« ПредишнаНапред »
wanderings of a disturbed imagination, and evidently not palpable to the toych or by the practice of some imposture. as the sight. This I assert that I did Therefore, in that room only do I sleep, see ; nor can any jokes or jibes—no, so good night :" and away he went to nor any the most solid reasoning, con
vince me to the contrary.” “ Heaven guard and preserve him !" “ Yet twice afterwards, when I went said Birkenthal, throwing himself invo- with you to the spot in hopes of seeing luntarily upon his knees.
the vision, it was seized with a fit of “ ludeed,” said Kiezerhausen, “I perverseness and would not show itself." am not wholly at my ease upon this Very true: but supposing we should subject. I know Molziewitz well, we all
agree to meet here again to-morrow have been acquainted from our infancy; evening in expectation of another visit and though 'tis true no very close inti- from the spectre, yet it should not apmacy ever subsisied between us, yet I pear, would you, because it did not think. I have sufficient knowledge of happen then to come forwards, attempt him to pronounce that he is incapable to persuade me that we have not seen of lending himself to any imposture ; it to-night?" he ever appeared to me frank, open- Certainly not. I know we have hearted, having the highest sense of seen a figure, which I sincerely believe honour. Then since I am convinced to be Count Molziewitz, pass through that the figure we saw was the Count, the room; I shall never attempt to and that the idea of any imposition deny it; and shall as readily acknowwould be spurned by him, what am I ledge that I know not what we ought to to think Heaven knows that I have think of an appearance so extraordinever been credulous, never given to
nary." superstition, but we must believe what In this kind of conversation the comit is impossible to disbelieve."
pany continued to pass the time away, “ You do believe then that it is the not one appearing to have any inclispirit of your friend that we have seen?" nation to move till the day began to said Birkenthal.
dawn, when they separated, thougb not “ I by no means yet believe it," to their beds, the return of day sumsaid Kiezerhausen; “but I confess that moning them to their respective avocamy mind is visited by strange doubts tions. On separating, they all agreed and imaginings, such as till this moment not to mention a word of what had passI could not have conceived would ever ed, and to assemble again in the evenfind a harbour there."
ing to wait the arrival of midnight, and “ And you will, perhaps, not be so see whether that might furnish them wholly sceptical when I talk to you with any further insight into the matter
. again of the gigantic form I once saw Thus of the whole party Wingerode when wandering among the mountains alone had shown sufficient firmness and near this town."
composure of mind not to suffer an ap“That was a very extraordinary kind pearance, which might be allowed to of spectre indeed," said Kiezerhausen, appal even a very courageous mind, to " since it walked by day, not by have any influence over him. night.”
On the contrary, his repose, as several * By day or by night no matter, the of his brethren judged by the effect, question is, whether supernatural ap- must have been more than commonly pearances are not occasionally to be sound, since at the hour of parade in seen and nothing shall ever persuade the morning he had not yet left his me but that I did, one day in walking apartment. Birkenthal thought otheramong the mountains, see a figue of wise : “ Heaven grant,” he exclaimed, the human form, but gigantic in its size, “ that he may not have paid the forfeit
of his rashness !-What is to be he seemed now first aware of the con done ?"
course of people assembled round the “ Pshaw !” said Kiezerbausen, " that bed, and said in a tone of impatience is very obvious." And he immediately “ Away with ye all-you shall not get dispatched a soldier to his room to a syllable from me !" awaken him and summon him to his “ His head evidently wanders," said duty.
the physician ; it were better that he The soldier presently returned, run- should be more quiet; pray ye all leave ning in great haste, with his facé pale the room except this one gentleman," as death, and the utmost horror im- pointing to Kiezerhausen, who seems pressed upon it, saying that Captain more particularly the sick man's friend.” Wingerode was dead. The astonish
The company retired. Wingerode ment with which every one who had looked eagerly after them as they quitted been present the preceding evening was the room, then addressing Kiezerhaustruck is not to be described, and they sen, “ I am myself again," he said all new in the utmost haste to the cap
with the utmost vehemence, pressing tain's bedside. Even Birkenthal was his hand with more than common 50 shocked at the idea of his companion warmth : “ I recollect every thing that being thus suddenly taken off, that he has happened; but for the love of thought only of the affecting circum- heaven, nay friend, ask me no questions, stance, and flew with the saine ardour for none can I answer. Let this suffice; as the rest, without onte adverting to and do not, by questioning me, force me the supernatural cause by which, ac- to fly society for ever." cording to all appearance, the event had Kiezerhausen wasnow more perplexed been accomplished. They found, how- than ever ; yet the request was made ever, on their arrival that the soldier with an earnestness which seemed to had been somewhat too hasty in an- forbid his saying more, at least for that nounciag the captain's death: be was moment, and he remained silent : his indeed senseless, but not lifeless, and eyes were, however, directed to Wingemedical aid was instantly sent for. rode with an expression which con
A considerable time elapsed before vinced the latter that he thought his the efforts to recover him were crowned head wandering. “ Distrust me not,” with success : at length his eyes open- he said ; my senses are now perfectly ed, and he looked wildly around, but returned ; nor need you fear a relapse : did not speak. How is it, captain ?" leave me, therefore, I entreat, let me said Kiezerhausen. The captain's eyes rise and dress myself, and I will be with were turned to him, but he made no you instantly at the parade.” He did, answer. “ Will you not speak, Win- indeed, appear both to his friend and gerode ?" said Kiezerhausen. Winge- the physician so far recovered that he rode's eyes were again directed to him might be left without danger, and they with a half-vacant stare : but presently complied with his request. some signs of returning recollection The physician could not now forbear began to appear, when rubbing his inquiring whether any thing very pareyes as if to clear his sight, he suddenly ticular had occurred which could occaexclaimed, “Who are these ?”. Then sion the fit, observing that it was evistarting up in the bed he looked wildly dently produced by disease of the mind to the door of them : “ No, no,” he much rather than of the body; and he said, “I am mistaken, I thought I saw thought that great attention ought to be him coming!"
