« PreviousContinue »
roar of the waterfall mingling its wild voice with || tree of life like a leaf of the forest; and who would the softer music of the small cascades. We made care to note our fall among the heaps of withered for the strand, and, hoisting our boat, sat down foliage with which the world is strewed! And yet on the variegated stones that had been kissed into we trast some eye would moisten as it missed us polished beauty by the enamoured lake. Disen- from the spray. None is so lonely as to be utterly tangled from former fancies, the panorama pre- || alone. And He, without whose permission a spar. sented its objects in novel and different aspects. / row cannot fall, will never withdraw his care from With our eye on the moon, that still rolled in the lest of his creatures. Sad, sweet thoughts beauty through the firmament, though shaded at like these were beginning to steal over the soul, intervals by patches of heavy clouds, the following when the sudden bleat of a stray member of the lines were suggested, and, aided by her lamp, we flock, which had approached unobserved, startled pencilled them in our note-book, which the reader us like the voice of a spirit. Being much exwill perhaps pardon us for inserting :
cited by the previous sights and sounds of the The moon, that looks serenely from the sky,
night, we were struck with a kind of panic, Shedding her holy light upon a sleeping world
and sped away across the mountains, till the Like the meek countenance of a mother
majestic orb of day, slowly ascending above the Benignly bending o'er her cradled child, Radiant with visions of his future fame
wavy horizon, arrested our flying footsteps. It Borrows her lustre from another's light,
was a glorious sight, and amply repaid us for all And modest walks in glory not her own.
our toil. Strangely delighted with everything we So all that's great, and beautiful, and good,
had seen, and heard, and felt, we quietly picked our In fortune, birth, and genius, that adorns
way down the steeps, sprang into our boat, and soon The sons of men, flows from the fount of God;
arrived again at Keswick, just as the worthy Like that fair moon, o'ershadowed with eclipse, Investing yonder silvered lake with gloom,
people were opening their window-shutters to the And every glittering hill with sudden night,
morning sun. As we have nearly exhausted our The stealing shadow of Adversity
space, we must tell the remainder of our story in a Obscures the brightness of Prosperity,
few words. After getting a little refreshment, we The beaming eye of soaring genius, And humbles in the dust the pride of man!
started, staff in hand, for Carlisle. We took an
unusual but romantic route. But, see! the dim disastrous shade departs;
Skirting Skidday Slowly it glides from off the shining disc.
on the west, and the eastern shore of Bassen. Appears again the moon, with brighter face,
thwaite water, we crossed the Caldbeck Fells, and Joyous to re-view her beauteous form
recruited by a comfortable snooze on Jacob's pillow, Mirror'd from radiant river, stream, and rill,
in a desolate part of the road, just as eight o'clock And this fair glass of Derwent. O’er the woods And mountains dim, her argent robe she throws,
sounded from the cathedral, weary, foot-sore, but Smooths, with renewed delight, her jewelled path, happy, we entered the ancient city of Carlisle, And renders homage to her unseen Lord.
where we determined to remain a few days to reSo have I known Misfortune pass from man,
cover from the fatigues of our pedestrian excursions. And darkness from the eclipsed eye of mind !
Between Bowness and Carlisle, we could not have
travelled less than seventy miles, certainly no Their honours carried lowlier than before ;
mean distance, when the nature of the route is Valued more truly all that they posess'd;
taken into consideration. And published louder to the world around
A word in fine : we have often been asked wheThat God, and God alone, is all in all !
ther we would adjudge the palm to the English or But the night was wearing, and, after a hasty the Scottish lakes? The question, though often glance at the cataract, which presented no very put, is a very absurd one. We have uniformly roremarkable appearance, as the recent drought|plied, both are best. The two tableaux are dishad considerably lessened its supplies, we began tinguished by peculiar characteristics, calculated to to ascend an almost perpendicular mountain that afford gratification to the same mind in different grimly frowned over the southern extremity of the moods, or to different individuals of dissimilar inlake. We were somewhat jaded before leaving tellectual type. As both of these regions possess the boat, but the invincible energy of will triumphed large tracts remarkable alike for sublimity and over the lassitude of nature. In a short time we beauty, though in the one the former and in the ! were seated on a rocky projection, looking out, like other the latter predominates, a chastened taste a castaway from his raft, upon the billowy sea of for quiet loveliness, slightly interspersed with rugBorrowdale. The day still lingered behind the ged sternness, will conduct us to Windermere and ! mountains. It was a moment of awful loneliness. Ullswater; and a high relish for wildered grandeur, Surrounded by such gigantic masses of matter, sparsely relieved by soft attractions, will suggest “the fragments of an earlier world," and far re- a visit to Lochlomond or Loch-awe; while a mind moved from kindred and acquaintance, we felt capable of revelling with equal delight among both, powerfully our ineffable insignificance, our helpless will enjoy the Lakes of England and the Lochs of impotence. Death might here blow us from the Scotland in the same degree of perfection.
