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Title: Hyperion
Author: Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Hyperion" ***

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Hyperion

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

1882



CONTENTS.



BOOK I.


Epigraph

CHAPTER I. THE HERO.

CHAPTER II. THE CHRIST OF ANDERNACH.

CHAPTER III. HOMUNCULUS.

CHAPTER IV. THE LANDLADY'S DAUGHTER.

CHAPTER V. JEAN PAUL, THE ONLY-ONE.

CHAPTER VI. HEIDELBERG AND THE BARON.

CHAPTER VII. LIVES OF SCHOLARS.

CHAPTER VIII. LITERARY FAME.


BOOK II.


Epigraph

CHAPTER I. SPRING.

CHAPTER II. A COLLOQUY.

CHAPTER III. OWL-TOWERS.

CHAPTER IV. A BEER-SCANDAL.

CHAPTER V. THE WHITE LADY'S SLIPPER AND THE PASSION-FLOWER.

CHAPTER VI. GLIMPSES INTO CLOUD-LAND.

CHAPTER VII. MILL-WHEELS AND OTHER WHEELS.

CHAPTER VIII. OLD HUMBUG.

CHAPTER IX. THE DAYLIGHT OF THE DWARFS, AND THE FALLING STAR.

CHAPTER X. THE PARTING.


BOOK III.


Epigraph

CHAPTER I. SUMMER-TIME.

CHAPTER II. FOOT-TRAVELLING.

CHAPTER III. INTERLACHEN.

CHAPTER IV. THE EVENING AND THE MORNING STAR.

CHAPTER V. A RAINY DAY.

CHAPTER VI. AFTER DINNER, AND AFTER THE MANNER OF THE BEST CRITICS.

CHAPTER VII. TAKE CARE!

CHAPTER VIII. THE FOUNTAIN OF OBLIVION.

CHAPTER IX. A TALK ON THE STAIRS.


BOOK IV.


Epigraph

CHAPTER I. A MISERERE.

CHAPTER II. CURFEW BELLS.

CHAPTER III. SHADOWS ON THE WALL.

CHAPTER IV. MUSICAL SUFFERINGS OF JOHN KREISLER.

CHAPTER V. SAINT GILGEN.

CHAPTER VI. SAINT WOLFGANG.

CHAPTER VII. THE STORY OF BROTHER BERNARDUS.

CHAPTER VIII. FOOT-PRINTS OF ANGELS.

CHAPTER IX. THE LAST PANG.



BOOK I.



Epigraph

"Who ne'er his bread in sorrow ate,

Who ne'er the mournful, midnight hours

Weeping upon his bed has sate,

He knows you not, ye Heavenly Powers."



CHAPTER I. THE HERO.



In John Lyly's Endymion, Sir Topas is made to say; "Dost thou
know what a Poet is? Why, fool, a Poet is as much as one should
say,--a Poet!" And thou, reader, dost thou know what a hero is? Why,
a hero is as much as one should say,--a hero! Some romance-writers,
however, say much more than this. Nay, the old Lombard, Matteo Maria
Bojardo, set all the church-bells in Scandiano ringing, merely
because he had found a name for one of his heroes. Here, also, shall
church-bells be rung, but more solemnly.

The setting of a great hope is like the setting of the sun. The
brightness of our life is gone. Shadows of evening fall around us,
and the world seems but a dim reflection,--itself a broader shadow.
We look forward into the coming, lonely night. The soul withdraws
into itself. Then stars arise, and the night is holy.

Paul Flemming had experienced this, though still young. The
friend of his youth was dead. The bough had broken "under the burden
of the unripe fruit." And when, after a season, he looked up again
from the blindness of his sorrow, all things seemed unreal. Like the
man, whose sight had been restored by miracle, he beheld men, as
trees, walking. His household gods were broken. He had no home. His
sympathies cried aloud from his desolate soul, and there came no
answer from the busy, turbulent world around him. He did not
willingly give way to grief. He struggled to be cheerful,--to be
strong. But he could no longer look into the familiar faces of his
friends. He could no longer live alone, where he had lived with her.
He went abroad, that the sea might be between him and the grave.
Alas! betweenhim and his sorrow there could be no sea, but that of
time.

He had already passed many months in lonely wandering, and was
now pursuing his way along the Rhine, to the south of Germany. He
had journeyed the same way before, in brighter days and a brighter
season of the year, in the May of life and in the month of May. He
knew the beauteous river all by heart;--every rock and ruin, every
echo, every legend. The ancient castles, grim and hoar, that had
taken root as it were on the cliffs,--they were all his; for his
thoughts dwelt in them, and the wind told him tales.

He had passed a sleepless night at Rolandseck, and had risen
before daybreak. He opened the window of the balcony to hear the
rushing of the Rhine. It was a damp December morning; and clouds
were passing over the sky,--thin, vapory clouds, whose snow-white
skirts were "often spotted with golden tears, which men call stars."
The day dawned slowly; and, in the mingling of daylightand
starlight, the island and cloister of Nonnenwerth made together but
one broad, dark shadow on the silver breast of the river. Beyond,
rose the summits of the Siebengebirg. Solemn and dark, like a monk,
stood the Drachenfels, in his hood of mist, and rearward extended
the Curtain of Mountains, back to the Wolkenburg,--the Castle of the
Clouds.

But Flemming thought not of the scene before him. Sorrow
unspeakable was upon his spirit in that lonely hour; and, hiding his
face in his hands, he exclaimed aloud;

"Spirit of the past! look not so mournfully at me with thy great,
tearful eyes! Touch me not with thy cold hand! Breathe not upon me
with the icy breath of the grave! Chant no more that dirge of
sorrow, through the long and silent watches of the night!"

Mournful voices from afar seemed to answer, "Treuenfels!" and he
remembered how others had suffered, and his heart grew still.

Slowly the landscape brightened. Down therushing stream came a
boat, with its white wings spread, and darted like a swallow through
the narrow pass of God's-Help. The boatmen were singing, but not the
song of Roland the Brave, which was heard of old by the weeping
Hildegund, as she sat within the walls of that cloister, which now
looked forth in the pale morning from amid the leafless linden
trees. The dim traditions of those gray old times rose in the
traveller's memory; for the ruined tower of Rolandseck was still
looking down upon the Kloster Nonnenwerth, as if the sound of the
funeral bell had changed the faithful Paladin to stone, and he were
watching still to see the form of his beloved one come forth, not
from her cloister, but from her grave. Thus the brazen clasps of the
book of legends were opened, and, on the page illuminated by the
misty rays of the rising sun, he read again the tales of Liba, and
the mournful bride of Argenfels, and Siegfried, the mighty slayer of
the dragon. Meanwhile the mists had risen from the Rhine, and the
whole air was filled with golden vapor, through which hebeheld the
sun, hanging in heaven like a drop of blood. Even thus shone the sun
within him, amid the wintry vapors, uprising from the valley of the
shadow of death, through which flowed the stream of his
life,--sighing, sighing!



CHAPTER II. THE CHRIST OF ANDERNACH.



Paul Flemming resumed his solitary journey. The morning was still
misty, but not cold. Across the Rhine the sun came wading through
the reddish vapors; and soft and silver-white outspread the broad
river, without a ripple upon its surface, or visible motion of the
ever-moving current. A little vessel, with one loose sail, was
riding at anchor, keel to keel with another, that lay right under
it, its own apparition,--and all was silent, and calm, and
beautiful.

The road was for the most part solitary; for there are few
travellers upon the Rhine in winter. Peasant women were at work in
the vineyards; climbing up the slippery hill-sides, like beasts of
burden, with large baskets of manureupon their backs. And once
during the morning, a band of apprentices, with knapsacks, passed
by, singing, "The Rhine! The Rhine! a blessing on the Rhine!"

O, the pride of the German heart in this noble river! And right
it is; for, of all the rivers of this beautiful earth, there is none
so beautiful as this. There is hardly a league of its whole course,
from its cradle in the snowy Alps to its grave in the sands of
Holland, which boasts not its peculiar charms. By heavens! If I were
a German I would be proud of it too; and of the clustering grapes,
that hang about its temples, as it reels onward through vineyards,
in a triumphal march, like Bacchus, crowned and drunken.

But I will not attempt to describe the Rhine; it would make this
chapter much too long. And to do it well, one should write like a
god; and his style flow onward royally with breaks and dashes, like
the waters of that royal river, and antique, quaint, and Gothic
times, be reflected in it. Alas! this evening my style flows not at
all. Flow, then, into this smoke-colored goblet, thou blood of the
Rhine! out of thy prison-house,--out of thy long-necked, tapering
flask, in shape not unlike a church-spire among thy native hills;
and, from the crystal belfry, loud ring the merry tinkling bells,
while I drink a health to my hero, in whose heart is sadness, and in
whose ears the bells of Andernach are ringing noon.

He is threading his way alone through a narrow alley, and now up
a flight of stone steps, and along the city wall, towards that old
round tower, built by the Archbishop Frederick of Cologne in the
twelfth century. It has a romantic interest in his eyes; for he has
still in his mind and heart that beautiful sketch of Carové, in
which is described a day on the tower of Andernach. He finds the old
keeper and his wife still there; and the old keeper closes the door
behind him slowly, as of old, lest he should jam too hard the poor
souls in Purgatory, whose fate it is to suffer in the cracks of
doors and hinges. But alas! alas! the daughter, the maiden with
long, dark eyelashes! she is asleep in her little grave, under the
linden trees of Feldkirche, with rosemary in her folded hands!

Flemming returned to the hotel disappointed. As he passed along
the narrow streets, he was dreaming of many things; but mostly of
the keeper's daughter, asleep in the churchyard of Feldkirche.
Suddenly, on turning the corner of an ancient, gloomy church, his
attention was arrested by a little chapel in an angle of the wall.
It was only a small thatched roof, like a bird's nest; under which
stood a rude wooden image of the Saviour on the Cross. A real crown
of thorns was upon his head, which was bowed downward, as if in the
death agony; and drops of blood were falling down his cheeks, and
from his hands and feet and side. The face was haggard and ghastly
beyond all expression; and wore a look of unutterable bodily
anguish. The rude sculptor had given it this, but his art could go
no farther. The sublimity of death in a dying Saviour, the expiring
God-likeness of Jesus of Nazareth was not there. The artist had
caught no heavenly inspiration from his theme. All was coarse,
harsh, and revolting to a sensitive mind; and Flemming turned away
with a shudder, as he saw this fearful image gazing at him, with its
fixed and half-shut eyes.

He soon reached the hotel, but that face of agony still haunted
him. He could not refrain from speaking of it to a very old woman,
who sat knitting by the window of the dining-room, in a high-backed,
old-fashioned arm-chair. I believe she was the innkeeper's
grandmother. At all events she was old enough to be so. She took off
her owl-eyed spectacles, and, as she wiped the glasses with her
handkerchief, said;

"Thou dear Heaven! Is it possible! Did you never hear of the
Christ of Andernach?"

Flemming answered in the negative.

"Thou dear Heaven!" continued the old woman. "It is a very
wonderful story; and a true one, as every good Christian in
Andernach will tell you. And it all happened before the deathof my
blessed man, four years ago, let me see,--yes, four years ago, come
Christmas."

Here the old woman stopped speaking, but went on with her
knitting. Other thoughts seemed to occupy her mind. She was
thinking, no doubt, of her blessed man, as German widows call their
dead husbands. But Flemming having expressed an ardent wish to hear
the wonderful story, she told it, in nearly the following words.

"There was once a poor old woman in Andernach whose name was Frau
Martha, and she lived all alone in a house by herself, and loved all
the Saints and the blessed Virgin, and was as good as an angel, and
sold pies down by the Rheinkrahn. But her house was very old, and
the roof-tiles were broken, and she was too poor to get new ones,
and the rain kept coming in, and no Christian soul in Andernach
would help her. But the Frau Martha was a good woman, and never did
anybody any harm, but went to mass every morning, and sold pies by
the Rheinkrahn. Now one dark, windy night, when all the good
Christians in Andernachwere abed and asleep in the feathers, Frau
Martha, who slept under the roof, heard a great noise over her head,
and in her chamber, drip! drip! drip! as if the rain were dropping
down through the broken tiles. Dear soul! and sure enough it was.
And then there was a pounding and hammering overhead, as if somebody
were at work on the roof; and she thought it was Pelz-Nickel tearing
the tiles off, because she had not been to confession often enough.
So she began to pray; and the faster she said her Pater-noster and
her Ave-Maria, the faster Pelz-Nickel pounded and pulled; and drip!
drip! drip! it went all round her in the dark chamber, till the poor
woman was frightened out of her wits, and ran to the window to call
for help. Then in a moment all was still,--death-still. But she saw
a light streaming through the mist and rain, and a great shadow on
the house opposite. And then somebody came down from the top of her
house by a ladder, and had a lantern in his hand; and he took the
ladder on his shoulder and went down thestreet. But she could not
see clearly, because the window was streaked with rain. And in the
morning the old broken tiles were found scattered about the street,
and there were new ones on the roof, and the old house has never
leaked to this blessed day.

"As soon as mass was over Frau Martha told the priest what had
happened, and he said it was not Pelz-Nickel, but, without doubt,
St. Castor or St. Florian. Then she went to the market and told Frau
Bridget all about it; and Frau Bridget said, that, two nights
before, Hans Claus, the cooper, had heard a great pounding in his
shop, and in the morning found new hoops on all his old hogsheads;
and that a man with a lantern and a ladder had been seen riding out
of town at midnight on a donkey, and that the same night the old
windmill, at Kloster St. Thomas, had been mended up, and the old
gate of the churchyard at Feldkirche made as good as new, though
nobody knew how the man got across the river. Then Frau Martha went
down to the Rheinkrahn and told all thesestories over again; and the
old ferryman of Fahr said he could tell something about it; for, the
very night that the churchyard-gate was mended, he was lying awake
in his bed, because he could not sleep, and he heard a loud knocking
at the door, and somebody calling to him to get up and set him over
the river. And when he got up, he saw a man down by the river with a
lantern and a ladder; but as he was going down to him, the man blew
out the light, and it was so dark he could not see who he was; and
his boat was old and leaky, and he was afraid to set him over in the
dark; but the man said he must be in Andernach that night; and so he
set him over. And after they had crossed the river, he watched the
man, till he came to an image of the Holy Virgin, and saw him put
the ladder against the wall, and go up and light his lamp, and then
walk along the street. And in the morning he found his old boat all
caulked, and tight, and painted red, and he could not for his
blessed life tell who did it, unless it werethe man with the
lantern. Dear soul! how strange it was!

"And so it went on for some time; and, whenever the man with the
lantern had been seen walking through the street at night, so sure
as the morning came, some work had been done for the sake of some
good soul; and everybody knew he did it; and yet nobody could find
out who he was, nor where he lived;--for, whenever they came near
him, he blew out his light, and turned down another street, and, if
they followed him, he suddenly disappeared, nobody could tell how.
And some said it was Rübezahl; and some, Pelz-Nickel; and some, St.
Anthony-on-the-Health.

"Now one stormy night a poor, sinful creature was wandering about
the streets, with her babe in her arms, and she was hungry, and
cold, and no soul in Andernach would take her in. And when she came
to the church, where the great crucifix stands, she saw no light in
the little chapel at the corner; but she sat down on a stone at the
foot of the cross and began to pray, and prayed, till she fell
asleep, with her poor little babe on her bosom. But she did not
sleep long; for a bright light shone full in her face; and, when she
opened her eyes, she saw a pale man, with a lantern, standing right
before her. He was almost naked; and there was blood upon his hands
and body, and great tears in his beautiful eyes, and his face was
like the face of the Saviour on the cross. Not a single word did he
say to the poor woman; but looked at her compassionately, and gave
her a loaf of bread, and took the little babe in his arms, and
kissed it. Then the mother looked up to the great crucifix, but
there was no image there; and she shrieked and fell down as if she
were dead. And there she was found with her child; and a few days
after they both died, and were buried together in one grave. And
nobody would have believed her story, if a woman, who lived at the
corner, had not gone to the window, when she heard the scream, and
seen the figure hang the lantern up in its place, and then set the
ladder against the wall, and go up and nailitself to the cross.
Since that night it has never moved again. Ach! Herr Je!"

Such was the legend of the Christ of Andernach, as the old woman
in spectacles told it to Flemming. It made a painful impression on
his sick and morbid soul; and he felt now for the first time in full
force, how great is the power of popular superstition.

The post-chaise was now at the door, and Flemming was soon on the
road to Coblentz, a city which stands upon the Rhine, at the mouth
of the Mosel, opposite Ehrenbreitstein. It is by no means a long
drive from Andernach to Coblentz; and the only incident which
occurred to enliven the way was the appearance of a fat, red-faced
man on horseback, trotting slowly towards Andernach. As they met,
the mad little postilion gave him a friendly cut with his whip, and
broke out into an exclamation, which showed he was from Münster;

"Jesmariosp! my friend! How is the Man in the Custom-House?"

Now to any candid mind this would seem a fair question enough;
but not so thought the red-faced man on horseback; for he waxed
exceedingly angry, and replied, as the chaise whirled by;

"The devil take you, and your Westphalian ham, and
pumpernickel!"

Flemming called to his servant, and the servant to the postilion,
for an explanation of this short dialogue; and the explanation was,
that on the belfry of the Kaufhaus in Coblentz, is a huge head, with
a brazen helmet and a beard; and whenever the clock strikes, at each
stroke of the hammer, this giant's head opens its great jaws and
smites its teeth together, as if, like the brazen head of Friar
Bacon, it would say; "Time was; Time is; Time is past." This figure
is known through all the country round about, as "The Man in the
Custom-House"; and, when a friend in the country meets a friend from
Coblentz, instead of saying, "How are all the good people in
Coblentz?"--he says, "How is the Man in the Custom-House?" Thus the
giant has a great partto play in the town; and thus ended the first
day of Flemming's Rhine-journey; and the only good deed he had done
was to give an alms to a poor beggar woman, who lifted up her
trembling hands and exclaimed;

"Thou blessed babe!"



CHAPTER III. HOMUNCULUS.



After all, a journey up the Rhine, in the mists and solitude of
December, is not so unpleasant as the reader may perhaps imagine.
You have the whole road and river to yourself. Nobody is on the
wing; hardly a single traveller. The ruins are the same; and the
river, and the outlines of the hills; and there are few living
figures in the landscape to wake you from your musings, distract
your thoughts, and cover you with dust.

Thus, likewise, thought our traveller, as he continued his
journey on the morrow. The day is overcast, and the clouds threaten
rain or snow. Why does he stop at the little village of Capellen?
Because, right above him on the high cliff, the glorious ruin of
Stolzenfels is looking at him with itshollow eyes, and beckoning to
him with its gigantic finger, as if to say; "Come up hither, and I
will tell thee an old tale." Therefore he alights, and goes up the
narrow village lane, and up the stone steps, and up the steep
pathway, and throws himself into the arms of that ancient ruin, and
holds his breath, to hear the quick footsteps of the falling snow,
like the footsteps of angels descending upon earth. And that ancient
ruin speaks to him with its hollow voice, and says;

"Beware of dreams! Beware of the illusions of fancy! Beware of
the solemn deceivings of thy vast desires! Beneath me flows the
Rhine, and, like the stream of Time, it flows amid the ruins of the
Past. I see myself therein, and I know that I am old. Thou, too,
shalt be old. Be wise in season. Like the stream of thy life, runs
the stream beneath us. Down from the distant Alps,--out into the
wide world, it bursts away, like a youth from the house of his
fathers. Broad-breasted and strong, and with earnest endeavours,
like manhood, it makes itself a way through these difficultmountain
passes. And at length, in its old age, its stops, and its steps are
weary and slow, and it sinks into the sand, and, through its grave,
passes into the great ocean, which is its eternity. Thus shall it be
with thee.

"In ancient times there dwelt within these halls a follower of
Jesus of Jerusalem,--an Archbishop in the church of Christ. He gave
himself up to dreams; to the illusions of fancy; to the vast desires
of the human soul. He sought after the impossible. He sought after
the Elixir of Life,--the Philosopher's Stone. The wealth, that
should have fed the poor, was melted in his crucibles. Within these
walls the Eagle of the clouds sucked the blood of the Red Lion, and
received the spiritual Love of the Green Dragon, but alas! was
childless. In solitude and utter silence did the disciple of the
Hermetic Philosophy toil from day to day, from night to night. From
the place where thou standest, he gazed at evening upon hills, and
vales, and waters spread beneath him; and saw how the setting sun
had changed them allto gold, by an alchymy more cunning than his
own. He saw the world beneath his feet; and said in his heart, that
he alone was wise. Alas! he read more willingly in the book of
Paracelsus, than in the book of Nature; and, believing that `where
reason hath experience, faith hath no mind,' would fain have made
unto himself a child, not as Nature teaches us, but as the
Philosopher taught,--a poor homunculus, in a glass bottle. And he
died poor and childless!"

Whether it were worth while to climb the Stolzenfels to hear such
a homily as this, some persons may perhaps doubt. But Paul Flemming
doubted not. He laid the lesson to heart; and it would have saved
him many an hour of sorrow, if he had learned that lesson better,
and remembered it longer.

In ancient times, there stood in the citadel of Athens three
statues of Minerva. The first was of olive wood, and, according to
popular tradition, had fallen from heaven. The second was of bronze,
commemorating the victory of Marathon; and the third of gold and
ivory,--a great miracle of art, in the age of Pericles. And thus in
the citadel of Time stands Man himself. In childhood, shaped of soft
and delicate wood, just fallen from heaven; in manhood, a statue of
bronze, commemorating struggle and victory; and lastly, in the
maturity of age, perfectly shaped in gold and ivory,--a miracle of
art!

Flemming had already lived through the oliveage. He was passing
into the age of bronze, into his early manhood; and in his hands the
flowers of Paradise were changing to the sword and shield.

And this reminds me, that I have not yet described my hero. I
will do it now, as he stands looking down on the glorious
landscape;--but in few words. Both in person and character he
resembled Harold, the Fair-Hair of Norway, who is described, in the
old Icelandic Death-Song of Regner Hairy-Breeches, as "the young
chief so proud of his flowing locks; he who spent his mornings among
the young maidens; he who loved toconverse with the handsome
widows." This was an amiable weakness; and it sometimes led him into
mischief. Imagination was the ruling power of his mind. His thoughts
were twin-born; the thought itself, and its figurative semblance in
the outer world. Thus, through the quiet, still waters of his soul
each image floated double, "swan and shadow."

These traits of character, a good heart and a poetic imagination,
made his life joyous and the world beautiful; till at length Death
cut down the sweet, blue flower, that bloomed beside him, and
wounded him with that sharp sickle, so that he bowed his head, and
would fain have been bound up in the same sheaf with the sweet, blue
flower. Then the world seemed to him less beautiful, and life became
earnest. It would have been well if he could have forgotten the
past; that he might not so mournfully have lived in it, but might
have enjoyed and improved the present. But this his heart refused to
do; and ever, as he floated upon the great sea of life, he looked
down through thetransparent waters, checkered with sunshine and
shade, into the vast chambers of the mighty deep, in which his
happier days had sunk, and wherein they were lying still visible,
like golden sands, and precious stones, and pearls; and, half in
despair, half in hope, he grasped downward after them again, and
drew back his hand, filled only with seaweed, and dripping with
briny tears!--And between him and those golden sands, a radiant
image floated, like the spirit in Dante's Paradise, singing
"Ave-Maria!" and while it sang, down-sinking, and slowly vanishing
away.

The truth is, that in all things he acted more from impulse than
from fixed principle; as is the case with most young men. Indeed,
his principles hardly had time to take root; for he pulled them all
up, every now and then, as children do the flowers they have
planted,--to see if they are growing. Yet there was much in him
which was good; for underneath the flowers and green-sward of
poetry, and the good principles which would have taken root, had he
given them time, therelay a strong and healthy soil of common
sense,--freshened by living springs of feeling, and enriched by many
faded hopes, that had fallen upon it like dead leaves.



CHAPTER IV. THE LANDLADY'S DAUGHTER.



"Allez Fuchs! allez lustig!" cried the impatient postilion to his
horses, in accents, which, like the wild echo of the Lurley Felsen,
came first from one side of the river, and then from the
other,--that is to say, in words alternately French and German. The
truth is, he was tired of waiting; and when Flemming had at length
resumed his seat in the post-chaise, the poor horses had to make up
the time lost in dreams on the mountain. This is far oftener the
case, than most people imagine. One half of the world has to sweat
and groan, that the other half may dream. It would have been a
difficult task for the traveller or his postilion to persuade the
horses, that these dreams were all for their good.

The next stopping-place was the little tavern of the Star, an
out-of-the-way corner in the town of Salzig. It stands on the banks
of the Rhine; and, directly in front of it, sheer from the water's
edge, rise the mountains of Liebenstein and Sternenfels, each with
its ruined castle. These are the Brothers of the old tradition,
still gazing at each other face to face; and beneath them in the
valley stands a cloister,--meek emblem of that orphan child, they
both so passionately loved.

In a small, flat-bottomed boat did the landlady's daughter row
Flemming "over the Rhine-stream, rapid and roaring wide." She was a
beautiful girl of sixteen; with black hair, and dark, lovely eyes,
and a face that had a story to tell. How different faces are in this
particular! Some of them speak not. They are books in which not a
line is written, save perhaps a date. Others are great family
bibles, with all the Old and New Testament written in them. Others
are Mother Goose and nursery tales;--others bad tragedies or
pickle-herring farces; and others, like that of the landlady's
daughter at the Star, sweet love-anthologies, and songs of the
affections. It was on that account, that Flemming said to her, as
they glided out into the swift stream;

"My dear child! do you know the story of the Liebenstein?"

"The story of the Liebenstein," she answered, "I got by heart,
when I was a little child."

And here her large, dark, passionate eyes looked into Flemming's,
and he doubted not, that she had learned the story far too soon, and
far too well. That story he longed to hear, as if it were unknown to
him; for he knew that the girl, who had got it by heart when a
child, would tell it as it should be told. So he begged her to
repeat the story, which she was but too glad to do; for she loved
and believed it, as if it had all been written in the Bible. But
before she began, she rested a moment on her oars, and taking the
crucifix, which hung suspended from her neck, kissed it, and then
let it sink down into her bosom, as if it were an anchor she was
letting down into her heart. Meanwhile her moist, dark eyes were
turned to heaven. Perhaps her soul was walking with the souls of
Cunizza, and Rahab, and Mary Magdalen. Or perhaps she was thinking
of that Nun, of whom St. Gregory says, in his Dialogues, that,
having greedily eaten a lettuce in a garden, without making the sign
of the cross, she found herself soon after possessed with a
devil.

The probability, however, is, that she was looking up to the
ruined castles only, and not to heaven, for she soon began her
story, and told Flemming how, a great, great many years ago, an old
man lived in the Liebenstein with his two sons; and how both the
young men loved the Lady Geraldine, an orphan, under their father's
care; and how the elder brother went away in despair, and the
younger was betrothed to the Lady Geraldine; and how they were as
happy as Aschenputtel and the Prince. And then the holy Saint
Bernard came and carried away all the young men to the war, just as
Napoleon did afterwards; and the young lord went to the Holy Land,
and the Lady Geraldine sat in her tower and wept, and waited for her
lover's return, while the old father built the Sternenfels for them
to live in when they were married. And when it was finished, the old
man died; and the elder brother came back and lived in the
Liebenstein, and took care of the gentle Lady. Ere long there came
news from the Holy Land, that the war was over; and the heart of the
gentle Lady beat with joy, till she heard that her faithless lover
was coming back with a Greek wife,--the wicked man! and then she
went into a convent and became a holy nun. So the young lord of
Sternenfels came home, and lived in his castle in great splendor
with the Greek woman, who was a wicked woman, and did what she ought
not to do. But the elder brother was angry for the wrong done the
gentle Lady, and challenged the lord of Sternenfels to single
combat. And, while they were fighting with their great swords in the
valley of Bornhofen behind the castle, the convent bells began to
ring, and the Lady Geraldine came forth with a train of nuns
alldressed in white, and made the brothers friends again, and told
them she was the bride of Heaven, and happier in her convent than
she could have been in the Liebenstein or the Sternenfels. And when
the brothers returned, they found that the false Greek wife had gone
away with another knight. So they lived together in peace, and were
never married. And when they died--"

"Lisbeth! Lisbeth!" cried a sharp voice from the shore, "Lisbeth!
Where are you taking the gentleman?"

This recalled the poor girl to her senses; and she saw how fast
they were floating down stream. For in telling the story she had
forgotten every thing else, and the swift current had swept them
down to the tall walnut trees of Kamp. They landed in front of the
Capucin Monastery. Lisbeth led the way through the little village,
and turning to the right pointed up the romantic, lonely valley
which leads to the Liebenstein, and even offered to go up. But
Flemming patted her cheek and shook his head. He went up the valley
alone.



CHAPTER V. JEAN PAUL, THE ONLY-ONE.



The man in the play, who wished for `some forty pounds of lovely
beef, placed in a Mediterranean sea of brewis,' might have seen his
ample desires almost realized at the table d'hôte of the Rheinischen
Hof, in Mayence, where Flemming dined that day. At the head of the
table sat a gentleman, with a smooth, broad forehead, and large,
intelligent eyes. He was from Baireuth in Franconia; and talked
about poetry and Jean Paul, to a pale, romantic-looking lady on his
right. There was music all dinner-time, at the other end of the
hall; a harp and a horn and a voice; so that a great part of the fat
gentleman's conversation with the pale lady was lost to Flemming,
who sat opposite to her, and could look right into her large,
melancholy eyes. But what heheard, so much interested him,--indeed,
the very name of the beloved Jean Paul would have been enough for
this,--that he ventured to join in the conversation, and asked the
German if he had known the poet personally.

"Yes; I knew him well," replied the stranger. "I am a native of
Baireuth, where he passed the best years of his life. In my mind the
man and the author are closely united. I never read a page of his
writings without hearing his voice, and seeing his form before me.
There he sits, with his majestic, mountainous forehead, his mild
blue eyes, and finely cut nose and mouth; his massive frame clad
loosely and carelessly in an old green frock, from the pockets of
which the corners of books project, and perhaps the end of a loaf of
bread, and the nose of a bottle;--a straw hat, lined with green,
lying near him; a huge walking-stick in his hand, and at his feet a
white poodle, with pink eyes and a string round his neck. You would
sooner have taken him for a master-carpenter than for a poet. Is he
a favorite author of yours?"

Flemming answered in the affirmative.

"But a foreigner must find it exceedingly difficult to understand
him," said the gentleman. "It is by no means an easy task for us
Germans."

"I have always observed," replied Flemming, "that the true
understanding and appreciation of a poet depend more upon
individual, than upon national character. If there be a sympathy
between the minds of writer and reader, the bounds and barriers of a
foreign tongue are soon overleaped. If you once understand an
author's character, the comprehension of his writings becomes
easy."

"Very true," replied the German, "and the character of Richter is
too marked to be easily misunderstood. Its prominent traits are
tenderness and manliness,--qualities, which are seldom found united
in so high a degree as in him. Over all he sees, over all he writes,
are spread the sunbeams of a cheerful spirit,--the light of
inexhaustible human love. Every sound of human joy and of human
sorrow finds a deep-resoundingecho in his bosom. In every man, he
loves his humanity only, not his superiority. The avowed object of
all his literary labors was to raise up again the down-sunken faith
in God, virtue, and immortality; and, in an egotistical,
revolutionary age, to warm again our human sympathies, which have
now grown cold. And not less boundless is his love for nature,--for
this outward, beautiful world. He embraces it all in his arms."

"Yes," answered Flemming, almost taking the words out of the
stranger's mouth, "for in his mind all things become idealized. He
seems to describe himself when he describes the hero of his Titan,
as a child, rocking in a high wind upon the branches of a
full-blossomed apple-tree, and, as its summit, blown abroad by the
wind, now sunk him in deep green, and now tossed him aloft in deep
blue and glancing sunshine,--in his imagination stood that tree
gigantic;--it grew alone in the universe, as if it were the tree of
eternal life; its roots struck down into the abyss; the white and
red clouds hung as blossoms upon it; the moon asfruit; the little
stars sparkled like dew, and Albano reposed in its measureless
summit; and a storm swayed the summit out of Day into Night, and out
of Night into Day."

"Yet the spirit of love," interrupted the Franconian, "was not
weakness, but strength. It was united in him with great manliness.
The sword of his spirit had been forged and beaten by poverty. Its
temper had been tried by a thirty years' war. It was not broken, not
even blunted; but rather strengthened and sharpened by the blows it
gave and received. And, possessing this noble spirit of humanity,
endurance, and self-denial, he made literature his profession; as if
he had been divinely commissioned to write. He seems to have cared
for nothing else, to have thought of nothing else, than living
quietly and making books. He says, that he felt it his duty, not to
enjoy, nor to acquire, but to write; and boasted, that he had made
as many books as he had lived years."

"And what do you Germans consider the prominent characteristics
of his genius?"

"Most undoubtedly his wild imagination and his playfulness. He
throws over all things a strange and magic coloring. You are
startled at the boldness and beauty of his figures and
illustrations, which are scattered everywhere with a reckless
prodigality;--multitudinous, like the blossoms of early summer,--and
as fragrant and beautiful. With a thousand extravagances are mingled
ten thousand beauties of thought and expression, which kindle the
reader's imagination, and lead it onward in a bold flight, through
the glow of sunrise and sunset, and the dewy coldness and starlight
of summer nights. He is difficult to understand,--intricate,--
strange,--drawing his illustrations from every by-corner of science,
art, and nature,--a comet, among the bright stars of German
literature. When you read his works, it is as if you were climbing a
high mountain, in merry company, to see the sun rise. At times you
are enveloped in mist,--the morning wind sweeps by you with a
shout,--you hear the far-off muttering thunders. Wide beneath you
spreads the landscape,--field, meadow, town, and winding river. The
ringing of distant church-bells, or the sound of solemn village
clock, reaches you;--then arises the sweet and manifold fragrance of
flowers,--the birds begin to sing,--the vapors roll away,--up comes
the glorious sun,--you revel like the lark in the sunshine and
bright blue heaven, and all is a delirious dream of soul and
sense,--when suddenly a friend at your elbow laughs aloud, and
offers you a piece of Bologna sausage. As in real life, so in his
writings,--the serious and the comic, the sublime and the grotesque,
the pathetic and the ludicrous are mingled together. At times he is
sententious, energetic, simple; then again, obscure and diffuse. His
thoughts are like mummies embalmed in spices, and wrapped about with
curious envelopements; but within these the thoughts themselves are
kings. At times glad, beautiful images, airy forms, move by you,
graceful, harmonious;--at times the glaring, wild-looking fancies,
chained together by hyphens, brackets, and dashes, brave and base,
high and low, all in their motley dresses, go sweeping down the
dusty page, like the galley-slaves, that sweep the streets of Rome,
where you may chance to see the nobleman and the peasant manacled
together."

Flemming smiled at the German's warmth, to which the presence of
the lady, and the Laubenheimer wine, seemed each to have contributed
something, and then said;

"Better an outlaw, than not free!--These are his own words. And
thus he changes at his will. Like the God Thor, of the old Northern
mythology, he now holds forth the seven bright stars in the bright
heaven above us, and now hides himself in clouds, and pounds away
with his great hammer."

"And yet this is not affectation in him," rejoined the German.
"It is his nature, it is Jean Paul. And the figures and ornaments of
his style, wild, fantastic, and oft-times startling, like those in
Gothic cathedrals, are not merely what they seem, but massive
coignes and buttresses, which support the fabric. Remove them, and
the roofand walls fall in. And through these gurgoyles, these wild
faces, carved upon spouts and gutters, flow out, like gathered rain,
the bright, abundant thoughts, that have fallen from heaven.

"And all he does, is done with a kind of serious playfulness. He
is a sea-monster, disporting himself on the broad ocean; his very
sport is earnest; there is something majestic and serious about it.
In every thing there is strength, a rough good-nature, all sunshine
overhead, and underneath the heavy moaning of the sea. Well may he
be called `Jean Paul, the Only-One.'"

With such discourse the hour of dinner passed; and after dinner
Flemming went to the Cathedral. They were singing vespers. A beadle,
dressed in blue, with a cocked hat, and a crimson sash and collar,
was strutting, like a turkey, along the aisles. This important
gentleman conducted Flemming through the church, and showed him the
choir, with its heavy-sculptured stalls of oak, and the beautiful
figures in brown stone, over the bishops' tombs. He then led him, by
a side-door, into theold and ruined cloisters of St. Willigis.
Through the low gothic arches the sunshine streamed upon the
pavement of tombstones, whose images and inscriptions are mostly
effaced by the footsteps of many generations. There stands the tomb
of Frauenlob, the Minnesinger. His face is sculptured on an
entablature in the wall; a fine, strongly-marked, and serious
countenance. Below it is a bas-relief, representing the poet's
funeral. He is carried to his grave by ladies, whose praise he sang,
and thereby won the name of Frauenlob.

"This then," said Flemming, "is the grave, not of Praise-God
Bare-bones, but of Praise-the-Ladies Meissen, who wrote songs
`somewhat of lust, and somewhat of love.' But where sleeps the dust
of his rival and foe, sweet Master Bartholomew Rainbow?"

He meant this for an aside; but the turkey-cock picked it up and
answered;

"I do not know. He did not belong to this parish."

It was already night, when Flemming crossedthe Roman bridge over
the Nahe, and entered the town of Bingen. He stopped at the White
Horse; and, before going to bed, looked out into the dim starlight
from his window towards the Rhine, and his heart leaped up to behold
the bold outline of the neighbouring hills crested with Gothic
ruins;--which in the morning proved to be only a high, slated roof
with fantastic chimneys.

The morning was bright and frosty; and the river tinged with gay
colors from the rising sun. A soft, thin vapor floated in the air.
In the sunbeams flashed the hoar-frost, like silver stars; and
through a long avenue of trees, whose dripping branches bent and
scattered pearls before him, Paul Flemming journeyed on in
triumph.

I will not prolong this journey, for I am weary and way-worn, and
would fain be at Heidelberg with my readers, and my hero. It was
already night when he reached the Manheim gate, and drove down the
long Hauptstrasse so slowly, that it seemed to him endless. The
shops werelighted on each side of the street, and he saw faces at
the windows here and there, and figures passing in the lamp-light,
visible for a moment and then swallowed up in the darkness. The
thoughts that filled his mind were strange; as are always the
thoughts of a traveller, who enters for the first time a strange
city. This little world had been going on for centuries before he
came; and would go on for centuries after he was gone. Of all the
thousands who inhabited it he knew nothing; and what knew they, or
thought, of the stranger, who, in that close post-chaise, weary with
travel, and chilled by the evening wind, was slowly rumbling over
the paved street! Truly, this world can go on without us, if we
would but think so. If it had been a hearse instead of a
post-chaise, it would have been all the same to the people of
Heidelberg,--though by no means the same to Paul Flemming.

But at the farther end of the city, near the Castle and the
Carls-Thor, one warm heart was waiting to receive him; and this was
the German heart of his friend, the Baron of Hohenfels, with whom he
was to pass the winter in Heidelberg. No sooner had the carriage
stopped at the irongrated gate, and the postilion blown his horn, to
announce the arrival of a traveller, than the Baron was seen among
the servants at the door; and, a few moments afterwards, the two
long-absent friends were in each other's arms, and Flemming received
a kiss upon each cheek, and another on the mouth, as the pledge and
seal of the German's friendship. They held each other long by the
hand, and looked into each other's faces, and saw themselves in each
other's eyes, both literally and figuratively; literally, inasmuch
as the images were there; and figuratively, inasmuch as each was
imagining what the other thought of him, after the lapse of some
years. In friendly hopes and questionings and answers, the evening
glided away at the supper-table, where many more things were
discussed than the roasted hare, and the Johannisberger; and they
sat late into the night, conversing of the thoughts and feelings and
delights, which fill the hearts of young men, who have already
enjoyed and suffered, and hoped and been disappointed.



CHAPTER VI. HEIDELBERG AND THE BARON.



High and hoar on the forehead of the Jettenbühl stands the Castle
of Heidelberg. Behind it rise the oak-crested hills of the Geissberg
and the Kaiserstuhl; and in front, from the broad terrace of
masonry, you can almost throw a stone upon the roofs of the city, so
close do they lie beneath. Above this terrace rises the broad front
of the chapel of Saint Udalrich. On the left, stands the slender
octagon tower of the horologe, and, on the right, a huge round
tower, battered and shattered by the mace of war, shores up with its
broad shoulders the beautiful palace and garden-terrace of
Elisabeth, wife of the Pfalzgraf Frederick. In the rear are older
palaces and towers, forming a vast, irregular quadrangle;--Rodolph's
ancientcastle, with its Gothic gloriette and fantastic gables; the
Giant's Tower, guarding the drawbridge over the moat; the Rent
Tower, with the linden-trees growing on its summit, and the
magnificent Rittersaal of Otho-Henry, Count Palatine of the Rhine
and grand seneschal of the Holy Roman Empire. From the gardens
behind the castle, you pass under the archway of the Giant's Tower
into the great court-yard. The diverse architecture of different
ages strikes the eye; and curious sculptures. In niches on the wall
of Saint Udalrich's chapel stand rows of knights in armour, all
broken and dismembered; and on the front of Otho's Rittersaal, the
heroes of Jewish history and classic fable. You enter the open and
desolate chambers of the ruin; and on every side are medallions and
family arms; the Globe of the Empire and the Golden Fleece, or the
Eagle of the Cæsars, resting on the escutcheons of Bavaria and the
Palatinate. Over the windows and door-ways and chimney-pieces, are
sculptures and mouldings of exquisite workmanship; and the eyeis
bewildered by the profusion of caryatides, and arabesques, and
rosettes, and fan-like flutings, and garlands of fruits and flowers
and acorns, and bullocks'-heads with draperies of foliage, and
muzzles of lions, holding rings in their teeth. The cunning hand of
Art was busy for six centuries, in raising and adorning these walls;
the mailed hands of Time and War have defaced and overthrown them in
less than two. Next to the Alhambra of Granada, the Castle of
Heidelberg is the most magnificent ruin of the Middle Ages.

In the valley below flows the rushing stream of the Neckar. Close
from its margin, on the opposite side, rises the Mountain of All
Saints, crowned with the ruins of a convent; and up the valley
stretches the mountain-curtain of the Odenwald. So close and many
are the hills, which eastward shut the valley in, that the river
seems a lake. But westward it opens, upon the broad plain of the
Rhine, like the mouth of a trumpet; and like the blast of a trumpet
is at times the wintry wind through this narrow mountain pass. The
blue Alsatian hills rise beyond; and, on a platform or strip of level
land, between the Neckar and the mountains, right under the castle,
stands the city of Heidelberg; as the old song says, "a pleasant
city, when it has done raining."

