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NOVELS FREELY TRANSLATED FROM THE DANISH
BY JOHN LANE, D.C.L.
No. I. ReichMUTH.
In the year 1571 a very wealthy burgomaster heard his tale of suffering, broken as it was by of Cologne had the misfortune, after two years tears and sighs, and told him jocosely in answer of perfect domestic happiness, to lose his wife, that he could nut lend money on a new-born Reichmuth. As all the world knows, the prin- child, and that tears and sighs were not any cipal church in Cologne is St. Peters', the security on which a reasonable man could decathedral; and it is indeed the finest and most ' pend. So the unlucky Bolt had to go back magnificent structure in Germany, whatever towards his miserable home again. The wealthy some architects may say of its want of finish. prelates of the cathedral he had already appealed In a little chapel, built in one of the vaults under to, but they had dismissed him with trifling the choir, was placed the coffin of Reichmuth. alms; so to them he could go no more. Those were days when the taste for splendour It was a dark night; the half-thawed snow and pomp was extended beyond the grave, so fell moistly on the pavement before the cathedral, that the poor deceased was clothed as a bride in and poor Peter could not find his way across richly embroidered silk, and adorned with fresh the market-place, often as he had traversed it, wreaths of flowers; even her cold and stiff so hazy was the weather, and so absorbed was fingers were loaded with costly and sparkling he in reflecting on his misery. He stood on the rings. There then lay the beauteous Reichmuth, steps leading to the portal of the cathedral, the gorgeousness of whose apparel could be seen waiting for a clearing of the weather, and through the glazed panels of her coffin, and musing on his misfortunes. The clock had just there she was surrounded by the tombs of her struck a quarter to twelve, when a sudden ancestry.
thought flashed like lightning through Bolt's The noble Adocht, her husband, had, with head. The poor man beheld, as in a dream, his heavy heart, accompanied the sad procession wretched home, his unconscious little Mary to the church, and with sorrow were the deep playing with her doll, his sick wife and their tones of the bells ringing a mournful peal heard new-born infant without the commonest necesthrough the ancient city. The pious fathers had saries of life; then passed before him the chapel now performed with their greatest ceremony the in the vault, and the gorgeous trappings of the solemn service for the dead; the chaunt was coffin he had seen placed there in the day, and over, the vellum books on the massy desks were the garlands, silks, and jewels of Reichmuth. closed, the harmonious voices and deep-toned " What,” mentally exclaimed he,
«« what can instruments silent, the mourning assistants, who she want with them? What a splendid pledge had with sad feelings sprinkled the coffin with for old Isaac would one of her rings be! Is it holy water, gone; and cold in death, yet re- a sin to take from the dead to give to the splendent in attire, lay Reichmuth alone in her living ?” chapel. Nought now moved within the mighty With these thoughts he hastened towards his pile save the monstrous clock; and awful was it home, doubtingly revolving them over and over to hear its regular tic-tac resound amidst the again in his mind; but the forced smile of still graves and the antique effigies of the misery with which his wife received him soon saints !
made him come to a resolution. He at once
took his bunch of keys, his dark lantern, and It was a wretched evening in November, on turned back to the church. which poor Peter Bolt, the grave-digger of the It seemed as if the ground shook beneath his cathedral, returned from the magnificent funeral feet, and he quivered with fear; but a thought of Reichmuth. At home he found that he had of what was passing at his home drove him on. another child, and such was his poverty that he He trusted much to the dark and wretched weahad hitherto but miserably supported his wife ther, and the emptiness of the streets, and conand daughter. His wife was very ill, and his / ceived himself safe from detection. He stood daughter too young to be of much use. Often still for a moment on the steps undecided; but in his time of need had he applied to the Jew, soon again taking heart, he put the keys in the Isaac, who, on receiving pledges, helped him old locks, turned them one after another as he with a small sum, Now Peter had nothing more was wont, and in a minute stood in the church, to pledge, but he trusted much to Isaac's com- when he locked and barred the doors through passion, but that was a daring trust indeed. which he had entered. His heart beat violently Timidly he knocked at the usurer's door. Isaac as he traversed the spacious aisles, and his 28 Novels freely Translated from the Danish of Oehlenschlaeger. hands shook so much that he was afraid every | hand away from that of Reichmuth, and, formoment his light would fall or go out. He getting tools and lantern in his fright, he darted fancied that the polished oak Cherubim on the from the vault; terror gave him strength to fly, screen would hold him back by his coat with but not sense to find his way in the dark. Like their wings. “You need not be so frightened,” a hare pursued by hounds, he dashed along the said he to himself, in order to rouse up his gallery, up the stairs, into the choir, and perhaps courage. “ It is altogether fancy that troubles would have got out; but he ran against that and alarms you. Hundreds of times have you great stone the people call the Teufelstein, and been here by night, and nothing ever hurt you.” believe the Evil One himself cast through the Alas! for Peter, his courage still was dormant. arches, into the middle of the church. Against