AN ADVENTURE IN A CEMETERY; OR, THE RUSSIAN DROSHKI DRIVER.
THERE are few persons in the world who cannot || vantages; and my sisters, now deprecating, now recall to their imaginations some moment of their chiming in with the more brilliant portions of the life laden with inexpressible terror, the bare recol-plan. I fancy I can see the little flames dancing up lection of which agitates them more than did per- and down, now illumining, now leaving the room in haps the very incidents themselves, however terrible darkness, revealing the earnest faces and sombre they may have been. The shock which the system figures of our mourning-clad family; and I even receives in the hour of great danger sometimes seem to hear echoes of their voices as they sounded deadens the force of perception. But in taking a low but clear in the hush of the evening. calm survey of the past, when we conjure up our A few weeks passed by without a prospect of any. feelings over again, when we re-enact the incidents, thing, but at length a friend called upon us with the when we pile up probabilities and possibilities, a cold information that he had heard of a situation in a tremor runs through our veins, and we are appalled Russian family, residing in the environs of St. at the imaginary termination of the catastrophe ve Petersburg, which, if I chose to accept, he had no are engaged in contemplating.
doubt he could procure for me.
There were many Six years have passed since the event I am about advantages attending it. Could I refuse? I unto relate took place, and yet I never recall it with-hesitatingly resolved to go and seek my fortune in out a shudder. I try to chase the recollection of it the Russian capital. The journey, of course, was away. I use every expedient to banish the remem- a source of some anxiety to my mother. Necessity, brance, and yet there it stands stamped upon my however, soon reconciled her, and every preparation memory, an ineffaceable blot. Relating it to an- was made for my departure, but not without an other person, perhaps I may be unable to impress internal dread, on my part, of the future. It was a upon him the whole horror of my mind, which re- new and sudden step this leaving home; and once ceived severer shocks during the lapse of a few hours that the excitement of getting ready and the pains than it ever did in the course of my whole life. of farewell-taking were over, I began to contemplate Only one night of terror! but in those protracted the dangers I was likely to encounter, the novelty hours what revulsions of feeling—fear, disgust, of my position, my dwelling amongst strangers, my horror-all rapidly succeeded each other. duties, and my fears of being found unequal to what compelled to collect my faculties while I write. The was demanded of me. As long as I felt within the remembrance causes me to tremble even now. I am precincts of my own country my heart was sustained only a woman, however, and men, with their strong by the reflection. When, however, I arrived at powers of mind, may probably smile at the intensity Dantzic, where we halted for an hour, I walked of my fears. Let them, however, only place them- || up and down the streets with a feeling of much selves, in imagination, in my position--young, || sadness. Quitting that town, I seemed to be about friendless, in a new country—and they will make to break my last link with the home I was leaving many allowances. Imust, however, at once plunge for an indefinite period. I looked up through the
solemn gloom of the streets towards the gables I was born at Berlin, of a large family, and cir- || of the high, narrow houses, and on the projecting cumstances, which I may not explain, having broken balconies saw little groups of neighbours and down our fortunes, and shattered the foundation of friends conversing together, with a feeling of envy. one of the noblest houses in the city, we were com- || They were at home, but I was wandering away pelled to separate, and earn our own bread. Death from it, becoming more and more conscious of the Overtook my father in the midst of his prosperity, | isolation of my position the farther I receded from and the suddenness with which it arrived prevented my native Berlin. Little time for reflection was him from settling his affairs. It came, however, || allowed me. We started once more, and at length and with it misery to our house. But why dwell reached the Russian borders, and, after going upon these unhappy scenes? They are too painful through the usual investigation at the Customto revive, farther than to form the reason of my se- house, continued our journey by night as well as paration from my family.
