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tasteful character, was but sufficient to heighten their natural charms, not to disguise them, and imparted a voluptuous aspect to the whole scene.
The entrance of the strangers, followed by their attendant, caused them all to rise from their positions with inquiring eyes. Around the latter they first flocked, beseechingly, and addressing him as Grimm, begged he would not again leave them so long alone, and that he would permit the visitants to remain. Then with a childlike fondness and an apparent ignorance of evil, they lavished their caresses on Herman and his friend, praying them not to depart.
Krapz, who had more of the epicurean than the stoic in his composition, was nothing loath, although sorely perplexed, and seemed willing to forget, in the present, the peculiarity and difficulty of their position.
“So, so, damsels," said Grimm, “ you are polite enough now. I thought a few hours spent alone would bring you to your senses. If you have nothing else to be fond of, you must be fond of me,-Hi-hi -hi,-beautiful as I am ;" and the fellow touched, sneeringly, his pimple of a nose. “To let these fine gallants stay though, would throw me back again : no, no, we must away.”
“ Nay, go no further, handsome stranger," said one of the girls, whom her companions had called Agnes, addressing herself to Krapz-"go no further, or you perish. See what this elegance covers?" and, lifting the valance of the couch on which she had been sitting, the student saw with horror the mangled body of a man apparently in the prime of life.
Although horrified, Krapz was still undismayed; — whispering eagerly in the girl's ear, to which she replied, “I can," he shouted, " Herman, we are in a trap: be ready, however, and we may foil them yet.” With this he rushed towards Grimm, and drawing a pistol from one of his many pockets, fired. The bullet missed its mark, but glancing wide, buried itself in the snowy bosom of Agnes, who, not aware of Krapz's intention, had passed round to the other side of the apartment.
The life-blood gushed from the wound and spread around, and Krapz, horror-struck by the unexpected effect of his hasty attack, and forgetful for the moment of all else, raised the now inanimate form in his arms. Stealthily Grimm moved beside him, and before Herman, whose attention had been suddenly fixed on a curtain which partly shrouded an opening at the end of the chamber, could render any assistance, he passed a short knife, drawn from the top of his boot, twice to the hilt into the small part of his back, and then, with his usual Hi-hi-hi, returned the weapon to its hiding place.
Without a groan, and with no other exclamation than--"Herman, see! my sister!” he sprang convulsively from the ground and fell dead.
Herman, shudderingly, had beheld his friend fall, but was unable to make any endeavour to protect or avenge him ; for, at the moment of the catastrophe, the drapery we have spoken of was violently put on one side, and the face of a maiden, long and ardently beloved by him, mentioned before as Amilie, was protruded. Apparently she did N.S.-VOL. vi.
not recognize him, and with a faint shriek instantly retreated; nor was the dying exclamation of Krapz, which had been caused by her sudden appearance, sufficiently loud to reach her.
Herman wavered for an instant,—but only an instant. Love conquered Friendship, as he had often done before, and Herman darted through the opening in pursuit of Amilie. He found himself in a long arched passage-way, excavated in the solid rock, the profound obscurity of which was increased, rather than lessened, by a small lamp which the maiden bore, already at some distance before him.
To the right and the left the gallery branched off; and down the former of these turnings, winged by fear, she flew, rather than ran, closely followed by Herman, with an anxious and beating heart. To utter her name aloud he was afraid ; and the pursuit might have been one of length and difficulty had not a projecting crystal in the rocky floor of the passage-way arrested her progress, by precipitating her violently to the ground.
The lamp was extinguished; and Herman was now compelled to proceed cautiously, groping his way almost on all-fours, lest he should stumble over her prostrate body. When he had reached the spot where she lay, he raised her in his arms, and sought by every means in his power to restore her—but ineffectually. He chafed her hands, pressed her to his bosom, and uttered the most passionate expressions of endearment, upbraiding himself the while for what had occurred. Passing his hands over her cold face, he found that blood was trickling down it, and losing now all thought but for her present recovery, he shouted madly for assistance,
His voice, which was echoed on all sides, was answered sooner than he could have anticipated ; and, from a cleft in the rock close to where they stood, Grimm appeared bearing a torch, and followed by a man of handsome exterior, who seemed to be not unknown to Herman.
