Afflictions are by Heaven sent
To try our virtue, not for punishment.
Merit and persecution are
Companions here, and gloomy care
Clouds oft the sunshine of this life
Which hails us after painful strife.
How oft is visible success
The means to lose our happiness!
How oft lays misery in wait
When strew'd with roses smooth and strait
The path appears, and turns to night
The long miss'd rays of cheerful light!
Nor woe nor bliss are constant here.
Therefore let us with caution ste [...]r
The vessel through the ebbs and tides,
Rejoice when it securely rides,
And catch the present prosp'rous gale.
We are but voyagers, and sail
Through calms and tempests to the shore
Where virtue prospers evermore,
And smiles at what it griev'd before.

THE lot of no mortal is more enviable than that of the man who, after having by virtuous in­dustry acquired a comfortable subsistence for him­self and his family, now is sitting down to a frugal supper between a beloved wife and a hopeful boy, cheered by the sweet consciousness of having per­formed his duty, while his darlings alternately kiss [Page 4] the sweat from his brow and animate him by their smiles to innocent hilarity.

Do not smile contemptuously, you obedient slaves of female caprice; I am not speaking to you, ye pitiful beings who have no fixed object in view, and have neither a heart nor a soul. Do not scold, ye dusty pedants whom the sun of learning has parched up so much as to resemble the dismal print that figures on the title-page of your worm-eaten books: I am speaking to thee, venerable man, who art faithful to the golden medium; who nei­ther hurriest from nothing to nothing, nor con­stantly wast buried among rusty folios: for thee, citizen and father, for thee am I going to deline­ate the subsequent picture.

Charles Frederick Ortenberg, head master of the grammar-school at W**, was sitting at nine o'clock in the evening at a table opposite to a plate of potatoes. Caroline, a gentle and good-natured creature, sat on one side, and William, a lovely boy, who was seven years old, whose eyes bespoke a sound mind, and whose rosy cheeks were graced with the sweet smile of innocence, sat at the other.

No spice of the Indies disgraced the home­grown potatoes. Fresh butter and salt, and, by way ef desert, a plate full of golden pippins, pealed by Caroline's hands, and sweetened by Caroline's smiles—these were the rural dainties which left no wish for the temperate palate of the small ami­able family.

The cloth was removed. Ortenberg undressed himself, while mother and son assisted him with cheerful alacrity. William fetched a lighted can­dle; Ortenberg flung himself into an easy chair, and emptied his pipe against the corner of the stove; Caroline fastened her needle-work to a ta­ble covered with green oil-cloth; William hold­ing Gellert's fables under his arm, strove to get [Page 5] upon a chair that stood by her side, and an old faith­ful maid-servant, the only domestic of this humble family, sat near the stove, behind the spinning-wheel—This was the sweet moment in which Ortenberg was wont to enjoy his domestic happi­ness, while he conversed with his wife of the num­berless trials through which they had acquired their present contentment, and delineated a plan for the education of their little family, which he hoped to see soon increase. Heavens! how panted the heart of the happy parents, when they looked upon William as the support of their old age; how many a sweet hour was dreamed away in this manner! Deluded mortals! why did fate not re­alise your innocent dreams? Why are the joys of this world like the rays of the moon in a wild, tempestuous night, when her silver orb is eclipsed every moment by the fleeting clouds; like the sleep of a sick person, who, after a few minutes of rest, awakes to be tormented by new agonies; like the warm breath of the sun in April, which melts the snow that shrouds the early flower, which is on the point of unfolding itself with congenial warmth, and is buried in a few hours under the load of a destructive shower of hail? The humblest happiness remains not unenvied; the most seclu­ded contentment is liable to be disturbed!

That evening was, as usual, designed for a sweet chat of an happy futurity and peaceful old age; when honest Conrad suddenly rushed into the a­partment, with a visible and uncommon anxiety, and gave Ortenberg a sealed note.

"What is the matter with you, honest Conrad?" said Ortenberg, casting an anxious look at his pregnant wife. Conrad would not speak, nor had he the power:—mute, and with wild looks; he pointed at the note and disappeared.

[Page 6] Caroline turned pale; her soul forebode mis­fortune; her trembling hand dropt her work on the table: she started up, supporting herself by her son's chair, and gazed with anxious and scrutini­zing looks at her husband, who still held the note unopened in his hand.

Ortenberg possessed a great share of firmness and presence of mind. The mute distress of old Con­rad; his strange and sudden disappearance; the manner in which he had delivered the note—a lan­guage of which Conrad, hitherto, never had made use—all this made him apprehensive that some portentious thunder-cloud was hanging over his head. Caroline's nerves were weak, and she was, besides, far advanced in her pregnancy. A most perplexing situation. A sudden terror would have been mortal poison to her.

Ortenberg's resolution was taken. "Command your muscles," he said to himself: "whatever be the contents of the note, let not your countenance betray its purport."

"What is the matter, dear Caroline? said he to his wife, when he beheld the paleness of her face, and saw her hand tremble.

"The note—" replied Caroline, stammering, (with a forced smile).

Has then that note such a terrible appearance? (supplicating) Dear Caroline, consider in what a situation you are. Is it fit you should tremble at the rustling of a leaf?"


But Conrad's anxious haste—


Is nothing new to you. Conrad is old; old people are like children, they mistake a dog for a lion. Do you recollect how much ter­ror his countenance expressed last autumn, when he came running into the apartment, to tell us that the pear-tree had been robbed?

[Page 7]
(somewhat vexed)

Dear Ortenberg, you must think yourself, that the note contains some bad news, else you would not so long have delayed opening it.

"If this be your opinion," replied Ortenberg, with seeming tranquillity, "I will open it instant­ly." He recollected the resolution he had taken, and broke the seal. Caroline's scrutinizing and portending eyes watched his countenance; howe­ver, the brow of the resolute man displayed not even a single furrow. Yet he did not act exactly, in that critical moment, as he, perhaps, ought to have done. My readers shall know in proper time, what the misterious note contained. The lament­able consequences of this note, or rather the man­ner in which Ortenberg conducted himself on this occasion, will, perhaps, irritate many of my rea­ders against him. However, we ought never to judge of an action, which was committed in a situ­ation which we have never experienced. Orten­berg's life depended in some degree on this note; Caroline's life was as dear to him as his own; the instinct of self-preservation and fervent love came, in collision; Ortenberg wanted to satisfy both, wanted to save himself, and to spare his wife; two objects, which to attain jointly was very difficult, or, perhaps, impossible.

"What o'clock is it?" he said, after he had read the note, looking at his watch. "Half an hour past nine o'clock. I must go out." He pul­led off his night-gown, and wrapped himself in a grey roquelor.

"For God's sake!" exclaimed Caroline; "what means all this?"

Ortenberg was silent.

(with a supplicating and moving voice.)

Ortenberg, since when have you secrets from me▪ am I your wife, only to share your pleasures? [Page 8] have I not frequently participated in your sorrows and distress? have the misfortunes of your young­er years not enured me to sufferings? Ortenberg, your heart urges you to speak, I see it by the working of your muscles, but fear to terrify me prevents you.


You are mistaken, my love! I con­jure you by our mutual affection, urge me no more.


You want to spare me, and do not consider that our imagination heightens the danger the more, the less we can guess the real object of our misfortune. You torment me! the misfortune which you conceal from me, cannot be half so dreadful as my apprehension represents it.


How can you talk of misfortunes? You are very singular, dear Caroline; be easy! the note concerns old Conrad. He conjures me to keep its contents secret, and Caroline has hither­to, always been so discreet as to wring no secrets from me.

Having said this, he went to his study, where he threw himself down upon his knees, and im­plored God to give him courage and firmness, put some Frederic-d'ors in his purse, and went down stairs again to fetch his hat and cane. Caroline, who had been intimidated by his last reply, and seriously began to believe that the whole affair con­cerned only old Conrad, surveyed him silently. He still maintained the victory, but—when he was going—to quit, perhpas for ever his pregnant wife and a helpless child—to leave them without assist­ance, and abandon them to the power of a volup­tuous villain of rank—nature suddenly conqured. He took the brush from the harpsichord, brushing his hat thrice, to gain time to try whether it would not be possible for him to regain his fortitude. But alas! he tried in vain! breathed with difficulty; a sigh escaped his breath, and Caroline's anxiety [Page 9] returned with aditional force. He crossed the ap­partment several times; Caroline's perplexed eyes followed his steps. He was silent; Caroline was silent—a dreadful stillness! He half opened the door; he felt as if he were going from his apart­ment to the grave; his recollection forsook him. He rushed suddenly into the arms of his wife; a torrent of tears, which he had in vain endeavoured to restrain, broke from his eyes. "Farewel, my Caroline!" was all he was able to utter; but that was sufficient to deprive his wife of the use of her senses; she sunk fainting upon a chair. "God!" exclaimed Ortenberg, with bitter anguish, "God, against whom I never knowingly offended? be thou the protector of that generous and inno­cent soul." He called for the servant, to assist Caroline, imprinted a tearful kiss upon the lips of his son, who was just going to read Gellert's af­fecting tale of Rhinsolt and Lucia, and rushed senseless out of the house.


Virtue of sterling worth is like
The diamond in it's unpolish'd state:
It dazzels not the eye by outward show;
But those whose skilful eye can prize
The precious gem, discern its humble worth,
Tho' not announc'd by ostentatious show.

ORTENBERG's house stood desolated in the suburbs, at the bottom of a narrow street; behind it was a large orchard and kitchen-garden, from which a gate opened into the fields. The neigh­bouring [Page 10] houses, which were half in ruins, were scantily inhabited. The servant could not leave her mistress alone, to call the physician. However, Caroline's dangerous situation naturally produced the wish to be joined by human beings, no matter who they were. She recollected, that an old captain, who was on half-pay, lived in the se­cond floor and ran instantly up stairs, to call him down. I shall attempt [...]o draw the picture of this venerable old man, who was on the verge of his seventieth year.

The captain was a man who had served from his twelfth year. His whole soul was devoted entirely to his profession, and he risked his life cheerfully for God and his King. A cannon-ball which shat­tered his left leg, [...]ad made him an invalid. He did not, however care much for it, and could have engaged to run for a wager, by the assistance of his wooden leg, against any young gentleman who wore narrow shoes. He reluctantly took leave of his grenadiers, who loved him like a father; how­ever, a certain petty prince wanted, just at that time, to make a provision for one of his natural children, and the old brave captain was compelled to consent to be declared unfit for further service, although he should have received only a single grain of small-shot in the calf of his leg. A scanty pension was the only reward of fifty years' hard and faithful services. He was, however, never heard to complain. "Brown bread," he used fre­quently to say, "satisfies the cravings of the stomach, and small beer allays thirst. A man who has more than he wants, and gives not the rest to his poor neighbours, does not deserve to have as much as he wants, however little that may be. Has the King a better appetite than myself? Is he happier than I am? Does he sleep better than I do?"

[Page 11] "Well then!" he sometimes exclaimed with a kind of enthusiasm: "well then, thou wooden supporter, faithful companion of my sound limb, I am satisfied with thee! my lips are maid to command and unaccustomed to complaints. A cripple lives unenvied, and a man who is not ex­posed to envy, lives happy." These few words comprised the whole philosophy of the brave veteran.

He was content to have only so much to spare as would enable him to purchase the Life of Prince Eugene, or the Theatre of State. He loved to talk of the campaigns which he had made, and this was one of those weaknesses in which we must indulge ourselves in old age. His fondness of familiar chat led him frequently down stairs to Ortenberg, in long winter evenings, when he used to delineate the positions of the two armies on the field of battle, with chalk upon the table, and at last, with heartfelt joys, always made a stroke through the hostile squadrons, to signify that they had been defeated. Ortenberg was ever willing to listen patiently to the good old man. Caroline too applauded him sometimes by a smile, and thus both had gained his love in such a high degree, that he, in case of necessity, would cheerfully have sacrificed his other leg for them. When no person was near to whom he could talk, he used to converse with himself, and shape these discourses regularly, in the form of question and answer. For instance:

"Captain Storm, (this was his name,) were you at the battle of Dettingen?"


"Did you fight well?"

The duce take it! there was no opportunity to [...]ight. Our regiment was exposed five hours to the fire of the artillery, and that was all. They [Page 12] dropt [...] like flies, before, behind, and near me. God preserved my life.

"Captain Storm," what do you think of the battle of Dettingen?"

I think it was a scandalous business: I am, in­deed, not the the last, if the enemy face me fairly. However, to stand five hours, and to suffer tamely to be shot at amongst mangled bodies, groaning friends, bloody and shattered corpses, to read the agony of death in the eyes of the dying, to see how one after the other breathes his last—no, by God, thus will I not be treated!

"Thus will I not be treated" was the favourite expression, which he applied on all occasions.—We hope, our readers now know him sufficiently.

He was just going to assist Duke Bernhard of Weymar, in besieging Brisach, and bombarded the town with uncommon violence, when Ca­roline's maid entered his apartment.

"Captain! for God's sake! exclaimed the ser­vant out of breath, "I conjure you to come in­stantly to her assistance; else she will be lost!"

Zounds! exclaimed the Captain, smiling, she shall be lost; Duke Bernhard has made his disposi­tion like a brave general.

The Servant.

My mistress! my poor mistress has been seized with a fainting fit, and there is no person to assiist her.

Having ejaculated these words, she rushed out of the apartment.

The Captain no sooner understood what she meant, than the siege of Baisach was raised. He fastened his green night-gown with his belt, took his medicine-chest under his arm, and hobbled down stairs as fast as his wooden leg would per­mit. Captain Storm, whither art thou going?" said he to himself on the way.

I am going to assist Mrs. Ortenberg, for the wench says she has fainted away, and no one is at [Page 13] hand to give her assistance. Yes, I am coming, to assist the poor woman! repeated he on every step, dragging his left leg after him. Fresh troops! forced marches! the succours are at the gate.

Caroline just opened her eyes, when he entered her apartment.

"What the deuce, madam, are you about!" (he surveyed the apartment) "you seem to have been defeated; however, the field of battle is evacuat­ed.

Oh! Ortenberg! exclaimed Caroline, and was on the point of swooning a second time.

Dear Madam! for God's sake don't turu so pale!

He put his medicine-chest upon the table, took a glass of tincture of rhubarb out, and held it un­der her nose; ran up and down the room with the most anxious activity, poured spirit of hartshorn in a spoon, and fortunately, spilled it before he reached Caroline's chair. He now mixed a pow­der with his little finger, but recollecting that this was improper, threw it indignantly out of the win­dow. The servant had in the mean time, restor­ed Caroline, and she raised herself slowly.

"Thank God!" exclaimed the old Captain: throwing the spoon to the ground: "Te Deum laudamus with trumpets and kettle-drums! The siege is raised, and the fortress is saved.—But, dear madam, in what war are you engaged! who is friend, and who is foe?"


My husband—


Is a brave fellow, an excellent man; he deserves to be a colonel, and if he were—I would instantly enlist in his regiment.




However, there are few husbands like him, are you going to say? True! as true as if it were in print. An honest heart beats rarely under [Page 14] a black coat.—My chaplain—God rest his soul!—had the old and new Testament at his finger's end, and swore like a trooper when he was at the gaming table.




However, when he was in the pulpit, he could scold, that it was a pleasure to hear him. But I made him keep his distance. He appeared to me to be like a gun charged with powder with­out ball, when he consigned the whole regiment to hell. A bishop ought to be unspotted, says Lu­ther, in his catechism.


Oh God!


Madam! you must not attack me in that manner! I had rather hear a battery of twenty guns roar than a woman sigh. Where is Mr. Or­tenberg? I hope he has met with no accident?


I fear—


What fear? you must fear nothing! fear always renders bad worse. I could tell you many instances to—But be silent, old fool! every thing in proper time—however, fear properly ought never to be in time at all. What then do you fear?


Dear captain, my husband is gone out.


Well! well! if that be all; he will come back again. A young and handsome wife is the most powerful magnet. I also was once i [...] love, when I was young. God forgive me! i [...] you had said to me at that time: Captain Storm [...] march on! I will lead you to paradise! I should have deserted half ways. I always felt as if I had a dozen of rockets in my inside, which wanted to mount with me in the air.


However, I fear—


Again? and what then do you fear?

[Page 15]

That he will not return again. He took leave.


As if he had not always done so. He has sufficient reason to do it. Zounds, madam, a man who is married to an amiable wife, possesses a treasure which he ought to respect. The num­ber of good wives is but very small.


However, the manner in which he did it. He wept.—


Wept? Fie! I never saw him weep. Besides, it is not becoming a man, unless the ladies force us to tears, as you lately drew tears from my eyes. But, I tell you, madam, I don't like that. You then say, he wept? hem! that disconcerts my plan of operation a little. If a man, like Mr. Ortenberg, or myself, weeps a sin­gle tear, it is of more importance, than if another had wept a flood, which could not be crossed without pontoons. In short, madam, the battle is lost.


You alarm me, captain—


I don't wonder at it. I am not easy at it myself.


Merciful God! but did you not chide me just now on account of my apprehensions?


Very true! but do you think I am afraid? I have faced the enemies batteries many a time, and my heart has not beat a bit quicke [...] A man who has shewn his teeth to death as often as I have done, knows not what fear is. Be easy, madam, I am your ally, body and soul; I will not desert you a moment till Mr. Ortenberg returns, and any person who shall dare to offend you in the least, shall pay for it, with his nose and ears.

Having finished this elaborate harangue, he took Ortenberg's pipe from the table, whistling the march of his regiment, and filled it with the de­termined look of a man who is ready to attack [Page 16] the very gates of hell, and to challenge all its in­fernal inhabitants.

Caroline flung herself in speechless agony in an arm chair. The old soldier mistook this for a mark of returning tranquillity, which he imputed to the force of his consolatory arguments. He lighted his pipe with an air of satisfaction, and marched up and down the apartment, wheeling always regularly round. If he had known a lit­tle more of physiognomy, he would easily have been able to read Caroline's agony in her counte­nance. But knowing of no other danger, but that which the enemy's batteries threatened, and of no other means of defence but swords, guns, and pistols, he had not the least idea, that a person can quietly sit in an arm-chair, and yet be torn by the most agonizing apprehensions. He had, besides, adopted the maxim, that the devil is not always dreadful, if we have courage enough to look at him. He reflected therefore no longer on what had happened, or might happen, and without en­tering into an useless examination of the cause of Ortenberg's absence, sat quietly down, chalked the plan of Breisach upon the table, and began to cannonade the fortress, in the name of Duke Bernhard, in all directions.

William had laid both arms upon the table, and his head upon them, and was fast asleep. This inactive stillness tended very little to restore peace to Caroline's agitated mind. The melancholy silence lasted some time, and was interrupted by nothing but Caroline's sighs; by the noise which the old captain made in chalking upon the table: by William's snoaring, the chirruping of a cricket in the chimney, and the howling of a dog in the street.—The clock struck twelve, and still no in­telligence of Ortenberg. Caroline's agony in­creased visibly; one tear after the other gushed [Page 17] over her cheeks. But they were not those salu­tary tears, that kind gift of nature, by which the heart is unburthened and animated with strength to bear new grief. There is a kind of weeping, which is not attended with sobbing and wringing of hands; but, during which, the tears start singly from our eyes, to let us taste the bitterness of every solitary drop that steals down our cheeks. Thus, Caroline wept.

The captain perceived it at last; however he had exhausted his arguments of consolation. He went to the window, and sung with cordial devo­tion the hymn "Blessed is the man who trusts in God;" and, when he had finished, he acciden­tally cast his eyes on the constellation Orion, and forgot his friend Ortenberg, the suffering Caro­line, and the whole world, in a moment. When he formerly went out reconnoitering, that constel­lation always served him as a guide, for which reason he could never behold it without senti­ments of the most heartfelt joy. When he once began to think of reconnoitering, he always thought of the camp; and when his thoughts once were in the camp, no clap of thunder could rouse him, unless he should have mistaken it for the report of a cannon.

"Captain Storm!" used he to say to himself, on these occasions, while he contemplated the con­stellation with cheerful eyes: "Captain Storm! have you frequently been out reconnoitering? un­doubtedly! at night and in fogs, in storm and rain, hungry and thirsty. All was alike to me. It is, indeed, not like a party of pleasure. A skirmish every moment, and I hate skirmishing. Upon my poor soul, I would rather have three battles in the open field, than one of those pickerings, in which they mix pell-mell like ants—A shot in front, a cut behind, a thrust in the side. The bravest fel­low [Page 18] is a lost man, if he have no more than two eyes in his head, and be not protected by the angel of God. God has sent his angel to guard me!"

He uncovered his head, looked up to Orion, and adored his heavenly preserver in grateful si­lence. He covered his head again after a short pause.

"Captain Storm, had you not a brave corporal?

"Indeed, I had. His name was Reiter. He was as rough as his whiskers, and as honest as a Pomeranian. He saved my life twice. Corporal Reiter! used I to say to him, when I shall be old and you too shall be an old man, and neither you nor I can fight any longer for our king, you shall live with Captain Storm. You shall not want for bread while Captain Storm has a morsel to give. Corporal Reiter has run over to the heavenly bands thirteen years since. The commanding an­gel knows nothing of the service, if he has not made him a major." He uncovered his head again and looked up to the constellation Orion. "Major Reiter!" exclaimed he with great emo­tion: do you think sometimes of your old bro­ther soldier, Captain Storm?"

The servant who in the mean time, had left the apartment, to get the tea ready, came sudden­ly in the room and reported in fearful accents, that she had heard a noise at the garden gate, and confused murmurs, as if many people were standing before it. Caroline turned pale; the old soldier stared a moment at the servant, and recol­lected suddenly where he was and for what pur­pose he was there.

"To arms! Captain!" exclaimed he: "we shall have an action at last!" With these words he stumbled out of the door, asking himself, as usual, while he limped up stairs: "Captain Storm, whither art thou going?"

[Page 19] "I am going to prepare myself for action, the alarm is given, the whole camp is in motion; we are indifferently fortified, and the enemy is at the gate. However I will let them know that I am an old veteran. Call to arms! give the pa­role: God and the just cause!"

He returned after a few minutes with a brace of pistols under his right arm, and an enormous sword in his left hand.

"Let them come on!" he exclaimed with a wild laugh.

"Make ready! Fire! is a command which I have not yet forgotten. These pistols, madam, are excellent; I took them from a Swedish cui­rassier; they cost me only a sound cut across my face.—The sabre is an inheritance of one of my ancestors, who took it from a Turkish [...] at the siege of Belgrade. It cuts as sharp as a razor!—In short, madan, I shall find tight work for them! You must stay with the baggage; for you are an invalid; but you, Hannah, (to the ser­vant,) must take a spit, and protect the rear. Wheel to the right! March!"

He had already opened the chamber door, when he suddenly called halt! and held the following council of war:

"Am not I a fool to take the field with my army, without knowing whether an enemy is near?—I ought, at least, to dispatch some light troops, to reconnoitre. Hannah, make your re­port once more: who knows what the timid fool has heard?—A noise? Why it may have been oc­casioned by rats. Murmurs?—Dogs and cats make a noise which is very much like it—How­ever, let us see what it is! March! we will fall upon the enemy's flank! No quarter! If they be mice or rats, they will not laugh at me! No, up­on my soul, they will not! That spy there has alarmed the camp."

[Page 20] Caroline was not disposed to laugh; she trem­bled like an aspen leaf. Her eyes rolled wildly, and her tongue seemed suspended to her palate.

The old captain had, in the mean time, taken his station in the passage: Hannah was ordered to keep herself ready for action; and in this warlike array he advanced towards the gate. He was only a few steps distant from it, when it moved upon its hinges. It now was thrown wide open, and three muffled up fellows with a dark lanthorn were standing before him.

"Stop, gentlemen! here is an out-post!" ex­claimed the captain; "you will not easily get away without a skirmish." He cocked his pistol with the [...]reatest calmness, being firmly determined to [...] them pay with their blood for every inch of [...].

Fortunately the servant stood at his back with a lamp, which rendered it useless for the intruders to shut up the light in their lanthorn. They were irresolute what to do, and all three put their hands upon the hilt of their swords.

"Either you or I!" continued the captain: "Rascals! what do you want?" So saying he advanced two steps, and held his cocked pistol under the nose of the foremost. "Who is there?" exclaimed he with a martial voice; "answer, or I'll blow your brains out."

When a parallel line can be drawn between the mouth of a loaded pistol and our nose, and we consider, that only a slight pull is wanted, to in­corporate its contents with our brains: when we see that the finger of a strange hand, is already going to put the ball in motion, and reflect, that the fatal lead may be lodged in a moment, in a place where it ought not to be: then all these circumstances taken together, possess a magical charm, to open even the most obstinate lips. The [Page 21] three strangers, who, hitherto, had not been incli­ned to give any other but a palpable explanation of the motives of their nocturnal visit, changed their resolution, suddenly: "Sir—" stammered one of them.

"Take yourselves off, gentlemen!" replied the captain, hastily! "wheel to the left, ye caitiffs, or, by our Lord, I'll make you caper like a cannon­ball. Captain Storm is not used to neglect his post. You intend to surprise our camp; how­ever, your scouts informed us of the expedition. It is pity you should have made your forced march to no purpose. Wheel to the left, I tell you; march! if no sick were in the hospital, I would give every one of you a pill for your pains, which should transport you soon enough to the devil's great army. Fie! shame! to be put to flight by an old invalid."

Having said this, he seized the foremost by the cloak, in order to push him and his companions out of the gate. However, the fellow thinking the captain wanted to detain him, left his cloak behind, and took to his heels. His comrades fol­lowed as fast as possible, and all three disappeared in a moment.

"Thunder and lightning!" exclaimed the cap­tain, examining the cloak carefully by the light of the lamp, "the fellow was a soldier; I saw plain­ly, that he was dressed in an uniform. I shall re­port it to the governor. There are a number of volunteers quartered in the town, who are nothing but a set of vagabonds. If the colonels keep not a careful eye over them, they will plunder widows and orphans."

[Page 22]


Ah! were not friendship in this vale of tears,
How hard would be the lot of innocence,
How oft would it be overborne by fears,
And left in storms of fate, without defence!

CAROLINE leaned on her knees, the pic­ture of despair. Her eyes rolled wildly in their sockets; her hair stood on end, and her hands seemed convulsive. "My husband is dead!" This dreadful idea shook the inmost recesses of her soul, like concealed fire, which makes the earth quake, and returned every minute with ad­ditional force. "My husband is dead!" She now, in fancy, saw the dear object of her conju­gal love in the coffin. "My husband is dead!" She beheld her William and the infant, which she carried under her heart, a prey to hunger and despair.

"Rejoice, madam," exclaimed the old captain, while he opened the door: "rejoice, the enemy has retreated, and left his baggage behind. (He meant the cloak, which he had hung upon the servant's spit, and caused to be carried before him in triumph). "But, dear madam," continued he, when he saw Caroline struggling with despair: "this is not the manner in which I expected to be received. I return with spoils from the field of battle, and intended to be merry in my winter quarters, and you receive me like an unfledged ensign, who has lost the colours, and make me sob, as if I had a musket-ball in my throat."

[Page 23] "I thank you from the bottom of my heart, dear captain—"

"There is no occasion for it; I did no more than my duty!"

He laid the cloak, the pistols, and the sword peevishly upon the table, lighted his pipe again, and stepped silently to the window, to contemplate the constellation Orion, to recapitulate his cam­paigns, to devote a tear to corporal Reiter, and to forget, in these pleasing reveries, the scene of misery which was before him. The servant rela­ted in the mean time to Caroline, every particular of the transaction. She protested, that she had been seized with the most dreadful apprehensions, and could not conceive, how the dear old captain could put three daring fellows to flight, without being leagued with old Nick. She concluded with the assertion, that she was perfectly convin­ced, he was proof against swords and bullets. Neither Caroline nor the captain paid the least attention to what she said; Caroline, because her stupifying despair, prevented her from perceiving any thing besides the agonies of her mind, and the captain, because he was just occupied in the siege of Breisach.

"Merciful God! what can all this mean?" eja­culated Caroline, at last, after a deep hollow groan: "and where may Ortenberg be?

"Not where he ought to be!" replied the cap­tain hastily; "else he would have been here be­fore, and raised a dyke against these torrents of tears, and not suffer that my poor pipe of tobacco should be thus imbittered."

Caroline made no reply, folding her handker­chief between her hands, and casting her eyes to the ground. No tear started from her eyes! but the quick heavings of her bosom, her anxious and short respiration, plainly indicated the dreadful workings of her mind.

[Page 24] Thus another leaden hour crept away like a black thunder-cloud, which seems to be fettered with heavy chains to the sky, while the trembling inhabitant of the rural cottage, looks every mo­ment out of the window, to see whether it has not yet passed by: the cock crowed, the eastern horizon assumed a livelier hue, and announced the approach of day.

"This is no joke!" said the captain; "I don't like it! I will go, madam, and reconnoitre! I will make a forced march; and you shall see him in an hour's time, either dead or alive."

He stumped up stairs, without waiting for an answer, dressed himself with the greatest impetuo­sity, and whistled the march of his regiment. When he had armed himself with his cane and sword, and, in case of necessity, with a brace of pock­et-pistols; he stumped again down▪ stairs, open­ed Caroline's door, leaning in a martial manner upon his cane, and exclaimed;

"Well, madam, the detachment is ready! shall I march out?"

Caroline replied not.

"Madam," resumed the captain, "cannot mus­ter up a single word, the communication is cut off; the allies must see what they can do. Wheel to the right!"

Having said this, he really made the evolution, stamped with his foot upon the floor that the cups upon the table jingled, pressed the hat with his cane upon his head, gave the word, March, and left the apartment.

When he came into the street, he asked himself as usual: "Captain Storm, whither art thou go­ing?—I am commanded to go in search of a de­serter, to carry him to the camp, dead or alive.—God has sent us a fine morning!" (He took off his hat; which he always used to do when he [Page 25] pronounced the name of God) "a clear, healthy air. Advance, wooden leg! I say! Comrade!" (he was just near a centinel) "have you not seen Mr. Ortenberg?"


No, sir, I have been only half an hour on my post.

The captain limped further. "The fellow has not seen friend Ortenberg," muttered he between his teeth; "heaven knows in which defile he is concealed." He came to a bridge where another centinel was on guard.


Comrade, have you seen Mr. Orten­berg?


No, Captain!


How do you know that I am a cap­tain?

Centinel. (an old bald-headed veteran).

Don't you know me, captain? I have served in your company. My name is John Miller.

The captain stared a moment at him, and then fell suddenly on his neck: John "Miller!" ex­claimed he: "and I, stupid dog, did not recol­lect honest John Miller! How do you do, John?" He shook him cordially by the hand.


Indifferently, your honour. Five children, and no bread. I cut wood, when I am off guard, or carry bales of goods to the ware­houses, else I should starve. I have served eight-and-twenty years; seventeen years in your com­pany, when I received not a single blow. But now they give me twenty blows with the cane be­cause I cannot tie the collar fast enough in my sixty-fifth year.


Fie, John Miller!

(he spit out)

Fie, shame! don't put me in a passion. The devil take that brute of a Captain! God forgive me! comrade, come to Captain Storm, when you are [Page 26] relieved; he lives No. 207, in the Suburbs, and John Miller shall share with him the little he has.

He proceeded a few steps, but soon turned back again! apropos! comrade! did you know corporal Reiter?


Surely, Captain; I knew him well enough. He was an honest and brave fellow.


Upon my soul! he was honest and brave—

(he reclined upon his cane; a tear spark­led in his eye, while he looked silently to heaven, and uncovered his head)


He fell by my side in the battle of Prague, and was stone-dead. I took his wooden tobacco-pipe from his pocket, and preserved it as a precious treasure.


Comrade. What do you ask for that pipe?


Captain, I am a very poor fellow; however, I would take no money for it.

(searching in all his pockets).

Com­rade, there, take my purse; it contains more than a dollar. Take it, take it, and give me the pipe.


Dear, worthy Captain—


John Miller, I must have it! you ought to know subordination. Take the dollar, and give me the pipe.

(taking the pipe with tearful eyes out of his pocket).

Part with you for money? no, never! there, take the pipe

(averting his face)

, and keep your dollar.

(deeply affected).

Honest John Mil­ler! no, God forbid! keep the pipe! you deserve to have known corporal Reiter.

He averted his face, drying his tears with an handkerchief, not broader than an hand, and now began to recapitulate with John Miller, the battle of Prague.

[Page 27] My readers will not be astonished to learn, that the battle of Prague made the old veteran forget Ortenberg entirely, and that he stayed with John Miller, until the latter was relieved.

But let us return to Caroline, and her helpless situation.

We are never entirely miserable, while some person is with us, by whose actions and words we can perceive that he shares our sufferings, although the mind be not in that disposition which is re­quired, if we are to be sensible of all the marks of sympathy which compassion displays, and able to shed a grateful tear. This was Caroline's situation. While the captain was with her, she shared her agony with him, without knowing it, and first grew sensible of it, when he had left her. Till that moment, the flame of tormenting bodings, burned only internally, but, no sooner was her venerable protector gone, than she started wildly from her chair, crossing the appartment with stag­gering steps, and went to the window, to look into the street. She mistook every stranger, at some distance, for Ortenberg. There, he is com­ing! shouted her wishful heart. He came nearer, and her heart always had imposed upon her eyes. Dreadful were the sensations which convulsed her bosom.—She went, urged by restless anxi­ety, without knowing why, to her husband's study, casting her wild looks all around, as if she there awaited the developement of some mysterious event. Ortenberg's night-cap lay on the ground. Caroline was terrified. Her eyes lighted on his picture; she started back, left the room, and shut the door with as much violence, as if her husband's spirit had appeared to her. She was obliged to support herself with both hands by the bannister, in order to be able to return to her apartment.

[Page 28] William was still immersed in a sound and quiet sleep. Caroline, with folded arms, stood some­times opposite to him, fixing her eyes on his cheeks, which were tinged with a crimson hue, by the invigorating balsam of sleep. "Poor Wil­liam!" groaned she: "this morning you played cheerfully with your father, he rocked you on his knee—alas! if he should be dead, you will soon be a fatherless and motherless orphan."

She was long absorpt in melancholy contempla­tions, until she suddenly awoke, as if from a pro­found dream, and was going to call for the servant, to undress the boy and carry him to bed. How­ever she was so totally deprived, by her agony, of the use of all her senses, as to be unable to utter a single word.

Some person rung the house bell, at that mo­ment with great violence.


‘Behold the sap of tender plants is parched up by the cold north wind, and the glowing rays of the sun: thus, the vital powers of our poor life are undermined by too much joy and misery.’

WHEN a solitary traveller, enshrouded by mid-night darkness, wanders exhausted through the intricate mazes of a forest, not know­ing the road which leads to his peaceful home; when every uncertain step entangles him more and more in briars and thorns; when all around him is buried in profound silence, and only the croaking owl flies before him from tree to tree, with me­lancholy shrieks, and his mournful accents are [Page 29] re-echoed only by unknown mountains; when then the forlorn wanderer suddenly is hailed by the cheerful sound of an human voice—Oh! how does his heart then beat with hope! Here! says he, cheerfully to himself; here are men, thy bre­thren!—But, whispers his guardian angel, per­haps, they are robbers: and circumspection adds, robbers, of the last remaining ray of hope.

This picture conveys but a faint idea of Caro­line's sensations, of the confused emotions, which, in that moment, seized her perturbed senses. She struggled, in vain, to exert the last strength of her exhausted muscles, to receive the messenger, by whom she apprehended to hear her doom pro­nounced. Her whole form was a picture of fear blended with despair, which was tinged only with a faint ray of distant hope.

The servant, who was sitting by the fire-side, and had fallen asleep at the spinning-wheel, heard the ringing of the bell, started up, and staggered half-sleeping out of the room to open the door. She had scarcely stept into the passage, when a draught of air from the garden extinguished her lamp. However, as it already was broad day, she hesitated not to unfasten the door. When she opened it, she was accosted by a man whom she knew not, because his hat covered the upper part of his face. He gave her a letter, seemed to be inclined to speak, but instantly checked himself, and disappeared. Caroline's eyes devoured the letter; she tore it impatiently out of Hannah's hands, while all her limbs trembled, every muscle quivered, her cheeks glowed, and her breath stopped. However, she perceived suddenly, that it was the hand-writing of her husband. This, and the griefless direction, To my dear wife! re­stored her for a few moments to the use of her speech. "God be praised!" exclaimed she: "he [Page 30] "lives!" She dropped on her knees; a sparkling tear, worthy to be kissed away by angels, swam in her eye, which was raised to heaven; her hands folded themselves, and—she was speechless. If my readers ever have been at Cassel, and seen Cleopatra, Tishbein's master-piece, they will be able to conceive an idea of Caroline, during the pause of silence. Her grateful looks were the most eloquent and affecting prayers. She collected herself at last, opened the letter on her knees, and read as follows:

Dearest, best of wives!

I have acted imprudently! and stand in need of your forgiveness, and hope your good and loving heart will readily grant it. I left you—although, not quite without reason, yet, too hastily and imprudently. Did I not know that my Caroline has an undaunted spirit? that she is far superior to the generality of her sex, who know not what to do, when a dark cloud overcast the horizon of their life for a short time? Did I not know, that religion and love can perform mira­cles? that Caroline's heart is the abode of both, and, that virtue, conscious of its innate greatness, never wants resolution? Is not God above us, whose assistance is nearest when we are least aware of it?—And, particularly now, when my dear Caroline is on the point of being a mother the second time, she will, undoubtedly, call forth all her firmness, to bear a trifling misfortune, which, perhaps, will separate me a few weeks from her. Yes, dearest love, I am necessiated to make a short journey, in which you, in your present situation, cannot join me. The governor—need I to say more? You recollect Breslau, and the scene at the review?—In short, you can guess who is my persecutor.

[Page 31] You will, probably, have sustained many ter­rors, and gloomy apprehensions last night—ano­ther consequence of my heedlessness. You would have been prepared for the nocturnal intrusion of the soldiers, if I had informed you immediately of the contents of old Conrad's letter. I know not what designs they had upon me. Perhaps, they only wanted to frighten me, to make room for a base villain. How could they be ignorant, that I am proud of possessing a wife, who wants no male protector, who by one commanding look, can check the most unbridled passions.

I begin, therefore, my journey with tranquilli­ty, and confidence in the protection of God. I am on the road to Berlin, to throw myself at the feet of our king, to implore his justice, and you know our excellent monarch—his name ought to inspire you with the brightest hopes. I expect to close you again in my arms after six or eight weeks. Till then farewell, my dearest love. Do not disappoint my hopes that you will bear this trifling affliction with firmness and piety. Con­sider what you owe to yourself! consider that ano­ther life depends upon yours, the life of an inno­cent being, which will atone for all your sorrows by its first infantine smile.

I am determined to see you no more before my departure; receive this letter as my farewell exhortation. I would however not have you think that I am apprehensive of any danger. Vil­lainy only shrouds itself in midnight darkness and shuns the rays of the sun. But why should I not spare you and myself tears which the thought of our good king ought to dry up?

Adieu, my dear Caroline! kiss our William! thank honest Conrad for his disinterested friend­ship. Farewell! as soon as I am arrived at Ber­lin, you shall hear again from your loving hus­band,

Charles Frederick Ortenberg.

[Page 32] How happy are we when the smiling sun of hope shines on the bubble of our wishes and ex­pectations; when it charms the eye of our mind by a thousand variegated colours! However, how much more miserable do we feel, when suddenly a threatening cloud, tinged with the hue of darkest midnight, destroys the sweet amusement of our imagination. The sun is overclouded, and the bubble bursts.

The sudden transit from cordial and grateful joy to agonizing grief was too rapid for Caroline.

Although Ortenberg had worded his letter with the greatest circumspection, and treated the matter as lightly as possible, yet its contents were still too much for a woman who was seven months gone in her pregnancy, and already had endured one night replete with torments which were more excruciating than an infernal demon would have inflicted. She sunk exhausted into her arm-chair, her eyes were no longer capable of weeping, her breast attempted in vain to ease its load by sighs, her head reclined against the back of her chair, her arms hung down; her whole posture was that of a person utterly incapable of motion.

"Is nobody there?" exclaimed a voice in the street, while a knobbed stick, at the same time, knocked pretty rough against the door.

"Who knocks?" asked the servant in a low voice.

"Good friend!" roared the bass of the old Captain.

"Guard, open the gate! let down the draw­bridge, the detachment is returned.—Cheer up, Madam!" exclaimed the old soldier as he stept into the room, wiping the sweat from his brow, "cheer up! it was only a false alarm. Mr. Or­tenberg will soon be here again."

[Page 33] When the condemned innocent is arrived at the place of execution, and the dreadful sword of blind justice glitters already in the hand of the stern executioner; when the guiltless victim has lost his recollection; does he then not still think he beholds in every white handkerchief that is held up a signal for his reprieve?

Caroline had the most unequivocal proof of her husband's misfortune, the fatal letter, in her hand, yet a ray of hope darted across her soul when the blunt soldier called to her in a firm tone of voice: "Cheer up, Madam!"

"My husband!" exclaimed she with anxious impatience.


Yes, Madam! It is as I told you. I hope he will again return to head quarters in a few hours, and listen patiently to your curtain lecture. He has deserved it, because it is not right to march out of the camp without orders.


Have you seen him?


Seen? I have spoken to him and sha­ken hands with him. I conjure you, Madam, be composed! good God how you look! God forgive me, like Lazarus rising from the grave.


But where did you see him?

(in the greatest confusion; for, al­though this question was extremely natural, yet his good heart, which was an utter stranger to all kind of falsehood, was not prepared for it).

Where?—Yonder—at the corner of the street—no—not at that corner—at—at—at the Bruhler gate.

(in the tone of a person who hopes and wishes to be refuted).



But, I tell you, it is so! he is gone to see a sick friend.


And just now I have received this letter in which he takes leave of me.

[Page 34] The Captain was confounded, and stammered a long, "So! I see, I must confess that I have told a lie; I am ashamed of it. But what could I do, dearest Madam? Could I tell you that I had gone after him to no purpose? That would have been very fine, indeed! I should have deserved to run the gauntlet. You would have battered my poor old heart with your lamentations, and my little reason would have been put totally in disorder. But this is the natural consequence of all lies; curse all falshoods! I will never again deviate from truth. May the provost marshal order me to be put in irons and dieted with bread and wa­ter, if ever I give truth another slap in the face. I never shall be such a fool again."

This was the last fatal blow. Caroline fell back in her chair. The rosy hue of her cheeks turned to a dead white, her eyes broke, and her lips were tinged blue.

"Holy Virgin, have mercy! wheel to the right! march!" called the Captain to the servant: "could not the stupid beast have gone twenty times for the physician? must you first wait for the word of command in such a case?"

The servant hurried away. The Captain rum­maged his whole medicine-chest, took out harts­horn, Hungary water, spirit of vinegar, and assa­foetida, and held one after the other to Caroline's nose. But all his pains were fruitless. He rub­bed her temples: but all without effect. He took her in his arms, and shook her violently; alas! she awoke not. "God have mercy on us!" ex­claimed he; "what an unfortunate miserable fel­low am I! by what have I deserved to be punish­ed thus in my old days! that angel of a woman will die in my arms! I cannot bear to see it!

He replaced Caroline in her arm chair, and limped into the garden, where he put his singers [Page 35] in his ears, running up and down, singing and whistling, as if he wanted to stun his senses and memory.

Lettle William awoke at last from his quiet slumber, and seeing the helpless situation of his mother, thought she was sleeping. He was, in­deed, astonished to perceive by his dress, that he had not been put to bed the preceding night; be­ing, however, not used to reflect upon what his parents thought proper to do; he was rather re­joiced, because he expected he should not be combed, curled, and washed that morning. He got cautiously from his chair, lest he should a­wake his mother, rubbed his eyes, and looked at the wooden clock. It was past seven. Papa, thought William, must already be at school, and it is high time that I also should go. I cannot conceive why they suffered me to sleep so long. I now must go to school, without having had my tea and roll. However, I rather will go without my breakfast, than disturb mamma.

During this soliloquy, he got his books toge­ther, with as little noise as possible, and was just going to steal away upon his toes with an empty stomach, when the physician stepped into the a­partment. The latter ordered Caroline to be immediately put to bed, and a midwife to be sent for.


Soar aloft thou good and pious Soul,
Angels wait for thee at Heaven's gate,
Where no cares th' unfettered mind controul,
A [...]d where blessings crown thy hapless fate.

"WHAT do you think?" said the old cap­tain to the physician while he, in his anxiety, [Page 36] twisted a button from his coat: "will the fortress be able to hold out a little longer?"

The physician shrugged his shoulders in silence. "Sir," continued the honest soldier with tearful eyes, "you shall have half my pension! by God! I'll give you half my pension if you save her."

"I shall see what I can do," replied the phy­sician coldly; for these gentlemen are as much used to misery and distress, as other people to eating and drinking, and not much more concern­ed at the death of a worthy wife, which renders a whole family miserable, than they are, when the cook has overdone a haunch of venison.


Merciful God! why didst thou not let me depart in peace to my grave? by what crimes have I deserved this severe affliction? was I ever a blood-thirsty warrior? was I a tyrant to my inferiors? have I not always spared women and children? have I ever plundered? have I ever pierced the breast of the wretch who sup­plicated for his life? and did I not always stand as immoveable as a wall, where it hailed bullets? Oh God! oh God! I always hated crying! and now, oh God! now—

Violent groans prevented him from proceed­ing.

The physician opened a gold box, took a pinch of snuff, and said drily, is the lady a relation of yours?

(with indignation)

Sir, how can you ask such a foolish question? do you think we ought to love only aunts, nieces, and cousins? do you suppose, that love lays in the blood? don't you see, that this lady is an angel? but you stand there like a frozen centinel. By God! sir, I can't en­dure this any longer. This lady nursed [...] with maternal tenderness, when death levelled his piece [Page 37] at me some years since. My old carcass lay stretched out upon a sorry couch! I was deserted by all the world, destitute of friends, and not worth a farthing. Corporal Reiter was dead. I should have died like a crippled horse, on the field of battle, if that angel, in human shape, had not been my nurse, my physician; and my all. You see, sir, she knew me not; I am neither a cousin, nor a brother of hers. Is this too high for your conception, man of ice?

(he raised his eyes to heaven, uncovered his head, and folded his hands):

merciful father! if my death can save this angel of goodness from the grave, oh then, I beseech thee, have pity, and let me die for her!"

The physician smiled and turned himself round upon his heel.

"I think we ought to send for a clergyman;" said the midwife, when she came out of the bed­chamber: "I have, indeed, succeeded in restor­ing her to her recollection; however, I appre­hend she will miscarry, which must prove mortal to her, on account of her great weakness. I shall send for the Rev. Mr. Wumpsnyvenius.


I desire you will spare yourself that trouble; she was as innocent as an angel, and the Rev. Mr. Wumpsnyvenious will not be able to make a saint of her. It is a folly to send for a priest, when death has opened all his batteries. A fiddle-stick for your Rev. Mr. Wumpsnyveni­us! I shall speak comfort to her, if she wants it.


Then you must go instantly to her; she has inquired several times after you.


Why did you not immediately inform me of it? woman, I'll have you to know, that Captain Storm is not used to be trifled with—Dearest, best Mrs. Ortenberg, in what can I serve you?

(with these words, he flew to her bedside, as fast as his wooden leg would permit.)

[Page 38] Caroline lay extended upon her couch; her face was pale as a lily, her eyes languid as a drooping flower, her lips, formerly blooming like the full-blown rose, now were of an ash-colour, and parch­ed up. However, a calm and serene countenance, resembling a fine autumnal evening at the setting of the sun, proclaimed clearly, that she anticipated her impending union with sainted spirits. She extended her hand, faintly smiling, and said, in a weak tone of voice: "dear Captain, I do not think I shall recover. God's will be done!—I look upon you as my father—"

(weeping aloud).

Dearest daughter! Jesus Christ, what shall I do?


I conjure you, not to embitter my last moments. An old soldier ought to be fami­liar with death.


Yes, madam, I have seen many a brave fellow die. Death is on these occasions dreadful, but it affects not. The sufferings of a gentle and beloved woman, breaks the heart, and forces tears from the eye: I feel it to-day for the first time.


Tell my dear husband, when he re­turns—that my last words implore Heaven's best blessing for him.—The Captain replied, only by repeated nods, being deprived of the power of ut­terance, by violent sobs.

William now was called to her bed-side. Ca­roline laid her hand upon his head, and said: "God bless you, my son!—grow an honest man, and all the fondest wishes of your mother will be realized."

Her firmness had not hitherto forsaken her; she had not shed a single tear, but now took her son in her arms, and wept aloud:

"God bless you, my son! be happy! I part re­luctantly with you.—The heart under which you have lain, will soon be cold—but never forget [Page 39] that you had a mother who loved you—who would have wished to have sown herself the seeds of vir­tue in your heart, if Providence had permitted it. Once more, God bless you! leave me now, William!"

The servant was going to take him away; but Caroline extended her arms after him:

"No, do not leave me!—William! William! grow an honest man, like your father!—"

The physician took the boy, smiling, by the hand, and conducted him coldly out of the cham­ber, because he saw that his presence affected Ca­roline too much. Caroline now turned to the Captain: "dear Captain, I have one more savour to ask: burn this letter!"

She gave him Ortenberg's letter. The Cap­tain put it mechanically in his pocket. "Speak comfort to my poor husband when he returns.—Take care of my interment—You will find some money in that cupboard yonder—distribute part of it to the poor."

The physician requested her to keep herself quiet, and desired every one to quit the apart­ment. The Captain prostrated himself upon the threshold, and repeated, while every word was interrupted by groans and sighs, all the pray­ers he had learnt in his infancy. The exhausted Caroline was at length delivered of a still-born boy, and died an hour after.

[Page 40]


Good old man, indignant fire
Animates thy breast in vain;
Useless is thy pious ire,
Vice triumphs with cold disdain,
Heroes fall by villains slain.

IF two fraternal friends were wrecked upon a desert island; if they for years sweetened the bit­terness of life to each other, and cheerfully assisted one another to ease the burdens which fate laid upon their shoulders; if suddenly a vessel did ap­pear carrying one of them away to a better land, and leaving the other alone in his dreary soli­tude—what pen would be capable of portraying the dreadful sensations of that hapless forsaken wretch?

