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The dancing bark conveyed Hubert as trustily as though he had been a heedless child, incapable of making any exertion for himself, past the dangerous current to the opposite shore, where the Castle of Ehrenfels, looking down on its joyous vineyards, glittered in the morning ray. Beneath the bright sunbeams, Hubert began to shake off the bewildering vision of the night, and as they gradually unravelled themselves before him, he scarce knew what to think, or what course to pursue. Doubt and confidence, tenderness and repugnance, struggled in his bosom, as night and day had lately done before his eyes. Sometimes he fancied he saw the gentle face of Loreley, as it had smiled in the light of that lamp from the altar, and he thought if he could only have brought her into day-light, that all doubt and dread would have been dispelled at once. Then, again, when he remembered how she started in affright at the crowing of the cock, an indefinite feeling of horror arose in his mind, and he felt once more as if it had been a ghost that had accompanied him through the darkness, and only wondered that he had escaped alive from his fearful adventure. Wearied with idle conjectures, he hastened to the hut of a neighbouring vine-dresser, and craving a morning's repast, took off his wet garments, and clothed himself in those of one of the young peasants.
What course to adopt he found it difficult to determine. At first he was tempted to return forthwith to Stahleck, in the hope, that since his life had been so wonderfully preserved, the anger occasioned to his family, by his disobedience, might be appeased, and his mother and sister might, perhaps, be persuaded to join their entreaties with his, in behalf of the beautiful Loreley. Then, if a tender yearning would arise in his bosom, to fly once more to the nymph of the rock, and live for her, and her alone, an involuntary shudder would again overtake him, and his love would be changed into a vague feeling of horror and repugnance.
After thus dreaming away a great part of the morning upon the shore, he at length came to the determination of proceeding to Stahleck, without further delay ; to avert, if possible, any evil which might be impending over the fairy maiden.
His heart grew heavier at every step which brought him nearer to his father's castle. He ascended a staircase hewn out of the rock, which led, by a shorter passage, to a side portal; and, as he lifted the hammer to announce his approach, he perceived, for the first time, that the ring from his left hand was missing; and it instantly occurred to him, that the nymph must have secretly withdrawn it from his finger, and retained it as an irrevocable pledge of betrothment.
It was already evening—the Palatine, informed of the death of his son, had sent forth Ruthard, with a numerous troop of followers, to carry off Loreley, living or dead. As these fierce intruders approached, the maiden stood on her rock, gazing up the stream towards Hubert's castle, and warbling her wonted notes of Loreley, Loreley.' As soon as they arrived opposite the rock, Ruthard called out, in a deceitful tone.
We bring thee a greeting from thy true love Hubert—he sends thee a bridal kiss, which will make thee his wife. Come down, then, and receive it, or tell us how we may reach thee in safety. Loreley raised her white hand, and with her delicate finger pointed out a path by which they might climb the rock, and here and there a shrub which would assist them in their ascent; for she believed that they were bringing her a greeting from Hubert. Several of his companions tried to dissuade the daring Ruthard from this perilous
attempt; but he laughed at their fears, and selected two of the most determined of his followers, to clamber with him up the cliff.
• Now take your cords, and bind her,' cried he, when they had reached the summit. · Alas! what would you?' exclaimed Loreley. “Thou sorceress !' answered Ruthard, • know that I am come to avenge the death of the fair young Hubert.' • Hubert Hubert, come hither,' cried Loreley, in a plaintive voice across, the mountain. * Alas! I am no sorceress, I am Hubert's own betrothed.' · Spirit of evil,' answered Ruthard, 'thou knowest that Hubert lies low beneath the Rhine.' But Loreley protested again and again, that Hubert was safe at Stahleck, and wringing her snowy hands, and embracing Ruthard's knees, exclaimed unceasingly, in a piteous tone of voice, Oh! let me not die, Hubert, Hubert, forsake me not in this extremity.'
Her grief and beauty softened the hearts of all those who had remained below; and one of them called out to the knight, Prithee spare her awhile, and I will gallop back to Strahleck, and see if what she says be true. If the young Count be really at the castle, and she has been the means of saving his life, she has surely a claim to be set at liberty.'
But Ruthard laughed him to scorn, and rejoined, “Wilt thou not bring a priest with thee also, and try to convert the evil one ? Even, if Hubert were yet alive, this Loreley would still be deserving of death, if only for having led him astray from his duty.' Loreley, however, seemed inspired with fresh courage, as she gazed after her champion, who was already scouring away on his foaming steed. After a brief space he returned, bringing with him the news of Hubert's safety, but added, addressing Loreley, “Thou must give back the ring that thou tookest from the Palatine's son, or thy life will not even yet be spared. Our Lord the Count, however, promises thee his protection on this condition.'
