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of air capable of sustaining her wings, only in this world he cared for favour. or tempting her to put forth her buoy- Margaret Liebenheim, sheit was whom ant instincts. He, on the other hand, he loved, and had loved for years with now first found the realization of his the whole ardour of his ardent soul ; dreams, and for a mere possibility she it was for whom, or at whose comwhich he had long too deeply contem- mand, he would willingly have died. plated, fearing, however, that in his Early he had felt that in her hands own case it might prove a chimera, or lay his destiny; that she it was who that he might never meet a woman must be his good or his evil genius. answering the demands of his heart, At first, and perhaps to the last, I he now found a corresponding reality pitied him exceedingly. But my pity that left nothing to seek.
soon ceased to be mingled with reHere, then, and thus far, nothing spect. Before the arrival of Mr but happiness had resulted from the Wyndham he had shown himself genew arrangement. But, if this had nerous, indeed magnanimous. But been little anticipated by many, far never was there so painful an overless had I, for my part, anticipated throw of a noble nature as manifested the unhappy revolution which was itself in him. I believe that he had wrought in the whole nature of Ferdi- not himself suspected the strength of nand von Harrelstein. He was the his passion ; and the sole resource for son of a German baron; a man of good him, as I said often, was—to quit the family, but of small estate, who had city ; to engage in active pursuits of been pretty nearly a soldier of for- enterprise, of ambition, or of science. tune in the Prussian service, and had, But he heard me as a somnambulist late in life, won sufficient favour with might have heard me-dreaming with the king and other military superiors, his eyes open.
Sometimes he had fits to have an early prospect of obtaining of reverie, starting, fearful, agitated; a commission, under flattering auspi- sometimes he broke out into maniacal ces, for this only son—a son endeared movements of wrath, invoking some to him as the companion of unpros- absent person, praying, beseeching, perous years, and as a dutifully affec- menacing some air-wove phantom : tionate child. Ferdinand had yet sometimes he slunk into solitary coranother hold upon his father's affec- ners—muttering to himself, and with tions : features preserved to the gestures sorrowfully significant, or with Baron's unclouded remembrance a tones and fragments of expostulation most faithful and living memorial of that moved the most callous to comthat angelic wife who had died in giv. passion. Still he turned a deaf ear to ing birth to this third child-the only the only practical counsel that had a one who had long survived her. An- chance for reaching his ears. xious that his son should go through a bird under the fascination of a rattleregular course of mathematical in. snake, he would not summon up the struction, now becoming annually energies of his nature to make an more important in all the artillery effort at flying away. “ Begone, services throughout Europe, and that whilst it is time!" said others, as well he should receive a tincture of other as myself; for more than I saw enough liberal studies which he had paiufully to fear some fearful catastrophie. missed in his own military career, the “ Lead us not into temptation !” said Baron chose to keep his son for the his confessor to him in my hearing (for, last seven years at our college, until he though Prussians, the Von Harrelsteins was now entering upon his twenty.third were Roman Catholics), “ lead us not year. For the four last he had lived into temptation ! — that is our daily with me as the sole pupil whom I had, prayer to God. Then, my son, being or meant to have, had not the brilliant led into temptation, do not you perproposals of the young Russian sist in courting, nay, almost tempting guardsman persuaded me to break my temptation ! Try the effects of abresolution. Ferdinand Von Harrel- sence, though but for a month." The stein had good talents, not dazzling good father even made an overture but respectable ; and so amiable were towards imposing a penance upon his temper and manners, that I had in- him, that would have involved an abtroduced him every where; and every sence of some duration: But he was where he was a favourite; every where, obliged to desist ; for he saw that, indeed, except exactly there where without effecting any good, he would
merely add spiritual disobedience to privileged guest, and the hospitality the other offences of the young man. of the community would have been Ferdinand himself drew his attention equally affronted by failing to offer or to this ; for he said, -" Reverend by failing to accept the invitation, father! do not you, with the purpose Hence it had happened the Russian of removing me from temptation, be guardsman had been introduced into yourself the instrument for tempting many a family which otherwise could me into a rebellion against the Church. not have hoped for such a distinction. Do not you weave snares about my Upon the evening at which I am now steps ; snares there are already, and arrived, the 22d of January, 1816, but too many." The old man sighed, the whole city, in its wealthier classes, and desisted.
