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IN the year 1673, Leopold, Prince of Saxe Naurmburg, had long been a voluntary exile from his country. His name had stood foremost in the lists of glory during the thirty years' war that convulsed the states of Germany, and he had enjoyed the favour of several successive Electors. His renown, as a warrior, had been attested by the world; and his poSpularity was such, that he looked down with secret contempt on more than one crowned head, whose actual power was far kess than his own. Yet he, the pride and glory of Saxony, he who had been the foremost in the cabinet and in the field, was fighting as a volunteer in the cause of Christendom under the banners of John Sobieski, and adding lustre, by his exploits, to a foreign crown. It was said that the jealousy of his wife, a haughty and beautiful Princess, to whom he had, early in life, united his destiny, was the cause of his self-expatriation. The marriage had been a match of interest on the Prince's part, and one of passionate regard on that of the beautiful Helena Saxe Altenburg, on whose charms Kings had gazed with admiration—whose beauty had been the theme of many an inspired lay. The bridal wreath was yet fresh upon the brow of the fair and haughty Princess, when the man on whom she had bestowed her hand, and lavished the fond idolatry of her affection, slighted the treasure which so many Princes had in vain No. 37.-J'ol. PTI.
sued to possess, to sigh at the feet of a nameless foreigner whom victory had made a captive to his arms. His attachment to the Swedish lady, who had been bequeathed by her dying father to his protection, was boundless; and he left his palace, at Dresden, to enjoy, in the solitary vale of Saxe Naurmburg, his illicit passion. No sooner had the tale reached the ears of his wife, than she undertook a secret journey to Saxe Naurmburg, leaving her son, an infant in the cradle, to the care of a trusty domestic. Fatally determined on her scheme of vengeance, she sought the lovers in their retreat; but heaven, in mercy, or in anger, spared her the actual perpetration of the crime she meditated. She sought a living rival, and found her husband weeping in agony over the breathless corse of the unfortunate Anastasia Carlsheim. On the birth of her firstborn son, that lady had, on her knees, implored Leopold to make her his wife. He clasped the lovely suppliant in his arms, and, in a paroxysm of remorse, implored forgiveness for the fraud, and confessed that he was the husband of another. The deep sobs that had convulsed the bosom of his victim were suddenly hushed —her heart no longer throbbed against his—she sank lifeless in his arms. He hastily removed the bright golden ringlets, that shaded her face. The rigidity of her features—the marble paleness spread overher cheeks—the closed eyes, in whose dark. B
lashes the tears still lingered—and the inanimate expression of her pensive countenance, too soon convinced him that, in the blight of hope, her spirit had for ever fled !–Tb heighten his misery, the wife whom he had injured stood before him, full of reproaches—full of bitter mockery for the past. “Leave me, woman '" he exclaimed ; “ your jealousy has made me the wretch that I am—from this moment, we part for ever !” She left him, invoking the most dreadful vengeance on his head. Her indigmation was raised to madness, when, on returning to Dresden, she found that her son had mysteriously disappeared; and that the Prince, by whose orders this new outrage had been committed, had left no clue to discover his retreat. Her death was soon afterwards reported to Leopold; and his enemies did not scruple to affirm that she had not filled a bloodless grave. The death of the Princess Helena had no sooner been announced, than her son was produced. The Prince immediately left Saxony, accompanied by the child, on whom he lavished the most passionate affection. Many, who remembered his hatred to the mother, were not a little surprised at his attachment to her son ; and they, whose vocation it was to marvel, and to wonder, pondered over these things till they found themselves bewildered amidst their own conjectures. The unfortunate Anastasia had scarcely been consigned to the grave, when, at the castle of Saxe Naurmburg, the suspicions of the Prince's vassals were increased by the arrival of his confessor and confidential friend, Father Augustine Ebenstein, accompanied by one domestic, and a male infant. This child he represented to be the son of a Saxon officer, named Won Weber, who had lost his life while endeavouring to save that of the Prince. For a time, this tale gained credence; but as the boy grew up into the man, the strong personal resemblance which he bore to Leopold opened the eyes of the old vassals, who whispered amongst themselves that the young Weber was the son of Anastasia Carlsheim. During the gay and joyous season of youth, Ernest Von Weber felt not the slightest anxiety respecting his dependent