Something of this did Paul Flemming behold, when he rose the next
morning and looked from his window. It was a warm, vapory morning,
and a struggle was going on between the mist and the rising sun. The
sun had taken the hill-tops, but the mist still kept possession of
the valley and the town. The steeple of the great church rose
through a dense mass of snow-white clouds; and eastward, on the
hills, the dim vapors were rolling across the windows of the ruined
castle, like the fiery smoke of a great conflagration. It seemed to
him an image of the rising of the sun of Truth on a benighted world;
its light streamed through the ruins of centuries; and, down in the
valley of Time, the cross on the Christian church caught its rays,
though the priests were singing in mist and darkness below.

In the warm breakfast-parlour he found the Baron, waiting for
him. He was lying upon a sofa, in morning gown and purple-velvet
slippers, both with flowers upon them. He had a guitar in his hand,
and a pipe in his mouth, at the same time smoking, playing, and
humming his favorite song from Goethe;

"The water rushed, the water swelled,

A fisher sat thereby."

Flemming could hardly refrain from laughing at the sight of his
friend; and told him it reminded him of a street-musician he once
saw in Aix-la-Chapelle, who was playing upon six instruments at
once; having a helmet with bells on his head, a Pan's-reed in his
cravat, a fiddle in his hand, a triangle on his knee, cymbals on his
heels, and on his back a bass-drum, which he played with his elbows.
To tell the truth, the Baron of Hohenfels was rather a miscellaneous
youth, rather a universal genius. He pursued all things with
eagerness, but for a short time only; music, poetry, painting,
pleasure, even the study of the Pandects. Hisfeelings were keenly
alive to the enjoyment of life. His great defect was, that he was
too much in love with human nature. But by the power of imagination,
in him, the bearded goat was changed to a bright Capricornus:--no
longer an animal on earth, but a constellation in heaven. An easy
and indolent disposition made him gentle and childlike in his
manners; and, in short, the beauty of his character, like that of
the precious opal, was owing to a defect in its organization. His
person was tall and slightly built; his hair light; and his eyes
blue, and as beautiful as those of a girl. In the tones of his
voice, there was something indescribably gentle and winning; and he
spoke the German language, with the soft, musical accent of his
native province of Curland. In his manners, if he had not `Antinous'
easy sway,' he had at least an easy sway of his own. Such, in few
words, was the bosom friend of Flemming.

"And what do you think of Heidelberg and the old castle up
there?" said he, as they seated themselves at the
breakfast-table.

"Last night the town seemed very long to me," replied Flemming; "and
as to the castle, I have as yet had but a glimpse of it through the
mist. They tell me there is nothing finer in its way, excepting the
Alhambra of Granada; and no doubt I shall find it so. Only I wish
the stone were gray and not red. But, red or gray, I foresee that I
shall waste many a long hour in its desolate halls. Pray, does
anybody live up there now-a-days?"

"Nobody," answered the Baron, "but the man, who shows the
Heidelberg Ton, and Monsieur Charles de Grainberg, a Frenchman, who
has been there sketching ever since the year eighteen-hundred and
ten. He has, moreover, written a super-magnificent description of
the ruin, in which he says, that during the day only birds of prey
disturb it with their piercing cries, and at night, screech-owls,
and other fallow deer. These are his own words. You must buy his
book and his sketches."

"Yes, the quotation and the tone of your voice will certainly
persuade me so to do."

"Take his or none, my friend, for you will find no others. And
seriously, his sketches are very good. There is one on the wall
there, which is beautiful, save and except that straddle-bug figure
among the bushes in the corner."

"But is there no ghost, no haunted chamber in the old castle?"
asked Flemming, after casting a hasty glance at the picture.

"Oh, certainly," replied the Baron; "there are two. There is the
ghost of the Virgin Mary in Ruprecht's Tower, and the Devil in the
Dungeon."

"Ha! that is grand!" exclaimed Flemming, with evident delight.
"Tell me the whole story, quickly! I am as curious as a child."

"It is a tale of the times of Louis the Debonnaire," said the
Baron, with a smile; "a mouldy tradition of a credulous age. His
brother Frederick lived here in the castle with him, and had a
flirtation with Leonore von Luzelstein, a lady of the court, whom he
afterwards despised, and was consequently most cordially hated by
her. Frompolitical motives he was equally hateful to certain petty
German tyrants, who, in order to effect his ruin, accused him of
heresy. But his brother Louis would not deliver him up to their
fury, and they resolved to effect by stratagem, what they could not
by intrigue. Accordingly, Leonore von Luzelstein, disguised as the
Virgin Mary, and the father confessor of the Elector, in the costume
of Satan, made their appearance in the Elector's bed-chamber at
midnight, and frightened him so horribly, that he consented to
deliver up his brother into the hands of two Black Knights, who
pretended to be ambassadors from the Vehm-Gericht. They proceeded
together to Frederick's chamber; where luckily old Gemmingen, a
brave soldier, kept guard behind the arras. The monk went foremost
in his Satanic garb; but, no sooner had he set foot in the prince's
bed-chamber, than the brave Gemmingen drew his sword, and said
quaintly, `Die, wretch!' and so he died. The rest took to their
heels, and were heard of no more. And now the souls of Leonore and
the monk haunt the scene of their midnight crime. You will find the
story in Grainberg's book, worked up with a kind of red-morocco and
burnt-cork sublimity, and great melo-dramatic clanking of chains,
and hooting of owls, and other fallow deer!"

"After breakfast," said Flemming, "we will go up to the castle. I
must get acquainted with this mirror of owls, this modern Till
Eulenspiegel. See what a glorious morning we have! It is truly a
wondrous winter! what summer sunshine; what soft Venetian fogs! How
the wanton, treacherous air coquets with the old gray-beard trees!
Such weather makes the grass and our beards grow apace! But we have
an old saying in English, that winter never rots in the sky. So he
will come down at last in his old-fashioned, mealy coat. We shall
have snow in spring; and the blossoms will be all snow-flakes. And
afterwards a summer, which will be no summer, but, as Jean Paul
says, only a winter painted green. Is it not so?"

"Unless I am much deceived in the climate of Heidelberg," replied
the Baron, "we shall not have to wait long for snow. We have sudden
changes here, and I should not marvel much if it snowed before
night."

"The greater reason for making good use of the morning sunshine,
then. Let us hasten to the castle, after which my heart yearns."



CHAPTER VII. LIVES OF SCHOLARS.



The forebodings of the Baron proved true. In the afternoon the
weather changed. The western wind began to blow, and its breath drew
a cloud-veil over the face of heaven, as a breath does over the
human face in a mirror. Soon the snow began to fall. Athwart the
distant landscape it swept like a white mist. The storm-wind came
from the Alsatian hills, and struck the dense clouds aslant through
the air. And ever faster fell the snow, a roaring torrent from those
mountainous clouds. The setting sun glared wildly from the summit of
the hills, and sank like a burning ship at sea, wrecked in the
tempest. Thus the evening set in; and winter stood at the gate
wagging his white and shaggy beard, like an old harper, chanting an
old rhyme:--"How cold it is! how cold it is!"

"I like such a storm as this," said Flemming, who stood at the
window, looking out into the tempest and the gathering darkness.
"The silent falling of snow is to me one of the most solemn things
in nature. The fall of autumnal leaves does not so much affect me.
But the driving storm is grand. It startles me; it awakens me. It is
wild and woful, like my own soul. I cannot help thinking of the sea;
how the waves run and toss their arms about,--and the wind plays on
those great harps, made by the shrouds and masts of ships. Winter is
here in earnest! Whew! How the old churl whistles and threshes the
snow! Sleet and rain are falling too. Already the trees are bearded
with icicles; and the two broad branches of yonder pine look like
the white mustache of some old German Baron."

"And to-morrow it will look more wintry still," said his friend.
"We shall wake up and find that the frost-spirit has been at work
all night building Gothic Cathedrals on our windows, just as the
devil built the Cathedral of Cologne. Sodraw the curtains, and come
sit here by the warm fire."

"And now," said Flemming, having done as his friend desired,
"tell me something of Heidelberg and its University. I suppose we
shall lead about as solitary and studious a life here as we did of
yore in little Göttingen, with nothing to amuse us, save our own
day-dreams."

"Pretty much so," replied the Baron; "which cannot fail to please
you, since you are in pursuit of tranquillity. As to the University,
it is, as you know, one of the oldest in Germany. It was founded in
the fourteenth century by the Count Palatine Ruprecht, and had in
the first year more than five hundred students, all busily
committing to memory, after the old scholastic wise, the rules of
grammar versified by Alexander de Villa Dei, and the extracts made
by Peter the Spaniard from Michel Psellus's Synopsis of Aristotle's
Organon, and the Categories, with Porphory's Commentaries. Truly, I
do not much wonder, that Eregina Scotus should have been put to
death byhis scholars with their penknives. They must have been
pushed to the very verge of despair."

"What a strange picture a University presents to the imagination.
The lives of scholars in their cloistered stillness;--literary men
of retired habits, and Professors who study sixteen hours a day, and
never see the world but on a Sunday. Nature has, no doubt, for some
wise purpose, placed in their hearts this love of literary labor and
seclusion. Otherwise, who would feed the undying lamp of thought?
But for such men as these, a blast of wind through the chinks and
crannies of this old world, or the flapping of a conqueror's banner,
would blow it out forever. The light of the soul is easily
extinguished. And whenever I reflect upon these things I become
aware of the great importance, in a nation's history, of the
individual fame of scholars and literary men. I fear, that it is far
greater than the world is willing to acknowledge; or, perhaps I
should say, than the world has thought of acknowledging. Blot out
from England's history the names of Chaucer, Shakspere, Spenser, and
Milton only, and how much of her glory would you blot out with them!
Take from Italy such names as Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Michel
Angelo, and Raphael, and how much would still be wanting to the
completeness of her glory! How would the history of Spain look if
the leaves were torn out, on which are written the names of
Cervantes, Lope de Vega, and Calderon! What would be the fame of
Portugal, without her Camoens; of France, without her Racine, and
Rabelais, and Voltaire; or Germany, without her Martin Luther, her
Goethe, and Schiller!--Nay, what were the nations of old, without
their philosophers, poets, and historians! Tell me, do not these men
in all ages and in all places, emblazon with bright colors the
armorial bearings of their country? Yes, and far more than this; for
in all ages and all places they give humanity assurance of its
greatness; and say; Call not this time or people wholly barbarous;
for thus much, even then and there, could the human mind achieve!
But the boisterous world has hardlythought of acknowledging all
this. Therein it has shown itself somewhat ungrateful. Else, whence
the great reproach, the general scorn, the loud derision, with
which, to take a familiar example, the monks of the Middle Ages are
regarded! That they slept their lives away is most untrue. For in an
age when books were few,--so few, so precious, that they were often
chained to their oaken shelves with iron chains, like galley-slaves
to their benches, these men, with their laborious hands, copied upon
parchment all the lore and wisdom of the past, and transmitted it to
us. Perhaps it is not too much to say, that, but for these monks,
not one line of the classics would have reached our day. Surely,
then, we can pardon something to those superstitious ages, perhaps
even the mysticism of the scholastic philosophy, since, after all,
we can find no harm in it, only the mistaking of the possible for
the real, and the high aspirings of the human mind after a
long-sought and unknown somewhat. I think the name of Martin Luther,
the monk of Wittemberg, alone sufficient to redeem all monkhoodfrom
the reproach of laziness! If this will not, perhaps the vast folios
of Thomas Aquinas will;--or the countless manuscripts, still
treasured in old libraries, whose yellow and wrinkled pages remind
one of the hands that wrote them, and the faces that once bent over
them."

"An eloquent homily," said the Baron laughing, "a most touching
appeal in behalf of suffering humanity! For my part, I am no friend
of this entire seclusion from the world. It has a very injurious
effect on the mind of a scholar. The Chinese proverb is true; a
single conversation across the table with a wise man, is better than
ten years' mere study of books. I have known some of these literary
men, who thus shut themselves up from the world. Their minds never
come in contact with those of their fellow-men. They read little.
They think much. They are mere dreamers. They know not what is new
nor what is old. They often strike upon trains of thought, which
stand written in good authors some century or so back, and are even
current in the mouths of men aroundthem. But they know it not; and
imagine they are bringing forward something very original, when they
publish their thoughts."

"It reminds me," replied Flemming, "of what Dr. Johnson said of
Goldsmith, when he proposed to travel abroad in order to bring home
improvements;--`He will bring home a wheelbarrow, and call that an
improvement.' It is unfortunately the same with some of these
scholars."

"And the worst of it is," said the Baron, "that, in solitude,
some fixed idea will often take root in the mind, and grow till it
overshadow all one's thoughts. To this must all opinions come; no
thought can enter there, which shall not be wedded to the fixed
idea. There it remains, and grows. It is like the watchman's wife,
in the tower of Waiblingen, who grew to such a size, that she could
not get down the narrow stair-case; and, when her husband died, his
successor was forced to marry the fat widow in the tower."

"I remember an old English comedy," said Flemming laughing, "in
which a scholar is described, as a creature, that can strike fire in
the morning at his tinder-box,--put on a pair of lined
slippers,--sit ruminating till dinner, and then go to his meat when
the bell rings;--one that hath a peculiar gift in a cough, and a
license to spit;--or, if you will have him defined by negatives, he
is one that cannot make a good leg;--one that cannot eat a mess of
broth cleanly. What think you of that?"

"That it is just as people are always represented in English
comedy," said the Baron. "The portrait is
over-charged,--caricatured."

"And yet," continued Flemming, "no longer ago than yesterday, in
the Preface of a work by Dr. Rosenkranz, Professor of Philosophy in
the University of Halle, I read this passage."

He opened a book and read.

"Here in Halle, where we have no public garden and no Tivoli, no
London Exchange, no Paris Chamber of Deputies, no Berlin nor Vienna
Theatres, no Strassburg Minster, nor Salzburg Alps,--no Grecian
ruins nor fantastic Catholicism, in fine, nothing, which after one's
daily task is finished, can divert and refresh him, without his
knowing or caring how,--I consider the sight of a proof-sheet quite
as delightful as a walk in the Prater of Vienna. I fill my pipe very
quietly, take out my ink-stand and pens, seat myself in the corner
of my sofa, read, correct, and now for the first time really set
about thinking what I have written. To see this origin of a book,
this metamorphosis of manuscript into print, is a delight to which I
give myself up entirely. Look you, this melancholy pleasure, which
would have furnished the departed Voss with worthy matter for more
than one blessed Idyl--(the more so, as on such occasions, I am
generally arrayed in a morning gown, though I am sorry to say, not a
calamanco one, with great flowers;) this melancholy pleasure was
already grown here in Halle to a sweet, pedantic habit. Since I
began my hermit's life here, I have been printing; and so long as I
remain here, I shall keep on printing. In all probability, I shall
die with a proof-sheet in my hand."

"This," said Flemming, closing the book, "is no caricature by a
writer of comedy, but a portrait by a man's own hand. We can see by
it how easily, under certain circumstances, one may glide into
habits of seclusion, and in a kind of undress, slipshod hardihood,
with a pipe and a proof-sheet, defy the world. Into this state
scholars have too often fallen; thus giving some ground for the
prevalent opinion, that scholarship and rusticity are inseparable.
To me, I confess, it is painful to see the scholar and the world
assume so often a hostile attitude, and set each other at defiance.
Surely, it is a characteristic trait of a great and liberal mind,
that it recognises humanity in all its forms and conditions. I am a
student;--and always, when I sit alone at night, I recognise the
divinity of the student, as she reveals herself to me in the smoke
of the midnight lamp. But, because solitude and books are not
unpleasant to me,--nay, wished-for,--sought after,--shall I say to
my brother, Thou fool! Shall I take the world by the beard and say,
Thou art old, and mad!--Shall I look society in the face and say,
Thou art heartless!--Heartless! Beware of that word! Life, says very
wisely the good Jean Paul, Life in every shape, should be precious
to us, for the same reason that the Turks carefully collect every
scrap of paper that comes in their way, because the name of God may
be written upon it. Nothing is more true than this, yet nothing more
neglected!"

"If it be painful to see this misunderstanding between scholars
and the world," said the Baron, "I think it is still more painful to
see the private sufferings of authors by profession. How many have
languished in poverty, how many died broken-hearted, how many gone
mad with over-excitement and disappointed hopes! How instructive and
painfully interesting are their lives! with so many weaknesses,--so
much to pardon,--so much to pity,--so much to admire! I think he was
not so far out of the way, who said, that, next to the Newgate
Calendar, the Biography of Authors is the most sickening chapter in
the history of man."

"It is indeed enough to make one's heart ache!" interrupted
Flemming. "Only think of Johnson and Savage, rambling about the
streets of London at midnight, without a place to sleep in; Otway
starved to death; Cowley mad, and howling like a dog, through the
aisles of Chichester Cathedral, at the sound of church music; and
Goldsmith, strutting up Fleet Street in his peach-blossom coat, to
knock a bookseller over the pate with one of his own volumes; and
then, in his poverty, about to marry his landlady in Green Arbour
Court."

"A life of sorrow and privation, a hard life, indeed, do these
poor devil authors have of it," replied the Baron; "and then at last
must get them to the work-house, or creep away into some hospital to
die."

"After all," said Flemming with a sigh, "poverty is not a
vice."

"But something worse," interrupted the Baron; "as Dufresny said,
when he married his laundress, because he could not pay her bill.
Hewas the author, as you know, of the opera of Lot; at whose
representation the great pun was made;--I say the great pun, as we
say the great ton of Heidelberg. As one of the performers was
singing the line, `L'amour a vaincu Loth,' (vingt culottes,) a voice
from the pit cried out, `Qu'il en donne une à l'auteur!'"

Flemming laughed at the unseasonable jest; and then, after a
short pause, continued;

"And yet, if you look closely at the causes of these calamities
of authors, you will find, that many of them spring from false and
exaggerated ideas of poetry and the poetic character; and from
disdain of common sense, upon which all character, worth having, is
founded. This comes from keeping aloof from the world, apart from
our fellow-men; disdainful of society, as frivolous. By too much
sitting still the body becomes unhealthy; and soon the mind. This is
nature's law. She will never see her children wronged. If the mind,
which rules the body, ever forgets itself so far as to trample upon
its slave, the slave is never generousenough to forgive the injury;
but will rise and smite its oppressor. Thus has many a monarch mind
been dethroned."

"After all," said the Baron, "we must pardon much to men of
genius. A delicate organization renders them keenly susceptible to
pain and pleasure. And then they idealize every thing; and, in the
moonlight of fancy, even the deformity of vice seems beautiful."

"And this you think should be forgiven?"

"At all events it is forgiven. The world loves a spice of
wickedness. Talk as you will about principle, impulse is more
attractive, even when it goes too far. The passions of youth, like
unhooded hawks, fly high, with musical bells upon their jesses; and
we forget the cruelty of the sport in the dauntless bearing of the
gallant bird."

"And thus doth the world and society corrupt the scholar!"
exclaimed Flemming.

Here the Baron rang, and ordered a bottle of Prince Metternich.
He then very slowly filled his pipe, and began to smoke. Flemming
was lost in a day-dream.



CHAPTER VIII. LITERARY FAME.



Time has a Doomsday-Book, upon whose pages he is continually
recording illustrious names. But, as often as a new name is written
there, an old one disappears. Only a few stand in illuminated
characters, never to be effaced. These are the high nobility of
Nature,--Lords of the Public Domain of Thought. Posterity shall
never question their titles. But those, whose fame lives only in the
indiscreet opinion of unwise men, must soon be as well forgotten, as
if they had never been. To this great oblivion must most men come.
It is better, therefore, that they should soon make up their minds
to this; well knowing, that, as their bodies must ere long be
resolved into dust again, and their graves tell no tales of them; so
musttheir names likewise be utterly forgotten, and their most
cherished thoughts, purposes, and opinions have no longer an
individual being among men; but be resolved and incorporated into
the universe of thought. If, then, the imagination can trace the
noble dust of heroes, till we find it stopping a beer-barrel, and
know that

"Imperial Cæsar, dead and turned to clay,

May stop a hole to keep the wind away;"

not less can it trace the noble thoughts of great men, till it
finds them mouldered into the common dust of conversation, and used
to stop men's mouths, and patch up theories, to keep out the flaws
of opinion. Such, for example, are all popular adages and wise
proverbs, which are now resolved into the common mass of thought;
their authors forgotten, and having no more an individual being
among men.

It is better, therefore, that men should soon make up their minds
to be forgotten, and look about them, or within them, for some
higher motive, in what they do, than the approbation of men, which is
Fame; namely, their duty; that they should be constantly and quietly
at work, each in his sphere, regardless of effects, and leaving
their fame to take care of itself. Difficult must this indeed be, in
our imperfection; impossible perhaps to achieve it wholly. Yet the
resolute, the indomitable will of man can achieve much,--at times
even this victory over himself; being persuaded, that fame comes
only when deserved, and then is as inevitable as destiny, for it is
destiny.

It has become a common saying, that men of genius are always in
advance of their age; which is true. There is something equally
true, yet not so common; namely, that, of these men of genius, the
best and bravest are in advance not only of their own age, but of
every age. As the German prose-poet says, every possible future is
behind them. We cannot suppose, that a period of time will ever
come, when the world, or any considerable portion of it shall have
come up abreast with these great minds, so as fully to comprehend
them.

And oh! how majestically they walk in history; some like the sun,
with all his travelling glories round him; others wrapped in gloom,
yet glorious as a night with stars. Through the else silent darkness
of the past, the spirit hears their slow and solemn footsteps.
Onward they pass, like those hoary elders seen in the sublime vision
of an earthly Paradise, attendant angels bearing golden lights
before them, and, above and behind, the whole air painted with seven
listed colors, as from the trail of pencils!

And yet, on earth, these men were not happy,--not all happy, in
the outward circumstance of their lives. They were in want, and in
pain, and familiar with prison-bars, and the damp, weeping walls of
dungeons! Oh, I have looked with wonder upon those, who, in sorrow
and privation, and bodily discomfort, and sickness, which is the
shadow of death, have worked right on to the accomplishment of their
great purposes; toiling much, enduring much, fulfilling much;--and
then, with shattered nerves, and sinews all unstrung, have laid
themselves down in the grave, and slept the sleep of death,--and the
world talks of them, while they sleep!

It would seem, indeed, as if all their sufferings had but
sanctified them! As if the death-angel, in passing, had touched them
with the hem of his garment, and made them holy! As if the hand of
disease had been stretched out over them only to make the sign of
the cross upon their souls! And as in the sun's eclipse we can
behold the great stars shining in the heavens, so in this life
eclipse have these men beheld the lights of the great eternity,
burning solemnly and forever!

This was Flemming's reverie. It was broken by the voice of the
Baron, suddenly exclaiming;

"An angel is flying over the house!--Here; in this goblet,
fragrant as the honey of Hymettus, fragrant as the wild flowers in
the Angel's Meadow, I drink to the divinity of thy dreams."

"This is all sunshine," said Flemming, as he drank. "The wine of
the Prince, and the Prince of wines. By the way, did you ever read
that brilliant Italian dithyrambic, Redi's Bacchus in Tuscany? an ode
which seems to have been poured out of the author's soul, as from a
golden pitcher,

`Filled with the wine

Of the vine

Benign,

That flames so red in Sansavine.'

He calls the Montepulciano the king of all wines."

"Prince Metternich," said the Baron, "is greater than any king in
Italy; and I wonder, that this precious wine has never inspired a
German poet to write a Bacchus on the Rhine. Many little songs we
have on this theme, but none very extraordinary. The best are Max
Schenkendorf's Song of the Rhine, and the Song of Rhine Wine, by
Claudius, a poet who never drank Rhenish without sugar. We will
drink for him a blessing on the Rhine."

And again the crystal lips of the goblets kissed each other, with
a musical chime, as of evening bells at vintage-time from the
villages on the Rhine. Of a truth, I do not much wonder, that the
Germanpoet Schiller loved to write by candle-light with a bottle of
Rhine-wine upon the table. Nor do I wonder at the worthy
schoolmaster Roger Ascham, when he says, in one of his letters from
Germany to Mr. John Raven, of John's College; `Tell Mr. Maden I will
drink with him now a carouse of wine; and would to God he had a
vessel of Rhenish wine; and perchance, when I come to Cambridge, I
will so provide here, that every year I will have a little piece of
Rhenish wine.' Nor, in fine, do I wonder at the German Emperor of
whom he speaks in another letter to the same John Raven, and says,
`The Emperor drank the best that I ever saw; he had his head in the
glass five times as long as any of us, and never drank less than a
good quart at once of Rhenish wine.' These were scholars and
gentlemen.

"But to resume our old theme of scholars and their whereabout,"
said the Baron, with an unusual glow, caught no doubt from the
golden sunshine, imprisoned, like the student Anselmus, in the glass
bottle; "where should the scholar live? In solitudeor in society? In
the green stillness of the country, where he can hear the heart of
nature beat, or in the dark, gray city, where he can hear and feel
the throbbing heart of man? I will make answer for him, and say, in
the dark, gray city. Oh, they do greatly err, who think, that the
stars are all the poetry which cities have; and therefore that the
poet's only dwelling should be in sylvan solitudes, under the green
roof of trees. Beautiful, no doubt, are all the forms of Nature,
when transfigured by the miraculous power of poetry; hamlets and
harvest-fields, and nut-brown waters, flowing ever under the forest,
vast and shadowy, with all the sights and sounds of rural life. But
after all, what are these but the decorations and painted scenery in
the great theatre of human life? What are they but the coarse
materials of the poet's song? Glorious indeed is the world of God
around us, but more glorious the world of God within us. There lies
the Land of Song; there lies the poet's native land. The river of
life, that flows through streets tumultuous, bearingalong so many
gallant hearts, so many wrecks of humanity;--the many homes and
households, each a little world in itself, revolving round its
fireside, as a central sun; all forms of human joy and suffering,
brought into that narrow compass;--and to be in this and be a part
of this; acting, thinking, rejoicing, sorrowing, with his
fellow-men;--such, such should be the poet's life. If he would
describe the world, he should live in the world. The mind of the
scholar, also, if you would have it large and liberal, should come
in contact with other minds. It is better that his armour should be
somewhat bruised even by rude encounters, than hang forever rusting
on the wall. Nor will his themes be few or trivial, because
apparently shut in between the walls of houses, and having merely
the decorations of street scenery. A ruined character is as
picturesque as a ruined castle. There are dark abysses and yawning
gulfs in the human heart, which can be rendered passable only by
bridging them over with iron nerves and sinews, as Challey bridged
the Savine in Switzerland, and Telford the sea between Anglesea and
England, with chain bridges. These are the great themes of human
thought; not green grass, and flowers, and moonshine. Besides, the
mere external forms of Nature we make our own, and carry with us
into the city, by the power of memory."

"I fear, however," interrupted Flemming, "that in cities the soul
of man grows proud. He needs at times to be sent forth, like the
Assyrian monarch, into green fields, `a wonderous wretch and
weedless,' to eat green herbs, and be wakened and chastised by the
rain-shower and winter's bitter weather. Moreover, in cities there
is danger of the soul's becoming wed to pleasure, and forgetful of
its high vocation. There have been souls dedicated to heaven from
childhood and guarded by good angels as sweet seclusions for holy
thoughts, and prayers, and all good purposes; wherein pious wishes
dwelt like nuns, and every image was a saint; and yet in life's
vicissitudes, by the treachery of occasion, by the thronging
passionsof great cities, have become soiled and sinful. They
resemble those convents on the river Rhine, which have been changed
to taverns; from whose chambers the pious inmates have long
departed, and in whose cloisters the footsteps of travellers have
effaced the images of buried saints, and whose walls are written
over with ribaldry and the names of strangers, and resound no more
with holy hymns, but with revelry and loud voices."

"Both town and country have their dangers," said the Baron; "and
therefore, wherever the scholar lives, he must never forget his high
vocation. Other artists give themselves up wholly to the study of
their art. It becomes with them almost religion. For the most part,
and in their youth, at least, they dwell in lands, where the whole
atmosphere of the soul is beauty; laden with it as the air may be
with vapor, till their very nature is saturated with the genius of
their art. Such, for example, is the artist's life in Italy."

"I agree with you," exclaimed Flemming; "and such should be the
Poet's everywhere; forhe has his Rome, his Florence, his whole
glowing Italy within the four walls of his library. He has in his
books the ruins of an antique world,--and the glories of a modern
one,--his Apollo and Transfiguration. He must neither forget nor
undervalue his vocation; but thank God that he is a poet; and
everywhere be true to himself, and to `the vision and the faculty
divine' he feels within him."

"But, at any rate, a city life is most eventful," continued the
Baron. "The men who make, or take, the lives of poets and scholars,
always complain that these lives are barren of incidents. Hardly a
literary biography begins without some such apology, unwisely made.
I confess, however, that it is not made without some show of truth;
if, by incidents, we mean only those startling events, which
suddenly turn aside the stream of Time, and change the world's
history in an hour. There is certainly a uniformity, pleasing or
unpleasing, in literary life, which for the most part makes to-day
seem twin-born with yesterday. But if, byincidents, you mean events
in the history of the human mind, (and why not?) noiseless events,
that do not scar the forehead of the world as battles do, yet change
it not the less, then surely the lives of literary men are most
eventful. The complaint and the apology are both foolish. I do not
see why a successful book is not as great an event as a successful
campaign; only different in kind, and not easily compared."

"Indeed," interrupted Flemming, "in no sense is the complaint
strictly true, though at times apparently so. Events enough there
are, were they all set down. A life, that is worth writing at all,
is worth writing minutely. Besides, all literary men have not lived
in silence and solitude;--not all in stillness, not all in shadow.
For many have lived in troubled times, in the rude and adverse
fortunes of the state and age, and could say with Wallenstein,

`Our life was but a battle and a march;

And, like the wind's blast, never-resting, homeless,

We stormed across the war convulsed earth.'

Of such examples history has recorded many; Dante, Cervantes,
Byron, and others; men of iron; men who have dared to breast the
strong breath of public opinion, and, like spectre-ships, come
sailing right against the wind. Others have been puffed out by the
first adverse wind that blew; disgraced and sorrowful, because they
could not please others. Truly `the tears live in an onion, that
should water such a sorrow.' Had they been men, they would have made
these disappointments their best friends, and learned from them the
needful lesson of self-reliance."

"To confess the truth," added the Baron, "the lives of literary
men, with their hopes and disappointments, and quarrels and
calamities, present a melancholy picture of man's strength and
weakness. On that very account the scholar can make them profitable
for encouragement,--consolation,--warning."

"And after all," continued Flemming, "perhaps the greatest
lesson, which the lives of literary men teach us, is told in a
single word; Wait!--Every man must patiently bide his time. He must
wait. More particularly in lands, like my native land, where the
pulse of life beats with such feverish and impatient throbs, is the
lesson needful. Our national character wants the dignity of repose.
We seem to live in the midst of a battle,--there is such a
din,--such a hurrying to and fro. In the streets of a crowded city
it is difficult to walk slowly. You feel the rushing of the crowd,
and rush with it onward. In the press of our life it is difficult to
be calm. In this stress of wind and tide, all professions seem to
drag their anchors, and are swept out into the main. The voices of
the Present say, Come! But the voices of the Past say, Wait! With
calm and solemn footsteps the rising tide bears against the rushing
torrent up stream, and pushes back the hurrying waters. With no less
calm and solemn footsteps, nor less certainly, does a great mind
bear up against public opinion, and push back its hurrying stream.
Therefore should every man wait;--should bide his time. Not in
listless idleness,--not in uselesspastime,--not in querulous
dejection; but in constant, steady, cheerful endeavours, always
willing and fulfilling, and accomplishing his task, that, when the
occasion comes, he may be equal to the occasion. And if it never
comes, what matters it? What matters it to the world whether I, or
you, or another man did such a deed, or wrote such a book, sobeit
the deed and book were well done! It is the part of an indiscreet
and troublesome ambition, to care too much about fame,--about what
the world says of us. To be always looking into the faces of others
for approval;--to be always anxious for the effect of what we do and
say; to be always shouting to hear the echo of our own voices! If
you look about you, you will see men, who are wearing life away in
feverish anxiety of fame, and the last we shall ever hear of them
will be the funeral bell, that tolls them to their early graves!
Unhappy men, and unsuccessful! because their purpose is, not to
accomplish well their task, but to clutch the `trick and fantasy of
fame'; and they go to their graveswith purposes unaccomplished and
wishes unfulfilled. Better for them, and for the world in their
example, had they known how to wait! Believe me, the talent of
success is nothing more than doing what you can do well; and doing
well whatever you do,--without a thought of fame. If it come at all,
it will come because it is deserved, not because it is sought after.
And, moreover, there will be no misgivings,--no disappointment,--no
hasty, feverish, exhausting excitement."

Thus endeth the First Book of Hyperion. I make no record of the
winter. Paul Flemming buried himself in books; in old, dusty books.
He studied diligently the ancient poetic lore of Germany, from
Frankish Legends of Saint George, and Saxon Rhyme-Chronicles, down
through Nibelungen Lieds, and Helden-Buchs, and Songs of the
Minnesingers and Mastersingers, and Ships of Fools, and Reinecke
Foxes, and Death-Dancesand Lamentations of Damned Souls, into the
bright, sunny land of harvests, where, amid the golden grain and the
blue corn-flowers, walk the modern bards, and sing.



BOOK II.



Epigraph

"Something the heart must have to cherish,

Must love, and joy, and sorrow learn;

Something with passion clasp, or perish,

And in itself to ashes burn."



CHAPTER I. SPRING.



It was a sweet carol, which the Rhodian children sang of old in
Spring, bearing in their hands, from door to door, a swallow, as
herald of the season;

"The Swallow is come!

The Swallow is come!

O fair are the seasons, and light

Are the days that she brings,

With her dusky wings,

And her bosom snowy white."

A pretty carol, too, is that, which the Hungarian boys, on the
islands of the Danube, sing to the returning stork in Spring;

"Stork! Stork! poor Stork!

Why is thy foot so bloody?

A Turkish boy hath torn it;

Hungarian boy will heal it,

With fiddle, fife, and drum."

But what child has a heart to sing in this capricious clime of
ours, where Spring comes sailing in from the sea, with wet and heavy
cloud-sails, and the misty pennon of the East-wind nailed to the
mast! Yet even here, and in the stormy month of March even, there
are bright, warm mornings, when we open our windows to inhale the
balmy air. The pigeons fly to and fro, and we hear the whirring
sound of wings. Old flies crawl out of the cracks, to sun
themselves; and think it is summer. They die in their conceit; and
so do our hearts within us, when the cold sea-breath comes from the
eastern sea; and again,

"The driving hail

Upon the window beats with icy flail."

The red-flowering maple is first in blossom, its beautiful purple
flowers unfolding a fortnight before the leaves. The moose-wood
follows, with rose-colored buds and leaves; and the dog-wood, robed
in the white of its own pure blossoms. Thencomes the sudden
rain-storm; and the birds fly to and fro, and shriek. Where do they
hide themselves in such storms? at what firesides dry their feathery
cloaks? At the fireside of the great, hospitable sun, to-morrow, not
before;--they must sit in wet garments until then.

In all climates Spring is beautiful. In the South it is
intoxicating, and sets a poet beside himself. The birds begin to
sing;--they utter a few rapturous notes, and then wait for an answer
in the silent woods. Those green-coated musicians, the frogs, make
holiday in the neighbouring marshes. They, too, belong to the
orchestra of Nature; whose vast theatre is again opened, though the
doors have been so long bolted with icicles, and the scenery hung
with snow and frost, like cobwebs. This is the prelude, which
announces the rising of the broad green curtain. Already the grass
shoots forth. The waters leap with thrilling pulse through the veins
of the earth; the sap through the veins of the plants and trees; and
the blood through the veins of man. What a thrill of delight in
spring-time! What a joy in being and moving! Men are at work in
gardens; and in the air there is an odor of the fresh earth. The
leaf-buds begin to swell and blush. The white blossoms of the cherry
hang upon the boughs like snow-flakes; and ere long our next-door
neighbours will be completely hidden from us by the dense green
foliage. The May-flowers open their soft blue eyes. Children are let
loose in the fields and gardens. They hold butter-cups under each
others' chins, to see if they love butter. And the little girls
adorn themselves with chains and curls of dandelions; pull out the
yellow leaves to see if the schoolboy loves them, and blow the down
from the leafless stalk, to find out if their mothers want them at
home.

And at night so cloudless and so still! Not a voice of living
thing,--not a whisper of leaf or waving bough,--not a breath of
wind,--not a sound upon the earth nor in the air! And overhead bends
the blue sky, dewy and soft, and radiant with innumerable stars,
like the inverted bellof some blue flower, sprinkled with golden
dust, and breathing fragrance. Or if the heavens are overcast, it is
no wild storm of wind and rain; but clouds that melt and fall in
showers. One does not wish to sleep; but lies awake to hear the
pleasant sound of the dropping rain.

It was thus the Spring began in Heidelberg.



CHAPTER II. A COLLOQUY.



"And what think you of Tiedge's Urania," said the Baron smiling,
as Paul Flemming closed the book, and laid it upon the table.

"I think," said Flemming, "that it is very much like Jean Paul's
grandfather,--in the highest degree poor and pious."

"Bravo!" exclaimed the Baron. "That is the best criticism I have
heard upon the book. For my part, I dislike the thing as much as
Goethe did. It was once very popular, and lay about in every parlour
and bed-room. This annoyed the old gentleman exceedingly; and I do
not wonder at it. He complains, that at one time nothing was sung or
said but this Urania. He believed in Immortality; but wished to
cherish his belief inquietness. He once told a friend of his, that
he had, however, learned one thing from all this talk about Tiedge
and his Urania; which was, that the saints, as well as the nobility,
constitute an aristocracy. He said he found stupid women, who were
proud because they believed in Immortality with Tiedge, and had to
submit himself to not a few mysterious catechizings and tea-table
lectures on this point; and that he cut them short by saying, that
he had no objection whatever to enter into another state of
existence hereafter, but prayed only that he might be spared the
honor of meeting any of those there, who had believed in it here;
for, if he did, the saints would flock around him on all sides,
exclaiming, Were we not in the right? Did we not tell you so? Has it
not all turned out just as we said? And, with such a conceited
clatter in his ears, he thought that, before the end of six months,
he might die of ennui in Heaven itself."

"How shocked the good old ladies must have been," said
Flemming.

"No doubt, their nerves suffered a little; but the young ladies
loved him all the better for being witty and wicked; and thought if
they could only marry him, how they would reform him."

"Bettina Brentano, for instance."

"O no! That happened long afterwards. Goethe was then a
silver-haired old man of sixty. She had never seen him, and knew him
only by his writings; a romantic girl of seventeen."

"And yet much in love with the Sexagenarian. And surely a more
wild, fantastic, and, excuse me, German passion never sprang up in
woman's breast. She was a flower, that worshipped the sun."

"She afterwards married Achim von Arnim, and is now a widow. And
not the least singular part of the affair, is, that, having grown
older, and I hope colder, she should herself publish the letters
which passed between her and Goethe."

"Particularly the letter in which she describes her first visit
to Weimar, and her interview with the hitherto invisible divinity of
her dreams. The old gentleman took her upon his knees, and she fell
asleep with her head upon his shoulder. It reminds me of Titania and
Nick Bottom, begging your pardon, always, for comparing your
All-sided-One to Nick Bottom. Oberon must have touched her eyes with
the juice of Love-in-idleness. However, this book of Goethe's
Correspondence with a Child is a very singular and valuable
revelation of the feelings, which he excited in female hearts. You
say she afterwards married Achim von Arnim?"

"Yes; and he and her brother, Clemens Brentano, published that
wondrous book, the Boy's Wonder-Horn."

"The Boy's Wonder-Horn!" said Flemming, after a short pause, for
the name seemed to have thrown him into a reverie;--"I know the book
almost by heart. Of all your German books it is the one which
produces upon my imagination the most wild and magic influence. I
have a passion for ballads!"

"And who has not?" said the Baron with asmile. "They are the
gypsy-children of song, born under green hedgerows, in the leafy
lanes and by-paths of literature,--in the genial summer-time."

"Why do you say summer-time and not summer?" inquired Flemming.
"The expression reminds me of your old Minnesingers;--of Heinrich
von Ofterdingen, and Walter von der Vogelweide, and Count Kraft von
Toggenburg, and your own ancestor, I dare say, Burkhart von
Hohenfels. They were always singing of the gentle summer-time. They
seem to have lived poetry, as well as sung it; like the birds who
make their marriage beds in the voluptuous trees."

"Is that from Shakspere?"

"No; from Lope de Vega."

"You are deeply read in the lore of antiquity, and the Aubades
and Watch-Songs of the old Minnesingers. What do you think of the
shoe-maker poets that came after them,--with their guilds and
singing-schools? It makes me laugh to think how the great German
Helicon, shrunk toa rivulet, goes bubbling and gurgling over the
pebbly names of Zwinger, Wurgendrussel, Buchenlin, Hellfire, Old
Stoll, Young Stoll, Strong Bopp, Dang Brotscheim, Batt Spiegel,
Peter Pfort, and Martin Gumpel. And then the Corporation of the
Twelve Wise Masters, with their stumpfereime and klingende-reime,
and their Hans Tindeisen's rosemary-weise; and Joseph Schmierer's
flowery-paradise-weise, and Frauenlob's yellow-weise, and
blue-weise, and frog-weise, and looking-glass-weise!"

"O, I entreat you," exclaimed Flemming, laughing, "do not call
those men poets! You transport me to quaint old Nuremberg, and I see
Hans Sachs making shoes, and Hans Folz shaving the burgomaster."

"By the way," interrupted the Baron, "did you ever read
Hoffmann's beautiful story of Master Martin, the Cooper of
Nuremberg? I will read it to you this very night. It is the most
delightful picture of that age, which you can conceive. But look!
the sun has already set behindthe Alsatian hills. Let us go up to
the castle and look for the ghost in Prince Ruprecht's tower. O,
what a glorious sunset!"

Flemming looked at the evening sky, and a shade of sadness stole
over his countenance. He told not to his friend the sorrow, with
which his heart was heavy; but kept it for himself alone. He knew
that the time, which comes to all men,--the time to suffer and be
silent,--had come to him likewise; and he spake no word. O well has
it been said, that there is no grief like the grief which does not
speak.



CHAPTER III. OWL-TOWERS.



"There sits the old Frau Himmelhahn, perched up in her
owl-tower," said the Baron to Flemming, as they passed along the
Hauptstrasse. "She looks down through her round-eyed spectacles from
her nest up there, and watches every one that goes by. I wonder what
mischief she is hatching now? Do you know she has nearly ruined your
character in town? She says you have a rakish look, because you
carry a cane, and your hair curls. Your gloves, also, are a shade
too light for a strictly virtuous man."

