Part 5 out of 6
Woodman! stay not thy carol!
Yon sound _may_ be the wild laugh of the Holz Koenig! Better for thee, to
deem it the whine of thine own dog, looking from the cottage door, and
awaiting but thy presence, to share in the homely meal.
Arrived on the summit of the hill, the lights of the hamlet at length
glistened beneath them. The tired steeds, as if aware of the near
termination of their labours, shook their rough manes, and jingled their
bells in gladness.
An abrupt descent--and they halted, at the inn facing the lake.
And here may we notice, that it has been a source of wonder to us, that
English tourists, whose ubiquity is great, have not oftener been seen
straying, by the side of the lake of Wallensee.
A sweeter spot exists not;--whether we rove by its margin, and perpetrate
a sonnet; limn some graceful tree, hanging over its waters; or gaze on its
unruffled surface, and, noting its aspect so serene, preach from that
placid text, peace to the wearied breast.
They were shown into a room in the inn, already thronged with strangers.
These were students on their way to Heidelberg.
They were sitting round a table, almost enveloped in smoke; and were
hymning praises to their loved companion--beer.
As being in harmony with the moustaches, beard, and bandit
propensities--which true buerschen delight to cultivate--they received
the strangers with an unfriendly stare, and continued to vociferate
Sir Henry, a little dismayed at the prospect before them, called for the
landlord and his bill of fare; and had the pleasure of discovering, that
the provisions had been consumed, and that two hours would elapse, before
more could be procured.
At this announcement, Delme looked somewhat blank. One of the students,
observing this, approached, and apologising, in English, for their
voracity, commenced conversing with the landlord, as to the best course to
be pursued towards obtaining supper.
His comrades, seeing one of their number speaking with the travellers,
threw off some part of their reserve, and made way for them at the table.
George and Henry accepted the proffered seats, although they declined
joining the drinking party.
The students, however, did not appear at ease. As if to relieve their
embarrassment, one of them addressed the young man, with whom Sir Henry
"Carl! it is your turn now! if you have not a song, we must have an
Carl at once complied, and related the following.
The First Story.
Perhaps some of you remember Fritz Hartmann and his friend Leichtberg.
They were the founders of the last new liberty club, and were famous at
These patriots became officers of the Imperial Guard, and at Vienna were
soon known for their friendship and their gallantries.
Fritz had much sentiment and imagination; but some how or other, this did
not preserve him from inconstancy.
If he was always kind and gentle, he was not always faithful.
His old college chums had the privilege of joking him on these subjects;
and we always did so without mercy. Fritz would sometimes combat our
assertions, but they ordinarily made him laugh so much, that a stranger
would have deemed he assented to their truth.
One night after the opera, the friends supped together at Fritz's.
I was of the party, and brought for my share a few bottles of
Johannisberg, that had been sent me by my uncle from the last vintage.
Over these we got more than usually merry, and sang all the songs and
choruses of Mother Heidelberg, till the small hours arrived. The sitting
room we were in, communicated on one side with the bedroom;--on the other,
with a little closet, containing nothing but some old trunks.
This last was closed, but there was a small aperture in the door, over
which was a slight iron lattice work.
The officer who had last tenanted Fritz's quarters, had kept pheasants
there, and had had this made on purpose.
After one of our songs, Leichtberg attacked Fritz on the old score.
"Fritz! you very Werter of sentiment! I was amazed to see you with no
loves to-night at the opera. Where is the widow with sandy hair? or the
actress who gave your _kirschenwasser_ such a benefit? where our
sallow-faced friend? or more than all, where may the fair Pole be who
sells such charming fruit? Fritz! Fritz! your sudden attachment to grapes
is too ominous."
"Come, Leichtberg!" said Hartmann, laughing, "this is really not fair. Do
you know I think myself very constant, and as to the Pole, I have thought
of little else for these three months."
"Not so fast! not so fast! Master Hartmann. Was it not on Wednesday week I
met you arm in arm with the actress? Were you not waltzing with the widow
at the Tivoli? have you not"--
"Come, come!" said Fritz, reddening, "let us say no more. I confess to
having made a fool of myself with the actress, but she begged and prayed
to see me once more, ere we parted for ever. With this exception----"
"Yes, yes!" interrupted Leichtberg, "I know you, Master Fritz, and all
your evil doings. Have you heard of our Polish affaire de coeur, Carl?",
and he turned to me.
"No!" replied I, "let me hear it."
"Well, you must know that a certain friend of ours is very economical, and
markets for himself. He bargains for fruit and flowers with the peasant
girls, and the prettiest always get his orders, and bring up their
baskets, and--we will say no more. Well! our friend meets a foreign face,
dark eye--Greek contour--and figure indescribable. She brings him home her
well arranged bouquets. He swears her lips are redder than her roses--her
brow whiter than lilies--and her breath--which he stoops to inhale--far
sweeter than her jasmines. To his amazement, the young flower girl sees no
such great attractions in the Imperial Guardsman; leaves her
nosegays,--throws his Napoleon, which he had asked her to change, in his
face,--and makes her indignant exit. Our sentimental friend finds out her
home, and half her history;--renews his flattering tales--piques her
pride,--rouses her jealousy;--and makes her love him, bon gre--mal gre,
better than either fruit or flowers.
"Fritz swears eternal constancy, and keeps it, as I have already told you,
with the actress and the sandy haired widow."
Leichtberg told this story inimitably, and Fritz laughed as much as I did.
At length we rose to wish him good night, and saw him turn to his bedroom
door, followed by a Swiss dog, which always slept under his bed. The rest
of the story we heard from his dying lips.
It was as near as he could guess, between two and three in the morning,
that he awoke with the impression that some one was near him. For a time
he lay restless and ill at ease; with the vague helpless feeling, that
often attacks one, after a good supper.
Fritz had just made up his mind to ascribe to this cause, all his
nervousness; when something seemed to drop in the adjoining room; and his
dog, starting to its feet, commenced barking furiously.
Again all was still.
He got up for a moment, but fancying he heard a footstep on the stair,
concluded that the noise proceeded from one of the inmates of the house,
who was come home later than usual.
But Fritz could not sleep; and his dog seemed to share his feelings;
for he turned on his side restlessly, and occasionally gave a quick
Suddenly a conviction flashed across Hartmann, that there was indeed some
one in the chamber.
His curtain stirred.
He sprang from his bed, and reached his tinder box. As the steel struck
sparks from the flint, these revealed the face of the intruder.
It was the young Polish girl.
A fur cloak was closely folded around her;--her face was deadly
pale;--with one hand she drew back her long dark hair, while she silently
uplifted the other.
Our friend's last impression was his falling back, at the moment his dog
made a spring at the girl.
The inmates of the house were alarmed. His friends were all sent for.
I arrived among the earliest. What a sight met me!
The members of the household were so stupefied that they had done nothing.
Fritz Hartmann lay on the floor insensible:--his night shirt steeped in
blood, still flowing from a mortal wound in his breast.
At his feet, moaning bitterly, its fangs and mouth filled with mingled fur
and gore, lay the Swiss dog, with two or three deep gashes across the
throat. In the adjoining room, thrown near the door, was the instrument of
Fritz's death--one of the knives we had used the evening before.
Beside it, lay a woman's cloak, the fur literally dripping with blood.
Fritz lingered for five hours. Before death, he was sensible, and told us
what I have stated:--and acknowledged that he had loved the girl, more
than her station in life might seem to warrant.
Of course, the young Pole had been concealed in the closet, and heard
Leichtberg's sallies. Love and jealousy effected the rest.
We never caught her, although we had all the Vienna police at our beck;
and accurate descriptions of her person were forwarded to the frontiers.
We were not quite certain as to her fate, but we rather suppose her to
have escaped by a back garden; in which case she must have made a most
dangerous leap; and then to have passed as a courier, riding as such
Where she obtained the money or means to effect this, God knows. She must
have been a heroine in her way, for this dog is not easily overpowered,
and yet--look here! these scars were given him by that young girl.
The student whistled to a dog at his feet, which came and licked his hand,
while he showed the wounds in his throat.
"I call him Hartmann," continued he, "after my old friend. His father sent
him to me just after the funeral, and Leichtberg has got his meershaum."
* * * * *
The students listened attentively to the story, refilling their pipes
during its progress, with becoming gravity. Carl turned towards his right
hand neighbour. "Wilhelm! I call on you!"
The student, whom he addressed, passed his hand through his long heard,
and thus commenced.
The Second Story.
My father's brother married at Lausanne, in the Canton de Vaud, and
resided there. He died early, and left one son; who, as you may suppose,
was half a Frenchman. In spite of that, I thought Caspar von Hazenfeldt a
very handsome fellow. His chestnut hair knotted in curls over his
shoulders. His eyes, the veins of his temples, and I would almost say, his
very teeth, had a blueish tint, that I have noticed in few men; and which
must, I think, be the peculiar characteristic of his complexion. When
engaged in pleasure parties, either pic-nicing at the signal, or
promenading in the evening on Mont Benon, or sitting tete-a-tete at
Languedoc, he had no eyes or ears but for Caroline de Werner.
He waltzed with her--he talked with her--and he walked with her--until he
had fairly talked, walked, and waltzed himself into love.
She was the daughter of a rich old colonel of the Empire:--he was the
poor son of a poorer widow. What could he do? Caspar von Hazenfeldt could
gaze on the house of the old soldier; but the avenue of elms, the waving
corn-fields, and the luxuriant gardens, told him that the heiress of
Beau-Sejour could never he his.
He was one evening sitting on a stone, in a little ruined chapel, near the
house of his beloved; ruminating as usual on his ill fate, and considering
which would be the better plan, to mend his fortunes by travel, or mar
them by suicide;--when an elderly gentleman, dressed in a plain suit of
black, appeared hat in hand before him.
