he sees the mountains of the future world standing
in the morning gold of a sun that does not arise
here. Thus, the inhabitant of the North Pole in
the long night, when the sun has ceased to rise, dis
cerns at twelve o clock, a dawn gilding the highest
mountains, and he thinks of his long summer, when
it will set no more.
A PLEASANT world is this of ours,
And deem not that my words are vain,
While sunny fields and shady bowers,
And swelling hill and flowery plain,
And arching skies as now I see,
It is a happy world to me.
You say that men are hard of heart,
And cold and selfish, and tis true !
Yet, men are but a little part
Of nature, as I nature view.
And must she lose her charms for me
Because of man s deformity ?
no ! with different eye I see
What God pronounced was very good ;
And twould, methinks, but ingrate be
To turn in discontented mood
From joys he cannot fail to prove,
Who loveth nature as I love.
THE MYSTERIOUS WEDDING.
A DANISH STORY.
BY HENBY 8TEFFEN8.
ON the north-west of Zealand stretches a small
fertile peninsula, studded with hamlets, and connect
ed with the mainland by a narrow stripe of waste
ground. Beyond the only town which this little
peninsula possesses, the land runs out into the stormy
Cattegat, and presents an awfully wild and sterile
appearance. The living sands have here obliterated
every trace of vegetation ; and the hurricanes which
blow from all points of the ocean are constantly op
erating a change on the fluctuating surface of the
desert, whose hills of sand rise and fall with a motion
as incessant as that of the waves which roar around
them. In travelling through this country, I spent
upwards of an hour in this district, and never shall I
forget the impression which the scene made upon my
* This story as told by Steffens a Dane by birth, but now, we
believe, a professor at Breslau forms the subject of two German
novels and a Danish poem.
THE MYSTERIOUS WEDDING. 27
While riding along through the desolate region,
a thunder-storm rose over the ocean towards the
north, the waves roared the clouds scudded
along in gloomy masses before the wind, the sky
grew every instant more dark, " menacing earth and
sea," the sand began to move in increasing volumes
under my horse s feet, a whirlwind arose and filled
the atmosphere with dust, the traces of the path
became invisible, while air, earth, and ocean seemed
mingled and blended together, every object being
involved in a cloud of dust and vapor, I could not
discern the slightest trace of life or vegetation around
this dismal scene, the storm roared above me, the
waves of the sea lashed mournfully against the shore,
the thunder rolled in the distance, and scarcely
could the lurid lightning-flash pierce the heavy cloud
of sand which whirled around me. My danger
became evident and extreme ; but a sudden shower
of rain laid the sand and enabled me to push my
way to the little town. The storm I had just encoun
tered was a horrid mingling of all elements. An
earthquake has been described as the sigh which
troubled Nature heaves from the depth of her bosom ;
perhaps not more fancifully might this chaotic tem
pest have typified the confusion of a wildly distract
ed mind, to which pleasure and even hope itself have
been long strangers, the cheerless desert of the
past revealing only remorse and grief, the voice of
conscience threatening like the thunder, and her
28 THE TOKEN.
awful anticipations casting a lurid light over the
gloomy spirit, till at last the long sealed-up
sources of tears open a way for their floods, and bury
the anguish of the distracted soul beneath their
In this desolate country there existed in former
times a village called Roerwig, about a mile distant
from the shore. The moving sands have now buried
the village ; and the descendants of its inhabitants
mostly shepherds and fishermen have removed
their cottages close to the shore. A single solitary
building, situated upon a hill, yet rears its head
above the cheerless shifting desert. This building
and the village-church was the scene of the fol
lowing mysterious transaction.
In an early year of the last century, the ven
erable cure" of Roerwig was one night seated in his
study, absorbed in pious meditations. His house
lay at the extremity of the village, and the simple
manners of the inhabitants were so little tinged
with distrust, that bolts and locks were unknown
amongst them, and every door remained open and
unguarded. The lamp burned gloomily, and the
sullen silence of the midnight hour was only inter
rupted by the rushing noise of the sea, on whose
waves the pale moon shone reflected, when the cure
heard the door below opened, and the next moment
the sound of men s steps upon the stair. He was
THE MYSTERIOUS WEDDING. 29
anticipating a call to administer the last offices of
religion to some one of his parishioners on the point
of death, when two foreigners wrapped up in white
cloaks, entered the room. One of them approaching
addressed him with politeness : " Sir, you will
have the goodness to follow us instantly. You must
perform a marriage-ceremony ; the bride and bride
groom are already waiting your arrival at the church.