"It is very kind in her to take such good care of my character,
particularly as I am a stranger in town. She is doubtless learned in
the Clothes-Philosophy."

"And ignorant of every thing else. She asked a friend of mine the
other day, whether Christ was a Catholic or a Protestant."

"That is really too absurd!"

"Not too absurd to be true. And, ignorant as she is, she
contrives to do a good deal of mischief in the course of the year.
Why, the ladies already call you Wilhelm Meister."

"They are at liberty to call me what they please. But you, who
know me better, know that I am something more than they would imply
by the name."

"She says, moreover, that the American ladies sit with their feet
out of the window, and have no pocket-handkerchiefs."

"Excellent!"

They crossed the market-place and went up beneath the grand
terrace into the court-yard of the castle.

"Let us go up and sit under the great linden-trees, that grow on
the summit of the Rent Tower," said Flemming. "From that point as
from awatch-tower we can look down into the garden, and see the
crowd below us."

"And amuse ourselves, as old Frau Himmelhahn does, at her window
in the Hauptstrasse," added the Baron.

The keeper's daughter unlocked for them the door of the tower,
and, climbing the steep stair-case, they seated themselves on a
wooden bench under the linden-trees.

"How beautifully these trees overgrow the old tower! And see what
a solid mass of masonry lies in the great fosse down there, toppled
from its base by the explosion of a mine! It is like a rusty helmet
cleft in twain, but still crested with towering plumes!"

"And what a motley crowd in the garden! Philisters and Sons of
the Muses! And there goes the venerable Thibaut, taking his evening
stroll. Do you see him there, with his silver hair flowing over his
shoulders, and that friendly face, which has for so many years pored
over the Pandects. I assure you, he inspires me with awe. And yet he
is a merry old man, and loves his joke, particularly at the expense
of Moses and other ancient lawgivers."

Here their attention was diverted by a wild-looking person, who
passed with long strides under the archway in the fosse, right
beneath them, and disappeared among the bushes. He was
ill-dressed,--his hair flying in the wind,--his movements hurried
and nervous, and the expression of his broad countenance wild,
strange, and earnest.

"Who can that be!" asked Flemming. "He strides away indignantly,
like one of Ossian's ghosts?"

"A great philosopher, whose name I have forgotten. Truly a
strange owl!"

"He looks like a lion with a hat on."

"He is a mystic, who reads Schubert's History of the Soul, and
lives, for the most part, in the clouds of the Middle Ages. To him
the spirit-world is still open. He believes in the transmigration of
souls; and I dare say is now followingthe spirit of some departed
friend, who has taken the form of yonder pigeon."

"What a strange hallucination! He lives, I suppose, in the land
of cloud-shadows. And, as St. Thomas Aquinas was said to be lifted
up from the ground by the fervor of his prayers, so, no doubt, is he
by the fervor of his visions."

"He certainly appears to neglect all sublunary things; and, to
judge from certain appearances, since you seem fond of holy
similitudes, one would say, that, like St. Serapion the Sindonite,
he had but one shirt. Yet what cares he? he lives in that poetic
dream-land of his thoughts, and clothes his dream-children in
poetry."

"He is a poet, then, as well as a philosopher?"

"Yes; but a poet who never writes a line. There is nothing in
nature to which his imagination does not give a poetic hue. But the
power to make others see these objects in the same poetic light, is
wanting. Still he is a man of fine powers and feelings; for, next to
being a greatpoet, is the power of understanding one,--of finding
one's-self in him, as we Germans say."

Three figures, dressed in black, now came from one of the green
alleys, and stopped on the brink of a little fountain, that was
playing among the gay flowers in the garden. The eldest of the three
was a lady in that season of life, when the early autumn gives to
the summer leaves a warmer glow, yet fades them not. Though the
mother of many children, she was still beautiful;--resembling those
trees, which blossom in October, when the leaves are changing, and
whose fruit and blossom are on the branch at once. At her side was a
girl of some sixteen years, who seemed to lean upon her arm for
support. Her figure was slight; her countenance beautiful, though
deadly white; and her meek eyes like the flower of the night-shade,
pale and blue, but sending forth golden rays. They were attended by
a tall youth of foreign aspect, who seemed a young Antinous, with a
mustache and a nose à la Kosciusko. In other respects a perfect hero
of romance.

"Unless mine eyes deceive me," said the Baron, "there is the Frau
von Ilmenau, with her pale daughter Emma, and that eternal Polish
Count. He is always hovering about them, playing the unhappy exile,
merely to excite that poor girl's sympathies; and as wretched as
genius and wantonness can make him."

"Why, he is already married, you know," replied Flemming. "And
his wife is young and beautiful."

"That does not prevent him from being in love with some one else.
That question was decided in the Courts of Love in the Middle Ages.
Accordingly he has sent his fair wife to Warsaw. But how pale the
poor child looks."

"She has just recovered from severe illness. In the winter, you
know, it was thought she would not live from hour to hour."

"And she has hardly recovered from that disease, before she seems
threatened with a worse one; namely, a hopeless passion. However,
people do not die of love now-a-days."

"Seldom, perhaps," said Flemming. "And yet it is folly to pretend
that one ever wholly recovers from a disappointed passion. Such
wounds always leave a scar. There are faces I can never look upon
without emotion. There are names I can never hear spoken without
almost starting!"

"But whom have we here?"

"That is the French poet Quinet, with his sweet German wife; one
of the most interesting women I ever knew. He is the author of a
very wild Mystery, or dramatic prose-poem, in which the Ocean,
Mont-Blanc, and the Cathedral of Strassburg have parts to play; and
the saints on the stained windows of the minster speak, and the
statues and dead kings enact the Dance of Death. It is entitled
Ahasuerus, or the Wandering Jew."

"Or, as the Danes would translate it, the Shoemaker of Jerusalem.
That would be a still more fantastic title for his fantastic book.
You know I am no great admirer of the modern French school of
writers. The tales of Paul de Kock, who is, I believe, the most
popular of all, seem to me like obscene stories told at
dinner-tables, after the ladies have retired. It has been well said
of him, that he is not only populaire but populacier; and equally
well said of George Sand and Victor Hugo, that their works stand
like fortifications, well built and well supplied with warlike
munitions; but ineffectual against the Grand Army of God, which
marches onward, as if nothing had happened. In surveying a national
literature, the point you must start from, is national character.
That lets you into many a secret; as, for example, Paul de Kock's
popularity. The most prominent trait in the French character, is
love of amusement, and excitement; and--"

"I should say, rather, the fear of ennui," interrupted Flemming.
"One of their own writers has said with a great deal of truth, that
the gentry of France rush into Paris to escape from ennui, as, in
the noble days of chivalry, the defenceless inhabitants of the
champaign fled into the castles, at theapproach of some plundering
knight, or lawless Baron; forsaking the inspired twilight of their
native groves, for the luxurious shades of the royal gardens. What
do you think of that?"

The Baron replied with a smile;

"There is only one Paris; and out of Paris there is no salvation
for decent people."

Thus conversing of many things, sat the two friends under the
linden-trees on the Rent Tower, till gradually the crowd disappeared
from the garden, and the objects around them grew indistinct, in the
fading twilight. Between them and the amber-colored western sky, the
dense foliage of the trees looked heavy and hard, as if cast in
bronze; and already the evening stars hung like silver lamps in the
towering branches of that Tree of Life, brought more than two
centuries ago from its primeval Paradise in America, to beautify the
gardens of the Palatinate.

"I take a mournful pleasure in gazing at that tree," said
Flemming, as they rose to depart. "It stands there so straight and
tall, with iron bandsaround its noble trunk and limbs, in silent
majesty, or whispering only in its native tongue, and freighting the
homeward wind with sighs! It reminds me of some captive monarch of a
savage tribe, brought over the vast ocean for a show, and chained in
the public market-place of the city, disdainfully silent, or
breathing only in melancholy accents a prayer for his native forest,
a longing to be free."

"Magnificent!" cried the Baron. "I always experience something of
the same feeling when I walk through a conservatory. The luxuriant
plants of the tropics,--those illustrious exotics, with their
gorgeous, flamingo-colored blossoms, and great, flapping leaves,
like elephant's ears,--have a singular working upon my imagination;
and remind me of a menagerie and wild-beasts kept in cages. But your
illustration is finer;--indeed, a grand figure. Put it down for an
epic poem."



CHAPTER IV. A BEER-SCANDAL.



On their way homeward, Flemming and the Baron passed through a
narrow lane, in which was a well-known Studenten-Kneipe. At the door
stood a young man, whom the Baron at once recognised as his friend
Von Kleist. He was a student; and universally acknowledged, among
his young acquaintance, as a "devilish handsome fellow";
notwithstanding a tremendous scar on his cheek, and a cream-colored
mustache, as soft as the silk of Indian corn. In short he was a
renowner, and a duellist.

"What are you doing here, Von Kleist?"

"Ah, my dear Baron! Is it you? Come in; come in. You shall see
some sport. A Fox-Commerce is on foot, and a regular
Beer-Scandal."

"Shall we go in, Flemming?"

"Certainly. I should like to see how these things are managed in
Heidelberg. You are a Baron, and I am a stranger. It is of no
consequence what you and I do, as the king's fool Angeli said to the
poet Bautru, urging him to put on his hat at the royal
dinner-table."

William Lilly, the Astrologer, says, in his Autobiography, that,
when he was committed to the guard-room in White Hall, he thought
himself in hell; for "some were sleeping, others swearing, others
smoking tobacco; and in the chimney of the room there were two
bushels of broken tobacco-pipes, and almost half a load of ashes."
What he would have thought if he had peeped into this Heidelberg
Studenten-Kneipe, I know not. He certainly would not have thought
himself in heaven; unless it were a Scandinavian heaven. The windows
were open; and yet so dense was the atmosphere with the smoke of
tobacco, and the fumes of beer, that the tallow candles burnt but
dimly. A crowd of students were sitting at three long tables, in the
large hall; a medley of fellows, known at German Universities under
the cant names of Old-Ones, Mossy-Heads, Princes of Twilight, and
Pomatum-Stallions. They were smoking, drinking, singing, screaming,
and discussing the great Laws of the Broad-Stone and the Gutter.
They had a great deal to say, likewise, about Besens, and Zobels,
and Poussades; and, if they had been charged for the noise they
made, as travellers used to be, in the old Dutch taverns, they would
have had a longer bill to pay for that, than for their beer.

In a large arm-chair, upon the middle table, sat one of those
distinguished individuals, known among German students as a Senior,
or Leader of a Landsmannschaft. He was booted and spurred, and wore
a very small crimson cap, and a very tight blue jacket, and very
long hair, and a very dirty shirt. He was President of the night;
and, as Flemming entered the hall with the Baron and his friend,
striking upon the table with a mighty broadsword, he cried in a loud
voice;

"Silentium!"

At the same moment a door at the end of the hall was thrown open,
and a procession of newcomers, or Nasty-Foxes, as they are called in
the college dialect, entered two by two, looking wild, and green,
and foolish. As they came forward, they were obliged to pass under a
pair of naked swords, held cross-wise by two Old-Ones, who, with
pieces of burnt cork, made an enormous pair of mustaches, on the
smooth, rosy cheeks of each, as he passed beneath this arch of
triumph. While the procession was entering the hall, the President
lifted up his voice again, and began to sing the well-known
Fox-song, in the chorus of which all present joined lustily.

What comes there from the hill?

What comes there from the hill?

What comes there from the leathery hill?

Ha! Ha!

Leathery hill!

What comes there from the hill?

It is a postilion!

It is a postilion!

It is a leathery postilion!

Ha! Ha!

Postilion!

It is a postilion!

What brings the postilion?

What brings the postilion?

What brings the leathery postilion?

Ha! Ha!

Postilion!

What brings the postilion?

He bringeth us a Fox!

He bringeth us a Fox!

He bringeth us a leathery Fox!

Ha! Ha!

Leathery Fox!

He bringeth us a Fox!

Your servant, Masters mine!

Your servant, Masters mine!

Your servant, much-honored Masters mine!

Ha! Ha!

Much-honored Masters mine!

Your servant, Masters mine!

How does the Herr Papa?

How does the Herr Papa?

How does the leathery Herr Papa?

Ha! Ha!

Herr Papa!

How does the Herr Papa?

He reads in Cicero!

He reads in Cicero!

He reads in leathery Cicero!

Ha! Ha!

Cicero!

He reads in Cicero!

How does the Frau Mama?

How does the Frau Mama?

How does the leathery Frau Mama?

Ha! Ha!

Frau Mama!

How does the Frau Mama?

She makes the Papa tea!

She makes the Papa tea!

She makes the Papa leathery tea!

Ha! Ha!

Leathery tea!

She makes the Papa tea!

How does the Mamsell Sœur?

How does the Mamsell Sœur?

How does the leathery Mamsell Sœur?

Ha! Ha!

Mamsell Sœur!

How does the Mamsell Sœur?

She knits the Papa stockings!

She knits the Papa stockings!

She knits the Papa leathery stockings!

Ha! Ha!

Leathery stockings!

She knits the Papa stockings!

How does the Herr Rector?

How does the Herr Rector?

How does the leathery Herr Rector?

Ha! Ha!

Herr Rector!

How does the Herr Rector?

He calls the scholar, Boy!

He calls the scholar, Boy!

He calls the scholar, leathery Boy!

Ha! Ha!

Leathery Boy!

He calls the scholar, Boy!

And smokes the Fox tobacco?

And smokes the Fox tobacco?

And smokes the leathery Fox tobacco?

Ha! Ha!

Fox tobacco!

And smokes the Fox tobacco?

A little, Masters mine!

A little, Masters mine!

A little, much-honored Masters mine!

Ha! Ha!

Much-honored Masters mine!

A little, Masters mine!

Then let him fill a pipe!

Then let him fill a pipe!

Then let him fill a leathery pipe!

Ha! Ha!

Leathery pipe!

Then let him fill a pipe!

O Lord! It makes me sick!

O Lord! It makes him sick!

O Lord! It makes me leathery sick!

Ha! Ha!

Leathery sick!

O Lord! It makes me sick!

Then let him throw it off!

Then let him throw it off!

Then let him throw it leathery off!

Ha! Ha!

Leathery off!

Then let him throw it off!

Now I again am well!

Now he again is well!

Now I again am leathery well!

Ha! Ha!

Leathery well!

Now I again am well!

So grows the Fox a Bursch!

So grows the Fox a Bursch!

So grows the leathery Fox a Bursch!

Ha! Ha!

Fox a Bursch!

So grows the Fox a Bursch!

At length the song was finished. Meanwhile large tufts and strips
of paper had been twisted into the hair of the Branders, as those
are called who have been already one semestre at the University, and
then at a given signal were set on fire, and the Branders rode round
the table on sticks, amid roars of laughter. When this ceremony was
completed, the President rose from his chair, and in a solemn voice
pronounced a long discourse, in which old college jokes were mingled
with much parental advice to young men on entering life, and the
whole was profusely garnished with select passages from the Old
Testament. Then they all seated themselves at the table and the
heavy beer-drinking set in, as among the Gods and Heroes of the old
Northern mythology.

"Brander! Brander!" screamed a youth, whose face was hot and
flushed with supper and with beer; "Brander, I say? Thou art a
Doctor! No,--a Pope;--thou art a Pope, by--"

These words were addressed to a pale, quiet-looking person, who
sat opposite, and was busy in making a wretched, shaved poodle sit
on his hind legs in a chair, by his master's side, and hold a short
clay pipe in his mouth,--a performance to which the poodle seemed no
wise inclined.

"Thou art challenged!" replied the pale Student, turning from his
dog, who dropped the pipe from his mouth and leaped under the
table.

Seconds were chosen on the spot; and the arms ordered; namely,
six mighty goblets, or Bassgläser, filled to the brim with foaming
beer. Three were placed before each duellist.

"Take your weapons!" cried one of the seconds, and each of the
combatants seized a goblet in his hand.

"Strike!"

And the glasses rang, with a salutation like the crossing of
swords.

"Set to!"

Each set the goblet to his lips.

"Out!"

And each poured the contents down his throat, as if he were
pouring them through a tunnel into a beer-barrel. The other two
glasses followed in quick succession, hardly a long breath drawn
between. The pale Student was victorious. He was first to drain the
third goblet. He held it for a moment inverted, to let the last
drops fall out, and then placing it quietly on the table, looked his
antagonist in the face, and said;

"Hit!"

Then, with the greatest coolness, he looked under the table and
whistled for his dog. His antagonist stopped midway in his third
glass. Every vein in his forehead seemed bursting; his eyes were
wild and bloodshot, his hand gradually loosened its hold upon the
table, and he sank and rolled together like a sheet of lead. He was
drunk.

At this moment a majestic figure came stalking down the table,
ghost-like, through the dim, smoky atmosphere. His coat was off, his
neck bare, his hair wild, his eyes wide open, and looking right
before him, as if he saw some beckoning hand in the air, that others
could not see. His left hand was upon his hip, and in his right he
held a drawn sword extended, and pointing downward. Regardless of
every one, erect, and with a martial stride he marched directly
along the centre of the table, crushing glasses and overthrowing
bottles at everystep. The students shrunk back at his approach; till
at length one more drunk, or more courageous, than the rest, dashed
a glass full of beer into his face. A general tumult ensued, and the
student with the sword leaped to the floor. It was Von Kleist. He
was renowning it. In the midst of the uproar could be distinguished
the offensive words;

"Arrogant! Absurd! Impertinent! Dummer Junge!"

Von Kleist went home that night with no less than six duels on
his hands. He fought them all out in as many days; and came off with
only a gash through his upper lip and another through his right
eyelid from a dexterous Suabian Schlaeger.



CHAPTER V. THE WHITE LADY'S SLIPPER AND THE PASSION-FLOWER.



That night Emma of Ilmenau went to her chamber with a heavy
heart, and her dusky eyes were troubled with tears. She was one of
those gentle beings, who seem created only to love and to be loved.
A shade of melancholy softened her character. She shunned the glare
of daylight and of society, and wished to be alone. Like the evening
primrose, her heart opened only after sunset; but bloomed through
the dark night with sweet fragrance. Her mother, on the contrary,
flaunted in the garish light of society. There was no sympathy
between them. Their souls never approached, never understood each
other, and words were often spoken which wounded deeply. And
therefore Emma of Ilmenau went to her chamber that night with tears
in her eyes.

She was followed by her French chamber-maid, Madeleine, a native
of Strassburg, who had grown old in the family. In her youth, she
had been poor,--and virtuous because she had never been tempted;
and, now that she had grown old, and seen no immediate reward for
her virtue, as is usual with weak minds, she despaired of
Providence, and regretted she had never been tempted. Whilst this
unfortunate personage was lighting the wax tapers on the toilet, and
drawing the bed-curtains, and tattling about the room, Emma threw
herself into an arm-chair, and, crossing her hands in her lap, and
letting her head fall upon her bosom, seemed lost in a dream.

"Why have these gentle feelings been given me!" said she in her
heart. "Why have I been born with all these warm affections,--these
ardent longings after what is good, if they lead only to sorrow and
disappointment? I would love some one;--love him once and
forever;--devote myselfto him alone,--live for him,--die for him,--
exist alone in him! But alas! in all this wide world there is none
to love me, as I would be loved,--none whom I may love, as I am
capable of loving. How empty, how desolate, seems the world about
me! Why has Heaven given me these affections, only to fall and
fade!"

Alas! poor child! thou too must learn like others, that the
sublime mystery of Providence goes on in silence, and gives no
explanation of itself,--no answer to our impatient questionings!

"Bless me, child, what ails you?" exclaimed Madeleine, perceiving
that Emma paid no attention to her idle gossip. "When I was of your
age--"

"Do not talk to me now, good Madeleine. Leave me, I wish to be
alone?"

"Well, here is something," continued the maid, taking a billet
from her bosom, "which I hope will enliven you. When I was of your
age--"

"Hush! hush!" said Emma, taking the billetfrom the hard hand of
Madeleine. "Once more I beg you, leave me! I wish to be alone!"

Madeleine took the lamp and retired slowly, wishing her young
mistress many good nights and rosy dreams. Emma broke the seal of
the note. As she read, her face became deadly pale, and then, as
quick as thought, a crimson blush gleamed on her cheek, and her
hands trembled. Tenderness, pity, love, offended pride, the weakness
and dignity of woman, were all mingled in her look, changing and
passing over her fine countenance like cloud-shadows. She sunk back
in her chair, covering her face with her hands, as if she would hide
it from herself and Heaven.

"He loves me!" said she to herself; "loves me; and is married to
another, whom he loves not! and dares to tell me this! O, never,--
never,--never! And yet he is so friendless and alone in this
unsympathizing world,--and an exile, and homeless! I can but pity
him;--yet I hate him, and will see him no more!"

This short reverie of love and hate was brokenby the sound of a
clear, mellow voice, which, in the universal stillness of the hour,
seemed almost like the voice of a spirit. It was a voice, without
the accompaniment of any instrument, singing those sweet lines of
Goethe;

"Under the tree-tops is quiet now!

In all the woodlands hearest thou

Not a sound!

The little birds are asleep in the trees,

Wait! wait! and soon like these,

Sleepest thou!"

Emma knew the voice and started. She rushed to the window to
close it. It was a beautiful night, and the stars were shining
peacefully over the mountain of All-Saints. The sound of the Neckar
was soft and low, and nightingales were singing among the brown
shadows of the woods. The large red moon shone, like a ruby, in the
horizon's ample ring; and golden threads of light seemed braided
together with the rippling current of the river. Tall and spectral
stood the white statues on the bridge. The outline of thehills, the
castle, the arches of the bridge, and the spires and roofs of the
town were as strongly marked as if cut out of pasteboard. Amid this
fairy scene, a little boat was floating silently down the stream.
Emma closed the window hastily, and drew the curtains close.

"I hate him; and yet I will pray for him," said she, as she laid
her weary head upon that pillow, from which, but a few months
before, she thought she should never raise it again. "O, that I had
died then! I dare not love him, but I will pray for him!"

Sweet child! If the face of the deceiver comes so often between
thee and Heaven, I tremble for thy fate! The plant that sprang from
Helen's tears destroyed serpents;--would that from thine might
spring up heart's-ease;--some plant, at least, to destroy the
serpents in thy bosom. Believe me, upon the margin of celestial
streams alone, those simples grow, which cure the heartache!

And this the silent stars beheld, looking downfrom heaven, and
told it not again. This, likewise, the Frau Himmelhahn beheld,
looking from her chamber-window, and was not so discreet as the
silent stars.



CHAPTER VI. GLIMPSES INTO CLOUD-LAND.



"There are many things, which, having no corporeal evidence, can
be perceived and comprehended only by the discursive energies of
reason. Hence the ambiguous nature of matter can be comprehended
only by adulterated opinion. Matter is the principle of all bodies,
and is stamped with the impression of forms. Fire, air, and water
derive their origin and principle from the scalene triangle. But the
earth was created from right-angled triangles, of which two of the
sides are equal. The sphere and the pyramid contain in themselves
the figure of fire; but the octaedron was destined to be the figure
of air, and the icosaedron of water. The right-angled isosceles
triangle produces from itself a square, andthe square generates from
itself the cube, which is the figure peculiar to earth. But the
figure of a beautiful and perfect sphere was imparted to the most
beautiful and perfect world, that it might be indigent of nothing,
but contain all things, embracing and comprehending them in itself,
and thus might be excellent and admirable, similar to and in concord
with itself, ever moving musically and melodiously. If I use a novel
language, excuse me. As Apuleius says, pardon must be granted to
novelty of words, when it serves to illustrate the obscurity of
things."

These words came from the lips of the lion-like philosopher, who
has been noticed before in these pages. He was sitting with
Flemming, smoking a long pipe. As the Baron said, he was indeed a
strange owl; for the owl is a grave bird; a monk, who chants
midnight mass in the great temple of Nature;--an anchorite,--a
pillar saint,--the very Simeon Stylites of his neighbourhood. Such,
likewise, was the philosophical Professor. Solitary, but with a
mighty current, flowed the river of his life, like the Nile, without
a tributary stream, and making fertile only a single strip in the
vast desert. His temperament had been in youth a joyous one; and
now, amid all his sorrows and privations, for he had many, he looked
upon the world as a glad, bright, glorious world. On the many joys
of life he gazed still with the eyes of childhood, from the far-gone
Past upward, trusting, hoping;--and upon its sorrows with the eyes
of age, from the distant Future, downward, triumphant, not
despairing. He loved solitude, and silence, and candle-light, and
the deep midnight. "For," said he, "if the morning hours are the
wings of the day, I only fold them about me to sleep more sweetly;
knowing that, at its other extremity, the day, like the fowls of the
air, has an epicurean morsel,--a parson's nose; and on this oily
midnight my spirit revels and is glad."

Such was the Professor, who had been talking in a
half-intelligible strain for two hours or more. The Baron had fallen
fast asleep in his chair; but Flemming sat listening with excited
imagination, and the Professor continued in the following words,
which, to the best of his listener's memory, seemed gleaned here and
there from Fichte's Destiny of Man, and Shubert's History of the
Soul.

"Life is one, and universal; its forms many and individual.
Throughout this beautiful and wonderful creation there is
never-ceasing motion, without rest by night or day, ever weaving to
and fro. Swifter than a weaver's shuttle it flies from Birth to
Death, from Death to Birth; from the beginning seeks the end, and
finds it not, for the seeming end is only a dim beginning of a new
out-going and endeavour after the end. As the ice upon the mountain,
when the warm breath of the summer sun breathes upon it, melts, and
divides into drops, each of which reflects an image of the sun; so
life, in the smile of God's love, divides itself into separate
forms, each bearing in it and reflecting an image of God's love. Of
all these forms the highest and most perfect inits god-likeness is
the human soul. The vast cathedral of Nature is full of holy
scriptures, and shapes of deep, mysterious meaning; but all is
solitary and silent there; no bending knee, no uplifted eye, no lip
adoring, praying. Into this vast cathedral comes the human soul,
seeking its Creator; and the universal silence is changed to sound,
and the sound is harmonious, and has a meaning, and is comprehended
and felt. It was an ancient saying of the Persians, that the waters
rush from the mountains and hurry forth into all the lands to find
the Lord of the Earth; and the flame of the Fire, when it awakes,
gazes no more upon the ground, but mounts heavenward to seek the
Lord of Heaven; and here and there the Earth has built the great
watch-towers of the mountains, and they lift their heads far up into
the sky, and gaze ever upward and around, to see if the Judge of the
World comes not! Thus in Nature herself, without man, there lies a
waiting, and hoping, a looking and yearning, after an unknown
somewhat. Yes; when, above there, where the mountain lifts its head
over all others, that it may be alone with the clouds and storms of
heaven, the lonely eagle looks forth into the gray dawn, to see if
the day comes not! when, by the mountain torrent, the brooding raven
listens to hear if the chamois is returning from his nightly pasture
in the valley; and when the soon uprising sun calls out the spicy
odors of the thousand flowers, the Alpine flowers, with heaven's
deep blue and the blush of sunset on their leaves;--then there
awakes in Nature, and the soul of man can see and comprehend it, an
expectation and a longing for a future revelation of God's majesty.
It awakens, also, when in the fulness of life, field and forest rest
at noon, and through the stillness is heard only the song of the
grasshopper and the hum of the bee; and when at evening the singing
lark, up from the sweet-smelling vineyards rises, or in the later
hours of night Orion puts on his shining armour, to walk forth in
the fields of heaven. But in the soul of man alone is this longing
changed to certainty and fulfilled. For lo! thelight of the sun and
the stars shines through the air, and is nowhere visible and seen;
the planets hasten with more than the speed of the storm through
infinite space, and their footsteps are not heard, but where the
sunlight strikes the firm surface of the planets, where the
stormwind smites the wall of the mountain cliff, there is the one
seen and the other heard. Thus is the glory of God made visible, and
may be seen, where in the soul of man it meets its likeness
changeless and firm-standing. Thus, then, stands Man;--a mountain on
the boundary between two worlds;--its foot in one, its summit
far-rising into the other. From this summit the manifold landscape
of life is visible, the way of the Past and Perishable, which we
have left behind us; and, as we evermore ascend, bright glimpses of
the daybreak of Eternity beyond us!"

Flemming would fain have interrupted this discourse at times, to
answer and inquire, but the Professor went on, warming and glowing
more andmore. At length, there was a short pause, and Flemming
said;

"All these indefinite longings,--these yearnings after an unknown
somewhat, I have felt and still feel within me; but not yet their
fulfilment."

"That is because you have not faith;" answered the Professor.
"The Present is an age of doubt and disbelief, and darkness; out of
which shall arise a clear and bright Hereafter. In the second part
of Goethe's Faust, there is a grand and striking scene, where in the
classical Walpurgis Night, on the Pharsalian Plains, the mocking
Mephistopheles sits down between the solemn antique Sphinxes, and
boldly questions them, and reads their riddles. The red light of
innumerable watch-fires glares all round about, and shines upon the
terrible face of the arch-scoffer; while on either side, severe,
majestic, solemnly serene, we behold the gigantic forms of the
children of Chimæra, half buried in the earth, their mild eyes
gazing fixedly, as if they heard through the midnight, the
swift-rushing wings of the Stymphalides, striving to outstrip the
speed of Alcides' arrows! Angry griffins are near them; and not far
are Sirens, singing their wondrous songs from the rocking branches
of the willow trees! Even thus does a scoffing and unbelieving
Present sit down, between an unknown Future and a too believing
Past, and question and challenge the gigantic forms of faith, half
buried in the sands of Time, and gazing forward steadfastly into the
night, whilst sounds of anger and voices of delight alternate vex
and soothe the ear of man!--But the time will come, when the soul of
man shall return again childlike and trustful to its faith in God;
and look God in the face and die; for it is an old saying, full of
deep, mysterious meaning, that he must die, who hath looked upon a
God. And this is the fate of the soul, that it should die
continually. No sooner here on earth does it awake to its peculiar
being, than it struggles to behold and comprehend the Spirit of
Life. In the first dim twilight of its existence, it beholds this
spirit, is pervaded by its energies,--is quick and creative likethe
spirit itself, and yet slumbers away into death after having seen
it. But the image it has seen, remains, in the eternal procreation,
as a homogeneal existence, is again renewed, and the seeming death,
from moment to moment, becomes the source of kind after kind of
existences in ever-ascending series. The soul aspires ever onward to
love and to behold. It sees the image more perfect in the
brightening twilight of the dawn, in the ever higher-rising sun. It
sleeps again, dying in the clearer vision; but the image seen
remains as a permanent kind; and the slumberer awakes anew and ever
higher after its own image, till at length, in the full blaze of
noonday, a being comes forth, which, like the eagle, can behold the
sun and die not. Then both live on, even when this bodily element,
the mist and vapor through which the young eagle gazed, dissolves
and falls to earth."

"I am not sure that I understand you," said Flemming; "but if I
do, you mean to say, that, as the body continually changes and takes
unto itselfnew properties, and is not the same to-day as yesterday,
so likewise the soul lays aside its idiosyncrasies, and is changed
by acquiring new powers, and thus may be said to die. And hence,
properly speaking, the soul lives always in the Present, and has,
and can have, no Future; for the Future becomes the Present, and the
soul that then lives in me is a higher and more perfect soul; and so
onward forevermore."

"I mean what I say," continued the Professor; "and can find no
more appropriate language to express my meaning than that which I
have used. But as I said before, pardon must be granted to the
novelty of words, when it serves to illustrate the obscurity of
things. And I think you will see clearly from what I have said, that
this earthly life, when seen hereafter from heaven, will seem like
an hour passed long ago, and dimly remembered;--that long,
laborious, full of joys and sorrows as it is, it will then have
dwindled down to a mere point, hardly visible to the far-reaching
ken of the disembodied spirit. But the spirit itself soars onward.
And thus death is neither an end nor a beginning. It is a transition
not from one existence to another, but from one state of existence
to another. No link is broken in the chain of being; any more than
in passing from infancy to manhood, from manhood to old age. There
are seasons of reverie and deep abstraction, which seem to me
analogous to death. The soul gradually loses its consciousness of
what is passing around it; and takes no longer cognizance of objects
which are near. It seems for the moment to have dissolved its
connexion with the body. It has passed as it were into another state
of being. It lives in another world. It has flown over lands and
seas; and holds communion with those it loves, in distant regions of
the earth, and the more distant heaven. It sees familiar faces, and
hears beloved voices, which to the bodily senses are no longer
visible and audible. And this likewise is death; save that when we
die, the soul returns no more to the dwelling it has left."

"You seem to take it for granted," interrupted Flemming, "that, in
our reveries, the soul really goes out of the body into distant
places, instead of summoning up their semblance within itself by the
power of memory and imagination!"

"Something I must take for granted," replied the Professor. "We
will not discuss that point now. I speak not without forethought.
Just observe what a glorious thing human life is, when seen in this
light; and how glorious man's destiny. I am; thou art; he is! seems
but a school-boy's conjugation. But therein lies a great mystery.
These words are significant of much. We behold all round about us
one vast union, in which no man can labor for himself without
laboring at the same time for all others; a glimpse of truth, which
by the universal harmony of things becomes an inward benediction,
and lifts the soul mightily upward. Still more so, when a man
regards himself as a necessary member of this union. The feeling of
our dignity and our power grows strong, when we say to ourselves; My
being is not objectless and in vain; I am a necessary link in the
great chain, which, from the full development of consciousness in
the first man, reaches forward into eternity. All the great, and
wise, and good among mankind, all the benefactors of the human race,
whose names I read in the world's history, and the still greater
number of those, whose good deeds have outlived their names,--all
those have labored for me. I have entered into their harvest. I walk
the green earth, which they inhabited. I tread in their footsteps,
from which blessings grow. I can undertake the sublime task, which
they once undertook, the task of making our common brotherhood wiser
and happier. I can build forward, where they were forced to leave
off; and bring nearer to perfection the great edifice which they
left uncompleted. And at length I, too, must leave it, and go hence.
O, this is the sublimest thought of all! I can never finish the
noble task; therefore, so sure as this task is my destiny, I can
never cease to work, and consequently never cease to be. What men
call death cannot break off this task, which is never-ending;
consequently no periodis set to my being, and I am eternal. I lift
my head boldly to the threatening mountain peaks, and to the roaring
cataract, and to the storm-clouds swimming in the fire-sea overhead
and say; I am eternal, and defy your power! Break, break over me!
and thou Earth, and thou Heaven, mingle in the wild tumult! and ye
Elements foam and rage, and destroy this atom of dust,--this body,
which I call mine! My will alone, with its fixed purpose, shall
hover brave and triumphant over the ruins of the universe; for I
have comprehended my destiny; and it is more durable than ye! It is
eternal; and I, who recognise it, I likewise am eternal! Tell me, my
friend, have you no faith in this?"

"I have;" answered Flemming, and there was another pause. He then
said;

"I have listened to you patiently and without interruption. Now
listen to me. You complain of the skepticism of the age. This is one
form in which the philosophic spirit of the age presents itself. Let
me tell you, that another form, whichit assumes, is that of poetic
reverie. Plato of old had dreams like these; and the Mystics of the
Middle Ages; and still their disciples walk in the cloud-land and
dream-land of this poetic philosophy. Pleasant and cool upon their
souls lie the shadows of the trees under which Plato taught. From
their whispering leaves comes wafted across the noise of populous
centuries a solemn and mysterious sound, which to them is the voice
of the Soul of the World. All nature has become spiritualized and
transfigured; and, wrapt in beautiful, vague dreams of the real and
the ideal, they live in this green world, like the little child in
the German tale, who sits by the margin of a woodland lake, and
hears the blue heaven and the branches overhead dispute with their
reflection in the water, which is the reality and which the image. I
willingly confess, that such day-dreams as these appeal strongly to
my imagination. Visitants and attendants are they of those lofty
souls, which, soaring ever higher and higher, build themselves nests
under the very eaves of the stars, forgetful that theycannot live on
air, but must descend to earth for food. Yet I recognise them as
day-dreams only; as shadows, not substantial things. What I mainly
dislike in the New Philosophy, is the cool impertinence with which
an old idea, folded in a new garment, looks you in the face and
pretends not to know you, though you have been familiar friends from
childhood. I remember an English author who, in speaking of your
German Philosophies, says very wisely; `Often a proposition of
inscrutable and dread aspect, when resolutely grappled with, and
torn from its shady den, and its bristling entrenchments of uncouth
terminology,--and dragged forth into the open light of day, to be
seen by the natural eye and tried by merely human understanding,
proves to be a very harmless truth, familiar to us from old,
sometimes so familiar as to be a truism. Too frequently the anxious
novice is reminded of Dryden in the Battle of the Books; there is a
helmet of rusty iron, dark, grim, gigantic; and within it, at the
farthest corner, is a head no bigger than a walnut.'--Can you
believe, thatthese words ever came from the lips of Carlyle! He has
himself taken up the uncouth terminology of late; and many pure,
simple minds are much offended at it. They seem to take it as a
personal insult. They are angry; and deny the just meed of praise.
It is, however, hardly worth while to lose our presence of mind. Let
us rather profit as we may, even from this spectacle, and recognise
the monarch in his masquerade. For, hooded and wrapped about with
that strange and antique garb, there walks a kingly, a most royal
soul, even as the Emperor Charles walked amid solemn cloisters under
a monk's cowl;--a monarch still in soul. Such things are not new in
the history of the world. Ever and anon they sweep over the earth,
and blow themselves out soon, and then there is quiet for a season,
and the atmosphere of Truth seems more serene. Why would you preach
to the wind? Why reason with thunder-showers? Better sit quiet, and
see them pass over like a pageant, cloudy, superb, and vast."

The Professor smiled self-complacently, but said not a word.
Flemming continued;

"I will add no more than this;--there are many speculations in
Literature, Philosophy, and Religion, which, though pleasant to walk
in, and lying under the shadow of great names, yet lead to no
important result. They resemble rather those roads in the western
forests of my native land, which, though broad and pleasant at
first, and lying beneath the shadow of great branches, finally
dwindle to a squirrel track, and run up a tree!"

The Professor hardly knew whether he should laugh or be offended
at this sally; and, laying his hand upon Flemming's arm, he said
seriously;

"Believe me, my young friend, the time will come, when you will
think more wisely on these things. And with you, I trust, that time
will soon come; since it moves more speedily with some than with
others. For what is Time? The shadow on the dial,--the striking of
the clock,--the running of the sand,--day and night,--summerand
winter,--months, years, centuries! These are but arbitrary and
outward signs,--the measure of Time, not Time itself! Time is the
Life of the Soul. If not this, then tell me what it is?"

The high and animated tone of voice in which the Professor
uttered these words aroused the Baron from his sleep; and, not
distinctly comprehending what was said, but thinking the Professor
asked what time it was, he innocently exclaimed;

"I should think it must be near midnight!"

This somewhat disconcerted the Professor, who took his leave soon
afterward. When he was gone the Baron said;

"Excuse me for treating your guest so cavalierly. His
transcendentalism annoyed me not a little; and I took refuge in
sleep. One would think, to judge by the language of this sect, that
they alone saw any beauty in Nature; and, when I hear one of them
discourse, I am instantly reminded of Goethe's Baccalaureus, when he
exclaims; `The world was not before I created it; Ibrought the sun
up out of the sea; with me began the changeful course of the moon;
the day decked itself on my account; the earth grew green and
blossomed to meet me; at my nod in that first night, the pomp of all
the stars developed itself; who but I set you free from all the
bonds of Philisterlike, contracting thoughts? I, however,
emancipated as my mind assures me I am, gladly pursue my inward
light, advance boldly in a transport peculiarly my own, the bright
before me, and the dark behind!'--Do you not see a resemblance? O,
they might be modest enough to confess, that one straggling ray of
light may, by some accident, reach the blind eyes of even us poor,
benighted heathens?"

"Alas! how little veneration we have!" said Flemming. "I could
not help closing the discussion with a jest. An ill-timed levity
often takes me by surprise. On all such occasions I think of a scene
at the University, where, in the midst of a grave discussion on the
possibility of Absolute Motion, a scholar said he had seen a rock
splitopen, from which sprang a toad, who could not be supposed to
have any knowledge of the external world, and consequently his
motion must have been absolute. The learned Professor, who presided
on that occasion, was hardly more startled and astonished, than was
our learned Professor, five minutes ago. But come; wind up your
watch, and let us go to bed."

"By the way," said the Baron, "did you mind what a curious head
he has. There are two crowns upon it."

"That is a sign," replied Flemming, "that he will eat his bread
in two kingdoms."

"I think the poor man would be very thankful," said the Baron
with a smile, "if he were always sure of eating it in one. He is
what the Transcendentalists call a god-intoxicated man; and I advise
him, as Sauteul advised Bossuet, to go to Patmos and write a new
Apocalypse."



CHAPTER VII. MILL-WHEELS AND OTHER WHEELS.



A few days after this the Baron received letters from his sister,
telling him, that her physicians had prescribed a few weeks at the
Baths of Ems, and urging him to meet her there before the
fashionable season.

"Come," said he to Flemming; "make this short journey with me. We
will pass a few pleasant days at Ems, and visit the other
watering-places of Nassau. It will drive away the melancholy
day-dreams that haunt you. Perhaps some future bride is even now
waiting for you, with dim presentiments and undefined longings, at
the Serpent's Bath."

"Or some widow of Ems, with a cork-leg!" said Flemming, smiling;
and then added, in a toneof voice half jest, half earnest,
"Certainly; let us go in pursuit of her;--

`Whoe'er she be,

That not impossible she,

That shall command my heart and me.

Where'er she lie,

Hidden from mortal eye,

In shady leaves of destiny.'"

They started in the afternoon for Frankfort, pursuing their way
slowly along the lovely Bergstrasse, famed throughout Germany for
its beauty. They passed the ruined house where Martin Luther lay
concealed after the Diet of Worms, and through the village of
Handschuhsheimer, as old as the days of King Pepin the Short,--a
hamlet, lying under the hills, half-buried in blossoms and green
leaves. Close on the right rose the mountains of the mysterious
Odenwald; and on the left lay the Neckar, like a steel bow in the
meadow. Farther westward, a thin, smoky vapor betrayed the course of
the Rhine; beyond which, like a troubled sea, ran the blue,
billowy Alsatian hills. Song of birds, and sound of evening bells,
and fragrance of sweet blossoms filled the air; and silent and slow
sank the broad red sun, half-hidden amid folding clouds.

"We shall not pass the night at Weinheim," said the Baron to the
postilion, who had dismounted to walk up the hill, leading to the
town. "You may drive to the mill in the Valley of Birkenau."

