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See Page 487. extraordinary affair was, if possible, ple, being left orphans at a very tender
greater than in the town. The queen age, the count had been a father to herself was the only person whose mag- them, and deserved all the love and renanimity and resolution were not shaken spect his sister bore him. She was by it. Sevesal of the ladies would even now in her twenty-first year, in the full have fled the town immediately, had bloom of youth and beauty, and among they not been overawed by the dignity all the ladies about the court was the which she displayed ; but fear of her only one who, for loveliness of coundispleasure had still greater in Auence, tenance and elegance of form, could be over them than fear of the ghost. placed in any competition with the all
There was however one lady belong- enchanting and fascinating queen.bg ing to the court, on whom, from the To this young creature the news of peculiarity of her situation, the story her brother's death was, as every one had a very different effect from all the must immediately conceive, a most sest. This was a half-sister of count heart-rending stroke. But when the Molziewitz, who was one of the maids rumour reached her that his spirit had
of honour constantly attending upon the been seen in Presburg, even before his queen's person, and was exceedingly death was known there, such an effect beloved by her. For her brother, the was produced on her mind that she becount, she had all the respect of a came little less than a maniac. She daughter, and all the affection of a sis- vowed that she would watch in the ter. The count was the only child of evening with the officers, and if her his father's first marriage, and was above brother's form should appear, would twenty years older than either his sis- hang upon him, and never leave him ter, the lady Frederica, or a brother who till he had revealed the cause which was also the offspring of his father's se- made him wander thus, and imparted cond marriage. These two young peo- to her what could be done to procure
kim rest in the tomb. Then, she said, clapsed, the company now began grathough she were prescribed to walk dually to resume their self-possession, barefoot to the reipotest corner of the and the conversation by degress became globe, through burning sands or over brisk and animated. The ghost of Molever-during ice, she would do it, and
ziewitz was still, however, the sole exult in such an opportunity to show theme; every one forming opnjectures that her gratitude and sisterly affection upon the subject according to the pecuknew no bounds. So intent was she liar bent of his own mind. Probably upon endeavouring to see her brother's they would all have been persuaded spirit, that nothing but being detained that the whole was a trick, but for the by positive force could have prevented astonishing circumstance that count her rushing out to the inn as soon as Molziewitz was really dead, and that the shades of evening began to come when he was seen, his death was not 01. Baffled in this, she engaged count known at Presburg. This appeared a Lowenstein to come to her apartment circumstance sufficient to stagger the the moment he quitted his watch, and most incredulous. The conversation let her know whether or not the phan- was continued for three hours beyond tom had appeared. In case it had, she midnight, when all remaining quiet, charged him to give her the most mi- they separated; no one, however, felt nuto detail of the scene ; and above all any inclination to occupy the chamber she inculcated upon him to assure the of poor Wingerode. incorporeal visitant that there was no- for three successive evenings did thing she would not undertake to pro- count Lowenstein keep the watch with cure its repose.
the officers of the mess; and each night But though this young lady was not were they joined by different persons, permitted to join the watch in the great all curious to see the termination of so room, the general curiosity excited was singular an affair. For three days was such, that numbers of persons, both the search after the absent Wingerode officers and inhabitants of the town continued: but the searchings of the made the utmost interest to be admitted mornings and, the watchings of the to it; so that the assembly consisted of evenings were alike fruitless ;-10 treble or perhaps four times the number Molziewitz appeared, -no Wingerode of the evening before, while the strik- was to be found ; till at length the ing of the midnight clock was expected ghost was little more thought of, while with the most eager emotions of min- the anxiety upon Wingerode's account gled awe, impatience, and curiosity. constantly increased.
At length it struck ; every eye was Among the company present at the turned towards the door, but the door phantom's visit was a young man by opened not. A mute silence reigned name Storkenheim. Though only twoamong the company; one dead-one and-twenty years of age, he was consibreathless expectation, which effectua)- dered by his brotlier-officers as a persoly precluded words, had seized upon of an uncommonly acute and penetratthem all. Five minutes passed, stilling mind, and he had a fund of acquired the door reinained closed : “ He comes knowledge which would have done not,” said count Lowenstein. But the honour to one of double his years. general expectation was still too mighty This young man had, from the first of for conversation to begin, and no an- the affair, always observed a strict siswer was made for another five minutes.
