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afrsiJ »he wonld dissolve in his arma, and leave nothing there for him to grasp. He held her faster and taster. 'My child!' cried he, 'my child!' Her lean continued flowing. At last she raised herself; a faint gladnese shone upon her face. 'My la her'.' cried she, ' tbou wilt not forsake me? Wilt be my father? I am thy child.'"
We cannot better illustrate the strange inconsistency of our author's manner, than by «ubjoining to this highly passionate and really beautiful scene, his account of the egg dance, which this little creature performs a few days after, lor her friend's entertainment.
"She came into his room one evening carrying a .iule carpet below her arm, which she spread out upon ibe floor. She then brought four candles, and pV-ed one upon each corner ot the carpet. A little l >is'»et of eggs, which she next carried in, made her purpose clearer. Carefully measuring her steps, .»lie then walked to and fro on the carpet, spreading oui the eggs in certain figures and positions; which done, she called in a man that was wailing in the bourn, and could play on the violin. He retired with, his instrument into a corner; she tied a band about her eyes, gave a signal, and, like a piece of »heel-work set a-going, she began moving the мте instant as the music, accompanying her beats and the notes of the tune with the strokes of a pair oi castanets.
"Lightly, nimbly, quickly, and with hairsbrcadth accuracy, she cerned on the dance. She skipped ю sharply and eurely along between the eggs, and (rode to closely down beside them, that you would have thought every instant she must trample one ot them in pieces, or kick the rest away in her rapid turns. By no means! She touched no one of them, though winding herself through their mazes with all kinds of steps, wide and narrow, nay even with lisps, and at last half kneeling.—Constant as the movement of a clock, she ran her course; and the «iraoge music, at each repetition of the tune gave a new impulse to the dance, recommencing and again rushing off as at first.
"The dance being ended, she rolled the eggs i^eeiher sofily with her foot inio a liitle heap, left none behind, harmed none; then placed herself betide it, taking the bandage from her eyes, and concluding her performance with a litlle bow."
Soon after this, the whole player party are taken to the castle of a wealthy Count, to assiM him in entertaining a great Prince and his numerous attendants, from whom he was exp°cting a visit. Our hero is prevailed on to со also, and takes Mignon along with him— and though treated with some indignity, and тегу ill lodged and attended, condescends to compose a complimentary piece in honour of the illustrious stranger, and to superintend, as well as to take a part in, all the private theatricals. By degrees, however, he steals into the favour of the more distinguished guests— is employed to read to the Countess, and at last ¡e completely fascinated with her elegance and beauty—while, as it turns out, he has unconsciously made some impression on her innocent heart. He is not a little assisted in his designs, whatever they may have been, by a certain intriguing Baroness, who dresses him out. on one occasion, in the Count's clothes, when that worthy person was from home, intending to send the Countess in upon him. by Hung her that her lord was suddenly returned. But this scheme is broken up by the uneipected Tarification of her fable; for the .'junt actually returns at the moment: and. 15
on stepping into his dressing-room, is so much terrified at seeing himself sitting quietly in an arm-chair by the fire, that he runs out in a great fright, and soon after becomes a visionary, and joins the insane flock of Swedenborg. À critical scene, however, is at last brought on accidentally—and though the transaction recorded is by no means quite correct, we cannot help inserting the account of it, as a very favourable specimen of the author's most animated and most natural style. Wilhelm had been engaged in reading, as usual, to the Countess and her female party, when they are interrupted by the approach of visitors. The Baroness goes out to receive them;
"And the Countess, while about lo shut her writing-desk, which was standing open, took up her casket, and put some other rings upon her finger. 'We are soon to part,' said she, keeping her eves upon the casket: "accept a memorial of a true friend, who wishes nothing more earnestly, than (bal you may always prosper' She then took out a ring, whicn, underneath a crystal, bore a little plate of woven hair, beautifully set with diamonds. She held it out to Wilhelm, who, on taking it, knew neither what lo say nor do, but stood as if rooted to the ground. The Countess shut her desk, and sat down upon the sofa. 'And I must go empty?' said Philina. kneeling down at the Counters right hand. 'Do but look at the man! he carries such a store of words in his mouth, when no one wants to hear them; and now he cannot stammer out the poorest syllable of thanks. Quick, sir! Express your services, by way of pantomime at least ; and it to-day you can invent nothing; then, for Heaven's sake, be my imitator!' Philina seized tlir right hand of the Countess, and kissed it warmly. Wilhelm sank upon his knee, laid hold of the left, and pressed it to his lips. The Countess seemed embarrassed, yet without displeasure. 'Ah!' cried Philina; 'so much splendour of attire I may have seen before; but never one so fit to wear it. What bracelets, but also what a hand! What a neck-dress, but also what a bosom!' 'Peace, little cozener!' said the Countess. 'Is this his Lordship then?' said Philina, pointing to a rich medallion, which the Countess wore on her left side, by • particular chain. 'He is painted in his bridal dress,' replied the Countess. 'Was he then so young?' inquired Philina; I know it is but a year or two since you were married.' 'His youth must be placed to the artist's account,' replied the lady. 'He is a handsome man,' observed Philina. 'But was there never,' she continued, placing her hand upon the Countess' heart, 'never any other image that found its way in secret hither?' 'Thou art very bold, Philina!' cried she; 'I have spoiled thee. Let me never hear such another speech.' 'If you are angry, then am I unhappy,' said Philina, springing up, and hastening from the room.
