cast a slur upon his character and
judgment. The tutor silently pronounced
him right; the clergyman silently pronounced
him wrong; and the female attendants, who
were charmed with his figure and his liberality,
heard him with delight, because, whilst they
listened to his lectures, they could honorably
fix upon him those loving eyes, which, until
that time, had ever been modestly bent upon
the ground.
Their daily necessities, the obstacles of the
journey, and their disagreeable quarters, gen-
erally led the whole company to a considera-
tion of their immediate interests; and the
great number of French and German fugitives
whom they constantly met, and whose con-
dudt and fortunes were various, often made
them consider how much occasion existed at
8


such times for the practice of every virtue, but
particularly of liberality and forbearance.
The baroness, upon one occasion, observed
aloud that nothing could show more clearly
the deficiencies of men in these virtues than
the opportunity afforded for their exercise, by
occasions of general confusion and distress.
Our whole constitution, she maintained, re-
sembled a ship chartered in a season of tem-
pest to convey a countless crowd of men, old
and young, healthy and infirm, across a stormy
sea; but only in the hour of shipwreck could
the capabilities of the crew be displayed: an
emergency when even the good swimmer often
perished.
Fugitives, for the most part, carry their
faults and ridiculous peculiarities along with
them, and we wonder at this circumstance.
But as the English traveller never leaves his
tea-kettle behind in any quarter of the globe,
so are the generality of mankind invariably
accompanied by their stock of proud preten-
sions, vanity, intolerance, impatience, obsti-
nacy, prejudices and envy. Thus, the thought-
less enjoyed this flight as they would have
enjoyed a party of pleasure, and the discon-
tented required, even now in their moments
of abjeCt poverty, that their every want should
be supplied. How rare is the display of that
pure virtue which incites us to live and to
sacrifice ourselves for others !
In the meantime, whilst numerous acquaint-
ances were formed, which gave occasion to
reflections of this nature, the season of winter
was brought to a close. Fortune once more
smiled on the German arms, the French were
again driven across the Rhine, Frankfort was
relieved, and Mainz was invested.
Trusting to the further advance of our vic-
torious troops, and anxious to take possession
of a part of their recovered property, the
family we speak of set out for an estate which
lay in one of the most beautiful parts of the
country, on the right bank of the Rhine. We
can hardly describe the rapture with which they
once more beheld the silver stream flowing
acquaintances, friends and dependants has-
tened to welcome her, to recount the various
vicissitudes of the last few months, and, in
more than one instance, to implore her advice
and assistance.
In the midst of these interviews she was
most agreeably surprised by a visit from the
Privy Councillor S. and his family, a man
who from his earliest youth had followed busi-
ness as a pursuit of pleasure, and who had
both merited and acquired the confidence of
his sovereign. His principles were firm, and
he indulged his own peculiar notions upon
many subjects. He was precise both in his
conversation and conduCt, and required others
to be the same. A dignified deportment was,
in his opinion, the highest virtue a man could
possess.
His sovereign, his country and himself had
suffered much from the irruption of the French.
He had experienced the despotic character of
that nation, which was perpetually boasting
of justice, and had felt the tyranny of men
who always had the cry of freedom on their
lips. He had observed, however, the general
consistency of character which prevailed, and
had marked how many persons witnessed with
feelings of angry disappointment the substitu-
tion of mere words for practice and of empty
appearance for reality. The consequences to
be expected from an unfortunate campaign
did not escape his acute penetration, any more
than the results of the general maxims and
opinions we have quoted; though it must be
admitted his views upon all subjects were
neither cheerful nor dispassionate.
His wife, who had been an early friend of
the baroness, after the experience of so much
adversity, found a perfeCt paradise in the
arms of her former companion. They had
grown up together, had been educated to-
gether, and had always shared each others
confidence. The early inclinations of their
youth, their more important matrimonial in-
terests, their joys and cares and domestic
anxieties, had always been communicated,
beneath their windows, the joy with which
they took possession of every part of their
house, and hailed the sight of their well-
known furniture, their old family pictures,
and of every trifle which they had long given
up as totally lost; and they indulged the fond-
est anticipations of finding everything flourish-
ing as heretofore on their side of the Rhine.
The arrival of the baroness was scarcely
announced in the village when all her former
either personally or by correspondence, as
they had for years maintained an uninter-
| rupted intimacy with each other; but this was
| at length broken by the general troubles of
the eventful times. Their present intercourse
was, for this reason, the more affectionate,
and their interviews the more frequent; and
the baroness observed with pleasure that the
intimacy of Louisa with the daughters of her
friend was daily increasing.
43
9


Unfortunately, however, the complete en-
joyment of the delightful neighborhood around
was often disturbed by the roar of cannon
which was heard in the distance, sometimes
loudly and sometimes indistindlly, according
to the point of the wind. Moreover, it was
impossible to avoid conversations upon polit-
ical subje&s, which were introduced by the
perpetual rumors of the day, and which gen-
erally disturbed the temporary tranquillity of
society, as the various ideas and opinions of
all parties were usually propounded without
reserve.
And as intemperate men seldom refrain
from wine or injurious food on account of
their experience of the evil consequences
which such enjoyments occasion, so, in this
instance, the several members of the society
we speak of, in place of imposing restraint
upon their conversation, abandoned them-
selves to the irresistible impulse of vexing
each other, and thus eventually opened a
channel of most disagreeable reflections.
We can readily suppose that the privy coun-
cillor adopted the opinions of those who ad- >
vocated the old regime, and that Charles took j
the opposite side, in expectation that the ap- !
proaching changes would heal and reanimate j
the old shattered constitution of the country. |
The conversation was carried on at first 1
with some degree of moderation, particularly
as the baroness sought, by her well-timed and
graceful interruptions, to maintain the balance
equal between both parties; but when the im-
portant crisis of the conversation arrived, and
the investment of Mainz was about to change
to an actual siege, and the fears of all in-
creased for that beautiful city and its aban-
doned inhabitants, both sides asserted their
opinions with unrestrained violence.
The members of the clubs who had re-
mained in the town were particularly dis-
cussed, and each expressed his hope of their
liberation or punishment, according as he
approved or condemned their conduct.
Amongst the latter class was the privy
councillor, whose observations were espec-
ially displeasing to Charles, as he assailed the
sound judgment of those people, and charged
them with a thorough ignorance of the world
and of themselves.
What blind dolts they must be, he ex-
claimed, one afternoon when the discussion
became warm, to think that a great nation,
employed in an effort to suppress its own
internal commotions, and which in sober mo-
ments has no other objedt than its own pros-
perity, can look down upon them with any
sort of sympathy. Used as temporary tools,
they will be thrown away at last or utterly
negledted. How grossly they err in thinking
that they will ever be admitted into the ranks
of the French nation.
Nothing is more ridiculous to the strong
and powerful than to see weakness and in-
efficiency setting up its pretensions to equality,
wrapped in the obscurity of .its own fancies
and in the ignorance of itself, its powers and
its qualities. And can you suppose that the
great nation, with that good fortune with
which it has been hitherto favored, will be
less haughty and overbearing than any other
royal conqueror?
Many a person who now struts about in his
municipal robes and gaudy attire will heartily
curse the masquerade when, after having as-
sisted to oppress his own countrymen, by a
new and disadvantageous change of things,
he finds himself at last, in his new character,
despised by those in whom he wholly confided.
Indeed, it is my firm opinion that upon the
surrender of the town, which must soon take
place, those people will be abandoned or
given up to us. I hope they will then receive
their reward in that punishment they so richly
deserve, according to my opinion, which is
as unprejudiced as possible.
Unprejudiced! exclaimed Charles with
vehemence; I beg I may never hear that
word again. How can we so unequivocally
condemn these men ? Have they not adtually
devoted their whole lives to the old pursuit of
serving the more favored classes of mankind ?
Have they not occupied the few habitable
rooms of the old mansion and toiled dili-
gently therein; or rather have they not felt
the inconvenience of the deserted part of your
state palace by the obligation of living there
in a state of misery and oppression ? Uncor-
rupted by frivolous pursuits, they do not con-
sider their own occupation to be alone noble;
but in silence they deplore the prejudice, the
irregularity, the indolence and ignorance upon
which your statesmen build their foolish claims
to reverence, and in silence they pray for a
more equal division of labor and enjoyment.
And who can deny that their ranks contain
at least some such men of intelligence and
virtue, who, if they cannot now realize uni-
versal good, can fortunately aid in modifying
evil and in preparing for a happy future? and
if there be such noble beings amongst them,
io


should we not deplore the approach of that
evil hour which must destroy, perhaps forever,
their fondest anticipations?
The privy councillor, upon this, sneered
with some degree of bitterness at certain
youths who were in the habit of idealizing
upon practical subjects, whilst Charles was
equally severe upon men whose thoughts were
merely formed upon antiquated precedents,
and who never adopted any but compulsory
reforms.
By reciprocal contradictions of this nature
the dispute became gradually more violent,
and every topic was introduced which has for
so many years tended to dismember society.
In vain did the baroness endeavor to establish
a truce, if not to make peace between the
contending parties; and the wife of the privy
councillor, who from her estimable qualities
had acquired some influence over Charles
disposition, interposed also to no effedl, more
particularly as her husband continued to launch
his poisoned shafts against youth and inexpe-
rience, and enlarged upon the especial apti-
tude of children to play with fire: a dangerous
element which they were wholly unable to
control.
Charles, forgetting prudence in his anger,
now declared openly that he wished every
success to the French arms, and called upon
all his countrymen to aid in putting an end to
their general slavery, expressing his conviction
that their so-called enemies would protect
i every noble German who should join them,
n


would regard them and treat them as their
own countrymen, and crown them with hon-
ors, fortune and rewards, in place of sacrificing
or leaving them in misery.
But the councillor maintained it was ridicu-
lous to suppose that the French would bestow
a thought upon them, whether they capitulated
or not; that they would probably fall into the
hands of the allies, by whom he hoped they
would all be hanged. j
Charles was provoked by this speech, and ;
expressed his wish that the guillotine might !
find a rich harvest in Germany, and that no i
guilty head might escape. He added some |
cutting observations which were aimed at the 1
councillor personally, and were in every sense
offensive.
I shall take leave of a society, inter-
rupted the latter, in which everything is I
now slighted which once seemed worthy of :
respedt. I lament that I should be for the
second time expelled, and now by a fellow- j
countryman; but I am well aware that less j
pity may be expedted from this new foe than j
from the French themselves; and I find here j
a confirmation of the old proverb, that it is '
better to fall into the hands of the Turks than
of renegades.
So saying, he rose and left the apartment, j
He was followed by his wife, and a general !
silence ensued. The baroness expressed her j
displeasure in a few words of strong import. 1
Charles walked up and down the room. The !
councillors wife returned in tears, and stated ,
that her husband had given diredlions for
leaving, and had adtually ordered the carriage.
The baroness went to pacify him, whilst the ,
young ladies wept and kissed each other, dis-
tressed beyond measure that they were com- ;
pelled so suddenly and so unexpectedly to j
separate. The baroness returned without sue-
ceeding in her wishes. Gradually all those
troubles approached which it is ever the lot of
strangers to encounter. The sad moments of
separation and departure were bitter beyond
expression. Hope vanished with the appear-
ance of the post-horses, and the general sorrow
was redoubled.
The carriage drove off. The baroness fol-
lowed it with her eyes full of tears. She left the
window and sat down to her embroidery frame.
The silence, and even despair, was universal. J
Charles showed his sorrow by sitting in a corner !
and intently turning over the leaves of a book,
directing at intervals a melancholy look towards
his aunt. At length he rose and took his hat,
as if about to depart, but turned round on
reaching the door, and approaching his aunt
he exclaimed, with a countenance truly noble,
I have offended you, my dear aunt, I have
distressed you; but pardon my thoughtless-
ness; I acknowledge my fault, and am deeply
sensible of its sad consequences.
I forgive you, replied the baroness; I
entertain no ill feeling towards youyou are
a good and noble being, but you can never
repair the injury you have done. Your error
has deprived me of a friend to whom, after a
long separation, I had been restored by the
accident of our joint misfortunes, and in whose
society I have forgotten much of the misery
which has pursued and threatens us. She her-
self, driven from her home under most painful
circumstances, and long a fugitive, after a
short repose in the society of old and beloved
friends, in this delightful spot and comfortable
dwelling, is again compelled to wander forth ;
and we lose the company of her husband, who,
in spite of some peculiarities, is a man of noble
integrity, possessing an inexhaustible know-
ledge of society and of the world, of fadts and
experiences which he is ever ready to commu-
nicate with the most cheerful and delightful
willingness. Of all these enjoyments we have
been deprived by your fault, and how can you
restore what we have lost?
Charles. Spare me, my dear aunt. I feel
deeply the weight of my fault; cease to ex-
plain to me its evident consequences.
Baroness. Rather contemplate them as
closely as possible. Talk not of sparing you ;
only inquire how your mind may be corrected.
It is not the first time you have erred, nor will
it be the last. Ye inexplicable men cannot
a common suffering, which brings you together
under one roof, and confines you in one nar-
row dwelling, induce you to practise forbear-
ance towards each other? Do you need anv
additional calamities than those which are per-
petually bursting upon you? Consider your
condition, and adt sensibly and justly towards
those who, in truth, would deprive you of
nothing. Restrain your tempers from work-
ing and fermenting blindly, like some storm
or other natural phenomenon which disturbs
the world.
Charles made no reply. The tutor ad-
vanced from the window, where he had been
standing, towards the baroness, and said his
pupil would improve ; that this event would
adt as a warning, that he should test his prog-
ress daily, that he would remember the dis-
12


tress the baroness had endured, and would
afford convincing evidence of the self-restraint
he could practise.
Baroness. How easily men deceive them-
selves, especially in this particular. Authority
is so delightful a word, and it sounds so noble
to promise to control ourselves. Men speak of
it with pleasure, and would persuade us that
they can seriously pradtise the virtue. I wish
I had ever known a man capable of subduing
himself in the smallest particular. In indiffer-
ent matters they affedt resolution, as if the loss
occasioned actual suffering; whilst their real
desires are considered as supremely essential,
unavoidable and indispensable. I have never
known a man capable of enduring the smallest
privation.
Tutor. You are seldom unjust, and I have
never seen you so overpowered by anger and
disappointment as at present.
Baroness. Well, I need not be ashamed of
my anger. When I think of my friend, who
is now pursuing her journey in discomfort,
weeping, probably, at the recolledtion of our
inhospitality, my heart burns with indignation.
Tutor. In your greatest trouble I have
never seen you so agitated and exasperated as
now.
Baroness. A small evil, which follows
closely upon a greater, can fill the cup;
though, in truth, it is no small evil to lose a
friend.
Tutor. Be comforted, and rely upon our
improvement, and that we will do all in our
power to content you.
Baroness. No ; I shall rely upon none of
you. But, for the future, I will demand obe-
dience from all. I will command in my own
house.
Command, certainly, exclaimed Charles,
and you shall not have to complain of our
disobedience.
My severity will scarcely be very harsh,
rejoined the baroness with a smile, as she re-
covered herself; I am not fond of com-
manding, particularly democrats; but I will
give you some advice, and make one request.
Tutor. Both shall be stridtly observed.
Baroness. It would be ridiculous if I
thought to impair the interest which you all
take in the great events of the world, of which
we ourselves are indeed the vidlims. I cannot
change the opinions which exist and are es-
tablished in the mind of each of you, accord'
ing to his peculiar disposition; and it would
be no less harsh than foolish to require you to
suppress them. But I can demand this at least
from the circle in which I live, that those of
similar sentiments shall associate peaceably to-
gether, and converse in harmony. In your
44
*3


private apartments, during your walks, and
wherever else you meet, you may communicate
together at will, support your respective opin-
ions, and enjoy the gratification of an ardent
conviction. But, my dear friends, let us not
forget how much we were accustomed to sac-
rifice of our own individual opinions, for the
sake of general harmony, long before these
new topics became the fashion ; and as long
as the world lasts we must all, for the general
benefit, practise some outward self-control. It
is not, therefore, for the sake of virtue, but in
the name of common politeness, that I implore
you now to concede to me a favor, which I
think I may safely say you have always allowed
to the veriest stranger.
It seems to me strange (continued the bar-
oness) that we should have so far forgotten
ourselves. What has become of our polite-
ness ? It used to be the custom in society to
avoid topics disagreeable to others. Protest-
ants, in the company of Catholics, never as-
serted that church ceremonies were ridiculous;
and the most bigoted Catholic never main-
tained, before a Protestant, that the old re-
ligion afforded the only chance of salvation.
In the presence of a mother who had lost her
son, no one displayed the deep delight he
took in his children, and an inappropriate
word occasioned general embarrassment. It
seemed the duty of each to repair the acci-
dental evil; but now the very reverse of all
this seems to be the rule. We appear to seek
the opportunity of introducing subjects calcu- '
lated to give pain. Oh my dear friends, let j
us try and restore the old system. We have '
much to endure already ; and who knows how
soon the column of smoke by day, or the pil-
lar of flame by night, may announce the de-
struction of our dwellings, and of our most
valued possessions. Let us, at least, forbear j
to announce this intelligence with triumph; !
let us cease, by our own bitter observations,
to impress our souls with calamities which it
is painful enough to endure in silence.
When your father died, was it your habit to j
renew my grief upon every opportunity by a j
reference to the sad subjeCt? Did you not ;
rather avoid all improper allusion to his mem- j
ory, and seek by your love, your silent sym-
pathy and your incessant attentions to soften
my sorrow and relieve my pain ? Should we
not now practise the same kind forbearance,
which often brings more consolation than the
offices of aCtive friendship, more particularly
at this time, when ours is not the grief of an
individual in the midst of a happy multitude,
where sorrow disappears amid the general con-
tent, but the grief of thousands, where but
few indeed are capable of experiencing an
accidental or artificial consolation.
Charles. My dear aunt, you have suffi-
ciently humiliated us: may we take your hand
in token of reconciliation ?
Baroness. Here it is, on condition that
you will obey its guidance. We proclaim a
general amnesty, which we cannot conclude
with sufficient speed.
The young ladies, who had all been dis-
solved in tears since the event we have related,
now made their appearance, but could not be
persuaded to be reconciled to Charles.
You are welcome, children, said the
baroness, addressing them. We have just
had a serious conversation, which I trust will
establish peace and harmony amongst us;
perhaps it was never more important that we
should be friends and enjoy even one brief
portion of the day. Let us make this reso-
lution, to banish from our conversation all
reference to the mere events of the time.
Blow long have we been deprived of all in-
struction and entertaining intercourse How
long it seems, dear Charles, since you have
amused us with accounts of distant lands,
with whose productions, inhabitants, manners
and customs you are so well acquainted And
you (continued the baroness, addressing the
tutor), you have not lately instructed us in
history, ancient or modern, in the comparison
of centuries, or of remarkable men. And you,
young ladies, where are the pretty poems which
you used to bring forth from their hiding-
places for the delight of your friends? what
has become of all your free philosophic ob-
servations? Blave you no more ambition to
surprise us with some wonderful mineral speci-
men, some unknown plant, or remarkable
inseCt, brought home from your walks, and
affording occasion for pleasing speculations
on the mysterious connection of all the pro-
ductions of nature? Let us restore all those
charming amusements, by an agreement, a
resolution, a rule, to be useful, instructive,
and, above all things, companionable towards
each other; for all these advantages we can
enjoy even in the most extreme adversity.
Your promise, children.
They promised eagerly. And now I dis-
miss you, added the baroness; the even-
ing is fine, amuse yourselves as you please,
and at supper-time let us enjoy a friendly


THE CLERGYMANS VISIT.


communion together, after so long an inter-
ruption.
The company separated. Louisa alone re-
mained with her mother. She could not so
easily forget the misfortune of losing her com-
panion, and she allowed Charles, whom she
had invited to accompany her upon a walk,
to set out alone. For some time the baroness
and her daughter remained together, when
the clergyman entered, after a long absence,
entirely ignorant of what had, in the mean-
time, happened. Laying by his hat and stick,
he took a seat, and was about to narrate some-
thing, when Louisa, pretending to continue a
conversation with her mother, interrupted his
intention with the following observations:
Some of our company will, I think, find
the arrangement we have come to rather dis-
agreeable. When we lived in the country, it
is true, we were sometimes at a loss for con-
versation, for it did not happen so often, as
in town, that a girl could be slandered, or a
young man traduced; but still we had an al-
ternative in describing the follies of two great
nations, in finding the Germans as absurd as
the French, and in representing first one, and
then the other, as Jacobins and Radicals. But,
if these topics are forbidden, some of our so-
ciety will be rendered stupid.
Is your observation directed to me, young
lady? asked the old clergyman with a smile.
You know how ready I am to be sacrificed
for the benefit of the company. For though
upon all occasions you do credit to your in-
structors, and every one finds your society
both amiable and delightful, yet there is a
certain little malicious spirit within you which,
notwithstanding all your efforts, you cannot
entirely subdue, which prompts you to take
your revenge at my expense. Tell me, gra-
cious lady, he continued, turning towards
the baroness, what has occurred during my
absence, and what topics have been forbidden
to our society ?
The baroness informed him of all that had
taken place. He listened attentively, and then
observed that this regulation would probably
enable many persons to entertain the company
better than others.
We shall be able to endure it, said
Louisa.
Such an arrangement, he added, will
not be grievous to those who have been ac-
customed to rely upon their own resources;
on the contrary, they will find it pleasant,
since they can amuse the company with pur-
suits which they have followed in private.
And do not be offended, young lady, if I
attribute to society the very existence of all
newsmongers, spies and slanderers. For my
part I never see persons so lively and so ani-
mated either at a learned meeting or at a
public ledture convened for general instruction,
as in a society where some piece of scandal is
introduced which reflects on the character of
a neighbor. Ask yourself, or ask others, what
invests a piece of news with its greatest charm?
Not its importance, nor its influence, but its
mere novelty. Nothing old is cared for ; nov-
elty by itself excites our surprise, awakens the
imagination, gently agitates the feelings, and
requires no exertion of the reasoning powers.
Every man can take the most lively interest
in a piece of news with the least trouble to
himself; indeed, since a succession of new
events carries us rapidly from one circum-
stance to another, nothing is more welcome
to the generality of mankind than this induce-
ment to constant dissipation, and this oppor-
tunity of venting their spleen and malice in
an agreeable and varied manner.
Well! exclaimed Louisa, you show
some skill at explanation; just now you cen-
sured individuals, at present you condemn
mankind in general.
I do not require, he answered, that
you should render me justice ; but this I must
say, we who depend upon society must adt
according to its rules, and it would be safer
to provoke its resentment than its ennui, by
requiring it to think or refledt. We must
avoid everything that would tend to this re-
sult, and pursue by ourselves in private what-
ever would prove unpalatable to the public.
By yourselves in private, said Louisa,
many a bottle of wine will, I suppose, be
drunk, and many a nap taken in the daytime.
I have never, continued the old clergy-
man, set much value upon my own adtions,
for I know how little I have done for others;
but, however, I am in possession of something
which may, perhaps, afford agreeable relaxa-
tion to this society, circumstanced as it is at
present.
To what do you allude? inquired the
baroness.
Rely upon it, interrupted Louisa, he
has made some marvellous colledtion of scan-
dals.
You are mistaken, replied the clergy-
! man.
] We shall see, answered Louisa.


Suffer him to continue, my dear, said
the baroness; and do not accustom yourself
to act in a hard and unfriendly manner to-
wards others even in jest, as they may take it
ill. We have no need to increase our evil
habits by practising them for entertainment.
Tell me, my dear friend, of what does your
collection consist ? Will it conduce to our
amusement ? Have you been long employed
about it ? Why have you never mentioned it
before ?
I will give you an account of the whole
matter, rejoined the old clergyman. I
have lived long in the world, and have paid
much attention to public occurrences. I have
neither talent nor inclination for chronicling
great actions, and worldly affairs in general
are troublesome to me ; but amongst the many
private histories, true and false, which some-
times happen in public, or are related in pri-
vate, there are some which possess a greater
attraction than the charm of mere novelty,
some which are calculated to improve us by
their moral application, some which display
at a glance the secret springs of human na-
ture, and others again whose very absurdities
are amusing. Amongst the multitude of oc-
currences which attract our attention and our
malice in ordinary life, and which are as com-
mon as the individuals to whom they relate, I !
have noted down a few on account of their j
peculiar character, because they engaged and
excited my attention and feelings, and the
very recollection of them has never failed to ;
produce a momentary sensation of pure and
tranquil pleasure.
I am curious to hear, said the baroness,
the nature of your anecdotes, and to learn
their peculiar character.
You may easily suppose, replied the
clergyman, that they are not about disputes
or family matters. Such things have little in-
terest except for those who are engaged in
them.
Louisa. And what are yours about ?
Clergyman. Why, for the most part, they
treat of those emotions by which friends be-
come attached or disunited, happy or miser- I
able, and by which they are more frequently :
entangled than improved. !
Louisa. Indeed I suppose you will pro-
duce a collection of merry adventures for our
instruction and improvement. Excuse me for
making this observation, dear mamma; it
seems so evident, and it is, of course, allow-
able to speak the truth.
Clergyman. I suspeCt that you will not
find anything in the whole collection which
may be styled merry.
Louisa. And what would you consider of
that description ?
Clergyman. Scandalous dialogues or situ-
ations are my abhorrence. I objeCt equally
that common adventures, which are unworthy
of engaging our attention, should be told with
exaggerated importance; they excite our ex-
pectations unduly, in place of giving real
pleasure to the mind. They make a mystery
of that which should be wholly unveiled, or
from which we should altogether turn our eyes.
Louisa. I do not understand you. You
will, however, relate your stories with some
degree of elegance. I hope our ears will not
be offended by any coarse adventures. You
must consider us in the light of a ladies
seminary, and look for our thanks as your
recompense.
Clergyman. Nothing of the sort. But, in
truth, you will hear nothing new, particularly
as I have, for some time back, observed that
you never miss the perusal of certain criticisms
in some of the learned reviews.
Louisa. You are really too bad.
Clergyman. You are engaged to be mar-
ried, and I therefore pardon you. But I am
obliged to show that I also possess arrows
which I know how to use.
Baroness. I see your objeCt plainly, but
you must let her see it likewise.
Clergyman. Then I must repeat what I
said at the beginning of this conversation.
But it seems you had not the politeness to pay
attention.
Louisa. What is the use of attention, or
of much argument? Look at the matter in
any light, they will be scandalous stories, in
some shape or other, and nothing else.
Clergyman. Must I repeat, young lady,
that a well-regulated mind only perceives
scandal, when it reads of wickedness, arro-
gance, a desire to injure, and an unwilling-
ness to oblige; and from such spectacles he
should avert his eyes. He finds pleasure in the
narration of trifling faults and failings, and
contemplates with satisfaction those points of
the story where good men contend with them-
selves, with their desires and their intentions,
where silly and conceited mortals are rebuked,
corrected, or deceived, and where hopes,
wishes and designs are disturbed, interrupted
and frustrated, or unexpectedly fulfilled, ac-
complished and confirmed. But on those
16


scenes where accident combines with human
weakness and inefficiency, he dwells with the
greatest delight, and none of the heroes whose
history he authenticates, has either blame to
apprehend, or praise to expeCt from him.
Baroness. Your introduction excites our
wish to hear a specimen. We have spent the
greater part of our lifetime in one circle, and
have never experienced anything worthy to
find a place in such a collection.
Clergyman. Much undoubtedly depends
upon the observer, and upon the peculiar view
he takes of occurrences. But, however, I will
not deny that I have made large extracts from
old books and traditions. Perhaps you will
have no objection to see some of your old
friends with new faces. And this gives me a
privilege of which I must not be deprived
that none of my tales shall be doubted.
Louisa. But we are not to be prevented
from recognizing our friends and acquaint-
ances, or, if we please, from expounding the
enigma.
Clergyman. Certainly not. But you will
allow me, under such circumstances, to pro-
duce an old folio, to prove that the identical
occurrence happened, and was made matter
of record, some centuries ago. And I must
be permitted to smile when some narration is
pronounced to be an old fable, though it may
have taken place amongst ourselves, without
our being able to recognize the characters.
Louisa. We shall never begin. Had we
not better declare a truce for this evening, and
do you commence a story at once, by way of
specimen ?
Clergyman. Permit me, in this instance,
to be guilty of disobedience. The entertain-
ment is intended for the whole assembled
company. We must not deprive them of it,
and I must premise beforehand that whatever
I have to say possesses no value in itself. But
when my audience, after some serious occupa-
tion, wishes for a brief repose, and, already
sated with good things, desires the addition
of a light dessert, then I shall be ready, and
only hope that what I shall provide may not
prove unpalatable.
Baroness. In that case we had better
postpone the amusement till to-morrow.
Louisa. I am beyond measure curious to
know what it will be.
Clergyman. You must not be so, young
lady ; for high expectations are seldom satis-
fied.
That same evening, after dinner, the baron-
ess retired early to her apartment, whilst the
rest of the company remained together and
discussed the many reports which were current,
and the various incidents which had happened.
As is generally the case in such circumstances,
few of them knew what to doubt or what to
believe.
The old clergyman had his remedy for such
an emergency. I propose, said he, as
the most convenient plan, that we all believe
implicitly whatever we find pleasant, and that
we rejeCt, without ceremony, whatever we find
unpleasant, and that we allow everything to
be true which can prove itself.
It was then remarked by some one that men
generally acted in this way; and after some
desultory conversation they commented upon
that strange propensity of our nature to believe
in the marvellous. They talked of romances
and visions; and when the old clergyman had
promised at a future time to relate some inter-
esting anecdotes upon these subjects, Louisa
exclaimed, It will be extremely good of you,
and you will merit our gratitude by telling us
a story of that description now, for we are all
in the proper humor for it; we shall pay atten-
tion and be thankful. Without needing fur-
ther entreaties, the old clergyman commenced
at once, as follows:
During my residence in Naples an event
happened which attracted universal attention,
and with regard to which public opinion va-
ried exceedingly. Some persons maintained
that the circumstance had actually occurred;
whilst others asserted that, though true in gen-
eral, it was founded upon a gross deceit. The
latter class of persons were at further variance
amongst themselvesthey could not agree
who was the deceiver. Others held it to be
far from clear that spiritual natures were inca-
pable of influencing the elements and human
bodies, and maintained that we were not justi-
fied in pronouncing every marvellous occur-
rence to be a fraud or a delusion. But now
to the fads themselves.
At the time I speak of, a singer named An-
tonelli was the favorite of the Neapolitan pub-
lic. In the bloom of youth, beauty and tal-
ents, she was deficient in none of those en-
chantments by which women can allure and
captivate, and render a certain class of their
favorites happy. She was not insensible to
the charms of love and flattery, but, naturally
temperate and sensible, she knew how to enjoy
the delights of both without losing that self-
respeCl which was so essential to her happi-
45
17


