صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

THE TRAVELLER AND THE BODENSEE.* The stranger shuddered, chilled with fear;

“O'er yonder plain I've ridden here !"
(Translated from the German of Schwab.)
By Lilly Waters.

With lifted hands, “ Great God!" cried she,

“So hast thou ridden over the See ! A HORSEMAN rode through the valley bright, O'er the snow-fields glittering white.

“ The deep abyss, with shining floor, “I must bravely toil through th’snow,” said Mad hoofs clanged at the crystal door!

he, “ To reach, ere night, the Bodensee.

“Did not under thee waters dash,

The thick rind break with awful crash? “Ere night, my barb, we'll reach the tide, And take the boat to the further side.”

“ And wert thou not harmed by th' hungry

brood The way was rugged with brier and stone, That swarms the depths of the cold, dark flood ?"" Yet on he dashed with his noble roan.

They call the village to hear the tale. Beyond the hills is level land ;

Boys come, silent, trembling, and pale,
Before, the snow lies smooth as sand.

And tender mothers, and fathers brave,
The path was eren, and smooth the way;
Towns were vanishing with the day.

Murmur,“ How blest to escape such grave !" On th' plain nor hill nor house appear,

“ Come to our fire, yield to our wish, No tree or rock, afar or near.

Break with us bread, eat of our fish."

So flies he on for many a mile,
And hears the snow-geese shriek the while.

He slid from his horse at the friendly word,
Thinking only of the first he heard.

No wanderer on these fields of snow
He meets, the beaten path to show.

His heart-throbs ceased with terror's thrill;
The awful peril was with him still.

Still on he goes o'er the velvet floor,

He only sees the ghastly deep;
With listening ear for the water's roar.

This scene alone his thoughts can keep.
Now twilight glooms o'er snow-fields bright,
And distant far there gleams a light.

Crackling of ice rings in his ears,

And cold sweat starts as fancy hears.
Afar through trees and mist 'tis seen,
The prospect broad that lies between.

Then groaned and sunk by his horse so brave,

And found on shore a dry, quiet grave!
Once more the ground was rough with stone;
He spurs his horse o'er the pathway lone.

In the old French Revolution, they set Soon barked the dogs at his weary steed,

up the goddess of reason, and voted God Village firesides smiled on his need.

out of the universe; but God would not

leave humanity, scoffing at him, forgetHe reached the door of the holstery;

ting him, but stood by his universe, and "To the See, to the See, how far may it be?” manifested himself in the midst of all

their malignity; and all the ingenuity of The maiden stared with wondering eye; man could not vote him out of it. Here “The boat and the See behind thee lie.

is a sort of truth that nothing can reverse.

There is a God Almighty; and although “ If 'twere not ice-covered, I should say You just had come from over that way.”

men may wish there was not a God, and

try to get rid of one, here the idea comes * The Bodensee, the Lake of Constance, is welling up in the soul, in the depth of which forms the subject is said to have occurred his primal instincts, and men believe in it in 1695.

because they cannot help it.

CHAPTER III.

THE SPY OF THE MISSISSIPPI. ning to catch a descending stick which a

little negro, as noisy as they, had thrown By Mrs. C. M. Sawyer.

into the air. A slender, high-bred horse, of a beautiful bay color was showing his

paces, trotting to and fro in a rich, grassy It was early morning a few days after enclosure, and whinnying as if snuffing the events recorded in the last chapter. the approach of comrades, or asking for A white mist was heaving and surging in his breakfast. the first rays of the rising sun, and slowly In front, the walks were neatly swept, rolling up and away toward the east, a cat and her kittens lay lovingly nestled clinging in tattered masses to the out in the early sunshine on the piazza, and a stretched branches of the tall hemlocks neatly-dressed and pleasant-faced mulatto and the rocky points on the sides of the girl stood, with a broom in her hand, beautiful rounded bluffs that formed a no- leaning over the little wicket-gate, and ble framework to the rear of Vicksburg: gazing indolently down the road toward The numerous charming residences and the quarter where the Union camp was the beautiful trees, standing sometimes known to lie. She seemed careless and singly and sometimes in groups, which happy as the dogs and the cat and kittens, crowned those bluffs and lent such a glory occasionally breaking out into snatches of to the extreme suburbs of the beleagued simple but very sweet melody, the burden city, one after another became visible, as of which seemed to be:the misty veil melted away. But a dead silence seemed to reign in

“ Massa Linclum's gin us free,

Glory, hallelulia; and around most of the dwellings; for the He'll come soon and take care we, proprietors had, in obedience to the orders Glory, hallelulia.” of General Pemberton, the rebel com- “ Better care than I have taken of you, mander, mostly evacuated them for the Folie ?”, inquired a sweet, pleasant voice supposed greater safety to be found within from the piazza. the fortifications. The windows and doors

