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at length he yielded to a conviction of bounding along on a fine English that he was entangled in a romantic hunter, and of displaying before the web of incidents, and that the sudden admiring eyes of numerous belles his discovery of his illustrious parents noble and fearless horsemanship. would be the solution of the problem. “And might I not have the good forThe startling questions of “Who are tune,” he exclaimed, as he gazed on you ? and, Who am I ?” haunted him the ivory Sphinx in his hand, “ to like spectres, and amongst many sin- meet my lovely Countess amidst that gular speculations upon his own origin crowd of fashionables ?” Reclining and identity, he began to indulge a with his head and arms upon the railsuspicion that he had a double exist- ing of his verandah, he fell into his ence, and that he could inhabit two wonted reverie ; and at length the sulplaces at once. He now recollected try atmosphere, combined with the with alarm the many tales he had fatigue of a long walk, soothed him heard, and once discredited, of men into a profound slumber, from which who had two distinct and intelligent he was unpleasantly roused by that existences, who had even beheld their ominous question, “ Arnold ! who are own doubles, and had been warned by you ?” Looking up, he saw, in the those mysterious appearances of their garden, the elegant little jockey, whose approaching deaths. Fearful of yield- mysterious recommendation of a stick ing himself too entirely to the domi- on the Jungfern-stieg walk had so nion of this excitement, he would often much perplexed him. The laughing rush into the busy streets of Hamburg, boy stood below the verandah, and, and endeavor to regain, by rough col- pointing towards Arnold with his right lision with the world and its realities, fore-finger, repeated the annoying some portion of common sense and question, “ Who are you?” Promptself-possession. But, whenever heed both by anger and curiosity, the approached his lodgings, his visionary student started from his seat, rushed fears returned, and he often hesitated down stairs, and out of the house door, to open his door, from an apprehension but the boy was gone. that he should behold himself seated Darting across the garden into the at the table, and writing the continu- high-road, the puzzled youth looked ation of his romance.
right and left, but in vain; the jockey On St. John's day, Arnold returned had disappeared, and Arnold, after home from a long ramble, and sat down some fruitless inquiries amongst the after dinner in his verandah, which passengers, determined to join the gay commanded a view of the road and throng, and amuse himself as well as passengers. It was a genuine mid- he could without a horse. But all his summer-day; the sun was hot and endeavors to reconcile himself to the brilliant, the sky was the deep blue of use of his own legs were ineffectual ; Italy, and the dusty road was crowded and he recollected, with keen regret, with vehicles, horses, and pedestrians those happy days of childhood, when innumerable; all eager to exchange a stick between his legs was as good the narrow streets and oppressive at as an Arabian courser. mosphere of Hamburg, for the pure the delights, how poetical the deluair and pleasant shade of the adjacent sions of childhood !” soliloquized our groves and gardens. Arnold gazed student, as he paced along.
“ Would with envy upon the gay and elegant I were but four years old! I should groups which passed in review before mount this knotted stick, and trot him; and coveted one of the many along this pleasant road, with fresh beautiful horses which pranced under and exquisite enjoyment. I should their riders, or, in splendid harness, believe myself mounted on along the spacious avenue. Passion- horse; and what we thoroughly beately fond of riding, he pictured to lieve becomes a real and palpable himself, in glowing colors, the delight truth, whatever this dull prosaic world
- How pure
may say to the contrary.” Pursuing more amusing than a Spanish comedy. this train of thought, the visionary Do step into the carriage, and give an Arnold plunged so deeply into the vi- account of yourself.” vid recollections and associations of The abashed and bewildered Arnold his childhood, that he at length forgot did not wait a second invitation. there was a world without, as well as Springing with an elastic bound of a world within him, and actually put- delight into the vehicle, he took the ting the stick between his legs, began proffered seat by its lovely mistress, to canter away with great speed and and the four prancing Danes resumed spirit along the highway, to the inde- their speed. scribable amusement of the numerous “Ah! my adorable Countess," expassengers. Shouts of laughter re- claimed the happy student, as soon as sounded on all sides, but they were he could find breath and language, blended with the sounding hoofs and “why did you address me so mysterolling wheels of numerous