Part 4 out of 6
The first evening after Otto's return to Copenhagen he spent with
Sophie, and the conversation turned upon his little journey. "The
pretty Eva has vanished!" said he.
"You had rejoiced in the prospect of this meeting, had you not?"
"No, not in the least!" answered Otto.
"And you wish to make me believe that? She is really pretty, and
has something so unspeakably refined, that a young gentleman might
well be attracted by her. With my brother it is not all quite right
in this respect; but, candidly speaking, I am in great fear on your
account, Mr. Thostrup. Still waters--you know the proverb? I might
have spared you the trouble. The letter which I received a few
evenings ago informed me of her departure. Mamma has taken her with
her. It seemed to her a sin to leave that sweet, innocent girl in a
public-house. The host and hostess were born upon our estate, and
look very much up to my mother; and as Eva will certainly gain by
the change, the whole affair was soon settled. It is well that she
is come under mamma's oversight."
"The girl is almost indifferent to me!" said Otto.
"Almost!" repeated Sophie. "But this almost, how many degrees of
warmth does it contain? 'O Verite! Ou sont les autels et tes
pretres?'" added she, and smiling raised her finger.
"Time will show how much you are in error!" answered Otto with much
The lady of the house now entered, she had made various calls;
everywhere the Ghost's Letters were the subject of conversation,
and now the conversation took the same direction.
It was often renewed. Otto was a very frequent guest at the house.
The ladies sat at their embroidery frames and embroidered splendid
pieces of work, and Otto must again read the "Letters of the
Wandering Ghost;" after this they began "Calderon," in whom Sophie
found something resembling the anonymous author. The world of
poetry afforded subjects for discourse, and every-day life
intermingled its light, gay scenes; if Wilhelm joined them, he must
give them music, and all remarked that his fantasies were become
far richer, far softer. He had gained his touch from Weyse, said
they. No one thought how much one may learn from one's own heart.
With this exception he was the same joyous youth as ever. No one
thought of him and Eva together. Since that evening when the
friends had almost quarreled, he had never mentioned her name; but
Otto had remarked how when any female figure met them, Wilhelm's
eyes flashed, and how, in society, he singled out the most
beautiful. Otto said jokingly to him, that he was getting oriental
thoughts. Oehlenschlager's "Helge," and Goethe's Italian sonnets
were now Wilhelm's favorite reading. The voluptuous spirit of these
poems agreed with the dreams which his warm feelings engendered. It
was Eva's beauty--her beauty alone which had awoke this feeling in
him; the modesty and poverty of the poor girl had captivated him
still more, and caused him to forget rank and condition. At the
moment when he would approach her, she was gone. The poison was now
in his blood. If is gay and happy spirit did not meanwhile let him
sink into melancholy and meditation; his feeling for beauty was
excited, as he himself expressed it. In thought he pressed beauty
to his heart, but only in thought--but even this is sin, says the
Otto, on the contrary, moved in the lists of philosophy and poetry.
Here his soul conceived beauty--inspired, he expressed it; and
Sophie's eyes flashed, and rested with pleasure on him. This
flattered him and increased his inspirations. For many years no
winter had been to him so pleasant, had passed away so rich in
change as this; he caught at the fluttering joy and yet there were
moments when the though pressed upon him--"Life is hastening away,
and I do not enjoy it." In the midst of his greatest happiness he
experienced a strange yearning after the changing life of travel.
Paris glanced before his eyes like a star of fortune.
"Out into the bustling world!" said he so often to Wilhelm, that
the same thought was excited in him. "In the spring we will
travel!" Now were plans formed; circumstances were favorable. Thus
in the coming spring, in April, the still happier days should
"We will fly to Paris!" said Wilhelm; "to joy and pleasure!"
Joy and pleasure were to be found at home, and were found: we will
introduce the evening which brought them; perhaps we shall also
find something more than joy and pleasure.
"A midsummer day's entertainment--but how? In February? Yea, some
here and behold it!"--DR. BALFUNGO.
With us the students form no Burschenschafts, have no colors. The
professors do not alone in the chair come into connection with
them; the only difference is that which exists between young and
old scholars. Thus they come in contact with each other, thus they
participate in their mutual pleasures. We will spend an evening of
this kind in the Students' Club, and then see for ourselves whether
Miss Sophie were right when she wished she were a man, merely that
she might be a student and member of this club. We choose one
evening in particular, not only that we may seek a brilliant
moment, but because this evening can afford us more than a
An excursion to the park had often been discussed in the club. They
wished to hire the Caledonia steam-packet. But during the summer
months the number of members is less; the majority are gone to the
provinces to visit their relations. Winter, on the contrary,
assembles them all. This time, also, is the best for great
undertakings. The long talked of excursion to the park was
therefore fixed for Carnival Monday, the 14th of February, 1831.
Thus ran the invitations to the professors and older members. "It
will be too cold for me," replied one. "Must one take a carriage
for one's self?" asked mother. No, the park was removed to
Copenhagen. In the Students' Club itself, in the Boldhuus Street,
No. 225, was the park-hill with its green trees, its swings,
and amusements. See, only the scholars of the Black School could
have such ideas!
The evening of the 114th of February drew near. The guests
assembled in the rooms on the first floor. Meanwhile all was
arranged in the second story. Those who represented jugglers were
in their places. A thundering cracker was the steamboat signal, and
now people hastened to the park, rushing up-stairs, where two large
rooms had, with great taste and humor, been converted into the
park-hill. Large fir-trees concealed the walls--you found yourself
in a complete wood. The doors which connected the two rooms were
decorated with sheets, so that it looked as if you were going
through a tent. Hand-organs played, drums and trumpets roared, and
from tents and stages the hawkers shouted one against the other.
It was a noise such as is heard in the real park when the hubbub
has reached its height. The most brilliant requisites of the real
park were found here, and they were not imitated; they were the
things themselves. Master Jakel's own puppets had been hired; a
student, distinguished by his complete imitation of the first
actors, represented them by the puppets. The fortress of
Frederiksteen was the same which we have already seen in the park.
"The whole cavalry and infantry,--here a fellow without a bayonet,
there a bayonet without a fellow!" The old Jew sat under his tree
where he announced his fiftieth park jubilee: here a student ate
flax, there another exhibited a bear; Polignac stood as a wax
figure outside a cabinet. The Magdalene convent exhibited its
little boxes, the drum-major beat most lustily, and from a near
booth came the real odor of warm wafer-cakes. The spring even,
which presented itself in the outer room, was full of significance.
Certainly it was only represented by a tea-urn concealed between
moss and stones, but the water was real water, brought from the
well in Christiansborg. Astounding and full of effect was the
multitude of sweet young girls who showed themselves. Many of the
youngest students who had feminine features were dressed as ladies;
some of them might even be called pretty. Who that then saw the
fair one with the tambourine can have forgotten her? The company
crowded round the ladies. The professors paid court to them with
all propriety, and, what was best of all, some ladies who were less
successful became jealous of the others. Otto was much excited; the
noise, the bustle, the variety of people, were almost strikingly
given. Then came the master of the fire-engines, with his wife and
little granddaughter; then three pretty peasant girls; then the
whole Botanical Society, with their real professor at their head.
Otto seated himself in a swing; an itinerant flute-player and a
drummer deafened him with dissonances. A young lady, one of the
beauties, in a white dress, and with a thin handkerchief over her
shoulders, approached and threw herself into his arms. It was
Wilhelm! but Otto found his likeness to Sophie stronger than he had
ever before noticed it to be; and therefore the blood rushed to his
cheeks when the fair one threw her arms around him, and laid her
cheek upon his: he perceived more of Sophie than of Wilhelm in this
form. Certainly Wilhelm's features were coarser--his whole figure
larger than Sophie's; but still Otto fancied he saw Sophie, and
therefore these marked gestures, this reeling about with the other
students, offended his eyes. When Wilhelm seated himself on his
knee, and pressed his cheek to his, Otto felt his heart beat as in
fever; it sent a stream of fire through his blood: he thrust him
away, but the fair one continued to overwhelm him with caresses.
There now commenced, in a so-called Krahwinkel theatre, the comedy,
in which were given the then popular witticisms of Kellerman.
The lady clung fast to Otto, and flew dancing with him through the
crowd. The heat, the noise, and, above all, the exaggerated lacing,
affected Wilhelm; he felt unwell. Otto led him to a bench and would
have unfastened his dress, but all the young ladies, true to their
part, sprang forward, pushed Otto aside, surrounded their sick
companion and concealed her, whilst they tore up the dress behind
so that she might have air: but, God forbid! no gentleman might see
Toward evening a song was commenced, a shot was heard, and the last
"The gun has been fired, the vessel must fly
To the town from the green wood shady.
Come, friends, now we to the table will hie,
A gentleman and a fair lady."
And now all rushed with the speed of a steamboat downstairs, and
soon sat in gay rows around the covered tables.
Wilhelm was Otto's lady--the Baron was called the Baroness; the
glasses resounded, and the song commenced:--
"These will drink our good king's health,
Will drink it here, his loyal students."
And that patriotic song:--
"I know a land up in the North
Where it is good to be."
It concluded with--
For the king and the rescript!"
In joy one must embrace everything joyful, and that they
did. Here was the joy of youth in youthful hearts.
"No condition's like the student's;
He has chosen the better way!"
so ran the concluding verse of the following song, which ended with
"For her of whom the heart dreams ever,
But whom the lips must never name!"
It was then that Wilhelm seemed to glow with inward fire; he struck
his glass so violently against Otto's that it broke, and the wine
"A health to the ladies!" cried one of the signors.
"A health to the ladies!" resounded from the different rooms, which
were all converted into the banquet-hall.
The ladies rose, stood upon their chairs, some even upon the table,
bowed, and returned thanks for the toast.