situation. Father Augustine lavished on him the most tender affection; and he was almost worshipped by the vassals, who in secret regarded him as their future master. He enjoyed liberty without the restraint which exalted rank would have imposed, while he received homage which a higher station could alone have claimed. For some years, Weber never formed a wish beyond the limits of the beautiful valley over which the castle towered in rude magnificence; but, as manhood advanced, a thousand ambitious hopes and speculations took possession of his mind. These were strengthened by an insatiable desire to become acquainted with his own
history, over which an impenetrable veil
appeared to rest. He applied to Father Augustine, but the only answer he received was—“My lips are sealed—wait patiently, my son, and God, in his own good time, will overturn the machinations of wicked men, and restore you to your lawful inheritance.” This speech only increased his anxiety. His quiet mind forsook him, and he became restless, dejected and unhappyLoathing his life of inactivity and ease, he secretly envied the high reputation which the young Prince Conraddin was earning under the banner of Leopold—the Prince whose noble qualifications were generally the theme of his father's letters to the monk. In despite of the remonstrances of Father Augustine, he wrote a letter to the Prince Saxe Naurmburg, entreating his permission to join him in the Polish camp. His suit, however, was peremptorily declined; and the youth saw no prospect of mingling in that world in whose busy scenes he panted to be an actor. From these melancholy reflections he was at length aroused by a trivial incident, which diverted his thoughts into a different channel. One violent passion yielded to another, and love reconciled him to his present lot. One lovely spring evening, fatigued with the chase, he gave his steed to an attendant, and wandered on at random, down the wild and broken glen, to enjoy the refreshing breeze that wafted on its viewless wings the perfume of a thousand flowers. A magnificent sunset glowed like molten gold, and the waters sparkled with the gorgeous hues of reflected brightness. The forest was filled with the soft warbling of birds; and the blithesome song of the shepherds, tending their flocks on the
plains, rose and died away upon the whis- ! pering wind that scarcely stirred the
foliage of the old willow, at the foot of whose hoary trunk the youth had thrown himself down to enjoy the beauty of the scene.—The lulling sound of the waters had soothed him into a state of waking forgetfulness, when his thoughts were recalled from the regions of romance by a wild and piercing scream, followed by a heavy plunge into the river. Ernest sprang to his feet—his soft dream vanished—and his eye regained all its eagle-like fire, as, leaping into the stream, he succeeded in rescuing from death a young and beautiful woman, who, by its beetling verge receding from her feet, had been precipitated into the river. The exquisite loveliness of the being whom he had thus providentially saved made a deep impression on his heart.— Few men could have looked on Frederica Arnheim without admiration — no one could know her without loving her.—She was the only child of an old officer who had retired from the service to end his days in the tranquil bosom of his native vale. He received his beloved daughter from the hands of her youthful preserver with tears of gratitude; and, from that hour, the quiet home of Frederica became a paradise beyond whose hallowed bounds Ernest felt no wish to stray. It was their's to love with all the fond idolatry of a first passion, alive to the raptures of the present, but reckless of the future. But Ernest's dream of happiness was rudely dispelled by the authoritative interference of Father Augustine, and by Colonel Arnheim's refusal to bestow his only child on a nameless stranger. Early one morning, in a state bordering upon phrenzy, Ernest sought the dwelling of Frederica. She was seated within the vine-covered porch, singing a plaintive ditty, to her lute. She started at her lover's agitated countenance—then hastily rose to meet him. “You are ill, Ernest?—Sit down by me, and I will sing a joyous air to dissipate your melancholy.”—“Frederica, I am sick at heart: your father has rejected