We were four sisters, || day. Many of the incidents I encountered were so and I was the youngest. I had received a good new to me that they impressed themselves strongly education, and being an especial favourite at home, upon my memory. I remember seeking them as a the necessity of going forth into the world, in relief from my own thoughts, which were of that Search of my own livelihood, was looked upon with comfortless, uneasy kind which haunt us in moments Sorrow. With tears in my eyes, I begged them to when we are, as it were, hovering between two posilook with cheerfulness on the plan of my assistingtions—the home we have quitted and the new one wo to retrieve the falling fortunes of my family. I even || are about to form. There is the regret of farowell still felt proud of the prospect of exertion, and when the gnawing at our hearts; there is mingled with it the determination was at last arrived at that I should compensating feeling of hope, and also the uneasy soek a position as governess in some family, I hailed dread with which unknown positions assail us. 1 it with joy. I remember how we discussed these felt I was so young to be at large in the world. things, sitting round our blazing fire in the twilight. Little glimpses of my journey lingor on my recolMy widowed mother, half tearfully, half smilingly, | lection. I remember near Britau beholding, as we as it were, consoling herself with the promised ad' || crossed the bridge, a dense array of masted ships
into my story.
VOL. XVII, NO. CLXXXIV,
crammed close together, with their bowsprits pro-|| to me, it was an everyday occurrence, perhaps, jecting far over the road ; on the other side were for a poor German girl to seek her fortunes as a goboats laden with corn, and groups of labourers verness, and to find herself desolate at the end of lying in the open air, fast asleep, though the dew the journey. The tears sprang into my eyes, and, was falling heavily and the cold was intense. I with a choking sensation in my throat, I took up noticed the vegetation in its various stages. On my carpet-bag and bent my way along one of the some parts of our journey the willow was in full large streets with a fine avenue of elms on either bloom, but on the road near Valk it was very back-hand. ward. Tired as I was of my prolonged journey, the Nobody looked much at me, or if they did, the only intelligence that we were in reality approaching reflection that occurred to them was,
“She is just the Russian capital was exceedingly welcome. My arrived off a journey, any one may see that." And, fellow-traveller pointed out to me the country seats, truly, my close bonnet was, I dare say, somewhat with their extensive gardens and shrubberies, as dusty, and my pelisse might have been the same. we passed along ; but, notwithstanding all the care But I, poor thing, fancied that every one might and pains which had been bestowed upon them, they read my simple story in my face, and that each seemed to me cold and desolate abodes. Black | would sympathise with that incessant yearning of poplars and birch grew densely about the buildings, my heart towards those familiar rooms in Berlin which were tasteful and opulent in the extreme. where my mother sat, perhaps, even then, fashion
At length the great city appeared in sight, and I ing my journey over and over again, creating imaforgot everything in the feelings awakened by the ginary evils, and at heart secretly lamenting even picture, which was inexpressibly grand. Large the dispensation of that Providence which sepabuildings towered one above the other, stretching rated her from her child. My pride of indepenaway in all directions, and a feeling of pride en- dence had deserted me. The earning of my own tered my heart when I thought how soon I was to livelihood seemed a more difficult thing than I had be a dweller, at all events, near this magnificent contemplated, and in my unfriended position I city. The weather was beautiful, and the sun, blamed myself for the eagerness I had felt to take streaming down from a cloudless sky, was reflected an active part in the world. Suddenly I came upon in ngmerous broad sheets of water scattered around a view of the Neva, and the scene I beheld for a in various directions. Evidences of wealth and time wholly occupied my thoughts. Beautiful opulence met my view the moment I entered St. || gondolas and boats were perpetually gliding to and Petersburg. I seemed stunned, however, by all ifro, all glittering in the sun and filled with happy beheld—the throng of people, the large cold build- | faces. Buildings rose high on either side, and ings, the subdued look of some portions of the po- golden cupolas, and towers, and fine windows of pulation. When I had quitted the travelling ve- palaces, were reflected in the water, and in the hicle, with my portable trunk at my feet, and looked midst of the river were scattered islands corered round in some hesitation as to what course to with gardens and habitations, while groups of tall take, a fellow traveller, hastily pointing to one of trees bending over the stream were shadowed deep the streets diverging before me, bade me go in in its channel. Still, to loiter here was not my busithat direction, and I should be sure to meet with I had no right to waste time in contemplatsome droshki or other carriage to convey me to myling the beauties and novelties which met my view. destination. I thanked him, but should have thank- Nor did I much care to do so. Striking as were ed him a little more had