The girl turned quickly, and looked in were closed ; the few negroes who had the fair, young face which confronted her, been left to guard the deserted premises with a somewhat startled, but very loving having either availed themselves of their expression. unwonted liberty to make their escape " Will · Massa Linclum,' as you call into the Union lines, or remained only to him, take better care of you, think you, indulge in the slave's paradise, - idleness, than I ?" she repeated. eating, and sleeping, -- were still buried “Lors, no, missis,” answered the irl, in profound slumber. The distant boom with a bright, frank smile; “nobody take ing of cannon, sending their compliments better care o' we san you, missis.” into the city from the gunboats on the " Then why do you sing such songs, river, every few minutes reverberated Folie? Do you want to go and live with along the bluffs, shaking the windows and the Northern people?doors of the houses; but the sound had

Oh, lors, no, missis; I doesn't want become familiar, and the sleepers, if sleep- to leave you; but I does love to sing dat ers there there in the beautiful and for- ar song, cos it ’pears kind o' good to sing saken houses, slept on.

'bout bein' free. Somehow, my heart

glow on her face intensifying in its bright- to spare. Does that please you, Foness, and her whole lithe figure dilating lie?" with the greatness of the thought. "I Oh, missis! oh, missis ! I-I”— wants to be FREE!”

The girl broke down; she could not “But am I not kind to you, Folie ? speak. She stood, her face all aglow Do I not make your life an easy one ? with gratitude and affection, the great Don't I clothe you well, and give you as tears streaming down her dusky cheeks, good food as I eat myself ? '

and looking up in the face of her mistress “Yas, missis, you does. Nobody dare as if it had been the face of an angel. say you don't do duty to me.

I not

“You are glad!” said the lady, a stand it ef dey did. But, missis, I don't great wave of emotion running through kear so much for de good food and de nice her own breast. “ You are glad! I see clothes. I want to own myself. I want it!” to own de soul dat de Lord quv me!“Glad! Oh, good massa God!” she

Something of the same glow which beau- burst out passionately, clasping her hands tified and idealized the face of the slave and rolling up her streaming eyes, “ make girl was on that of her young mistress, me lib a hunder years to show my missis as she listened to the passionate appeal. how glad I am and how I lub her!

“Folie, what would you do, and where Her gratitude and joy were intense and would you go, if I were to give you your real. The lady felt and appreciated this. freedom ? Would you go into the camp But she saw that such excitement would of the Union soldiers, and perhaps suffer produce exhaustion and perhaps illness in and be lost, without a home, or a woman's the poor girl, and she soon wisely intercare ?"

posed a little wholesome diversion. “No, missis, nebber, nebber! I stay · Folie, look down the road, and see if wid you, missis, all de days o' my life. any Union soldiers are in sight!” I work better for you when I own myself The diversion was effective ; and while dan when you own me.

the girl, with all her eyes, watched the · But, Folie, you will by and by be spot where the road turned, to be sure married, and perhaps your husband will and catch the first glimpse of any way. want to take you away, and not allow you farers, we will present the lady a little to live with me. He may go into the more palpably before our readers. Northern army and turn against me.” She was very beautiful, with a rare

“Oh, missis, I nebber will marry any- and noble beauty,—a soul shining through body who does not promise to stay by her face such as you would look to meet you, to fight for you, and to die for you in one capable of such acts as the one if

necessary. He shall swear dat, missis,' just recorded. She was of medium size, 'fore I trust him one bit. Oh, missis, git with an erect, graceful figure and a proud me free, den I show you how big a soul bearing. Her finely-formed and wellcan lib under a cullered skin, — how a poised head turned gracefully on a swanfree girl's heart can lub!

like neck, white as a magnolia flower. Tears rushed to the eyes of the young Her fair, oval face, from which time had mistress. “It shall be so, Folie! You not stolen a single youthful rose, and are free! I give you your liberty from which was lighted by blue, starry eyes, this hour! You can come and go at your was framed by a profusion of brown, will. I will give you papers which will clustering curls, which caught a tint of prevent your ever being a slave again, gold in the early sunlight. Her eyelids that will prevent your children, if you were heavy and black, and her eyebrows, should have them, ever being slaves. of the same tint, were firm and nearly You may leave me if you please, or you straight. may stay with me always; and I will be She sat down and folding her hands in a good mistress to you, and pay you her lap with a great sigh, soon seemed lost wages such as the free Northern girls re- | in thought which must have been of a very ceive, — enough to clothe you and some various nature; for as she gazed out before

66

her, her face sometimes seemed full of The lady's whole manner had changed, dauntless, heroic fire, and sometimes of and it was impossible to guess by her profound, even depressing anxiety, when tone whether this polite remark was made she would pass her hand before her in irony or in earnest ; but however it eyes, as if to shut out something pain- might have been, Captain Carleton acceptful.

ed it as if the latter, and his men had soon Oh, lors, missis !” suddenly cried picketed their horses in a large paddock, Folie from her perch on the wicket-gate; with each a measure of oats before them, “de soldiers is coming! de soldiers is and were themselves quartered in a large, coming!"

pleasant room, overlooking the distant What soldiers ? and which way are intrenchments of Vicksburg; while the they coming ?" inquired the lady, anx- domestics, under the busy, bustling direciously going to the edge of the piazza fortion of Folie were zealously occupied in a better outlook.