my suit, and I am overwhelmed with despair.” Frederica pressed his hand tenderly between her own:-" Be of good cheer, my Ernest; I have not rejected thee." Ernest-clasped her in his arms, and his tears fell fast on the lovely cheek that rested on his bosom.—“Frederica,” he said, in a broken voice, “a dark cloud is on my spirit—a presentiment of approaching ill presses on my heart—a horrible picture of futurity is before me; and I struggle in vain against its influence.— Didst thou ever feel what I describe P” “Yes; but, believe me, Ernest, these dark forebodings are self-created spectres that we conjure up in solitude to destroy our peace.” “Oh they are not imaginary, Frederica! Their agency, though invisible, is true. Why should I feel this sudden chill—this fearful-looking forward—but from some potent cause P The warning voice within me lies not.” “If you value my peace, Ernest, let not these dreadful thoughts rest upon your spirit. I have often seen you sad— but never did your melancholy take a form like this. Fortune has yet a thousand gifts in store for you.-Hark!—let the sound of these merry, joyous bells, dismiss the ghastly phantoms l’’ At this moment, the bells from every steeple in Saxe Naurmburg burst forth into a jocund peal, and the air was filled with the tumultuous shouts of a gathering multitude. The castle gates were thrown open, and the retainers of Saxe Naurmburg advanced towards the astonished pair, bearing wreaths of laurel, while the deepening crowd rent the welkin with their exulting cries—“Long-live Leopold of . Saxe Naurmburg —Long live Ernest, his princely heir s”—And, before Weber could demand an explanation of the extraordinary scene, he was surrounded, and carried off in the arms of his father's vassals. At the entrance of the castle Ernest was saluted by Father Augustine, who came forward to meet him with a sealed packet. His cheek was deadly pale—the expression of his face startled his pupil. “Your father has at length done you justice, my noble boy. The youthful hero, who has so long supplanted you, fell at the bloody battle of Chockzim, in the moment of victory.”
“Oh, how I envy that gallant Conraddin his glorious death ! But how, and in what manner, does the loss of this young warrior make me Prince Leopold's heir 7”
“I would tell thee all, my son, but a higher power fetters my tongue,” exclaimed the monk, growing yet paler, and sinking into the arms of the astonished Prince.—“Take my dying advice, Ernest; question not the motives which actuated your father's conduct, but rest contented that you are his heir "
“This will not satisfy me,” returned the youth vehemently, “I must know all!”
He spoke in vain—the lips that could have satisfied his doubts were silenced for ever !
“Your Highness " said one of the old domestics, advancing and looking upon the face of the dead, which the Prince supported in speechless anguish on his bosom, “that livid countenance tells a strange tale—the monk has died by poison /*
The joy which had been kindled so lately in Ernest's breast yielded to an accumulated weight of misery. “Great God for what am I reserved P” he exclaimed, clasping his hands, and raising his tearless eyes to heaven in unutterable anguish. “Accursed be that exaltation which has murdered my friend "
I was one morning passing by St. George's church: many persons were assembled, gazing upon a long line of carriages decorated with bridal favours.There is nothing I like better than a wedding:—the bride's pretty bewilderment, the bridegroom's smiles, the happy faces of the party—for there are always happy faces at a wedding. A younger sister, perhaps, grown up to womanhood, with the wild, bright graces of the girl, still blooming on her cheek, pent up in the nursery, and enduring—hardly enduring— the lectures of the governess, and talked of as a child because her sister has not yet got off. Would not she look happy on that sister's wedding-day ?—Then, a mother, who had long lived a loving and beloved wife—would not her's be a bright face at her daughter's bridal P to see her child entering into that state which to herself had been so blissful, and to see herself in future years surrounded by that daughter's children? Then there are fathers who look happy on their daughter's wedding-day, because they are getting off a girl—and girls are always bores, and require portions, and can't push their own fortunes.