equipages, riously in that Egyptian chamber? and fell unheeded or unheard upon the And why did you recline upon your ears of Arnold, who pursued his ride couch in the very attitude of the Egypwith infinite satisfaction, until he be- tian Sphinx ? Dangerous and incomheld, in the distance, an equipage of prehensible fair-one! My adventures surpassing splendor leave the avenue, in your enchanted castle, and my viand strike into a cross-road. It was vid recollection of its lovely mistress, an open English carriage, of rich and have brought me to the verge of inelegant design, drawn by four magnifi- sanity. My nights and days are succent Danish horses, and preceded by cessive dreams, haunted by your antwo outriders in English jockey-cos- gelic form; and, so strong is the detume. The only occupant of this lusion, that I have almost lost the fadazzling vehicle was a young and ele- culty of distinguishing between my gantly attired woman. Soon as Arnold waking and sleeping visions. Even beheld the jockeys, he recognised the the common incidents of every-day garb of the mysterious youth who had life assume a supernatural and mystespoken to him on the Jungfern-stieg, rious character; and, can you believe and again but an hour since in his it, lovely Countess ! when I first begarden. “That must be my lovely held your equipage, I was mounted Countess,” he exclaimed, as he bound on this foolish stick, and cantering ed forward with lightning-speed to along the high-road like a brainless overtake the brilliant equipage. Find- child, firmly believing all the while ing his horse an encumbrance rather that I had a noble courser under me! than a help, he transferred it from his Nay, more! I have even doubted the leys to his fingers, succeeded at length reality of those days of paradise, which in overtaking the carriage, and, to his I lived under your hospitable roof; inexpressible delight, discovered in and even now, that your ricinity the fair traveller his radiant and en- brings the sweet conviction horne to chanting Cordula.
iny ravished senses, I am disturbed She immediately observed and re- by a vague and unconquerable apprecognised him. Stopping the carriage, hension that my present happiness is she greeted the breathless and agitat- but a delusion, which a word or look ed student with a melodious laugh. may dissolve for ever.” “ Hah! do we meet again ?” said she. “ Ha! ha! ha! ha!” laughed the
Strange and incomprehensible youth! Countess, until the tears rolled down Are you not ashamed of yourself, to her cheeks. “Singular being! Can have mistaken me for an enchanted you still doubt the evidence of your Melusina? What do you think of me senses? When will these wanderings now? Am I a marble Sphinx, or an of fancy cease ? Beware, friend Arivory knob ? Ha! ha! ha! You are nold, of indulging such pernicious extruly an original personage, and far citements, or you will end in doubt
ing your own existence. You must blue heavens. Suddenly a stream of struggle manfully against these dan- brilliant light shot across the horizon. gerous hallucinations, and open your “ Hah!” exclaimed Arnold, “ what a eyes and senses to a conviction that splendid meteor !" you are again my prisoner, and return “ It was no meteor,” replied the ing to the castle as fast as my impe- Countess, “but a rocket from the. tuous Danes can whirl you."
castle gardens. You will meet a nu“Would I were your prisoner for merous assemblage of my friends and life, most lovely Countess ! or that I neighbors, invited to celebrate my had never entered the sphere of your birth-day by a fête champétre, and a enchantments !” exclaimed the ena- masked ball of dramatic costumes. mored youth, with a gaze so fraught That rocket was a signal to commence with tender meaning, that the blush- the illuminations, which are designed ing, smiling Cordula found it expe- by my clever little page Florestan. dient to introduce a less hazardous I love that little fellow as if he were topic of conversation.
my brother, and you, Arnold! must The hours fitted on rosy wings love him for my sake. He is full of over the enraptured student as he lis- ingenious attentions to me, and he tened to the music of her thrilling excels in everything he undertakes. voice, and became each moment more He paints admirably in oil; and toenthralled by her radiant features, morrow,” she added, with a sigh, “he and the nameless fascinations of her shall paint your portrait, that I may language and deportment. The even- at least possess a copy, in case the ing had advanced unperceived, and strange original should again doubtthe sun was sinking majestically be- again abandon me. But I trust, Arhind the dark woods which belted the nold !" continued the bewitching Corhorizon, when the carriage stopped at dula, “ that your second visit will be a park-entrance, and the Countess, more enduring than the first.” with a smile of mystery, invited him These words were uttered in a voice to walk through her enchanted grove trembling with emotion, and the suto the castle.