After the usual compliments, they entered into conversation, and at last,
having walked for some distance, towards Hazenfeldt's house, agreed to
meet again at the chapel on the next evening.
Suffice it to say that they often met, and as often parted, on the margin
of the little stream, that ran before the door of Caspar's mother's
house:--that they became great friends;--and that the young man confided
the tale of his love, hopes, and miseries, to the sympathising senior.
At last _the old gentleman_, for such he really was, told Caspar that he
would help him in a trice, through all his difficulties.
"There is one condition, Caspar!" said he, "but that is a mere trifle. You
are young, and would be quite happy, were it not for this love affair of
yours:--you sleep soundly, you seek and quit your bed early, and you care
not for night-roving. Henceforth, lend me your body from ten at night,
until two in the morning, and I promise that Caroline de Werner shall be
yours. Here she is!" continued he, as he opened his snuff box, and showed
the lid to Caspar, "here she is!"
And sure enough, there she was on the inside of the lid, apparently
reading to the gouty old colonel, as he sat in his easy chair in the petit
salon of Beau-Sejour.
One evening, the old gentleman delighted Caspar, by telling him that he
had authority from Colonel de Werner, to bring a guest to a ball at
Beau-Sejour, and by begging Caspar to be his shade--to use our
Continental expression--on the occasion.
Caspar von Hazenfeldt and he became greater friends than ever, since their
singular contract had been made; for made it was in a thoughtless
Hazenfeldt was introduced to Caroline in due form, and engaged her for the
Before the quadrille began, his friend in black came to present his
compliments, and to say that he had never seen a more beautiful pair.
"Caspar!" continued he, "when your dance is over, give me a few minutes in
the next room. We will chat together, and sip our negus."
Caspar _did_ so, and _did_ sip his negus. The little gentleman in black,
was very facetious, and very affable.
"Are you not going to dance again, Caspar? Look at all those pretty girls,
waiting for partners! Why do you not lead one to the country dance?"
As he ended speaking, a sylph-like figure, with long golden ringlets,
floated past them.
"I can, and I will," replied Caspar, laughing, as he took the fair-haired
girl by the hand, and led her to the dance.
He turned to address his friend in triumph, but he had disappeared.
The dance was over, and Caspar led the stranger towards a silken ottoman.
"Will you not try one waltz?" said the beautiful girl, as she shook
her ringlets, over his flushed cheek; "but I must not ask you, if you
"How can I refuse?" rejoined Caspar.
Caroline was forgotten, as his partner's golden hair floated on his
shoulders, and her soft white arms were twined around him, as they danced
the mazy coquettish waltz, which was then the fashion in Lausanne.
"How warm these rooms are!" she exclaimed at last. "The moon is up: let us
walk in the avenue."
Caspar assented; for he grew fonder of his new partner, and more forgetful
of Caroline. She pressed closer and closer to his side. A distant clock
struck ten. Entwined in her tresses, encircled in her arms, he sunk
senseless to the ground.
When Caspar recovered from the trance, into which he had fallen, the cold
morning breeze, that precedes the dawn, was freshening his cheek; a few
faint streaks on the horizon, reflected the colours of the coming sun; and
the night birds were returning tired to the woods, as the day birds were
merrily preparing for their flight. He was not where he had fallen: he was
sitting on a rustic bench, beneath a moss-grown rock.
Caroline de Werner was beside him.
Her white frock was torn; her hair was hanging in Bacchante curls, twined
with the ivy that had wreathed it; her eyes glared wildly, and blood
bubbled from her mouth. Her hand was fast locked in that of Hazenfeldt.
"Caroline!" he exclaimed, in a tone of wonderment, as one who awakes from
a deep sleep, "Caroline! why are we here? what means this disorder?"
"You now speak," said she, "as did my Caspar,"
Caroline de Werner is in a mad-house near Vevay:--the man in black has not
been seen since he disappeared from the ball room of Beau-Sejour:--my
cousin, Caspar von Hazenfeldt, took to wandering alone over the Swiss
mountains; and before three months had elapsed, from the time he met _the
old gentleman_, was buried in the fall of an avalanche, near the pass of
* * * * *
Supper was not ready as the student finished this story; and George
proposed a stroll. The change from the heated room to the margin of the
lake, was a most refreshing one. As the brothers silently gazed upwards, a
young lad approached, and accosted them.
"Gentlemen! I have seen the horses fed, and they are now lying down."
"Have you?" said Delme, drily.
"A very fine night! gentlemen! Perhaps you have heard of the famous echo,
on the other side of the lake. It will be a good hour, I am sure, before
your supper is ready. My boat lies under that old tree. If you like it, I
will loose the chain, and row you over."
The brothers acquiesced. They were just in the frame of mind for an
unforeseen excursion. The motion of the boat, too, would be easy for
George, and he might there unrestrainedly give way to his excited
feelings, or commune ungazed on, with the current of his thoughts.
A thin crescent of a moon had risen. It was silvering the tops of the
overhanging boughs, and was quiveringly mirrored on the light ripple.
George leant against the side of the boat, and listened to the liquid
music, as the broad paddle threw back the resisting waters.
How soothing is the hour of night to the wounded spirit!
The obscurity which shrouds nature, seems to veil even man's woes--the
harsh outline of his sufferings is discerned no more. Grief takes the
place of despair--pensive melancholy of sorrow.
As we gaze around, and feel the chill air damp each ringlet on the pallid
brow; know that _that_ hour hath cast a shade on each inanimate thing
around us; we feel resigned to our bereavements, and confess, in our
heart's humility, that no changes _should_ overwhelm, and that no grief
_should_ awaken repinings.
To many a bruised and stricken spirit, night imparts a grateful balm.
In the morning, the feelings are too fresh;--oblivion is exchanged for
conscious suffering;--the merriment of the feathered songsters seems to us
as a taunt;--our sympathies are not with waking nature. The glare and
splendour of noon, bid us recal _our_ hopes, and their signal overthrow.
The zenith of day's lustre meets us as a wilful mockery.
Eve may bring rest, but on her breast is memory. But at night! when the
mental and bodily energies are alike worn out by the internal
struggle;--when hushed is each sound--softened each feature--dimmed each
glaring hue;--a calm which is not deceptive, steals over us, and we regard
our woes as the exacted penalty of our erring humanity.
Calumniated night! to one revelling in the full noon-tide of hope and
gladness:--to the one, to whom a guilty conscience incessantly whispers,
"Think! but sleep not!"--to such as these, horrors may appear to bound thy
reign!--but to him who hath loved, and who hath lost,--to many a gentle
but tried spirit, thou comest in the guise of a sober, and true friend.
The boat for some time, kept by the steep bank, under the shadows of the
trees. As it emerged from this, towards where the moon-beams cast their
light on the water, the night breeze rustled through the foliage, and
swept a yet green leaf from one of the drooping boughs.
It fell on the surface of the lake, and George's eye quickly followed it.
"Look at that unfaded leaf! Henry. What a gentle breeze it was, that
parted it from its fellows! To me it resembles a youthful soul, cut off in
its prime, and wandering mateless in eternity."
Sir Henry only sighed.
The young rower silently pursued his course across the lake; running his
boat aground, on a small pebbly strand near a white cottage.
Jumping nimbly from his seat, and fastening the boat to a large stone, the
guide, followed by the brothers, shouted to the inmates of the cottage,
and violently kicked at its frail door.
An upper window was opened, and the guardian of the echo--a valorous
divine in a black night-cap--demanded their business. This was soon told.
The priest descended--struck a light--unbarred the door--and with the
prospect of gain before him, fairly forgot that he had been aroused from a
They were soon ushered into the kitchen. An aged crone descended, and
raking the charcoal embers, kindled a flame, by which the rower was
enabled to light his pipe.
The young gentleman threw himself into an arm chair, and puffed away with
true German phlegm. The old man bustled about, in order to obtain the
necessary materials for loading an ancient cannon; and occupied himself
for some minutes, in driving the charge into the barrel.
This business arranged, he led the way towards the beach; and aided by the
old woman, pointed his warlike weapon. A short pause--it was fired!
Rebounding from hill to hill, the echo took its course, startling the
peasant from his couch, and the wolf from his lair.
Again all was still;--then came its distant reverberation--a tone deep and
subdued--dying away mournfully on the ear.
"How wonderfully fine!" said George, "but let us embark, for I feel
"I will run for the youngster," replied his brother. As he moved towards
the cottage, the priest seized him by the collar of the coat, and held up
the torch, by which he had fired the cannon.
"This echo is indeed a wonderful one! It has nineteen distinct
repetitions; the first twelve being heard from _this_ side of a valley,
which, were it day, I would point out; the other seven, on the opposite
side. Tradition tells us, that nineteen castles in ancient times, stood
near the spot; that each of these laid claim to the echo; and that, as it
passes the ruin, where once dwelt Sigismund of the Bloody Hand, the chief
springs from the round ivied tower--waves his sword thrice, the drops of
blood falling from its hilt as he does so--and proclaims aloud, that
whosoever dare gainsay"--
"I am sorry to leave you," interrupted Sir Henry, as he shook him off,
"particularly at this interesting part of the story; but it is late,
and my brother feels unwell, and I wish to go to the cottage to call
Delme was pursued by the echo's elucidator, who being duly remunerated,
allowed Sir Henry to accompany the guide towards the boat. George was not
standing where he had left him. Delme stepped forward, and nearly fell
over a prostrate body.
It was the motionless one of his brother.
He gave a shriek of anguish; flew towards the house, and in a moment, was
again on the spot, bearing the priest's torch. He raised his brother's
head. One hand was extended over the body, and fell to the earth like a
clod of clay as it was.