"No, no," whispered Otto to Wilhelm, at the same time pulling him
down. "In this dress you resemble your sister so much, that it is
quite horrible to me to see you act a part so opposed to her
"And your eyes," Said Wilhelm, smiling, "resemble two eyes which
have touched my heart. A health to first love!" cried he, and
struck his glass against Otto's so that the half of his wine was
The champagne foamed, and amidst noise and laughter, as during the
carnival joy, a new song refreshed the image of the nark which they
had just left:--
"Here if green trees were not growing
Fresh as on yon little hill,
Heard we not the fountains flowing,
We in sooth should see them still!
Tents were filled below, above,
Filled with everything but love!
Here went gratis brushing-boys--
Graduated have they all!
Here stood, who would think it, sir?
A student as a trumpeter!"
"A health to the one whose eyes mine resemble!" whispered Otto,
carried along with the merriment.
"That health we have already drunk!" answered Wilhelm, "but we
cannot do a good thing too often."
"Then you still think of Eva?"
"She was beautiful! sweet! who knows what might have happened had
she remained here? Her fate has fallen into mamma's hands, and she
and the other exalted Nemesis must now conduct the affair: I wash
my hands of it."
"Are you recovered?" asked Otto. "But when you see Eva again in the
"I hope that I shall not fall sick," replied Wilhelm; "I have a
strong constitution. But we must now hasten up to the dance."
All rushed from the tables, and up-stairs, where the park was
arranged. There was now only the green wood to be seen. Theatres
and booths had been removed. Gay paper-lamps hung among the branches,
a large orchestra played, and a half-bacchanalian wood-ball commenced.
Wilhelm was Otto's partner, but after the first dance the lady sought
out for herself a more lively cavalier.
Otto drew back toward the wall where the windows were concealed by
the boughs of Fir-tree. His eye followed Wilhelm, whose great
resemblance to Sophie made him melancholy; his hand accidentally
glided through the branches and touched the window-seat; there lay
a little bird--it was dead!
To increase the illusion they had bought a number of birds, which
should fly about during the park-scene, but the poor little
creatures had died from fright at the wild uproar. In the windows
and corners they lay dead. It was one of these birds that Otto
"It is dead!" said he to Wilhelm, who approached him.
"Now, that is capital!" returned the friend; "here you have
something over which you may be sentimental!"
Otto would not reply.
"Shall we dance a Scotch waltz?" asked Wilhelm laughing, and the
wine and his youthful blood glowed in his cheeks.
"I wish you would put on your own dress!" said Otto. "You resemble,
as I said before, your sister"--
"And I am my sister," interrupted Wilhelm, in his wantonness. "And
as a reward for your charming readings aloud, for your excellent
conversation, and the whole of your piquant amiability, you shall
now be paid with a little kiss!" He pressed his lips to Otto's
forehead; Otto thrust him back and left the company.
Several hours passed before he could sleep; at length he was forced
to laugh over his anger: what mattered it if Wilhelm resembled his
The following morning Otto paid her a visit. All listened with
lively interest to his description of the merry St. John's day in
February. He also related how much Wilhelm had resembled his
sister, and how unpleasant this had been to him; and they laughed.
During the relation, however, Otto could not forbear drawing a
comparison. How great a difference did he now find! Sophie's beauty
was of quite another kind! Never before had he regarded her in this
light. Of the kisses which Wilhelm had given him, of course, they
did not speak; but Otto thought of them, thought of them quite
differently to what he had done before, and--the ways of Cupid are
strange! We will now see how affairs stand after advancing fourteen
"Huzza for Copenhagen and for Paris! may they both flourish!"
The Danes in Paris by HEIBERG.
Wilhelm's cousin, Joachim, had arrived from Paris. We remember the
young officer, out of whose letters Wilhelm had sent Otto a
description of the struggle of the July days. As an inspired hero
of liberty had he returned; struggling Poland had excited his
lively interest, and he would willingly have combated in Warsaw's
ranks. His mind and his eloquence made him doubly interesting. The
combat of the July days, of which he had been an eye-witness, he
described to them. Joachim was handsome; he had an elegant
countenance with sharp features, and was certainly rather pale--one
might perhaps have called him worn with dissipation, had it not
been for the brightness of his eyes, which increased in
conversation. The fine dark eyebrow, and even the little mustache,
gave the countenance all expression which reminded one of fine
English steel-engravings. His figure was small, almost slender, but
the proportions were beautiful. The animation of the Frenchman
expressed itself in every motion, but at the same time there was in
him a certain determination which seemed to say: "I am aware of
my own intellectual superiority!"
He interested every one: Otto also listened with pleasure when
Cousin Joachim related his experiences, but when all eyes were
turned toward the narrator, Otto fixed his suddenly upon Sophie,
and found that she could moderate his attentions. Joachim addressed
his discourse to all, but at the points of interest his glance
rested alone on the pretty cousin! "She interests him!" said Otto
to himself. "And Cousin Joachim?" Yes, he relates well; but had we
only traveled we should not be inferior to him!"
"Charles X. was a Jesuit!" said Joachim; "he strove after an
unrestrained despotism, and laid violent hands on the Charter. The
expedition against Algiers was only a glittering fire-work arranged
to flatter the national pride--all glitter and falseness! Like
Peirronnet, through an embrace he would annihilate the Charter."
The conversation now turned from the Jesuits to the Charter and
Polignac. The minute particulars, which only an eyewitness can
relate, brought the struggle livingly before their eyes. They saw
the last night, the extraordinary activity in the squares where the
balls were showered, and in the streets where the barricades were
erected. Overturned wagons and carts, barrels and stones, were
heaped upon each other--even the hundred year-old trees of the
Boulevards were cut down to form barricades: the struggle began,
Frenchman fought against Frenchman--for liberty and country they
sacrificed their life. [Note:
"Ceux qui pieusement sont morts pour la patrie
Ont droit qu'a leur cerceuil la foule vienne et prie:
Entre le plus beaux noms, leur nom est le plus beau.
Toute gloire, pres d'eux, passe et tombe ephemere
Et, comme ferait une mere,
La voix d'un peuple entier les berce en leur tombeau!"
And he described the victory and Louis Philippe, whom he admired
"That was a world event," said the man of business. "It electrified
both king and people. They still feel the movement. Last year was
an extraordinary year!"
"For the Copenhageners also," said Otto, "there were three colors.
These things occupied the multitude with equal interest: the July
Revolution, the 'Letters of a Wandering Ghost,' and Kellermann's
"Now you are bitter, Mr. Thostrup," said the lady of the house.
"The really educated did not occupy themselves with these Berlin
'Eckensteher' which the multitude have rendered national!"
"But they hit the right mark!" said Otto; "they met with a
reception from the citizens and people in office."
"That I can easily believe," remarked Joachim; "that is like the
"That is like the people abroad!" said the hostess. "In Paris they
pass over still more easily from a revolution, in which they
themselves have taken part, to a review by Jules Janin, or to a new
step of Taglioni's, and from that to 'une histoire scandaleuse!'"
"No, my gracious lady, of the last no one takes any notice--it
belongs to the order of the day!"
"That I can easily believe!" said Miss Sophie.
The man of business now inquired after the Chamber. The cousin's
answer was quite satisfactory. The lady of the house wished to hear
of the flower-markets, and of the sweet little inclosed gardens in
the Places. Sophie wished to hear of Victor Hugo. She received a
description of him, of his abode in the Place Royale, and of the
whole Europe litteraire beside. Cousin Joachim was extremely
Otto did not pay another visit for two days.
"Where have you been for so long?" asked Sophie, when he came
"With my books!" replied he: there lay a gloomy expression in his
"O, you should have come half an hour earlier--our cousin was here!
He was describing to me the Jardin des Plantes in Paris. O, quite
"He is an interesting young man!" said Otto.
"The glorious garden!" pursued Sophie, without remarking the
emphasis with which Otto had replied. "Do you not remember, Mr.
Thostrup, how Barthelemi has spoken of it?
'Ou tout homme, qui reve a son pays absent,
Retrouve ses parfums et son air caressant.'
In it there is a whole avenue with cages, in which are wild
beasts,--lions and tigers! In small court-yards, elephants and
buffaloes wander about at liberty! Giraffes nibble the branches of
high trees! In the middle of the garden are the courts for bears,
only there is a sort of well in which the bears walk about; it is
surrounded by no palisades, and you stand upon the precipitous
edge! There our cousin stood!"
"But he did not precipitate himself down!" said Otto, with
"What is the matter?" asked Sophie. "Are you in your elegiac mood?
You look as I imagine Victor Hugo when he has not made up his mind
about the management of his tragic catastrophe!"
"That is my innate singularity!" replied Otto. "I should have
pleasure in springing down among the bears of which you relate!"
"And in dying?" asked Sophie. "No, you must live.
'C'est le bonheur de vivre
Qui fait la gloire de mourir.'"
"You speak a deal of French to-day," said Otto, with a friendliness
of manner intended to soften the bitterness of the tone. "Perhaps
your conversation with the lieutenant was in that language?"
"French interests me the most!" replied she. "I will ask our cousin
to speak it often with me. His accent is excellent, and he is
himself a very interesting man!"
"No doubt of it!" answered Otto.
"You will remain and dine with us?" said the lady of the house, who
Otto did not feel well.
"These are only whims," said Sophie.
The ladies made merry, and Otto remained. Cousin Joachim came and
was interesting--very interesting, said all. He related of Paris,
spoke also of Copenhagen, and drew comparisons. The quietness of
home had made an especial impression on him.
"People here," said he, "go about as if they bore some heavy grief,
or some joy, which they might not express. If one goes into a
coffee-house, it is just as if one entered a house of mourning.