premely blest and enraptured student, As he assisted her descent, he ob- no longer doubting her sympathy, served, for the first time, the features knelt to his fair enslaver, and, with a of the two outriders, and discovered beating heart and faltering tongue, in one of them the mysterious youth stammered his tale of love. In blushwho had roused him by that fatal ing haste the lovely Countess extended question from beneath his window. her ivory hands to the kneeling ArWhile he hesitated to indulge his cu- nold, and bade him rise. Still holdriosity, the Countess, with flattering ing his hands in hers with a gentle familiarity, took his arm and led him pressure, which electrified the happy through the forest scenery which sur- student, she fixed upon his glowing rounded and concealed her castle. The features a long and searching gaze. daylight was rapidly disappearing, but “ Ah, Arnold! Arnold !” at length she he could easily discern in the nume- said, in tones of tender and impassionrous cliffs and caverns which adorned ed modulation, “ if you really loved this romantic wood, and in the singu- me, you would not feel so inquisitive lar echoes which proceeded from them, about me. You would love me for the natural causes of those unpleasant my own sake, regardless of the world adventures which attended his first and its opinions. But men were ever approach to the Castle. The increas- selfish and distrustful. They cannot ing gloom of this sylvan region was love with the entire devotedness, the partially dispelled by the rising moon, pure and lofty confidence of woman.' and the intervals between the dense “ Celestial creature !” exclaimed foliage were gemmed with stars which the delirious Arnold, “ forgive iny shone like pendant lamps in the dark doubts and wanderings. They are at
rest for ever; and, henceforward, you ken by a gentle breeze, which graduare my world, my universe. Pardon ally swelled into a gust, and suddenly my daring hopes, my mad presump- the sound of sad and thrilling harmotion, and make me the first and bap- ny floated above the loving pair. A piest of human beings, the husband of louder strain succeeded, and the whole the beautiful, the accomplished, and atmosphere was suffused with the lofhighly-gisted Cordula.”
ty intonations of harp-music, which “ Dear Arnold !” whispered the soared insensibly into the sustained blushing and gratified Countess, “I and solemn grandeur of an organ, and am yours.
Henceforward you are the then, melting down in progressive cachosen partner of my affections and dences, died away on the breeze like my life; but beware of future doubts, the faint and lingering whispers of an and forget my singular questions in Æolian harp. the Egyptian chamber. They were “ Surely, my sweet Cordula !” exintended as a trial of your regard for claimed the wondering Arnold, “ we me, but it was then unequal to the listen to the music of the spheres. test. You doubted me because you Whence come those awful sounds !" could not comprehend me, and you “ It is the giant's harp," replied the would not believe, because you were Countess. “ Seven powerful wires, not permitted to investigate. If you tuned to the gamut, are stretched bewould not lose me for ever, follow tween the flanking towers which overblindly the impulses of your affection- top the castle, and when it blows a ate nature, and destroy not our hap- storm, the pealing of this great weapiness by inordinate anxiety to know ther-harp is carried on the gale for of what materials it is composed." several miles.'
The fortunate student, still dizzy Another rocket soared aloft, and with this unexpected height of bliss, suddenly an unseen band of Turkish promised boundless confidence, and music began a lively, bounding mea. love everlasting, and sealed his pro
The castle-gates flew open, and mise with a fervent kiss
rosy a numerous train of youths and maidlips of the blushing fair one. When ens, carrying torches, issued from the this rapturous overilow of feeling had portal to meet the approaching pair, somewhat subsided, he observed a strewed flowers along their path, and fiery glow spreading over the horizon; danced before them in gay procession and as they emerged soon after froin to the entrance of the great baronial the forest-shades, he was startled, and hall of the castle, in which the tastefor a moment blinded by a spectacle ful illuminations of Florestan had crealmost too dazzling for human vision. ated the blaze of noon.