he guided me through the the objects which surrounded me they soon seemed great wilderness spreading before me. The tongue to pall. I was overtaken by the reflection that I in which the people spoke was harsh, and sounded was alone, and the necessity of active exertion would coldly on my ears after my own native language. every moment present itself. I was expected that I saw people hurry by : soine cast a glance at me evening in the family of the P.'s. Their villa stood, and passed on, wholly intent on their own affairs. I had been told, a little way out of town, and Officers and soldiers went to and fro. Handsome I doubted not they would wish me rigidly to adhere carriages dashed rapidly by, and still I stood there to my promise. The day was already at its decline, hesitating what to do. I felt so helpless and igno- less warmth was perceptible in the rays of the sun, rant. This was the most difficult portion of my and I myself began to feel tired and hungry. No journey. I had travelled all those dreary miles || place of refreshment, however, presented itself
. I with strangers, but a bond of fellowship had accordingly turned back, and resolved to strike into been established between us from the fact of one of the smaller streets. Just as I came to the our being fellow-travellers, and I was under a kind | end of the great avenue in which I had been wan. of protection. Now they had all hurried away, dering, a beautiful carriage dashed past me, in they had forgotten the humble German governess ; | which I beheld seated three little girls of extreme and, perhaps, nover again in the whole course of beauty, and a young man of elegant figure aud their existence did the recollection of the young manly countenance, who was leaning from the wingirl they left standing with her travelling bag in dow. I little knew then that those fair faces were the midst of the crowded quay ever cross them. those of my pupils, or that their companion would But I thought of them, nay, longed for the sound one day interest me more deeply than as the occuof their voice. I wanted their advice. I had not pant of the handsomest carriage in St. Petersburg. asked it, it was true. A vague reproach arose in One glance at the children, however, suficed me, my heart for the want of interest they displayed. and I turned away, as I thought then, wholly un, I did not recollect that although all this was new noticed. But the slight start with which Count
P-greeted me on the next occasion on which
“ I mean,
said I, “where the family of the we met, convinced me that he must have cast more P-'s reside.” than a passing glance at the stranger. Unroman- I was foolish enough to place implicit reliance tie, however, as the confession may appear, I soon on his knowledge of where the P-_'s lived. I forgot the lovely faces I had seen, even though my resolved, therefore, to abandon myself to his guidfate was destined to be so inseparably linked with ance, as it was rapidly drawing towards the close theirs, in the conviction that I was very hungry. | of the day. The long clear twilight had set in, Quitting the stately rows of houses, and the vast and I already began to fear that we should not reach buildings, I struck into what appeared a more at any reasonable hour. I signified my intention lonely part of the city, and advanced through so of accepting his offer, and he sprung down and many narrow streets, with few shops, that I gra-opened the door. When I had entered, and my dually lost all consciousness of what position I was bag was safely deposited with me, he told me that in. I did not know whither I had come, and a it was some distance we should have to go, and kind of despair took possession of my heart. I that perhaps I would wish to be taken to some inn began to wish that I had hailed one of the nume- that night, and proceed early next morning to my rous vehicles driving through the streets, and destination. His sister, he said, had a nice place trusted myself to their guidance. As it was, how- to offer me, as reasonable as any house I could find, ever, there was no help for it, and I resolved to and he was sure I should be quite comfortable. advance steadily forward. At length I came to There was something in the fellow's manner so sisome narrow passages, where I met more people, nister, that, as he uttered this proposal, I felt my but of a dirtier and lower order than any I had blood curdle. I instantly rejected it, however, yet seen. I found shops hung with what appeared and said that unless he would consent to drive me to be rags of clothes, and yet a constant demand to the villa K that night, he must suffer me seemed to exist for them. The people clamoured to alight and find some other mode of conveyance. and spoke so loud that I trembled. But I had | Finding, by my tone, that I was resolute, he affected lost my way, and dared not ask of those rough, the most intense desire to comply with my wishes, truculent-looking men and women how to regain and, hastily mounting the box, set off at a furious it. Some turned to stare as I passed, and some rate up narrow passages, along the broad streets, spoke about me. At length I saw a baker's shop and through all the most splendid portions of the -I entered, and found it occupied by a tall, power-city. Once or twice, I fancied we must have been fal man, of the lower order, with large repulsive continually going in a circular direction, for the looking features, and a sinister expression of coun- same objects met my gaze. At the time, howtenance.