He gazed on that loved face. In that gaze, how much was there to arrest
On those features, death had stamped his seal.
But there was a thought, which bore the ascendancy over this in Delme's
mind. It was a thought which rose involuntarily,--one for which he could
not _then_ account, and cannot now. For some seconds, it swayed his every
emotion. He felt the conviction--deep, undefinable--that there was indeed
a soul, to "shame the doctrine of the Sadducee."
He deemed that on those lineaments, this was the language forcibly
engraven! The features were still and fixed:--the brow alone revealed a
dying sense of pain.
The lips! how purple were they! and the eye, that erst flashed so
freely:--the yellow film of death had dimmed its lustre.
The legs were apart, and one of the feet was in the lake. Henry tried to
chafe his brother's forehead.
In vain! in vain! he knew it was in vain!
He let the head fall, and buried his face in his hands.
He turned reproachfully, to gaze on that cloudless Heaven, where the moon,
and the brilliant stars, and the falling meteor, seemed to hold a bright
and giddy festival.
He clasped his hands in mute agony. For a brief moment--his dark eye
seeming to invite His wrath--he dared to arraign the mercy of God, who had
taken what he had made.
It was but for a moment he thus thought.
He had watched that light of life, until its existence was almost
identified with his own. He had seen it flicker--had viewed it
reillumed--blaze with increased brilliancy--fade--glimmer--and fade. Now!
where was it?
A bitter cry escaped! his limbs trembled convulsively, and could no longer
He fell senseless beside his brother.
"What is my being? _thou_ hast ceased to be."
Carl Obers was as enthusiastic a being as ever Germany sent forth. Brought
up in a lone recess in the Hartz mountains, with neither superiors nor
equals to commune with, he first entered the miniature world, as a student
His education had been miserably neglected. He had read much; but his
reading had been without order and without system.
The deepest metaphysics, and the wildest romances had been devoured in
succession; until the young man hardly knew which was the real, or which
was the visionary world:--the one he actually lived in, or the one he was
always brooding over:--where souls are bound together by mysterious and
hidden links, and where men sell themselves to Satan;--the penalty merely
being:--to walk through life, and throw no shadow.
Enrolled amongst a select corps of brueschen, warm and true; his ear was
caught by the imposing jargon of patriotism; and his imagination dwelt on
those high sounding words, "the rights of man;"--until he became the
staunch advocate and unflinching votary of a state of things, which, for
aught we know, _may_ exist in one of the planets, but which never can, and
which never will exist on this earth of ours.
"What!" would exclaim our enthusiast, "have we not all our bodily and our
mental, energies? Doth not dame Nature, in our birth, as in our death,
deal out impartial justice? She may endow me with stronger limbs, than
another:--our feelings as we grow up, may not be chained down to one
servile monotony;--the lip of the precocious cynic"--this was addressed to
a young matter of fact Englishman--"who sneers at my present animation,
may not curl with a smile as often as my own; but let our powers of
acting be equal,--our prerogatives the same."
Carl Obers, with his youth and his vivacity, carried his auditors--a
little knot of beer drinking liberty-mongers--_with_ him, and _for_ him,
in all he said; and the orator would look round, with conscious power, and
considerable satisfaction; and flatter himself, that his specious
arguments were as unanswerable, as they were then unanswered.
Many of our generation may remember the unparalleled enthusiasm, which,
like an electric flash, spread over the civilised world; as Greece armed
herself, to shake off her Moslem ruler.
It was one that few could help sharing.
To almost all, is Greece a magic word. Her romantic history--the legacies
she has left us--our early recollections, identifying with her existence
as a nation, all that is good and glorious;--no wonder these things should
have shed a bright halo around her,--and have made each breast deeply
sympathise with her in her unwonted struggle for freedom.
Carl Obers did not hear of this struggle with indifference. He at once
determined to give Greece the benefit of his co-operation, and the aid of
his slender means. He immediately commenced an active canvass amongst his
personal friends, in order to form a band of volunteers, who might be
efficient, and worthy of the cause on which his heart was set.
He now first read an useful lesson from life's unrolled volume.
Many a voice, that had rung triumphantly the changes on liberty, was
silent now, or deprecated the active attempt to establish it.
The hands that waved freely in the debating room, were not the readiest to
grasp the sword's hilt. Many who had poetically expatiated on the
splendours of modern Greece; on reflection preferred the sunny views of
the Neckar, to the prospect of eating honey on Hymettus.
Youth, however, is the season for enterprise; and Carl, with twenty-three
comrades, was at length on his way to Trieste.
He had been offered the command of the little band, but had declined it,
with the sage remark, that "as they were about to fight for equality, it
was their business to preserve it amongst themselves."
A slight delay in procuring a vessel, took place at Trieste. This delay
caused a defection of eight of the party.
The remaining students embarked in a miserable Greek brigantine, and after
encountering some storms in the Adriatic, thought themselves amply repaid,
as the purple hills of Greece rose before them.
On their landing, they felt disappointed.
No plaudits met them; no vivas rung in the air: but a Greek soldier
filched Carl's valise, and on repairing to the commandant of the town,
they were told that no redress could be afforded them.
Willing to hope that the scum of the irregular troops was left behind, and
that better feeling, and stricter discipline, existed nearer the main
body; our students left on the morrow;--placed themselves under the
command of one of the noted leaders of the Revolution:--and had shortly
the satisfaction of crossing swords with the Turk.
For some months, the party went through extraordinary hardships;--engaged
in a series of desultory but sanguinary expeditions;--and gradually learnt
to despise the nation, in whose behalf they were zealously combating.
At the end of these few months, what a change in the hopes and prospects
of the little band! Some had rotted in battle field, food for vultures;
others had died of malaria in Greek hamlets, without one friend to close
their eyes, or one hand to proffer the cooling draught to quench the dying
thirst;--two were missing--had perhaps been murdered by the peasants;--and
five only remained, greatly disheartened, cursing the nation, and their
own individual folly.
Four of the five turned homewards.
Carl was left alone, but fought on.
Now there was a Greek, Achilles Metaxa by name, who had attached himself
to Carl's fortunes. In person, he was the very model of an ancient hero.
He had the capacious brow, the eye of fire, and the full black beard,
descending in wavy curls to his chest.
The man was brave, too, for Carl and he had fought together.
It so happened, that they slept one night in a retired convent. Their
hardships latterly had been great, and the complaints of Achilles had been
unceasing in consequence. In the morning Carl rose, and found that his
clothes and arms had vanished, and that his friend was absent also.
Carl remained long enough to satisfy himself, that his friend was the
culprit; and then turned towards the sea coast, determined at all hazards
to leave Greece.
He succeeded in reaching Missolonghi, in the early part of 1823, shortly
after the death of Marco Botzaris--being then in a state of perfect
destitution, and his mental sufferings greatly aggravated by the
consciousness, that he had induced so many of his comrades to sacrifice
their lives and prospects in an unworthy cause.
At Missolonghi, where Mavrocordato reigned supreme, he was grudged the
paltry ration of a Suliote soldier, and might have died of starvation, had
it not been for the timely interposition of a stranger.
Moved by that stranger's persuasion, Carl consented to form one of a
contemplated expedition against Lepanto; and, had his illustrious
benefactor lived, might have found a steady friend.
As it was, he waited not to hear the funeral oration, delivered by
Spiridion Tricoupi; but was on the deck of the vessel that was to bear him
homewards, and shed tears of mingled grief, admiration, and gratitude, as
thirty-seven minute guns, fired from the battery, told Greece and Carl
Obers, that they had lost Byron, their best friend.
Carl reached Germany, a wiser man than when he left it.
He found his father dead, and he came into possession of his small
patrimony; but felt greatly, as all men do who are suddenly removed from
active pursuits, the want of regular and constant employment.
He was glad to renew his intercourse with his old University; and found
himself greatly looked up to by the students, who were never wearied with
listening to his accounts of the Morea, and of the privations he had there
We need hardly inform our readers, that Carl Obers was one of the
pedestrian students at Wallensee, and was indeed the identical narrator of
the Vienna story.
We left George and his brother, on the shore below the priest's
cottage. The one was laid cold and motionless--the other wished that
_he_ also were so.
Immediately on Delme's falling, the young guide alarmed the
priest--brought him down to the spot--pointed to the brothers--threw
himself into the boat--and paddled swiftly across the lake, to alarm the
guests at the inn.
It was with feelings of deep commiseration, that Carl looked on the two
brothers. He was the only person present, whose time was comparatively his
own; he spoke English, although imperfectly; and he owed a deep debt of
gratitude to an Englishman.
These circumstances seemed to point him out, as the proper person to
attend to the wants of the unfortunate traveller; and Carl Obers mentally
determined, that he would not leave Delme, as long as he had it in his
power to befriend him, Sir Henry Delme was completely unmanned by his
bereavement. He had been little prepared for such a severe loss; although
it is more than probable, that George's life had long been hanging on a
thread, which a single moment might snap.
The medical men had been singularly sanguine in his case, for it is rarely
that disease of the heart attacks one so young; but it now seemed evident,
that even had not anxiety of mind, and great constitutional irritability,
hastened the fatal result, that poor George could never have hoped to have
survived to a ripe old age.
There was much in his character at any time, to endear him to an only
brother. As it was, Delme had seen George under such trying
circumstances--had entered so fully into his feelings and sufferings--that
this abrupt termination to his brother's sorrows, appeared to Sir Henry
Delme, to bring with it a sable pall, that enveloped in darkness his own
future life and prospects.
The remains of poor George were placed in a small room, communicating with
one intended for Sir Henry.
Here Delme shut himself up, brooding over his loss, and permitting no one
to intrude on his privacy.