J
ness. The young, the distinguished and the
rich flocked to her in crowds, but she admitted
few to her friendship; and if she pursued her
own inclination in the choice of her admirers,
she evinced, upon all occasions, so firm and
resolute a character that she attached every
person to her. I had an opportunity of ob-
serving her upon one occasion, in consequence
of my close intimacy with one of her especial
favorites.
Some years had elapsed; her friends were
numerous, and amongst the number were many
foolish, simple and fickle personages. It was
her opinion that a lover who, in a certain
sense, is everything to woman, generally
proves deficient in those very emergencies
when she most needs his assistance; as, for
example, in the difficulties of life, in domestic
necessities, and upon the occurrence of sudden
disasters. In such times she maintained that j
his own self-love often proved absolutely prej-
udicial to his mistress and his advice became
positively dangerous.
Her former attachments were insufficient
to satisfy her soul. The void required to be
filled. She wished for a friend, and scarcely
had she felt this want than she found a youth
amongst those who sought her favors, upon
whom she bestowed her confidence, of which
in every respeCt he seemed worthy.
He was a native of Genoa, who had taken
up his residence in Naples to transact the mer-
cantile business of a firm to which he belonged.
His natural talents had been improved by a
most excellent education. His knowledge was
extensive, his mind and body were sound and
active, and his general conduct might serve
as a model, and in his attention to others he
ever seemed forgetful of himself. He was im-
bued with the commercial spirit for which his
native town was distinguished. All his specu-
lations were upon a large scale. His condi-
tion, however, was none of the happiest. The
firm had entered into some unfortunate trans-
actions, and became entangled in ruinous law-
suits. Time only increased the difficulties, and
the anxiety which he endured gave him an air
of melancholy, which was not unbecoming,
and made Antonelli still more desirous of his
acquaintance, from the idea that he stood in
need of a friend.
Until now he had only seen Antonelli in
public, but at his first request she granted him
the entree to her house, even inviting him to
visit hera favor which he did not fail to ac-
cept.
She lost no time in communicating to him
her confidence and her wishes. He was no
less surprised than delighted at her proposals.
She implored him earnestly to be her friend,
but to make no pretensions to the privileges
of a lover. She made him acquainted with
some embarrassments in which she had be-
come involved, and his great experience ena-
bled him to offer advice and assistance for her
speedy release. In return for this confidence,
he unfolded to her his own situation, and
whilst she endeavored to cheer and console
him, many new plans occurred to him which
he had not thought of before, and she thus
appeared to be his adviser, and a reciprocal
friendship, founded on the highest regard and
respeCt, was established between them.
Unfortunately we do not always consider
the practicability of the obligations we incur.
He had promised to be her friend, and to
18


make no pretensions to the privileges of a
lover. But he could not deny that her vis-
itors in that character were not only unwel-
come to, but were detested by him; and he
felt it extremely painful when she thought to
amuse him with the description of their vari-
ous characters.
It soon happened, fortunately, or perhaps
unfortunately, that her heart was again free.
This was a source of extreme delight to our
young friend, who lost no time in entreating
that the vacant place might be allotted to him.
With some reluctance she listened to his pro-
posals. I fear, she said, that in making
this concession I shall lose my friend. Her
anticipation was correct, for scarcely had he
for a short time filled this double character
than he found her temper change. As her
friend he had been content with her respect;
as a lover he demanded her affedtion, and as
an intelligent and accomplished man he sought
for constant entertainment. But this was more
than Antonelli expedted. She was unwilling
to make an entire sacrifice of herself, and had
no wish to surrender her absolute liberty to
any one. She soon adopted ingenious expe-
dients for curtailing the length of his visits,
for avoiding his presence, and for making him
sensible that she would not consent to forego
her independence for any consideration.
This discovery was to him a source of the
greatest misery, and unfortunately the calamity
did not come alone. His domestic affairs be-
came more and more involved, and he found
reason for reproaching himself with having
always considered his income as inexhaustible,
and with having negledled his business in order
to engage in foreign travel, and to make a
greater figure in the world than he was entitled
to do, either from the advantages of his birth
or income. The law-suits, from which he ex-
pected so much, were tardy and expensive.
They took him frequently to Palermo, and,
upon the occasion of his last journey thither,
Antonelli adopted means to change the nature
of her establishment, for the purpose of be-
coming gradually disengaged from him. On
his return he found her in another residence,
at some distance from his; and he saw that
the Marquis of S., who at that time exercised
great influence in the world of fashion, had
unreserved admission to her house. He was
greatly affeCted by this discovery, which
brought on a serious illness. Upon hearing
this sad intelligence, Antonelli hastened to
him, attended him, and as she was fully aware
that his purse was but scantily supplied, she
left a large sum of money, which supplied his
necessities for a considerable time.
In consequence of his efforts to restrain her
freedom, he had fallen considerably in her
estimation. As her attachment diminished,
her suspicions increased, and she at length
began to think that a person who had man-
aged his own affairs so badly was not entitled
to a high character for good sense. But he
was unaware of the great change which had
taken place in her feelings towards him; and
he attributed her anxiety for his recovery, and
the constancy of her attentions which induced
her to spend whole days at his bedside, rather
to her love for him than to compassion for
his sufferings; and he hoped upon his re-
covery to find himself once more reinstated
in her favor.
But he was grievously mistaken. With his
restoration to health and strength, all sem-
blance of affeCtion disappeared, and he now
seemed as odious in her eyes as he had for-
merly proved agreeable. In addition to this,
his temper had unconsciously become soured
and unbearable. He attributed to others all
the blame of his own misfortunes, and justified
himself fully from their evil consequences.
He considered himself an injured and perse-
cuted invalid, and looked for a complete rec-
ompense for all his troubles in the devoted
affeCtion of his mistress.
With these exalted expectations he visited
Antonelli immediately upon his recovery. He
would be satisfied with nothing short of her
entire affeCtion, the dismissal of all her other
friends and acquaintance, her complete retire-
ment from the stage, and the devotion of her-
self to him alone. She demonstrated the im-
possibility of complying with these requests,
at first in a playful, and afterwards in a more
serious tone. At length she communicated
to him the sad intelligence that their connec-
tion must end. He left her and never re-
turned.
He lived for several years afterwards in a
retired manner in the house of a pious old
lady who had a small independence. At this
period he gained his first law-suit, and soon
afterwards he was successful in another; but
this change of fortune came too late, his health
was undermined, and the joy of his existence
had vanished. A slight accident brought on
a relapse, and the physician announced to
him his approaching death. He heard his
fate without a murmur, and merely expressed
19


a wish to see his beautiful friend once more.
He sent his servant to herthe same messen-
ger who, in happier days, had been the bearer
of many a delightful answer to him. He en-
treated an interview; she refused. He sent
a second time, and implored her to consent;
she was still inexorable. At length, at mid-
night, he sent a third time. She was embar-
rassed, and communicated her situation to me,
as I had been invited, along with the marquis
and some other friends, to spend the evening
at her house. I advised her, indeed begged
her, to show some last attentions to her friend.
She appeared undecided at first, but after a
short reflection she made up her mind and '
dismissed the servant with a refusal. He did
not return.
After supper we were all engaged in social
conversation, and general animation and hilar-
ity reigned around. Suddenly, a little after
midnight, a piercing shriek of bitter, painful
lamentation was heard. We rose from the
table, looked at each other, and wondered
what this strange event could possibly mean.
The sound seemed to come from the middle
of the room in which we were assembled and
to re-echo again from the wall. The marquis
rushed to the window, whilst we endeavored
to support Antonelli, who had fainted. By
degrees she came to herself. She had scarcely
opened her eyes than the jealous and pas-
sionate marquis loaded her with the bitterest
reproaches. If you choose to have these
mysterious understandings with your friends,
said he, at least let them be of a less fearful
nature. She replied, with her wonted pres-
ence of mind, that as she had always enjoyed
the right of seeing her friends whenever she
pleased, she would scarcely seleCt such ap-
palling sounds as they had just heard to indi-
cate approaching happiness.
And in truth the cry had something in it
unspeakably appalling. The long-continued
scream of anguish dwelt upon our ears, and
made our very limbs tremble. Antonelli was
pale, motionless, and in a continual faint.
We sat with her for half the night; but we
heard nothing further. On the following
night the same company, who had met to-
gether, not quite so cheerful as usual, though
with a reasonable supply of courage, about
the same hour of midnight, heard the same
identical loud and appalling shriek.
We had, in the meantime, wearied our
imaginations in framing conjectures as to the
cause of the cry, and thinking from whence it
20


could proceed. But why should I weary you?
Whenever Antonelli supped at home, at the
self-same hour the same shriek was heard,
sometimes louder, and sometimes fainter. It
was spoken of all over Naples. The mystery
excited universal attention. The police were
called out. Spies were placed in every direc-
tion to detedl the cause of the mystery. To
persons in the street, the shriek appeared to
come from the open air, whilst in the house
it seemed to proceed from the very room
in which Antonelli was sitting. When she
supped abroad nothing whatsoever occurred ;
but as often as she supped at home the horrid
shriek was invariably heard.
But her absence from home did not upon
all occasions protect her from this fearful visi-
tation. Her many personal recommendations
secured her a welcome reception in the most
distinguished families. A pleasant companion,
she was everywhere well received, and it had
lately become her custom, in order to escape
the fearful visitation we have described, to
spend her evenings from home.
One evening a gentleman of great respect-
ability, from his age and position, accompanied
her to her house in his carriage. When in the
a<5t of taking leave of him at the door, a loud
shriek was heard, which seemed to come from
between them; and the gentleman, who, like
many others, had often heard of this mysterious
occurrence, was lifted into his carriage more
like a corpse than a living person.
Upon another occasion, a young singer, to
whom she was partial, drove through the town
with her at evening to visit a friend. He
likewise had frequently heard of the wonderful
phenomenon we have related, and, with the
spirits of a light-hearted youth, had expressed
his doubts of its reality. They spoke of the
circumstance. I wish extremely, said he,
that I could hear the voice of your invisible
companion; call him, perhaps he will come;
we are two, and need not fear him. From
thoughtlessness, or indifference to danger, I
know not which, she called the spirit, and in-
stantly the piercing shriek issued, as it were,
from the middle of the carriage: three times
it was heard, and then died away gradually.
Arrived at the house of their friend, both
parties were found insensible in the carriage;
with difficulty they recovered their senses suf-
ficiently to relate what had happened.
It was some time before Antonelli com-
pletely recovered. Her health became im-
paired by the constantly recurring fright she
sustained; but when, at length, her fearful
visitor appeared to intend that she should
enjoy some repose, she began to hope for a
complete cessation from this annoyance; but
this expectation was premature.
At the end of the Carnival, accompanied
by a young female acquaintance and a servant,
she set out upon an excursion of pleasure. It
was her intention to visit a friend in the coun-
try. Night came on before she reached her
destination : an accident occurred to the car-
riage, and she was necessitated to take refuge
in a small country inn, and to put up with the
indifferent accommodation it afforded.
Her companion had already gone to bed,
and the servant, having arranged the night-
light, was about to retire, when her mistress
observed jestingly : I think we are at the end
of the world; it is a dreadful night; should
he only find us out! That very instant the
shriek was heard more piercing and louder
than ever. Her companion was terrified be-
yond expression, sprang from her bed, rushed
down stairs, and alarmed the whole house.
No one that night closed an eye. It was,
however, the last time the shriek was heard.
But the unwelcome visitor soon found another
more frightful mode of indicating his presence.
He was quiet for a short time, when one
evening, at the accustomed hour, as Antonelli
sat with her companions at table, a shot from a
gun or from a heavily loaded pistol was fired in
at the window. Every one heard the report,
every one saw the flash, but upon the closest
inspection the window was found not to have
sustained the slightest injury. But the cir-
cumstance seemed to every one of the most
alarming importance, and all thought that an
attempt had been made upon Antonellis life.
The police were called, and the neighboring
house was searched ; but as nothing suspicious
was found, guards were placed in it, next day,
from top to bottom. Her own dwelling was
carefully examined, and spies were even dis-
persed about the streets.
But all this precaution was useless. For
three months in succession, at the very same
hour, the shot was fired through the same
window, without the slightest injury to the
glass; and what was especially remarkable,
this always took place exactly one hour before
midnight, although in Naples time is counted
after the Italian fashion, and the term mid-
night is never used.
But custom at length reconciled all parties
to this occurrence, as it had done to the pre-
46
21


vious one, and the ghost began to lose credit
by reason of his very harmless tricks. The
shot ceased to alarm the company, or even to
interrupt their conversation.
One evening, at the end of a very sultry
day, Antonelli opened the window, without
thinking of the hour, and went out with the
marquis upon the balcony. They had scarcely
been in the air a couple of minutes when the
shot exploded between them, and drove them
back into the house, where for some time they
lay apparently lifeless on the floor. When they
recovered, each felt the pain of a violent blow
upon the cheek, one on the right side, the
other on the left; but as no further injury was
apparent, the singularity of the circumstance
merely occasioned a few jocular observations.
From this time the shot was not repeated in
the house, and Antonelli thought she was at
last completely delivered from her invisible
tormentor; when one evening, upon making
a little excursion with a friend, she was terri-
fied beyond measure by a most unexpected in-
cident. Her way lay through the Chiaja,
where her Genoese friend had formerly lived.
It was bright moonlight. A lady who sat
near her asked, Is not that the house in
which Signor------died ? As well as I can
22


recollect, it is one of those two, answered
Antonelli. The words were scarcely uttered
when the shot was fired from one of the two
houses alluded to, and it penetrated the car-
riage. The driver thought he was wounded,
and drove forward with all possible speed.
Arrived at their destination, the two ladies
were lifted lifeless from the carriage.
But this was the last alarm of that kind.
The unseen foe now changed his plan, and
one evening, shortly afterwards, a loud clap-
ping of hands was heard before the window.
As a popular singer and favorite actress, she
was more familiar with sounds of this descrip-
tion. They did not inspire terror, and might
have proceeded, perhaps, from one of her nu-
merous admirers. She paid no attention to
them. Her friends, however, were more
watchful, and distributed their guards as be-
fore. They continued to hear the noise, but
saw nobody, and began to indulge a hope that
the unaccountable mystery would soon com-
pletely end.
After a short time it became changed in
character, and assumed the form of agreeable
sounds. They were not, strictly speaking,
melodious, but were, however, of a soft and
pleasing character. To an accurate observer
they seemed to proceed from the corner of the
street, to float about in the empty space before
Antonellis window, and there to die away in
the most soft and delightful manner. It
seemed as if some heavenly spirit wished, by
means of a sweet prelude, to draw attention to
a lovely melody which he designed to play.
But these sounds also ceased at length, and
were heard no more after the wonder had
lasted for about a year and a half.
The clergyman here paused for a few mo-
ments in his narrative, and the entire company
began to express their opinions, and their
doubts about the truth of the tale.
The narrator answered that the story ought
to be true, if it was intended to be interesting,
as a manufactured tale could possess but little
merit. Some one here observed that he
thought it singular no one had inquired about
Antonellis deceased friend, or the circum-
stances of his death, as perhaps some light
might by this means have been thrown upon
the whole affair.
But this was done, replied the clergy-
man; I was myself curious enough, imme-
diately after the first mysterious occurrence,
to go to the house under the pretext of visit-
ing the lady who had attended him in his last
moments with a mothers care. This lady
informed me that the deceased was passion-
ately attached to Antonelli; that during the
last hours of his existence he had spoken of
nothing but her; that at one time he addressed
her as an adorable angel, and at another as
little better than a demon.
When his sickness became desperate, his
whole thoughts were fixed on seeing her once
more before his death, perhaps in the hope of
obtaining from her an expression of affeCtion,
of pity, of attachment, or of love. Her un-
willingness to see him afflicted him exceed-
ingly, and her last decisive refusal hastened
his decease. In despair he cried out, No!
it shall not avail her. She avoids me, but
after my death she shall have no rest from me.
In a paroxysm of this kind he expired, and
only too late do we learn that the dead can
keep their word on the other side of the
grave.
The company began once more to express
their opinions about the story. At length
Fritz observed, I have a suspicion, but I
shall not tell it till I have thought over all the
circumstances again, and put my combinations
to the proof.
Being somewhat strongly pressed, he en-
deavored to avoid giving an answer by re-
questing that he might be allowed to relate an
anecdote, which, though it might not equal
the preceding one in interest, was of the same
character, inasmuch as it could not be ex-
plained with any certainty.
A gallant nobleman, he commenced,
who inhabited an ancient castle, and was
father of a large family, had taken into his
protection an orphan girl, who, when she at-
tained the age of fourteen years, was employed
in attending the mistress of the house, in duties
immediately about her person. She gave com-
plete satisfaction, and her whole ambition
seemed to consist in a wish to evince her grati-
tude to her benefaCtor by attention and fidelity.
She possessed various charms both of mind
and person, and was not without suitors for
her hand. But none of these proposals seemed
likely to conduce to her happiness, and the
girl herself did not evince the least inclination
to change her condition.
On a sudden it happened that as she went
through the house, intent upon her various
duties, she heard sounds of knocking, which
came from about her and beneath her. At
first this seemed accidental, but as the knock-
ing never ceased, and beat almost in unison
23


\7*+i
with her footsteps, she became alarmed, and
scarcely left the room of her mistress, where
alone she found she could enjoy security.
These sounds were heard by every one
who accompanied her, or who stood near her.
At first the subject was treated as a jest, but at
length it was regarded in a more serious light.
The master of the house, who was of a cheer-
ful disposition, now took the matter in hand.
The knocking was never heard when the
maiden remained motionless, and when she
walked was perceived not so evidently when
she put her foot to the ground as when she
raised it to advance another step. But the
sounds were often irregular, and they were
observed to be more than usually loud when
the maiden went transversely across a certain
large apartment in the castle.
The old nobleman, one day having work-
men in the house, caused the flooring to be
suddenly raised behind the maiden, when the
knocking sounds were at the loudest. Noth-
ing, however, was found but a couple of rats,
who, disturbed by the search, gave occasion
to a chase and to considerable uproar in the
house.
Provoked by this circumstance and by the
disappointment, the nobleman determined
upon adopting strong measures. He took
down his large whip from the wall, and swore
that he would flog the maiden to death if he
heard the knocking any more. From this
time forth she could go through the house
without the slightest molestation, and the
knocking was never heard again.
Whereby, observed Louisa, sagaciously,
we may conclude that the young maiden
was her own ghost, and practised this joke,
and played the fool with the family to indulge
some whim of her own.
Not at all, answered Fritz; for those
who ascribed the mysterious occurrence to a
ghost believed that the maidens guardian
angel wished her to leave the house, but was
anxious also to protect her from injury.
Others took another view, and maintained
that one of the girls lovers had the cleverness
to occasion these sounds, in order to drive her
out of the house into his arms. But be this as
it may, the poor child became quite ill in con-
sequence, and was reduced to a melancholy
spedtre, though she had formerly been the
most cheerful and lively and merry person in
the whole establishment. But such a change
in personal appearance can be explained in
more ways than one.
24


7: Techt qci
PUBLISHED 3Y GEORGE BARRI1
.J. Banhtl {jest.


It is a pity, observed Fritz, that these ]
occurrences are not always more particularly
examined, and that in judging of events which
so much interest us we are obliged to hesitate
between different appearances, because the cir-
cumstances under which they happen have not
been all observed.
True, replied the old clergyman; but
it is so extremely difficult to make this exam-
ination at the very moment when anything of
the kind happens, and to take every precau-
tion that nothing shall escape, in which deceit
or fraud may be concealed. Can we, for ex-
ample, deteCt a conjuror so easily, though we
are perfectly conscious that he is deluding us ?
He had scarcely finished this observation
than a loud report was suddenly heard in one
corner of the apartment. Every one leaped
up, whilst Charles said, jokingly, Surely
the noise does not proceed from some dying
lover.
He would willingly have recalled the ex-
pression, for Louisa became suddenly pale
and stammered forth that she felt apprehen-
sion about the safety of her intended.
Fritz, to divert her attention, took up the
light and went towards a reading-desk which
stood in a corner of the apartment. The semi-
circular top was split throughthis, then, was
the cause of the report which they had heard;
but it immediately occurred to them that the
reading-desk was of the best workmanship,
and had occupied the very same spot for
years, and they were all, therefore, astonished
that it should be so suddenly split asunder.
It had even been praised more than once as
a very model piece of furniture; and how,
therefore, could this accident have occurred,
without even the slightest change having taken
place in the temperature?
Quick! said Charles, let us settle this
point at once by examining the barometer.
The quicksilver maintained the same point it
had held for some days. And even the ther-
mometer had not fallen more than could be
reconciled with the difference of the tempera-
ture between day and night. It is a pity
that we have not a hygrometer at hand, he
exclaimed; the very instrument that would
have been most serviceable.
It seems, said the old clergyman, that
the most valuable instrument always fails when
we are engaged in supernatural inquiries.
They were interrupted in their reflections by
the entry of a servant, who announced that a
great fire was visible in the heavens, though
| no one could say whether it was raging in the
town or in the neighborhood.
The circumstances we have just related
made the whole party more susceptible of
terror, and they were therefore much agitated
by the news. Fritz hastened up to the belvi-
dere of the house, where a map of the adjacent
country was suspended, by means of which he
was enabled, even at night, to point out with
tolerable accuracy the various positions of
the surrounding places. The rest of the party
remained together, not without some sensa-
tions of fear and anxiety.
Fritz announced, upon his return, that he
had no good news to tell. The fire does
not seem to be in the town, but upon the
property of our aunt. I am well acquainted,
said he, with the locality, and believe I am
not mistaken. Each one lamented the de-
struction of the fine building and calculated
the loss. A strange thought has just oc-
curred to me, said Fritz, which may quiet
our minds as to the mystery of the reading-
desk. Consider how long it is since we heard
the report. They counted the minutes, and
thought it had occurred about half-past twelve.
Now you will probably laugh, continued
Fritz, when I tell you my conjecture. You
know that our mother, a good many years
ago, made our aunt a present of a reading-
desk, in every respeCt similar to this one.
They were both finished with the greatest
care by the same workman, at the same time,
and cut out of one piece of wood. Both have
lasted well until now; and I will lay a wager
that at this very instant the second reading-
desk is actually burning at the house of my
aunt, and its twin-brother here is afflicted at
the disaster. To-morrow I will set out and
investigate this singular faCt as thoroughly as
I am able.
Whether Frederick really entertained the
above opinion, or whether his wish to tran-
quillize his sister suggested the idea, we are
unable to decide; they, however, seized the
opportunity to speak of many undeniable
sympathies, and ended by discovering that a
sympathy actually existed between pieces of
timber formed from one tree, and pronounced
it probable that the same sympathy subsisted
between pieces of work completed by the
same hand. They agreed that these things
resembled natural phenomena fully as much
as other things which were often adduced, and
which, although quite evident, are incapable
of explanation. And in my opinion, added
47
25


Charles, every phenomenon, as well as every
fact, is peculiarly interesting for its own sake.
Whoever explains it, or connects it with other
circumstances, only makes a jest of it, or de-
ludes us: this is done, for example, by the
natural philosopher and the historian. But
an unconnected fact or event is interesting,
not because it is explicable or probable, but
because it is true. When at midnight the
flames consumed your aunts reading-desk,
the extraordinary splitting of ours at the very
same time was a palpable fact, however ex-
plicable or connected with other things it
may be.
Though night was by this time far ad-
vanced, none of the company felt any incli-
nation to retire, and Charles, in his turn,
asked permission to tell a story, which, though
equally interesting, might seem perhaps more
natural and explicable than the previous ones.
Marshal Bassompierre, he said, relates
it in his Memoirs, and I may be permitted to
tell it in his name.
I had remarked for five or six months
that whenever I crossed the little bridge (for
at that time the Pont Neuf had not been built)
a very handsome shopkeeper, over the door
of whose establishment was painted the sign
of The Two Angels, always saluted me with
a low and respectful bow, and followed me
with her eyes as far as she could see me. This
conduct on her part surprised me extremely,
but I always directed my looks to her and
saluted her in return. I rode on one occasion
from Fontainebleau to Paris, and when 1 had
arrived at the little bridge she appeared at the
door of her shop and said, Your servant,
sir. I returned the salute, and as I looked
back from time to time I observed that she
was as usual leaning forward to keep me in
view as long as possible.
My servant was following with a postilion,
as I wished to send some letters back to some
ladies in Fontainebleau the same day. I or-
dered the servant to alight, to go to the pretty
shopkeeper, and to tell her from me that I had
noticed her wish to speak to me, and that if
she desired my acquaintance I would visit her
whenever she wished. She answered that I
could have sent her no more delightful news,
that she would meet me whenever I should
appoint, on condition that she might be al-
lowed to pass a night under the same roof with
me. I accepted the proposal, and asked the
servant to find a place where I might appoint
an assignation. He said he would lead me
to a friends house, but advised me, as fever
was then very prevalent, to provide myself
with my own house-linen. When evening
came, I went to the appointed house, where
I found a very beautiful young woman await-
ing my arrival. She was attired in a charming
head-dress and wore the finest linens. Her
tiny feet were adorned with slippers, worked
in gold and silk, and her person was covered
with a loose mantle of the softest satin tex-
ture. Suffice it to say, that I never saw a
more charming person. In the morning I
asked when I could see her again, as it was
then Thursday night, and it was not my in-
tention to leave the town before the following
Sunday.
She replied that she was more anxious for
a fresh appointment than I could possibly be,
but that it would be impracticable, unless I
could postpone my departure, as I could only-
see her on Sunday night. To this I made
some difficulty, which caused her to complain
that I was tired of her, and therefore wished
to set out on Sunday; but, she added, you
will soon think of me again, and will be glad
to forfeit a day to pass a night with me.
I was easily persuaded. I promised to
stay during Sunday and to meet her in the
evening at the same place. She answered me
as follows: lam quite aware that on your
account I have allowed myself to meet you
under circumstances calculated to ruin my
character; but I have done this in obedience
to an irresistible desire to enjoy your society.
But so great an indiscretion cannot be re-
peated. I shall excite the jealousy of my hus-
band, though one might risk even that for the
satisfaction of an irresistible passion. For
your sake I have come to this house, which
has been honored by your presence. But if
you desire to see me again you must meet me
at the residence of my aunt.
She described the house with great par-
ticularity, and then added, I shall expect
you at ten oclock. From that time till mid-
night the door shall be open. You will find
a small entrance, through which you must
advance, as my aunts door is at the farther
end. You will then see a flight of stairs op-
posite to you. They lead to the first floor,
and there I shall be expecting you with open
arms.
I made all my arrangements. I sent away
my things, dismissed my servants, and waited
impatiently the arrival of Sunday night, when
I was to see my charming companion once
26


more. At ten oclock I was at the ap-
pointed place. I found the door which she
had described close shut, and observed lights
in the house, which seemed every now and
then to blaze up into a flame. I knocked im-
patiently in order to announce my arrival,
and I was immediately saluted by the hoarse
voice of a man inquiring what I wanted. I
retired disappointed, and paced restlessly up
and down the street. At length I returned
to the house, and found the door then wide
open. I hurried through the passage and as-
cended the stairs. Judge of my astonishment
at finding the room occupied by two men,
who were employed in burning a mattress and
some bed-clothes, while I saw before me two
naked corpses stretched upon the floor. I
hastened away instantly, and in rushing down
stairs knocked against two men carrying a
coffin, who asked me angrily what I wanted.
I drew my sword to prote6l myself, and finally
reached my home in a state of the greatest
excitement. I swallowed half a dozen glasses
of wine, as a preservative against the fever,
and on the following day continued my
journey.
All the inquiries I afterwards instituted
to discover who this woman was were in vain.
I even visited the shop where the Two An-
gels were painted, but the newcomers could
not inform me who their predecessors had
been. The chief character in this adventure
was doubtless a person from the lower orders ;
but I can assure you that but for the disagree-
able finale it would have proved one of the
most delightful incidents that has ever hap-
pened to me, and that I never think of my
charming heroine without feelings of the
warmest affection.
Charles observed, upon the conclusion of
the anecdote, that the mystery which envel-
oped the story was not easily explained. The
woman might either have died of the fever,
or have kept away from the house on account
of the infection.
But if she were alive, answered Charles,
she would have met her lover in the street,
as no fear could, under the circumstances,
have kept her from him. I fear, he added,
that her corpse was stretched on the floor.
Oh! no more of this, said Louisa:
this story is too frightful. What a night
we shall pass if we retire with our imagina-
tions full of these pictures !
I recolledl an anecdote, interrupted
Charles, of rather a more cheerful descrip-
tion, which the same Bassompierre relates of
some of his ancestors.
A very beautiful woman, who loved one
of her relations passionately, visited him
every Monday at his country house, where
they spent much time together, his wife be-
lieving in the meanwhile that her husband
was engaged on a hunting-party. Two years
uninterruptedly had passed in this way, when
the wifes suspicions being aroused she stole
one morning to the country house, and found
her husband asleep with his companion. Being
unwilling or afraid to disturb them, she un-
tied her veil, threw it over the feet of the
sleeping couple, and retired. When the lady
awoke and observed the veil, she uttered a
piercing cry, and with loud lamentations com-
plained that she would now never be able to
see her lover again. She then took leave of
him, having first given him three presents
a small fruit-basket, a ring, and a goblet
being a present for each of his three daughters,
and desired him to take great care of them.
They were accepted with thanks, and the
children of these three daughters believe that
they are indebted to their respective gifts for
whatever good fortune has attended them.
This somewhat resembles the story of the
beautiful Melusina, and such like fairy tales,
observed Louisa.
But there is just such a tradition in our
family, said Frederick, and we have pos-
session of a similar talisman.
What do you mean? asked Charles.
That is a secret, replied the former.
It can be told to no one but the eldest son,
and that during the lifetime of his father, and
he is then to hold the charm.
Are you the present possessor? inquired
Louisa.
I have told too much already, answered
Frederick, as he lighted his candle previous
to retiring.
The family had assembled to breakfast ac-
cording to their usual custom, and the baroness
afterwards took her seat at her embroidery-
frame. After a short silence the clergyman
observed, with a slight smile, It is seldom
indeed that singers, poets, or story-tellers,
who enter into an agreement to amuse a com-
pany, do it at the right time; they often
require pressing, when they should begin vol-
untarily ; whilst, on the other hand, they are
frequently eager and urgent to commence at
27


a time when the entertainment could be dis-
pensed with. I hope, however, to prove an
exception to this custom, and I shall be glad
to know whether it will prove agreeable to
you that I should relate a story.
Particularly so, answered the baroness;
and I feel sure that I express the general
opinion. But if it is your intention to relate
an anecdote as a specimen, I will tell you for
what sort of story I have no inclination.
I take no pleasure in stories which, like
the Arabian Nights, conned one tale with
but in which, however, the adion shall not
progress too rapidly. Let your charadersbe
pleasing, and if not perfed, at least good
not extravagant, but interesting and amiable.
Let your story be amusing in the narration,
in order that when concluded we may remem-
ber it with pleasure.
If I were not well acquainted with you,
gracious lady, said the clergyman, I should
be of opinion that it was your wish, by thus
explaining how much you require of me, to
bring my wares into disrepute, before I have
another, and so confound the interest of both,
where the narrator finds himself compelled to
excite our attention by interruptions, and in-
stead of satisfying us by detailing a course of
consecutive adventures, seeks to attrad us by
rare and often unworthy artifices. I cannot
but censure the attempt to convert stories
which should possess the unity of a poem into
unmeaning puzzles, which only have the effed
of destroying our taste. I leave you to choose
your own subjeds, but I hope you will pay a
little attention to the style, since it must be
remembered that we are members of good
society. Commence with some narrative in
which but few persons are concerned or few
events described, in which the plot is good
and natural, though possessing as much adion
and contrivance as is necessary, which shall
not prove dull, nor be confined to one spot,
exposed them for sale. I see how difficult it
will be to reach your standard of excellence.
Even now, he continued, after a short pause,
you compel me to postpone the tale which
I had intended to relate till another time, and
I fear I shall commit a mistake in extempo-
rizing an anecdote for which I have always
felt a great partiality :
In a sea-coast town in Italy once lived a
merchant, who from his youth had been dis-
tinguished for adivity and industry. He
was, in addition, a first-rate sailor, and had
amassed considerable wealth by trading to
Alexandria, where he was accustomed to pur-
chase or exchange merchandise, which he
afterwards either brought home or forwarded
to the northern parts of Europe. His for-
tune increased from year to year. Business
was his greatest pleasure, and he found no
28


time for the indulgence of extravagant dissi-
pation.
His life was employed in aCtive pursuits of
this nature till he was fifty years old, and he
had been, during all this time, a total stranger
to those social pleasures with which luxurious
citizens are accustomed to diversify their lives.
Even the charms of the fair sex had never
excited his attention, notwithstanding the at-
tractions of his countrywomen. His know-
ledge of them was confined to their love for
ornaments and jewelry, a taste of which he
never failed to take proper advantage.
He was surprised, therefore, at the change
which took place in his disposition, when,
after a long voyage, his richly-laden ship
entered the port of his native town upon the
occurrence of a great festival, in which the
children of the place took a prominent part.
The youths and maidens had attended the
church in their gayest attire, and had joined
in the sacred processions. They afterwards
mingled through the town in separate compa-
nies, or dispersed through the country in
search of amusements, or they assembled in
the large square, engaging in various active
pursuits and exhibiting feats of skill and dex-
terity, for which small prizes were bestowed.
The merchant became delighted with all he
saw. But after he had for some time observed
the happiness of the children, and the delight
of their parents, and witnessed so many per-
sons in the full enjoyment of present bliss,
and the indulgence of the fondest hopes, he
could not help reflecting upon the wretched-
ness of his own condition. The thought of
his own solitary home began for the first time
to be distressing to him, and he thus gave
vent to his melancholy thoughts.
Unhappy being that I am Why are my
eyes opened so late? Why, in my old age,
do I first become acquainted with those bless-
ings which can alone insure the happiness of
mankind ? What toil have I endured What
labors have I borne! And what have they
done for me? Tis true, my cellars are filled
with merchandise, my chests with valuable
metals, and my caskets with jewelry and
precious stones; but these treasures can nei-
ther console nor satisfy my heart. The more
I have, the more I wantone coin requires
another, and one diamond wishes for its fel-
low. I am not the master of my riches. They
command me in imperious tone. Go and
get more, they exclaim. Gold delights in
gold, and jewels in their fellows. They have
ruled me all my life; and now I find, too late,
that they possess no real value. Now, when
age approaches, I begin for the first time to
refleCt, and to complain, that I enjoy none
of the treasures which I possess, and that no
one will enjoy them after me. Have I ever
used them to adorn the person of a beloved
wife?to provide a marriage-portion for a
daughter? Have I ever, by their means, en-
abled a son to win and to dower the maiden
of his heart ? Never None of these treas-
ures have ever enriched me or mine; and
what I have collected with so much toil some
stranger, after my death, will thoughtlessly
dissipate.
Oh! with what different feelings will
those happy parents, whom I see around me,
assemble their children this evening, praise
their address, and encourage them to virtue !
What joy have I beheld beaming from their
eyes, and what hopes from the happiness of
their beloved offspring! And must I ever
be a stranger to hope ? Am I grown gray ?
Is it not enough to see my error, before the
final evening of my days arrives? No, in my
ripe years, it is not foolish to dream of love.
I will enrich a fair maiden with my wealth,
and make her happy. And should my house
ever become blessed with children, those late
fruits will render me happy, instead of proving
a plague and a torment, as they often do, to
those who too early receive such gifts from
heaven.
Thus communing with himself, he silently
formed his determination. He then called
two of his intimate companions, and opened
his mind to them. They were ever ready to
aid him in all emergencies, and were not
wanting upon the present occasion. They
hastened, therefore, into the town, to make
inquiries after the fairest and most beautiful
maidens; for they knew their master was a
man who, whatever goods he might wish to
acquire, would never be satisfied with any but
the best. He was himself aCtive, went about,
inquired, saw and listened, and soon found
what he sought in the person of a young
maiden about sixteen years of age, accom-
plished and well educated. Her person and
disposition pleased him, and gave him every
hope of happiness. In fad, at this time, no
maiden in the whole town was more admired
for her beauty.
After a short delay, during which the most
perfeCl independence of his intended bride,
not only during his own life, but after his de-
4-8
29