And this sum," here the stranger held out a purse
full of gold " will sufficiently recompense you for
the trouble and alarm our sudden demand has given
The cure stared in mute terror upon the strangers,
who seemed to carry something fearful, almost
ghastly in their looks, and the demand was repeated
in an earnest and authoritative tone. When the
old man had recovered from his first surprise, he
began mildly to represent that his duty did not
allow him to celebrate so solemn a rite without some
knowledge of the parties, and the intervention of
those formalities required by law. The other
stranger hereupon stepped forward in a menacing
attitude : " Sir," said he, " you have your choice ;
follow us and take the sum we now offer you, or
remain, and this bullet goes through your head."
Whilst speaking, he levelled his pistol at the fore
head of the venerable man, and coolly waited his
answer ; whereupon the cure rose, dressed himself
and informed his visitants who had hitherto spoken
30 THE TOKEN.
Danish, but with a foreign accent that he was
ready to accompany them.
The mysterious strangers now proceeded silently
through the village, followed by the clergyman. It
was a dark autumn night, the moon having already
set ; but when they emerged from the village, the
old man perceived with terror and astonishment
that the distant church was all illuminated. Mean
while his companions wrapped up in their white
cloaks, strode hastily on before him through the
barren sandy plain. On reaching the church they
bound up his eyes ; he then heard a side-door open
with a well-known creaking noise, and felt himself
violently pushed into a crowd of people, whose mur
muring he heard all around him, while close beside
him some persons carried on a conversation in a lan
guage quite unknown to him, but which he thought
was Russian. As he stood helpless and blindfolded,
he felt himself seized upon by a man s hand, and
drawn violently through the crowd. At last the
bandage was removed from his eyes, and he found
himself standing with one of the two strangers before
the altar. A row of large tapers, in magnificent
silver candlesticks, adorned the altar, and the church
itself was splendidly lighted up by a profusion of
candles. The deepest silence now reigned through
out the whole building, though the side-passages and
all the seats were crowded to excess ; but the middle
passage was quite clear, and he perceived in it a
THE MYSTERIOUS WEDDING. 31
newly dug grave, with the stone which covered it
leaning against a bench. Around him were only
male figures, but on one of the distant benches he
thought he perceived a female form. The terrible
silence lasted for some minutes, during which not a
motion could be detected in the vast assembly.
Thus when the mind is bent on deeds of darkness,
a silent gloomy brooding of soul often precedes the
commission of the horrid action.
At last a man, whose magnificent dress distin
guished him from all the rest and bespoke his elevated
rank, rose and walked hastily up to the altar ; as he
passed along, his steps resounded through the build
ing, and every eye was turned upon him, he ap
peared to be of middle stature, with broad shoulders
and strong limbs, his gait was commanding, his
complexion of a yellowish brown, and his hair raven
black, his features were severe, and his lips com
pressed as if in wrath, a bold aquiline nose height
ened the haughty appearance of his countenance,
and dark shaggy brows lowered over his fiery eyes.
He wore a green coat, with broad gold braids, and a
brilliant star. The bride, who also approached, and
kneeled beside him at the altar, was magnificently
dressed. A sky blue robe, richly trimmed with
silver, enveloped her slender limbs, and floated in
large folds over her graceful form, a diadem spark
ling with diamonds adorned her fair hair, the
utmost loveliness and beauty might be traced in
32 THE TOKEN.
her features, although despair now expressed itself in
them, her cheeks were pale as those of a corpse,
her features unanimated, her lips were blanched,
her eyes dimmed, and her arms hung motionless
at her side as she kneeled before the altar ; terror
seemed to have wrapped her consciousness as well
as her vital powers in deep lethargy.
The cure now discovered near him an old ugly
hag, in a party-colored dress, with a blood-red
turban upon her head, who stood gazing with an
expression of malignant fury on the kneeling bride ;
and behind the bridegroom, he noticed a man of
gigantic size and a gloomy appearance, whose eyes
were fixed immovably on the ground.