Dreadfully mute—dreadfully grinning and stamping the ground in frantic agony, sat the old Captain upon his chair, gnawing the top of his cane. He sat five dreadful hours on the same spot, without being able to shed a tear or even to utter a groan. At last he suddenly recollected the letter which Caroline had given him with the request to commit it to the fire. He put his hand hastily in his pocket, opened it, and read. When he came to the passage in which the Governor is mentioned, his mouth frothed, though it was a riddle to him; he grinded his teeth audibly, clenched his fist mechanically, beating his fore­head, and the first word he was capable to utter was: "villain, you shall not escape me! venge­ance or death? God be my witness!"

[Page 41] He then relapsed again into his former reverie; death-like stillness prevailed around him; no sound was heard in the whole apartment but the grinding of his teeth.

The door was suddenly flung open, and the governor entered, decorated with the order Pour le merite, which his soldiers had acquired and he received, as it frequently happens.

He was about 40 years old, slim and well made, had a pair of large sheep's eyes, an aquiline nose, a scoff [...]ing mouth, and a pair of firm and round calves, which he frequently surveyed with secret satisfaction, and which had made him a declared enemy to boots. His empty skull, overgrown with an abundance of black hair, was covered with a hat adorned with a proud plume and gold. His stiff tail whipped his thighs; his collar was buckled tight, which gave to his cheeks a martial dark-red hue; the uniform seemed to be glued to his body; a cane, four [...]eet high, with a gold top which contained the miniature picture of some venal beauty, was suspended between his fin­gers, which were adorned with several sparkling rings, displaying likewise the pictures of different ladies, and serving to set off the uncommon white­ness of his hands; he displayed every moment with a triumphant mein, a gold snuff-bix, which also exhibited the portrait of a conquered female, and even the case of his watch concealed at least half a dozen of female profiles, whose originals he thought not to be worth painting, because he had conquered them too easily.

The old Captain, keeping his seat and gnawing the top of his cane, stared in his face.

(to a kind of French valet who had the honour to attend his excellency).

Parblue! all the inhabitants of the house seem to be dead, and that old inventory there looks like an en­chanted [Page 42] moor keeping guard before a charmed castle.

The valet set up a horse-laugh, as his du­ty required, and the Captain changed neither his features nor his position.


Sir, who are you?

The Captain still continued to stare at him, and replied not a syllable.


Is the lady of the house within?

No answer.


Who is that impertinent fellow?—Do you know, Sir, who I am?

Still no answer.


I am governor of this town, and have it in my power to untie your tongue, if you are disinclined to speak.

The Captain still remained as mute as a statue.


What shall I do with that old bear! Je m'en vais chercher ma bellc Caroline.

He bent his steps towards the door of the chamber where Caroline's corpse lay. The old Captain suddenly started up and roared like thun­der:

"Stop, Sir! not a step farther!" The governor was amazed, and the Captain continued:

"No villain shall dare to step over this sacred threshold while I have as much breath left as a sister wants to blow the reveille. Dare not to stir from the spot where you are now standing? ad­vance not an hair's breadth, or, by God and all his saints, I shall spit you like a rabbit." The go­vernor, who never had boen a heroe, and met here with an old, rough veteran, instead of a gen­tle and obliging woman, was so much confound­ed as to be entirely forsaken by his French im­pertinence, and to stand motionless, as if rooted to the ground. The valet, thinking his presence was entirely superfluous on this occasion, went in search of some pretty chamber-maid.

[Page 43] The Captain, who was sensible of the superi­ority which an honest man has over a rogue, con­tinued in his rough accent: "man! if you be an human being, and not detached from Hell by the Devil; look there! and crave pardon of God, the avenger of innocence."

With these words he flung the chamber-door open. Caroline's corpse lay extended upon a board, her right hand upon her breast, and her dead child in the left arm. The governor was thunder-struck, trembling violently, and averting his face, which was as white as a sheet.


Now, Sir, come with me, I have to whisper a few words in your ear. But this is no proper place for it; we shall not disturb the peace of murdered virtue.

He seized the stunned and speechless Governor by the arm, dragging him into the garden behind a hedge, where none of the neighbours could see them. There he took Ortenberg's letter from his pocket, contemplated it mournfully, and said with bitterness: "go, poor fellow, go! the king cannot restore to you what you have lost. Read, Sir, and if you wish to act as an honest fellow, go and run the gauntlet voluntarily till you expire."

(recovering gradually from his first terror).

Sir, I know not what right you have—


No declamations! I will account to the omnicient God for what I am going to do now, but not to a fellow like you. I know what I am going to risk—so much the better! I am willing to sacrifice my grey head for the just cause of injured innocence. But first, sir, I am deter­mined Caroline's death must be avenged! my blade is not rusted yet; my leg is maimed, but not my arm—Read!

The Governor took the letter and began to read, but merely to gain delay, and to have an [Page 44] opportunity of collecting his little courage; for he could see that he should find hot work. The Captain took, in the mean time, a pair of thick leather gloves out of his pocket, and stuck his cane into the ground. The governor cast a side glance at him, and perceived the preparations which the old soldier was making. Having how­ever frequented the fencing academy more than seven years, and broken many a rapier; he thought the old crippled Captain was not worth the palpi­tation which he felt at the very place where the order Pour le merite was suspended. "Well, and what more?" said he ridiculing, while he return­ed the letter. "What more?" roared the Cap­tain: "hell and furies! are not you sensible that you are a villain?"


Softly, softly, my friend. You forget to whom you are speaking. Is it a crime to ad­mire an handsome woman? did nature create her charms only for her husband? and is it my fault that her ridiculous virtue mistook pease for globes?

The Captain, being seized with an unspeakable fury, which no pen can express, tore foaming his order from his breast, trampled it with his feet to atoms, drew his sword and stammered the words: "Oh! that my voice could r [...]ar like twenty bat­teries, to proclaim to you and the whole world with the voice of thunder, that you are the most infernal villain!—Draw, and defend yourself!"


Sir, you are mad. You deserve to be hanged and broken on the wheel! Do you know who gave me this cross?


It was unfortunately given you by our king; but he knew not to whom he gave it. You are a proof that kings also are weak mortals. De­fend yourself!

The governor drew, and they fought: the old, honest Captain, with the pious resolution to avenge [Page 45] injured innocence, but with an impotent arm, and blinded by rage. The governor, on the other hand, was in the full vigour of life, and armed with strength, caution, and skill. The Captain was disarmed. The governor flung his antago­nist's sword over the garden wall. "Now, Sir!" said he in an arrogant tone, "your life is in my power; however, I will not interfere with the executioner. You have forfeited your head by having violated subordination, the mandate against duelling, and trampling upon the king's order. You have offended the king, not me. I shall leave it to him to avenge me."

He put his sword triumphantly into the scab­bard, collected the fragments of the broken or­der, and went away, rejoicing inwardly at his having been again a villain with impunity.

Shame, fury, and secret murmuring against Pro­vidence for having denied strength to the arm that defended the cause of injured innocence, render­ed the good old man for some time speechless, "Oh God!" exclaimed he at last, raising his trem­bling hands to heav [...]: "God, thou art incom­prehensible. Why dost thou bestrew the path of vice with flowers? why does the villain display the badge of rewarded merit, and trample with impunity upon the first and most sacred laws? virtue conceals itself in vain in sequestered cot­tages: vice also plunders in the land of purest innocence, which certainly is no enemy's country. God! if thou hast created the worm only to cringe and then to be crushed—(he put his hand to one of his pocket pistols)—who then durst not march without taking leave? but no, no, no! it cannot be!—Thou hast certainly prepared good winter-quarters for those who have fought bravely. For­give me, unaccountable being! forgive me, if I murmured a moment; if I imagined a moment [Page 46] —to be designed to be an instrument of thy ven­geance. He is perhaps, designed to be a scourge to other villains who are worse than him; and thy arm will overtake him at last. What God does, is ever just and ever good.—Amen!"

A tear sealed this prayer, which ascended with fervent ardour to the throne of the Omnipotent. He staggered slowly towards the house, to give orders for Caroline's interment, and to discharge the last mournful duty. Pity the good old man, sensible reader! The worthy veteran, though con­quered, will undoubtedly appear more deserving to you, than the vile conqueror.

Peace, peace attend thee to the shore
Where sighs and groans are heard no more,
Where virtue triumphs over vice,
And Reiter waits with wishful eyes,
To clasp thee to his honest breast,
And lull thy grief and cares to rest.

TO die is, in common life, like dying on the stage. The spectators weep, while the actor calmly quits the scene when the curtain drops, and is satisfied to have acted his part with applause. The same is applicable to the stage of the world. The sensations of the dying, at most, can be compared with that of an actor who performs a favourite character the last time, and with tears takes leave of a Public that esteems him. However, this simile is rarely applicable to those who are left be­hind. Parents, children, and friends who are [Page 47] groaning at the death-bed of their darling, taste the bitterness of twofold death; for a gloomy and cheerless futurity presents itself to their view, while the happy conqueror anticipates the bliss of a better world. The son loses his father, but the father meets his parents again. No! death is dreadful only to the unfortunate wretch who loses his father, consort, sister, brother, or friend. He stares wildly at the lifeless corpse, not knowing how to reconcile himself to his loss, and still hopes that the mournful scene which he beholds, is only a frightful dream, from which he expects soon to awake; and that singular delusion lasts to the moment of interment. When the dear corpse has left the house, and the funeral train has disap­peared from his gazing eyes, he first feels the whole extent of his loss. The day of interment is, un­doubtedly, more distressing to the unhappy mourner than the day of death. While he sees the body of his departed friend extended before his eyes, can moisten his stiff hand with his tears, and im­print kisses on his cold lips, his fate appears less dreadful to him. But now the coffin is screwed up, the undertakers carry his darling down stairs, and, alas! he shall never see him again. Oh! parting from beloved friends, thou are dreadful! Every suffering admits of comfort, every pain is relieved by tears: but parting is relieved neither by tears nor consolation.

The day of interment appeared. Caroline was dressed in white satin, and her brown hair adorn­ed with cypress: the infant lay in her arms. The apartment was lined with black crape, and eight torches burned on both sides of the coffin. The afflicted old man sat at the head wiping with the knuckles of his hands the tears from his eyes, groaning and exclaiming with a faint voice: "I loved her like a daughter! she now is the daugh­ter [Page 48] of God! but, alas! her death is more than I can bear!"

William was dressed in black, his auburn un­powdered hair was tied with black crape, and thus he stood between the legs of the old Captain, asking him repeatedly whether his dear mamma would awake no more? Old Conrad sat in mute sorrow at the feet of the corpse, his hands folded, his head bent against the left shoulder, and staring at the ground. This old Conrad, who, probably, has long interested the reader's curiosity, was steward in the Governor's house, and the only honest being who entered the door of his master. The Governor would, probably, have turned him into the street long since, if he had not regarded him as a part of his paternal inheritance, and been obliged to confess reluctantly that Conrad's fidelity and incorruptible honesty had saved his finances several times from ruin. The villain ridiculed the honest fellow, but did not wish to part with him. Conrad, whose soul was wounded by the excesses of his master, had been repeatedly on the point of quitting his service. Nothing could have retained him but the idea that the Governor's father had been his benefactor. He staid therefore, sub­mitted to what he could not alter, and dragged the cart frequently out of the mud, when his master had involved himself in serious difficulties. He was a native of Breslaw, and thence originated his acquaintance with Ortenberg and his wife. He had been a school-fellow of Ortenberg's father, and always retained a cordial regard for his family. He had accidentally discovered the Governor's base design upon Caroline▪ and the misfortune which threatened his old friend Ortenberg. He informed him immediately of it by the above men­tioned note, and returned without delay to his [Page 49] master's house, lest his absence should expose him to suspicion. Ortenberg fled. His flight produ­ced, as we know, the most fatal consequences, and Conrad was not the last who was informed of it.

"Barbara!" said he to his wife. "pack up our little property; I shall quit this cursed house to­day." Barbara was one of those wives who by the vulgar are called a blessing of the Devil: A little thin, and spiteful creature, decorated with a Mulatto nose, a pair of green eyes, and a small remnant of half and quarter teeth. The gout and asthma tormented her now and then in a most lamentable manner; but her tongue enjoyed the most excellent health, for she took all possible pains to prove that a perpetuum mobile was pos­sible, notwithstanding a practice of near sixty years, in which she had not taken the least pains to spare that wonderful member. Her words rushed over the wrecks of her teeth, like a rapid torrent which rolls over the ruins of decayed buildings, and the stream of her eloquence continued to flow even when sleep had touched her running eyes with his soporific wand; or to speak in plain language, she talked in her sleep. By this means, Conrad had discovered the Governor's design upon Caroline, which Monsieur Coquin, the French valet, had communicated to his gentle helpmate, under the injunction of the most profound secrecy. She dis­liked nothing more than going to church, because she durst not contradict the preacher; however, she presided in all the meetings of the gossips of the town. She was perfectly convinced that the words of the Gospel, The man shall be the head of the wife, are not properly translated; and in order to render herself capable of refuting that passage, took, in her younger years, lessons in the Hebrew [Page 50] language of a stout Prebendary, who knew noth­ing of it himself. But when the wicked world be­gan to suspect her virtue, she abandoned this reso­lution again, and married honest Conrad. She now took all possible pains to refute, at least by her example, the truth of that passage. Conrad loved peace and tranquillity. He submitted quietly to all the whims of his wife, while it militated not against his conscience. But as soon as his conscience told him that it would be wrong to indulge her any longer, he commanded her peremptorily to be silent, and when that was of no use, applied the eloquence of a good horsewhip so successfully, as to put a temporary stop to the agility of her tongue, and to draw torrents of tears from her green eyes. However, Barbara rarely carried matters to that extremity, and when Conrad ordered her in his authoritative accent, the meaning of which she knew perfectly well, to check the fluency of her eloquence, she obeyed his command without grumbling.

Conrad having thus supported his authority, he exchanged his splendid livery for a threadbare great coat, took his staff in his hand, and stept in­to the apartment of his Excellency, who, exhaust­ed by yesterday's duel, recruited his animal spirits with a dish of chocolate steeped in Burgundy, and amused himself with reading the Pucelle d'Orleans.

(smiling graciously at Conrad.)

Com­ment, Conrad, are you going to officiate for the watchman? What is the meaning of that mum­mery? Par Dieu! you look like a discarded schoolmaster.


I don't care, if I only don't look like certain people, who have gold upon their coat and smut in their heart.

[Page 51]

Bravo! you begin to season you morals with satire; this is no bad idea, old friend.


I beg your Excellency's pardon! how ever, I must tell you that our friendship is at an end. I am only a poor Devil. However, I am not used to throw my friendship before the swine. In one word, I demand my discharge.


You, your discharge? How comes that whim into your head?


I ought to have known long since, that it was impossible to wash a moor white. Fine do­ings, my Lord! poor Ortenberg! my heart is ready to break, when I think of it. I never have wished to be king; but I now wish to exercise roy­al authority only a quarter of an hour, to send your Excellency in chains to the fortress.


Monsieur Conrad, I advise you to be silent, or—


No, my Lord, I shall not be silent; nor do I care what the consequences may be. When your father was on his death-bed, he ex­tended his cold hand to me, and said: Conrad, you have served me faithfully! receive my thanks for it! don't leave my son, and flatter him not, if you should see that he is inclined to turn a rogue, but tell him always the truth. You know, he said so. I promised it him, and he died. I have, hitherto, kept my word honestly, and am now going to do it for the last time; for, I can be silent no longer. Sainted man! if your spirit now looks down upon us, oh! then do not accuse me of ingratitude! You covered my nakedness, and made an honest fellow of me; I shall leave this house as naked as I entered it, and shall account to you in a better world, how I have executed your last commands.

[Page 52]

Fool! hold your tongue, and take this purse.


No, my Lord, I shall not accept ano­ther farthing of you. I am poor, but rather will beg my bread at the doors of charitable people. I demand my discharge.

(in a passion.)

Va t'en au Diable!—Le Coquin, order that ass to be kicked out of the house.

Le Coquin did as he was ordered, called the coachman and the cook to his assistance, and kick­ed the honest old fellow out of doors.

Dame Barbara, instead of sharing grief and joy with her husband, ran scolding after him, put her arms in her side and vociferated so, that the neigh­bours crowded together: "Well, there we have it! the old dotard! there he goes, quits his ser­vice, and knows not where to get a morsel of bread for to-morrow. Is it not a sin and a shame? Such an old ass should have no more sense than a calf! But, no; God forgive me! he acts like an ox, demanding his discharge like a blockhead; and for what reason?—because the dunce cares for unlaid eggs, and meddles in affairs which are nothing to him. He now may go to market to-morrow, and buy, and cook, and roast, if any one is foolish enough to give credit to such a beggarly dog. Where will he get bread? Does he think that I have a mind to starve in the bloom of life? It is an easy matter to marry; but to support a wife decently and honestly, and to be no ass, no ox—The soundest blow which ever was dispensed by the sinewy hand of a man, and which shook the last re­mains of her teeth, put an instantaneous stop to the stream of her eloquence. Barbara resembled a dog, who, after having barked long enough with im­punity, suddenly receives a violent kick, and sneaks [Page 53] limping and howling into the house. She did not think it proper to wait for a da capo of her husband's caresses, and ran roaring back. Conrad proceeded to Ortenberg's house, and there seated himself at the feet of the dead Caroline in the above-men­tioned posture.

Lamenting cripples and weeping paupers be­sieged the door. Every one held the last alms in his hand which he owed to Caroline's charitable donation; for the Captain, to whom her last words were as sacred as holy writ, had not only made large distributions of the money which he found in the place, pointed out to him by his friend previous to her dissolution, but also added a few dollars from his own scanty stock; which he had hoarded up to purchase The History of the Thirty Years War. Groans and lamentations resounded at the street­door from the lips of all these poor wretches. They related to each other in doleful accents, how often Caroline's charity had preserved them from starv­ing; how good and strong the soup was, which she had sent to some of them in their late illness.

It struck ten o'clock. The funeral train pro­ceeded towards the church yard. The venerable Captain staggered at the head of the poor, behind the coffin, supported by Conrad and another of Ortenberg's friends. He had wrapt a crape round his left arm, looking down upon this badge of mourning, and muttering constantly, as he went along: "Alas! I loved her so much, she ought not to have treated me thus."

The clergyman read at the church yard accord­ing to custom, a chapter from the Bible, and con­cluded with the following words: it would be needless, were I to descant to you upon the virtues of our sainted sister. Every one of you knew her; she was a worthy excellent woman."—(Indeed she [Page 54] was! groaned the Captain)—"Why should I praise while deeds speak more strongly than words can ex­press? She now has received the palm of peace in yon better regions, and her reward is unspeakable. The Lord bless thee, and keep thee; the Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee; the Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. Amen!"

When the coffin was let down into the grave, and Caroline's terrestrial part was to be covered with earth, the honest soldier was no longer able to check the emotions of the most violent agony. He began to moan so loudly and woefully, that the hearts of all the bye-standers were ready to break. The clergy­man attempted to comfort him, but he replied angrily;

"Alas! reverend Sir, you neither knew her, nor do you know me. I am now good for nothing in this world, for nothing at all. There is a nation among the savages who knock their decayed old parents on the head when they grow unfit to enjoy the comforts of life any longer. Oh! that some person would commiserate my distress, and knock me on the head! He returned to the house a prey to heart-breaking grief. The first object which he beheld on entering his apartment, was a cap lined with fur, which Caroline had given him on his last birth-day. He seized it with infantine eagerness, put it on his head, and went to the looking glass, while tears trickled down the venerable furrows of his cheeks. He walked groaning up and down the room more than two hours, before he went to bed. The servant found him next morning dead on his couch. An apoplectic fit had terminated his exis­tence. The cap which he had received from Caro­line, lay in his folded hands. A tear, which was not yet dried up entirely, stood on his cheek.

[Page 55]
Peace, peace attend thee to the shore,
Where sighs and groans are heard no more;
Where virtue triumphs over vice,
And REITER waits with wishful eyes,
To clasp thee to his honest breast,
And lull thy grief and cares to rest.

An hour after a detachment of soldiers came to the house to arrest the Captain by the Governor's command.

"Dear old Conrad," said the servant, "what will now become of poor William?"


Leave that to old Conrad! he shall not starve while I have a morsel of bread, and when I can work no more, I will go begging for him.

(putting her arms akimbo).

So! we have nothing to eat ourselves; nor do we know where to get a morsel of bread for to-morrow, and the old fool wants to take care of the children of other people.


Hold your peace, Barbara!

(he point­ed at the whip).

Barbara was suddenly mute as a fish.

[Page 56]


Dear deceiver, sportive fancy,
Through whose magic arts we see
What the hopeful heart requires
And the fondest wish desires,
Granted us by destiny.
Why is not the hoary wanderer
In the wintry storms of life,
In misfortune's tearful strife,
Bless'd like youth by dear illusion;
Why do not, in sweet confusion,
Airy fantoms charm his eye;
Why forsake him? tell me why?

WE acquainted the reader in the antecedent chapters, with the leading scenes of this history▪ for fear of tiring his patience by a long-winded introduction; but it now will be high time we should draw the curtain, and elucidate the events related in the preceding chapters. Charles Fre­deric Ortenberg, the unhappy husband of Caro­line, [Page 57] was a native of Breslaw. His father, an opulent merchant, of that city, had only one son besides him, whose name was Nicolaus Ortenberg. The latter was already in his boyish years ex­tremely fond of the lives of adventurers, especi­ally of sea-faring men. When he, at school, re­clined his two elbows against the table, devouring, as it were, the book which lay before him with his eyes, and moistening the ends of his singers with his tongue, in order to turn the leaves more quickly: his schoolmaster could be certain that he should catch him in the act of reading Robinson Crusoe, Robert Pierot, or some other book of that sort, instead of Julius Caesar or Cicero; the general consequence was, the immediate confis­cation of his favourite author.

However this could not deter him from apply­ing every farthing he could save to the prosecu­tion of his favourite literature and the bookseller always got more money from him than the fruit­erer and pastry-cook. His father inferred from this that Nicolaus must have a passionate desire to see the world. He was glad that his eldest son displayed a liking for the mercantile line, because his wife had made him promise, previous to the birth of the youngest, that, in case she should be delivered of a boy, he should be brought up for the church. He resolved therefore to send little Nicolaus, as soon as he should have attained his fifteenth year, to Amsterdam, to article him as apprentice to a great house, and afterwards to let him make a voyage to the Dutch settlements in the East-Indies, to gratify his desire of know­ledge. He therefore caused him to be carefully instructed in accounts, writing, mathematics, Dutch, French and English, and when he had entered his sixteenth year, sent him to Amster­dam [Page 58] to the house of an old friend, to commence his apprenticeship. He had never been a favour­ite of his mother, and this was the reason why his heart, which naturally was excellent, was neglect­ed, and his manners were unpolished. He took leave of his parents without shedding a single tear. His head was too much occupied with the desart islands which he intended to discover, and the gold and precious stones which he expected to find there. He even had made a plan how he would cure the skins of the unknown animals which he should discover, and to make them fit­ter for being made up into garments than those which Robinson Crusoe had employed for that purpose. He stept, therefore, into the mail, en­tirely occupied with airy castles, and no reflec­tion on his parents, no jostling of the vehicle, in­terrupted him in his sweet reveries. Five years of his apprenticeship elapsed without giving his manner of thinking another turn; he rather heat­ed his imagination more and more every day. In the long winter evenings, and on Sundays and holydays, when his comrades went to taverns and coffee-houses, or killed their time and squander­ed their money away at the gaming table, he used to sit down by the fire side, leaning his left arm upon a round table, which was loaded with a smoaking tea-urn, and always held in his right hand one of those numberless imitations of Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, which, at his time, inundated Europe.

Although the mind of the young man received a very romantic turn by his readings, and his brains were left as destitute of solid knowledge as his imaginary desert islands were of cultivation; yet he derived from them the advantage of being ren­dered entirely indifferent to all the fashionable [Page 59] dissipations of his age, which enabled him to attend with the most scrupulous diligence to the occupa­tions of his calling.

It was, however, at last, impossible for him to check his ardent desire of going to sea any longer. He teazed his master every day to send him as fac­tor to the East-Indies. I would, however, not have my readers to imagine that he considered Batavia as the spot where he expected to make his fortune; for the bustle of that great city, the re­gular constitution of the state, and the extensive connexions which it maintained with all parts of the inhabited globe—all this did not agree with his plans. He desired that the shore where he hoped to arrive on a plank or an empty cask, should be as wild and uncultivated as the world was on the first day of creation, and he would have preferred a garrison of wild goats to the first re­giment in the service of the States-General. But why then was he so pressing in his request to be sent to the East-Indies?—From no other reason but because he was perfectly certain that he should be taken on his voyage by a pirate, and carried for a year or two to Algiers, Tunis, or Tripoli, where he expected to effect his escape without much difficulty.

However, our young adventurer found it more difficult than he had thought at first, to persuade his patron to comply with his wishes. Experience teaches us every day that merchants are particular­ly reluctant to part with servants who are essen­tially useful to them; and as Nicolaus Ortenberg, after the expiration of the time of his appren­ticeship, was the most useful clerk in the count­ing-house, upon whose fidelity and diligence the Dutchman could implicitly rely, he always con­trived to start some pretext to deny the young [Page 60] man's request for the present, although it was his father's wish he should see the world.

Nicolaus was, at length, tired of being fed any longer with empty promises, and resolved to take the helm of his life in his own hand. I say, he resolved, which is as much as if I had said, he conceived the idea; for thinking and resolving is always one act with people of his disposition. It was therefore no wonder that he disappeared a few days after his bad or good genius had put this idea into his head, leaving the greatest part of his property behind. He had, indeed, resolv­ed, at first, to convey a chest with all sorts of tools secretly on board the vessel, which he hoped would be wrecked on some desart island in fa­vour of his romantic plans; but recollecting that the wreck of the stranded ship would supply him sufficiently with all implements of that sort, he abandoned this idea again, and decamped in a beautiful vernal night, indifferently provided with wearing apparel, and still poorer in cash.

Although the biographer of the Ortenberg fa­mily knows perfectly well what is become of our adventurer, and where he spent the succeeding five and twenty years; yet he thinks it would be improper to communicate his knowledge of his fate to the reader in this place; but promises, at the same time, that he shall make his appearance again at a period when his arrival will cause as much pleasure as that of Admiral Rodney gave to the political world after the famous battle of the twelfth of April.

His clandestine departure caused the most pun­gent affliction to his old father. The mother, however, whose whole affection concentered in his younger brother Frederic, whom she intend­ed to bring up for the church, soon forgot the [Page 61] rough sailor, as she used to call Nicolaus. Her husband, on the contrary, who was on the verge of his eighty-fourth year, could not reconcile him­self to this severe blow.

Nicolaus was, for his open and guiltless heart and blunt honesty, his very picture, and, on that account, his father's favourite. When all enqui­ries and advertisements were fruitless, the old man consumed his last strength by fretting after his darling, and died, at last, like an aged oak whose last remaining sap has been dried up by a stroke of lightning.


How sweet is love, when through the eyes
Array'd in innocence he speaks,
And from the dimpled cheek assails
Th' enraptured heart with conqu'ring smile!
I feel his bliss in ev'ry nerve,
And bow submissive at his shrine.

ALTHOUGH the whole town had thought old Ortenberg was immensely rich, yet after the payment of all his debts, scarcely as much was lest as was sufficient for his widow to live de­cently, and to send her second son to an univer­sity. This son, our Charles Frederic Ortenberg, now had attained his nineteenth year. All his instructors gave him the most favourable testimo­ny, and his mother insisted he should quit Bre­slaw, and go to Frankfort on the order, to render himself capable of supporting her in her old age.

[Page 62] She was enraptured a [...] the thought that she should see her Frederic, in a few years, in the pulpit of his native town and hear him preach the Gospel with all the [...]ervour with which she believed in it. Ortenberg himself wished to be able to afford her that satisfaction before her death, and resolved to quit his native town in spring.

However he consented reluctantly to his mo­ther's plan; because his filial affection was coun­teracted by love for another object which fre­quently got the better of his tenderness for his parent. Reader, do not [...] our hero on that account, for, alas! the power of nature is too im­perious to be easily overcome by reasoning and principles. We frequently love a faithless mis­tress more firmly than a fond mother, who cheer­fully would lay down her life to insure our hap­piness.

Caroline Summer was the name of the sweet creature who had conquered Ortenberg's heart, and, as my readers know, was goodness itself; and, alas! is already buried. I shall not attempt the arduous task of portraying all the charms of her beautiful person, and her still more beautiful mind. I only observe that she had a pair of eyes which no one could behold without feeling the flame of love creeping through every vein—eyes, serene and blue like the sky in a clear vernal morn; animated with youthful fire, and tempered only by the shade of her long eye-lashes, which, when she cast them down, made her look like a Madonna. Mild, forbearing kindness, was the principal feature of her excellent character.

They had had frequent opportunities of seeing each other in company; always hung their heads when they came to some place where they ex­pected to meet, and saw their hopes disappointed; were always animated with visible hilarity when [Page 63] one of them unexpectedly entered the apartment. This lasted some time, and neither Ortenberg nor Caroline conceived the smallest idea of reflecting upon that singular phaenomenon; for, novels, like those which now-a-days assist the novices in love to interpret the secret meaning of their sentiments, were at those times as scarce as a white raven.

The first incident which opened Ortenberg's eyes, and actuated him to examine the state of his heart, happened on the following occasion: Caroline's father was an eminent merchant, and had been an intimate friend of old Ortenberg, whose widow had deposited her little capital with him. This afforded young Ortenberg frequent opportunities to come to the house of his mistress on his mother's affairs. One day he happened to enter the apartment just when the family were drinking their coffee. Old Summer desired him to sit down, and said to his daughter, who stood with down cast eyes, at the tea-table, and could have served a painter as a model of purest inno­cence: "Caroline, offer Mr. Ortenberg a dish of coffee."

I know not whether it was owing to forgetful­ness, or because Caroline was used herself to drink her coffee without cream; in short, she brought him a dish of coffee without it, and made a neat courtesy.

Any one that had an opportunity of asking Or­tenberg's mother in the realms of death, would have learnt that her son had assured her repeated­ly, that he could not bear coffee without cream. However, Caroline appeared to him a Hebe, the dish seemed to him to be filled with nectar, and from that moment he always drank his coffee without cream. The sunshine of metaphysic, as much as he had learnt of it at school, was insuf­ficient to enlighten all the folds of his heart, and [Page 64] Amor had quartered his whole army (Captain Storm would have said) in these very folds. He had concealed the real state of his mind but too long from himself, and his heart always shrunk back like a [...] whenever his reason intruded itself as a confidant. I would, however, not have you to believe that he was happy during that state of incertitude; for, the old saying, what I don't wot can't make me hot, is not applicabe to love. Love frequently heats us without our knowing any thing of its existence; and sometimes kindles a flame in us that, at last, will flash from our eyes in spite of all our efforts to conceal it, and betray the state of our mind to every connoisure.

Ortenberg covered his sentiments a long time with the cloak of friendship, and was afraid to remove it in the smallest degree, lest Love, with its whole retinue, should suddenly present itself to his view. However, Amor grew at last tired of his long confinement, and broke unexpectedly his fetters on a fine autumnal day.

Old Summer had company in his garden; Ca­roline retired after coffee, when the company sat down to the card-table, to the remotest recess of a little park which joined it, and seating herself upon a terrace, took out her knitting, and began to work. I would lay an hundred ducats a­gainst a pin, that she secretly wished Ortenberg would join her, but also that she had no clear perception of this wish. Ortenberg scarcely mis­sed her, when he perceived that some mysterious charm urged him to quit the company, and his good genius conducted him directly to the spot where Caroline was sitting.

He now sat by her side, beneath the shade of an ancient beech-tree, which divided itself into two branches. A choir of chafinches caroled in the top, and mingled their amorous notes with [Page 65] the rustling of its leaves, moved by Zephyr's gentle breath.

Caroline plied her needle with the greatest as­siduity, and pulled her straw hat lower over her face, the real motives of which we cannot di­vine, as the thick texture of the branches of the beech-tree sheltered her completely against the rays of the sun.

"The weather is beautiful," said Ortenberg. "Yes," replied Caroline: "but it is rather too warm." This assertion was an evident falsehood; for the autumnal air blew very fresh; yet, for ought we know, she might really have been too warm.


We had a great many cherries this year.


Yes, and apples too.


The late thunder-storm has done a great deal of mischief.


I believe it has.

In this tone the conversation was carried on some time, although both were very sensible that they had to speak of more important subjects. A myr­tle sprig which adorned Caroline's bosom, ren­dered, at last, the conversation more interesting. Ortenberg begged Caroline to give it him. She took it from her bosom; he extended his hand to receive it; their fingers came in contact; an electric fire streamed through all their veins, and Caroline exclaimed with emotion; "my memory will die as fast in your bosom as this myrtle will fade." She gave him the myrtle, looked upon her knitting, and a tear pearled in her eye. She averted her face, and attempted to wipe it off unperceived. Both were silent some time, Or­tenberg remained several minutes in the fame posture in which he had received the myrtle, [Page 66] He took at last his almanack out of his pocket, and wrote the following impromptu on a blank leaf:

Wither must the fairest flower,
Though thy hand have gathered it;
Naught on earth can brave the power
Of decay; beuty, wit,
Wealth, and splendor, all must perish,
Naught but love will never fade,
Innocence and virtue cherish
Faithful love, and kindly shade
'Gainst the heat of life its blossoms;
Shield it when with ruthless hands
Fate sows thorns in mortal bosoms,
Love alone and friendship stands.
Undismay'd when tempests lower,
Threat'ning in the frowning sky;
Naught impairs their lasting power;
Love and friendship never die.

He offered it trembling to Caroline. She read it, while his anxious eyes watched the emotions of hers. Her hand relapsed upon her lap after she had read the lines, and she cast a glance at her lover, like that which the animated statue cast at Pygmalion. But it was not this glance alone that informed him of his happiness. Her eye was again directed at the paper, and she imprint­ed, at last, a fervent kiss upon it. This was the signal for Ortenberg. He clasped her in his arms, and inhaled unspeakable rapture from her lips.

However, he robbed her also, unfortunately, of a patch which was on her lip, and now stuck to his. Neither of them perceived it, for rea­sons which are very obvious. His soul was in the same state in which it had been at the time when he, for the first time, drank coffee without cream; he would, therefore, not have [Page 67] been able to perceive it, if he had been covered all over with patches. If we, besides, consider, that he prudently took care not to wipe his mouth after having kissed Caroline, we may easily con­ceive that the patch quietly could occupy its post, without being disturbed by him. If, however, one or the other of my readers should think it im­probable that Caroline also took no notice of that unmanly ornament, I can safely refer him to eve­ry fair-one, and to ask her upon her conscience, whether she was able to lift up her eyes in the next quarter of an hour after having clasped the dear object of her love the first time to her bo­som. Caroline at last cast her eyes colouring to the ground, and could not have looked up for worlds. She was satisfied with making the re­mark, after half an hour, in which little was said, and much felt, that the company would miss them, and tripped silently on Ortenberg's arm towards the garden-house.

The company had, unfortunately, been merry at Caroline's expence, on account of the above­mentioned patch, before Ortenberg had arrived with his mother. Some young gentlemen had wittily observed that it covered half a dozen of graces, while others had remarked that it was ra­ther too large. One of the company, who ima­gined himself a great wit, had, probably hatch­ed out some mirth creating idea, while Ortenberg and Caroline was acting the tender duodrama at the terrace. Apprehending he should be choaked by it, he directed therefore, as soon as the young people entered the apartment, his eyes at the place where the patch had been fixed when Caro­line had left the company. It had disappeared. However, his lynx-eye, unfortunately, discovered that the patch was lodged on the same spot of the left side of Ortenberg's lip, where it had been fix­ed [Page 68] before on the right of Caroline's. In order to revenge himself for being deprived of an oppor­tunity to sport his wit, he made the company ob­serve the fatal translocation. Some smiled, and others pretended not to have heard his observa­tion. Old Summer coloured deeply with anger. He cast an indignant look at Ortenberg, and be­trayed his passion by his gestures to the whole company. A general silence took place; Caroline could not conceal her confusion. Ortenberg had so much presence of mind to tell the company with a calm smile, that Miss Summer had lost the patch in the garden, where he had sound it, after a long search, in the grass, and as she had refused to redeem it by a kiss, he had made use of it, to punish her for her obstinacy. The company pre­tended to take his assertion for sterling coin, ad­mired the fine turn by which he extricated him­self, and every one believed as much of it as he thought proper. Old Summer watched from that moment every glance and motion of his daughter, and contrived to turn the pupils of his eyes so artfully that it would have been useless if Argus had lent him half a dozen from his superfluous hundred. He failed, therefore, not to observe the secret pressure with which Caroline rewarded Ortenberg for his invention, when he, after sup­per, according to the custom of his old fashi­oned times, kissed her hand.

As soon as the guests had taken their leave, a discourse commenced between the father and his daughter, the thread of which Caroline in vain made repeated efforts to break.

The father, sitting in an easy chair, dressed in a red damask night-gown, a cap of purple velvet on his head, and in yellow slippers; a long tobacco­pipe in his mouth, and a bottle of ale before him upon a straw mat.

[Page 69] The daughter, in another corner of the apart­ment, sedulously engaged in various little domestic occupations, and endeavouring to conceal the con­fusion occasioned by the expressive glances of her father.


My daughter has not behaved well to­day.

Caroline made no reply. She ought however, to have considered that we must not run across the fields when large drops of rain begin to fall, but to endeavour to find shelter in the nearest cot­tage. However, by being silent, she ran right across the field; for I challenge all the seventy interpreters to declare whether her silence was not in fact as much as if she had pleaded guilty! It was natural that old Summer, who stood upon the vantage, did not give up his point, and con­tinued, "she has forgot the advice which her sainted mother repeated so often to her."

The old man opened, with this reproach, a bat­tery which he, as Caroline well knew, used to bring to bear only on very extraordinary occa­sions. She foresaw that she should not be able to avoid facing the enemy, and therefore replied with as much resolution as she was mistress of, "how so, dear papa?"

Resolution and consideration are not always joined. This was, at least, Caroline's case, other­wise she would not have made that reply; because old Summer always was highly provoked when one of his family pretended to be ignorant of a fault with which the conscience necessarily must reproach the offender every moment. He knit, therefore, his brow, took the pipe out of his mouth, and replied with a tone of voice which was at least three notes lower than usual.

"Have you already forgot the patch?"

[Page 70] This was one of those critical moments in which guiltless souls rarely act consistently. Caroline had no other alternative, than either to deny the charge firmly, or to plead guilty. She had eve­ry reason to apprehend that all would be lost, and that she would no more hear the carols of the chafinches in the beech-tree, if she confessed the fact. But in the former case it was necessary she should lay the napkin which she was folding im­mediately down, toss up her nose, and turning towards her father, exclaimed with surprise, "the patch!"

She actually did all this just as we have descri­bed it; but committed herself by doing it too late, and adding "dear papa!"

This addition made her father suspect that she could not deny the charge, but wanted to palliate her guilt, by the endearing tone of her voice, and the repeated assurance of her filial love, particu­larly as he had spoken in the d sharp, whereas she had replied in the e flat. He replied therefore in the same accent:

"If I really am your dear father, you will avoid in future all companies where you might meet with young Ortenberg."

This injunction was like a clap of thunder to Caroline. A gentle shower was just on the point of gushing from her eyes: she caught the first drops with her mouth, tasting thus for the first time the bitterness of love, and collected herself as well as she could.

"Your commands shall be obeyed," said she, in a crying accent, put her night-cap on, kissed her father's hand, and went to bed.

However, she closed her long eye-lashes to no purpose, and could not get a wink of sleep all the night.

[Page 71] Ortenberg was in no better situation. His mo­ther questioned him about the patch, before he went to bed, and he confessed, and denied not, protesting that Caroline was the only woman in the world who ever had interested him, and beg­ged his mother not to refuse him her maternal benediction, if ever he should be so happy as to obtain her hand. But we know of how little con­sequence such benedictions are, no matter whe­ther they be pronounced by a priest or an old wo­man. The blessing of the old lady availed no­thing, although she bestowed it most liberally; for Caroline was obedient to her father's com­mand, because she could not help it, and her glances could but rarely tell her lover at church that this restraint had blown up the spark of pas­sion into a blazing flame, instead of extinguishing it.

Ortenberg hit at last upon an expedient which any other young man, less blinded by love than he was, would have found out much sooner. Ca­roline had a married sister, a good-natured little woman, at whose house she spent every week an afternoon, and staid till night. It was not advi­sable to appoint a meeting with Ortenberg in her house, because it was to be apprehended her bro­ther-in-law would surprise them.

The young lover posted himself every even­ing when he knew that Caroline was with her sister, against ten o'clock, in a little lane where she must pass on going home. The servant who saw her home was entirely devoted to her, and thus the lovers could see and embrace each other at least a few moments. Caroline was always rather timid on these clandestine meetings. Her heart and knee always trembled like that of Chloe in the 23d Ode of Horace, when the breath of Zephyr rustled in the leaves of the vine which [Page 72] run up against the house, near which they gene­rally met. She never ventured to stop longer in the lane than five minutes, and always fled like a criminal, trembling at her own shadow when she looked round. Five minutes! how much, and how little time for a loving heart! Thus winter elapsed, and the time drew near when Ortenberg was to quit Breslaw. Caroline was informed of it. She was with her sister the evening previous to his departure. Her agony increased visibly, when she perceived that it was near ten o'clock; her knitting kneedles trembled, her bosom heav­ed quicker, and her sister cast a compassionate look at her. She started hastily up from her chair when the servant entered to tell her, her maid was below to fetch her home. It rained violent­ly; however, Ortenberg had nevertheless been waiting for her a good while, wrapt in a great coat. She flew anxiously in his arms, and her first question was: "When shall you set out?"


Merciful God!—They hung on each other's neck—lips upon lips, mingling their tears.


Caroline, will you never forget me?




God sees us!

"Yes, God sees us!" repeated Caroline, sob­bing, tearing herself from his embraces, and fled.

But no! She was not capable of parting so soon with the darling of her heart. She returned a­gain, and again, to embrace him once more. Her timidity had disappeared entirely. She would not have minded if all the tiles had had eyes—for, the eyes of a world are in the hour of part­ing a contemptible nothing, which is swept away by the last farewell tears. Ortenberg was, at last, obliged to conjure her to go home, to disengage her hands from his neck, and to entreat her not [Page 73] to excite the curiosity of the people who were in the street, "Charles! my dearest Charles!" ex­claimed she, weeping, imprinted the last kiss on his cheek, and went slowly home to give her tears time to dry, if possible. But, alas! when she came to the corner where Ortenberg suddenly was with­drawn from her eyes—new bitter tears gushed from her eyes, moistening the flowing tresses which covered her heaving bosom. She hesita­ted a considerable time to enter her father's house, stopping behind one of the linden trees which lined the banks of the canal, warming her hand­kerchief with her breath, and holding it against her eyes, to dispel the redness. However, grief and confusion had disordered her features so much, and imprinted their vestiges so deeply upon her countenance, that it was impossible for her to con­ceal it from the Argus eyes of her father; who asked her hastily, as soon as she entered the a­partment: "Good God, Caroline, what is the matter with you? what has happened?"

Caroline had already prepared a plausible ex­cuse, for the confusion in which she was; for lo­vers are never in want of excuses on such emer­gencies. She replied with a tolerable presence of mind:

I have been frightened by a drunken man, on coming home. You know, papa, how fearful I am?

The old man took this for sterling coin, and Caroline was as glad, as she could be in her si­tuation, to have reached her solitary apartment, where she could give vent to her tears without being interrupted.

[Page 74]


Farewell, ye objects of my fond desires,
My tearful eye bids you adieu;
All that my heart with love and joy inspires
Must I abandon now; how few,
Alas! how few are life's unchequered pleasures,
How quick by guiltless joys away!
Scarce have we touched life's long▪ sought, fairest trea­sures,
When farewell tears already stray
Adown the cheeks, and ev'ry fond desire
Is chequered, ah! and ev'ry charm
Which hope held forth, is chas'd away by dire
Necessity's relentless arm!

THE sensations with which Ortenberg enter­ed his bed-chamber, the last time, were unspeak­ably bitter. He neither would nor could sleep. He [...] the watchman cry the hours, and thought, alas! this is the last time I shall hear him; he saw how the moon silvered the tops of the trees in the garden, and thought, alas! I shall see this beauti­ful scenery no more. It is singular, that objects which never interested us before, become ex­tremely important to us when we have reason to apprehend that we shall see them no more.

The clock struck one. The stage was to set off at three o'clock. Ortenberg rang the bell for the servant, to make coffee, and in a few minutes, the whole house was in a bustle. His mother also got up to assist in preparing her son's breakfast. Tears started from her eyes, as often as she looked at her dear Frederic. "God bless you, my dear child!" exclaimed she, when she embraced him [Page 75] the last time; "God bless you, and prosper your studies; walk in the fear of the Lord; have God before your eyes, and in your heart, all your life, and take heed not to sin knowingly, nor to com­mit any thing contrary to the law of God. God will grant my prayer, and restore you one time to my maternal arms, with a pure and innocent heart. Venerate God, do right, fear no one, and my blessing will follow you every where. But should you be tempted to stray from the path of virtue, then think of your old affectionate mother, and consider that you would load me with shame and disgrace. Let my grey hair be consigned in peace to the grave. Oh! my son, my son! I am old and infirm; I am afraid I shall see you no more. Farewell! God bless you!

Ortenberg could not utter one poor word. He moistened the trembling hand of his mother with tears of filial love, and flung himself speechless into the stage. He passed the house of his dear Caroline, saw her in the window, dressed in a charming morning gown, extending her arms to­wards him, as beautiful as the roseate cloud which just emerged from the Eastern horizon; her eyes were overclouded with grief, like the rising sun when his orb is shrouded in a thunder-cloud; he made a signal to her with his hand, which was moistened with tears, and disappeared. He was scarcely in the open field, when all objects which presented themselves to his eyes, contributed to render the sensations at parting more painful. The garden in which he unknowingly robbed Caroline of her patch; the terrace, and the tree under which he imprinted the first kiss on Caro­line's lips; the lonely walk at the water-side which he used to frequent in his boyish years: the ver­dant hill where he frequently had played with his juvenile companions; the little wood where [Page 76] he had laid snares for birds; the lake on which he had skated. "God!" exclaimed he, while all these objects gradually disappeared from his view. "All this I have, perhaps, seen the last time!" In a short time he had only an imperfect view of his native town; the stage drove down a hill, and his eyes sought the spot in vain where he had dreamed away his boyish and juvenile years.

He arrived at the place of his destination with the firm resolution to be faithful to the advice of his good mother. He kept his word. Nothing remarkable occurred in the two first years of his studies. Caroline and his mother wrote frequent­ly; he neglected not to answer their letters; and the post went regularly. We shall, therefore, skip over the two first years of his academic life. We also shall not enlarge much upon the third, and only inform the reader that he, at that time, made an acquaintance which had an important influence on the subsequent occurrences of his life. Har­man of Elhenhorst, an excellent young nobleman, became his friend.—Although I would advise every young man of plebeian extraction to choose, at university, no nobleman for his friend, because he would run the risk of being discarded and ne­glected, after the conclusion of his academic life; yet Baron Elhenhorst made an exception. He was a native of Cleves, and son of the Prime Minister, endowed with uncommon abilities, pos­sessing a heart warm for friendship, but cold for love. Many young men intruded themselves up­on him, and strove to gain his friendship; because—he was rich. Ortenberg entertained not the least thought of ingratiating himself with him, and gained his friendship without having sought it. This happened in the following manner.

Not far from the town where they studied was a pond, where Elhenhorst, Ortenberg, and many [Page 77] more students used to skate. Ortenberg went one day, about noon, to that place of diversion, and arrived at the very moment, when, at the farthest end of the pond, the ice broke under El­henhorst's feet, and he sank into the mire up to his shoulders. There was, indeed, no danger be­cause the pond was not deep: yet every one of my readers will easily perceive that the situation to which Elhenhorst was reduced, was far from being comfortable. A person who has skates fastened to his feet, cannot easily help himself, and—what is still worse—the ice always broke when he attempted to work himself out of the mud. Not a single soul was near the spot before Ortenberg arrived, and for this reason the assist­ance which he endeavoured to give to an utter stranger, although he could not risk his life, was the more valuable. However, Elhenhorst was obliged to be satisfied with his good intention, for when our young hero hastened to the spot ra­ther incautiously—as all good natured people are used to do when they have an opportunity of as­sisting their fellow creatures—the ice broke also under his feet, and he was reduced to the same situation from which the Baron had struggled above a quarter of an hour to extricate himself. Both were half dead with cold, and now began jointly to call for assistance. This attracted some people, and they were, at last, fortunately though covered with mud, half frozen, and slightly wounded in several parts by the sharp edges of the ice, released from their unseasonable bath.

It always grieves me to see that the great and the little generally are less grateful when our endea­vours to be useful to them answer not our ex­pectations and intention, although our zeal and merit be the same as if we had succeeded. El­henhorst, differing in his principles with the ma­jority [Page 78] of his noble brethren, was as much obliged to Ortenberg as if he really had succeeded in his attempt to release him from his uncomfortable si­tuation. The most cordial friendship was ce­mented, from that moment, between the two young men. Sympathy had united their souls long before that misfortune happened, and acci­dent contracted the ties which nature had pre­pared.—Propriety! what a troublesome thing art thou! how often do we see a face at the sight of which our heart whispers to us, that man could be thy friend, and thou wouldst love him fervent­ly, if he were. However, stiff propriety, pre­vents us from shaking him cordially by the hand and proclaiming the wishes of our heart. He has, perhaps, in that very moment, the same idea: but if accident does not come to our as­sistance, we part with the cold compliment, "I am happy to have had the honour of making your acquaintance." If accident had not befriended Elhenhorst and Ortenberg, perhaps they would never have been so intimate as they now were. They spent every hour which was not dedicated to their occupations, in confidential discourses, and many a long winter's evening appeared to them, at the chess-board, as short as a serene hour in May. Oh friendship, thou sister of love! how few are destined to be warmed by thy gentle fire! every one does, indeed, offer an imaginary sacri­fice at thy shrine, but, alas! the majority lay pro­strate at the idol of self-interest, which rules all over the world, while they vainly think to sacri­fice at thy altar.