paid to the gentleman, since there was ** Saw who coming $” said the phy reason to apprebend a total derangement sician.
of his intellects. Kiezerhausen on this Wingerode fixed his eyes upon him : thought it right, notwithstanding the agreement made among the party not extraordinary as the state in which to reveal their secret, to recount all that Captain Wingerode had been found, had passed to the physician, that he should not be all over the inn in a momight be furnished with the proper ment, and gave occasion to many very clue in case his advice and assistance ingenious speculations. As yet, howshould again be found necessary. The ever, nothing more was known than physician was like one thunderstruck, the circumstance that he had been his countenance expressing an awe and found dead, as was at first supposed, but astonishment much beyond even that
which afterwards proved only a tempowith which the narrator and his party rary suspension of life. A thousand had been impressed when the vision hows, whys, and wherefores were still appeared ; and he went away evidently necessary to be solved for a complete under the influence of the most un- elucidation of the story; and to obtain bounded terror.
these the host was in waiting for the For Kiezerhausen himself, if the vi- physician's descent from the sick man's sion had appeared to him wholly unac- room. The physician descended, and countable, how much was the agitation in a few moments had a very large auof his mind increased by the state in dience collected around him, all brimwhich Wingerode had been found, and ful from top to toe of eager impatience by the pertinacity with which he re- and curiosity. He not being enjoined fused affording any insight into the to secrecy, for this, in the ardour of his cause of it! Till the preceding even- narration, Kiezerhausen had wholly ing, every story of supernatural appear- forgotten ; and not being selfish in his ances had been not merely disbelieved nature, so that he had no disposition to by him, but treated with the utmost keep so choice a morceau to banquet contempt: enough, he thought, had upon entirely by himself, but having, now been seen and heard to justify on the contrary, rather an eager titilladoubts even in a mind least disposed to tion to communicate the important credulity. The rest of the officers hav- events with which bis bosom was swelling waited in the great room, he requesting; thus urged on, he stroked his chin, ed them to return to the parade, assur- and collecting all his wisdom and iming them that Wingerode was perfectly portance into his countenance, immewell, and would accompany him to join diately began to relate, with genuine them as soon as he was dressed. emphasis and true pathos, the astonish
Wingerode delayed not long before ing particulars of which he was in poshe appeared; when Kiezerhausen said,
Above all things, he did not • I must transgress the injunction laid forget to expatiate very elaborately on upon me, and ask what can have occa- the wondrous skill he had manifested sioned the state in which you were in recovering his patient from an attack found this morning ?”
which was so much the more alarming “ Ask me nothing," said Wingerode, since not produced by any human “ I cannot—will not answer any ques- cause, but evidently the effect of supertions; be satisfied that I yield in this to natural agency. Indeed before his haan imperious necessity, nor torment rangue was finished he had wrought yourself with seeking knowledge which himself up to so prodigious an opinion must be denied you, and me with of his own abilities in the kind of exorforcing me to repeat these denials.” cism he had practised, that he could by Kiezerhausen was mortified, but he re- no means rest contented with this one mained mute; and mounting their detail of it; there was not a patient horses they were at the parade in a few whom he visited in the course of the minutes.
day to whom every particular was not It was impossible that an event so carefully revealed—who was no tgiven
to understand the extraordinary skill of of strange things. It may, notwithstandthe agent they had judiciously selected ing, be questioned whether any power as the guardian of their health, as their on earth could have forced him into the champion against the encroachments of great room at midnight. the grisly king of terrors.