Carl had offered his services, which were gratefully accepted, in making
the necessary arrangements for his brother's obsequies; and Sir Henry, in
the solitude of the dead man's chamber, could give free scope to a flood
of bitter recollections.
It may be, that those silent hours of agony, when the brother looked
fixedly on that moveless face, and implored the departed spirit to breathe
its dread and awful secret, were not without their improving tendency; for
haggard and wan as was the mourner's aspect, there was no outward sign of
quivering, even as he saw the rude coffin lowered, and as fell on his ear,
the creaking of cords, and that harsh jarring sound, to which there is
nothing parallel on earth, the heavy clods falling on the coffin lid.
The general arrangements had been simple; but Carl's directions had been
given in such a sympathising spirit, that they could not be otherwise than
About the church-yard itself, there is nothing very striking. It is
formed round a small knoll, on the summit of which stands a sarcophagus
literally buried in ivy.
Beneath this, is the vault of the baronial family, that for centuries
swayed the destinies of the little hamlet; but which family has been
extinct for some years.
Round it are grouped the humbler osiered graves; over which, in lieu of
tomb stones, are placed large black iron crosses, ornamented with brass,
and bearing the simple initials of the bygone dead.
Even Delme, with all his ancestral pride, felt that George "slept well."
It is true no leaden coffin enclosed his relics, nor did the murky vault
of his ancestors, open with creaking hinge to receive another of the race.
No escutcheon darkened the porch whence they bore him; and no long train
of mourners followed his remains to their last home.
But there was something in the quiet of the spot, that seemed to Delme in
harmony with his history; and to promise, that a sorrowless world had
already opened, on one who had loved so truly, and felt so deeply in this.
Sir Henry returned to the inn, and darkened his chamber.
He had not the heart to prosecute his journey, nor to leave the spot,
which held what was to him so dear.
Carl Obers attempted to combat his despondency; but observing how useless
were his arguments, wisely allowed his grief to take its course.
There was one point, in which Delme was decidedly wrong.
He could not bring himself, to communicate their loss to his sister.
Carl pressed this duty frequently on him, but was always met by the
"No! no! how can I inflict such a pang?"
It is possible the intelligence might have been very long in reaching
England, had it not been for a providential circumstance, that occurred
shortly after George's funeral.
A carriage, whose style and appointments bespoke it English, changed
horses at the inn at Wallensee. The courier, while ordering the relays,
had heard George's story; and touching his hat to the inmates of the
vehicle, retailed it with natural pathos.
On hearing the name of Delme, the lady was visibly affected. She was
an old friend of the family; and as Melicent Dashwood, had known
George as a boy.
It was not without emotion, that she heard of one so young, and to her so
familiar, being thus prematurely called to his last account.
The lady and her husband alighted, and sending up their cards, begged to
see the mourner.
The message was delivered; but Delme, without comment or enquiry, at once
declined the offer; and it was thought better not to persist. They were
too deeply interested, however, not to attempt to be of use. They saw Carl
and Thompson,--satisfied themselves that Sir Henry was in friendly hands;
and thanking the student with warmth and sincerity, for his attention to
the sufferer, exacted a promise, that he would not leave him, as long as
he could in any way be useful.
The husband and wife prepared to continue their journey; but not before
the former had left his address in Florence, with directions to Carl to
write immediately, in case he required the assistance of a friend; and the
latter had written a long letter to Mrs. Glenallan, in which she broke as
delicately as she could, the melancholy and unlooked-for tidings.
"And from a foreign shore
Well to that heart might _hers_ these absent greetings pour."
Three weeks had elapsed since George's death.
It would be difficult to depict satisfactorily, the state of Sir Henry
Delme's mind during that period. The pride of life appeared crushed within
him. He rarely took exercise, and when he did, his step was slow, and his
That one terrible loss was ever present to his mind; and yet his
imagination, as if disconnected with his feelings, or his memory, was
constantly running riot over varying scenes of death, and conjuring up
revolting pictures of putrescence and decay.
A black pall, and an odour of corruption, seemed to commingle with each
quick-springing fantasy; and Delme would start with affright from his own
morbid conceptions, as he found himself involuntarily dwelling on the
waxen rigidity of death,--following the white worm in its unseemly
wanderings,--and finally stripping the frail and disgusting coat from the
Sir Henry Delme had in truth gone through arduous and trying scenes.
The very circumstance that he had to conceal his own feelings, and
support George through his deeper trials, made the present reaction the
more to be dreaded.
Certain are we, that trials such as his, are frequently the prevailing
causes, of moral and intellectual insanity. Fortunately, Sir Henry was
endued with a firm mind, and with nerves of great power of endurance.
One morning, at an early hour, Thompson brought in a letter.
It was from Emily Delme; and as Sir Henry noted the familiar address, and
the broad black edge, which told that the news of his brother's death had
reached his sister, he cast it from him with a feeling akin to pain.
The next moment, however, he sprang from the bed, threw open the shutters,
and commenced reading its contents.
My own dear brother,
My heart bleeds for you! But yesterday, we received the sad, sad letter.
To-day, although blinded with tears, I implore you to remember, that you
have not lost your all! Our bereavement has been great! our loss heavy
indeed. But if a link in the family love-chain be broken--shall not the
remaining ones cling to each other the closer?
My aunt is heart-broken. Clarendon, kind as he is, did not know our
George! Alas! that he should be ours no more!
My only brother! dwell not with strangers! A sister's arms are ready to
clasp you:--a sister's sympathy must lighten the load of your sufferings.
Think of your conduct! your devotedness! Should not these comfort you?
Did you not love and cherish him? did you not--happier than I--soothe his
last days? were you not present to the end?
From this moment, I shall count each hour that divides us.
On my knees both night and morning, will I pray the Almighty God, who has
chastened us, to protect my brother in his travels by sea and land.
May we be spared, my dearest Henry, to pray together, that HE may bestow
on us present resignation, and make us duly thankful for blessings which
still are ours.
Your affectionate sister,
Delme read the letter with tearless eye. For some time he leant his head
on his hand, and thought of his sister, and of the dead.
He shook, and laughed wildly, as he beat his hand convulsively
against the wall.
Carl Obers and Thompson held him down, while this strong paroxysm lasted.
His sobs became fainter, and he sunk into a placid slumber. The student
watched anxiously by his side. He awoke; called for Emily's letter; and as
he read it once more, the tears coursed down his sunken cheeks.
Ah! what a relief to the excited man, is the fall of tears.
It would seem as if the very feelings, benumbed and congealed as they may
hitherto have been, were suddenly dissolving under some happier influence,
and that,--with the external sign--the weakness and pliability of
childhood--we were magically regaining its singleness of feeling, and its
gentleness of heart.
Sir Henry swerved no more from the path of manly duty. He saw the
vetturino, and arranged his departure for the morrow. On that evening, he
took Carl's arm, and sauntered through the village church-yard.
Already seemed it, that the sods had taken root over George's grave.
The interstices of the turf were hidden;--a white paper basket, which
still held some flowers, had been suspended by some kind stranger hand
over the grave;--from it had dropped a wreath of yellow amaranths.
There was great repose in the scene. The birds appeared to chirp softly
and cautiously;--the tufts of grass, as they bowed their heads against the
monumental crosses, seemed careful not to rustle too drearily.
Sir Henry's sleep was more placid, on _that_, his last night at Wallensee,
than it had been for many a night before.
* * * * *
Acting up to his original design, Delme passed through the capitals of
Bavaria and Wurtemburg; and quickly traversing the picturesque country
round Heilbron, reached the romantic Heidelberg, washed by the Neckar.
The student, as might be expected, did not arrive at his old University,
with feelings of indifference; but he insisted, previous to visiting his
college companions, on showing Sir Henry the objects of interest.
The two friends, for such they might now be styled, walked towards the
castle, arm in arm; and stood on the terrace, adorned with headless
statues, and backed by a part of the mouldering ruin, half hid by the
They looked down on the many winding river, murmuringly gliding through
its vine covered banks.
Beyond this, stretched a wide expanse of country; while beneath them
lay the town of Heidelberg--the blue smoke hanging over it like a
"Here, here!" said Carl Obers, as he gazed on the scene, with mournful
sensations, "_here _ were my youthful visions conceived and
embodied--_here_ did I form vows, to break the bonds of enslaved
mankind--_here_ did I dream of grateful thousands, standing erect for the
first time as free men--_here_ did I brood over, the possible happiness of
my fellow men, and in attempting to realise it, have wrecked my own."
"My kind friend!" replied Delme, "your error, if it be such, has been
of the head, and not the heart. It is one, natural to your age and your
country. Far from being irreparable, it is possible it may have taught
you a lesson, that may ultimately greatly benefit you. This is the
first time we have conversed regarding your prospects. What are your
"I have none. My friends regard me as one, who has improvidently thrown
away his chance of advancement. My knowledge of any _one_ branch of
science is so superficial, that this precludes my ever hoping to succeed
in a learned profession. I cannot enter the military service in my own
country, without commencing in the lowest grade. This I can hardly bring
my mind to."
"What would you say to the Hanoverian army?" replied Delme.
"I would say," rejoined Carl: "for I see through your kind motive in
asking, that I esteem myself fortunate, if I have been in any way useful
to you; but that I cannot, and ought not, to think, of accepting a favour
at your hands."
Sir Henry said no more at that time: and they reached the inn in silence.
Delme retired for the night. Carl Obers sought his old chums; and,
exhilarated by his meershaum, and the excellent beer--rivalling the famous
Lubeck beer, sent to Martin Luther, during his trial, by the Elector of
Saxony--triumphantly placed "young Germany" at the head of nations.
Early the following morning, they were again en route.