But I go too far now: I speak of what girls were, not of what they are ; for girls of the present day, even while the down of childhood is yet upon their cheek, can speculate on chances as well as any bank
director. But neither these ideas, nor any other, came into my mind, as, almost unconsciously, I entered St. George's church. I believe the crowd about the doors imagined me to be one of the wedding guests; and the wedding party themselves were all so deeply occupied with their own feelings, that I walked up the aisle, and stood almost close to the altar, unperceived. The bride, poor thing, was young, and very fair. She was not beautiful—even in the glow of health, I think she could not have been termed beautiful ; and now there was the paleness of disease upon her check. Yet there was much of intellectual loveliness about her—much of the mild, sad, gentleness of woman. Her blue eyes were fixed upon the earth; and, save that she trembled, she was motionless as death. Her cheeks—her very lips —were colourless as those of a corpse; and her bridal splendour contrasted strangely with her cold, lifeless face. She was richly attired ; yet I am certain, she was utterly unconscious of the finery that had been heaped upon her. The bridegroom was a tall, military-looking man: there was aristocracy in the proud sparkle of his eye, and in the fine form of his head;
but there was nothing in that noble coun
tenance which the heart loved to look upon : its expression was cold, and dark; and though he seemed proud of his young bride, his glance never softened when it fell on her. The bride's-maids were fair, bright-eyed things, seemingly made for merriment and laughter; but they were sad and troubled now, and often gazed anxiously upon the bride. A youth was there, too, whose arms were folded, and his eyes cast down; their long black lashes resting upon cheeks paler than marble. Yet, sometimes, when the bride's low, lifeless, responses reached his ear, he started, and his face reddened even to his brow, and he clenched his teeth, till I almost fancied I could see the blood rushing from his nostrils. He never looked towards the bride, and I thought he did not dare to trust his eyes in that direction. A cherub, fair-haired boy, standing at the young man's side, often glanced up in his face kindly and inquiringly, and with more of sensibility than is generally to be seen in children. When the ceremony was over, the bridegroom drew the bride's arm within his own ; and she suffered him to do so, with that calmness which chills one. They went together into the vestry-room, accompanied by the rest of the wedding party—all, except the young man, who had rushed wildly from the church, and the fair boy who stood looking after him with a sad wonder in his sweet eyes. When the party had driven off, I went - into the vestry: the clerk was there, and he shewed me the name of Jane Tremayne—that name which the bride had signed for the last time. There was much nervous tremour visible in the writing ; but still it was evidently of that delicate and elegant description which is so feminine and lady-like. The bridegroom I discovered to be George, Marquess of
D—, and his firm, bold, vigorous characters formed a striking contrast with the signature of his pale bride. i have often thought about that wedding—I know not if I have thought aright; but I have thought that the pale, dark youth was the tutor of Jane Tremayne's little blue-eyed brother;-that Jane had loved him with the love of a fond, unchanging woman;–and that he too had loved, but that they had cherished their passion in secresy and in despair. I am sure that the rank of her titled lover did not influence Jane Tremayne—of that I am very sure; neither did she seem of that timid nature that would weakly yield up a beloved object. No–such a character Jane did not look; for, though there was much gentleness in her demeanour, there was a calmness that denoted strength of mind. She wore the appearance of one who was supported by the consciousness of fulfilling a duty. That it was a painful duty, her pale face evidently betrayed; but there were no tears, no outward show of agitation. No 1
.No | I am convinced that there was some
imperative necessity for giving up her lover—some cause, far beyond worldly feeling, which demanded their separation. I knew it not then, nor do I know it now ; but I have thought that Jane Tremayne's father wore the haggard and care-worn aspect of a gambler: there was the hollow eye, and the furrowed cheek, and the contracted brow. It is only fancy, but the thought haunts me still, that the fair Jane Tremayne had offered herself up a sacrifice to save a guilty father.
- MARY C–.
NATURE WILL PR E V AI L. From the Spanish of Don Alonso del Castillo.
DURING the reign of Casimir, King of Poland, a Prince as much feared by his enemies as he was beloved by his subjects, Enrique, an illustrious Spanish nobleman, left his country, for some unknown reason, and came to the Polish court. There he soon won the royal favour by his devotedness to the person, and his exploits in the
military service of the King, who was often in hostility with the neighbouring princes. The King being one day out hunting with his courtiers, after bringing two wild boars to the ground, resolved to rest a short time on the borders of a sparkling fountain, and partake of a choice colla