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“Oh, but I'll tell him directly now,” replied he, “by Jove, I'll go up by the night-train and do it in the morning, but you know it was no use telling him till you said
would have me. “ But I haven't said so yet,” replied Moley, with an emphasis on the
“I haven't said so yet, you are going far too fast.” “Well, but silence gives consent,” replied Charles, “and there is no occasion for any thing further except a kiss,” again attempting to take one.
“Oh you rude boy !” exclaimed she, seeing a couple of parasols bearing in sight; “I really will not walk with you if you behave so," so saying, she drew herself up, and holding her parasol between him and her, encountered the comers with a most indifferent, "giving him no encouragement" sort of air.
“Forgive me, dearest Maria,” whispered Charles after they were past, “I'll not do so any more, indeed I won't,” adding aside, “uot till the next time, at least.
Moley would have snubbed him a little more had they not been getting too near the town, for the amount of business she had yet in hand, and not wishing to commit herself by any backwards and forwards lover-like turns, she observed, with great propriety," that there were many questions they ought to ask each other before they decided on so important a point as the one he proposed.”
“Well,” said Charles, gravely, “let us begin, then.”.
“ Well,” interrupted Charles, “I think your mamma has no objection.”
think young to marry, or may have somebody else in view for you, or a hundred things ; old gentlemen are apt to be capricious, and if you were to offend him he might leave his fortune to some one else, and that would be very awkward, you
know." “Oh, poor man, I don't think he has much to leave—he's very good to me, but I don't think he's much to leave,” replied Charles.
Moley had reached her goal, her worst fears were all but confirmed.
“ Oh," said she, with an air of indifference, “ I think nothing about money,
care nothing about money, whatever there is I shall be content; sound religious principle is what I look to for happiness, and that is not dependent upon," she nearly said, “ the funds," that being the basis upon which her "pa" placed most of his aspirations, but added, “and that is not dependent on the caprice of human kind.”
Angelic creature !” exclaimed Charles, seizing her hand in ecstacies, and thinking he was not half good enough for her.
Being rather too near the town for this sort of amusement, especially after such an unpromising announcement, Moley began to prepare for leave-taking, and, of course, to appoint a meeting for mamma.
“Well, now," said she, withdrawing her hand hastily as they came to the last turnstile leading out of the fields, by the Trafalgar Inn Mews, “ I'll go home and surprise mamma with the glad intelligence, and you can come in the morning and talk matters quietly over with her.”
“Why not now?” asked Charles, adding, “it is quite early."
“I think the morning will be better," replied Moley; "perhaps the news and your visit together might be too much for her.”
The fact was, Moley did not care to be seen any more with Charles in the town.
“Well,” said he, looking very desponding, “I'll be with you—at what hour ?"
“Say ten,” replied Moley, “and then you'll be sure to find mamma disengaged. Now good-bye, dear,” continued she, giving him a tender squeeze with her ungloved hand, and one of her sweetest smiles ; “goodbye, dear, and mind, be punctual, that's your shortest way to the Green's Hotel,” said she, pointing with her parasol in the contrary direction to the one she was going.
Having traversed the Polygon, and got into Cross Street, it occurred to her that she wanted a little more tulle, accordingly she bent her steps to “Grin and Gape's,” the insinuating “Swan and Edgar's” of the place, where, after much to do, she got herself suited with it, and also with a yard and a half of cap ribbon.
Now see how Fortune favours the virtuous !
Turning the corner of Clarendon Street, on her way home, who should she meet but our hero, Tom Rocket, the Richest Commoner in England! There he was in a most killing new green cut-away, with club-buttons, a buff waistcoat, and white leather trousers. He had just got off horseback, having been calling at Lord Sparkleton's. How warm was her greeting! There was scarcely less empressement in the squeeze of the hand than there was in her parting one with Charles Summerley.
Mr. Rocket was delighted. How proudly he strutted up Chapel Street and along Belvedere Terrace, giving such a thundering knock and ring at the Dooey door as caused the ricketty house to shake, and brought the footman, huddling on his coat, after the butler, to open it.
BY JOHN OXENFORD, ESQ. To the following stories we give the somewhat indefinite title of "Austrian Legends," because they are not attached to one particular spot like those of Vienna, Salzburg, and Gastein. They are, nevertheless, tied together by a certain similarity of principle, that of giving a legendary origin to some supernatural appearance, which even at the present day is supposed to terrify believers.
