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of life was suspended between his lips, night I have dreamed a good dream.” like a thin morning mist in the vallies, Old Gertrude was a living repository of which the slightest gust of wind is capa- dreams: she hunted out every dream of ble of dissipating altogether. Matilda the servants, and whenever she could had perfect intelligence of every thing seize one, imagined an interpretation that was going forward within doors. It | that depended on herself only to fulfil; was not either from caprice or prudery for the most agreeable dreams in her that she had declined the knight's invita- system boded nothing but squabbles tion. It cost her a hard conflict between and scolding. “ Let me bear thy dream, head and heart-reason and inclination, that I may interpret it,” said she.-“ Í before she could firmly resolve not to thought,” replied Matilda, “ that I was hearken to the call of her beloved. But at home with my mother, she took me on the one hand she was desirous of aside, and taught me how to prepare a proving the constancy of her fiery suitor, broth from nine sorts of herbs, which and she hesitated on the other to extort cures all sickness, if you do but take its last wish from the musk-ball: for she three spoonfuls. Prepare this broth for considered that a new dress was neces- thy master, and he will not die, but get sary to the bride ; and her godmother better from the hour he shall eat of it.” had charged her not to lavish away her Gertrude, much struck at the relation of wishes thoughtlessly. Nevertheless, on this dream, refraining for the present the feast day she felt very heavy at heart, from all allegorical interpretations.-retired to a corner, and wept bitterly. “ Thy dream,” said she, “ is too exThe Count's illness, of which she easily traordinary to have come by chance. divined the cause, gave her still greater Go, this instant, and make ready thy concern; and when she heard of his ex- broth, and I will try if I cannot prevail treme danger, she was quite inconsolable. on our lord to taste it."

The seventh day, according to the Sir Conrad lay feeble, motionless, and prognostication of the physicians, was immersed in meditations upon his deto determine for life or death. We may parture hence : he was desirous of reeasily conjecture that Matilda voted in ceiving the sacrament of extreme unction. favour of her beloved ; that she might In this situation Gertrude entered into be instrumental in his recovery was a

his chamber, and by the suppleness of very probable conjecture, only she could her tongue soon turned aside his thoughts not devise any method of bringing for- from the contemplation of the four last ward ber services. However, among the things. In order to deliver himself from thousand talents which love imparts or the torment of her well-meant loquacity, unfolds, that of invention is included. he was fain to promise whatever she In the morning Matilda waited as usual, desired. Meanwhile Matilda prepared upon the housekeeper, to receive her an excellent restorative soup, with all instructions respecting the bill of fare. sorts of garden herbs and costly spices, But old Gertrude was in too deep tribula- and when she had dished it, she dropped tion to be capable of arranging the sim- the diamond ring, given her by the plest matter, much less could she regulate knight as a pledge of constancy, into the important affair of dinner. Big the basin, and then bade the servant to tears rolled down her leathern cheeks : carry it up. "Ah! Matilda,” she sobbed, “ our The patient so much dreaded the good master will not live out the day." housekeeper's boisterous eloquence, These were gloomy tidings : the young

which still echoed in his ears, that he lady was ready to sink for sorrow; she constrained himself to swallow a couple soon, however, recovered her spirits

, of spoonfuls. In stirring his mess to and said, “Do not despair of our lord's the bottom he felt a hard body, which life, he will not die, but recover; this could have no business there. He fished

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it out with the spoon, and beheld, to his girl, how you came by the ring I foundin astonishment, hisowndiamond ring. His the basin in which my breakfast was serveye immediately beamed life and youth- ed up." “ Noble knight," replied the ful fire; his pale, deathy countenance damsel, “ I received the ring out of cleared up: to the great satisfaction of your own hands : you presented it to me Gertrude, and the servants in waiting, the second evening we danced together he emptied the whole basin, with visible at the public rejoicings, it was when signs of a good appetite. They all as- you vowed eternal love and constancy to cribed this happy change to the soup, me.—Look now, and say whether my for the knight had taken care to keep figure or station deserves that on my his ring concealed from the bystanders. account you should sink into an early He now turned to Gertrude, and en- grave. In compassion for the condition quired, “ Who prepared this good soup to which you were reduced, I could no for me, that restores my strength, and longer suffer you to remain in such a calls me back to life ?" The motherly | mistake.” dame wished the reviving patient to keep Count Conrad's weak stomach was himself still, and by no means to exert not prepared for so strong an antidote himself in speaking, she therefore re- to love; he surveyed her some moments plied, “Do not give yourself any concern, in astonishment, and paused. But his good sir knight, about the person who imagination soon presented the idea of prepared the soup: God be praised that his charming partner, with whom he it has had the good effect for which all by no means reconcile the contrast beof us prayed !" This evasion was not fore his eyes. He naturally conceived likely to satisfy the Count : he gravely a suspicion, that bis amour had been