was assembled beneath the roof of a Then came_But enough! From tradesman who had the heart of a prince. pity, from sympathy, from counsel, In every point our entertainment was and from consolation, and from scorn- superb ; and I remarked that the from each of these alike the poor strick- music was the finest I had heard for en deer“ recoiled into the wilderness;" years. Our host was in joyous spirits ; he fled for days together into solitary proud to survey the splendid company parts of the forest ; fled, as I still he had gathered under his roof; happy hoped and prayed, in good earnest and to witness their happiness ; elated in for a long farewell ; but, alas ! no: their elation. Joyous was the dance still he returned to the haunts of his —joyous were all faces that I sawruined happiness and his buried hopes, up to midnight, very soon after which at each return looking more like the time supper was announced ; and that wreck of his former self; and once I also, I think, was the most joyous of heard a penetrating monk observe, all the banquets I ever witnessed. whose convent stood near to the city The accomplished guardsman outgates—“There goes one ready equally shone himself in brilliancy ; even his for doing or suffering, and of whom we melancholy relaxed. In fact, how shall soon hear that he is involved in could it be otherwise ? near to him some great catastrophe—it may be, of sate Margaret Liebenheim-hanging deep calamity--it may be, of memor- upon his words - more lustrous and able guilt.”
bewitching than ever I had beheld her. So stood matters amongst us; Jan. There she
had been placed by the host ; uary was drawing to its close ; the and every body knew why. That is weather was growing more and more one of the luxuries attached to love ; winterly ; high winds, piercingly all men cede their places with pleasure ; cold, were raving through our narrow women make way ; even she herself streets ; and still the spirit of social knew, though not obliged to know, festivity bade defiance to the storms why she was seated in that neighbourwhich sang through our ancient fo- hood; and took her place-if with a rests. From the accident of our rosy suffusion upon her cheeks-yet magistracy being selected from the with fulness of happiness at her heart. tradesmen of the city, the hospitalities The guardsman pressed forward to of the place were far more extensive claim Miss Liebenheim's band for the than would otherwise have happened; next dance; a movement which she for every member of the Corporation was quick to favour, by retreating gave two annual entertainments in his behind one or two parties from a official character. And such was the ri- person who seemed coming towards valsbip which prevailed, that often one her. The music again began to quarter of the year's income was spent pour its voluptuous tides through upon these galas. Nor was any ridi- the bounding pulses of the youthful cule thus incurred; for the costliness company. Again the flying feet of of the entertainment was understood the dancers began to respond to the to be an expression of official pride, measures ; again the mounting spirit done in honour of the city, not as an of delight began to fill the sails of the effort of personal display. It followed, hurrying night with steady inspirafrom the spirit in which these half- tion. All went happily. Already had yearly dances originated, that, being one dance finished; some were pacing given on the part of the city, every up and down, leaning on the arms of stranger of rank was marked out as a their partners; some were reposing
from their exertions ; when--Oh heim ; and she would have fallen to Heavens! what a shriek! what a ga. the ground but for Maximilian, who thering tumult!
sprang forward and caught her in his Every eye was bent towards the She was long of returning to doors-every eye strained forwards herself; and during the agony of his to discover what was passing. But suspense he stooped and kissed her there, every moment, less and less pallid lips. That sight was more than could be seen, for tlie gathering crowd could be borne by one who stood a more and more intercepted the view ; little behind the group. He rushed so much the more was the ear at lei. forward, with eyes glaring like a tiger's, sure for the shrieks redoubled upon and levelled a blow at Maximilian. It shrieks. Miss Liebenheim had moved was poor maniacal Von Harrelstein, downwards to the crowd. From her who had been absent in the forest for superior height she overlooked all the a week. Many people stepped forward ladies at the point where she stood. and checked his arm, uplifted for a reIn the centre stood a rustic girl, whose petition of this outrage. One or two features had been familiar to her for had some influence with him, and led some months. She had recently come him away from the spot; whilst, as to into the city, and had lived with her Maximilian, so absorbed was he that uncle, a tradesman, not ten doors from he had not so much as perceived the Margaret's own residence, partly on the affront offered to himself. Margaret, terms of a kinswoman, partly as a ser- on reviving, was confounded at findvant on trial. At this moment she was ing herself so situated amidst a great exhausted with excitement and the crowd; and yet the prudes complained nature of the shock she had sustained. that there was a look of love exchanged Mere panic seemed to have mastered between herself and Maximilian that her ; and she was leaning, uncon- ought not to have escaped her in such scious and weeping, upon the shoulder a situation. If they meant, by such a of some gentleman who was endea- situation, one so public, it must be also vouring to soothe her. A silence of recollected that it was a situation of horror seemed to possess the company, excessive agitation; but if they alluded most of whom were still unacquainted to the horrors of the moment, no situawith the cause of the alarming inter- tion more naturally opens the heart to ruption. A few, however, who had affection and contiding love than the heard her first agitated words, finding recoil from scenes of exquisite terror. that they waited in vain for a fuller An examination went on that night explanation, now rushed tumultuously before the magistrates, but all was out of the ball-room to satisfy them- dark; although suspicion attached to selves on the spot. The distance a negro, named Aaron, who had occawas not great ; and within five mi- sionally been employed in menial sernutes several persons returned hasti. vices by the family, and had been in ly, and cried out to the crowd of the house immediately before the mur. ladies that all was true which the der. The circumstances were such as young girl had said.