Castle Greifenstein, which is near Vienna, was once inhabited by a knight, whose pleasures consisted in fighting and hunting. He was blest with a fair and virtuous wife, who had but one failing ; she was too great an admirer of her own hair, which was certainly very long, and which she loved to twist into beautiful knots. Alas! this little weakness was productive of immense mischief.
Our stalwart knight had accompanied Duke Albert III. on some warlike expedition, and when he returned home what should he find but his better half with her hair twisted even more elegantly than usual. Now the knight was not remarkably partial to top-knots, and therefore concluded that the labours of the toilet had not been especially directed to his own gratification. He next surmised that the knots might have been designed to please somebody else, and a horrible fit of jealousy was the consequence. Having settled that his wife had a lover, the next job was to discover who the happy individual might be, and for want of a better he pitched upon the chaplain, who had free access to the lady during his absence. The good knight was one of those strong, practical characters, who hate to waste their time in balancing conflicting arguments, and when once they have formed a resolution, love to carry it into effect. In vain did the chaplain and the lady protest their innocence ; the knight was not to be implored or argued out of his crotchet; so without the slightest evidence, beyond the superiority of the top-knot, he cut off the offending decoration from the head of his wife, and clapped the chaplain into a dungeon, vowing that he would never release him until the stone balustrades of the great castle steps were so worn by the hands of persons ascending and descending, that the fatal top-knot could be put into the hollow.
If the knight's rage was indiscreet so also was his penitence; for he became so violently sorry for what he had done, and was in such a hurry to give orders for the poor chaplain to be again brought before him, that he slipped down the steps and broke his neck. Nordid his sufferings end here, for the very condition (a little strengthened) which he had made for the release of the chaplain, was laid down by Heaven for the repose of his own ghost. There must the said ghost wander about till the hands of passengers make a hollow large enough to hold two top-knots. The poor ghost shouts out to the passengers,
- Greifenstein" (lay hold of the stone), hoping that the hard substance
may be worn out all the quicker, and from this shout the castle (Greifenstein) derives its name.
There is another story, which sticks to the chaplain and the neckbreaking, but differs from the one just told in important particulars.
The knight, according to this second story, when he went out to the wars, did not leave a wife, but a daughter behind him, and the chaplain, who ought to have watched her closely, did not sufficiently prevent her intercourse with a poor youth, on whom she had bestowed her affections. Nay, when her father sent home the unwelcome news that he had picked out a capital match for her, the chaplain went so far as to conduct her through a solitary path to a lonely spot, where her lover resided with her.
Home came the knight, but no daughter was there, and the chaplain was not ready with his information. The indignant parent, who had certainly more reason to be angry than the gentleman of the top-knot tale, incarcerated the chaplain, and wished that, if he forgave any of the culprits, he might meet with a sudden death, and his ghost might never find repose. Years rolled on.
The chaplain pined in his dungeon, and tried to amuse himself with a snake, which crept in somehow or other, and lived from his scanty provisions. However, as the snake and its appetite grew bigger, the chaplain found that he had not a supply equal to the demand, and solved the economical difficulty by knocking his companion on the head with a stick, which he afterwards hung on a ring against the wall, in commemoration of the glorious achievement.
In the meanwhile, the lovers lived upon a meagre diet of game, when they could get it, and wild fruits. The angry old knight, when hunting one day, saw a miserable-looking wretch decked out in skins, who beckoned him to a cavern. There he found his daughter, in piteous plight, with an infant at her breast, gpawing the liver of a wolf. Moved by compassion, he burst into tears, and, forgetful of his vow, beckoned the hapless couple to follow him with their offspring.
Having forgiven his daughter, he next thought to release the chaplain, and hastening to set him free with his own hand, tumbled down the castle steps and broke his neck. His spirit is doomed to wander till the stick (which was seen in 1809) falls from the ring, and the balustrade of the steps is worn out.
There is a bad moral in both these legends, as the parties are not punished for their cruelty, but for their penitence. However, we have nothing to do with that matter. It is our business to give the legends just as we find them.