ever, I thought that I must be mistaken, for I He was apparently waiting for the owner of the could imagine no purpose could be served by thus shop, who soon made his appearance, and civilly misleading me. By degrees it grew darker and asked me, in Russman as I concluded, what I wanted. darker, and our pace became slower and slower. I I took up a small loaf, and, imprudently enough, in- thought the outskirts of the town much less attracstead of putting my hand in my pocket in search of ative than the other portions, for the houses were tall piece of money, took out my purse, which contained and gloomy, while the streets were very na my whole store, It was, thanks to my mother, by || Suddenly we came to a halt, and the driver deno means light; on the contrary, it appeared to me scended and entered a door to the right. He stayed to contain an inexhaustible sum. I observed that there a considerable time, and putting my head out the man never took his eyes off me, except to fix of the window I found we were close upon the Nethem upon my purse; and so particular was his in- | va, where the waters roll deep and narrowly in their restigation, that I felt inexpressibly relieved when channel. I remembered then the tales I had heard I had safely quitted the shop. I heard him speak, of the murders perpetrated in those lonely houses at and the tone of his voice was harsh and unpleasant. the river's edge, where bodies have been floated After satisfying my hunger, I turned down a pas- || down, but oftener drifted far under the ice, and sage which appeared to lead to some open space, never again recognised. I strained my eyes to distowards what I thought to be one of the quays. cover some cheering appearance. There was none. But though the sky shone clear beyond, I found Few strollers passed us, and no one seemed to find there was no thoroughfare in that direction, so 1 anything extraordinary in the fact of a droshki struck into another.
I had not gone far when a halting in that quarter. I was uneasy and timid. droshki drove rapidly past me, and then suddenly || What could the driver want there? Why did he drew up, and went slowly, almost at a walking conduct me into this lonely part of the town? Why pace, along the pavement. I recognised in the did he enter that suspicious looking house? My driver the man who had sat in the baker's shop, | reflections, however, were soon ended by his comand an indefinite fear stole over me.
ing out and suddenly mounting the box. I called He spoke to me in German. Overjoyed at hear- out to him to hasten the speed of his horses, as I ing the sound of my own language, I forgot the was afraid I should be overtaken by night before I repulsive appearance of the man, and replied in the reached my destination. same. He inquired of me my destination. I “Oh, never fear,” said he, “I will take you all briefly told him whither I was bound, and asked || right.” And clack went his whip and off we set. This him if he was acquainted with the villa K—. time he drove very fast for a considerable period of "Certainly, certainly," he said, “jump in, and time, and, somewhat reassured by the circumstance,
I leaned back in the droshki and dozed off into a
I will drive you there."
deep sleep. I know not how long I had continued in thought that possibly I might be wrong in my doubts this slumber, rendered heavier by all the fatigues and fears, and that I was then wilfully placing myself and anxieties I had undergone, for whon I awoke in his power. At length, projecting my head out of I gazed round and round and could perceive no the window, I saw in the distance what appeared to trace of the city. We were on a broad level road. be the white walls of a park or shrubbery. I beheld The moon illumined the country brightly, and now trees rising here and there, but no sign of a house. and then rosedarkknotsof trees sheathed in its light. This, perhaps, is the villa, said I to myself, and all I could perceive here and there pines and firs dis my fears will then be at an end.