Every time he passed an altar, with its lights this then did the unlucky Peter run, just as the and its holy images, it seemed to him that the solemn hour of midnight pealed from the effigies of the saints looked with threatening cathedral tower, and fell, like a dead man, on mien upon him; and especially was he alarmed the ground. When he recovered he was still at one painting, which represented the martyr- alone; but fear gave him wings, he rushed to dom of Saint Peter. When Peter beheld the the portal, opened it, passed out, crossed the saint on the cross, with his head downwards and market, and went straight to the burgomaster his silvery locks sweeping the earth, he fancied Adocht's house. The thought of his sin the mighty clock ticked more than usually loud, harassed him, and he felt that nothing but an and he started back in affright from the altar. open confession of it could save him, so he Peter, and his mind reverted to the misery in Knack but one stept in Adocht's house; the his home, and he became bolder again. He wretched burgomaster himself was wakeful, repassed the high altar, opened the choir, clining on the sofa where by his side had his descended the stairs, passed though the long beloved Reichmuth so often sat, resting his and narrow subterranean-gallery, between rows weary head on his hand, and gazing, with a sad of coffins, at length reached Reichmuth's chapel, expression of despair, on the portrait of his and beheld her reposing in her gorgeous ap- adored wife. parel and decked with her dazzling ornaments; The violent knocks at the door aroused him, for the brilliants in her hair and the rings on her and he threw open the window to demand the fingers sparkled even in the glimmering light of meaning of the noise. his lamp. He felt the cold damp of the vault, * Ah, noble master," cried Bolt, in answer to and his heart again misgave him; he tried to Adocht's inquiry, "it is I.” open the cover, but in awe desisted, for he “ What I?" asked the burgo master. fancied that Reichmuth frowned at him. “Had “I, Peter Bolt, grave-digger of Saint Peter's. I time,” thought he, “I would break open some I have something of the utmost importance to other than this, and choose one where no trace reveal to you, noble Burgomaster." of humanity was left.” But anxiety not tw re- The varied thoughts of the funeral, Reich. main long on the spot gave him a little courage. muth, the vault where she now lay cold and Reichmuth's coffin was the easiest, he supposed, lifeless, the grave-digger - all flashed across to open; so he tried it with a crowbar, but with Adocht's and he determined to hear what out success, so strongly were the glass panes Peter had to reveal. So, taking his light, he protected by iron wire : at length he managed- descended and admitted him; and “Now," but not without fear and a cold, clammy feeling said he," what have you to tell me?”. to break in the wooden panels. The crashing Peter threw himself at the burgoinaster's feet, sound of the wood as it yielded made him feel and confessed all that he had done; to which more poignantly than all the rest he had done Adocht listened with surprise and consternation, that he was in truth a sacrilegious robber. If His rage was mingled with pity; he ordered before he had been alarmed by what was around Bolt never to mention the matter to any, under him, he now in earnest feared what might happen the pain of being most severely punished; and in to himself; indeed he would have given up his his own mind 'he determined at once to visit, labours in the middle, had not the spring lock, himself, with the grave-digger, the vault where which he was pressing with a quill, suddenly Reichmuth was buried; but Peter positively reopened. Quickly he looked around, to discover fused to enter it a second time. if any one watched him; and seeing no one “ You will sooner,” said Bolt, “get me to the about, he fell on his knees, clasped his hands, gallows than induce me again to disturb the and thus addressed the lifeless Reichmuth :- peace of the dead.” “Holy deceased, forgive me! Thou needest Adocht was most anxious to go-there was not this splendour, or one single jewel which a glimmering ray of hope in his heart; yet he now decks thee, and even one would make a deeply felt for Bolt's condition, for the grave. wretched living family happy.” Reichmuth he digger trembled and sobbed, and told of his fancied looked again more placid at these words, wife's state, and his new-born infant, and his and he took her cold stiff hand, to slip one
ring wretched poverty, and he looked as pale as if he from off her finger. Who can portray his himself were an inhabitant of horror when he felt the clammy finger of the The burgomaster relieved his pressing need, dead close upon his, and her hand grasp "his told him to go home, and cautioned him again own! Uttering a piercing cry, he dragged his I to keep silence on the events of that night.