Their arrival The noble mansion of the Countess was announced by a triumphant flouwas illuminated froin end to end, and rish from the trumpets stationed in reared its proud and castellated forin the gallery, and immediately a crowd like a huge pyramid of light. The of dramatic maskers and mummers ingenious Florestan had traced with rushed forward to greet them. Arnold lines of radiant lamps, each buttress, gazed in speechless amazement at the battlement, tower, and pinnacle of the grotesque extravagance of garb and lofty edifice, which stood in bright re feature exhibited in the masks and lief before a dark background of woody costumes of the numerous guests. hills, and realized the chivalrous mag- All the witches, and demons, the nificenre of the middie ages. The still- ghosts, and grave-diggers, of Shaksness of the lovely night was now bro.. peare and Goëthe ; the harlequins,
* The giant's harp is a colossal imitation of the Æolian harp, and was invented in 1786, by the Abbate Gattoni, at Milan. He stretched seven iron wires, tuned to the gamut, from the summit of a tower fifty feet high, to the house of Signor Moscati, who took a lively interest in the success of the experiment. In blowing weather, this nighty instrument would play harmo niously für many hours, and its powerful tones were carried to a distance hardly credible.
buffoons, and merry beggars, of Goz- ters, as if written with a pen of fire. zi and Goldoni; and, yet stranger, His tall figure was muffled in a Spathe wild and grotesque conceptions of nish mantle, his narrow forehead and Callot, Hoffmann, and the eccentric upward slanting eyebrows were shaded artist in the castle-gallery, were em- by his hat and feather, and a halfbodied and let loose on this occasion. mask concealed only the higher porArnold and the Countess retired for a tion of his unearthly visage, leaving short time to array themselves in the exposed a mouth, cheeks, and chin of picturesque and splendid costumes of brown, livid, and horny texture, like Romeo and Juliet, and, on their re the skin of a mummy.
The nostrils turn to the hall, the music played an of his beaked nose were dilated with inspiring measure, and the merry intense scorn, and a derisive and samaskers separated into groups for tanic smile lurked round his skinny dancing. Too much excited and as- lips and spreading jaws, while his tonished to join in this amusement, small and deepset eyes gleamed faintthe student stood in silence by his ly through their pasteboard sockets Countess, and gazed with painful fore- like nebulous stars. A sudden shiverbodings upon the wild and fantastic ing ran through the frame of Arnold scene around him. Meanwhile, the as he gazed upon this awful masker, princely Hamlet and his crazed Ophe- and he recoiled in abhorrence; but an lia, the aspiring Faust, the tender unaccountable and serpent-fascination Margaret, and all the spectres and deprived him of all volition, and inwitches of Macbeth and May-day voluntarily he again approached the night, began to thread the mazes of a table ; when, behold! the eyes of Menew quadrille; the buffoons and sca- phistopheles, before so undistinguishramouches of Venice performed with able, were now protruding, from the wild and startling vehemence the dra- sockets of the mask, and glared upon matic dances of Italy ; and, while him like the riveted and glittering these groups filled the centre of the orbs of a rattle-snake. Rooted to the ball, the spectacled, distorted, and spot, and unable to avert his gaze fantastic creations of Callot and Hoff- from this tremendous visage, the mann encircled them, and waltzed loathing student beheld those terrible around the hall in revolutions so fear- eyes slowly recede into the head, and fully rapid that their figures resembled wane into utter darkness, like the reflitting shadows rather than human volving lights of a Pharos. He watchbeings.
ed, with growing horror, until the lu“ And where is Mephistopheles ?” minous points re-appeared; the eyes said Arnold, at length, somewhat again approached the pasteboard, and ashamed of his long silence.
flashed out upon him with a glow so “ He is the master of the revels,” intensely fierce and vivid that no coreplied the Countess, “ and the best lor was distinguishable. Sick and dressed character in the hall. His giddy with abhorrence, Arnold covermask especially is an admirable piece ed his aching eye-balls with his hands, of mechanism, the contrivance of my and by a desperate and convulsive efingenious Florestan. Behold him fort released himself from the thral standing on a table, directing the dom of this basilisk.
Turning away, music and the dancers.”
he would have rushed from the hall, Arnold approached the table, and but found himself hemmed in by the started with dismay when he beheld grotesque and waltzing phantasms of this awful conception of the highly Callot and Hoffmann, whose endless gifted Goëthe personified with super- numbers darted in rolling succession human accuracy. He stood erect upon round the immense hall, like the vast a table, and marked the time with a and buoyant articulations of a roll of parchment, on which music serpent. While gazing on these exwas traced in red and glowing charac- travagant caricatures, Arnold obsery33
ATHENEUM, VOL. 1. 3d series.