Each one seats himself, a newspaper in his hand, in a corner. That
strikes one when one comes from Paris! One naturally has the
thought,--Can these few degrees further north bring so much cold
into the blood? There is the same quiet in our theatre. Now I love
this active life. The only boldness the public permits itself is
hissing a poor author; but a wretched singer, who has neither tone
nor manner, a miserable actress, will be endured, nay, applauded by
good friends--an act of compassion. She is so fearful! she is so
good! In Paris people hiss. The decoration master, the manager,
every one there receives his share of applause or blame. Even the
directors are there hissed, if they manage badly."
"You are preaching a complete revolution in our theatrical
kingdom!" said the lady of the house. "The Copenhageners cannot
ever become Parisians, and neither should they."
"The theatre is here, as well as there, the most powerful organ of
the people's life. It has the greatest influence, and ours stands
high, very high, when one reflects in what different directions it
must extend its influence. Our only theatre must accommodate
itself, and represent, at the same time, the Theatre Francais, the
grand Opera, the Vaudeville, and Saint-Martin; it must comprehend
all kinds of theatrical entertainments. The same actors who to-day
appear in tragedy, must to-morrow show themselves in a comedy or
vaudeville. We have actors who might compare themselves with the
best in Paris--only _one_ is above all ours, but, also, above all
whom I have seen in Europe, and this one is Mademoiselle Mars. You
will, doubtless, consider the reason extraordinary which gives this
one, in my opinion, the first place. This is her age, which she so
completely compels you to forget. She is still pretty; round,
without being called fat. It is not through rouge, false hair, or
false teeth, that she procures herself youth; it lies in her soul,
and from thence it flows into every limb--every motion becomes
charming! She fills you with astonishment! her eyes are full of
expression, and her voice is the most sonorous which I know! It is
indeed music! How can one think of age when one is affected by an
immortal soul? I rave about Leontine Fay, but the old Mars has my
heart. There is also a third who stands high with the Parisians--
Jenny Vertpre, at the Gymnase Dramatique, but she would be soon
eclipsed were the Parisians to see our Demoiselle Patges. She
possesses talent which will shine in every scene. Vertpre has her
loveliness, her whims, but not her Proteus-genius, her nobility. I
saw Vertpre in 'La Reine de Seize Ans,'--a piece which we have not
yet; but she was only a saucy soubrette in royal splendor--a
Pernille of Holberg's, as represented by a Parisian. We have Madame
Wexschall, and we have Frydendal! Were Denmark only a larger
country, these names would sound throughout Europe!"
He now described the decorations in the "Sylphide," in "Natalia,"
and in various other ballets, the whole splendor, the whole
"But our orchestra is excellent!" said Miss Sophie.
"It certainly contains several distinguished men," answered
Joachim; "but must one speak of the whole? Yes, you know I am not
musical, and cannot therefore express myself in an artistical
manner about music, but certain it is that something lay in my ear,
in my feeling, which, in Paris, whispered to me, 'That is
excellent!' Here, on the contrary, it cries, 'With moderation! with
moderation!' The voice is the first; she is the lady; the
instruments, on the contrary, are the cavaliers who shall conduct
the former before the public. Gently they should take her by the
hand; she must stand quite foremost; but here the instruments
thrust her aside, and it is to me as if each instrument would have
the first place, and constantly shouted, 'Here am I! here am I!"
"That sounds very well!" said Sophie; "but one may not believe you!
You have fallen in love with foreign countries, and, therefore, at
home everything must be slighted."
"By no means! The Danish ladies, for instance, appear the
prettiest, the most modest whom I have known."
"Appear?" repeated Otto.
"Joachim possesses eloquence," said the lady of the house.
"That has developed itself abroad!" answered he: "here at home
there are only two ways in which it can publicly develop itself--in
the pulpit, and at a meeting in the shooting-house. Yet it is true
that now we are going to have a Diet and a more political life. I
feel already, in anticipation, the effect; we shall only live for
this life, the newspapers will become merely political, the poets
sing politics the painters choose scenes from political life.
'C'est un Uebergang!' as Madame La Fleche says. [Author's Note:
Holberg's Jean de France.] Copenhagen is too small to be a great,
and too great to be a small city. See, there lies the fault!"
Otto felt an irresistible desire to contradict him in most things
which he said about home. But the cousin parried every bold blow
with a joke.
"Copenhagen must be the Paris of the North," said he, "and that it
certainly would become in fifty, or twice that number of years. The
situation was far more beautiful than that of the city of the
Seine. The marble church must be elevated, and become a Pantheon,
adorned with the works of Thorwaldsen and other artists;
Christiansborg, a Louvre, whose gallery you visit; Oster Street and
Pedermadsen's passage, arcades such as are in Paris, covered with
glass roofs and flagged, shops on both sides, and in the evening,
when thousands of gas-lamps burnt, here should be the promenade;
the esplanades would be the Champs Elysees, with swings and slides,
music, and mats de cocagne. [Author's Note: High smooth poles, to
the top of which victuals, clothes, or money are attached. People
of the lower classes then try to climb up and seize the prizes. The
best things are placed at the very top of the pole.] On the
Peblinger Lake, as on the Seine, there should be festive water
excursions made. Voila!" exclaimed he, "that would be splendid!"
"That might be divine!" said Sophie.
Animation and thought lay in the cousin's countenance; his fine
features became striking from their expression. Thus did his image
stamp itself in Otto's soul, thus did it place itself beside
Sophie's image as she stood there, with her large brown eyes, round
which played thought and smiles, whilst they rested on the cousin.
The beautifully formed white hand, with its taper fingers, played
with the curls which fell over her cheeks. Otto would not think of
"And if I have wept alone, it is my own sorrow."--GOETHE
Latterly Otto had been but seldom at Mr. Berger's. He had no
interest about the merchant's home. The family showed him every
politeness and mark of confidence; but his visits became every week
more rare. Business matters, however, led him one day there.
Chance or fate, as we call it, if the shadow of a consequence shows
itself, caused Maren to pass through the anteroom when Otto was
about taking his departure. She was the only one of the ladies at
home. In three weeks she would return to Lemvig. She said that she
could not boast of having enjoyed Mr. Thostrup's society too often.
"Your old friends interest you no longer!" added she, somewhat
gravely. With this exception she had amused herself very well in
the city, had seen everything but the stuffed birds, and these she
should see to-morrow. She had been seven times in the theatre, and
had seen the "Somnambule" twice. However, she had not seen "Der
Frieschutz," and she had an especial desire to see this on account
of the wolf-glen. At Aarhuus there was a place in the wood, said
she, called the wolf-glen; this she knew, and now wished to see
whether it resembled the one on the stage.
"May I then greet Rosalie from you?" she asked at length.
"You will still remain three weeks here," said Otto: "it is too
soon to speak of leave-taking."
"But you scarcely ever come here," returned she. "You have better
places to go to! The Baron's sister certainly sees you oftener; she
is said to be a pretty and very clever girl: perhaps one may soon
offer one's congratulations?"
Otto became crimson.
"In spring you will travel abroad," pursued she; "we shall not then
see you in Jutland: yes, perhaps yon will never go there again!
That will make old Rosalie sad: she thinks so incredibly much of
you. In all the letters which I have received here there were
greetings to Mr. Thostrup. Yes, I have quite a multitude of them
for you; but you do not come to receive them, and I dare not pay a
visit to such a young gentleman. For the sake of old friendship let
me, at least, be the first who can relate at home of the
"How can you have got such a thought?" replied Otto. "I go to so
many houses where there are young ladies; if my heart had anything
to do with it, I should have a bad prospect. I have great esteem
for Miss Sophie; I speak with her as with you, that is all. I
perceive that the air of Copenhagen has affected you; here in the
city they are always betrothing people. This comes from the ladies
in the house here. How could you believe such stories?"
Maren also joked about it, but after they had parted she seated
herself in a corner, drew her little apron over her head and wept;
perhaps because she should soon leave the lively city, where she had
been seven times to the theatre, and yet had not seen the wolf-glen.
"Betrothed!" repeated Otto to himself, and thought of Sophie, of
the cousin, and of his own childhood, which hung like a storm-cloud
in his heaven. Many thoughts passed through his mind: he
recollected the Christmas Eve on which he had seen Sophie for the
first time, when she, as one of the Fates, gave him the number. He
had 33, she 34; they were united by the numbers following each
other. He received the pedigree, and was raised to her nobility.
The whole joke had for him a signification. He read the verse again
which had accompanied it. The conclusion sounded again and again in
"From this hour forth thy soul high rank hath won her,
Nor will forget thy knighthood and thy honor!"
"O Sophie!" he exclaimed aloud, and the fire which had long
smouldered in his blood now burst forth in flames. "Sophie! thee
must I press to my heart!" He lost himself in dreams. Dark shapes
disturbed them. "Can she then be happy? Can I? The picture which
she received where the covering of ice was broken and the faithful
dog watched in vain, is also significant. That is the fulfillment
of hopes. I sink, and shall never return!"
The image of the cousin mingled in his dreams. That refined
countenance with the little mustache looked forth saucily and
loquaciously; and Sophie's eyes he saw rest upon the cousin, whilst
her white hand played with the brown curls which fell over her
"O Sophie!" sighed Otto, and fell asleep.
... "We live through others,
We think we are others; we seem
Others to be ... And so think others of us."
When the buds burst forth we will burst forth also! had Otto and
Wilhelm often said. Their plan was, in the spring to travel
immediately to Paris, but on their way to visit the Rhine, and to
sail from Cologne to Strasburg.
"Yes, one must see the Rhine first!" said Cousin Joachim; "when one
has seen Switzerland and Italy, it does not strike one nearly as
much. That must be your first sight; but you should not see it in
spring, but toward autumn. When the vines have their full variety
of tint, and the heavy grapes hang from the stems, see, it is then
the old ruins stand forth. These are the gardens of the Rhine!