artist: r. geiszler.
THE MERCHANT AND HIS WIFE,


during my life. I am sensible of the bliss I
have enjoyed in your society, and should feel
it still more powerfully but for the silent cen-
sures of idleness and inactivity with which my
conscience reproves me. My old disposition
returns, and my former habits are still alive.
Let me once more visit the markets of Alex-
andria, to which I shall repair with the greater
joy, because I can there procure for you the
richest merchandise and most valuable treas-
ures. I leave you in possession of all my for-
tune and of all my goods; make use of them
without restraint, and enjoy yourself in the
company of your relatives and friends. The
period of our separation will roll swiftly by,
and we shall see each other once more with
inexpressible delight.
Dissolved in tears, his loving wife assured
him, with the most tender endearments, that
during his absence she should never be able
to enjoy one happy moment; and entreated
him, since she wished neither to control nor
to detain him, that she might, at least, share
his affectionate thoughts during the sad time
of their separation.
He then gave some general directions on
business and household matters, and added,
after a short pause: I have something to
say, which lies like a burden upon my heart,
and you must permit me to utter it; I only
implore you earnestly not to misinterpret my
meaning, but in my anxiety for you to dis-
cern my love.
Mean guess your thoughts, interrupted
his wife; you are suspicious of me, I know;
and, after the fashion of men, you always rail
against the universal weakness of our sex.
I am, it is true, young and of a cheerful dis-
position, and you fear that, in your absence,
I shall be found inconstant and unfaithful.
I do not find fault with your suspicions : it is
the habit of your sex; but, if I know my own
heart, I may assure you that I am not so sus-
ceptible of impressions as to be induced,
lightly, to stray from the paths of love and
duty, through which I have hitherto jour-
neyed. Fear not; you shall find your wife
as true and faithful on your return as you
have ever found her hitherto, when you have
come to her arms at evening after a short ab-
sence.
I believe the truth of the sentiments you
utter, added the husband, and I beseech
you to be constant to them. But let us con-
ceive the possibility of the worst. Why should
we shrink from it ? You know yourself how
the beauty of your person attracts the admira-
tion of all our young fellow-citizens. During
my absence they will be more attentive to you
than ever. They will redouble their efforts
to attract and to please you. The image of
your husband will not prove as effective as
his presence in banishing them from my doors
and from your heart. I know you are a noble
being; but the blandishments of love are
powerful, and oftentimes overcome the firm-
est resolutions. Interrupt me not. Your very
thoughts of me during my absence may inflame
your passions. I may for some time continue
to be the objeCt of your dearest wishes; but
who can foretell what opportunities may occur
and allow a stranger to enjoy those privileges
which were destined for me. Be not impatient,
I beseech you, but hear me out.
Should that time arrive, the possibility
of which you deny, and which I am by no
means anxious to hasten, in which you feel
that you need society and can no longer defer
the requirements of love, then make me one
promise. Permit no thoughtless youth to siq>
plant me, whatever may be the attractions of
his person, for such lovers are more dangerous
to the honor than to the virtue of a woman.
Incited rather by vanity than by love, they
seek the general favors of the sex, and are
ever ready to transfer their transitory affec-
tions. If you wish for the society of a friend,
look out for one who is worthy of the name,
whose modesty and discretion understands the
art of exalting the joys of love by the virtue
of secrecy.
His beautiful wife could suppress her agony
no longer, and the tears which she had till
now restrained flowed in copious torrents from
her eyes. Whatever may be your opinion
of me, she cried, after a passionate embrace,
nothing can be at this hour farther from
my thoughts than the crime which you seem
to consider as inevitable. If such an idea
shall ever suggest itself to my imagination,
may the earth in that instant open and swal-
low me up, and all hope of that joy forever
vanish which promises a blessed immortality!
Banish this mistrust from your bosom, and
let me enjoy the full and delightful hope of
seeing you again return to these arms
Leaving no effort untried to comfort and
console his wife, he set sail the next day.
His voyage was prosperous, and he soon ar-
rived in Alexandria.
In the meantime our heroine lived in the
tranquil enjoyment of a large fortune, in pos-
3*


session of every luxury, though, with the
exception of her relatives and immediate
friends, no person was admitted to her so-
ciety. The business of her absent husband
was discharged by trustworthy servants, and
she inhabited a large mansion, in whose splen-
did salons she was able to enjoy the daily-
pleasure of recalling the remembrance of his
love.
But, notwithstanding her quiet and retired
mode of life, the young gallants of the town
did not long remain inactive. They fre-
quented the street, passed incessantly before
her windows, and in the evening sought by
means of music and serenades to attract her
attention. The pretty prisoner at first found
these attentions troublesome and annoying,
but gradually she became reconciled to the
vexation, and when the long evenings arrived
she began to consider the serenades in the
light of an agreeable entertainment, and could
scarcely suppress an occasional sigh, which,
strictly speaking, belonged to her absent hus-
band.
But her unknown admirers, in place of
gradually wearying in their attentions, as she
had once expected, became more assiduous in
their devotion to her. She began, at last, to
recognize the oft-repeated instruments and
voices, to grow familiar with the melodies,
and to feel an anxiety to know the names of
her most constant serenaders. She might in-
nocently indulge so harmless a curiosity. She
now peeped occasionally through her curtains
and half-closed shutters, to notice the pedes-
trians, and to observe more particularly the
youths whose eyes were constantly directed
towards her windows. They were invariably
handsome and fashionably dressed; but their
manner and whole deportment were unmis-
takably marked by frivolity and vanity. They
sought rather to make themselves remarkable
by diredting their attention to the house of
so beautiful a woman than to display towards
her a feeling of peculiar respedl.
Really, the lady would sometimes say
to herself in a tone of raillery, really my
husband showed a deal of penetration. The
condition under which he allowed me to enjoy
the privilege of a lover excludes all those who
care in the least for me, or to whom I am
likely to take a fancy. He seems to have
well understood that prudence, modesty and
silence are qualities which belong to demure
old age, when men can value the understand-
ing, but are incapable of awakening the fancy
or exciting the desires. I am pretty sure, at
least, that amongst the youths who lay per-
petual siege to my mansion there is not one
entitled to my confidence; and those who
might lay some claim to that virtue fall la-
mentably short in other attradlions.
Supported by these reflections, she allowed
herself to take more and more pleasure daily-
in the music and in the attentions of her
young admirers, till, at length, unperceived
by herself, a restless desire gradually sprung
up in her bosom, with which she was too late
compelled to struggle. Solitude and idleness,
combined with comfort and luxury, gave birth
to an unruly passion long before the thought-
less vidtim had any suspicion of her danger.
Amongst the numerous endowments of her
husband she now saw ample reason to admire
his profound knowledge of the world and of
mankind, and his thorough acquaintance with
womans heart. She now perceived the pos-
sibility of that occurrence which she had
formerly so strenuously denied, and acknow-
ledged his wisdom in preaching the necessity
of prudence and caution. But what could
these virtues avail, where pitiless chance
seemed to be in conspiracy with her own
unaccountable passions? How could she se-
lect one from a crowd of strangers, and was
she permitted, in case of disappointment, to
make a second choice ?
Innumerable thoughts of this nature in-
creased the perplexity of our solitary heroine.
In vain she sought for recreation and tried to
forget herself. Her mind was perpetually ex-
cited by agreeable objedls, and her imagina-
tion thus became impressed with the most
delightful pidlures of fancied happiness.
In this state of mind she was informed one
day by a relation, amongst other pieces of
news, that a young lawyer who had just fin-
ished his studies at Bologna had lately arrived
in his native town. His talents were the topic
of general admiration and encomium. His
universal knowledge was accompanied by a
modesty and reserve very uncommon in
youth, and his personal attradlions were of
a high order. In his office of procurator he
had already won, not only the confidence of
the public, but the respedl of the judges. He
had daily business to transadl at the court-
house, so great was the increase of his pro-
fessional pradlice.
Our heroine could not hear the talents of
this youth so generally extolled without feel-
ing a wish to become acquainted with him,
32


accompanied by a secret hope that he might
prove a person upon whom, in conformity
with the permission of her husband, she might
bestow her heart. She soon learned that he
passed her dwelling daily on his way to the
court-house, and she carefully watched for
the hour when the lawyers were accustomed
to assemble for the discharge of business.
With beating heart she at length observed
him pass, and if his handsome figure and
youthful attractions, on the one hand, ex-
cited her admiration, his apparent reserve and
modesty, on the other, gave her much reason
for doubt and anxiety. For several days she
watched him silently, till at length she was no
longer able to resist her desire to gain his at-
tention. She dressed herself with care, went
out upon the balcony, and marked his ap-
proach with feelings of suspense. But she
grew troubled and, indeed, felt ashamed when
she saw him pass, in contemplative mood, with
thoughtful steps and downcast eyes pursuing
his quiet way, without deigning to bestow the
slightest notice upon her. Vainly did she
endeavor thus to win his attention for several
successive days. In the same undeviating
course he continued to pass by, without rais-
ing his eyes or looking to the right or to the
left. But the more she observed him, the
more did he appear to be the very person she
desired. Her wish to know him now grew
stronger, and at length became irresistible.
How! she thought within herselfwhen my
noble, sensible husband actually foresaw the
extremity to which his absence would reduce
me, when his keen perception knew that I
could not live without a friendmust I droop
and pine away at the very time when fortune
provides me with one whom not only my own
heart, but even the choice of my husband
would approve, in whose society I may enjoy
the delights of love in inviolable secrecy?
Fool should I be to miss such an opportunity!
fool, to resist the powerful impulses of love.
With such reflections did she endeavor to
decide upon some fixed course, and she did
49
33


not long remain a prey to uncertainty. It
happened with her, as it usually does with
every one who is conquered by a passion, that
she looked without apprehension upon all such
trifling objections as shame, fear, timidity and
duty, and came at length to the bold resolu-
tion of sending her servant maid to the young
lawyer at any risk, and inviting him to visit
her.
She found him in the company of several
friends, and delivered her message punctually
in the terms in which she had been instructed.
The procurator was not at all surprised at the
invitation. He had known the merchant pre-
viously, was aware of his absence at present,
and presumed that the lady required the aid
of his professional services about some impor-
tant matter of business. lie promised the
servant, therefore, that he would wait upon
her mistress without delay. The latter heard
with unspeakable joy that she would soon be
allowed an opportunity of seeing and speak-
ing to her beloved. She prepared carefully
for his reception, and had her salons arranged
with the utmost elegance. Orange leaves and
flowers were strewn around in profusion, and
the most costly furniture was displayed for the
occasion. And thus the brief intervening
time hastened by, which would otherwise have
been unbearable.
Who can describe the emotion with which
she witnessed his arrival, or her agitation upon
inviting him to take a seat at her side ? She
hesitated how to address him now that he had
arrived, and found a difficulty in remembering
what she had to say. He sat still and silent.
At length she took courage and addressed
him, not without some visible perplexity.
I understand, sir, that you are but lately
returned to your native city, and I learn that
you are universally admired as a talented and
incomparable man. I am ready to bestow
my utmost confidence upon you in a matter
of extraordinary importance, but which, upon
refledlion, would seem adapted rather for the
ear of the confessor than that of the lawyer.
I have been for some years married to a hus-
band who is both rich and honorable, and
who, as long as we have lived together, has
never failed to tenderly love me, and of whom
l should not have a single word of complaint
to utter, if an irresistible desire for travelling
and for trade had not torn him, for some
time, from my arms.
£ As a sensible and just man, he no doubt
felt conscious of the injury which his absence
must necessarily inflict upon me. He knew
that a young wife must be preserved in a dif-
ferent manner from jewelry and pearls. He
knew that she resembled a garden full of the
choicest fruits, which would be lost not only
to him, but to every one else, if the door were
kept locked for years. For this reason he
addressed me in serious but friendly tones be-
fore his departure, and assured me that he
knew I should not be able to live without the
society of a friend, and therefore not only
permitted, but made me promise that I would,
in a free and unrestrained manner, follow the
inclination which I should soon find springing
up within my heart.
She paused for a moment, but an eloquent
look, which the young lawyer diredted towards
her, encouraged her to proceed.
One only condition was imposed upon
me by my indulgent husband. He recom-
mended me to use the most extreme caution,
and impressed upon me strongly the necessity
of choosing a steady, prudent, silent and con-
fidential friend. But you will excuse my con-
tinuingexcuse the embarrassment with which
I must confess how I have been attracted by
your numerous accomplishments, and con-
ceive, if possible, from the confidence I have
reposed in you, the nature of my hopes and
wishes.
The worthy young lawyer was silent for a
short time, and then replied, in a thoughtful
tone: I am deeply indebted for the high
mark of confidence with which you both
honor and delight me. I wish to convince
you that I am not unworthy of your favor.
But let me first answer you in a professional
capacity, and I must confess my admiration
for your husband, who so clearly saw the na-
ture of the injustice he committed against you;
for there can be no doubt of thisthat a hus-
band who leaves his young wife, in order to
visit distant countries, must be viewed in the
light of a man who relinquishes a valuable
treasure, to which, by his own conduct, he
abandons all manner of claim. And, as the
first finder may then lawfully take possession,
so I hold it to be natural and just that a young,
woman, under the circumstances you describe,
should bestow her affedlions and herself, with-
out scruple, upon any friend who may prove
worthy of her confidence.
But particularly when the husband, as in
this case, conscious of the injustice he himself
commits, expressly allows his forsaken wife a
privilege, of which he could not deprive her,
34


it must be clear that he can suffer no wrong
from an adtion to which he has given his own
consent.
Wherefore, if you, continued the young
lawyer, with a different look and the most ex-
press emphasis, and the most affedlionate
pressure of the hand, if you seledl me for
your servant, you enrich me with a happiness,
of which, till now, I could have formed no
conception. And be assured/ he added,
while at the same time he warmly kissed her
hand, that you could not have found a more
true, loving, prudent and devoted servant.
This declaration tranquillized the agitated
feelings of our tender heroine. She at once
expressed her love without reserve. She
pressed his hand, drew him nearer to her, and
reclined her head upon his shoulder. They
had remained but a short time in this position
when he sought to disengage himself gently,
and not without emotion expressed himself
thus: Did ever happy mortal find himself
in such embarrassment? I am compelled to
leave you, and to do violence to myself in the
very moment when I might surrender myself
to the most divine enchantment. I cannot
now partake the bliss which is prepared for
me, and I earnestly pray that a temporary
postponement may not altogether frustrate my
fondest hopes.
She inquired hastily the cause of this
strange speech.
When I was in Bologna, he replied,
and had just completed my studies, pre-
35


paring to enter upon the practice of my pro-
fession, I was seized with a dangerous illness,
from which it appeared that, even if I should
escape with my life, my bodily and mental
faculties must sustain irreparable injury. Re-
duced to despair, and tortured by the pangs
of disease, I made a solemn vow to the Virgin
that, should I recover, I would persist for one
whole year in practising the strictest fast and
abstinence from enjoyment of every descrip-
tion. For ten months I have already adhered
to my vow, and, considering the wonderful
favor I have enjoyed, the time has not passed
wearily, and I have not found it difficult to ab-
stain from many accustomed pleasures. But
the two months which still remain will now
seem an eternity, since, till their expiration, I
am forbidden to partake a happiness whose
delights are inconceivable. And though you
may think the time long, do not, I beseech
you, withdraw the favor which you have so
bountifully bestowed upon me.
Not much consoled by this announcement,
she felt a little more encouraged when her
friend added, after a few minutes reflection, I
scarcely dare to make a proposal, and suggest
a plan, which may, perhaps, release me a little
earlier from my vow. If I could only find
some one as firm and resolute as myself in
keeping a promise, and who would divide with
me the time that still remains, I should then be
the sooner free, and nothing could impede our
enjoyment. Are you willing, my sweet friend,
to assist in hastening our happiness by remov-
ing one-half of the obstacle which opposes us?
I can only share my vow with one upon whom
I can depend with full confidence. And it is
severenothing but bread and water twice a
day, and at night a few hours repose on a
hard bed ; and, notwithstanding my incessant
professional occupation, I must devote many
hours to prayer. If I am obliged to attend a
party, I am not thereby released from my
duty, and I must avoid the enjoyment of every
dainty. If you can resolve to pass one month
in the observance of these rules, you will find
yourself the sooner in possession of your
friends society, which you will relish the more
from the consciousness of having deserved it
by your praiseworthy resolution.
The beautiful lady was not insensible of
the difficulty she had to encounter; but the
very presence of her beloved so increased her
attachment that no trial appeared to her too
difficult which should insure the possession of
so valuable a prize. She assured him, there-
! fore, in the most affectionate manner of her
1 readiness to share the responsibility of his
; vow, and addressed him thus: My sweet
! friend the miracle through which you have
! recovered your health is to me an event of so
I much value and importance that it is not only
i my duty, but my joy, to partake the vow by
1 which you are still bound. I am delighted to
offer so strong a proof of my sincerity. I will
| imitate your example in the strictest manner,
and, until you discharge me from my obliga-
tion, no consideration shall induce me to stray
I from my path of duty.
j The young lawyer once more repeated
the conditions under which he was willing to
transfer to her the obligation of one-half of his
j vow, and then took his leave, with the assurance
| that he would soon visit her again, to inquire
1 after her constancy and resolution. And she
i was then obliged to witness his departure,
! without receiving so much as one kiss or pres-
j sure of the hand, and scarcely with a look of
ordinary recognition. She found some degree
of happy relief in the strange employment
which the performance of her new duties im-
posed upon her, for she had much to do in
the preparation for her unaccustomed course
of life. In the first place, all her beautiful
exotics and flowers were removed, which had
been procured to grace the reception of her
beloved. Then a hard mattress was substi-
tuted for her downy bed, to which she retired
at evening, after having scarcely satisfied her
hunger with a frugal meal of bread and water.
The following morning found her busily em-
ployed in plain work, and in making wearing
apparel for a certain number of poor inmates
of the town hospital. During this new occu-
pation, she entertained her fancy by dwelling
upon the image of her dear friend and in-
dulging the hope of future happiness; and
these thoughts reconciled her to the greatest
privations, and to the humblest fare.
At the end of the'first week the roses
began to fade from her beautiful cheeks, her
person to fall away, and her strength to be-
come weak and languid ; but a visit from her
friend imparted new animation and fortitude.
He encouraged her to persist in her resolution
by the example of his own perseverance, and
by showing her the approaching certainty of
uninterrupted happiness. His visit was brief,
but he promised to return again speedily.
With cheerful resignation she continued
her new and strict course of life, but her
strength soon declined so much that the most
36


severe illness could scarcely have reduced her
to such extreme weakness. Her friend, whose
visit was repeated at the end of the week, sym-
pathized with her condition, but comforted
her by an assurance that one-half the period
of her trial was already over. But the severe
fasting, continual praying and incessant work
became every day more unbearable, and her
excessive abstemiousness threatened to ruin
the health of one who had ever been accus-
tomed to a life of the greatest luxury. At
length she found a difficulty in walking, and
she was compelled, notwithstanding the sultri-
ness of the season, to wrap herself up in the
warmest clothing to preserve even an ordi-
nary degree of heat, till finally she was obliged
to take to her bed.
Reduced to this extremity it would be dif-
ficult to describe the course of her reflections,
as she thought over the whole of this extraordi-
nary occurrence, and it is impossible to imagine
her distress when ten tedious days wearily
passed without the appearance of the friend
for whose sake she had consented to make
this unheard-of sacrifice. But those hours of
trouble sufficed to recall her to reason, and she
formed her resolution. Her friend visited her
after the lapse of some few days more, and
seating himself at her bedside, upon the very
sofa which he had occupied when she made
her first declaration of love to him, he encour-
aged and implored her in the most tender and
affedlionate tones to persist for a short time
longer; but she interrupted him with a sweet
smile, and assured him that she needed no
persuasion to continue, for a few days, the
performance of a vow which she knew full
well had been appointed for her advantage.
I am as yet too feeble, she said, to express
my thanks to you as I could wish. You have
saved me from myself. You have restored me
to myself; and I confess that from this mo-
ment I am indebted to you for my existence.
My husband was, indeed, gifted with prudence
and good sense, and well knew the nature of
womans heart! And he was, moreover, just
enough not to condemn a passion which he
saw might spring up within my bosom, through
his own fault, and he was generous enough to
make allowance for the weakness of my na-
ture But you, sir, are truly virtuous and
good. You have taught me that we possess
within us an antidote equivalent to the force
of our passions; that we are capable of re-
nouncing luxuries to which we have been ac-
customed, and of suppressing our strongest
inclinations. You have taught me this lesson
by means of hope, and of delusion. Neither
are any longer necessary ; you have made me
acquainted with the existence of that ever-liv-
ing conscience, which, in peaceful silence,
dwells within our souls, and never ceases with
gentle admonitions to remind us of its pres-
ence, till its sway becomes irresistibly acknow-
ledged. And now farewell. May your influ-
ence over others be as effective as it has been
over me. Do not confine your labors to the
task of unravelling legal perplexities, but show
mankind, by your own gentle guidance and
example, that within every bosom the germ
of hidden virtue lies concealed. Esteem and
fame will be your reward, and, far better than
any statesman or hero, you will earn the glo-
rious title of father of your country.
We must all extol the charadter of your
young lawyer, said the baroness, at the con-
4io
37


elusion of the clergymans tale; polished,
wise, interesting and instructive, I wish every
preceptor were like him who undertakes to
restrain or recall youth from the path of error.
I think such a tale is peculiarly entitled to be
styled a moral anecdote. Relate some more
of the same nature, and your audience will
have ample reason to be thankful.
Clergyman. I am delighted that my tale
has earned your approbation, but I am sorry
you wish to hear more of such moral anec-
dotes; for, to say the truth, this is the first
and last of the kind.
Louisa. It certainly does not do you much
credit to say that your best colledion only
furnishes a single specimen.
Clergyman. You have not understood me.
It is not the only moral tale I can relate, but
they all bear so close a resemblance that each
would seem only to repeat the original.
Louisa. Really, you should give up your
paradoxical style, which so much obscures
your conversation, and express yourself more
clearly.
Clergyman. With pleasure, then. No
anecdote deserves to be called moral which
does not prove that man possesses within him-
self that power to subdue his inclinations
which may be called out by the persuasion of
another. My story teaches this dodlrine, and
no moral tale can teach otherwise.
Louisa. Then, in order to a<5t morally, I
must a<5t contrary to my inclinations?
Clergyman. Undoubtedly.
Louisa. Even when they are good ?
Clergyman. No inclinations are abstract-
edly goodbut only so as far as they effeCt
good.
Louisa. Suppose I have an inclination for
benevolence ?
Clergyman. Then you should subdue your
inclination for benevolence, if you find your
domestic happiness suffers from its exercise.
Louisa. Suppose I felt an irresistible im-
pulse to gratitude ?
Clergyman. It is wisely ordained that
gratitude can never be an impulse. But, if it
were, it would be better to prove ungrateful
than to commit a crime to oblige your bene-
factor.
Louisa. Then there may be a thousand
moral stories?
Clergyman. Yes, in your sense. But
none of them would read a lesson different
from the one our lawyer taught, and in this
sense there can be but one story of the kind :
38
you are right, however, if you mean that the
incidents can be various.
Louisa. If you had expressed your mean-
ing more precisely at first, we had not dis-
agreed.
Clergyman. And we should have had no
conversation. Errors and misunderstandings
are the springs of action, of life, and of
amusement.
Louisa. I cannot agree with you. Sup-
pose a brave man saves another at the risk
of his own life, is that not a moral action ?
Clergyman. Not according to my mode
of thinking. But suppose a cowardly man
were to overcome his fears and do the same,
that would be a moral action.
Baroness. I wish, my dear friend, you
would give us some examples, and convince
Louisa of the truth of your theory. Cer-
tainly a mind disposed to good must delight
us when we become acquainted with it. Noth-
ing in the world can be more pleasing than a
mind under the guidance of reason and con-
science. If you know a tale upon such a
subject, we should like to hear it. I am fond
of stories which illustrate a doctrine. They
give a better explanation of ones meaning
than dry words can possibly do.
Clergyman. I certainly can relate some
anecdotes of that kind ; for I have paid some
attention to those qualities of the human
mind.
Louisa. I would just make one observa-
tion. 1 must confess I do not like stories
which oblige us to travel, in imagination, to
foreign lands. Why must every adventure
take place in Italy, in Sicily, or in the East ?
Are Naples, Palermo and Smyrna the only
places where anything interesting can hap-
pen ? One may transpose the scene of our
fairy tales to Ormus and Samarcand for the
purpose of perplexing the imagination; but,
if you would instruct the understanding or
the heart, do it by means of domestic stories
family portraitsin which we shall recog-
nize our own likeness, and our hearts will
more readily sympathize with sorrow.
Clergyman. You shall be gratified. But
there is something peculiar, too, about family
stories. They bear a strong resemblance to
each other, and, besides, we daily see every
incident and situation of which they are capa-
ble fully worked out upon the stage. How-
ever, I am willing to make the attempt, and
shall relate a story with some of the incidents
of which you are already familiar; and it will


only prove interesting so far as it is an exaCt
representation of the picture in your own
minds.
We may often observe in families that the
children inherit not only the personal appear-
ance, but even the mental qualities of their
parents, and it sometimes happens that one
child combines the dispositions of both father
and mother in a peculiar and remarkable
manner.
A youth, whom I may name Ferdinand,
was a strong instance of this fact. In his
appearance he resembled both parents, and
one could distinguish in his mind the sepa-
rate disposition of each. He possessed the
gay, thoughtless manner of his father, in his
strong inclination to enjoy the present mo-
ment, and, in most cases, to prefer himself
to others; but he also inherited the tranquil
and refleCtive mind of his mother, no less
than her love for honesty and justice, and a
willingness, like her, perpetually to sacrifice
himself for the advantage of others. To ex-
plain his contradictory conduct upon many
occasions, his companions were often reduced
to the necessity of believing that he had two
souls. I must pass by many adventures which
happened in his youth, and shall content my-
self with relating one anecdote, which not
only explains his character fully, but forms a
remarkable epoch in his life.
His youth was passed in every species of
enjoyment. His parents were affluent, and
brought up their children extravagantly. If
the father indulged in unreasonable expendi-
ture, either in company, at the gaming-table,
or in other dissipations, it was the habit of
the mother to restrain her own and the house-
hold expenses so as to supply the deficiency;
though she never allowed an appearance of
want to be observed. Her husband was for-
tunate in his business ; he was successful in
several hazardous speculations which he had
undertaken, and, as he was fond of society,
he had the happiness to form many pleasant
and advantageous connections.
The children of a family usually copy those
members of the household who seem to live
most happily and enjoy themselves. They
see in the example of a father who follows
such a course a model worthy of imitation,
and, as they are seldom slow in obeying their
inclinations, their wishes and desires often
increase very much in disproportion to their
means of enjoyment. Obstacles to their grati-
fication soon arise ; each new addition to the
family forms a new claim upon the capabili-
ties of the parents, who frequently surrender
their own pleasures for the sake of their chil-
dren, and, by common consent, a more simple
and less expensive mode of living is adopted.
Ferdinand grew up with a consciousness of
the disagreeable truth that he was often de-
prived of many luxuries which his more for-
tunate companions enjoyed. It distressed him
to appear inferior to any of them in the rich-
ness of his apparel, or the liberality of his
expenditure. He wished to resemble his
father, whose example was daily before him,
and who appeared to him a twofold model,
first, as a parent, in whose favor a son is
usually prejudiced; and secondly, as a man
who led a pleasant and luxurious life, and
was, therefore, apparently loved and esteemed
by a numerous acquaintance. It is easy to
suppose that all this occasioned great vexation
to his mother; but in this way Ferdinand grew
up, with his wants daily increasing, until at
length, when he had attained his eighteenth
year, his requirements and his wishes were
sadly out of proportion to his condition.
He had hitherto avoided contracting debts,
a vice for which his mother had impressed
him with the greatest abhorrence; and, in
order to win his confidence, she had in nu-
merous instances exerted herself to gratify
his desires and relieve him from occasional
embarrassments. But it happened, unfor-
tunately, that she was now compelled to
practise the most rigid economy in her house-
hold expenditure, and this at a time when his
wants, from many causes, had increased. He
had commenced to enter more generally into
society, sought to win the affeCtions of a very
attractive girl, and to rival, and even surpass
his companions in the elegance of his attire.
His mother, being unable any longer to satisfy
his demands, appealed to his duty and filial
affeCtion to induce him to restrain his ex-
penses. He admitted the justice of her ex-
postulations, but being unable to follow her
advice was soon reduced to a state of the
greatest mental embarrassment.
Without forfeiting the objeCt of his dearest
wishes, he found it impossible to change his
mode of life. From earliest youth he had
been addicted to his present pursuits, and he
could alter no iota of his habits or practices
without running the risk of losing an old
friend, a desirable companion, or what was
worse, abandoning the society of his dearest
love.
39