"Wilhelm still held that lovely hand in both of his. His eyes were fixed upon the bracelet-clasp; he noticed, with extreme surprise, that his initials were traced on it, in lines of brilliants. 'Have I then,' he modestly inquired. 'you own hair in this precious ring?' 'Yes, replied she in a faint voice; then suddenly collecting herself, she said, and pressed his hand: 'Arise, and fare you well!' 'Here is my name,' cried he, • bv the most curious chance!' He pointed to the bracelet-clasp. 'How?' cried the Countess; 'it is the cipher of a female friend!' 'They are the initials of my name. Forget me not. Your image is engraven on my heart, and will never be effaced. Farewell! I must h>gone.' He kissed her hand, and meant to rise; but as in dreams, some strange thing fades and chanr.e* into something stranger, and the succeeding wonder takes us by surprise; so, without knowing ho"' happened, he found the Countess in his arm«'"' к 2
lips were routing i pon hie, and their warm muiun kisses were yielding them (hat blessedness, which mortals sip from the topmost sparkling foam on the freshly poured cup of love.!
"Her head lay upon his shoulder; the disordered ringlets and ruffles were forgotten. She had thrown her arm around him; he clasped her with vivacity; and pressed her again and again to his breast. О that such a moment could but Tast forever! And wo to envious fate that shortened ever this brief moment to our friends! How terrified was Wilhelm, how astounded did he start from this happy dream, when the Countess, with a shriek, on a sudden lore herself away, and hastily pressed her hand against her heart. He stood confounded before her ; she held the other hand upon her eyes, and, after a moment's pause, exclaimed: 'Away! leave me! delay not!' He continued standing. 'Leave me!' she cried; and taking off her hand from her eyes, she looked at him with an indescribable expression ot countenance; and added, in the most tender and affecting voice: ' Fly, if you love me." Wilhelm was out of the chamber, and again in his room, before he knew what he was doing. Unhappy creatures! What singular warning of chance or of destiny tore them asunder t*"
These questionable doings are followed up by long speculations on the art of playing, and tte proper studies and exercises of actors. But in the end of these, which are mystical and prosing enough, we come suddenly upon what we do not hesitate to pronounce the most able, eloquent, and profound exposition of the character of Hamlet, as conceived by our great dramatist, that has ever been given to the world. In justice to the author, we shall give a part of this admirable critique. He first delineates him as he was before the calamities of his family.
"' Soft, and from a noble stem, this royal flower had sprung up under the immediate influences of majesty: the idea of moral rectitude with that of princely elevation, the feeling of the good and dignified with the consciousness of high birth, had in him been unfolded simultaneously. He was a prince, by birth a prince; and he wished to reign, only that good men might be good without obstruction. Pleasing in form, polished by nature, courteous from the heart, he was meant to be the pattern of youth and the joy of the world.
"' Without any prominent passion, his love for Ophelia was a still presentiment of sweet wants. His zeal in knightly accomplishments was not entirely his own;'it needed to be quickened and innamed by praise bestowed on others for excelling in them. He was calm in his temper, artless in his conduct, neither pleased with idleness, nor too violently eager for employment. The routine of a university he seemed to continue when at court. He possessed more mirth of humour than of heart; he was a good companion, pliant, courteous, discreet, and able to forget and forgive an injury; yet never able to unite himself with those who overslept the limits of the right, the good, and the becoming.'"