The postilion seized one of his fat horses by the tail, and swung
himself up to his seat again. They rattled through the paved streets
of Weinheim, and took no heed of the host of the Golden Eagle, who
stood so invitingly at the door of his own inn; and the ruins of
Burg Windeck, above there, on its mountain throne, frowned at them
for hurrying by, without staying to do him homage.

"The old ruin looks well from the valley," said the Baron; "but
let us beware of climbing that steep hill. Most travellers are like
children; they must needs touch whatever they behold. They climb up
to every old broken tooth of acastle, which they find on their
way;--get a toilsome ascent and hot sunshine for their pains, and
come down wearied and disappointed. I trust we are wiser."

They crossed the bridge, and turned up the stream, passing under
an arch of stone, which serves as a gateway to this enchanted Valley
of Birkenau. A cool and lovely valley! shut in by high
hills;--shaded by alder-trees and tall poplars, under which rushes
the Wechsnitz, a noisy mountain brook, that ever and anon puts its
broad shoulder to the wheel of a mill, and shows that it can labor
as well as laugh. At one of these mills they stopped for the
night.

A mill forms as characteristic a feature in the romantic German
landscape, as in the romantic German tale. It is not only a mill,
but likewise an ale-house and rural inn; so that the associations it
suggests are not of labor only, but also of pleasure. It stands in
the narrow defile, with its picturesque, thatched roof; thither
throng thepeasants, of a holiday; and there are rustic dances under
the trees.

In the twilight of the fast-approaching summer night, the Baron
and Flemming walked forth along the borders of the stream. As they
heard it, rushing and gushing among the stones and tangled roots,
and the great wheel turning in the current, with its never-ceasing
plash! plash! it brought to their minds that exquisite, simple song
of Goethe, the Youth and the Mill-brook. It was for the moment a
nymph, which sang to them in the voice of the waters.

"I am persuaded," said Flemming, "that, in order fully to
understand and fell the popular poetry of Germany, one must be
familiar with the German landscape. Many sweet little poems are the
outbreaks of momentary feelings;--words, to which the song of birds,
the rustling of leaves, and the gurgle of cool waters form the
appropriate music. Or perhaps I should say they are words, which man
has composed to the music of nature. Can you not, even now, hear
this brooklet tellingyou how it is on its way to the mill, where at
day-break the miller's daughter opens her window, and comes down to
bathe her face in its stream, and her bosom is so full and white,
that it kindles the glow of love in the cool waters!"

"A most delightful ballad, truly," said the Baron. "But like many
others of our little songs, it requires a poet to fell and
understand it. Sing them in the valley and woodland shadows, and
under the leafy roofs of garden walks, and at night, and alone, as
they were written. Sing them not in the loud world,--for the loud
world laughs such things to scorn. It is Mueller who says, in that
little song, where the maiden bids the moon good evening;

`This song was made to be sung at night,

And he who reads it in broad daylight,

Will never read the mystery right;

And yet it is childlike easy!'

He has written a great many pretty songs, in which the momentary,
indefinite longings and impulses of the soul of man find an
expression. Hecalls them the songs of a Wandering Horn-player. There
is one among them much to our present purpose. He expresses in it,
the feeling of unrest and desire of motion, which the sight and
sound of running waters often produce in us. It is entitled,
`Whither?' and is worth repeating to you.

`I heard a brooklet gushing

From its rocky fountain near,

Down into the valley rushing,

So fresh and wondrous clear.

`I know not what came o'er me,

Nor who the counsel gave;

But I must hasten downward,

All with my pilgrim-stave.

`Downward, and ever farther,

And ever the brook beside;

And ever fresher murmured,

And ever clearer the tide.

`Is this the way I was going?

Whither, O brooklet, say!

Thou hast, with thy soft murmur,

Murmured my senses away.

`What do I say of a murmur?

That can no murmur be;

'T is the water-nymphs, that are singing

Their roundelays under me.

`Let them sing, my friend, let them murmur,

And wander merrily near;

The wheels of a mill are going

In every brooklet clear.'"

"There you have the poetic reverie," said Flemming, "and the dull
prose commentary and explanation in matter of fact. The song is
pretty; and was probably suggested by some such scene as this, which
we are now beholding. Doubtless all your old national traditions
sprang up in the popular mind as this song in the poet's."

"Your opinion is certainly correct," answered the Baron; "and yet
all this play of poetic fancy does not prevent me from feeling the
chill night air, and the pangs of hunger. Let us go back to the
mill, and see what our landlady has for supper. Did you observe what
a loud, sharp voice she has?"

"People always have, who live in mills, and near
water-falls."

On the following morning they emerged unwillingly from the green,
dark valley, and journeyed along the level highway to Frankfort,
where in the evening they heard the glorious Don Giovanni of Mozart.
Of all operas this was Flemming's favorite. What rapturous flights
of sound! what thrilling, pathetic chimes! what wild, joyous revelry
of passion! what a delirium of sense!--what an expression of agony
and woe! all the feelings of suffering and rejoicing humanity
sympathized with and finding a voice in those tones. Flemming and
the Baron listened with ever-increasing delight.

"How wonderful this is!" exclaimed Flemming, transported by his
feelings. "How the chorus swells and dies, like the wind of summer!
How those passages of mysterious import seem to wave to and fro,
like the swaying branches of trees; from which anon some solitary
sweetvoice darts off like a bird, and floats away and revels in the
bright, warm sunshine! And then mark! how, amid the chorus of a
hundred voices and a hundred instruments,--of flutes, and drums, and
trumpets,--this universal shout and whirl-wind of the vexed air, you
can so clearly distinguish the melancholy vibration of a single
string, touched by the finger,--a mournful, sobbing sound! Ah, this
is indeed human life! where in the rushing, noisy crowd, and amid
sounds of gladness, and a thousand mingling emotions, distinctly
audible to the ear of thought, are the pulsations of some melancholy
string of the heart, touched by an invisible hand."

Then came, in the midst of these excited feelings, the ballet;
drawing its magic net about the soul. And soon, from the tangled yet
harmonious mazes of the dance, came forth a sylph-like form, her
scarf floating behind her, as if she were fanning the air with
gauze-like wings. Noiseless as a feather or a snow-flake falls, did
her feet touch the earth. She seemed to floatin the air, and the
floor to bend and wave under her, as a branch, when a bird alights
upon it, and takes wing again. Loud and rapturous applause followed
each wonderful step, each voluptuous movement; and, with a flushed
cheek and burning eye, and bosom panting to be free, stood the
gracefully majestic figure for a moment still, and then the winged
feet of the swift dancing-girls glanced round her, and she was lost
again in the throng.

"How truly exquisite this is!" exclaimed the Baron, after joining
loudly in the applause. "What a noble figure! What grace! what
attitudes! How much soul in every motion! how much expression in
every gesture! I assure you, it produces upon me the same effect as
a beautiful poem. It is a poem. Every step is a word; and the whole
together a poem!"

The Baron and Flemming were delighted with the scene; and at the
same time exceedingly amused with the countenance of an old prude in
the next box, who seemed to look upon the wholemagic show, with such
feelings as Michal, Saul's daughter, experienced, when she looked
from her window and saw King David dancing and leaping with his
scanty garments.

"After all," said Flemming, "the old French priest was not so far
out of the way, when he said, in his coarse dialect, that the dance
is the Devil's procession; and paint and ornaments, the whetting of
the devil's sword; and the ring that is made in dancing, the devil's
grindstone, whereon he sharpens his sword; and finally, that a
ballet is the pomp and mass of the Devil, and whosoever entereth
therein, entereth into his pomp and mass; for the woman who singeth
is the prioress of the Devil, and they that answer are clerks, and
they that look on are parishioners, and the cymbals and flutes are
the bells, and the musicians that play are the ministers, of the
Devil."

"No doubt this good lady near us, thinks so likewise," answered
the Baron laughing; "but she likes it, for all that."

When the play was over the Baron begged Flemming to sit still,
till the crowd had gone.

"I have a strange fancy," said he, "whenever I come to the
theatre, to see the end of all things. When the crowd is gone, and
the curtain raised again to air the house, and the lamps are all
out, save here and there one behind the scenes, the contrast with
what has gone before is most impressive. Every thing wears a
dream-like aspect. The empty boxes and stalls,--the silence,--the
smoky twilight, and the magic scene dismantled, produce in me a
strange, mysterious feeling. It is like a dim reflection of a
theatre in water, or in a dusty mirror; and reminds me of some of
Hoffmann's wild Tales. It is a practical moral lesson,--a
commentary on the play, and makes the show complete."

It was truly as he said; only tenfold more desolate, solemn, and
impressive; and produced upon the mind the effect we experience,
when slumber is suddenly broken, and dreams and realities mingle,
and we know not yet whether we sleep or wake. As they at length
passed out through the dimly-lighted passage, they heard a
vulgar-looking fellow, with a sensual face and shaggy whiskers, say
to some persons who were standing near him, and seemed to be
hangers-on of the play-house;

"I shall run her six nights at Munich, and then take her on to
Vienna."

Flemming thought he was speaking of some favorite horse. He was
speaking of his beautiful wife, the ballet-dancer.



CHAPTER VIII. OLD HUMBUG.



What most interested our travellers in the ancient city of
Frankfort, was neither the opera nor the Ariadne of Dannecker, but
the house in which Goethe was born, and the scenes he frequented in
his childhood, and remembered in his old age. Such for example are
the walks around the city, outside the moat; the bridge over the
Maine, with the golden cock on the cross, which the poet beheld and
marvelled at when a boy; the cloister of the Barefooted Friars,
through which he stole with mysterious awe to sit by the
oilcloth-covered table of old Rector Albrecht; and the garden in
which his grandfather walked up and down among fruit-trees and
rose-bushes, in long morning gown, black velvet cap, and the antique
leather gloves, which he annually received as Mayor on
Pipers-Doomsday, representing a kind of middle personage between
Alcinous and Laertes. Thus, O Genius! are thy foot-prints hallowed;
and the star shines forever over the place of thy nativity.

"Your English critics may rail as they list," said the Baron,
while he and Flemming were returning from a stroll in the leafy
gardens, outside the moat; "but, after all, Goethe was a magnificent
old fellow. Only think of his life; his youth of passion,
alternately aspiring and desponding, stormy, impetuous,
headlong;--his romantic manhood, in which passion assumes the form
of strength; assiduous, careful, toiling, without haste, without
rest; and his sublime old age,--the age of serene and classic
repose, where he stands like Atlas, as Claudian has painted him in
the Battle of the Giants, holding the world aloft upon his head, the
ocean-streams hard frozen in his hoary locks."

"A good illustration of what the world calls his
indifferentism."

"And do you know I rather like this indifferentism? Did you never
have the misfortune to live in a community, where a difficulty in
the parish seemed to announce the end of the world? or to know one
of the benefactors of the human race, in the very `storm and
pressure period' of his indiscreet enthusiasm? If you have, I think
you will see something beautiful in the calm and dignified attitude
which the old philosopher assumes."

"It is a pity, that his admirers had not a little of this
philosophic coolness. It amuses me to read the various epithets,
which they apply to him; The Dear, dear Man! The Life-enjoying Man!
The All-sided One! The Representative of Poetry upon earth! The
Many-sided Master-Mind of Germany! His enemies rush into the other
extreme, and hurl at him the fierce names of Old Humbug! and Old
Heathen! which hit like pistol-bullets."

"I confess, he was no saint."

"No; his philosophy is the old ethnic philosophy. You will find
it all in a convenient andconcentrated, portable form in Horace's
beautiful Ode to Thaliarcus. What I most object to in the old
gentleman is his sensuality."

"O nonsense. Nothing can be purer than the Iphigenia; it is as
cold and passionless as a marble statue."

"Very true; but you cannot say the same of some of the Roman
Elegies and of that monstrous book the Elective Affinities."

"Ah, my friend, Goethe is an artist; and looks upon all things as
objects of art merely. Why should he not be allowed to copy in words
what painters and sculptors copy in colors and in marble?"

"The artist shows his character in the choice of his subject.
Goethe never sculptured an Apollo, nor painted a Madonna. He gives
us only sinful Magdalens and rampant Fauns. He does not so much
idealize as realize."

"He only copies nature."

"So did the artists, who made the bronzelamps of Pompeii. Would
you hang one of those in your hall? To say that a man is an artist
and copies nature is not enough. There are two great schools of art;
the imitative and the imaginative. The latter is the most noble, and
most enduring; and Goethe belonged rather to the former. Have you
read Menzel's attack upon him?"

"It is truly ferocious. The Suabian hews into him lustily. I hope
you do not side with him."

"By no means. He goes too far. He blames the poet for not being a
politician. He might as well blame him for not being a missionary to
the Sandwich Islands."

"And what do you think of Eckermann?"

"I think he is a toady; a kind of German Boswell. Goethe knew he
was drawing his portrait, and attitudinized accordingly. He works
very hard to make a Saint Peter out of an old Jupiter, as the
Catholics did at Rome."

"Well; call him Old Humbug, or Old Heathen, or what you please; I
maintain, that, with all his errors and short-comings, he was a
glorious specimen of a man."

"He certainly was. Did it ever occur to you that he was in some
points like Ben Franklin? a kind of rhymed Ben Franklin? The
practical tendency of his mind was the same; his love of science was
the same; his benignant, philosophic spirit was the same; and a vast
number of his little poetic maxims and sooth-sayings seem nothing
more than the worldly wisdom of Poor Richard, versified."

"What most offends me is, that now every German jackass must have
a kick at the dead lion."

"And every one who passes through Weimar must throw a book upon
his grave, as travellers did of old a stone upon the grave of
Manfredi, at Benevento. But, of all that has been said or sung, what
most pleases me is Heine's Apologetic, if I may so call it; in which
he says, that the minor poets, who flourished under the
imperialreign of Goethe `resemble a young forest, where the trees
first show their own magnitude after the oak of a hundred years,
whose branches had towered above and overshadowed them, has fallen.
There was not wanting an opposition, that strove against Goethe,
this majestic tree. Men of the most warring opinions united
themselves for the contest. The adherents of the old faith, the
orthodox, were vexed, that, in the trunk of the vast tree, no niche
with its holy image was to be found; nay, that even the naked Dryads
of paganism were permitted to play their witchery there; and gladly,
with consecrated axe, would they have imitated the holy Boniface,
and levelled the enchanted oak to the ground. The followers of the
new faith, the apostles of liberalism, were vexed on the other hand,
that the tree could not serve as the Tree of Liberty, or, at any
rate, as a barricade. In fact the tree was too high; no one could
plant the red cap upon its summit, or dance the Carmagnole beneath
its branches. The multitude, however, venerated this tree for the
veryreason, that it reared itself with such independent grandeur,
and so graciously filled the world with its odor, while its
branches, streaming magnificently toward heaven, made it appear, as
if the stars were only the golden fruit of its wondrous limbs.'
Don't you think that beautiful?"

"Yes, very beautiful. And I am glad to see, that you can find
something to admire in my favorite author, notwithstanding his
frailties; or, to use an old German saying, that you can drive the
hens out of the garden without trampling down the beds."

"Here is the old gentleman himself!" exclaimed Flemming.

"Where!" cried the Baron, as if for the moment he expected to see
the living figure of the poet walking before them.

"Here at the window,--that full-length cast. Excellent, is it
not! He is dressed, as usual, in his long yellow nankeen surtout,
with a white cravat crossed in front. What a magnificent head! and
what a posture! He stands like a tower ofstrength. And, by Heavens!
he was nearly eighty years old, when that was made."

"How do you know?"

"You can see by the date on the pedestal."


"You are right. And yet how erect he stands, with his square
shoulders braced back, and his hands behind him. He looks as if he
were standing before the fire. I feel tempted to put a live coal
into his hand, it lies so invitingly half-open. Gleim's description
of him, soon after he went to Weimar, is very different from this.
Do you recollect it?"

"No, I do not."

"It is a story, which good old father Gleim used to tell with
great delight. He was one evening reading the Göttingen
Musen-Almanach in a select society at Weimar, when a young man came
in, dressed in a short, green shooting-jacket, booted and spurred,
and having a pair of brilliant, black, Italian eyes. He in turn
offered to read; but finding probably the poetry of the
Musen-Almanach of that year rather too insipid for him, he soon began
to improvise the wildest and most fantastic poems imaginable, and in
all possible forms and measures, all the while pretending to read
from the book. `That is either Goethe or the Devil,' said good old
father Gleim to Wieland, who sat near him. To which the `Great I of
Osmannstadt' replied; `It is both, for he has the Devil in him
to-night; and at such times he is like a wanton colt, that flings
out before and behind, and you will do well not to go too near him!'
"

"Very good!"

"And now that noble figure is but mould. Only a few months ago,
those majestic eyes looked for the last time on the light of a
pleasant spring morning. Calm, like a god, the old man sat; and with
a smile seemed to bid farewell to the light of day, on which he had
gazed for more than eighty years. Books were near him, and the pen
which had just dropped, as it were from his dying fingers. `Open the
shutters, and let in more light!' were the last words that came from
those lips. Slowly stretching forth his hand, he seemed to write
inthe air; and, as it sank down again and was motionless, the spirit
of the old man departed."

"And yet the world goes on. It is strange how soon, when a great
man dies, his place is filled; and so completely, that he seems no
longer wanted. But let us step in here. I wish to buy that cast; and
send it home to a friend."



CHAPTER IX. THE DAYLIGHT OF THE DWARFS, AND THE FALLING STAR.



After lingering a day or two in Frankfort, the two friends struck
across through Hochheim to the Rhine, and then up among the hills of
the Rheingau to Schlangenbad, where they tarried only to bathe, and
to dine; and then pursued their way to Langenschwalbach. The town
lies in a valley, with gently-sloping hills around it, and long
avenues of poplars leading forth into the fields. One interminable
street cuts the town in twain, and there are old houses with curious
faces carved upon their fronts, and dates of the olden time.

Our travellers soon sallied forth from their hotel, impatient to
drink the strength-giving watersof the fountains. They continued
their walk far up the valley under the poplars. The new grain was
waving in the fields; the birds singing in the trees and in the air;
and every thing seemed glad, save a poor old man, who came tottering
out of the woods, with a heavy bundle of sticks on his
shoulders.

Returning upon their steps, they passed down the valley and
through the long street to the tumble-down old Lutheran church. A
flight of stone steps leads from the street to the green terrace or
platform on which the church stands, and which, in ancient times,
was the churchyard, or as the Germans more devoutly say, God's-acre;
where generations are scattered like seeds, and that which is sown
in corruption shall be raised hereafter in incorruption. On the
steps stood an old man,--a very old man,--holding a little girl by
the hand. He took off his greasy cap as they passed, and wished them
good day. His teeth were gone; he could hardly articulate a
syllable. The Baron asked him how old the church was. Hegave no
answer; but when the question was repeated, came close up to them,
and taking off his cap again, turned his ear attentively, and
said;


"I am hard of hearing."

"Poor old man," said Flemming; "He is as much a ruin as the
church we are entering. It will not be long before he, too, shall be
sown as seed in this God's-acre!"

The little girl ran into a house close at hand, and brought out
the great key. The church door swung open, and, descending a few
steps, they passed through a low-roofed passage into the church. All
was in ruin. The gravestones in the pavement were started from their
places; the vaults beneath yawned; the roof above was falling
piecemeal; there were rents in the old tower; and mysterious
passages, and side doors with crazy flights of wooden steps, leading
down into the churchyard. Amid all this ruin, one thing only stood
erect; it was a statue of a knight in armour, standing in a niche
under the pulpit.

"Who is this?" said Flemming to the old sexton; "who is this,
that stands here so solemnly in marble, and seems to be keeping
guard over the dead men below?"

"I do not know," replied the old man; "but I have heard my
grandfather say it was the statue of a great warrior!"

"There is history for you!" exclaimed the Baron. "There is fame!
To have a statue of marble, and yet have your name forgotten by the
sexton of your parish, who can remember only, that he once heard his
grandfather say, that you were a great warrior!"

Flemming made no reply, for he was thinking of the days, when
from that old pulpit, some bold reformer thundered down the first
tidings of a new doctrine, and the roof echoed with the grand old
hymns of Martin Luther.

When he communicated his thoughts to the Baron, the only answer
he received was;

"After all, what is the use of so much preaching? Do you think
the fishes, that heard the sermon of St. Anthony, were any better
than thosewho did not? I commend to your favorable notice the
fish-sermon of this saint, as recorded by Abraham à Santa Clara. You
will find it in your favorite Wonder-Horn."

Thus passed the day at Langenschwalbach; and the evening at the
Allée-Saal was quite solitary; for as yet no company had arrived to
fill its chambers, or sit under the trees before the door. The next
morning even Flemming and the Baron were gone; for the German's
heart was beating with strong desire to embrace his sister; and the
heart of his friend cared little whither he went, sobeit he were not
too much alone.

After a few hours' drive, they were looking down from the summit
of a hill right upon the house-tops of Ems. There it lay, deep sunk
in the hollow beneath them, as if some inhabitant of Sirius, like
him spoken of in Voltaire's tale of Micromegas, held it in the
hollow of his hand. High and peaked rise the hills, that throw their
shadows into this romantic valley, and at their base winds the river
Lahn. Our travellersdrove through the one long street, composed
entirely of hotels and lodging-houses. Sick people looked out of the
windows, as they passed. Others were walking leisurely up and down,
beneath the few decapitated trees, which represent a public
promenade; and a boy, with a blue frock and crimson cap, was driving
three donkeys down the street. In short, they were in a fashionable
watering-place; as yet sprinkled only by a few pattering drops of
the summer rain of strangers, which generally follows the first hot
days.

On alighting at the London Hotel, the Baron found--not his
sister, but only a letter from her, saying she had changed her mind
and gone to the Baths of Franconia. This was a disappointment, which
the Baron pocketed with the letter, and said not a word more about
either. It was his way; his life-philosophy in small things and
great. In the evening, they went to an æsthetic tea, at the house of
the Frau Kranich, the wife of a rich banker of Frankfort.

"I must tell you about this Frau Kranich," said the Baron to
Flemming, on the way. "She is a woman of talent and beauty, and just
in the prime of life. But, unfortunately, very ambitious. Her mania
is, to make a figure in the fashionable world; and to this end she
married a rich banker of Frankfort, old enough to be her father, not
to say her grandfather, hoping, doubtless, that he would soon die;
for, if ever a woman wished to be a widow, she is that woman. But
the old fellow is tough and won't die. Moreover, he is deaf, and
crabbed, and penurious, and half the time bed-ridden. The wife is a
model of virtue, notwithstanding her weakness. She nurses the old
gentleman as if he were a child. And, to crown all, he hates
society, and will not hear of his wife's receiving or going into
company."

"How, then, can she give soirées?" asked Flemming.

"I was just going to tell you," continued the Baron. "The gay
lady has no taste for long evenings with the old gentleman in the
back chamber;--for being thus chained like a criminal
under Mezentius, face to face with a dead body. So she puts him to
bed first, and--"

"Gives him opium."

"Yes, I dare say; and then gives herself a soirée, without his
knowing any thing about it. This course of deception is truly
hateful in itself, and must be particularly so to her, for she is
not a low, or an immoral woman; but one of those who, not having
strength enough to complete the sacrifice they have had strength
enough to commence, are betrayed into a life of duplicity and
falsehood."

They had now reached the house, and were ushered into a room
gaily lighted and filled with guests. The hostess came forward to
receive them, dressed in white, and sailing down the room like a
swan. When the customary salutations had passed and Flemming had
been duly presented, the Baron said, not without a certain degree of
malice;

"And, my dear Frau Kranich, how is your good husband to
night?"

This question was about as discreet as a cannon-ball. But the
lady replied in the simplicity of her heart, and not in the least
disconcerted;

"The same as ever, my dear Baron. It is astonishing how he holds
out. But let us not talk of these things now. I must introduce your
friend to his countryman, the Grand Duke of Mississippi; alike
remarkable for his wealth, his modesty, and the extreme simplicity
of his manners. He drives only six horses. Besides, he is known as a
man of learning and piety;--has his private chapel, and private
clergyman, who always preaches against the vanity of worldly riches.
He has also a private secretary, whose sole duty is to smoke to him,
that he may enjoy the aroma of Spanish cigars, without the trouble
of smoking."

"Decidedly a man of genius!"

Here Flemming was introduced to his illustrious countryman; a
person who seemed to consist chiefly of linen, such a display did he
make of collar, bosom, and wristbands.

"Pray, Mr. Flemming, what do you think of that Rembrandt?" said
he, pointing to a picture onthe wall. "Exquisite picture! The
grandeur of sentiment and splendor of chiaroscuro are of the first
order. Just observe the liquidity of the water, and the silveryness
of the clouds! Great power! There is a bravura of handling in that
picture, Sir, which requires the eye of the connoisseur to
appreciate."

"Yes, a most undoubted--copy!"

And here their conversation ended; for at that moment the little
Moldavian Prince Jerkin made his way through the crowd, with his
snuff-box as usual in his hand, and hurried up to Flemming whom he
had known in Heidelberg. He was eager to let every one know that he
spoke English, and in his haste began by making a mistake.

"Good bye! Good bye! Mr. Flemming!" said he, instead of good
evening. "I am ravished to see you in Ems. Nice place;--all that
there is of most nice. I drink my water and am good! Do you not
think the Frau Kranich has a very beautiful leather?"

He meant skin. Flemming laughed outright; but it was not perceived
by the Prince, because at that moment he was pushed aside, in the
rush of a gallopade, and Flemming beheld his face no more. At the
same moment the Baron introduced a friend of his, who also spoke
English and said;

"You will sup with me to-night. I have some Rhine-wine, which
will be a seduction to you."

Soon after, the Baron stood with an impassioned, romantic lady
leaning on his arm, examining a copy of Raphael's Fornarina.

"Ach! I wish I had been the Fornarina," sighed the impassioned,
romantic lady.

"Then, my dear Madam," replied the Baron, "I wish I had been
Raphael."

And so likewise said to himself a very tall man with fiery red
hair, and fancy whiskers, who was waltzing round and round in one
spot, and in a most extraordinary waistcoat; thus representing a
fiery, floating-light, to warn men of the hidden rocks, on which the
breath of vanity drives them shipwreck. At length, his partner,
tired of spinning, sank upon a sofa, like a child's top, when it
reels and falls.

"You do not like the waltz?" said an elderly French gentleman,
remarking the expression of Flemming's countenance.

"O yes; among the figurantes of the Opera. But I confess, it
sometimes makes me shudder to see a young rake clasp his arms round
the waist of a pure and innocent girl. What would you say, were you
to see him sitting on a sofa with his arms round your wife?"

"Mere prejudice of education," replied the French gentleman. "I
know that situation. I have read all about it in the Bibliothèque de
Romans Choisis!"

And merrily went the dance; and bright eyes and flushed cheeks
were not wanting among the dancers;

"And they waxed red, and waxed warm,

And rested, panting, arm in arm,"

and the Strauss-walzes sounded pleasantly in the ears of
Flemming, who, though he never danced, yet, like Henry of
Ofterdingen, in the Romance of Novalis, thought to music. The
wheeling waltz set the wheels of his fancy going. And thus the
moments glided on, and the footsteps of Time were not heard amid the
sound of music and voices.

But suddenly this scene of gayety was interrupted. The door
opened wide; and the short figure of a gray-haired old man presented
itself, with a flushed countenance and wild eyes. He was but
half-dressed, and in his hand held a silver candlestick without a
light. A sheet was wound round his head, like a turban; and he
tottered forward with a vacant, bewildered look, exclaiming;

"I am Mahomet, the king of the Jews!"

At the same moment he fell in a swoon; and was borne out of the
room by the servants. Flemming looked at the lady of the festival,
and she was deadly pale. For a moment all was confusion; and the
dance and the music stopped. Theimpression produced on the company
was at once ludicrous and awful. They tried in vain to rally. The
whole society was like a dead body, from which the spirit has
departed. Ere long the guests had all dispersed, and left the lady
of the mansion to her mournful, expiring lamps, and still more
mournful reflections.

"Truly," said Flemming, to the Baron, as they wended their way
homeward, "this seems not like reality; but like one of the sharp
contrasts we find in novels. Who shall say, after this, that there
is not more romance in real life, than we find written in
books!"

"Not more romance," said the Baron, "but a different
romance."

A still more tragic scene had been that evening enacted in
Heidelberg. Just as the sun set, two female figures walked along the
romantic woodland path-way, leading to the Angel's Meadow, a little
green opening on the brow of one of the high hills, which see
themselves in the Neckar and hear the solemn bells of
Kloster-Neuburg. The evening shadows were falling broad and long;
and the cuckoo began to sing.

"Cuckoo! Cuckoo!" said the eldest of the two figures, repeating
an old German popular rhyme,

`Cuckoo! Cuckoo!

Tell me true,

Tell me fair and fine,

How long must I unmarried pine!'"

It was the voice of an evil spirit, that spoke in the person of
Madeleine; and the pale and shrinking figure, that walked by her
side, and listened to those words, was Emma of Ilmenau. A young man
joined them, where the path turns into the thick woodlands; and they
disappeared among the shadowy branches. It was the Polish Count.

The forget-me-nots looked up to heaven with their meek blue eyes,
from their home in the Angel's Meadow. Calmly stood the mountain of
All-Saints, in its majestic, holy stillness;--the river flowed so
far below, that the murmur of itswaters was not heard;--there was
not a sigh of the evening wind among the leaves,--not a sound upon
the earth nor in the air;--and yet that night there fell a star from
heaven!



CHAPTER X. THE PARTING.



It was now that season of the year, which an old English writer
calls the amiable month of June, and at that hour of the day, when,
face to face, the rising moon beholds the setting sun. As yet the
stars were few in heaven. But, after the heat of the day, the
coolness and the twilight descended like a benediction upon the
earth, by all those gentle sounds attended, which are the meek
companions of the night.

Flemming and the Baron had passed the afternoon at the Castle.
They had rambled once more together, and for the last time, over the
magnificent ruin. On the morrow they were to part, perhaps forever.
The Baron was going to Berlin, to join his sister; and Flemming,
drivenforward by the restless spirit within him, longed once more
for a change of scene, and was going to the Tyrol and Switzerland.
Alas! he never said to the passing hour; "Stay, for thou art fair!"
but reached forward into the dark future, with unsatisfied longings
and aimless desires, that were never still.

As the day was closing, they sat down on the terrace of
Elisabeth's Garden. The sun had set beyond the blue Alsatian hills;
and on the valley of the Rhine fell the purple mist, like the mantle
of the departing prophet from his fiery chariot. Over the castle
walls, and the trees of the garden, rose the large moon; and between
the contending daylight and moonlight there were as yet no shadows.
But at length the shadows came; transparent and faint outlines, that
deepened into form. In the valley below only the river gleamed, like
steel; and here and there the lamps were lighted in the town.
Solemnly stood the leafy lindentrees in the garden near them, their
trunks in darkness and their summits bronzed with moonlight; and in
his niche in the great round tower, overhung with ivy, like a
majestic phantom, stood the gray statue of Louis, with his venerable
beard, and shirt of mail, and flowing mantle; and the mild, majestic
countenance looked forth into the silent night, as the countenance
of a seer, who reads the stars. At intervals the wind of the summer
night passed through the ruined castle and the trees, and they sent
forth a sound as if nature were sighing in her dreams; and for a
moment overhead the broad leaves gently clashed together, like
brazen cymbals, with a tinkling sound; and then all was still, save
the sweet, passionate song of nightingales, that nowhere upon earth
sing more sweetly than in the gardens of Heidelberg Castle.

The hour, the scene, and the near-approaching separation of the
two young friends, had filled their hearts with a pleasant, though
at the same time not painless excitement. They had been conversing
about the magnificent old ruin, and the ages in which it had been
built, and the vicissitudesof time and war, that had battered down
its walls, and left it "tenantless, save to the crannying wind."

"How sorrowful and sublime is the face of that statue yonder,"
said Flemming. "It reminds me of the old Danish hero Beowulf; for
careful, sorrowing, he seeth in his son's bower the wine-hall
deserted, the resort of the wind, noiseless; the knight sleepeth;
the warrior lieth in darkness; there is no noise of the harp, no joy
in the dwellings, as there was before."

"Even as you say," replied the Baron; "but it often astonishes
me, that, coming from that fresh green world of yours beyond the
sea, you should feel so much interest in these old things; nay, at
times, seem so to have drunk in their spirit, as really to live in
the times of old. For my part, I do not see what charm there is in
the pale and wrinkled countenance of the Past, so to entice the soul
of a young man. It seems to me like falling in love with one's
grandmother. Give me the Present;--warm, glowing, palpitating with
life. She is my mistress; and the Future stands waiting like my wife
that is to be, for whom, to tell the truth, I care very little just
now. Indeed, my friend, I wish you would take more heed of this
philosophy of mine; and not waste the golden hours of youth in vain
regrets for the past, and indefinite, dim longings for the future.
Youth comes but once in a lifetime."

"Therefore," said Flemming; "let us so enjoy it as to be still
young when we are old. For my part, I grow happier as I grow older.
When I compare my sensations and enjoyments now, with what they were
ten years ago, the comparison is vastly in favor of the present.
Much of the fever and fretfulness of life is over. The world and I
look each other more calmly in the face. My mind is more
self-possessed. It has done me good to be somewhat parched by the
heat and drenched by the rain of life."

"Now you speak like an old philosopher," answered the Baron,
laughing. "But you deceive yourself. I never knew a more restless,
feverishspirit than yours. Do not think you have gained the mastery
yet. You are only riding at anchor here in an eddy of the stream;
you will soon be swept away again in the mighty current and whirl of
accident. Do not trust this momentary calm. I know you better than
you know yourself. There is something Faust-like in you; you would
fain grasp the highest and the deepest; and `reel from desire to
enjoyment, and in enjoyment languish for desire.' When a momentary
change of feeling comes over you, you think the change permanent,
and thus live in constant self-deception."

"I confess," said Flemming, "there may be some truth in what you
say. There are times when my soul is restless; and a voice sounds
within me, like the trump of the archangel, and thoughts that were
buried, long ago, come out of their graves. At such times my
favorite occupations and pursuits no longer charm me. The quiet face
of Nature seems to mock me."

"There certainly are seasons," replied the Baron, "when Nature
seems not to sympathizewith her beloved children. She sits there so
eternally calm and self-possessed, so very motherly and serene, and
cares so little whether the heart of her child breaks or not, that
at times I almost lose my patience. About that, too, she cares so
little, that, out of sheer obstinacy, I become good-humored again,
and then she smiles."

"I think we must confess, however," continued Flemming, "that all
this springs from our own imperfection, not from hers. How beautiful
is this green world, which we inhabit! See yonder, how the moonlight
mingles with the mist! What a glorious night is this! Truly every
man has a Paradise around him until he sins, and the angel of an
accusing conscience drives him from his Eden. And even then there
are holy hours, when this angel sleeps, and man comes back, and,
with the innocent eyes of a child, looks into his lost Paradise
again,--into the broad gates and rural solitudes of Nature. I feel
this often. We have much to enjoy in the quiet and retirement of
ourown thoughts. Boisterous mirth and loud laughter are not my mood.
I love that tranquillity of soul, in which we feel the blessing of
existence, and which in itself is a prayer and a thanksgiving. I
find, however, that, as I grow older, I love the country less, and
the city more."

"Yes," interrupted the Baron; "and presently you will love the
city less and the country more. Say at once, that you have an
undefined longing for both; and prefer town or country, according to
the mood you are in. I think a man must be of a very quiet and happy
nature, who can long endure the country; and, moreover, very well
contented with his own insignificant person, very self-complacent,
to be continually occupied with himself and his own thoughts. To say
the least, a city life makes one more tolerant and liberal in his
judgment of others. One is not eternally wrapped up in
self-contemplation; which, after all, is only a more holy kind of
vanity."

In conversation like this, the hours glided away; till at length,
from the Giant's Tower, the Castleclock struck twelve, with a sound
that seemed to come from the Middle Ages. Like watchmen from their
belfries the city clocks answered it, one by one. Then distant and
muffled sounds were heard. Inarticulate words seemed to blot the
foggy air, as if written on wet paper. These were the bells of
Handschuhsheimer, and of other villages on the broad plain of the
Rhine, and among the hills of the Odenwald; mysterious sounds, that
seemed not of this world.

Beneath them, in the shadow of the hills, lay the valley, like a
fathomless, black gulf; and above were the cloistered stars, that,
nun-like, walk the holy aisles of heaven. The city was asleep in the
valley below; all asleep and silent, save the clocks, that had just
struck twelve, and the veering, golden weathercocks, that were
swimming in the moonshine, like golden fishes, in a glass vase. And
again the wind of the summer night passed through the old Castle,
and the trees, and the nightingales recorded under the dark, shadowy
leaves, and the heart of Flemming was full.

When he had retired to his chamber, a feeling of utter loneliness
came over him. The night before one begins a journey is always a
dismal night; for, as Byron says,

"In leaving even the most unpleasant people

And places, one keeps looking at the steeple!"

And how much more so when the place and people are pleasant; as
was the case with those, that Flemming was now leaving. No wonder he
was sad and sleepless. Thoughts came and went, and bright and gloomy
fancies, and dreams and visions, and sweet faces looked under his
closed eyelids, and vanished away, and came again, and again
departed. He heard the clock strike from hour to hour, and said,
"Another hour is gone." At length the birds began to sing; and ever
and anon the cock crew. He arose, and looked forth into the gray
dawn; and before him lay the city he was so soon to leave, all white
and ghastly, like a city that had arisen from its grave.

"All things must change," said he to the Baron, as he embraced
him, and held him by the hand. "Friends must be torn asunder, and
swept along in the current of events, to see each other seldom, and
perchance no more. For ever and ever in the eddies of time and
accident we whirl away. Besides which, some of us have a perpetual
motion in our wooden heads, as Wodenblock had in his wooden leg; and
like him we travel on, without rest or sleep, and have hardly time
to take a friend by the hand in passing; and at length are seen
hurrying through some distant land, worn to a skeleton, and all
unknown."



BOOK III.



Epigraph

"Take away the lights, too;

The moon lends me too much to find my fears;

And those devotions I am now to pay,

Are written in my heart, not in thy book;

And I shall read them there without a taper."



CHAPTER I. SUMMER-TIME.



They were right,--those old German Minnesingers,--to sing the
pleasant summer-time! What a time it is! How June stands illuminated
in the Calendar! The windows are all wide open; only the Venetian
blinds closed. Here and there a long streak of sunshine streams in
through a crevice. We hear the low sound of the wind among the
trees; and, as it swells and freshens, the distant doors clap to,
with a sudden sound. The trees are heavy with leaves; and the
gardens full of blossoms, red and white. The whole atmosphere is
laden with perfume and sunshine. The birds sing. The cock struts
about, and crows loftily. Insects chirp in the grass. Yellow
butter-cups stud the green carpet like golden buttons, and the red
blossoms of the clover like rubies. The elm-trees reach their long,
pendulous branches almost to the ground. White clouds sail aloft;
and vapors fret the blue sky with silver threads. The white village
gleams afar against the dark hills. Through the meadow winds the
river,--careless, indolent. It seems to love the country, and is in
no haste to reach the sea. The bee only is at work,--the hot and
angry bee. All things else are at play; he never plays, and is vexed
that any one should.

People drive out from town to breathe, and to be happy. Most of
them have flowers in their hands; bunches of apple-blossoms, and
still oftener lilacs. Ye denizens of the crowded city, how pleasant
to you is the change from the sultry streets to the open fields,
fragrant with clover-blossoms! how pleasant the fresh, breezy
country air, dashed with brine from the meadows! howpleasant, above
all, the flowers, the manifold, beautiful flowers!

It is no longer day. Through the trees rises the red moon, and
the stars are scarcely seen. In the vast shadow of night, the
coolness and the dews descend. I sit at the open window to enjoy
them; and hear only the voice of the summer wind. Like black hulks,
the shadows of the great trees ride at anchor on the billowy sea of
grass. I cannot see the red and blue flowers, but I know that they
are there. Far away in the meadow gleams the silver Charles. The
tramp of horses' hoofs sounds from the wooden bridge. Then all is
still, save the continuous wind of the summer night. Sometimes I
know not if it be the wind or the sound of the neighbouring sea. The
village clock strikes; and I feel that I am not alone.

How different is it in the city! It is late, and the crowd is
gone. You step out upon the balcony, and lie in the very bosom of
the cool, dewy night, as if you folded her garments about you. The
whole starry heaven is spread out overhead. Beneath lies the public
walk with trees, like a fathomless, black gulf, into whose silent
darkness the spirit plunges and floats away, with some beloved
spirit clasped in its embrace. The lamps are still burning up and
down the long street. People go by, with grotesque shadows, now
foreshortened and now lengthening away into the darkness and
vanishing, while a new one springs up behind the walker, and seems
to pass him on the sidewalk. The iron gates of the park shut with a
jangling clang. There are footsteps, and loud voices;--a tumult,--a
drunken brawl,--an alarm of fire;--then silence again. And now at
length the city is asleep, and we can see the night. The belated
moon looks over the roofs, and finds no one to welcome her. The
moonlight is broken. It lies here and there in the squares, and the
opening of streets,--angular, like blocks of white marble.

Under such a green, triumphal arch, O Reader! with the odor of
flowers about thee, and the song of birds, shalt thou pass onward
into the enchanted land, as through the Ivory Gate of dreams! And as
a prelude and majestic march, one sweet human voice, I know not
whose, but coming from the bosom of the Alps, sings this sublime
ode, which the Alpine echoes repeat afar.

"Come, golden Evening! In the west

Enthrone the storm-dispelling sun,

And let the triple rainbow rest

O'er all the mountain tops;--'t is done;

The tempest ceases; bold and bright,

The rainbow shoots from hill to hill;

Down sinks the sun; on presses night;

Mont Blanc is lovely still!

"There take thy stand, my spirit;--spread

The world of shadows at thy feet;

And mark how calmly overhead,

The stars, like saints in glory, meet.

While, hid in solitude sublime,

Methinks I muse on Nature's tomb,

And hear the passing foot of Time

Step through the silent gloom.

"All in a moment, crash on crash,

From precipice to precipice,

An avalanche's ruins dash

Down to the nethermost abyss,

Invisible; the ear alone

Pursues the uproar till it dies;

Echo to Echo, groan for groan,

From deep to deep, replies.

"Silence again the darkness seals,

Darkness that may be felt;--but soon

The silver-clouded east reveals

The midnight spectre of the moon;

In half-eclipse she lifts her horn,

Yet, o'er the host of heaven supreme,

Brings the faint semblance of a morn,

With her awakening beam.

"Ah! at her touch, these Alpine heights

Unreal mockeries appear;

With blacker shadows, ghastlier lights,

Emerging as she climbs the sphere;

A crowd of apparitions pale!

I hold my breath in chill suspense,

They seem so exquisitely frail,

Lest they should vanish hence.