Novels freely 'Translated from the Danish of Oelehnschlaeger.
Now did Adocht arouse his old servant. visible. There she sat, clad in, a long black “Art thou afraid of the dead, Hans ?” asked he. cloth, holding to her pale lips, with her ghastly
“No, noble master," answered Hans; "they arm, the silver chalice. are not nearly so dangerous to deal with as the Adocht's courage nearly failed him; but by a living."
desperate effort, he cried out, “In Heaven's “Wouldst thou, for instance, go into the name, Reichmuth, tell me, art thou real, or a cathedral at night?”
vision only?” “ Is it to go for a lawful purpose, master? “Ah!" answered a weak, trembling voice, for, i' faith, I go not thither for curiosity. One “ I am Reichmuth. You have buried me alive. must not make a sport of sacred things.” I was in a swoon; but this drop of wine has “Dost believe in ghosts, Hans ?”
brought me to life again. Come to me, dearest “Yes I do, noble Burgomaster.”
Adocht: I am not dead, but very and, if I “And art afraid of them?”
am not soon cared for, I must die.” "No, no, that I am not. I trust in Heaven, Adocht rushed up to the altar and clasped and fear neither ghost nor goblin.”
the loved and now restored Reichmuth in his “Wilt thou follow me, now, into the cathedral ? arms. I have had a marvellous dream about my sainted After Bolt's flight from the vault, Reichwife. Methought she called to me, across the muth, roused from her trance, awoke; but her Inarket-place, from yonder tower. Come then, first moments of consciousness were dreadful. Hans, take thy lantern and follow me, I com- In coming to herself she overturned, by the momand thee."
tion of her arm, the light Bolt had laid on the “ That's enough! You are my master, and coffin, and it went out. She looked around, but my magistrate, and I obey."
could not discover in the darkness where she was. So Hans took up his lantern, and followed She felt about her; but instead of warm bedthe burgomaster.
clothes, her hands grasped thin silk attire. She Adocht crossed, with hurried steps, to the touched her head, but gold ornaments and church. Hans was then obliged to go first with flowers met her touch. She knew not what to the light, and step very carefully, and observe think; she was faint and timid, and it was the direction they had to take, so that they pro- pitch dark; still she considered, and felt with ceeded but slowly. Close by the entrance are her hands about, and then, to her consternathe gilt rods, whereof one is placed up every tion, found that she lay enclosed in a small and year the elector rules, that the length of his narrow box. At this moment the snow-storm reign may be known.
intermitted, and the clear bright moon shone ** These rods are a good contrivance, master," brilliantly through the little window of the vault. said Hans; "one has only to look at them, and Now Reichmuth saw where she was, and horror one at a glance can tell how long the pious seized her. She sprang up, and the vaults relord elector has reigned over us sinful men.” sounded with her screams. The most horrible
The splendid marble monuments and the brass feeling that she was buried alive, and must die plates seemingly struck Hans; he asked his of hunger and thirst, all but maddened her; all master to read the inscriptions, and bore himself the awful future was present to her mind. The much like a foreign traveller taking advantage of doors were locked; from the choir none could an opportunity to view the wonders of the church, hear her cries: the windows were very high up, though he had lived in Cologne all his sixty-four and outside them was a passage which few ever years, and had been many times every week in entered-days would elapse ere any one dethe cathedral.
scended to the vaults, and in the meanwhile she Adocht understood his old servant's pecu- must perish! All this flitted through her brain, liarities; but as this behaviour did not advance, and she dreaded the worst-she wrung her but delayed his purpose, he urged Hans on hands, and at the coffin and the dark cloth on At last they came to the High Altar ; but here it, and the vaults, she gazed and shivered all at once Hans stood still, and showed no with cold and fear. It was on the lid of her disposition to go forward.
coffin she resolved to engrave, with her long Make haste, there," exclaimed the burgo- nails, the history of her sufferings, as the only master, sharply, for he began to lose all patience, consolation for having endured them, and for and his heart beat quickly in restless expectation the awful death which awaited her. Despair of what might happen.