They passed through Manheim, where the Rhine and Neckar meet,--through
Erpach,--through Darmstadt, that cleanest of Continental towns,--and
finally reached Frankfort-on-the-Maine, where it was agreed that Sir Henry
and Thompson were to part from their travelling companions.
Sir Henry in his distress of mind, felt that theirs was not a casual
farewell. On reaching the quay, he pressed the student's hand with
grateful warmth, but dared not trust to words.
On the deck of the steamer, assisting Thompson to arrange the
portmanteaux, stood Pietro Molini.
The natural gaiety of the old driver had received a considerable check at
He could not now meet Sir Henry, without an embarrassment of manner; and
even in his intercourse with Thompson, his former jocularity seemed to
have deserted him.
"Good bye, Pietro!" said Delme, extending his hand. "I trust we may one
day or other meet again."
The vetturino grasped it,--his colour went and came,--he looked down at
his whip,--then felt in his vest for his pipe, As he saw Delme turn
towards the poop, and as Thompson warned him it was time to leave the
vessel,--his feelings fairly gave way.
He threw his arms round the Englishman's neck and blubbered like a child.
We have elsewhere detailed the luckless end of the vetturino.
As for Carl Obers, that zealous patriot; the last we heard of him, was
that he was holding a commission in the Hanoverian Jaegers, obtained for
him by Sir Henry's intervention. He was at that period, in high favour
with that liberal monarch, King Ernest.
"'Tis sweet to hear the watchdog's honest bark
Bay deep-mouth'd welcome as we draw near home,
'Tis sweet to know there is an eye will mark
Our coming, and look brighter when we come."
Embarking on its tributary stream, Delme reached the Rhine--passed through
the land of snug Treckschut, and wooden-shoed housemaid--and arrived at
Rotterdam, whence he purposed sailing for England.
To that river, pay we no passing tribute! The Rhine--with breast of
pride--laving fertile vineyards, cities of picturesque beauty,
beetling crags, and majestic ruins; hath found its bard to hymn an
eulogy, in matchless strains, which will be co-existent, with the
language they adorn.
Sir Henry was once more on the wide sea. Where were they who were his
companions when his vessel last rode it? where the young bride breathing
her devotion? where the youthful husband whispering his love?
The sea yet glistened like a chrysolite; the waves yet laughed in the
playful sunbeams--the bright-eyed gull yet dipped his wing in the billow,
fearless as heretofore;--where was the one, who from that text had deduced
so fair a moral?
Sir Henry wished not to dwell on the thought, but as it flashed across
him, his features quivered, and his brow darkened.
He threw himself into the chaise which was to bear him to his home, with
alternate emotions of bitterness and despair!
Hurrah for merry England! Click, clack! click, clack! thus cheerily
let us roll!
Great are the joys of an English valet, freshly emancipated from
sauerkraut, and the horrors of silence!
Sweet is purl, and sonorous is an English oath. Bright is the steel,
arming each clattering hoof! Leather strap and shining buckle, replace
musty rope and ponderous knot! The carriage is easier than a
Landgravine's,--the horses more sleek,--the driver as civil,--the road is
like a bowling green,--the axletree and under-spring, of Collinge's latest
patent. But the heart! the heart! _that_ may be sad still.
Delme's voyage and journey were alike a blank. On the ocean, breeze
followed calm;--on the river, ship succeeded ship;--on the road, house and
tree were passed, and house and tree again presented themselves. He drew
his cap over his eyes, and his arms continued folded.
His first moment of full consciousness, was as a sharp turn, followed by a
sudden pause, brought him in front of the lodge at Delme.
On the two moss-grown pillars, reposed the well known crest of his family.
The porter's daughter, George's friend, issued from the lodge, and threw
open the iron gates.
She was dressed in black. How this recalled his loss.
"My dear--dear--dear brother!"
Emily bounded to his embrace, and her cheek fell on his shoulder. He felt
the warm tear trickle on his cheek. He clasped her waist,--gazed on her
pallid brow,--and held her lip to his.
How it trembled from her emotion!
"My own brother! how pale--how ill you look!"
"Emily! my sister! I have something yet left me on earth! and my worthy
kind aunt, too!"
He kissed Mrs. Glenallan's forehead, and tried to soothe her. She pressed
her handkerchief to her eyes, and checked her tears; but continued to sob,
with the deep measured sob of age.
How mournful, yet how consoling, is the first family meeting, after death
has swept away one of its members! How the presence of each, calls up
sorrow, and yet assists to repress it,--awakes remembrances full of grief,
yet brings to life indefinable hopes, that rob that grief of its most
poignant sting! The very garb of woe, whose mournful effect is felt to the
full, only when each one sees it worn by the other--the very garb
paralyses, and brings impressively before us, the awful truth, that for
our loss, in this world, there is no remedy. How holy, how chaste is the
affection, which we feel disposed to lavish, on those who are left us.
Surely if there be a guardian spirit, which deigns to flit through this
wayward world, to cheer the stricken breast, and purify feelings, whose
every chord vibrates to the touch of woe; surely such presides, and throws
a sunny halo, on the group, that blood has united--on which family love
has shed its genial influence--and of which, each member, albeit bowed
down by sympathetic grief, attempts to lift his drooping head, and to
others open some source of comfort, which to the kind speaker, is
inefficient and valueless indeed!
For many months, Sir Henry continued to reside with his family. Clarendon
Gage was a constant visitor, and companion to the brother and sister in
their daily walks and rides.
He had never met poor George, but loved Emily so well, that he could not
but sympathise in their heavy loss; and as Delme noted this quiet
sympathy, he felt deeply thankful to Providence, for the fair prospect of
the happiness, that awaited his sister.
Winter passed away. The fragile snowdrop, offspring of a night--the
mute herald of a coming and welcome guest--might be seen peering
beneath the gnarled oak, or enlivening the emerald circle beneath the
Spring too glided by, and another messenger came. The migratory swallow,
returned from foreign travel, sought the ancient gable, and rejoicing in
safety, commenced building a home. At twilight's hour might she be seen,
unscared by the truant's stone, repairing to the placid pool--skimming
over its glassy surface, in rapid circle and with humid wing--and
returning in triumph, bearing wherewithal to build her nest.
Summer too went by; and as the leaves of Autumn rustled at his feet, Delme
started, as he felt that the sting and poignancy of his grief was gone. It
was with something like reproach, that he did so. There is a dignity in
grief--a pride in perpetuating it--and his had been no common affliction.
It is a trite, but true remark, that time scatters our sorrows, as it
scatters our joys.
The heat of fever and the delirium of love, have their gradations; and so
has grief. The impetuous throbbing of the pulse abates;--the influence of
years makes us remember the extravagance of passion, with something
approaching to a smile;--and Time--mysterious Time--wounding, but healing
all, leads us to look at past bereavements, as through a darkened glass.
We do not forget; but our memory is as a dream, which awoke us in terror,
but over which we have slept. The outline is still present, but the
fearful details, which in the darkness of the hour, and the freshness of
conception, so scared and alarmed us,--these have vanished with the night.
Emily's wedding day drew nigh, and the faces of the household once more
looked bright and cheerful.
"'Tis time this heart should be unmoved,
Since others it has ceased to move,
But though I may not be beloved,
Still let me love!"
"I saw her but a moment,
Yet methinks I see her now,
With a wreath of orange blossoms
Upon her beauteous brow."
Spring of life! whither art thou flown?
A few hot sighs--and scalding tears--fleeting raptures and still fading
hopes--and then--thou art gone for ever. Lovelorn we look on beauty: no
blush now answers to our glance; for cold is our gaze, as the deadened
emotions of our heart.
Fresh garlands bedeck the lap of Spring. Faded as the shrivelled flowers,
that withering sink beneath her rosy feet: yet we exclaim:--Spring of
life! how and whither art thou flown?
Clarendon Gage was a happy man. He had entered upon the world with very
bright prospects. The glorious visions of his youth were still unclouded,
and his heart beat as high with hope as ever.
Experience had not yet instilled that sober truth, that Time will darken
the sunniest, as well as the least inviting anticipations; and that the
visions of his youth were unclouded, because they were undimmed by the
reflections of age.
Clarendon Gage was happy and grateful; and so might he well be! Few of us
are there, who, on our first loving, have met with a love, fervent,
confiding, and unsuspecting as our own,--fewer are there, who in
reflection's calm hour, have recognised in the form that has captivated
the eye, the mind on which their own can fully and unhesitatingly
rely,--and fewest of all are they, who having encountered such a treasure,
can control adverse circumstances--can overcome obstacles that oppose--and
finally call it their own.
Passionate, imaginative, and fickle as man may be, this is a living
treasure beyond a price: than which this world has none more pure--none as
enduring, to offer.
Ah! say and act as we may--money-making--worldly--ambitious as we may
become--who among us that will not allow, that in the success of his
honest suit--that in his possession of the one first loved--and which
first truly loved him--a kind ray from heaven, seems lent to this
changeful world. Such affection as this, lends a new charm to man's
existence. It lulls him in his anger--it soothes him in his sorrow--calms
him in his fears--cheers him in his hopes--it deadens his grief--it
enlivens his joy.
It was a lovely morning in May--the first of the month. Not a cloud
veiled the sun's splendour--the birds strained their throats in praise
of day--and the rural May-pole, which was in the broad avenue of
walnut trees, immediately at the foot of the lawn, was already
encircled with flowers. Half way up this, was the station of the
rustic orchestra--a green bower, which effectually concealed them
from the view of the dancers.
On the lawn itself, tents were pitched in a line facing the house. Behind
these, between the tents and the May-pole, extended a long range of
tables, for the coming village feast.