lence upon it. While every one else “ He surely then will not come,” said was busied in forming conjectures and Kiezerhausen ; which was followed by putting them into circulation, he alone another five minutes of awful silence. formed none; or if he did, they re
A quarter of an hour having now mained close prisoners in his own bo
som, nor were permitted the least egress him be strictly watched : who can say from it. He had constantly attended what is even now passing in his mind? the evening watchings, but it was with whether he may not be plotting in what a mute attention ; his thoughts upon way he can practise further upon your the subject were still his own, and were credulity :- therefore again 1 never communicated. When some- him be strictly watched.” times his companions would address Seven nights had now passed since him, “ Storkenheim, you do not give the first appearance of the ghost, and your opinion upon this most extraordi- nothing more had been seen of him : nary affair ? -'tis impossible but you so that the strong impression made was must have formed one-perhaps more much diminished, and the speculations ingenious than any other delivered,- upon
it were nearly exhausted. On the why then keep it to yourself ?” If thus eighth, at the last stroke of the midnight addressed, a shrug of the shoulders was clock, the door once more opened, and his sole answer. Even when count a figure stalked in, not as before arrayed Lowenstein evinced' some anxiety to in all the splendour of a full-dressed know his sentiments, the same signifi- uniform, but mournfully wrapped in cant gesture, accompanied by an air its complete funeral cerements. Its of something like contempt, seeming eyes, as before, were bent to the ground, as if he would have said, had not de- and it marched with slow and measured corum forbidden it, “ I think you all a steps towards the opposite door. “ Who pack of fools ;” this gesture was still all art thou ?” exclaimed Kiezerhausen, the answer that could be obtained. “ Speak-answer us directly! or”
The officers knew not what to under- The phantom now raised his eyes, stand by his silence, and Lowenstein and turned his face full to the compawas somewhat piqued to find that it was ny: still they were the features of Molobserved to him no less than to the rest. ziewitz ;-but of Molziewitz come from No one was more attentive in watching the tomb, a pale and ghastly corse. the door when the hour of expectation He stopped, he raised his right hand, arrived, so that it was evident that his pointing it upwards, when a voice was silence did not result from indifference instantly heard, as if it came froin the about the thing; on the contrary, his vaulted roof of the chamber, “ Touch eager and penetrating eye then spoke him not, nor attempt to follow him, in the most unequivocal terms the strong
you damn yourselves and him to all interest by which his bosom was agi- eternity.” Fresh consternation instanttated : it was therefore unanimously ly seized the whole company; they reagreed that there must be some secret mained motionless and petrified, while motive for his silence which none of the spectre passed on, and made its them could fathom. On the third even- exit, as before, into the chamber. ing of count Lowenstein's watch, bis Storkenheim alone, from the first attention was much rather directed to entrance of the figure, exhibited no Storkenheim than to the ghost; and symptoms of fear or consternation, but when he left the company about three starting from his feet observed him atin the morning, after announcing that tentively. He remained wholly, ul:aphe should not join them any more, he palled by the voice, and in defiance of took Kiezerhausen aside, and said, “It the strict injunction and warning given, grieves me to suspect Storkenheim of prepared to follɔw him as he advanced lending his aid to any imposture, yet
towards the door of his retreat. Birmy heart assures me that he nows kenthal seized his arm :" What are you much more concerning this matter than about, Storkenhein ?" he said : “ can he chooses to confess ;-how else ac- you be guilty of such presumption as to count for his obstinate silence ? Let think of following the phantom ?"
-" I shall say with the phantom, we have seen is really the spirit of Mol• Touch me not,” said Storkenheim ; and bursting away, he snatched up a “ I have told you that I cannot ancandle, and followed the ghost, enter- swer any questions.--Good night, I ading the chamber within a few seconds vise you all to go quietly to your chamafter him.
bers, as I shall go to mine." So saying, The only sensation now experienced he left the room. by the whole party was that of petrified Curiosity being now a more active astonishment, not less at the awful vi- principle in the minds of the company sion they had seen and denunciation than any fear of an encounter with the they had heard, than at the daring act ghost, Kiezerhausen arıd Zinzendorf folof Storkenheim, which appeared to lowed him at a distance. His chamber them equally mad and profane. They was near the other end of a long corrilooked earnestly at each other, and dor; they saw him go quietly into it, seemed to wait with silent awe the and heard him lock the door; they stroke of thunder by which his pre- stole gently up to it and listened: they sumption was to be punished. But the heard him awhile walking about the thunder came not: and after the lapse room as if undressing, carelessly whisof about an hour he returned from the tling and singing all the time, and at chamber in perfect calmness and com- length heard him throw himself upon posure, resuming his seat among the the bed, where he soon began to snore company.