Another advantage which you have in going there in autumn is that
you then enter Paris in winter, and that one must do; then one does
not come post festum; then is the heyday of gayety--the theatre,
the soirees, and everything which can interest the beau monde."
Although Otto did not generally consider the cousin's words of much
weight, he this time entered wonderfully into his views. "It would
certainly be the most prudent to commence their journey toward
autumn," he thought: "there could be no harm in preparing
themselves a little more for it!"
"That is always good!" said Joachim; "but, what is far more
advantageous abroad than all the preparations you can make at home,
is said in a few words--give up all intercourse with your own
country-people! Nowadays every one travels! Paris is not now
further from us than Hamburg was some thirty years ago. When I was
in Paris I found there sixteen or seventeen of my countrymen. O,
how they kept together! Eleven of them dwelt in the same hotel:
they drank coffee together, walked out together, went to the
restaurateur's together, and took together half a bench in the
theatre. That is the most foolish thing a person can do! I consider
travelling useful for every one, from the prince to the travelling
journeyman. But we allow too many people to travel! We are not
rich, therefore restrictions should be made. The creative artist,
the poet, the engineer, and the physician must travel; but God
knows why theologians should go forth. They can become mad enough
at home! They come into Catholic countries, and then there is an
end of them! Wherefore should book-worms go forth? They shut
themselves up in the diligence and in their chambers, rummage a
little in the libraries, but not so much as a pinch of snuff do
they do us any good when they return! Those who cost the most
generally are of the least use, and bring the country the least
honor! I, thank God! paid for my journey myself, and am therefore
free to speak my opinion!"
We will now hear what Miss Sophie said, and therefore advance a few
"We keep you then with us till August!" said she, once when she was
alone with Otto. "That is wise! You can spend some time with us in
Funen, and gather strength for your journey. Yes, the journey will
do you good!"
"I hope so!" answered Otto. "I am perhaps able to become as
interesting as your cousin, as amiable!"
"That would be requiring too much from you!" said Sophie, bantering
him. "You will never have his humor, his facility in catching up
character. You will only preach against the depravity of the
Parisians; you will only be able to appreciate the melancholy
grandeur of Switzerland and the solitude of the Hungarian forests."
"You would make a misanthrope of me, which I by no means am."
"But you have an innate talent for this character!" answered
Sophie. "Something will certainly be polished away by this journey,
and it is on account of this change that I rejoice."
"Must one, then, have a light, fickle mood to please you?" asked
"Yes, certainly!" answered Sophie, ironically.
"Then it is true what your cousin told me!" said Otto. "If one will
be fortunate with the ladies, one must at least be somewhat
frivolous, fond of pleasure, and fickle,--that makes one
interesting. Yes, he has made himself acquainted with the world, he
has experience in everything!"
"Yes, perfectly!" said Sophie, and laughed aloud.
Otto was silent, with contracted brow.
"I wish you sunshine!" said Sophie, and smiling raised her finger.
Otto remained unchanged--he wrinkled his brow.
"You must change very much!" said she, half gravely; and danced out
of the room.
Three weeks passed by, rich in great events in the kingdom of the
heart; it was still a diplomatic secret: the eyes betrayed it by
their pantomimic language, the mouth alone was silent, and it is
after all the deciding power.
Otto visited the merchant's family. Maren had departed just the day
before. In vain had she awaited his visit throughout the three
"You quite forget your true friends!" said the ladies. "Believe us,
Maja was a little angry with you, and yet we have messages. Now she
is sailing over the salt sea."
This was not precisely the case; she was already on land, and just
at this moment was driving over the brown heath, thinking of
Copenhagen and the pleasures there, and of the sorrow also--it is
so sad to be forgotten by a friend of childhood! Otto was so
handsome, so clever--she did not dream at all how handsome and
clever she herself would appear at home. Beauty and cleverness they
had discovered in her before she left; now she had been in the
capital, and that gives relief.
The little birds fluttered round the carriage; perhaps they sang to
her what should happen in two years: "Thou wilt be a bride, the
secretary's lovely little bride; thou shalt have both him and the
musical-box! Thou wilt be the grandest lady in the town, and yet
the most excellent mother. Thy first daughter shall be called Maja
--that is a pretty name, and reminds thee of past days!"
"The monastery is still called 'Andersskov' (the wood of Anders) in
memory of its being the habitation of the pious Anders.
"The hill on which he awoke, comforted by sleep, is still called
'Hvile hoi' (the hill of rest). A cross having a Latin inscription,
half-effaced, marks the spot."--J. L. HEIBERG.
It was spring, fresh, life-bearing spring! Only one day and one
night, and the birds of passage were back again; the woods made
themselves once more young with green, odorous leaves; the Sound
had its swimming Venice of richly laden vessels; only one day and
one night, and Sophie was removed from Otto--they were divided by
the salt sea; but it was spring in his heart; from it flew his
thoughts, like birds of passage, to the island of Funen, and there
sang of summer. Hope gave him more "gold and green woods" than the
ships bear through the Sound, more than Zealand's bays can show.
Sophie at parting pressed his hand. In her eyes lay what his heart
might hope and dream.
He forgot that hope and dreams were the opposites of reality.
Cousin Joachim had gone to Stockholm, and would not return either
in the spring or summer to Funen. On the contrary, Otto intended to
spend a few weeks at the country-seat; not before August would he
and Wilhelm travel. There would at least be one happy moment, and
many perhaps almost as happy. In his room stood a rose-bush, the
first buds formed themselves, and opened their red lips--as pure
and tender as these leaves was Sophie's cheek: he bent over the
flower, smiled and read there sweet thoughts which were related to
his love. A rose-bud is a sweet mystery.
"The myriad leaves enmaze
Small labyrinthine ways
Where spicy odor flows,
Thou lovelv bud o' the rose!"
The day came on which Otto, after he had comfortably terminated his
visits of leave-taking, at midday, in the company of three young
students travelled away through Zealand. They had taken a carriage
together as far as Slagelse, where, like Abraham's and Lot's
shepherds, they should separate to the right and left. Otto
remained alone, in order to travel post that night to Nyborg. It
was only four o'clock in the afternoon, Otto had no acquaintance
here, therefore it was but to take a walk.
"There still exist remains of the old Antvorskov convent, [Author's
Note: The convent was founded by Waldemar I., 1177.] do there not?"
"Yes, but very little!" answered the host. "The convent became a
castle, the castle a private house, and now within the last few
years, on account of the stones, it has been still more pulled
down. You will find nothing old remaining, except here and there in
the garden a piece of a red wall standing out. But the situation is
beautiful! If you will only take the road toward the large village
called Landsgrav, you are on the way to Korsoer, and close to the
cross of the holy Anders. It is a right pleasant excursion!"
"Convent ruins and the holy cross!" said Otto; "that sounds quite
romantic!" And he commenced his wanderings.
A few scholars from the Latin school, with their books held
together by a strait, and then a square built lancer, who greeted
in military style an elderly-young lady, who was seated behind a
barricade of geraniums and wall flowers, were the only individuals
he met with on his way. Yet Otto remarked that the windows were
opened as he passed; people wanted to see who the stranger might be
who was going up the street.
A long avenue led from the town to the castle. On either side the
way lay detached houses, with little gardens. Otto soon reached the
remains of old Antvorskov. The way was red from the stones which
were flung about, and were now ground to dust. Huge pieces of wall,
where the mortar and stone were united in one piece, lay almost
concealed among the high nettles. Rather more distant stood a
solitary house of two stories. It was narrow, and whitewashed. A
thick pilaster, such as one sees in churches, supported the strong
wall. This was half of the last wing of the castle,--a mingling of
the ancient and incident, of ruin and dwelling-house.
Otto went into the garden, which was laid out upon the hill itself,
and its terraces. Here were only young trees; but the walks were
everywhere overgrown. The view stretched itself far over the plain,
toward the Belt and Funen. He descended from the terrace down to
the lowest wall. In this there yet remained a piece of an old
tombstone, of the age of the convent, on which you perceived the
trace of a female form; and near to this the figure of a skeleton,
round which was twined a snake. Otto stood sunk in contemplation,
when an old man, with two water-buckets suspended from a yoke on
his shoulders, approached a near well.
The old man was very ready to commence a conversation. He told of
excavations, and of an underground passage which had not been
discovered, but which, according to his opinion, was certainly in
existence. So far they had only found a few walled-round spaces,
which had most probably been prisons. In one of these was an iron
chain fastened into the wall. But with regard to the underground
passage, they had only not yet discovered the right place, for it
must exist. It led from here, deep under the lake and forest,
toward Soroe. There were large iron gates below. At Christmas one
could hear how they were swung to and fro. "Whoever should have
that which is concealed there," said the old man, "would be a made
man, and need not neither slip nor slide."
Otto looked at the solitary wing which rose up over the terrace.
How splendid it had been here in former times!
Close to the large wood, several miles in extent, which stretches
itself on the other side of Soroe, down to the shore of the King's
Brook, lay the rich convent where Hans Tausen spoke what the Spirit
inspired him with. Times changed; the convent vanished;
"Halls of state
Tower upon that spot elate;
Where the narrow cell once stood;"
[Author's Note: Anders-skov, by Oehlenschlager.]
where the monks sang psalms, knights and ladies danced to the sound
of beating drums: but these tone's ceased; the blooming cheeks
became dust. It was again quiet. Many a pleasant time did Holberg
ride over from Soroe, through the green wood, to visit the steward
of Antvorskov. Otto recollected what one of his daughters, when an
old woman, had related to a friend of his. She was a child, and lay
in the cradle, when old Holberg came riding there, with a little
wheaten loaf and a small pot of preserve in his pocket--his usual
provision on such little excursions. The steward's young wife sat
at her spinning-wheel. Holberg paced up and down the room with the
husband; they were discussing politics. This interested the wife,
and she joined in the conversation. Holberg turned round to her,--
"I fancy the distaff speaks!" said he. This the wife could never
forget. [Translator's Note: Rokkehoved, distaff, means also dunce
Otto smiled at this recollection of the witty but ungallant poet,
quitted the garden, and went through a winding hollow way, where
the luxuriant briers hung in rich masses over the stone fence.