His attachment became stronger, as the
love which was bestowed upon him not only-
flattered his vanity, but complimented his
understanding.
It was something to be preferred before a
host of suitors by a handsome and agreeable
girl, who was acknowledged to be the richest
heiress in the city. He boasted of the prefer-
ence with which he was regarded, and she
also seemed proud of the delightful bondage
in which she was held. It now became indis-
pensable that he should be in constant attend-
ance upon her, that he should devote his time
and money to her service, and that he should
afford perpetual proofs of the value he set
upon her affection. All these inevitable re-
sults of his attachment occasioned Ferdinand
to indulge in more expense than he would
otherwise have incurred. His lady love (who
was named Ottilia) had been intrusted to the
care of an aunt by her parents, and no exer-
tions had been spared to introduce her to
society under the most favorable circum-
stances. Ferdinand exhausted every resource
to furnish her with the enjoyments of society,
into all of which she entered with the greatest
delight, and of which she herself proved one
of the greatest attractions.
No situation could possibly be more
wretched than that to which Ferdinand was
now reduced. His mother, whom he sin-
cerely loved and respeCted, had pointed out
to him the necessity of embarking in very
different duties from those which he had
hitherto practised; she could no longer assist
him in a pecuniary way. He felt a horror at
the debts which were daily becoming more
burdensome to him; and he saw before him
the difficult task of reconciling his impover-
ished condition with his anxiety to appear
rich and to practise generosity. No mind
could be a prey to greater unhappiness.
His mind was now forcibly impressed with
thoughts which had formerly only indistinctly
suggested themselves to his imagination. Cer-
tain unpleasant reflections became to him the
source of great unhappiness. He had once
looked upon his father as a model, he now
began to regard him as a rival. What the
son wished to enjoy the parent actually pos-
sessed, and the latter felt none of the anxie-
ties or grievances wherewith the former was
tortured. Ferdinand, however, was in full
possession of every comfort of life, but he
envied his father the luxuries which he en-
joyed, and with which he thought his parent
might very well dispense. But the latter was
of a different opinion. He was one of those
beings whose desires are wholly insatiable,
and who, for their own gratification, subjeCi
their family and dependants to the greatest
privations. His son received from him a cer-
tain pecuniary allowance, but a regular ac-
count of his expenditure was striClly exaCted.
The eye of the envious is sharpened by
restrictions; and dependants are never more
censorious than when the commands of supe-
riors are at variance with their practice. Thus
Ferdinand came striClly to watch the conduCt
of his father, particularly upon points which
concerned his expenditure. He listened atten-
tively when it was rumored that his parent
had lost heavily at the gambling-table and
expressed great dissatisfaction at any un-
wonted extravagance which he might indulge.
Is it not astonishing, he would say to him-
self, that whilst parents revel in every luxury
that can spring from the possession of a prop-
erty which they accidentally enjoy, they can
debar their children of those reasonable pleas-
ures which their season of youth most urgently
requires? And by what right do they aCt
thus? How have they acquired this privi-
lege? Does it not arise from mere chance,
and can that be a right which is the result of
accident ? If my grandfather were still alive,
who loved me as his own son, I should be
better provided for. He would not see me
in want of common necessaries, those things
I mean which we have had from our birth.
He would no more let me want than he
would approve the extravagance of my pa-
rent. Had he lived longer, had he known
how worthy his grandchild would prove to
inherit a fortune, he would have provided in
his will for my earlier independence. I have
heard that his death was unexpected, that he
had intended to make a will, and I am prob-
ably indebted to mere chance for the post-
ponement of a fortune, which, if my father
continues his present course, will probably
be lost to me forever.
With such discontented thoughts did Fer-
dinand often perplex himself in those hours
of solitude and unhappiness in which he was
prevented, by the want of money, from join-
ing his companions upon some agreeable party
of pleasure. Then it was that he discussed
those dangerous questions of right and prop-
erty, and considered how far individuals are
bound by laws to which they have given no
consent, or whether they may lawfully burst
40


through the restraints of society. But all
these were mere pecuniary sophistries; for
every article of value which he formerly pos-
sessed had gradually disappeared, and his
daily wants had now far outgrown his allow-
ance.
He soon became silent and reserved, and
at such times even his respect for his mother
disappeared, as she could afford him no assist-
ance, and he began to entertain a hatred for
his father, who, according to his sentiments,
was perpetually in his way.
Just at this period he made a discovery,
which increased his discontent. He learned
that his father was not only an irregular, but
an improvident manager of his household. He
observed that his parent often took money
hastily from his desk, without entering it in
his account-book, and that he was afterwards
perplexed with private calculations, and an-
noyed at his inability to balance his accounts.
More than once did Ferdinand make this re-
mark; and his fathers carelessness was the
more galling to him, as it often occurred at
times when he himself was suffering severely
from the want of money.
Whilst he was in this state of mind an un-
lucky accident happened, which afforded an
opportunity for the commission of a crime,
to which he had long felt himself impelled
by a secret and ungovernable impulse.
His father had desired him to examine and
arrange a collection of old letters. One Sun-
day, when he was alone, he set to work in a
room which contained his fathers writing-
desk, and in which his money was usually
kept. The box of letters was heavy, and in
the act of lifting it from the ground he pushed
unintentionally against the desk, when the
latter suddenly flew open. The rolls of money
lay temptingly displayed before him. With-
out allowing time for a moments reflection,
he took a roll of gold from that part of the
desk where he thought his father kept a sup-
ply of money for his own occasional wants.
He shut the desk again, and repeated the ex-
periment of opening it. He once more suc-
ceeded, and saw that he could now command
the treasure as completely as if he had pos-
sessed the key.
He soon plunged once more into all those
dissipations which he had lately been obliged
to renounce. He became more constant than
ever in his attentions to Ottilia, and more
passionate in the pursuit of pleasure. His
former graceful animation was even converted
into a species of excitement, which, though
it was far from unbecoming, was deficient in
4i


that kind attention to others which is so
agreeable.
Opportunity is to passion what a spark is
to gunpowder, and those desires which we
gratify contrary to the di&ates of conscience
always rule with the most ungovernable
power. Ferdinands own convictions loudly
condemned his conduct, but he endeavored
to justify himself by specious arguments, and
though his manner became in appearance more
free and unrestrained than before, he was in
reality a captive to the influence of his evil
inclinations.
Just at this time the wearing of extravagant
trifles came into fashion. Ottilia was fond of
personal ornaments, and Ferdinand endeav-
ored to discover a mode of gratifying her taste
without apprising her where her supply of
presents came from. Her suspicions fell upon
an old uncle, and Ferdinands gratification
was indescribable at observing the satisfaction
of his mistress and the course of her mistaken
suspicions. But, unfortunately for his peace
of mind, he was now obliged to have frequent
recourse to his fathers desk, in order to
gratify Ottilias fancy and his own inclina-
tions, and he pursued this course now the
more boldly, as he had lately observed that
his father grew more and more careless about
entering in his account-book the sums which
he himself required.
The time now arrived for Ottilias return
to her parents. The young couple were over-
powered with grief at the prospeCt of their
separation, and one circumstance added to
their sorrow. Ottilia had accidentally learned
that the presents we have spoken of had come
from Ferdinand; she questioned him upon
the subject, and he confessed the truth with
feelings of evident sorrow. She insisted upon
returning them, and this request occasioned
him the bitterest anguish. He declared his
determination not to live without her, prayed
that she would preserve her attachment to
him, and implored that she would not refuse
her hand as soon as he should have provided
an establishment. She loved him, was moved
at his entreaties, promised what he wished,
and sealed her vow with the warmest em-
braces and a thousand passionate kisses.
After her departure, Ferdinand was reduced
to sad solitude. The company in which he
had found delight pleased him no more, as
she was absent. From the mere force of habit
he mingled with his former associates, and
had recourse to his fathers desk to supply
those expenses which in reality he felt but
slight inclination to indulge. He was now
frequently alone, and his natural good dis-
position began to obtain the mastery over
him. In moments of calm reflection he felt
astonished how he could have listened to that
deceitful sophistry about justice and right,
and his claim to the goods of others, and he
wondered at his approval of those evil argu-
ments by which he had been led to justify his
dishonest conduCt. But, in the meantime,
before these correCt ideas of truth and up-
rightness produced a practical effeCt upon his
conduCt, he yielded more than once to the
temptation of supplying his wants, in extreme
cases, from his fathers treasury. This plan,
however, was now adopted with more reluc-
tance, and he seemed to be under the irre-
sistible impulse of an evil spirit.
At length he took courage and formed the
resolution of rendering a repetition of the
practice impossible, by informing his father
of the facility with which his desk could be
opened. He took his measures cautiously,
and once, in the presence of his father, he
carried the box of letters we have mentioned
into the room, pretended to stumble acci-
dentally against the desk, and astonished his
father by causing it to spring open. They
examined the lock without delay, and found
that it had become almost useless from age.
It was at once repaired, and Ferdinand soon
enjoyed a return of his peace of mind when
he saw his fathers rolls of money once more
in safe custody.
But he was not content with this. He
formed the resolution of restoring the money
which he had abstracted. He commenced
the most economical course of life for this
purpose, with a view of saving from his allow-
ance all that could be possibly spared from the
merest necessities. It is true that this was but
little, but it appeared large, as it was the com-
mencement of a system of restitution, and
there will always be a wonderful difference
between the last guinea borrowed and the first
guinea saved. He had pursued this upright
course for but a short time, when his father
determined to settle him in business. His in-
tention was to form a connection with a man-
ufactory at some distance from his residence.
The design was to establish a company in a
part of the country where labor and provisions
were cheap, to appoint an agent, and extend
the business as widely as possible by means of
money and credit. It was determined that
42


Ferdinand should inquire into the practica-
bility of the scheme, and forward a circum-
stantial report of his proceedings. His father
furnished him with money for his journey, but
placed a moderate limit upon his expenditure.
The supply was, however, sufficient for his
wants, and Ferdinand had no reason to com-
plain of a deficiency.
Ferdinand used the utmost economy upon
his journey, and found upon the closest calcu-
lation that he could live upon one-third of his
allowance by practising strict restraint. He
was now anxious to find means of gradually
saving a certain sum, and it soon presented
itself; for opportunity comes indifferently to
the good and to the bad, and favors all parties
alike. In the neighborhood which he de-
signed to visit, he found every article of life
cheaper than he had expected. No new
habits of expense had as yet been introduced.
A moderate capital alone had been invested
in business, and the manufacturers were satis-
fied with small profits. Ferdinand soon saw
that with a large capital, and the advantages
of a new system, by purchasing the raw mate-
rial by wholesale, and erecting machinery
under the guidance of experienced workmen,
large and solid advantages might be secured.
The prospect of a life of activity gave him
the greatest delight. The image of his be-
loved Ottilia was ever before him, and the
charming and picturesque character of the
country made him wish anxiously that his
father might be induced to establish him in
this spot, commit the conduct of the new
manufactory to him, and thus afford him the
means of attaining independence. His atten-
tion to business was secured by the demands
of his own personal interests. He now found
an opportunity, for the first time in his life,
for the exercise of his understanding and judg-
ment, and for exerting his other mental pow-
ers. Not only the beautiful neighborhood,
but his business and occupation were full of
attractions for him; they acted as balm and
cordial to his wounded heart whenever he
recalled the painful remembrance of his
fathers house, in which, influenced by a spe-
cies of insanity, he had acted in a manner
which now seemed to him in the highest de-
gree criminal.
His constant companion was a friend of his
family, a person of strong mind, but delicate
health, who had first conceived the project of
founding this establishment. He instructed
Ferdinand in all his own views and projects,
and seemed to take great pleasure in the thor-
ough harmony of mind which existed between
them. This latter personage led a simple and
retired life, partly from choice, and partly be-
cause his health required it. He had no fam-
ily of his own. His household establishment
was conducted by a niece, who, he intended,
should inherit his fortune, and it was his wish
to see her united to a person of active and en-
terprising disposition, who, by means of capi-
tal and persevering industry, might carry on
the business which his infirm health and want
of means disqualified him from conducting.
His first interview with Ferdinand suggested
that he had found the man he wanted, and he
was the more strongly confirmed in this opin-
ion upon observing his fondness for business
and his attachment to the place. His niece
became aware of his intentions, and seemed to
approve of them. She was a young and inter-
esting girl, of sweet and engaging disposition.
Her care of her uncles establishment had im-
parted to her mind the valuable qualities of
activity and decision, whilst her attention to
his health had softened down these traits by a
proper union of gentleness and affection. It
would have been difficult to find a person
better calculated to make a lover happy.
But Ferdinands mind was engrossed with
the thoughts of Ottilias love; he saw no at-
tractions in the charms of this country beauty,
or, at least, his admiration was circumscribed
by the wish that if ever Ottilia settled down
as his wife in this part of the country, she
might have the assistance of such a person as
assistant and housekeeper. But he was free and
unrestrained in his intercourse with the young
lady; he valued her more as he came to know
her better, and his conduct became more re-
spectful and attentive, and both she and her
uncle soon put their own interpretations upon
his behavior.
Ferdinand had in the meantime made all the
requisite inquiries about his fathers business.
The uncles suggestions had enabled him to
form certain projects which, with his usual
thoughtlessness, he made the subject of con-
versation. He had more than once uttered
certain gallant speeches to the niece, until her
uncle and herself fancied that he actually in-
dulged intentions which gave them both un-
feigned satisfaction. To Ferdinands great
joy, he had learned that he could not only
derive great advantage from his fathers plan,
but that another favorable project would en-
able him to make restitution of the money he
43


had abstraaed, and the recolle&ion of which
pressed like a heavy burden upon his conscience.
He communicated his intentions to his friend,
who tendered not only his cordial congratu-
lations, but every possible assistance to carry
out his views. He even proposed to furnish
his young friend with the necessary merchan-
dise upon credit, a part of which offer was
thankfully accepted, some portion of the goods
being paid for with money Ferdinand had
saved from his travelling expenses, and a short
period of credit being taken for the remainder.
It would be difficult to describe the joy with
which Ferdinand prepared for his return home.
There can be no greater delight than is expe-
rienced by a man who, by his own unaided
resources, frees himself from the consequences
of error. Heaven looks down with satisfac-
I tion upon such a spedtacle, and we cannot
deny the force of the seeming paradox, which
assures us that there is more joy before God
j over one returning sinner than over ninety-
j nine just.
| But, unfortunately, neither the good resolti-
| tions nor the repentance and improvement of
| Ferdinand could remove the evil consequences
; of his crime, which were destined once more
to disturb and agitate his mind with the most
painful reflections. The storm had gathered
during his absence, and it was destined to
burst over his head upon his return home.
We have already had reason to observe that
Ferdinands father was most irregular in his
habits; but his business was under the super-
intendence of a clever manager. He had not
himself missed the money which had been ab-


stradted by his son, with the exception of one
roll of foreign money, which he had won from
a stranger at play. This he had missed, and
the circumstance seemed to him unaccount-
able. He was afterwards somewhat surprised
to perceive that several rolls of ducats could
not be found, money which he had some time
before lent to a friend, but which he knew had
been repaid. He was aware of the previous
insecurity of his desk, and felt convinced,
therefore, that he had been robbed. This
feeling rendered him extremely unhappy. His
suspicions fell upon every one. In anger and
exasperation he related the circumstance to
his wife. The entire household was thereupon
stri&ly examined, and neither servants nor
children were allowed to escape. The good
wife exerted herself to tranquillize her hus-
band ; she represented the discredit which a
mere report of this circumstance would bring
upon the family; that no one would sympa-
thize in their misfortune, further than to hu-
miliate them with their compassion; that nei-
ther he nor she could expecl to escape the
tongue of scandal; that strange observations
would be made if the thief should remain un-
discovered; and she suggested that perhaps,
if they continued silent, they might recover
their lost money without reducing the wretched
criminal to a state of misery for life. In this
manner she prevailed upon her husband to re-
main quiet, and to investigate the affair in
silence.
But the discovery was unfortunately soon
made. Ottilias aunt had of course been in-
formed of the engagement of the young couple.
She had heard of the presents which her niece
had received. The attachment was not ap-
proved by her, and she had only maintained
silence in consequence of her nieces absence.
She would have consented to her marriage
with Ferdinand, but she did not like uncer-
tainty on such a subjeCt; and as she knew that
he was shortly to return, and her niece was
expeCted daily, she determined to inform the
parents of the state of things, to inquire their
opinion, to ask whether Ferdinand was to
have a settlement, and if they would consent
to the marriage.
The mother was not a little astonished at
this information, and she was shocked at hear-
ing of the presents which Ferdinand had made
to Ottilia. But she concealed her surprise,
and requesting the aunt to allow her some time
to confer with her husband upon the matter,
she expressed her own concurrence in the in-
tended marriage, and her expectation that her
son would be advantageously provided for.
The aunt took her leave; but Ferdinands
mother did not deem it advisable to commu-
nicate the circumstance to her husband. She
now had to undertake the sad duty of dis-
covering whether Ferdinand had purchased
Ottilias presents with the stolen money. She
went straight to the shopkeeper who dealt in
such goods, made some general inquiries, and
said at last, that he ought not to overcharge
her, particularly as her son, who had bought
some similar articles, had procured them from
him at a more reasonable charge. This the
tradesman denied, producing the account, and
further observing that he had even added
something for the exchange, as Ferdinand
had paid for the goods partly in foreign
money. Fie specified the exaCt nature of the
coin, and, to her inexpressible grief, it was
the very same which had been stolen from
her husband. She left the shop with sorrow-
ful heart. Ferdinands crime was but too evi-
dent. The sum which her husband had lost
was large, and she saw in all its force the ex-
tent of the crime and its evil results. But she
had prudence enough to conceal her discovery.
She waited for the return of her son with feel-
ings of mingled fear and anxiety. She wished
for an explanation, and yet dreaded the con-
sequences of a further inquiry.
At length he arrived in the highest spirits.
He expected the greatest praise from the man-
ner in which he transa&ed his business, and
was the bearer of a sum of money sufficient
to make compensation for what he had crimi-
nally abstracted. His father heard his state-
ment with pleasure, but did not manifest so
much delight as the son expected. His late
losses had irritated his temper, and he was
the more distressed from having some large
payments to make at the moment. Ferdinand
felt hurt at his fathers depression of mind,
and his own peace was further disturbed by
the sight of everything around him ; the very
room in which he was, the furniture, and .the
sight of the fatal desk, those silent witnesses
of his crime, spoke loudly to his guilty con-
science. His satisfaction was at an end. He
shrunk within himself and felt like a culprit.
After a few days delay he was about to
distrad his attention from these thoughts by
examining the merchandise which he had
ordered, when his mother finding him alone
addressed him upon the subjedt, in a tone of
affedionate earnestness, which did not allow
412
45


the smallest opportunity for prevarication. He
was overcome with grief. He threw himself
at her feet, imploring her forgiveness, acknow-
ledging his crime, and protesting that nothing
but his affection for Ottilia hacl misled him ;
he assured her, in conclusion, that it was the
only offence of the kind of which he had
ever been guilty. He related the circum-
stances of his bitter repentance, of his having
acquainted his father with the insecurity of
his desk, and finally informed her how, by
personal privations and a fortunate specula-
tion, he was in a condition to make restitu-
tion.
His mother heard him calmly, but insisted
on knowing how he had disposed of so much
money, as the presents would account but for
a small part of the sum abstracted. She pro-
duced to his dismay an account of what his
father had missed, but he denied having taken
even so much silver; the missing gold he
solemnly protested he had never touched.
His mother became exasperated at this de-
nial. She rebuked him for his attempt to
deceive her, and that at a moment when he
laid claim to the virtue of repentance, assert-
ing that if he could be guilty in one respedl
she must doubt his innocence in another. She
suggested that he might perhaps have accom-
plices amongst his dissipated companions ; that
perhaps the business he had carried on was
transacted with the stolen money, and that
probably he would have confessed nothing if
his crime had not been accidentally discovered.
She threatened him with the anger of his
father, with judicial punishment, with her
highest displeasure, but nothing affected him
more than his learning that his projected mar-
riage with Ottilia had been already spoken of.
She left him in the most wretched condition.
His real crime had been discovered, and he
was suspected of even greater guilt. How
could he ever persuade his parents that he had I
not stolen the gold? He dreaded the public
exposure which was likely to result from his
fathers irritable temper, and he now had time
to compare his present wretched condition
with the happiness which he might have at-
tained. All his prospects of an active life
and of a marriage with Ottilia were at an end.
He saw his utter wretchednessabandoned, a
fugitive in foreign lands, exposed to every
species of misfortune.
But these reflections were not the worst
evil he had to encounter, though they be-
wildered his mind, wounded his pride, and
crushed his affections. His most severe pangs
arose from the thought that his honest resolu-
tion, his noble intention to repair the past,
was suspected, repudiated and denied. And
even if these thoughts gave birth to a feeling
resembling despair, he could not deny that
he had deserved his fate, and to this convic-
tion must be added his knowledge of the fatal
truth, that one crime is sufficient to destroy
the character forever. Such meditations as
these, and the apprehension that his firmest
resolutions of amendment might be looked
upon as insincere, made life itself a burden.
In this moment of abandonment he ap-
pealed to Heaven for assistance. He sank
upon his knees, and, moistening the ground
with his tears of contrition, implored help
from his Divine Maker. His prayer was
worthy of being heard. Man, throwing off
his load of crimes, has a claim upon Heaven.
He who has exhausted every effort of his own
may, as a last resource, appeal to God. He
was for some time engaged in earnest prayer,
when the door opened and some one entered
his apartment. It was his mother, who ap-
proached him with a cheerful look, saw his
agitation, and addressed him with consoling
words. How happy I am, she said, to
find that I may credit your assertions and
regard your sorrow as sincere. The missing
sum of gold has been found; your father,
when he received it from his friend, handed
it to his secretary, who forgot the circum-
stance amid the numerous transactions of the
day. And, with respect to the silver, you are
also right, as the amount taken is less than I
had supposed. Unable to conceal my joy, I
promised your father to replace the missing
sum if he would consent to forbear making
any further inquiry into the matter.
Ferdinands joy was indescribable. He
completed at once his business arrangements,
gave his mother the promised money, and in
addition replaced the amount which his father
had lost through his own irregularity. He be-
came gradually more cheerful and happy, but
the whole circumstance produced a serious
impression upon his mind. He became con-
vinced that every man has power to accom-
plish good, and that our Divine Maker will
infallibly extend to him His assistance in the
hour of triala truth which he himself had
learned from late experience. He now un-
folded to his father his plan of establishing
himself in the neighborhood from which he
had lately returned. He fully explained the
46


artist: max volkhart.
FERDINAND AND HIS MOTHER.


nature of the intended business. His father
consented to his proposals, and his mother at
a proper time related to her husband the at-
tachment of Ferdinand to Ottilia. He was
delighted at the prospect of having so charm-
ing a daughter-in-law, and felt additional
pleasure at the idea of being able to establish
his son without the necessity of incurring
much expense.
This story pleases me, said Louisa, when
the old clergyman had finished his narration;
and though the incidents are taken from
low life, yet the tone is sufficiently elevated
to prove agreeable. And it seems to me that
if we examine ourselves, or observe others,
we shall find that men are seldom influenced
by their own reflections either to pursue or to
abandon a certain course, but are generally
impelled by extraneous circumstances.
I wish for my part, said Charles, that
we were not obliged to deny ourselves any-
thing, and that we had no knowledge of those
blessings which we are not allowed to possess.
But unfortunately we walk in an orchard,
where, though all the trees are loaded with
fruit, we are compelled to leave them un-
touched, to satisfy ourselves with the enjoy-
ment of the shade, and forego the greatest
indulgence.
Now, continued Louisa to the clergy-
man, let us hear the end of the story.
Clergyman. It is finished.
Louisa. The denouement may be finished,
but we should like to hear the very end.
Clergyman. Your distinction is just; and,
since you seem interested in the fate of my
friend, I will tell you briefly what happened
to him.
Relieved from the oppressive weight of so
dreadful a crime, and enjoying some degree
of satisfaction at his own conduct, his thoughts
were now directed to his future happiness, and
he expected with anxiety the return of Ottilia,
that he might explain his position and perform
his promise to her. She came, accompanied
by her parents. He hastened to meet her,
and found her more beautiful than ever. He
waited with impatience for an opportunity of
speaking to her alone, and of unfolding all his
future projects. The moment arrived, and
with a heart full of tenderness and love he
spoke of his hopes, of his expectations of hap-
piness, and of his wish to share it with her.
But what was his surprise and astonishment to
find that she heard his announcement with in-
difference and even with contempt, and that
she indulged in disagreeable jokes about the
hermitage prepared for their reception, and
the interest they would excite by enacting the
characters of shepherd and shepherdess in a
; pastoral abode.
Her conduct occasioned bitter reflections.
He was hurt and grieved at her indifference.
She had been unjust to him, and he now began
to observe faults in her conduct which had
previously escaped his attention. In addition,
it required no very keen perception to remark
that a cousin, who had accompanied her, had
made an impression upon her and won a large
' portion of her affections.
But Ferdinand soon perceived the necessity
of struggling with this new source of sorrow,
and, as victory had attended his exertions in
one instance, he hoped to be successful upon
a second occasion. He saw Ottilia frequently,
and determined to observe her closely. His
conduct towards her was attentive and affec-
tionate, and her deportment was of a similar
nature; but her attractions had become dimin-
ished for him; he soon found that her profes-
sions were not cordial or sincere, and that she
could be affectionate and cold, attractive and
repulsive, charming and disagreeable, accord-
ing to the mere whim of the moment. He
gradually became indifferent to her, and he
resolved at length to break the last link of
their connection.
But this was more difficult than he had an-
ticipated. He found her one day alone, and
took courage to remind her of her engagement
to him, and of those happy moments in which,
under the influence of the most delightful feel-
ings, they had discoursed with joyful anticipa-
tions of their future happiness. She was in a
tender mood, and he began to hope that he
might perhaps have been deceived in the esti-
mate he had lately formed of her. He there-
upon began to describe his worldly prospers
and the probable success of his intended es-
tablishment. She expressed her satisfaction,
accompanied, however, with regret that their
union must on this account be postponed still
longer. She gave him to understand that she
had not the least wish to leave the pleasures
of a city life, but expressed her hopes that he
might be able, after some years active indus-
try in the country, to return home and be-
come a citizen of consequence. She gave
him, moreover, to understand that she ex-
pected he would play a more respectable and
honest part in life than his father.
47


Ferdinand saw plainly that he could expect
no happiness from such a connection, and yet
he felt the difficulty of wholly disengaging
himself. In this state of mind he would prob-
ably have parted from her in uncertainty about
the future, had he not been finally influenced
by the conduct of Ottilias cousin, towards
whom he thought she displayed too much ten-
derness. Ferdinand thereupon wrote a letter
assuring her that it was still in her power to
make him happy, but that it could not be ad-
visable to encourage indefinite hopes, or to
enter into engagements for an uncertain future.
He trusted that this letter would produce a
favorable answer; but he received a reply
which his heart deplored, but his judgment
approved. She released him from his promise
without rejedting his love, and adverted to her
own feelings in the same ambiguous manner.
She was still bound by the sense of her letter,
but free by its literal meaning. But why
should I delay communicating the inevitable
result? Ferdinand hastened back to the
peaceful abode he had left, and formed his
determination at once. He became attentive
and diligent in business, and was encouraged
in this course by the affedtions of the kind
being of whom we have already spoken, and
the exertions of her uncle to employ every
means in his power to render them happy. I
knew him afterwards, when he was surrounded
by a numerous and prosperous family. He
related his own story to me himself; and, as
it often happens with individuals whose early-
life has been marked by some uncommon acci-
dent, his own adventures had become so in-
delibly impressed upon his mind that they
exerted a deep influence on his condudt. Even
as a man and as a father he constantly denied
himself the enjoyment of many gratifications,
in order not to forget the practice of self-re-
straint ; and the whole course of his childrens
education was founded upon this principle,
that they must accustom themselves to a fre-
quent denial of their most ardent inclina-
tions.
48


I once had an opportunity of witnessing an
instance of the system he adopted. One of
his children was about to eat something at
table of which he was particularly fond. His
father forbade it, apparently without reason.
To my astonishment the child obeyed with
the utmost cheerfulness, and dinner proceeded
as if nothing had occurred. And in this
manner even the eldest members of the family
often allowed a tempting dish of fruit or some
other dainty to pass them untasted. But, not-
withstanding this, a general freedom reigned
in his house, and there was at times a sufficient
display both of good and bad conduct. But
Ferdinand was for the most part indifferent to
what occurred, and allowed an almost unre-
strained license. At times, however, when a
certain week came about, orders were given
for precise pundluality, the clocks were regu-
lated to the second, every member of the fam-
ily received his orders for the day, business
and pleasure had their turn, and no one dared
to be a single second in arrear. I could de-
tain you for hours in describing his conversa-
tion and remarks on this extraordinary system
of education. He was accustomed to jest with
me upon my vows as a Catholic priest, and
maintained that every man should make a vow
to pradlise self-restraint, as well as to require
obedience from others; but he observed that
the exercise of these vows, in place of being
perpetually demanded, was only suitable for
certain occasions.
The baroness observed that she thought
Ferdinand was perfectly right, and she com-
pared the authority of a parent to the execu-
tive power in a kingdom, where, if the influ-
ence of the latter is weak, the legislative
authority can be of little avail.
Louisa at this moment rushed hastily to the
window, having heard Frederick ride past.
She ran to meet him, and accompanied him
into the salon. He seemed cheerful, notwith-
standing he had just come from a scene of
trouble and distress. In place of entering
into a detailed description of the fire which
had seized the house of his aunt, he assured
the company that he had established be-
yond doubt the fa<5t that the desk there had
been burned at the very same time when
theirs had been split asunder in so strange a
manner.
He stated that, when the fire approached the
room where the desk was, one of the servants
saved a clock which stood upon it; that in car-
rying it out some accident had happened to the
works, and it had stopped at the hour of half-
past eleven, and thus the coincidence of time
was placed beyond all question. The baroness
smiled, and the tutor observed that, although
two things might agree in some particulars,
we were not, therefore, justified in inferring
their mutual dependence. But Louisa took
pleasure in believing the connection of these
two circumstances, particularly as she had re-
ceived intelligence that her intended was quite
well; and as to the rest of the company, they
gave full scope to the flights of their imagina-
tion.
Charles inquired of the clergyman whether
he knew a fairy tale. The imagination,
he observed, is a divine gift, but I do not like
to see it employed about the actualities of life.
The airy forms to which it gives birth are de-
lightful to contemplate, if we view them as
beings of a peculiar order, but, connected with
truth, they become prodigies, and are disap-
proved by our reason and judgment. The
imagination, he continued, should not
deal in facts, nor be employed to establish
fa<5ts. Its proper province is art, and there
its influence should operate like sweet music,
which awakens our emotions, and makes us
forget the cause by which these emotions are
awakened.
Continue, said the old clergyman, and
explain still further your view of the proper
attributes of imaginative works. Another
property is essential to their enjoymentthat
the exercise of imagination should be voluntary.
It can effect nothing by compulsion ; it must
wait for the moment of inspiration. Without
design, and without any settled course, it soars
aloft upon its own pinions, and as it is borne
forward leaves a trace of its wonderful and
devious course. But you must allow me to
take my accustomed walk, that I may awaken
in my soul the sweet fancies which, in former
years, were accustomed to enchant me. I
promise to relate a fairy tale this evening that
will amuse you all.
They at once consented, particularly as
they all hoped in the meantime to hear the
news of which Frederick was the bearer.
413
49