, insisted on an answer to his question, betrayed, and his friends were practising when the housekeeper gave him this a pious fraud to extricate him. Still, information : “ There is a young gypsey however, the genuine ring was proof posiservant in the kitchen, she understands tive that the beautiful stranger was some the virtues of every herb and plant, it way or other concerned in the plot. He was she who prepared the soup that has therefore determined to cross-examine done you so much good.” “ Bring her and convict her out of her own mouth: to me this moment,” resumed the knight, If you are indeed,” said he, “ the “ that I may thank and recompense her lovely maiden to whom I devoted my for the life she has saved.” « Parcon heart, be assured that I am ready to me, I beseech you, Sir,” returned Ger- fulfil my engagement;

but take care how trude, “ but the very sight of her would you attempt to impose upon me.

Remake you ill again. She is as ugly as assume but the form under which you a toad: she has a great hunch on her appeared two successive nights at the back; her clothes are black and greasy; ball-room ; make your body taper and her hands and face are bedaubed with straight like a young pine; strip off your soot and ashes." “ Do as I order scaly skin, like the snake; and like the you,” concluded the Count, “ and let cameleon change your colour ; and the me hear no longer demurs.” Old Ger- words which' I uttered when I delivered trude obeyed in silence : she summoned this ring to you shall be sacred and inMatilda quickly from the kitchen, and violable. But if you cannot perform threw over her shoulders her own veil, these requisitions, I shall cause you to which she wore at mass, and ushered her, be corrected for a vile impostor and a thus caparisoned, into the sick cham- thief, unless you satisfy me how you ber. The knight gave orders that every gained possession of this ring."one should retire, and shut the door * Alas!" replied Matilda, sighing," if close. He then addressed the gypsey, it be only the glare of beauty that has “ You must acknowledge freely, my dazzled your eyes, woe be to me when

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time or chance shall rob me of these room, there to abide the final issue of transient charmes; when age shall have

his love adventure. His impatience spoiled this tender shape, and bowed made the time seem long, and under his me down to the ground; when the roses uncertainty he paced quickly up and and lilies shall fade, and this sleek skin down the room. Just as the finger of become shrivelled! When the bor- the Italian clock on the Augspurg townrowed form, under which I now appear, hall pointed to eighteen o'clock, the hour shall, as some time it will, belong to of mid-day, the folding doors flew open me, what will become of your vows and of a sudden; the train of a silk negligee promises?"

rustled along the antichamber: Matilda, Sir Conrad was staggered at this arrayed like a bride, and beautiful as the speech, which seemed much too consi- Goddess of Love, stepped into the room. derate for a kitchen wench. “ Know,” Sir Conrad exclaimed, in the transport he replied, “ that beauty captivates the of a lover intoxicated with joy,

“ Godheart of man, but virtue alone can retain dess or mortal! whichsoever you may in the soft bandage of love.”—“ Be it be, behold me prostrate at your feet, so," returned the damsel in disguise ; ready to renew the vows I have already “I go to fulfil your requisitions : the made, and to confirm them by the most decision of my fate shall be left to your solemn oaths, provided you do not desown heart."