painted itself in her face : her blood froze in her “All the good angels and saints support us !" veins from cold and fear. In this stress she muttered Hans between his chattering teeth; sought around for something wherein to wrap as he sought in his belt for his rosary:
herself, and found the black pall which lay be“What sayst thou ?" demanded Adocht. side her coffin. She covered her quivering frame
"Do you not see who sits yonder, most noble with it, and the warmth she then felt gave her Burgomaster ?” asked faintly the old Hans. strength again. The moon still shone most “Where?" inquired his master.
brightly, and in her black garb poor Reichmuth “Heaven forgive us, but there sits your sainted knelt beneath the windows, and cried out, “Holy wife. See--by the altar, with a black cloth Lady! who watchest in the church above thine round her, and she drinks froin the silver altar, I cannot now kneel before thine image, chalice.” And saying this, Hans turned the but thou art as present to me and as bright as light towards the vision, and it was actually I that moonlight. Oh! help me! help me, and
release me from this tomb !” After this prayer she | First Faith there spoke, saying, “ Lay hold
Without that I abide, with power when she found that the door
yielded to her ef. To bid them, seeing, look on things unseenforts, and opened! She rushed, in a hurried Believe great Future is, and Past hath been? pace, along, and soon got to the High Altar; but her weakness was so great, that she feared lest
“But not for things of Immortality, she should faint again, when, luckily, she be
Alone shouldst thou take me as shield thought herself that there was generally wine Against the wicked's fiery darts, which fly left at the back of the altar for the use of the To sbaken trust in beauteous, earthly things,
Around; but also, ne'er despairing, yield priests at mass, and with a great effort she and bless the New Year, unseen what it brings." reached the spot, found a flask, and drank a little, which gave her more strength. None And then spoke Hope :—" Though by my sister's could with more faith and devotion than she
aid approach the holy sacrament in her hour of The trusting soul may truly grasp dire necessity, and life, indeed, did the wine re- The evidence of things hoped for,' portrayed store to her. At that moment she beheld and By her, the outline ye but clasp ; heard her husband, and in an instant was Without me it were poor ; with gilded hue clasped and warmed in his arms !
I paint the substance of the Heaven's view. Adocht had his beloved wife taken home with
"And like her, too, as ye see how so much precaution, that he effectually concealed the mode of her recovery. No words And of it seems a part, even so
The Heavens embrace the Earth, can tell how great was his joy when, on the next
Each of these kingdoms owns our birth. day, he found his Reichwuth restored to him in What in this vale would ye do else than grieve, almost perfect health. The poor and wretched Unless in me ye put your trust, and live?" Bolt was not forgotten, but forgiven; for it was impossible not to feel moved by the misery which then she, the last-named, yet the greatest there, had driven him to the commission of that fault Enduring, everlasting Charity whereby Reichmuth was restored to her fond She whom her fountain's attributes may share, Adocht. Bolt judged himself with more severity
Thron'd in high heaven, constraining us to be than did the burgomaster, and he gave up his em
Her temples in this world, “ without which found, ployment; for never again, deeming himself un-Are but as brass, or as a cymbal's sound.” worthy, would he be a servant of the holy church, and no power could induce him to remain in the Her words were words of love: she cried, cathedral after dusk.
“Now ye but darkly see as with a glass ; Reichmuth took compassion on his wife, as
But ere this year is past, events may glide
With its quick stream, which bring to pass Adocht did on him; they stood sponsors to the That seeing face to face-tbat future day, new-born infant, and holy indeed were their When that which is in part is done away. feelings when, of a clear sunlight morning, four days after her restoration to Reichmuth held
“Ere such may be, grant me a home in her arms over the font the little babe. The
Within thy beart: oh! in the march of life organ pealed, the chairs adorned with green bows, Bear me your banner, to my standard come; were resplendent with gold and silver, and the So in long-suffering thou shalt win the strife. pews were filled with rejoicing citizens. The Thus tread the narrow path, and the New Year noble and now happy pair thanked God in heart- Shall meet old age without remorseful tear.” felt prayers, and resolved never to abandon the
M. J. PIGOTT. child whose miserable birth had been the cause of their present happiness. Thus did a mournful funeral end in a joyful baptism. The wealthy
The PRESENT ; and FUTURITY his grave!
Must mark its progress o'er the boundless waste ;
Whether oppos': 'twill be by adverse gales,
Or favourable breezes fill the sails, Midnight's twelve notes were heard--a mournful As onwards to the haven it doth haste, chime,
Man knoweth not. In doubt, and hope, and fear, Death-words of the departed year ;
He travels with that bark adown the tide ; And the night breeze a funeral hymn
And safely though he may this voyage glide Chanted low, mournfully, and clear ;
In harbour with her, there will come a year When lo! before me stood the sisters three
A warning voice within him plainly saith, The church's handmaids-Faith, Hope, Charity. When wreck'd he must be on the shores of Death.