66 What was to leave every man in utter perplexity true ?" That her uncle Mr Weis- as to the presumption for and against haupt's family had been murdered ; him. His mode of defending himself, that not one member of the family had and his general deportment, were markbeen spared - viz. :- Mr Weishaupted by the coolest, nay, the most sneerhimself and his wife, neither of them ing indifference. The first thing he much above sixty, but both infirm be- did, on being acquainted with the susyond their years; two maiden sisters picions against himself, was, to laugh of Mr Weishaupt, from forty to forty. ferociously, and, to all appearance, six years of age ; and an elderly female most cordially and unaffectedly. He domestic.
demanded whether a poor man, like An incident happened during the himself, would have left so much wealth recital of these horrors, and of the de- as lay scattered abroad in that house, tails which followed, that furnished gold repeaters, massy plate, gold snuffmatter for conversation even in these boxes, untouched ? That argument, hours when so thrilling interest had certainly, weighed much in his favour. possession of all minds. Many ladies And yet again it was turned against fainted ; amongst them Miss Lieben. him—for a magistrate asked him how
he happened to know already that magistrates ; that, from his previous nothing had been touched ? True it acquaintance with the rooms and their was, and a fact which had puzzled, no ordinary condition, a glance of the eye less than it had awed the magistrates, had been sufficient for him to ascer. that upon their examination of the pre- · tain the undisturbed condition of all mises many rich articles of bijouterie, the valuable property most obvious to jewellery, and personal ornaments had the grasp of a robber; that, in fact, he been found lying underanged, and ap- had seen enough for his argument beparently in their usual situations; ar- fore he and the rest of the mob had ticles so portable that in the very been ejected by the magistrates ; but hastiest flight some might have been finally, that, independently of all this, carried off. In particular there was he had heard both the officers, as they a crucifix of gold, enriched with jewels conducted him, and all the tumultuous so large and rare, that of itself it gatherings of people in the street, arwould have constituted a prize of great guing for the mysteriousness of the magnitude. Yet this was left un- bloody transaction upon that very cirtouched, though suspended in a little cumstance of so much gold, silver, and oratory that had been magnificently jewels being left behind untouched. adorned by the elder of the maiden In six wceks or less from the date sisters : there was an altar, in itself a of this terrific event, the negro was splendid object, furnished with every set at liberty by a majority of voices article of the most costly material and amongst the magistrates. In that workmanship, for the private celebra- short interval other events had oction of mass. This crucifix, as well curred, no less terrific and mysterias every thing else in the little closet, In this first murder, though the must have been seen by one, at least, of motive' was dark and unintelligible, the murderous party ; for hither had yet the agency was not so; ordinary one of the ladies fled; hither had one assassins apparently, and with ordiof the murderers pursued ; she had nary means, had assailed a helpless and clasped the golden pillars which sup- an unprepared family ; had separated ported the altar; had turned perhaps them; attacked them singly in flight her dying looks upon the crucifix; (for in this first case all but one of the for there, with one arm still wreathed murdered persons appeared to ve about the altar foot, though in her been making for the street-door); and agony she had turned round upon her in all this there was no subject for face, did the elder sister lie when the wonder, except the original one as to magistrates first broke open the street- the motive. But now came a series door. And upon the beautiful par- of cases destined to fling this earliest quet, or inlaid floor which ran round murder into the shade. Nobody could the room, were still impressed the now be unprepared ; and yet the trafootsteps of the murderer. These, it gedies, henceforwards, which passed was hoped, might furnish a clue to the before us, one by one, in sad, leisurely, discovery of one at least among the or in terrific groups, seemed to armurderous band. They were rather gue a lethargy like that of apoplexy difficult to trace accurately; those parts in the victims, one and all. The very of the traces which lay upon the black midnight of mysterious awe fell upon tessellæ being less distinct in the out all minds. line than the others upon the white or Three weeks had passed since the coloured. Most unquestionably, so murder at Mr Weishaupt's — three far as this went, it furnished a nega- weeks the most agitated that had been tive circumstance in favour of the ne. known in this sequestered city. We gro, for the footsteps were very dif- felt ourselves