Slagelse, with its high hills in the background, looked
picturesque. He soon reached Landsgrav. The sun went down as he
walked over the field where the wooden cross stands, with its
figure of the Redeemer, in memory of the holy Anders. Near it he
perceived a man, who appeared to kneel. One hand held fast by the
cross; in the other was a sharp knife, with which he was probably
cutting out his name. He did not observe Otto. Near the man lay a
box covered with green oil-cloth; and in the grass lay a knapsack,
a pair of boots, and a knotty stick. It must be a wandering
journeyman, or else a pedlar.
Otto was about to return, when the stranger rose and perceived him.
Otto stood as if nailed to the earth. It was the German Heinrich
whom he saw before him.
"Is not that Mr. Thostrup?" said the man and that horrible grinning
smile played around his mouth. "No, that I did not expect!"
"Does it go well with you, Heinrich?" asked Otto.
"There's room for things to mend!" replied Heinrich "It goes better
with you! Good Lord, that you should become such a grand gentleman!
Who would have thought it, when you rode on my knee, and I pricked
you in the arm? Things go on strangely in this world! Have you
heard of your sister? She was not so much spoiled as you! But she
was a beautiful child!"
"I have neither seen her nor my parents!" replied he, with a
trembling which he strove to conquer. "Do you know where she is?"
"I am always travelling!" said Heinrich; "but thus much I know,
that she is still in Funen. Yes, she must take one of us, an
unpretending husband! You can choose a genteel young lady for
yourself. That's the way when people are lucky. You will become a
landed proprietor. Old Heinrich will then no doubt obtain
permission to exhibit his tricks on your estate? But none of its
will speak of former times!--of the red house on the Odense water!"
This last he whispered quite low. "I shall receive a few shillings
from you?" he asked.
"You shall have more!" said Otto, and gave to him. "But I wish us
to remain strangers to each other, as we are!"
"Yes, certainly, certainly!" said Heinrich, and nodded
affirmatively with his head, whilst his eyes rested on the gift
Otto had presented him with. "Then you are no longer angry with my
joke in Jutland?" asked he with a simpering smile, and kissed
Otto's hand. "I should not have known you then. Had you not shown
me your shoulder, on which I saw the letters O and T which I myself
had etched, it would never have occurred to me that we knew each
other! But a light suddenly flashed across me. I should have said
Otto Thostrup; but I said 'Odense Tugt-huus.' [Note: Odense house
of correction.] That was not handsome of me, seeing you are such a
"Yes, now adieu!" said Otto, and extended to him unwillingly his
"There, our Saviour looks down upon us!" said the German Heinrich,
and fixed his eyes upon the figure on the cross. "As certainly as
He lives may you rely upon the silence of my mouth. He is my
Redeemer, who hangs there on the cross, just as he is etched upon
my skin, and as he stands along the high-roads in my father-land.
Here is the only place in the whole country where the sign of the
cross stands under the free heaven; here I worship: for you must
know, Mr. Thostrup, I am not of your faith, but of the faith of the
Virgin Mary. Here I have cut into the wood the holy sign, such as
is placed over every door in my father-land,--an I, an H, and this
S. In this is contained my own name; for H stands for Heinrich; I,
for I myself; and S means Sinner; that is, I, Heinrich, Sinner. Now
I have completed my worship, and you have given me a handsome
skilling, I shall now go to my bed at the public-house; and if the
girl is pretty, and lets one flatter her, I am still young enough,
and shall fancy that I am Mr. Thostrup, and have won that most
glorious, elegant young lady! Hurrah! it is a player's life which
Otto left him, but heard how Heinrich sang:
"Tri, ri, ro,
The summer comes once mo!
To beer, boys! to beer
The winter lies in bands, O!
And he who won't come here,
We'll trounce him with our wands, O!
Yo, yo, yo,
The summer comes once mo!"
As, suddenly on a clear sunny day, a cloud can appear, extinguish
the warm sunshine, conceal the green coast, and change everything
into gray mist forms, so was it now with Otto, who had but just
before felt himself so happy and full of youthful joy.
"You can sleep quietly!" said the host, when Otto returned to
Slagelse; "you shall be wakened early enough to leave with the
But his rest was like a delirium.
The post-horn sounded in the empty street; they rolled away--it was
"Is that a gallows?" inquired one of the travellers, and pointed toward
the hill, where at this distance the cross looked like a stake.
"That is the cross of the holy Anders!" replied Otto; and livingly
stood before him the recollections of the evening before.
"Does that really exist?" said the stranger. "I have read of it in
the 'Letters of a Wandering Ghost.'"
This was a beautiful morning, the sun shone warmly, the sea was
smooth as a mirror, and so much the faster did the steamboat glide
away. The vessel with the mail, which had set sail two hours
earlier, still lay not far from land. The sails hung down loosely;
not a breeze stirred them.
The steamboat glided close past her; the passengers in the mail-vessel,
the greater portion coachmen, travelling journeymen, and peasants,
stood on the deck to see it. They waved greetings. One of the
foremost leaned on his knotty stick, pulled off his hat, and
shouted, "Good morning, my noble gentlefolk!" It was the German
Heinrich; he then was going to Funen. Otto's heart beat faster, he
gazed down among the rushing waves which foamed round the paddle,
where the sunbeams painted a glorious rainbow.
"That is lovely!" said one of the strangers, close to him.
"Very lovely!" returned Otto, and stilled the sigh which would
burst forth from his breast.
Scarcely two hours were fled--the cables were flung upon the Nyborg
bridge of boats, and the steamboat made fast to the island of Funen.
"It is so sweet when friendly hands bid you a hearty welcome, so
dear to behold well-known features, wherever you turn your eyes.
Everything seems so home-like and quiet about you and in your own
breast." HENRIETTE HAUCK.
Otto immediately hired a carriage, and reached the hall just about
dinner-time. In the interior court-yard stood two calashes and an
Holstein carriage; two strange coachmen, with lace round their
hats, stood in animated discourse when Otto drove in through the
gate. The postilion blew his horn.
"Be quiet there!" cried Otto.
"There are strangers at the hall!" said the postilion; "I will only
let them know that another is coming."
Otto gazed at the garden, glanced up toward the windows, where mine
of the ladies showed themselves only out of a side building a
female head was stretched out, whose hair was put back underneath a
cap. Otto recognized the grown-together eyebrows. "Is she the first
person I am to see here?" sighed he; and the carriage rolled into
the inner court. The dogs barked, the turkey-cocks gobbled, but not
Wilhelm showed himself. The Kammerjunker came--the excellent
neighbor! and immediately afterward Sophie; both exclaimed with
"See, here we have our man!" said the Kammerjunker; "we can make
use of him in the play!"
"It is glorious you are come!" cried Sophie. "We shall immediately
put you under arrest." She extended her hand to him--he pressed it
to his lips. "We will have tableaux vivants this evening!" said
she: "the pastor has never seen any. We have no service from
Wilhelm; he is in Svendborg, and will not return for two days. You
must be the officer; the Kammerjunker will represent the
Somnambulist, who comes with her light through the window. Will
"Everything you desire!" said Otto.
"Do not speak of it!" returned Sophie, and laid her finger on her
lips. The mother descended the steps.
"Dear Thostrup!" said she, and pressed, with warm cordiality, both
his hands. "I have really quite yearned after you. Now Wilhelm is
away, you must for two whole days put up with us alone."
Otto went through the long passage where hung the old portraits; it
was as if these also wished welcome. It only seemed a night full of
many dreams which had passed since he was here; a year in the lapse
of time is also not so long as a winter's night in the life of man.
Here it was so agreeable, so home-like; no one could have seen by
the trees that since then they had stood stripped of leaves and
covered with snow; luxuriantly green they waved themselves in the
sun's warmth, just as when Otto last gazed out of this window.
He had the red room as before. The dinner-bell rang.
Louise met him in the passage.
"Thostrup!" exclaimed she, with delight, and seized his hand. "Now,
it is almost a year and a day since I saw you!"
"Yes much has happened in this year!" said the Kammerjunker. "Come
soon to me, and you shall see what I have had made for pastime--a
bowling-green! Miss Sophie has tried her skill upon it."
The Kammerjunker took the mother to dinner. Otto approached Sophie.
"Will you not take the Kammerjunker's sister?" whispered she.
Mechanically, Otto made his bow before Miss Jakoba.
"Take one of the young ladies!" said she; "you would rather do
Otto bowed, cast a glance toward Sophie; she had the old pastor.
Otto smiled, and conducted Jakoba to table.
The Mamsell, renowned through her work-box, sat on his left hand.
He observed the company who, beside those we have already
mentioned, consisted of several ladies and gentlemen whom he did
not know. One chair was empty, but it was soon occupied; a young
girl, quiet in her attire, and dressed like Louise, entered.
"Why do you come so late?" asked Sophie, smiling.
"That is only known to Eva and me!" said Louise, and smiled at the
Eva seated herself. It was, perhaps, the complete resemblance of
their dress which induced Otto to observe both her and Louise so
closely, and even against his own will to draw comparisons. Both
wore a simple dark brown dress, a small sea-green handkerchief
round the neck. Louise seemed to him enchanting--pretty one could
not call her: Eva, on the contrary, was ideal; there lay something
in her appearance which made him think of the pale pink hyacinth.
