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around him, and his hair and beard white as snow, and waving to the breeze of the hill, received from beneath a dark cloud, the last deep crimson of the setting sun.
The dog now ran wagging his tail, first to his master, then to the stranger, leaping upon each with marks of the utmost rapture, till, too rudely expressing his joy, the old man tottering fell, at the foot of a blasted beech, that stood at the bottom of the hill, Wolkmar hastened to his relief, and had just reached the spot, when starting back, he exclaimed, “My father! O my father !" Gothre, for so the old man was called, saw and knew his son ; a smile of extacy lighted up his features, a hectic Aushed his cheek, his eyes beamed transport through the waters that suffused them, and stretching forth his arms, he faintly uttered, ‘My beloved son !' Nature could no niore: the bloom upon his withered cheek fled fast away, the dewy lustre of his eye grew dim, the throbbing of his heart oppressed him, and straining Wolkmar with convulsive energy, the last long breath of aged Gothre fled cold across the cheek of his son.
The night grew dark and unlovely, the moon struggled to appear, and by fits her pale light streamed across the lake, a silence deep and terrible prevailed, unbroken but by a cold shriek, that at intervals died along the valley. Wolkmar lay entranced upon the dead body of his father, the dog stood motionless by his side; but at last alarmed, he licked their faces, and pulled his master by the coat, till having in vain endeavoured to awaken them, he ran howling dreadfully along the valley; the demon of the night trembled on his hill of storms, and the rocks returned a deepening echo.
Wolkmar at last awoke, a cold sweat trickled over his forehead, every muscle shook with horror, and, kneeling by the body of Gothre, he wept aloud. · Where is my Fanny,' he exclaimed, 'where shall I find her ? oh! that thou hadst told me she yet lived, good old man ; if alive, my God, she must be near : the night is dark, these mountains are unknown to me.” As he spoke, the illumined edge of a cloud shone on the face of Gothre, a smile yet dwelt upon his features; 'Smilest thou, my father ?' said Wolkmar, I feel it at my heart; all shall yet be well.' The night again grew dark, and Wolkmar, retiring a few paces from his father, threw himself upon the ground,
He had not continued many minutes in this situation, before the distant sound of voices struck bis ear : they seemed to issue from different parts of the valley, and two or three evidently approached the spot where Gothre lay; the name of Gothre was at length loudly repeated, and Gothre! Gothre! mournfully ran from rock to rock. Wolkmar, starting from the ground, sighed with anxiety, and, leaning forward, he listened with fearful apprehension, but the beating of his heart appalled him. The dog, who, at first alarmed, had crept to his master's feet, began now to bark with vehemence; suddenly the voices ceased, and Wolkmar thought he heard the soft and quick tread of people fast approaching. At this moment the moon burst from behind a dark cloud, and shone full on the dead body of Gothre. A shrill shriek pierced the air, and a young woman rushing forward fell on the body of Gothre. . Oh, my Billy!' she exclaimed to a little boy, who ran up to her out of breath, see your beloved Gothre! he
ever; gone to heaven and left us. poor child! (clasping the boy, who cried most bitterly), what shall we do without him, what will become of us, we will die also, my Billy! Gothre is gone to your own dear father, and they are both happy yonder, my Billy,' pointing to the moon. Wolkmar, in the mean time, stood enveloped with shade, his arms stretched out, motionless, and fixed in silent astonishment; his tongue clove to the roof of his mouth, and he faintly and with difficulty uttered, “My Fanny! my child ! His accents reached her ear; she sprang wildly from the ground; “It is my Wolkmar's spirit, she exclaimed. The sky instantly cleared all around, and Wolkmar himself burst upon her sight. They rushed together; she fainted. • God of mercies!' cried Wolkmar, ‘if thou wilt not drive me mad, restore her to life: she breathes; I thank thee, O my God, she breathes ! the wife of Wolkmar lives!' Fanny recovering, felt the warm embraces of her beloved husband; Dear, dear Wolkmar,' she faintly whispered, • Thy Fanny I cannot speak; my Wolkmar, I am too happy ; see our Billy!' The boy had crept close to his father, and was clasping him round the knees. The tide of affection rushed impetuously through the bosom of Wolkmar; It presses on my heart, he said, 'I cannot bear it.' The domestics, whom Fanny had brought with her, crowded round: 'Let us kneel,' said Wolkmar, 'round the body of aged Gothre:' they knelt around, the moon shone sweetly on the earth; the spirit of Gothre passed by; he saw his children, and was happy.