"I breathe again, I freely breathe;

Thee, Leman's Lake, once more I trace,

Like Dian's crescent far beneath,

As beautiful as Dian's face:

Pride of the land that gave me birth!

All that thy waves reflect I love,

Where heaven itself, brought down to earth,

Looks fairer than above.

"Safe on thy banks again I stray;

The trance of poesy is o'er,

And I am here at dawn of day,

Gazing on mountains as before,

Where all the strange mutations wrought,

Were magic feats of my own mind;

For, in that fairy land of thought,

Whate'er I seek, I find."



CHAPTER II. FOOT-TRAVELLING.



Tell me, my soul, why art thou restless? Why dost thou look
forward to the future with such strong desire? The present is
thine,--and the past;--and the future shall be! O that thou didst
look forward to the great hereafter with half the longing wherewith
thou longest for an earthly future,--which a few days at most will
bring thee! to the meeting of the dead, as to the meeting of the
absent! Thou glorious spirit-land! O, that I could behold thee as
thou art,--the region of life, and light, and love, and the
dwelling-place of those beloved ones, whose being has flowed onward
like a silver-clear stream into the solemn-sounding main, into the
ocean of Eternity.

Such were the thoughts that passed through thesoul of Flemming,
as he lay in utter solitude and silence on the rounded summit of one
of the mountains of the Furca Pass, and gazed, with tears in his
eyes, and ardent longing in his heart, up into the blue-swimming
heaven overhead, and at the glaciers and snowy mountain-peaks around
him. Highest and whitest of all, stood the peak of the Jungfrau,
which seemed near him, though it rose afar off from the bosom of the
Lauterbrunner Thal. There it stood, holy and high and pure, the
bride of heaven, all veiled and clothed in white, and lifted the
thoughts of the beholder heavenward. O, he little thought then, as
he gazed at it with longing and delight, how soon a form was to
arise in his own soul, as holy, and high, and pure as this, and like
this point heavenward.

Thus lay the traveller on the mountain summit, reposing his weary
limbs on the short, brown grass, which more resembled moss than
grass. He had sent his guide forward, that he might be alone. His
soul within him was wild with a fierce and painful delight. The
mountain air excited him; the mountain solitudes enticed, yet
maddened him. Every peak, every sharp, jagged iceberg, seemed to
pierce him. The silence was awful and sublime. It was like that in
the soul of a dying man, when he hears no more the sounds of earth.
He seemed to be laying aside his earthly garments. The heavens were
near unto him; but between him and heaven every evil deed he had
done arose gigantic, like those mountain-peaks, and breathed an icy
breath upon him. O, let not the soul that suffers, dare to look
Nature in the face, where she sits majestically aloft in the
solitude of the mountains; for her face is hard and stern, and looks
not in compassion upon her weak and erring child. It is the
countenance of an accusing archangel, who summons us to judgment. In
the valley she wears the countenance of a Virgin Mother, looking at
us with tearful eyes, and a face of pity and love!

But yesterday Flemming had come up the valley of the Saint
Gothard Pass, through Amsteg, where the Kerstelenbach comes dashing
down the Maderaner Thal, from its snowy cradle overhead. The road is
steep, and runs on zigzag terraces. The sides of the mountains are
barren cliffs; and from their cloud-capped summits, unheard amid the
roar of the great torrent below, come streams of snowwhite foam,
leaping from rock to rock, like the mountain chamois. As you
advance, the scene grows wilder and more desolate. There is not a
tree in sight,--not a human habitation. Clouds, black as midnight,
lower upon you from the ravines overhead; and the mountain torrent
beneath is but a sheet of foam, and sends up an incessant roar. A
sudden turn in the road brings you in sight of a lofty bridge,
stepping from cliff to cliff with a single stride. A fearful
cataract howls beneath it, like an evil spirit, and fills the air
with mist; and the mountain wind claps its hands and shrieks through
the narrow pass, Ha! ha!--This is the Devil's Bridge. It leads the
traveller across the fearful chasm, and through a mountain gallery
into the broad, green, silent meadow of Andermath.

Even the sunny morning, which followed thisgloomy day, had not
chased the desolate impression from the soul of Flemming. His
excitement increased as he lost himself more and more among the
mountains; and now, as he lay all alone on the summit of the sunny
hill, with only glaciers and snowy peaks about him, his soul, as I
have said, was wild with a fierce and painful delight.

A human voice broke his reverie. He looked, and beheld at a short
distance from him, the athletic form of a mountain herdsman, who was
approaching the spot where he lay. He was a young man, clothed in a
rustic garb, and holding a long staff in his hand. When Flemming
rose, he stood still, and gazed at him, as if he loved the face of
man, even in a stranger, and longed to hear a human voice, though it
might speak in an unknown tongue. He answered Flemming's salutation
in a rude mountain dialect, and in reply to his questions said;

"I, with two others, have charge of two hundred head of cattle on
these mountains. Throughthe two summer months we remain here night
and day; for which we receive each a Napoleon."

Flemming gave him half his summer wages. He was glad to do a good
deed in secret, and yet so near heaven. The man received it as his
due, like a toll-keeper; and soon after departed, leaving the
traveller alone. And the traveller went his way down the mountain,
as one distraught. He stopped only to pluck one bright blue flower,
which bloomed all alone in the vast desert, and looked up at him, as
if to say; "O take me with you! leave me not here
companionless!"

Ere long he reached the magnificent glacier of the Rhone; a
frozen cataract, more than two thousand feet in height, and many
miles broad at its base. It fills the whole valley between two
mountains, running back to their summits. At the base it is arched,
like a dome; and above, jagged and rough, and resembles a mass of
gigantic crystals, of a pale emerald tint, mingled with white. A
snowy crust covers its surface; but at every rent and crevice the
pale green ice shines clear in thesun. Its shape is that of a glove,
lying with the palm downwards, and the fingers crooked and close
together. It is a gauntlet of ice, which, centuries ago, Winter, the
King of these mountains, threw down in defiance to the Sun; and year
by year the Sun strives in vain to lift it from the ground on the
point of his glittering spear. A feeling of wonder and delight came
over the soul of Flemming when he beheld it, and he shouted and
cried aloud;

"How wonderful! how glorious!"

After lingering a few hours in the cold, desolate valley, he
climbed in the afternoon the steep Mayen-Wand, on the Grimsel,
passed the Lake of the Dead, with its ink-black waters; and through
the melting snow, and over slippery stepping-stones in the beds of
numberless shallow brooks, descended to the Grimsel Hospital, where
he passed the night, and thought it the most lone and desolate spot,
that man ever slept in.

On the morrow, he rose with the day; and the rising sun found him
already standing on the rusticbridge, which hangs over the verge of
the Falls of the Aar at Handeck, where the river pitches down a
precipice into a narrow and fearful abyss, shut in by perpendicular
cliffs. At right angles with it comes the beautiful Aerlenbach; and
halfway down the double cascade mingles into one. Thus he pursued
his way down the Hasli Thal into the Bernese Oberland, restless,
impatient, he knew not why, stopping seldom, and never long, and
then rushing forward again, like the rushing river whose steps he
followed, and in whose ice-cold waters ever and anon he bathed his
wrists, to cool the fever in his blood; for the noonday sun was
hot.

His heart dilated in the dilating valley, that grew broader and
greener at every step. The sight of human faces and human dwellings
soothed him; and through the fields of summer grain, in the broad
meadows of Imgrund, he walked with a heart that ached no more, but
trembled only, as our eyelids when we have done weeping. As he
climbed the opposite hill, which hems in this romanticvalley, and,
like a heavy yoke, chafes the neck of the Aar, he believed the
ancient tradition, which says, that once the valley was a lake. From
the summit of the hill he looked southward upon a beautiful
landscape of gardens, and fields of grain, and woodlands, and
meadows, and the ancient castle of Resti, looking down upon
Meyringen. And now all around him were the singing of birds, and
grateful shadows of the leafy trees; and sheeted waterfalls dropping
from the woodland cliffs, seen only, but unheard, the fluted columns
breaking into mist, and fretted with frequent spires and ornaments
of foam, and not unlike the towers of a Gothic church inverted.
There, in one white sheet of foam, the Riechenbach pours down into
its deep beaker, into which the sun never shines. Face to face it
beholds the Alpbach falling from the opposite hill, "like a downward
smoke." When Flemming saw the innumerable runnels, sliding down the
mountain-side, and leaping, all life and gladness, he would fain
have clasped them in his arms and been their playmate, and revelled
withthem in their freedom and delight. Yet he was weary with the
day's journey, and entered the village of Meyringen, embowered in
cherry-trees, which were then laden with fruit, more like a way-worn
traveller than an enthusiastic poet. As he went up the tavern steps
he said in his heart, with the Italian Aretino; "He who has not been
at a tavern, knows not what a paradise it is. O holy tavern! O
miraculous tavern! holy, because no carking cares are there, nor
weariness, nor pain; and miraculous, because of the spits, which of
themselves turn round and round! Of a truth all courtesy and good
manners come from taverns, so full of bows, and Signor, sì! and
Signor, nò!"

But even in the tavern he could not rest long. The same evening
at sunset he was floating on the lake of Brienz, in an open boat,
close under the cascade of the Giessbach, hearing the peasants sing
the Ranz des Vaches. He slept that night at the other extremity of
the lake, in a large house, which, like Saint Peter's at Joppa,
stood by the water's side. The next day he wasted inwriting letters,
musing in this green nest, and paddling about the lake again; and in
the evening went across the beautiful meadows to Interlachen, where
many things happened to him, and detained him long.



CHAPTER III. INTERLACHEN.



Interlachen! How peacefully, by the margin of the swift-rushing
Aar, thou liest, on the broad lap of those romantic meadows, all
overshadowed by the wide arms of giant trees! Only the round towers
of thine ancient cloister rise above their summits; the round towers
themselves, but a child's playthings under the great church-towers
of the mountains. Close beside thee are lakes, which the flowing
band of the river ties together. Before thee opens the magnificent
valley of Lauterbrunn, where the cloud-hooded Monk and pale Virgin
stand like Saint Francis and his Bride of Snow; and all around thee
are fields, and orchards, and hamlets green, from which the
church-bells answer each other at evening! The eveningsun was
setting when I first beheld thee! The sun of life will set ere I
forget thee! Surely it was a scene like this, that inspired the soul
of the Swiss poet, in his Song of the Bell!

"Bell! thou soundest merrily,

When the bridal party

To the church doth hie!

Bell! thou soundest solemnly,

When, on Sabbath morning,

Fields deserted lie!

"Bell! thou soundest merrily;

Tellest thou at evening,

Bed-time draweth nigh!

Bell! thou soundest mournfully;

Tellest thou the bitter

Parting hath gone by!

"Say! how canst thou mourn?

How canst thou rejoice?

Art but metal dull!

And yet all our sorrowings,

And all our rejoicings,

Thou dost feel them all!

"God hath wonders many,

Which we cannot fathom,

Placed within thy form!

When the heart is sinking,

Thou alone canst raise it,

Trembling in the storm!"

Paul Flemming alighted at one of the principal hotels. The
landlord came out to meet him. He had great eyes and a green coat;
and reminded Flemming of the innkeeper mentioned in the Golden Ass,
who had been changed by magic into a frog, and croaked to his
customers from the lees of a wine-cask. His house, he said, was
full; and so was every house in Interlachen; but, if the gentleman
would walk into the parlour, he would procure a chamber for him, in
the neighbourhood.

On the sofa sat a gentleman, reading; a stout gentleman of
perhaps forty-five, round, ruddy, and with a head, which, being a
little bald on the top, looked not unlike a crow's nest, with one
egg in it. A good-humored face turned from the book as Flemming
entered; and a good-humored voice exclaimed;

"Ha! ha! Mr. Flemming! Is it you, or your apparition! I told you
we should meet again! though you were for taking an eternal farewell
of your fellow-traveller."

Saying these words, the stout gentleman rose and shook Flemming
heartily by the hand. And Flemming returned the shake as heartily,
recognising in this ruddy personage, a former travelling companion,
Mr. Berkley, whom he had left, a week or two previous, toiling up
the Righi. Mr. Berkley was an Englishman of fortune; a good-humored,
humane old bachelor; remarkable alike for his common sense and his
eccentricity. That is to say, the basis of his character was good,
sound common sense, trodden down and smoothed by education; but this
level groundwork his strange and whimsical fancy used as a
dancing-floor, whereon to exhibit her eccentric tricks. His ruling
passion was cold-bathing; and he usually ate his breakfast sitting
in a tub of cold water, and reading a newspaper. He kissed every
child he met; and to every old man, said in passing, "God bless
you!" with such an expression of voice and countenance, that no one
could doubt his sincerity. He reminded one of Roger Bontemps, or the
Little Man in Gray; though with a difference.

"The last time I had the pleasure of seeing you, Mr. Berkley,"
said Flemming, "was at Goldau, just as you were going up the Righi.
I hope you were gratified with a fine sunrise on the mountain
top."

"No, Sir, I was not!" replied Mr. Berkley. "It is all a humbug! a
confounded humbug! They made such a noise about their sunrise, that
I determined I would not see it. So I lay snug in bed; and only
peeped through the window curtain. That was enough. Just above the
house, on the top of the hill, stood some fifty half-dressed,
romantic individuals, shivering in the wet grass; and, a short
distance from them, a miserable wretch, blowing a long, wooden horn.
That's your sunrise on the Righi, is it? said I; and went to sleep
again. The best thing I saw at the Culm, was the advertisement on
the bed-room doors, saying, that, if the ladies would wear the quilts
and blankets for shawls, when they went out to see the sunrise, they
must pay for the washing. Take my word for it, the Righi is a great
humbug!"

"Where have you been since?"

"At Zurich and Schaffhausen. If you go to Zurich, beware how you
stop at the Raven. They will cheat you. They cheated me; but I had
my revenge, for, when we reached Schaffhausen, I wrote in the
Traveller's Book;

Beware of the Raven of Zurich!

'T is a bird of omen ill;

With a noisy and an unclean nest,

And a very, very long bill.

If you go to the Golden Falken you will find it there. I am the
author of those lines!"

"Bitter as Juvenal!" exclaimed Flemming.

"Not in the least bitter," said Mr. Berkley. "It is all true. Go
to the Raven and see. But this Interlachen! this Interlachen! It is
the loveliest spot on the face of the earth," he continued,
stretching out both arms, as if to embrace the objectof his
affection. "There,--only look out there!"

Here he pointed to the window. Flemming looked, and beheld a
scene of transcendent beauty. The plain was covered already by the
brown shade of the summer twilight. From the cottage roofs in
Unterseen rose here and there a thin column of smoke over the tops
of the trees and mingled with the evening shadows. The Valley of
Lauterbrunnen was filled with a blue haze. Far above, in the clear,
cloudless heaven, the white forehead of the Jungfrau blushed at the
last kiss of the departing sun. It was a glorious Transfiguration of
Nature! And when the village bells began to ring, and a single voice
at a great distance was heard yodling forth a ballad, it rather
broke than increased the enchantment of a scene, where silence was
more musical than sound.

For a long time they gazed at the gloaming landscape, and spake
not. At length people came into the parlour, and laid aside their
shawls and hats, and exchanged a word or two with Berkley to Flemming
they were all unknown. To him it was all Mr. Brown and Mrs. Johnson,
and nothing more. The conversation turned upon the various
excursions of the day. Some had been at the Staubbach, others at the
Grindelwald; others at the Lake of Thun; and nobody before had ever
experienced half the rapture, which they had experienced that day.
And thus they sat in the twilight, as people love to do, at the
close of a summer day. As yet the lamps had not been lighted; and
one could not distinguish faces; but voices only, and forms, like
shadows.

Presently a female figure, clothed in black, entered the room and
sat down by the window. She rather listened to the conversation,
than joined in it; but the few words she said were spoken in a voice
so musical and full of soul, that it moved the soul of Flemming,
like a whisper from heaven.

O, how wonderful is the human voice! It is indeed the organ of
the soul! The intellect of man sits enthroned visibly upon his
forehead and in his eye; and the heart of man is written uponhis
countenance. But the soul reveals itself in the voice only; as God
revealed himself to the prophet of old in the still, small voice;
and in a voice from the burning bush. The soul of man is audible,
not visible. A sound alone betrays the flowing of the eternal
fountain, invisible to man!

Flemming would fain have sat and listened for hours to the sound
of that unknown voice. He felt sure, in his secret heart, that the
being from whom it came was beautiful. His imagination filled up the
faint outline, which the eye beheld in the fading twilight, and the
figure stood already in his mind, like Raphael's beautiful Madonna
in the Dresden gallery. He was never more mistaken in his life. The
voice belonged to a beautiful being, it is true; but her beauty was
different from that of any Madonna which Raphael ever painted; as he
would have seen, had he waited till the lamps were lighted. But in
the midst of his reverie and saint-painting, the landlord came in,
andtold him he had found a chamber, which he begged him to go and
look at.

Flemming took his leave and departed. Berkley went with him, to
see, he said, what kind of a nest his young friend was to sleep
in.

"The chamber is not what I could wish," said the landlord, as he
led them across the street. "It is in the old cloister. But
to-morrow or next day, you can no doubt have a room at the
house."

The name of the cloister struck Flemming's imagination
pleasantly. He was owl enough to like ruins and old chambers, where
nuns or friars had slept. And he said to Berkley;

"So, you perceive, my nest is to be in a cloister. It already
makes me think of a bird's-nest I once saw on an old tower of
Heidelberg castle, built in the jaws of a lion, which formerly
served as a spout. But pray tell me, who was that young lady, with
the soft voice?"

"What young lady with the soft voice?"

"The young lady in black, who sat by the window."

"O, she is the daughter of an English officer, who died not long
ago at Naples. She is passing the summer here with her mother, for
her health."

"What is her name?"

"Ashburton."

"Is she beautiful?"

"Not in the least; but very intellectual. A woman of genius, I
should say."

And now they had reached the walls of the cloister, and passed
under an arched gateway, and close beneath the round towers, which
Flemming had already seen, rising with their cone-shaped roofs above
the trees, like tall tapers, with extinguishers upon them.

"It is not so bad, as it looks," said the landlord, knocking at a
small door, in the main building. "The Bailiff lives in one part of
it."

A servant girl, with a candle in her hand, opened the door, and
conducted Flemming and Berkley to the chamber which had been
engaged. It was a large room on the lower floor, wainscoted with
pine, and unpainted. Three lofty and narrowwindows, with leaden
lattices and small panes, looked southward towards the valley of
Lauterbrunnen and the mountains. In one corner was a large square
bed, with a tester and checked curtains. In another, a huge stove of
painted tiles, reaching almost to the ceiling. An old sofa, a few
high-backed antique chairs, and a table, completed the furniture of
the room.

Thus Flemming took possession of his monkish cell and dormitory.
He ordered tea, and began to feel at home. Berkley passed the
evening with him. On going away he said;

"Good night! I leave you to the care of the Virgin and all the
Saints. If the ghost of any old monk comes back after his
prayer-book, my compliments to him. If I were a younger man, you
certainly should see a ghost. Good night!"

When he had departed, Flemming opened the lattice of one of the
windows. The moon had risen, and silvered the dark outline of the
nearest hills; while, afar off, the snowy summits of the Jungfrau
and the Silver-Horn shone like a white cloud in the sky. Close
beneath the windows was a flower-garden; and the breath of the
summer night came to him with dewy fragrance. There was a grateful
seclusion about the place. He blessed the happy accident, which gave
him such a lodging, and fell asleep that night thinking of the nuns,
who once had slept in the same quiet cells; but neither wimpled nun
nor cowled monk appeared to him in his dreams; not even the face of
Mary Ashburton; nor did he hear her voice.



CHAPTER IV. THE EVENING AND THE MORNING STAR.



Old Froissart tells us, in his Chronicles, that when King Edward
beheld the Countess of Salisbury at her castle gate, he thought he
had never seen before so noble nor so fair a lady; he was stricken
therewith to the heart with a sparkle of fine love, that endured
long after; he thought no lady in the world so worthy to be beloved,
as she. And so likewise thought Paul Flemming, when he beheld the
English lady in the fair light of a summer morning. I will not
disguise the truth. She is my heroine; and I mean to describe her
with great truth and beauty, so that all shall be in love with her,
and I most of all.

Mary Ashburton was in her twentieth summer. Like the fair maiden
Amoret, she was sitting inthe lap of womanhood. They did her wrong,
who said she was not beautiful; and yet

"she was not fair,

Nor beautiful;--those words express her not.

But O, her looks had something excellent,

That wants a name!"

Her face had a wonderful fascination in it. It was such a calm,
quiet face, with the light of the rising soul shining so peacefully
through it. At times it wore an expression of seriousness,--of
sorrow even; and then seemed to make the very air bright with what
the Italian poets so beautifully call the lampeggiar dell' angelico
riso,--the lightning of the angelic smile.

And O, those eyes,--those deep, unutterable eyes, with
"down-falling eyelids, full of dreams and slumber," and within them
a cold, living light, as in mountain lakes at evening, or in the
river of Paradise, forever gliding,

"with a brown, brown current

Under the shade perpetual, that never

Ray of the sun lets in, nor of the moon."

I dislike an eye that twinkles like a star. Those only are
beautiful which, like the planets, have a steady, lambent
light;--are luminous, but not sparkling. Such eyes the Greek poets
give to the Immortals. But I forget myself.

The lady's figure was striking. Every step, every attitude was
graceful, and yet lofty, as if inspired by the soul within. Angels
in the old poetic philosophy have such forms; it was the soul itself
imprinted on the air. And what a soul was hers! A temple dedicated
to Heaven, and, like the Pantheon at Rome, lighted only from above.
And earthly passions in the form of gods were no longer there, but
the sweet and thoughtful faces of Christ, and the Virgin Mary, and
the Saints. Thus there was not one discordant thing in her; but a
perfect harmony of figure, and face, and soul, in a word of the
whole being. And he who had a soul to comprehend hers, must of
necessity love her, and, having once loved her, could love no other
woman forevermore.

No wonder, then, that Flemming felt his heartdrawn towards her,
as, in her morning walk, she passed him, sitting alone under the
great walnut trees near the cloister, and thinking of Heaven, but
not of her. She, too, was alone. Her cheek was no longer pale; but
glowing and bright, with the inspiration of the summer air. Flemming
gazed after her till she disappeared, even as a vision of his
dreams, he knew not whither. He was not yet in love, but very near
it; for he thanked God, that he had made such beautiful beings to
walk the earth.

Last night he had heard a voice to which his soul responded; and
he might have gone on his way, and taken no farther heed. But he
would have heard that voice afterwards, whenever at evening he
thought of this evening at Interlachen. To-day he had seen more
clearly the vision, and his restless soul calm. The place seemed
pleasant to him; and he could not go. He did not ask himself whence
came this calm. He felt it; and was happy in the feeling; and
blessed thelandscape and the summer morning, as if they possessed
the wonder-working power.

"A pleasant morning dream to you;" said a friendly voice; and at
the same moment some one laid his hand upon Flemming's shoulder. It
was Berkley. He had approached unseen and unheard.

"I see by the smile on your countenance," he continued, "that it
is no day-incubus."

"You are right," replied Flemming. "It was a pleasant dream,
which you have put to flight."

"And I am glad to see, that you have also put to flight the
gloomy thoughts which used to haunt you. I like to see people
cheerful and happy. What is the use of giving way to sadness in this
beautiful world?"

"Ah! this beautiful world!" said Flemming, with a smile. "Indeed,
I know not what to think of it. Sometimes it is all gladness and
sunshine, and Heaven itself lies not far off. And then it changes
suddenly; and is dark and sorrowful, and clouds shut out the sky. In
the lives of the saddestof us, there are bright days like this, when
we feel as if we could take the great world in our arms and kiss it.
Then come the gloomy hours, when the fire will neither burn on our
hearths nor in our hearts; and all without and within is dismal,
cold, and dark. Believe me, every heart has its secret sorrows,
which the world knows not, and oftentimes we call a man cold, when
he is only sad."

"And who says we don't?" interrupted Berkley. "Come, come! Let us
go to breakfast. The morning air has given me a rude appetite. I
long to say grace over a fresh egg; and eat salt with my worst
enemies; namely, the Cockneys at the hotel. After breakfast you must
give yourself up wholly to me. I shall take you to the
Grindelwald!"

"To-day, then, you do not breakfast like Diogenes, but consent to
leave your tub."

"Yes, for the pleasure of your company. I shall also blow out the
light in my lantern, having found you."

"Thank you."

The breakfast passed without any unusual occurrence. Flemming
watched the entrance of every guest; but she came not,--the guest he
most desired to see.

"And now for the Grindelwald!" said Berkley.

"Why such haste? We have the whole day before us. There is time
enough."

"Not a moment to loso, I assure you. The carriage is at the
door."

They drove up the valley of Lauterbrunnen, and turned eastward
among the mountains of the Grindelwald. There they passed the day;
half-frozen by the icy breath of the Great Glacier, upon whose
surface stand pyramids and blocks of ice, like the tombstones of a
cemetery. It was a weary day to Flemming. He wished himself at
Interlachen; and was glad when, towards evening, he saw once more
the cone-roofed towers of the cloister rising above the walnut
trees.

That evening is written in red letters in his history. It gave
him another revelation of thebeauty and excellence of the female
character and intellect; not wholly new to him, yet now renewed and
fortified. It was from the lips of Mary Ashburton, that the
revelation came. Her form arose, like a tremulous evening star, in
the firmament of his soul. He conversed with her; and with her
alone; and knew not when to go. All others were to him as if they
were not there. He saw their forms, but saw them as the forms of
inanimate things. At length her mother came; and Flemming beheld in
her but another Mary Ashburton, with beauty more mature;--the same
forehead and eyes, the same majestic figure; and, as yet, no trace
of age. He gazed upon her with a feeling of delight, not unmingled
with holy awe. She was to him the rich and glowing Evening, from
whose bosom the tremulous star was born.

Berkley took no active part in the conversation, but did what was
much more to the purpose, that it is to say, arranged a drive for
the next day with the Ashburtons, and of course invited Flemming,
who went home that night with a halo round hishead; and wondering
much at a dandy, who stood at the door of the hotel, and said to his
companion, as Flemming passed;

"What do you call this place? I have been here two hours already,
and find it devilish dull!"



CHAPTER V. A RAINY DAY.



When Flemming awoke the next morning he saw the sky dark and
lowering. From the mountain tops hung a curtain of mist, whose heavy
folds waved to and fro in the valley below. Over all the landscape,
the soft, summer rain was falling. No admiring eyes would look up
that day at the Staubbach.

A rainy day in Switzerland puts a sudden stop to many diversions.
The coachman may drive to the tavern and then back to the stable;
but no farther. The sunburnt guide may sit at the ale-house door,
and welcome; and the boatman whistle and curse the clouds, at his
own sweet will; but no foot stirs abroad for all that; no traveller
moves, if he has time to stay. The rainy daygives him time for
reflection. He has leisure now to take cognizance of his
impressions, and make up his account with the mountains. He
remembers, too, that he has friends at home; and writes up the
Journal, neglected for a week or more; and letters neglected longer;
or finishes the rough pencil-sketch, begun yesterday in the open
air. On the whole he is not sorry it rains; though disappointed.

Flemming was both sorry and disappointed; but he did not on that
account fail to go over to the Ashburtons at the appointed hour. He
found them sitting in the parlour. The mother was reading, and the
daughter retouching a sketch of the Lake of Thun. After the usual
salutations, Flemming seated himself near the daughter, and
said;

"We shall have no Staubbach to-day, I presume; only this
Giessbach from the clouds."

"Nothing more, I suppose. So we must be content to stay in-doors;
and listen to the soundof the eves-dropping rain. It gives me time
to finish some of these rough sketches."

"It is a pleasant pastime," said Flemming; "and I perceive you
are very skilful. I am delighted to see, that you can draw a
straight line. I never before saw a lady's sketch-book, in which all
the towers did not resemble the leaning Tower of Pisa. I always
tremble for the little men under them."

"How absurd!" exclaimed Mary Ashburton, with a smile that passed
through the misty air of Flemming's thoughts, like a sunbeam; "For
one, I succeed much better in straight lines than in any others.
Here I have been trying a half-hour to make this water-wheel round;
and round it never will be."

"Then let it remain as it is. It looks uncommonly picturesque,
and may pass for a new invention."

The lady continued to sketch, and Flemming to gaze at her
beautiful face; often repeating to himself those lines in Marlow's
Faust;

"O thou art fairer than the evening air,

Clad in the beauty of a thousand stars!"

He certainly would have betrayed himself to the maternal eye of
Mrs. Ashburton, had she not been wholly absorbed in the follies of a
fashionable novel. Ere long the fair sketcher had paused for a
moment; and Flemming had taken her sketch-book in his hands and was
looking it through from the beginning with ever-increasing delight,
half of which he dared not express, though he favored her with some
comments and bursts of admiration.

"This is truly a very beautiful sketch of Murten and the
battle-field! How quietly the land-scape sleeps there by the lake,
after the battle! Did you ever read the ballad of Veit Weber, the
shoe-maker, on this subject? He says, the routed Burgundians jumped
into the lake, and the Swiss Leaguers shot them down like wild ducks
among the reeds. He fought in the battle and wrote the ballad
afterwards;--

'He had himself laid hand on sword,

He who this rhyme did write;

Till evening mowed he with the sword,

And sang the song at night.'"

"You must give me the whole ballad," said Miss Ashburton; "it
will serve to illustrate the sketch."

"And the sketch to illustrate the ballad. And now we suddenly
slide down the Alps into Italy, and are even in Rome, if I mistake
not. This is surely a head of Homer?"

"Yes," replied the lady, with a little enthusiasm. "Do you not
remember the marble bust at Rome? When I first beheld that bust, it
absolutely inspired me with awe. It is not the face of a man, but of
a god!"

"And you have done it no injustice in your copy," said Flemming,
catching a new enthusiasm from hers. "With what a classic grace the
fillet, passing round the majestic forehead, confines his flowing
locks, which mingle with his beard! The countenance, too, is calm,
majestic, godlike! Even the fixed and sightless eyeballs do not mar
the imageof the seer! Such were the sightless eyes of the blind old
man of Chios. They seem to look with mournful solemnity into the
mysterious future; and the marble lips to repeat that prophetic
passage in the Hymn to Apollo; 'Let me also hope to be remembered in
ages to come. And when any one, born of the tribes of men, comes
hither, a weary traveller, and inquires, who is the sweetest of the
Singing Men, that resort to your feasts, and whom you most delight
to hear, do you make answer for me. It is the Blind Man, who dwells
in Chios; his songs excel all that can ever be sung!' But do you
really believe, that this is a portrait of Homer?"

"Certainly not! It is only an artist's dream. It was thus, that
Homer appeared to him in his visions of the antique world. Every
one, you know, forms an image in his fancy of persons and things he
has never seen; and the artist reproduces them in marble or on
canvass."

"And what is the image in your fancy? Is it like this?"

"No; not entirely. I have drawn my impressions from another
source. Whenever I think of Homer, which is not often, he walks
before me, solemn and serene, as in the vision of the great Italian;
in countenance neither sorrowful nor glad, followed by other bards,
and holding in his right hand a sword!"

"That is a finer conception, than even this," said Flemming. "And
I perceive from your words, as well as from this book, that you have
a true feeling for art, and understand what it is. You have had
bright glimpses into the enchanted land."

"I trust," replied the lady modestly, "that I am not wholly
without this feeling. Certainly I have as strong and passionate a
love of Art as of Nature."

"But does it not often offend you to hear people speaking of Art
and Nature as opposite and discordant things? Surely nothing can be
more false. Nature is a revelation of God; Art a revelation of man.
Indeed, Art signifies no more than this. Art is Power. That is the
original meaning of the word. It is the creative power by which the
soul of man makes itself known, through some external manifestation
or outward sign. As we can always hear the voice of God, walking in
the garden, in the cool of the day, or under the star-light, where,
to quote one of this poet's verses, 'high prospects and the brows of
all steep hills and pinnacles thrust up themselves for shows';--so,
under the twilight and the starlight of past ages, do we hear the
voice of man, walking amid the works of his hands, and city walls
and towers and the spires of churches, thrust up themselves for
shows."

The lady smiled at his warmth; and he continued;

"This, however, is but a similitude; and Art and Nature are more
nearly allied than by similitudes only. Art is the revelation of
man; and not merely that, but likewise the revelation of Nature,
speaking through man. Art preëxists in Nature, and Nature is
reproduced in Art. As vaporsfrom the ocean, floating landward and
dissolved in rain, are carried back in rivers to the ocean, so
thoughts and the semblances of things that fall upon the soul of man
in showers, flow out again in living streams of Art, and lose
themselves in the great ocean, which is Nature. Art and Nature are
not, then, discordant, but ever harmoniously working in each
other."

Enthusiasm begets enthusiasm. Flemming spake with such evident
interest in the subject, that Miss Ashburton did not fail to
manifest some interest in what he said; and, encouraged by this, he
proceeded;

"Thus in this wondrous world wherein we live, which is the World
of Nature, man has made unto himself another world hardly less
wondrous, which is the World of Art. And it lies infolded and
compassed about by the other,

'And the clear region where 't was born,

Round in itself incloses.'

Taking this view of art, I think we understand more easily the
skill of the artist, and the differencebetween him and the mere
amateur. What we call miracles and wonders of art are not so to him
who created them. For they were created by the natural movements of
his own great soul. Statues, paintings, churches, poems, are but
shadows of himself;--shadows in marble, colors, stone, words. He
feels and recognises their beauty; but he thought these thoughts and
produced these things as easily as inferior minds do thoughts and
things inferior. Perhaps more easily. Vague images and shapes of
beauty floating through the soul, the semblances of things as yet
indefinite or ill-defined, and perfect only when put in art,--this
Possible Intellect, as the Scholastic Philosophers have termed
it,--the artist shares in common with us all. The lovers of art are
many. But the Active Intellect, the creative power,--the power to
put these shapes and images in art, to imbody the indefinite, and
render perfect, is his alone. He shares the gift with few. He knows
not even whence nor how this is. He knows only that it is; that God
has given him the power, which has been denied to others."

"I should have known you were just from Germany," said the lady,
with a smile, "even if you had not told me so. You are an enthusiast
for the Germans. For my part I cannot endure their harsh
language."

"You would like it better, if you knew it better," answered
Flemming. "It is not harsh to me; but homelike, hearty, and full of
feeling, like the sound of happy voices at a fireside, of a winter's
night, when the wind blows, and the fire crackles, and hisses, and
snaps. I do indeed love the Germans; the men are so hale and hearty,
and the Fräuleins so tender and true!"

"I always think of men with pipes and beer, and women with
knittingwork."

"O, those are English prejudices," exclaimed Flemming. "Nothing
can be more--"

"And their very literature presents itself to my imagination
under the same forms."

"I see you have read only English criticisms; and have an idea,
that all German books smell, as it were, 'of groceries, of brown
papers, filled withgreasy cakes and slices of bacon; and of fryings
in frowzy back-parlours; and this shuts you out from a glorious
world of poetry, romance, and dreams!"

Mary Ashburton smiled, and Flemming continued to turn over the
leaves of the sketch-book, with an occasional criticism and
witticism. At length he came to a leaf which was written in pencil.
People of a lively imagination are generally curious, and always so
when a little in love.

"Here is a pencil-sketch," said he, with an entreating look,
"which I would fain examine with the rest."

"You may do so, if you wish; but you will find it the poorest
sketch in the book. I was trying one day to draw the picture of an
artist's life in Rome, as it presented itself to my imagination; and
this is the result. Perhaps it may awaken some pleasant recollection
in your mind."

Flemming waited no longer; but read with the eyes of a lover, not
of a critic, the following description, which inspired him with a
new enthusiasm for Art, and for Mary Ashburton.

"I often reflect with delight upon the young artist's life in
Rome. A stranger from the cold and gloomy North, he has crossed the
Alps, and with the devotion of a pilgrim journeyed to the Eternal
City. He dwells perhaps upon the Pincian Hill; and hardly a house
there, which is not inhabited by artists from foreign lands. The
very room he lives in has been their abode from time out of mind.
Their names are written all over the walls; perhaps some further
record of them left in a rough sketch upon the window-shutter, with
an inscription and a date. These things consecrate the place, in his
imagination. Even these names, though unknown to him, are not
without associations in his mind.

"In that warm latitude he rises with the day. The night-vapors
are already rolling away over the Campagna sea-ward. As he looks
from his window, above and beyond their white folds he recognises
the tremulous blue sea at Ostia. Over Soracte rises the sun,--over
his own beloved mountain; though no longer worshipped there, asof
old. Before him, the antique house, where Raphael lived, casts its
long, brown shadow down into the heart of modern Rome. The city lies
still asleep and silent. But above its dark roofs, more than two
hundred steeples catch the sunshine on their gilded weather-cocks.
Presently the bells begin to ring, and, as the artist listens to
their pleasant chimes, he knows that in each of those churches over
the high altar, hangs a painting by some great master's hand, whose
beauty comes between him and heaven, so that he cannot pray, but
wonder only.

"Among these works of art he passes the day; but oftenest in St.
Peter's and the Vatican. Up the vast marble stair-case,--through the
Corridor Chiaramonti,--through vestibules, galleries, chambers,--he
passes, as in a dream. All are filled with busts and statues; or
painted in daring frescoes. What forms of strength and beauty! what
glorious creations of the human mind! and in that last chamber of
all, standing alone upon his pedestal, the Apollo found at
Actium,--in such a majestic attitude,--with such a noble
countenance, life-like, god-like!

"Or perhaps he passes into the chambers of the painters; but goes
no further than the second. For in the middle of that chamber a
large painting stands upon the heavy easel, as if unfinished, though
more than three hundred years ago the great artist completed it, and
then laid his pencil away forever, leaving this last benediction to
the world. It is the Transfiguration of Christ by Raphael. A child
looks not at the stars with greater wonder, than the artist at this
painting. He knows how many studious years are in that picture. He
knows the difficult path that leads to perfection, having himself
taken some of the first steps.--Thus he recalls the hour, when that
broad canvass was first stretched upon its frame, and Raphael stood
before it, and laid the first colors upon it, and beheld the figures
one by one born into life, and 'looked upon the work of his own
hands with a smile, that it should have succeeded so well.' He
recalls too, the hour, when, the task accomplished, the pencil
dropped from the master's dying hand, and his eyes closed to open on
a more glorious transfiguration, and at length the dead Raphael lay
in his own studio, before this wonderful painting, more glorious
than any conqueror under the banners and armorial hatchments of his
funeral!

"Think you, that such sights and thoughts as these do not move
the heart of a young man and an artist! And when he goes forth into
the open air, the sun is going down, and the gray ruins of an
antique world receive him. From the Palace of the Cæsars he looks
down into the Forum, or towards the Coliseum; or westward sees the
last sunshine strike the bronze Archangel, which stands upon the
Tomb of Adrian. He walks amid a world of Art in ruins. The very
street-lamps, that light him homeward, burn before some painted or
sculptured image of the Madonna! What wonder is it, if dreams visit
him in his sleep,--nay, if his whole life seem to him a dream! What
wonder, if, with a feverish heart and quick hand, he strive to
reproduce those dreams in marble or on canvass."

Foolish Paul Flemming! who both admired and praised this little
sketch, and yet was too blind to see, that it was written from the
heart, and not from the imagination! Foolish Paul Flemming! who
thought, that a girl of twenty could write thus, without a reason!
Close upon this followed another pencil sketch, which he likewise
read, with the lady's permission. It was this.

"The whole period of the Middle Ages seems very strange to me. At
times I cannot persuade myself that such things could have been, as
history tells us; that such a strange world was a part of our
world,--that such a strange life was a part of the life, which seems
to us who are living it now, so passionless and commonplace. It is
only when I stand amid ruined castles, that look at me so
mournfully, and behold the heavy armour of old knights, hanging upon
the wainscot of Gothic chambers; or when I walk amid the aisles of
some dusky minster, whose walls are narrative ofhoar antiquity, and
whose very bells have been baptized, and see the carved oaken stalls
in the choir, where so many generations of monks have sat and sung,
and the tombs, where now they sleep in silence, to awake no more to
their midnight psalms;--it is only at such times, that the history
of the Middle Ages is a reality to me, and not a passage in
romance.

"Likewise the illuminated manuscripts of those ages have
something of this power of making the dead Past a living Present in
my mind. What curious figures are emblazoned on the creaking
parchment, making its yellow leaves laugh with gay colors! You seem
to come upon them unawares. Their faces have an expression of
wonder. They seem all to be just startled from their sleep by the
sound you made when you unloosed the brazen clasps, and opened the
curiously-carved oaken covers, that turn on hinges, like the great
gates of a city. To the building of that city some diligent monk
gave the whole of a long life. With what strange denizens he peopled
it! Adam and Eve standing under a tree, she, with the apple in her
hand;--the patriarch Abraham, with a tree growing out of his body,
and his descendants sitting owl-like upon its branches;--ladies with
flowing locks of gold; knights in armour, with most fantastic,
long-toed shoes; jousts and tournaments; and Minnesingers, and
lovers, whose heads reach to the towers, where their ladies
sit;--and all so angular, so simple, so childlike,--all in such
simple attitudes, with such great eyes, and holding up such long,
lank fingers!--These things are characteristic of the Middle Ages,
and persuade me of the truth of history."

At this moment Berkley entered, with a Swiss cottage, which he
had just bought as a present for somebody's child in England; and a
cane with a chamois-horn on the end of it, which he had just bought
for himself. This was the first time, that Flemming had been sorry
to see the good-natured man. His presence interrupted the delightful
conversation he was carrying on "under four eyes," with Mary
Ashburton. He reallythought Berkley a bore, and wondered it had
never occurred to him before. Mrs. Ashburton, too, must needs lay
down her book; and the conversation became general. Strange to say,
the Swiss dinner-hour of one o'clock, did not come a moment too soon
for Flemming. It did not even occur to him that it was early; for he
was seated beside Mary Ashburton, and at dinner one can say so much,
without being overheard.



CHAPTER VI. AFTER DINNER, AND AFTER THE MANNER OF THE BEST CRITICS.



When the learned Thomas Diafoirus wooed the fair Angélique, he
drew from his pocket a medical thesis, and presented it to her, as
the first-fruits of his genius; and at the same time, invited her,
with her father's permission, to attend the dissection of a woman,
upon whom he was to lecture. Paul Flemming did nearly the same
thing; and so often, that it had become a habit. He was continually
drawing, from his pocket or his memory, some scrap of song or story;
and inviting some fair Angélique, either with her father's
permission or without, to attend the dissection of anauthor, upon
whom he was to discourse. He soon gave proofs of this to Mary
Ashburton.