Every human being has his invisible angel, says the mythos; both
are different and yet resemble each other. Eva was the angel;
Louise, on the contrary, the human being in all its purity. Otto's
eyes encountered those of Sophie--they were both directed to the
same point. "What power! what beauty!" thought he. Her mind is far
above that of Louise, and in beauty she is a gorgeous flower, and
not, like Eva, a fine, delicate hyacinth. He drew eloquence from
these eyes, and became interesting like the cousin, although he had
not been in Paris.
The Kammerjunker spoke of sucking-pigs, but that also was
interesting; perhaps be drew his inspiration out of the same source
as Otto. He spoke of the power of green buckwheat, and how the
swine which eat it become mad. From this doubtless originated the
legend of the devil entering into the swine. It is only coal-black
pigs which can digest green buckwheat; if they have a single white
speck upon them, they become ill at eating. "This is extraordinary,"
In his enthusiasm his discourse became almost a cry, which caused
Miss Jakoba to say that one might almost think that he himself had
eaten green buckwheat.
Otto meantime cut out of the green melon-peel a man, and made him
ride on the edge of his glass; that withdrew Sophie's attention
from the Kammerjunker. The whole company found that this little
cut-out figure was very pretty; and the Mamsell begged that she
might have it--it should lie in her work-box.
Toward evening all were in preparation for the approaching tableaux.
Eva must represent Hero. With a torch in her hand she must kneel on
a table, which was to be draped so as to represent a balcony. The
poor girl felt quite unhappy at having to appear in this manner.
Sophie laughed at her fear, and assured her that she would be
admired, and that therefore she must and should.
"Give way to my sister," said Louise, in a beseeching voice; and
Eva was ready, let down her long brown hair, and allowed Sophie to
arrange the drapery.
Otto must put on an officer's uniform. He presented himself to the
"That gold is not sewn fast on the collar," said Sophie, and
undertook to rectify it. He could easily keep the uniform on whilst
she did this, said she. Her soft hand touched Otto's cheek, it was
like an electric shock to him; his blood burned; how much he longed
to press the hand to his lips!
They all burst out laughing when the Kammerjunker appeared in a
white petticoat which only reached a little below the knee, and in
a large white lady's dressing-jacket. Miss Sophie must arrange his
hair. She did it charmingly; her hand stroked the hair away from
his brow, and glided over his cheeks: he kissed it; she struck him
in the face, and begged him not to forget himself! "We are ladies,"
said he, and rose in his full splendor. They all laughed except
Otto; he could not--he felt a desire to beat him. The spectators
arranged themselves in a dark room, the folding doors were opened.
Eva as Hero, in a white linen robe, her hair hanging down on her
shoulders, and a torch in her hand, gazed out over the sea. No
painter could have imagined anything more beautiful; the large
dark-blue eyes expressed tenderness and melancholy; it was Eva's
natural glance, but here you saw her quiet. The fine black eyebrows
increased the expression, the whole figure was as if breathed into
Now followed a new picture--Faust and Margaret in the arbor; behind
stood Mephistophiles, with his devilish smile. The Kammerjunker's
Mamsell was Margaret. When the doors were opened she sent forth
aloud cry, and ran away; she would not stay, she was so afraid. The
group was disarranged, people laughed and found it amusing, but the
Kammerjunker scolded aloud, and swore that she should come in
again; at that the laughter of the spectators increased, and was
not lessened when the Kammerjunker, forgetting his costume as the
Somnambule, half stepped into the frame in which the pictures were
represented, and seated the Mamsell on the bench. This group was
only seen for one moment: the dorors were again closed; the
spectators applauded, but a whistle was heard. Laughter, and the
hum of conversation, resounded through the room; and it was
impossible to obtain perfect quiet, although a new picture already
shone in the frame. It was Sophie as Correggio's "Magdalene": her
rich hair fell in waves over her shoulders and round arms; before
her lay the skull and the holy book.
Otto's blood flowed faster; never had he seen Sophie more
beautiful. The audience, however, could not entirely forget the
comic scene which they had just witnessed; there was heard a faint
This at length was able to take its free course when the following
picture presented itself, where the Kammerjunker, as the Somnambule,
his hand half-concealing the extinguished light, showed himself at
the open window.
A most stormy burst of applause was awarded to the actors.
"Miss Sophie has arranged the whole!" cried the Kammerjunker, and
now her name sounded from the lips of all the audience.
Not before two days did Wilhelm return. He and Otto slept in the
same apartment. Otto told of the tableaux, and said how lovely Eva
had been as Hero.
"That I can well believe," replied Wilhelm, but did not enter
further into the subject; he laughed about the Kammerjunker and the
Otto again named Eva, but Wilhelm lightly passed over this subject
in his replies. Otto could not fathom their connection.
"Shall we not go to sleep?" said Wilhelm; they wished each other
good-night, and it was quiet.
The old man Sleep, as Tieck has described him, with the box out of
which he brings his dream-puppets, now commenced his nightly
dramatic adventures, which lasted until the sun shone in through
"He draws nearer and nearer to her.
'O, give my hope an answer by this pink-flower.'
She sighs: 'O, I will--no--I will not.'"
The Dancer, by PALUDAN-MULLER
"I shall get to know!" thought Otto. "This violent love cannot be
evaporated." He paid attention to every little occurrence. Eva was
the same quiet, modest creature as formerly--a house-fairy who
exercised a friendly influence over all. Wilhelm spoke with her,
but not with passion, neither with affected indifference. However,
we cannot entirely rely upon Otto's power of observation: his
glance was directed too often toward a dearer object--his attention
was really directed to Sophie.
They walked in the garden.
"Once as you certainly know," said Otto, "your brother had a fancy
for the pretty Eva. Is it not, therefore, somewhat dangerous her
living here? Has your mother been prudent?"
"For Wilhelm I am quite unconcerned!" answered Sophie. "Only take
care of yourself! Eva is very amiable, and has very much changed
for the better since she came here. My sister Louise quite raves
about her, and my mother regards her almost as an adopted daughter.
You have certainly remarked that she is not kept in the background.
Yet she is weak; she resembles the tender mountain-flowers which
grow in ice and snow, but which bow their heads in the soft
mountain air, when it is warmed by the sun. It really seems to me
that she is become weaker since she has enjoyed our care and happy
days. When I saw her at Roeskelde she was far more blooming."
"Perhaps she thinks of your brother--thinks of him with quiet sorrow?"
"That I do not think is the case," replied Sophie; "otherwise
Louise would have heard something of it. She possesses Eva's entire
confidence. You may make yourself easy, if you are jealous!"
"What make you conjecture this? My thoughts are directed above, and
not beneath me!" said he, with a kind of pride, "I feel that I
could never fall in love with Eva. Feel love toward her? no! Even
when I think of it, I feel almost as though I had some prejudice
against her. But you joke; you will rally me, as you have so often
done. We shall soon part! Only two months longer shall I remain in
Denmark! Two long years abroad! How much may occur in that time!
Will you think of me--really think of me, Miss Sophie?" He bent,
and kissed her hand.
Sophie became crimson. Both were silent.
"Are you here!" said the mother, who came out of a side walk.
Otto stooped lower, and broke one of the beautiful stocks which
hung over the border.
"Are you taking Louise's favorite flowers?" said she, smiling.
"This bed is declared to be inviolable."
"I was so unfortunate as to break it!" said Otto, confused.
"He wished to gather the dark-red pink for my table-garland!" said
Sophie. "If he took it, my conscience would be clear!"
And they all three walked along speaking of cherries, gooseberries,
of the linen on the bleaching-ground, and of the warm summer's day.
In the evening Eva and the two sisters sat at their work, Otto and
Wilhelm had taken their seats beside them. They spoke of Copenhagen.
Sophie knew how to introduce a number of little anecdotes, which
she had gathered among the young ladies there. Otto entered into
her ideas, and knew cleverly how to support what she said. What in
reality interested young ladies was discussed.
"When a girl is confirmed, all manner of fancies awake!" said Otto.
"She experiences a kind of inclination for the heart of man; but
this may not be acknowledged, except for two friends to the
clergyman and the physician. For these she has quite a passion,
especially for the former; she stands in a kind of spiritual
rapport with him. His physical amiability melts into the spiritual.
Thus her first love one may designate clergyman-love."
"That is well said!" exclaimed Sophie.
"He preaches himself so deeply into her heart!" pursued Otto. "She
melts into tears, kisses his hand, and goes to church; but not for
the sake of God, but on account of the sweet clergyman!"
"O, I know that so well!" said Sophie, and laughed.
"Fie! you do not mean so!" said Louise; "and I do not know how you
can say such a thing Mr. Thostrup! That is frightful! You do not in
the least know a young girl's soul! do not know the pure feeling
with which she inclines herself to the man who has laid open before
her the holy things of religion! Do not make sport of the innocent,
the pure, which is so far removed from every earthly impression!"
"I assure you," said Otto, smiling, "were I a poet, I would make
the clergyman-love ridiculous in a hundred witty epigrams; and were
I a teacher, I would protest against it from the chair."
"That would be scattering poison into a well!" said Louise. "You,
as a man, do not know the pure, the holy sentiment which exists in
a young girl's bosom. Eva, thou art certainly of my opinion?"
"Neither is this Mr. Thostrup's opinion?" answered she, and looked
at him with a mild gravity.
Wilhelm laughed aloud.
"Alas, I am no sturdy oak!
Alas, I'm but the flower
That wakes the kiss of May!
And when has fled its little hour,
Will voice of Death obey."--RUCKERT.
The following afternoon came visitors--two young ladies from
Nyborg, friends of Sophie and Louise. Before dinner they would take
a walk through the wood to an inclosure where the flax was in bloom.
Otto was to accompany them.