Ortenberg now enjoyed a bliss which, hither­to, had been unknown to him. He never had, as yet, tasted the happiness of communicating his most secret ideas to a faithful friend, of speaking of his love, of pourtraying the idol of his heart [Page 79] with those glowing colours with which Amor's eloquence furnished him, and, in short, of enjoy­ing his bliss in a two-fold manner, as he was no longer obliged to conceal it within himself.

Although Elhenhorst never had loved, nor was inclined to fall in love, yet he listened kindly, and sometimes smiling, to his friend, when he vent­ed the tenderest feelings of his heart with en­thusiastic warmth: and what a feast was it for Or­tenberg's love, when Elhenhorst praised Caro­line's artless letters, congratulated his friend up­on being so happy to possess the heart of a woman who was capable of such noble sentiments and of expressing them in such a dignified manner. In short, congeniality of sentiments, principles, and propensities tied in less than a year the most in­dissoluble bonds of friendship between them. However, all our joys are like a gleam of sun­shine in April. The gloomy hour of separation already drew near: Elhenhorst was to leave Frank­fort on the Oder, and Ortenberg, who had to stay half a year longer was almost frantic with grief when he thought of the torments of the impend­ing moment of parting.

They supped together in Ortenberg's apart­ment the night before Elhenhorst's departure. They mutually pressed each other to eat, but their agony was so great as almost to render it impos­sible for them to swallow. They rose from table without scarcely having touched a morsel. Nei­ther would begin to speak of the impending sepa­ration, and the thought of it was, nevertheless, the only one which occupied their souls entirely, rendering them incapable of thinking of any thing else, and laming their tongue, as it were, for eve­ry other conversation. Elhenhorst broke at last the painful silence:

[Page 80]

I hope, Ortenberg, you will write very often to me!" said he, playing with his watch-chain, casting his eyes to the ground, to conceal the tears which started from them.—"Undoubtedly!" re­plied Ortenberg with a half-stifled sigh; and thus their conversation was again at an end. A game of chess now was proposed and begun. But if it be true that this game is the game of kings, and that it bears the most striking resemblance to a battle: I would not advise a king to engage the enemy on a day when he is to be separated from a dear friend. But how wildly am I talking? what king can say he has a real friend?—Our two he­roes played like children, leaving their most va­luable men undefended without their being taken; staring sometimes half an hour idly at the board, and forgetting whose turn it was to move. The clock at last struck ten, and Elhenhorst prepared to depart. "Adieu, dear Elhenhorst!" said Or­tenberg hastily, pressing his hand with convulsive agony: "God bless and protect you." "We shall see each other once more to-morrow morn­ing," replied Elhenhorst groaning, and left the apartment.

But no! they did not meet again. Ortenberg foresaw that the final parting scene would be too much for his and his friend's heart, and tend only to make them feel all the pangs of separation with additional bitterness. He had, indeed, promised to be at Elhenhorst's apartment early next morn­ing; however, he took a walk to a neighbouring village, and only left the following lines.

I am going to take a walk, to avoid taking leave. Farewell, dear Friend. God bless you! We shall, probably, meet no more in this world. I thank you for the numerous proofs of your [Page 81] friendship, which I have received!—Be com­pletely happy, and forget not


This note was stained with tears, and Elhen­horst's tears mingled themselves with his. "Good God!" exclaimed he, trembling on stepping into the post-chaise, while he scarcely was able to stand on his feet; "how dear can a worthy friend render even the obscurest corner to us!"

Oh, how true, how true, is this remark!—And parting is doubly dreadful, if we know from ex­perience that friendship, kept up by letters, fre­quently grows cold by degrees, and at last dies entirely away. Should this world really be the best?—and if it were, should not all good men who meet in it, love each other, and constantly united, live and act jointly for the good of their brethren? or is this idea too sublime for this world?—Yes, we shall meet again in a better world, in the regions of purer bliss, to attain, hand in hand, by active virtue, the highest degree of happiness.

The two friends corresponded frequently in the beginning. Elhenhorst informed his friend that he had made a journey to Berlin with his father; that he had been presented to the king, and been so happy to please the monarch; that he, conse­quently, had the best prospects before him, and expected to be soon promoted to a very honour­able post. Ortenberg put the letter hastily in his pocket, took his hat and cane, running into the street, and asking all his acquaintances he met, whether they had known Elhenhorst? and when one replied in the affirmative, he informed him with the greatest volubility and sparkling eyes, of his friend's impending happiness. However, the [Page 82] correspondence of the two friends was suddenly interrupted by a most melancholy incident.


Fortune smiles with thousand graces
On her votaries to-day;
Ere to-morrow dawns, she chases
Ev'ry ray of joy away.

ORTENBERG received the following letter from his mother:

Dear Frederic,

I should have been happy to inform you, my dear son, that all is well, and that I am cheerfully looking towards the joyful hour when I should receive you again in my maternal arms; however, Providence has decreed it otherwise, and visited me with a heavy affliction on the verge of the grave. Yet I kiss the rod which chastises me, and pray every day to God to strengthen you, my son, that you may be able to get through the trials which await you. Fate leads us frequently over extremely narrow and rugged roads; however, it also heals again the wounds which it inflicts. Old Summer, who had the management of our little property, is a bankrupt, and has disappeared. I applied immediately to a lawyer; however, I had the affliction to be informed by him, that I have not the least hope to recover any thing. You know that we always placed great confidence in old Summer, and intrusted him with all that we [Page 83] are worth, upon a simple bond. The lawyer, de­clares, therefore, that we ought to think ourselves happy, if we can recover twenty per cent. and even this, he thinks, will not be paid so soon as we may want it. God knows what will become of us, and how we shall be able to procure the ne­cessaries of life. I will not judge. I am a mer­chant's widow, and know very well that he may be innocent; however, I cannot see how we shall be able to support life. I am too old to get my bread by the labour of my hands, and wish sin­cerely God would take me to him. Yet I do not despair to find an asylum in the house of some be­nevolent friend, and am only anxious on account of my dear Charles. You cannot conceive how it grieves me to think that you should not be as happy as you deserve to be. Miss Summer has called upon me, and complained bitterly of her melancholy situation. You may easily conceive that I pity her sincerely. Return as soon as pos­sible to your afflicted parent, to assist me with your advice in my extreme distress. You are anxious­ly expected by

Your faithful Mother, ELIZABETH ORTENBERG.

Young Ortenberg's heart was deeply wounded by the contents of this melancholy letter. He stood near half an hour motionless at the window, holding the fatal letter in his hand. Several peo­ple who passed the house saluted him; however he saw them not. Some acquaintances of his wished him a good morning as they passed by; but he heard it not. His mother—his Caroline—his mother and himself, rendered miserable by the father of his mistress—his Caroline reduced to poverty—All these ideas crossed each other con­stantly, and every one of them imprinted the [Page 84] dreadful picture which it contained, deeply upon his mind. At last he roused himself from his stupor, and collected all his firmness, to prepare without delay for his departure from Frankfort. He had expected to receive a bill of exchange from his mother, and, consequently, had contract▪ a debt with his landlord, which amounted to about twenty dollars. He went down stairs, giving a faithful account of his misfortune, and requesting him to take some pieces of wearing apparel, in lieu of payment. His landlord, a creditable and honest tradesman, who loved Ortenberg as much as if he had been his own son, listened with great emotion to his melancholy tale, and protested so­lemnly that no power on earth should prevail up­on him to commit such a mean action, as he ho­nestly called it.

"Dear man!" said Ortenberg, "this will do me no good; for I must sell part of my clothes to raise, at least, as much money as I shall want for my journey."

"Dear sir!" replied, the landlord, "it grieves me to see that you place so little confidence in me. Would it not have done more credit to you, if you had come down stairs and said, land­lord, I am in such and such a situation; I should be glad if you could lend me a sew paltry dollars. Is it worth while to make many words about such a trifle? No, no! Mr. Ortenberg, I shall not suf­fer you to sell any of your clothes. You owe me twenty dollars; I will give you thirty more, if you will give me a bond for fifty. I am sure you will pay me, as soon as it is convenient to you."

Having said this, he put his hand in his pocket, took a key out of a leather purse, and was going to open his bureau, to prove that he was serious in his offer. But Ortenberg, deeply affected by the generosity of that worthy man, stopped him.

[Page 85] "No, my worthy friend," said he, with tears in his eyes: "my clothes are of no further use to me. Have I not told you, that I am poor? What occasion have I in my present situation for coats laced with gold? I have studied theology, and, consequently, must dress according to custom, as soon as I am returned to my native town, and wear black or some other modest colour. I have as little occasion for my gold watch and my silver­hilted sword. I entreat you to take my scarlet coat, laced with gold, and the blue one, laced with silver, in lieu of payment. If you will lend me thirty dollars, I shall take it as a great favour; but insist upon pawning my watch with you for that sum."

They disputed a great while before they could agree, and Ortenberg was, at last, prevailed upon, to give one of his laced coats, in lieu of payment, and to take the thirty dollars upon the other till he should be able to redeem it.

I must observe, on this occasion, that pride is a fault which my readers henceforth will frequent­ly observe in Ortenberg, a fault which poverty alone can excuse, and which ought to be found only among the poor.

"Farewell!" said the honest citizen, when Or­tenberg got into the stage. "God protect you, and prosper all your undertakings. Do not pass my house, if you ever should come through Frank­sort, and forget not that I love you as a son."

Ortenberg could not utter a word. He rode through the town gate, immersed in gloomy apa­thy. In the suburbs he passed through a street in which a new house had been built, over the door of which were engraven the words, This house is in the hand of the Lord. This was the first object that produced again an idea in his soul. "God!" thought he: "if that lifeless structure be deserv­ing [Page 86] of thy protection, my fate must also be in thy hand. I will not complain, nor murmur; your ways are often dark and thorny, however the goal—although it should present itself first beyond the grave—will be worth the strife." Alas! poor young man, the bitterest strife awaits thee yet.

It began to dawn when he beheld the walls of his native town again. He alighted at the post­house, and hastened immediately to his mother's abode. The windows were open, which appear­ed unaccountable to him, as the cold still was pret­ty severe. Merciful God!—when he entered the house—he beheld his mother in her coffin. A scene like this cannot be described; and I shall leave the melancholy task to the imagination and feelings of my readers. His mother had left a letter for him. He opened it impatiently, and read:

Dear Frederic,

I perceived clearly that you will not be able to arrive so soon as my sanguine wishes flattered me you would. I am sensible that God has heard my prayers, and will take me from this world in a few days. Rejoice, my dear son, rejoice with me at my impending dissolution. Nothing em­bitters my death but the idea that the situation in which I leave you, is not as good as I should wish and you deserve. However, you have learnt something; trust in God, and he will direct all for the best. Confidence in God, my dear son, leads to happiness here and hereafter. Miss Summer has been with me several days, and at­tended and nursed me. The good child frets ve­ry much at the injury which her father has done to me. However, it is not her fault, and I have not arraigned her for it. Neither, I hope, [Page 87] will you, my dear son. She now is, indeed, re­duced to poverty; however, she is of a laborious turn, and fears God. I give you my maternal blessing, if you ever should be able to marry her. God bless you, and make you happy here and hereafter. Amen. If my eldest son, Nicolaus, ever should return again, you may tell him that I blessed him on my death-bed, and that I quit this world without entertaining the least resent­ment against him. I hope you will bury me in the vault where the remains of my dear husband are entombed. God knows, I always intended to leave a small legacy to the poor; but the Lord who gave it, has taken it again; praised be his holy name. I should, indeed, have wished to hear you preach once before my death; however, God has denied me that pleasure; I submit to his paternal will. I now shall lay down the pen, after having bid you once more adieu; for, I am so weak as not to be able to write another line.

Merciful God, receive me into thy paternal arms, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.


The soul of the young man was rent with the most excruciating agony, while he perused these mournful lines; one tear chased the other, and convulsive groans deprived him of the power of utterance. He indulged his grief five mournful days in his lonely habitation, without knowing what he was doing. Five melancholy days elaps­ed without his having even inquired after his equally unfortunate Caroline. No one came near him but an old maid servant, who had known him when a child, and shared happiness and mis­fortune many years with his family. She in­formed him, at last, of her own accord, that Ca­roline had entered into the service of an old la­dy, [Page 88] as waiting-woman, and had been in the house the day before his arrival, to see his mo­ther's corpse once more. She added she had wept bitterly, but seemed to be pretty well recon­ciled to her new situation.

Ortenberg scarcely had heard this account, when his love for Caroline returned again with redoubled force. He dispatched the servant in­stantly, to let her know that he intended to pay her a visit. During the servant's absence he felt for the first time that sweet anxiety, that anxious throbbing of heart, which every young man will have felt while he looked impatiently and trem­bling at the watch, counting every minute till the wished-for moment arrived. Ortenberg observ­ed, for the first time, that his servant was uncom­monly slow, that she crept like a snail, and was very unfit to be employed as a Postillon d' amour. She returned at last, and delivered a sealed note, which contained the following lines.

Dearest Ortenberg,

Why should I see you again? The sight of you would break my heart, and excite in me reproach­es against my father, produce ideas which I nei­ther will nor dare entertain. An union between you and me now can never take place. The daughter of a man who has rendered you and your family miserable, will never be able to re­solve to give you her hand. Your love for me might abate, and, even if this should not be the case, you might drop, in some gloomy, melan­choly hour, a reproach which would distress me more than words can express, and break my heart. I therefore now inform you—though with a trem­bling hand—that I renounce all ideas of ever be­ing united to you, and that I wish and desire—yes, sincerely desire, that my dear Ortenberg also [Page 89] would give up every claim to my hand. Be my friend. My regard and love for you will termi­nate only with my life. Keep my letters; I am not ashamed of having written them. You will oblige me by avoiding all companies where you can expect to meet with me. I shall do the same with regard to you. God bless you, my dear Mr. Ortenberg! Be happy! as happy as it is the wish of

Your faithful friend, CAROLINE SUMMER.

"Is there no exception at all," exclaimed Or­tenberg, wildly, after having read the letter, "from the adage, no misfortune comes alone? God! God! give me strength to submit patiently to thy decrees!—What have I committed, to be afflicted thus?—No, Caroline, you know not what you are doing. You mean to behave generously, and are very ungenerous. You must recant! by God, you must!"—He wrote the following an­swer:

Dear Caroline,

Do not expect to receive a letter from me which is interlarded with cold civilities. I shall never cease speaking the language of the heart to you, although you want to break the bonds which unite our souls. But you shall not! by all that is sacred, you shall not:—I will tell the whole world, that you are mine—I will complain of your infidelity, to the cold remains of my mo­ther. Is it possible Caroline could be able to re­nounce me? My sainted mother called you a pi­ous girl; but you are perjured. She will accuse you before the tribunal of the eternal judge, of having rendered her son miserable. You force me to utter reproaches. Would you complete [Page 90] what your father has done? How little have I lost through him!—But you—you are not satisfied with seeing me poor and naked, you also want to see me miserable. You know me. You know that I can be as happy as a king, although I am poor, and therefore rob me of your love, which made me richer than a king. Caroline, dear Ca­roline, recal what you have written. Recollect our separation; recollect every sweet and bitter hour which we have shared, and then pronounce my doom.


Caroline was no romantic heroine. She had a humane heart; but this and weakness, are almost inseparable. It was with the greatest difficulty she had wrote the afore-mentioned letter to Or­tenberg. She had not expected to receive such a wild, despairing answer, and therefore was not able to persist in her resolution. Do not con­demn her, ye fair ones, for not having been gift­ed with enthusiastic punctilio; I would lay any­thing, that not one of you would have acted otherwise in a similar situation. Caroline sent word to Ortenberg, that she expected to see him at ten o'clock the next morning.

As soon as the first storm had abated, and the lovers were again able to cast the anchor of rea­son, they began to look out for a safe port, to which they could steer with united exertion. How­ever, men think and meditate frequently with un­abating assiduity, and when they imagine they have found out something entirely new, generally hit upon an object which would have presented itself to their view, at first sight, if they but had had eyes to see it. Ortenberg and Caroline had been closeted and consulting above two hours, when they agreed that Ortenberg should apply to the consistory, to examine, and qualify him for [Page 91] the possession of a living, and that Caroline should remain in the service of her lady, till this wish­ed for object was attained. The lady rung the bell, and Caroline intimated to Ortenberg, that it was time for him to go, but made him promise, before he went, to visit her only once every week, lest he should expose her to the calumny of busy gossips. The condition was, indeed, very pain­ful; however, he was sufficiently indemnified for his self-denial, when the long wished for Sun­day came, and Ortenberg, could rove his native fields, by the side of his dear Caroline. No routs nor splendid feasts can afford pleasures like those which he felt on these occasions. Oh Heavens, what a scene of bliss would it afford, if it were possible to establish a club consisting entirely of lovers—provided the number were even.


Curs'd be the wretch who treats with scorn
Meek virtue which is humbly born,
Who boasts of noble ancestry,
And rolls in voice. Nor pedigree,
Nor coronet, nor ducal crest,
Can honour him whose lustful breast
Is stained with crimes: he is a knave,
Though deck'd with gold. The virtuous slave
Is nobler than a titled knave.

HALF a year had now elapsed! Ortenberg was examined before the whole consistory, re­ceived much well merited applause, and at last [Page 92] was dismissed, with the strongest promises of be­ing promoted to the first living that should be­come vacant. However, these reverend gentle­men, know after the next quarter of an hour, as little of their promises made to an honest fellow not to let him starve, as the crutch knows that the lame leans upon it. Ortenberg knew this by the experience of others. He therefore did not think it prudent to expend the small sum which he had obtained by selling some useless furniture, and to rely implicitly upon the faith of his reve­rend patrons. He made several attempts to ob­tain the place of a tutor. But wearing his own hair, contrary to the custom of all divines of his times; his endeavours were entirely fruitless, and he saw himself necessiated to keep an obscure day school, in which he instructed the children of trades people, for a small monthly stipend.

Ortenberg earned by that despised though ho­nourable occupation, scarcely as much as was ne­cessary to support his life. The confusion in which the death of his mother had involved him, the preparation for his examination, and the esta­blishment of his school, had hitherto taken up the greatest part of his time, and caused him to leave two of Elhenhorst's letters unanswered. Elhen­horst knew not what to think of his silence, and wrote a long epistle to his silent friend—in which he loudly complained of his supposed neglect, and murmured at his own melancholy fate.

Grief and uneasiness really overclouded poor Elhenhorst's days. He had obtained the post which the king had promised him. He acquired honour and wealth, and had reason to hope to rise higher in a short time. However, his su­periors, seeing that he discharged his duty with unremitted zeal, had burthened him with such a load of business, as left him little time for recre­ation. [Page 93] If a young man who is buried the whole week among a heap of dusty documents, and has even on a Sunday only a few hours to spare, which he is doomed to kill at the card table,—if such a young man is not to complain, he really must be as unfeeling as a block, and destitute of all noble sentiments.

Ortenberg was deeply affected by the melan­choly epistle of his friend. He answered it im­mediately, imputing his long silence to the death of his mother, and his public examination. He mentioned, indeed, that he had lost all his pro­perty through old Summer's bankruptcy, but was too proud to complain, or to drop only a single word about the utter want of the necessaries of life, to which he frequently was reduced. He assured his friend, on the contrary, that he want­ed for nothing; that he was in hopes of attain­ing a comfortable living, and should soon be hap­py in the arms of his Caroline. Thus their cor­respondence had been taken up again, and was carried on regularly till Elhenhorst's untimely death interrupted it.

Caroline had the misfortune to get acquainted with a wretch who poisoned all the pleasures of her life, and rendered it an almost uninterrupted train of misery. The lady in whose service she was, was a proud conceited fool, a puppet with­out a soul, who had no other merit but that which she derived from her pedigree, and entertained a very suspicious connection with a certain Colonel, whom we already have introduced to our readers on a former occasion. As the principal aim of the robust Colonel and the wanton lady tended entirely to enjoy the world, and to give variety to their pleasures, he was always provided with pro­mising men servants, and she took care never to be without a pretty waiting maid, which enabled [Page 94] them to assist each other in case of necessity. She had not informed Caroline of this honourable de­stination, because she imagined this was entirely superfluous, and, besides, took it for granted, that a young woman in her humble situation would be proud of having a Colonel, who, besides, was a nobleman, for an admirer.

Caroline was sitting in her apartment, on a hot summer's day, thinly attired, on account of the intolerable heat. The Colonel, who had not found her lady at home, entered her chamber, and seated himself opposite her, assailing the blushing girl with jokes, to which no chaste ear can listen without indignation. A look of Caroline's flash­ing eye, which could have confounded impudence itself, lamed his tongue a few moments. How­ever, heroes of the toilet like him are not easily frightened. "The fortress is beautiful!" ex­claimed he, with a self-sufficient smile: "I must storm it!"

Having said this, he extended his hand, to re­move Caroline's neck handkerchief. Caroline started up, anger and contempt glowed in her countenance.

"Colonel! I shall complain to my lady of your rudeness!"


Complain, my angel? What cause have you for complaining?

(with dignity).

I desire to be left alone.


Indeed, I should deserve to be sent in chains to Spandau, if I could let slip such a charm­ing opportunity.

(in a weeping accent).

My, lord you are mistaken; I am a modest girl.


A beautiful brunette told me the same two years since, and afterwards could not help laughing herself▪ at her simplicity.—However, I [Page 95] will give you credit for your modesty, my little angel; come, let me have a kiss!

(pushes him back).

Leave me, sir. Be gone instantly, or I shall call for help.

(mocking her),

Fy, fy, sir! Let me alone! Indeed, I shall cry out.


Merciful God! Could I ever have imagined that I should be humbled so low? Cruel father!—

This was the first complaint she ever had uttered against her father.

The discourse and the attacks of the brave Colonel were fortunately terminated here by the rolling of my lady's carriage, who was coming home. He cursed the Baroness, and left Caroline weeping at her unhappy situation.

My lady, unfortunately, had disordered her head-dress, in alighting, and rung the bell for her woman.—(The Colonel had already sneaked away.) Caroline appeared, her eyes red with crying. The Baroness perceived it in the looking-glass, before which she was standing, examining the damage which her coeffure had received; for, she was not used to condescend honouring her woman with a look. "Why have you been crying?" asked she negligently. "The Colonel," replied Caroline, while a torrent of tears gushed from her eyes, "has treated me like the most abandoned woman."

"How!" said the Baroness, with fashionable indifference.

Caroline repeated her complaint.


An't you [...] stupid blocked? Is it worth while to make such a fuss about a mere trifle?


My Lady I am astonish­ed!


I command you to receive the Colonel with every mark of civility, if he should condescend [Page 96] again to honour you with a visit in your chamber.


My lady—


It is, indeed, a great misfortune for a girl like you to be liked by a Colonel, who, be­sides, is a handsome man, has conquered more hearts than enemies, and ought by no means to be denied a favour by you.

So saying, she went to the harpsichord, and played a country-dance, without taking any further notice of Caroline, who went in an agony of despair to her apartment, and moistened her knitting with tears.

Ortenberg, unfortunately, came that very mo­moment, contrary to his usual custom, to pay her a visit, informing her, with a cheerful countenance that he was in hopes to obtain a comfortable living in a short time. The words died on his lips when he perceived her woeful situation. We shall not inquire whether Caroline did right or wrong in in­forming him of the insult which she had suffered from the Colonel and her lady. Suffice it to say, that she represented her forlorn situation faithfully to him; that she had no other friend besides him, that he entreated her in the most affectionate man­ner to conceal nothing from him; and that she thought her connexion with him required the most unreserved confidence. She ought, indeed to have forseen the fatal consequences of her frankness. However, who can escape his destiny?

[Page 97]


All hail the gen'rous man who boldly dares,
T' avenge the wrongs of virtuous minds,
Who in his fellow-creature's suff'ring shares,
And burns with indignation when he finds
A guiltless heart by bitter anguish torn.
All hail the man that draws with noble scorn
Th' avenging sword against the titled knave
Who insults virtue; he is valiant, brave,
Though strength should fail his arm, and he should fall
By more successful vice; the gen'rous call
His weak attempt a noble, glorious deed,
And weep a mournful tear at his defeat.

ORTENBERG's heart was torn with the most excruciating agony during Caroline's relation. It was impossible a proud and noble mind like his could have brooked such a daring and shameful in­sult. He was seized, for the first time in his life, with frantic fury. His eyes rolled wildly in their sockets, his veins swelled, and his nerves were convulsed. He rushed out of the apartment, with­out listening to Caroline's anxious screams, stagger­ed, inebriated with fury, through the street, and was almost senseless when he entered his apart­ment. He wrapped himself in a long cloak, con­cealing a rusty sword under it, and flew to the Colonel's house. The latter was not at home, and Ortenberg measured the anti-chamber with hasty strides, firmly resolved not to quit the house, until he should have avenged Caroline's injury. He [Page 98] waited a long time for the Colonel, and consequent­ly had time to recover from his blood-thirsty frenzy. A thousand doubts began to cross each other in his mind. He began to reflect on the fatal consequences which this action would unavoidably produce; he shuddered at the idea of murdering a fellow-creature, or depriving Caroline, by his own death, of her only protector, and his resolu­tion began to waver, his blood grew cooler, and he was already on the point of quitting the house, when the Colonel entered the anti-chamber. The sight of that unfeeling wretch overturned at once all his good resolutions. His blood began again to ferment violently, and he followed his rival to his closet. The Colonel started on seeing a man in his closet, who was an utter stranger to him, and whose eyes flashed with an unusual ferocity.


Sir, what is your pleasure?

(with as much calmness as he was capable of).

I beg you will be so good to order your valet to leave us; I have to speak in private to you. (The valet quitted the closet).


Well! what is your business?

(grinding his teeth).

We shall have a curious conversation.

(surveying him with suspicious and scru­tinizing eyes).

Sir, what do you mean?

(with a contemptuous smile, and stifled rage).

I suppose you have never read the Bible, my valiant Colonel?


Faith! the beginning is droll enough.


May I ask, why?


For the sake of a very short tale: There was once a rich man who possessed—right or wrong, this makes no odds—a numerous flock of sheep. A poor man had only a single lamb, which he tenderly loved, fed with his own hands, and would have parted with for no price. The [Page 99] rich knave attempted to rob him of it. Colonel, what would you have done, if you had been in the room of the poor man?


Sir, do you want to jest with me?

(with deep contempt).

Jest with you?


Sir, who are you? what do you want?


It matters not who I am.—What I want?—(looking firmly at him). Do you know Caroline Summer?

The Colonel was terrified.


Oh! old deceiver, your conscience seems to alarm you a little.

(putting his hand to the hilt of his sword).


(drawing his sword).

You are wel­come, Sir! I came for that very purpose.

(in confusion).

Stop one moment only. Are you perhaps related to the young woman?


Yes, related by the most sacred ties. She is my bride. We are husband and wife in the eyes of God.


I understand you. But why are you in such a passion? Do you think I will dis­pute your bride with you? God forbid! your bride is your bride, but nevertheless a charming girl. Or should I not do justice to her beauty be­cause she is your bride? This would be singular, indeed. I shall not hinder you from inhaling the smell of a fragrant flower which blows in my garden although it is my property. Why should we at­tempt to break each other's neck for such a trifle. Take this purse, it contains, an hundred Louis­d'ors—

Ortenberg could contain himself no longer. "Villain! defend yourself!" exclaimed he, flying furiously at the Colonel. The latter scarcely had [Page 100] time to draw his sword and to hold it against the furious young man. But more was not wanting for his defence. Ortenberg being blinded by rage and unskilled in fencing, ran into the Colonel's sword and received a deep wound in the abdomen, which however was not mortal. "You see what it is to be too hasty!" said the Colonel, sneering, and rung for his valet. A surgeon was sent for: Ortenberg's wound was dressed, and the Colonel sent him home in his carriage.

This incident is the most evident proof that my tale is no fiction; for if it were, Ortenberg would have pierced the Colonel like a second Grandison, and kicked all his servants valiantly down stairs. But as all the events which we relate of the Or­tenberg family happened in a very natural man­ner, and as it is consistent with the regular course of nature that a cool soldier should run a furious divine through, the Colonel conquered, and the unfortunate young man was carried wounded to bed.

The malicious conqueror stood before the look­ing-glass, repairing his locks, and having wiped the heroic sweat from his martial brow, rode to the Baroness.

"I have had the most comical incident!" ex­claimed he on entering the apartment: "le Diable m'emporte, your ladyship is waited on by enchant­ed princesses."


Whose champion you wish to be­come?


Par Dieu! no; that black knight of the bible breaks lances like pins and compares la­dies to a flock of sheep. Permit me, my lady, to congratulate your woman upon the possession of such a valiant champion.

With these words he skipped out of the apart­ment, stroking his calves, whistling an air, taking [Page 101] a looking glass out of his pocket to admire his pretty face, and went into Caroline's chamber. The unfortunate girl was just upon her knees in a corner of her chamber, imploring Providence to preserve her innocence and to protect her lover.

It was dangerous for the Colonel to see a per­son at prayers, because he always apprehended on such occasions to be choaked. He raised a roar­ing horse-laugh. Caroline turned round, casting a contemptuous look at the wild wretch, and was going to quit the apartment. The Colonel stopt her.

"Stop a little, my angel! I shall soon have done (laughing violently). Let me only recover a little (laughing still louder); 'pon my honour, this is too bad!" continued he with tears in his eye and slabbering lips: "a girl eighteen years old—one should expect to find her before the looking glass—or reading les egaremens du coeur—or writing a Billet-doux—and, lo! she prays!"

(he almost was choaked with laughing).
(with unspeakable dignity).

Vile sin­ner, leave me instantly! whoever listens to you commits a sin; whoever condescends to cast a look at you, sins; and it would be a blasphemy to treat you otherwise than with the most profound contempt.

(She endeavours to disengage her­self.)

Hell and furies! But come, my angel, I will make you commit a sin; you shall, at least, let me see your charming anger.

He kept hold of her hands and informed her of Ortenberg's accident.

When he had told her he had run him through, Caroline ejaculated a loud scream, and was rea­dy to faint. However, her apprehension for her lover's life soon animated her again with new [Page 102] strength. She hit the Colonel a violent blow a­gainst the breast, which made him reel.

"Ortenberg wounded!" exclaimed she: "God curse you, vile villain!" She rushed into the street undressed as she was. Not a thought of propriety came into her mind; Ortenberg's wound was constantly before her eyes; she seemed to fly, and before five minutes had elapsed, stood trembling at Ortenberg's bed side.



She was dragged from the bed. The poor young man was sufficiently tormented by agoni­sing ideas; her compassionate and almost frantic love would have killed him in that moment. Ca­roline was not admitted again before the seventh day, when he began to mend. They moaned, wept and sighed together; however there was no remedy against this misfortune.

Caroline had quitted the house of the Baron­ess immediately, and, in the simplicity of her in­nocent heart, entered into the service of an old woman, who was thought to be a lady of rank, and concealed the most contemptible soul under the mask of artificial piety. Envy and avarice were the principal ingredients of her character, and varnished with canting devotion—She was formerly a coquette, and now a procuress, when a young rake had sufficient money to bribe her. She went frequently to church, sung the most so­norous discant in the whole parish, and her eyes were red with crying in the driest sermon. She boasted much of her exemplary piety, and pre­tended to converse with superior spirits. She even sank never into the arms of a lover at the time when she acted the part of a wanton co­quette with applause, without assuring him with tears in her eyes, that he was the first man upon [Page 103] whom she bestowed her favours conquered by the omnipotence of love. She was a most garrulous talker, and knew the art of distending and en­larging so much upon the most trifling incident, as if it were a piece of elastic yarn and her au­ditors marble statues of patience. She had read the bible above seventy times, and the revelation of St. John 133 times. She kept a faithful jour­nal of every thing that happened in the town and in her house, subjoining always pious remarks to it. As she was proud to show that journal to every one that wished to see it, I think giving a few samples of it to the reader will not be deem­ed an act of indiscretion:

May 16. At four o'clock in the afternoon my next door neighbour's chimney was on fire, which, however, unfortunately, was soon extinguished. Oh my merciful Saviour, extinguish the confla­gration of his sins, lest he should be hurled down into the eternal fire from whence there is no re­demption.

May 20. Sewed pease. Oh, thou Holy Father in Heaven, extirpate the thistle out of the sinful hearts of my fellow christians and sow the pease of thy grace into them.

June 1. Finished the perusal of the Old Testa­ment the seventy-fourth time. Oh, thou Hea­venly Father, be merciful unto thy unworthy ser­vant Anna Maria of Xantippendale, that she may be able to glorify thy name, and to edify thy sin­ful neighbours by reading it as many times again.

July 13. Had my whole house white-washed. Oh, thou Holy Father in Heaven, wash away the manyfold sins of my proud neighbour; lest Satan should put her one time into his large wash tub.

July 23. Bought East Indian handkerchiefs. Oh, thou bloody Saviour, save the poor Indians [Page 104] from the clutches of Satan; for, they know no­thing of the incarnate Godhead.

Aug. 2. Heard a very edifying discourse on Christian self-denial, preached by the Rev. Dr. Hornbelly, during which I had shed many thou­sands of tears. Mrs. Wolman, that wicked wo­man, sat at my right hand without shedding one poor tear of contrition. God judge that proud woman! she put a hard dollar into the plate for the poor orphans, out of mere vanity.

Aug. 15. Took Miss Summer into the house. Oh, thou Supporter of widows and orphans, move the compassion of men, that they may commise­rate the situation of that pretty child, and my cha­rity bear fruits hundred and thousand fold.

Sept. 1. Had the misfortune to draw blood in beating a sick beggar girl, while I chastised her with Christian meekness, to make her sensible that she should not beg alms for her blind father and herself, of a poor woman like me. The wicked justice sentenced me to pay a fine of 20 dollars, for which my merciful father in heaven will damn him here and hereafter.

Sep. 9. Old Meyer, the merchant, broke a leg. A visible judgment of God; because he is so rich, and a devoted slave to his mammon.

Oct. 6. The lightning struck into the church of St. Andrew, and damaged the pew of Lady D. Oh, thou wonderful Jesus! the wicked wo­man had left it an hour before.

Dec. 1. Killed a pig. Oh, thou lovely Jesus! convert the impious Jews, that they may eat pork. Amen.

This will be sufficient for my readers to form an idea of a character, which was a mixture of malice and absurdity; the former was concealed by the latter, like an assassin, who is disguised by the mask of a faun. The gentle Caroline [Page 105] ima­gined only that she was a singular woman, to whose oddities she must accommodate herself; and al­though she did not relish her mode of life, which was occupied with nothing else but praying, sing­ing, scolding, railing against the wicked world, cursing the impudence of beggars, complaining of the dearness of provisions; rasping tobacco, and combing dogs; yet she thought herself suffi­ciently happy to be free from all persecutions, and to wait for the developement of her fate in retire­ment from the bustle of the world.

Ortenberg now had completely recovered from his wound. The Colonel had not failed to pro­claim his prowess in all companies, and to repre­sent the unfortunate young man in the most ridi­culous light. The children pointed with their fingers at Ortenberg when he went abroad the first time. "Be patient, my poor heart," said he by himself: "The living which I am to have, will indemnify me for all my sufferings. I shall not care for all the world, when I am housed in my peaceful parsonage with my dear Caroline; I will perform my duties faithfully, love my pa­rishoners, cherish my wife, and live happy, quiet and unenvied, enjoying the blessings of God with a grateful heart."

Poor, deluded man!

He resolved to apply the next day to all the reverend gentlemen who had to dispose of his fate, and to remind them of their promises. How­ever, before we proceed farther, my duty as a bi­ographer requires, I should make my readers ac­quainted with the characters of the reverend pa­trons of our hero.

[Page 106]


Are these the men whose sacred function
Calls them to sow the blessed seeds
Of happiness, and with compunction
To strike the sinner, root the weeds
Of baneful vice from mortal bosoms,
To soothe the mournful suff'rer's mind,
To nurse meek virtue's early blossoms,
And to be leaders to the blind?

HIS Excellency Baron Alexander, of Stur­zenburzel, was president of the Consistory. He was famous for speaking little and eating much. He never went to the court of Consistory with­out having his pockets stored with cakes. He generally fell asleep as soon as he had finished his last cake, and when he awoke, said Yes. This is all that we can say of him.

Further: The Right Reverend Father in God, Joseph Lactantius Ignatius Hogstyerius, Bishop of D**, and member of seven Academies of Sci­ences, and of twenty-two Latin and German So­cieties. He was a man after God's own heart, who was not for external pomp, but humbly, and with self denial, walked the thorny path of life. He was six feet three inches high, and the dia­meter of his venerable belly, was two feet five inches. A large wig as white as snow, contrast­ed pleasantly and awfully with his black beard and eye-brows. His gait was graced with Spa­nish grandezza. One of his hands reclined upon the abovementioned venerable belly when he walk­ed [Page 107] in the street, while the other dispensed the benediction to the multitude. The writings which immortalized his name, consisted in a Po­lemic of 37 quarto volumes, 134 Dissertations, and 572 Sermons against the pleasures of the Flesh.

Miss Flavia Rosamunda Shnurr was a fatherless and motherless orphan, 43 years old. She had known the venerable prelate when he was a can­didate, and always received many spiritual and corporeal benefactions from him. She now had superintended his house and kitchen more than seventeen years, and was assisted in the discharge of her domestic duties, by five foundlings who had been sound at different times at the door of the pious man, and owed their education to his Chri­stian charity. Further:

The Reverend Godfrey Godhart Godhelp Fear­god Blockheadius, Archdeacon of St. Bernard, whom his mother had qualified for a Saint from his baptism, by the number of Godly names which he received. He was a little man; his face was broad, and his eyes were always half closed. They flowed with tears at the sins and wicked­ness of men, whenever he opened them. His whole life was devoted to mourning at the de­pravity of the world. For this reason, he had also a prevailing predilection for the black colour. His wig was black, the face of his wife was of a blackish hue, his arm chair was covered black, and his domestic animals consisted of a black cat, a black dog, a black cock, black cows and horses, and his favourite dish was black pudding.

The fourth arbiter of Ortenberg's fate was the Reverend Doctor Fipsnosius, two feet eight inch­es high, very meagre, gifted with a squeaking voice, and graced with a large protuberence [...] his left shoulder. He seemed to look at [...] [Page 108] buckles when he raised his eyes to Heaven, and he appeared to be a dwarf when he stood by the side of the Right Reverend Father in God Lec­tantius Ignatius Hogstyerius. He was very proud of his preaching ex-tempore. He wore a well powdered wig, and as the pulpit was rather high, his presence could be perceived only by a cloud of powder which rose from his head, as often as he shook it in the heat of eloquence. Through this cloud a reprimanding voice was heard, pro­claiming howling, and gnashing of teeth to his parishoners. He imitated that howling so natu­rally, as to make his auditors imagine they heard the damned moaning in full chorus. He was al­ways willing to lend upon pledges, "because," said he, "we are commanded by scripture not to bury our talents." When Ortenberg came to him, he had just finished a Sermon upon the parable of the rich publican.

The last person with whose character we have to acquaint the reader, is the Reverend Doctor Theologiae et Philosophae, Olearius Mauritius Calfs­headius. Famine and his person seemed to be twins. His chin was one of the longest in the whole kingdom, and his body seemed to be a liv­ing skeleton. His bones rattled when he lifted up his hand, and those that came near him could easily count his ribs. His Sermons were gene­rally lectures upon the Syriac and Chaldean. These languages occupied his ideas so much that he, one time, in his absence of mind, read the gospel of the paralytic, and held a sermon on the golden calf. Another time he was sent for to the house of a sick person, but being just occu­pied with finding out the root of a Syriac word, he went by mistake into a house of bad fame, where he instantly was surrounded by three ladies of pleasure. He awoke at last from his Syriac [Page 109] reverie, and fled with horror from that abode of infamy. However, the neighbours who had seen him go in, shook their heads with indignation, and exclaimed "Good God, what business had our pastor in a brothel?" Dame Fame had spread this news all over the town before a quarter of an hour had elapsed. "Have you heard of it?" said an old toothless matron to a neighbour. "For goodness sake don't mention it; it grieves me to think of that scandalous incident."

"Such an old man ought to be ashamed to go to a public stew."

"Merciful Heaven, what a scandal!" exclaim­ed the Right Reverend Father Hogstyerius. "Make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof," said he to Miss Flavia Rosamunda Shnurr.

"I thought it would come to that!" groaned the Archdeacon Blockheadius; "the world is verging towards dissolution!" "Indeed, it does!" squeaked Doctor Fipsnosius, while he was occu­pied in filling some ducats. The poor, guiltless Calfsheadius was summoned before the tribunal of his colleagues, and would have been suspend­ed from office, if he had not proved that it was impossible for him to visit a house of pleasure for carnal purposes.

[Page 110]


A pamper'd blockhead, and a priest
Puff'd up with pride, a woman swell'd
With vanity—enough, enough
For turning life to darkest hell.
Hapless the wretch who flies to them
For comfort; thrice unhappy he
Who's doom'd to dire necessity
To live on smiles which they bestow:
He dies of want, or turns a knave.

I HAVE given a faithful picture of the vene­rable supporters of the church, on whose nods our heroe's sate depended. Ortenberg, dressed in his best black suit, from which the old faithful ser­vant carefully had brushed every atom of dust, his unpowdered hair curled into a round swelling lo [...]k, stepped, with every mark of supplicating humility in his countenance, to the gilt portal of his Excellency Baron of Sturzenburzel. Orten­berg's pride submitted this time willingly to the bitter necessity of measuring an anti-chamber with humble steps. Our hero who always trembled with indignation at the name of a parasite of the great, imagined that now he was doing nothing but to what he was intitled by the public proofs which he had given of his abilities. Poor, de­luded young man! Right depends upon power: power upon gold, and the gold is in the possession of malicious fools.

[Page 111] "They have promised it to me," said Orten­berg by himself. Unexperienced youth! go and build thy house upon sand; but rest not thy hopes upon the promises of the great. The wind which a fly produces by the motion of her wing, is suf­ficient to overturn all thy airy castles.

The hope of being blessed with Caroline's hand, finally conquered all difficulties which Ortenberg's pride threw in his way.

A Swiss, dressed in a scarlet livery, decked with gold, stood at the portal. His plump hands were negligently folded on his back. His thick head scorned to return a kind nod to the stran­ger's salutation, and his greedy eyes stared at Ortenberg's hands; but alas! they were as emp­ty as his pockets. "My lord is not at home!" grunted the hireling. Ortenberg perceived the president's head in that very moment at one of the windows of the dining room, and informed the surly Cerberus of this discovery.

"That may be," replied the brute, in the most indifferent accent: "I tell you, nevertheless, my lord is not at home. So saying, he turned his back on the confounded young man, pinching the rosy cheek of a milk woman, who was passing by.

Ortenberg retired. The following discourse took place in his heart:


It would be meanness to make a second attempt to be admitted.


Refrained from all long winded decla­mations, and mentioned only the name of Caro­line.


Love must not tempt you to commit an act of meanness.

Noble self consciousness.

You demand only the just reward of your merits, and this cannot be cal­led meanness.

[Page 112]

But you would disgrace the dignity of man.

Good nature.

How can the master help it, if his servants chose to be rude? would you impute the rudeness of his servants to him?


You will be admitted to the president to-morrow.





Pride was silent, and Ortenberg succeeded the next morning in obtaining admittance to the anti­chamber. There he found a gentleman decked with silk and gold, who surveyed him from head to foot, and, at last, made half a bow, which was returned by our hero with a whole one.

"What is your pleasure?" squeaked the pow­dered valet.


I wish to be admitted to his lord­ship.


May I know what business you have with my lord?


May I be so bold to ask who you are?

(affecting an air of protection).

I am his Excellency's valet.



The valet's tongue made a short pause, to wait for the effect which he expected to result from the discovery of his rank. But when he heard that Ortenberg replied only by a dry So! he thought it would be necessary he should add a few words more, to make the petitioner sensible of the importance of his post. He hemmed, there­fore, with an air of open dignity, spit in his silk pocket handkerchief, played with his watch chain, and looked at a sparkling ring of paste, which he wore on his finger. In this judicious posture he [Page 113] took up again the thread of conversation, which had been cut off by Ortenberg's dry So!

"I can say, without boasting, that I am in par­ticular favour with his Excellency. I lend him my ear, and sometimes my head too; and he, in return, frequently lends me his hand."

O [...]rtenberg.



[...]he Vicar of T** is my brother-in-law; [...] of M** is my son-in-law; and the Minister of S** has married my niece lately.

O [...]rtenberg.

So! So!


I now have to provide only for one re­lation more, an aunt, who, indeed, is rather ad­vanced in years, but wishes to be married, and may be sure of [...] an handsome dowry of me. The gentleman who marries her, will ob­tain the best living in the country. Here he cast a significant look at Ortenberg.


So! So!

The frequent repetition of ortenberg's indif­ferent So! discountenanced the president's favour­ite, at last, entirely. He had never met with a similar reception. To see a proposal, which, in his opinion, ought to be accepted with rapturous gratitude, rejected with the most insupportable indifference, was more than the philosophy of a valet could bear. However, the wretch was too much of a courtier, not to be able to conceal his vexation. He was, indeed, extremely distressed about a provision for his old aunt, and resolved, therefore, to try once more what could be done. Being apprehensive the discourse would stagnate entirely, if he suffered the stranger to recover, from the high opinion of his consequence with which he thought he had inspired him, he resu­med it so quickly, that he even did not know what he was going to say:

[Page 114] "I have also—I could also—I am a—" A Knave! cried a parrot in a distant corner of the room, whom Ortenberg had not yet noticed. A Knave! repeated the parrot distinctly, and Or­tenberg laughed. The face of the valet was covered with a scarlet hue; he cast a furious look at the innocent bird, and attempted in vain to make the honey of his eloquence flow again.

"Never mind, my good fellow!" said Orten­berg, rather contemptuously; "don't let us kill time with useless talk. Tell your master that I wish to wait upon him."

Heavens, how did the provoked dunce [...]oss up his head! The familiar epithet. My good fellow, from the lips of such a poor beggarly petitioner as Ortenberg appeared to be, to a personage who was valet to the president of Sturzenburzel, who had to dispose of the best livings in the country—indeed, that was too much.—He gnashed his teeth, and replied with quivering lips, "My lord cannot give audience to beggars to day. You must come again some other time." Or­tenberg smiled, and left the conceited upstart.

The conversation in his heart was renewed a­gain.


Not a step more in this house.




You would not deserve to obtain the hand of such an excellent woman, if you could debase yourself so much on her account.

(very soothing).



Caroline herself would despise you for it.

(bribed by love).

But what do you call degrading yourself? Your own conscience only can degrade you. Conscience! I appeal to thee! Conscience wanted to speak, but reason, also bribed by love interrupted it.

[Page 115]

We must take the world as it is. Merit must run after reward.


Merit then ought rather to languish with­out reward.

(in a captivating and soothing accent).



But should merit starve, because it is not acknowledged by a foolish valet?


Merit that labours to push through the anti-chambers of the great, ceases to be merit.


Only once more.


Not a single step more.


To-morrow! to-morrow!


Hold your tongue! you are an impos­tor.

Love to Hope.

Sister, do not deceive us this time; lest I also should be obliged to be silent.

With these words love turned to pride, cares­sing him, and presenting two pictures which she had hastily drawn. One represented the helpless Ortenberg, and the unprotected Caroline; and the other Ortenberg in Caroline's arms. Unfeeling pride glanced several times at them, and began to doze a little.

Ortenberg appeared the next morning again in the president's anti-chamber. His Excellency was one of those people, who, having experienced no want themselves, are not capable of forming an idea of the misery of their brethren, and there­fore sin, not out of malice, but from unpardon­able weakness and unfeelingness, which render their state so comfortable, that they carefully avoid every opportunity by which it could be disturbed.

His anti-chamber was every day crowded with half-famished skeletons, who, every morning with fasting stomachs, saw the fragrant breakfast of their patron carrying through the apartment in which [Page 116] they were used to dance attendance. They were indefatigable in paying their humble respects to the voluptuous arbiter of their fate; but scarcely were honoured with a kind nod of the head du­ring a life-long twelve-month, spent in useless ap­plications, and many of them were urged by gnawing hunger to steal the parrot's almonds. If his Excellency's belly was wanted to assist at some public breakfast, he sneaked away through a back gate, flinging himself into his gilt chariot, and withdrew from the hollow eyes of his wretch­ed clients. His parrot soon learned to pronounce the words Oh God! very distinctly. Whole mountains of dusty petitions, whose authors had died of hunger long since, lay towered up in his study, as he called the apartment in which he signed his name once in a month. A sumptuous treat was, besides the powerful recommendation of his valet, the only infallible means of obtaining his conset to a petition. The poor endeavoured to move his heart, and the rich tickled his palate; the poor missed their aim, and the rich always car­ried their object.

Our hero certainly could not have obtained access to his sitting room, neither on that nor any other day, if accident had not befriended him. The air was extremely sultry, the rays of the sun had released millions of insects from their temporary prisons, and an immense number of flies had taken post on a cold venison pasty, upon which the Baron intended to breakfast. His Ex­cellency was, indeed, not remiss in endeavour­ing to repel the hostile army, but his fleshy arm was soon tired, and the flies returned always in great numbers; he rung, therefore, the bell, and ordered his people to be summoned to attack the bold intruders with united forces. The fol­lowing allies appeared without delay: John, the [Page 117] huntsman, with a net, which originally was de­signed to catch larks; William, his running foot­man, with a napkin tied to a pole; Robert, the cook, with his kitchen apron fastened to a skim­mer; and Samuel, the coachman, with a broom­stick, which was armed with a horse tail. The commanding general addressed his faithful allies in the following pathetic manner: Those d***d flies invest every morsel I am going to eat. Knock every one of them down, and let not one escape, that could give me further disturbance!"

After this energetic address had been deliver­ed, all windows and doors were thrown open, and a general chase began; when the routed ene­my suddenly retreated through the windows. A large column took their flight through the anti­chamber, and assailed Ortenberg, who instantly took out his pocket handkerchief, and attacked them with so much ardour, that large drops of sweat ran down his face.

His Excellency, who was sitting opposite the door, condescended graciously to observe, that a hungry client assisted voluntarily in putting his enemies to flight. The great man was seized with a sudden fit of laughter, which was so un­commonly beneficial to his noble stomach, as to make his appetite return with additional energy. The pleasure which this afforded to the worthy president, prompted his Excellency to make a gracious sign to Ortenberg with his left hand to draw nearer. Our hero obeyed the kind invita­tion instantly, after an humble bow.