BY J. J. REYNOLDS.
“ I am sorry, Sir, I have thus far stirr'd you ; but I could afflict you further."
Last autumn I was invited by my friend, the only just of age--with a wife--at the top of the Hon. Henry Challoner, M.P., to spend a few hill of life; while I, who am two years older, am weeks with him at his country seat. Being poor, unknown, and a bachelor. I will dismiss young, and possessing a full share of the native ihe gloomy review of my own low position for activity of youth, I was very glad to exchange the present, by inquiring after Mrs. Challoner.” the dull silence of my chambers in the Temple, Harry thanked me, said she was very well, for the lively amusements of English country was out walking, would soon be home, and life. I had not very long left my father's house, then be should be “only too happy” to inwhere I had revelled in that delicious ease which troduce me. Į inwardly' wondered what sort has almost spoiled me for the law. I was hand- of a girl he had mustered courage to offer some, the son of a younger son of a good a local habitation and a name.” My wonfamily, the star of our county gatherings, and derings were interrupted by the bursting into the delight of the pretty inaidens who graced the room of a blue-eyed, light-haired sylph, those gatherings with their presence. I am not | aged about seventeen. As I stood in a bay vain, neither am I blind; I am certainly hand- window at that end of the room which wa some and good-tempered. My pedigree is a farthest from the door, she did not see me. stainless one; my ancestors were among the Harry is too deliberate to speak in haste ; infirst who took arms in the Crusades. But my deed, when we were at school together, I used father had spent profusely, and I must follow a to tell him he somewhat resembled the sapient profession. So I bade farewell to my mother, youth who was told by his father to think twice brother, and sisters, and with a heavy heart before he spoke once. The obedient son folleft Woodford for town. I chafed, fretted, and lowed the command rather too literally; for one fumed for some days, even weeks I believe; but winter's day, the pair sitting before the fire, the at last I submitted to my thraldom. My release son said, “Father, I think.” “ What do you came in time, and I gladly accepted Challoner's think, my son ?” “Father, I think again.” invitation.
What do you think?" again asked the parent. I was just ready for amusement; I had ab- “ That you've set your coat on fire!” Harry stained from it till it had acquired a strange had lost none of his deliberation; so I stood relish; (for I must, in justice to myself
, say, unnoticed, while the lady threw her arins round that in spite of my hatred to law and lawyers, 1 his neck, and said, “ Well, Harry, you see I had been very industrious.) I surveyed my- was right; I said that horrid lawyer would not self in the glass, on the morning my holiday be here till nearly dinner-time; you might have commenced, with a great deal of innocent plea- gone with us. “Ah! what pleasure you have sure. The scrupulously-fitting black clothes missed! I hate lawyers — they always seem set off my manly figure to the best advantage. so old. I have an uncle a lawyer; he is little My dark-brown moustache (with which I had and thin ; his skin looks as if it were parchnot yet brought myself to part, malgré its un- ment, and would rattle when the rain fell on it. professional appearance) curled glossily on my But oh! Harry dear, you should have seen well-formed upper lip. I wished that Helen Julia when we got to Thorny-dike; the view was Falkland could have seen me then.
so lovely, and
“ Hush!” said Harry, " Mr. About three o'clock I arrived at the “halls” of Vyvyan is here.". So I stepped forward, and the Challoners. Harry was ready to receive me. was introduced. Mrs. Challoner laughed, begged He took me into his study, after I'had rerived my my pardon, and soon left the room. charms up-stairs, with the assistance of Messrs. Harry longed to ask me what I thought of his Rowland, various brushes, water, soap, and wife : every newly-married man longs
to ask his towels. He told me the history of his getting friends, particularly his bachelor friends, this into Parliament (a history I shall spare my question, and yet it is seldom put. I, with my readers, as Harry, although a very good fellow, native kindness, anticipated his anxiety, and is not, giving charity its utmost scope, a bril said she was very pretty and graceful. "I told liant conversationist.)
him I was glad she had such good spirits, as he “ You have married, too, since I saw you," was by nature inclined to be rather dull.
“ But said I. “What a lucky fellow you are !-rich | who is Julia ?” asked I.