"What books have we here for afternoon reading?" said Flemming,
taking a volume from the parlour table, when they had returned from
the dining-room. "O, it is Uhland's Poems. Have you read any thing
of his? He and Tieck are the best living poets of Germany. They
dispute the palm of superiority. Let me give you a lesson in German,
this afternoon, Miss Ashburton; so that no one may accuse you of
'omitting the sweet benefit of time, to clothe your age with
angel-like perfection.' I have opened at random upon the ballad of
the Black Knight. You repeat the German after me, and I will
translate to you. Pfingsten war, das Fest der Freude!"

"I should never persuade my unwilling lips to pronounce such
sounds. So I beg you not to perplex me with your German, but read me
the ballad in English."

"Well, then, listen. I will improvise a translation for your own
particular benefit.

"'T was Pentecost, the Feast of Gladness,

When woods and fields put off all sadness.

Thus began the King and spake;

'So from the halls

Of ancient Hofburg's walls,

A luxuriant Spring shall break.'

"Drums and trumpets echo loudly,

Wave the crimson banners proudly.

From balcony the King looked on;

In the play of spears,

Fell all the cavaliers,

Before the monarch's stalwart son.

"To the barrier of the fight,

Rode at last a sable Knight.

'Sir Knight! your name and scutcheon, say!'

'Should I speak it here,

Ye would stand aghast with fear;

Am a Prince of mighty sway!'

"When he rode into the lists,

The arch of heaven grew black with mists,

And the castle 'gan to rock.

At the first blow,

Fell the youth from saddle-bow,

Hardly rises from the shock.

"Pipe and viol call the dances,

Torch-light through the high halls glances;

Waves a mighty shadow in.

With manner bland

Doth ask the maiden's hand,

Doth with her the dance begin.

"Danced in sable iron sark,

Danced a measure weird and dark,

Coldly clasped her limbs around.

From breast and hair

Down fall from her the fair

Flowerets wilted to the ground.

"To the sumptuous banquet came

Every Knight and every Dame.

'Twixt son and daughter all distraught,

With mournful mind

The ancient King reclined,

Gazed at them in silent thought.

"Pale the children both did look,

But the guest a beaker took;

'Golden wine will make you whole!"

The children drank,

Gave many a courteous thank;

'O that draught was very cool!'

"Each the father's breast embraces,

Son and daughter; and their faces

Colorless grow utterly.

Whichever way

Looks the fear-struck father gray,

He beholds his children die.

" 'Woe! the blessed children both,

Takest thou in the joy of youth;

Take me, too, the joyless father!'

Spake the Grim Guest,

From his hollow, cavernous breast;

'Roses in the spring I gather!'"

"That is indeed a striking ballad!" said Miss Ashburton, "but
rather too grim and ghostly for this dull afternoon."

"It begins joyously enough with the feast of Pentecost, and the
crimson banners at the old castle. Then the contrast is well
managed. The Knight in black mail, and the waving in of the mighty
shadow in the dance, and the dropping of the faded flowers, are all
strikingly presented to the imagination. However, it tellsits own
story, and needs no explanation. Here is something in a different
vein, though still melancholy. The Castle by the Sea. Shall I read
it?"

"Yes, if you like."

Flemming read;

"Hast thou seen that lordly castle,

That Castle by the Sea?

Golden and red above it

The clouds float gorgeously.

"And fain it would stoop downward

To the mirrored wave below;

And fain it would soar upward

In the evening's crimson glow.

" 'Well have I seen that castle,

That Castle by the Sea,

And the moon above it standing,

And the mist rise solemnly.'

"The winds and the waves of ocean,

Had they a merry chime?

Didst thou hear, from those lofty chambers,

The harp and the minstrel's rhyme?

" 'The winds and the waves of ocean,

They rested quietly,

But I heard on the gale a sound of wail,

And tears came to my eye.'

"And sawest thou on the turrets

The King and his royal bride?

And the wave of their crimson mantles?

And the golden crown of pride?

"Led they not forth in rapture

A beauteous maiden there?

Resplendent as the morning sun,

Beaming with golden hair?

" 'Well saw I the ancient parents,

Without the crown of pride;

They were moving slow, in weeds of woe,

No maiden was by their side!'

How do you like that?"

"It is very graceful, and pretty. But Uhland seems to leave a
great deal to his reader's imagination. All his readers should be
poets themselves, or they will hardly comprehend him. I confess,
Ihardly understand the passage where he speaks of the castle's
stooping downward to the mirrored wave below, and then soaring
upward into the gleaming sky. I suppose, however, he wishes to
express the momentary illusion we experience at beholding a perfect
reflection of an old tower in the sea, and look at it as if it were
not a mere shadow in the water; and yet the real tower rises far
above, and seems to float in the crimson evening clouds. Is that the
meaning?"

"I should think it was. To me it is all a beautiful cloud
landscape, which I comprehend and feel, and yet should find some
difficulty perhaps in explaining."

"And why need one always explain? Some feelings are quite
untranslatable. No language has yet been found for them. They gleam
upon us beautifully through the dim twilight of fancy, and yet, when
we bring them close to us, and hold them up to the light of reason,
lose their beauty, all at once; just as glow-worms, which gleam with
such a spiritual light in the shadows of evening, when brought in
where the candlesare lighted, are found to be only worms, like so
many others."

"Very true. We ought sometimes to be content with feeling. Here,
now, is an exquisite piece, which soothes one like the fall of
evening shadows,--like the dewy coolness of twilight after a sultry
day. I shall not give you a bald translation of my own, because I
have laid up in my memory another, which, though not very literal,
equals the original in beauty. Observe how finely it commences.

"Many a year is in its grave,

Since I crossed this restless wave;

And the evening, fair as ever,

Shines on ruin, rock, and river.

"Then, in this same boat, beside,

Sat two comrades old and tried;

One with all a father's truth,

One with all the fire of youth.

"One on earth in silence wrought,

And his grave in silence sought;

But the younger, brighter form

Passed in battle and in storm!

"So, whene'er I turn my eye

Back upon the days gone by,

Saddening thoughts of friends come o'er me,--

Friends, who closed their course before me.

"Yet what binds us, friend to friend,

But that soul with soul can blend?

Soul-like were those hours of yore;

Let us walk in soul once more!

"Take, O boatman, thrice thy fee;

Take,--I give it willingly;

For, invisibly to thee,

Spirits twain have crossed with me!"

"O, that is beautiful,--'beautiful exceedingly!' Who translated
it?"

"I do not know. I wish I could find him out. It is certainly
admirably done; though in the measure of the original there is
something like the rocking motion of a boat, which is not preserved
in the translation."

"And is Uhland always so soothing and spiritual?"

"Yes, he generally looks into the spirit-world. I am now trying
to find here a little poem on the Death of a Country Clergyman; in
which he introduces a beautiful picture. But I cannot turn to it. No
matter. He describes the spirit of the good old man, returning to
earth on a bright summer morning, and standing amid the golden corn
and the red and blue flowers, and mildly greeting the reapers as of
old. The idea is beautiful, is it not?"

"Yes, very beautiful!"

"But there is nothing morbid in Uhland's mind. He is always fresh
and invigorating, like a breezy morning. In this he differs entirely
from such writers as Salis and Matthisson."

"And who are they?"

"Two melancholy gentlemen to whom life was only a Dismal Swamp,
upon whose margin they walked with cambric handkerchiefs in their
hands, sobbing and sighing, and making signals to Death, to come and
ferry them over the lake. And now their spirits stand in the green
fields of German song, like two weeping-willows, bending over
agrave. To read their poems, is like wandering through a village
churchyard on a summer evening, reading the inscription upon the
grave-stones, and recalling sweet images of the departed; while
above you,

'Hark! in the holy grove of palms,

Where the stream of life runs free,

Echoes, in the angels' psalms,

'Sister spirit! hail to thee!'"

"How musically those lines flow! Are they Matthisson's!"

"Yes; and they do indeed flow musically. I wish I had his poems
here. I should like to read to you his Elegy on the Ruins of an
Ancient Castle. It is an imitation of Gray's Elegy. You have been at
Baden-Baden?

"Yes; last summer."

"And have not forgotten--"

"The old castle? Of course not. What a magnificent ruin it
is!"

"That is the scene of Matthisson's Poem, andseems to have filled
the melancholy bard with more than wonted inspiration."

"I should like very much to see the poem, I remember that old
ruin with so much delight."

"I am sorry I have not a translation of it for you. Instead of it
I will give you a sweet and mournful poem from Salis. It is called
the Song of the Silent Land.

"Into the Silent Land!

Ah! who shall lead us thither!

Clouds in the evening sky more darkly gather,

And shattered wrecks lie thicker on the strand.

Who leads us with a gentle hand,

Thither, oh, thither.

Into the Silent Land?

"Into the Silent Land!

To you, ye boundless regions

Of all perfection! Tender morning-visions

Of beauteous souls! Eternity's own band!

Who in Life's battle firm doth stand,

Shall bear Hope's tender blossoms

Into the Silent Land!

"O Land! O Land!

For all the broken-hearted

The mildest herald by our fate allotted,

Beckons, and with inverted torch doth stand

To lead us with a gentle hand

Into the land of the great departed,

Into the Silent Land!

Is not that a beautiful poem?"

Mary Ashburton made no answer. She had turned away to hide her
tears. Flemming wondered, that Berkley could say she was not
beautiful. Still he was rather pleased than offended at it. He felt
at that moment how sweet a thing it would be to possess one, who
should seem beautiful to him alone, and yet to him be more beautiful
than all the world beside! How bright the world became to him at
that thought! It was like one of those paintings in which all the
light streams from the face of the Virgin. O, there is nothing
holier in this life of ours, than the first consciousness of
love,--the first fluttering of its silken wings; the first rising
sound and breath of thatwind, which is so soon to sweep through the
soul, to purify or to destroy!

Old histories tell us, that the great Emperor Charlemagne stamped
his edicts with the hilt of his sword. The greater Emperor, Death,
stamps his with the blade; and they are signed and executed with the
same stroke. Flemming received that night a letter from Heidelberg,
which told him, that Emma of Ilmenau was dead. The fate of this poor
girl affected him deeply; and he said in his heart;

"Father in Heaven! Why was the lot of this weak and erring child
so hard! What had she done, to be so tempted in her weakness, and
perish? Why didst thou suffer her gentle affections to lead her thus
astray?"

And, through the silence of the awful midnight, the voice of an
avalanche answered from the distant mountains, and seemed to
say;

"Peace! peace! Why dost thou question God's providence!"



CHAPTER VII. TAKE CARE!



Fair is the valley of Lauterbrunnen with its green meadows and
overhanging cliffs. The ruined castle of Unspunnen stands like an
armed warder at the gate of the enchanted land. In calm serenity the
snowy mountains rise beyond. Fairer than the Rock of Balmarusa, you
frowning precipice looks down upon us; and, from the topmost cliff,
the white pennon of the Brook of Dust shimmers and waves in the
sunny air!

It was a bright, beautiful morning after nightrain. Every dewdrop
and raindrop had a whole heaven within it; and so had the heart of
Paul Flemming, as, with Mrs. Ashburton and her dark-eyed daughter,
he drove up the Valley of Lauter-brunnen,--the Valley of
Fountains-Only.

"How beautiful the Jungfrau looks this morning!" exclaimed he,
looking at Mary Ashburton.

She thought he meant the mountain, and assented. But he meant her
likewise.

"And the mountains, beyond," he continued; "the Monk and the
Silver-horn, the Wetter-horn the Schreck-horn, and the Schwarz-horn,
all those sublime apostles of Nature, whose sermons are avalanches!
Did you ever behold anything more grand!"

"O yes. Mont Blanc is more grand, when you behold it from the
hills opposite. It was there that I was most moved by the
magnificence of Swiss scenery. It was a morning like this; and the
clouds, that were hovering about on their huge, shadowy wings, made
the scene only the more magnificent. Before me lay the whole
panorama of the Alps; pine forests standing dark and solemn at the
base of the mountains; and half-way up a veil of mist; above which
rose the snowy summits, and sharp needles of rock, which seemed to
float in the air, like a fairy world. Then the glaciersstood on
either side, winding down through the mountain ravines; and, high
above all, rose the white, dome-like summit of Mont Blanc. And ever
and anon from the shroud of mist came the awful sound of an
avalanche, and a continual roar, as of the wind through a forest of
pines, filled the air. It was the roar of the Arve and Aveiron,
breaking from their icy fountains. Then the mists began to pass
away; and it seemed as if the whole firmament were rolling together.
It recalled to my mind that sublime passage in the Apocalypse; 'I
saw a great white throne; and him that sat thereon; before whose
face the heavens and the earth fled away, and found no place!' O, I
cannot believe that upon this earth there is a more magnificent
scene."

"It must be grand, indeed," replied Flemming. "And those mighty
glaciers,--huge monsters with bristling crests, creeping down into
the valley! for it is said they really move."

"Yes; it filled me with a strange sensation of awe to think of
this. They seemed to me like the dragons of Northern Romance, which
come down from the mountains and devour whole villages. A little
hamlet in Chamouni was once abandoned by its inhabitants, terrified
at the approach of the icy dragon. But is it possible you have never
been at Chamouni?

"Never. The great marvel still remains unseen by me."

"Then how can you linger here so long? Were I in your place I
would not lose an hour."

These words passed over the opening blossoms of hope in the soul
of Flemming, like a cold wind over the flowers in spring-time. He
bore it as best he could, and changed the subject.

I do not mean to describe the Valley of Lauterbrunnen, nor the
bright day passed there. I know that my gentle reader is blessed
with the divine gift of a poetic fancy; and can see already how the
mountains rise, and the torrents fall, and the sweet valley lies
between; and how, along the dusty road, the herdsman blows his horn,
and travellers come and go in charabans, like Punch and Judy in a
show-box. He knows already how romantic ladies sketch romantic
scenes; while sweet gentlemen gather sweet flowers; and how cold
meat tastes under the shadow of trees, and how time flies when we
are in love, and the beloved one near. One little incident I must,
however, mention, lest his fancy should not suggest it.

Flemming was still sitting with the ladies, on the green slope
near the Staubbach, or Brook of Dust, when a young man clad in
green, came down the valley. It was a German student, with flaxen
ringlets hanging over his shoulders, and a guitar in his hand. His
step was free and elastic, and his countenance wore the joyous
expression of youth and health. He approached the company with a
courteous salutation; and, after the manner of travelling students,
asked charity with the confident air of one unaccustomed to refusal.
Nor was he refused in this instance. The presence of those we love
makes us compassionate and generous. Flemming gave him a piece of
gold; and after a short conversation he seated himself, at alittle
distance on the grass, and began to play and sing. Wonderful and
many were the sweet accords and plaintive sounds that came from that
little instrument, touched by the student's hand. Every feeling of
the human heart seemed to find an expression there, and awaken a
kindred feeling in the hearts of those who heard him. He sang sweet
German songs, so full of longing, and of pleasing sadness, and hope
and fear, and passionate desire, and soul-subduing sorrow, that the
tears came into Mary Ashburton's eyes, though she understood not the
words he sang. Then his countenance glowed with triumph, and he beat
the strings like a drum, and sang;

"O, how the drum beats so loud!

Close beside me in the fight,

My dying brother says, Good Night!

And the cannon's awful breath

Screams the loud halloo of Death!

And the drum,

And the drum,

Beats so loud!"

Many were the words of praise, when the young musician ended;
and, as he rose to depart, they still entreated for one song more.
Whereupon he played a lively prelude; and, looking full into
Flemming's face, sang with a pleasant smile, and still in German,
this little song.

"I KNOW a maiden fair to see,

Take care!

She can both false and friendly be,

Beware! Beware!

Trust her not,

She is fooling thee!

"She has two eyes, so soft and brown,

Take care!

She gives a side-glance and looks down,

Beware! Beware!

Trust her not,

She is fooling thee!

"And she has hair of a golden hue,

Take care!

And what she says, it is not true,

Beware! Beware!

Trust her not,

She is fooling thee!

"She has a bosom as white as snow,

Take care!

She knows how much it is best to show,

Beware! Beware!

Trust her not,

She is fooling thee!

"She gives thee a garland woven fair,

Take care!

It is a fool's cap for thee to wear,

Beware! Beware!

Trust her not,

She is fooling thee!"

The last stanza he sung in a laughing, triumphant tone, which
resounded above the loud clang of his guitar, like the jeering laugh
of Till Eulenspiegel. Then slinging his guitar over his shoulder, he
took off his green cap, and made a leg to the ladies, in the style
of Gil Blas; waved his hand in the air, and walked quickly down the
valley, singing "Adé! Adé! Adé!"



CHAPTER VIII. THE FOUNTAIN OF OBLIVION.



The power of magic in the Middle Ages created monsters, who
followed the unhappy magician everywhere. The power of Love in all
ages creates angels, who likewise follow the happy or unhappy lover
everywhere, even in his dreams. By such an angel was Paul Flemming
now haunted, both when he waked and when he slept. He walked as in a
dream; and was hardly conscious of the presence of those around him.
A sweet face looked at him from every page of every book he read;
and it was the face of Mary Ashburton! a sweet voice spake to him in
every sound he heard; and it was the voice of Mary Ashburton! Day
and night succeeded each other, with pleasant interchange of light
and darkness; but to him thepassing of time was only as a dream.
When he arose in the morning, he thought only of her, and wondered
if she were yet awake; and when he lay down at night he thought only
of her, and how, like the Lady Christabel,

"Her gentle limbs she did undress,

And lay down in her loveliness."

And the livelong day he was with her, either in reality or in
day-dreams, hardly less real; for, in each delirious vision of his
waking hours, her beauteous form passed like the form of Beatrice
through Dante's heaven; and, as he lay in the summer afternoon, and
heard at times the sound of the wind in the trees, and the sound of
Sabbath bells ascending up to heaven, holy wishes and prayers
ascended with them from his inmost soul, beseeching that he might
not love in vain! And whenever, in silence and alone, he looked into
the silent, lonely countenance of Night, he recalled the impassioned
lines of Plato;--

"Lookest thou at the stars? If I were heaven,

With all the eyes of heaven would I look down on thee!"

O how beautiful it is to love! Even thou, that sneerest at this
page, and laughest in cold indifference or scorn if others are near
thee, thou, too, must acknowledge its truth when thou art alone; and
confess, that a foolish world is prone to laugh in public, at what
in private it reverences, as one of the highest impulses of our
nature,--namely, Love!

One by one the objects of our affection depart from us. But our
affections remain, and like vines stretch forth their broken,
wounded tendrils for support. The bleeding heart needs a balm to
heal it; and there is none but the love of its kind,--none but the
affection of a human heart! Thus the wounded, broken affections of
Flemming began to lift themselves from the dust and cling around
this new object. Days and weeks passed; and, like the Student
Crisostomo, he ceased to love because he began to adore. And with
this adoration mingled the prayer, that, in that hour when the world
is still, and the voices that praise are mute, and reflection cometh
like twilight, and themaiden, in her day-dreams, counted the number
of her friends, some voice in the sacred silence of her thoughts
might whisper his name! And was it indeed so? Did any voice in the
sacred silence of her thoughts whisper his name?--We shall soon
learn.

They were sitting together one morning, on the green, flowery
meadow, under the ruins of Burg Unspunnen. She was sketching the
ruins. The birds were singing one and all, as if there were no
aching hearts, no sin nor sorrow, in the world. So motionless was
the bright air, that the shadow of the trees lay engraven on the
grass. The distant snow-peaks sparkled in the sun, and nothing
frowned, save the square tower of the old ruin above them.

"What a pity it is," said the lady, as she stopped to rest her
weary fingers; "what a pity it is, that there is no old tradition
connected with this ruin."

"I will make you one, if you wish," said Flemming.

"Can you make old traditions?"

"O yes; I made three the other day for the Rhine, and one very
old one for the Black Forest. A lady with dishevelled hair; a robber
with a horrible slouched hat; and a night-storm among the roaring
pines."

"Delightful! Do make one for me."

"With the greatest pleasure. Where will you have the scene? Here,
or in the Black Forest?"

"In the Black Forest, by all means? Begin."

"First promise not to interrupt me. If you snap the golden
threads of thought, they will float away on the air like gossamer
threads, and I shall never be able to recover them."

"I promise."

"Listen, then, to the Tradition of 'The Fountain of Oblivion.'
"

"Begin."

Flemming was reclining on the flowery turf, at the lady's feet,
looking up with dreamy eyes into her sweet face, and then into the
leaves of the linden-trees overhead.

"Gentle Lady! Dost thou remember the linden-trees of Bülach,
those tall and stately trees, with velvet down upon their shining
leaves and rustic benches underneath their overhanging eaves! A
leafy dwelling, fit to be the home of elf or fairy, where first I
told my love to thee, thou cold and stately Hermione! A little
peasant girl stood near, and listened all the while, with eyes of
wonder and delight, and an unconscious smile, to hear the stranger
still speak on in accents deep yet mild,--none else was with us in
that hour, save God and that peasant child!"

"Why, it is in rhyme!"

"No, no! the rhyme is only in your imagination. You promised not
to interrupt me, and you have already snapped asunder the gossamer
threads of as sweet a dream as was ever spun from a poet's
brain."

"It certainly did rhyme!"

"This was the reverie of the Student Hieronymus, as he sat at
midnight in his chamber, with his hands clasped together, and
resting upon anopen volume, which he should have been reading. His
pale face was raised, and the pupils of his eyes dilated as if the
spirit-world were open before him, and some beauteous vision were
standing there, and drawing the student's soul through his eyes up
into Heaven, as the evening sun through parting summer-clouds, seems
to draw into its bosom the vapors of the earth. O, it was a sweet
vision! I can see it before me now!

"Near the student stood an antique bronze lamp, with strange
figures carved upon it. It was a magic lamp, which once belonged to
the Arabian astrologer El Geber, in Spain. Its light was beautiful
as the light of stars; and, night after night, as the lonely wight
sat alone and read in his lofty tower, through the mist, and mirk,
and dropping rain, it streamed out into the darkness, and was seen
by many wakeful eyes. To the poor Student Hieronymus it was a
wonderful Aladdin's Lamp; for in its flame a Divinity revealed
herself unto him, and showed him treasures. Whenever he opened a
ponderous, antiquatedtome, it seemed as if some angel opened for him
the gates of Paradise; and already he was known in the city as
Hieronymus the Learned.

"But, alas! he could read no more. The charm was broken. Hour
after hour he passed with his hands clasped before him, and his fair
eyes gazing at vacancy. What could so disturb the studies of this
melancholy wight? Lady, he was in love! Have you ever been in love?
He had seen the face of the beautiful Hermione; and as, when we have
thoughtlessly looked at the sun, our dazzled eyes, though closed,
behold it still; so he beheld by day and by night the radiant image
of her upon whom he had too rashly gazed. Alas! he was unhappy; for
the proud Hermione disdained the love of a poor student, whose only
wealth was a magic lamp. In marble halls, and amid the gay crowd
that worshipped her, she had almost forgotten that such a being
lived as the Student Hieronymus. The adoration of his heart had been
to her only as the perfume of a wild flower, which she had
carelessly crushedwith her foot in passing. But he had lost all; for
he had lost the quiet of his thoughts; and his agitated soul
reflected only broken and distorted images of things. The world
laughed at the poor student, who, in his torn and threadbare
cassock, dared to lift his eyes to the Lady Hermione; while he sat
alone, in his desolate chamber, and suffered in silence. He
remembered many things, which he would fain forget; but which, if he
had forgotten them, he would wish again to remember. Such were the
linden-trees of Bülach, under whose pleasant shade he had told his
love to Hermione. This was the scene which he wished most to forget,
yet loved most to remember; and of this he was now dreaming, with
his hands clasped upon his book, and that kind of music in his
thoughts, which you, Lady, mistook for rhyme.

"Suddenly the cathedral clock struck twelve with a melancholy
clang. It roused the Student Hieronymus from his dream; and rang in
his ears, like the iron hoofs of the steeds of Time. Themagic hour
had come, when the Divinity of the lamp most willingly revealed
herself to her votary. The bronze figures seemed alive; a white
cloud rose from the flame and spread itself through the chamber,
whose four walls dilated into magnificent cloud vistas; a fragrance,
as of wild-flowers, filled the air; and a dreamy music, like
distant, sweetchiming bells, announced the approach of the midnight
Divinity. Through his streaming tears the heart-broken Student
beheld her once more descending a pass in the snowy cloud-mountains,
as, at evening, the dewy Hesperus comes from the bosom of the mist,
and assumes his station in the sky. At her approach, his spirit grew
more calm; for her presence was, to his feverish heart, like a
tropical night,--beautiful and soothing and invigorating. At length
she stood before him revealed in all her beauty; and he comprehended
the visible language of her sweet but silent lips; which seemed to
say;--'What would the Student Hieronymus to-night?'--'Peace!' he
answered, raising his clasped hands, and smiling through histears.
'The Student Hieronymus imploreth peace!' 'Then go,' said the
spirit, 'go to the Fountain of Oblivion in the deepest solitude of
the Black Forest, and cast this scroll into its waters; and thou
shalt be at peace once more. Hieronymus opened his arms to embrace
the Divinity, for her countenance assumed the features of Hermione;
but she vanished away; the music ceased; the gorgeous cloud-land
sank and fell asunder; and the student was alone within the four
bare walls of his chamber. As he bowed his head downward, his eye
fell upon a parchment scroll, which was lying beside the lamp. Upon
it was written only the name of Hermione!

"The next morning Hieronymus put the scroll into his bosom, and
went his way in search of the Fountain of Oblivion. A few days
brought him to the skirts of the Black Forest. He entered, not
without a feeling of dread, that land of shadows; and passed onward
under melancholy pines and cedars, whose branches grew abroad and
mingled together, and, as they swayed up and down, filled the air
with solemn twilight and a sound of sorrow. As he advanced into the
forest, the waving moss hung, like curtains, from the branches
overhead, and more and more shut out the light of heaven; and he
knew that the Fountain of Oblivion was not far off. Even then the
sound of falling waters was mingling with the roar of the pines
overhead; and ere long he came to a river, moving in solemn majesty
through the forest, and falling with a dull, leaden sound into a
motionless and stagnant lake, above which the branches of the forest
met and mingled, forming perpetual night. This was the Fountain of
Oblivion.

"Upon its brink the student paused, and gazed into the dark
waters with a steadfast look. They were limpid waters, dark with
shadows only. And as he gazed, he beheld, far down in their silent
depths, dim and ill-defined outlines, wavering to and fro, like the
folds of a white garment in the twilight. Then more distinct and
permanent shapes arose;--shapes familiar to his mind, yet forgotten
and remembered again, as the fragmentsof a dream; till at length,
far, far below him he beheld the great city of the Past, with silent
marble streets, and moss-grown walls, and spires uprising with a
wave-like, flickering motion. And amid the crowd that thronged those
streets, he beheld faces once familiar and dear to him; and heard
sorrowful, sweet voices, singing; 'O forget us not! forget us not!'
and then the distant, mournful sound of funeral bells, that were
tolling below, in the city of the Past. But in the gardens of that
city, there were children playing, and among them, one who wore his
features, as they had been in childhood. He was leading a little
girl by the hand, and caressed her often, and adorned her with
flowers. Then, like a dream, the scene changed, and the boy had
grown older, and stood alone, gazing into the sky; and, as he gazed,
his countenance changed again, and Hieronymus beheld him, as if it
had been his own image in the clear water; and before him stood a
beauteous maiden, whose face was like the face of Hermione, and he
feared lest the scroll had fallen into the water, as he bent overit.
Starting as from a dream he put his hand into his bosom and breathed
freely again, when he found the scroll still there. He drew it
forth, and read the blessed name of Hermione, and the city beneath
him vanished away, and the air grew fragrant as with the breath of
May-flowers, and a light streamed through the shadowy forest and
gleamed upon the lake; and the Student Hieronymus pressed the dear
name to his lips and exclaimed with streaming eyes; 'O, scorn me as
thou wilt, still, still will I love thee; and thy name shall
irradiate the gloom of my life, and make the waters of Oblivion
smile!' And the name was no longer Hermione, but was changed to
Mary; and the Student Hieronymus--is lying at your feet! O, gentle
Lady!

'I did hear you talk

Far above singing; after you were gone

I grew acquainted with my heart, and searched

What stirred it so! Alas! I found it love."



CHAPTER IX. A TALK ON THE STAIRS.



No! I will not describe that scene; nor how pale the stately lady
sat on the border of the green, sunny meadow! The hearts of some
women tremble like leaves at every breath of love which reaches
them, and then are still again. Others, like the ocean, are moved
only by the breath of a storm, and not so easily lulled to rest. And
such was the proud heart of Mary Ashburton. It had remained unmoved
by the presence of this stranger; and the sound of his footsteps and
his voice excited in it no emotion. He had deceived himself!
Silently they walked homeward through the green meadow. The very
sunshine was sad; and the rising wind, through the old ruin above
them, sounded in his ears like a hollow laugh!

Flemming went straight to his chamber. On the way, he passed the
walnut trees under which he had first seen the face of Mary
Ashburton. Involuntarily he closed his eyes. They were full of
tears. O, there are places in this fair world, which we never wish
to see again, however dear they may be to us! The towers of the old
Franciscan convent never looked so gloomily as then, though the
bright summer sun was shining full upon them.

In his chamber he found Berkley. He was looking out of the
window, whistling.

"This evening I leave Interlachen forever," said Flemming, rather
abruptly. Berkley stared.

"Indeed! Pray what is the matter? You look as pale as a
ghost!"

"And have good reason to look pale," replied Flemming bitterly.
"Hoffmann says, in one of his note-books, that, on the eleventh of
March, at half past eight o'clock, precisely, he was an ass. That is
what I was this morning at half past ten o'clock, precisely, and am
now, and I suppose always shall be."

He tried to laugh, but could not. He then related to Berkley the
whole story, from beginning to end.

"This is a miserable piece of business!" exclaimed Berkley, when
he had finished. "Strange enough! And yet I have long ceased to
marvel at the caprices of women. Did not Pan captivate the chaste
Diana? Did not Titania love Nick Bottom, with his ass's head? Do you
think that maidens' eyes are no longer touched with the juice of
love-in-idleness! Take my word for it, she is in love with somebody
else. There must be some reason for this. No; women never have any
reasons, except their will. But never mind. Keep a stout heart. Care
killed a cat. After all,--what is she? Who is she? Only a--"

"Hush! hush," exclaimed Flemming, in great excitement. "Not one
word more, I beseech you. Do not think to console me, by
depreciating her. She is very dear to me still; a beautiful,
high-minded, noble woman."

"Yes," answered Berkley; "that is the waywith you all, you young
men. You see a sweet face, or a something, you know not what, and
flickering reason says, Good night; amen to common sense. The
imagination invests the beloved object with a thousand superlative
charms; furnishes her with all the purple and fine linen, all the
rich apparel and furniture, of human nature. I did the same when I
was young. I was once as desperately in love as you are now; and
went through all the

'Delicious deaths, soft exhalations

Of soul; dear and divine annihilations,

A thousand unknown rites

Of joys, and rarified delights.'

I adored and was rejected. 'You are in love with certain
attributes,' said the lady. 'Damn your attributes, Madam,' said I;
'I know nothing of attributes.' 'Sir,' said she, with dignity, 'you
have been drinking.' So we parted. She was married afterwards to
another, who knew something about attributes, I suppose. I have seen
her once since, and only once. She had a baby in a yellow gown. I
hate a baby in a yellow gown. How glad I am she did not marry me.
One of these days, you will be glad you have been rejected. Take my
word for it."

"All that does not prevent my lot from being a very melancholy
one!" said Flemming sadly.

"O, never mind the lot," cried Berkley laughing, "so long as you
don't get Lot's wife. If the cucumber is bitter, throw it away, as
the philosopher Marcus Antoninus says, in his Meditations. Forget
her, and all will be as if you had not known her."

"I shall never forget her," replied Flemming, rather solemnly.
"Not my pride, but my affections, are wounded; and the wound is too
deep ever to heal. I shall carry it with me always. I enter no more
into the world, but will dwell only in the world of my own thoughts.
All great and unusual occurrences, whether of joy or sorrow, lift us
above this earth; and we should do well always to preserve this
elevation. Hitherto I have not done so. But now I will no more
descend; I will sit apart and above the world, with my mournful, yet
holy thoughts."

"Whew! You had better go into society; the whirl and delirium
will cure you in a week. If you find a lady, who pleases you very
much, and you wish to marry her, and she will not listen to such a
horrid thing, I see but one remedy, which is to find another, who
pleases you more, and who will listen to it."

"No, my friend; you do not understand my character," said
Flemming, shaking his head. "I love this woman with a deep, and
lasting affection. I shall never cease to love her. This may be
madness in me; but so it is. Alas and alas! Paracelsus of old wasted
life in trying to discover its elixir, which after all turned out to
be alcohol; and instead of being made immortal upon earth, he died
drunk on the floor of a tavern. The like happens to many of us. We
waste our best years in distilling the sweetest flowers of life into
love-potions, which after all do not immortalize, butonly intoxicate
us. By Heaven! we are all of us mad."

"But are you sure the case is utterly hopeless?"

"Utterly! utterly!"

"And yet I perceive you have not laid aside all hope. You still
flatter yourself, that the lady's heart may change. The great secret
of happiness consists not in enjoying, but in renouncing. But it is
hard, very hard. Hope has as many lives as a cat or a king. I dare
say you have heard the old Italian proverb, 'The King never dies.'
But perhaps you have never heard, that, at the court of Naples,
where the dead body of a monarch lies in state, his dinner is
carried up to him as usual, and the court physician tastes it, to
see that it be not poisoned, and then the servants bear it out
again, saying 'The King does not dine to-day.' Hope in our souls is
King; and we also say, 'The King never dies.' Even when in reality
he lies dead within us, in a kind of solemn mockery we offer him his
accustomed food, but are constrainedto say, 'The King does not dine
to-day.' It must be an evil day, indeed, when a king of Naples has
no heart for his dinner! but you yourself are a proof, that the King
never dies. You are feeding your King, although you say he is
dead."

"To show you, that I do not wish to cherish hope," replied
Flemming, I shall leave Interlachen to-morrow morning. I am going to
the Tyrol."

"You are right," said Berkley; "there is nothing so good for
sorrow as rapid motion in the open air. I shall go with you; though
probably your conversation will not be very various; nothing but
Edward and Kunigunde."

"What do you mean by that?"

"Go to Berlin, and you will find out. However, jesting apart, I
will do all I can to cheer you, and make you forget the Dark Ladie,
and this untoward accident."

"Accident!" said Flemming. "This is no accident, but God's
Providence, which brought us together, to punish me for my
sins."

"O, my friend," interrupted Berkley, "if you see the finger of
Providence so distinctly in every act of your life, you will end by
thinking yourself an Apostle and Envoy Extraordinary. I see nothing
so very uncommon in what has happened to you."

"What! not when our souls are so akin to each other! When we
seemed so formed to be together,--to be one!"

"I have often observed," replied Berkley coldly, "that those who
are of kindred souls, rarely wed together; almost as rarely as those
who are akin by blood. There seems, indeed, to be such a thing as
spiritual incest. Therefore, mad lover, do not think to persuade
thyself and thy scornful lady, that you have kindred souls; but
rather the contrary; that you are much unlike; and each wanting in
those qualities which most mark and distinguish the other. Trust me,
thy courtship will then be more prosperous. But good morning. I must
prepare for this sudden journey."

On the following morning, Flemming and Berkleystarted on their
way to Innsbruck, like Huon of Bordeaux and Scherasmin on their way
to Babylon. Berkley's self-assumed duty was to console his
companion; a duty which he performed like an old Spanish Matadora, a
woman whose business was to attend the sick, and put her elbow into
the stomach of the dying to shorten their agony.



BOOK IV.



Epigraph

"Mortal, they softly say,

Peace to thy heart!

We too, yes, mortal,

Have been as thou art;

Hope-lifted, doubt-depressed,

Seeing in part,

Tried, troubled, tempted,--

Sustained,--as thou art."



CHAPTER I. A MISERERE.



In the Orlando Innamorato, Malagigi, the necromancer, puts all
the company to sleep by reading to them from a book. Some books have
this power of themselves and need no necromancer. Fearing, gentle
reader, that mine may be of this kind, I have provided these
introductory chapters, from time to time, like stalls or Misereres
in a church, with flowery canopies and poppy-heads over them, where
thou mayest sit down and sleep.

No,--the figure is not a bad one. This book does somewhat
resemble a minster, in the Romanesque style, with pinnacles, and
flying buttresses, and roofs,

"Gargoyled with greyhounds, and with many lions

Made of fine gold, with divers sundry dragons."

You step into its shade and coolness out of the hot streets of
life; a mysterious light streams through the painted glass of the
marigold windows, staining the cusps and crumpled leaves of the
window-shafts, and the cherubs and holy-water-stoups below. Here and
there is an image of the Virgin Mary; and other images, "in divers
vestures, called weepers, stand in housings made about the tomb";
and, above all, swells the vast dome of heaven, with its
star-mouldings, and the flaming constellations, like the mosaics in
the dome of St. Peter's. Have you not heard funeral psalms from the
chauntry? Have you not heard the sound of church-bells, as I
promised; mysterious sounds from the Past and Future, as from the
belfries outside the cathedral; even such a mournful, mellow, watery
peal of bells, as is heard sometimes at sea, from cities afar off
below the horizon?

I know not how this Romanesque, and at times flamboyant, style of
architecture may please thecritics. They may wish, perhaps, that I
had omitted some of my many ornaments, my arabesques, and roses, and
fantastic spouts, and Holy-Roods and Gallilee-steeples. But would it
then have been Romanesque?

But perhaps, gentle reader, thou art one of those, who think the
days of Romance gone forever. Believe it not! O, believe it not!
Thou hast at this moment in thy heart as sweet a romance as was ever
written. Thou art not less a woman, because thou dost not sit aloft
in a tower, with a tassel-gentle on thy wrist! Thou art not less a
man, because thou wearest no hauberk, nor mail-sark, and goest not
on horseback after foolish adventures! Nay, nay! Every one has a
Romance in his own heart. All that has blessed or awed the world
lies there; and

"The oracle within him, that which lives,

He must invoke and question,--not dead books,

Not ordinances, not mould-rotten papers."

Sooner or later some passages of every one's romance must be
written, either in words or actions. They will proclaim the truth;
for Truth is thought, which has assumed its appropriate garments,
either of words or actions; while Falsehood is thought, which,
disguised in words or actions not its own, comes before the blind
old world, as Jacob came before the patriarch Isaac, clothed in the
goodly raiment of his brother Esau. And the world, like the
patriarch, is often deceived; for, though the voice is Jacob's
voice, yet the hands are the hands of Esau, and the False takes away
the birth-right and the blessing from the True. Hence it is, that
the world so often lifts up its voice and weeps.

That very pleasing and fanciful Chinese Romance, the Shadow in
the Water, ends with the hero's marrying both the heroines. I hope
my gentle reader feels curious to know the end of this Romance,
which is a shadow upon the earth; and see whether there be any
marriage at all in it.

That is the very point I am now thinking of, as I sit here at my
pleasant chamber window, and enjoy the balmy air of a bright summer
morning, and watch the motions of the golden robin, that sits on its
swinging nest on the outermost, pendulous branch of yonder elm. The
broad meadows and the steel-blue river remind me of the meadows of
Unterseen, and the river Aar; and beyond them rise magnificent
snow-white clouds, piled up like Alps. Thus the shades of Washington
and William Tell seem to walk together on these Elysian Fields; for
it was here, that in days long gone, our great Patriot dwelt; and
yonder clouds so much resemble the snowy Alps, that they remind me
irresistibly of the Swiss. Noble examples of a high purpose and a
fixed will! Do they not move, Hyperion-like on high? Were they not,
likewise, sons of Heaven and Earth?

Nothing can be more lovely than these summer mornings; nor than
the southern window at which I sit and write, in this old mansion,
which is like an Italian Villa. But O, this
lassitude,--thisweariness,--when all around me is so bright! I have
this morning a singular longing for flowers; a wish to stroll among
the roses and carnations, and inhale their breath, as if it would
revive me. I wish I knew the man, who called flowers "the fugitive
poetry of Nature." From this distance, from these scholastic
shades,--from this leafy, blossoming, and beautiful Cambridge, I
stretch forth my hand to grasp his, as the hand of a poet!--Yes;
this morning I would rather stroll with him among the gay flowers,
than sit here and write. I feel so weary!

Old men with their staves, says the Spanish poet, are ever
knocking at the door of the grave. But I am not old. The Spanish
poet might have included the young also.--No matter! Courage, and
forward! The Romance must be finished; and finished soon.

O thou poor authorling! Reach a little deeper into the human
heart! Touch those strings,--touch those deeper strings, and more
boldly, or the notes will die away like whispers, and no earshall
hear them, save thine own! And, to cheer thy solitary labor,
remember, that the secret studies of an author are the sunken piers
upon which is to rest the bridge of his fame, spanning the dark
waters of Oblivion. They are out of sight; but without them no
superstructure can stand secure!

And now, Reader, since the sermon is over, and we are still
sitting here in this Miserere, let us read aloud a page from the old
parchment manuscript on the lettern before us; let us sing it
through these dusky aisles, like a Gregorian Chant, and startle the
sleeping congregation!

"I have read of the great river Euripus, which ebbeth and floweth
seven times a day, and with such violence, that it carrieth ships
upon it with full sail, directly against the wind. Seven times in an
hour ebbeth and floweth rash opinion, in the torrent of indiscreet
and troublesome apprehensions; carrying critic calumny and
squint-eyed detraction mainly against the wind of wisdom and
judgment."

In secula seculorum! Amen!



CHAPTER II. CURFEW BELLS.



Welcome Disappointment! Thy hand is cold and hard, but it is the
hand of a friend! Thy voice is stern and harsh, but it is the voice
of a friend! O, there is something sublime in calm endurance,
something sublime in the resolute, fixed purpose of suffering
without complaining, which makes disappointment oftentimes better
than success!

The emperor Isaac Angelus made a treaty with Saladin, and tried
to purchase the Holy Sepulchre with gold. Richard Lion-heart scorned
such alliance, and sought to recover it by battle. Thus do weak
minds make treaties with the passions they cannot overcome, and try
to purchase happiness at the expense of principle. But the resolute
will of a strong man scorns such means; and struggles nobly with his
foe, to achieve great deeds. Therefore, whosoever thou art that
sufferest, try not to dissipate thy sorrow by the breath of the
world, nor drown its voice in thoughtless merriment. It is a
treacherous peace that is purchased by indulgence. Rather take this
sorrow to thy heart, and make it a part of thee, and it shall
nourish thee till thou art strong again.