What do you want my friend?


Bread your excellency.


You are welcome to my table. Sit down; here is bread enough. Eat as long as you have appetite. I am always glad to have compa­ny at my meals. I find that my appetite im­proves [Page 118] uncommonly, when some person is chew­ing with full cheeks opposite me.


But I want not only bread for to­day; I also want some for to-morrow, and the day after to-morrow. Your Excellency will have the goodness to recollect, that the Consistory pro­mised me a few weeks ago the living of Walter­shausen.

(with full cheeks).

—Waltershausen? Is not that the village where our large black cher­ries come from?


It may be; however—


I now recollect that my table is also furnished with butter from that place. Excellent butter.




It also produces crawfish and pikes as delicious as I ever have tasted them.




I was there about twelve years ago, when the late incumbent gave a feast to the mem­bers of the Consistory. I recollect with pleasure that we fared most sumptuously. The fellow had rendered himself suspected of heresy, and was to have been deposed; however—




However, the wine was good for nothing. There you are perfectly right. It was very young and of an indifferent vintage. If I had not taken half a dozen of excellent old Hock with me, and my cook—do you know my cook?


No, your Excellency, I do not.


I assure you he is an ex­cellent fellow. You will not find his equal a­mongst thousands. His venison pasties are the best which I have ever eat in my life. Only taste this here.

[Page 119]
(gaping again).

And that very cook has a son who will take possession of the living of Waltershausen in a few weeks.


However, the promise which—

(half asleep).

I am very sorry; but you will easily perceive that I could not give a denial to my cook. My cook's son is also a man of uncommon merit besides his great eloquence. You would be astonished were I to enumerate all his good qualifications. He knows, for instance, to preserve fruit—

(His Excellency scarcely could keep his eyes open)

—and can drink—drink—

Here the great man suddenly extended his arms and legs, while the thoughtful head sank upon the left shoulder. He muttered a few more bro­ken accents, and soon signified by a loud snoring that the audience was at an end, and Ortenberg had no hopes left.

Our hero now proceeded to the house of the Right Reverend Father in God Hogstyerius, well knowing that he was the leading man in the con­sistory, and frequently had silenced the president by his sonorious voice. He still knew not whe­ther he should laugh or grieve at the singular manner in which he had been received by the president. But when he reflected upon the broom­stick with the horse tail, the venison pasty, and the chase of the flies, he was suddenly seized with a loud fit of laughing in the open street. This happened, unfortunately, just when he was within a few steps of the prelate's house, who was smoking a pipe of canaster at the window, de­cently blowing the smoke into the street. It was a shocking sight for his Saintship to see Orten­berg, that great sinner, laugh in the street. He held the subsequent philosophical soliloquy while Ortenberg ascended the stairs:

"That fellow has laughed."

[Page 120] "Either with or without cause."

"In the latter case, he is a downright fool."

"Should the former be the case, he either has laughed at me, or at some other object."

"If he has laughed at me, he will be damned for ever and ever!"

"But should he have laughed at some other ob­ject, I cannot conceive how the conscience of such an atrocious sinner can permit him to laugh."

The result of the whole soliloquy was, there­fore, as my reader will easily guess:

"Ortenberg is a sinner."

"He can laugh, and, consequently, is not even sensible of his being a sinner."

"A hardened sinner will be doomed to howl and to gnash his teeth."

"Ergo, Ortenberg must howl and gnash his teeth."

The charitable prelate rejoiced inwardly at his philosophical genius when he had brought forth his excellent conclusion. He contracted his brist­ly eye-brows when Ortenberg opened the door of his apartment, and called to him with a thun­dering voice,

"Mr. Ortenberg, what do you want? If you are coming to me for comfort or assistance, you will find neither. Return to the [...]lowry path of vice. Broad is the road which leads to Hell, and the salutary thorns of virtue are too pointed for your feet."

The poor young man was struck with astonish­ment and confusion. "My lord," stammered he at last—"the living—


Don't speak a word about it. Do you think that I shall appoint a rapacious wolf to feed a pious flock of sheep?

[Page 121]
(whose frame trembled with in­dignation.)

But my abilities, of which I have given proofs—


Qui proficit in litteris, & deficit in moribus, plus deficit, quam proficit.


(bitter. Should I really deserve, on account of a juvenile act of levity, to be su­perseded by the son of a cook, because he can pre­serve fruit?


What do you mean by that?


Your lordship, probably, will not understand me. I have just been at the presi­dent's house, where I have heard with astonish­ment that the son of his cook is to have the living.


How? What?—He has made his reckoning without the host . . . No, no! my Lord Sturzenburzel, I also have a word to say in that business.

Ortenberg's hope began to revive. The Bi­shop continued with frothing lips: "Think on­ly, Miss Shnurr, what fine tricks the president is playing. He wants to obtain the living of Wal­tershausen, which I have promised to your worthy cousin, for the son of his cook, an illiterate block­head."

Miss Shnurr
(shaking her palsied head).

He will find himself mistaken, as true as my name is Shnurr. Does he think I have brought up my cousin for the church to be superseded by the son of his cook? It should be a crying injustice, if certain people should be preferred to my dear cousin, who preached such an edifying sermon last Sunday. Certain people have a great opini­on of themselves: however, certain people have likewise not been born behind a hedge; and if certain people were to tell what they know of [Page 122] cer­tain people, certain matters would be brought to light which certain people would find hard to be digested.

(raising his eyes to Heaven).

Hea­venly Father, will no man pity my forlorn situa­tion?


Go, Mr. Ortenberg, go. If I have reason to hope after ten years that you have sin­cerely repented of your sins, you shall have the first vacant living; I pledge my word for it.


Alas! my lord, who should have thought that you could ever treat me so cruelly, when my father took you in his house, commise­rated your helpless situation, fed you, covered your nakedness, sent you to school at his expence, and when his heart and purse were always open for you?

Reader, do not condemn our hero for this bit­ter reproach. He was a man; humanity revolt­ed, and his noble heart gave way to its feelings for a moment.

The Bishop inclined his head a little in lieu of an answer, and pointed at the door. Orten­berg left him torn by anguish and indignation. While he went down stairs he was pelted with rotten apples by the Bishop's foundlings.

[Page 123]


True nobleness is not confin'd
To palaces alone; the hind
Who in the humble cottage dwells,
Is oft more gen'rous, noble, great
Than the proud Lord whose rank and state
Too frequently with scorn repels
The better feelings of the mind,
And makes him to true greatness blind.

OH my country, my country!" exclaimed Or­tenberg with bitter anguish, when he came into the street. "I renounce the happiness of closing my miserable days where the bones of my ances­tors rest. My ashes will not be mixed with theirs; my name shall be mentioned no more in these abodes of injustice and cruelty!"

He went to Caroline.

‘We must part, dear Caroline! and, perhaps, shall meet no more in this world. I return you your liberty. If you should meet with a worthy young man who offers you his hand and heart, hesitate not to make him happy. My prayers—my blessing—but you know what I feel for you. Adieu, my dearest love; God bless you!’

He clasped the weeping girl in his arms.

‘In such an embrace did you pledge your faith to me; in such an embrace I return it to you. May your life be as bright and blissful as the few precious days of our love were. Alas! they are gone for ever!’

[Page 124] He groaned, disengaged himself from her arms, clasped her again to his heart, wept, tore himself once more from her, and fled to his solitary a­bode.

I scarcely need to observe to the sensible reader that I have written down only the words of this affecting scene, and not the feelings which agita­ted the minds of the unfortunate lovers. I men­tioned nothing of what Caroline said; because—she could not speak, but only feel.

Ortenberg's agonies were no longer boisterous; he resembled a person who, having struggled a long time against the overwhelming billows, at last drops his arms, exhausted by the severity of the conflict, and commits himself to the mercy of the waves. He did every thing which he under­took, with a kind of unconscious stupor. The firm resolution to quit his native country as soon as possible, was, however, constantly present to his mind. He sold all his remaining property at half price, and paid his trifling debts. After having satisfied all his creditors, his whole wealth was reduced to a coat, a few shirts, and six shil­lings in money. "Be firm, my poor heart!" said the unfortunate young man when he approached the frontiers of his native country, supported by an oaken staff, and casting a last tearful look at the town of his nativity: "Be firm, my poor heart! I shall not be left without bread. God will let some grow for me too. I shall not al­ways meet with hypocrisy and ignorance disguis­ed under the mask of religion. Contentment and temperance want but little; and that little I can procure by the labour of my hands. God, God! if it be true that individuals are protected by thee, oh! then be the supporter and father of my Caroline!"—

[Page 125] After a journey of some days, when his six shillings were already spent, and he knew not where to get a morsel of bread for to-morrow, he arrived in the beginning of a serene day at the gates of H**, a small Prussian town. He just was devoutly singing the follow verses, which he had composed himself after the tune of a church hymn.

Kind, gentle Hope all-hailing cheers
The path of life with gladd'ning rays;
The eye, now moist with bitter tears,
Looks forth to brighter, better days.
The votary of virtue smiles,
When overborne by daring vice;
His trust in Providence beguiles
The pangs of woe and dries his eyes.
Learn the divine, the blissful art
To tolerate th' offending foe;
For honour cannot rob the heart
Of innate worth, nor worth bestow.
Raise on the mazy path of life
The tearful eye to yon realms,
Where virtue crowns the noble strife,
And endless bliss thy suff'ring calms.

Ortenberg had seated himself on a large stone. He took his breakfast out of his pocket, while he was singing, sharpened his knife, and took his frugal meal on the verdant turf. A pure and sa­lubrious air seasoned his bread, and a choir of nightingales threw a thin veil over the pictures of his grief.

An honest citizen of K** who was weeding his field, had listened to Ortenberg's song behind a hazel bush, and was deeply affected by his me­lancholy [Page 126] notes. His emotion increased when he saw Ortenberg breakfast with cheerful satisfaction upon a piece of black bread, and a few dried prunes. He also took notice of the gloom which overclouded the traveller's countenance, although his hilarity of mind, that sweet fruit of a good conscience, brightened it with lucid rays. The poverty of his dress contributed to increase the interest which his person and behaviour created. The citizen could not resist his urgent desire to accost the pious pilgrim. He took his hat off, and stept forth from his hiding place with confi­dence—inspiring looks.

"Good morning, Sir!"

(rather startled).

I thank you, friend.


May I take the liberty to ask from what place you are coming?


From Breslaw.


The air is very hot to-day. Do you intend to go farther?




I have gathered some sallad. I shall be glad if you will take pot-luck with me to-day.

The simple cordiality with which the honest fellow made his offer, touched Ortenberg's heart. "With pleasure!" replied he with a cheerful countenance, and took up his little bundle. The citizen had, in the mean time, tied his sallad in a handkerchief.

"Will you give me leave to carry it for you? I am sure it must be too heavy for a man of your age."


Don't trouble yourself. I now am eighty-five years old; but God be praised! I know nothing either of bodily or mental infirmities. I creep quietly through life, and God has given his blessing to my undertakings, I have cultivated that [Page 127] field which we have just left, in the sweat of my brow, as a day labourer. It now belongs to me. When my master perceived that I was a diligent and sober fellow who feared God, he gave me his daughter in marriage; she was a sweet and excellent woman. The Lord took her from me two years since, after we had lived forty-four years in a peaceful and pious state of matrimony.


She is happy!


Indeed, Sir, she is; however, her death was a severe affliction to me. The wound which it struck to my heart is still green. [The visible contortion of the muscles of his face, evinced clearly that he struggled hard to check his tears].

[to himself].

So is it then true, that a good wife renders the world paradise to us? Poor Ortenberg!

(Caroline's picture forced itself upon his mind).

Whenever I knock at the door of my house, I imagine that it will be opened by my Mary, and I fill a plate mechanically for her when the soup is brought upon the table: when I undress myself at night, I always expect that she will reach me my night-gown, but, alas! must fetch it my­self; and when secret grief preys on my heart, I know not what to do with it. Alas! I always wish to be with her in the blissful abode of peace when­ever I come from church on a Sunday, and cast my eyes at the spot where she is buried, which now is entirely overgrown with grass. However, I shall patiently wait till my heavenly father calls me hence, as I still have many pleasant duties to fulfil.


You probably have children?


No; dear Sir! God has not granted me that happiness. Perhaps it is better as it is. However, I have a mother who is an hundred years old.—Who would nurse and wait upon her [Page 128] in the last days of her great age? upon her who nursed me when I was an helpless infant. Who would close her eyes, if the Lord were to deprive her of her last support? It is principally on her ac­count I wish to live a little longer. I owe her a great deal, more than I shall ever be able to repay.

Much less would have been sufficient to interest Ortenberg's good and feeling heart in favour of that good old man. He seized his hand with great emotion. "Venerable old man? I rejoice to have met with an honest and feeling heart; alas! there are but very few in this world."


I have heard you sing a very pretty hymn. We hope for better joys than this world can afford. This is the only comfort of oppressed virtue. I do not doubt but you are one of that class.




Don't say so. Who knows what good may finally arise from your sufferings. I have reason to think that you are a worthy and pious man; who knows whether you would have pre­served your innocence in a state of affluence?—However—excuse my liberty—are you not in want of assistance? I am a rich man, and willing to assist a fellow man, if he merits and wants it.


No, my friend, I want nothing.


Have confidence in me; you will not repent it; I am a well-meaning man. Poverty is no disgrace; but it is unbecoming a man to be ashamed of being poor.


I am poor; I am not ashamed of it. However, while I can work, I will rob no person who can work no more, of the charitable assistance of good men.


These are noble principles. Give me your hand!

(He shakes it cordially.)

We must get better acquainted. But tell me frankly, can [Page 129] I do any thing for you? Have you any business to settle at H**? My fellow-citizens love me, and will be glad to do me a favour.

Just such a frank and cordial language was re­quired to prevail upon Ortenberg to confess that he wished to open a day-school at H**. The old man promised to exert all his influence to recom­mend it among his numerous acquaintances, and they arrived at last at his small peaceful a­bode. "Be cordially welcome under my roof," said the Citizen; "and take up with the humble fare which my house can afford."

The old mother met them at the door of the parlour, supported by a crutch, and nodded kindly to the stranger. Her son tapped her gently on the shoulder:

"I have brought you a guest, dear mother. His name is—Dear, sir, what is your name? I really forgot to inquire after it."

Ortenberg mentioned his name.


Well! well! the name is of no conse­quence. God regards the heart. People who have the greatest names, are frequently the great­est knaves.—Mother, let us have something to eat; my guest is hungry.

The cloth was instantly laid, and three good people dined cheerfully together! Three good people at one table! you will not find them at the tables of the great.

The plan concerning Ortenberg's school was discussed again after dinner. The citizen pressed Ortenberg to accept of free board and lodging in his house; but could not persuade him to consent. Ortenberg was determined to owe every frugal morsel which he should eat to no one but himself. Labour for our support creates and satisfies hunger. Those idle drones, who are fattened with the marrow and sweat of the poor, cannot enjoy their [Page 130] wealth. Thus spoke and thought that exiled young man, who was not worth a groat, and would not have thought otherwise, though he would have spoken differently, if he had possessed millions.

The old man exerted his good-natured eloquence in vain, and it was to no purpose when he begged him to consider that neither himself nor his aged mother would be able to spend the little with which God had blessed him.

"Be my son!" exclaimed he with paternal af­fection: "I have no children whom you could rob."

Ortenberg never suffered his heart to get the better of his principles. He was deeply affected, but persisted, nevertheless, firmly in his reso­lution.

"It will afford me pleasure," said he, "to ho­nour you as a father; for alas! I neither have a father nor a mother! but I should be undeserving your paternal love, if I shamefully could abuse your good nature. It may be pride, which, in­deed, is a steril soil; however a noble exertion of all my abilities is the fruit which it produces. In short, I never will accept a charitable gift of any person whomsoever. I will never beg for any thing. I would exchange my heart with no per­son whatever. Of whom could I beg without les­sening the value of this heart? I hate hypocrisy—a hypocrite is a knave!"


But many an honest man is reduced to the necessity of begging; and there are in­stances—


True my venerable friend, there are instances in which begging is the sweetest triumph of humanity. If I cannot save my deserted friend from misery, by my own exertions, I shall beg for him, and be proud of it.


Mr. Ortenberg, I will press you no [Page 131] further; the will of man is his heaven. All that you have said, is, indeed, very pretty, and I ap­plaud you for it; however, it appears to me, not to be quite consonant with truth. But I am a simple man, and cannot presume to dispute with you.

Thus terminated the noble contest between be­nevolent generosity and the consciousness of the dignity of man.

The following was the result of their consul­tation:

Ortenberg took possession of a garret in the house of the honest Citizen, which was scantily furnished, and for which he agreed to pay a mode­rate rent. He dined at the table of his foster­father, and in lieu of payment, instructed two or­phan godsons of his host in religion, writing and reading. Supper, as well as all superfluous be­verage with which Mocca, China, and the two Indias furnish us, were entirely banished from the table of our hero. "I will prove," said he by himself, "how little man wants, if he will want little."

The old man promised to speak in the evening with some of his friends, and to persuade the oldest and most respectable Citizens to intrust him with the education and instruction of their children. He was as good as his word. Ortenberg saw him­self in less than eight days, daily surrounded by five or six boys, whose education procured him, indeed, only a scanty subsistence, but enabled him, at the same time, to gratify his prevailing passion, pride, and to owe every morsel which he ate en­tirely to his diligence; for the honest Citizen ap­plied in vain artifice and persuasion to render his situation more comfortable.

[Page 132]


Hope and love and friendship brighten
Cheerfully the gloom of fate;
Love can wonderfully heighten
Ev'ry bliss, and raise the head
Of the mourner. Love and pleasure
Always travel hand in hand;
But precarious is the treasure
Springing from her magic wand.
Love bestrews the way with flowers;
But, alas! kind love is blind
And beneath her roses lowers
Mischief oft. She fills the mind
Now with too abounding pleasures,
And the heart is overcloy'd;
Now bestows too late her treasures,
Or too scanty, and annoy'd
By the bleeding wounds of anguish,
Are the late and scanty gifts
After which the heart did languish
Oft when she for moments lifts
To the skies the heart, dilated
By her blessings, pain and woes
Seize the hapless wretches, fated
Years to feel the dreadful throes
Springing up from disappointment.
Gladd'ning hope in light array'd,
Is the only healing ointment
Granted by the hand of fate
To the prey of persecution.
But how soon alas! how soon,
Proves fond hope a mere delusion
And a curse her promised boon!
Friendship only, never ceases
To be faithful, true, and kind
[Page 133] To the suff'rer: she encreases
With the anguish of his mind;
Ever fragrant are her roses,
Never die and never fade;
From their stem no poison oozes:
Friendship fears no change of fate.

READER, I shall attempt to give a faithful description of Ortenberg's external and internal situation. He lived in a small low garret, with a kitchen adjoining, which, however, was never blackened with smoke, while it was in Ortenberg's possession. The condition of his apartment was the most speaking proof of his poverty. Four straw chairs, two tables, and a wooden bench for his scholars, a piece of a broken looking glass, and a sorry turn-up bed, was all his furniture. A dark window with round panes set in lead, half covered with paper, afforded a prospect of part of a ruined wall, the residence of shrieking owls, whose melancholy▪ voices frightened sleep, his on­ly remaining solace, from his solitary couch. The wall which was the remnant of a powder maga­zine, deprived him pretty much of the cheering light of day; and the gloom which prevailed in his apartment was heightened in no small degree by the brownish colour of the walls. The decay­ed roof was frequently a sport of the winds; rain and snow defied this crazy shield, and poured damps and unwholesome air into his apartment. Narrow and dark stairs seemed to bear his foot steps with indignation, groaning and bending under their weight. The whole room was con­stantly filled with the unpleasant smell arising from the work of a tanner, whose yard was under his window. Who of my readers is not sensible that a cheeful abode is the most necessary requisite to render a dismal sate tolerable, and that an unfortu­nate [Page 134] sufferer must be rendered entirely unhappy, in such a gloomy prison! Ortenberg's mind shrouded itself timidly in a gloomy, impenitrable mist.

He was surrounded from the dawn of morning till the dusk of the eve covered nature with its sable mantle, by a small flock of children, whom he instructed in subjects which afforded only a me­chanical occupation to his mind. The only poor reward which he enjoyed from the labours of the day was confined to a solitary walk which tended more to nourish his melancholy mood, than to dispel the gloom of his mind. The produce of his school was scarcely sufficient to defray the small expences of his frugal table, and his simple dress.

He had no acquaintance besides his landlord, to whom he never complained. His wounds bled incessantly; however, he rejected the healing bal­sam which nature distills from confidential com­munication. The town contained two men of letters, as they were pleased to call themselves, a corpulent magistrate, and a still more corpulent priest. The former was an abject slave to his belly, and the latter was no acquaintance that suit­ed Ortenberg; for he shunned all priests like ser­pents since his departure from Breslaw. There was no food for the mind to be procured at H**. Bibles and hymn books comprised all the litera­ture which the place afforded, some volumes of Sermons excepted, which the corpulent prest pos­sessed, and by all the inhabitants were regarded as a library. However, even if the barbarous town had been inundated with booksellers shops and cir­culating libraries, yet Ortenberg's scanty revenues would have prevented him totally from all access to these magazines of learning. His mind lan­guished therefore in the prison of inactivity, and he was incapable of allaying his unhappiness by [Page 135] improvement in knowledge, labour, and study, which alone can sometimes dispel the gloom of misery.

His reason had dictated to his heart the cruel law to beat no longer for Caroline. He thought it would be criminal in him, were he to write to her, as this might easily contribute to nourish her hope and passion. It was no easy task for him to deny himself that pleasure: however, he collected all his firmness to oppose the imperious dictates of his heart, and renounce with heroic fortitude, the sweet pleasure of an intimate correspondence.

Then the poor, unfortunate sufferer had no en­joyment left?—Yes! he still had a few cheerful moments; namely, those which the kind letters of his Elhenhorst procured him. The expences of postage distressed him, indeed, frequently very much; however, he rather would deny himself some necessaries of life, than forego the enjoy­ment of the pleasing consciousness that he posses­sed a faithful and sincere friend, whose heart de­fied time and distance. My readers know that Elhenhorst could have no idea of Ortenberg's la­mentable situation, and imagined it was entirely different from what it really was; because Orten­berg never complained.

As sufferers who are deserted by all men, must have some object of their affection, Ortenberg had tamed two pigeons, with whom he shared his sorry fare, and who afforded him many sweet mo­ments by their innocent attachment to him. He became every day fonder of his brute compani­ons; they ate out of his hands and mouth; their cooing was his lullaby; their caresses turned his gloomy anguish frequently to soft melancholy, and he would not have exchanged the morsel of bread which he shared with his pigeons, for the groaning table of the magistrate.

[Page 136] He had now languished seven leaden months in this melancholy situation. It grew more dis­tressing every day; the gloom of his mind in­creased visibly, his strength dwindled away, and he hoped his sufferings would soon be termina­ted by the all healing hand of death. Not one desire, not a single expectation remained in his bosom. Death! death alone was the object of his wishes.

He was sitting one evening, by the faint glim­mering of a lamp, supporting his head upon his hand, and contemplating a fly who had burned her wings in the [...]lame.—Conceive, reader, if you can, conceive the rapturous joy which like elec­tric fire thrilled his whole frame, when the door was suddenly flung open and Elhenhorst stood before him. His travelling coat was ornamented with a sparkling star; for his merits had soon rais­ed him in a country where merit, at that time, was the only recommendation. But this very star, made Ortenberg start back, when he already had expanded his arms to press his long lost friend to his suffering heart. However, the minister flew towards him with marks of the most heart­felt joy.

"Ortenberg! Ortenberg! have I become a stranger to your heart? Have you ceased to be my friend?

They flew into each other's arms—their eyes were fixed on each other. Once more embrace. Their looks were dimmed; for their eyes swam in sweet tears. A third embrace. No words in­terrupted the meeting of their hearts—nor shall I attempt to describe by words the rapture of a scene which only can be felt.


I wrong'd you, dear Elhenhorst! forgive me! I knew not, that a heart which is [Page 137] covered with a sparkling star, can be susceptible of friendship.


In that case I would trample this star to atoms. Your sentiments are still the same, noble and proud, even towards your friends. But come, let us sit down and chat a little. I have travelled twenty four miles more to-day than I am used to do, to surprise you this evening. How are you? How do you live?


Very well.


But you don't look well.


The death of my mother—the un­happy fate of my Caroline.

He never could pronounce Caroline's name, without being deeply affected. The sight of El­henhorst recalled to his mind all the happy even­ings when his friend had kindly assisted him in building airy castles; when the whole world yet lay open before him, and he knew malice, envy, and chicanery, only from hear-say. This sweet­recollection, which, added to the bitterness of his present situation, mellowed him suddenly, and he began to unbosom himself to his friend. How­ever, my readers already know his lofty mind—he seemed to have entirely forgotten his own dis­tress, and mentioned not a syllable of it to a man who was his sincerest friend, and had it in his power to extricate him at once, from all his diffi­culties. He related only the sufferings which the misery of others caused him, and seemed to be perfectly satisfied with his own situation.

However, although his lips uttered no com­plaints, yet his hollow eyes, his meagre appear­ance, his half torn garment, and his sorry apart­ment, bespoke his distress plainly enough. El­henhorst surveyed his friend's apartment with tearful eyes, and his bleeding heart vowed secret­ly to assist the unfortunate man. Ortenberg was [Page 138] thrown into the greatest confusion, when he percei­ved that Elhenhorst surveyed every corner of his room. He hastened to draw his friend into a conversation, and to turn his attention to some other object.


May a discreet friend ask what is the object of your journey.


It is no secret. You know what a heavy burden lay on my shoulders; I mention­ed it several times in my letters to you. I was scarcely able to endure it any longer, and was seized with a melancholy gloom of mind, I al­most should say, with dark misanthropy. I was necessiated to spend the greatest part of the day amongst tiresome dead, amongst whom Justini­anus certainly was the most tedious, which caus­ed me mechanically to fly the living. My supe­riors took notice of my gloomy existence when I least expected it; they seemed to be convinced that the camel, which always must travel with the caravan to Mecca, without being ever released, becomes lame at last. The king informed me unexpectedly by a letter, in his own hand-wri­ting, that he had appointed me to be minister plenipotentiary at **, and that I am to repair thi­ther within three months. I am now going to Berlin, to thank the king, and to obtain my in­structions.


Need I to tell you that I take the liveliest interest in your promotion.


This would, indeed, be superflu­ous, dear Ortenberg; I know you sufficiently.

(He took him affectionately by the hand.)

Be­lieve me, I wish that you also would be happi­er than you seem to be in your present situation.

His eyes were compassionately fixed at the un­fortunate Ortenberg, soliciting confidence.

[Page 139]

Why do you suppose it? I am contented.


Dear friend, your countenance con­tradicts your words. I know you, I know that a noble pride prevents you from complaining; how­ever you carry it frequently too far. I conjure you, by our friendship, let your Elhenhorst be an exception.


What do you want of me? Do you think that only a star on the breast, or a cross in the button hole, can afford happiness?


Dear Ortenberg, do not grow bit­ter.


Or do you think that I am not sen­sible of the dignity of my present situation. I am every day surrounded by a circle of five or six boys, lively and able geniuses, whom I teach to be virtuous and active members of human soci­ety. Is this nothing?


A great deal, indeed. I despise the narrow minded selfish wretch, who is not ca­pable of feeling how honourable your occupation is. But, tell me, friend, how will this terminate at last? I know you. I shall not dwell on the contempt which, unfortunately, is attached to your present occupation. An honest man is satis­fied with the approbation of his own conscience, and frets not when fools overlook his merits. But I know that Caroline is the sole object of all your wishes. The worthy Ortenberg cannot de­sire that the darling of his heart, who would willingly share a scanty income with him, should renounce, on his account, all comforts of life, honour and many other advantages which a crowd of adorers would offer her, if she were not con­nected with him.


I am rejoiced to hear that you do me justice. I have renounced Caroline; my heart [Page 140] bled, indeed, at the sacrifice; however, I did my duty. I never shall renew my claims, unless I can do it without blushing.


Very fine words!—But—excuse my frankness—is not the man who makes no at­tempt at all to improve his circumstances, as guil­ty as the wretch who has recourse to dishonour­able means, to make his fortune?


Would you have me to cringe and beg in the anti-chambers of the great?


No, Ortenberg, I never shall ad­vise you to mix with the contemptible crew of servile parasites. However, you ought not to have been reserved towards a faithful friend, but informed him of your distress, of your visible want; not in a supplicating tone, but in a manner in which friends ought to communicate with each other.


Dear Elhenhorst, let us drop this subject.


Are you then really determined to accept of no assistance?


I know that I am wrong; how­ever, I rather would starve among unfeeling wretches, than say that I want assistance.


This is enough! I will spare you that confession. Let us wave this subject for the present. I am hungry. I will sup with you if it be not inconvenient; I want nothing but home­ly fare and a cheerful countenance.

(brightening suddenly up).

It will give me the greatest pleasure.

My readers will be convinced that this, "It will give me the greatest pleasure!" came from the bottom of his heart. However, you also know Ortenberg's indifferent circumstances. Although he could not be expected to give an alderman's feast; yet a supper required that something should [Page 141] be brought upon table. Unfeeling metal! thou main-spring which moves the still more unfeel­ing world! the unfortunate must starve if he can­not obtain thee while his rich neighbour is choak­ed by wanton superfluity. No grey headed mi­ser throws a dry crust of bread which he can chew no more himself to the famished poor.

Those of my readers, who have formed a just idea of Ortenberg's noble and generous charac­ter, will easily conceive that this came not in his mind, when he rashly assured his friend that his company at supper would give him the greatest pleasure. The sight of a dear friend, with a spark­ling star on his breast, had made him for a time forget his wants. However, even when he recol­lected his poverty, he was not in the least distres­sed by it. His good heart, overflowing with friendship, instantly pointed out the means of gra­tifying Elhenhorst's request and his own wish. Ortenberg killed his two pigeons.

It is impossible to conceive the anguish which he felt when he took a knife from the dresser, and one of his darlings, apprehending no harm from her benefactor, fearlessly stroked her bill against the fatal instrument. His heart bled more than the dying pigeon, when he saw her blood flow, saw her convulsive struggles, and imagined he read in her breaking eye—What harm have I done you? A stream of tears gushed from his eyes; he averted his face from the bleeding com­panions of his solitary hours, went to the window and endeavoured to collect himself again, lest El­henhorst, on his joining him again, should have reason to suspect that he had sacrificed for him his last and only pleasure.

His landlord's servant, a good natured creature, who was very much attached to Ortenberg, eja­culated a loud scream, when he brought the two [Page 142] bleeding pigeons into the kitchen, and desired her to dress them for supper.

"For God's sake, Mr. Ortenberg!" exclaimed the servant trembling: "what have you done?"


What is the matter? why do you cry?


Your pigeons! your good, faithful pigeons!

(She sobbed, and mingled her tears with the blood of the poor creatures.)

"Be not a fool!" said Ortenberg with stifled emotion: "there are plenty of pigeons to be got."

He left the kitchen, ascending again to the gar­ret. There he sat down, cheerfully smiling, by the side of his friend, enjoying the happiness of congenial communication, and forgot his pigeons. Elhenhorst related every trifling incident which had happened to him during their separation. Or­tenberg returned his communication with equal sincerity, representing, however, the heavy blows of his adverse fate in a humourous light, and striving anxiously to pourtray his misfortunes in comical colours. He said, for instance, only a few words about his fruitless application for the promised living, but dwelled the longer on the chase of the flies and on the description of Miss Shnurr.

The servant now appeared with the roasted fa­vourites. Her red eyes scarcely could retain a new torrent of tears which was ready to break forth. Elhenhorst perceived it not, and Orten­berg pr [...]tended not to see it. He was proud of being able to treat his friend with a supper, and the few hours which Elhenhorst could devote to him, [...]ed on wings of heart felt pleasure, a sensa­tion to which he had grown almost an utter stran­ger. They parted at last with cordial embraces.

[Page 143] "Farewell, my dear friend," said Elhenhorst: "I hope we shall soon meet again! I then will force you to confess that there are still some feel­ing souls in this world, deserving of the love and confidence of a worthy man."

Elhenhorst scarcely had quitted the house, when he suddenly was accosted by a weeping girl, (the servant of Ortenberg's landlord,) who stammer­ed, sobbing, "Dear Sir, you certainly are a great Lord. For God's sake have pity on that worthy man. God will reward you for every assistance you give him."


What man?


The man whom you just have left. He is a dear, excellent man, who would not of­fend a child, but so poor, so poor—and now he has even killed his pigeons.


What pigeons?


Those you had for supper. You would surely not have touched a morsel if you had known it.

[with anxious curiosity].

But what of the pigeons?


Alas! these two pigeons were his last, his only delight. They lived in his room, and ate out of his hands. How often have I heard him say, "God, if I had not these pigeons!" and now they are dead.

Elhenhorst's heart bled.

"but why did he kill them?" asked he in a trembling accent.

"Because the poor man had nothing else," re­plied the servant: "He absolutely refuses to ac­cept of any assistance from my master. Be so kind, my lord, to put that worthy dear man in a way to become a great gentleman like yourself. I know he deserves it. And since he loves you [Page 144] so much as to have treated you with his poor pi­geons—


Make yourself easy, my dear; he shall not be poor much longer.

His tears scarcely permitted him to utter these few words. He recollected his sacred vow to re­lieve his suffering friend, and repeated it aloud in the face of the starry heaven. His mind formed plans, his hart gave wings to them, and after ajour­ney of a day and a half he arrived at Berlin.


Naught but suff'rings has this world
For the noble deeds of gen'rous men.
Who can doubt that seeds of virtue
Scattered here will bear their fruit
In another world of better mould.

I NOW quit the hero of our tale a few moments I shall not attempt to describe the bitter anguish with which, after Elhenhorst's departure, he mis­sed his pigeons, without however repenting of his having sacrificed them for his friend; I shall drop the curtain lest the imagination of my readers should be tired by pictures of too much sameness.

Elhenhorst was introduced, in the mean time, to all the circles of the Great at Berlin, and forgot not his friend. He was presented to the King, who received him as kindly as he always used to receive men of merit. Elhenhorst thanked him for his promotion.

The King.

I always was very much satisfied with your services, as my letter will have told you, Continue to discharge your duty with equal fideli­ty, and I shall have an opportunity of thanking you in return.

[Page 145]

The discharge of our duty is not entitled to thanks.


Here you are mistaken. A man who performs what is incumbent on him does a great deal.


And a man who performs it with pleasure is sufficiently rewarded.


Certainly. His reward is greater than that which I can bestow. Are you single?


Yes, your Majesty.


Have you no intention to marry?


No, Sire, I have not.


You will then give no children to the state?


A flourishing state like your Ma­jesty's kingdom will never be in want of popula­tion.


Flourishing? it may be in time.


It is already. I met only with one unfortunate man on my whole journey.

His heart beat violently. The decisive mo­ment was near.


Where? Whom?


Oh, your Majesty! I tremble; and yet ought not to tremble; for, I am speaking to a monarch who suffers none of his subjects to groan under unmerited distress.


Speak! Speak!


I have a friend—he deserves to be the friend of every honest man: he is good, ho­nest, learned and modest.


The latter qualities are rarely found in one person.


He is a divine, and has given the most unquestionable proofs of his abilities to the consistory of Breslau. They promised him a liv­ing, and afterwards retracted their word. Hum­ble [Page 146] in prosperity and proud in adversity, he scorns to complain; however, he languishes in want and misery.


Why did they retract the promise which they had given him?

(shrugging up his shoulders).

Your Majesty—the tale is a long one.

The King looked at his watch. "Let me see you again to-morrow."

Elhenhorst awaited the subsequent morning sus­pended between fear and hope.

"I now am ready to listen to your long tale!" said the King when Elhenhorst entered his closet. The latter gave a faithful account of Ortenberg's fate; mentioning, however, no names.

"Why do you suppress the names?" asked the King.


Because it affords me more plea­sure to see your Majesty reward than punish.

"He did wrong in fighting a duel!" said the King, sternly: "these are foolish doings, and tend only to make bad worse." With these words he turned his back upon the trembling petitioner, and left him filled with confusion.

"God! is there no help for my unfortunate friend?" exclaimed Elhenhorst, when he had left the palace. A tear trembled in his eye and a melancholy gloom overcast his countenance. His situation obliged him to go every day to court; his countenance was a speaking picture of suffer­ing friendship. The King observed his dejec­tion, but pretended not to see it, and spoke no more to him. Elhenhorst had already formed the plan to resign his place and to live with Or­tenberg at one of his estates, when he, one morn­ing, was suddenly summoned to court. He found the King with a paper in his hand.

[Page 147] "I have caused inquires to be made at Bres­lau!" said the monarch when he saw him. "The account which you have given me is true, word for word, and I am glad of it for your sake. Tell your friend that it does not become a clergyman who is to preach meekness, to suffer himself to be blindly ruled by his passions. I have appointed him to be master of the grammar school at W**. Here is the patent. However, I shall deprive him again of his place, if I should hear that he shews as much passion to his pupils as he did to the Colonel, whose name I do not want to know. I shall make inquiries about him."

Elhenhorst's rapturous joy straightened his breast and deprived him of the power of speech. He dropt on his knee.


Rise, Sir, I can't bear to see men kneel­ing before mortals. Men should prostrate them­selves only before God. Remember it.

Ye Gods of earth! woe unto you if your pow­er be not crowned with justice and benevolence! You are not destitute of noble examples.

I scarcely need to observe that Elhenhorst, af­ter this happy catastrophe, was impatient to leave Berlin. He scolded his people the first time in his life, for being too slow. He was, at last, seat­ed in his post-chaise; his heart flew, and the fleet­est horses appeared to him to be as slow as snails. At the close of the second day, he came to a town which was only thirty-five miles distant from H**. Night was setting in; however, Elhen­horst ordered immediately fresh horses, and pur­sued his road with joyful impatience. "To-mor­row," said he to himself; "to-morrow, when the day dawns, shall I clasp my unfortunate friend to my bosom, happy through me. Oh God! how amply hast thou rewarded me for all my troubles and sorrows!"

[Page 148] When he had travelled some miles, and pro­found darkness already covered the face of the globe, he perceived that the postillion drove over f [...]elds and ditches. "D—n my eyes!" exclaim­ed the latter, "that has never happened to me in my whole life."

(putting his head out of the win­dow).

What is the matter?


The matter? Why, the devil has made me miss the road. They have burnt a witch her [...] a hundred years since, and her cursed spirit haunts these parts.

Elhenhorst was vexed.

"Must I lose my way just now!" exclaimed he; "now while I wish to fly on wings of friend­ship to have the first ray of the dawning morn for a cheerful witness of a blissful meeting?"

The postillion drove onwards as well as he could, the wheels contended with the field-stones, the sparks flew from the gravel, the horses got into a morass, and the chaise was overturned. El­henhorst received no injury but a bleeding nose, and having his great coat covered with mud. He ordered his people to assist the postillion in disen­gaging the chaise from the mud, took his pistols, wrapped himself in his cloak, and sat down upon a rising ground.

Here I should have the best opportunity of in­troducing a sentimental discourse between Elhen­horst and the moon, which just emerged from a dark mass of clouds, and silvered their margin. Elhenhorst thought this is the moon! but, as for the rest, was so unfeeling as to blow the smoke of his tobacco pipe in her face. The postillion was still more unfeeling; for he was so impudent as to exclaim: "If that cursed moon had come sooner, I should not have lost my way."

[Page 149] The moon cared not a pin for their want of feeling, and disengaged herself entirely from the clouds which enshrouded her orb, to be a witness of a scene which at once gave a different turn to Elhenhorst's ideas.

He was sitting on the turf, contemplating the smoke of his pipe, which the nocturnal breeze dispelled, and thought, this is a picture of glory; and thus his ideas soon reverted again to his un­fortunate friend. He was just going to anticipate the heavenly scene, when he should surprise Or­tenberg with the pleasing intelligence which his letter-case contained, when suddenly piercing screams from an adjacent thicket struck his ear. He mechanically laid hold of his pistols on hear­ing the cry of distress. Elhenhorst was naturally brave, and had a heart which could feel for the distress of others. The lamentations of an unfor­tunate wretch never failed to touch him to the quick; his arm and purse had felt it frequently. He started up: "William, draw your hanger, and follow me!"

The postillion remonstrated, protesting that he should not be able to repair the damage which the carriage had received in less than two hours, if William did not assist him.

"William, follow me!" was the only answer which the Baron returned, and both went towards the spot whence the screams proceeded. It now changed into hollow groans, which scarcely were audible; however, the glimmer of a light in the thicket, served Elhenhorst as a guide.

He arrived at the spot and beheld—a young beautiful girl with a gag in her mouth, struggling under the hands of three villains, who were go­ing to violate her. The last strength of the girl seemed to be exhausted. She had in vain torn the cheeks of her enemies with her nails, and [Page 150] at­tempted, to no purpose, to seize with impatient fury the sword of the officer who seemed to be the leader of these wretches. A cord was tied to her round white arms, her recollection left her, and the guardian angel of her innocence wept.

Virtue conquers but rarely; however, it is not always subdued.

"Stop!" exclaimed Elhenhorst, with a loud voice, cocking his pistol. "Wretch, desist, or you are a dead man!"

The officer turned round, seized with confu­sion, and drew his sword. His accomplices un­sheathed their [...]abres, and a bloody conflict seem­ed to be unavoidable.

The officer was going to rush upon Elhenhorst, but suddenly stopt short, when he beheld the cock­ed pistol in the stranger's hands.


Who are you, and why do you inter­fere in matters which do not concern you?


This is no place for exchanging questions and answers. Every man is bound to assist his suffering fellow-creatures. I am a good marksman, and, upon my honour, shall blow your brains out, if you don't deliver that lady up this instant.

The officer retreated a few steps; for Elhen­horst had advanced towards him in a threatening posture.


By what authority—


I told you that this is no fit place for disputing about what is right or wrong. But you will find me to-morrow morning at H***; you need but to inquire after Baron Elhenhorst. I am firmly resolved to deliver that lady from your power. Retire, if you value your life. I have pledged my honour, and never staked it in jest. Retire, sir! exclaimed he once more, ad­vancing with cautious steps towards him.

[Page 151] The officer retired, and Elhenhorst went up to the lady, who had fainted away.

Peace to the ashes of the monk who invented gunpowder! Thousands maintain he has been a curse to mankind; but here is an instance of pre­served innocence which must be brought to his account. Elhenhorst's pistols alone were capable of preventing a bloody contest, the success of which would have been very doubtful, on account of the superiority of the enemy. However, the murderous instrument in Elhenhorst's hand made him in that moment absolute master of the trem­bling wretches who stood before him.

Every invention is, therefore, salutary in the hands of an honest man.

(to the servants of the officer).

Lay down your cutlass! take the gag out of the mouth of this lady, and untie her hands!

They obeyed.


Carry her gently to my chaise; of­fer no insult to her, if you value your lives. William, shew them the way, and in case of ne­ [...]essity make use of your cutlass.

His orders were punctually executed. The two wretches carried the lady away, and William was close at their heels with his cutlass. The officer was petrified, bit his nails, gnashed his teeth, but was sensible of his impotence.


Sir, I am your humble servant. You will find me by inquiring for Baron Elhen­horst.

With these words he retired, and followed his prize. His trusty William had already reached the carriage, which the coachman and his other servants, in the mean time, had sufficiently repair­ed. The senseless girl was put into it: her car­riers received some lashes inflicted by the whip of the coachman, and retreated as fast as possible [Page 152] to the thicket, where their disappointed master was venting his impotent fury on the innocent grass.

Elhenhorst proceeded on his journey, reward­ed by the heavenly consciousness of having per­formed a good action, and left the recovery of his fair companion to God and nature.

Morning dawned already, and Aurora's re­freshing breath animated silent nature with new life. The revigorating breezes of the morning air instilled new strength into the exhausted frame of the fair sufferer, and she awoke from her stu­por. Her soft, blue eyes opened themselves, and sparkled in the dawn of the coming day. Her cheeks put Aurora to the blush; the first ray of Phoebus kissed timidly her blooming lips; young zephyrs sported with her auburn tresses.

"Where am I?" whispered she softly, like the breeze of the morning air in the thin twigs of the beech-tree; like the trembling notes of a flute.

"In the hands of a gentleman," replied El­henhorst: "be easy, dear lady, you are safe."

This answer, Elhenhorst's noble countenance and benevolent looks, dispelled at once the gloom that hung on her eyes; she seemed to be going to speak, her lips opened themselves, and wanton cupids resumed their places in the dimples of her cheeks. However, a new gloom spread it­self suddenly over her charming face, when her bloody fingers recalled the scene of last night to her mind. Her heart was on the rack; her heav­ing bosom panted for air, and the blooming rose turned to a pale lily.

"Am I still as I was?" asked she with pale and quivering lips, while she cast down her eyes. The moment in which she expected to hear El­henhorst's [Page 153] reply, seemed to be the most agoni­zing of her whole life.


Yes, you still are what your eyes bespeak you, immaculate and undefiled. Blessed be the hour in which the guardian angel of inno­cence made me your deliverer!

Good God! exclaimed the girl, with folded hands, and raising her eyes to heaven. Her lips moved softly; she seemed to pray. Elhenhorst contemplated her in silence; that is to say, his lips were silent; however his heart spoke louder than it had done hitherto; panted more violent­ly than it ever had done before. A swee [...] strange sensation poured suddenly a gentle, but devouring fire in his veins. The God of Love took, with a malicious smile, possession of a cold heart, and forged iron fetters for his new slave.

The girl now turned to Elhenhorst; Elhenhorst trembled.

"My lord! to whom owes an unfortunate be­ing the preservation of her innocence and life?"

Elhenhorst trembled still more violently. What a singular change! He had been used to smile with pity at the beauties of his native country, when they attempted to insnare his heart by a thousand female artifices; to face firmly every eye that expected to conquer him by its fire or languishing and tender looks. He took no notice of a white arm, or an elastic bosom: and when he happened to cast a look at the charms of beauty, he contemplated them like a man who admires a fine picture. But how different were his sensa­tions now! His bosom was straitened the first time, and his eyes were afraid to meet those of the fair stranger. These novel sensations confounded him entirely.—The propinquity of the charming creature who produced this transmutation, contri­buted to increase his perplexity still more. Eye [Page 154] against eye—knee against knee—his hand so near to hers—her warm breath touching his lips—he knew not where he was; nor what to think of his feelings.

"May I ask"—stammered his trembling tongue in faint accents, "with whom—who—your name?"—

The Stranger.

My name is Caroline Summer.








Man is the sport of spiteful chance.
Did not a gladd'ning cheerful glance
From better worlds dart now and then,
Across the mazy path of life
And cheer misfortune's painful strife,
What then would be the fate of man?

THE stranger scarcely had pronounced the name Caroline Summer, when the colour fled from Elhenhorst's glowing cheeks. He started back and squeezed himself into the opposite corner of the chaise, no less firmly and anxiously than if he had committed a sacrilege. His pale face grew longer, his eyes stared, his mouth remained open, his foot trembled to touch the hem of her gown, every look of his, every word he had uttered, appeared cri­minal to him. Poor Elhenhorst! by what crime hadst thou deserved that love should maliciously steal into thy artless heart to struggle with the purest friendship.

[Page 2] He resembled a dreaming person in the first moments which succeeded that fatal discovery; for, a rising passion is a sweet dream which deludes our mind with pleasant and new sensations, and makes us anticipate the gratification of our wishes in the very moment of which they were begotten. Imagine that such a charming visionary dream were chased from your mind by a sudden alarm of fire, and you will have an idea of Elhenhorst's feelings in the first moments when he learned who the enchanting stranger was. The emotions by which they were succeeded, were like the trem­bling of a wanderer, who, in the darkness of night, suddenly perceives by a flash of lightning, that he slept at the brink of a precipice. But he had scarcely conceived the idea, This girl is the mis­tress of my friend! when he ordered the postilion to stop, and silently quitted the carriage without being able to account for that involuntary action.

"What a singular man!" said Caroline by her­self: shall I rejoice at my preservation, or appre­hend to have fallen from the talons of a vulture, into the fangs of a tyger? But no, no, it cannot be; the Creator writes an illegible hand, and na­ture is an impudent comedian, if this man be a villain!"

Who could blame Caroline for her apprehen­sions and doubts? Elhenhorst's conduct was so sin­gular, that confidence itself would have read the brooding over a black deed in the disordered countenance of this unknown. Caroline wished to enquire of the postilion or the valet, after the name of her preserver; however Elhenhorst's pre­sence closed her lips. The carriage drove slowly, and he walked by its side; he struggled and was conquered; he struggled again and obtained the victory.

[Page 3] Let us draw the curtain which conceals his in­ternal emotions, and bring his feelings themselves upon the stage.


How charming—how unspeakably charm­ing is this girl!


She is the property of another.


And that man is your friend, your dearest friend.


You have saved her honour.


This was your duty.


And has the performance of your duty ever been rewarded more nobly?—The blessings of your friend—the grateful tears of that lovely creature—the heavenly and enrapturing spectacle which you will behold.


And which is nobler? to be happy at the expence of your friend or to render him happy at your own expence?


But are you not already the instrument of his happiness? Did you not procure the patent which you have in your pocket?


Can Love speak thus? Would you not take more with the left, than you bestow with the right hand? Love, I appeal to thy own feelings!


The girl would besides, lose by the exchange. Your friend is amiable in every re­spect.


You are a minister.


And if you were a king! you have found a jewel, you know to whom it belongs, and could you be such a knave as to withhold it from its owner?—Fie! even if its owner were not your friend,—fie! even if he were your mortal enemy!


You are a man! you have maintain­ed hitherto the character of an honest man; you have harboured no sentiment in your heart, at [Page 4] which you have reason to blush; you could face every one frankly.


What a charming, what a bewitching girl!


It is not difficult to be an honest man, while no passion tempts you to turn a villain. Shew now what you are! and if you do not prove now, that you are virtuous, you never have been!

This noble soliloquy rendered Elhenhorst gene­rous; friendship and probity fettered his rising love, and boasted not of their victory. The car­riage stopt; Elhenhorst joined Caroline with a se­rene countenance, and was smilingly received by the lovely girl.


Your name is Caroline Summer?


Yes, my Lord.


