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and the midday banquet drew nigh, when the face-imprisoned lover was to be released from the thraldom imposed upon him by his capricious bride.
With stately step he led the beauteous Beatrix into the old hall, and seated himself beside her in the centre of the table. The nearest relations were grouped around, and the friends of the family filled up the board, which groaned beneath a profusion of rich viands and sparkling wines. Old Adrian Gutenfels occupied a place exactly opposite the newly married pair, and before the feast began, poured out a bumper of Rüdesheimer, an example which all were desired to follow.
“ To the health of the bride and bridegroom,” he cried ; and when the jingling of empty glasses had subsided, he added, " and now, my son, take off your mask and fall to.”
Thus appealed to, the bridegroom rose, and with some unsteadiness of hand, slowly untied the fastenings of the shade, which he held for a moment before his face. At length he withdrew it, and to the dismay of old Gutenfels, and the astonishment of the whole company,—the bride and Von Puffendorf perhaps excepted, -revealed not the ugly features of Carl Liederlieb, but the handsome countenance of Ludovic von Eppenstein.
“Gott in Himmel,” shouted the astonished Adrian, “what devil's masquerading is here! Is it you, Ludovic, who can't sing a single note, who have stolen my daughter from me? Where then is he whom I thought to have called my son ?"
Listen, worthy Adrian,” answered Wilhelm von Puffendorf. ten at yon open window, and be silent all the
company." The old man rose and went to the casement, and the guests waited in charmed silence, while a flood of melody came streaming through the ball from without.
"That is Liederlieb's bow to a certainty,” exclaimed Gutenfels, “where, in Heaven's name, is he?”
Practising the new collection of Carlo Farina's "Pavans and Sonatas,' which arrived only last night from Dresden. He set to work at daybreak this morning, and has been hard at them ever since. In the meantime he forgot that he was to have been married, and my friend Ludovic wore the mask and took his place at the altar.”
There was no help for it. "Beatrix was married to Ludovic, and Adrian Gutenfels had himself given her away. Nothing could sever the tie, so the old merchant wisely consoled himself with the thought that “ Things without remedy should be without regard,” and the next glass he drained was to the happiness of the Baron and Baroness von Eppenstein.
Carl Liederlieb finished his music-lesson, and danced the same evening at the wedding. Adrian gave him his Cremona, but prayed him not to leave the free city, so he took up his abode with the old merchant, after Ludovic and Beatrix had settled in their newly renovated castle in the Breisgau, and to this hour musical antiquaries record with pleasure the memory of the Fiddler of Frankfort.
Blood hath been shed ere now i' the olden time.-SHAKSPEARE.
The raven he liveth a hundred years,
And who can tell all he doth hear and see,
And but known unto him and the gray old ash tree?
Ask the road which leads to the wild marshes of Lea; They will guide thee down Humble Car-lane, and, close byAshcroft Dike on the right of the road will then lie,
Where so many are drown'd-stood the gray old ash tree. 'Tis a spot now forsaken ; and shouldst thou ask why,
With sad look and low voice they will answer to thee, That few venture there when the day's at high noon ; And at night, in the dark, or when lit by the moon,
There's a raven keeps watch near the gray old ash tree. For the place bath a weird-like and eèiry look,
As if Murder lurked anywhere, there it would be ; 'Tis ruinous, shadowy, fearsome, and lone, Abounding with ispers that seem not his own ;
There are sounds--not of earth—round the gray old ash tree. There bows the black bulrush, and waves the white sedge,
While the hemlock and nightshade rock fearfully ; And the mandrake that shrieks when it's torn from the ground, And that grows but where blood hath been shed, may be found,
With its human feet stretched 'neath the gray old ash tree. 'Mid the long wither'd grass that hath never been mown
Since the oldest man living had memory,
For a smell of death floats round that gray old ash tree.
Which for year upon year grew on silently,
For a fearful gloom reigns round the gray old ash tree.
Was as crazy and rotten as ruin can be ;
'Mid the eddy and foam near the gray old ash tree. And the raven which lives for a hundred years,
If upon that old broken bridge lighted he,
Till he few back again to the gray old ash tree.
Near the weather-bleach'd bridge stood an old mill-wheel,
The water-mill gone ; and all you could seem After rafter and roof, as they crumbled each day, Fell into the stream, and were then wash'd away
Was but the mill-wheel near the gray old ash tree. Though that wheel was with rushes and weeds overhung,
And with black moss and slime clogg'd heavily,
Which the raven beheld from the gray old ash tree.
When the mill-wheel moved round moaningly,
That no mortal dare go near the gray old ash tree.
And a vow had been made 'twixt the raven and he, That his spirit should never be taken away ; But there they would watch, both by night and by day,
Till the Murderer came to the gray old ash tree. Thrice seven long years had at length pass'd by
Since that old mill-wheel moved merrily ; Just thrice seven years on that very night, When an old man stood in the dim moonlight,
In a town, scarce a leagne, from the gray old ash tree. Thrice seven long years had pass'd away,
And the old man felt that no power had he ;
Alone he must go to the gray old ash tree.
A form as if folded in tapestry,
And it beckon'd him on to the gray old ash tree.