• I have no ring, no ring,' answered Loreley in a piteous accent—he had none on his hand to give me—Ah! Hubert, Hubert, why comest thou not to save me. Carry me to him in these bonds, and he will unloose them. Dost thou see now,' cried Ruthard, she will not give up the ring?' And Loreley wept like the pleading roe, when the cruel huntsman stands over it, and called on Hubert again and again, and maintained unceasingly, that she knew nothing of any ring. It was then that some of the rugged men, who stood below, were melted into compassion for her, for Ruthard declared he would allow no further delay. A huge fragment of the rock was hung round her tender neck, and the fierce executioners were about to commence their sacrifice. Loreley looked on them, and exclaimed, “My lover has betrayed me; none shall lay hands upon me;'and once more gazing up the river, and leaning forward, as though to descry the castle of Stahleck, she rushed to the edge of the rock, and plunged into the water. Ruthard and his murderous assistants stood, as if metamorphosed into stone. Loreley was avenged. They were unable to find the path down the rock, and perished miserably on its summit.
The next day, a man from Oberwesel carried to the castle a large draught of fish, which he had netted in the Rhine; and as they were preparing for the table, within one of them was found the young Count's ring, which must have slipped from his finger as as he sank into the river.
Hubert, whom his father had at first detained prisoner, could be withheld no longer, when he heard the fate of Loreley: but in vain did he traverse the Rhine from side to side: the fair form, and gentle face, of the maiden never more met his eyes, She was never seen again. Her voice, however, might still at times be heard-no longer singing as before, but softly answering those who spoke to her; and the tones were half choked by tears and sighs, and became lower and lower at every word : it seemed as if she were saying, "Why do you waste your breath on me, and invite me to sport as I was wont to do? Thine is not Hubert's voice-I have lost him, lost him for ever.'
One day Hubert himself called to her, and she answered him, and gave him back his own greeting ; but the tones were more than he could bear, and he turned to hide his face on the bosom of his sister Una, who stood mournfully beside him. Then, from his outstretched hand, he dropped the ring into the water, and sat listening anxiously between the strokes of the oars; and they were fain to row him away in his anguish; for, if his sister had not restrained him, he would most assuredly have plunged into the Rhine.
From the time of his dropping the ring upon the rock, (which to this day bears the name of the Water Fairy), Hubert began to pine, as if something were preying on his heart; and, with a yearning grief for Loreley, his young life melted away, like the faint tones of the huntsman's horn, dying in the distance.
ON SEEING THE ENDYMION OF ALBANO
SLEEPING ON MOUNT LATMOS, GUARDED BY CHERUBS.
The very music of his name has gone into my being.-KEATS.
I NEVER would have drawn Endymion thus-
Thrown into light and beauty, by the beam
And none but love remembers thee,
In the same earth my home shall be ;
KREISLER, THE CHAPEL-MASTER.
FROM THE GERMAN OF HOFFMANN.
WHENCE comes he ? Nobody knows. Who were his parents ? None can tell. Whose pupil is he? That of a good master, for he plays excellently well; and, as he possesses sense and understanding, we may tolerate him, nay even grant him the privilege of instructing our children in music.
And he has really and truly been chapel-master,' added the diplomatic persons, to whom he had once, in a fit of good humour, showed a document of the directors of the royal - theatre, in which he, ‘John Kreisler, chapel-master, is dismissed from his appointment, because he resolutely refused to set to music an opera written by the Poet Laureate; also, for having several times, at a table d'hote, spoken irreverently of the primo uomo, and endeavoured to extol and prefer before him, in quite extravagant, although almost incomprehensible terms, the prima donna, a girl whom he had instructed in singing. Nevertheless, he was permitted to retain the title of chapel-master; nay, he might even return to his post, as soon as he should have totally laid aside certain peculiarities, and ridiculous prejudices, and notions; as for example, that the Italian school of music had altogether vanished, &c. &c., and fully believe in the excellence of the Poet Laureate, who was universally acknowledged to be a second Metastasio.' His friends maintained, that nature had tried a new receipt on his organization; and that the experiment failed, for that too little phlegm had been mixed up with his over susceptible feelings, and with an imagination glowing even to flames, so that the counterpoise was lost, which was essential to the artist, in order to enable him to live in the world, and to conform to its methodical and cold-hearted customs. Be that as it may, John was driven hither and thither by his inward emotions, and dreaming conceptions, as upon an eternally moving sea, and 'seemed in vain to seek the haven of peace and serenity, in which alone genius can exert its powers. So it happened then, that his friends could never induce him to write an opera; or, when written, to leave it undestroyed. Sometimes he composed at night, when in the highest state of excitement; he called up his friend who dwelt under the same roof, in order to play over to him, while yet under the influence of inspiration, what he had written with incredible celerity; he shed tears of joy over his successful work; he esteemed himself the happiest of men ;-but the following day the noble composition was committed to the flames !
Song operated almost destructively upon him, because his imagination was then intensely stimulated; and his spirit mounted into a region, whither none could follow him without danger : on the other hand, he frequently amused himself for hours by playing the most extraordinary themes upon the piano-forte, with beautiful harmonic changes and imitations, and in working them out into the most skilful passages. When he had succeeded in this to his wish, he continued for several days in a cheerful key, and a certain waggish irony seasoned the conversation with which he delighted his small circle of familiar friends.
On a sudden he vanished-nobody knew for why, or whitherMany