My name is Elhenhorst.

(starting up).


Every syllable which she uttered, recalled to her mind one of those blissful evenings, when Orten­berg had painted to her the features of his only friend, with the most glowing colours.

"Elhenhorst, my Lord?—you are—I—I know—"


A man whose name is Ortenberg? and whose friendship for me, some­times may have mentioned my name to you?


Good God! how wonderful! the man whom I frequently blessed in my heart; the man whom I so ardently wished to know personally; whom I loved and honoured before I knew him; that very man was designed to save me!


And feels how enviable his lot is.—Happy moment in which I shall restore you to the arms of my friend!—God, what bliss canst thou bestow on me in a better world, after I have tasted such an unspeakable pleasure in this?

[Page 5] A long pause. The souls of both travellers feasted upon the raptures of overflowing sensa­tions of happiness, but were, nevertheless, not totally unclouded. A sigh escaped Caroline's bo­som—that sigh whispered—"Ortenberg." El­henhorst's breast was strengthened, for he resem­bled a timid youth who wrestles the first time with a vigorous man.

Caroline's curiosity urged her at last to speak: she said bashfully, "I have not heard from him these eight months.—No letter—not a single line—it is, indeed cruel!—I know not whether he is still alive?

She knew, indeed, well enough that he was alive; for Elhenhorst had intimated it sufficiently; however, her question properly ought to have been, "I know not where he lives." Bashful mo­desty transmuted the where into whether, and tacked a still to it.

Elhenhorst's reply was very laconic: "Make yourself easy, he is alive!"


And is well? happy? content?

(smiling ambiguously.)

I dare say he is.

Caroline blushed reluctantly, and, without feel­ing the ambiguity of Elhenhorst's reply, said with a gloomy look, folding her apron: "He then has forgot his friend?"


He has not forgot, but wishes to exchange her.

(rather silly.)

Exchange? You speak in riddles.


Yes, yes, exchange! Or do you think he is satisfied with your friendship?


But why not one poor line in eight months?


His silence does him honour.


But it was certainly no effect of love.

[Page 6]

Love and duty do not always agree.


But your sex frequently affect to fol­low the dictates of imperious duty, for no other purpose than to conceal the decrease of their love.

(rather serious.)

I hope you don't al­lude to my worthy friend?

(with warmth.)

No, indeed; Orten­berg never would nor could do this. I rather think that his motives are entitled to my admira­tion?—Perhaps, he was prevented from writing only by too much business—

(with an inquisitive look)

by the great distance of his place of re­sidence?

Elhenhorst understood the secret meaning of her inquiries, but declined giving the information which she was desirous to obtain. His imagina­tion anticipated the most delightful surprise. He interrupted her by the question, whether she knew the wretch from whose hands he had delivered her! "I conjure you," added he, "to honour me with your confidence, by explaining the incidents of last night, and a frank communication of your sufferings.


With pleasure.

She now began with a charming simplicity to relate her fate. My readers know adready that the persecuted girl sought and sound an asylum in the house of Lady Anna Maria of Xantippendale.

"I do not deny," continued Caroline, "that her house did not entirely answer my wishes and expectations. I imagined to have met with a good and venerable matron, whose only weakness consisted in an overstrained piety; a fault which I am very willing to forgive, because it arises almost never from a bad heart, rarely from hypocrisy, and almost generally from stupidity and ignorance. An artless heart suspects no [...]olds in those of others, and therefore is easily imposed upon.

[Page 7] "When one of my cousins introduced me the first time to her, she was sitting in the most pic­turesque attitude. She was [...]itting in a leather arm-chair, dressed in a brown worsted gown, and a night-cap. Both temples were covered with black plaisters, of the bigness of a crown-piece, against head ach, rheumatism, &c. &c. A tooth from a scull, sewed in a piece of silk, depended from her faded bosom, which was to serve as a talisman against the tooth ach. The fragment of her nose was adorned with a pair of green specta­cles, with the assistance of which she was reading a chapter from Ezekiel. Her wrinkled hands knitted at the same time a stocking of coarse yarn, and the nodding of her head, the langour and blinking of her half-closed eyes, betrayed that she, at the same time, enjoyed the sweetness of sleep, and, consequently, was employed in three differ­ent ways.

"I made a courte [...]y at the door; her lap-dog barked, and tore a whole in my apron, because he mistook me for a beggar; and the old lady took her spectacles for a moment from her nose, to make a silent sign to me to take a seat upon a straw stool, which stood behind the door. When I had seated myself she continued to read aloud, (for my arri­val had dispelled the god of sleep from her run­ning eyes,) beginning every verse an octave deep­er than she finished it, and concluding every verse with a sigh.

"Having finished the chapter, she marked the place where she had left off with a piece of green silk, put her spectacles into a shagreen case, and waddling towards me, to survey me from top to toe, with a most curious loquacity. Her first ad­dress was not very encouraging for a timid girl of my age. You are, probably, said she, a daughter of Mr. Summer, who broke six months ago? [Page 8] These words lacerated my heart. However, I collected myself. Benevolent minds, thought I, are not always endowed with delicate sentiments. You are poor and deserted, continued she, but you have received a handsome figure from the mercy of God, and must make a good use of it. I then did not understand the horrid meaning of these words. You have met, in Lady Anna Maria of Xantippen­dale, with a sinner who has found grace before God, and is of a charitable disposition, concluded she; and if you are diligent, and walk in the paths of modesty and piety, and always follow the advice of an experienced and pious woman, you will never lack any thing that may be requisite for the well­being of your body and soul.

"I thanked her with a sincerely affected heart, for my lamentable situation caused me to read pure benevolence in every countenance, and I imagin­ed that every eye bespoke those sentiments which I would have felt myself for every unfortunate be­ing. I performed, therefore, cheerfully, my new duties, which chiefly consisted in female work. The old woman seemed to be satisfied, and all went off extremely well till after supper. But scarcely had the silver bell of Lady Anna Maria of Xantippen­dale convoked all the domestics to assist at her usual evening devotions, when a malicious daemon sow­ed the first seeds of discord between us.

"Here I have the best opportunity of pourtray­ing to you, in one groupe, the inmates of our house, whom I saw the first time on that pious oc­casion. Nicolaus, a square-bodied coachman, had been thirteen years in the service of Lady Xan­tippendale, although she kept neither horses nor a carriage since the death of her husband. Her avarice, which, on every other occasion, was ter­rified at every useless expence, was obliged to give way, in this instance, to Christian charity, [Page 9] because that very same coachman had drove her late lord seven years to the town-house, and at last assisted in conveying him to the grave. She could not, therefore, resolve to leave him to the fortune of his whip. He was a round, healthy-looking figure, sang a sonorous bass, and always began the evening hymn, which was sung when the devo­tion was over, with great dignity.

"The second figure which entered the apart­ment, was a dirty man-servant, who was just come from the field. His face was sun-burnt, and his hands were covered with blisters. He was chew­ing when he took his seat, and his fatigue and hun­ger seemed to curse the artificial devotion which he was forced to display. He was followed by two females, one of whom was very old and fret­ful, and the other young, gay, and apparently, more disposed to laugh than to pray. The former was the cook, and the latter the house-maid.

"The devotion was opened with an edifying hymn, after the conclusion of which Lady Xan­tippendale said a prayer which she had learnt by heart, exhorting me to do the same. I confessed frankly that I never had learnt a prayer by heart, and that I was convinced God paid little regard to the blabbering of our lips, being satisfied with the pious emotions of our hearts. She protested with a deep groan, that my youthful heart was already infected with the baneful poison of libertinism: lending me immediately a prayer book which con­tained prayers for every day in the year, the leap-year not excepted, and exhorted me to shew atten­tion and devotion during the pious orisons of the rest of her domestics.

"The coachman roared his prayer, while his breath lasted, without paying any attention to stops and half stops; the servant, whom the house-maid secretly pinched and teazed, followed his example [Page 10] lustily. The cook alone groaned her prayer with all the expressions of the sincerest contrition. The devotion concluded with the hymn, Now all the woods are fast asleep, &c. and the meeting was dis­solved. She enjoined me once more before I went to bed, to study her prayer book, under-lining with her own hand those passages which in her opinion were most moving. I was obliged to learn every day two prayers by heart, and durst not attempt to alter an obsolete or an ambiguous word arbitrarily. "Thou shalt not add unto the word, neither shalt thou diminish aught from it," said she, whenever I attempted the slightest alteration. She possessed the singular gift to prove any thing from the Bible, citing some passages out of its connexion, and thus rendering it subservient to confirm what she want­ed to demonstrate. However, I begin to talk wildly; excuse the joyful loquacity of the liberated dove who has escaped from her cage.

"Our mode of life was nearly as follows: We rose very early in the morning. I was compelled to sew, my fingers sore while I assisted at the read­ing of the Revelation of St. John, which she ex­pounded to me, verse after verse, protesting solemn­ly that she had discovered in it the downfall of the Pope ten years ago, and also had written to him to warn him against the wicked French, but never received an answer.

"About noon we went together into the kitchen, to assist the cook in preparing a frugal dinner; or, to speak the truth, we watched Mary, to prevent her from wasting too much butter, or poisoning the victuals by adding too great a quan­tity of spice. After dinner Lady Xantippendale always took a nap, and I was kept close at work. She made her appearance again at four o'clock, and combed her lap-dog. She then went again into her closet to transact some private business, ex­amining [Page 11] her pledges, winding up the pawned watches, counting and filing her ducats. Every half an hour which she could spare before supper, was devoted to reading in the Bible. Our supper was as frugal as the dinner, consisting in a few thin slices of bread. The above mentioned evening devotion served in lieu of the desert; and when it was over, we were permitted to go to bed. This is a faithful picture of our daily mode of life, which was never altered in the slightest degree, except on a Sunday; when we went twice to church, and in the afternoon criticised the dresses of our acquain­tances instead of reading in the Bible.

"Little as I relished this manner of living, yet I took cheerfully up with all its inconveniencies, flattering myself with the sweet hope that I should be safe from persecution, and that my friend—why should I not say my lover?—would release me one time from it. I began already to reconcile myself to it, and to court the favour of the old Lady by the most unremitted attention: in which I apparently seemed to succeed pretty well. How­ever, how great was my astonishment and terror, when I, about a week since, entered the apartment of my mistress, and beheld the Colonel, whom I had not seen since that unfortunate day. A cold tremor ran through all my limbs; I was going to retire; but when he made me a respectful bow, and continued to converse with my mistress on money affairs, I tranquillized myself, fetched my work and seated myself in a corner. The Colonel went with my lady into her closet, and they staid near an hour and an half; I was seized with fearful apprehensions, and trembled violently. My reason represented to me that the visit of an officer who always was in want of money, was nothing extra­ordinary, considering the traffic which the old lady carried on. My heart assented to the [...] of [Page 12] my reason; however, I trembled nevertheless. He came back at last, walked with proud gravity through the apartment, and having made a slight bow to me disappeared, I cast a scrutinizing look at the old woman, but could not perceive the least change in her features. I persuaded myself at last that the Colonel had given up all designs upon me, and thought no more of that incident.

"The day before yesterday was the dreadful time when the enfernal plot was executed. The old woman had told me already the preceding eve­ning that a relation of her's, who lived fifteen miles distant from the town, would send her carriage for her to take her a few weeks into the country, and that I must get myself ready to go with her. I had no suspicion, but rather was rejoiced at having an opportunity to breathe the country air again, and cheerfully packed up some linen and wearing ap­parel.

"A carriage and four appeared really the next day about noon at our door, the old woman delayed our departure till towards evening. The first delay was occasioned by her afternoon's nap; having fi­nished it she went at least twenty times all over the house to see whether all was sa [...]e; and when we, at last, were going to set off, she recollected suddenly that she had forgot certain papers which she had promised to her relation. Having rummaged all her drawers and carefully locked them again. she went down in the kitchen to see whether the fire was quite extinguished. She then read a long lecture to her domestics, in which she enjoined them to pre­serve the strictest order and economy; and when I hoped, at last that we were going to set off, after I had been ready three or four hours, she called me back again once more, putting a hymn book into my hand and croaking a hymn of a traveller who is going on a dangerous journey, I laughed inwardly, as I had not the least apprehension that my journey [Page 13] really would prove dangerous. I now can easily ac­count for the slowness with which she prepared her­self for our final departure: she was anxious to put it off till night should be setting in; but I enter­tained not the least suspicion.

"We got at last into the carriage, and took a road which was entirely unknown to me. The sun was setting, when we perceived a village at some distance. There is a house at the other end of the village, said the old woman, where we shall rest a little and take some refreshment. We then shall have only half an hour's ride to the seat of my relation. I thought it singular that we were to rest ourselves to eat and drink at a place which was so near the spot of our destination; however I still entertained no suspicion, because I knew from experience that Lady Xantippendale was fond of regaling herself at the expense of other people, and was told that the house belonged to a rich niece of her's. We really were received by a person, who pretended to be the steward of her niece, and offered re­freshments to us. We staid near an hour, and conti­nued our journey when the shades of night already had shrouded the fields in darkness. I perceived, notwithstanding the darkness, to my utter astonish­ment, that four white horses had been put to our carriage in the room of the black ones with which we had set out. I communicated my astonishment to the steward, on getting into the carriage, and was told that the black horses belonged to his mistress, and that the lady whom we were going to visit had sent her own horses. I was perfect­ly satisfied with this explanation, and suspected nothing.

"We had not proceeded half a mile when the old lady suddenly ordered the coachman to stop, telling me that she must get out a moment, and that I should remain quietly on my seat. My art­less [Page 14] heart still apprehended no harm. But sudden­ly two masked men jumped into the carriage, and the coachman drove on as fast as his horses could run. I screamed and was gagged by one of my conductors. I prayed and scratched; but my hands were tied; my recollection forsook me and I fainted.

"As far as I can recollect, I remained some hours in that situation. The moon had risen when I recovered the perfect use of my senses. One of my conductors was snoring and the other betrayed his being awake, by coughing. I groaned and prayed to God for assistance. The day began to dawn. My two conductors had pulled off their masks. I concluded by their whiskers that they were soldiers.

"We arrived a few hours after day-break, at a lonely house in a thick forest, where we were re­ceived by a fellow with long red whiskers, and a pair of little pig's eyes. His dress was that of a peasant. He welcomed me with a civil smile, and begged me to alight, and refresh myself in his cot­tage. The soldiers carried me out of the coach. I was very faint, and sank upon a turf seat, near the house. One of my conductors, whose eyes displayed a faint ray of humanity approached me. Make yourself easy, Miss! said he softly; you are in good hands. Our master is generous and liberal; you will come to no harm. I now shall take the gag from your mouth; but conjure you not to scream; for, it would be of no service to you, as we are in a place where no person can hear us; and I should besides be compelled to reduce you to a situation from which I should wish to pre­serve you.

"He now took the gag from my mouth, and I began to scream aloud, as soon as I was at liberty. The fellow with the red whiskers laughed, and his [Page 15] companion was in a violent passion; but the other soldier who had spoken to me first, said, in a tole­rably civil accent:

"Miss, I shall suffer you to scream a few mo­ments, to convince you that no person can hear you. But if you do not leave off soon, I shall be compelled to be again troublesome to you. You see my comrade begins already to be impatient.

"But when I continued to scream most violent­ly instead of following his advice, he realized his menace, gagged me again, and conveyed me to a dirty room, which was blackened with smoke, and smelled of tobacco and the fumes of beer. The furniture consisted of long deal tables, and benches on both sides. The windows were hung with beer pots. Only a single chair stood in a cor­ner, and I was desired to seat myself upon it. I was some hours in a state of insensibility. God be merciful unto me, and preserve my innocence! This was the only idea which occupied my soul, and composed my prayers. My conductors in the mean while, beguiled their time with taking their breakfast and smoaking tobacco, and were delight­ed to read the obscene rhimes which the guests had written against the walls and windows.

"I remained in this melancholy situation till noon, when I was asked whether I wanted to dine? I refused by shaking my head, and was urged no further. The soldiers and the caroty fellow sat down to dinner and drank freely.

"After dinner, when the owner of the house was occupied in the kitchen and the most ferocious of my two conductors was fast asleep, I was ac­costed again by his companion, in whose eyes I perceived now and then a spark of humanity.

"Dear Miss, said he in a compassionate tone, I pity you sincerely, I cannot save you, though I should wish to do it. But why do you yourself [Page 16] render your situation more unpleasant? You see that your screams are of no service to you; I will take the gag from your, mouth, if you will pro­mise me to be silent.

"The mild accent in which he delivered these words kindled a faint spark of hope in my soul. This man, thought I, can still take some interest in the unmerited sufferings of others; I may, perhaps, be able to prevail upon him by my pray­ers to assist me in making my escape. I nodded to him, and was instantly disengaged from the troublesome gag, and the cords with which my hands were tied.

"Oh! my friend! exclaimed I, wringing my hands: Oh! my friend! save my innocence! God and your conscience will reward you for it!


I have told you already that I wish to be able to save you, for I am not so inhuman as you may think, and I pity you. Upon my soul I pity you sincerely: however I can do nothing for you. My Colonel is a hard and cruel man; he would make me run the gauntlet through the whole regiment; for, the great can easily find a plausible pretext to vent their resentment against a poor fellow.


I then am to be conveyed to Colonel**? Alas! I apprehended this was the case!


Yes, Miss! he has long watched you in vain. If the devil had not seduced that old procuress by ten louis d'ors—

"Caroline's heart revolted at these words. Every ray of hope disappeared, she trembled for her innocence; despair raged in her agitated mind! she wept aloud; and, behold! a compas­sionate tear started from the eye of the hardened sinner, and moistened the brisly eye-lashes. Ca­roline threw herself down at his feet.

"I conjure you by the mercy of God, do not suppress these sentiments which exalt you [...]ar above [Page 17] your barbarous master. If you have been a vil­lain, you now have an opportunity of making your peace with God, by a generous and noble deed! Save! oh! save my innocence!


(raising her from the ground with marks of great emotion.) Well, I will venture it!—I shall risk my life—Old, honest father!—your blood rolls still in the veins of your son.—(He cast his eyes fearfully round the room) Follow me through this back door.

"Fear and joy," continued Caroline "agitated me alternately, I was on the point of following him. But God ordained it otherwise; my pre­servation was decreed by Providence to be accom­plished by your lordship. When I was just on the point of quitting the room, the owner of the house joined us, and left us no more. I was seiz­ed with a stunning agony. The soldier shrugged up his shoulder, seated himself on a bench oppo­site to me, and leaning his head upon his hand, surveyed me silently, and with evident marks of emotion. His compassionate looks attracted my notice. I told him that he seemed to have had a better education than people in his station used to have. He replied with a sigh, and to my great astonishment asked me in French, whether I un­derstood that language? When I affirmed it, he gave me the following account of himself:

"My father, said he, is an honest clergyman in the country, and now eighty years old. He gave me an excellent education, and endeavoured to animate my juvenile heart with love for virtue and probity. When I was nineteen years old, I was sent to University in company of a youth with whom I had been educated, and who was the only son of an aged and poor widow in our parish. My father had taken him into his house on ac­count of his amiable qualities, and cultivated his [Page 18] mind. The cruel phantom of honour caused us to fall out one day when we were intoxicated. We were in a numerous and licentious company—our companions urged us to decide our difference by a duel—they gave us swords—and I plunged mine into the heart of a young man, who was my only and sincerest friend, and the last consolation of a poor, aged, and disconsolate mother, who sur­vived his untimely death only a few weeks. I was obliged to [...]ly. My father gave me his curse, and my mother died of grief. I turned soldier and endeavoured to silence my conscience by aban­doning myself to the most horrid excesses.—I succeed now and then—however, there are mo­ments—moments in which I quarrel with God and his providence, and my heart is seized with the most agonizing despair. Oh God! Oh God!—A single step on the path of vice is sufficient to ruin man for ever!

"He averted his face and was silent; however, I still imagine to hear his last words. The tone with which he exclaimed: Oh God! was dreadful.

"The sun was already very high, and I think it was about three o'clock, when the other soldier awoke, swearing dreadfully, because he had been suffered to sleep so long, and scolding prepared for our departure.

"Do you whine again? asked he his comrade, when he perceived his melancholy mood. Fie! be ashamed!"

"I requested the down-cast soldier to tell me whither I was to be conducted? He assured me, he did not know it himself; adding, they had received orders to conduct me over the heath of M** to a certain hill, where they were to meet the Colonel in the evening. I saw no possibility of escaping [...] fate. I prayed to God for assistance; and soon felt myself animated again with new courage. I [Page 19] now thought it was impossible God could suffer a being to be dishonoured, who always had adored him with innocence and purity of heart. I trembled indeed, when I got into the carriage; however, the first frenzy of despair had abated; my soul conceived again some hopes; and I thought at last, if the worst should come, I can only die. I am, perhaps called by God to die as a martyr for my innocence.

"They had gagged me again, but left my hands free. The carriage drove over unbeaten roads. We met not a single person, and not a sound of a living being, except the rustling of a solitary lizard in the dry furze vibrated in our ear. One of my companions sang very obscene songs, smoaked to­bacco, and sneered at his comrade who looked mournfully out of the window.

T"he sun had already concealed his radiant orb, and the darkness of the night was setting in rapidly when we arrived at the hill, where we were to meet the Colonel. We stopt; but saw no person. A saint ray of hope rose in my mind, and I flattered myself with the cheerful illusion, that the villain perhaps had already received the reward of his crimes, had been thrown off his horse or attacked by robbers on his way. But alas!—two men on horseback appeared at some distance, a few hours after, when the moon had risen. My heart was convulsed, my knees trembled, and I could scarcely support myself on my legs.

"Have I caught you at last, little rebel? ex­claimed the Colonel, while he hastily dismounted and went towards me. My mouth was gagged; I ejaculated an inaudible scream, ran furiously to­wards him and seized his sword, drawing it half out of the scabbard. However he threw himself in my arms—I wrestled with him—I was dragged into the thicket—despair gave me new strength— [Page 20] I bit—scratched—but to no purpose. My senses deserted me—I sank fainting to the ground; and when I came to myself again—God had sent you, my Lord, to be my guardian angel."

A burning tear fell upon Elhenhorst's arm.


There are still noble, gen'rous minds
Whose heart is warm'd with sympathy,
Who fly to help, when virtue weeps,
There is still virtue in this world.
In every clime are feeling minds
Who joy in drying tears of woe,
Meek virtue is its own reward,
And therefore not rewarded here
She fills with Heaven's greatest bliss
The heart in which her sceptre sways.

"How nobly," exclaimed Elhenhorst, "how nobly am I rewarded by this and the coming mo­ment! My rapture intoxicates me.—Sweet Caro­line, love is going to reward your sufferings for innocence and virtue.—My heart is too full—it must communicate itself—I shall carry you to day to your lover!"

(starting with inquisitive looks, her bosom and face tinged with a scarlet hue).

Me? To Ortenberg?—Where?—


Dismiss those dubious looks, that agitating incertitude! To Ortenberg!—To my friend Ortenberg! to H**.

Caroline's person was animated with new life and vigour, like a half-faded flower when a gentle summer rain refreshes it with its re-invigorating moisture. A soft rose-colour tinged her cheeks, [Page 21] her brow and bosom, and spread even to the finger-ends; her eye sparkled like the morning star, when it announces the rising sun. A thousand questions thronged from her soul, her rosy lips quivered, doubtfully which of them they should render audible first; for, every one of them appear­ed to her to be equally important.

"Ortenberg at H**!" stammered she with an enchanting confusion: "and we are on the road to H**? and we shall be there to day?—Perhaps, the—steeple—which I see yonder—"

"No, lovely Caroline!" replied Elhenhorst smiling: "we are, indeed, on the road to H**, and shall arrive there to-day; however, the steeple which you see yonder, belongs to a village church."

(with a glowing face).

Are we far from H**?


Only three miles.


Can we not see it yet?


Not yet.


Could the postillion not—drive—fa—Her virgin bashfulness snatched the word from her lips; she blushed at the fragment, and wished it could be retracted.

The obliging Elhenhorst put his head out of the window: "Postillion, drive as fast as you can; I'll give you half a crown more!" The postillion brandished his whip, and put his four greys in a brisk trot.

A short pause.


I dare say we now are not far off?

(looking out of the window and hold­ing his hand over his eyes).

If I am not mistaken—I see yonder—


The steeples of H**?


Yes—we are nearer than I thought.

Caroline's heart beat violently; she was seized with a sweet nameless uneasiness; the colour of [Page 22] her face changed every moment; she attempted in vain to speak, and her impatient eyes roved in­quisitively from one side to another.

The road serpentined between gardens. Her imagination whispered to her, whenever she per­ceived a cool inviting spot: Ortenberg has, per­haps, been sitting there; on that meadow he walks in the refreshing shade of evening, rests here on the banks of this rivulet, thinks of his Caroline, and recalls to his memory the many happy hours which we spent together. "Should we not meet him?" whispered Hope to her sister Expectation. Expectation grew anxiously attentive, gazed wish­fully at every distant object, and mistook every child for the long missed lover; fancied to see in every peasant's coat the light grey frock in which he had taken leave of Caroline.

Elhenhorst sat with folded arms by her side, and read with rapture the slightest emotions of her heart, in the open book of her physiognomy. He read undisturbed, without being interrupted in his sweet observations by a single look of the dear girl; for Caroline had too much to see and to gaze at; had now to stretch her neck, now had occasion to murmur secretly against nature for confining her looks by a hill; and now to be vexed at the slowness of the postillion; and all these ideas and sensations crossed each other with so much rapidity, as to make her forget her companion entirely. She had eyes only for the steeples of the town which lay before her; ears only for every sound which proceeded from that direction; sensation only for her love.

The carriage now rolled round a hill, and be­hold! they were suddenly before the gates of the town. A loud, tremulous Ah! escaped Caro­line when she beheld the gate.

"Go on! exclaimed she to the postillion.

"I dare not proceed," replied the latter; the passengers are examined here."

[Page 23] "Good God!" said she with an inchanting im­patience: "can they not see that I am no spy?"

"But I might be one," replied Elhenhorst smiling; "we must submit.

The officer on guard stept to the window. "Your name, sir?"


Baron Elhenhorst, Minister of his Majesty. I am coming from Berlin, and am go­ing to Cleves.


My Lord, Colonel *** has just passed the gate

(Caroline turned pale)

and ordered me to inform you, that he lodges at the Wild Man.


Sir, I thank you. Go on, postil­lion!

"This lady?"—muttered the officer smiling. "However, I shall put in my report: Baron El­henhorst and attendants. I have the honour to wish you a happy journey."

The sneering tone and looks with which the officer said this, did not escape Caroline. She was sensible of the ambiguity of her situation; her cheeks glowed.

Elhenhorst ordered the postillion not to put up at the Wild Man, because he did not wish to embitter the approaching scene of rapture, by the sight of a villain. We shall have time enough after dinner, thought he, to sight out our differ­ence.

The carriage stopt therefore at another hotel, and the travellers were shown into an apartment which had a closet adjoining to it. Elhenhorst desired the trembling Caroline to step into it, and sent for his friend.

Words cannot express the sensations with which he looked through the window, and saw Orten­berg coming up the street. His feelings were a mixture of rapture and anxiety—a tear stole from time to time down his cheeks. He opened [Page 24] the door of his apartment. Ortenberg ascended the stairs panting for breath, and—both lay in each other's arms.

"Friend, you have kept your word faithful­ly!" said Ortenberg, shaking Elhenhorst's hand while he stept into the apartment. "I did not expect you so soon."


Yes, dearest friend, I have kept my word. I deserve this testimony. I promised you to compel you to confess, on my return, that I deserve your confidence. You only have let me guess your distress; but no matter of that: I guessed it. Take this, continued he, taking the King's patent from his pocket: take this; the King has appointed you to be head master of the grammar school at W**.

Ortenberg—the indigent, starving Ortenberg—who had not the smallest glimpse of hope le [...]t—raised suddenly to a state of moderate affluence, which enabled him to satisfy all his wishes: Or­tenberg was speechless, he seemed to be rooted to the ground; he stood before his friend with ex­panded arms, holding his cane in one and his hat in the other hand, while all his muscles trembled and tears started from his eyes. He now gazed at the parchment and now at his friend. His lips quivered, his whole frame shook, he could not find words, he was not able even to stammer.

And behold: the folding door was suddenly flung open, but not wide enough for Caroline's expanded arms. She flew towards her lover with a convulsive Ah! which seemed to reproach her rapture for its overflowing ecstacy, and threw her trembling hands round his neck.

Elhenhorst wept. His valet stood at the door and sobbed. Ortenberg knew not whether he was awake or deluded by a sweet dream. He staggered, wanted to speak, he stammered; El­henhorst [Page 25] conducted him to a sofa. His joy was too powerful for him. He resembled a blind person who beholds the radiant orb of the sun the first time, and fainted. Caroline threw herself upon him and hung upon his pale lips. Elhen­horst ordered him to be bled. He recovered the use of his senses, and asked himself whether he had dreamed.

We shall leave the finishing of this picture to the imagination of the feeling reader, and let him guess the thousands of questions which were put and answered on either part. Elhenhorst in­vited, by Ortenberg's desire, his landlord to din­ner. The honest old man could not eat for joy. Elhenhorst had the greatest difficulty to prevail upon his happy guests to eat and to speak; for they feasted only with their eyes. He was obli­ged to ask more than ten times before he could receive an answer; but was teazed to repeat the same reply an hundred times.

"When do you intend to depart?" whispered he at last into Ortenberg's ear.


To-day if you have no objection.

"So much the better!" replied Elhenhorst. "I shall take care to make the necessary prepa­rations and attend you to W**, if you promise me that I shall not live on the road, merely by looking at you.

[Page 26]


You will catch an airy shadow,
If you look for roses without thorns;
For this sublunary world affords
Never happiness which is not bought
At the expense of a brother's bliss.

ELHENHORST, who apprehended that it would embitter the happiness of his friend if he should discover that Caroline's preservation might cost him his life, stole after dinner, secretly out of the room, and went to the Wild Man to dis­pose the Colonel to fix a more distant time and another place for the duel which was to be fought. The Colonel started passionately from his chair when his antagonist opened the door of his apartment, and snatched up a loaded pis­tol which lay on the table.

(with cold dignity),

Softly, Sir! Softly! put down your pistol.


Baron, let us cut the matter short. If you have brought no arms with you, you may take the other pistol there

(he reached it to him)



You need not to trouble yourself? I don't intend to fight you to-day.


Not!—and I am to treat you as a gen­tleman?—


Yes, I demand it of you; not be­cause I am a nobleman, but because I saved in­jured innocence from your grasp. That deed alone entitles [...] to the privileges of a gentle­man; [Page 27] and, by G—, you could not refuse treating my valet as a gentleman, if he had performed it.


I shall

(he took a chair, seating himself upon it)

. I gave you my word that I would fight you; I was hurried away by my pas­sion. However, I have pledged it, and will meet you; but not to-day, nor to-morrow, nor within the environs of this town.


A charming declaration! But suppose I were to take up one of these pistols?

(drawing the table upon which the pistols lay, towards his chair).

I would not ad­vise you, said he calmly; the king would miss me, and take it very ill, were he to learn that you had assassinated one of his ministers who came to you without arms.


Baron, I shall call for my people!


What then?

The Colonel stamped with his foot, bit his nails, and walked irresolutely up and down the apartment.


Let it suffice you that you know I will fight you; for, I assure you, Colonel, it would cost me only a letter to the king, and you would be sent to the fortress. I shall be at Dus­seldorf on the thirteenth of next month; if you then are inclined to meet me; you will find me; if not, I am your obedient servant.

Elhenhorst rose and was going to quit the room.

(tamed by Elhenhorst's unshaken reso­lution).

Baron, your word of honour!


Upon my honour.


I am satisfied, you shall see me at Dusseldorf on the thirteenth of next month.

Ortenberg and Caroline were too much enrap­tured to miss Elhenhorst. He had left them, and [Page 28] returned again without their perceiving it. They had not seen or spoken a word to Ortenberg's landlord, who sat only a few steps distant from them. Ortenberg had spilled half the contents of his coffee-cup on Caroline's lap, and Caroline had torn his ruffles with a pin; but neither knew any thing of it.

The carriages were ordered to be got ready. The old Citizen had crammed Ortenberg's little property in a portmantua, and shed torrents of tears. All was now ready, the postillion blew his horn, the horses stamped, Ortenberg took Ca­roline by the hand, and assisted her to get into the carriage. He had already put one foot into it, to follow her, when the old Citizen, who had been standing behind him, holding his hat in his hand pulled him by the coat, looking at him with tearful eyes, and seizing him by the hand with­out speaking a word.

"My benefactor!" exclaimed Ortenberg, while the tears gushed from his eyes, and threw him­self into the trembling arms of the old man.

"My son!" stammered the old man. This was all they were able to utter. The old man disengaged himself from Ortenberg's arms, laid his hands upon his head, as if he were going to give him his benediction, and raised his eyes to heaven. He seemed to pray. He then shook him violently by the hand, and suddenly turned into another street.

The honest old man lost, by Ortenberg's de­parture, his only and last comfort, and survived it but a few weeks.

The travellers reached the place of their de­stination in a short time, without complaining once of the badness of the roads; for their hearts were as serene as the sky. Ortenberg's arrival having been notified previously to the citizens [Page 29] of W**, they had prepared a small but comfort­able house in the suburbs for his reception. His appointment, by an immediate order from the king, his winning modesty, Caroline's charming liveliness, the friendship of a man of Elhenhorst's consequence; all this contributed to procure him the most flattering reception at W**.

As Elhenhorst, on account of the impending duel, pretended that the most urgent business would not permit him to stay long, the young couple celebrated their marriage a few weeks after his arrival. I shall not attempt to draw a picture of that happy day; for Caroline's, Ortenberg's, and Elhenhorst's feelings cannot be expressed by words; as for the other guests who were invited on that occasion—they ate, drank, played, laugh­ed, sported their wit, and conducted themselves perfectly as German guests are wont to do on a German wedding. The young couple were teaz­ed by the jocund company, till—till Hymen join­ed hands with his brother Amor.

The new-married couple were yet fast asleep in the morning, when the smacking whip of the postillion roused Elhenhorst. "God bless you!" said he, as he stole by the bridal chamber on tip­toe: "May all your days be like this smiling ver­nal morning, and may you want for nothing but your departing friend."

The morning was beautiful. The pure picture of the rising sun trembled in Elhenhorst's parting tears. He wished to have witnessed the first rap­tures of his awaking friend—and the enchanting blushes of the lovely bride; however, he was bound by his word of honour, and flew through the gate, which just had been opened.

The serene sky, the variegated verdure of the fields, and the beautiful banks of the Rhine dis­pelled the gloom which overclouded his mind. [Page 30] Indeed nature can make any thing of us; we laugh and weep, we exult and mourn with that all powerful enchantress. Elhenhorst experienced that change of feelings, and the confirmation of this truth.

Nature, that sublime painter, charmed him till he came to Duisburg, with the most exhilarating pictures and groupes. The Rhine serpentined before him, through fertile fields; floating stream­ers decked its proud surface, and the rays of the sun reflected from its blue waves. The melan­choly Ruhr sought her majestic friend, creeping with soft murmurs through rich meadows and or­chards, and rushing exulting in his arms. The masts of light colliers appeared and disappeared alternately between the clusters of trees which lined the banks. The milk girl came singing from the pasture, carrying her clean ewer on her head; the wild dove cooed in the top of the tree, and the lark carolled her cheerful matins. The contented countryman earned with serene satis­faction the reward of his labour, the pipe of the shepherd resounded through the plain, and sport­ing flocks gamboled on the verdant hills.

But when Elhenhorst had left Duisburg, and was going to cross the proud forest of oaks, which the ancient Romans already admired, clouds, big with thunder, towered on the southern horizon, and darkened the gloomy forest. The storm roared in the tops of the majestic oaks, they mur­mured indignantly, lightnings whizzed through their branches, a heavy shower of rain washed their dark leaves. The horses who were brow­sing in the forest, fled frightened in every direc­tion; the wild boar concealed himself in the thicket, and the squirrel fled to find shelter in a hollow tree. Elhenhorst's mind was overspread with a melancholy gloom, anxious presentiments [Page 31] straitened his bosom, and every flash of lightning appeared to him to unfold a dark futurity.

But he had scarcely left the forest behind, when the storm ceased, the thunder was silent, and the sun emerged from the womb of the dark clouds in majestic splendor, forming a radiant rain-bow in the moist atmosphere. Every pearly flower perfumed the air with new fragrancy: the odori­ferous exhalations which emanated from the spark­ling meadows, refreshed Elhenhorst's languid frame, and the gloom of his mind fled as the clouds disappeared from the horizon.

"He arrived at Dusseldorf at seven o'clock in the evening. When he mentioned his name at the gate, the officer who was on guard gave him a note, which had been left for him. It contained the following words:

For Baron Elhenhorst, You will find me at the Black Eagle.


Elhenhorst ordered the postillion to drive to the next hotel, where he wrote an answer to the Co­lonel's note, in the same laconic manner:

I am just arrived, but being an utter stranger in this place, I desire you will name time and place as soon as possible, because my business is urgent.


Half an hour after he had sent these lines, he received the following note.

My Lord,

Your business cannot be as pressing as my de­sire is to release you for ever from all business. Think, therefore no further of business, but pray God (if there be one) not to let your poor soul (if there be such a thing) go to the devil (if there be one.) I shall expect you to to-morrow morn­ing at nine o'clock, at the frontiers of Juliers, be­hind the little village of W***.


[Page 32] At nine o'clock! said Elhenhorst, softly, and flung the letter on the table, without being vexed at the brutal wit and the foolish boasting of his an­tagonist. After dinner he wrote the following letter to Ortenberg:

Dearest Friend,

The world is ruled by prejudices, the fool and the wise obey them. The fool, because he knows not what prejudice is; the wise, because he is not always capable of despising them with the contempt which they deserve. Very small is the number of those whose unshackled mind weighs every action in the balance of cool reason; and I must confess that I am not one of them. I have received a challenge, and must obey the fatal law of honour. If I should fall I beg you will accept the enclosed draft, as the last proof of my friend­ship. Send it to Cleves, to my old faithful stew­ard, who will hasten to execute the last commands of his master. I shall be no more if you really re­ceive this letter; for, I have ordered William to deliver it only in that case. Kiss your lovely wife in my name. God bless you. We shall meet again without fail!

The enclosed note was a draft of eight thousand dollars. He also wrote a letter to his sister, to whose children he left his whole property, in case he should be killed, recommending his old stew­ard to them. He then took a walk, saw the excel­lent gallery of pictures, and a few more remarkable objects, and went to bed at ten o'clock. He slept soundly till next morning, when William came to tell him that his horse was saddled.

He was at the appointed place a little before nine o'clock. The Colonel did not keep him wait­ing. They saluted each other coldly. Each of them had only one servant with them. The sun was divided, and they agreed to fire at the distance [Page 33] of eight steps. Elhenhorst did all this with silent caution, and a seriousness and coolness which seemed to disconcert his antagonist a little. The Colonel changed colour several times, his hand trembled when he put the powder on the pan, and he squinted with confused looks from under his hat, at his cool-tempered antagonist, who stood opposite him in the calmest position, holding his pistols under his left arm, and looking at him with unshaken tranquillity.

"Will you soon be ready?" asked he at last ra­ther impatiently.

The Colonel fired and missed.


It now is my turn.


Fire away!

He pressed his hat in his face, and folded his arms. Elhenhorst fired his pistol in the air.

Are you satisfied.




Then fire!

The Colonel fired, and Elhenhorst fell. He spoke no more. The ball had penetrated the mid­dle of his breast. He turned himself several times in the sand, and died without a groan.

The Colonel fled to Holland. His rich rela­tions hushed the affair up, and imposed upon the king. The villain was promoted six years after this incident to the rank of General, and appointed Governor of W**. His arrival at that place drove peace and contentment from the abode of honest Ortenberg. Caroline's death—Ortenberg's flight—all this is now no longer a mystery to my readers.

[Page 34]


Seek not sympathetic fellow-feeling
In the splendid prisons of the great,
Where in drunken orgies vice is reeling,
And seduction's wily snares are laid.
Fly to rural huts where mild compassion,
Humble innocence and virtue thrive,
And the noxious bane of giddy fashion,
Poisons not the scanty joys of life.
Where malevolence and fiend-like slander
Sharpen not the edge of keen distress,
And the weary wand'rer ever meets with tender,
Feeling minds, when with infuriate stress,
Stormy winds arise, and drenching showers,
Chill his trembling frame. Compassion dwells
Ever kind in lowly rural bowers,
Flies from palaces to humble cells.

THIS staff and this coat," said Conrad are my whole wealth: but, Barbara, I cannot part with the poor boy."


He may carry your bag when you are going to beg.


I shall not beg. I will work; my pro­fession (he was a tailor) will procure us bread. The consciousness of having done a good deed, will season my meagre fare.

Not far from W**, within the walls of which virtue sought in vain an asylum in the lap of con­cealment, was a small village, inhabited by a race of excellent people. A wood of birch-trees, a cultivated hill whose foot was washed by the Ruhr, [Page 35] orchards and fertile fields surrounded the cheerful valley, to which none of those vices had penetra­ted, which disgrace the gorgeous-palaces of the great. Good natured, pious people spent there their guiltless life in happy uniformity, which alone makes days glide away like hours. A cler­gyman—peace be with his ashes—a clergyman who, as a pious teacher of virtue and a feeling man, led his small flock the road of true happiness, and was a pattern of meekness and modesty, had lived twenty-six years among his peasants like a beloved father in the circle of his family. He was a simple, honest man, devoid of intolerance and fanaticism, and no enemy to the innocent pleasures of life. His heart was without guile, his wife a pattern of domestic virtue, and she al­ways had a morsel of bread for the hungry, a draught of home-brewed beer for the thirsty, and fellow feeling and tender consolation for the af­flicted.

Conrad resolved to retire to that village, and to try whether he could support his wife and fo [...]ter­son by the labour of his hands, which had long been unused to work.

Barbara (snarling) packed up the few rags, which the kindness of the Governor had left to the honest old man as the only reward for his thirty years ser­vices. Conrad caused an inventory to be made of Ortenberg's property, and deposited it with a friend of the unfortunate fugitive.

"Let us now depart in the name of God!" ex­claimed he, taking his staff in one hand and the little William, who was eight years old, by the other: "let us turn our backs on this town, yet without shaking the dust from our shoes. May God mend those that are not incorrigible, and par­don those who are stung by a repenting consci­ence. [Page 36] Come, boy, let us wander to the huts of peace!"

William, who neither knew nor cared to know what his foster-father meant by the huts of peace, tied his small bundle of linen to a short stick, and as it just struck seven o'clock, rejoiced inwardly that he was permitted to stroll though the fields, instead of going to school, he was highly pleased with the change of his situation; and are we not all like children on such occasions? Even the in­telligence of a melancholy accident, makes, in the first moment, an agreeable impression upon us, be­cause our soul is constantly panting after a change of sensations.

The road to the neighbouring village led by the church yard. Conrad thought it would produce a salutary effect, if he were to agitate the young mind of the artless boy by sensations which could not be expunged in the solitude that was going to receive them, and, perhaps, might have an useful influence on his future life. He conducted him to the grave of his mother, which distinguished itself by the freshness of the clay.

"Kneel down!" said he to William, prostrating himself upon the grave: "here is your good mo­ther entombed; she hears us; her spirit soars round us. Do you still recollect her?

"Yes, I do!" replied William, folding his little hands.


Do you recollect how she called you the last time to her bed, and folded you in her faint arms?


Oh! yes.

(He began to weep bit­terly.)

Do you know what she said to you at that time?


She bid me to become a good man like my father.

[Page 37]
(laying his hand upon him.)

Well, my dear William, grow an honest man, and you will be greater than the wretch who has the death of that saint upon his conscience. Do, never forget your dear and good mother. Recollect her last words: Grow an honest man like your father!

Conrad had gained his purpose; William's heart was deeply▪ affected. They quitted the church-yard. Conrad cast a last melancholy look at the grave of the good old Captain. No mar­ble monument told the passing wanderer whose ashes were resting here. Close to it was a splen­did mausoleum of an usurer, founded upon tears and groans of ruined widows and orphans.

They arrived at the village against noon. Old Conrad had made up his mind to request a night's lodging of the first inhabitant he should meet, and in case of failure, to apply to the clergyman, whose benevolence and humanity were generally known.

The villagers being just employed in getting their harvest in, he went through a great part of the place without meeting with a single person. All the houses were open, but deserted and un­guarded. The only living beings whom he saw, were a [...]ew little children who were bathing in the rivulet which [...]owed through the village. Now and then he heard the hollow voice of a house dog.

Conrad perceived at last, before the door of a small but extremely neat house, a man who seem­ed to be of a middle age, and whose whiskers made it appear that he formerly had been a sol­dier. He was sitting upon a bench beneath the shade of a lime-tree, and had a short pipe in his mouth. He rose when he saw the strangers, taking his worsted cap off and bidding them a good day.

[Page 38] His looks were not repelling, and Conrad ven­tured to apply for a morsel of bread and a night's lodging.

"Walk in!" said the hospitable countryman, in a good natured accent; "you are welcome to share with me the little I can give."

He conducted them to a neat apartment, re­questing his guests to sit down on a bench, and regaling them with new milk, cheese, bread and a draught of beer. While they were satisfying the calls of nature, the following conversation ensued:


What do you think, my friend? Should a tailor be able to get a comfortable livelihood in your village?


Why not? the village is large, and there are people enough in it. We had a tailor when I came to live here, about eight years ago; however, he was a lazy drunken dog, he died two years since.


And has no one succeeded him in his profession?


No: we have our clothes made in town.


May I ask to whom I have the honour to speak?

(touching his cap.)

my name is Unger.


I am charged, Mr. Unger, with the pleasure of your acquaintance, and beg your par­don for having taken the liberty of intruding upon you with my husband and that strange boy there.


You are very welcome. You then are not the mother of that little fellow?


No dear Mr. Unger; Heaven has not been pleased as yet to bless me with children. He is only a beggar boy whom we have picked up.


Wife, I advise you to speak with more propriety. He is the son of a worthy man. Po­verty is no disgrace.

[Page 39]

I might perhaps, be willing to be silent at your having burthened yourself with the child of a stranger, if you had not been such a blockhead as to quit your lucrative service in the house of his Excellency, like a fool.


Hold your peace, Barbara! you know I am not to be trifled with in this matter. I will tell you the naked truth at once, Mr. Unger. I am a poor man, a tailor by profession, and my name is Conrad Spiller. I should wish to settle in this village, if I could earn as much as would be suffi­cient to maintain myself and this boy. His father is my friend, and his grand-father went with me to school. In short, he shall not want for bread while I have a morsel to share with him.


Here is my hand; I will assist you as well as I can. I have got a room to spare; it is, indeed, not large, though clean and snug; you are welcome to it, if you have none in view that is better.


Indeed, Mr. Unger, you are too ge­nerous.


Dear Mrs. Spiller, I have a large ac­count to settle with God, and am glad whenever I find an opportunity of discharging a small part of my debt.

(to Conrad.)

You clown, why don't you thank Mr. Unger?


You will forgive me, dear sir; God knows, I cannot make many words on such occa­sions.


Peace! peace! What I read in your eyes, gives me more pleasure than useless words could—

(turning to William,)

Well, my little [...]el­low, what profession do you intend to choose?


I wish to grow an honest man like my father.

[Page 40]
(with emotion.)

God bless you my dear child; you will be happy if you always keep on the road of virtue, and never have to atone for juvenile sins; the hours of your old age will not be poisoned by stings of conscience, nor will your sleep be broken by the tormenting dreams of a fe­verish fancy.

Night was setting in, and Unger said to his guest: Go to bed quietly: we will go to church together to-morrow morning, and in the afternoon I shall introduce you to the whole village."

Old Conrad went to his room, knelt down, and thanked Providence for the unexpected asylum he had found. Barbara could not speak well enough of Mr. Unger's civility. She had discovered that he was a handsome man, who looked extremely well in his whiskers. She thought he must have saved a good penny during the war, as he had such an excellent farm. "Yes," added she, "those who save a penny in proper time, have something on a rainy day. However, there are some people who have no thoughts of a futurity, and spend their money as fast as they get it, as if we still were living in those Christian times in which manna rained from Heaven."

She continued a good while to moralize with great volubility of tongu [...] but when she, at last, perceived that Conrad and William were [...]ast asleep, was obliged to reserve the second part of her discourse for another time.

Conrad went the next morning with his host to church, and both [...] themselves in the gal­lery, just opposite the preacher. The venerable old man wore his own white hair, his eyes did not wander about among his congregation, his fist did not beat the pulpit, his arms fought not with the air; his folded hands lay quietly before him, and his artless discourse went to the heart. [Page 41] He spoke of youthful sins, and observed that ma­ny a sinner continued to walk on the road of vice, only because he thought that his amendment would come too late. His exhortation was ex­tremely affecting and paternal, when he addressed those who had been deluded by the seducing phan­toms of vice; when he called to them in a heart-cutting tone, that it was never too late for a sin­ner to repent, and that a pious age, which was marked with many good deeds, could expiate a great number of transgressions.

Old Conrad perceived with astonishment, that the eye of his host grew gloomy, and that he wiped the tears several times from his cheeks. "It is a fine sermon," he thought: however, it could not make me weep. My host must have a very susceptible heart."

When the clergyman concluded with the words, "Ye deluded sinners, return to the path of vir­tue; come and throw yourselves into the arms of virtue and piety; that the Lord may have mer­cy on your souls, when you are called hence!" he heard him sob audibly. This appeared singu­lar to him. "It is impossible," thought he, "that such a good and compassionate man could have been a villain. What may be the cause that this sermon made such a deep impression upon him?" He could not refrain from asking his host the rea­son when they went home.

"Alas!" replied Unger, pressing Conrad's hand violently, "I was a great sinner! I killed my bosom friend in a fit of intoxication, brought the curse of my father on myself, broke the heart of my venerable mother, was driven by despair to turn soldier, served in the regiment of Colonel V**, assisted him in the perpetration of many a nefareous deed, and God be praised—was at last restored to virtue by a young lady. I carried [Page 42] her violently off by order of my Colonel. I still think to hear her say: If you once was a bad man, oh! then make your peace with God by one good deed! This struck my hardened consci­ence. Should it be possible, thought I, that God could be merciful unto me?—I tried to change my vicious course of life, quitted the military service eight years ago, and, God knows, my conscience gives me the testimony that I have succeeded."