The shadows of the mind are like those of the body. In the
morning of life they all lie behind us; at noon, we trample them
under foot; and in the evening they stretch long, broad, and
deepening before us. Are not, then, the sorrows of childhood as dark
as those of age? Are not the morning shadows of life as deep and
broad as those of its evening? Yes; but morning shadows soon fade
away, while those of evening reach forward into the night and mingle
with the coming darkness. Man is begotten in delight and born in
pain; and in these are the rapture and labor of his life
fore-shadowed from the beginning. But thelife of man upon this fair
earth is made up for the most part of little pains and little
pleasures. The great wonder-flowers bloom but once in a
lifetime.

A week had already elapsed since the events recorded in the last
chapter. Paul Flemming went his way, a melancholy man, "drinking the
sweet wormwood of his sorrow." He did not rail at Providence and
call it fate, but suffered and was silent. It is a beautiful trait
in the lover's character, that he thinks no evil of the object
loved. What he suffered was no swift storm of feeling, that passes
away with a noise, and leaves the heart clearer; but a dark phantom
had risen up in the clear night, and, like that of Adamastor, hid
the stars; and if it ever vanished away for a season, still the deep
sound of the moaning main would be heard afar, through many a dark
and lonely hour. And thus he journeyed on, wrapped in desponding
gloom, and mainly heedless of all things around him. His mind was
distempered. That one face was always before him; that one voice
forever saying;

"You are not the Magician."

Painful, indeed, it is to be misunderstood and undervalued by
those we love. But this, too, in our life, must we learn to bear
without a murmur; for it is a tale often repeated.

There are persons in this world to whom all local associations
are naught. The genius of the place speaks not to them. Even on
battle-fields, where the voice of this genius is wont to be loudest,
they hear only the sound of their own voices; they meet there only
their own dull and pedantic thoughts, as the old grammarian Brunetto
Latini met on the plain of Roncesvalles a poor student riding on a
bay mule. This was not always the case with Paul Flemming, but it
had become so now. He felt no interest in the scenery around him. He
hardly looked at it. Even the difficult mountain-passes, where, from
his rocky eyrie the eagle-eyed Tyrolese peasant had watched his foe,
and the roaring, turbid torrent underneath, which had swallowed up
the bloody corse, that fell from the rocks like a crushed
worm, awakened no lively emotion in his breast. All around him seemed
dreamy and vague; all within dim, as in a sun's eclipse. As the
moon, whether visible or invisible, has power over the tides of the
ocean, so the face of that lady, whether present or absent, had
power over the tides of his soul; both by day and night, both waking
and sleeping. In every pale face and dark eye he saw a resemblance
to her; and what the day denied him in reality, the night gave him
in dreams.

"This is a strange, fantastic world," said Berkley, after a very
long silence, during which the two travellers had been sitting each
in his corner of the travelling carriage, wrapped in his own
reflections. "A very strange, fantastic world; where each one
pursues his own golden bubble, and laughs at his neighbour for doing
the same. I have been thinking how a moral Linnæus would classify
our race. I think he would divide it, not as Lord Byron did, into
two great classes, the bores and those who are bored, but into
three, namely; Happy Men, Lucky Dogs, and Miserable Wretches. This is
more true and philosophical, though perhaps not quite so
comprehensive. He is the Happy Man, who, blessed with modest ease, a
wife and children,--sits enthroned in the hearts of his family, and
knows no other ambition, than that of making those around him happy.
But the Lucky Dog is he, who, free from all domestic cares, saunters
up and down his room, in morning gown and slippers; drums on the
window of a rainy day; and, as he stirs his evening fire, snaps his
fingers at the world, and says, 'I have no wife nor children, good
or bad, to provide for.' I had a friend, who is now no more. He was
taken away in the bloom of life, by a very rapid--widow. He was by
birth and by profession a beau,--born with a quizzing-glass and a
cane. Cock of the walk, he flapped his wings, and crowed among the
feathered tribe. But alas! a fair, white partlet has torn his crest
out, and he shall crow no more. You will generally find him of a
morning, smelling round a beef-cart, with domestic felicity written
in every line of his countenance; and sometimes meet him in a
cross-street at noon, hurrying homeward, with a beef-steak on a
wooden skewer, or a fresh fish, with a piece of tarred twine run
through its gills. In the evening he rocks the cradle, and gets up
in the night when the child cries. Like a Goth, of the Dark Ages, he
consults his wife on all mighty matters, and looks upon her as a
being of more than human goodness and wisdom. In short, the ladies
all say he is a very domestic man, and makes a good husband; which,
under the rose, is only a more polite way of saying he is
hen-pecked. He is a Happy Man. I have another dear friend, who is a
sexagenary bachelor. He has one of those well-oiled dispositions,
which turn upon the hinges of the world without creaking. The
hey-day of life is over with him; but his old age is sunny and
chirping; and a merry heart still nestles in his tottering frame,
like a swallow that builds in a tumble-down chimney. He is a
professed Squire of Dames. The rustle of a silk gown is music to his
ears, and his imagination is continuallylantern-led by some
will-with-a-wisp in the shape of a lady's stomacher. In his devotion
to the fair sex,--the muslin, as he calls it,--he is the gentle
flower of chivalry. It is amusing to see how quick he strikes into
the scent of a lady's handkerchief. When once fairly in pursuit,
there is no such thing as throwing him out. His heart looks out at
his eye; and his inward delight tingles down to the tail of his
coat. He loves to bask in the sunshine of a smile; when he can
breathe the sweet atmosphere of kid gloves and cambric
handkerchiefs, his soul is in its element; and his supreme delight
is to pass the morning, to use his own quaint language, 'in making
dodging calls, and wiggling round among the ladies!' He is a lucky
dog!"

"And as a specimen of the class of Miserable Wretches, I suppose
you will take me," said Flemming, making an effort to enter into his
friend's humor. "Certainly I am wretched enough. You may make me the
stuffed bear,--the specimen of this class."

"By no means," replied Berkley; "you are not reduced so low. He
only is utterly wretched, who is the slave of his own passions, or
those of others. This, I trust, will never be your condition. Why so
wan and pale, fond lover? Do you remember Sir John Suckling's
Song?

'Why so wan and pale, fond lover;

Pr'ythee why so pale?

Will, if looking well can't move her,

Looking ill prevail?

Pr'ythee why so pale?

'Why so dull and mute, young sinner;

Pr'ythee why so mute?

Will, if speaking well can't win her,

Saying nothing do 't?

Pr'ythee why so mute?

'Quit, quit, for shame! this cannot move,

This cannot take her!

If of herself she do not love,

Nothing will make her!

The devil take her!'

How do you like that?"

"To you I say quit, quit for shame;" replied Flemming. "Why quote
the songs of that witty and licentious age? Have you no better
consolation to offer me? How many, many times must I tell you, that
I bear the lady no ill-will. I do not blame her for not loving me. I
desire her happiness, even at the sacrifice of my own."

"That is generous in you, and deserves a better fate. But you are
so figurative in all you say, that a stranger would think you had no
real feeling,--and only fancied yourself in love."

"Expression of feeling is different with different minds. It is
not always simple. Some minds, when excited, naturally speak in
figures and similitudes. They do not on that account feel less
deeply. This is obvious in our commonest modes of speech. It depends
upon the individual."

"Kyrie Eleëson!"

"Well, abuse my figures of speech as much as you please. What I
insist upon is, that you shall not abuse the lady. When did you ever
hear me breathe a whisper against her?"

"Oho! Now you speak like Launce to his dog!"

Their conversation, which had begun so merrily, was here suddenly
interrupted by a rattling peal of thunder, that announced a
near-approaching storm. It was late in the afternoon, and the whole
heaven black with low, trailing clouds. Still blacker the storm came
sailing up majestically from the southwest, with almost unbroken
volleys of distant thunder. The wind seemed to be storming a cloud
redoubt; and marched onward with dust, and the green banners of the
trees flapping in the air, and heavy cannonading, and occasionally
an explosion, like the blowing up of a powder-wagon. Mingled with
this was the sound of thunder-bells from a village not far off. They
were all ringing dolefully to ward off the thunderbolt. At the
entrance of the village stood a large wooden crucifix; around which
was a crowd of priests and peasants, kneeling in the wet grass, by
the roadside, with their hands and eyes lifted toheaven, and praying
for rain. Their prayer was soon answered.

The travellers drove on with the driving wind and rain. They had
come from Landeck, and hoped to reach Innsbruck before midnight.
Night closed in, and Flemming fell asleep with the loud storm
overhead, and at his feet the roaring Inn, a mountain torrent
leaping onward as wild and restless, as when it first sprang from
its cradle in the solitudes of Engaddin; meet emblem of himself,
thus rushing through the night. His slumber was long, but broken;
and at length he awoke in terror; for he heard a voice pronounce in
his ear distinctly these words;

"They have brought the dead body."

They were driving by a churchyard at the entrance of a town; and
among the tombs a dim lamp was burning before an image of the
Virgin. It had a most unearthly appearance. Flemming almost feared
to see the congregation of the dead go into the church and sing
their midnight mass. He spoke to Berkley; but received no answer; he
was in a deep sleep.

"Then it was only a dream," said he to himself; "yet how distinct
the voice was! O, if we had spiritual organs, to see and hear things
now invisible and inaudible to us, we should behold the whole air
filled with the departing souls of that vast multitude which every
moment dies,--should behold them streaming up like thin vapors
heaven-ward, and hear the startling blast of the archangel's trump
sounding incessant through the universe and proclaiming the awful
judgment day. Truly the soul departs not alone on its last journey,
but spirits of its kind attend it, when not ministering angels; and
they go in families to the unknown land! Neither in life nor in
death are we alone."

He slept again at intervals; and at length, though long after
midnight, reached Innsbruck between sleeping and waking; his mind
filled with dim recollections of the unspeakably dismal
night-journey;--the climbing of hills, and plunging into dark
ravines;--the momentary rattling of the wheels over paved streets of
towns, and the succeeding hollow rolling and tramping on the
wetearth;--the blackness of the night;--the thunder and lightning
and rain; the roar of waters, leaping through deep chasms by the
road-side, and the wind through the mountain-passes, sounding loud
and long, like the irrepressible laughter of the gods.

The travellers on the morrow lingered not long in Innsbruck. They
did not fail, however, to visit the tomb of Maximilian in the
Franciscan Church of the Holy Cross, and gaze with some admiration
upon the twenty-eight gigantic bronze statues of Godfrey of
Bouillon, and King Arthur and Ernest the Iron-man, and Frederick of
the Empty Pockets, kings and heroes, and others, which stand leaning
on their swords between the columns of the church, as if guarding
the tomb of the dead. These statues reminded Flemming of the bronze
giants, which strike the hours on the belfry of San Basso, in
Venice, and of the flail-armed monsters, that guarded the gateway of
Angulaffer's castle in Oberon. After gazing awhile at these
motionless sentinels, they went forth, and strolled throughthe
public gardens, with the jagged mountains right over their heads,
and all around them tall, melancholy pines, like Tyrolese peasants,
with shaggy hair; and at their feet the mad torrent of the Inn,
sweeping with turbid waves through the midst of the town. In the
afternoon they drove on towards Salzburg through the magnificent
mountain-passes of Waidering and Unken.



CHAPTER III. SHADOWS ON THE WALL.



On the following morning Flemming awoke in a chamber of the
Golden Ship at Salzburg, just as the clock in the Dome-church
opposite was striking ten. The window-shutters were closed, and the
room nearly dark. He was lying on his back, with his hands crossed
upon his breast, and his eyes looking up at the white curtains
overhead. He thought them the white marble canopy of a tomb, and
himself the marble statue, lying beneath. When the clock ceased
striking, the eight and twenty gigantic bronze statues from the
Church of Holy Rood in Innsbruck stalked into the chamber, and
arranged themselves along the walls, which spread into dimly-lighted
aisles and arches. On the painted windows he saw Interlachen,
withits Franciscan cloister, and the Square Tower of the ruins. In a
pendent, overhead, stood the German student, as Saint Vitus; and on
a lavatory, or basin of holy-water, below, sat a cherub, with the
form and features of Berkley. Then the organ-pipes began to blow,
and he heard the voices of an invisible choir chanting. And anon the
gilded gates in the bronze screen before the chancel opened, and a
bridal procession passed through. The bride was clothed in the garb
of the Middle Ages; and held a book in her hand, with velvet covers,
and golden clasps. It was Mary Ashburton. She looked at him as she
passed. Her face was pale; and there were tears in her sweet eyes.
Then the gates closed again; and one of the oaken poppy-heads over a
carved stall, in the shape of an owl, flapped its broad wings, and
hooted, "Towhit! to-whoo!" Then the whole scene changed; and he
thought himself a monk's-head on a gutterspout; and it rained
dismally; and Berkley was standing under with an umbrella,
laughing!

In other words, Flemming was in a ragingfever, and delirious. He
remained in this state for a week. The first thing he was conscious
of was hearing the doctor say to Berkley;

"The crisis is passed. I now consider him out of danger."

He then fell into a sweet sleep; the wild fever had swept away
like an angry, red cloud, and the refreshing summer rain began to
fall like dew upon the parched earth. Still another week; and
Flemming was, "sitting clothed, and in his right mind." Berkley had
been reading to him; and still held the book in his hand, with his
fore-finger between the leaves. It was a volume of Hoffmann's
writings.

"How very strange it is," said he, "that you can hardly open the
biography of any German author, but you will find it begin with an
account of his grandfather. It will tell you how the venerable old
man walked up and down the garden among the gay flowers, wrapped in
his morning gown, which is likewise covered with flowers, and
perhaps wearing on his head a little velvet cap. Oryou will find him
sitting by the chimney-corner in the great chair, smoking his
ancestral pipe, with shaggy eyebrows and eyes like birdsnests under
the eaves of a house, and a mouth like a Nuremberg nutcracker's. The
future poet climbs upon the old man's knees. His genius is not
recognised yet. He is thought for the most part a dull boy. His
father is an austere man, or perhaps dead. But the mother is still
there, a sickly, saint-like woman, with knitting-work, and an elder
sister, who has already been in love, and wears rings on her
fingers;--

'Death's heads, and such mementos,

Her grandmother and worm-eaten aunts left to her,

To tell her what her beauty must arrive at.'"

"But this is not the case with the life of Hoffmann, if I
recollect right."

"No, not precisely. Instead of the grandfather we have the
grandmother, a stately dame, who has long since shaken hands with
the vanities of life. The mother, separated from her husband, is
sick in mind and body, and flits to and fro, like a shadow. Then
there is an affectionate maiden aunt; and an uncle, a retired judge,
the terror of little boys,--the Giant Despair of this Doubting
Castle in Koenigsberg; and occasionally the benign countenance of a
venerable grand-uncle, whom Lamotte Fouqué called a hero of the
olden time in morning gown and slippers, looks in at the door and
smiles. In the upper story of the same house lived a poor boy with
his mother, who was so far crazed as to believe herself to be the
Virgin Mary, and her son the Saviour of the world. Wild fancies,
likewise, were to sweep through the brain of that child. He was to
meet Hoffmann elsewhere and be his friend in after years, though as
yet they knew nothing of each other. This was Werner, who has made
some noise in German literature as the author of many wild
Destiny-Dramas."

"Hoffmann died, I believe, in Berlin."

"Yes. He left Koenigsberg at twenty years of age, and passed the
next eight years of his life in the Prussian-Polish Provinces, where
he held some petty office under government; and took to himselfmany
bad habits and a Polish wife. After this he was Music-Director at
various German theatres, and led a wandering, wretched life for ten
years. He then went to Berlin as Clerk of the Exchange, and there
remained till his death, which took place some seven or eight years
afterward."

"Did you ever see him?"

"I was in Berlin during his lifetime, and saw him frequently. I
shall never forget the first time. It was at one of the æsthetic
Teas, given by a literary lady Unter den Linden, where the lions
were fed with convenient food, from tea and bread and butter, up to
oysters and Rhine-wine. During the evening my attention was arrested
by the entrance of a strange little figure, with a wild head of
brown hair. His eyes were bright gray; and his thin lips closely
pressed together with an expression of not unpleasing irony. This
strangelooking personage began to bow his way through the crowd,
with quick, nervous, hinge-like motions, much resembling those of a
marionette. He had a hoarse voice, and such a rapid utterance, that
although I understood German well enough for ordinary purposes, I
could not understand one half he said. Ere long he had seated
himself at the piano-forte, and was improvising such wild, sweet
fancies, that the music of one's dreams is not more sweet and wild.
Then suddenly some painful thought seemed to pass over his mind, as
if he imagined, that he was there to amuse the company. He rose from
the piano-forte, and seated himself in another part of the room;
where he began to make grimaces, and talk loud while others were
singing. Finally he disappeared, like a hobgoblin, laughing, 'Ho!
ho! ho!' I asked a person beside me who this strange being was.
'That was Hoffmann,' was the answer. 'The Devil!' said I. 'Yes,'
continued my informant; 'and if you should follow him now, you would
see him plunge into an obscure and unfrequented wine-cellar, and
there, amid boon companions, with wine and tobacco-smoke, and quirks
and quibbles, and quaint, witty sayings, turn the dim night into
glorious day.'"

"What a strange being!"

"I once saw him at one of his night-carouses. He was sitting in
his glory, at the head of the table; not stupidly drunk, but warmed
with wine, which made him madly eloquent, as the Devil's Elixir did
the Monk Medardus. There, in the full tide of witty discourse, or,
if silent, his gray, hawk eye flashing from beneath his matted hair,
and taking note of all that was grotesque in the company round him,
sat this unfortunate genius, till the day began to dawn. Then he
found his way homeward, having, like the souls of the envious in
Purgatory, his eyelids sewed together with iron wire;--though his
was from champagne bottles. At such hours he wrote his wild,
fantastic tales. To his excited fancy everything assumed a spectral
look. The shadows of familiar things about him stalked like ghosts
through the haunted chambers of his soul; and the old portraits on
the walls winked at him, and seemed stepping down from their frames;
till, aghast at the spectral throng about him, he would call his
wife from her bed, to sit by him while he wrote."

"No wonder he died in the prime of life!"

"No. The only wonder is, that he could have followed this course
of life for six years. I am astonished that it did not kill him
sooner."

"But death came at last in an appalling shape."

"Yes; his forty-sixth birth day found him sitting at home in his
arm-chair, with his friends around him. But the rare old wine,--he
always drank the best,--touched not the sick-man's lips that night.
His wonted humor was gone. Of all his 'jibes, his gambols, his
songs, his flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on
a roar, not one now, to mock his own grinning!--quite
chap-fallen.'--The conversation was of death and the grave. And when
one of his friends said, that life was not the highest good,
Hoffmann interrupted him, exclaiming with a startling earnestness;
'No, no! Life, life, only life! on any condition whatsoever!' Five
months after this he had ceased to suffer, because he had ceased to
live. He died piecemeal. His feet and hands, his legs and arms,
gradually, and in succession, became motionless, dead. But his
spirit was not dead, nor motionless; and, through the solitary day
or sleepless night, lying in his bed, he dictated to an amanuensis
his last stories. Strange stories, indeed, were they for a dying man
to write! Yet such delight did he take in dictating them, that he
said to his friend Hitzig, that, upon the whole, he was willing to
give up forever the use of his hands, if he could but preserve the
power of writing by dictation. Such was his love of life,--of what
he called the sweet habitude of being!"

"Was it not he, who in his last hours expressed such a longing to
behold the green fields once more; and exclaimed; 'Heaven! it is
already summer, and I have not yet seen a single green tree!'"

"Yes, that was Hoffmann. Soon afterwards he died. The closing
scene was striking. He gradually lost all sensation, though his mind
remained vigorous. Feeling no more pain, he said to his physician;
'It will soon be over now. I feel no more pain.' He thought himself
well again; but the physician knew that he was dying, and said;
'Yes, it will soon be over!' The next morning he called his wife to
his bed-side; and begged her to fold his motionless hands together.
Then, as he raised his eyes to heaven, she heard him say, 'We must,
then, think of God, also!' More sorrowful words than these have
seldom fallen from the lips of man. Shortly afterwards the flame of
life glared up within him; he said he was well again; that in the
evening he should go on with the story he was writing; and wished
that the last sentence might be read over to him. Shortly after this
they turned his face to the wall, and he died."

"And thus passed to its account a human soul, after much
self-inflicted suffering. Let us tread lightly upon the poet's
ashes. For my part, I confess, that I have not the heart to take him
from the general crowd of erring, sinful men, and judge him harshly.
The little I have seen of the world, and know of the history of
mankind, teaches me to look upon the errors of others in sorrow, not
inanger. When I take the history of one poor heart that has sinned
and suffered, and represent to myself the struggles and temptations
it has passed,--the brief pulsations of joy,--the feverish
inquie-tude of hope and fear,--the tears of regret,--the feebleness
of purpose,--the pressure of want,--the desertion of friends,--the
scorn of a world that has little charity,--the desolation of the
soul's sanctuary,--and threatening voices within,--health
gone,--happiness gone,--even hope, that stays longest with us,
gone,--I have little heart for aught else than thankfulness, that it
is not so with me, and would fain leave the erring soul of my
fellow-man with Him, from whose hands it came,

'even as a little child,

Weeping and laughing in its childish sport.'"

"You are right. And it is worth a student's while to observe
calmly how tobacco, wine, and midnight did their work like fiends
upon the delicate frame of Hoffmann; and no less thoroughly upon his
delicate mind. He who drinks beer, thinks beer; and he who drinks
wine, thinks wine;--and he who drinks midnight, thinks midnight. He
was a man of rare intellect. He was endowed with racy humor and
sarcastic wit, and a glorious imagination. But the fire of his
genius burned not peacefully, and with a steady flame, upon the
hearth of his home. It was a glaring and irregular flame;--for the
branches that he fed it with, were not branches from the Tree of
Life,--but from another tree that grew in Paradise,--and they were
wet with the unhealthy dews of night, and more unhealthy wine; and
thus, amid smoke and ashes the fire burned fitfully, and went out
with a glare, which leaves the beholder blind."

"This fire within him was a Meleager's fire-brand; and, when it
burned out, he died. And, as you say, marks of all this are clearly
visible in Hoffmann's writings. Indeed, when I read his strange
fancies, it is with me, as when in the summer night I hear the
rising wind among the trees, and the branches bow, and beckon with
their long fingers, and voices go gibbering and mockingthrough the
air. A feeling of awe and mysterious dread comes over me. I wish to
hear the sound of living voice or footstep near me,--to see a
friendly and familiar face. In truth, if it be late at night, the
reader as well as the writer of these unearthly fancies, would fain
have a patient, meek-eyed wife, with her knitting-work, at his
elbow."

Berkley smiled; but Flemming continued without noticing the
smile, though he knew what was passing in the mind of his
friend;

"The life and writings of this singular being interest me in a
high degree. Oftentimes one may learn more from a man's errors, than
from his virtues. Moreover, from the common sympathies of our
nature, souls that have struggled and suffered are dear to me.
Willingly do I recognise their brotherhood. Scars upon their
foreheads do not so deform them, that they cease to interest. They
are always signs of struggle; though alas! too often, likewise, of
defeat. Seasons of unhealthy, dreamy, vague delight, are followed by
seasons ofweariness and darkness. Where are then the bright fancies,
that, amid the great stillness of the night, arise like stars in the
firmament of our souls? The morning dawns, the light of common day
shines in upon us, and the heavens are without a star! From the
lives of such men we learn, that mere pleasant sensations are not
happiness;--that sensual pleasures are to be drunk sparingly, and,
as it were, from the palm of the hand; and that those who bow down
upon their knees to drink of these bright streams that water life,
are not chosen of God either to overthrow or to overcome!"

"I think you are very lenient in your judgment. This is not the
usual defect of critics. Like Shakspeare's samphire-gatherer, they
have a dreadful trade! and, to make the simile complete, they ought
to hang for it!"

"Methinks it would be hard to hang a man for the sake of a
simile. But which of Hoffmann's works is it, that you have in your
hand?"

"His Phatasy-Pieces in Callot's manner. Who was this Callot?"

"He was a Lorrain painter of the seventeenth century, celebrated
for his wild and grotesque conceptions. These sketches of Hoffmann
are imitations of his style. They are full of humor, poetry, and
brilliant imagination."

"And which of them shall I read to you? The Ritter Glück; or the
Musical Sufferings of John Kreisler; or that very exquisite story of
the Golden Jar, wherein is depicted the life of Poesy, in this
common-place world of ours?"

"Read the shortest. Read Kreisler. That will amuse me. It is a
picture of his own sufferings at the æsthetic Teas in Berlin,
supposed to be written in pencil on the blank leaves of a
music-book."

Thereupon Berkley leaned back in his easychair, and read as
follows.



CHAPTER IV. MUSICAL



SUFFERINGS OF JOHN KREISLER.

"They are all gone! I might have known it by the whispering,
shuffling, coughing, buzzing through all the notes of the gamut. It
was a true swarm of bees, leaving the old hive. Gottlieb has lighted
fresh candles for me, and placed a bottle of Burgundy on the
piano-forte. I can play no more, I am perfectly exhausted. My
glorious old friend here on the music-stand is to blame for that.
Again he has borne me away through the air, as Mephistopheles did
Faust, and so high, that I took not the slightest notice of the
little men under me, though I dare say they made noise enough. A
rascally, worthless, wasted evening! But now I am well and merry!
However, while I was playing, I took out my pencil, and on
pagesixty-three, under the last system, noted down a couple of good
flourishes in cipher with my right hand, while the left was
struggling away in the torrent of sweet sounds. Upon the blank page
at the end I go on writing. I leave all ciphers and sweet tones, and
with true delight, like a sick man restored to health, who can never
stop relating what he has suffered, I note down here
circumstantially the dire agonies of this evening's tea-party. And
not for myself alone, but likewise for all those who from time to
time may amuse and edify themselves with my copy of John Sebastian
Bach's Variations for the Piano-forte, published by Nägeli in
Zürich, and who find my marks at the end of the thirtieth variation,
and, led on by the great Latin Verte, (I will write it down the
moment I get through this doleful statement of grievances,) turn
over the leaf and read.

"They will at once see the connexion. They know, that the
Geheimerath Rödelein's house is a charming house to visit in, and
that he has two daughters, of whom the whole fashionable world
proclaims with enthusiasm, that they dance like goddesses, speak
French like angels, and play and sing and draw like the Muses. The
Geheimerath Rödelein is a rich man. At his quarterly dinners he
brings on the most delicious wines and richest dishes. All is
established on a footing of the greatest elegance; and whoever at
his tea-parties does not amuse himself heavenly, has no ton, no
esprit, and particularly no taste for the fine arts. It is with an
eye to these, that, with the tea, punch, wine, ice-creams, etc., a
little music is always served up, which, like the other
refreshments, is very quietly swallowed by the fashionable world.

"The arrangements are as follows.--After every guest has had time
enough to drink as many cups of tea as he may wish, and punch and
ices have been handed round twice, the servants wheel out the
card-tables for the elder and more solid part of the company, who
had rather play cards than any musical instrument; and, to tell the
truth, this kind of playing does not make such a useless noise as
others, and you hear only the clink of money.

"This is a hint for the younger part of the company to pounce
upon the Misses Rödelein. A great tumult ensues; in the midst of
which you can distinguish these words,--

"'Schönes Fräulein! do not refuse us the gratification of your
heavenly talent! O, sing something! that's a good
dear!--impossible,--bad cold,--the last ball! have not practised
anything,--oh, do, do, we beg of you,' etc.

"Meanwhile Gottlieb has opened the piano-forte, and placed the
well-known music-book on the stand; and from the card-table cries
the respectable mamma,--

" 'Chantez donc, mes enfans!'

"That is the cue of my part. I place myself at the piano-forte,
and the Rödeleins are led up to the instrument in triumph.

"And now another difficulty arises. Neither wishes to sing
first.

"'You know, dear Nanette, how dreadful hoarse I am.'

"'Why, my dear Marie, I am as hoarse as you are.'

"'I sing so badly!--'

"'O, my dear child; do begin!'

"My suggestion, (I always make the same!) that they should both
begin together with a duet, is loudly applauded;--the music-book is
thumbed over, and the leaf, carefully folded down, is at length
found, and away we go with Dolce dell' anima, etc.

"To tell the truth, the talent of the Misses Rödelein is not the
smallest. I have been an instructer here only five years, and little
short of two years in the Rödelein family. In this short time,
Fräulein Nanette has made such progress, that a tune, which she has
heard at the theatre only ten times, and has played on the
piano-forte, at farthest, ten times more, she will sing right off,
so that you know in a moment what it is. Fräulein Marie catches it
at the eighth time; and if she is sometimes a quarter of a note
lower than the piano-forte, after all it is very tolerable,
considering her pretty little doll-face, and very passable
rosy-lips.

"After the duet, a universal chorus of applause! And now
arriettas and duettinos succeed each other, and right merrily I
hammer away at the thousand-times-repeated accompaniment. During the
singing, the Finanzräthin Eberstein, by coughing and humming, has
given to understand that she also sings. Fräulein Nanette says;

"'But, my dear Finanzräthin, now you must let us hear your
exquisite voice.'

"A new tumult arises. She has a bad cold in her head,--she does
not know anything by heart! Gottlieb brings straightway two armfuls
of music-books; and the leaves are turned over again and again.
First she thinks she will sing Der Hölle Rache, etc., then Hebe
sich, etc., then Ach, Ich liebte, etc. In this embarrassment, I
propose, Ein Veilchen auf der Wiese, etc. But she is for the heroic
style; she wants to make a display, and finally selects the aria in
Constantia.

"O scream, squeak, mew, gurgle, groan, agonize, quiver, quaver,
just as much as you please, Madam,--I have my foot on the fortissimo
pedal, and thunder myself deaf! O Satan, Satan! which of thy goblins
damned has got into this throat, pinching, and kicking, and cuffing
the tones about so! Four strings have snapped already, and one
hammer is lamed for life. My ears ring again,--my head hums,--my
nerves tremble! Have all the harsh notes from the cracked trumpet of
a strolling-player been imprisoned in this little throat! (But this
excites me,--I must drink a glass of Burgundy.)

"The applause was unbounded; and some one observed, that the
Finanzräthin and Mozart had put me quite in a blaze. I smiled with
downcast eyes, very stupidly. I could but acknowledge it. And now
all talents, which hitherto had bloomed unseen, were in motion,
wildly flitting to and fro. They were bent upon a surfeit of music;
tuttis, finales, choruses must be performed. The Canonicus Kratzer
sings, you know, a heavenly bass, as was observed by the gentleman
yonder, with the head of Titus Andronicus, who modestly remarked
also, that he himself was properly only a second-ratetenor; but,
though he said it, who should not say it, was nevertheless member of
several academies of music. Forthwith preparations are made for the
first chorus in the opera of Titus. It went off gloriously. The
Canonicus, standing close behind me, thundered out the bass over my
head, as if he were singing with bass-drums and trumpet obbligato in
a cathedral. He struck the notes gloriously; but in his hurry he got
the tempo just about twice too slow. However, he was true to himself
at least in this, that through the whole piece he dragged along just
half a beat behind the rest. The others showed a most decided
penchant for the ancient Greek music, which, as is well known,
having nothing to do with harmony, ran on in unison or monotone.
They all sang treble, with slight variations, caused by accidental
rising and falling of the voice, say some quarter of a note.

"This somewhat noisy affair produced a universal tragic state of
feeling, namely a kind of terror, even at the card-tables, which for
the momentcould no longer, as before, chime in melodramatic, by
weaving into the music sundry exclamations; as, for instance;

" 'O! I loved,--eight and forty,--was so happy,--I pass,--then I
knew not,--whist,--pangs of love,--follow suit,' etc.--It has a very
pretty effect. (I fill my glass.)

"That was the highest point of the musical exhibition this
evening. 'Now it is all over,' thought I to myself. I shut the book,
and got up from the piano-forte. But the baron, my ancient tenor,
came up to me, and said;

" 'My dear Herr Capellmeister, they say you play the most
exquisite voluntaries! Now do play us one; only a short one, I
entreat you!'

"I answered very drily, that to-day my fantasies had all gone a
wool-gathering; and, while we are talking about it, a devil, in the
shape of a dandy, with two waistcoats, had smelt out Bach's
Variations, which were lying under my hat in the next room. He
thinks they are merely little variations, such as Nel cor mio non
più sento, or Ah, vous dirai-je, maman, etc., and insists upon it,
that I shall play them. I try to excuse myself, but they all attack
me. So then, 'Listen, and burst with ennui,' think I to myself,--and
begin to work away.

"When I had got to variation number three, several ladies
departed, followed by the gentleman with the Titus-Andronicus head.
The Rödeleins, as their teacher was playing, stood it out, though
not without difficulty, to number twelve. Number fifteen made the
man with two waistcoats take to his heels. Out of most excessive
politeness, the Baron stayed till number thirty, and drank up all
the punch, which Gottlieb placed on the piano-forte for me.

"I should have brought all to a happy conclusion, but, alas! this
number thirty,--the theme,--tore me irresistibly away. Suddenly the
quarto leaves spread out to a gigantic folio, on which a thousand
imitations and developments of the theme stood written, and I could
not choose but play them. The notes became alive, and glimmered and
hopped all round about me,--an electric firestreamed through the
tips of my fingers into the keys,--the spirit, from which it gushed
forth, spread his broad wings over my soul, the whole room was
filled with a thick mist, in which the candles burned dim,--and
through which peered forth now a nose, and anon a pair of eyes, and
then suddenly vanished away again. And thus it came to pass, that I
was left alone with my Sebastian Bach, by Gottlieb attended, as by a
familiar spirit. (Your good health, Sir.)

"Is an honest musician to be tormented with music, as I have been
to-day, and am so often tormented? Verily, no art is so damnably
abused, as this same glorious, holy Musica, who, in her delicate
being, is so easily desecrated. Have you real talent,--real feeling
for art? Then study music;--do something worthy of the art,--and
dedicate your whole soul to the beloved saint. If without this you
have a fancy for quavers and demi-semi-quavers, practise for
yourself and by yourself, and torment not therewith the
Capellmeister Kreisler and others.

"Well, now I might go home, and put the finishing touch to my
sonata for the piano-forte; but it is not yet eleven o'clock, and,
withal, a beautiful summer night. I will lay any wager, that, at my
next-door neighbour's, (the Oberjägermeister,) the young ladies are
sitting at the window, screaming down into the street, for the
twentieth time, with harsh, sharp, piercing voices, 'When thine eye
is beaming love,'--but only the first stanza, over and over again.
Obliquely across the way, some one is murdering the flute, and has,
moreover, lungs like Rameau's nephew; and, in notes of 'linked
sweetness long drawn out,' his neighbour is trying acoustic
experiments on the French horn. The numerous dogs of the
neighbourhood are growing unquiet, and my landlord's cat, inspired
by that sweet duet, is making close by my window (for, of course, my
musico-poetic laboratory is an attic,) certain tender
confessions,--upward through the whole chromatic scale, soft
complaining, to the neighbour's puss, with whom he has been in love
since March last! Till this is all fairly over, II think will sit
quietly here. Besides, there is still blank paper and Burgundy left,
of which I forthwith take a sip.

"There is, as I have heard, an ancient law, forbidding those, who
followed any noisy handicraft, from living near literary men. Should
not then musical composers, poor, and hard beset, and who, moreover,
are forced to coin their inspiration into gold, to spin out the
thread of life withal, be allowed to apply this law to themselves,
and banish out of the neighbourhood all ballad-singers and
bagpipers? What would a painter say, while transferring to his
canvass a form of ideal beauty, if you should hold up before him all
manner of wild faces and ugly masks? He might shut his eyes, and in
this way, at least, quietly follow out the images of fancy. Cotton,
in one's ears, is of no use; one still hears the dreadful massacre.
And then the idea,--the bare idea, 'Now they are going to sing,--now
the horn strikes up,'--is enough to send one's sublimest conceptions
to the very devil."



CHAPTER V. SAINT GILGEN.



It was a bright Sunday morning when Flemming and Berkley left
behind them the cloud-capped hills of Salzburg, and journeyed
eastward towards the lakes. The landscape around them was one to
attune their souls to holy musings. Field, forest, hill and vale,
fresh air, and the perfume of clover-fields and new-mown hay, birds
singing, and the sound of village bells, and the moving breeze among
the branches,--no laborers in the fields, but peasants on their way
to church, coming across the green pastures, with roses in their
hats,--the beauty and quiet of the holy day of rest,--all, all in
earth and air, breathed upon the soul like a benediction.

They stopped to change horses at Hof, a handfulof houses on the
brow of a breezy hill, the church and tavern standing opposite to
each other, and nothing between them but the dusty road, and the
churchyard, with its iron crosses, and the fluttering tinsel of the
funeral garlands. In the churchyard and at the tavern-door, were
groups of peasants, waiting for divine service to begin. They were
clothed in their holiday dresses. The men wore breeches and long
boots, and frock-coats with large metal buttons; the women, straw
hats, and gay calico gowns, with short waists and scant folds. They
were adorned with a profusion of great, trumpery ornaments, and
reminded Flemming of the Indians in the frontier villages of
America. Near the churchyard-gate was a booth, filled with flaunting
calicos; and opposite sat an old woman behind a table, which was
loaded with ginger-bread. She had a roulette at her elbow, where the
peasants risked a kreutzer for a cake. On other tables, cases of
knives, scythes, reaping-hooks, and other implements of husbandry
were offered for sale.

The travellers continued their journey, without stopping to hear
mass. In the course of the forenoon they came suddenly in sight of
the beautiful Lake of Saint Wolfgang, lying deep beneath them in the
valley. On its shore, under them, sat the white village of Saint
Gilgen, like a swan upon its reedy nest. They seemed to have taken
it unawares, and as it were clapped their hands upon it in its
sleep, and almost expected to see it spread its broad, snow-white
wings, and fly away. The whole scene was one of surpassing
beauty.

They drove leisurely down the steep hill, and stopped at the
village inn. Before the door was a magnificent, broad-armed tree,
with benches and tables beneath its shadow. On the front of the
house was written in large letters, "Post-Tavern by Franz
Schoendorfer"; and over this was a large sun-dial, and a
half-effaced painting of a bear-hunt, covering the whole side of the
house, and mostly red. Just as they drove up, a procession of
priests with banners, and peasants with their hats in their hands,
passed by towards the church. They were singing a solemn psalm. At
the same moment, a smart servant girl, with a black straw hat, set
coquettishly on her flaxen hair, and a large silver spoon stuck in
her girdle, came out of the tavern, and asked Flemming what he would
please to order for breakfast.

Breakfast was soon ready, and was served up at the head of the
stairs, on an old-fashioned oaken table in the great hall, into
which the chambers opened. Berkley ordered at the same time a tub of
cold water, in which he seated himself, with his coat on, and a
bed-quilt thrown round his knees. Thus he sat for an hour; ate his
breakfast, and smoked a pipe, and laughed a good deal. He then went
to bed and slept till dinner time. Meanwhile Flemming sat in his
chamber and read. It was a large room in the front of the house,
looking upon the village and the lake. The windows were latticed,
with small panes, and the window-sills filled with fragrant
flowers.

At length the heat of the noon was over. Day, like a weary
pilgrim, had reached the westerngate of Heaven, and Evening stooped
down to unloose the latchets of his sandal-shoon. Flemming and
Berkley sallied forth to ramble by the borders of the lake. Down the
cool, green glades and alleys, beneath the illuminated leaves of the
forest, over the rising grounds, in the glimmering fretwork of
sunshine and leaf-shadow,--an exhilarating walk! The cool evening
air by the lake was like a bath. They drank the freshness of the
hour in thirsty draughts, and their breasts heaved rejoicing and
revived, after the feverish, long confinement of the sultry summer
day. And there, too, lay the lake, so beautiful and still! Did it
not recall, think ye, the lake of Thun?

On their return homeward they passed near the village
churchyard.

"Let us go in and see how the dead rest," said Flemming, as they
passed beneath the belfry of the church; and they went in, and
lingered among the tombs and the evening shadows.

How peaceful is the dwelling-place of those who inhabit the green
hamlets, and populous cities of the dead! They need no antidote for
care,--nor armour against fate. No morning sun shines in at the
closed windows, and awakens them, nor shall until the last great
day. At most a straggling sunbeam creeps in through the crumbling
wall of an old neglected tomb,--a strange visiter, that stays not
long. And there they all sleep, the holy ones, with their arms
crossed upon their breasts, or lying motionless by their sides,--not
carved in marble by the hand of man, but formed in dust, by the hand
of God. God's peace be with them. No one comes to them now, to hold
them by the hand, and with delicate fingers smooth their hair. They
heed no more the blandishments of earthly friendship. They need us
not, however much we may need them. And yet they silently await our
coming.

Beautiful is that season of life, when we can say, in the
language of Scripture, "Thou hast the dew of thy youth." But of
these flowers Death gathers many. He places them upon his bosom, and
his form becomes transformed into somethingless terrific than
before. We learn to gaze and shudder not; for he carries in his arms
the sweet blossoms of our earthly hopes. We shall see them all
again, blooming in a happier land.

Yes, Death brings us again to our friends. They are waiting for
us, and we shall not live long. They have gone before us, and are
like the angels in heaven. They stand upon the borders of the grave
to welcome us, with the countenance of affection, which they wore on
earth; yet more lovely, more radiant, more spiritual! O, he spake
well who said, that graves are the foot-prints of angels.

Death has taken thee, too, and thou hast the dew of thy youth. He
has placed thee upon his bosom, and his stern countenance wears a
smile. The far country, toward which we journey, seems nearer to us,
and the way less dark; for thou hast gone before, passing so quietly
to thy rest, that day itself dies not more calmly!

It was in an hour of blessed communion with the souls of the
departed, that the sweet poet Henry Vaughan wrote those few lines,
whichhave made death lovely, and his own name immortal!

"They are all gone into a world of light,

And I alone sit lingering here!

Their very memory is fair and bright,

And my sad thoughts doth clear.

"It glows and glitters in my cloudy breast,

Like stars upon some gloomy grove,

Or those faint beams in which the hill is dressed,

After the sun's remove.

"I see them walking in an air of glory,

Whose light doth trample on my days,

My days, which are at best but dull and hoary,

Mere glimmerings and decays.

"O holy hope, and high humility,

High as the heavens above!

These are your walks, and ye have showed them me,

To kindle my cold love.

"Dear, beauteous Death! the jewel of the just!

Shining nowhere but in the dark!

What mysteries do lie beyond thy dust,

Could man outlook that mark!

"He that hath found some fledged bird's nest, may know,

At first sight, if the bird be flown;

But what fair field or grove he sings in now,

That is to him unknown.

"And yet as angels, in some brighter dreams,

Call to the soul, when man doth sleep,

So some strange thoughts transcend our wonted themes,

And into glory peep!"