He then considers the effects of the misfortunes of his house on such a disposition. The first is the death of his father, by which his fair hopes of succession are disappointed.
"He M now poor in goods and favour, and a stranger in the scene which from youth he had looked upon as his inheritance. His' temper here «estimes He first mournful tinge. He feels that now he is not more, that he is less, than a private nobleman; he offers himself as the servant of every one ; he is not courteous and condescending, he is u>'cd4 and degraded.
"'The second stroke that came jpon h:oi wounded deeper, bowed still more. Í: was :hc marriage of his mother. The faithful tender юа had yet a mother, when his father passed aw»r. He hoped, in the company of his surviving алЛ noble-minded parent, to reverence the heroic form of the departed; but his mother too he loses! ar,d it is something worse than death that robe him of her. The trustful image, which a good child Une* to tor Hi of his parents, is gone. With, the dtsd there is no help—on the living no hold! She abo is a woman, and her name is Frailly, like that o! all her sex.
"'Figure to yourselves this youth,' cried h-, 'this son of princes; conceive him vividly, bring his state before your eyes, and then observe bin when he learns that bis father's spirit walks! Stand by him in the terrors of the night, when the venerable ghost itself appears before nim. A horrid shudder passes over him; he speaks to the mysterious form; he sees it beckon him ; he follow« it, and hears. The fearful accusation of his une.» rings in his ears; the summons to revenge, and ;be piercing oft-repeated prayer, Remember me!
"'And when the ghost has vanished, tc/io is i: that stands before us 1 A young hero panting for vengeance f A prince by birth, rejoicing to be called to punish the usurper of his crown f No! Trouble and astonishment take hold of the «oliurr young man: he crows bitter against smiling villains, swears that tie will not forget the spirit, and concludes with the expressive ejaculation:
The time a out of joint: O! cursed ipttr,
"' In these words, I imagine, will be found the key to Hamlet's whole procedure. To me il » clear '.hat Shakespeare meant, in the present cav. to represent the effects of a great action laid upon i soul unfit for the performance of it. In the view the whole piece seems to me to be composed. An oak-tree is planted in a costly jar, which should have borne only pleasant flowers in its bosom; tht roots expand, the jar is shivered! A lovely, pore, noble, and most moral nature, without the stieiigril of nerve which forms a hero, sinks beneath » toden which it cannot bear, and must not cast a«»v All duties are holy for him ; the present is too hani Impossibilities have been required of him; not io themselves impossibilities, but such for him. Ht winds, and turns, and torments himself; he advancei and recoils; is ever put in mind, ever pins himv.i in mind; at last does all but lose his purpose :no his thoughts; yet still without recovering his [»"'• of mind."
There is nothing so good as this in any of our own commentators—nothing at once so poetical, so feeling, and so just. It is inconceivable that it should have been written ty the chronicler of puppet-shows and gluttonous vulgarities.
the players, with our hero at their bradnow travel across the country, rehearsiuft lecturing, squabbling, and kissing as ufo»!There is war however on their track; & when seated pleasantly at dinner in a 1VIX< on their journey, they are attacked by soruarmed marauders, robbed of their goal?, a-'•'• poor Wilhelm left wounded and sensed o: the field. What follows, though not very original in conception, is described with e*1 and vivacity.
"On again opening his eyes, he found him« he strangest posture. The first thing in»'. P¡
ihr pwsrd. She had softly pressed towards her the hrud of the lallen young man; and made for him an easy couch, as iar as this was in her power. Mignon was kneeling wiih dishevelled and bloody hair at his feet, which she embraced with many tears. Philina let him know that this true-hearted creature, seeing her friend wounded, and in the hurry oí the instant, being able lo ihink of nothing which would staunch the blood, had taken her own huir ihn was flowing round her head, and tried to siop the wounds with it ; but had soon been obliged lo give up the vain attempt; that afterwards they had bmirtd with moss and dry mushrooms, Philina herself giving up her neck-kerchief for that purpose. "After a few moments, a young lady issued from the ihickcts, riding on a gray courser, and accompanied by an elderly gentleman and some cavaliers. «¿room«, servante, and a troop of hussars, closed up ihe rear. Philina stared at this phenomenon, and «as about to call, and enireal the Amazon for help; uht:n the latter, turning her astonished eyes on the group, instantly checked her horse, rode up lo ihem, arid halted. She inquired eagerly about the wounded man, whose posture in the lap of this lightminded Samariian seemed to strike her as peculiarly strange. 'Is it your husband г* she inquired of Philina. 'Only a friend.' replied the other, wiih a tone that Wiltíelm liked extremely ill. He had fixed his eyes upon the soft, elevated, calm, sympathizing fémures of the stranger: he thought he had never seen aught nobler or more lovely. Her shape he could not see : it was hid by a man's great-coat, which she seemed to have borrowed from some of hfr attendants, to screen her from the chill evening «I."—Vol. ii pp. 38—13.