“So, so, my cherub," said the former, “ you must be flying, must you? A pretiy journey you have made of it too. Blood, eh! well, well, we've all our weaknesses,-Hi-hi-hi! but I can't say pity was ever one of mine. There, open your eyes, minikin,-the sight of me will restore you."
The light had recalled the poor girl to consciousness—she gazed anxiously about her—then recognizing Herman, clasped him hysterically in her arms, beseeching him not to leave her. The stranger now bade Grimm raise her, and follow him ; but this, Herman (whose horror of this extraordinary being had been increased tenfold by his late murder of Krapz) interfered to prevent. Taking her in his arms, he offered to follow them where they would ; to which Grimm persuaded his companion, with some difficulty, to assent.
The stranger, whom Grimm called Herr Beowulf, led; Herman followed, and, while on the way, was able to gather hastily from Amilie, that when walking on the banks of the Rhine, more than a week before, she had been forcibly conveyed into a boat by three men,-one of whom was Beowulf, a fellow student with Herman, and her rejected lover,—and carried down the stream to the MAUSETHURM, a small isolated tower standing in the river, where she had been daily subjected to his importunities. Becoming more impatient, he threatened violent means to compel her to accept his hand; and it was after bis last interview, that she had endeavoured to escape by means of a private passage-way accidentally discovered to her, and which, as it seemed, led under the bed of the Rhine to the castle on its banks. Beowulf had speedily followed her, and it was her scream which Herman had heard on first entering the ruins.
They had now reached a door-way, whose pointed arch and sculptured adornments indicated the workmanship of a period less remote than any they had yet seen. Herman, still bearing Amilie, passed in, and, greatly astonished, found himself in a small but exquisitely enriched chapel, where “ saints stood sanctified in stone,” and art had paid her greatest homage to the living God.
The place was apparently prepared for a ceremony. Before the altar burnt three golden lamps: a priest and two boys in their sacerdotal attire were waiting near; as were also several men, who seemed to be retainers or friends of Beowulf.
Amilie now stood by the side of Herman, clasping his arm with both her hands, and dumb with dread of what might follow. Beowulf approached, and seizing her by the waist, desired Herman, in an insolent tone of voice, to leave her. “ Never," replied he, “ with my own will. I appeal to the holy Church, who permits no violence iir this her sacred temple, and call upon her minister to afford protection to a defenceless female.”
“Remove him!” shouted Beowulf. A lengthened scream from Amilie—a short struggle-and Herman found himself again in the narrow passage-way by which they had approached; the heavy door was violently closed, and he was alone.
“Good God !” was his exclamation ; “ am I to lose her thus ?" Never had she seemed to him so precious as then, when, deprived of all other worldly aid, she had placed in him her sole trust. The thought brought madness ;-he battered against the door, but the door was immoveable; he shouted, but his shouts had no reply. What was to be done? Suddenly he fancied the air in the vaulting was more keen,-he must be near some outlet; assistance was possible, Hope inspired him with fresh vigour. He tore wildly along, now stopped by the solid rock, then taking a wrong course; but, after a toilsome effort, at last found himself in the open air, within ruined walls. Around him on all sides ran the swift Rhine; above him was a dark and threatening sky; he was in the MAUSETHURM, and Amilie's impression was correct.
At the foot of the tower tossed a small boat, guarded only by one man, who dozed in a rude door-way above where it was moored. The boat must be his, and he would then probably be able to obtain aid from the neighbouring village. Precipitating himself, therefore, upon the man, a struggle ensued, short, but desperate.
Under ordinary circumstances, Herman had been no match for his present adversary. The man, however, being suddenly awakened, and ignorant of the number of his assailants, was at a disadvantage. Herman had stunned him by a succession of rapid blows, and was about to cast him into the river, when a third person appeared on the scene, and seizing Herman roughly by the neck, exclaimed, “ Donner
und Blitzen! what are you struggling here for in the rain ?- you'll have rheumatism before your time? There, come in—come in-and dry yourself.” Herman raised himself on one arm; he was beneath the rude porch at the Castle of Ehrenfels. The rain had wetted him through; he was stiff with cold, and his bones ached with pain : but Amilie was not married-Krapz was not murdered, -for there lay the latter on the old oaken bench, opposite to him, still snoring soundly.
GEORGE GODWIN, Jur.
BY MRS. EDWARD THOMAS.