preparing a hearty and generous repast. “Oh, de blue-coats, missis, an' dey all Indeed, judging from their smiling exon horseback. Dar's more as fifty of citement and unusual activity, they were 'em. Lors, missis, whár I go now?" well-pleased to have the opportunity to

"Don't be frightened, Folie!” said wait on the Northern soldiers. Chickens, the lady, seemingly quite relieved by the eggs, snowy biscuits, huge slices of honeygirl's statement. They wont harm you. comb, and a variety of other tempting Go into the house, and I will watch viands, made their appearance one after them!”

another, promising a rare feast to men The girl hastily obeyed her mistress, whose sole diet had long been salt beef, who, herself retreating, sat quietly down pork, and hard-tack. by the open window. She soon heard the “ Nuffin too good for Massa Linclum's clatter of advancing cavalry, though ap- men," was the by-remark, as each new parently only a small body, and in anoth- offering made its appearance. er moment the foremost riders were in Meanwhile, Captain Carleton entered sight, and the leader looked up.

the elegant little parlor where Florence * Florence!” he exclaimed, reining in was accustomed to sit, and which he rehis horse by the little wicket-gate, while membered from many a visit there before. a bright flush rose to his cheeks.

It was a cheery, charming room, filled "Good-morning, Cousin Guy! You with a thousand tasteful evidences of its ride early!" was her perfectly cool and owner's cultivation and skill. The superb self-possessed salutation, as if she had piano, and its music-rack piled with music, seen him every day for months instead of the elegant bookcase with its rare cononly once in half a year. “I did not tents, the books and magazines on the know but you had gone to the South Seas, little tables, the charming vases, filled or in search of Sir John Franklin. Will with choice and fragrant flowers, the you come in ?"

statuettes in bronze and parian, of many “I do not think – I cannot leave my a graceful design, and the tiny work-basmen,” was his hesitating reply; "and ket on the little table in the favorite baybesides, my business is urgent.”

window, all indicated education, refine“ But you have not breakfasted, and ment, and elegance of taste. you cannot do better than to do so here. A few minutes' conversation on ordina

[ocr errors]

you are.

[ocr errors]

66

withstanding the threatening proximity of have no further occasion for anxiety. We our army?

shall soon be safe under ground.” “ Yes, Guy."

Carleton sprung to his feet and rapidly “ But why remain ? As you were not paced the room. Then suddenly stopping willing to go among my friends at the in front of her, North, even within the intrenchments • Florence,” said he, “had you but would be better than here, unprotected as heeded my counsel and gone North, even

I cannot be always near you.” as far as St. Louis, or, perhaps you will "I do not wish that you should,” say worse still, had you accepted the love replied the lady, coloring; “ I am and the hand I so earnestly offered you, safe."

how different” “ The old story!” impetuously inter- “Is it necessary, then, for me to marry rupted the young officer.

a Northern vandal to be safe in a free - Isn't it true? Who will molest me? country, in my own home?” interrupted Not the Confederates, surely ; and will she, with a sudden passion in her look and your boasted defenders of freedom and voice. “I don't think so, whatever you the oppressed interfere with a widowed may do; and so welcome the caves of mother and her little ones, I ask ?Vicksburg !"

Carleton bit his lip. Not those who Florence!" exclaimed Carleton, with are worthy of fighting for such a cause, concentrated love and anger in his voice Florence; but no one can answer for what and eye, “you do not mean what you the hangers-on of the army may do, should say! You! you! a Northern girl, the your immediate neighborhood be occupied daughter of sires who fought for the govby our troops, as it soon will be. But ernment you are willing to see destroyed, even if I were able to protect you from who were proud to be New Englanders, them, as I should hope to be, you are is it you whom I hear stigmatizing those never safe from the murderous guerrillas, who are in arms for the perpetuation of who are even now prowling in all direc- that same government as Northern vantions like wolves around a last-week's bat- dals? O Florence, after all these years, tle-field. Who could save you and your

after all that has been between us, is it little ones from them ?

come to this?" Florence grew very pale, and did not Florence glared her starry eyes upon answer for a minute, when she said, the young man like some long-hunted deer

“I will acknowledge that you have at last held at bay. “ How dare you acsome reason for your fears in that direc-cuse me so? What right have you to tion."

say that I am disloyal to my fathers and “Why, then, do you not avoid the dan- all that they battled to sustain ? Do you gers you acknowledge to be real, by leav- wish to drive me to some desperate act ?ing this house to the care of your domes- “No, Florence; you know that I would tics, or closing it altogether ?

do anything to save you from all harm. “Oh, as to leaving it in charge of my Oh, if you had only had confidence in domestics," she answered, smilingly, “ you me!” know very well they would one-half be “I have confidence in you, Guy!” she within your lines in a week. But that I passionately answered. “ All my conficare little about, and I will confess that dence is in you. But you don't know I had already determined on immediate what you are doing. You thwart me. arrangements to go into the city. In You try to abridge my liberty when I fact, General Pemberton is even more most need it.”

« السابقةمتابعة »