solitary, and thrown ferent in outline from his, and smaller, upon our own resources; all combinafor Aaron was a man of colossal build. tion with other towns being unavailing And as to his knowledge of the state from their great distance. Our situain which the premises had been found, tion was no ordinary one. Had there and his having so familiarly relied up- been some mysterious robbers amongst on the fact of no robbery having taken us, the chances of a visit, divided place as an argument on his own be- amongst so many, would have been too half-he contended that he had him- small to distress the most timid; whilst self been amongst the crowd that to young and high-spirited people, with pushed into the house along with the courage to spare for ordinary trials,
such a state of expectation would have church-bell rings out a loud alarm ;sent pulses of pleasurable anxiety the night is starlight and frosty—the amongst the nerves. But murderers! iron notes are heard clear, solemn, exterminating murderers! -clothed in but agitated. What could this mean? mystery and utter darkness—these I hurried to a room over the porter's were objects too terrific for any family lodge, and, opening the window, I to contemplate with fortitude. Had cried out to a man passing hastily bethese very murderers added to their low_" What, in God's name, is the functions those of robbery, they would meaning of this?" It was a watchman have become less terrific ; nine out of belonging to our district. I knew his every ten would have found them. voice, he knew mine, and he replied in selves discharged, as it were, from great agitation,the roll of those who were liable to a " It is another murder, sir, at the visit ; while such as know themselves old town councillor's, Albernass; and liable would have had warning of this time they have made a clear house their danger in the fact of being rich; of it.” and would, from the very riches “ God preserve us ! Has a curse which constituted that danger, have been pronounced upon this city ? derived the means of repelling it. But, What can be done? What are the as things were, no man could guess magistrates going to do ?” what it was that must make him ob. " I don't know, sir. I have orders noxious to the murderers. Imagination to run to the Black Friars, where anexhausted itself in vain guesses at the other meeting is gathering. Shall I causes which could by possibility have say you will attend, sir?" made the poor Weishaupts objects of “ Yes—no-stop a little. No matsuch hatred to any man. True, they ter, you may go on ; I'll follow immewere bigoted in a degree which indi diately." cated feebleness of intellect; but that I went instantly to Maximilian's wounded no man in particular, whilst He was lying asleep on a sofa, to many it recommended them. True, at which I was not surprised, for there their charity was narrow and exclusive, had been a severe stag-chase in the but to those of their own religious morning.
Even at this moment, I body it expanded munificently ; and, found myself arrested by two objects, being rich beyond their wants, or any and I paused to survey them. One means of employing wealth which was Maximilian himself.
A person their gloomy asceticism allowed, they so mysterious took precedency of other had the power of doing a great deal of interests even at a time like this ; and good amongst the indigent Papists of especially by his features, which, comthe suburbs. As to the old gentleman posed in profound sleep, as someand his wife, their infirmities confined times happens, assumed a new them to the house. Nobody remem- pression—which arrested me chiefly bered to have seen them abroad for by awaking some confused rememyears. How, therefore, or when, brance of the same features seen under could they have made an enemy? other circumstances and in times long And, with respect to the maiden sisters past; but where? This was what I of Mr Weishaupt, they were simply could not recollect, though once weak-minded persons, now and then before a thought of the same sort too censorious, but not placed in a had crossed my mind. The other obsituation to incur serious anger from ject of my interest was a miniature, any quarter, and too little heard of which Maximilian was holding in his in society to occupy much of any hand. He had gone to sleep appabody's attention.
rently looking at this picture; and the Conceive, then, that three weeks hand which held it had slipped down have passed away, that the poor
Weis- upon the sofa, so that it was in danger haupts have been laid in that narrow of falling. I released the miniature sanctuary which no murderer's voice from bis hand, and surveyed it atwill ever violate. Quiet has not re- tentively; it represented a lady of turned to us, but the first flutterings of sunny Oriental complexion, and feapanic have subsided. People are be- tures the most noble that it is posginning to respire freely again ; and sible to conceive. One might have such another space of time would have imagined such a lady, with her raven cicatrised our wounds-when, hark ! a locks and imperial eyes, to be the