dain to receive this hand and heart.” Sir Conrad Aluctuated between hope The lady modestly raised the supand the dread of a new deception : he pliant knight: “Gently, sir knight, I called old Gertrude to him, and gave her pray: do not be too rash with your strict orders :-“ Attend this girl to her vows ; you behold me here in my right chamber, and wait at the door while she shape, but in all other respects I am an puts on her clean clothes. Be sure you utter stranger to you. Many a man has do not stir till she comes out.” Old been deceived by a smooth face. You Gertrude took her prisoner under charge, have still the ring on your finger.” Sir without being able to guess the intention Conrad instantly drew it off, and it sparof her lord's injunctions. As they were kled on his partner's hand, and she going up stairs, she enquired, “ If thou resigned herself to the knight. “ Hencehast any fine clothes, why dost thou ne- forward,” shesaid, "you are the beloved ver shew them to me? but if thou hast of my heart. I have no longer any seno change, follow me to my chamber, cret for you. I am the daughter of and I will lend thee what thou needest.” | Siegfried the Strong, that stout and hoHereupon she went through the whole norable knight, whose misfortunes, inventory of her old-fashioned ward- doubtless, are well known to you. I robe, by the help of which she had made escaped with difficulty from the downconquests half a century ago. As she fall of my father's house ; and under reckoned them up, article by article, a your roof, though in mean estate, have gleam of recollection of past days darted I found safety and protection." She proupon her mind. Matilda took little no- ceeded to relate the whole of her story, tice of her catalogue : she only asked for without even suppressing the mystery of a bit of soap and a handful of bran, took the musk-ball. Count Conrad, utterly forup a wash-hand basin, entered her attic, getting that he had just been sick to and shut the door, while the new-ap- death, invited, for the following day, all pointed duenna watched on the outside the guests who had been driven away by with all the punctuality that had been his dejection, before whom he solemnly recommended to her.

espoused his bride; and when the sewer The knight, big with expectation, had served up dinner, and counted round, quitted his bed, put on his most elegant he found that there was no cover too suit, and betook himself to his drawing- / much The knight now relinquished

ness.

the order, and celebrated the marriage of revisiting the spot where she had with great magnificence. But amid all spent her early youth. She explored these important transactions, old Ger- the ruins of her father's residence ; trude was totally inactive. The day she dropped a duteous tear over the ashes of kept watch at Matilda's chamber-door, her parents; walked 10 the Naiad's founso great was the consternation with tain, and hoped her presence would which she was seized, at seeing a lady induce the Nymph to manifest herself. in sumptuous apparel come forth, that Many a pebble dropped into the springshe tumbled backward off her seat, dis- head, without the desired effect. Even located her hip-bone, and limped all the musk-ball foarted on the surface her life afterwards.

like an empty bubble, and Matilda berThe new-married couple spent their self was fain to be at the trouble of fishhoney-moon in Augspurg, in mutual ing it out again. No Nicksy rose to view, happiness and innocent enjoyments, although another christening was at like the first human pair in the garden hand; for the lady was on the point of of Eden. The youthful bride, penetrated bestowing on her Count one of the blessby the tender passion, would often recline ings of wedlock. She brought forth a on her husband's bosom, and pour out boy beautiful as Cupid; and the joy of the artless dictates of her pure affection. the parents was so extravagant, that One day, with the most endearing affec- they had almost stifled him with kindtion, she enquired, “ If you have any The mother would never part latent wish in your breast, impart it to with him from her arms. She herself me; I will adopt it, and you shall in- watched every breath of the little innostantly be gratified. For my own part, cent, although the Count had hired a the possession of you has left me with- discreet nurse to attend the infant. But out any thing further to desire ; so I the third night, while all within the shall willingly excuse the musk-ball the castle were buried in profound sleep, wish which is still in reserve." Count after a day of tumultuous rejoicing, and Conrad clasped his affectionate bride a light slumber had fallen upon the fondly in his arms, and firmly protested watchful mother, on awaking she found that he had nothing further to ask for the child vanished out of her arms. She upon earth, except the continuance of called out in a voice of surprise and their mutual felicity. The musk-ball, terror, “Nurse! where have you laid therefore, lost all its value in the eyes my babe ?” “Noble lady,” replied the of its fair possessor, nor had she any nurse,

- the dear infant lies in your motive for preserving it, except a grate

" The bed and bedchamber were ful remembrance of her benefactress. strictly searched, but nothing could be