Emily Delme looked out on the fair sunrise, and noted the gay
preparations with some dismay. Her eye fell on her favourite bed of
roses, the rarest and most costly that wealth and extreme care could
produce; and she mournfully thought, that ere those buds were blown, a
very great change would have taken place in her future prospects. She
thought of all she was to leave.
Will _he_ be this, and more to me?
How many a poor girl, when it is all too late, has fearfully asked herself
the same question, and how deeply must the answer which time alone can
give, affect the happiness of after years!
Emily took her mother's miniature, and gazing on that face, of which her
own appeared a beautiful transcript; she prayed to God to support him who
was still present to her every thought.
The family chapel of the Delmes was a beautiful and picturesque place of
worship. With the exception of one massive door-way, whose circular arch
and peculiar zig-zag ornament bespoke it co-eval with, or of an earlier
date than, the reign of Stephen--and said to have belonged to a ruin apart
from the chapel, whose foundations an antiquary could hardly trace--Delme
chapel might be considered a well preserved specimen of the florid Gothic,
of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
The progress of the edifice, had been greatly retarded during the wars of
the Roses; but it was fortunately completed, before, the doctrine of the
Cinquecentists--who saw no beauty save in the revived dogmas of
Vitruvius--had so far gained ground, as to make obsolete and
unfashionable, the most captivating and harmonious style of Architecture,
that has yet flourished in England.
Its outer appearance was comparatively simple--it had neither spire,
lantern, or transepts--and its ivy-hidden belfry was a detached tower.
The walls of the aisles were supported by massive buttresses, and
surmounted by carved pinnacles; and from them sprung flying buttresses,
ornamented with traced machicolations, to bear the weight of the embattled
roof of the nave.
The interior was more striking. As the stranger entered by the western
door, and proceeded up the nave, each step was re-echoed from the crypt
below:--as he trod on strange images, and inscriptions in brass;
commemorative of the dead, whose bones were mouldering in the subterranean
chapel. On them, many coloured tints fantastically played, through
gorgeously stained panes--the workmanship of the Middle Ages.
The richly carved oaken confessional--now a reading desk--first attracted
In the very centre of the chapel, stood a white marble font, whose chaplet
of the flower of the Tudors, encircled by a fillet, sufficiently bespoke
its date. Between the altar and this font was a tomb, which merits special
attention. It was the chantry of Sir Reginald Delme, the chief of his
house in the reign of Harry Monmouth. It was a mimic chapel, raised on
three massive steps of grey stone. The clustered columns, that bore the
light and fretted roof, were divided by mullions, rosettes, and trefoils
in open work; except where the interstices were filled up below, to bear
the sculptured, and once emblazoned shields of the Delmes, and their
cognate families. The entrance to the chantry, was through a little turret
at its north-eastern corner, the oaken door of which, studded with
quarrel-headed nails, was at one time never opened, but when the priests
ascended the six steep and spiral steps, and stood around the tomb to
chant masses for the dead.
The diminutive font, and the sarcophagus itself, had once been painted. On
this, lay the figure of Sir Reginald Delme.
On a stone cushion--once red--supported by figures of angels in the
attitude of prayer, veiling their eyes with their wings, reposed the
unarmed head of the warrior:--his feet uncrossed rested on the image of a
dog, crouching on a broken horn, seeming faithfully to gaze at the face of
The arms were not crossed--the hands were not clasped; but were joined as
in prayer. Sir Reginald had not died in battle. Above the head of the
sleeping warrior, hung his gorget, and his helmet, with its beaver, and
vizor open; and the banner he himself had won, on the field of Shrewsbury,
heavily shook its thick folds in the air. The fading colours on the
surcoat of the recumbent knight, still faintly showed the lilies and
leopards of England;--and Sir Henry himself was willing to believe, that
the jagged marks made in that banner by the tooth of Time, were but cuts,
left by the sword of the Herald, as at the royal Henry's command, he
curtailed the pennon of the knight; and again restored it to Sir Reginald
The altar, which extended the whole width of the chapel, was enclosed by a
marble screen, and was still flanked by the hallowed niche, built to
receive the drainings of the sacred cup.
The aisles were divided from the nave, by lancet arches, springing from
clustered columns. But how describe the expansive windows, with their rich
mullions, and richer rosettes--their deeply moulded labels, following the
form of the arch, and resting for support on the quaintest masks--how
describe the matchless hues of the glass--valued mementoes of a bygone
age, and of an art that has perished?
The walls of the chapel were profusely ornamented with the richest
carving; and the oaken panels of the chancel, were adorned with those
exquisite festoons of fruit and flowers, so peculiarly English. The very
ceiling exacted admiration. It closed no lantern--it obstructed no
view--and its light ribs, springing from voluted corbels, bore at each
intersection, an emblazoned escutcheon, or painted heraldic device. The
intricate fan-like tracery of the roof--the enriched bosses at each
meeting of the gilded ribs--gave an airy charm and lightness to the whole,
which well accorded with the florid Architecture, and with the chivalrous
associations, with which it is identified.
And here, beneath this spangled canopy, in this ancient shrine, whose
every ornament was as a memory of her ancestors; stood Emily Delme, as
fair as the fairest of her race, changeful and trembling, a faint smile
on her lip, and a quivering tear in her eye.
Clarendon Gage took her hand in his, and placed on her finger the golden
pledge of truth, and as he did so, an approving sunbeam burst through the
crimson-stained pane, and before lightening the tomb of Sir Reginald, fell
on her silvery veil--her snowy robe--her beautiful face.
There was a very gay scene on the lawn, as they returned from the chapel.
The dancing had already commenced--strains of music were heard from on
high--the ever moving circle became one moment contracted, then expanded
to the full length of the arms of the dancers, as they actively footed it
round the garlanded May-pole.
At the first sight of the leading carriage, however, a signal was
given--the music suddenly ceased--and the whole party below, with the
exception of one individual, proceeded in great state towards an arch,
composed of flowers and white thorn, which o'ercanopied the road.
The carriage stopped to greet the procession.
On came the blushing May-Queen, and Maid Marian--both armed with wands
wreathed with cowslips--followed by a jovial retinue of morrice dancers
with drawn swords--guisers in many-coloured ribbons--and a full train of
simple peasants, in white smock-frocks.
The May Queen advanced to the carriage, followed by the peasant girls, and
timidly dropped a choice wreath into the lap of the bride. Loud hurras
rung in the air, as Sir Henry gave his steward some welcome instructions
as to the village feast; and the cavalcade continued its route.
We have said that one individual lingered near the May-pole. As he was
especially active, we may describe him and his employment. He was
apparently about fifteen. He had coarse straight white hair--a face that
denoted stupidity--but with a cunning leer, which seemed to belie his
He was taking advantage of the cessation of dancing, to supply the
aspiring musicians with sundry articles of good cheer. A rope, armed with
a hook, was dropped from their lofty aerie, and promptly drawn up, on the
youngster's obtaining from the neighbouring tents, wherewithal to fill
satisfactorily the basket which he attached.
Sir Henry Delme and George had been so much abroad, and Emily's attachment
to Clarendon was of so early a date, that it happened that the members of
the Delme family had mixed little in the festivities of the county in
which they resided; and were not intimately known, nor perhaps fully
appreciated, in the neighbourhood.
But the family was one of high standing, and had ever been remarkable for
its kind-heartedness; and what _was_ known of its individuals, was so much
to their credit, that it kept alive the respect and consideration that
these circumstances might of themselves warrant.
Sir Henry, on the other hand, regarded his sister's marriage as an event,
at which it might be proper to show, that neither hauteur nor want of
sociability, had precluded their friendly intercourse with the
neighbouring magnates; and consequently, most of the principal families
were present at Emily's wedding.
While this large assemblage increased the gaiety of the scene, it was
somewhat wearisome to Delme, who was too truly attached to his sister, to
be otherwise than thoughtful during the ceremony, and the breakfast that
At length the time came when Emily could escape from the gay throng; and
endeavour, in the quiet of her own room, to be once more calm, before she
prepared to leave her much-loved home.
The preparations made, a note was despatched to her brother, begging him
to meet her in the library. As he did so, a fresh pang shot through
As he looked on Emily's flushed face--her dewy cheek--and noted her
agitated manner; he for the first time perceived, her very strong
resemblance to poor George, and wondered that he had never observed
Clarendon announced the carriage.
"God bless you! dear Henry!"
"God bless and preserve you! my sweet! Clarendon! good bye! I am sure you
will take every care of her!"
In another moment, the carriage was whirling past the library window; and
Sir Henry felt little inclined, to join the formal party in the
drawing-room. Sending therefore a brief message to Mrs. Glenallan, he
threw open the library window, and with hurried steps reached a
summer-house, half hidden in the shrubbery. He there fell into a deep
reverie, which was by no means a pleasurable one.
He thought of Emily--of George--of Acme,--and felt that he was becoming an
And had _he_ not loved too? As this thought crossed him, his ambitious
dreams were almost forgotten.
Sir Henry Delme was aroused by the sound of voices. A loving couple, too
much engaged to observe _him_, passed close to the summer-house.
It was the "Queen of the May," the prettiest and one of the poorest
girls in the parish, walking arm in arm with her rural swain. They had
left the "roasted beeves," and the "broached casks," for one half-hour's
There was some little coquettish resistance on the part of the girl, as
they sat down together at the foot of a fir tree.
Her lover put his arm round her waist.
"Oh! Mary! if father would but give us a cow or so!"
This little incident decided the matter. Delme at once resolved that Mary
Smith _should_ have a cow or so; and also that his own health would be
greatly benefited, by a short sojourn at Leamington.
"Oh ever loving, lovely, and beloved!
How selfish sorrow ponders on the past,
And clings to thoughts now better far removed,
But Time shall tear thy shadow from me last."