A FAIRY TALE.
N old ferryman,
wearied with the
labors of the day,
lay asleep in his
hut, on the bank of
a wide river, which
the late heavy rains
had swollen to an
unprecedented ;
height. In the mid- I
die of the night he j
was awakened by a I
loud cry. He lis- '
tened ; it was the
call of some trav-
ellers who wished
to be ferried over.
Upon opening
the door, he was
surprised to see two
will o the wisps
dancing round his
boat, which was still secured to its moorings.
Speaking with human voices, they assured him
that they were in the greatest possible hurry
and wished to be carried instantly to the other
side of the river. Without losing a moment,
the old ferryman pushed off and rowed across
with his usual dexterity. During the passage
the strangers' whispered together in an un-
known language, and several times burst into
loud laughter, whilst they amused themselves
with dancing upon the sides and seats of the
boat and cutting fantastic capers at the bot- ,
tom.
The boat reels, cried the old man, and I
if you continue so restless it may upset. Sit '
down, you will-o-the-wisps. j
They burst into loud laughter at this com-
mand, ridiculed the boatman, and became :
more troublesome than ever. But he bore
their annoyance patiently, and they soon
reached the opposite bank of the river.
Here is something for your trouble, said
the passengers, shaking themselves, when a
number of glittering gold pieces fell into the
boat.
What are you doing? cried the old man ;
some misfortune will happen should a single
piece of gold fall into the water. The river,
which has a strong antipathy to gold, would ,
; become fearfully agitated and swallow both
me and my boat. Who can say even what
might happen to yourselves? I pray you take
| back your gold.
j We can take nothing back which we have
once shaken from our persons, answered one
of them.
Then I shall be compelled, replied the
old boatman, as he stooped and colledled the
gold in his cap, to take it to the shore and
bury it.
The will-o-the-wisps had in the meantime
leaped out of the boat, upon which the old
man cried, Pay me my fare.
The man who refuses gold must work for
nothing, answered the will-o-the-wisps.
My payment must consist of fruits of
the earth, rejoined the ferryman.
We despise them; they are not food for
us, continued the will-o-the-wisps.
But you shall not depart, replied the
ferryman, till you have given me three
cauliflowers, three artichokes and three large
onions.
The will-o-the-wisps were in the act of
running away, with a laugh, when they felt
themselves in some inexplicable manner fixed
to the earth; they had never experienced so
strange a sensation. They then promised to
pay the demand without delay; upon which
the ferryman released them and instantly-
pushed off with his boat.
Pie was already far away, when they called
after him, Old man, listen, we have forgot-
ten something important; but he heard them
not, and continued his course. When he had
reached a point lower down, on the same side
of the river, he came to some rocks which the
water was unable to reach and proceeded to
bury the dangerous gold. Observing a deep
cleft which opened between two rocks, he
threw the gold into it and returned to his
dwelling. This cleft was inhabited by a beau-
tiful green dragon, who was awakened from
her sleep by the sound of the falling money.
At the very first appearance of the glitter-
ing pieces she devoured them greedily, then
searched about carefully in hopes of finding
such other coins as might have fallen acci-
dentally amongst the briers or between the
fissures of the rocks.
The dragon immediately felt herself over-
powered with the most delightful sensations,
and perceived with joy that she became sud-
denly shining and transparent. She had been
long aware that this change was possible, but
5


entertaining some doubt whether the brilliance
would continue, she felt impelled by curiosity
to leave her dwelling and ascertain, if possi-
ble, to whom she was indebted for the beauti-
ful gold. She found no one ; but she became
lost in admiration of herself, and of the bril-
liant light which illumined her path through
the thick underwood and shed its rays over
the surrounding green. The leaves of the
trees glittered like emeralds, and the flowers
shone with glorious hues. In vain did she
penetrate the solitary wilderness; but hope
dawned when she reached the plains and ob-
served at a distance a light resembling her
own. Have I at last discovered my fellow?
she exclaimed, and hastened to the spot. She
found no obstacle from bog or morass; for
though the dry meadow and the high rock
were her dearest habitations, and though she
loved to feed upon the spicy root, and to
quench her thirst with the crystal dew and with
fresh water from the spring, yet for the sake
of her beloved gold and of her glorious light
she was willing to encounter every privation.
Wearied and exhausted, she reached at
length the confines of a wide morass, where
our two will-o-the-wisps were amusing them- '
selves in playing fantastic antics. She made
towards them, and saluting them, expressed
her delight at being able to claim relationship
with such charming personages. The lights
played around her, skipped from side to side,
and laughed about in their own peculiar fash-
ion. Dear aunt, they exclaimed, what
does it signify, even though you are of hori- !
zontal form; we are related at least through
brilliancy. But look how well a tall, slender j
figure becomes us gentry of the vertical
shape; and so saying both the lights com-
pressed their breadth together and shot up
into a thin and pointed line. Do not be
offended, dear friend, they continued; but
what family can boast of a privilege like ours?
Since the first will-o-the-wisp was created
none of our race have ever been obliged to
sit down or to take repose.
But all this time the feelings of the dragon
in the presence of her relations were anything
but pleasant; for, exalt her head as high as
she would, she was compelled to stoop to
earth again when she wished to advance ; and
though she was proud of the brilliancy which
she shed round her own dark abode, she felt
her light gradually diminish in the presence
of her relatives, and she began to fear that it
might finally be extinguished.
In her perplexity she hastily inquired whether
the gentlemen could inform her whence the
shining gold had come which had lately fallen
into the cleft of the rocks hard by, as in her
opinion it was a precious shower from heaven.
The will-o-the-wisps immediately shook them-
selves (at the same time laughing loudly), and
a myriad of gold pieces at once flew around.
The dragon devoured them greedily. We
hope you like them, dear aunt, shouted the
shining will-o-the-wisps; we can supply you
with any quantity; and they shook themselves
with such copious effect that the dragon found
it difficult to swallow the bright dainties with
sufficient speed. Her brilliancy increased as
the gold disappeared, till at length she shone
i with inconceivable radiance, while in the same
1 proportion the will-o-the-wisps grew thin and
! tapering, without, however, losing the smallest
iota of their cheerful humor.
; I am under eternal obligations to you,
| said the dragon, pausing to breathe from her
I voracious meal; ask of me what you please,
: I will give you anything you demand.
j A bargain! answered the will-o-the-
wisps; tell us, then, where the beautiful Lily
dwells; lead us to her palace and gardens
without delay; we die of impatience to cast
ourselves at her feet.
You ask a favor, replied the dragon,
with a deep sigh, which it is not in my
power so quickly to bestow. The beautiful Lily
lives, unfortunately, on the opposite bank of
the river. We cannot cross over on this
stormy night.
Cruel river, which separates us from the
object of our desires! But cannot we call
back the old ferryman? said they.
Your wish is vain, answered the dragon ;
for even were you to meet him on this bank
j he would refuse to take you, as though he can
j convey passengers to this side of the stream
he can carry no one back.
Bad news, indeed ; but are there no other
means of crossing the river?
There are, but not at this moment; 1
myself can take you over at midday.
That is an hour, replied the will-o-the-
wisps, when we do not usually travel.
Then you had better postpone your inten-
tion till evening, when you may cross in the
giants shadow.
How is that managed? they inquired.
The giant, replied the dragon, who
lives hard by, is powerless with his body; his
hands are incapable of raising even a straw;
5i


his shoulders can bear no burden ; but his
shadow accomplishes all for him. For this
reason he is most powerful at sunrise and at
sunset. At the hour of evening the giant
will approach the river softly, and if you
place yourself upon his shadow it will carry
you over. Meet me at midday, at the corner
of the wood, where the trees hang over the
river, when I myself will take you across and
introduce you to the beautiful Lily. Should
you, however, shrink from the noonday heat,
your only alternative is to apply to the giant,
when evening casts its shadows around, and
he will no doubt prove obliging.
With a graceful salutation the young gentle-
men took their leave, and the dragon rejoiced
at their departure, partly that she might in-
dulge her feelings of pleasure at her own light,
and partly that she might satisfy a curiosity
by which she had long been tormented.
In the clefts of the rocks where she dwelt
she had lately made a wonderful discovery;
for although she had been obliged to crawl
through these chasms in darkness, she had
learned to distinguish every object by feeling.
The productions of nature, which she was
accustomed everywhere to encounter, were
all of an irregular kind. At one time she
wound her way amongst the points of enor-
mous crystals, at another she was for a mo-
ment impeded by the veins of solid silver,
and many were the precious stones which her
light discovered to her. But, to her great
astonishment, she had encountered in a rock,
which was securely closed on all sides, objedts
which betrayed the plastic hand of man.
Smooth walls, which she was unable to as-
cend, sharp, regular angles, tapering columns,
and what was even more wonderful, human
figures, round which she had often entwined
herself, and which appeared to her to be
formed of brass or of polished marble. She
was now anxious to behold all these objedls
with her eyes, and to confirm, by her own
observation, what she had hitherto but sus-
pected. She thought herself capable nowr of
illumining with her own light these wonderful
subterranean caverns, and indulged the hope
of becoming thoroughly acquainted with these
astonishing mysteries. She delayed not, and
quickly found the opening through which she
was accustomed to penetrate into the sanc-
tuary.
Arrived at the place, she looked round with
wonder, and though her brilliancy was unable
to light the entire cavern, yet many of the
52


objects were sufficiently distinct. With as-
tonishment and awe she raised her eyes to an
illumined niche, in which stood the statue
of a venerable king, of pure gold. In size
the statue was colossal, but the countenance
was rather that of a little than of a great
man. His well-turned limbs were covered
with a simple robe, and his head was encircled
by an oaken garland.
Scarcely had the dragon beheld this vener-
able form than the king found utterance, and
said, How comest thou hither?
Through the cleft, answered the dragon,
in which the gold abides.
What is nobler than gold ? asked the king.
Light, replied the dragon.
And what is more vivid than light? con-
tinued the monarch.
Speech, said the serpent.
During this conversation the dragon had
looked stealthily around and observed another
noble statue in an adjoining niche. A silver
king sat there enthroned, of figure tall and
slender; his limbs were enveloped in an em-
broidered mantle ; his crown and sceptre were
adorned with precious stones; his counte-
nance wore the serene dignity of pride, and
he seemed about to speak, when a dark vein,
which ran through the marble of the wall,
suddenly became brilliant and cast a soft
light through the whole temple. This light
discovered a third king, whose mighty form
was cast in brass-; he leaned upon a massive
club, his head was crowned with laurels, and
his proportions resembled a rock rather than
a human being.
The dragon felt a desire to approach a
fourth king, who stood before her at a dis-
tance ; but the wall suddenly opened, the
illumined vein flashed like lightning, and be-
came as suddenly extinguished.
A man of middle stature now approached.
He was clad in the garb of a peasant; in his
hand he bore a lamp, whose flame it was de-
lightful to behold, and which illumined the
entire dwelling, without leaving the trace of
a shadow.
Why dost thou come, since we have al-
ready light? asked the golden king.
You know that I can shed no ray on what
is dark, replied the old man.
Will my kingdom end? inquired the
silver monarch.
Late or never, answered the other.
The brazen king then asked, with a voice
of thunder, When shall I arise?
I Soon, was the reply.
! With whom shall I be united ? continued
, the former.
! With thine elder brother, answered the
! latter.
'And what will become of the youngest?
He will repose.
I am not weary, interrupted the fourth
I king, with a deep but faltering voice.
j During this conversation the dragon had
i wound her way softly through the temple,
surveyed everything which it contained, and
approached the niche in which the fourth
| king stood. He leaned against a pillar, and
| his handsome countenance bore traces of mel-
ancholy. It was difficult to distinguish the
metal of which the statue was composed. It
| resembled a mixture of the three metals of
which his brothers were formed ; but it seemed
as if the materials had not thoroughly blended,
as the veins of gold and silver crossed each
other irregularly through the brazen mass and
destroyed the effect of the whole.
( The golden king now asked, How many
secrets dost thou know?
Three, was the reply.
And which is the most important? in-
quired the silver king.
j The revealed, answered the old man.
| Wilt thou explain it to us? asked the
! brazen king.
I When I have learned the fourth, was the
: response.
| I care not, murmured he of the strange
compound.
j I know the fourth, interrupted the
! dragon, approaching the old man and whis-
J pering in his ear.
j The time is come, exclaimed the latter,
! with tremendous voice. The sounds echoed
through the temple; the statues rang again;
: and in the same instant the old man disap-
j peared towards the west, and the dragon to-
wards the east, and both pierced instantly
through the impediments of the rock.
| Every passage through which the old man
! bent his course became immediately filled
with gold; for the lamp which he carried
: possessed the wonderful property of convert-
; ing stones into gold, wood into silver, and
i dead animals into jewels. But in order to
produce this effect it was necessary that no
other light should be near. In the presence
of another light the lamp merely emitted a
; soft illumination, which, however, gave joy
J to every living thing.
414
53


The old man returned to his hut on the
brow of the hill and found his wife in the
greatest sorrow. She was seated at the fire,
ner eyes filled with tears, and she refused all
consolation.
What a misfortune, she exclaimed, that
I allowed you to leave home to-day !
What has happened? answered the old
man, very quietly.
You were scarcely gone, replied she with
sobs, before two rude travellers came to the
door; unfortunately I admitted them, as they
seemed good, worthy people. They were at-
tired like flames, and might have passed for
will-o-the-wisps; but they had scarcely en-
tered the house before they commenced their
flatteries, and became at length so importunate
that I blush to recollect their conduct.
Well, said the old man, smiling, the
gentlemen were only amusing themselves, and,
at your age, you should have considered it as
the display of ordinary politeness.
Myage ! rejoined the old woman. Will
you forever remind me of my age; how old
am I then ? And ordinary politeness But
I can tell you something; look round at the
walls of our hut; you will now be able to see
the old stones which have been concealed for
more than a hundred years. These visitors
extracted all the gold more quickly than I
can tell you, and they assured me that it was
of capital flavor. When they had completely
cleared the walls they grew cheerful, and in
a few minutes their persons became tall, broad
and shining. They thereupon again com-
menced their tricks, and repeated their flat-
teries, calling me a queen. They shook them-
selves, and immediately a profusion of gold
pieces fell on all sides. You may see some
of them still glittering on the floor; but a
calamity soon occurred. Our dog Mops swal-
lowed some of them, and see, he lies dead in
the chimney-corner. Poor animal! his death
afifliCts me. I did not observe it till they had
departed, otherwise I should not have prom-
ised to pay the ferryman the debt they owed
him.
How much do they owe? inquired the
old man.
Three cauliflowers, answered his wife,
three artichokes and three onions. I have
promised to take them to the river at break of
day.
You had better oblige them, said the old
man, and they may perhaps serve us in time
of need.
! I know not if they will keep their word,
said she; but they promised and vowed to
serve us.
The fire had in the meantime died away;
but the old man covered the cinders with
ashes, put away the shining gold pieces, and
lighted his lamp afresh. In the glorious illu-
mination the walls became covered with gold,
and Mops was transformed into the most beau-
tiful onyx that was ever beheld. The variety
of color which glittered through the costly
gem produced a splendid effect.
Take your basket, said the old man,
and place the onyx in it. Then collect the
three cauliflowers, the three artichokes and
the three onions, lay them together, and carry
them to the river. The dragon will bear you
across at midday; then visit the beautiful
Lily; her touch will give life to the onyx, as
her touch gives death to every living thing;
and it will be to her an affectionate friend.
Tell her not to mourn; that her deliverance
is nigh; that she must consider a great misfor-
tune as her greatest blessing, for the time is
come.
The old woman prepared her basket, and
set forth at break of day. The rising sun
shone brightly over the river, which gleamed
in the far distance. The old woman journeyed
slowly on, for the weight of the basket op-
pressed her, but it did not arise from the onyx.
Nothing lifeless proved a burden, for when die
basket contained dead things it rose aloft, and
floated over her head. But a fresh vegetable,
or the smallest living creature, induced fatigue.
She had toiled along for some distance, when
she started and suddenly stood still; for she
had nearly placed her foot upon the shadow
of the giant, which was advancing towards
her from the plain. Her eye now perceived
his monstrous bulk ; he had just bathed in the
river, and was coming out of the water. She
knew not how to avoid him. He saw her, sa-
luted her jestingly, and thrust the hand of his
shadow into her basket. With dexterity he
stole a cauliflower, an artichoke and an onion,
and raised them to his mouth. He then pro-
ceeded on his course up the stream, and left
the woman alone.
She considered whether it would not be
better to return and supply the missing vege-
tables from her own garden, and, lost in these
reflections, she went on her way until she ar-
rived at the bank of the river. She sat down
and awaited for a long time the arrival of the
ferryman. He appeared at length, having in
54


his boat a traveller whose air was mysterious.
A handsome youth, of noble aspect, stepped
on shore.
What have you brought with you? said
the old man.
The vegetables, replied the woman,
which the will-o-the-wisps owe you, point-
ing to the contents of her basket.
But when he found that there were but two
of each kind he became angry and refused to
take them.
The woman implored him to relent, assuring
him that she could not then return home, as
she had found her burden heavy, and she had
still a long way to go. But he was obstinate,
maintaining that the decision did not depend
upon him.
I am obliged to collect my gains for nine
hours, said he, and I can keep nothing for
myself till I have paid a third part to the
river.
At length, after much contention, he told ,
her there was still a remedy. j
If you give security to the river, and ac-
knowledge your debt, I will take the six arti-
cles; though such a course is not devoid of
danger.
But if I keep my word I incur no risk,
she said, earnestly.
Not the least, he replied. Thrust your
hand into the river, and promise that within
four-and-twenty hours you will pay the debt.
The old woman complied, but shuddered as
she observed that her hand, on drawing it out
of the water, had become as black as a coal.
She scolded angrily, exclaiming that her hands
had always been most beautiful, and that, not-
withstanding her hard work, she had ever kept
them white and delicate. She gazed at her
hand with the greatest alarm, and exclaimed,
'This is still worse: it has shrunk, and is
already much smaller than the other.
It only appears so now, said the ferry-
man ; but if you break your word it will be
so in reality. Your hand will in that case
grow smaller, and finally disappear, though
you will still preserve the use of it.
I would rather, she replied, 'lose it al-
together, and that my misfortune should be
concealed. But no matter; I will keep my
word, to escape this black disgrace, and avoid
so much anxiety. Whereupon she took her
basket, which rose aloft and floated freely over
her head. She hastened after the youth, who
was walking thoughtfully along the bank. His
noble figure and peculiar attire had made a
; deep impression upon her mind.
His breast was covered with a shining cui-
rass, whose transparency permitted the mo-
tions of his graceful form to be seen. From
his shoulders hung a purple mantle, and his
auburn locks waved in beautiful curls round
his uncovered head. His noble countenance
and his well-turned feet were exposed to the
burning rays of the sun. 'Thus did he journey
patiently over the hot sand, which, true to
one sorrow, he trod without feeling.
The garrulous old woman sought to engage
him in conversation, but he heeded her not,
or answered briefly; until, notwithstanding
his beauty, she became weary, and took leave
of him, saying, You are too slow for me,
sir, and I cannot lose my time, as I am
anxious to cross the river with the assistance
of the green dragon, and to present the beau-
tiful Lily with my husbands handsome pres-
55


ent. So saying, she left him speedily, upon
which the youth took heart and followed her
without delay.
You are going to the beautiful Lily. he
exclaimed ; if so, our way lies together. What
present are you taking her?
Sir, answered the woman, it is not fair
that you should so earnestly inquire after my
secrets, when you paid so little attention to my
questions. But if you will relate your history
to me I will tell you all about my present.
They made the bargain; the woman told
her story, including the account of the dog,
and allowed him to view the beautiful onyx.
He lifted the beautiful precious stone from
the basket, and took Mops, who seemed to
slumber softly, in his arms.
Fortunate animal! he exclaimed, you
will be touched by her soft hands and restored
to life, in place of flying from her contact,
like all other living things, to escape an evil
doom. But, alas what words are these ? Is
it not a sadder and more fearful fate to be an-
nihilated by her presence, than to die by her
hand ? Behold me, thus young, what a mel-
ancholy destiny is mine This armor which
I have borne with glory in the battle-broil,
this purple which I have earned by the wisdom
of my government, have been converted by
Fate, the one into an unceasing burden, the
other into an empty honor. Crown, sceptre
and sword are worthless. I am now as naked
and destitute as every other son of clay. For
such is the spell of her beautiful blue eyes,
that they waste the vigor of every living crea-
ture ; and those whom the contaCt of her hand
does not destroy are reduced to the condition
of breathing shadows.
Thus he lamented long, but without satisfy-
ing the curiosity of the old woman, who sought
information respecting his mental no less than
his bodily sufferings. She learned neither the
name of his father nor his kingdom. He
stroked the rigid Mops, to whom the beams
of the sun and the caresses of the youth had
imparted warmth. He inquired earnestly
about the man with the lamp, about the effeCt
of the mysterious light, and seemed to expeCt
thence a relief from his deep sorrow.
So discoursing, they observed at a distance
the majestic arch of the bridge, which stretched
from one bank of the river to the other, and
shone splendidly in the beams of the sun.
Both were astonished at the sight, as they had
never before seen it so resplendent.
How! cried the prince, was it not
56
sufficiently beautiful before, with its decora-
tions of jasper and opal ? Can we now dare
to cross over it, constructed as it is of emerald
and chrysolite of varied beauty?
Neither had any idea of the change which
the dragon had undergone; for, in truth, it
was the dragon, whose custom it was at mid-
day to arch her form across the stream and
assume the appearance of a beauteous bridge,
which travellers crossed with silent reverence.
Scarcely had they reached the opposite
bank when the bridge began to sway from
side to side, and gradually sank to the level
of the water, when the green dragon assumed
her accustomed shape, and followed the trav-
ellers to the shore. The latter thanked her
for her condescension in allowing them a pas-
sage across the stream, observing at the same
time that there were evidently more persons
present than were actually visible. They
heard a light whispering, which the dragon
answered with a similar sound. They listened
and heard the following words: We will first
make our observations unperceived, in the
park of the beautiful Lily, and look for you
when the shadows of evening fall, to introduce
us to such perfeCt beauty. You will find us
on the bank of the great lake.
Agreed, answered the dragon, and her
hissing voice dissolved in the distance.
Our three travellers further consulted with
what regard to precedence they should appear
before the beautiful Lily; for, let her visitors
be ever so numerous, they must enter and de-
part singly if they wished to escape bitter suf-
fering.
The woman, carrying in the basket the
transformed dog, came first to the garden
and sought an interview with her benefaClress.
She was easily found, as she was then singing
to her harp. The sweet tones showed them-
selves first in the form of circles upon the
bosom of the calm lake, and then, like a soft
breeze, they imparted motion to the grass and
to the tremulous leaves. She was seated in a
secluded nook beneath the shade of trees, and
at the very first glance she enchanted the eyes,
the ear and the heart of the old woman, who
advanced towards her with rapture, and pro-
tested that since their last meeting she had
become more beautiful than ever. Even from
a distance she saluted the charming maiden
in these words: What joy to be in your
presence! What a heaven surrounds you!
What a spell proceeds from your lyre, which,
encircled by your soft arms, and influenced


by the pressure of your gentle bosom and
slender fingers, utters such entrancing melody !
Thrice happy the blessed youth who could
claim so great a favor !
So saying, she approached nearer. The
beautiful Lily raised her eyes, let her hands
drop, and said, Do not distress me with
your untimely praise; it makes me feel even
more unhappy. And see, here is my beauti-
ful canary dead at my feet, which used to
accompany my songs so sweetly; he was ac-
customed to sit upon my harp, and was care-
fully instructed to avoid my touch. This
morning, when, refreshed by sleep, I tuned a
pleasant melody, the little warbler sang with
increased harmony, when suddenly a hawk
soared above us. My little bird sought refuge
in my bosom, and at that instant I felt the
last grasp of his expiring breath. It is true
that the hawk, struck by my instantaneous
glance, fell lifeless into the stream; but what
avails this penalty to me?my darling is
dead, and his grave will but add to the num-
ber of the weeping willows in my garden.
Take courage, beautiful Lily, inter-
rupted the old woman, whilst at the same
moment she wiped away a rising tear which
the narration of the sorrowful maiden had
415
57


brought to her eye take courage, and learn
from my experience to moderate your grief.
Great misfortune is often the harbinger of
intense joy. For the time approaches; but,
in truth, continued she, the web of life
is of a mingled yarn. See my hand, how
black it has grown, and, in truth, it has be-
come much diminished in size; I must be
speedy before it be reduced to nothing. Why
did I promise favors to the will-o-the-wisps,
or meet the giant, or dip my hand into the
river? Can you oblige me with a cauliflower,
an artichoke, or an onion? 1 shall take them
to the river, and then my hand will become
so white that it will almost equal the lustre
of your own.
Cauliflowers and onions abound, but arti-
chokes cannot be procured. My garden pro-
duces neither flowers nor fruit; but every
twig which I plant upon the grave of anything
I love bursts into leaf at once and grows a
goodly tree. Thus, beneath my eye, alas !
have grown these clustering trees and copses.
These tall pines, these shadowing cypresses,
these mighty oaks, these overhanging beeches,
were once small twigs planted by my hand,
as sad memorials in an ungenial soil.
The old woman paid but little attention to
this speech, but was employed in watching
her hand, which in the presence of the beauti-
ful Lily became every instant of a darker hue
and grew gradually less. She was about to
take her basket and depart, when she felt that
she had forgotten the most important of her
duties. She took the transformed dog in her
arms and laid him upon the grass, not far
from the beautiful Lily. My husband,
she said, sends you this present. You know
that your touch can impart life to this precious
stone. The good and faithful animal will be
a joy to you, and my grief at losing him will
be alleviated by the thought that he is yours.
The beautiful Lily looked at the pretty
creature with delight, and rapture beamed
from her eyes. Many things combine to-
gether to inspire hope; but, alas is it not a
delusion of our nature to expecfl that joy is
near when grief is at the worst?
Ah what avail these omens all so fair ?
My sweet birds deatlimy friends hands blackly dyed,
And Mops transformed into a jewel rare,
Sent by the lamp our faltering steps to guide.
Far from mankind and every joy I prize,
To grief and sorrow I am still allied
When from the river will the temple rise,
Or the bridge span it oer from side to side ?
The old woman waited with impatience for
the conclusion of the song, which the beauti-
ful Lily had accompanied with her harp, en-
trancing the ears of every listener. She was
about to say farewell, when the arrival of the
dragon compelled her to remain. She had
heard the last words of the song, and on this
account spoke words of encouragement to the
beautiful Lily. The prophecy of the bridge
is fulfilled, she exclaimed; this good woman
will bear witness how splendidly the arch now
appears. Formerly of untransparent jasper,
which only reflected the light upon the sides,
it is now converted into precious jewels of
transparent hue. No beryl is so bright, and
no emerald so splendid.
I congratulate you thereupon, said the
Lily ; but pardon me if I doubt whether the
prediction is fulfilled. Only foot-passengers
can as yet cross the arch of your bridge ; and
it has been foretold that horses and carriages,
travellers of all descriptions, shall pass and
repass in mingled multitudes. Is prediction
silent with respect to the mighty pillars which
are to ascend from the river?
The old woman, whose eyes were fixed
immovably upon her hand, interrupted this
speech and bade farewell.
Wait for one moment, said the beautiful
Lily, and take my poor canary-bird with
you. Implore the lamp to convert him into
a topaz, and I will then reanimate him with
my touch, and he and your good Mops will
then be my greatest consolation. But make
what speed you can, for with sunset decay
will have commenced its withering influence,
marring the beauty of its delicate form.
The old woman enveloped the little corpse
in some soft young leaves, placed it in the
basket, and hastened from the spot.
Notwithstanding what you say, con-
tinued the dragon, resuming the interrupted
conversation, the temple is built.
But it does not yet stand upon the river,
replied the beautiful Lily.
It rests still in the bowels of the earth,
continued the dragon. I have seen the
kings and spoken to them.
And when will they awake? inquired
the Lily.
The dragon answered, I heard the mighty
voice resound through the temple announcing
that the hour was come.
A ray of joy beamed from the countenance
of the beautiful Lilyas she exclaimed, Do
I hear those words for the second time to-day?
53


When will. the hour arrive in which I shall
hear them for the third time?
She rose, and immediately a beautiful
maiden came from the wood and relieved her
of her harp. She was followed by another,
who took the ivory chair upon which the
beautiful Lily had been seated, folded it to-
gether, and carried it away, together with the
silver-tissued cushion. The third maiden, who
bore in her hand a fan inlaid with pearls, ap-
proached to tender her services if they should
be needed. These three maidens were lovely
beyond description, though they were com-
pelled to acknowledge that their charms fell
far short of those of their beautiful mistress.
The beautiful Lily had, in the meantime,
surveyed the marvellous Mops with a look of
pleasure. She leaned over him and touched
him. He instantly leaped up, looked round
joyously, bounded with delight, hastened to
his benefactress, and caressed her tenderly.
She took him in her arms and pressed him to
her bosom. Cold though thou art, she
said, and endued with only half a life, yet
art thou welcome to me. I will love thee
fondly, play with thee sportively, kiss thee
softly, and press thee to my heart. She let
him go a little from her, called him back,
chased him away again and played with him
so joyously and innocently that no one could
help sympathizing in her delight and taking
part in her pleasure, as they had before shared
her sorrow and her woe.
But this happiness and this pleasant pastime
were interrupted by the arrival of the melan-
choly youth. His walk and appearance were
as we have befox-e described; but he seemed
ovei'come by the heat of the day, and the
presence of his beloved had rendered him
perceptibly paler. He bore the hawk upon
his wrist, where it sat with drooping wing as
tranquil as a dove.
It is not well, exclaimed the Lily, that
you should vex my eyes with that odious bird,
which has only this day murdered my little
favorite.
Blame not the luckless bird, exclaimed
the youth: lather condemn yourself and
fate; and let me find an associate in this com-
panion of my grief.
Mops, in the meantime, was incessant in his
caresses; and the Lily responded to his affec-
tion with the most gentle tokens of love. She
clapped her hands to drive him away, and
then sportively pursued to win him back. She
caught him in her arms as he tried to escape,
and chased him from her when he sought to
nestle in her lap. The youth looked on in
silence and in sorrow ; but when at length she
took him in her arms, and pressed him to her
snowy breast, and kissed him with her heavenly
lips, he lost all patience, and exclaimed, in
the depth of his despair, And must I, then,
whom sad destiny compels to live in your
presence, and yet be separated from you, per-
haps forevermust I, who for you have for-
feited everything, even my own beingmust
I look on and behold this defect of nature
gain your notice, win your love, and enjoy the
paradise of your embrace? Must I continue
to wander and measure my solitary way along
the banks of this stream ? No a spark of my
former spirit still burns within my bosom.
Oh, that it would mount into a glorious flame !
If stones may repose within your bosom, then
let me be converted to a stone; and, if your
touch can kill, I am content to receive my
death at your hands.
He became violently excited; the hawk
flew from his wrist; he rushed towards the
beautiful Lily ; she extended her arms to for-
bid his approach, and touched him undesign-
edly. His consciousness immediately forsook
him, and with dismay she felt the beautiful
burden lean for support upon her breast. She
started back with a scream, and the fair youth
sank lifeless from her arms to the earth.
The deed was done. The sweet Lily stood
motionless, and gazed intently on the breath-
less corpse. Her heart ceased to beat, and
her eyes were bedewed with tears. In vain
did Mops seek to win her attention : the whole
world had died out with her lost friend. Her
dumb despair sought no help, for help was
now in vain.
But the dragon became immediately more
a6tive. Her mind seemed occupied with
thoughts of rescue; and, in truth, her myste-
rious movements prevented the immediate
consequence of this dire misfortune. She
wound her serpentine form in a wide circle
round the spot where the body lay, seized the
end of her tail between her teeth, and remained
motionless.
In a few moments one of the servants of the
beautiful Lily approached, carrying the ivory
chair, and with friendly enti*eaties compelled
her mistress to be seated. Then came a sec-
ond, bearing a flame-colored veil, with which
she rather adorned than covered the head of
the Lily. A third maiden offered her the
harp, and scarcely had she struck the chords,
59


and awakened their delicious tones, than the ]
first maiden returned, having in her hands a
circular mirror of lustrous brightness, placed
herself opposite the Lily, intercepted her
looks, and reflected the most enchanting coun-
tenance which nature could fashion. Her
sorrow added lustre to her beauty, her veil
heightened her charms, the harp lent her a
new grace, and, though it was impossible not
to hope that her sad fate might soon undergo
a change, one could almost wish that that
lovely and enchanting vision might last for-
ever.
Silently gazing upon the mirror, she drew
melting tones of music from her harp; but her
sorrow appeared to increase, and the chords
responded to her melancholy mood. Once or
twice she opened her sweet lips to sing, but
her voice refused utterance; whereupon her
grief found refuge in tears. Her two attend-
ants supported her in their arms, and her harp
fell from her hands, but the watchful attention
of her handmaid caught it and laid it aside.
Who will fetch the man with the lamp?
whispered the dragon, in low but audible voice.
The maidens looked at each other, and the
Lilys tears fell faster.
At this instant the old woman with the bas-
ket returned breathless with agitation. I
am lost and crippled for life, she exclaimed.
Look my hand is nearly withered. Neither
the ferryman nor the giant would set me across
the river, because I am indebted to the stream.
In vain did I tempt them with a hundred
cauliflowers and a hundred onions; they in-
sist upon the stipulated three, and not an arti-
choke can be found in this neighborhood.
Forget your distress, said the dragon,
and give your assistance here ; perhaps you
will be relieved at the same time. Hasten,
and find out the will-o-the-wisps, for, though
you cannot see them by daylight, you may
perhaps hear their laughter and their motions.
If you make good speed the giant may yet
transport you across the river, and you may
find the man with the lamp and send him
hither.
The old woman made as much haste as pos-
sible, and the dragon as well as the Lily
evinced impatience for her return. But, sad
to say, the golden rays of the setting sun were
shedding their last beams upon the highest
tops of the trees, and lengthening the moun-
tain shadows over lake and meadow. The
60


motions of the dragon showed increased im-
patience, and the Lily was dissolved in tears.
In this moment of distress the dragon looked
anxiously around; she feared every instant
that the sun would set, and that decay would
penetrate within the magic circle, and exert
its fell influence upon the corpse of the beau-
tiful youth. She looked into the heavens and
caught sight of the purple wings and breast of
the hawk, which were illumined by the last
rays of the sun.' Her restlessness betrayed her
joy at the good omen, and she was not de-
ceived, for instantly afterwards she saw the
man with the lamp sliding across the lake as
if his feet had been furnished with skates.
The dragon did not alter her position, but
the Lily, rising from her seat, exclaimed,
What good spirit has sent you thus oppor-
tunely, when you are so much longed for and
required ?
The spirit of my lamp impels me, replied
the old man, and the hawk conducts me
hither. The former flickers when I am needed,
and I immediately look to the heavens for a
sign, when some bird or meteor points the
way which I should go. Be tranquil, beauti-
ful maiden; I know not if I can help you;
one alone can do but little, but he can avail
who in the proper hour unites his strength
with others. We must wait and hope. Then,
turning to the dragon, he said, Keep your
circle closed; and, seating himself upon a
hillock at his side, he shed a light upon the
corpse of the youth. Now bring the little
canary-bird, he continued, and lay it also
within the circle.
The maiden took the little creature from
the basket and followed the directions of the
old man.
The sun had set in the meantime, and as the
shades of evening closed around not only the
dragon and the lamp cast their customary
light, but the veil of the Lily was illumined
with a soft brilliancy, and caused her pale
cheeks and her white robe to beam like the
dawn of morning, and clothed her with inex-
pressible grace. Her appearance gave birth
to various emotions ; anxiety and sorrow were
softened by hope of approaching happiness.
To the delight of all, the old woman ap-
peared with the lively will-o-the-wisps, who
must have led a prodigal life of late, for they
looked wonderfully thin; but, nevertheless,
behaved most politely to the princess and to
the other young ladies. With an air of confi-
dence, and much force of expression, they
| discoursed upon ordinary topics; and they
I were much struck by the charm which the
shining veil shed over the beautiful Lily and
: her companions. The young ladies cast down
: their eyes with modest looks, and their beauty
i was heightened by the flattery which they
heard. Every one was happy and contented,
; not excepting even the old woman. Notwith-
' standing the assurance of her husband that her
hand would not continue to wither whilst the
lamp shone upon it, she continued to assert
that if things went on thus it would disappear
entirely before midnight.
The old man with the lamp had listened
attentively to the speech of the will-o-the-
i wisps, and was charmed to observe that the
I beautiful Lily was pleased and flattered with
; their compliments. In very truth, midnight
i came before they were aware. The old man
J looked up to the stars, and thus spoke: We
are met at a fortunate hour: let each fulfil his
office, let each discharge his duty, and a gen-
eral happiness will alleviate one individual
trouble, as a universal sorrow lessens particular
joys.
After these observations, a mysterious mur-
mur arose; for every one present spoke for
himself, and mentioned what he had to do:
the three maidens alone were silent. One
had fallen asleep near the harp, the other be-
side the fan, and the third leaning against the
ivory chair; and no one could blame them,
for, in truth, it was late. The will-o-the-
wisps, after paying some trivial compliments
to the other ladies, including even the attend-
ants, attached themselves finally to the Lily,
by whose beauty they were attracted.
Take the mirror, said the old man to the
hawk, and illumine the fair sleepers with the
first beams of the sun, and rouse them from
their slumbers by the light refledted from
heaven.
The dragon now began to move: she broke
up the circle, and retreated with strange evo-
lutions to the river. The will-o-the-wisps
followed her in solemn procession, and they
might have been mistaken for the most serious
personages. The old woman and her husband
took up the basket, the soft light from which
had been hitherto scarcely observed; but it
now became clearer and more brilliant. They
laid the body of the youth within it, with the
canary-bird reposing upon his breast, upon
which the basket raised itself into the air and
floated over the head of the old woman, and
j she followed the steps of the will-o-the-wisps.
416
61