As that old man walk'd along thoughtfully, And the moon gave a hazy and woolly light; That neither belong'd to the day nor the night ;
And loud the wind howld round the gray old ash tree. Through the solemn streets went that old man alone,
There seemed nothing abroad but the wind and he ; And the roaring sound which the hollow gusts made, Though they chill'd his heart-and he felt afraid
Blew him near and more near to the gray old ash tree. He reach'd the long land—'twas a lonesome road ;
Was it his shadow, or what could it be, That kept side by side, and pace for pace ? Four legs could he in the moonlight trace;
Two moved without sound to the gray old ash tree. That old man he lack'd not the courage to speak ;
“For if it's a mortal 'twill answer," thought he, " And if it's a spirit, I've shed human blood, And face to face with a murder'd man stood,
Alone in the night by the gray old ash tree.”
“ 'Tis a stormy night," the old man said,
“ And a road wliere one seldom meets company ;" But never a word the shadow replied, Though it still moved onward side by side,
As nearer they drew to the gray old ash tree.
But he tried in vain, for no power had he ;
Till they came within sight of the gray old ash tree.
While the moon through its skeleton boughs you might see; And the raven, as he was roosted on high, Like a huge black blot on the moon seem'd to lie,
As she shone through the boughs of the gray old ash tree. They reach'd the bridge, and the old man paused,
For a fear and a trembling shook each knee ; For on the old bridge in the moonshine lay, Bending and bowing to every sway,
Clear-shadow'd, the raven and gray old ash tree. One howl the wind gave—'twas a long deep howl,
Such, they say, denotes death when 'tis heard on the sea ; For on the hushid air came a still stranger sound From the old mill-wheel, as it slowly turn'd round,
And the raven which flew from the gray old ash tree. As death-knells are said to be heard in the sky,
In places that lonely and desolate be, Even so on the heart of that old man smote The raven's iron and ominous note,
As in circles he wheeld round the gray old ash tree. The raven he cursed to himself as he said,
" Just twenty-one years ago so croak’d he. In the name of the foul fiend why comes he to-night!" At that moment there shone a pale phosphoric light
On the raven, the bridge, and the gray old ash tree.
Which we everywhere hear, but nowhere can see ;
A tongue in the shadow and gray old ash tree. “ Curse not the raven," the shadow replied,
· He and I but obey the same decree.” The old man shook, for his heart was a-cold When he heard the thoughts utter'd, his tongue never told
He shook like the boughs of the gray old ash tree. “ What art thou,” the old man trembling said,
“ Who dost read the thoughts mutter'd by me ?" “Turn round thine head," the shadow replied ; “ Tis twenty-one years to-night since I died !"
Oh, how the wind roard through the gray old ash tree.
He closed his eyes, but still he could see,
'Twas the Miller he murder'd by the gray old ash tree.
Then lower and lower he felt the bridge sink,
While the water below roar'd most fearfully ;
When down with a crash came the gray old ash tree.
Shouldst thou visit the spot, not a trace wilt thou see
Nothing's left but the trunk of the gray old ash tree.
To tell of that long-acted tragedy;
Next day by the root of the old gray ash tree.
SELECTIONS FROM JEAN PAUL FRIEDERICH RICHTER.
BY JOHN OXENFORD.
THE MOLUCCA AND SPICE ISLANDS IN SCHEERAU.* The Brandenburg fish-pond, near Baireuth, is a lake that occupied about 500 working-days in the digging. Some months ago I sat in it for an hour, but they are now drying it up for the benefit of the pale inhabitants of its coast
. The Scheerau pond, which was dug by four rulers in succession, has the advantage over the other by 129 working-days, and is , moreover, important to Germany, for by its aerostatic exhalations, it will
, as well as the Mediterranean, change the weather in Germany, as soon as the wind passes over both. Strictly speaking, there must be an ebb and flow in a tear, or in a finch’s drinking-cup, much more in such a piece of water as this. The diocese of islands which so adorns and inlays the pond,- for instance, Banda, Sumatra, Ceylon, and the beautiful Amboyna, the Moluccas, great and small, did not come out of the water-or rather into the water-till under the present government. M. Buffon, if he were still living, and other investigators of nature, would be much struck at learning that the islands in the Scheerau ocean did not rise by the towering-up of coral, nor by earthquakes, which crook up out of the water the dromedary back of the earth below; nor by any neighbouring volcano sprinkling these mountains into the water. The fact is, that Sumatra, and the great and little Moluccas were brought to the coasts in small portions by innumerable wheelbarrows and waggons ;
and these vehicles being full of stones, sand, earth, and all the materials of a pretty island, tho peasants f belonging to the sovereign and to the knighthood, who were all so many (tobacco-) smoking and island-forming volcanoes, made short work of finishing the Moluccas, while the bridges of the knighthood, that were to cross the waters of the sovereign, are not yet
Scheerau, it may be repeated, is an imaginary principality. This making of the little island is a master-piece of satire. All these extracts are from “ Die unsicht
† These peasants were “ Frohnbauer,” or villeins. The “knighthood” is one of the estates of the principality.–J. O.