A surgeon in this compassionate party examines his wounds, and the lovefy young woman, after some time
—"turned to u|^old gentleman, and said, 'Dear uirle. may I b^^berous at your expense Г She took off the grêWRat. with ihe visible intention to jive ii 10 ihe stript and wounded youth.
"Wilhelm, whom ihe healing look of her eyes had hitherto held fixed, was now. as the surtout fell sway, astonished at her lovely figure. She came near, and softly laid the coat above him. Al this moment, as he tried to open his mouth, and slammer out some words of gratiiude, the lively impression of her presence worked so strongly on his «•rises, already caught and bewildered, that all at once it appeared to mm as if her head were encirHed with rays ; and a glancine light seemed by desees to spread itself over all her form! At this moment the surgeon, endeavouring to extract the b«ll from his wound, gave him a sharper twinge; •he angel faded away from the eyes of the fainting patient: he lost all consciousness; and, on returning to himself, the hnrsemen and coaches, the fair one »i:h her attendants, had vanished like a dream.
"He, meanwhile, wrapt up in his warm surtout, wa« lying peacefully upon the liner. An electric warmth seemed to flow from the fine wool into his body: in short, he felt himself in the most delightful frame of mind. The lovely being, whom this zsrment latelv covered, had affected him lo the v?ry heart. He still saw the coat falling down from her shoulders: saw that noble form, begirt wi'.h radiance, aland beside him; arid his soul hied o\er rocks and forests on the footsteps of his departed benefactress.—Vol. ii. pp. 45—47.
The party afterward» settles in a large tenrn, under the charge of a regular manager. There are endless sqabbles and intrigues, and interminable dissertations on acting. Our hero performs Hamlet with great applause, and Note tipsy with the whole company at a riotous «upper after it—the rehearsals, the acting, »ad the said «upper being all described with
"Amid the pleasures of the entertainment, it had not been noticed that the children and the Harper were away. Ere long they made their entrance, and were blithely welcomed by the company. They came in together, very strangely decked: Felix was beating a triangle. Mignon a tambourine; the old man hod his large harp hung round his neck, and was playing on it whilst he carried it before him. They marched round and round the table, and sang a multitude of gongs. Eatable» were handed to them; and the guests believed they could not do a greater kindness to tbe children, than by giving them as much »wert wine as they chose lo drink. For the company themselves had not by any means neglected a stock of favour* failti, presented by the two amateurs, which had arrived this evening in baskets. The children tripped about and sang; Mignon in particular was frolicsome beyond what any one had ever seen her. She beat the tambourine with the creates! liveliness and grace: now, with her linger pressed against the parchment, she hummed across it quickly to and fro; now rallied on it with her knuckle«, now with the back of her hand; nay sometimes, with alternating rhythm, she struck it first against her knee and then against her head; and anon twirling it in her hand, she made the shells jingle by themselves ; and thus, from the simplest instrument, elicited a great variety of tones. The company, aa much as they had laughed at her at first, were in fine obliged to curb her. But persuasion was of small avail; for she now sprang up, and raved, and shook her tambourine, ana capered round the table. With her hair flying out behind her, wiih her head thrown back, and tier limbs aa it were cast into the air, she seemed like one of those antique Maenades, whose wild and all but impossible positions still strike us with astonishment when seen on classic monuments, &c.
"It was late; and Aurelia, perhaps the only one retaining self-possession in the party, now stood up, and signified that it was time to go. By way of termination. Serlo gave a firework, or what resembled one: for he could imitate the sound of crackers, rockets, and fire-wheels with his mouth, in a style of nearly inconceivable correctness. You had only lo shut your eyes, and the deception was complete. On reaching the open air, almost all of them observed that Ihr y had drank loo liberally. They glided asunder without taking leave.