The beautiful Lily, taking Mops in her arms,
walked after the old woman, and the man
with the lamp closed the procession.
The whole neighborhood was brilliantly
illuminated with all these various lights.
They all observed with astonishment, on ap-
proaching the river, that it was spanned by a
majestic arch, by which means the benevolent
dragon had prepared them a lustrous passage
across. The transparent jewels of which the
bridge was composed were objects of no less
astonishment by day than was their wondrous
brilliancy by night. The clear arch above
cut sharply against the dark heaven, whilst
vivid rays of light beneath shone against the
keystone, revealing the firm pliability of the
structure. The procession moved slowly over,
and the ferryman, who witnessed the proceed-
ing from his hut, surveyed the brilliant arch
with awe, no less than the wondrous lights as
they journeyed across it.
As soon as they had reached the opposite
bank, the bridge began to contract as usual,
and sink to the surface of the water. The
dragon made her way to the shore, and the
basket descended to the ground. The dragon
now once more assumed a circular shape, and
the old man, bowing before her, asked what
she had determined to do.
To sacrifice myself before I am made a
sacrifice; only promise me that you will leave
no stone on the land.
The old man promised, and then addressed
the beautiful Lily thus: Touch the dragon
with your left hand, and your lover with your
right.
The beautiful Lily knelt down and laid her
hands upon the dragon and the corpse. In an
instant the latter became endued with life:
he moved, and then sat upright. The Lily
wished to embrace him, but the old man held
her back, and assisted the youth whilst he led
him beyond the limits of the circle.
The youth stood ere<5t, the little canary flut-
tered upon his shoulder, but his mind was not
yet restored. His eyes were open, but he saw,
at least he appeared to look on everything
with indifference. Scarcely was the wonder
at this circumstance appeased, than the change
which the dragon had undergone excited at-
tention. Her beautiful and slender form was
converted into thousands and thousands of
precious stones. The old woman, in the effort
to seize her basket, had struck unintentionally
against the dragon, after which nothing more
was seen of the figure of the latter. Only a
heap of brilliant jewels lay in the grass. The
old man immediately set to work to colledt
them into his basket, a task in which he was
assisted by his wife; they both then carried
the basket to an elevated spot on the bank,
when he cast the entire contents into the
stream, not however without the opposition
of his wife and of the beautiful Lily, who
would willingly have appropriated a portion
of the treasure to themselves. The jewels
gleamed in the rippling waters like brilliant
stars, and were carried away by the stream,
and none can say whether they disappeared
in the distance or sank to the bottom.
Young gentlemen, then said the old
man, respectfully, to the will-o-the-wisps, I
will now point out your path and lead the
way, and you will render us the greatest ser-
vice by opening the doors of the temple
through which we must enter, and which you
alone can unlock.
The will-o-the-wisps bowed politely, and
took their post in the rear. The man with
the lamp advanced first into the rocks, which
opened of their own accord; the youth fol-
lowed with apparent indifference; with silent
uncertainty the beautiful Lily lingered slowly
behind; the old woman, unwilling to be left
alone, followed after, stretching out her hand
that it might receive the rays of her husbands
lamp; the procession was closed by the will-
o-the-wisps, and their bright flames nodded
and blended with each other as if they were
engaged in aClive conversation. They had
not gone far before they came to a large brazen
gate which was fastened by a golden lock.
The old man thereupon sought the assistance
of the will-o-the-wisps, who did not want to
be entreated, but at once introduced their
pointed flames into the lock, when the wards
yielded to their influence. The brass re-
sounded as the doors flew wide asunder, and
displayed the venerable statues of the kings
illuminated by the advancing lights. Each
individual in turn bowed to the reverend po-
tentates with respedl, and the will-o-the-
wisps were prodigal of their lambent saluta-
tions.
After a short pause the golden king asked,
Whence do you come?
From the world, answered the old man.
And whither are you going? inquired
the silver king.
Back to the world, was the answer.
And what do you wish with us? asked
the brazen king.
62


'Ain QNV HAjflOA 3HX
a3izsi39 -a :isiiav


The German Emigrants.
To accompany you, responded the old
man.
The fourth king was about to speak, when
the golden statue thus addressed the will-o-
the-wisps, who had advanced towards him,
Depart from me, my gold is not for you.
They then turned towards the silver king,
and his apparel assumed the golden hue of
their yellow flames. You are welcome, he
said; but I cannot feed you; satisfy your-
selves elsewhere, and then bring me your
light.
They departed, and stealing unobserved
past the brazen king, they attached them-
selves to the king composed of various metals.
Who will rule the world? inquired the
latter in inarticulate tones.
He who stands erect, answered the old
man.
That is I, replied the king.
Then it will be revealed, said the old
man ; for the time is come.
The beautiful Lily fell upon his neck and
kissed him tenderly. 'Kind father, she
said, a thousand thanks for allowing me to
hear this comforting word for the third time,
and so saying, she felt compelled to grasp the
old mans arm, for the earth began to tremble
beneath them; the old woman and the youth
clung to each other, whilst the pliant will-o-
the-wisps felt not the slightest inconvenience.
It was evident that the whole temple was in
motion, and like a ship which pursues its
quiet way from the harbor when the anchor is
raised, the depths of the earth seemed to open
before it, whilst it clove its way through. It
encountered no obstacleno rock opposed its
progress. Presently a very fine rain pene-
trated through the cupola. The old man con-
tinued to support the beautiful Lily, and whis-
pered, We are now under the river, and
shall soon attain the goal. Presently they
thought the motion ceased, but they were de-
ceived, the temple still moved onwards. A
strange sound was now heard above them;
beams and broken rafters burst in disjointed
fragments through the opening of the cupola.
The Lily and the old woman retreated in
alarm; the man with the lamp stood by the
youth and encouraged him to remain. The
ferrymans little hut had been ploughed.from
the ground by the advance of the temple,
and, in its gradual fall, buried the youth and
the old man.
The women screamed in alarm, and the
temple shook like a vessel which strikes upon
a hidden rock. Anxiously the women wan-
dered round the hut in darkness; the doors
were shut, and no one answered to their knock-
ing. They continued to knock more loudly,
when at last the wood began to ring with
; sounds; the magic power of the lamp, which
was enclosed within the hut, changed it into
silver, and presently its very form was altered,
for the noble metal, refusing to assume the
form of planks, posts and rafters, was con-
verted into a glorious building of artistic
workmanship; it seemed as if a smaller temple
had grown up within the large one, or at least
an altar worthy of its beauty.
The noble youth ascended a staircase in the
interior, whilst the man with the lamp shed
light upon his way, and another figure lent
i him support, clad in a short white garment
1 and holding in his hand a silver rudder; it
j was easy to recognize the ferryman, the former
| inhabitant of the transformed hut.
The beautiful Lily ascended the outward
steps, which led from the temple to the altar,
but was compelled to remain separated from
her lover. The old woman, whose hand con-
tinued to grow smaller whilst the light of the
lamp was obscured, exclaimed, Am I still
j doomed to be unhappy amid so many mira-
cles? Will no miracle restore my hand?
Her husband pointed to the open door, ex-
| claiming, See, the day dawns; hasten and
j bathe in the river.
What advice! she answered; shall I
not become wholly black and dissolve into
nothing, for I have not yet discharged my
debt ?
Be silent, said the old man, and fol-
low me ; all debts are wiped away.
The old woman obeyed, and in the same
instant the light of the rising sun shone upon
the circle of the cupola. Then the old man,
advancing between the youth and the maiden,
exclaimed with a loud voice, Three things
have sway upon the earthwisdom, appear-
ance and power.
At the sound of the first word the golden
i king arose; at the sound of the second, the
silver king; and the brazen king had risen at
the sound of the third, when the fourth sud-
denly sunk awkwardly to the earth. The
will-o-the-wisps, who had been busily em-
ployed upon him till this moment, now re-
treated ; though paled by the light of the
morning, they seemed in good condition and
sufficiently brilliant, for they had with much
dexterity extradled the gold from the veins
63


The German Emigrants.

of the colossal statue with their sharp-pointed
tongues. The irregular spaces which were j
thus displayed remained for some time ex- j
posed, and the figure preserved its previous
form; but when at length the most secret ;
veins of gold had been extracted, the statue ;
suddenly fell with a crash, and formed a mass .
of shapeless ruins. |
The man with the lamp conducted the ,
youth, whose eye was still fixed upon vacancy, '
from the altar towards the brazen king. At ;
the foot of the mighty monarch lay a sword
in a brazen sheath. The youth bound it to
his side. Take the weapon in your left
hand and keep the right hand free, exclaimed
the king.
They then advanced to the silver monarch,
who bent his sceptre towards the youth; the
latter seized it with his left hand, and the
king addressed him in soft accents, Feed
my sheep.
When they reached the statue of the golden
king, with paternal benediction the latter
pressed the oaken garland on the head of the
youth, and said, Acknowledge the highest.
The old man had, during this proceeding,
watched the youth attentively. After he had
girded on the sword his breast heaved, his
arm was firmer, and his step more erect; and
after he had touched the sceptre his sense of :
power appeared to soften, and, at the same
time, by an inexpressible charm, to become
more mighty; but when his waving locks were
adorned with the oaken garland, his counte-
nance became animated, his soul beamed from
his eye, and the first word he uttered was
Lily!
Dear Lily, he exclaimed, as he hastened
to ascend the silver stairs, for she had observed
his progress from the altar where she stood
dear Lily, what can man desire more blessed
than the innocence and the sweet affe6tion
which your love brings me ? Oh, my friend !
he continued, turning to the old man and \
pointing to the three sacred statues, secure j
and glorious is the kingdom of our fathers, j
but you have forgotten to enumerate that j
fourth power, which exercises an earlier, more '
universal, and certain rule over the world
the power of love.
With these words he flung his arms round
the neck of the beautiful maiden; she had
cast aside her veil, and her cheeks were tinged j
with a blush of the sweetest and most inex-
pressible beauty.
The old man now observed, with a smile,
Love does not rule, but controls, and that
is better.
During all this delight and enchantment no
one had observed that the sun was now high
in heaven, and through the open gates of the
temple most unexpected objects were per-
ceived. An empty space, of large dimen-
sions, was surrounded by pillars and termi-
nated by a long and splendid bridge, whose
many arches stretched across the river. On
each side was a footpath, wide and convenient
for passengers, of whom many thousands were
busily employed in crossing over; the wide
road in the centre was crowded with flocks
and herds, and horsemen and carriages, and
all streamed over without impeding each
others progress. All were in raptures at the
union of convenience and beauty; and the
new king and his spouse were as much charmed
with the animation and activity of this great
concourse as they were with their own recip-
rocal love.
Honor the dragon, said the man with
the lamp; to her you are indebted for life,
and your people for the bridge whereby these
neighboring shores are animated and con-
nected. Those shining precious stones which
still float by are the remains of her self-sacri-
fice, and form the foundation-stones of this
glorious bridge, upon which she has erected
herself to subsist forever.
The approach of four beautiful maidens,
who advanced to the door of the temple,
prevented any inquiry into this wonderful
mystery. Three of them were recognized as
the attendants of the beautiful Lily, by the
harp, the fan, and the ivory chair; but the
fourth, though more beautiful than the other
three, was a stranger; she, however, played
with the others with sisterly sportiveness, ran
with them through the temple, and ascended
the silver stairs.
Thou dearest of creatures ! said the man
with the lamp, addressing the beautiful Lily,
you will surely believe me for the future.
Happy for thee, and every other creature who
shall bathe this morning in the waters of the
river !
The old woman, who had been transformed
into a beautiful young girl, and of whose
former appearance no trace remained, em-
braced the man with the lamp with tender
caresses, which he returned with affedtion.
If I am too old for you, he said, with
a smile, you may to-day seleCt another
bridegroom; for no tie can henceforth be


considered binding which is not this day re-
newed.
But are you not aware that you also have
become young? she inquired.
I am delighted to hear it, he replied.
If I appear to you to be a gallant youth, I
take your hand anew and hope for a thousand
years of happiness to come.
The queen welcomed her new friend, and
advanced with her and the rest of her com-
panions to the altar, whilst the king, sup-
ported by the two men, pointed to the bridge
and surveyed with wonder the crowd of pas-
sengers; but his joy was soon overshadowed
by observing an objeCt which gave him pain.
The giant, who had just awakened from his
morning sleep, stumbled over the bridge and
gave rise to the greatest confusion. He was,
as usual, but half awake, and had risen with
the intention of bathing in the neighboring
cove, but he stumbled, instead upon firm land,
and found himself feeling his way upon the
broad highway of the bridge. And whilst he
went clumsily along in the midst of men and
animals, his presence, though a matter of as-
tonishment to all, was felt by none; but when
the sun shone in his eyes, and he raised his
hand to shade them, the shadow of his enor-
mous fist fell amongst the crowd with such
careless violence that both men and animals
huddled together in promiscuous confusion,
and either sustained personal injury or ran
the risk of being driven into the water.
The king, observing this calamity, with an
involuntary movement placed his hand upon
his sword; but, upon reflection, turned his
eyes upon his sceptre, and then upon the lamp
and the rudder of his companions.
I guess your thought, said the man with
the lamp ; but we are powerless against this
monster. Be tranquil; he injures for the last
time, and happily his shadow is turned from
us.
In the meantime the giant had approached,
and overpowered with astonishment at what
he saw, his hands sunk down, became power-
less for injury, and gazing with surprise he
entered the courtyard.
In imagination he was ascending towards
heaven, when he felt himself suddenly fast
bound to the earth. He stood like a colossal
pillar constructed of red shining stones, and
his shadow indicated the hours which were
marked in a circle on the ground, not how-
ever in figures, but in noble and significant
effigies.
417
65


The king was not a little delighted to see
the shadow of the monster rendered harmless;
and the queen was not less astonished, as she
advanced from the altar with her maidens, all
adorned with the greatest magnificence, to
observe the strange wonder which almost cov-
ered the whole prospect from the temple to
the bridge.
In the meantime the people had crowded
after the giant, and, surrounding him as he
stood still, had observed his transformation
with the utmost awe. They bent their steps
then towards the temple, of the existence of
which they now seemed to be for the first time
aware, and thronged the doorways.
The hawk was now observed aloft, towering
over the building, and carrying the mirror,
with which he caught the light of the sun and
turned the rays upon the multifarious group
which stood around the altar. The king, the
queen and their attendants, illumined by the
beam from heaven, appeared beneath the dim
arches of the temple ; their subjedts fell pros-
trate before them. When they had recovered,
and had risen again, the king and his attend-
ants had descended to the altar, in order to
reach his palace by a less obstructed path, and
the people dispersed through the temple to
satisfy their curiosity. They beheld with as-
tonishment the three kings, who stood erect,
and they were all anxiety to know what could
be concealed behind the curtain in the fourth
niche; since whatever kindness might have
prompted the deed, a thoughtful discretion
had extended a costly covering over the ruins
of the fallen king, which no eye cared to
penetrate and no profane hand dared to up-
lift.
There was no end to the astonishment and
wonder of the people; and the dense throng
would have been crushed in the temple if their
attention had not been attracted once more to
the court without.
To their great surprise, a shower of gold
pieces fell as if from the air, resounding upon
the marble pavement, and caused a contest
and commotion amongst the passers-by. Sev-
eral times this wonder was repeated in differ-
ent places, at some distance from each other.
It is not difficult to infer that this feat was the
work of the retreating will-o-the-wisps, who,
having extracted the gold from the limbs of
the mutilated king, dispersed it abroad in this
joyous manner. The covetous crowd contin-
ued their contentions for some time longer,
pressing hither and thither, and inflicting
wounds upon each other, till the shower of
gold pieces ceased to fall. The multitude at
length dispersed gradually, each one pursuing
his own course; and the bridge, to this day,
continues to swarm with travellers, and the
temple is the most frequented in the world.
66


67


Z'7r. del. PUBLISHED BY GEORCK BARRIE (r.,Zf/t Sculp


BOOK I.
CHAPTER I.
old
the
ear-
lier
the
THE play was late in breaking up:
Barbara went more than once to
window and listened for the sound of
riages. She was waiting for Mariana,
pretty mistress, who had that night, in
afterpiece, been acling the part of a young
officer, to the no small delight of the public.
Barbaras impatience was greater than it used
to be, when she had nothing but a frugal
supper to present: on this occasion, Mariana
was to be surprised with a packet, which Nor-
berg, a young and wealthy merchant, had sent
by the post, to show that, in absence, he still
thought of his love.
As an old servant, as confidante, counsellor,
manager and housekeeper, Barbara assumed
the privilege of opening seals; and this eve-
ning she the less had been able to restrain her
curiosity, as the favor of the open-handed gal-
lant was more a matter of anxiety with herself
than with her mistress. On breaking up the
packet, she had found, with unfeigned satis-
faction, that it held a piece of fine muslin
and some ribbons of the newest fashion for
Mariana; with a quantity of calico, two or
three neckerchiefs, and a moderate rouleau of j
money, for herself. Her esteem for the absent !
Norberg was of course unbounded: she medi- \
tated only how she might best present him to
the mind of Mariana, best bring to her recol-
lection what she owed him, and what he had
a right to expeCt from her fidelity and thank-
fulness.
The muslin, with the ribbons half unrolled,
to set it off by their colors, lay like a Christ-
mas-present on the small table; the position
of the lights increased the glitter of the gift;
all was in order, when the old woman heard
Marianas step on the stairs, and hastened to
meet her. But what was her disappointment
when the little female officer, without deigning
to regard her caresses, rushed past her with
unusual speed and agitation ; threw her hat
and sword upon the table, and walked hastily
up and down, bestowing not a look on the
lights, or any portion of the apparatus !
What ails thee, my darling? exclaimed
the astonished Barbara; for Heavens sake,
what is the matter? Look here, my pretty
child See what a present! And who could
have sent it but thy kindest of friends? Nor-
berg has given thee the muslin to make a
nightgown of: he will soon be here himself;
he seems to be fonder and more generous than
ever.
Barbara went to the table, that she might
exhibit the memorials with which Norberg had
likewise honored her, when Mariana, turning
418
69


Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship.
3
away from the presents, exclaimed with vehe-
mence, Off! off! Not a word of all this
to-night! I have yielded to thee; thou hast
willed it; be it so When Norberg comes, I
am his, am thine, am any ones; make of me
what thou pleasest: but till then I will be my
own; and, if thou hadst a thousand tongues,
thou shouldst never talk me from my purpose.
All, all that is my own will I give up to him
who loves me; whom I love. No sour faces !
I will abandon myself to this affedlion, as if it
were to last forever.
The old damsel had abundance of objections
and serious considerations to allege; in the
progress of the dialogue she was growing
bitter and keen, when Mariana sprang at her,
and seized her by the breast. The old damsel
.laughed aloud. I must have a care, she
cried, that you dont get into pantaloons
again, if I mean to be sure of my life! Come,
doff you! The girl will beg my pardon for
the foolish things the boy is doing to me. Off
with the frock! Off with them all! The
dress beseems you not; it is dangerous for
you, I observe; the epaulets make you too
bold.
Thus speaking, she had laid hands upon her
mistress. Mariana pushed her off, exclaiming,
Not so fast! I expedt a visit to-night.
Visit! rejoined Barbara; you surely do
not look for Meister, the young, soft-hearted,
callow merchants son?
Just for him, replied Mariana.
Generosity appears to be growing your
ruling passion, said the old woman, with a
grin; you connedt yourself with minors and
moneyless people, as if they were the chosen
of the earth. Doubtless it is charming to be
worshipped as a benefactress.-
Jeer as thou pleasest. I love him I love
him! With what rapture do I now, for the
first time, speak the word This is the pas-
sion which I have mimicked so often, when I
knew not what it meant. Yes! I will throw
myself about his neck; I will clasp him as if
I could hold him forever. I will show him
all my love; will enjoy all his in its whole
extent.
Moderate yourself, said the old dame,
coolly; moderate yourself! A single word
will interrupt your rapture: Norberg is com-
ing Coming in a fortnight! Here is the
letter that arrived with the packet.
And, though the morrow were to rob me
of my friend, I would conceal it from myself
and him. A fortnight! An age Within a
fortnight what may not happen, what may
not alter ?
Here Wilhelm entered. We need not say
how fast she flew to meet him; with what rap-
ture he clasped the red uniform, and pressed
the beautiful wearer of it to his bosom. It is
not for us to describe the blessedness of two
lovers. Old Barbara went grumbling away:
we shall retire with her, and leave the happy
two alone.
CHAPTER II.
When Wilhelm saluted his mother, next
morning, she informed him that his father
was very greatly discontented with him, and
meant to forbid him these daily visits to the
playhouse. Though I myself often go with
pleasure to the theatre, she continued, I
could almost detest it entirely when I think
that our fireside peace is broken by your ex-
cessive passion for that amusement. Your
father is ever repeating: What is the use of
it? How can any one waste his time so?
He has already told me this, said Wil-
helm; and perhaps I answered him too
hastily: but, for Heavens sake, mother, is
nothing then of use but what immediately
puts money in our purse; but what procures
us some property that we can lay our hands
on? Had we not, for instance, room enough
in the old house; and was it indispensable to
build a new one? Does not my father every
year expend a large part of his profit in orna-
menting his chambers? Are not these silk
carpets, this English furniture, likewise of no
use? Might we not content ourselves with
worse? For my own part, I confess, these
striped walls, these hundred times repeated
flowers, and knots, and baskets, and figures,
produce a really disagreeable effedt upon me.
At best, they but remind me of the front cur-
tain of our theatre. But what a different
thing it is to sit and look at that! There, if
you must wait for a while, you are always sure
that it will rise at last, and disclose to you a
thousand curious objedts, to entertain, to in-
strudt and to exalt you.
But you go to excess with it, said the
mother; your father wishes to be entertained
in the evenings as well as you; besides, he
thinks it dissipatds your attention; and when
he grows ill-humored on the subjedt it is I
that must bear the blame. How often have I
been upbraided with that miserable puppet-
70


show, which I was unlucky enough to provide
for you at Christmas, twelve years ago It
was the first thing that put these plays into
your head.
Oh, do not blame the poor puppets; do
not repent of your love and motherly care !
It was the only happy hour I had enjoyed in
the new empty house. I never can forget that
hour; I see it still before me; I recolledl how
surprised I was, when, after we had got our
customary presents, you made us seat ourselves
before the door that leads to the other room.
The door opened; but not as formerly, to let
us pass and repass; the entrance was occupied
by an unexpedled show. Within it rose a
porch, concealed by a mysterious curtain. All
of us were standing at a distance; our eager-
ness to see what glittering or jingling article
lay hid behind the half-transparent veil was
mounting higher and higher, when you bade
us each sit down upon his stool and wait with
patience.
At length all of us were seated and silent:
a whistle gave the signal; the curtain rolled
aloft, and showed us the interior of the
Temple, painted in deep red colors. The
high-priest Samuel appeared with Jonathan,
and their strange alternating voices seemed to
me the most striking thing on earth. Shortly
after entered Saul, overwhelmed with confusion
at the impertinence of that heavy-limbed war-
rior, who had defied him and all his people.
But how glad was I when the little dapper son
of Jesse, with his crook and shepherds pouch
/i


and sling, came hopping forth and said:
£ Dread king and sovereign lord let no ones
heart sink down because of this; if your ma-
jesty will grant me leave, I will go out to
battle with this blustering giant. Here
ended the first a6t; leaving the spectators
more curious than ever to see Avhat further
would happen, each praying that the music
might soon be done. At last the curtain rose
again. David devoted the flesh of the mon-
ster to the fowls of the air and the beasts of
the field; the Philistine scorned and bullied
him, stamped mightily with both his feet, and
at length fell like a mass of clay, affording a
splendid termination to the piece. And then
the virgins sang: Saul hath slain his thou-
sands, but David his ten thousands! The
giants head was borne before his little victor,
who received the kings beautiful daughter to
wife. Yet withal, I remember, I was vexed
at the dwarfish stature of this lucky prince;
for the great Goliath and the small David had
both been formed, according to the common
notion, with a due regard to their figures and
proportions. I pray you, mother, tell me
what has now become of those puppets? I
promised to show them to a friend, whom I
was lately entertaining with a history of all
this childs work.
££I can easily conceive, said the mother,
££ how these things should stick so firmly in
your mind : I well remember what an interest
you took in them ; how you stole the little
book from me and learned the whole piece by
heart. I first noticed it one evening when
you had made a Goliath and a David of wax;
you set them both to declaim against each
other, and at length gave a deadly stab to the
giant, fixing his shapeless head, stuck upon a
large pin with a wax handle, in little Davids
hand. I then felt such a motherly content-
ment at your fine recitation and good memory
that I resolved to give you up the whole
wooden troop to your own disposal. I did
not then foresee that it would cause me so
many heavy hours.
££ Do not repent of it, said Wilhelm;
<£ this little sport has often made us happy.
So saying, he got the keys, made haste to find
the puppets, and for a moment was transported
back into those times when they almost seemed
to him dive, when he felt as if he himself
could give them life by the cunning of his
voice and the movements of his hands. He
took them to his room and locked them up
with care.
CHAPTER III.
If the first love is indeed, as I hear it every-
where maintained to be, the most delicious
feeling which the heart of man, before it or
after, can experiencethen our hero must be
reckoned doubly happy, as permitted to enjoy
the pleasure of this chosen period in all its ful-
ness. Few men are so peculiarly favored ; by
far the greater part are led by the feelings of
their youth into nothing but a school of hard-
ship, where, after a stinted and checkered
season of enjoyment, they are at length con-
strained to renounce their dearest wishes, and
to learn forever to dispense with what once
hovered before them as the highest happiness
of existence.
Wilhelms passion for that charming girl
now soared aloft on the wings of imagination :
after a short acquaintance he had gained her
affections; he found himself in possession of a
being whom with all his heart he not only
loved, but honored : for she had first appeared
before him in the flattering light of theatric
pomp, and his passion for the stage combined
itself with his earliest love for woman. His
youth allowed him to enjoy rich pleasures,
which the activity of his fancy exalted and
maintained. The situation of his mistress,
too, gave a turn to her conduct, which greatly
enlivened his emotions. The fear lest her
lover might before the time deteCt the real
state in which she stood diffused over all her
conduct an interesting tinge of anxiety and
bashfulness; her attachment to the youth was
deep; her inquietude itself appeared but to
augment her tenderness; she was the loveliest
of creatures while beside him.
When the first tumult of joy had passed, and
our friend began to look back upon his life
and its concerns, everything appeared neAv to
him ; his duties seemed holier, his inclinations
keener, his knoAvledge clearer, his talents
stronger, his purposes more decided. Accord-
ingly, he soon fell upon a plan to avoid the
reproaches of his father, to still the cares of
his mother, and at the same time to enjoy
Marianas love Avithout disturbance. Through
the day he punctually transacted his busi-
ness, commonly forbore attending the theatre,
strove to be entertaining at table in the even-
ing ; and Avhen all Avere asleep he glided softly
out into the garden, and hastened, Avrapped
up in his mantle, Avith all the feelings of Le-
an der in his bosom, to meet his mistress Avith-
out delay.
72


What is this you bring? inquired Mari-
ana, as he entered one evening with a bundle,
which Barbara, in hopes it might turn out to
be some valuable present, fixed her eyes upon
with great attention.
You will never guess, said Wilhelm.
Great was the surprise of Mariana, great the
scorn of Barbara, when the napkin being
loosened gave to view a perplexed multitude
of span-long puppets. Mariana laughed aloud
of his own grandmothers. David she thought
too small; Goliath was too large; she held
by Jonathan. She grew to manage him so
deftly, and at last to extend her caresses from
the puppet to its owner, that on this occasion,
as on others, a silly sport became the intro-
duction to happy hours.
Their soft, sweet dreams were broken in
upon by a noise which arose on the street.
Mariana called for the old dame, who, as
as Wilhelm set himself to disentangle the con-
fusion of the wires and show her each figure
by itself. Barbara glided sulkily out of the
room.
A very little thing will entertain two lovers;
and accordingly our friends this evening were
as happy as they wished to be. The little
troop was mustered ; each figure was minutely
examined and laughed at in its turn. King
Saul, with his golden crown and his black
velvet robe, Mariana did not like; he looked,
she said, too stiff and pedantic. She was far
better pleased with Jonathan, his sleek chin,
his turban, his cloak of red and yellow. She
soon got the art of turning him deftly on his
wire; she made him bow, and repeat declara-
tions of love. On the other hand, she refused
to give the least attention to the prophet Sam-
uel, though Wilhelm commended the pontifi-
cal breastplate, and told her that the taffeta
of the cassock had been taken from a gown
usual, was occupied in furbishing the change-
ful materials of the playhouse wardrobe for the
service of the piece next to be a died. Barbara
said the disturbance arose from a set of jolly
companions, who were just then sallying out
of the Italian tavern, hard by, where they had
been busy discussing fresh oysters, a cargo of
which had just arrived, and by no means
sparing their champagne.
Pity, Mariana said, that we did not
think of it in time; we might have had some
entertainment to ourselves.
It is not yet too late, said Wilhelm,
giving Barbara a louis-dor: get us what we
want; then come and take a share with us.
The old dame made speedy work ; ere long
a trimly-covered table, with a neat collation,
stood before the lovers. They made Barbara
sit with them ; they ate and drank, and en-
joyed themselves.
On such occasions there is never want of
419
73


enough to say. Mariana soon took up little
Jonathan again, and the old dame turned the
conversation upon Wilhelms favorite topic.
You were once telling us, she said, about
the first exhibition of a puppet-show on Christ-
mas Eve: I remember you were interrupted
just as the ballet was going to begin. We
have now the pleasure of a personal acquaint-
ance with the honorable company by whom
those wonderful effedls were brought about.
Oh, yes ! cried Mariana, do tell us how
it all went on, and how you felt then.
It is a fine emotion, Mariana, said the
youth, when we bethink ourselves of old
times and old harmless errors; especially if
this is at a period when we have happily gained
some elevation, from which we can look around
us and survey the path we have left behind.
It is so pleasant to think, with composure and
satisfaction, of many obstacles, which often
with painful feelings we may have regarded as
invincible; pleasant to compare what we now
are with what we then were struggling to be-
come. But I am happy above others in this
matter, that I speak to you about the past, at
a moment when I can also look forth into the
blooming country, which we are yet to wander
through together, hand in hand.
But how was it with the ballet? said
Barbara. I fear it did not quite go off as it
should have done.
I assure you, said Wilhelm, it went
off quite well. And certainly the strange ca-
perings of these Moors and Mooresses, these
shepherds and shepherdesses, these dwarfs and
dwarfesses, will never altogether leave my
recolledlion while I live. When the curtain
dropped and the door closed our little party
skipped away, frolicking as if they had been
tipsy, to their beds; for myself, however, I
remember that I could not go to sleep; still
wanting to have something told me on the
subject, I continued putting questions to every
one, and would hardly let the maid away who
had brought me up to bed.
Next morning, alas! the magic apparatus
had altogether vanished; the mysterious veil
was carried off; the door permitted us again
to go and come through it without obstruc-
tion ; the manifold adventures of the evening
had passed away, and left no trace behind.
My brothers and sisters were running up and
down with their playthings; I alone kept
gliding to and fro; it seemed to me impossible
that two bare door-posts could be all that now
remained, where the night before so much en-
chantment had displayed itself. Alas! the
man that seeks a lost love can hardly be un-
happier than I then thought myself.
A rapturous look, which he cast on Mariana,
convinced her that he was not much afraid of
ever having a misfortune such as this to strive
with.
CHAPTER IV.
My sole wish now, continued Wilhelm,
was to witness a second exhibition of the
piece. For this purpose I had recourse, by
constant entreaties, to my mother; and she
attempted in a favorable hour to persuade my
father. Her labor, however, was in vain.
My fathers principle was, that none but enjoy-
ments of rare occurrence were adequately
prized; that neither young nor old could set
a proper value on pleasures which they tasted
every day.
We might have waited long, perhaps till
Christmas returned, had not the contriver and
secret director of the spedtacle himself felt a
pleasure in repeating the display of it; partly
incited, I suppose, by the wish to produce a
brand-new harlequin expressly prepared for
the afterpiece.
A young officer of the artillery, a person
of great gifts in all sorts of mechanical con-
trivance, had served my father in many essen-
tial particulars during the building of the
house; for which, having been handsomely
rewarded, he felt desirous of expressing his
thankfulness to the family of his patron, and
so made us young ones a present of this com-
plete theatre, which, in hours of leisure, he
had already carved and painted and strung
together. It was this young man, who, with
the help of a servant, had himself managed
the puppets, disguising his voice to pronounce
their various speeches. He had no great dif-
ficulty in persuading my father, who granted,
out of complaisance to a friend, what he had
denied from conviction to his children. In
short, our theatre was again set up, some little
ones of the neighborhood were invited, and
the piece was again represented.
If I had formerly experienced the delights
of surprise and astonishment, I enjoyed on
this second occasion the pleasure of examining
and scrutinizing. How all this happened was
my present concern. That the puppets them-
selves did not speak, I had already decided;
that of themselves they did not move, I also
74