Horror-struck by the scene before him, the priest
stood mute for some time, till a thrilling look from
the bridegroom reminded him of the ceremony he
had corne thither to perform. But the uncertainty
whether the couple he was now about to marry under
stood his language afforded him a fresh source of un
easiness. He ventured, however, to ask the bride
groom for his name and that of his bride ; " Neander
and Feodora," was the answer returned in a rough
The priest now began to read the ritual in
faltering accents, frequently stopping to repeat the
words, without however either the bride or bride
groom appearing to observe his confusion, which con
firmed him in the conjecture that his language was
THE MYSTERIOUS WEDDING. 33
almost unknown to either of them. On putting the
question, " Neander, wilt thou have this woman for
thy wedded wife ? " he doubted whether he should
receive any answer ; but to his astonishment, the
bridegroom answered in the affirmative with a loud
and almost screaming voice, which rung throughout
the whole church, while deep sighs were heard from
every quarter of the building, and a silent quivering,
like the reflection of distant lightning, threw a
transitory motion over the death-pale features of the
bride. When the priest turned to her with the
interrogatory : " Feodora, wilt thou have this man
for thy wedded husband ? " the lifeless form before
him seemed to awake, a deep convulsive throb
of terror trembled on her cheeks, her pale lips
quivered, a passing gleam of fire shone in her eye,
her breast heaved, a violent gush of tears flooded
the brilliance of her eyes, and the " yes " was pronoun
ced like the scream of anguish uttered by a dying
person, and seemed to find a deep echo in the sounds
of grief which burst from the surrounding multitude.
The bride then sank into the arms of the horrid old
hag, and after some minutes had passed in awful
silence, the pale, corpse-like female kneeled again,
as if in a deep trance, and the ceremony was finished.
The bridegroom now rose and led away the trem
bling bride, followed by the tall man and the old
woman ; the two strangers then appeared again, and
having bound the priest s eyes, drew him with vio-
34: THE TOKEN.
lence through the crowd, and pushed him out at the
door, which they bolted from within.
For some minutes the old man stood endeavor
ing to recollect himself, and uncertain whether the
horrid scene, with all its ghastly attendant circum
stances, might not have been a dream ; but when he
had torn the bandage from his eyes, and saw the
illuminated church before him, and heard the mur
muring of the crowd, he was forced to believe its
reality. To learn the issue, he hid himself in a
corner of the building, and while listening there
he heard the murmuring within grow louder and
louder, then it seemed as if a fierce altercation
arose, in which he thought he could recognise the
rough voice of the bridegroom commanding silence,
a long pause followed, a shot fell, the shriek o1
a female voice was heard, which was succeeded bj
another pause, then followed a sound of pickaxes
which lasted about a quarter of an hour, after whicl
the candles were extinguished, the door was flunc
open, and a multitude of persons rushed out of th<
church, and ran towards the sea.
The old priest now arose from his hiding-place
and hastened back to the village, where he awok<
his neighbors and friends, and related to them his in
credible and marvellous adventure ; but everything
which had hitherto fallen out amongst these simple
people, had been so calm and tranquil, so mucl
measured by the laws of daily routine, that they were
THE MYSTERIOUS WEDDING. 35
seized with a very different alarm : they believed
that some unfortunate accident had deranged the in
tellects of their beloved pastor, and it was not with
out difficulty that he prevailed on some of them to
follow him to the church, provided with picks and
Meanwhile the morning had dawned, the sun
arose, and when the priest and his companions as
cended the hill towards the church, they saw a man-
of-war standing off from the shore under full sail to
wards the north. So surprising a sight in this re
mote district, made his companions already hesitate
to reject his story as improbable, and still more were
they inclined to listen to him when they saw that the
side-door of the church had been violently burst open.
They entered, full of expectation, and the priest
showed them the grave which he had seen opened in
the night-time ; it was evident that the stone had
been lifted up and replaced again. They, therefore,
put their implements in motion, and soon came to a
new and richly adorned coffin, in which lay the mur
dered bride, a bullet had pierced her breast right
to the heart, the magnificent diadem which she
had worn at the altar no longer adorned her brows,
but the distracted expression of deep grief had van
ished from her countenance, and a heavenly calm
seemed spread over her features. The old man
threw himself down on his knees near the coffin, and
wept and prayed aloud for the soul of the dead,
36 THE TOKEN.
while mute astonishment and horror seized his
The clergyman found himself obliged to make this
event instantly known, with all its circumstances, to
his superior, the bishop of Zealand ; meanwhile, un
til he got further instructions from Copenhagen, he
bound all his friends to secrecy by an oath. Shortly
afterwards a person of high rank suddenly arrived
from the capital ; he inquired into alJ the circum
stances, visited the grave, commended the silence
which had been hitherto observed, and stated that
the whole event must remain for ever a secret, threat
ening at the same time with a severe punishment
any person who should dare to speak of it.
After the death of the priest, a writing was found
in the parochial register narrating this event. Some
believed that it might have some secret connection
with the violent political changes which occurred in
Kussia after the death of Catherine and Peter I.;
but to resolve the deep riddle of this mysterious
affair will ever be a difficult, if not impossible task.