" Ah me! from real happiness we stray,
Prior’s Henry and Emma. I BELIEVE I shall not greatly err, when I assert, that physicians, in general, are a benevolent, tender-hearted class of men ;-whether that susceptibility of temper proceed from the highly-refined education they receive, which certainly has a tendency to soften the mind, or from the scenes of sorrow and affliction into which their profession naturally introduces them, (by awakening a grateful consciousness of the blessings they themselves enjoy,) must be determined by those of my readers who are more deeply versed in the mysteries of human nature than myself. Suffice it to say, few persons who have had the misfortune of being familiarized to the anguish of a sick room, will feel inclined to deny the position I now advance; and who, alas ! have not, at some period or other of their lives, been thus most severely tried ? having their souls bowed by
" The disheartening fear, Which all who love, beneath the sky, Feel, when they gaze on what is dear
The dreadful thought that it must die!" and who look with a hopeless confidence then to the medical attendant, as if it were in his power almost to avert the fiat of death.
Doctor Hargrave, the physician whom I am about to introduce to my courteous readers, as taking a very conspicuous part in the following story, was a perfect philanthropist. Unincumbered by a family, possessing an ample fortune, independent of his profession, and the most extensive practice in one of the largest manufacturing towns in the North of England, his sole object was to distribute his wealth amongst the needy and afflicted; and that, with the full concurrence of his amiable and equally benevolent partner, who felt, indeed, only too happy to participate in all her husband's schemes for the alleviation of suffering humanity.
One evening, just as he was recounting the events of the day to Mrs. Hargrave, which was his invariable custom-of his hopes for some of his patients, and fears for others, (while she was carefully superintending the packing of the basket containing every necessary comfort for the dying and only child of Mrs. Howard, the late curate's widow, sent to her by the “unknown friend,” whose name she daily blessed to the doctor himself, protesting, “ that the Almighty must have deputed an angel to whisper her privations to some charitable person, for, with the exception of her God and Doctor Hargrave, they were a secret from all;" which secret he kept with inviolable sanctity, to spare ber modest shame, feeling content to enjoy the innate consciousness, that the blessing of the widow and the fatherless was a bond of union between him and heaven ;) a servant entered with a note, requesting his immediate attendance on a gentleman of the name of Talbot, residing at Moss-Grove Cottage, on the London Road. “Talbot ! Talbot! who can it be, my love ?”
“Oh! no doubt it is that very handsome young man, who came down early in the winter for hunting," rejoined Mrs. Hargrave. “Poor thing! he always looked too delicate for such a rude amusement. Pray go and see what can be done for him, George.”
On reaching the cottage, the doctor was ushered immediately into an elegantly furnished drawing-room, where, reclining languidly on a sofa, he beheld his new patient, the same handsome, gentlemanly young man whom his wife had conjectured it must be. Seated beside him was a beautiful girl, holding one of his hands affectionately, and regarding him with the most devoted fondness. The doctor's first impression, of course, was, that she must be Mrs. Talbot; but as no introduction took place, he could not address her as such,“ as she might be a sister, a cousin, or merely an acquaintance, who felt an interest in the invalid ;” and on looking at her more narrowly, he was struck with conviction, that she was not his wife : her dress was too “recherchée," her hair too studiously arranged for effect, and her whole appearance, though exceedingly lovely, indicated too much attention to the toilette, for a wife--a tender, anxious, fond, nursing wife-to a young, and evidently dying husband.
She arose from the sofa, and seated herself at a distant part of the room, with that air of conscious embarrassment a person displays who is unaccustomed to the conventional forms of good society. The doctor took her seat, and as she did not leave the room, he addessed Mr. Talbot in an under tone to spare her feelings, questioning him on his symptoms, every one of which too clearly showed that consumption was making a rapid and fearful progress in his constitution.
He said, “ he had caught a violent cold, early in the winter, and had not had time to attend to it, the season having been so delightfully open and favourable for sport, and that now he had rather a troublesome, obstinate cough, with what was called a horrid stitch in his left side, which caused him a confounded deal of pain whenever he walked or rode; but still he was sure he should soon be quite well again; only Louisa was so alarmed, that she insisted on his calling in a physician, and that was his sole reason for sending in such a hurry for Doctor Hargrave-women always made such a deuced fuss about trifles