"The instant Wilhelm eainea his room, he stripped, and, extinguishing his candle, hastened into bed. Sleep was overpowering him without delay, when a noise, that seemed to issue from behind the stove, aroused him. In the eye of his heated fancy, the image of the harnessed king was hovering near him: he sat up that he might address the spectre; but he felt himself encircled with soft arms, and his mouth was shut with kisses, which he had not force to push away 1" — Vol. ii. pp. 205— 209.
In this division of the story we hear a great deal of an Aurelia — a sister of the manager's — an actress of course — but a woman of talent and sentiment — who had been perfidiously left by her lover — and confided all the bitter ness of her heart to our hero. There is a good deal of eloquence in some of these dialogues — and a nearer approach to nature, than in any other part of tbe work. This is a sample of them.
"'One more forsnken -vornan in the world!' you will say. You are a man. You are thinking: • What a noise she makes, the fool, about a necessary evil, which certainly as death await) women when such is the fidelity of men!' Oh, my friend! if my fate were common, I would gladly undergo a common pvil. Bat it u so singulnr: why cannot I present it to you in a mirror, why not command tome one to tell it you t Oh, had I, had I been «educed, surprised, and afterwards forsaken ! there would then be comfort in despair: but I am far more miserable; I have been my own deceiver; I have wittingly betrayed myself; and this, this is what shall never be forgiven me.'
"' I hate the French language,' she added, 1 from the bottom of my soul. During the period of our kindliest connection, he wrote in German, snd what genuine, powerful, cordial German! It was not till he wanted to get quit of me, that he began seriously to write in French. I marked, I felt what he meant. What he would have blushed to ulter in his mother tongue, he could by ihis means write with a quiet conscience. It is the language of reservations, equivocations, and lies : it is a perßdiou$ language! Heaven be praised! I can* not find another word to express this perfide of theirs in all its compass. Our poor treuln*, the faithleti of the English, are innocent as babea beside it. Ptrfide means faithless with enjoyment, with insolence and malice. How enviable is the culture of a nation that can figure out so many shades of meaning by a single word! French is exactly the language of the world; worthy to become the universal language, that all may have it in their power to cheat, and cozen, and betray each other! His French letters were always smooth and pleasant while you read them. If you chose to believe it, they sounded warmly, even passionately: but if you examined narrowly, they were but phrases, accursed phrases! He has spoiled my feeling to the whole language, to French literature, even to the beautiful delicious expressions of noble souls which may be found in it. I shudder when a French word is spoken in my hearing.'"
What follows M still more in the raving etyle—and we suppose is much more admired in Germany.
"She sunk in thought; then after a brief pause, she exclaimed with violence: 'You are accustomed to have all things fly into your arms. No, you cannot feel; no man is in a case to feel the worth of a woman that can reverence herself. By all the holy angels, by all the images of blessedness which a pure and kindly heart creates, there is not any thing more heavenly than the soul of a woman that gives herself to the man she loves! We are cold, proud, high, clear-sighted, wise, while we deserve the name of women; and all these qualities we lay down at your feet, the inslant that we love, that we hope to excite a return of love. Oh ! how have I cast away my entire existence wittingly and wilKngly! But now will I despair, purposely despair. There is no drop of blood within me but shall siidcr, no fibre that I will not punish. Smile, I pray yon; laugh at this theatrical display of passion.'
"Wilhelm was far enough from any tendency to laugh. This horrible, half-natural, half-fictitious condition of his friend afflicted htm but too deeply. She looked him intently in the face, and asked: 'Can you say that you never yet betrayed a woman, that you never tried with thoughtless gallantry, with false asseverations, with cajoling oaths, to wheedle favour from her?' 'I can,' said Wilhelm, 1 and indeed without much vanity; my life has been so simple and sequestered, I have had but few enticements to attempt such things. And what a warning, my beautiful, my noble friend, is this melancholy state in which I »ее yon! Accept of me a vow, which is suited to my heart, &c.; no woman shall receive an acknowledgment of love from my lips, to whom I cannot consecrate my life.' She looked at him with a wild indifference; und drew back some steps as he offered her his hand. ''Tie of no moment !' cried she: 'so many women's tears more or fewer '. the ocean will not
swell by reason of them! And yet,' continued she, 'among thousands one woman saved ! that still is something: among thousands one honest man discovered; this is not to be refused. Do you know then what you promise f 'I know it,' answered Wilhelm with a smile, and holding out his hand. 'I accept it then,' said she, and made s movement with her right hand, as if meaning to take bold of his: but instantly she darted it mm her pocket, pulled out her dagger as quick as lighining, and scored with the edge and point ui it across his hand! He hastily drew back hia ami but the blood was already running down.