Conrad stared with astonishment at him. "Is it possible, Mr. Unger? Did you really serve in the regiment of Colonel V**, who now is Go­vernor of W**.


This is the very man.


Did you know the name of the young lady whom you carried off?


Caroline Summer, if I am not mista­ken.

(raising his eyes to heaven).

Provi­dence! eternal Providence!—Mr. Unger, the boy who is with me, is the son of that very lady.

Unger was startled. He stopt and seemed to be anxious to read the confirmation of this in­telligence in Conrad's eyes. He threw himself at last on his neck, and exclaimed, with tears in his eyes, God be praised that I can be grateful to the son for what I owe to his mother. Is she alive?


No; she died lately.


Peace be with her ashes. Come, ho­nest Spiller; let us quicken our pace, that I may press the boy to my heart.

My readers will probably recollect the soldier, who in the cottage in the forest, shewed more humanity than his companion, and who related his fate to Caroline.

[Page 43] This unexpected discovery rendered the situ­ation of poor William more comfortable. Un­ger had, indeed, not much, but what little he possessed, he shared willingly and honestly with him. His father had died two years since, and enjoyed in his advanced age the pleasure of be­ing six years an ocular witness of the repentance and amendment of his only son. He did not trust to external appearances in the beginning, and apprehended his son's conduct was nothing but a farce which he acted in order to be appointed his heir. But when four years had elapsed and every one gave his son the testimony that he was the worthiest character in the whole parish, his paternal heart was at last softened, he recalled his curse and exchanged it for his blessing. Un­ger never rendered himself again unworthy of it. The recollection of his former deviations from the path of virtue, rendered him more cir­cumspect, and all his actions were weighed in the balance of a rigorous conscience. A person who has once lost his innocence and afterwards re­pents sincerely, is less exposed to the dangers of seduction than unsuspecting simplicity; and what is virtue which never has been tried nor over­come dangers and difficulties? nothing else but sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.

[Page 44]


My heart tells [...] and I believe the truth,
The hand that [...] us thro' the darksome maze
Of mortal life cannot abandon us
To misery; and although hope should lose
Her ground, yet let us firmly keep to this
All blessing truth. A single moment can
Oft wonderfully change the fate of man.

SIX years had already elapsed in uninterrupted uniformity. Conrad carried on his profession, and as Unger let him live in his house rent free, and besides, gave him all assistance his circumstances could afford, he supported himself honestly. The good clergyman instructed William some hours every day with his own children; the boy grew up, was healthy in body and mind, and would have been compleatly satisfied with his fate, had not the spiteful Barbara frequently imbittered his scanty fare and childish pleasures. She called him every day a beggar boy, and his father a good for nothing vagabond, who never would return again, and probably had long since died on a dunghill. This afflicted the lad most painfully. He sat ma­ny a day in a solitary bush and wept. Old Con­rad applied indeed the horsewhip, sometimes, which always produced a momentary calm; how­ever he was of too peaceful a disposition to be able to have every day recourse to that expedient, and Barbara grew daily more fractious and spite­ful, particularly after she had failed in a certain design upon Unger's heart, probably because it [Page 45] was not sufficiently supported by her charms. One day—however we shall let the acting persons speak themselves.

(Old Conrad at his work. Barbara cutting, snarl­ing, a piece of bread for William.)


Again no butter? the poor lad has been obliged to eat dry bread these three days.

"It is not dry!" said William, dropping a tear upon it.


Is it not good enough for him? Can he earn a morsel?


Alas! Barbara, the world would soon be without inhabitants if all those were to starve that cannot yet earn their bread. And who can tell whether God has not designed him to sup­port us, in return, when we can work no more?


He? Indeed he looks like it! Such an idle, lazy dog—

(caressing her).

Dear mother!


I should say nothing, if you, at least, did bring him up to your profession, and teach him to earn his bread. However there is not the least appearance that he will ever be able to earn a farthing. You have taken it in your nod­dle to make a man of learning of him. It is soon said; but where are the means? Very fine, indeed, to starve and to suffer want on account of the chil­dren of other people.


Hold your peace Barbara! I will have it so; and am certain that God will reward me sooner or later for what I am doing for this poor orphan. The boy shall not be a tailor, for he has an excellent genius, and he that clothes the lilies of the fields, will take care of the means.—He has besides no inclination for my profession.


So? It would be foolish, indeed, to ask such an orphan whether he has inclination for it or no. So you little thief

(clenching her fist),

[Page 46] you have no inclination to work, but wish to eat our bread in idleness.


Wi [...]e, dont provoke me! you know me.


Surely, do I know you, you are a foolish simpleton; the whole village knows that you are. The boys point with fingers at you in the street. There, say they, goes Spiller, the tailor, who educates the children of strangers, and has nothing to eat himself, but depends on the kindness of others.


And who ought to have cudgelled his wife to death long since, if he were not such a good natured fool.


What? what? cudgelled to death? you wicked good for nothing fellow! (whining) your faithful wife, who followed you from a state of affluence to misery, and assists by the labour of her hands to support you; her you want to cud­gel to death?


Don't put yourself in such a passion, my dove; I did not say, that I intend to do it, but only think there would not be much harm in it. Let us make peace now, and give William some butter to his bread.


I rather would grease my shoes with it, than cram every thing down the throat of that dainty beggar-boy.

(She took the key from the closet.)

I intreat you to give him butter.


I will not.


Wife, I command you.


I will not.

Conrad put his work calmly down, and was just going to arm himself with his horse-whip, when some person knocked against the window, and a deep voice exclaimed, "Halloo! is nobody with­in?"

[Page 47] "Come in!" said Conrad in his usual tone, and behold! a tall, thin man, whose head almost touch­ed the ceiling, entered the room. He was dres­sed in a dark blue great coat, which was buttoned up to the chin; his sun-burnt face displayed rough good nature.

"God give you a good day!" said the stranger: "what is your name?"

(surveying him with scrutinizing looks.)

My name, sir?


You need not to be ashamed of it.


Women must be silent when men are speaking.


Indeed! Be silent? Look only! Marry come up! Women have sometimes more sense in their little finger than many men in their hollow skulls.


Good old woman—


What? old woman? You are very impertinent. If I am old, I am grown old in an honourable way, and you are bald-headed your­self.


I know it, I know it. Will you give me leave to say a few words to that honest fellow there?


Only think! I an old woman! how old do you think I am? Put your spectacles on, man! I was a mere girl when I was married twenty years since to that blockhead of a hus­band.


Barbara, be silent, and leave us alone.


I will not stir a step.


Well, young woman, then, suffer me at least to speak.


I am not used to have my tongue tied in my own house, and shall talk as much as I choose.

[Page 48]
(in a passion).

Zounds! woman, I tell you, you shall not. With your leave, my friend?

He opened the door and called two Negroes in. "My boys," said he, take this woman be­tween you, and spit in her face whenever she at­tempts to speak a word."

The negroes obeyed, and Barbara was silent.


Now, friend, tell me, what is your name?


Conrad Spiller.


Well, Conrad Spiller, I am glad to see you again. You are grown old; I should not have known you. Honest Conrad, I have heard a great deal of you; indeed, I have!

(seized with astonishment.)

May I ask—


Who I am? Yes, my jewel! my name is Nicolaus Ortenberg.


(enraptured). Ortenberg!


Yes, my friend, Ortenberg, Nico­laus Ortenberg. (He shakes him by the hand.) I crave your friendship.


Ah! Mr. Ortenberg, the friendship of such a poor man—


Is always the most cordial; upon my soul it is. Dear Spiller, you are an honest man; I recollect you perfectly well, you have rocked me frequently on your knee. Do you re­collect, at Breslaw?


Why should I not? Dear Mr. Orten­berg, welcome, a thousand times welcome!


Have you had no intelligence of my brother?


Alas! no. He was head master of the grammar school at W**, and disappeared seven years ago; I have not heard a word of him since.

[Page 49]

Was my brother a school-master? Fie! I don't like that? I dare say he would not let the boys read Robinson Crusoe. But where the deuce may he be? I hope he is not dead?


The vagabond!

Ortenberg looked round, and taking a needle from the table, said smiling.

"It would be less difficult to force a cable through the eye of this needle, than to persuade a woman to check her tongue. Oh, Welli! Welli! there are also such women among your sex. Well, Conrad, I have heard of it. There have been sad doings here. Father and mother dead, the brother gone, God knows where? But what is become of my brother's child? Where is he?


Good God! my joy made me forget him entirely. William, come hither! see, this is your uncle, of whom I have told you frequently.

(flying towards Ortenberg).

My dear­est uncle!

(taking him affectionately in his arms.)

A fine boy! tall and stout, and an honest countenance. And you have brought him up, good Conrad? have shared your poverty with him? you are an honest fellow! upon my soul you are! I crave your friendship! you shall see that I am not ungrateful. No king on earth can re­ward you for the love you have shewn to the boy. I envy you for your excellent heart; indeed, I do.


I still think that I am dreaming; how wonderful are the ways of God!


Yes, my jewel, there you are right, I could tell a tale—but let us drop this subject at present; all in good time. Come here, boy! what do you say? you have now no father, will you be my son?


With all my heart.

[Page 50]

Did I not always say that God would not forsake the boy? Sir, it will grieve me to part with him; I am a poor man, but he is as dear to me as if he were my own child; I should have wished to keep him.

(almost choaking with spite).

It would be worth while to—

She had scarcely uttered this fragment, when the two Negroes executed their order, and spit in her face.


Barbara, it serves you right; why did you not hold your peace?

Barbara foamed, wiped her face, and kept her peace; for, she perceived that the salivary ducts of the Negroes would not be exhausted so soon.


(smiling). Well done, my boys! What do you say, Spiller? I will leave the tallest of them here; he is an excellent hand at spit­ting.—I now must proceed without delay to the town of Wernigerode in the Hartz. As for that little fellow there, I shall take him with me on my return, after having consulted with some de­serving men about his education.

When William heard that his uncle was going to take him with him, and saw his tormentor in the power of the two Negroes, he clung timidly to Ortenberg, took him by the hand, and conjur­ed him mournfully not to leave him an hour longer in the house.

"Boy," said Ortenberg, "what is the matter with you? Conrad Spiller is my friend; have you any thing to say against him?"




Come, come, let me hear what you have to say.

William looked irresolutely and fearfully, now at Conrad and then at Barbara.

[Page 51]

I will be plain with you. It reflects, indeed, no honour on my wife; however, Bar­bara, I can't help it, you have nobody to blame but yourself. You must know, Mr. Ortenberg, that she teazes and torments the poor lad most cruelly whenever I turn my back. I cannot blame him, if he is tired of it; he will not com­plain of me.


Woman, you are a very devil; in­deed you are. Let me take her under my care; I will send her to Java, to carry rubbish into the gold mines.

The negroes, who were the only persons in the room who knew what a terrible punishment it is, in those hot countries, to be doomed to work in the mines, smiled at each other, and nodded applause.

Ortenberg continued: if this be the case, I must, indeed, leave him here no longer; for, I rather would have him to be among the Malays, than with a scold. But what shall I do? Take him with me now? There is no room in my chaise. Postpone my journey? that will not do; I must absolutely go to the town of Wernigerode.

(Musing a few moments).

Is there no clergyman in the village?


Yes, Sir, we have one, a dear old gen­tleman. He has instructed William gratis these seven years.


Did he? God will bless him for it. Come, honest Spiller, I must press that man to my heart, upon my soul I must.

Old Conrad put his Sunday's coat on, and they went together to the parsonage. The minister's wife received them at the door with a cheerful countenance.

"Will you take a walk in the garden? my hus­band is watering his flowers."

[Page 52] "Bravo!" said Ortenberg: "these are good aspects. I do not think, friend Spiller, that my Negroes will have an opportunity here of making use of their salivary talent." Welli! Welli! groaned he, when he slept into the garden, and Conrad perceived a tear starting from his eye. The clergyman came to meet them, and both were the most cordial friends before an hour had elapsed; for, when two open-hearted and honest men meet, they feel in the first minute benevo­lence, in the second confidence, and in the third love for each other; and the fourth cements their hearts with indissoluble bonds. Ortenberg at­tempted to force a ring of great value upon the honest clergyman, as a proof of his gratitude for having instructed his poor nephew seven years, without having had any prospect of being reward­ed. The ring was firmly rejected. "My heart," said the worthy man, "has rewarded me suffici­ently for what I have done; you would rob me of this reward, were you to force me to exchange it for a jewel, which I even cannot value."

The honest seaman was sensible that the clergy­man was perfectly right; however, it grieved him to appear to be ungrateful, and no smile graced his sun-burnt cheeks till he had obtained the promise from the disinterested old man, to be intrusted with the fate of his two eldest sons. His looks brightened instantly up, and he now scrupled not a moment to request the clergyman to take his nephew a few weeks in his house, till he should return from Wernigerode, which was cheerfully granted. This small number of good people seated themselves round a table which was loaded with no other delicacies but fresh butter and fruits; however, hilarity adorned their faces, from which no French cook had dispelled the colour of health.

[Page 53] Against the conclusion of the frugal meal, Or­tenberg whispered a few words in the ear of one of his negroes, who left the room, and soon re­turned again with some bottles of cape-wine, a tobacco-pouch, made of buffalo skin, and a long Indian pipe. "Heyday, children," exclaimed Ortenberg, when he saw him come; "joy and mirth are not far off, when friends and wine are together. I can easily perceive that you wish to know what has happened to me, during my long absence from my native country? Alas! my friends, I have been guilty of many a foolish ac­tion. However, I trust, God has pardoned my manifold follies. I am no flatterer▪ neither to others nor to myself, and hate all flattering rep­tiles more than I do a Macassar, who shoots with poisoned arrows. I will relate my adventures to you, without palliating my errors and devia­tions—I shall, indeed, tear open many a painful wound; however, your pity will pour oil into them!" He filled his pipe, and having replenish­ed his glass, began as follows:

[Page 54]


Roving the world from pole to pole
Illumes with light the darken'd soul,
Dispels the gloom of prejudice
And fills the mind with wond'rous bliss.
The man who travers'd sea and land,
And as to distant climes he went,
Enrich'd his mind with precious lore
Which to th' observer ev'ry shore
And ev'ry clime affords, grows wise
And neither thinks a Paradise
This world, nor sees with darken'd eyes
Nought on this globe but vanity
And splendid, dear bought misery,
He learns to love and tolerate
His brethern, sees how wisely fate
Directs the ways of man; his mind
Is stored with knowledge and refin'd
From foolish pride and arrogance.
He is not fetter'd by the trance
Of party zeal, and ever prone
To honour virtue on the throne
And in the cell of every zone.

"YOU know, children, that I left Holland clandestinely. The ship in which I went, was de­signed to sail for Batavia; the captain was an honest fellow, and had promised to procure me a place in the counting-house of one of his friends at Java. No stings of conscience tormented me; because all objects which I beheld, were yet too new to me, and my romantic imagination was too much occupied with visionary dreams.

[Page 55] * "The first four weeks of our voyage bore a very propitious aspect; the sea was as smooth as a mirror, and the wind favourable, when suddenly, on a Tuesday, a misfortune befel us, the bare idea of which makes my hair bristle. I was standing on deck, conversing with the Captain, when suddenly the cry of, fire! fire! spread terror and confusion among the crew. All our men were instantly upon their legs, the Captain flew down into the hold, and I was close at his heels, my heart beating violent­ly in my breast.

"Where is the fire?"

"Here, Captain, here!" exclaimed the pale sailors, pointing at a cask. We put our hands upon it, but could not perceive the least heat.

"Boys, you are mad!" exclaimed the Captain: "how can you make such a confounded noise about nothing?" What is the matter?

"Every one wanted to speak first."

"Silence, my lads! let the Mate speak! The Mate related, that the cabin-boy had gone down to fetch some brandy, and had suspended his lamp to the cask which lay upon that from which he drew the liquor. A spark from the wick fell unfortunately into the bung-hole, the brandy caught fire, the cask burst, and the burning liquor got among the charcoals. Some pails of water were poured upon the coals, and the fire seemed to be entirely extinguished.

"Water! more water! exclaimed the captain: "pour a deluge on the coals."

"The coals began to swim. "It is of no con­sequence!" said the Captain to me. We went a­gain upon deck, resuming our conversation and smoaking our pipes.

[Page 56] "But what should happen? Half an hour after, we heard again violent cries of fire. The Captain flew down, and I after him. It was a confounded ugly business. The flames beat in our faces, the fire had spread among the coals, and the danger was the more pressing as three rows of brandy casks were piled upon one another, contiguous to the coals. An immense quantity of water was poured upon them, when a new misfortune added to the danger of our situation. The half extinguished coals caused such a thick, sulphurous, and benumb­ing smoak, that we were in danger of being suffo­cated. However, we struggled bravely against the impending danger. The Captain maintained his post like a man, commanding his people with the greatest calmness, and the fellows relieved each other by turns, to respire a few moments on deck. However, several of the crew were suffocated be­fore they could get out of the hold. I myself was obliged to lean my head against a cask, and to turn my face towards the opening, to draw a mouthful of pure air.

"Neither the Captain nor myself, could, at length, stand it any longer; we were obliged to quit the hold, and I advised him to order his gun­powder to be thrown over board. But he would not listen to my advice. "What the d—I shall we do, if an enemy were to attack us?" I thought being taken was not half so bad as being blown up. However, he was of a different opinion, and the gun-powder remained where it was.

"The fire crashed and crackled in a dreadful manner, the suffocating smoak grew thicker and thicker, and no person could stay in the hold any longer. The fellows took to their hatchets, and cut holes through the lower deck, pouring floods of water down. Our long boat had been in sea three weeks, and the little boat had also been launched, [Page 57] because it was in the way of our people. The general terror was dreadful, no land or ship was near, and nothing could be seen but fire and water. Our people slipped overboard, one after the other, and swam to the boats, where they concealed them­selves under the benches, intending to leave us in the lurch, as soon as their number should be large enough.

"The steersman accidentally looked over board, and perceived the boats crowded with peo­ple; those that were in the long-boat, called and beckoned to him; fear made him turn a traitor; he jumped over board and joined his companions. "But let us at least take the Captain in!" D—n the Captain!" replied the fellows, "his command is at an end." They cut the cable and run away. I could not blame them for it; for every one is his own nearest neighbour.

"I was still on the lower deck, assisting the Captain. We worked till the sweat ran in streams from our bodies, apprehending no treachery, when our people suddenly exclaimed, "Merciful God! we are lost; the boats have given us the slip!" You may easily conceive how we stared when we got on the upper deck, and saw the fugitives row briskly away. But what could we do? The Captain order­ed all the sail to be hoisted, and his people to en­deavour to come up with the traitors, being deter­mined to run them down, if they should refuse to take us in.

"We strained every nerve to overtake them; but Providence ordained it otherwise. We were within a cable's length from them, when they gain­ed the wind, and we soon lost sight of them.

"Children," said the Captain, "make your peace with God, and redouble your exertions, otherwise we shall be inevitably lost. Run and throw the gunpowder overboard, before the fire reaches the barrels."

[Page 58] "Disorder and confusion prevailed in the vessel; some ran to the powder barrels, others drew water, and the carpenters endeavoured to bore holes into the ship, in order to fill [...] 1 1-2 foot with water, but could not penetrate, because the covering of her bottom was lined with strong iron plates. When this last expedient to save the vessel miscarried also, the crew set up the most terrible lamentations, which made my hair stand erect.

"Do not give way to despair," said the Captain, "God may yet preserve us, more water my lads!"

"More water was poured down; despair gave us additional strength; we poured torrents upon the flame, and the fury of the sire seemed to abate.

"However, our joy was of a short duration. The oil casks caught fire, a circumstance which rendered our situation still more desperate. The more water we poured upon the flame, the more furiously did it blaze, spreading farther and farther. My senses almost denied me their service, and a cold tremor ran through my frame. Yet we con­tinued our labour with unabating assiduity, carrying water into the hold, and throwing powder barrels over board. We had already flung sixty barrels in­to the sea; however, there were still three hun­dred left: they took fire, and the ship blew up, and was shivered into millions of pieces in a twink­ling of an eye.

"I was just standing on deck, by the main-mast, commanding sixty-three men, who were drawing water, there being still an hundred and nineteen people on board. We flew like lightning into the air. I expanded my arms, thought once more of God—which but too many do first when they are at the brink of eternity—and found myself sudden­ly in the water, among the wrecks of the vessel.

"Love of life soon restored me to the use of my senses; I looked round me and beheld the main. [Page 59] mast at my right and the fore-mast at my left hand I got upon the former, and groaning, contempla­ted the dreadful scene of destruction which exhibi­ted itself to my eyes. Not one living soul besides myself was to be seen. I was on the brink of despair, cursed the hour of my birth on account of my impending destruction. I thought of my father without tears, of God without murmuring, and be­moaned the juvenile rashness which had involved me in that lamentable situation. I was already on the point of plunging into the water, to shorten the agonies of death, when my dog raised his head above the waves and swam towards me. Words cannot express the sensations which I felt on seeing that faithful animal. The feelings which agitated my mind were so powerful as to draw tears from my eyes for the first time since my infancy. "Poor fellow!" exclaimed I, "come and die with your master!"

"The dog came nearer and crawled upon the mast; however it turned itself so frequent­ly under me, that I had the greatest difficulty to keep myself upon it, and the dog was repeatedly thrown into the water. I endeavoured therefore to lay hold of a flat piece of the steerage, upon which I saved myself with the dog.

"Fear of death had hitherto superceded every sensation of bodily pain, but I now began to be sen­sible of the consequences of my fall. My back­bone seemed to be fractured, and my head was wounded in two different places. I was seized with a kind of insensibility, and the dog licked my wounds.

"Towards evening I recovered the full use of my senses, and cast my eyes all around in hopes of discovering the long-boat. I actually saw it; but at a very great distance. The sun was setting, and my last hopes declined with the light of day. I [Page 60] began to prepare for death, Oh! my friends, the hour of dissolution is an awful and trying one; especially when we have not acted as we ought to have done. Conscience awakes in those moments and exercises its natural right. That dreadful re­membrancer then recalls to our recollection every folly which we have committed, and makes us pay dear for every transgression of our duty. We ought, indeed, always to ask ourselves, before we commit any action; would you act thus if this were the last hour of your life? and, believe me, we then would act differently in many instances.

"All my sins crowded on my recollection; I imagined I saw my poor father and my mother be­fore me. That night was the most agonizing period of my whole life. However, I thank God for it: it recalled me to the path of virtue. I was a raw and thoughtless young man, and nothing but such a severe trial could have made me sensible of my errors.—

"I committed myself to the mercy of the waves all the night, and my dog whined by my side. The darkness which surrounded me was at length dis­pelled by the dawn of day, and—imagine how great my joy was—the long-boat was not above sixty yards distant from me. I called as loud as I could: "For God's sake, save poor Ortenberg!

"Several sailors heard me. "Ortenberg is not dead!" exclaimed they, and rowed towards me. However, as the piece of steerage upon which I was sitting was entirely surrounded by the wrecks of the ship, they were afraid to come near me, apprehending that they should run foul of the large pieces of timber which floated on the water. They called my dog, but the faithful animal refused to leave his unfortunate master. They desired me to swim to the boat; however, my wounds had im­paired my strength too much.

[Page 61] "The purser plunged at length into the water, and brought me a line which I tied round my waist. Thus I got safely into the boat, where I met Van Hoorn, the first mate. The crew surveyed me sometime with speechless astonishment, and per­mitted me to retire to a kind of cabin in the hind part of the boat, where two people could sit. There I recovered a little from my pains and terror.

"But what should we do now? I advised Van Hoorn to keep near the wreck till day break, ex­pecting we should be able to pick up some provi­sions, with which our people were but scantily pro­vided, and, perhaps, find a compass; but was told "that the second mate, perceiving that the crew were preparing to quit the ship, had taken it out of the cabin and gone to the bottom along with it.

"As for the provisions, Van Hoorn did not think proper to follow my advice, although I as­sured him "that I had been surrounded with barrels of cheese and salt meat the preceding even­ing when I had been sitting on the mast." We plied our oars diligently, expecting we should see laud after sun rise. The sun rose, we had lost sight of the wrecks of the vessel, but could see no land. Our people grew quite faint-hearted. They agreed that I should be their Captain, because they knew that I had some knowledge of navigation. I crept forth from my little cabin to review my people who seemed to be quite exhausted with row­ing. I inquired what provisions they had, and they shewed me eight pounds of biscuit which was their whole stock.

"I forbade them instantly to row, because they had no means of refreshing themselves. I order­ed them to pull off their shirts and to make sails of them. But where should we get thread? We were obliged to untwist the lines which were in the boat [Page 62] and to shift as well as we could. We had soon patched all our shirts together and made small sails of them. Our fellow-adventurers in the other boat followed our example.

"Our whole number consisted of seventy-two people, namely, forty-six in the long-boat, and twenty-six in the other. They provided me, on account of my mangled body, with a blue cloak and a blanket, the only cover which we had saved. Our surgeon was one of those who had saved them­selves in the long-boat, but had not a single medi­cine. He put a poultice of biscuit on my wounds, and they mended rapidly, nature being assisted by my sound blood. I had offered my shirt to be likewise applied for [...]ails; however, my companions would not take it.

"We sailed with a fresh breeze, and had no other guide but the stars. The day on which I was saved by the crew of the long-boat, was the twentieth of November.—The heat was intolera­ble in the day-time, the sun standing directly over our heads, and my teeth chattered at night with cold, against which my dog alone protected me in some degree. We were occupied on the twenty-first of November and the two following days in composing a Jacob's staff, to take the altitude. The ship's carpenter, who also knew something of navigation, assisted me faithfully, and we succeed­ed, at last, after much trouble, in finishing an in­strument which answered our purpose tolerably well. I drew a map upon a board, sketching Java and Sumatra, with the straight which divides them, upon it.

"I had taken the altitude already on the first day of our misery, and found that we were in the fifth or sixth degree of the Southern latitude, and consequently, only about 100 miles from land. I repeated my observations every day. We divided [Page 63] the seven or eight pounds of biscuits which were in our possession, in equal shares and every one of us received his daily allowance as long as it lasted. We also had nothing to drink, neither of the two boats being provided with water. We spread our sails when it rained, and after they were soaked through squeezed the water into two small casks, the only ones which we had. This water served us in the day time to quench our thirst; an old shoe was our goblet.

"My companions insisted notwithstanding our great want, upon my eating and drinking my fill, alledging that they could not navigate the boats without my advice, and that the diminution of provisions, which this occasioned would not be much perceived. However, I took no more than the rest; and slipt now and then a morsel into the mouth of my dog. The other boat was in as des­perate a situation as ours, and the crew apprehend­ed, besides to be separated from us by a storm, especially as not one of them had a sufficient knowledge of navigation, and our boat sailed much better than theirs. They conjured us therefore frequently to take them into our boat; however, our people would not listen to their request, for fear of exposing ourselves to the greatest danger.

"We were at last reduced to the highest degree of misery; our biscuit was consumed, and no land could be seen. Hunger raged in our entrails—I was obliged to see—that my dog—who had licked my wounds—warmed my feet—."

Here Ortenberg faltered, an involuntary tear started from his eye; he attempted several times to continue his narrative, however, his emotion denied him the power of utterance, and his au­ditors could not help being affected by the feelings of the venerable narrator, which spoke more powerfully to the heart than words could have done. Every eye was moistened.

[Page 64] Ortenberg resumed at length: "Children I cannot speak of the dog; upon my soul, I cannot!" A pause.

"However, what should happen? The crew began to murmur. I exerted my little eloquence, to persuade them that it was impossible we could be far from land; but I attempted in vain to pacify them.

"They told me to my face, that I imposed upon them and myself, and had steered into the main ocean instead of sailing towards the coast.

"When we were reduced to the greatest distress, Providence sent us a great number of mews, who hovered a considerable time over our long boat which enabled every one of us to catch a few of them without difficulty. They were in­stantly plucked and devoured raw. What a deli­cious meal! But what was one meal to half-starved and emaciated people? Two leaden days more elapsed, and the tortures of hunger returned again, with additional fury.

"Since we all must perish," exclaimed Van Hoorn: "let us die together and take our compa­nions into the long boat!"

"This proposal met with no opposition this time. We took the people, the oars and sails out of their boat and left it to the mercy of the waves. We now had fifteen pair of oars in the long-boat which we divided among the rowers. We also were provided with a fore-mast, a mizen-mast, a large sail and a bowsprit. The boat was pretty roomy. I divided the crew in two parties, one of which was sitting, while the other was working the vessel, and thus they relieved each other by turns.

"Heaven interposed once more in our behalf sending us a great number of flying fishes, which were as large as the largest whitings. We seized them with avidity when they dropt into the boat, [Page 65] and devoured them raw. Again only a tempo­rary relief! We had, however, no sick among us, which surprised me the more, as some of the crew had drank sea-water, notwithstanding my pressing remonstrances. Some gnawed their flints and balls, and others even drank their own urine.

"Thus our distress increased every hour, and death seemed to gain gradually upon us. Heaven sent neither rain nor mews, nor flying fishes to our assistance, and our meagre countenances dis­played the most dreadful despair. Our people be­gan to survey each other with a kind of savage fe­rocity; their greedy looks seemed to devour the flesh of their companions. Some began already to hint that no other expedient was left than to kill a couple of our young people. I shuddered at that horrid idea, my heart misgave me—I raised my eyes to Heaven, and implored God, not to inflict severer trials on us than we can bear. I conjured my companions in the most affecting manner to spare the young people. I shewed them my map and the observations which I had made every day, and obtained at last, a respite of three days. However, they added, with the most hor­rid oaths, that they were determined to execute their infernal design, if we should not discover land within that time.

"Thus the leaden hours crept slowly on, and the most excruciating torments of body and soul increased every moment. I myself was almost tempted by despair, to agree to their savage pro­posal; however, we all were exhausted so much the next morning, as to be scarcely able to stir. Few of my companions were able to rise from their seats, and Van Hoorn could not move a limb. Although my wounds had weakened me very much, yet I was one of the strongest, and [Page 66] still could crawl from one end of the boat to the other.

The sky began to be overclouded on the 2d of December, which was the thirteenth day after we had been shipwrecked. It began to rain violently, which refreshed us a little. The air being calm, we could spread out our sails, quench our burning thirst and fill our casks with water.

"I was just standing at the helm, examining my map, and concluded that it was impossible we could be far distant from land. I even hoped that the sky would clear up while I was on my post; and that I should descry the long sought shore. However, the cutting wind, and the violence of the air drove me at length away. The Quarter-Master relieved me, and I crept into the midst of the croud, to warm myself a little.

"Not an hour had elapsed, when the sky cleared up, and the man at the helm exclaimed unexpected­ly: Land! Land! and we all were on our legs in an instant.

"The word land seemed to have animated us with new life. All were eager to see the wished­for shore, and thronged, pushed and pressed upon each other with so much impatience, that I appre­hended some would fall overboard. The fellow had seen right: God be praised! we were really in sight of land. My companions wept like chil­dren; one ran against the other, and all were fran­tic with joy. I had great trouble to set them to work; however, they soon began to row as briskly as if every one had had a leg of mutton for break­fast. We crowded all our canvass to make the coast; however the violence of the surge prevent­ed our landing. We discovered at last, fortunate­ly a small bay where we cast anchor, leaping on shore as if the gates of Paradise had been thrown open before us.

[Page 67] "We dispersed instantly in the woods in search of nourishment. I threw myself upon the ground, kissing it with weeping eyes. The first moment of safety after we have escaped some imminent dan­ger is unspeakably sweet. I was happier than words can express, forgot all my losses; thought of futurity without trembling, reflected with plea­sure on the dangers which were past, and every incident except the fate of my dog, which recur­red to my recollection, afforded me satisfaction.

"We found nothing upon the island but cocoa nuts; not even a drop of sweet water. We re­galed ourselves with the refreshing juice which the young nuts contained, and with kernel of the riper ones.

"The juice was at that time a greater luxury to our palate than cape-wine, and we should have been prudent had we not drank too much of it. How­ever, people who had fasted thirteen days, could not be expected to be moderate. We all lay in the evening sprawling upon the ground, convolv­ing ourselves like worms; and our agonizing pains lasted all night.

"We dispersed ourselves in the morning over the island, but could not discover a living soul.

"There were, indeed, in different places, vesti­ges of human footsteps; however, we could find nothing but cocoa nuts.

"We filled our boat with young and ripe nuts, and weighed anchor against evening, intending to look for the island of Sumatra, which we disco­vered the next morning, the island where we had landed first, being only a few leagues distant from it. We coasted the western shore of Sumatra while our provisions lasted, till necessity forced us at last to land. However, this was no easy task, the surge being extremely violent. Five of our best swimmers got safely on shore, and ran down [Page 68] the coast, to see whether they could find a conve­nient landing place, and coming at last to a river, made signs to us to [...] towards it.

We did it, but were prevented from working our vessel into the river; because a bank against which the waves broke in a furious manner, ren­dered its mouth extremely dangerous. I was afraid to attempt working our boat through the tremendous surge, without having previously ob­tained the general consent of my companions. I placed them in two rows, and took the opinion of every individual. The fellows agreed unanimously that we should brave the danger. Well then, in the name of God, let us run the risk! I stationed two sailors with oars at the stern to push the boat off in case of necessity, and Van Hoorn took hold of the helm to steer the vessel through the roaring surge.

"The first wave almost filled the boat, and we were obliged to throw the water out with our hats, shoes, and whatever implement we could find. A second wave covered us entirely, and we were ut­terly incapable of making use of the helm or the oars. [...] Boys!" exclaimed I, "preserve the equi­librium of the boat, and throw the water out as fast as you can, le [...]t we shall all be lost." A third wave came—I recommended my soul to the mercy of God; however, the surge was already so low, as not to be able to do us much injury, and we got safely out of our perilous situation.

"We tasted the water, and were rejoiced to find that it was perfectly sweet. This discovery made us forget all our past sufferings. We la [...]ded at the right bank of the river, where the shore was covered with beautiful plants, amongst which we found a kind of small figs which I had tasted when in Holland. We made a most delicious meal. Savoury ripe figs, sweet and clear water, [Page 69] were a treat which we had not expected to enjoy so soon.

Some of our people who had been roving over the island, found tobacco and fire, which gave us reason to hope that we could not be far from an in­habited spot. We fetched our two hatchets from the boat to cut down some trees, and lighted large fires in different directions. My companions seat­ed themselves around them and enjoyed the to­bacco which they had sound. We lighted an ad­ditional number of fires against evening, and three centinels were stationed at the entrance of our little camp.

"The moon was in her wane; the first half of the night elapsed without any sinister accident, ex­cept dreadful pains in our bowels, which was the effect of our having eaten too great a quantity of figs. I had just began to feel myself a little bet­ter, and was going to lay myself down to sleep when our centinels informed us that the natives were advancing in great numbers.

"The night was extremely dark; I concluded therefore that their design could not be of the most amicable nature. Our whole store of arms consisted, besides the above-mentioned hatchets, in an old rusty sword, and we were, at the same time, so ill, as to be scarcely able to stir.

"What should we do? We resolved at least not to die unrevenged. We assisted each other to get upon our legs, armed ourselves with fire­brands and rushed furiously upon the enemy. The sparks flew far around, the sight was dreadful, and the Indians took instantly to their heels. This was no more than natural; for, how could they have known how large our numbers were? They also could not guess that we had no other arms but a couple of hatchets and a rusty sword.

[Page 70] "They retreated to the woods, and we sat down again round our fires, where we spent a very un­comfortable night; for, we started up when a lizard rustled in the dry grass. Van Hoorn had retired to the boat, to cover our rear in case of an attack.

"Three Indians came the next morning with the first dawn of day towards us from the wood. I dispatched three of my people, who already had made a voyage to India, and knew something of the language and the customs of the country, to meet them.

"Of what nation are you?" was the first ques­tion.

"We are unfortunate merchants from Holland, whose vessel was burnt at sea, and who are come to request some provisions of you."

"While they were treating together, the In­dians proceeded towards the long-boat, to know whether we were provided with arms. However I had anticipated their errand, and ordered the sails to be spread over the vessel."

"Undoubtedly," said our people, "we have got plenty of muskets and more powder and ball than we shall want."

"Upon this intelligence they marched off again, and promised to bring us rice and fowls. They kept their word, and we gave them about six shil­lings which we had collected among ourselves. They seemed to be perfectly satisfied with their bargain.

"Assume a commanding air," said I to our people, "and treat them as if you were at home here!"

"We sat down upon the grass with apparent unconcern▪ and began to feast upon our purchase.

"The three Indians staid with us while we dis­patched our meal, and seemed to admire our keen appetite.

[Page 71] "We enquired after the name of their island. They pronounced a great number of unintelligi­ble words; however, the word Sumatra was not amongst them. Nevertheless, we were still in hopes that the island where we were could be no other; because they mentioned Java, and pointed with their hands towards the direction in which we supposed it must be situated.

"You cannot conceive how much we were re­joiced at the supposed confirmation of our hopes; for, as it is not practicable to navigate the great ocean without a compass, we apprehended con­stantly to rove at random on the extensive desert of the sea from east to west, and from west to east, without ever gaining the object of our wishes. And what was our final object? It was no other than to reach a Dutch port, and to be again among Christians. Blockhead that I was! I was never worse treated than among Christians, and spent the happiest time of my life with an Heathen.

"All seemed to be well; our people were cheer­ful and in good health, and impatient to quit the island; however, we were entirely destitute of provisions. What should we do? We discovered a kind of hamlet at some distance, and I resolved to venture going up the river in a canoe, with four of my companions, and to buy, for the re­mainder of our money, as much provisions as we could get.

"We arrived safely within a small distance of the hamlet. I sent immediately rice and fowls to Van Hoorn, to divide them amongst our compa­nions. As for myself, I had a most delicious meal with my fellow-adventurers. The beverage of the Indians, which they draw from a certain tree, was likewise not to be rejected, and almost got into our heads.

[Page 72] "The islanders were standing around us, while we dined in public, and whenever we moved our hand to the plate, followed us with greedy looks, and devoured every morsel with their eyes, before we could carry it to our lips. When we had finish­ed our meal, I purchased a buffalo; however, the animal was so wild and untractable, as to render it impossible for us to lay hold of him, or to drive him before us.

"Time elapsed rapidly, and evening began to be setting in apace. I went towards the boat, in­tending rather to return again in the morning than to expose myself to the ferocity of the Indians. My attendants pressed me to give them leave to stay in the hamlet all night, pretending that they should be able to catch the buffalo in the dark. I attempted to dissuade them from their dangerous design; however they refused to listen to my re­monstrances, and I consented at last to let them do as they pleased.

"When I had almost gained the bank of the ri­ver, I met▪ with a troop of Indians, who, as far as I could guess by their gestures, were consulting together whether they should let me pass unmo­lested or no. My situation was extremely dan­gerous. However, I seized two of them by the arm, and pushed them with the air of a command­er who is not used to be contradicted, towards the canoe. They looked ferociously at me but never­theless got into the canoe, and began to row brisk­ly. Both were armed with a dagger, or a crid, as they call it, and my life was consequently in their power.

"When we had proceeded a little way, the hindmost came to me in the middle of the boat, where I was standing, and intimated to me by gestures, that he wanted money. I took a small coin out of my pocket, and offered it to him. He [Page 73] contemplated it at first with dubious looks, but at last wrapped it in a piece of Calico, which he wore round his waist. It was but natural that his companion also expected to receive something for his trouble. He came also towards me, and made the same gestures. I gave him likewise a piece of money which he turned round and round, and ex­amined on both sides. He seemed more undeter­mined than his companion, whether he should keep it or dispatch me, which he could have done easily as I was quite destitute of arms.

"You may conceive that I was rather uneasy at my situation. I was sensible of the greatness of the danger, and my heart beat violently. How­ever, he kept it at last, and we proceeded down the river with great celerity. When we had finished nearly one half of our way, my two con­ductors began to talk with great heat, and I con­cluded by their gestures, that they should attack me both at once; I cannot deny that I trembled violently. I knew not what to do; and in the agony of my heart began to sing with so loud and vociferous a voice, as made the woods resound on both sides of the river. My conductors were seized with a violent fit of laughter, and stared a few moments at me with astonishment. I could conclude by their countenance, that they did not suspect me in the least of fear or mistrust; and thus learned by my own experience, what I fre­quently had heard asserted, but never would be­lieve, that a high degree of fear urges man to sing.

"When I perceived that this expedient suc­ceeded, I continued to sing as loud as I could, while the boat proceeded down the river with great rapidity. I soon got sight of our boat, and made a sign to our people with my handkerchief [Page 74] unperceived by my conductors. They saw it and fled to my assistance.

"I now endeavoured to make the Indians un­derstand that they both must stand in the stern of the canoe, if I should be able to get on shore, be­cause I apprehended one of them would attack me from behind, while I quitted their vessel. They obeyed without the least contradiction, and I join­ed at last my companions without having received any injury.

"The two Indians enquired carefully previous to their return, where we intended to spend the night? We pointed at some huts, which we had con­structed of braches and leaves. They then en­quired where Van Hoorn and I intended to sleep? We replied, "in the long-boat under our sails;" upon which they got into their canoe, and paddled away.

"I related to our people every thing that had happened to me, and gave them hopes that we should see our companions again in the morning, with the buffalo which we had bought. The night passed in death like stillness; the sun rose, but we saw neither our companions nor the buf­falo, and began to be very apprehensive about the safety of the poor fellows. At length we saw two Indians driving a buffalo; however I perceiv­ed instantly that it was not the same which I bought the preceding day. One of our people, who had a smattering of their language, inquired after the cause of that exchange and what was be­come of my four companions. They pretended that the first buffalo had been too wild and un­governable, and that our people would soon fol­low them with a second. This appeared suspi­cious to me; for the buffalo which they had brought us, was as wild and untractable as that of the preceding day. I ordered the [...] to [Page 75] be knocked on the head instantly, for fear we should lose our purchase a second time.

"When the two blacks saw the buffalo drop down, they set up a most dreadful howl, and from two to three hundred Indians rushed upon this signal from the woods directly towards the long­boat, probably with an intention to cut off our retreat, and to massacre every one of us without mercy. Those of our people who had been oc­cupied in lighting a fire at some distance, perceiv­ed their intention first, and apprised us of it by a signal. I raised my eyes, and saw forty or fifty more Indians flying towards us from another side. Our situation was desperate; however, I animated my people to be faint-hearted. "They are naked wretches," said I; "let us fight them in the plain, and I will pledge my word we will soon make them run away as fast as they came." However, I had reckoned without my host. They grew more numerous every moment. Most of them were armed with a shield, and had a short sword in the right hand.

"Let us retreat to the boat! exclaimed I, when I saw this; for it would have been madness, if our small defenceless troop had attempted to en­gage immense numbers, a grain of sand against a billow of the sea. We ran as fast as we could towards the long-boat, and those who could not run fast enough, plunged into the river and swam on board. The enemy was close at our heels.

"We were, unfortunately, not prepared for a sudden departure, having spread all our sails over the boat, in the form of a tent. What should we do? One part of us made all possible haste to set the vessel afloat, whilst the rest defended them­selves with the two hatchets and the sword, as well as they could. But what did our resistance [Page 76] avail? The hindmost were pierced by the za­gavas (a kind of lances with hooks) of the blacks.

"The ship's baker, a stout gigantic fellow, handled the sword with great dexterity, and made a dreadful havock among the blacks. I ordered the cable to be cut, and we now rowed away as fast as our consternation would permit. The sa­vages pursued us into the water, but soon lost ground, and were obliged to abandon their prey. We did all that lay in our power, to pick up our unfortunate companions, who were swimming in the river. Those that were not mortally wound­ed, came safely on board, a land breeze came to our assistance, and wafted our vessel over the sand banks, through the rocks and the foaming surge.

"Our enemies had expected that our vessel would be dashed to pieces against the rocks, and had run to the outermost point of the cape; how­ever, they were disappointed in their expectation. We waved our hats, set up a loud shout, and sail­ed away with a brisk breeze.

I examined the wound of the brave baker, as soon as we were out of danger and perceived that it had been inflicted with a poisoned lance. It was above the navel, and the surrounding parts had already turned black. I began to cut out large pieces of flesh, to prevent the poison from spreading farther, but the pains which the poor fellow suffered, were to no purpose; he dropt down dead at my feet, and we committed his body to the waves.

"I counted my companions, and found that sixteen were missing, eleven having been killed on shore. The fate of our four companions, whom I had left in the hamlet, was unknown to us; however, we had the greatest reason to ap­prehend that they had become the first victims of our ferocious enemies.

[Page 77] "We sailed along the coast. Our whole sto [...]k of provisions consisted only in eight fowls and a little rice, upon which fifty people were to feed. We were soon compelled by hunger to go on shore a second time. A troop of people took to slight when we landed. We had no hopes of ob­taining provision from them, considering the un­favourable reception which their countrymen had given us. However, we found sweet water, and the rocks with which the shore was lined, afford­ed us oysters and muscles, which we ate with great relish, and seasoned with black pepper, of which I had bought a whole hat full in the ham­let.

"After we had appeased the cravings of hun­ger, we filled our pockets with oysters and mus­cles, replenished our casks with water, and went again on board.

"I proposed to my companions to steer far­ther into the middle of the sea, in order to be able to make more way in a shorter time. They followed my advice; but what was the conse­quence? A dreadful tempest overtook us at night and tossed us about in a most unmerciful manner. We apprehended every moment to be buried by the mountainous waves, but nevertheless rejoiced at having altered our course. Had we continued to sail along the coast, the tempest would, un­doubtedly, have dashed us against a rock, or we should have been compelled to land in the nearest bay, the inhabitants of which, as we afterwards learned, were sworn enemies to the Dutch, and persecuted them with fire and sword.

"The tempest abated at day-break, and we per­ceived three islands which lay close before us. We resolved to go on shore, because we expected to find some nourishment, though they seemed to be uninhabited. We shaped our course to [Page 78] that which was nearest, and found that it was en­tirely overgrown with bamboo as thick as a man's leg. Necessity teaches us to turn almost any thing to advantage. We excavated a great number of the thickest bamboos from top to bottom, filled them with water and closed them carefully. Thus we had multiplied our two water casks. We also found palm trees on the island, the fruit of which served to appease our hunger. But this was the only sort of provisions which we could find. We roved the whole island in every direction, how­ever could find nothing but palm trees and bam­boos.

"The next morning, at sun rise, I climbed up to the top of a high mountain which lay before us, having a secret presentiment that I should make an important discovery. I stood there and gazed a good while to no purpose; my looks wan­dered over the immense creation of God. Hav­ing gazed till my eyes ached, I thought I per­ceived two high blue mountains at a very great distance. I recollected that Hans van Shouten, my former master, God bless him, who had been twice in the East-Indies, had told me frequently that two high mountains were on the island of Ja­va, which seemed to be blue at a certain distance. I concluded further: we came to this island when we had the coast of Sumatra to our lest, these mountains are to the right, my eyes rove through the space which is between them, without descry­ing land; there is a strait between Sumatra and Java—hurray! we are on the right tract!

"I skipt down the mountain as swift as a doe to call Van Hoorn, and to communicate my dis­covery to him; however, the clouds had conceal­ed the blue mountains before we could reach the spot from whence I had seen them. Yet I was certain of their existence as I had clearly seen [Page 79] them. Van Hoorn agreed that my conjecture was not improbable, and we went down again to inform our companions of it.

"The joy of our people cannot be described, they sung and danced as they carried dates and bamboos filled with water into the boat. The wind was favourable; we weighed anchor and di­rected our course towards the blue mountains.

"We saw a fire at midnight, and thought a long time that it proceeded from a ship; however, it was on an island which lays in the entrance of the strait. We had scarcely passed it, when we per­ceived again fire on the opposite side, and found that it was burning in a fishing boat. We were becalmed towards day-break; however—thank God! we were already near the coast of Java with­out knowing it.

"A sailor who had climbed up the mast, ex­claimed suddenly that he saw a fleet, and counted three and twenty ships. Our joy was greater than words can express; we danced, sung, and embra­ced each other with tears. We steered towards the fleet as soon as a slight breeze got up. Hea­venly Providence! (Ortenberg pulled his hat off, and a tear glistened in his eyes) it was a Dutch fleet, and we threw ourselves into the arms of our countrymen and friends.

"The Admiral, Van Ternaer, was just stand­ing in the gallery with a spying-glass, and being struck by the singularity of our sails and appear­ance, sent his boat to meet us. Good God! the people who were in it were acquaintances of our's; we had sailed together from the Texel, and after­wards were separated.

"They took me and Van Hoorn into the boat and brought us on board of the Admiral's ship. All the sailors gazed at us with astonishment, and Van Ternaer received us like brothers. It should [Page 80] seem that he perceived by our looks that we were hungry; for he ordered the cloth to be laid in­stantly and sat down with us to dinner. Good God! how was I affected when I saw bread a­gain! my heart was straitened, the tears started from my eyes, and I was not able to swallow a morsel for some time. The rest of our people joined us soon after, and were divided amongst the ships.


Religion is an empty name
When virtue is not in her train.
The man whose deeds [...]espeak his love
For what is noble, just and good,
Is truly pious, whether Zeus
Or Allah, whether Tien or God
Be called by him the source of bliss.

"ALL this was very well," continued the honest tar: but what was I now to do to get a livelihood? My romantic ideas had been correct­ed pretty well, my desire for adventures had aba­ted, and, now I began to ask myself where I should get bread?

"We arrived at Batavia; the people crowded around myself and my companions, stared at us, listened to us with open mouths, and shuddered at our tale; however that was all. Not one of them thought of covering our nakedness or appeasing our hunger; and I confess I rather would have starved than solicited alms.

[Page 81] "I had, fortunately, applied closely to draw­ing in my youth, and now could easily delineate something upon a piece of parchment which look­ed like a human figure. I drew a great number of such figures as my imagination suggested. Some with hats and some with turbans, and sold them for Roman and Turkish emperors. I ro­ved in this miserable manner from one town to the other, visited Balambuan, Panarucan, Tuban, and came, at last, to Bantam in the bay of Ja­catra.