Leaving the good gossips of the town His assiduity in circulating the story to the full enjoyment of their banquet, was besides ably seconded by the nu- let us return to see what passed at the merous bands to whom he had been parade.--Not many minutes after Kiethe reporter. His audience at the inn zerhausen and Captain Wingerode arseparated but to go and harangue in rived there, a dispatch was put into the their turns wherever they could collect hands of count Lowenstein, the coman audience together, and that was in manding officer, sent to him by the any quarter of the town to which their
queen. The count opened it; and steps were directed Visitors too, mak- having first run it over to himself, suming their obliging calls of inquiry after moned the other officers round him, and the health of the doctor's patients read it aloud to them. It was from the were rewarded for their kind solicitude gallant Khevenhuller, giving an account by being made partakers of the doctor's of an action which had taken place bestory; and they, in their turn, became tween his army and that of the united new circulators of it. Thus, in the French and Bavarians, in which the course of a few hours, the Spectre of victory remained on his side. The letthe Inn was the sole topic of conversa- ter concluded with saying that no officer tion throughout Presburg, nor could any of note had fallen on the occasion, exthing exceed the heart-delighting hors cept the brave count Molziewitz, a loss rors with which it inspired every bosom. which would be severely felt by the
The poor host of the inn alone, Hans whole army, which was indeed a severe Muller by name, could not partake in blow to the cause itself. The officers the general delight. Assuredly he listened with the utmost attention to would have been no less gratified than this important intelligence; but when another man by hearing the history of the death of Molziewitz was mentioned. a ghost perambulating the house of any nothing could exceed the astonishment of his neighbours, but his fears were and consternation which spread themvery cruelly alarmed at hearing of one selves over the countenances of all who
Not so much, however, had been present at his appearance the from a natural fear of every thing super- evening before. For Wingerode, such natural, though he held the incorporeal was the impression made upon him, world in all possible veneration, nor that clapping spurs to his horse he rode would, upon any consideration, 'have off at full speed, and was out of sight entered the precincts after sunset, yet in a moment. entertaining all this respect for the Count Lowenstein was now on his tenants of the yawning grave,
great side scarcely less astonished and conanxiety now was lest his house should founded than the rest of the company. acquire the reputation of being haunted, He had communicated intelligence which and living guests should thence be de- he had expected to have diffused geneterred from frequenting it. He there- ral satisfaction, and he saw it produce fore never began the subject himself
, nothing but consternation and terror. and, when questioned upon it, affected “ How is this?” he said; “ what to treat it with indifference, observing am I to think of the manner in which with a shrug of his shoulder, and a sig- these joyful tidings of the success of our nificant wink of his eye, that officers arms have been received ? True, the were a little apt to push the bottle about victory may not have been so entire and too freely, and then they saw all sorts splendid as the general zeal in our
in his own.
cause could wish ; but the advantage « The story is indeed štrange;" said 'is important, and sufficient to inspire the count. * After the assurance you some exultation, not these terrified and have given me, I should be guilty of downcast looks. Scarcely could ye the greatest injustice could I affront so have appeared more confounded and many gallant men by harbouring the horror-stricken had ye been informed least suspicion that they were in a state that the whole army, with Khevenhuller of inebriety. I must therefore beliere at their head, were cut to pieces. Nay, that the figure you describe was actual-how is it possible to account for cap- ly seen, but what to think of it I am tain Wingerode's abrupt departure from wholly at a loss. If there be imposture the post where his duty as a soldier de- in the case, 'tis of so singular a nature manded his presence ?"
that it is impossible to form a probable Indeed," said Kiezerhausen, "your conjecture respecting the object proexcelency's remonstrance has every posed in practising it. Yet since appearance of being perfectly just and never could frame my mind to a belief reasonable; yet I must Aaiter myself in the departed spirit still wandering that when you have learned the cause about the earth, J must have much fuller of what you have witnessed, your dis- evidence before I can believe it the acpleasure will cease, and, instead of con- tual spirit of Molziewitz. I must satisfy demning, you will compassionate poor myself, and for that purpose will join Wingerode. Alas! I fear bis intellects your party this evening. Prepared as are deranged by a scene which was we shall now be for the intrusion of so sufficient to endanger the intellects of extraordinary a guest, if he does come us all.'
we shall be able to make our observa“ What do you mean?” said count tions upon him with more coolness and Lowenstein ; "speak instantly! What composure." can have happened since we separated Kiczerhausen now thought of poor yesterday evening, when nothing of Wingerode, and suggested the propriety this kind appeared among you, that of taking some measures to learn what could nearly derange the intellects of was become of him, adding the strongest the officers of a whole regiment ?” apprehensions concerning the state of
“ I must," said Kiezerhausen, « in- his mind. Count Lowenstein perfectly voke your excellency's utmost candour coincided with this idea ; and Kiezer in listening to my story. I know it is hausen, with several of the other officers, 1 of a nature which might lead any one undertook to go in different directions, to suspect that the glass had been going trusting that by this means some one or round among us till we were incapable other might obtain tidings of him. Had of making use of our senses : yet I can he been pursued at the moment when solemnly assure your excellency that we he started, 'tis possible that he might were aš as sober as you are yourself have been brought back ; but the greatat this moment."
est part of an hour having elapsed before “Come, come, no more preamble, the pursuit was begun, it proved wholly but to the point.
useless. No trace of him was now to Kiezurhausen then related every cir- be discovered, nor any intelligence to cumstance of his marvellous story from be procured, though the researches beginning to end, concluding the detail were carried to a considerable distance with saying, Surely your excellency round the town, which could afford a will now acknowledge that it was not probable conjecture as to his fate; and without some reason we were all im- the officers returned to their evening's pressed with such astonishment and appointment under the deepest anxiety consternation when the death of count upon his account. Molziewitz was mentioned ?"
The sensation excited at court by this