"I am also of the party!" said the Kammerjunker, who just galloped
into the court-yard as the ladies, with Otto, were about setting
out on their excursion. Thus the whole company consisted of five
ladies and two gentlemen.
"The cows are not in the field over which we must go, are they?"
"No, my good girl!" returned Sophie; "you may be quite easy!
Besides, we have two gentlemen with us."
"Yes; but they would not be able to protect us from the unruly
bullocks!" said Louise. "But we have nothing to fear. Where we are
going the cows do not go until after they are milked. I am no
heroine! Besides, it is not long since one bullock nearly gored the
cowherd to death. He also gored Sidsel a great hole in her arm just
lately: you remember the girl with her eyebrows grown together?"
"There is also in the wood a wild sow, with eleven sucking pigs!"
said Sophie, in ironical gravity; "it would not be agree able to
meet with her!"
"She is almost as dangerous as the bullocks!" said the Kammerjunker,
and laughed at Eva.
The conversation took another turn.
"Shall we not visit Peter Cripple?" asked Sophie. "The gentlemen
can then see the smith's pretty daughter; she is really too
beautiful to be his wife!"
"Is Peter Cripple married?" inquired Otto.
"No, the wedding will be held on Sunday!" replied the Kammerjunker;
"but the bride is already in the house. The bans were published
last Sunday, and they immediately commenced housekeeping together.
This often takes place even earlier, when a man cannot do without a
wife. She has taken him on account of his full money-bags!"
"Yes, with the peasant it is seldom love which brings about the
affair!" said Louise. "Last year there was quite a young girl who
married a man who might have been her grandfather. She took him
only, she said, because he had such a good set of earthenware."
"These were very brittle things to marry upon!" remarked Otto.
Meantime they were nearly come to the edge of the wood. Here stood
a little house; hops hung luxuriantly over the hedge, the cat stood
with bent back upon the crumbling edge of the well.
Sophie, at the head of the whole company, stepped into the room,
where Peter Cripple sat on the table sewing; but, light and active
as an elf, he sprang down from the table to kiss her hand. The
smith's pretty daughter was stirring something in an iron pot in
the hearth. St. John's wort, stuck between the beams and the
ceiling, shot forth in luxuriant growth, prophesying long life to
the inhabitants of the house. On the sooty ceiling glittered
herrings' souls, as a certain portion of the herring's entrails is
called, and which Peter Cripple, following the popular belief, had
flung up to the ceiling, convinced that so long as they hung there
he should be freed from the ague.
Otto took no part in the conversation, but turned over a quantity
of songs which he found; they were stitched together in a piece of
blue tobacco-paper. The principal contents were, "New, Melancholy
Songs," "Of the Horrible Murder," "The Audacious Criminal," "The
Devil in Salmon Lane," "Boat's Fall," and such things; which have
now supplanted, among the peasants, the better old popular songs.
With Louise, Eva, and one of the ladies from Nyborg, Otto slowly
preceded the others, who had still some pleasantries to say before
leaving Peter Cripple and his bride.
"Shall we not go over the inclosure to the cairn?" said Louise. "It
is clear to-day; we shall see Zealand. The others will follow us;
here, from the foot-path, they will immediately discover us."
Otto opened the gate and they went through the inclosure. They had
already advanced a considerable way, when the Kammerjunker and his
ladies reached the foot-path from which they could see the others.
"They are going to the cairn," said he.
"Then they will have a little fright!" said Sophie. "Down in the
corner of the inclosure lie the young cattle. They may easily
mistake them for cows, and the wild bullocks!"
"Had we not better call them back?" asked the other lady.
"But we must frighten them a little," said Sophie. "Shout to them
that there are the cows!"
"Yes, that I can do with a clear conscience!" said the Kammerjunker;
and he shouted as loud as he could, "There are the cows! Turn back!
Eva heard it the first. "O God!" said she, "hear what they are
calling to us!"
Otto glanced around, but saw no cows.
"They are standing still!" said Sophie; "call once again!"
The Kammerjunker shouted as before, and Sophie imitated the lowing
of the cows. At this noise the young cattle arose.
Louise now became aware of them. "O heavens!" exclaimed she;
"there, down in the corner of the inclosure, are all the cows!"
"Let us run!" cried Eva, and took to flight.
"For God's sake, do not run!" cried Otto; "walk slowly and quietly,
otherwise they may come!"
"Come away, away!" resounded from the wood.
"O Lord!" shrieked Eva, when she saw the creatures raise their
tails in the air as soon as they perceived the fugitives.
"Now they are coming!" cried the lady who accompanied them, and
sent forth a loud scream.
Eva fled first, as if borne by the wind; the lady followed her, and
Louise ran on after them.
Otto now really saw all the cattle, which, upon the ladies flight,
had instinctively followed, chasing over the field after them in
the same direction.
Nothing now remained for him but, like the others, to reach the
gate. This he opened, and had just closed again, when the cattle
were close upon them, but no one had eyes to see whether the cattle
were little or big.
"Now there is no more danger!" cried Otto, as soon as he had well
closed the gate; but the ladies still fled on, passing among the
trees until they reached the spot where the Kammerjunker and his
two ladies awaited them with ringing laughter.
Sophie was obliged to support herself against a tree through all
the amusement. It had been a most remarkable spectacle, this
flight; Eva at the head, and Mr. Thostrup rushing past them to open
the gate. Louise was pale as death, and her whole body trembled; the
friend supported her arm and forehead on a tree, and drew a long
"Bah!" again cried Sophie, and laughed.
"But where is Eva?" asked Otto, and shouted her name.
"She ran here before me!" said Louise; "she is doubtless leaning
against a tree, and recovering her strength."
"Eva!" cried Sophie. "Where is my hero: 'I want a hero!'"
[Author's Note: Byron's Don Juan.]
Otto returned to seek her. At this moment Wilhelm arrived.
The Kammerjunker regretted that he had not seen the race with them,
and related the whole history to him.
"O come! come!" they heard Otto shout. They found him kneeling in
the high grass. Eva lay stretched out on the ground; she was as
pale as death; her head rested in Otto's lap.
"God in heaven!" cried Wilhelm, and flung himself down before her.
"Eva! Eva! O, she is dead! and thou art to blame for it, Sophie!
Thou hast killed her!" Reproachfully he fixed his eyes on his
sister. She burst into tears, and concealed her face in her hands.
Otto ran to the peasant's cottage and brought water. Peter Cripple
himself hopped like a mountain-elf behind him through the high
nettles and burdocks, which closed above and behind him again.
The Kammerjunker took Eva in his strong arms and carried her to the
cottage. Wilhelm did not leave hold of her hand. The others
followed in silence.
"Try and get her home," said Wilhelm; "I myself will fetch the
physician!" He rushed forth, and hastened through the wood to the
ball, where he ordered the men to bring out a sedan-chair for the
invalid; then had horses put into one of the lightest carriages,
seated himself in it as coachman, and drove away to Nyborg, the
nearest town, which, however, was distant almost twenty miles.
Sophie was inconsolable. "It is my fault!" she said, and wept.
Otto found her sitting before the house, under an elder-tree. She
could not endure to see Eva's paleness.
"You are innocent," said Otto. "Believe me, to-morrow Eva will be
completely restored! She herself," added he, in an assuaging tone,
"behaved in an imprudent manner. I warned her not to run. Her own
terror is to blame for all."
"No, no," returned Sophie; "my folly, my extravagance, has caused
the whole misfortune!"
"Now it is much better," said the Kammerjunker, coming out of the
house. "She must be devilish tender to fly before a few calves! I
really must laugh when I think of it, although it did come to such
The men now arrived whom Wilhelm had sent with the sedan-chair.
Eva thought she could walk, if she might lean upon some one; but it
would be better, her friends thought, if she were carried.
"Dost thou feel any pain?" asked Louise, and gave her a sisterly
kiss on the brow.
"No, none at all," replied Eva. "Do not scold me for having
frightened you so. I am so fearful, and the bullock were close
"They were, God help me, only calves!" answered the Kammerjunker;
"they wished to play, and only ran because you ran!"
"It was a foolish joke of mine!" said Sophie, and seized Eva's
hand. "I am very unhappy about it!"
"O no!" said Eva, and smiled so pensively, yet happily. "To-morrow
I shall be quite well again!" Her eye seemed to seek some one.
Otto understood the glance. "The physician is sent for. Wilhelm has
himself driven over for him."
Toward the middle of the wood the mother herself approached them;
she was almost as pale as Eva.
All sought to calm her; Eva bowed her head to kiss the good lady's
hand. The Kammerjunker told the story to her, and she shook her
head. "What an imprudent, foolish joke!" said she; "here you see
Not before late in the afternoon did Wilhelm return with the
physician; he found his patient out of all danger, but prescribed
what should still be done. Quiet and the warm summer air would do
the most for her.
"See," said Otto, when, toward evening he met Sophie in the garden,
"to-day Wilhelm did not conceal his feelings!"
"I fear that you are right!" returned Sophie. "He loves Eva, and
that is very unfortunate. Tell me what you know about it."
"I know almost nothing!" said Otto, and told about little Jonas and
the first meeting with Eva.
"Yes, that he has told us already himself! But do you know nothing
more?" Her voice became soft, and her eyes gazed full of confidence
He related to her the short conversation which he had had last
autumn with Wilhelm, how angry he had been with his candid warning,
and how since then they had never spoken about Eva.
"I must confide my fear to our mother!" said Sophie. "I almost now
am glad that he will travel in two months, although we shall then
lose you also!"
And Otto's heart beat; the secret of his heart pressed to his lips;
every moment he would speak it. But Sophie had always still another
question about her brother; they were already out of the garden,
already in the court-yard, and yet Otto had said nothing.