(
Y-Y Y//??sYY '


conjectured; but then how came it all to be so
pretty, and to look just as if they both spoke
and moved of themselves; and where were
the lights, and the people that managed the
deception? These enigmas perplexed me the
more, as I wished at once to be among the
enchanters and the enchanted, at once to have
a secret hand in the play, and to enjoy, as a
looker-on, the pleasure of illusion.
The piece being finished, preparations
were making for the farce; the spectators had
risen, and were all busy talking together. I
squeezed myself closer to the door, and heard,
by the rattling within, that the people were
packing up some articles. I lifted the lowest
screen and poked in my head between the posts.
As our mother noticed it, she drew me back;
but I had seen well enough, that here friends
and foes, Saul and Goliath, and whatever else
their names might be, were lying quietly
down together in a drawer; and thus my half-
contented curiosity received a fresh excitement.
To my great surprise, moreover, I had noticed
the lieutenant very diligently occupied in the
interior of the shrine. Henceforth, Jack-
pudding, however he might clatter with his
heels, could not any longer entertain me. I
sank into deep meditation; my discovery at
once made me more satisfied, and less so than
before. After a little, it first struck me that 1
yet comprehended nothing; and here I was
right; for the connection of the parts with
each other was entirely unknown to me, and
everything depends on that.
CHAPTER V.
In well-adjusted and regulated houses,
continued Wilhelm, children have a feeling
not unlike what I conceive rats and mice to '
have; they keep a sharp eye on all crevices
and holes, where they may come at any for-
bidden dainty; they enjoy it also with a fear-
ful, stolen satisfaction, which forms no small
part of the happiness of childhood.
More than any other of the young ones,
I was in the habit of looking out attentively
to see if I could notice any cupboard left
open, or key standing in its lock. The more
reverence I bore in my heart for those closed
doors, on the outside of which I had to pass
by for weeks and months, catching only a fur-
tive glance when our mother now and then
opened the consecrated place to take some-
thing from it,the quicker was I to make use
of any opportunities which the forgetfulness
of our housekeepers at times afforded me.
Among all the doors, that of the store-
room was, of course, the one I watched most
narrowly. Few of the joyful anticipations in
life can equal the feeling which I used to have,
when my mother happened to call me, that I
might help her to carry out anything, after
which I might pick up a few dried plums,
either with her kind permission, or by help of
mv own dexterity. The accumulated treasures
of this chamber took hold of my imagination
by their magnitude; the very fragrance ex-
haled by so multifarious a collection of sweet-
smelling spices produced such a craving effect
on me, that I never failed, when passing near,
to linger for a little, and regale myself at least
on the unbolted atmosphere. At length, one
Sunday morning, my mother, being hurried
by the ringing of the church-bells, forgot to
take this precious key with her on shutting
the door, and went away, leaving all the house
in a deep Sabbath stillness. No sooner had I
marked this oversight, than gliding softly once
or twice to and from the place, I at last ap-
proached very gingerly, opened the door, and
felt myself, after a single step, in immediate
contact with these manifold and long-wished-
for means of happiness. I glanced over glasses,
chests and bags, and drawers and boxes, with
a quick and doubtful eye, considering what I
ought to choose and take; turned finally to
my dear withered plums, provided myself also
with a few dried apples, and completed the
forage with an orange-chip. I was quietly re-
treating with my plunder, when some little
chests, lying piled over one another, caught
my attention; the more so, as I noticed a
wire, with hooks at the end of it, sticking
through the joint of the lid in one of them.
Full of eager hopes, I opened this singular
package; and judge of my emotions when I
found my glad world of heroes all sleeping
safe within I meant to pick out the topmost,
and, having examined them, to pull up those
below; but in this attempt the wires got very
soon entangled, and I fell into a fright and
flutter, more particularly as the cook just then
began making some stir in the kitchen, which
lay close by; so that I had nothing for it but
to squeeze the whole together the best way I
could, and to shut the chest, having stolen
from it nothing but a little written book, which
happened to be lying above, and contained
the whole drama of Goliath and David. With
75


CHAPTER VI.
this booty I made good my retreat into the
garret.
Henceforth all my stolen hours of solitude
were devoted to perusing the play, to learning i
it by heart, and picturing in thought how glo- :
rious it would be could I but get the figures, j
to make them move along with it. In idea, j
I myself became David and Goliath by turns, j
In every corner of the courtyard, of the |
stables, of the garden, under all kinds of cir- 1
cumstances, I labored to stamp the whole
piece upon my mind; laid hold of all the
charadters, and learned their speeches by
heart, most commonly, however, taking up
the parts of the chief personages, and allow-
ing all the rest to move along with them, but
as satellites, across my memory. Thus day
and night the heroic words of David, where-
with he challenged the braggart giant, Goliath
of Gath, kept their place in my thoughts. I
often muttered them to myself, while no one
gave heed to me, except my father, who, fre-
quently observing some such detached excla-
mation, would in secret praise the excellent
memory of his boy, that had retained so much
from only two recitations.
By this means, growing always bolder, I
one evening repeated almost the entire piece
before my mother, whilst I was busied in fash-
ioning some bits of wax into players. She
observed it, questioned me hard, and I con-
fessed.
By good fortune this detedlion happened
at a time when the lieutenant had himself been
expressing a wish to initiate me in the mys-
teries of the art. My mother forthwith gave
him notice of these unexpected talents; and
he now contrived to make my parents offer
him a couple of chambers in the top story,
which commonly stood empty, that he might
accommodate the spectators in the one, while
the other held his aCtors, the proscenium again
filling up the opening of the door. My father
had allowed his friend to arrange all this;
himself, in the meantime, seeming only to
look at the transaction, as it were, through
his fingers; for his maxim was, that children
should not be allowed to see the kindness
which is felt towards them, lest their preten-
sions come to extend too far. He was of
opinion that, in the enjoyments of the young,
one should assume a serious air; often inter-
rupting the course of their festivities, to pre-
vent their satisfaction from degenerating into
excess and presumption.
The lieutenant now set up his theatre
and managed all the rest. During the week
I readily observed that he often came into the
house at unusual hours, and I soon guessed
the cause. My eagerness increased immensely;
for I well understood that till Sunday evening
I could have no share in what was going on.
At last the wished-for day arrived. At five
in the evening my conductor came and took
me up with him. Quivering with joy, I en-
tered, and descried, on both sides of the
framework, the puppets all hanging in order
as they were to advance to view. I considered
them narrowly, and mounted on the steps,
which raised them above the scene, and al-
lowed me to hover aloft over all that little
world. Not without reverence did I look
down between the pieces of board, and recoi-
led what a glorious effed the whole would
produce, and feel into what mighty secrets I
l was now admitted. We made a trial, which
succeeded well.
Next day a party of children were in-
vited : we performed rarely; except that once,
in the fire of adion, I let poor Jonathan fall,
and was obliged to reach down with my hand
and pick him up again; an accident which
sadly marred the illusion, produced a peal of
laughter, and vexed me unspeakably. My
: father, however, seemed to relish this misfor-
i tune not a little. Prudently shrouding up the
j contentment he felt at the expertness of his
little boy, after the piece was finished, he
dwelt on the mistakes we had committed,
saying it would all have been very pretty had
not this or that gone wrong with us.
I was vexed to the heart at these things,
and sad for all the evening. By next morn-
ing, however, I had quite slept off my sorrow;
and was blessed in the persuasion that, but for
this one fault, I had played delightfully. The
spedlators also flattered me with their unani-
mous approval; they all maintained, that
though the lieutenant, in regard to the coarse
and the fine voices, had done great things,
yet his declamation was in general too stiff
and affedled ; whereas the new aspirant spoke
his Jonathan and David with exquisite grace.
My mother in particular commended the gal-
lant tone in which I had challenged Goliath
and adled the modest vidlor before the king.
From this time, to my extreme delight,
the theatre continued open; and as the spring
advanced, so that fires could be dispensed
76


with, I passed all my hours of recreation
lying in the garret and making the puppets
caper and play together. Often I invited up
my comrades, or my brothers and sisters; but
when they would not come I stayed by myself
not the less; My imagination brooded over
that tiny world, which soon afterwards ac-
quired another form.
Scarcely had I once or twice exhibited
the first piece, for which my scenery and
a£tors had been formed and decorated, till it
ceased to give me any pleasure. On the other
hand, among some books of my grandfathers,
I had happened to fall in with the German
Theatre and a few translations of Italian
operas; in which works I soon got very
deeply immersed, on each occasion first reck-
oning up the chara<5ters, and then, without
further ceremony, proceeding to exhibit the
piece. King Saul, with his black velvet cloak,
was therefore now obliged to personate Darius
or Cato, or some other pagan hero; in which
cases, it may be observed, the plays were
never wholly represented ; for most part, only
the fifth acfts, where the cutting and stabbing
lay.
It was natural that the operas, with their
manifold adventures and vicissitudes, should
420
77


attract me more than anything beside. In |
these compositions I found stormy seas, gods ]
descending in chariots of cloud, and, what |
most of all delighted me, abundance of thun-
der and lightning. I did my best with paste-
board, paint and paper: I could make night
very prettily; my lightning was fearful to be-
hold ; only my thunder did not always pros-
per, which, however, was of less importance.
In operas, moreover, I found frequent oppor-
tunities of introducing my David and Goliath,
persons whom the regular drama would hardly
admit. Daily I felt more attachment for the
hampered spot where I enjoyed so many pleas-
ures; and, I must confess, the fragrance which
the puppets had acquired from the storeroom
added not a little to my satisfaction.
The decorations of my theatre were now
in a tolerable state of completeness. I had
always had the knack of drawing with com-
passes, and clipping pasteboard, and coloring
figures; and here it served me in good stead.
But the more sorry was I, on the other hand,
when, as frequently happened, my stock of
actors would not suffice for representing great
affairs.
My sisters dressing and undressing their
dolls awoke in me the project of furnishing
my heroes by and by with garments which
might also be put off and on. Accordingly,
I slit the scraps of cloth from off their bodies;
tacked the fragments together as well as pos-
sible ; saved a particle of money to buy new
ribbons and lace; begged many a rag of taf-
feta ; and so formed, by degrees, a full theat-
rical wardrobe, in which hoop-petticoats for
the ladies were especially remembered.
My troop was now fairly provided with
dresses for the most important piece, and you
might have expected that henceforth one ex-
hibition would follow close upon the heels of
another; but it happened with me, as it often
happens with children ; they embrace wide
plans, make mighty preparations, then a few
trials, and the whole undertaking is aban-
doned. I was guilty of this fault. My great-
est pleasure lay in the inventive part and the
employment of my fancy. This or that piece
inspired me with interest for a few scenes of
it, and immediately I set about providing new
apparel suitable for the occasion. In such
fluctuating operations many parts of the pri-
mary dresses of my heroes had fallen into
disorder, or totally gone out of sight; so that
now the first great piece could no longer be
exhibited. I surrendered myself to my im-
78
| agination; I rehearsed and prepared forever;
1 built a thousand castles in the air, and saw
not that I was at the same time undermining
the foundations of these little edifices.
During this recital, Mariana had called up
and put in adtion all her courtesy for Wilhelm,
that she might conceal her sleepiness. Divert-
ing as the matter seemed on one side, it was
too simple for her taste, and her lovers view
of it too serious. She softly pressed her foot
on his, however, and gave him all visible signs
of attention and approval. She drank out of
his glass: Wilhelm was convinced that no
word of his history had fallen to the ground.
After a short pause, he said : It is now your
turn, Mariana, to tell me what were your first
childish joys. Till now we have always been
too busy with the present to trouble ourselves,
on either side, about our previous way of life.
Let me hear, Mariana, under what circum-
stances you were reared; what are the first
lively impressions which you still remem-
ber?
These questions would have very much em-
barrassed Mariana had not Barbara made haste
to help her. Think you, said the cunning
old woman, we have been so mindful of
what happened to us long ago that we have
merry things like these to talk about; and,
though we had, that we could give them such
an air in talking of them?
As if they needed it! cried Wilhelm.
I love this soft, good, amiable creature so
much that I regret every instant of my life
which has not been spent beside her. Allow
me, at least in fancy, to have a share in thy
bygone life: tell me everything; I will tell
everything to thee If possible we will de-
ceive ourselves and win back those days that
have been lost to love.
If you require it so eagerly, replied the
old dame, we can easily content you. Only,
in the first place, let us hear how your taste
for the theatre gradually reached a head ; how
you practised, how you improved so happily,
that now you can pass for a superior adlor.
No doubt you must have met with droll ad-
ventures in your progress. It is not worth
while to go to bed now: I have still one flask
in reserve; and who knows whether we shall
soon all sit together so quiet and cheery
again ?
Mariana cast a mournful look upon her,
which Wilhelm not observing, proceeded with
his narrative.


CHAPTER VII.
44 The recreations of youth, as my compan-
ions began to increase in number, interfered
with this solitary, still enjoyment. I was by-
turns a hunter, a soldier, a knight, as our
games required me; and constantly I had this
small advantage above the rest, that I was
qualified to furnish them suitably with the
necessary equipments. The swords, for ex-
ample, were generally of my manufacture; I
gilded and decorated the scabbards; and a
secret instinct allowed me not to stop till our
militia was accoutred according to the antique
model. Helmets, with plumes of paper, were
got ready; shields, even coats of mail, were
provided; undertakings in which such of the
servants as had aught of the tailor in them,
and the seamstresses of the house, broke many
a needle.
A part of my comrades I had now got
well equipped ; by degrees the rest were like-
wise furbished up, though on a thriftier plan ;
and so a very seemly corps at length was
mustered. We marched about the courtyards
and gardens; smote fearfully upon each others
shields and heads: many flaws of discord rose
among us, but none that lasted.
44 This diversion greatly entertained my fel-
lows ; but scarcely had it been twice or thrice
repeated, till it ceased to content me. The
aspedl of so many harnessed figures naturally
stimulated in my mind those ideas of chivalry
which, for some time since I had commenced
the reading of old romances, were filling my
imagination.
44 Koppens translation of 4 Jerusalem De-
livered at length fell into my hands, and gave
these wandering thoughts a settled direction.
The whole poem, it is true, I could not read ;
but there were pieces of it which I learned by
heart, and the images expressed in these hov-
ered round me. Particularly was I captivated
with Clorinda, and all her deeds and bearing.
The masculine womanhood, the peaceful com-
pleteness of her being, had a greater influence
upon my mind, just beginning to unfold itself,
than the factitious charms of Armida, though
the garden of that enchantress was by no
means an object of my contempt.
44 But a hundred and a hundred times, while
walking in the evenings on the balcony which
stretches along the front of the house, and
looking over the neighborhood, as the quiver-
ing splendor streamed up at the horizon from
the departed sun, and the stars came forth,
! and night pressed forward from every cleft
and hollow, and the small shrill tone of the
cricket tinkled through the solemn stillness
a hundred and a hundred times have I re-
peated to myself the history of the mournful
duel between Tancred and Clorinda.
44 However strongly I inclined by nature to
the party of the Christians, I could not help
declaring for the Paynim heroine with all my
heart when she engaged to set on fire the great
tower of the besiegers. And when Tancred
in the darkness met the supposed knight, and
the strife began between them under that veil
of gloom, and the two battled fiercely, I could
never pronounce the words,
But now the sure and fated hour is nigh,
Clorindas course is ended, she must cTie!
without tears rushing into my eyes, which
flowed plentifully, when the hapless lover,
plunging his sword into her breast, opened the
departing warriors helmet, recognized the
lady of his heart, and, shuddering, brought
water to baptize her.
44 How did my heart run over when Tancred
struck with his sword that tree in the enchanted
wood, when blood flowed from the gash, and
a voice sounded in his ears, that now again he
was wounding Clorinda; that destiny had
marked him out ever unwittingly to injure
what he loved beyond all else!
44 The recital took such hold of my imagi-
nation that the passages I had read of the
poem began dimly, in my mind, to conglom-
erate into a whole; wherewith I was so taken
that I could not but propose to have it some
way represented. I meant to have Tancred
and Rinaldo acted ; and for this purpose two
coats of mail, which I had before manufac-
tured, seemed expressly suitable. The one,
formed of dark-gray paper with scales, was to
serve for the solemn Tancred ; the other, of
silver-and-gilt paper, for the magnificent Ri-
naldo. In the vivacity of my anticipations, I
told the whole projedi to my comrades, who
felt quite charmed with it, only could not well
comprehend how so glorious a thing could be
exhibited, and, above all, exhibited bv them.
Such scruples I easily set aside. Without
hesitation I took upon me in idea the manage-
ment of two rooms in the house of a neighbor-
ing playmate; not calculating that his vener-
able aunt would never give them up, or con-
sidering how a theatre could be made of them,
whereof I had no settled notion, except that
it was to be fixed on beams, to have side-
79


Wilhelm Meisters Apprenticeship.
scenes made of parted folding-screens, and on
the floor a large piece of cloth. From what
quarter these materials and furnishings were to
come, I had not determined.
So far as concerned the forest, we fell
upon a good expedient. We betook ourselves
to an old servant of one of our families, who
had now become a woodman, with many en-
treaties that he would get us a few young firs
and birches; which actually arrived more
speedily than we had reason to expeCt. But,
in the next place, great was our embarrassment
as to how the piece should be got up before
the trees were withered. Now was the time
for prudent counsel! We had no house, no
scenery, no curtains; the folding-screens were
all we had.
In this forlorn condition we again applied
to the lieutenant, giving him a copious descrip-
tion of all the glorious things we meant to do.
Little as he understood us, he was very helpful:
he piled all the tables he could get in the house
or neighborhood one above the other, in a
little room; to these he fixed our folding-
screens, and made a back view with green
curtains, sticking up our trees along with it.
At length the appointed evening came;
the candles were lit, the maids and children were
sitting in their places, the piece was to go for-
ward, the whole corps of heroes was equipped
and dressedwhen each for the first time dis-
covered that he knew not what he was to say.
In the heat of invention, being quite immersed
in present difficulties, I had forgotten the ne-
cessity of each understanding what and where
he was to speak; nor, in the midst of our
bustling preparations, had it once occurred to
the rest; each believing he could easily enaCt
a hero, easily so speak and bear himself, as be-
came the personage into whose world I had
transplanted him. They all stood wonder-
struck, asking, What was to come first ? I alone,
having previously got ready Tancreds part,
entered solus on the scene, and began reciting
some verses of the epic. But, as the passage
soon changed into narrative, and I, while
speaking, was at once transformed into a third
party, and the bold Godfredo when his turn
came would not venture forth, I was at last
obliged to take leave of my spectators under
peals of laughtera disaster which cut me to
the heart. Thus had our undertaking proved
abortive; but the company still kept their
places, still wishing to see something. All of
us were dressed; I screwed my courage up,
and determined, foul or fair, to give them
! David and Goliath. Some of my companions
j had before this helped me to exhibit the pup-
j pet-play; all of them had often seen it: we
I shared the characters among us; each promised
| to do his best, and one small grinning urchin
I painted a black beard upon his chin, and un-
j dertook, if any lacuna should occur, to fill it
up with drollery as harlequin; an arrangement
to which, as contradicting the solemnity of the
piece, I did not consent without extreme re-
luctance ; and I vowed within myself that, if
once delivered out of this perplexity, I would
think long and well before risking the exhibi-
tion of another piece.
CHAPTER VIII.
Mariana, overpowered with sleep, leaned
upon her lover, who clasped her close to him
and proceeded in his narrative, while the old
damsel prudently sipped.up the remainder of
the wine.
The embarrassment, he said, into
which, along with my companions, I had
fallen, by attempting to aCt a play that did
not anywhere exist, was soon forgotten. My
passion for representing each romance I read,
each story that was told me, would not yield
before the most unmanageable materials. I
felt convinced that whatever gave delight in
narrative must produce a far deeper impression
when exhibited : I wanted to have everything
before my eyes, everything brought forth upon
the stage. At school, when the elements of
general history were related to us, I carefully
marked the passages where any person had
been slain or poisoned in a singular way; and
my imagination, glancing rapidly along the
exposition and intrigue, hastened to the inter-
esting fifth aCt. Indeed, I actually began to
write some pieces from the end backwards,
without, however, in any of them reaching the
beginning.
At the same time, partly by inclination,
partly by the counsel of my good friends, who
had caught the fancy of aCting plays, I read a
whole wilderness of theatrical productions, as
chance put them into my hands. I was still
in those happy years when all things please us,
when number and variety yield us abundant
satisfaction. Unfortunately, too, my taste was
corrupted by another circumstance. Any piece
delighted me especially, in which I could hope
to give delight; there were few which I did
80


not peruse in this agreeable delusion; and
my lively conceptive power enabling me to
transfer myself into all the characters, seduced
me to believe that I might likewise represent
them all. Hence, in the distribution of the
parts, I commonly selected such as did not fit
me; and always more than one part, if I could
by any means accomplish more.
In their games, children can make all
things out of any: a staff becomes a musket,
a splinter of wood a sword, any bunch of cloth
a puppet, any crevice a chamber. Upon this
principle was our private theatre got up.
Totally unacquainted with the measure of our
strength, we undertook all; we stuck at no
quid pro quo, and felt convinced that every one
would take us for what we gave ourselves out
to be. Now, however, our affairs went on so
soberly and smoothly, that I have not even a
curious insipidity to tell you of. We first
played all the few pieces in which only males
are requisite; next, we travestied some of our-
selves; and at last took our sisters into the
concern along with us. In one or two houses,
our amusement was looked upon as profitable,
and company invited to see it. Nor did our
! lieutenant of artillery now turn his back upon
| us. He showed us how we ought to make our
' exits and our entrances; how we should de-
; claim, and with what attitudes and gestures.
I Yet generally he earned small thanks for his
; toil: we conceived ourselves to be much
: deeper in the secrets of theatrical art than he
i himself was.
I We very soon began to grow tired of
tragedy; for all of us believed, as we had
often heard, that it was easier to write or rep-
resent a tragedy than to attain proficiency in
comedy. In our first attempts, accordingly,
we had felt as if exactly in our element; dig-
nity of rank, elevation of character, we studied
to approach by stiffness and affedlation, and
imagined that we succeeded rarely; but our
happiness was not complete, except we might
rave outright, stamp with our feet, and cast
ourselves upon the ground, full of fury and
despair.
Boys and girls had not long carried on
these amusements in concert, till nature began
to take her course, and our society branched
itself off into sundry little love-associations,
as generally more than one sort of comedy is
421
Si


acted in the playhouse. Behind the scenes,
each happy pair pressed hands in the most
tender style; they floated in blessedness, ap-
pearing to one another quite ideal persons,
when so transformed and decorated; whilst,
on the other hand, unlucky rivals consumed
themselves with envy, and out of malice and
spite worked every species of mischief.
Our amusements, though undertaken with-
out judgment, and carried on without instruc-
tion, were not without their use to us. We
trained our memories and persons; we acquired
more dexterity in speech and gesture than is
usually met with at so early an age. But for
me in particular this time was in truth an
epoch; my mind turned all its faculties ex-
clusively to the theatre, and my highest hap-
piness was in reading, in writing, or in acting-
plays.
'Meanwhile the labors of my regular teach-
ers continued; I had been set apart for the
mercantile life, and placed under the guidance
of our neighbor in the counting-house; yet
my spirit at this very time recoiled more for-
cibly than ever from all that was to bind me
to a low profession. It was to the stage that
I aimed at consecrating all my powers; on the
stage that I meant to seek all my happiness
and satisfaction.
I recollect a poem, which must be among
my papers, where the Muse of tragic art and
another female form, by which I personified
Commerce, were made to strive very bravely
for my most important self. The idea is com-
mon, and I recollect not that the verses were
of any worth; but you shall see it, for the
sake of the fear, the abhorrence, the love and
passion, which reign in it. How repulsively
did I paint the old housewife, with the distaff
in her girdle, the bunch of keys by her side,
the spectacles on her nose; ever toiling, ever
restless, quarrelsome and penurious, pitiful and
dissatisfied! How feelingly did I describe the
condition of that poor man who has to cringe
beneath her rod, and earn his slavish days
wages by the sweat of his brow!
And how differently advanced the other !
What an apparition for the overclouded mind !
Formed as a queen, in her thoughts and looks
she announced herself the child of freedom.
The feeling of her own worth gave her dignity
without pride; her apparel became her, it
veiled each limb without constraining it; and
the rich folds repeated, like a thousand-voiced
echo, the graceful movements of the goddess.
What a contrast! How easy for me to de-
cide Nor had I forgotten the more peculiar
characteristics of my muse. Crowns and
daggers, chains and masks, as my predecessors
had delivered them, were here produced once
more. The contention was keen; the speeches
of both were palpably enough contrasted, for
at fourteen years of age one usually paints the
black lines and the white pretty near each
other. The old lady spoke as beseemed a
person that would pick up a pin from her
path; the other, like one that could give
away kingdoms. The warning threats of the
housewife were disregarded: I turned my back
upon her promised riches; disinherited and
naked, I gave myself up to the muse; she
threw her golden veil over me, and called me
hers.
Could I have thought, my dearest, he
exclaimed, pressing Mariana close to him,
that another and a more lovely goddess would
come to encourage me in my purpose, to travel
with me on my journey, the poem might have
had a finer turn, a far more interesting end.
Yet it is no poetry; it is truth and life that I
feel in thy arms; let us prize the sweet hap-
piness, and consciously enjoy it.
The pressure of his arms, the emotion of his
elevated voice, awoke Mariana, who hastened
by caresses to conceal her embarrassment; for
no word of the last part of his story had
reached her. It is to be wished that in fu-
ture our hero, when recounting his favorite
histories, may find more attentive hearers.
CHAPTER IX.
Thus Wilhelm passed his nights in the
enjoyment of confiding love; his days in the
expectation of new happy hours. When de-
sire and hope had first attracted him to Ma-
riana, he already felt as if inspired with new
life; felt as if he were beginning to be another
man: he was now united to her; the content-
ment of his wishes had become a delicious
habitude. His heart strove to ennoble the
objedt of his passion; his spirit to exalt with
it the young creature whom he loved. In the
shortest absence, thoughts of her arose within
him. If she had once been necessary to
him, she was now grown indispensable, now
that he was bound to her by all the ties of
nature. His pure soul felt that she was the
half, more than the half of himself. He was
grateful and devoted without limit.
82


Mariana, too, succeeded in deceiving her-
self for a season; she shared with him the
feeling of his liveliest blessedness. Alas, if
the cold hand of self-reproach had not often
come across her heart! She was not secure
from it even in Wilhelms bosom, even under
the wings of his love. And when she was
again left alone, again left to sink from the
clouds, to which passion had exalted her, into
the consciousness of her real condition, then
she was indeed to be pitied. So long as
she had lived among degrading perplexities,
disguising from herself her real situation, or
rather never thinking of it, frivolity had
helped her through; the incidents she was
exposed to had come upon her each by itself;
satisfaction and vexation had cancelled one
another; humiliation had been compensated
by vanity; want by frequent, though momen-
tary superfluity; she could plead necessity and
custom as a law or an excuse; and hitherto
all painful emotions from hour to hour, and
from day to day, had by these means been
shaken off. But now, for some instants, the
poor girl had felt herself transported to a
better world; aloft as it were, in the midst
of light and joy, she had looked down upon
the abjeCt desert of her life, had felt what a
miserable creature is the woman who, inspiring
desire, does not also inspire reverence and
love; she regretted and repented, but found
herself outwardly or inwardly no better for
regret. She had nothing that she could ac-
complish or resolve upon. Looking into her-
self and searching, all was waste and void
within her soul; her heart had no place of
strength or refuge. But the more sorrowful
her state was, the more vehemently did her
feelings cling to the man whom she loved;
her passion for him even waxed stronger daily,
as the danger of losing him came daily nearer.
Wilhelm, on the other hand, soared serenely
happy in higher regions; to him also a new
world had been disclosed, but a world rich in
the most glorious prospers. Scarcely had the
first excess of joy subsided, when all that had
long been gliding dimly through his soul stood
up in bright distinctness before it. She is
thine She has given herself away to thee !
She, the loved, the wished-for, the adored,
has given herself away to thee in trust and
faith; she shall not find thee ungrateful for
the gift. Standing or walking, he talked to
himself; his heart constantly overflowed; with
a copiousness of splendid words he uttered to
himself the loftiest emotions. He imagined
that he understood the visible beckoning of
fate reaching out its hand by Mariana to save
him from the stagnant, weary, drudging life
out of which he had so often wished for de-
liverance. To leave his fathers house and
people now appeared a light matter. He was
young, and had not tried the world; his
eagerness to range over its expanses, seeking
fortune and contentment, was stimulated by
his love. His vocation to the theatre was
now clear to him ; the high goal, which he
saw raised before him, seemed nearer whilst
he was advancing to it with Marianas hand
in his ; and in his comfortable prudence he
beheld in himself the embryo of a great
aCtor; the future founder of that national
theatre, for which he heard so much and vari-
ous sighing on every side. All that till now
had slumbered in the most secret corners of
his soul at length awoke. He painted for
himself a picture of his manifold ideas, in
the colors of love, upon a canvas of cloud:
the figures of it, indeed, ran sadly into one
another ; yet the whole had an air but the
more brilliant on that account.
CHAPTER X.
He was- now in his chamber at home, ran-
sacking his papers, making ready for de-
parture. Whatever savored of his previous
employment he threw aside, meaning at his
entrance upon life to be free even from recol-
lections that could pain him. Works of taste
alone, poets and critics, were, as acknow-
ledged friends, placed among the chosen few.
Heretofore he had given little heed to the
critical authors: his desire for instruction
now revived, when, again looking through his
books, he found the theoretical part of them
lying generally still uncut. In the full per-
suasion that such works were absolutely neces-
sary, he had bought a number of them ; but,
with the best disposition in the world, he had
not reached midway in any.
The more steadfastly, on the other hand,
he had dwelt upon examples; and in every
kind that was known to him had made at-
tempts himself.
Werner entered the room; and seeing his
friend busied with the well-known sheets, he
exclaimed: Again among your papers ? And
without intending, I dare swear, to finish any-
one of them You look them through and
§3


through once or twice, then throw them by,
and begin something new.
To finish is not the scholars care; it is
enough if he improves himself by practice.
But also completes according to his best
ability.
And still the question might be asked,
Is there not good hope of a youth who, on
commencing some unsuitable affair, soon dis-
| covers its unsuitableness and discontinues his
! exertions, not choosing to spend toil and time
on what never can be of any value?
I know well enough it was never your
concern to bring aught to a conclusion; you
have always sickened on it before it came
half way. When you were the director of
our puppet-show, for instance, how many
times were fresh clothes got ready for the
84