vociferously. The eyes of all were now turned upon Satisfied that he really was gone to him, as if in the certainty that his si- bed, and astonished at seeing him so lence could be maintained no longer perfectly easy and undisturbed, they rethat he must speak; that even reserve turned to his companions and reported like his could not restrain his tongue, what they had witnessed. Whether but that it must give utterance to all the they were now most occupied with the wonders he had witnessed. They were spectre or with the extraordinary conmistaken: he still preserved the same duct of Storkenheim, it is difficult to silence, till at length Kiezerhausen, un- deterinine. Between them both so much able to command his impatience, said, matter for conversation was furnished, " This is absolute cruelty, Storkenheim, that again the day broke in upon them -is your breast wholly insensible to before they thought of separating for the any feelings for others, that you can night. keep so many persons on the rack ? Kiezerhausen felt it an imperious must my feelings, above all, be thus duty to repair the next morning in the sported with ? You know my regard first place to the apartments of count for Molziewitz, and if not marble your- Lowenstein in the palace, and make self, must be aware of the anxiety by him acquainted with the awe-inspiring which I am racked to learn the reason tale. If the particulars were related by why his spirit wanders thus.-Speak- him with no little degree of emotion, it Am I to be satisfied ?”
was with still greater that the count lis“ Be satisfied as to your friend," an- tened to him. He walked up and down Śwered Storkenheim ; “ be satisfied as the room with a hurried and agitated to yourself; no one has any cause for step: “ What can be thought of all fear, provided the injunction you have this ?” he exclaimed eagerly, “ what received be strictly obeyed in case the can be done under circumstances so phantom should appear again. Let this embarrassing :-) scarcely dare carry suffice ; ask me no more questions, I my surmises to the effect which may be cannot answer them.”
produced if this strange phenomenon “ May we not ask whether this figure continues ;-for phenomenon it must
be called, whether the appearance be if possible, than the appearance of the superhuman or not. The impression phantom." made at court, and throughout the whole “ Let him be sent for; I will ques. town, by the phantom's first intrusion, tion bim myself, and try whether any was such, that I tremble for the conse- means can be devised for compelling quence of the second. Our magnani- him to break this obstinate silence.” mous queen was then the single person “Grant Heaven that you may fiud it: about the court whose soul seemed to possible to make him speak With remain unshaken ; a general terror seize your excellency's approbation I will go ed all the ladies in her train ; it was myself and seek him.” with difficulty they were restrained from “ You will oblige me much." Hying the town; and now I firmly be- Kiezerhausen hastened back to the lieve that nothing but chains will retain inn : it was yet early in the morning, them in it. Nay, the terror throughout and he found Storkenheim but just the town is so great, that there is but completing his toilet. He imparted too much reason to apprehend its being count Lowenstein's wish to see him upa i wholly deserted, and this in a moment on the adventures of the preceding when perhaps the safety of the great evening. “ I will wait upon the compublic cause depends on the firmness mander with pleasure,” said Storkenand resolution shown not only by our heim. gallant troops but by the town at large. Shall I stop and accompany you?” I regret exceedingly that I did not con- said Kiezerhausen. tinue my watchings with you; I think “ As you please," answered the I might have obtained some clue to other. assist our investigation in the matter." Kiezerhausen stopped: Storkenheim All this he said, continuing to pace up was soon ready, and they went together and down the room with hurried and to count Lowenstein. He was still agitated steps.
pacing up and down the room with a “Your excellency will pardon me," hurried and agitated step; Kiezerhausaid Kjezerhausen, “ count Lowen-sen's countenance was expressive of the steins's courage has often been display- utmost anxiety-Storkenheim alone was ed in a manner so distinguished that it perfectly calm and composed. cannot be doubted by any one. I chal- Count Lowenstein immediately belenge any person to feel this truth more gan : Captain Storkenheim, I do not forcibly than I do; yet I know not how to now make it my request that you will persuade myself, if you had been with disclose all you know concerning this. us, but that even your fortitude would mysterious affair ; as your commanding have been shaken in beholding the officer I lay my injunction upon you ghastly and death-like appearance of immediately to unravel the mystery the phantom, in witnessing the solem- for this it is obvious you can door nity of the action when its hand was dread the effects of your contumacy. raised towards heaven, and in hearing | It is of importance to the public welthe awful sound of the voice that suc- fare that the truth should be known, ceeded.”
and means shall be found to arrive at it." My fortitude must have been shak- “ I am perfectly ready," replied en-yet it seems there was one among Storkenheim, “to acknowledge the subyou whose nerves supported him to mission due from me as an inferior brave the danger, and who found no officer to your excellency as my comcause to repent that he had disdained mander, in all matters connected with all weak and idle fears-Storkenheim.” military discipline; but since I must
“ Most true; and that young man's conceive the affair in question to be of conduct is to me a greater mystery, a nature wholly irrelevant to any mili