"' One must mark you men rather sharply, if one means you to take need,' cried she with a wild mirth, which soon passed into a quick assiduity. She took her handkerchief, and bound his band with it to staunch the fast-flowing blood. • Forgive a half-crazed being,' cried she, 'and regret not these few drops of blood. I am appeased, I am again myself. On my knees will I crave your pardon: leave me the comfort of healing you.' "— Vol. ii. pp. 128—132.
Alternating with these agonies, -we have many such scenes as the following.
"' 'Tie a pity, I declare,' said Serlo to Phi/in«. 'that we have no ballet; else I would make you dance me а рог de duel with your first, and another with your second husband: the harper might t • lulled to sleep by the measure; and your biu of feet and ancles would look so pretty, tripping in and fro upon the side stage.' 'Of my ancles you do not know much,' replied she snappishly; 'and as to my bits of feet,' cried she, hastily reaching below the table, pulling off lar tlipperi, and holding them out to Serlo; 'here are the cases of them, and I give you leave to find me nicer ones.' 'It were a serious task,' said he, looking at the elegant half-shoes. 'In truth, one does jot often metí with any thing so dainty.' ТЬеаШеге of Parisian workmanship; Philina had obia^pPthem as a present from the countess, a lady whose foot was celebrated for its beauty. 'A charming thing '.' cried Serlo; 'my heart leaps at the sight of them.' 'What gallant tnroba!' replied Philma. 'There u nothing in the world beyond a pair of slippers,' said he; 'of such pretty manufacture, in iheir гг°ртг time and place 'Philina took her alipptM
from his hands, crying, 'You have squeezed ihem all! They are far too wide for me!' She played with them, and rubbed the soles of them together. 'How hot it is !' cried she, clapping the sole upon her cheek, then again rubbing, and holding it to Serlo. He was innocent enough to stretch out bis hand to feel the warmth. 'Clip ! clap !' cried she, iving him a smart rap over the knuckles with the eel, that he screamed and drew back bis hand; I will leach you how to use my slippers better.' 'And I will leach you also how to use old folk like children,' cried the other; then sprang up, seized her, and plundered many a kiss, every one of which she artfully contested with a show of serious reluctance. In this romping, her long hair gool loa». and floated round the group; thcckair overttt ; >nd Aurelia, inwardly indignant at such rioting, aro*« in great vexation." — Vol. ii. pp. 166, 167.
This said Aurelia has a little boy called Felix — and dying at last of her sorrow, leaves a letter for her betrayer, which she had engaged onr hero to deliver to him in per»" But between the giving and execution of flu? mandate, the ingenious author has interpolated a separate piece, which he hae entitle*! "the confessions of a fair Saint" — and which has no other apparent connection with ibjj story, than that poor Aurelia's physician had lent it to her to read in her last moment» The ugh eminently characteristic of the eetbor
it need not detain us lone. The first part is full of vulgarity and obscurity—the last absolutely unintelligible. This fair saint lived in her youth among a set of people whom she calls German courtiers, and says, with singular delicacy,
"Ilook upon il as a providential guidance, that none of the:« many handsome, rich, and welldreeted men could take my fancy. They were rakes, and did not hide it; this «cared me back: their cpeech was frequently adorned with double meinings; this offended me. and made me act with coldness towards them. Many limes their improprieties surpassed belief! and I did not prevent myself from being rude. Beside*, my ancient counsellor had once in confidence contrived to tell me, that, with the greater part of these lewd fellows, iraifi as well as virtue was in danger! I now shuddered at the sight of them ; I was afraid, if one of them in any way approached too near me. I would not touch their cups or glasses, even the chai.-« they had been sitting on! Thus morally •nd physically I remained apart from them."