We know not whether our readers have followed us with due attention, as we
have incidentally, and at various intervals, made our brief allusion to
the gradual change of character, wrought on Delme, by the eventful scenes
in which he so lately played a prominent part.
When we first introduced him to our reader's notice, we endeavoured to
depict him as he then really was,--a man of strong principles, warm
heart, and many noble qualities; but one, prone to over-estimate the
value of birth and fortune--with a large proportion of pride and
reserve--and with ideas greatly tinctured with the absurd fallacies of
the mere man of the world.
But there was much in the family events we have described, to shake
Delme's previous convictions, and to induce him to recal many of his
He had seen his brother form a connection, which set at naught all those
convenances, which _he_ had been accustomed to regard as essential to, and
as indeed forming the very ingredient of, domestic happiness.
And yet Sir Henry Delme could not disguise from himself, that if, in
George's short-lived career, there had been much of pain and sorrow, they
were chiefly engendered by George's mental struggle, to uphold those very
opinions to which he himself was wedded; and that to this alone, might be
traced much of the suffering he had undergone. This was it that had so
weakened mind and body, as to render change of scene necessary;--this was
it that exposed Acme to the air of the pestiferous marshes, and which left
George himself--a broken hearted man--totally incapable of bearing his
On the other hand, the sunny happiness his brother had basked in,--and it
was very great,--had sprung from the natural out-pourings of an
affection, which,--unfettered as it had been by prudential
considerations,--had yet the power to make earth a heaven while Acme
shared it with him, and the dark grave an object of bright promise, when
hailed as the portal, through which _he_ must pass, ere he gazed once
more on the load-star of his hopes.
In the case, too, of Emily and Clarendon, although their union was far
more in accordance with his earlier theories, yet he could not but note,
how little their happiness seemed to rest on their position in society,
and how greatly was it based on their love for each other.
These considerations were strengthened, by a growing feeling of
isolation, which the death of George and of Acme,--the marriage of his
sister,--and probably the time of life he had arrived at, were all
calculated to awaken.
With the knowledge of his disease, sprung up the hope of an antidote; and
it may be, that the little episode of the May Queen in our last chapter,
came but as a running comment, to reflections that had long been cherished
The thoughts of Sir Henry Delme anxiously centred in Julia Vernon; and as
he recalled her graceful emotion when they last parted, the unfrequent
blush,--it might be of shame, it might be of consciousness,--coloured his
At length,--the guests being dismissed, Delme was at leisure to renew an
acquaintance, which had already proved an eventful one to him. He had
heard little of Miss Vernon since his return to England. His sister had
thought it better to let matters take their own course; and Julia, who
knew that in the eyes of the world, her circumstances were very different
to what they had been previous to her uncle's death; had from motives of
delicacy, shunned any intercourse that might lead to a renewed intimacy
with the family.
Her health, too, had been precarious, and her elasticity of mind was gone.
Slowly wasting from day to day, she had sought to banish all thoughts
that were not of a world less vain than this--and her very languor of
body--while it gave her an apology for declining all gaieties, induced a
resigned spirit, and a quiet frame of mind.
When Sir Henry Delme was announced, Julia was alone in the drawing-room.
At that name, she attempted to rise from the sofa; but she was weak, and
her head fell back on the white pillow.
Delme stood for a moment irresolute,--a prey to the deepest pangs
Well might he be shocked at that altered form!
Her figure was greatly attenuated,--her cheeks sunken,--her eyes bright
and large; while over the forehead and drooping eyelid branched the
sapphire veins, with their intricate windings so clearly marked, that
Delme almost thought, that he could trace the motion of the blood beneath.
That momentary pause, and the one mutual glance of recognition, told a
more accurate tale than words could convey.
As Sir Henry pressed that small transparent hand, Julia's thin lip
quivered convulsively. She attempted to speak, but the exertion of
utterance was too great, and she burst into a flood of tears.
"Julia! my own Julia! forgive me! we will never part more!"
After this interview, it is needless to say that there was little else to
be explained. Mrs. Vernon was delighted at Julia's happy prospects, and it
was settled that their marriage should take place in the ensuing August.
Such arrangements as could be made on the spot to facilitate this, were at
once entered on.
At the end of two months, it became necessary that Delme should proceed to
town, for the purpose of seeing the Commander-in-Chief, in order to
withdraw a previous application to be employed on active service. He was
anxious also to consult a friend, whom he proposed appointing one of the
trustees for his marriage settlement; and Clarendon and Emily had exacted
a promise, that he would pay them a visit on his way to Delme Park; which
he had determined to take on his route to town, that he might personally
inspect some alterations he had lately planned there.
It was with bright prospects before him, that Delme kissed off the big
tear that coursed down Julia's cheek; as she bade him farewell, with as
much earnestness, as if years, instead of a short fortnight, were to
elapse before they met again.
Miss Vernon's health had decidedly improved. She was capable of much
greater exertion; and her spirits were sometimes as buoyant as in
When Sir Henry first reached Leamington, the only exercise that Julia
could take was in a wheel chair; and great was her delight at seeing a
hand present itself over its side, and know that it was _his_. Latterly,
however, she had been able to lean on his arm, and take a few turns on the
lawn, and had on one occasion even reached the public gardens.
Mrs. Vernon, with the deceptive hope common to those, who watch day by day
by the side of an invalid's couch, and in the very gradual loss of
strength, lose sight of the real extent of danger, had never been
desponding as to her daughter's ultimate recovery; and was now quite
satisfied that a few weeks more would restore her completely to health.
Sir Henry Delme, with the gaze of a lover, would note each flush of
animation, and mistake it for the hue of health; while Julia herself _felt
her love, and thought it strength_.
There was only one person who looked somewhat grave at these joyous
preparations. This was Dr. Jephson, who noticed that Julia's voice
continued very weak, and that she could not get rid of a low hollow cough,
that had long distressed her.
Clarendon and his wife were resident at a beautiful cottage near Malvern,
on the road to Eastnor Castle. The cottage itself was small, and half
hidden with fragrant honey-suckles, but had well appointed extensive
grounds behind it. _They_ were not of the very many, who after the first
fortnight of a forced seclusion,--the treacle moon, as some one has called
it,--find their own society, both wearisome and unprofitable. _Theirs_ was
a lover felt but by superior and congenial minds--a love, neither sensual
nor transient--a love on which affection and reflection shed their
glow,--which could bear the test of scrutiny,--and which owed its chief
charm to the presence of truth.
Delme passed a week at Malvern, and then proceeded towards town, with the
pleasing conviction that his sister's happiness was assured.
Twenty-four hours at Delme sufficed to inspect the alterations, and to
give orders as to Lady Delme's rooms.
Sir Henry had received two letters from Julia, while at Malvern, and both
were written in great spirits. At his club in London another awaited him,
which stated that she had not been quite so well, and that she was writing
from her room. A postscript from Mrs. Vernon quite did away with any alarm
that Sir Henry might otherwise have felt.
Delme attended Lord Hill's levee; and immediately afterwards proceeded to
his friend's office. To his disappointment, he was informed that his
friend had left for Bath; and thinking it essential that he should see
him; he went thither at an early hour the following day.
At Bath he was again doomed to be disappointed, for his friend had gone
to Clifton. Sir Henry dined that day with Mr. Belliston Graeme; and on
returning to the hotel, had the interview with Oliver Delancey, that has
been described in the thirteenth chapter of our first volume.
On the succeeding morning, Delme was with the future trustee; and finally
arranged the affair to his entire satisfaction. His absence from
Leamington, had been a day or two more protracted than he had anticipated,
and his not finding his friend in London, had prevented his hearing from
Miss Vernon so lately as he could have wished.
Sir Henry had posted all night, and it was ten in the morning when he
reached Leamington. He directed the postilion to drive to his hotel, but
it happened that on his way he had to pass Mrs. Vernon's door.
As the carriage turned a corner, which was distant some hundred yards from
Mrs. Vernon's house, Sir Henry was surprised by a momentary check on the
part of his driver.
It had rained heavily during the early part of the day. The glasses were
up, and so bespattered with the mud and rain, that it was impossible to
see through them. Sir Henry let them down; saw a confused mass of
carriages; and could clearly discern a mourning coach.
He did not give himself time to breathe his misgivings; but flung the door
open, and sprang from his seat into the road. It was still three or four
doors from Mrs. Vernon's house, and he prayed to God that his fears might
As he approached nearer, it was evident that there was unusual bustle
about _that_ house. Delme grasped the iron railing, and clung to it for
support; but with every sense keenly alive to aught that might dispel, or
confirm that horrible suspicion.
Two old women, dressed in the characteristic red cloak of the English
peasant, were earnestly conversing together--their baskets of eggs and
flowers being laid on a step of one of the adjacent houses.
"So you knowed her, Betsy Farmer?"
"Lord a mercy!" responded the other, "I ha' knowed Miss July since she
wa' the height of my basket. Ay! and many's the bunch of flowers she ha'
had from me. That was afore the family went to the sea side. Well! it's a
matter o' five year, sin' she comed up to me one morning--so grown as I'd
never ha' known her. But she knowed me, and asked all about me. And I just
told her all my troubles, and how I had lost my good man. And sure enough
sin' that day she ha' stood my friend, and gived me soup and flannels for
the little uns, and put my Bess to service, and took me through all the
bad Christmas'. Poor dear soul! she ha' gone now! and may the Lord bless
her and all as good as she!"
The poor woman, who felt the loss of her benefactress, put the corner of
her apron to her eyes.
Sir Henry strode forward.
Mutes were on each side of the front step. A servant threw open the door
of the breakfast room, and Delme mechanically entered it. It was filled
with strangers; on some of these the spruce undertaker was fitting silk
scarfs; while others were busy at the breakfast table.