Wilhelm Meister s Apprenticeship.
dwarfish troop, fresh decorations furbished
up ? Now this tragedy was to be played, now
that; and at the very best you gave us some 1
fifth act, where all was going topsy-turvy and
people cutting one anothers throats. j
If you talk of those times, whose blame
really was it that we ripped off from our pup-
pets the clothes that fitted them, and were
fast stitched to their bodies, and laid out
money for a large and useless wardrobe?
Was it not yours, my good friend, who had
always some fragment of ribbon to traffic :
with; and skill, at the same time, to stimu- ;
late my taste and turn it to your profit?
Werner laughed, and continued : I still
recoiled!, with pleasure, how I used to extradl
gain from your theatrical campaigns, as army
contractors do from war. When you mus-
tered for the Deliverance of Jerusalem, I,
for my part, made a pretty thing of profit,
like the Venetians in the corresponding case.
I know of nothing in the world more rational ;
than to turn the folly of others to our own
advantage.
Perhaps it were a nobler satisfaction to
cure men of their follies.
From the little I know of men this might ;
seem a vain endeavor. But something towards j
it is always done when any individual man [
grows wise and rich; and generally this hap- j
pens at the cost of others. I
Well, here is The Youth at the Parting.!
of the Ways; it has just come into my hand,
said Wilhelm; drawing out a fold ot papers
from the rest; this at least is finished, what- j
ever else it may be. !
Away with it; to the fire with it! cried
Werner. The invention does not deserve
the smallest praise: that affair has plagued
me enough already and drawn upon yourself i
your fathers wrath. The verses may be al- j
together beautiful; but the meaning of them
is fundamentally false. I still recoiled! your
Commerce personified ; a shrivelled, wretched- 1
looking sibyl she was. I suppose you picked
up the image of her from some miserable
hucksters shop. At that time you had no
true idea at all of trade; whilst I could not
think of any man whose spirit was, or needed 1
to be, more enlarged than the spirit of a I
genuine merchant. What a thing it is to see
the order which prevails throughout his busi-
ness By means of this he can at any time
survey the general whole, without needing to
perplex himself in the details. What advan-
tages does he derive from the system of book-
keeping by double entry? It is among the
finest inventions of the human mind; every
prudent master of a house should introduce
it into his economy.
Pardon me, said Wilhelm, smiling;
you begin by the form, as if it were the
matter: you traders commonly, in your addi-
tions and balancings, forget what is the proper
net-result of life.
My good friend, you do not see how form
and matter are in this case one; how neither
can exist without the other. Order and ar-
rangement increase the desire to save and get.
A man embarrassed in his circumstances, and
conducing them imprudently, likes best to
continue in the dark; he will not gladly
reckon up the debtor entries he is charged
: with. But, on the other hand, there is noth-
ing to a prudent manager more pleasant than
daily to set before himself the sums of his
growing fortune. Even a mischance, if it
surprise and vex, will not affright him; for
he knows at once what gains he has acquired
to cast into the other scale. I am convinced,
my friend, that if you once had a proper taste
for our employments, you would grant that
many faculties of the mind are called into
full and vigorous play by them.
Possibly this journey I am thinking of
may bring me to other thoughts.
Oh, certainly. Believe me, you want but
to look upon some great scene of ad!ivitv to
make you ours forever; and when you come
back you will joyfully enroll yourself among
that class of men whose art it is to draw to-
wards themselves a portion of the money and
materials of enjoyment which circulate in
their appointed courses through the world.
Cast a look on the natural and artificial pro-
dudlions of all the regions of the earth; con-
sider how they have become, one here, another
there, articles of necessity for men. How
pleasant and how intellectual a task is it to
calculate, at any moment, what is most re-
quired, and yet is wanting, or hard to find;
to procure for each easily and soon what he
demands; to lay in your stock prudently be-
forehand, and then to enjoy the profit of every
pulse in that mighty circulation. This, it ap-
pears to me, is what no man that has a head
can attend to without pleasure.
Wilhelm seemed to acquiesce, and Werner
continued.
Do but visit one or two great trading-
towns, one or two seaports, and see if you
can withstand the impression. When you
422
5


observe how many men are busied, whence
so many things have come, and whither they
are going, you will feel as if you too could
gladly mingle in the business. You will then
see the smallest piece of ware in its connection
with the whole mercantile concern ; and for
that very reason you will reckon nothing pal-
try, because everything augments the circula-
tion by which you yourself are supported.
Werner had formed his solid understanding
in constant intercourse with Wilhelm ; he was
thus accustomed to think also of his profession,
of his employments, with elevation of soul;
and he firmly believed that he did so with
more justice than his otherwise more gifted
and valued friend, who, as it seemed to him,
had placed his dearest hopes, and diredled all
the force of his mind, upon the most imaginary
objedls in the world. Many a time he thought
this false enthusiasm would infallibly be got
the better of, and so excellent a soul be
brought back to the right path. So, hoping
in the present instance, he continued: The
great ones of the world have taken this earth
of ours to themselves; they live in the midst
of splendor and superfluity. The smallest
nook of the land is already a possession, none
may touch it or meddle with it; offices and
civic callings bring in little profit; where,
then, will you find more honest acquisitions,
juster conquests, than those of trade? If the
princes of this world hold the rivers, the
highways, the havens in their power, and take
a heavy tribute from everything that passes
through them, may not we embrace with joy
the opportunity of levying tax and toll, by
our activity, on those commodities which the
real or imaginary wants of men have rendered
indispensable ? I can promise you, if you
would rightly apply your poetic view, my
goddess might be represented as an invincible,
victorious queen, and boldly opposed to yours.
It is true, she bears the olive rather than the
sword ; dagger or chain she knows not; but
she, too, gives crowns to her favorites; which,
without offence to yours be it said, are of true
gold from the furnace and the mine, and glance
with genuine pearls, which she brings up from
the depths of the ocean, by the hands of her
unwearied servants.
This sally somewhat nettled Wilhelm; but
he concealed his sentiments, remembering that
Werner used to listen with composure to his
apostrophes. Besides, he had fairness enough
to be pleased at seeing each man think the
best of his own peculiar craft; provided only
his, of which he was so passionately fond,
were likewise left in peace.
And for you, exclaimed Werner, who
take so warm an interest in human concerns,
what a sight will it be to behold the fortune
which accompanies bold undertakings dis-
tributed to men before your eyes. What is
more spirit-stirring than the aspedl of a ship
arriving from a lucky voyage, or soon return-
ing with a rich capture ? Not alone the rela-
86


tives, the acquaintances and those that share
with the adventurers, but every unconcerned
spectator also is excited, when he sees the
joy with which the long-imprisoned shipman
springs on land before his keel has wholly
reached it, feeling that he is free once more,
and now can trust what he has rescued from
the false sea to the firm and faithful earth.
It is not, my friend, in figures of arithmetic
alone that gain presents itself before us; for-
tune is the goddess of breathing men ; to feel
her favors truly, we must live and be men who
toil with their living minds and bodies, and
enjoy with them also.
CHAFFER XI.
It is now time that we should know some-
thing more of Wilhelms father and of Wer-
ners; two men of very different modes of
thinking, but whose opinions so far coincided,
that both regarded commerce as the noblest
calling, and both were peculiarly attentive to
every advantage which any kind of speculation
might produce to them. Old Meister, when
his father died, had turned into money a valu-
able collection of pictures, drawings, copper-
plates and antiquities : he had entirely rebuilt
and furnished his house in the newest style,
and turned his other property to profit in all
possible ways. A considerable portion of it
he had embarked in trade under the direction
of the elder Werner, a man noted as an adtive
merchant, whose speculations were commonly
favored by fortune. But nothing was so much
desired by Meister as to confer upon his son
those qualities of which himself was destitute,
and to leave his children advantages which he
reckoned it of the highest importance to pos-
sess. Withal, he felt a peculiar inclination for
magnificence; for whatever catches the eye,
and possesses at the same time real worth and
durability. In his house he would have all
things solid and massive; his stores must be
copious and rich; all his plate must be heavy;
the furniture of his table costly. On the other
hand, his guests were seldom invited ; for every
dinner was a festival, which, both for its ex-
pense and for its inconvenience, could not
often be repeated. The economy of his house
went on at a settled, uniform rate; and every-
thing that moved or had place in it was just
what yielded no one any real enjoyment.
The elder Werner, in his dark and hampered
house, led quite another sort of life. The
business of the day, in his narrow counting-
house, at his ancient desk, once done, Werner
liked to eat well, and, if possible, to drink
better. Nor could he fully enjoy good things
in solitude; with his family he must always
see at table his friends, and any stranger that
had the slightest connection with his house.
His chairs were of unknown age and antique
fashion; but he daily invited some to sit on
them. The dainty victuals arrested the atten-
tion of his guests, and none remarked that
they were served up in common ware. His
cellar held no great stock of wine; but the
emptied niches were usually filled by more of
a superior sort.
So lived these two fathers, often meeting to
take counsel about their common concerns.
On the day we are speaking of, it had been
determined to send Wilhelm out from home,
for the despatch of some commercial affairs.
Let him look about him in the world,
said old Meister, and at the same time carry
on our business in distant parts. One cannot
do a young man any greater kindness than
initiate him early in the future business of his
life. Your son returned so happily from his
first expedition, and transacted his affairs so
cleverly, that I am very curious to see how
mine will do: his experience, I fear, will cost
him dearer.
Old Meister had a high notion of his sons
faculties and capabilities; he said this in the
hope that his friend would contradict him, and
hold up to view the admirable gifts of the
youth. Here, however, he deceived himself:
old Werner, who, in practical concerns, would
trust no man but such as he had proved,
answered placidly: One must try all things;
we can send him on the same journey; we shall
give him a paper of directions to conduct him.
There are sundry debts to be gathered in, old
connexions are to be renewed, new ones to
be made. He may likewise help the specula-
tion I was lately talking of; for, without
punctual intelligence gathered on the spot,
there is little to be done in it.
He must prepare, said Meister, and
set forth as soon as possible. Where shall we
get a horse for him to suit this business?
'We shall not seek far. The shopkeeper
in H, who owes us somewhat, but is withal
a good man, has offered me a horse instead of
payment. My son knows it, and tells me it
is a serviceable beast.
He may fetch it himself; let him go with
37


the diligence: the day after to-morrow he is
back again betimes; we have his saddle-bags
and letters made ready in the meantime; he
can set out on Monday morning.
Wilhelm was sent for, and informed of their
determination. Who so glad as he, now see-
ing the means of executing his purpose put
into his hands, the opportunity made ready
for him, without co-operation of his own So
intense was his love, so full was his conviction
of the perfect rectitude of his intention to
escape from the pressure of his adtual mode
of life, and follow a new and nobler career,
that his conscience did not in the least rebel;
no anxiety arose within him; he even reck-
oned the deception he was meditating holy.
He felt certain that, in the long run, parents
and relations would praise and bless him for
this resolution: he acknowledged in these
concurring circumstances the signal of a
guiding fate.
How slowly the time passed with him till
night, till the hour when he should again see
his Mariana He sat in his chamber, and re-
volved the plan of his journey; as a conjuror,
or a cunning thief in durance often draws out
his feet from the fast-locked irons, to cherish
in himself the conviction that his deliverance
is possible, nay, nearer than short-sighted
turnkeys believe.
At last the appointed hour struck; he went
out, shook off all anxiety, and hastened
through the silent streets. In the middle of
the great square he raised his hands to the
sky, feeling as if all was behind him and be-
low him; he had freed himself from all. One
moment he figured himself as in the arms of
his beloved, the next, as glancing with her in
the splendors of the stage; he soared aloft in
a world of hopes, only now and then the call
of some watchman brought to his recollection
that he was still wandering on the vulgar
earth.
Mariana came to the stairs to meet him;
and how beautiful! how lovely She received
him in the new white neglige; he thought he
had never seen her so charming. Thus did
she handsel the gift of her absent lover in the
arms of a present one ; with true passion she
lavished on her darling the whole treasure of
those caresses which nature suggested or art
had taught: need we ask if he was happy, if
he was blessed ?
He disclosed to her what had passed, and
showed her, in general terms, his plan and his
wishes. He would try, he said, to find a resi-
dence, then come back for her; he hoped she
would not refuse him her hand. The poor
girl was silent; she concealed her tears, and
pressed her friend against her bosom. Wil-
helm, though interpreting her silence in the
most favorable manner, could have wished for
a distinct reply ; and still more, when at last
he inquired of her in the tenderest and most
delicate terms if he might not think himself a
father. But to this she answered only with a
sigh, with a kiss.
CHAPTER XII.
Next morning Mariana woke only to new
despondency; she felt herself very solitary;
she wished not to see the light of day, but
stayed in bed and wept. Old Barbara sat
down by her, and tried to persuade and con-
sole her; but it was not in her power so soon
to heal the wounded heart. The moment was
now at hand to which the poor girl had been
looking forward as to the last of her life.
Who could be placed in a more painful situa-
tion ? The man she loved was departing; a
disagreeable lover was threatening to come;
and the most fearful mischiefs were to be an-
ticipated if the two, as might easily happen,
should meet together.
Calm yourself, my dear, said the old
woman ; do not spoil your pretty eyes with
crying. Is it, then, so terrible a thing to have
two lovers ? And, though you can bestow
your love but on the one, yet be thankful to
the other, who, caring for you as he does, cer-
tainly deserves to be named your friend.
My poor Wilhelm, said the other, all in
tears, had warning that a separation was at
hand. A dream discovered to him what we
strove so much to hide. He was sleeping
calmly at my side; on a sudden I heard him
muttering some unintelligible sounds; I grew
frightened, and awoke him. Ah with what
love and tenderness and warmth did he clasp
me! O Mariana! cried he, what a hor-
rid fate have you freed me from How shall
I thank you for deliverance from such torment?
I dreamed that I was far from you in an un-
known country, but your figure hovered before
me; I saw you on a beautiful hill; the sun-
shine was glancing over it all; how charming
did you look But it had not lasted long till
I observed your image sinking down, sinking,
sinking. I stretched out my arms towards
you; they could not reach you through the


ARTIST: E. WAGNER.
MARIANA AND BARBARA,



mMMi
Wilhelm Mcisler s Apprenticeship.
distance. Your image still kept gliding down ;
it approached a great sea that lay far extended
at the foot of the hilla marsh rather than a
sea. All at once a man gave you his hand,
and seemed meaning to conduct you upwards,
but he led you sidewards, and appeared to
draw you after him. I cried out; as I could
not reach you, I hoped to warn you. If I
tried to walk, the ground seemed to hold me
fast; if I could walk, the water hindered me;
and even my cries were smothered in my
breast. So said the poor youth while recov-
ering from his terror, and reckoning himself
happy to dissipate a frightful dream by the
most delicious reality.
Barbara made every effort to reduce, by her
prose, the poetry of her friend to the domain
of common life, employing in the present case
the ingenious craft which so often succeeds
with bird-catchers, when they imitate with a
whistle the tones of those luckless creatures
which they soon hope to see by dozens safely
lodged in their nets. She praised Wilhelm;
she expatiated on his figure, his eyes, his love.
The poor girl heard her with a gratified heart;
then arose, let herself be dressed, and appeared
calmer. My child, my darling, continued
the old woman, in a cozening tone, I will
not trouble you or injure you ; I cannot think
of tearing from you your dearest happiness.
Could you mistake my intention ? Have you
forgotten that on all occasions I have cared
for you more than for myself? Tell me only
what you wish; we shall soon see how it may
be brought about.
What can I wish ? said Mariana; I am
miserable, miserable for life; I love him, and
he loves me; yet I see that I must part with
him, and know not how I shall survive it.
Norberg comes, to whom we owe our whole
subsistence, whom we cannot live without.
Wilhelm is straitened in his fortune, he can
do nothing for me.
Yes, unfortunately, he is one of those
lovers who bring nothing but their hearts;
and these people, too, have the highest pre-
tensions of any.
No jesting! The unhappy youth thinks
of leaving his home, of going upon the stage,
of offering me his hand.
Of empty hands we have already four.
I have no choice, continued Mariana;
do you decide for me! Cast me away to
this side or to that; mark only one thing: I
think I carry in my bosom a pledge that ought
to unite me with him still more closely. Con-
! sider and determine: whom shall I forsake?
whom shall I follow?
After a short silence, Barbara exclaimed:
Strange, that youth should always be for ex-
tremes To mv view nothing would be easier
than for us to combine both the profit and en-
joyment. Do you love the one, let the other
pay for it: all we have to mind is being sharp
enough to keep the two from meeting.
Do as you please. I can imagine nothing,
but I will follow.
We have this advantage, we can humor
the managers caprice and pride about the
morals of his troop. Both lovers are accus-
! tomed already to go secretly and cunningly to
work. For hours and opportunity I will take
thought; only henceforth you must play the
part that I prescribe to you. Who knows
what circumstances may arise to help us? If
Norberg would arrive even now, when Wil-
helm is away Who can hinder you from
thinking of the one in the arms of the other?
I wish you a son, and good fortune with him;
he will have a rich father.
These projects lightened Marianas despond-
ency only for a very short time. She could
not bring her situation into harmony with her
feelings, with her convictions; she would fain
have forgotten the painful relations in which
she stood, and a thousand little circumstances
forced them back every moment to her recol-
lection.
CHAPTER XIII.
In the meantime Wilhelm had completed
I the small preliminary journey. His merchant
; being from home, he delivered the letter of
; introduction to the mistress of the house. But
| neither did this lady give him much further-
j ance in his purposes; she was in a violent
j passion, and her whole economy was in con-
I fusion.
I He had not waited long till she disclosed to
| him, what in truth could not be kept a secret,
j that her stepdaughter had run off with a player
a person who had parted lately from a small
| strolling company, and had stayed in the place
| and commenced teaching French. The father,
j distracted with grief and vexation, had run to
j the Amt to have the fugitives pursued. She
! blamed her daughter bitterly, and vilified the
lover, till she left no tolerable quality with
either : she deplored at great length the shame
thus brought upon the family, embarrassing


our hero not a little, who here felt his own
private scheme beforehand judged and pun-
ished, in the spirit of prophecy as it were, by
this frenzied sibyl. Still stronger and deeper
was the interest he took in the sorrows of the *
father, who now returned from the Amt, and
with fixed sorrow, in broken sentences, gave
an account of the errand to his wife, and
strove to hide the embarrassment and distrac-
tion of his mind while, after looking at the
letter, he diredled that the horse it spoke of
should be given to Wilhelm.
Our friend thought it best to mount his
steed immediately and quit a house where, in
its present state, he could not possibly be com-
fortable ; but the honest man would not allow
the son of one to whom he had so many obli-
gations to depart without tasting of his hospi-
90


tality, without remaining at least a night be-
neath his roof.
Wilhelm assisted at a melancholy supper,
wore out a restless night, and hastened to get
rid of these people, who, without knowing it,
had, by their narratives and condolences, been
constantly wounding him to the quick.
In a musing mood, he was riding slowly
along, when all at once he observed a number
of armed men coming through the plain. By
their long, loose coats with enormous cuffs, by
their shapeless hats, clumsy muskets, by their
slouching gait and lax attitude, he recognized
in these people a detachment of provincial
militia. They halted beneath an old oak, set
down their firearms, and placed themselves at
their ease upon the sward to smoke a pipe of
tobacco. Wilhelm lingered near them, and
entered into conversation with a young man
who came up on horseback. The history of
the two runaways, which he already knew too
well, was again detailed to him, and that with
comments not particularly flattering either to
the young pair themselves or to the parents.
He learned also that the military were come
hither to take the loving couple into custody,
who had already been seized and detained in
a neighboring village. After some time, ac-
cordingly, a cart was seen advancing to the
place, encircled with a city-guard more ludi-
crous than appalling. An amorphous town-
clerk rode forth and made his compliments to
the A6luarius (for such was the young man
whom Wilhelm had been speaking to), on the
border of their several districts, with great ;
conscientiousness and wonderful grimaces ; as j
perhaps the ghost and the conjuror do when i
they meet, the one within the circle and the j
other out of it, in their dismal midnight ope- ;
rations.
But the chief attention of the lookers-on j
was direcled to the cart: they could not be-
hold without compassion the poor misguided
creatures, who were sitting upon bundles of
straw, looking tenderly at one another, and
scarcely seeming to observe the bystanders.
Accident had forced their condudters to bring
them from the last village in that unseemly
style; the old chaise, which had previously
transported the lady, having there broken
down. On that occurrence she had begged
permission to sit beside her friend; whom,
in the conviction that his crime was of a
capital sort, the rustic bailiffs had brought
along so far in irons. These irons certainly
contributed to give the tender group a more
interesting appearance, particularly as the
i young man moved and bore himself with
1 great dignity, while he kissed more than once
, the hands of his fair companion.
1 We are unfortunate, she cried to the
bystanders; but not so guilty as we seem.
! It is thus that savage men reward true love;
. and parents, who entirely neglect the happi-
; ness of their children, tear them with fury
: from the arms of joy, when it has found them
j after many weary days.
j The spectators were expressing their sym-
i pathy in various ways, when the officers of
| law having finished their ceremonial, the cart
went on, and Wilhelm, who took a deep in-
terest in the fate of the lovers, hastened for-
ward by a footpath to get some acquaint-
ance with the Amtmann before the procession
should arrive. But scarcely had he reached
the Amthaus, where all was in motion and
j ready to receive the fugitives, when his new
! friend, the Actuarius, laid hold of him; and,
giving him a circumstantial detail of the whole
i proceedings, and then launching out into a
comprehensive eulogy of his own horse, which
he had got last night by barter, put a stop to
every other sort of conversation.
The luckless pair, in the meantime, had
been set down behind at the garden, which
communicated by a little door with the Amt-
haus, and thus brought in unobserved. The
Actuarius, for this mild and handsome treat-
ment, accepted of a just encomium from Wil-
helm ; though in truth his sole obje<5t had
been to mortify the crowd collected in front
of the Amthaus, by denying them the satis-
faction of looking at a neighbor in disgrace.
The Amtmann, who had no particular taste
for such extraordinary occurrences, being wont
on these occasions to commit frequent errors,
and with the best intentions to be often paid
with sour admonitions from the higher pow-
ers, went with heavy steps into his office-
room, the Adluarius with Wilhelm and a few
respectable citizens following him.
The lady was first produced ; she advanced
without pertness, calm and self-possessed. The
manner of her dress, the way in which she bore
herself, showed that she was a person not with-
out value in her own eyes. She accordingly
began, without any questions being put, to
speak not unskilfully about her situation.
The A<5tuarius bade her be silent, and held
his pen over the folded sheet. The Amtmann
gathered up his resolution, looked at his as-
sistant, cleared his throat by two or three
91


hems, and asked the poor girl what was her
name and how old she was.
I beg your pardon, sir, said she, but
it seems very strange to me that you ask my
name and age; seeing you know very well
what my name is, and that I am just of the
age of your oldest son. What you do want
to know of me, and need to know, I will
tell freely without circumlocution :Since my
fathers second marriage my situation in his
house has not been of the most enviable sort.
Oftener than once I have had it in my power
to make a suitable marriage, had not my step-
mother, dreading the expense of my portion,
taken care to thwart all such proposals. At
length I grew acquainted with the young Me-
lina ; I felt constrained to love him; and as
both of us foresaw the obstacles that stood in
the way of our regular union, we determined
to go forth together and seek in the wide
world the happiness which was denied us at
home. I took nothing with me that was not
my own; we did not run away like thieves
and robbers, and my lover does not merit to
be hauled about in this way with chains and
handcuffs. The prince is just, and will not
sanction such severity. If we are liable to
punishment, it is not punishment of this
kind.
The old Amtmann hereupon fell into
double and treble confusion. Sounds of the
most gracious eulogies were already humming
through his brain; and the girls voluble
speech had entirely confounded the plan of
his protocol. The mischief increased, when
to repeated official questions she refused giv-
ing any answer, but constantly referred to
what she had already said.
I am no criminal, she said. They
have brought me hither on bundles of straw
to put me to shame; but there is a higher
court that will bring us back to honor.
The Adluarius, in the meantime, had kept
writing down her words: he whispered the
Amtmann, just to go on ; a formal protocol
might be made out by and by.
92


The senior then again took heart, and be-
gan, with his heavy words, in dry prescribed
formulas, to seek information about the sweet
secrets of love.
The red mounted into Wilhelms cheeks,
and those of the pretty criminal likewise
glowed with the charming tinge of modesty.
She was silent, she stammered, till at last
her embarrassment itself seemed to exalt her
courage.
Be assured, she cried, that I should
have strength enough to confess the truth,
though it made against myself; and shall I
now hesitate and stammer, when it does me
honor? Yes, from the moment when 1 first
felt certain of his love and faith I looked
upon him as my husband; I freely gave him
all that love requires, that a heart once con-
vinced cannot long refuse. Now do with me
what you please. If I hesitated for a moment
to confess, it was owing to fear alone lest the
admission might prove hurtful to my lover.
On hearing this confession, Wilhelm formed
a high opinion of the young womans feelings;
while her judges marked her as an impudent
strumpet; and the townsfolk present thanked
God that in their families no such scandal had
occurred, or at least been brought to light.
Wilhelm transported his Mariana into this
conjuncture, answering at the bar; he put
still finer words in her mouth, making her
uprightness yet more affeCting, her confession
still nobler. The most violent desire to help
the two lovers took possession of him. Nor
did he conceal this feeling; but signified in
private to the wavering Amtmann that it were
better to end the business, all being clear as
possible and requiring no further investiga-
tion.
This was so far of service that the young
woman was allowed to retire; though, in her
stead, the lover was brought in, his fetters
having previously been taken off him at the
door. This person seemed a little more con-
cerned about his fate. His answers were more
careful; and if he showed less heroic gener-
osity, he recommended himself by the pre-
cision and distinctness of his expressions.
When this audience also was finished, and
found to agree in all points with the former,
except that from regard for his mistress Me-
lina stubbornly denied what had already been
confessed by herselfthe young woman was
again brought forward; and a scene took
place between the two which made the heart
of our friend entirely their own.
What usually occurs nowhere but in ro-
mances and plays he saw here in a paltry
court-room before his eyes; the contest of
reciprocal magnanimity, the strength of love
in misfortune.
Is it then true, said he, internally,
that timorous affection which conceals itself
from the eye of the sun and of men, not
daring to taste of enjoyment save in remote
solitude and deep secrecy, yet, if torn rudely
by some cruel chance into light, will show
itself more courageous, strong and resolute
than any of our loud and ostentatious pas-
sions?
To his comfort the business now soon came
to a conclusion. The lovers were detained
in tolerable quarters: had it been possible
he would that very evening have brought
back the young lady to her parents. For he
firmly determined to act as intercessor in this
case, and to forward a happy and lawful union
between the lovers.
He begged permission of the Amtmann to
speak in private with Melina; a request which
was granted without difficulty.
CHAPTER XIV.
The conversation of these new acquaint-
ances very soon grew confidential and lively.
When Wilhelm told the downcast youth of
his connection with the ladys parents, and
offered to mediate in the affair, showing at
the same time the strongest expectation of
success, a light was shed across the dreary and
anxious mind of the prisoner; he felt himself
already free, already reconciled with the parents
of his Wide; and now began to speak about
his future occupation and support.
On this point, said our friend, you
cannot long be in difficulty; for you seem to
me directed, not more by your circumstances
than by nature, to make your fortune in the
noble profession you have chosen. A pleasing %
figure, a sonorous voice, a feeling heart! Could
an aclor be better furnished? If I can serve
you with a few introductions, it will give me
the greatest pleasure.
I thank you with all my heart, replied
the other; but I shall hardly be able to
make use of them; for it is my purpose, if
possible, not to return to the stage.
Here you are certainly to blame, said
Wilhelm, after a pause, during which he had
424
93


partly recovered out of his astonishment; for
it had never once entered his head but that
the player, the moment his young wife and he
were out of durance, would repair to some
theatre. It seemed to him as natural and as
necessary as for the frog to seek pools of water.
He had not doubted of it for a moment; and
he now heard the contrary with boundless
surprise.
Yes, replied Melina, I have it in view
not to reappear upon the stage; but rather to
take up some civil calling, be it what it will,
so that I can but obtain one.
This is a strange resolution, which I can-
not give my approbation to. Without espe-
cial reasons, it can never be advisable to
change the mode of life we have begun with;
and, besides, I know of no condition that
presents so much allurement, so many charm-
ing prospers, as the condition of an adlor.
It is easy to see that you have never been
one, said the other.
'Alas, sir, answered Wilhelm, how
seldom is any man contented with the station
where he happens to be placed He is ever
coveting that of his neighbor, from which the
neighbor in his turn is longing to be free.
Yet still there is a difference, said Me-
lina, between bad and worse. Experience,
not impatience, makes me determine as you
see. Is there in the world any creature whose
morsel of bread is attended with such vexa-
tion, uncertainty and toil? It were almost as
good to take the staff and wallet, and beg
from door to door. What things to be en-
dured from the envy of rivals, from the par-
tiality of managers, from the ever-altering
caprices of the public! In truth, one would
need to have a hide like a bears, that is led
about in a chain along with apes and dogs of
knowledge, and cudgelled into dancing at the
sound of a bagpipe before the populace and
children.
Wilhelm thought a thousand things, which
he would not vex the worthy man by uttering.
He merely, therefore, led the conversation
round them at a distance. His friend ex-
plained himself the more candidly and cir-
cumstantially on that account. Is not the
manager obliged, said he, to fall down at
the feet of every little Stadtrath, that he may
get permission, for a month between the fairs,
to cause another groschen or two to circulate
in the place? Ours, on the whole a worthy
man, I have often pitied; though at other
times he gave me cause enough for discontent-
ment. A good actor drains him by extortion;
of the bad he cannot rid himself; and, should
he try to make his income at all equal to his
outlay, the public immediately takes umbrage,
the house stands empty; and, not to go to
wreck entirely, he must continue acfting in the
midst of sorrow and vexation. No, no, sir !
Since you are so good as to undertake to help
me, have the kindness, I entreat you, to plead
with the parents of my bride; let them get
me a little post of clerk or collector, and I
shall think myself well dealt with.
After exchanging a few words more, Wil-
helm went away with the promise to visit the
parents early in the morning and see what
could be done. Scarcely was he by himself
when he gave utterance to his thoughts in these
exclamations: Unhappy Melina! not in thy
condition, but in thyself lies the mean imped-
iment over which thou canst not gain the
mastery. What mortal in the world, if with-
out inward calling he take up a trade, an art,
or any mode of life, will not feel his situation
miserable? But he who is born with capaci-
ties for any undertaking, finds in executing
this the fairest portion of his being. Nothing
upon earth without its difficulties! It is the
secret impulse within; it is the love and the
delight we feel, that help us to conquer ob-
stacles, to clear out new paths, and to over-
leap the bounds of that narrow circle in which
others poorly toil. For thee the stage is but
a few boards; the parts assigned thee are but
what a task is to a schoolboy. The spedtators
thou regardest as on work-days they regard
each other. For thee, then, it may be well
to wish thyself behind a desk, over ruled
ledgers, colledling tolls, and picking out re-
versions. Thou feelest not the co-operating,
co-inspiring whole, which the mind alone can
invent, comprehend and complete; thou feel-
est not that in man there lives a spark of
purer fire, which, when it is not fed, when it is
not fanned, gets covered by the ashes of in-
difference and daily wants; yet not till late,
perhaps never, can be altogether quenched.
Thou feelest in thy soul no strength to fan
this spark into a flame, no riches in' thy heart
to feed it when aroused. Hunger drives thee
on, inconveniences withstand thee; and it is
hidden from thee, that, in every human con-
dition, foes lie in wait for us, invincible ex-
cept by cheerfulness and equanimity. Thou
dost well to wish thyself within the limits
of a common station; for what station that
required soul and resolution couldst thou
94