She then falls in love with a certain Narciss. with whom her first acquaintance was formed at a ball, where, "after having jigged it for a while in the crowd, he came into the room where I was. in consequence of a bleeding at tlu nose, with which he had been overtaken, and began to speak about a multitude of things!" In spite of this promising beginning, however, the mutual flame is not caught till they meet again at a dinner, where,
"Even at table, we had many things to suffer; for several of the gentlemen hail drauk loo much: and after rising from it, they insisted on a game at forfeit*. It went on with great vivacity and tumult. N'trcies had lost a forfeit: they ordered him, by »bv of penalty, to whisper something pleasant in the ear of every member of the company. It seems, he staid too long beside my neighbour, the lady of i captain. The latter on a sudden struck him such a bar mtk hit fit, that the powder flew about my even and blinded me! When I had cleared my fight, and in some degree recovered from my terror, 1 saw that both of them had drawn their swords. Narciw was bleeding; and the other, mad with «me, and rage, and jealousy, could scarcely be beld back by all the company: I seized Narrias, led him by the arm up stairs; and as I did not think my friend even here in safety from his frantic enemy, I shut the door and bolted it."
After this they are soon betrothed ; but she grows Methodistical, and he cold,—and their enraiement flies off;—And then she becomes pious in good earnest, and is by turns a Haitian and a Herrnhuther, and we do not know how many other things, and raves through seventy or eighty pages, of which we have not courage to attempt any analysis.
We now get rid in a great degree of plays Mti players, and emerge into the region of mysticism. Wilhelm goes to the country to Deliver Aurelia's letter to Lothario; but finds that worthy Baron so busy preparing to fight •i duel, that he cannot find an opportunity to '¡¡«charge himself of his mission. He remains, bowever, in the castle, and soon finds himself т the midst of several peremptory and omniscient people, who make what they please °f him. In discourse, they happen to make Jr.-r.tion of a certain Count, a brother-in-law ef Lothario's, who had grown melancholy, and Uied of joining the Herrnhuthers, with his
beautiful wife. Wilhelm immediately inquire-1 what Count they are speaking of.
"' One whom you know very well,' said Jarno 'You yourself are the ghost that have chased tht unhappy wiseacre into pieiy; you are the villa» who have brought his pretty wife to such a state that she inclines accompanying him.' 'And eht is Lothario's Bieter f" cried our friend. 'No other! —' And Lothario knows f—' The whole.' 'O le me fly !' cried Wilhelm: 'How shall I appear be fore him? What can he say to meT' 'That n« man should cast a stone at his brother; that wher one composes long speeches, wiih в view to shan» his neighbours, he should speak them to a looking glass.' 'Do you know that also f' 'And many things beside,' said Jarno with a smile."
From this moment our hero gives up the idea of reproaching the Baron with his perfidy to Aurelia, and offers his services to decoy away from him another love-sick damsel who is then in the house, and whose hysterics, it is thought, might retard the cure of the wound he has just received in his duel. He takes her away, accordingly, under some false pretext, to a certain Theresa^ another deserted love of Lothario, and who is distinguished by a singular paseion for housekeeping and all manner of economical employments. The conception of this character, which is dwelt on at great length, is one of the most glaring absurdities and affectations in the book. The author has actually endeavoured, in serious earnest, to exalt the common qualifications of a domestic drudge, or notable housewife, into heroic virtues, and to elaborate his favourite heroine out of these base materials. The whole scene is tinged, even beyond the average standard of the book, with the apparently opposite faults of vulgarity and extravagance. This is the debut.
"She entered Wilhelm's room, inquiring if he wanted anything. 'Pardon me,' said she, 'for having lodged you in a chamber which the smell of paint still renders disagreeable: my little dwelling is but just made ready; you are handselling this room, which is appointed for my guests; also, you will have many things to pardon. My cook ha* ru\ aval/ from me, at this unseasonable time; and l serving-man has bruised his hand. I might be forced to manage all myself; and if it were so, we must just put up with it. One is plagued with nobody so much as with one's servants: not one of them will serve you, scarcely even serve himself.' She said a good deal more on different matters: in general she seemed to like to speak.
They then take a walk together, and, on their return,
'Wilhelm testified his admiration at her skill in husbandry concerns. 'Decided inclination, early opportunity, external impulse, and continued occupation in a useful business,' said she, 'make many things, which were at first far harder, possible in life.' On returning home, she sent him to her little garden. Here he scarce could turn himself, so narrow were the walks, so thickly was it sown and planted. On looking over to the court, he could not keep from smiling: the ßrewood wns lying there, as accurately sawed, split, and piled, as if it had been part of the building, and had been intended to abide there constantly. 1'he tube and implements, all clean, were standing in their places: the housu was painted white and rtd; it was really piratant to behold! Whatever can be done by handicraft, that knows not beautiful proportions, but that labours for convenience, cheerfulness, and durability, appeared united on the spot."