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he carried a silver-mounted cane, and with the other Jed forward the mother, who, with veiled face, stretched an arm towards heaven in a threatening attitude.
They seemed as if they had finished a toilsome journey, and wished for repose, but suddenly a frightful hissing was heard in the air. Harsh puffs of wind whirled gravel and dust together in clouds. The walls and pinnacles shook. The church doors flew open, the three figures rushed into the temple with a hollow groan, and the locks and hars returned quietly iuto their places.
The lamps were burnt out; the day broke; night birds flew by; and a cock in a neighbouring yard crew thrice. The officer looked round on his companion, but a long skeleton stood beside him.
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Three weeks elapsed, and the inquisitive officer had not recovered from the fever which oppressed him. His friend, the physician, was constant in his attendance, and his skill and assiduity ultimately haffled the disease. The young man gradually recovered, and when able to walk abroad the doctor accompanied him. They bent their steps towards the park, and, disliking the noise made by coaches and equestrians, they quitted the public promenade and retired to the water side, not far from the tent-booths. The evening was beautiful: the sky was serene and clear; and the few lamps that burnt between the trees threw a pleasing light upon the green foliage. 'How like an Italian evening,' said the physician.
'It is such a night,' returned the officer, 'as good spirits might wish to walk in.'
The doctor smiled. 'You may smile,' continued the officer,' but there are more things between heaven and «arth than are dreamed of in your philosophy.'
'Very likely,' replied the physician, 'for a neighbour of mine, an honest pewterer, says be is constantly annoyed by ghosts, and, what is still more extraordinary, the ghost who haunts him was once a schoolfellow of mine. His name,'continued the physician, observing that his friend's curiosity was excited, • was Julius, n pewterer's son. His father was a poor burgher, but flattering himself that his son had some talents, he sent him to a great school, where the lad had for companions the sons of counts and other noblemen. The inequality between their condition and his pained him exceedingly, and the haughty treatment he experienced at their hands rendered him discontented. This made him eagerly give reception to the principles of the French republicans, who were now filling I'.urope with their vauntings and their theories. When I, or others, undertook to dispute with him, he defended his opinions in a manner which did not dispose us to renew the contest, for he argued vehemently and closely. The bouse of his parents distressed him, for he there found a marked hostility to his ideas. His father was a strict severe Bohemian brother; his mother was a violent turbulent woman, eager for gain; and Lauretta, his sister, wns a good soft girl, more accustomed to romance than real life. Julius found himself misunderstood and opposed, and he could not love what was so opposite to him. Thus was the main spring of all holy sentiment stopped np: it decayed, and one fiery wheel only, driven by pride and misanthropy, turned yet in his brain; its ambiguous name was—ambition. But Julius was poor; this checked the boldness of his desires, and was the cause of disgusting him still more and more with the world, mankind, and all the institutes of civil society.
'When Buonaparte defeated the Prussians near Jena, and entered Berlin triumphantly, Julius joined his standard. One evening, clothed in the odious French habit, he suddenly appeared before his poor old father, who had just shared his last loaf with the brutal soldiers quartered on him. The old man, stiff, as if struck with apoplexy, stared with joined hands, but the mother ran groaning into the house, called upon heaven and hell for vengeance upon her own blood, and provoked a malediction on the renegade even out of the dying father's lips.
'Julius, however, was immoveable ; he held his resolution with dark obstinacy, and tore himself for ever from all his dearest connections. I saw him standing in the enemy's ranks on the day of his departure; I observed him at a distance; I thought my heart would break ; (or be heard not the jokes of his companions, he looked on the ground with knit brows, and he shivered when the signal for marching was given. "Julius," cried I, as I ran towards him, but a presented hayonet and a thundering "arreSte" repulsed me. He gave me one look, cried "To Spain!" and was soon out of my sight.
'In 1812, when the flying French looked for Berlin as for their home, the unfortunate young man, in tattered garb, and apparently labouring under the influence of a malignant hospital-fever, entered the house of his parents. His father and mother had been buried some time before at St. Nicholas', and Lauretta was married to his father's foreman, who kept the house, and exercised the profession of a pewterer. She was standing at her embroidering frame when the spirit-like figure entered; and on seeing it she fell to the ground with a dreadful scream, and never again woke to reason. Calm madness kept her for some months upon the earth, then broke her heart: she reposes by the side of her parents.
'I know not why, but all at once I felt myself drawn to Lauretta's widower. I found the industrious active man in his work-shop; and he rejoiced much to see me after so long an absence. He answered with a haggard look and doleful accent to my inquiry how he did. He pale, but otherwise vigorous and strong. I endeavoured to tranquillize him on account of his health, but he said, " I ought to know better than you, doctor. My misfortunes led me to this house, which I cannot leave, for what can I do with the shop?" All that I bad heard before came into my mind, and I inquired "Is what they say true?" He pressed my hand, and whispered, " Yes '." I stepped with him into the little room in the hack part of the house where formerly the family had lived peaceably and happily. A large round dining table stood in the middle, with the old checked covering of little squares over it; two beds were in the alcove, and a leathern covered arm chair near the stove. "Spirits make their havock here," said the poor man, "where I was formerly so happy; the door opens every night at twelve precisely; my poor wife enters wringing her hands, her father and mother after her: they sit down at this round table, and look staringly at the door. Something knocks without, moans, but cannot enter; the door opens suddenly. They burst from one another, and fly out of the house.
'"The neighbours and friends tell me," he continued, "that prohably Lauretta's parents cannot be quiet until they have revoked their malediction of Julius, and till he had expiated his faults. I thought, perhaps, that he was dead, and that his soul wished for peace."
'The wretched man looked with mortification and affliction about the little room be liked so well, and which he would not leave. l could not prevail upon him to allow me to pass a night with him, so 1 took my leave. I learnt soon after that Julius fell in the late war by a Prussian sword, and that a thrust through the heart finished his life.'
'Ob, God!' cried the officer, ' where? where V
'Near Laon,' returned his friend.
'Oh, my prophetic heart,' said the other, much relieved, ' thou didst not deceive me. I remember the circumstance well, and now distinctly recollect that the enemy I subdued bore the features assumed on the 7 tli of August by the grey man.'
The young man now persuaded himself that the perturbed ghost was at re.<t, and this idea afforded him considerable relief. His military companions, however, ridiculed the whole affair as a phantasy of his brain, and their raillery had the effect of making him doubt the evidence of his own senses. It was remarkable, however, that the house of the pewtcrer was no longer disturbed by nocturnal visitors.
As to the unbelievers, their works are like the vapour in a plain, which the thirsty traveller thinketli to he water, until, when he cometh thereto, he findeth it to be nothing.
At Koran, chop. 21.
'midst burning heat and stifling clouds of sand,
O'ercome with thirst, and severed from his hand,
His wearied, helpless limbs no more can stand:
He seeks the place, his energies expand,
Thus in life s journey, fancy loves to paint
They come—the phantom flies—'tis all a feint,
Halifax, August, 1829. Gulieimus.
FoRGet thee! yes ! when broken lies
Each chord that binds the soul to earth,
From struggling bosoms issuing forth.
This care-worn, languid frame shall be,
Wrung forth by mortal agony.
Till memory's genial sun be set,
Have past, as though they ne'er had met. July 14, 1829 Silwy.