The driver now tinctly revealed, and a few small elevations. Be slackened his pace, and presently descended and fore me seemed to stretch an extensive plain, bound walked at the horse's head. Everything aroused ed by a dark ridge of hills clothed with the rich my suspicions, though I knew not why. Presently green of pine and fir. Not a sound could be heard the droshki stopped, and I saw a gate opening into I listened for some human voice ; and finding no the walled inclosure. Coming up to the door, he rustle of leaf, no fall of footstep, no cry, then I said, thought that we must have been travelling far into “ You must alight here.” the night, for all was as still as death. I feared to “ Here !" I exclaimed, “in this lonely place !" speak lest I might hasten my fate, for I now made “Do as I command you,” he said. no doubt that the man was leading me to some re- “I shall do nothing of the kind," I replied. tired spot in order to rob and then murder me. “You agreed to take me to the villa K- and I The cold horror of those moments I can never for- shall not alight until you have done so." gat. Every object I saw is stamped upon my re- • This folly is absurd,” he answered ; " listen to collection. I could tell every tree I passed ; and what I say. We are now many miles from St. Pe. even those white clouds which hung suspended sotersburg, distant from any habitation, and if you airily on high, and seemed so joyously to catch the shriek or call out no one will hear your voice. moonlight upon their edges, have never been for- There is not a living soul within miles of us. This gotten.
is the door of the cemetery, and unless you alight I listened with vain hope for some friendly voice. I instantly and deliver up your purso to me, I will Nothing, however, save the monotonous motion of stab you to the heart and throw you into one of the the wheels upon the hard road, and the half drowsy || graves.” leaden sound they made, broke upon my ear. The The cold blooded determination with which this dark form of the driver met my gaze, and the re- was uttered curdled my whole frame. For a mocollection of his sinister face came across my mind ment or two, I was struck dumb. Not a hope of and breathed unutterable fear into my soul. Cold escape presented itself. I was there alone, at the drops stood on my brow. At one time my im- mercy of a murderer, and there remained nothing pulse was to spring from the carriage and seek for me but to submit. I cannot accurately detail safety by flight, but the impossibility of the scheme all the thoughts which tlıronged upon my brain at scared it away.
Then the remembrance of all I that moment. Fear was uppermost, but the figures bad left behind stole over mo ; and so convinced of those I loved stood prominently forward ; not
, was I that I should perish, that I breathed a prayerho ever, far off, but crowding around me, and that my mother might never learn my fate. That | passing swiftly away. The greatest agitation now fate seemed now indeed decided. Yet a faint hope took possession of me. I prayed and besought him beamed upon my mind now and then. I argued to have mercy on me, and offered him half my what right had I to mistrust the man, and I tried worldly wealth if he would spare my life and take to reason myself out of my fears. I succeeded so me back. But he would listen to no terms. Selffar as to be able to speak to him. I asked him reproaches rushed over my mind, and mingled bithow far we had to go.
terly with my fears. Why was I so blind, so foolish, “ Not far, not far," he answered ; but there was as to accompany the man at all? Why did I sufsomething so mocking in the tone of his voice, that|fer my want of courago to prevent my asking I insisted upon his turning back and taking me the advice of some inhabitant of the town, into St. Petersburg. I looked to the right and to stead of trusting myself blindly to this suspicious. the left, and could see no trace of a human habita- || looking man? Becoming impatient of my long tion. I told him I was certain he was not in the silence, which was, in fact, the silence of despair
, right track. He at first soothed me with promises he roughly seized me by the arm, and dragged me of a speedy arrival. But I could not be re-assured from the carriage. I had no power to resist. I I trembled from head to foot, and reiterated my was utterly destitute of hope. There was not a wish to be taken to St. Petersburg. He asked me
All in the great solitude around me why I had hired him to take me to the villa K- was echoeless and void. I uttered a long piercing if I had abandoned all intention of proceeding thi-shriek as he flung me on the cold ground, and ther. I half doubted whether I was right in my | bade me deliver my purse.
A vain desire to suspicions, and tried to calm myself with all the make myself heard overcame me.
I repeated my arguments I was capable of, but in vain. Every- / shrieks, which he now tried to stifle, by placing thing appeared to become more desolate.
his hand over my mouth. I rose to my feet and of greater loneliness oppressed me, and I then aban- | fled from him. The door of the cemetery was open, doned myself entirely to despair. I sometimes and I rushed in, pursued closely by my enemy. thought of offering him the whole of my purse if The moon had for some time been disappearing he would return with me to the town, but then 1 behind a heavy heap of what seemed snow clouds,