Page images

I felt this delay very bitterly; for I longed to see Iny native town, and my beloved friends. My return had only been delayed so long from an unwillingness to leave Clerval in a strange place, before he had become acquainted with any of its inhabitants. The winter, however, was spent cheerfully; and although the spring was uncommonly late, when it came, its beauty compensated for its dilatoriness. • *

The month of May had already commenced, and I expected the letter daily which was to fix the date of my departure, when Henry proposed a pedestrian tour in the environs of Ingoldstadt that I might bid a personal farewell to the country I had so long inhabited. I acceded with pleasure to this proposition: I was fond of exercise, and Clerval had always been my favourite companion in the rambles of this nature that I had

taken among the scenes of my native
country. - - -
We passed a fortnight in these per-

ambulations: my health and spirits

had long been restored, and they gained

additional strength from the salubrious

'air I breathed, the natural incidents of our progress, and the conversation of my friend. Study had before secluded me from the intercourse of my fellowcreatures, and rendered me unsocial ; but Clerval called forth the better feelings of my heart; he again taught me to love the aspect of nature, and the cheerful faces of children. Excellent friend how sincerely did you love me, and endeavour to elevate my mind, until it was on a level with your own. A selfish pursuit had cramped and narrowed me, until your gentleness and -affection warmed and opened mysenses; I became the same happy creature who,


[ocr errors]

a few years ago, loving and beloved by
all, had no sorrow or care. When
happy, inanimate nature had the power
of bestowing on me the most delight-
ful sensations. A serene sky and ver-
dant fields filled me with ecstacy. The
present season was indeed divine; the
flowers of spring bloomed in the liedges,
while those of summer were already in
bud : I was undisturbed by thoughts
which during the preceding year had
pressed upon me, notwithstanding my
endeavours to throw them off, with an
invincible burden.
Henry rejoiced in my gaiety, and
sincerely sympathized in my feelings:
he exerted himself to amuse me, while
he expressed the sensations that filled
his soul. The resources of his mind
on this occasion were truly astonish-
ing: his conversation was full of ima-
gination; and very often, in imitation

of the Persian and Arabic writers, he invented tales of wonderful fancy and passion. At other times he repeated my favourite poems, or drew me out into arguments, which he supported with great ingenuity. We returned to our college on a | Sunday afternoon: the peasants were dancing, and every one we met appeared gay and happy. My own spirits were high, and I bounded along with feelings of unbridled joy and hilarity.

[ocr errors]


On my return, I found the following letter from my father:—


“ MY DEAR victor,
“You have probably waited impa-
tiently for a letter to fix the date of
your return to us; and I was at first
tempted to write only a few lines, mere-
ly mentioning the day on which I should
expect you. But that would be a cruel
kindness, and I dare not do it. What
would be your surprise, my son, when

« PreviousContinue »