Count Conrad's mother was still liv- found, except a few spots of blood upon ing. She passed her widowhood in the foor. The nurse, on perceiving retirement, at the family seat at Swa- | this, uttered a loud scream, “ God and beck. Her dutiful daugliter-in-law had all his holy saints have mercy on us ! for some time longed, out of pure filial | —the Great Griffin has been here, and affection, to beg her blessing, and thank carried off the child.” The lady pined her for the noble son whom she had for the loss of her child, till she became borne. But the Count always found pale and emaciated, and Sir Conrad was some pretext for declining the visit ; inconsolable. Though the belief in the he now proposed, instead, a summer Great Griffin did not weigh a single excursion to an estate that had lately grain of mustard in his mind, yet, as fallen to him, and bordered upon the 'he could not explain the accident in grounds belonging to Siegfried's demo- any plausible manner, he allowed the lished fortress. Matilda consented with nurse's prattle free range, and applied great eagerness. She rejoiced at the idea himself to comfort his afflicted' wife ;

arms.

and she, out of deference to him, who thou shalt now sleep an everlasting hated all sadness, forced a chearful sleep.” countenance.

The woman fell down on her knees · Time, the assuager of grief, closed before him : “ Yes, my noble lord, I by degrees the wound of the mother's entreat you, as you hope for mercy hereheart,

and love made up her loss by a after, to slay me this instant, that I may second son. Boundless joy for the new carry to the grave the horrid deed mine heir reigned throughout the palace. The eyes have seen this night; and wbich Count feasted with all his neighbours for neither rewards nor punishments shall a whole day's journey round about; the extort from me."- The Count paused : bowl of congratulation passed incessant- “ What deed,” he asked, “ have thine ly from hand to hand; from the lord eyes beheld this night, too horrid for and his guests to the porter at the door, thy tongue to tell ? Better confess, as all drank to the health of the young becomes a faithful servant, than have Count. The anxious mother would not thy secrets extorted from thee by the part with the boy; and she resisted the rack.” “ Alas !" replied the woman, influence of sleep as long as ever her " what does your ill-fortune instigate strength would permit. When at last you to force from me! Better the fashe was no longer able to refuse the call tal secret were buried with me in the of nature, she took the golden chain cold ground." The Count, whose cufrom her neck, slung it round the in- riosity was only raised the more by susfant's body, and fastened the other end pence, took the woman aside into a on her own arm : she then crossed her-private apartment, and by threats and self and the child, that the Great Griffin promises forced from her a discovery, might have no power to hurt it, and which he would fain have been saved soon after was overtaken by an irresis- the pain of making. “Your lady, since tible slumber. She awoke at the first ray I must needs disclose it, is a vile sorof morning, but-horrible to tell ! the ceress; but she doats without reserve sweet babe had vanished out of her

upon you, insomuch that she does not arms. In the first alarm she called as spare even the fruit of her own body to before, " Nurse! where have you laid procure the means of preserving your my infant ?” and nurse replied, “ No- love, and her own beauty unperishable. ble lady, the babe lies in your arms.” At the dead of night, when every thing Matilda examined the golden chain that was hushed in repose, she feigned herwas wrapped round her arm ; she found self asleep, and I, without well knowing that one of the links had been cut why, did the same. Not long afterwards through by a pair of sharp scissars, and she called me by my name, but I took swooned away at the discovery. The no notice of her proceedings, and feignnurse raised an alarm in the house ; and ed to be sound asleep. Supposing me Count Conrad, upon hearing what had fast asleep, she raised herself upright befallen his lady, drew his knightly in her bed, took the infant, and pressing sword in a transport of rage and indig- it to her bosom, kissed it fondly, and nation, firmly resolved to inflict condign lisped these words, which I distinctly punishment on the nurse.

overheard, “Child of bone, be trans“ Wretched woman !” he exclaimed formed into a charm to secure me thy in a voice of thunder, “ did I not give father's love. Now, thou little innocent, thee strict charge to watch all night, and go to thy brother, and then I will prenever once to turn aside thine eye from pare,

from nine sorts of herbs and thy the infant, that when the monster came bones, a potent draught, which will to rob the sleeping mother, thou perpetuate my beauty and thy father's mightest raise the house by thy outeries, fondness.'-Having said this, she drew and scare the Great Griffin away? Brit a diamond needle out of her hair, forcod

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