"You must know that Bantam is a considerable place where an extensive trade is carried on. You can see there at nine o'clock in the morning, people of almost all nations assembled in the mar­ket place; Portuguese, Arabs, Turks, Malayes, Abyssinians, Chinese, Peguans, Bengales, Guzu­rates, and Malabares. One might think it Hea­ven where people of all nations are to meet. You will see there no useless disputes about be­lief or unbelief, for every one serves God in his own way and makes no words, as it ought to be.

While I was standing there and gaping at the motley assemblage, and watching for an opportu­nity to earn a morsel of bread, I heard suddenly some person behind me speak German. I thought it music from another world. My head turned mechanically towards the spot whence the grate­ful sounds proceeded, and I perceived a man of a middle age, with an open countenance, which inspired confidence, discoursing with another man, who, as I afterwards learned, was a Hambro' Cap­tain.

When they had finished their conversation, and the Hamburger had left him, I took courage, went up to the man with the good natured countenance, and said: "Sir, I am a poor German, a country­man of yours. Your countenance tells me that [Page 82] you are an honest man; I conjure you to do a cha­ritable deed, and to assist a shipwrecked wretch who has lost all his property. I wish to get my bread by the labour of my hands, but have no op­portunity of getting an honourable livelihood; for no one has confidence in a naked fellow, but I neither should like to beg, nor could do it.

"The man surveyed me from top to toe.

"Welcome! countryman!" said he at last: "I rejoice to do a work of charity. I do not want your services, but will assist you as well as I can."

"He then took me to his house, gave me to eat and to drink, and abstained from all trouble­some questions, till I had appeased my hunger. But when I had finished my meal, he began to examine me, and to enquire from what place I came. I gave him a faithful account of my ad­ventures, and informed him without reserve of the follies I had committed. I thought it better to confess my errors than to conceal them; for, we are all poor sinners, and lock up or dissipate the talent which the great treasurer in Heaven has lent us, to pay for our entrance into the next world. My frankness gained the heart of the worthy German.

"Mr. Ortenberg," said he to me: "you are an honest man. The grief which you have caus­ed to your aged father, was early punished by Providence with trouble and affliction. You now have had an opportunity of coming to a proper sense; I dare say you have discarded your roman­tic notions, and beg you will ponder the proposal which I am going to make to you. I am a native of Thuringia; my name is Christian Shwarz I have liv­ed twenty years on this island; God has prospered my diligence, and I am a rich man. My domes­tics love me and I enjoy the esteem of my fellow-citizens. However, what are love, regard, and wealth, if we cannot enjoy them at the spot where [Page 83] we were born, if the companions of our juvenile days with whom we grew up, do not see and share our prosperity? The voice of my native country calls loudly in my bosom; I have sold all my plan­tations, and am going to return in a few weeks on board of a Hambro' vessel to my dear Germany. If you will keep me company, I will defray the expen­ces of your voyage, and restore you to the arms of your father, who will receive you joyfully.

"This was, indeed, a good and sensible pro­posal, and came from a worthy and honest man; but was it possible I could have accepted it? No, indeed, not! No, said I, I cannot accept your generous offer; God knows, I cannot. I must first endeavour to become a man of whom my fa­ther needs not to be ashamed. It would kill me were I obliged to return to my parents as a beg­gar. Let the consequences be what they may; I shall not return to my native country in this state."

"The kind remonstrances of honest Christian Shwarz were thrown away upon me. I could not bear to think that my townsmen should point at me in the streets, and whisper: "There goes that fool who dreamed of finding golden moun­tains in the Indies, and now is glad to be permit­ted to put his feet again under his fathers table. What a scourge is that good for nothing fellow to his parents!" No, I rather would be the slave of a Malay, rather moisten the sugar plantations with my sweat, than become a laughing stock to my townsmen.

"When the honest Thuringian saw that he could not persuade me to return to my native country, he counted down—it sounds fabulous, but God knows he did—he counted down a thou­sand ponnes in gold and silver fannons.* "Take [Page 84] this money," said he in a tone as if he had given me a glass of water; "and do not thank me. I am a rich man, and returning to my country with treasures which would enable me to buy a princi­pality, if I were a lover of principalities. I in­tended to make, previous to my departure, a pre­sent of a gold calix, a rich covering for the altar, and the like to the Dutch chapel. Man believes frequently that he can pay his debts to God by such nonsensical gifts; however, I think it is much better to assist a worthy sufferer with the sum which was designed for that purpose. This is more acceptable to God than a gold calix. Take it my friend, and go with your money to the coast of Coromandel, where you will find a thousand times more opportunities of making a fortune than here. I wish you a happy journey. Forget not to pay a visit to old Christian Shwarz, when you once come back again to Germany.

Oh, my friends, seventeen years are now elaps­ed since Christian Shwarz left the Indies. I still think I see him in the harbour of Bantam, where he went on board of the Hambro' vessel; I still imagine that I feel the last honest shake of his hand, and to hear him call to me from deck:

"Farewell, Ortenberg! and when you return to Germany, forget not to spend a few days in the town of Wernigerode!"

"The ship got under sail, and in a short time was borne from my view by a rising gale. I stood on the pier, and wept till sun-set, and slept very little that night. But let us proceed!

"I now had a thousand ponnes in my pocket. My benefactor had enjoined me not to stay at Java, and I had besides, no inclination to remain there. I hired a place in a jonke which was to carry pine apples to the continent (for you must know that Java produces the best ananas in the [Page 85] Indies). I passed Sumatra and came into the bay of Siam, whence I proceeded, after a short stay, to Ceylon, I went from the latter island to the coast of Coromandel, visited Negapatnam, Kari­kal, Pondicherry, Madras, Masulipatnam, and thus approached gradually the gulf of Bengal.

"I was still irresolute how I should lay out my thousand ponnes, whether I should traffic with pep­per, ging [...]ms, or printed callico.

"One day I happened to take a solitary walk into the woods near Bengal, musing on my ho­nest father, my old mother, and my native place. A sweet melancholy stole by degrees upon my mind. The delightful notes of the chaffinch of Bengal, the plaintive song of the Bulbul, the wild accents of the Buzzard, the chirping of the little Quail of Gingi, and the harmonious song of the [...]usted lark of Malabar, produced strange and in­voluntary sensations in my heart. I wiped many a melancholy tear from my cheeks. My imagi­nation roved over the immense ocean to my country and the place of my nativity, where I had inhaled my first breath, and recalled to my mind those blissful days of childish innocence, when the pond on the margin of which I was went to play, appeared to me larger than the sea which now lay before me; when Breslau seemed to me to be a world, and when I hung with gazing eyes on the lips of my father, while he related after supper, accounts of the fabulous Indies and their astonishing treasures.

"Alas! I would have given all the gold of the Nabobs in that moment, if I could have filled the tobacco pipe for my father, sat down by his side on the straw stool which used to stand in a [...] behind the stove, and hear him describe only what now was before my eyes. I still fancy to hear my honest old father relate his artless [Page 86] tales, which he kindly adapted to my childish ca­pacity, till the clock which stood in the right cor­ner of the parlour struck t [...]n, when he emptied his pipe, pouring his last drop of beer on the em­bers, offered me his hand to kiss it, took the key of the street door from the table, and retired to his bed chamber."

Here honest Ortenberg was deeply affected—and attempted several times in vain to speak.

"I can dwell no longer on this subject," stam­mered he at length, while a big tear glistened in his eyes: Friend Spiller you knew him!"

A solemn pause. All were powerfully affect­ed. "Good old father!" exclaimed Ortenberg, raising his eyes and hands to Heaven: "you have forgiven me my follies; I am sure you have; and when we meet again, wherever it be, you will receive me with that cordial shake of the hand with which you bade me farewell; will call to me: "Welcome my son;" with the same kind and paternal voice with which you said: "God bless you my son!" yes I am sure, you will!—and now—children, continued he, while he dried his eyes, don't mention a word more about my fa­ther, if you wish that I should relish my glass of wine."

Another pause. Ortenberg had collected him­self. "I was taking a walk, as I told you, and unexpectedly found myself bewildered in the wood. I knew not which way I should turn. While I consulted with myself which direction I should take, I heard suddenly a murmuring of water, and perceived that I was near a rill: I was dry and proceeded towards it, when I was dry and proceeded towards it, when I was met by a girl of uncommon beauty, carrying a pitcher with water. Her taper form was wrapt in a piece of chintz, an apron made of the wool of the sheep of Tibet, floated from her waist, and [Page 87] twelve gold rings were fastened round her arms and above her ancles. The palm of her hand was tinged with the roseat juice of mindi leaves, and the [...]ustre of her eyes was set off by a black semi­circle. Gold and silver chains adorned her beau­tiful neck; her diamond ear-rings added little to the lustre of her charms: her hair was anointed with cocoa oil, and wreathed round a gold pin.

"She surveyed me with apparent satisfaction from head to toe, while she passed me, skipping lightly over the grass, and uncovered her swelling bosom. The girl thought I, must surely be an harlot; but I was mistaken; for I knew not that an unmarried Indian who has had a good educa­tion, is obliged to uncover her bosom, when she meets a person that belongs to one of the higher casts, or an European.

"This is a civility which the fair ones of the East perform with as much unconcern as our ladies make a curtsey; and to be plain, I confess that this custom appears to me to be more con­sistent with propriety, than the curtsies of our la­dies, which reduces a woman to a very aukward posture, that, indeed, does not strike us, because we are used to it.

"The swelling bosom of the fair Indian, which was not squeezed up by a corset, made me forget to quench my thirst, and deaf to the harmonious strains of the tufted lark of Malabar. I stopped, and the Indian followed my example. We look­ed at each other and seemed to be mutually in­clined to enter into conversation. My European notions of propriety and impropriety prevented me from accosting her; but the beautiful child of nature, who was a stranger to the burthensome prejudices of the Western hemisphere, obeyed the dictates of her heart.

[Page 88] "Stranger, do you want to drink?" said she, with a bewitching sweetness.

"Yes, sweet girl, I want to drink! replied I with a kind of voluptuous tremor.

"She came to me, offering her pitcher, and I drank. The cape-wine here is, indeed, not bad; however, I never relished a liquor so much as the water which I received from the hands of smiling innocence.

"I thank you, my pretty girl; stammered I. "Who are you?

"I am Welli" replied she: "the daughter of the pious Bramin Akbar, who lives not far from here in a Sholtre.* Come with me; I will dress a dish of cange for you."

"Could I have done better than to accept the offer of the hospitable Welli? "I like you," said she to me on the road: "do you like me too?"

"I squeezed her hand, a language which is un­derstook in all countries. I had a waistcoat with glass buttons on; Welli wished to have one; I gave it to her, and she pressed me in return to ac­cept of a diamond ear-ring.

"Why don't you take it?" said she.

"Because it is worth ten times more than my glass button!

"It is false," replied Welli; "your button is larger; I shall have it set in gold, and wear it on my finger.

"I was obliged to put the ear-ring in my pocket; for she threatened to beat me.

"We at last arrived at the sholtre, which was not far distant from a pagoda, dedicated to the ser­vice of Wishnu. Her father, Akbar, a venerable [Page 89] old man whose head was shaved, met us at the door. His dress consisted of a piece of Calico which was wrapt round his waist; his shoulders were covered with the ashes of cow-dung, and his forehead was marked with three strokes made with sandal wood and saffron.

"Stranger, be welcome!" said he: walk in and sit down at the table of old Akbar, eat of his rice and drink of his cange.

"I accepted his invitation with pleasure, because I was as hungry as an Indian wild cat. The lovely Welli skipped busily to and fro, stroked my hair back every now and then, and played with my glass buttons. Evening was setting in, it was too late for me to return to my lodgings; Akbar or­dered a couch to be prepared for me, upon which a slept but very little, because the image of the amiable Welli was constantly about me, near me, and within me; upon my soul it was.

"The next morning I saw old Akbar go to the rill; he took some water in the hollow of his hand, and sprinkled it before and behind him, and against the rising sun. "Praised be Brama!" exclaimed he three times, and then bathed himself. This ceremony, which is called Sandiwane, and is per­formed every morning, is, in my opinion, by far more rational than the fumigations of Europeans at the shrines of their saints.

"Welli now made her appearance; she was dressed with more care and splendor than the pre­ceding day; the semicircle over her eyes was blacker, the palm of her hand tinged with a deep­er hue, and I was vain enough to think she done it on my account.

"Beautiful Welli," said I to her, "I love you."

"If you love me," replied she, "you may marry me."

[Page 90] "How can I, who am a stranger in this country marry you."

"Do the strangers never marry in your coun­try?"

"Your father will not entrust the happiness of his daughter to a stranger."

"But I love you."

"I do not profess your religion."

"Are you an honest man?"

"Yes, I am."

"I love you, if you are; and my father will not refuse us his consent."

"If you think so, I will go and speak to old Akbar."

"Do so," replied the amiable Welli; I will go in the mean time, and wreath flowers round the Lingham. *

"When a lover, in the Indies wants to apply for the hand of his mistress, he takes thirty ponnes in his hand, goes to her father, and says: The gold is yours and the girl is mine! The business is set­tled at once, if the father replies: The gold is mine, and the girl is yours! I had heard of that custom at Masulipatnam: and therefore counted thirty ponnes in my hand, went to the Bramin and said:

"Venerable old man, [...] gold is yours and the girl is mine!

"The old man was startled, looked doubtfully at me, and pulled my hand gently back.

[Page 91] "Softly, stranger," said he, "does my Welli love you!"

"She does."

"Will you love me also?"

"I shall."

"Will you live with me? nurse me in my old age? and serve my God?

I started. Serve your God!" stammered I. Ak­bar smiled. "Young man," said he with dignity: there is but one God. Let us forget the distinc­tions which the Vedam and the bible make. He, who created millions of worlds, preserves them, and once will regenerate them, is the object of my adoration. Fear and praise the Creator, abstain from doing wrong, do as much good as you can, search after wisdom, condemn no person, hon­our the old, warn the young, raise the falling, give to the poor, reflect upon what you was, and consider what you will be. Oh, my son, you will die quietly if you have acted up to these principles. No stings of conscience will torment you in your last hour, and you will be well received by your judge. This is my creed; is it yours also?"

"The solemn tone in which the venerble old man spoke, affected my heart. I clasped him in my arms, notwithstanding the cow-dung on his shoulders.

"Be my guide on the path of wisdom," said I with emotion: "Be my father in a two-fold man­ner!"

"If I am to be your father," replied Akbar, you must comply with the manners and customs of our country. There is but one religion in the world; the mortals of the whole globe bend their knees only before one God. However, the igno­rance of men has infinitely multiplied the manner of worshipping the Supreme Being, though it should be as simple as possible. Despise none of these different modes of worship, on account of [Page 92] the weak; call none of your brethren an heretic; ridicule none. If you wish to obtain the hand of my good Welli, you must dress yourself like a Tamulian; I must instruct you two months in the language and customs of my nation. At the ex­piration of that period, you may come and say in the presence of my relations, the gold is yours, and the girl is mine, and I shall reply, the gold is mine, and the girl is yours.

"I agreed willingly to every condition that could insure me the possession of the charming Welli. The two months appeared indeed as long to me as if they had been years; however a kind look of my bride made me a docile pupil. Akbar frequently surveyed me with scrutinizing looks; however my frank and open disposition gained me his confidence.

I learned in a short time, to wash the Lingam, and to perform the Sandiwane, with as much dex­terity as if I had been brought up to it. The pro­bationary time was elapsed, and—Welli became my wife.

"Akbar took me aside the next day and said, "Young man, I have entrusted you with the greatest treasure I possess; it is therefore just I should put you also in possession of that which is of less value to me. Come and follow me!"

"We proceeded silently towards the neighbour­ing forest; the old man led the way and I followed him full of expectation. He conducted me by unbeaten paths through wild and intricate bushes, and stopt at length at the mouth of a cavern, which was covered with low shrubs.

"We stept into a cavern, I perceived the glim­mering of a small lamp at the bottom; my con­ductor bade me stop, fetching the lamp, and light­ing several more which hung in different parts of the cavern.

[Page 93] "Heavens! what a spectacle for a greedy Eu­ropean. Large heaps of gold and silver, diamonds and pearls lay before me. I was almost petrified. I had imagined myself to be rich, because I had a thousand ponnes in my pocket, and there lay a thousand times thousand pieces of gold, which bore the coinage of all trading nations.

"You are astonished," said Akbar: "this trea­sure is indeed not the fruit of my diligence, how­ever, it also is, not the fruit of a crime. We Bramins are obliged to live entirely upon alms, with which the superstition of the people provides us, sometimes sparingly, and sometimes, richly, according to the degree of their affection and re­gard. We are, strange to tell, prohibited to work, the people pay us for our idleness, and I have been told this is also the custom of your country.

"I have been a servant in the pagoda, from which we are coming during forty circumvolutions of the sun. I had a father—he went long since to the blissful habitations of Wishnu, who taught me early to walk the paths of wisdom and vir­tue. He instructed me to compute the course of the heavenly bodies, in the art of making alma­nacks, and in the knowledge of medical herbs and roots.

"All this gained me a name in the adjacent country, the people flocked to my pagoda, either to peep behind the curtain of Nature, or to be cured of diseases; or only to gaze at me. None came with empty hands; the rich brought me diamonds and gold, and from the poor I took only a nosegay.

"Here is all the wealth which I have treasured up these forty years for my dear Welli, and now deliver to my dear son-in-law. You must, how­ever, promise me, neither to leave me, nor to [Page 94] touch this treasure till my eyes be closed. Swear by your and my God!

"I complied with this request. Akbar clasped me to his heart, extinguished the lamps, and re­turned to the pagoda▪ There I spent the happiest days of my life in the arms of my dear Welli, and by the side of that excellent old man, and learnt to estimate men by their intrinsic worth, and not by the forms of prayer which they frequently utter mechanically, without meaning any thing by it. We had no occasion for [...]he treasure in the cavern; we wanted little, and had a treasure within our­selves more precious than all the wealth of the Indies. Yes, my friends, I have learnt that con­fidence in the goodness and wisdom of God, cheerful submission to his paternal decrees, obedi­ence to his holy laws, moderation of our passions, purity and good-will towards mankind, enable us to be satisfied with little to insure happiness in this world, and to meet futurity without trembling.

"I meditated frequently to send a part of our useless wealth to my old father, but did not know how to accomplish my design. I could have ap­plied to a Dutch merchant of Masulipatnam, how­ever Akbar opposed his whole paternal authority to the execution of this plan, because he knew better than myself how much this would have ex­posed me to the fanatic persecutions of the Euro­pean missionaries, to whom I might have been be­trayed.

"I am old, and on the brink of the grave, [...] said he frequently to me: "I shall certainly soon pass over (thus the Indians express the idea of dying,) and then you may embark with Welli, for your native country, if she be inclined to it."

"I was obliged to submit, and submitted with­out reluctance, for Welli loved her father with an unspeakable ardour. The fatal hour in which the [Page 95] spirit of honest Akbar was to return to the bene­volent Being who had created it, at last drew near. He died without a groan, a tranquil smile remain­ed on his clay cold countenance.

"This was a melancholy day. Welli tore her hair, smote her breast, and rolled herself on the ground. All this is customary in the Indies; however, her agony was something more than the mere effect of custom. A crowd of women flock­ed to the pagoda, as soon as Akbar's death was known, and sung mournful dirges. I cannot ex­press how this affected me. The Bramins perform­ed various rites, and at last laid the corpse upon a palankin, adorned with flowers, and preceded by two men, with a kind of wind instruments, which caused a most dismal sound, and a great number of muffled drums. I supported my Welli; we fol­lowed the palankin with tearful eyes. When we came to the pile, which had been erected of San­dal wood, I was desired to set fire to it, because I was regarded as the head of the family; a melan­choly duty, which I performed with a bleeding heart.

"Welli dropped fainting on the ground when the flame blazed aloft. I took her in my arms, and carried her home. We spent several gloomy months, shaved our heads, and covered our faces, according to the custom of the East.

"The healing balsam of time restored at last, part of our lost tranquillity to us; however, neither I nor Welli wished to stay any longer at that melan­choly spot. But—oh, my friends!—I am now coming to a period of my life which has destroyed my peace for ever. Let me weep, and if you can, weep with me; it will afford me some consolation. My Welli, my dear, good and gentle Welli, was stung by a rattle-snake, and died in my arms a few hours after.

[Page 96] "God, thou hast made me empty the bitterest cup of affliction! all other sufferings which thou perhaps hast reserved for me, will certainly be trifling in comparison with that unspeakably painful blow! our most ardent wishes were accomplished—Welli was pregnant—but, alas! oh weep with me, my friends, and let me not weep alone!—she was so good, so gentle, and so loving—oh! oh! let me not weep alone!

Ortenberg shed a torrent of bitter tears; all wept with him; these were obsequies more valu­able than any of those can be that are performed in honour of the gods on earth. He recollected himself again at last, after a long and painful struggle "My friends," resumed he, "you now know my story. I performed the last melancholy duty which I owed to my Welli, and could not have staid a day longer in a place where every object which I beheld recalled to my mind my former happiness, which, alas! will never return again. I put my treasures on board the first vessel that sailed, and returned to my native country.

"I am now here to weep a filial tear on the ashes of my parents, to make my brother happy, and to visit my honest Christian Shwarz at Wernigerode. When I have executed this, I shall willingly lay down my head, and depart to my eternal home, where my Welli and honest Akbar are waiting for me."

[Page 97]


We toil through life and bear the toils
Of this vain world with cheerful hearts,
Upheld by hope, anticipate
An age of bliss, when all at once
The air-built castles are dissolv'd
Like a deceitful morning dream
That cheats the pris'ner in his dark
And lonely cell. He dreams of feasts
And scenes of heart-expanding bliss,
And ah! awakes in fetters chain'd.

WHEN Ortenberg had finished his affecting tale, the rays of the lights reflected thousand-fold from the tears which glistened in the eyes of his auditors. He lighted his pipe again, cast his eyes on the ground, and puffed the smoke of his pipe as rapidly and violently from his mouth, as if he were determined not to let his grief g [...]in time to break out in tears.

"My friends!" exclaimed he at last; "to tear up a wound which scarcely is healed, is painful in the extreme; however, your melancholy silence—your tearful eye—does my heart good! But, no more of it.—Well, young gentleman

(turn­ing to William)

, which way are you inclined? what profession do you wish to learn?


I wish to become an honest man, like my father.


Bravo, my son, if you have not learnt that phrase by heart. Who has taught you these words?

[Page 98]

Ah! they were the last words of my dying mother.


You are a good boy for remember­ing them; but no more of it, lest we should be melancholy again.—An honest man! this is the main point. However, there are honest men in all ranks; their number is, indeed, small, but thank God, honesty is not yet entirely out of fashion. What profession should you prefer to learn?


I should wish to learn every thing, to be fit for any occupation.


Well said, my lad! However, this is no easy task. But never mind! strive to learn as much as you can, and you will learn at least something useful. But let me tell you, my son, that nothing is more deceitful than the picture which our glowing juvenile fancy draws of futu­rity; nothing is easier overturned, than the cas­tles of our imagination, adorned with love, ho­nour and wealth! Never say, I will steer no other course but this: a single step, a look, the most tri­fling action of your life can turn the course of your fate.

Having said this, he rose, emptied his pipe, and begged to be shewn to his bed-room. The wife of his venerable host had prepared her bridal bed for him. It was covered with a silk quilt, which was embroidered with a great variety of flowers, and provided with chintz curtains, to keep off the rays of the morning sun. Useless preparations! Ortenberg never slept in a bed. "I am always terrified," said he, "when I sink all at once into a sea of feathers, and the bed billows join over me; my bosom is straitened, and I cannot sleep." His negroes spread a couple of blankets upon the floor▪ laid a pillow upon them, and his couch was ready.

[Page 99] He awoke in the morning with the first dawn of day and got up. Impatience and joyful ex­pectation would not let him sleep, and whenever he closed his eyes, he dreamed of Chistian Shwarz, and his imagination anticipated the raptures of surprise which his sudden appearance would cause his benefactor, and the pleasure which the com­munication of his adventures would give him.

He ordered the carriage to be got ready, and took leave of his venerable host. "Farewell, my worthy friend," said he: "my heart urges me to be gone without further delay. I shall re­turn to you as soon as I shall have done chatting with my dear Christian Shwarz. I then shall con­sider more maturely, what is to be done concern­ing this boy; for I cannot do it now, because my imagination is too much occupied by other ob­jects, which absorb all my faculties of thinking!" He got into the carriage and arrived two days af­ter at the town of Wernigerode in the Harz.

When he came to the turnpike, a drunken gate keeper asked him who he was, and whence he came? Ortenberg informed him of both, under the condition that he also should satisfy his curio­sity, and tell him whether Christian Shwarz lived in the town and was well?

"Christ—shan—Shwa—Shwarz?" stammered the gate-keeper: "he has given the slip to his physician and is well."

"I am glad of it, replied Ortenberg, and order­ed the postillion to go on. When he turned round the corner of a street, he met a funeral procession. "My friend said he to one of his gaping spectators: "can you tell me where Chris­tian Shwarz resides?"

"There in that coffin!" replied the fellow cool­ly. Merciful God!" exclaimed Ortenberg: "Good Christian Shwarz!—must I see you in [Page 100] your coffin! shall I not be able to thank you be­fore we meet in a better world?

A torrent of tears gushed down his sun burnt cheeks; he jumped out of his carriage and mix­ed with the mourners. No black crape bespoke his grief; however, the copious streams of tears which started from his eyes, the silent agony which his features expressed, displayed sufficient­ly the sorrows that convulsed his bleeding heart.—All gazed at the stranger—"You are asto­nished at the violence of my grief?" exclaimed Ortenberg in mournful accents: "alas! he gave me a thousand ponnes when I was naked and starving."

The honest citizens of Wernigerode who knew not what a ponnes is, thought his intellects were deranged. One of the attending clergymen went up to him asking him; whether he had known the deceased?

"Yes, I knew him!" groaned Ortenberg: I knew him, indeed! he gave me a thousand pon­nes when I had not a kauri in my pocket."

The clergyman who contrary to the custom of his colleagues, knew something more than to dis­pense the benediction and to rail against heretics and infidels, recollected to have read that kauris are a kind of little shells which serve instead of small cash on the coast of Coromandel and Ma­labar. "I suppose" said he: "you knew our de­ceased friend in India?"


Yes, dear Sir, I saw him the first and last time at Bantam. There he gave me a thousand ponnes, when I earned my bread by painting Turkish and Roman emperors. He made me promise to visit him on my return to Europe; and now when I am come to keep my word I find him in his coffin.

[Page 101] "He is happy!" said the clergyman: he sees no more the tears of his wife, and hears no more the cries of his children for bread."

"How! What! exclaimed Ortenberg: "ex­cuse my frankness; this is false; indeed it is. I am happy to hear that Christian Shwarz has left a wife and children—but in distress!—no, that can­not be. He possessed a princely fortune, and al­ways was an excellent economist."


He was, indeed; all his fellow-ci­tizens can witness it. He returned to his coun­try with an immense fortune; however, repeated misfortunes can exhaust the greatest wealth. He built a magnificent house, and it was destroyed by fire; he bought an estate, and it was totally ruin­ed by hail, inundations, a constant failure of his crops, and epidemic diseases among the cattle; he established a manufactory, and government threw numberless impediments in his way; he engaged in trade, and his correspondents failed.

He had just as much left as would have enabled him to live comfortably with his family, when he trusted too much to a false friend, becoming secu­rity for him to a large amount, and was cheated. He was forced to turn all his property into mo­ney, in order to escape a disgraceful confinement. This last severe blow cost him, probably, his life.

"Oh God! oh God! exclaimed Ortenberg, wringing his hands: "is this the reward of pro­bity! who could blame the honest who murmurs against providence? Why must virtue be perse­cuted every where by knaves?"


To be tried. There is another better world where virtue will be rewarded.

Ortenberg gazed at him and shook him cordi­ally by the hand. "If it were not for that hope,"—said he.

[Page 102]

What then would be the life of a man?—The deceased is happy for having taken this hope with him to the grave. He died with this consoling persuasion, and only the distress of his wife and children imbittered his last moments.


He might have been easy about that point! Ortenberg is yet living, and no knave like the rest.

They had arrived at the church-yard during this conversation. Ortenberg requested the favour of having the coffin opened once more, as he ardently wished to kiss the cold hand of his benefactor; however, the custom of the town did not permit it. The common people imagined this would disturb the rest of the dead, and would have stoned the person that should have attempted it, the coffin was therefore committed to the ground, and Or­tenberg moistened the earth which was thrown upon it, with his tears.

After the officiating clergyman had pronounced the benediction, Ortenberg distributed all the money he had with him among the poor.

"I don't give it to you" said he: "to pray for the peace of the deceased; he does not want your prayers! but weep with me! I prefer your tears to your thanks."

It was an affecting spectacle. Ortenberg had seated himself upon the fresh grave, and taking up a handful of earth contemplating it with silent grief. The honest Wernigeroders stood around him, ga­zing at him, and knowing not what to think of him.

"Enough! enough! exclaimed he at last; "his children are yet alive, let us be gone to the widow of honest Christian Shwarz."

He rose, took the clergyman by the hand, and requested him to go with him to the widow of the deceased. They found the poor woman swimming [Page 103] in tears, and surrounded by three boys half naked, the eldest of whom was about seven years old.

"Excuse me, madam!" said Ortenberg when he stept into the apartment: I do not intend to con­sole you, no, I wish to mingle my tears with yours."

He was as good as his word; for he had scarce­ly said this when a torrent of tears gushed from his eyes, which he suffered to flow freely. The picture of the deceased painted by Graf, an excellent like­ness, hung opposite him; his eyes caught it; "Yes, this is he!" exclaimed he sobbing: "thus he looked when he embarked for Germany, and took leave of me! Alas! he has gone on a greater jour­ney without taking leave of me."

The clergyman told the astonished widow the gentleman was an old friend of her husband and had known him in India.

"Friend! exclaimed Ortenberg: "he was more than a friend to me! he was a benefactor, a father! I am his debtor! I owe him more than I shall be able to repay in this world. Permit, me, Madam—boys (calling for his blacks)! bring my trunks hither!" The blacks obeyed. He unlocked it, and taking a leather purse out, counted 1000 ducats upon the table.

"Here, madam, take it. These are the thousand ponnes which your husband advanced me when I arrived half naked and half famished at Bantam. God will pay him the interest! Sir (turning to the clergyman), I can spare no more at present; how­ever, I take you to witness that I engage to send to this good lady the widow of my benefactor, within four weeks, ten times as much. I am not used to give bonds; my word is my bond, and you can rely upon it. I should, besides, wish to erect a monument upon the grave of my honest Christian Shwarz, and shall send you 500 ducats for that [Page 104] purpose. Let it be done after your own ideas; but let the inscription be as simple as possible. My name must not be mentioned; for I want to erect a monument for him and not for myself."

The good people thought all was a dream; the widow was going to throw herself with her chil­dren at Ortenberg's feet; however, he was almost provoked at it. "I only have done my duty, and nothing else," said he: "I should not deserve to live if I could suffer the widow and children of my benefactor to languish in distress. No, no, while I have a morsel to eat, one half of it shall be yours."

The first violent sensation of grief yielded gra­dually to the milder feelings of melancholy e­motion. They began to converse more connect­edly, discussed the future domestic regulations of the widow, and consulted about the education of her children.

"Would you give one of these boys into my charge?" said Ortenberg: "I will treat him as if he were my own son."


With pleasure! Could I commit him to better hands?


Well! would you let me have the youngest?


The youngest! Dear Sir, not the youngest.


Then let me have the eldest.

(with encreasing anxiety).

To confess the truth—I should not wish—the eldest is so much like his father.—


It makes no difference to me if you let me have the second.

(after a pause, during which she survey­ed her three sons alternately, with maternal ten­derness).

Excuse me, Mr. Ortenberg—Indeed, I can part with neither of them!


Excellent woman! keep your sons; I will be a father to them nevertheless.

[Page 105] He kept his, word faithfully. The three sons of Christian Shwarz are still living, have inherited the virtues of their father, do honour to the care of their foster-father, and are useful citizens of the state.

When Ortenberg thus had satisfied the impulse of his heart, and fulfilled the duties of gratitude, he took leave of his friend's widow and children, clas­ped the mother to his heart, and her little ones saw him depart with tears in their eyes.


See to sweeten thy repose,
The blossom buds, the fountain flows;
Lo! to crown thy healthful board,
All that milk and fruits afford.
Seek no more—the rest is vain;
Pleasure ending soon in pain:
Anguish lightly gilded o'er:
Close thy wish, and seek no more.

WHAT I have to tell you, kind reader in this chapter, is but very little, for our honest Nicolaus Ortenberg does not wish that his good actions should be talked of too loudly. He returned to his nephew, settled a large sum upon the sons of the good clergyman, to enable them to prosecute their academic career with ease; he caused a neat house to be built for old Conrad, which was pro­vided with all comforts of life, and added a small capital, to enable the honest fellow to close his life in tranquillity and ease.

[Page 106] Barbara, who still thought she felt the spittle of the blacks on her wrinkled cheeks, was not satis­fied with the bounty of the generous Ortenberg, and censured every thing he did for her and her husband's comfort. Ortenberg proposed there­fore to old Conrad, to send her to the house of correction, and thus to put it out of her power to poison his domestic peace. However—oh, pow­er of custom!—the scolding Barbara had become necessary to old Conrad, he cared very little for her scolding, nay, even thought he wanted some­thing when he heard not every day her shrill voice resounding in the house and kitchen. "Then keep her in the name of God!" said Ortenberg, the will of man is his heaven." They lived to­gether till Barbara at last was involved in such a violent quarrel with death, as to be choaked with passion.

Ortenberg advertised in all the continental news­papers; That if Charles Ortenberg, formerly head master of the grammar school of W**, should be still alive, he was requested to inform his brother Nicolaus and his son of his abode."

However, this attempt was fruitless, and Ni­colaus used himself gradually to the idea that he should not see his brother again on this side of the grave.

Nicolaus now formed a plan for his future life. He disliked the monar [...]hic countries, because even the best monarchies are not entirely untainted with despotism. He resolved therefore to spend the rest of his life in Switzerland.

Having settled every thing that concerned the future happiness of his nephew, he retired to the Canton of Zurich, bought a large estate, sowed, planted, occupied himself with the breeding of cattle, and perceived that satisfaction with which [Page 107] Candide exclaimed, after having escaped the storms of life: Cultinoons notre champ!

A well-chosen library shortened the long even­ings, and a familiar intercourse with a few good and social neighbours sweetened his solitude.

William grew up in the mean time, nad made a good use of the instructions of the worthy cler­gyman, and now had sufficiently improved to fre­quent an university with advantage. Attended by the blessings of his uncle, the tears of old Con­rad, and the prayers of the venerable clergyman, he set out for Gottingen, in his eighteenth year accompanied by the sons of his instructor.

He commenced his new career with ardour, and prosecuted it with unexampled diligence. His head and heart did honour to his friends, and his sober and steady conduct gained him general re­gard.

[Page 108]


Innocence is a defence
For nothing else but patience;
'Twill not bear out the blows of Fate
Nor fence against the tricks of state;
Nor from th' oppression of the laws
Protect the plain'st, justest cause;
Nor keep unspotted a good name
Against the obloquies of fame,
Feeble as patience, and as soon,
By being blown upon undone,
As beasts are hunted for their furs,
Men for their virtues are the worse.

WILLIAM wa [...] one day visited by two of his fellow-students, who, although scarcely eigh­teen years old, yet knew already that they were Counts of the holy Roman Empire, and almost knew nothing else but that. But as the German universities are the abodes of liberty and equality, where the son of a peasant enjoys the same pri­vileges which are granted to the son of a prince; where disinterestedness cements the bonds of friendship, and family pride is treated with ridi­cule; these two gentlemen had been obliged to renounce all claims to the difference which is ge­nerally attached to nobility of birth, and to learn the conversation of plebeians, that distinction is not every where attached to the superiority of rank which is founded merely upon the strength of a piece of parchment. They betrayed their consciousness of their noble descent only at times, [Page 109] and the words: His Excellency, my father, her Ladyship, my mother, our subjects, &c. &c, were expressions with which they frequently interlard­ed their discourses.

But enough of a couple of despicable beings whom accident has thrown into our way, and in whose company I always stay with reluctance, whether I meet them in the street or at the wri­ting desk.

The conversation with which they condescend­ed to entertain William, treated on pretty girls, horses, hounds, and cits whom they had taken in. Poor William felt the time very long while they were with him, gaped and frequently stept to the window to respire.

Their inane discourse was suddenly interrupt­ed by an apparition. I may justly call it an appa­rition; for the man who stept into the apartment, having knocked repeatedly at the door, looked more like a spectre than a human being. Imagine to yourself an ash-grey countenance, hollow eyes shaded by thick grey eye lashes, pale and parched lips, a grey beard and hair of the same colour, holding in his skinny hands a stick, which support­ed his bending frame, dressed in a black thread bare coat which could not cover his nakedness en­tirely. He staggered slowly and with tottering knees into the apartment; the burden of heavy sorrows seemed to depress his frame more than the load of years. His hollow eyes displayed however, still a faint spark of youthful vigour, and his face bespoke a kind of noble pride.

"Gentlemen," said he, excuse my intruding upon you. I am a very poor man who wishes to die in his native country, and cannot scrape toge­ther as many pence as I have miles to walk."

What news from the moon, old gentleman?" began one of the counts: "you probably, are just [Page 110] come thence, for I never saw on our globe such a libel upon creation."

"I was mistaken! replied the old man, groan­ing and casting a look to Heaven which bespoke unspeakable bitterness: "forgive me for having interrupted your youthful mirth!"

Having uttered these words, he turned towards the door, and was going to quit the apartment; but William called after him in a compassionate tone of voice.

"Venerable old man, stop a little you shall not leave me without receiving some assistance."

"You are right, William!" said the count: "It would be pity were we to suffer old Saturn to pass beyond our horizon."


Count, be ashamed! it is cruel to ri­dicule a poor old man, and I shall not suffer it in my apartment.

The old man had in the mean time, turned round again and cast a grateful look at the gene­rous youth. The count returned no answer, and William took a crown out of his purse.

The old man accidentally cast his eyes on a table which stood only a few steps distant from him. It just happened to be post day. William had received a letter from his uncle and left the cover which was directed to him upon the ta­ble. The old man read:

A Monsieur.

Monsieur Guillaume Ortenberg. He read it and fainted away.

"There you have it?" exclaimed the count: "this is the consequence of meddling with beg­gars."

William deigned not to return an answer. He slew to the assistance of the old man, sprinkled cold water in his face, chafed his temples with Hungary water, and at last saw his humane en­deavours [Page 111] crowned with success. The old man opened his eyes again.

"Good young gentleman," said he, after having looked round a mom [...]nt, and recollecting the si­tuation in which he had been: "God bless you for your humanity—God reward you for it—" He seemed to wish to say more; however, a look which he cast at the count who had just another witticism between his teeth, rendered him mute. William pressed the crown in his hand, saw him to the door, and patiently bore the railleries of the counts, who ridiculed him for the tear of sen­sibility that [...] from his eyes, and which he neither would nor could check.

William looked after the old man through the window, and saw that he slowly staggered towards the town-gate, looking frequently back, stopping sometimes irresolute, and seemed to talk to him­self. He disappeared at last from his sight, and he was soon after delivered from his troublesome visitors.

William was just going to raise his sunken spi­rits by a walk in the fields, when a little ragged boy rushed into his apartment, panting for breath, and gave him a note. William opened it and read:

If you wish to close the eyes of your dying father, come immediately to your


It would be fruitless were I to attempt to de­lineate to my readers William's picture in that moment, and my imagination labours in vain to represent his picture to you as it stands before my mental eyes. Your imagination must come to my assistance, and picture to you the rapid changes of his countenance from glowing crimson to death like paleness, the wild disorder of his [Page 112] looks, and the trembling of his hands and feet. Methinks I hear his heart palpitate, agitated by fear, joy, and uncertainty; methinks I see him fly down stairs without a hat, and shoot down the street like an arrow, without even knowing where to find his father?

"Where? where? stammered he at last to the boy, who followed him.

"In the suburbs, at the Golden Swan," replied the boy, and William shot along as quick as light­ning, rushing into the inn, overturning the land­lord, and stammering his: where? where?" with increasing agony.

When the people of the inn saw a man standing before them without a hat, trembling like an aspen leaf, and with a wild and disordered look, they thought he was mad. William could not speak; "where? where?" was all that he was able to utter, and the innkeeper replied at every inquiry: "who?—what?"

The boy had, fortunately, followed him as fast as possible, and entered the house at the very mo­ment when William, overpowered by the highest stretch of all his feelings, was ready to swoon. The [...]ight of the boy gave him new strength, "where? where?" ejaculated he with a saint voice when he saw him.

"Follow me!" replied the boy, running up be­fore him three pair of stairs, and opening the door of a sorry garret.

There William beheld upon a truss of straw, the same old man who had quitted his apartment a few hours before, and received a crown from him. His eyes were dim, and his dissolution was near. His right hand grasped the crown, the charity which his son had given him. A pitcher of water stood by his side, and a prayer book lay at his feet.

[Page 113] William [...]lung himself down by his wretched couch, grasped the neck of the dying man with his arms, as if he were determined to wrest him out of the hands of death; he still could not find words nor tears to ease the agony of his heart, shook the fainting old man, wanted to go for as­sistance and yet could not resolve to quit his hap­less parent. He took his purse out of his pocket, without knowing clearly what he was doing, flung it down at the feet of his conductor, expecting that he would comprehend his meaning instantly. However, the boy picked it up, casting a stupid sheepish look at him, and then at the purse, and knew not what to do with it.

"Physician! surgeon!" thundered William.

The boy was terrified and flew down stairs.

And, behold! God said unto the Angel of death: Withdraw thy hand! take the bitter cup from his lips, and mix it with tears of filial love, that the black pinions of despair cover not his breaking eyes, and he fall smiling asleep in thy arms."—Ortenberg opened his eyes. "Is it you, my son? A ray of joy after twelve years suffering!" William now recovered the power of utterance, a gentle stream of tears removed the agony of his heart. He knelt at the old man's couch with affecting devotion in his looks, thanked God for the bitter sweetness of that hour, and prayed for his father's life.

"Not so, my son! said the dying sufferer in broken accents: "my hour is at hand; I am hap­py to have found a son who will close my eyes, and commit my bones to the grave. Say, Willi­am, is there any other tie, besides the bonds of paternal love, that unites me with the world? is your mother still alive?


(hesitating and anxiously). It is now twelve years—

[Page 114]

Enough! I guess the rest—spare me!—(He shed a torrent of bitter tears).


However, my uncle Nicolaus is re­turned from India with immense treasures, and has made all possible inquiries after you; I owe him my education, and every comfort I enjoy.


God bless him! I want nothing but a few hand-ful of earth. I am sensible I shall soon have conquered. Assure him of my fraternal love, and tell him that our mother gave him her bles­sing on her death bed.

He stopped and coughed his cheeks were ting­ed with an unnatural redness; his tongue cleaved to his parched palate.

"Refresh your old father with a drop of wine," said he; "that I may inform you before I die, of the sufferings which I have endured these twelve years."

William flew down stairs, demanding a bottle of the best old Hock, and knelt in a moment a­gain by the side of his sick parent. Ortenberg drank half a glass, "How refreshing," exclaimed he, "is a glass of wine for a man who was com­pelled twelve years to allay his thirst with putri­fied water!"

The corpulent innkeeper, whom William's purse had rendered uncommonly civil and offi­cious, waddled up and down stairs, brought bal­sam of life▪ Hossman's drops, and feather beds, cramming the latter under the patient's head, co­vering his feet, &c. and went himself to town, to call in a physician.

As soon as father and son were again by them­selves, Ortenberg collected his last strength, and solved the mystery of his sudden disappearance and his long absence to the agonised William.

The reader will recollect that Ortenberg, in the first confusion which the mysterious note of old [Page 115] Conrad produced, took the fatal resolution of going to Berlin and demanding protection and justice of a Monarch who has proved repeatedly that he dis­pensed justice as well to the peasant as to the first peer of his realm. However the governor of W** no sooner was informed of Ortenberg's departure than he guessed the real cause of it, and perceived that his happiness and honour were at stake.

He dispatched immediately the obsequious and venal accomplices of his numerous rogueries, [...]o pursue Ortenberg in different directions, causing the hapless fugitive to be carried to one of his estates, the steward of which if possible, was as great a knave as his master, and frequently had en­joyed the frantic satisfaction of having tormented to death an innocent victim that had been intrusted to his care, without ever taking the trouble to inquire after the motives of his confinement.

Poor Ortenberg languished in that place twelve years in a damp cellar. Bread and putrid water were his daily nourishment, the damp ground was his couch and the dark vault his cover.

Belzebub recalled at last the Devil that inhabi­ted the body of the fiend-like steward, to advance him according to his merits. His successor pos­sessed some humanity, had compassion on his de­clining prisoner, gave him an opportunity to es­cape, and Ortenberg fled. The unhappy man roved from village to village, fearful of being pur­sued, sick and faint like an autumnal fly, and bordering on a state of phrenzy, begging his bread from door to door, and supported by nothing else but th [...] hope of being enabled by providence to reach W** before his death, and to conclude in the first embrace of his wife and son, an existence which had become burdensome to him. He was [Page 116] obliged to pass through Gottingen on his way to the dear objects of his love, and there finished his suf­ferings.

But what enabled him to disguise his paternal [...]eelings and to quit his son's apartment without making himself known? what else but his pride, that baneful passion that tyrannised him from his cradle to the grave. He perceived that the young men who were with his son were counts; he be­lieved he should disgrace his son, or even, perhaps, hurt him, if he were to make himself known, after having applied for alms. In short he was silent and went away, but scarcely had arrived at his garret, when he was overpowered by the heavy load of his feelings.

Reader, I perceive an angry look in your eye, composed of compassion and indignation; ask your­self sincerely whether you never was guilty of a fault? I wanted to pourtray an honest man, who always acted as an human being; for my ima­gination is not fit for delineating the picture of an angel.

The most violent passions convulsed the heart of the young man while his father related the melan­choly tale of his sufferings. He now was torment­ed with dreadful apprehension, and his staring eyes hung on the lips of the old man; tears of grief now rolled down his cheeks, and fury now tinged them with a crimson hue, and a wild fire flashed from his eyes.

"Vengeance! Vengeance!" exclaimed he, when his father had finished his melancholy narrative: "I vow to you, my dear injured father! by God and our blessed Redeemer, that I will take a bloody revenge on the villain!"

"Not so my son," said the old man: "you must promise me to forgive him, as I do on the brink of eternity. He must, besides now be already [Page 117] far advanced in years, and soon ripe for judgment. Promise it me! This is the only condition on which I can give you my paternal blessing; and only this will enable me to die in peace." William was obliged to obey, and to vow to his dying parent that he would forgive the Governor and never take revenge. Having done this, the old man blessed him, raised his heart to the throne of God, prayed, and took a solemn leave of his son. Wil­liam shed torrents of tears. Ortenberg had ex­hausted his last strength, and relapsed exhausted upon his pillow. He soon began to rattle in his throat—the angel of death held the cup to his lips—Nature struggled against the powerful arm of the last foe—spasms announced his approaching dis­solution—the eyes grew dark—the cheeks turned pale—the lips grew blue—the body stiff—only one gasp more—a long pause—and now he breathed the last time!

William's agony is no subject fit for description. The physician came too late to save the father's life a few hours longer, but time enough to order the distracted young man to be removed from the dear corpse. William was carried home sick and delirious. Only the strength of youth saved him from the gates of death, and the picture of his murdered father was for years constantly present to his mind, and cast a gloomy melancholy over his person.

[Page 118]


Far greater numbers have been lost by hopes
Than all the magazines of daggers, rop [...]s▪
And other ammunitions of despair
Were ever able to dispatch by fear.

THE heart of old Nicolaus was severely wounded by the unexpected intelligence of his bro­ther's reappearance and death. He had already re­conciled himself to the idea that his brother Charles was no longer an inhabitant of this globe. He was firmly convinced that he was a blessed citizen of a better world, dwelled reluctantly with his imagin­ation on the sufferings which he must have endured [...] he was separated from his beloved Caroline and [...] dear boy: "At least," added he, always when this idea forced itself upon his mind, "he is happy, and enjoys the reward of his terrestrial suf­ferings!" And alas! this pleasing persuasion now was so suddenly and dreadfully interrupted?

But let us drop the curtain, and say no more of the noble▪ proud, and unfortunate Ortenberg. He now is an inhabitant of better regions, and wants our compassion no more. If sympathetic pity in­terested you for his fate, bestow it now upon his orphan son.

William had finished his studies and attained the age of manhood. I shall not [...] able to describe the epoch of his life which now awaited him, better than by inserting part of his correspondence with his old uncle.

[Page 119]

Extracts from Letters written by William to his Uncle, and the answers of the latter.


—I have made up my mind to quit Gottingen, and am waiting for your orders and advice, my dear uncle, to determine finally upon the place of my residence, and the career which I am to choose. I have gathered a tolerable store of knowledge in various branches of science, and flatter myself to be able to do pretty well in any situation; for a player, who once knows the cards, must be equal to enter into the nature of any game which accident throws in his way, and be able to conduct it well, though the trumps should be in his antagonist's hands.

It is said that it would be easy to write the whole collection of human knowledge which is sounded on mathematical certainty, upon a blank card; and we rummage many a thick folio volume in vain to gather a few words which could be added to that collection. I never quit our public library with­out a kind of anxiety; so many books, so much to read; life is so short, the card so small, and yet a man must be a Polyhistor to fill it only half. No, no, I will not choose a learned profession! I will rove the boundless creation of God, will enjoy the variegated pleasures of nature, not pry into its most occult mysteries in order to form a system to-day, which to-morrow would be confuted by the most simple phaenomenon. However, while I am pur­suing this idea, an internal monitor whispers to me: "You are a link in the great social chain; it would degrade you were you to spend your uncles wealth in idleness, and occasionally to bestow a [...]illing upon a fellow-creature in distress; your faculties belong to the state, which protects you in the quiet possession of your property." The re­gard [Page 120] which we have for our self is a singular sensation, it is widely different from that which we have for the merits of others. The latter is but too frequent­ly influenced by the prejudices which we have im­bibed in our youth, by external and accidental attributes, wealth and pedigrees. However, that which affords me satisfaction in solitude, and frequently renders me superior to sufferings, and the erroneous opinions of the world; in short, what every honest man seeks and finds more or less with­in himself, cannot be purchased of the voice of the low or titled populace.