Therefore was he so quiet when, late in the evening, he and Wilhelm
entered their chamber. Wilhelm also spoke no word, but his eye
repeatedly rested expectantly on Otto, as if waiting for him to
break the silence. Wilhelm stepped to the open window and drank in
the fresh air, suddenly he turned round, flung his arms round Otto,
and exclaimed, "I can no longer endure it! I must say it to some
one! I love her, and will never give her up, let every one be
opposed! I have now silently concealed my feelings for some months;
I can do so no longer, or I shall become ill, and for that I am not
"Does she know this?" asked Otto.
"No, and yes! I do not know what I should answer! Here at home I
have never spoken alone with her. The last time when Weyse played
on the organ at Roeskelde I had bought a pretty silk handkerchief,
and this I took with me for her; I know not, but I wished to give
her pleasure. There came a woman past with lovely stocks; I stood
at the open window; she offered me a bouquet, and I bought it.
'Those are lovely flowers!' said Eva, when she entered. 'They will
fade with me!' said I; 'put them in water and keep there for
yourself!' She wished only to have a few, but I obliged her to take
them all: she blushed, and her eyes gazed strangely down into my
soul. I know not what sort of a creature I became, but it was
impossible for me to give her the handkerchief; it seemed to me
that this would almost be an offense. Eva went away with the
flowers, but the next morning it seemed to me that she was uneasy;
I fancied I saw her color come and go when I bade her adieu! She
must have read the thoughts in my soul!"
"And the handkerchief?" interrupted Otto.
"I gave it to my sister Sophie," said Wilhelm.
What would my heart?
My heart's with thee,
With thee would have a part."
GOETHE'S West-ostlicher Divan.
"There stands the man again--
The man with gloomy mien."
Memories of Travel, by B. C. INGEMANN.
Several days passed; the fine crimson again returned to Eva's
cheeks. The first occasion of her going out with the others was to
see the rape-stalks burned. These were piled together in two
immense stacks. In the morning, at the appointed hour, which had
been announced through the neighborhood that no one might mistake
it for a conflagration, the stalks were set fire to. This took
place in the nearest field, close beside the hall, where the
rape-seed was threshed upon an out-spread sail.
The landscape-painter, Dahl, has given us a picture of the burning
Vesuvius, where the red lava pours down the side of the mountain;
in the background one sees across the bay as far as Naples and
Ischia: it is a piece full of great effect. Such a splendid
landscape is not to be found in flat Denmark, where there are no
great natural scenes, and yet this morning presented even there a
picture with the same brilliant coloring. We will study it. In the
foreground there is a hedge of hazels, the nuts hang in great
clusters, and contrast strongly with their bright green against the
dark leaves; the blue chicory-flower and the blood-red poppy grew
on the side of the ditch, upon which are some tall rails, over
which the ladies have to climb: the delicate sylph-like figure is
Eva. In the field, where nothing remains but the yellow stubble,
stand Otto and Wilhelm; two magnificent hounds wag their tails
beside them. To the left is a little lake, thickly overgrown with
reeds and water-lilies, with the yellow trollius for its border. In
the front, where the wood retreats, lie, like a great stack, the
piled-together rape-stalks: the man has struck fire, has kindled
the outer side of them, and with a rapidity like that of the
descending lava the red fire flashes up the gigantic pile. It
crackles and roars within it. In a moment it is all a burning
mound; the red flames flash aloft into the blue air, high above
the wood which is now no longer visible. A thick black smoke
ascends up into the clear air, where it rests like a cloud. Out of
the flames, and even out of the smoke, the wind carries away large
masses of fire, which, crackling and cracking, are borne on to the
wood, and which fill the spectator with apprehension of their
falling upon the nearest trees and burning up leaf and branch.
"Let us go further off," said Sophie; "the heat is too great here."
They withdrew to the ditch.
"O, how many nuts!" exclaimed Wilhelm; "and I do not get one of
them! I shall go after them if they be ripe."
"But you have grapes and other beautiful fruit!" said Eva smiling.
"We have our beautiful things at home!"
"Yes, it is beautiful, very beautiful at home!" exclaimed Wilhelm;
"glorious flowers, wild nuts; and there we have Vesuvius before
us!" He pointed to the burning pile.
"No," said Sophie; "it seems to me much more like the pile upon
which the Hindoo widow lays herself alive to be burned! That must
"One should certainly be very quickly dead!" said Eva.
"Would you actually allow yourself to be burned to death, if you
were a Hindoo widow--after, for instance, Mr. Thostrup, or after
Wilhelm," said she, with a slight embarrassment, "if he lay dead in
"If it were the custom of the country, and I really had lost the
only support which I had in the world--yes, so I would!"
"O, no, no!" said Louise.
"In fact it is brilliant!" exclaimed Sophie.
"Burning is not, perhaps, the most painful of deaths!" said Otto,
and plucked in an absent manner the nuts from the hedge. "I know a
story about a true conflagration."
"What is it like?" asked Wilhelm.
"Yet it is not a story to tell in a large company; it can only be
heard when two and two are together. When I have an opportunity, I
shall tell it!"
"O, I know it!" said Wilhelm. "You can relate it to one of my
sisters there, whichever you like best! Then I shall--yes, I must
relate it to Eva!"
"It is too early in the day to hear stories told!" said Louise;
"let us rather sing a song!"
"No, then we shall have to weep in the evening," replied Wilhelm.
And they had neither the song nor the story.
Mamma came wandering with Vasserine, the old, faithful hound: they
two also wished to see how beautiful the burning looked. It
succeeded excellently with the rape-stalks; but the other burning,
of which the story was to be told, it did not yet arrive at an
outbreak! It might be expected, however, any hour in the day.
In the evening Otto walked alone through the great chestnut avenue.
The moon shone brightly between the tree-branches. When he entered
the interior court Wilhelm and Sophie skipped toward him, but
softly, very softly. They lifted their hands as if to impress
"Come and see!" said Sophie; "it is a scene which might be painted!
it goes on merrily in the servants' hall; one can see charmingly
through the window!"
"Yes, come!" said Wilhelm.
Otto stole softly forward. The lights shone forth.
Within there was laughter and loud talking; one struck upon the
table, another sung,--
"And I will away to Prussia land,
And when I am come to Prussia land,
Hurrah!" [Note: People's song.]
Otto looked in through the window.
Several men and maids sat within at the long wooden table at the
end of this stood Sidsel in a bent attitude, her countenance was of
a deep crimson; she spoke a loud oath and laughed--no one imagined
that they were observed. All eyes were riveted upon a great fellow
who, with his shirt-sleeves rolled up, and a pewter tankard in his
hand, was standing there. It was the German Heinrich, who was
exhibiting to them his conjuring tricks. Otto turned pale; had the
dead arisen from the bier before him it could not have shocked him
"Hocus-pocus Larifari!" cried Heinrich within, and gave the tankard
to a half-grown fellow, of the age between boy and man.
"If thou hast already a sweetheart," said he; "then the corn which
is within it will be turned to flour; but if thou art still only a
young cuckoo, then it will remain only groats."
"Nay, Anders Peersen!" said all the girls laughing, "now we shall
see whether thou art a regular fellow!"
Sophie stole away.
The echoing laughter and clapping of hands announced the result.
"Is it not the same person who was playing conjuring tricks in the
park?" inquired Wilhelm.
"Yes, certainly," replied Otto; "he is to me quite repulsive!" And
so saying, he followed Sophie.
Late in the evening, when all had betaken themselves to rest,
Wilhelm proposed to Otto that they should make a little tour, as he
"I fancy Meg Merrilies, as my sister calls Sidsel," said he, "has
made a conquest of the conjuror, although he might be her father.
They have been walking together down the avenue; they have been
whispering a deal together; probably he will to-night sleep in one
of the barns. I must go and look after him; he will be lying there
and smoking his pipe, and may set our whole place on fire. Shall we
go down together? We can take Vasserine and Fingel with us."
"Let him sleep!" said Otto; "he will not be so mad as to smoke
tobacco in the straw! To speak candidly, I do not wish to be seen
by him. He was several times at my grandfather's house. I have
spoken with him, and now that I dislike him I do not wish to see
"Then I will go alone!" said Wilhelm.
Otto's heart beat violently; he stood at the open window and looked
out over the dark wood, which was lit up by the moon. Below in the
court he heard Wilhelm enticing the dogs out. He heard yet another
voice, it was that of the steward, and then all was again silent.
Otto thought upon the German Heinrich and upon Sophie, his life's
good and bad angels; and he pictured to himself how it would be if
she extended to him her hand--was his bride! and Heinrich called
forth before her the recollections which made his blood curdle.
It seemed to him as if something evil impended over him this night.
"I feel a forewarning of it!" said he aloud.
Wilhelm came not yet back.
Almost an hour passed thus. Wilhelm entered, both dogs were with
him; they were miry to their very sides.
"Did you meet any one?" inquired Otto.
"Yes, there was some one," said Wilhelm, "but not in the barn. The
stupid dogs seemed to lose their nature; it was as if there was a
somebody stealing along the wall, and through the reeds in the
moat. The hounds followed in there; you can see how they look!--but
they came the next moment back again, whined, and hung down their
ears and tails. I could not make them go in again. Then the steward
was superstitious! But, however, it could only be either the
juggler, or one of the servant-men who had stilts. How otherwise
any one could go in among the reeds without getting up to their
necks, I cannot conceive!"
All was again perfectly still without. The two friends went to the
open window, threw their arms over each other's shoulders, and
looked out into the silent night.
"Bring' hausliche Hulfe
Tritt herhor und mache den Schluss."
"Es giebt so bange Zeiten,
Es giebt so truben Muth!"--NOVALIS.
The next morning Wilhelm related his evening adventure at the
breakfast-table; the sisters laughed at it. The mother, on the
contrary, was silent, left the room, and after some time returned.