An ominous whisper ran through the apartment.
"Sir Henry Delme?" said the rosy-cheeked clergyman, enquiringly, as he
laid down his egg spoon, and turned towards him.
"I trust you received my letter. Women are so utterly helpless in these
matters; and poor Mrs. Vernon was quite overpowered."
Delme turned away to master his emotion.
At this moment, a friendly hand was laid on his shoulder, and Mrs.
Vernon's maid, with her eyes red from weeping, beckoned him up stairs.
He mechanically obeyed her--reeled into an inner drawing room--and stood
in the presence of the bereaved mother.
Mrs. Vernon was ordinarily the very picture of neatness. _Now_ she sat
with her feet on a footstool--her head almost touching her lap--her silver
hair all loose and dishevelled. It seemed to Delme as if age had suddenly
come upon her.
She rose as he entered, and with wild hysterical sobs, threw herself
into his arms.
"My son I my son! that _should_ have been. Our angel is gone--gone!"
Delme tried to speak, but his tongue clove to his mouth, and the hysteric
globe rose to his throat.
Suddenly he heard the sound of wheels, and of heavy footsteps on
He imprinted a kiss on the old woman's forehead--it was his farewell for
ever!--gave her to the care of the maid servant--and rushed from the room.
He was stopped on the landing of the staircase by the coffin of her he
loved so well. The bearers stopped for an instant; they felt that this was
no common greeting. Part of the pall was already turned back. Delme
removed its head with trembling hand.
"Julia Vernon. aetate 22."
He dropped the velvet with a groan, and was only saved from falling by the
timely aid of the old butler, whose face was as sorrowful as his own.
But there was a duty yet to be performed, and Delme followed the corpse.
The first mourning coach was just drawn up. An intended occupant had
already his foot on the step.
"This place is mine!" said Sir Henry in a hollow voice.
The cortege proceeded; and Delme, giddy and confused, heard solemn words
spoken over his affianced one, and he waited, till even the coffin could
he discerned no more.
Thompson, who had followed his master, assisted him into his carriage,
placed himself beside him, and ordered the driver to proceed to the hotel.
But Delme gave a quick impetuous motion of the hand, which the domestic
understood well; and the horses' heads were turned towards the metropolis.
The mourner tarried not, even to bid his sister farewell; but sought
once more his brother's grave. Some friendly hand had kept its turf
smooth; no footsteps, save the innocent ones of children, had pressed
its grassy mound. It was clothed with soft daisies and drooping
harebells. The sun seemed to shine on that spot, to bid the wanderer be
contented and at rest.
But as yet there was no rest for Delme. And he stood beside the marble
slab, beneath which lay Acme Frascati. The downy moss--soft as
herself--was luxuriating there; and the cry of the cicalas was pleasant
to the ear; and the image of the young Greek girl, as in a vivid
picture, rose to his mind's eye. She was not attired in her white cymar;
nor was her head wreathed with monumental amaranths;--health was on her
cheek, fond smiles on her pouting lip, and tender love swimming in her
His own griefs came back on Delme; he groaned aloud. He traversed the
deserts, he crossed lofty mountains, he knew thirst and privations. He was
scoffed at and spat upon in an infidel country--he was tossed on the
ocean--he shook hands with danger.
He visited our wide Oriental possessions; and sojourned amid the spicy
islands of the Indian Archipelago, where vegetation attains a magnificence
unknown elsewhere, and animal life partakes of this unexampled
exuberance,--where flowers of the most exquisite colours and fragrance
charm the senses by day, and delicious plants saturate the air with their
odours by night.
Delme extended his wanderings to the rarely visited "many isles," which
stud the vast Pacific, and found that there too were fruitful and
But not on the desert--nor on the mountains--nor in the land of the
Moslem---nor on tempestuous seas--nor in those verdant islets, which seem
to breathe of Paradise, to greet the wearied traveller; could Delme's
restless spirit find an abiding place, his thirst for foreign travel be
slaked, or his heart know peace.
He madly sought oblivion, which could not be accorded him.
"Then I consider'd life in all its forms,
Of vegetables first, next zoophytes,
The tribe that dwells upon the confine strange
'Twixt plants and fish; some are there from their mouth
Spit out their progeny, and some that breed,
By suckers from their base or tubercles,
Sea-hedgehog, madrepore, sea-ruff, or pad,
Fungus, or sponge, or that gelatinous fish,
That taken from its element at once
Stinks, melts, and dies a fluid; so from these,
Through many a tribe of less equivocal life,
Dividual or insect, up I ranged,
From sentient to percipient, small advance,
Next to intelligent, to rational next,
So to half spiritual human kind,
And what is more, is more than man may know.
Last came the troublesome question--What am I?"
* * * * *
"And vain were the hat, the staff, and stole,
And all outward signs were a snare,
Unless the pilgrim's endanger'd soul
Were inwardly clothed with prayer.
"But the pilgrim prays--and then trials are light--
For prayer to him on his way,
Resembles the pillar of fire by night,
And the guiding cloud by day.
"And salvation's helm the pilgrim wears,
Or vain were all other dress;
And the shield of faith the pilgrim bears,
With the breastplate of righteousness.
"At length his tears all wiped away;
He enters the City of Light;
And how gladly he changes his gown of grey,
For Zion's robe of white."
It was on the 22nd of October, 1836, that an emissary from his sister,
sought Sir Henry Delme. It was at the antipodes to his ancestral home; in
Australia, that wonderful country, which--belied and calumniated, as she
has hitherto been--presents some anomalous and creditable features.
For her population, she is the wealthiest, the most enterprising, the most
orderly and loyal, of our British possessions. There, is the aristocracy
of wealth, to an unprecedented degree, subservient to the aristocracy of
virtue. While she is stigmatised as the cloacae of Britain, the philosopher
looks into the future, and already beholds a nation, perpetuating the
language of the brave and free; when the parent stock has perhaps ceased
to be an empire; or is lingering on, like modern Greece, in the hopeless
languor of decay and decrepitude.
This agent had arrived from England, a very short period before; and,
accredited with a packet, containing various communications from Emily and
Clarendon, accompanied by the miniatures of their children, with little
silky curls attached to each, proceeded an expectant guest, to Sir Henry
Delme's temporary residence. Early dawn saw him pacing the deck of a steam
vessel; and regarding with great surprise, the opposite banks of Hunter's
River, up which the vessel was gliding.
A rich dark soil, of great depth, bespoke uncommon fertility; while the
varieties of the gum tree--then quite new to him--with their bark of every
diversity of colour, gave a primeval grandeur to the scene.
Each moment brought in sight the location of some enterprising settler,
which, ever varying in appearance, in importance, and in extent yet told
the same tale of difficulties overcome, and success ensuing.
On his reaching the township, near the head of the navigation, this agent
found horses waiting for him:--he was addressed by a well-appointed
groom--our old friend Thompson--who touched his hat respectfully, and
mentioned the name, he was already prepared for by his Sydney advices.
Suffice it, that Sir Henry was no longer the Baronet, and that the name of
Delme was a strange one in his household.
Their route skirted the banks of one of those rivers, which, diverging
from that mine of wealth, the Hunter, wind into the bowels of the land,
like a vein of gold.
That emissary will not soon forget his lovely ride. His eye, wearied with
gazing on the wide expanse of ocean, feasted on the rich and novel
landscape. They rode alternately, through cleared lands, studded with rich
farms, waving with luxuriant crops of wheat and rye; and again, through
regions, where the axe had never resounded, but where eucalypti, and
bastard box, and forest oak with its rough acorn, towered above beauteous
wild flowers, whose forms and varieties were associated in the mind of
the stranger, with some of the most precious and valued flowers which
adorn British conservatories.
The russet Certhia, with outspread fluttering wing, pecked at the smooth
bark, and preying on some destructive insect, really preserved what it
seemed to injure. The larger parrots, travelling in pairs, screamed their
passing salutation, as they displayed their bright plumage to the sun;
while hundreds, of a smaller kind, with crimson shoulder, were concealed
amid the green leaves; and, as they rode beneath them, babbled--like
frolicsome children of the forest--a rude, but to themselves a not
The superb warblers, ornaments alike to the bush or the garden, flitted
cheerily from bough to bough. Strangely mated are they! The male, in suit
of black velvet, trimmed with sky blue, looks like a knight, attired for a
palace festival:--while his lady-love--she resembles some peasant girl,
silent and grateful, clothed in modest kirtle of sober brown.
As he reined in his horse, to examine these at leisure, how melodiously
came on his ear, the clear, ceaseless, silver tinkle of the bell-bird;
this sound ever and anon chequered by the bold chock-ee-chock! of the
bald-headed friar. They had proceeded very leisurely, and the sun was
already declining, when Thompson, pointing to an abrupt path, motioned
him to descend, and at the same time, gave the peculiar cry, known in the
colony as the cooi; a cry which was as promptly answered. It was not
until he was close to the edge of the river, that the stranger understood
A punt was rapidly approaching from the opposite bank. An athletic
aboriginal native, in an attitude that seemed studiedly graceful, was
bending to the stout rope, which, attached to either side of the river,
served to propel the punt. He had been spearing fish; for his wife, or
gin, or queen--for she was born such, and contradicted in her person the
"There's a difference between
A beggar and a queen"--
was drawing the barb of a spear from the bleeding side of a struggling
mullet. She sat at the bottom of the boat, with a blanket closely wound
round her. She was young, and her looks were not unpleasing. Her
thickly-matted hair was ornamented with kangaroo teeth; and to her
shoulder, closely clung a native tailless bear, whose appearance could not
do otherwise than excite a smile. With convex staring eyes--hairless