The plan of turning the penalty of a vow against the maker of it, and that not in conformity with the strict letter, was not confined to the jealous husband in the first tale about Greifenstein. A knight who inhabited the fort of Rauheneck near Baaden, once buried a treasure, and placing a cherry stone in a little earth which happened to be on the battlement of a high tower, spoke as follows:
" This treasure shall belong to the priest, who is rocked in a cradle made out of the cherry-tree which springs from this stone. If the tree withers or is broken by storm, or by the hand of man, the treasure shall not be found until a bird shall have carried another stone to the tower, and the rest of the condition is fulfilled."
A slender sprig is now growing, it is said, on the tower of Rauheneck ruins, and it will be long ere the old knight's condition is performed. However, his ghost is doomed to wander until this takes place, and may be seen, moaning about the ruins at midnight, while little lurid fames play about in various directions.
Near Endersdorf, in the vicinity of Zuchmantel in Moravia, is a gloomy lake surrounded by dismal fir and pear trees, to which a supernatural origin is assigned.
There lived at Endersdorf a shepherd who became suddenly rich, and as suddenly hard-hearted. Once he and his retainers hunted an old beggar with dogs, whereupon the aged man uttered a curse, and a very effective curse it was, for down came such a thunder-storm, that all the shepherd's property was destroyed, and he became poor even faster than he had become rich.
The shepherd did not flinch, but finding himself scourged by Heaven, turned his thoughts in the opposite direction and called upon the devil. He could not have invited a worse ally. The earth shook, the ground yawned, and all that the lightning had left having sunk into the abyss, a dark lake occupied the site of the shepherd's former possessions. Into this lake the devil Aung the body of the shepherd, which he had previously torn to pieces.
To this day the form of the shepherd is seen wandering by the lake, brandishing a whip, and accompanied by a black dog. Occasionally he takes the form of a black dog himself, and scares travellers with his howling
It is not every mortal who is terrified by such supernatural appearances. At Bärenstein, a fort in Moravia, the spirit of a maiden has been wandering from time immemorial. She wears a white garment, and carries a bunch of keys. Over her face hangs long hair, which she arranges with a silver comb. She does mischief to nobody, but is, on the
contrary, a civil sort of ghost, and with a friendly nod, salutes those whom she meets, though she does not utter a word. Who she is, and why she wanders, the legend telleth not.
When the fort was inhabited, a young lancer was somewhat struck by the timid manner with which the household talked of the mysterious virgin. Anxious to distinguish himself as an esprit fort he made a vow, that if ever he saw her, he would snatch a kiss from her preternatural lips. In vain did an old wise man reprove him for his presumption, and endeavour to check his audacity, the young scapegrace remained firm to
He soon had an opportunity of proving his courage. The spectral maiden appeared, and a curious, though frightened, multitude stood to witness the performance of the feat. The lancer darted at the apparition, and the fatal kiss was imprinted. Did the spectre attempt to repel the audacity? Did she evince any cadaverous coldness towards the intruder ? Did she, like the huntsman of the Hermannstein, change into a fiend? Nothing like it.
On the contrary, the ardour of her admirer was as nothing, compared with her own; in return for the kiss she had received, she twined her fair arms about his neck, and pressed him fondly to her bosom. In fact, she carried her affection to such a pitch, that she-squeezed him to death. She then vanished into thin air, leaving the corpse of the lancer as an awful warning against all flirtation with ghosts.
But of all the ill-conditioned spectres none was more unpleasant than one which appeared to Bishop Bruno. The Emperor Henry III. was, in the year 1045, sailing through the dangerous eddy of the Danube, near Stockerau, on an expedition against the Hungarians. Bruno, Bishop of Würzburg, the emperor's cousin, was sailing in another vessel, when, just as he was about to go through the eddy, he saw upon a rock, a man, black as a negro, with a repulsive expression of countenance.
Bishop Bruno, Bishop Bruno,
You will see me down below.
At Pösenbeiss, about two leagues from the spot, the emperor landed to sojourn for awhile with the widow of Count Adelbar von Ebersberg, who received him nobly. While the party were standing in a large apartment, the floor, which had not been constructed for such a multitude, gave way, and down went the whole assembly, emperor, bishop, and all, into a bathing-room. Not a soul, however, was hurt excepting poor Bruno, who received a mortal wound in the ribs from the corner of a bathing tub.
A stone tower was afterwards built on the rock where the spectre appeared to Bishop Bruno, and was called the “ Devil's Tower.”
Dr. Southey made the fate of Bishop Bruno the subject of a well. known ballad, but the story is not precisely the same as the legend given above.