I will, therefore, devote myself to some pro­fession, lest I should be an idle drone in the great bee-hive of the world; I will fly out and in, gather and work: your orders will assign me my station.

II. Nicolaus Ortenberg to William.

Give me leave to tell you, my dear nephew, that neither the beginning nor the conclusion of your letter has met with my approbation. To speak the truth, William, you have ceased being the simple child of nature which you was when you left the house of your venerable Mentor. The periods and turnings of your letter are stiff and affected; you presume to be in possession of the true philosophy of life, although you are only a book philosopher. We must have seen the world, and experienced some, if we are not to be astonished by every un­common appearance, and desire to bear the joys and sufferings of this world with equanimity. Hark ye, my son, when you write again to your uncle, let your letter be more cordial and familiar▪ I hate all formality and cold civility in letters which one friend writes to another. Speak the simple and [Page 121] artless language of the heart, and fear not to of­fend me by frank bluntness. As for the station which you are to choose, it is nothing to me; this is entirely your business. I don't care what you are, while you are an honest man, and this you can be in any station. However, it would give me pleasure if you would rove the world a few years longer, and then take a good and gentle wife like my Welli! Alas! I have not yet learnt to pro­nounce or to write her name without shedding tears.

The workmen have finished yesterday the little temple in the garden, and the altar in the middle, upon which the urn is to stand that encloses the ashes of my Welli. I took the urn out of the chest in which it was locked up ever since I left the East Indies; for I had not the courage to tear my wounds open. As I was saying, I took it out, and found a pair of bracelets and some rings of my Welli's in the chest, and strolled with it into the garden. My tears fell upon the urn, my hands trembled several times so violently, that I almost dropt it, and my knees knocked together. I was obliged to rest myself upon a turf seat. The urn now stands upon the altar, the temple is hedged in with rose-trees, and bears the following inscription: ‘TOMB OF THE GOOD WELLI, THE GENTLEST OF HER SEX.’

When my tears once shall be dried up, that is, when my eyes shall be shut forever, it is to remind you, my dear nephew, that I loved my dear Welli better than any thing in this world. I hope you then will visit our ashes every morning and evening, and think of us.

I command you, nephew, and desire it of you as the only return for my paternal love, not to let me [Page 122] be buried when I am dead. This is a foolish cus­tom, and I will have nothing to do with it. Some millions of dead bodies are annually buried under ground, to infest the air with pestilential exhalations, to assist death in his destructive operations, and to enrich the physicians. The church yards ought to be divided amongst poor families to be turned into fertile fields, for the benefit of the living. But the corpses—Why they ought to be burnt as they do in the East-Indies, and in other countries, which would prevent them from going through all those horrid degrees of corruption, and to reduce them at once to dust, from which they were taken.

I once was in a museum, where I saw corrup­tion imitated in wax, by a skilful artist, and I assure you, William, it was horrid to see how the eyes are covered first with a kind of moss, and the state of the dead body grows more frightful every day. I prefer the burning of the dead to their being bu­ried; besides this, also on account of the living relations and friends. They drag you out of the town, screwed up in a box, bury you six or seven feet under ground, raise a tomb over you, and leave you to rot. Your friends and relations forget you, have nothing that could remind them of you, and at most, cast on Sunday, when they go to church, a look at your grave as they pass, to see whether it be not yet overgrown with grass? If your relations remove from the paternal soil, to some distant country, you remain behind, rot among strangers, are forgotten, and your name occupies at most a small space in the church register, or on the genealogy, and you are entirely expung­ed from the hearts of those that were dear to you.

It is quite otherwise if the flame saves your body from corruption. The small heap of ashes which remain, are carefully gathered by the hands of your widow, your children, or your friend; their eyes [Page 123] moisten the dear relics with affectionate tears, they are inclosed in an urn, and if your friends should not be able or inclined to preserve that urn in a temple, like that which I erected to the me­mory of my dear Welli, they may place it upon a table under the looking glass, instead of your French clocks, conduct their children to it, take off the cover, and shew them the small remains of an human being, and I am sure, this will make a deeper im­pression upon their hearts than their standing with horror before a grave, from which corruption grins, and pestilential vapours infest their smelling organs.

Do you imagine my son, that the Romans and Greeks, whose history I read with admiration in my solitude, would have performed such heroic deeds, and devoted themselves so cheerfully to death, if they had been obliged to suffer their bodies to be committed to the nauseous and horrid operations of corruptions? You may smile! I am no psychiologist; however, this supposition has a great deal of probability in my opinion. And it is, besides such a sublime sight to see the flame blaze aloft, and the smoke tower to the skies—one should think the spirit were rising like a phoenix from his ashes.

In short, my son, I desire to be burnt after my death! I have already bespoke an urn which is to contain the remains of my old bones, and request you to place it near that of my dear Welli. You then may sometimes take a walk to the temple with your wife and children, in the dusk of eve, relate my history to them, and think of me.

In case death should surprise me unexpectedly, and before I have declared my last will as to this point, you are to consider this letter as my testa­ment, and produce it before the magistrates, to prevent all disputes with these gentlemen. I [Page 124] should think that it must be entirely indifferent to them whether the body of a deceased honest man be destroyed by the flames or by vermin. If not, you may cause an empty coffin to be buried, and burn my corpse privately. If that also should not be practicable on account of the pile which must be set on fire, I desire you will cover my body with quick lime and moisten it with water. It will answer the same purpose. Farewell.*

[Page 125]
III. William to Nicolaus.

I am now at Hanover, dearest uncle, and wish to stay a few weeks longer here. You will there­fore be so kind as to send your letters and the mo­ney I am to have to this place; I lodge at the Lon­don Tavern. Baron W**, an academic friend of mine, was the original cause of my stopping here. I am very well pleased with Hanover, the town has several pretty streets, and fine buildings; the circumjacent country is beautiful, and I have been introduced to some very enlightened and worthy men. Their number is, indeed but small; how­ever, one rose is worth more than an hundred odorless tulips, notwithstanding their gaudy co­lours.

I have spent an evening with the excellent Mr. Zimmerman, whose book on Solitude, as you in­formed me lately, contributes so much to sweeten your solitary retirement. He appears in the first quarter of an hour to be cold and repelling, the cause of which is, probably, to be imputed to the impertinent intrusions of those mechanical tra­vellers [Page 126] who come only to stare at him, and to be able to say; I have seen the famous Zimmerman. But when he perceives that he has a man before him whose heart is susceptible of congenial warmth and unreserved communication, the chilling clouds which hang on his brow disappear gradually, and his looks bespeak so much mildness and good na­ture as to captivate the heart irresistibly, which has been my case. I should be proud, if I could flatter myself that the love and regard which I have conceived for that excellent man, and not intirely indifferent to him.

My friend has also introduced me to the fami­lies of several noblemen; however, I do not like the tone which prevails there. I never met with more stiffness, absurd formality, and foolish pride than I saw in these circles; the ladies distinguish themselves particularly in this respect. They make a distinction here between higher and inferior no­bility, and the former think it would be a disgrace to them, were they to spend only a few hours with the latter under one roof, or even in the open air. As I am but a vile plebian, and my ances­tors were only permitted to look at theirs while they tilted and broke each other's bones, you may easily imagine that they scarcely deign to look at me. My friend W** is frequently very much distressed at the silly haughtiness with which they treat me—and I?—I will laugh a few weeks more at their folly and then proceed on my travels.

IV. Nicolaus to William.

You are a fool my dear Nephew; upon my soul you, are for lavishing your time in the company of those noble coxcombs, and confirming them in their presumption that they do you a great deal of honour by tossing up their noses at you. Take care not to tempt me to suspect that you have no [Page 127] intrinsic worth of which you can be proud, since you degrade yourself to be shone upon by the bor­rowed rays of a lamp. I have a very indifferent opinion of a man who is (or at least) ought to be sensible of his dignity, has a comfortable income, and needs but to seek friendship, and rational con­versation among his equals, if he wishes to find them, and nevertheless intrudes himself shame­fully upon a circle where he is tolerated only on account of his mammon.

I do, however, by no means intend to infer by this remark that a nobleman, a baron, or a count, cannot be a warm friend of a plebian; God forbid I should be so unjust. There are, indeed, many worthy, noblemen who know very well that nobi­lity is an inheritance which imposes more duties upon them than we humble plebians have to fulfil in our sphere. However, I would advise you, my son, not to enter into the bonds of friendship with a nobleman, unless you have tried him suffi­ciently whether he be deserving of possessing your heart. Watch him with peculiar attention when you meet him in company of other noblemen. If he should hesitate on these occasions to shake you cordially by the hand, to withdraw with you to a confidential corner in presence of his equals, and to enter with you into a familiar conversation, you ought to shun him, because he is ashamed of his friend! upon my soul he is! It grieves me to tell you that I have made this experience since my re­turn to Germany, and that it has cost me some very unpleasant hours.

I am not at all astonished to learn that you have found the women more foolish and silly than the men; this is the case every where. The less a person has deserved a superior dignity, the proud­er he will be of it. A man who has no other me­rit besides his title, will never forgive you if you [Page 128] neglect stiling him my Lord; but a faithful ser­vant of the state who is conscious of his internal worth and smiles at empty words, will not even take notice of such an omission.

Hark ye, my son! I wish to see your next let­ter dated from some other corner of the world; although I am extremely happy to learn that you have made the acquaintance of my dear Zimmer­man. You may tell him that I esteem him not a bit the better since the Empress of Russia has sent him an order, but that I have more regard for that Princess on that account. Farwell!

V. William to Nicolaus.

You are perfectly right, my dear uncle. I was already going to prepare for my departure and to make a trip to England; but I know not what to think of the singular change which I have under­gone within these few days; I am entirely altered. I take a book in my hand and read not; I sit down to the harpsichord and play not; I tread in all the puddles when I walk through the street, and I ne­glect to return the compliment when an acquaint­ance salutes me in passing by. I perceive it not when it rains, and am not sensible of it when the sun shines. I am particularly fond of solitude, and imagine that I am by myself when I am in large circles. The song of the nightingale makes me melancholy, and I look at the setting sun with tearful eyes. My heart is uncommonly full, my head is empty, my bosom is straitened, I seem to think and am thoughtless. Tell me, dear uncle, what can all this mean?

[Page 129]
VI. Nicolaus to William.

Fool! you are in love! upon my soul you are! I was exactly in your situation after I had seen my Welli the first time. God grant your mistress may be like her! I did not intend to marry you so soon; however, I find I shall be obliged to give up my plan; for, I know that love cares not for plans. I only beg you to consider that she is to be your partner in life till death. Above all things endeavour to be certain [...]hether she has a good heart? As for the rest, it is all alike to me, whether she be noble or of an humble station, rich or poor, handsome or ugly. I shall receive her as my daughter; you shall beget children, and render my old days, days of joy; and now ba [...]ta!

VII. William to Nicolaus.

You have guessed right, dear uncle, I am in love, over head and ears enamoured with a beau­tiful and good girl, it gives me pleasure to speak of her; be so good, dear uncle, to listen to me.

It was five o'clock in the afternoon, last Mon­day se'nnight, when my friend introduced me to the minister, Baron Wall. There was a kind of rout,* or whatever they call it; a dozen of card tables stood in a spacious apartment, painted ladies and sweet-scented gentlemen sat round them▪ a tea table stood before the sofa, on which sat a [Page 130] charming girl who poured out the tea; I say, a girl—for every one that beheld her lovely person forgot that she was a Lady of rank.

Baron Wall received me with a cheerful and en­gaging countenance, yet without denying the man of rank. He is far advanced in years; his face is the picture of old German honesty, his grey hair grew white in the service of the state, and no one can help loving the man at first sight. The case stands differently with regard to the Baroness, whose eyes and nose bespeak the Hanoverian family-pride; she can laugh in a most chilling and arrogant man­ner, is proud of the station of her husband, and looks with pity down upon the inferior classes of beings, like an angel, if I may use this simile, upon an ant-hill. She returned my submissive bow with half a nod of her head, and did me the honour not to speak a word to me. The whole company took notice of me, whispers went from ear to ear, and when they had ascertained that I was not of noble extraction, the games were continued with­out f [...]rther interruption.

The card tables which were before unoccupied, now were p [...]opled by degrees. I was invited to en­gage in a party at [...]'hombre with a plebian counsellor and an ensign, who were looked upon as the lowest in rank (for here they pay regard to the difference of rank even at the card table); but as I am an ene­my to cards they turned their backs on me, as a person who knows nothing of the bon ton, and left me at liberty to amuse myself as well as I could. I walked up and down the apartment, looked at the prints, teazed the parrot, counted the glass-panes, and did not know what to do with my humble self.

Lack of amusement led me at last into an ad­joining apartment, where four or five young la­dies were sitting engaged in cheerful chat; for the unmarried ladies are here rar [...]ly admitted to the [Page 131] card tables. Although I am no misogyn, yet I always was to that moment timid in female circles, and as my gallantry is but so so, I found it really difficult to introduce myself to them in a proper manner. An honest man is never more in danger of acting like a blockhead than when he is to con­verse with young ladies of rank to whom he is an utter stranger. The dear creatures do not ask whether the man who is presented to them be learned, a pattern of probity and a deserving member of the state, whose exterior—though it should be rather ridiculous—ought not to come into consideration; no, they review him at the first bow from top to toe, let all his motions, all the different pieces of his dress run the gauntlet through hundreds of curious looks, comment on every word he utters, laugh if his waistcoat be too long or his bag too large, and frequently mar­ry him after all, and blush at their folly.

I do not recollect how I extricated myself from that dilemma. The young ladies seemed to be rather frolicksome, but for the rest, were good and harmless creatures, whose acquaintance I made in a trice. They asked me how I liked Hanover? whether I intended to make a long stay, &c. &c. The conversation was soon at an end, the replies and questions grew drier and drier, and I secretly rejoiced at the fortunate idea of Lady Amelia (the Baron's daughter whom I had first seen at the tea-table,) who laid her work down and went to a piano forte, which stood at the other end of the apartment. "I don't care (thought I) how indifferently she plays; it will at least save me the trouble of talking nonsense; I need but pretend to be all ear, and may give vent to my thought as I please." I placed a couple of chairs by the instrument, for her and myself, and we sat down.

[Page 132] Amalia laid a sonata of Hosminster upon the desk, and pulled off her gloves. Gracious hea­ven! what a hand did I perceive! So white, so round, so little and so full—whoever is led through life by such a hand must walk on roses. But all this was nothing to what followed. She began to play, and her notes stole upon my heart. The tip of every finger seemed to have a soul; every movement of the sweet enchantress spoke forcibly to the heart. I thought it dangerous to listen any longer to her enchanting strains, and was going to withdraw my eyes from the beautiful hand, when they unfortunately were caught by her bosom, which rendered my situation still more dangerous. I tell you, dear uncle, there is not such another bosom in the world. If the fire of your imagina­tion should be extinguished, you need but recal to your memory that happy moment when you met your sainted Welli the first time, and was hailed by the sight of her swelling bosom. What you felt then was but trifling, it was Greenland cold, if com­pared with the fire which ran through my veins while I sat by Amalia's side. How the transparent gauze heaved and was swelled! Cato would have smiled, and Plato, forgetting his dreams, blinked at her neckerchief with half-closed eyes. I grew dizzy, forgot myself, dropped my head, and my lips imprinted a warm kiss upon her hand. Amalia blushed; my perplexity was greater than I can express. She continued to play, was out of time, touched the wrong keys; I knew not where I was. In short, our hearts had understood each other; however, I shall tell you in my next letter, how I betrayed her eyes, and at last her lips, into the sweet confession that I am not indifferent to her, &c. &c.

[Page 133]
VIII. Nicolaus to William.

Heaven protect us! my poor nephew has lost his understanding! upon my soul he has! When you write again to your old uncle, you will do well not to introduce Plato, the soul in the tip of the fingers, and similar nonsense. What is your whole love affair to me? I will advise you not to tease me again in a further letter with your amo­rous declamations, and desire you not to draw any further comparisons between your dulcinea and my Welli. Marry the girl, in the name of God, but don't pester me with your description of her hand and bosom; all this is nonsense. The hand will not always be round and full, nor will the bosom always heave; you may be sure of it. An union for life requires more important considerations. Many a husband would rather lay upon a stone, than on the swelling bosom of a scold.

However, all this is nothing to me. I do not care whether you marry a swelling bosom and a white hand, or any thing else; that is your busi­ness; the happier you are, the more pleasure it will give me. But it is a bare-faced fal [...]hood when you pretend that I am as cold as an inhabitant of Greenland, if compared to you and that I was as frosty as snow in situations in which you think your heart to be all on fire.

However, I shall be glad if you can contrive to make that enthusiastic fit last all your life. But I am not pleased at all to learn that you are in love with the daughter of a man of rank; she will be infected with so many strange manners, whims, and formalities as to be very little pleased with the Indian simplicity of your poor old uncle. I tell you, nephew, you will not be able to prevail upon [Page 134] me to come to your wedding; for the tone of your societies, as you describe it, is much too stiff for me.

But how come I to talk already of the wedding? as you do not yet know whether the girl will take you, or, which is the same, whether her parents will receive you as their son-in-law? Consider, ne­phew, a minister of state, a Baroness, an honour­able Miss, and plain Mr. Ortenberg—I see a tempest rising in the sky; the vessel is not yet in port. If, however, money should be able to con­tribute something to pilot it safely into the harbour, you may tell them that you have five thousand dol­lars a year, and will have as much again after the death of your old uncle, Nicolaus.

IX. William to Nicolaus.

Kindest best of uncles, your paternal love has drawn tears of gratitude from my eyes. I will not speak much about it; but if God conduct me once happily to your arms, I will prove to you that the seeds of your generosity were not scatter­ed on a sterile foil.

Being sure of your approbation, I have ven­tured to make application to the parents of my Amelia; they were startled and perplexed, and gave me an ambiguous answer. I requested my friend W** to reconnoitre the ground for me; a whole week was spent in consultations with the whole family. My plebian origin was put in one scale, and my five thousand a year was put in the other; the tongue was in the middle. Amelia loves me sincerely; I am proud of this sweet conviction; however her heart was not asked.

[Page 135] They sent me at last word by a near relation, that I should have the girl if I would purchase a patent for nobility. It is a mere whim my dear uncle, but what can I do? Amalia is innocent of it, and my happiness is at stake. I have already spoken to a genealogist, and shewn him our fami­ly seal, which as you know has a man with a whip upon the helmet. He assures me that our family must be extremely old, and proves by our arms that it formerly was noble. He says the Scythi­ans had once made a long inroad into Asia; their slaves seized upon their houses and wives during their absence, and took to arms, when their mas­ters returned. After they had sought a long time with alternate success, an old Scythian pro­posed at last to his brethren in arms, to use only the whip against the refractory slaves, instead of warlike weapons. His idea was generally appro­ved and carried into execution; every warrior seized a whip, the sight of which recalled all the servile pusillanimity of the slaves, and behold they threw down their arms, and took to flight. The Novogarodians, whose town lies in Sarma­tia, struck a medallion in memory of that event, upon which a horseman brandishes a long whip; and the old Scythian who first started that idea, was permitted to bear the man with the whip in his arms.

You see, dear uncle, that our family is pretty ancient. I expect your answer with impatience, and hope you will have the kindness to send me a bill of exchange; for you know that now a-days a person must have money if he wants to be made a noble man.

[Page 136]
X. Nicolaus to William.

No, no, William, it cannot be! Your genea­logist is a fool as well as yourself. How can you talk of Scythians and Sarmatians? We are honest Germans and nothing else. I will give you an explanation in my manner of the fellow with the whip. I should think that our ancestor was an honest carter who led his waggon and his four greys or blacks from one town to the other, and walked humbly by the side of his cattle. He, probably, saved as much by his industry, as en­abled him to make himself comfortable in his old age, and to leave a good fortune to his children. His children being desirous to preserve the me­mory of their industrious father in the family, put a carter with a whip at the top of the hel­met, where it has remained to the present day. This sounds more natural and probable than the story of your genealogist, and you need not be ashamed of having had a carter for an ancestor, for his profession was ten times more honourable than that of an highwayman, which was that of all the cavaliers of those times.

There has been one before you of our family, who was as great a fool as yourself. He did not like the carters whip, and pretended that it ought to be a monk with a scourge, asserting boldly that the engraver had lengthened it out of igno­rance into a whip. I never shall forget the an­swer which my father gave him. "Cousin," said he, "would you rather have a lazy big bellied monk for an ancestor, than an industrious useful carter? The scourge has never been able to drive any evil out of the world, but we owe, perhaps, [Page 137] to the whip, our present prosperity." Hark ye, nephew, these were the sentiments of your grand­father, I would therefore advise you not to speak disrespectfully of the whip.

As for your purchasing a title at Vienna, I will not hear another word of it. A title bought for money is still less worth, than one that has been inherited, and since I have read in Schloe­zer's Journal how much is to be paid for a patent of a count, baron, and nobleman, I cannot help thinking with contempt of these despicable prac­tices.

The bestowing of titles was originally a most excellent institution; they were obtained only by merit and courage, and the dignity of knight did not even descend to the children. The same practice is still kept up in China and other rational countries, where the father is a minister of state while the son is a common sailor, if he be not deserving of a better station. Such a title is worth while accepting, and we bow willingly to such a noble man. However, the beardless boys who rove our country, and cause themselves to be stiled my Lord, are in my eyes less respectable than a laborious Paria * of the coast of Coroman­del. Our sovereigns ought to be ashamed of be­stowing for the sake of dirty lucre, their patent's nobility, to fellows who have no other merit be­sides that which they derive from their pelf, and thereby destroy the spur of honour which is the main spring of monarchies.

[Page 138] This is my creed with regard to this point, and you may easily conclude that you neither will ob­tain my consent nor money to purchase a title. Deserve a title by your superior merit, and I shall honour you for it, and be proud to call you Ba­ron Ortenberg.

Till then farewell! You may look out for ano­ther wife.

[Page 139]


Fell prejudice by darkness bred,
Stalks slaught'ring through the world to shed
The blood of innocence; destruction goes
Before the monster, nameless woes
Are in its rear; its noxious breath
Blasts humble merit, wing'd with death
And black despair are its decrees:
Virtue herself bends oft her knees
And worships at the monster's shrine
And stains with disgrace her divine
And bliss dispensing deeds, imbrues
Her hands with brother-blood, subdues
Her noblest feelings, shuts her ears
'Gainst Pity's voice, beholds the tears
Of weeping suff'rers with disdain;
And cleaves the breaking heart in twain.
Ye Gods of earth, unite to tear
The monster's mask, and break its spear
Which slaughters thousands and destroys
The social bond. Behold and shed
A mournful tear, a tree which spread
Its fruitful branches in the air,
Is worthy of your tender care,
And long the furious tempests stood,
Is disgraced by a poisoned shoot.

POOR William, you did not expect to receive such a letter of your good old uncle. How beau­tiful did Hope, the arch-deceiver, paint your ap­proaching happiness to you? how joyfully did you anticipate in Amalia's arms the bliss of future days! The confident tone in which he had an­nounced [Page 140] his uncle's consent, procured him free access to the Baron's house; he was permitted to take a seat by Amalia's side at table, to attend her on her excursions, yea, even to see her sometimes in her own apartment. The sweet girl, accustom­ed herself to regard him as her intended hus­band, gave free vent to all her feelings, and gra­dually buried the arrow of love so deep in her bo­som, as neither to be able nor inclined to pull it out again.

The old honest Baron who in the very begin­ning had approved of young Ortenberg's court­ship, but was entirely under petticoat government, was rejoiced, on account of the smallness of his fortune, to have an opportunity of marrying Ama­lia, his darling daughter, to a man like Orten­berg; he cared nothing about his plebeian ori­gin, and the foolish demand that he should pur­chase a title at Vienna, originated entirely in the head of his dear helpmate. The Baroness was, indeed, glad to have an opportunity of getting rid of a girl whose blooming beauty eclipsed her sading charms.

She resolved, at the same time, to condescend to accept of her intended son-in-law, a present of a pair of brilliant ear-rings, or any precious trifle of that sort, and to do him the honour of giving splendid balls and sumptuous suppers at his ex­pence, which the declining state of her purse, and the universal intrusion of her plebeian creditors, had prevented her to do for years. How grateful soever these prospects were to her favourite pro­pensities; yet I would not have the reader to sup­pose that they were sufficient to procure her con­sent to receive William without a title into her family. Her mo [...]o was: Pain bis et honneur! and if William, like the kings of Persia, could have assigned the revenues of a whole province [Page 141] for every piece of her dress, all his provinces would have been ranked among that class of things which, indeed, can be borrowed without being paid for, but cannot be compared with a rotten piece of parchment.

Poor William! the post is arrived, the postman is already in the street in which you live, you stand at the window with a beating heart, he en­ters your house, the servant brings you a letter, which, indeed, is sealed with the family seal, up­on which the Scythian brandishes his whip, but is so light and thin, that it is impossible it could contain a few hundreds of yellow comforters. But who knows? the useful invention of bills of exchange, which alone ought to be sufficient to endear the Jews to us, affords some reason to hope that it may be animated with a slip of paper which begins with the words: Please to pay three weeks after date, &c. &c.

He opened the letter, read it impatiently, threw it indignantly upon the table, took it up again, perused it once more, and folded it and at last put it into his pocket with a deep sigh. "What shall I do? what will the Baroness say? what A­malia? what her father?" These questions re­volved in his head like the vortices of Cartesius, till he resolved at last to write once more to his uncle, to attack his heart with the eloquence of love, to paint his disconsolation, his despair and to leave his mistress and her parents in the error that he had not yet received an answer from his uncle, till he should have ascertained what effect his epistle would have on his flinty heart.

He sat down and drew up a letter, but I must decline repeating to my readers all the arguments and ideas which he introduced; for his disconso­late epistle swelled to the size of a book, a trea­tise in which he laboured to prove, that it is ab­solutely [Page 142] necessary we should accommodate our­selves to the follies and humours of the world, supporting his arguments by the opinions of anci­ent and modern philosophers, and non-philoso­phers, and elucidating them by a powerful host of examples. "Would you not, my dearest un­cle," wrote he amongst others: "have thought the old Bramin Akbar to be the most cruel and unjust of men, if he had refused to unite his Welli to you, because you was no Tamulian, and did not belong to his cast?"

"Very true!" replied Nicolaus: "and I give you leave to form any opinion of Baron Wall, who will not let you have his daughter, because you are no Baron."

"Did you not yourself," continued William: "submit to the rites which he prescribed to you? Did you not perform the Sandi wane, did you not adorn the Lingam with flowers, not because you thought this was a more powerful ceremony, than the sprinkling with holy water, but because the possession of Welli depended upon the perform­ance of that ceremony? Believe me, dearest un­cle, we should be compelled to fly to dreary de­sarts, to turn Anchorites, and to renounce the con­versation with men for ever, if we were to re­fuse every little sacrifice to the rooted prejudices of our times. You are more to me than a fa­ther, you gave me more than life, for I owe to your generous care every accomplishment of my mind which renders me worthy of possessing my Amalia. You destroy your own work, and rob me in one moment of every thing you gave me, by depriving me of that sweet hope. Amalia alone is able to spur me to arrive at greater per­fection, and I shall turn a villain, if I cannot ob­tain her."

[Page 143] "You may turn any thing," replied Nicolaus, "except a nobleman for money. Did I not tell you that you should endeavour to deserve a title by your merits? Have you no courage to earn an order by devoting your abilities to the state? Fie, shame! Love ought to raise your sentiments, and you whine like an effeminate Corydon."

"Well, I then will turn soldier!" exclaimed William in a passion: "the military line is the only one in which I may hope to purchase that miserable distinction at the expence of my blood. I will fly to encounter dangers! I will voluntari­ly fly into the midst of scenes of carnage and de­struction, to which the grey veteran creeps trem­bling and reluctant, will attract the general's no­tice, and either wrest an order from the icy hand of death, or fall on the field of battle."

Thus spoke William, glowing with youthful ar­dour, and animated by the fire of the most ar­dent love, with enthusiastic fervour. His amo­rous frenzy made it appear as easy to him to mount the summit of the Cordilleras, a [...] it would be be to step over an ant hill. However, he found it by far more difficult to [...] the resolu­tion to shew to his mistress, and her proud mo­ther, the mountains which prejudice on one side, and well meant pertinacity on the other had thrown up between them. Amalia soon read me­lancholy in his eyes, and drew the dreadful secret from his heart.

After an awful pause, during which a pearly tear stole from her blue eye, she offered him her hand with a mournful smile:

"Dear William! said she: I am scarcely seven­teen years old, and you are only in your twenty­fifth. I will remain constant to you."

That William swam in an ocean of bliss, that he clasped Amalia in his arms, and sealed the vow [Page 144] of eternal fidelity a thousand times upon her lips, is matter of course which scarcely wants being mentioned. It is equally obvious that a conversa­tion must have [...] between the Baron and his lady, nearly of the following tenor:


He shall not come any more to our house.


But he is a polite and sensible man.


He is no nobleman.


But our daughter loves him.


She shall not love him; he is no no­bleman.


However, he has a fine fortune.


It would be better if he had a title.


But he would make Amalia happy.


It is impossible; for he is no noble­man.


This is mere prejudice, my dear; he is an honest man; and who knows what mean profession our ancestors may have carried on.


I know nothing of your ancestors, my Lord; but as for mine, I must request you to keep your remarks to yourself. My ancestor Hans of Wumpsenpumps was knighted by Empe­ror Henry, the bird-catcher, and tilted at the first tournament which was given in the year 936, af­ter the creation of the world.


You mean after the birth of Christ?


No, no, I tell you after the creation of the world. Christ was no nobleman, and the cavaliers were not used to count the years from his nativity.—However, you have interrupted me. Eberhard of Wumpsenpumps tilted at the tour­nament which Duke Lewis of Swabia gave at Constance on the Bodensee, and gained the prin­cipal prize. Henry of Wumpsenpumps had the same honour at the tournament which was held at Zurich, in the year 1165. Then—

[Page 145]

Yes, yes, my dear, then comes Maxi­milian of Wumpsenpumps who tilted at Nurem­berg, under Emperor Henry VI. in the year 1197, and so forth. I know it all by heart.


Very well! if you then know it, how can you entertain the most distant idea of marrying our daughter to Mr. Ortenberg?


Because I think that your ancestors have not tilted to ruin my daughter's happiness.


Stupid nonsense! I will make her happy. I have a count in view for her.


I hope not Count Wimmer Wammer?


The very same.


But you don't consider, my dear, that he is a downright blockhead.


He is a count, and this is quite suf­ficient.

The Baron shrugged his shoulders and said not a word more, for my lady threatened to faint, an argument which always convinced her good na­tured helpmate. Ortenberg was therefore dismis­sed with a cold excuse, a proud toss of the nose and a warm kiss. I leave my readers to guess who gave him the first and second, and from whom he received the last farewell.

[Page 146]


'Tis hard vice triumphs, and that virtue grieves;
Yet oft affliction purifies the mind,
Kind benefits oft flow from means unkind.
Were the whole known, that we uncouth suppose,
Doubtless, 'twould beauteous symmetry disclose.
The naked cliff, that singly rough remains,
In prospect dignifies the fertile plains;
Lead-colour'd clouds, in scattering fragment seen,
Shew, though in broken views, the blue [...]erene.
Severe distresses industry inspire;
Thus captives oft excelling arts acquire,
And boldly struggle through a state of shame
To life, ease, plenty, liberty and fame.
We pass through want to wealth, through dismal strife.
To calm content, through death to endless life.

"DEAR uncle, I am going into the army!" exclaimed William to old Nicolaus, when he met him at the foot of the Swiss mountains, in the lonely temple which concealed Welli's ashes: "I am going into the army, and shall set off to-mor­row."


I don't care, if you go to-day. Since when have you been seized with that blood thirsty idea?


Since paternal love has fled from your heart.


'Tis false! upon my soul, it is false! Young man, young man! I have placed you on a [Page 147] bed of roses, and now when you find a ruffled leaf in it, you groan and whine, and think you are the most wretched of mortals, as if the whole system of the world were to move after your commands.—What a miserable philosopher you are!


Be not angry, dear uncle! since I first saw Amalia, I know of no other system but of the system of love, and view every object through a coloured glass.


But love generally gives to her glas­ses a roseate colour?


Successful love does! however, mine must be satisfied with a small mixture of green, the livery of hope.


Never mind! love always goes thro' all the colours of the rainbow, till at last every cloud disappears from the horizon, and only the sky-blue of friendship is seen, and then our days are serenest.—Have you put an end to the farce with Amalia?


(Hurt). Farce, dear uncle?—what a word! Appears true and congenial love so ludi­crous to you? how ill does this accord with your vaunted passion for the excellent woman whose ashes are enclosed in this urn!


Peace, peace! don't be offended; I meant no harm. However, I shall not ask your pardon before a year is elapsed, provided you then are still serious in your passion for Amalia. You will see numerous pretty faces, hear many harmonious warblers.


I shall see nothing but the hostile ban­ners, hear nothing but the thunder of cannons—where is war? Every moment is precious to me, and deprives me perhaps for ever of an op­portunity of signalizing myself—did you not say, dear uncle, that I am to acquire a title by glo­rious deeds?—I vow in the most solemn man­ner, [Page 148] you shall not see me again until I have ac­quired an order, or am in possession of some other badge of honour.


How that blusters and boils. May I not know, my young hero, under whose banners you intend to inlist?


It is all alike to me. I have no ob­jection to enlist among the Tartars if they have a mind to attack the Chinese.


Fie! shame! your blood belongs to your country.


To my country?—The world is my country! I am a cosmopolite.


You are a fool, a downright fool! There, take it! (he gives him a leather bag). There are a thousand ducates, go, and serve your king.

A dispute had arisen at that very time between two of the most powerful monarchs of Europe, which, however, lasted only a short time, because the old lion, as Raynal says, stept once more forth from his den, and shook his mane with noble in­dignation. William applied for a commission in the army of the king of Prussia. Fortune was propitious to him. Count *** was just raising a corps of light cavalry, and as young Ortenberg distinguished himself by his noble and polished fi­gure, and wanted not for money, he obtained a commission as first lieutenant. His captain was shot soon after in a skirmish, and our hero who had received three wounds on the same occasion, succeeded him in his command.

You see, kind reader, that our hero is in a fair way to make good his word. Fortune, thou de­ceitful ignis fatuus, be kind to him, and light him on the path of honour, without deserting him maliciously in the morass of danger.

[Page 149] One day—he just had received a letter from Amalia, new sire rolled through his veins, he felt himself bold enough to rush into the midst of the most hazardous dangers—on that day he rode with about twenty of his men round the enemy's camp, teazing the out-posts, when he suddenly heard a firing of pistols at some distance. He rode towards the place of action, and saw a small party of Prussians fighting against a superior num­ber of Austrian hussars. An old Prussian General had ventured too far on a reconnoitring party, his retreat was cut off, and he was so dangerously wounded as scarcely to be able to keep himself in the saddle. William rushed furiously upon the enemy, paved himself a way to the General, who was pressed on all sides, and came to his assistance, at the very moment when an Austrian hussar was on the point of shooting him through the head. William's sabre severed his arm, the pistol went off, but the ball hit only the General's horse, who dropped down and rolled himself bleeding upon his rider. William was also in danger of losing his life, a ball whizzed by his head, and he re­ceived a cut of a sabre in his arm.

The enemy was at length dispersed, the old Ge­neral was disengaged from under the dead horse, and carried fainting to his tent. He was carried to bed, a surgeon dressed his wounds, and he open­ed his eyes; "Where is the officer who saved my life?"

William stood at the foot of the bed; the blood streamed from his wound.

"Yes, you are my preserver," said the General, with a faint voice, extending his hand towards William: "I owe you a great deal; will you fa­vour me with your name."


Captain Ortenberg.


Ortenberg? Who was your father?

[Page 150]

My father was master of the school at W**.

(with violent agitation.)

Merciful God!—Children, retire a few moments.

His people quitted the tent.


Captain I perceive the finger of God. I struggle in vain to arm myself in this hour, which perhaps is my last, with principles which I once imbibed in the riots of dissipation. The powerful arm of God has seized me. I cast my eyes beyond the grave, and horrid spectres grin at me. Captain, summon [...]p all your fortitude, I am the Governor of W**.

(ejaculating a scream of horror.)

Mer­ciful God! the murderer of my poor parents!


Yes, I am, and confess that this hour is the first of my repentance. I am at the brink of the grave; do not reject my prayer for for­giveness.

William, being dreadfully agitated, was not able to speak; his father's ghost stood before him; he imagined he saw his pale, emaciated figure, his breaking eyes, and that he heard his last groan; he p [...]t his hand to his sword—when his better genius whispered to him: "Recollect the promise which you gave to your dying father! you have an opportunity to revenge yourself, shew that you are an hero of humanity—forgive him!"

William struggled a moment, withdrew the hand from the hilt of his sword, and extended it to the wounded General.

"General!" said he: "I forgive you; you owe this moderation to the shade of my murdered pa­rent. I vowed to him, when he was dying, that I would not avenge his sufferings, otherwise I would have pursued you to the centre of the globe, plunged my sword into your heart, or died by your hand, to load your conscience with the murder of [Page 151] a whole family. I knew that you was in the army, and shunned the sight of you; however, fate had decreed it otherwise. Die in peace, and if you should meet the spirit of my father beyond the grave, tell him that I have kept my promise faith­fully.


I will, generous young man! I wish it were in my power to retrieve part of my crimes before I die, and to indemnify the son for the in­juries and sufferings I have caused to the father.


Indemnify: What do you call indem­nification? Can you raise the dead? o [...] do you imagine yourself able to purchase peace of consci­ence with money! I forgive you General, out of regard for the last command of my unfortunate pa­rent; and you mistake me very much if you im­pute this action to any other motive.


And would you really deny me the satisfaction of assisting the son of a man whom I have ruined?


I want no money, but serve for ho­nour. If you can assist me to attain this object, you will render it easier for me to forget what I have lost through you.

A chaplain entered the tent.

"Before I recur to you for consolation," said the General, "I must first ease my conscience by paying part of a debt which I owe to this young man."

His secretary was called in, and he indited to him, in William's presence, a report to the king, stating:

"That he had been surprised on a reconnoitring party, by a superior number of enemies, that Captain Ortenberg had come to his assistance in the most critical moment, and rescued him by his uncommon [...]ravery from the Austrians, notwith­standing their great superiority; that he not only [Page 152] had saved his life, but also rendered the State the most important service, as he had plans and papers in his letter-case, which, without Ortenberg's as­sistance would unavoidably have fallen into the hands of the Austrians. He added, he could not reflect without trembling on the dreadful conse­quences which this might have produced, and re­quested the king to reward the brave Captain ac­cording to his deserts."

He signed the report with a trembling hand, and dispatched it by a courier. William quitted the tent, and the General was left in private with his chaplain.

It is no difficult task to convert, at the brink of the grave, a libertine, who never took the trouble to sin after principles, and was a free-thinker, for no other reason than that of having an opportunity to stun his conscience. The Rev. Mr. Simson, a stout square-bodied man, who had courage enough to exchange the bible for a sword, in case of ne­cessity, and to march at the head of an army, now raised his thundering voice, shaking the consci­ence of the wounded sinner, which just seemed to awake from a long lethargy, painted the eternity of damnation in horrid colours, and assured the officers on coming out of the tent, after having exerted his pulmonary powers two hours, that he had saved a soul from the clutches of the devil.

The General himself imagined that he was sud­denly transformed into a pious Christian; and this persuasion lasted—till his wounds began to mend, contrary to all expectation, and he grew tired of repenting. In short, he was so much [...] in three weeks, as to be able to keep a faro-bank at his bed-side, and after the lapse of five weeks, threw himself again into the arms of a strumpet.

It is but natural that he now was ashamed of having betrayed so much weakness, as he called it, [Page 153] and shunned William's company as much as possi­ble. He scarcely spoke to him when he could not avoid him, spoke doubtfully of his courage, to palliate his ingratitude to his preserver, and at last, when William's presence became more and more intolerable to him, conceived the diabolical design of making away with him in an unsuspected man­ner. He contrived for this purpose to cause Wil­liam to be commanded to all posts of danger. The artless young man, who thirsted after honour, and suspected no treachery, went cheerfully wherever he was ordered, and always returned to the camp with additional laurels.

The fame of his courage and zeal for the ser­vice, had already reached the ears of the com­mander in chief. He enjoyed the respect and love of his brother officers, and was esteemed by his superiors. Fortune smiled on him.

He was ordered one day to escort a waggon with money, and left the camp at the first dawn of day. He had not been many hours absent when a courier arrived from Berlin, and among other dispatches also brought intelligence that the king had been pleased to grant the brevet of a major to Captain Ortenberg, and to honour him with the order of Pour le Merite.

Ortenberg's promotion was made known in the army. No countenance bespoke envy, sincere joy sparkled in every eye; every one wished to be the first harbinger of that fortunate event; the return of William's regiment was impatiently waited for; some of his more intimate friends rode out of the camp, to meet him.

The regiment returned at last in the evening. It had been obliged to skirmish a great deal; the greater part of it had been cut to pieces, many officers wounded, and some killed—Captain Or­tenberg was among the latter. A pistol shot had [Page 154] wounded him in the neck; he still kept his seat, though with difficulty, when another perforated his breast, and he dropt from his horse. His lieu­tenant attempted to carry him away; but he was already dying. Collecting his last remaining strength, he pulled his watch out of his pocket, gave it to the lieutenant, and conjured him by their mutual friendship, to deliver it himself to Amalia, and to request her to keep it in remem­brance of a man who had died for her. The lieu­tenant gave him his word of honour, and he breath­ed his last.

Many a rough warrior, many a veteran grena­dier wept a tear after him. His corpse was con­veyed to the camp and buried with all military honours.

The order of Pour le Merite adorned his coffin.

[Page 155]


To weep a tear of grief does not degrade
The wise; but it befits him not to loath
The thorny path: he mounts the sunny top
And leaves beneath his feet the scowling clouds
With mischief big. The wise may wish for death.
But not complain in accents of despair
Of his long journey thro' the vale of life:
For all experience gain'd in life bears fruit
Of happiness beyond the peaceful grave.
Joy and the thorns of sorrow are alike
Divided in this world. The Pilgrim who
On roses walks to his long home will tread
On thorns hereafter. My mortal self
No law of gravity will check thy flight
When Death, that messenger of peace and bliss
Dissolves the clay-form'd bonds. We meet again
In yon realms where peace for ever reigns.
These organs which enthral th' eternal mind
Are form'd by slow degrees for better worlds▪
And Death sets free the nobler self from ties
Which bind the bliss-aspiring soul so hard
And wind depressing servitude aw hile.
Take hold, thou Man of woe, of this sweet hope,
When spiteful Fate bestrews thy path with thorns
And moists thy mouldy bread with burning tears.
Look up to yon realms of endless bliss,
Where sufferers whose hearts are link'd by woe
Will meet again and bless the hand that mix'd
The cup of joy with heart-refining grief.

"HE was an excellent fellow! upon my soul he was!" groaned Nicolaus when he heard that his nephew was dead. "Alas! I now sit here lik Robinson Crusoe on his solitary island, have [Page 156] every thing in abundance and am nevertheless des­titute of all comforts. The architect has built a beautiful house for me; but, alas! it is so large, so empty; when I blow my nose in my bed room the servants hear it in the kitchen, and my apart­ment is as silent as the grave when my Canary­birds and parrots don't chuse to chatter; one could hear the death-watch click. I have a fine garden laid out after Hirshfeld's theory; however there is no other beaten path in it but that which leads to Welli's mausoleum, and I have no person that calls me from that favourite spot. I have a beau­tiful prospect into the mountains, but there is not a soul to whom I could say: look, what a charm­ing view is this! Of what use is my hoard of gold to me? not even a beggar knocks at my door with whom I could share it.—I have lived long enough! a person may, sometimes live too long.—Why did I not reverse the mad law of the Indians? Why did I not share the blazing pile with the corpse of my dear wife? Who will now execute my last will? Who will commit my body to the flames?—Un­feeling and heartless hirelings will surround me when my breath is gone, incase my body in a dark box, and commit it to corruption.—Fy! I have, indeed, lived too long!"

"Thus moaned old honest Nicolaus in his soli­tude, and he grew week after week more tired of the world. He rose from his couch, because the morning dawned, and had not slept; he ate, because it was dinner time, and was not hungry; he went to bed, because it was night, and was not sleepy.

He was soon tired of leading such a vegetative life. He wished impatiently for the society of some sympathizing being on whose hand he could walk to the peaceful grave. He considered some time, and at last sat down to his desk and wrote to Han­over to Baron Wall.

[Page 157]

The charms of your daughter have cost my poor nephew his life; I demand an indemnification for that loss, I consider your Amalia as the widow of my son, and wish to be permitted to call her daugh­ter. I am an old fellow, possess two hundred thou­sand dollars in hard cash, a house and jewels which are worth as much again. Let me share it with Amalia. I want nothing in return but her compa­ny. She shall close my eyes and cause my body to be burnt. I have only a few years more to live and then she will be my sole heiress. I shall, indeed not purchase a title; however, my calling her doughter will not deprive her of her nobility, and she may bestow her hand upon a count when I am dead.

We two old fellows shall, probably not meet in this life: however, I will give you a faithful account of her in the next world; upon my soul I will.

I beg you will have the goodness to give the en­closed trifles to your spouse in my name.

Nicolaus Ortenberg.

The inclosed trifles cosisted of a set of brlliants worth above eight thousand dollars.

Poor Amalia had not enjoyed one hour of hap­piness since William's departure. While Hope, that pleasing deceiver, lived in her bosom, she bore patiently every harsh treatment of her proud mo­ther, and when her worthy father one day brought her a newspaper in which Ortenberg's name was mentioned with applause, her virgin cheeks glowed with the crimson hue of desire; her loving heart beat with fond expectation. She now looked with ardent desire towards every post-day, came always down stairs when the letter-carrier knocked at the door, to receive the newspaper, running with impa­tient steps up stairs to examine the wished-for [Page 158] sheets, looked for the name of her beloved William, and found it at last—on the list of the killed.—

Poor, unfortunate girl! Alas, how mournfully did now her juvenile days creep along! She was deprived even of the last consolation of a suffering mind; she durst not give vent to her tears. She was not permitted to indulge her grief, was always scolded when she cast her mournful eyes musing to the ground, was frequently obliged to hear the most cruel insinuations, and suffer herself to be chided for disgracing her noble birth by mean sentiments, and what was worse than this, was tormented day after day by the loathsome addresses of the little big­bellied count.

Thus desponding was her situation, when the let­ter of honest Nicolaus arrived. The father was unwilling to part with his daughter; however, the mother who hoped in vain to overcome Amalia's aversion from th [...] little count, availed herself joy­fully of this opportunity of getting rid of her. She called, indeed the artless Nicolaus a rude Bear, be­cause he had mentioned her so bluntly by the vul­gar appellation of your Spouse, as he at least ought to have called her her Ladyship; however, the bril­liants appeased her ire a little; she dressed herself with the precious gift, stept to the looking glass, and the tongue of the balance soon inclined to Or­tenberg's side. She condescended to agree to his request.

My readers will easily conceive that Amalia was extremely glad to leave a house where the love of her father struggled in vain against his weakness, and the pride of her mother poisoned all her inno­cent enjoyments, even the bitter pleasure of melan­choly.

The treaty was soon concluded. Amalia enfol­ded the knees of her father, his tears trickled down upon her hand, his blessing consecrated the hour [Page 159] of parting. The mother kissed her upon her cheek, and declared that she would give her her curse if ever she should dare to disgrace the noble family of the Wumpsenpumpses by throwing her heart away upon a plebeian. Amalia flung herself into the carriage, attended by an old meager french duenna and proceeded towards switzerland.

The old man received her with open arms, and sent the French antiquity immediately back to Han­over. He felt in a few hours benevolence for Amalia; loved her after a [...]ew days, and not many weeks were passed when he doated on her. She accommodated herself to all the whims and singu­larities of his old age, wept with him at Welli's urn, was silent when he was disinclined to chat, read to him when he was cheerfully disposed, sat down to the harpsicord and lulled him asleep by her soothing play. She surprised him frequently by a rural feast, summoned his tenants to partake of his bounty on the pleasure ground which joined his house, and forced him sometimes to confess; that participa­ting in the pleasures of others is the highest and purest bliss.

His heart was gratefully sensible of what Amalia did for him, and he meditated frequently in private how he could give her some unexpected pleasure, and the day on which he had the satisfaction to succeed in it was to him a day of festivity. Thus one month elapsed after the other, and the rays of the rising sun emerging from behind the Alps, were hailed every morn by a content, if not a hap­py couple.

One morning—Amalia had just risen.—a ser­vant informed her a gentleman wanted to speak to her. She referred him to Nicolaus; but he insisted upon speaking to Lady Amalia Wall herself. She went down into the parlour and beheld an officer, who presented himself to her with modest propri­ety [Page 160] as Baron Waldburg. They sat down on the sofa, conversing on different subjects; the Lieu­tenant seemed distressed how he should introduce the object of his visit.

"My Lady," began he at last, timidly, "I went in search of you to Hanover, to comply with my word of honour which I gave to a dying friend. This watch—belonged formerly to Major Orten­berg. He fell by my side and requested me be­fore he died to deliver this watch into your own hands, and to desire you to keep it for his sake.—Forgive me if I, perhaps, tear again a wound o­pen which scarcely is closed.—I should have exe­cuted the last request of my dying friend much sooner, if the service had not prevented me."

Amalia swam in tears; she pressed the watch to her heart. A small seal which she had given Willi­am at Hanover was fixed to it. She wanted to thank the friend of her lover,—extended her hand towards him, but could not speak. The idea that her name had been the last word which her dear William had uttered, filled her heart with unspeak­able sadness. Nicolaus now joined them, saw the object of Amalia's tears, and could not retain his. I wish I had suffered him to buy a title!" This was all he could say.

That day was devoted to sorrow. Lieutenant Waldburg staid dinner, during which little was ate and less spoken. The full moon found them in the evening sitting silently at Welli's urn.

I now shall lay down my pen. Nicolaus and Amalia are still living, whether in Switzerland or at the foot of the Kaukasus will be indifferent to my readers. Nicolaus moistens Welli's ashes with his tears, and Amalia looks frequently at William's watch, and counts every hour which brings her nearer towards the grave.


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