Such were Flemming's thoughts, as he stood among the tombs at
evening in the churchyard of Saint Gilgen. A holy calm stole over
him. The fever of his heart was allayed. He had a moment's rest from
pain; and went back to his chamber in peace. Whence came this holy
calm, this long-desired tranquillity? He knew not; yet the place
seemed consecrated. He resolved to linger there, beside the lake,
which was a Pool of Bethesda for him; and let Berkley go on alone to
the baths of Ischel. He would wait for him there in the solitude of
Saint Gilgen. Long after they had parted for the night, he sat in
his chamber, and thought of what he had suffered, and enjoyedthe
silence within and without. Hour after hour, slipped by unheeded, as
he sat lost in his reverie. At length, his candle sank in its
socket, gave one flickering gleam, and expired with a sob. This
aroused him.

He went to the window, and peered out into the dark night. It was
very late. Twice already since midnight had the great pulpit-orator
Time, like a preacher in the days of the Puritans, turned the
hour-glass on his high pulpit, the church belfry, and still went on
with his sermon, thundering downward to the congregation in the
churchyard and in the village. But they heard him not. They were all
asleep in their narrow pews, namely, in their beds and in their
graves. Soon afterward the cock crew; and the cloudy heaven, like
the apostle, who denied his Lord, wept bitterly.



CHAPTER VI. SAINT WOLFGANG.



The morning is lovely beyond expression. The heat of the sun is
great; but a gentle wind cools the air. Birds never sang more loud
and clear. The flowers, too, on the window-sill, and on the table,
rose, geranium, and the delicate crimson cactus, are all so
beautiful, that we think the German poet right, when he calls the
flowers "stars in the firmament of the earth." Out of doors all is
quiet. Opposite the window stands the village schoolhouse. There are
two parasite trees, with their outspread branches nailed against the
white walls, like the wings of culprit kites. There the rods grow.
Under them, on a bench at the door, sit school-girls; and barefoot
urchins in breeches are spelling out their lessons. The clock
strikestwelve, and one by one they disappear, and go into the hive,
like bees at the sound of a brass pan. At the door of the next house
sits a poor woman, knitting in the shade; and in front of her is an
aqueduct pouring its cool, clear water into a rough wooden trough. A
travelling carriage without horses, stands at the inn-door, and a
postilion in red jacket is talking with a blacksmith, who wears blue
woollen stockings and a leather apron. Beyond is a stable, and still
further a cluster of houses and the village church. They are
repairing the belfry and the bulbous steeple. A little farther, over
the roofs of the houses, you can see Saint Wolfgang's Lake. Water so
bright and beautiful hardly flows elsewhere. Green, and blue, and
silver-white run into each other, with almost imperceptible change,
like the streaks on the sides of a mackerel. And above are the
pinnacles of the mountains; some bald, and rocky, and cone-shaped,
and others bold, and broad, and dark with pines.

Such was the scene, which Paul Flemming beheldfrom his window a
few mornings after Berkley's departure. The quiet of the place had
soothed him. He had become more calm. His heart complained less
loudly in the holy village silence, as we are wont to lower our
voices when those around us speak in whispers. He began to feel at
times an interest in the lowly things around him. The face of the
landscape pleased him, but more than this the face of the poor woman
who sat knitting in the shade. It was a pale, meek countenance, with
more delicacy in its features than is usual among peasantry. It wore
also an expression of patient suffering. As he was looking at her, a
deformed child came out of the door and hung upon her knees. She
caressed him affectionately. It was her child; in whom she beheld
her own fair features distorted and hardly to be recognised, as one
sometimes sees his face reflected from the bowl of a spoon.

The child's deformity and the mother's tenderness interested the
feelings of Flemming. The landlady told him something of the poor
woman's history. She was the widow of a blacksmith, who had died
soon after their marriage. But she survived to become a mother, just
as, in oaks, immediately after fecundation, the male flower fades
and falls, while the female continues and ripens into perfect fruit.
Alas! her child was deformed. Yet she looked upon him with eyes of
maternal fondness and pity, loving him still more for his deformity.
And in her heart she said, as the Mexicans say to their new-born
offspring, "Child, thou art come into the world to suffer. Endure,
and hold thy peace." Though poor, she was not entirely destitute;
for her husband had left her, beside the deformed child, a life
estate in a tomb in the churchyard of Saint Gilgen. During the week
she labored for other people, and on Sundays for herself, by going
to church and reading the Bible. On one of the blank leaves she had
recorded the day of her birth, and that of her child's, likewise her
marriage and her husband's death. Thus she lived, poor, patient and
resigned. Her heart was a passion-flower, bearing within it the
crown of thorns and the cross of Christ. Her ideas of Heaven were
few and simple. She rejected the doctrine that it was a place of
constant activity, and not of repose, and believed, that, when she
at length reached it, she should work no more, but sit always in a
clean white apron, and sing psalms.

As Flemming sat meditating on these things, he paid new homage in
his heart to the beauty and excellence of the female character. He
thought of the absent and the dead; and said, with tears in his
eyes;

"Shall I thank God for the green Summer, and the mild air, and
the flowers, and the stars, and all that makes this world so
beautiful, and not for the good and beautiful beings I have known in
it? Has not their presence been sweeter to me than flowers? Are they
not higher and holier than the stars? Are they not more to me than
all things else?"

Thus the morning passed away in musings; andin the afternoon,
when Flemming was preparing to go down to the lake, as his custom
was, a carriage drew up before the door, and, to his great
astonishment, out jumped Berkley. The first thing he did was to give
the Postmaster, who stood near the door, a smart cut with his whip.
The sufferer gently expostulated, saying,

"Pray, Sir, don't; I am lame."

Whereupon Berkley desisted, and began instead to shake the
Postmaster's wife by the shoulders, and order his dinner in English.
But all this was done so good-naturedly, and with such a rosy,
laughing face, that no offence was taken.

"So you have returned much sooner than you intended;" said
Flemming, after the first friendly salutations.

"Yes," replied Berkley; "I got tired of Ischel,--very tired. I
did not find the friends there, whom I expected. Now I am going back
to Salzburg, and then to Gastein. There I shall certainly find them.
You must go with me."

Flemming declined the invitation; and proposedto Berkley, that he
should join him in his excursion on the lake.

"You shall hear the grand echo of the Falkenstein," said he, "and
behold the scene of the Bridal Tragedy; and then we will go on as
far as the village of Saint Wolfgang, which you have not yet seen,
except across the lake."

"Well, this afternoon I devote to you; for to-morrow we part once
more, and who knows when we shall meet again?"

They went down to the water's side without farther delay; and,
taking a boat with two oars, struck across an elbow of the lake
towards a barren rock by the eastern shore, from which a small white
monument shone in the sun.

"That monument," said one of the boatmen, a stout young lad in
leather breeches, "was built by a butcher, to the glory of Saint
Wolfgang, who saved him from drowning. He was one day riding an ox
to market along the opposite bank; when the animal taking fright,
sprang into the water, and swam over to this place, with the butcher
on his back."

"And do you think he could have done this," asked Berkley; "if
Saint Wolfgang had not helped him?"

"Of course not!" answered leather-breeches; and the Englishman
laughed.

From this point they rowed along under the shore to a low
promontory, upon which stood another monument, commemorating a more
tragical event.

"This is the place I was speaking of," said Flemming, as the
boatmen rested on their oars. "The melancholy and singular event it
commemorates happened more than two centuries ago. There was a
bridal party here upon the ice one winter; and in the midst of the
dance the ice broke, and the whole merry company were drowned
together, except the fiddlers, who were sitting on the shore."

They looked in silence at the monument, and at the blue quiet
water, under which the bones of the dancers lay buried, hand in
hand. The monument is of stone, painted white, with an
over-hangingroof to shelter it from storms. In a niche in front is a
small image of the Saviour, in a sitting posture; and an
inscription, upon a marble tablet below, says that it was placed
there by Longinus Walther and his wife Barbara Juliana von Hainberg;
themselves long since peacefully crumbled to dust, side by side in
some churchyard.

"That was breaking the ice with a vengeance!" said Berkley, as
they pushed out into the lake again; and ere long they were floating
beneath the mighty precipice of Falkenstein; a steep wall of rock,
crowned with a chapel and a hermitage, where in days of old lived
the holy Saint Wolfgang. It is now haunted only by an echo, so
distinct and loud, that one might imagine the ghost of the departed
saint to be sitting there, and repeating the voices from below, not
word by word, but sentence by sentence, as if he were passing them
up to the recording angel.

"Ho! ho! ho!" shouted Berkley; and the sound seemed to strike the
wall of stone, like the flapping of steel plates; "Ho! ho! ho! How
areyou to-day, Saint Wolfgang! You infernal old rascal! How is the
Frau von Wolfgang!--God save great George the King! Damn your eyes!
Hold your tongue! Ho! ho! ha! ha! hi!"

And the words were recorded above; and a voice repeated them with
awful distinctness in the blue depths overhead, and Flemming felt in
his inmost soul the contrast between the holy heavens, and the
mockery of laughter, and the idle words, which fall back from the
sky above us and soil not its purity.

In half an hour they were at the village of Saint Wolfgang,
threading a narrow street, above which the roofs of quaint,
picturesque old houses almost met. It led them to a Gothic church; a
magnificent one for a village;--in front of which was a small court,
shut in by Italian-looking houses, with balconies, and flowers at
the windows. Here a bronze fountain of elaborate workmanship was
playing in the shade. On its summit stood an image of the patron
Saint of the village; and, running round the under lip of the
water-basin below, they read this inscription in old German
rhymes;

"I am in the honor of Saint Wolfgang raised. Abbot Wolfgang Habel
of Emensee, he hath made me for the use and delight of poor pilgrim
wight. Neither gold nor wine hath he; at this water shall he merry
be. In the year of the Lord fifteen hundred and fifteen, hath the
work completed been. God be praised!"

As they were deciphering the rude characters of this pious
inscription, a village priest came down a high flight of steps from
the parsonage near the church, and courteously saluted the
strangers. After returning the salutation, the mad Englishman,
without preface, asked him how many natural children were annually
born in the parish. The question seemed to astonish the good father,
but he answered it civilly, as he did several other questions, which
Flemming thought rather indiscreet, to say the least.

"You will excuse our curiosity," said he to the priest, by way of
apology. "We are strangersfrom distant countries. My friend is an
Englishman and I an American."

Berkley, however, was not so easily silenced. After a few
moments' conversation he broke out into most audacious Latin, in
which the only words clearly intelligible were;

"Plurimum reverende, in Christo religiosissime, ac clarissime
Domine, necnon et amice observandissime! Petrus sic est locutus;
'Nec argentum mihi, nec aurum est; sed quod habeo, hoc tibi do;
surge et ambula.'"

He seemed to be speaking of the fountain. The priest answered
meekly,

"Non intellexi, Domine!"

But Berkley continued with great volubility to speak of his being
a stranger in the land, and all men being strangers upon earth, and
hoping to meet the good priest hereafter in the kingdom of Heaven.
The priest seemed confounded, and abashed. Through the mist of a
strange pronunciation he could recognise only here and there
afamiliar word. He took out his snuff-box; and tried to quote a
passage from Saint Paul;

"Ut dixit Sanctus Paulus; qui bene facit--"

Here his memory failed him, or, as the French say, he was at the
end of his Latin, and, stretching forth his long forefinger, he
concluded in German;

"Yes;--I don't--so clearly remember--what he did say."

The Englishman helped him through with a moral phrase; and then
pulling off his hat, exclaimed very solemnly;

"Vale, domine doctissime et reverendissime!"

And the Dominie, as if pursued by a demon, made a sudden and
precipitate retreat down a flight of steps into the street.

"There!" said Berkley laughing, "I beat him at his own weapons.
What do you say of my Latin?"

"I say of it," replied Flemming, "what Holophernes said of Sir
Nathaniel's; 'Priscian a little scratched; 't will serve.' I think I
have heardbetter. But what a whim! I thought I should have laughed
aloud."

They were still sitting by the bronze fountain when the priest
returned, accompanied by a short man, with large feet, and a long
blue surtout, so greasy, that it reminded one of Polilla's in the
Spanish play, which was lined with slices of pork. His countenance
was broad and placid, but his blue eyes gleamed with a wild,
mysterious, sorrowful expression. Flemming thought the Latin contest
was to be renewed, with more powder and heavier guns. He was
mistaken. The stranger saluted him in German, and said, that, having
heard he was from America, he had come to question him about that
distant country, for which he was on the point of embarking. There
was nothing peculiar in his manner, nor in the questions he asked,
nor the remarks he made. They were the usual questions and remarks
about cities and climate, and sailing the sea. At length Flemming
asked him the object of his journey to America. Thestranger came
close up to him, and lowering his voice, said very solemnly;

"That holy man, Frederick Baraga, missionary among the Indians at
Lacroix, on Lake Superior, has returned to his father-land, Krain;
and I am chosen by Heaven to go forth as Minister Extraordinary of
Christ, to unite all nations and people in one church!"

Flemming almost started at the singular earnestness, with which
he uttered these words; and looked at him attentively, thinking to
see the face of a madman. But the modest, unassuming look of that
placid countenance was unchanged; only in the eyes burned a
mysterious light, as if candles had been lighted in the brain, to
magnify the daylight there.

"It is truly a high vocation," said he in reply. "But are you
sure, that this is no hallucination? Are you certain, that you have
been chosen by Heaven for this great work?"

"I am certain," replied the German, in a tone of great calmness
and sincerity; "and, if Saint Peter and Saint Paul should come down
from Heaven to assure me of it, my faith would be no stronger than
it now is. It has been declared to me by many signs and wonders. I
can no longer doubt, nor hesitate. I have already heard the voice of
the Spirit, speaking to me at night; and I know that I am an
apostle; and chosen for this work."

Such was the calm enthusiasm with which he spoke, that Flemming
could not choose but listen. He felt interested in this strange
being. There was something awe-inspiring in the spirit that
possessed him. After a short pause he continued;

"If you wish to know who I am, I can tell you in few words. I
think you will not find the story without interest."

He then went on to relate the circumstances recorded in the
following chapter.



CHAPTER VII. THE STORY OF BROTHER BERNARDUS.



"I was born in the city of Stein, in the land of Krain. My pious
mother Gertrude sang me psalms and spiritual songs in childhood; and
often, when I awoke in the night, I saw her still sitting, patiently
at her work by the stove, and heard her singing those hymns of
heaven, or praying in the midnight darkness when her work was done.
It was for me she prayed. Thus, from my earliest childhood, I
breathed the breath of pious aspirations. Afterwards I went to
Laybach as a student of theology; and after the usual course of
study, was ordained a priest. I went forth to the care of souls; my
own soul filled with the faith, that ere long all people would be
united in one church. Yet attimes my heart was heavy, to behold how
many nations there are who have not heard of Christ; and how those,
who are called Christians, are divided into numberless sects, and
how among these are many who are Christians in name only. I
determined to devote myself to the great work of the one church
universal; and for this purpose, to give myself wholly up to the
study of the Evangelists and the Fathers. I retired to the
Benedictine cloister of Saint Paul in the valley of Lavant. The
father-confessor in the nunnery of Laak, where I then lived,
strengthened me in this resolve. I had long walked with this angel
of God in a human form, and his parting benediction sank deep into
my soul. The Prince-Abbot Berthold, of blessed memory, was then head
of the Benedictine convent. He received me kindly, and led me to the
library; where I gazed with secret rapture on the vast folios of the
Christian Fathers, from which, as from an arsenal, I was to draw the
weapons of holy warfare. In the study of these, the year of my
noviciate passed. I becamea Franciscan friar; and took the name of
Brother Bernardus. Yet my course of life remained unchanged. I
seldom left the cloister; but sat in my cell, and pored over those
tomes of holy wisdom. About this time the aged confessor in Laak
departed this life. His death was made known to me in a dream. It
must have been after midnight, when I thought that I came into the
church, which was brilliantly lighted up. The dead body of the
venerable saint was brought in, attended by a great crowd. It seemed
to me, that I must go up into the pulpit and pronounce his funeral
oration; and, as I ascended the stairs, the words of my text came
into my mind; 'Blessed in the sight of the Lord is the death of his
saints.' My funeral sermon ended in a strain of exultation; and I
awoke with 'Amen!' upon my lips. A few days afterwards, I heard that
on that night the old man died. After this event I became restless
and melancholy. I strove in vain to drive from me my gloomy
thoughts. I could no longer study. I was no longer contented in the
cloister. I even thought of leaving it.

"One night I had gone to bed early, according to my custom, and had
fallen asleep. Suddenly I was awakened by a bright and wonderful
light, which shone all about me, and filled me with heavenly
rapture. Shortly after I heard a voice, which pronounced distinctly
these words, in the Sclavonian tongue; 'Remain in the cloister!' It
was the voice of my departed mother. I was fully awake; yet saw
nothing but the bright light, which disappeared, when the words had
been spoken. Still it was broad daylight in my chamber. I thought I
had slept beyond my usual hour. I looked at my watch. It was just
one o'clock after midnight. Suddenly the daylight vanished, and it
was dark. In the morning I arose, as if new-born, through the
wonderful light, and the words of my mother's voice. It was no
dream. I knew it was the will of God that I should stay; and I could
again give myself up to quiet study. I read the whole Bible through
once more in theoriginal text; and went on with the Fathers, in
chronological order. Often, after the apparition of the light, I
awoke at the same hour; and though I heard no voice and saw no
light, yet was refreshed with heavenly consolation.

"Not long after this an important event happened in the cloister.
In the absence of the deacon of the Abbey, I was to preach the
Thanksgiving sermon of Harvest-home. During the week the
Prince-Abbot Berthold gave up the ghost; and my sermon became at
once a Thanks-giving and Funeral Sermon. Perhaps it may not be
unworthy of notice, that I was thus called to pronounce the burial
discourse over the body of the last reigning, spiritual Prince Abbot
in Germany. He was a man of God, and worthy of this honor.

"One year after this event, I was appointed Professor of Biblical
Hermeneutics in Klagenfurt, and left the Abbey forever. In
Klagenfurt I remained ten years, dwelling in the same house, and
eating at the same table, with seventeen other professors. Their
conversation naturally suggestednew topics of study, and brought to
my notice books, which I had never before seen. One day I heard at
table, that Maurus Cappellari, a monk of Camaldoli, had been elected
Pope, under the name of Gregory Sixteenth. He was spoken of as a
very learned man, who had written many books. At this time I was a
firm believer in the Pope's infallibility; and when I heard these
books mentioned, there arose in me an irresistible longing to read
them. I inquired for them; but they were nowhere to be had. At
length I heard, that his most important work, The Triumph of the
Holy See, and of the Church, had been translated into German and
published in Augsburg. Ere long the precious volume was in my hands.
I began to read it with the profoundest awe. The farther I read, the
more my wonder grew. The subject was of the deepest interest to me.
I could not lay the book out of my hand, till I had read it through
with the closest attention. Now at length my eyes were opened. I saw
before me a monk, who had been educated in an Italian cloister; who,
indeed, had read much, and yet only what was calculated to
strengthen him in the prejudices of his childhood; and who had
entirely neglected those studies upon which a bishop should most
rely, in order to work out the salvation of man. I perceived at the
same time, that this was the strongest instrument for battering down
the walls, which separate Christian from Christian. I saw, though as
yet dimly, the way in which the union of Christians in the one true
church was to be accomplished. I knew not whether to be most
astonished at my own blindness, that, in all my previous studies, I
had not perceived, what the reading of this single book made
manifest to me; or at the blindness of the Pope, who had undertaken
to justify such follies, without perceiving that at the same moment
he was himself lying in fatal error. But since I have learned more
thoroughly the ways of the Lord, I am now no more astonished at
this, but pray only to Divine providence, who so mysteriously
prepares all people to be united in one true church. I no longer
believed in the Pope's infallibility; nay, I believed even, that, to
the great injury of humanity, he lay in fatal error. I felt,
moreover, that now the time had fully come, when I should publicly
show myself, and found in America a parish and a school, and become
the spiritual guide of men, and the schoolmaster of children.

"It was then, and on that account, that I wrote in the Latin
tongue my great work on Biblical Hermeneutics. But in Germany it
cannot be published. The Austrian censor of the press cannot find
time to read it, though I think, that if I have spent so many
laborious days and sleepless nights in writing it, this man ought
likewise to find time enough not only to read it, but to examine all
the grounds of my reasoning, and point out to me any errors, if he
can find any. Notwithstanding, the Spirit gave me no repose, but
urged me ever mightily on to the perfection of my great work.

"One morning I sat writing, under peculiar influences of the
Spirit, upon the Confusion of Tongues, the Division of the People,
and the importance ofthe study of Comparative Philology, in
reference to their union in one church. So wrapped was I in the
thought, that I came late into my lecture-room; and after lecture
returned to my chamber, where I wrote till the clock struck twelve.
At dinner, one of the Professors asked if any one had seen the star,
about which so much was said. The Professor of Physics, said, that
the student Johannes Schminke had come to him in the greatest haste,
and besought him to go out and see the wonderful star; but, being
incredulous about it, he made no haste, and, when they came into the
street, the star had disappeared. When I heard the star spoken of,
my soul was filled with rapture; and a voice within me seemed to
say, 'The great time is approaching; labor unweariedly in thy work.'
I sought out the student; and like Herod, inquired diligently what
time the star appeared. He informed me, that, just as the clock was
striking eight, in the morning, he went out of his house to go to
the college, and saw on the square a crowd looking at a bright star.
It was the veryhour, when I was writing alone in my chamber on the
importance of Comparative Philology in bringing about the union of
all nations. I felt, that my hour had come. Strangely moved, I
walked up and down my chamber. The evening twilight came on. I
lighted my lamp, and drew the green curtains before the windows, and
sat down to read. But hardly had I taken the book into my hand, when
the Spirit began to move me, and urge me then to make my last
decision and resolve. I made a secret vow, that I would undertake
the voyage to America. Suddenly my troubled thoughts were still. An
unwonted rapture filled my heart. I sat and read till the supper
bell rang. They were speaking at table of a red glaring meteor,
which had just been seen in the air, southeast from Klagenfurt; and
had suddenly disappeared with a dull, hollow sound. It was the very
moment at which I had taken my final resolution to leave my native
land. Every great purpose and event of my life, seemed heralded and
attended by divine messengers; the voices of thedead; the bright
morning star, shining in the clear sunshine; and the red meteor in
the evening twilight.

"I now began seriously to prepare for my departure. The chamber I
occupied, had once been the library of a Franciscan convent. Only a
thick wall separated it from the church. In this wall was a niche,
with heavy folding-doors, which had served the Franciscans as a
repository for prohibited books. Here also I kept my papers, and my
great work on Biblical Hermeneutics. The inside of the doors was
covered with horrible caricatures of Luther, Melancthon, Calvin, and
other great men. I used often to look at them with the deepest
melancholy, when I thought that these great men likewise had labored
upon earth, and fought with Satan in the church. But they were
persecuted, denounced, condemned to die. So perhaps will it be with
me. I thought of this often; and armed myself against the fear of
death. I was in constant apprehension, lest the police should search
my chamber during my absence, and, by examining my papers, discover
my doctrine and designs. But the Spirit said to me; 'Be of good
cheer; I will so blind the eyes of thy enemies, that it shall not
once occur to them to think of thy writings.'

"At length, after many difficulties and temptations of the Devil,
I am on my way to America. Yesterday I took leave of my dearest
friend, Gregory Kuscher, in Hallstadt. He seemed filled with the
Spirit of God, and has wonderfully strengthened me in my purpose.
All the hosts of heaven looked on, and were glad. The old man kissed
me at parting; and I ascended the mountain as if angels bore me up
in their arms. Near the summit, lay a newly fallen avalanche, over
which, as yet, no footsteps had passed. This was my last temptation.
'Ha!' cried I aloud, 'Satan has prepared a snare for me; but I will
conquer him with godly weapons.' I sprang over the treacherous snow,
with greater faith than St. Peter walked the waters of the Lake of
Galilee; and came down the valley, while the mountain peaks yetshone
in the setting sun. God smiles upon me. I go forth, full of hopeful
courage. On Christmas next, I shall excommunicate the Pope."

Saying these words, he slowly and solemnly took his leave, like
one conscious of the great events which await him, and withdrew with
the other priest into the church. Flemming could not smile as
Berkley did; for in the solitary, singular enthusiast, who had just
left them, he saw only another melancholy victim to solitude and
over-labor of the brain; and felt how painful a thing it is, thus to
become unconsciously the alms-man of other men's sympathies, a kind
of blind beggar for the charity of a good wish or a prayer.

The sun was now setting. Silently they floated back to Saint
Gilgen, amid the cool evening shadows. The village clock struck nine
as they landed; and as Berkley was to depart early in the morning,
he went to bed betimes. On bidding Flemming good night he said;

"I shall not see you in the morning; so good bye, and God bless
you. Remember my partingwords. Never mind trifles. In this world a
man must either be anvil or hammer. Care killed a cat!"

"I have heard you say that so often," replied Flemming, laughing,
"that I begin to believe it is true. But I wonder if Care shaved his
left eyebrow, after doing the deed, as the ancient Egyptians used to
do!"

"Aha! now you are sweeping cobwebs from the sky! Good night! Good
night!"

A sorrowful event happened in the neighbourhood that night. The
widow's child died suddenly. "Woe is me!"--thus mourns the childless
mother in one of the funeral songs of Greenland; "Woe is me, that I
should gaze upon thy place and find it vacant! In vain for thee thy
mother dries the sea-drenched garments!" Not in these words, but in
thoughts like these, did the poor mother bewail the death of her
child, thinking mostly of the vacant place, and the daily cares and
solicitudes of maternal love. Flemming saw a light in her chamber,
and shadows moving toand fro, as he stood by the window, gazing into
the starry, silent sky. But he little thought of the awful domestic
tragedy, which was even then enacted behind those thin curtains!



CHAPTER VIII. FOOT-PRINTS OF ANGELS.



It was Sunday morning; and the church bells were all ringing
together. From all the neighbouring villages, came the solemn,
joyful sounds, floating through the sunny air, mellow and faint and
low,--all mingling into one harmonious chime, like the sound of some
distant organ in heaven. Anon they ceased; and the woods, and the
clouds, and the whole village, and the very air itself seemed to
pray, so silent was it everywhere.

Two venerable old men,--high priests and patriarchs were they in
the land,--went up the pulpit stairs, as Moses and Aaron went up
Mount Hor, in the sight of all the congregation,--for the pulpit
stairs were in front, and very high.

Paul Flemming will never forget the sermon he heard that
day,--no, not even if he should live to be as old as he who preached
it. The text was, "I know that my Redeemer liveth." It was meant to
console the pious, poor widow, who sat right below him at the foot
of the pulpit stairs, all in black, and her heart breaking. He said
nothing of the terrors of death, nor of the gloom of the narrow
house, but, looking beyond these things, as mere circumstances to
which the imagination mainly gives importance, he told his hearers
of the innocence of childhood upon earth, and the holiness of
childhood in heaven, and how the beautiful Lord Jesus was once a
little child, and now in heaven the spirits of little children
walked with him, and gathered flowers in the fields of Paradise.
Good old man! In behalf of humanity, I thank thee for these
benignant words! And, still more than I, the bereaved mother thanked
thee, and from that hour, though she wept in secret for her child,
yet

"She knew he was with Jesus,

And she asked him not again."

After the sermon, Paul Flemming walked forth alone into the
churchyard. There was no one there, save a little boy, who was
fishing with a pin hook in a grave half full of water. But a few
moments afterward, through the arched gateway under the belfry, came
a funeral procession. At its head walked a priest in white surplice,
chanting. Peasants, old and young, followed him, with burning tapers
in their hands. A young girl carried in her arms a dead child,
wrapped in its little winding sheet. The grave was close under the
wall, by the church door. A vase of holy water stood beside it. The
sexton took the child from the girl's arms, and put it into a
coffin; and, as he placed it in the grave, the girl held over it a
cross, wreathed with roses, and the priest and peasants sang a
funeral hymn. When this was over, the priest sprinkled the grave and
the crowd with holy water; and then they all went into the church,
each one stopping as he passed the grave to throw a handful of earth
into it, and sprinkle it with holy water.

A few moments afterwards, the voice of the priest was heard
saying mass in the church, and Flemming saw the toothless old sexton
treading the fresh earth into the grave of the little child, with
his clouted shoes. He approached him, and asked the age of the
deceased. The sexton leaned a moment on his spade, and shrugging his
shoulders replied;

"Only an hour or two. It was born in the night, and died this
morning early?"

"A brief existence," said Flemming. "The child seems to have been
born only to be buried, and have its name recorded on a wooden
tombstone."

The sexton went on with his work, and made no reply. Flemming
still lingered among the graves, gazing with wonder at the strange
devices, by which man has rendered death horrible and the grave
loathsome.

In the Temple of Juno at Elis, Sleep and his twin-brother Death
were represented as children reposing in the arms of Night. On
various funeral monuments of the ancients the Genius of Death
issculptured as a beautiful youth, leaning on an inverted torch, in
the attitude of repose, his wings folded and his feet crossed. In
such peaceful and attractive forms, did the imagination of ancient
poets and sculptors represent death. And these were men in whose
souls the religion of Nature was like the light of stars, beautiful,
but faint and cold! Strange, that in later days, this angel of God,
which leads us with a gentle hand, into the "Land of the great
departed, into the silent Land," should have been transformed into a
monstrous and terrific thing! Such is the spectral rider on the
white horse;--such the ghastly skeleton with scythe and
hour-glass;--the Reaper, whose name is Death!

One of the most popular themes of poetry and painting in the
Middle Ages, and continuing down even into modern times, was the
Dance of Death. In almost all languages is it written,--the
apparition of the grim spectre, putting a sudden stop to all
business, and leading men away into the "remarkable retirement" of
the grave. Itis written in an ancient Spanish Poem, and painted on a
wooden bridge in Switzerland. The designs of Holbein are well known.
The most striking among them is that, where, from a group of
children sitting round a cottage hearth, Death has taken one by the
hand, and is leading it out of the door. Quietly and unresisting
goes the little child, and in its countenance no grief, but wonder
only; while the other children are weeping and stretching forth
their hands in vain towards their departing brother. A beautiful
design it is, in all save the skeleton. An angel had been better,
with folded wings, and torch inverted!

And now the sun was growing high and warm. A little chapel, whose
door stood open, seemed to invite Flemming to enter and enjoy the
grateful coolness. He went in. There was no one there. The walls
were covered with paintings and sculpture of the rudest kind, and
with a few funeral tablets. There was nothing there to move the
heart to devotion; but in that hour the heart of Flemming was
weak,--weak as a child's. He bowed hisstubborn knees, and wept. And
oh! how many disappointed hopes, how many bitter recollections, how
much of wounded pride, and unrequited love, were in those tears,
through which he read on a marble tablet in the chapel wall
opposite, this singular inscription;

"Look not mournfully into the Past. It comes not back again.
Wisely improve the Present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the
shadowy Future, without fear, and with a manly heart."

It seemed to him, as if the unknown tenant of that grave had
opened his lips of dust, and spoken to him the words of consolation,
which his soul needed, and which no friend had yet spoken. In a
moment the anguish of his thoughts was still. The stone was rolled
away from the door of his heart; death was no longer there, but an
angel clothed in white. He stood up, and his eyes were no more
bleared with tears; and, looking into the bright, morning heaven, he
said;

"I will be strong!"

Men sometimes go down into tombs, with painfullongings to behold
once more the faces of their departed friends; and as they gaze upon
them, lying there so peacefully with the semblance, that they wore
on earth, the sweet breath of heaven touches them, and the features
crumble and fall together, and are but dust. So did his soul then
descend for the last time into the great tomb of the Past, with
painful longings to behold once more the dear faces of those he had
loved; and the sweet breath of heaven touched them, and they would
not stay, but crumbled away and perished as he gazed. They, too,
were dust. And thus, far-sounding, he heard the great gate of the
Past shut behind him as the Divine Poet did the gate of Paradise,
when the angel pointed him the way up the Holy Mountain; and to him
likewise was it forbidden to look back.

In the life of every man, there are sudden transitions of
feeling, which seem almost miraculous. At once, as if some magician
had touched the heavens and the earth, the dark clouds melt into the
air, the wind falls, and serenity succeedsthe storm. The causes
which produce these sudden changes may have been long at work within
us, but the changes themselves are instantaneous, and apparently
without sufficient cause. It was so with Flemming; and from that
hour forth he resolved, that he would no longer veer with every
shifting wind of circumstance; no longer be a child's plaything in
the hands of Fate, which we ourselves do make or mar. He resolved
henceforward not to lean on others; but to walk self-confident and
self-possessed; no longer to waste his years in vain regrets, nor
wait the fulfilment of boundless hopes and indiscreet desires; but
to live in the Present wisely, alike forgetful of the Past, and
careless of what the mysterious Future might bring. And from that
moment he was calm, and strong; he was reconciled with himself! His
thoughts turned to his distant home beyond the sea. An
indescribable, sweet feeling rose within him.

"Thither will I turn my wandering footsteps," said he; "and be a
man among men, and no longer a dreamer among shadows. Henceforth
bemine a life of action and reality! I will work in my own sphere,
nor wish it other than it is. This alone is health and happiness.
This alone is Life;

'Life that shall send

A challenge to its end,

And when it comes, say, Welcome, friend!'

Why have I not made these sage reflections, this wise resolve,
sooner? Can such a simple result spring only from the long and
intricate process of experience? Alas! it is not till Time, with
reckless hand, has torn out half the leaves from the Book of Human
Life, to light the fires of passion with, from day to day, that Man
begins to see, that the leaves which remain are few in number, and
to remember, faintly at first, and then more clearly, that, upon the
earlier pages of that book, was written a story of happy innocence,
which he would fain read over again. Then come listless
irresolution, and the inevitable inaction of despair; or else the
firm resolve to record upon the leaves that still remain, a more
noble history, than the child's story, with which the book
began."



CHAPTER IX. THE LAST PANG.



"Farewell to thee, Saint Gilgen!" said Flemming, as he turned on
the brow of the hill, to take his last look at the lake and the
village below, and felt that this was one of the few spots on the
wide earth to which he could say farewell with regret. "Thy majestic
hills have impressed themselves upon my soul, as a seal upon wax.
The quiet beauty of thy lake shall be to me forever an image of
peace and purity and stillness, and that inscription in thy little
churchyard, a sentence of wisdom for my after life."

Before the setting of the same sun, which then shone on that fair
landscape, he was far on his way towards Munich. He had left far
behind him the mountains of the Tyrol; and beheld themfor the last
time in the soft evening twilight, their bases green with forest
trees, and here and there, a sharp rocky spire, and a rounded summit
capped with snow. There they lay, their backs, like the backs of
camels; a mighty caravan, reposing at evening in its march across
the desert.

From Munich he passed through Augsburg and Ulm, on his way to
Stuttgard. At the entrances of towns and villages, he saw large
crucifixes; and on the fronts of many houses, coarse paintings and
images of saints. In Gunzburg three priests in black were slowly
passing down the street, and women fell on their knees to receive
their blessing. There were many beggars, too, in the streets; and an
old man who was making hay in a field by the road-side, when he saw
the carriage approaching, threw down his rake, and came tumbling
over the ditch, with his hat held out in both hands, uttering the
most dismal wail. The next day, the bright yellow jackets of the
postilions, and the two great tassels of their bugle-horns, dangling
down their backs, like two cauliflowers, told him he was in
Würtemberg; and, late in the evening, he stopped at a hotel in
Stuttgard; and from his chamber-window, saw, in the bright
moonlight, the old Gothic cathedral, with its narrow, lancet windows
and jutting buttresses, right in front of him. Ere long he had
forgotten all his cares and sorrows in sleep, and with them his
hopes, and wishes, and good resolves.

He was still sitting at breakfast in his chamber, the next
morning, when the great bell of the cathedral opposite began to
ring, and reminded him that it was Sunday. Ere long the organ
answered from within, and from its golden lips breathed forth a
psalm. The congregation began to assemble, and Flemming went up with
them to the house of the Lord. In the body of the church he found
the pews all filled or locked; they seemed to belong to families. He
went up into the gallery, and looked over the psalm-book of a
peasant, while the congregation sang the sublime old hymn of Martin
Luther,

"Our God, he is a tower of strength,

A trusty shield and weapon."

During the singing, a fat clergyman, clad in black, with a white
surplice thrown loosely about him, came pacing along one of the
aisles, from beneath the organ-loft and ascended the pulpit. After
the hymn, he read a portion of Scripture, and then said;

"Let us unite in silent prayer."

And turning round, he knelt in the pulpit, while the congregation
remained standing. For a while there was a breathless silence in the
church, which to Flemming was more solemnly impressive than any
audible prayer. The clergyman then arose, and began his sermon. His
theme was the Reformation; and he attempted to prove how much easier
it was to enter the kingdom of Heaven through the gateways of the
Reformed Evangelical Dutch church, than by the aisles and
penitential stair-cases of Saint Peter's. He then gave a history of
the Reformation; and, when Flemming thought he was near the end, he
heard him say, that he should divide his discourse into four heads.
This reminded him of the sturdy old Puritan, Cotton Mather, who
after preaching an hour, would coolly turn the hour-glass on the
pulpit, and say; "Now, my beloved hearers, let us take another
glass." He stole out into the silent, deserted street, and went to
visit the veteran sculptor Dannecker. He found him in his parlour,
sitting alone, with his psalm-book, and the reminiscences of a life
of eighty years. As Flemming entered, he arose from the sofa, and
tottered towards him; a venerable old man, of low stature, and
dressed in a loose white jacket, with a face like Franklin's, his
white hair flowing over his shoulders, and a pale, blue eye.

"So you are from America," said he. "But you have a German name.
Paul Flemming was one of our old poets. I have never been in
America, and never shall go there. I am now too old. I have been in
Paris and in Rome. But that was long ago. I am now eight and seventy
years old."

Here he took Flemming by the hand, and made him sit down by his
side, on the sofa. And Flemmingfelt a mysterious awe creep over him,
on touching the hand of the good old man, who sat so serenely amid
the gathering shade of years, and listened to life's curfew-bell,
telling, with eight and seventy solemn strokes, that the hour had
come, when the fires of all earthly passion must be quenched within,
and man must prepare to lie down and rest till the morning.

"You see," he continued, in a melancholy tone, "my hands are
cold; colder than yours. They were warmer once. I am now an old
man."

"Yet these are the hands," answered Flemming, "that sculptured
the beauteous Ariadne and the Panther. The soul never grows
old."

"Nor does Nature," said the old man, pleased with this allusion
to his great work, and pointing to the green trees before his
window. "This pleasure I have left to me. My sight is still good. I
can even distinguish objects on the side of yonder mountain. My
hearing is also unimpaired. For all which, I thank God."

Then, directing Flemming's attention to a fine engraving, which
hung on the opposite wall of the room, he continued;

"That is an engraving of Canova's Religion. I love to sit here
and look at it, for hours together. It is beautiful. He made the
statue for his native town, where they had no church, until he built
them one. He placed the statue in it. This engraving he sent me as a
present. Ah, he was a dear, good man. The name of his native town I
have forgotten. My memory fails me. I cannot remember names."

Fearful that he had disturbed the old man in his morning
devotions, Flemming did not remain long, but took his leave with
regret. There was something impressive in the scene he had
witnessed;--this beautiful old age of the artist; sitting by the
open window, in the bright summer morning,--the labor of life
accomplished, the horizon reached, where heaven and earth
meet,--thinking it was angel's music, when he heard the church-bells
ring; himself too old to go. As he walked back to his chamber, he
thought within himself, whether he likewise might not accomplish
something, which should live after him;--might not bring something
permanent out of this fast-fleeting life of man, and then sit down,
like the artist, in serene old age, and fold his hands in silence.
He wondered how a man felt when he grew so old, that he could no
longer go to church, but must sit at home and read the bible in
large print. His heart was full of indefinite longings, mingled with
regrets; longings to accomplish something worthy of life; regret,
that as yet he had accomplished nothing, but had felt and dreamed
only. Thus the warm days in spring bring forth passion-flowers and
forget-menots. It is only after mid-summer, when the days grow
shorter and hotter, that fruit begins to appear. Then, the heat of
the day brings forward the harvest, and after the harvest, the
leaves fall, and there is a gray frost. Much meditating upon these
things, Paul Flemming reached his hotel. At that moment a person clad
in green came down the church-steps, and crossed the street. It was
the German student, of Interlachen. Flemming started as if a green
snake had suddenly crossed his path. He took refuge in his
chamber.

That night as he was sitting alone in his chamber, having made
his preparation to depart the following morning, his attention was
arrested by the sound of a female voice in the next room. A thin
partition, with a door, separated it from his own. He had not before
observed that the room was occupied. But, in the stillness of the
night, the tones of that voice struck his ear. He listened. It was a
lady, reading the prayers of the English Church. The tones were
familiar; and awakened at once a thousand painfully sweet
recollections. It was the voice of Mary Ashburton! His heart could
not be deceived; and all its wounds began to bleed afresh, like
those of a murdered man, when the murderer approaches. His first
impulse was of affection only, boundless, irrepressible, delirious,
as of old in the green valley of Interlachen. He waited for the
voice to cease; that he might go to her, and behold her face once
more. And then his pride rose up within him, and rebuked this
weakness. He remembered his firm resolve; and blushed to find
himself so feeble. And the voice ceased; and yet he did not go.
Pride had so far gained the mastery over affection. He lay down upon
his bed, like a child as he was. All about him was silence, and the
silence was holy, for she was near; so near that he could almost
hear the beating of her heart. He knew now for the first time how
weak he was, and how strong his passion for that woman. His heart
was like the altar of the Israelites of old; and, though drenched
with tears, as with rain, it was kindled at once by the holy fire
from heaven!

Towards morning he fell asleep, exhausted with the strong
excitement; and, in that hour when, sleep being "nigh unto the
soul," visions are deemed prophetic, he dreamed. O blessed visionof
the morning, stay! thou wert so fair! He stood again on the green
sunny meadow, beneath the ruined towers; and she was by his side,
with her pale, speaking countenance and holy eyes; and he kissed her
fair forehead; and she turned her face towards him beaming with
affection and said, "I confess it now; you are the Magician!" and
pressed him in a meek embrace, that he, "might rather feel than see
the swelling of her heart." And then she faded away from his arms,
and her face became transfigured, and her voice like the voice of an
angel in heaven;--and he awoke, and was alone!

It was broad daylight; and he heard the postilion, and the
stamping of horses' hoofs on the pavement at the door. At the same
moment his servant came in, with coffee, and told him all was ready.
He did not dare to stay. But, throwing himself into the carriage, he
cast one look towards the window of the Dark Ladie, and a moment
afterwards had left her forever! He had drunk thelast drop of the
bitter cup, and now laid the golden goblet gently down, knowing that
he should behold it no more!

No more! O how majestically mournful are those words! They sound
like the roar of the wind through a forest of pines!





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