ROBERT BRUCE S ADDRESS TO HIS ARMY.
SCOTS, wha hae wi Wallace bled,
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led ;
Welcome to your gory bed,
Or to glorious victorie.
Now s the day, and now s the hour ;
See the front of battle lower ;
See approach proud Edward s power
Edward ! chains ! and slaverie !
Wha will be a traitor knave ?
Wha can fill a coward s grave ?
Wha sae base as be a slave ?
Traitor ! coward ! turn and flee !
Wha for Scotland s king and law
Freedom s sword will strongly draw,
Freeman stand, or freeman fa ?
Caledonian ! on wi me !
38 THE TOKEN.
By oppression s woes and pains !
By your sons in servile chains !
We will drain our dearest veins,
But they shall be shall be free
Lay the proud usurpers low !
Tyrants fall in every foe !
Liberty s in every blow !
Forward ! let us do ; or die !
BY LUDWIG TIECK.
[The following Gespenster Geschichte, or Ghost Story, as Tieck
himself has called it, is related to a circle of friends by a gentleman,
Baron Blamberg, who was a friend of the unfortunate subject of the
story. The ruins of the Klausenburg are, according to the words
of the narrator, near the house where they are assembled. The
story, in the original, is often interrupted by the company, but
their conversation has no connection with it, and it has, there
fore, been omitted here.]
IT is about fifty years since, that a rich family
lived among the mountains a short distance off, in
a castle, of which only the ruins are now to be seen,
sience it was partly destroyed by thunder and light
ning, and the remainder was demolished in war. It
is now only occasionally visited by huntsmen and
travellers who, have lost their way, and it is called
the ruins of the Klausenburg. Proceeding up the
solitary footpath through the pine wood, and then
climbing the pathless crag, you stand facing its en
trance, which is cut out of the living rock, and secur
ed by an ancient and strongly barred gate. On the
outside is an iron rod with a handle apparently com-
40 THE TOKEN.
municating with a bell on the inside. Having once
wandered there while hunting, I pulled this handle,
but received no answer to my summons from within.
As this spot can only be approached with much
difficulty, and it is almost impossible to climb the
chasms and rocks on the other side, there are many
legends and tales current among the vulgar about
this singular Klausenburg, the remains of which
present an almost spectral appearance.
Among other stories, it is reported that more
than a century ago, there resided within its walls a
very wealthy, benevolent, and industrious man, who
was much beloved by his friends and tenants. He
had early in life retired from the state service, to
devote himself to the management of his estates, of
which he possessed many, including mines, and glass
and iron foundries, which he was able to work to
great advantage, having abundant fuel from his ex
tensive forests. Although beloved by his tenants,
he was yet hated and envied by many of his equals,
the more reasonable of whom disliked him because
he avoided them, and they readily perceived that he
despised them for their want of industry ; while
the more foolish believed, and even openly declared,
that Count Moritz was in league with Satan, and
was therefore successful beyond expectation in all he
However absurd the report, it was calculated at
this early period to injure the character of this per-
THE KLAUSENBURG. 41
severing man ; as it was not many years after the
time when people were burnt at the stake for witch
craft, and for being in league with the evil one.
Hence it was that the count in disgust retired from
the world to the solitary castle of Klausenburg, and
was only happy when conversing on his affairs with
intelligent miners, machine makers, and learned men.
Knowing the distrust with which he was looked upon
by the old priests who held the livings in his different
parishes, he but rarely appeared at church, a circum
stance which but little contributed to raise his reputa
tion in the neighborhood.
It happened once that a band of gipsies, who
at that time roved about in Germany with little
molestation, came to these parts. The nobles of
the country, as well as the government, were un
decided and dilatory in checking this nuisance,
and the boundaries of several states meeting here,
the tribe could carry on their depredations with im
punity, and even unnoticed. Where they did not
receive any thing, they robbed ; where they were
resisted, they came at night and burnt the barns ;
and in this manner the me on one occasion rapidly
spreading, two villages were burnt to the ground.
Count Moritz was induced by this circumstance to
unite with some resolute neighbors, and to pursue
and punish, on his own authority, the lawless tribe.
Imprisonment, scourging, flogging, and starvation,
were awarded by him without reference to any au-
42 THE TOKEN.
thority, and only some who were convicted of arson
were sent to the town for what was called the gipsy
trial, and were then legally condemned to suffer
The count, considering himself the benefactor of
his country, could not help feeling mortified when
his enviers and calumniators used this very circum
stance to accuse him of the blackest crimes, and
the most atrocious injustice. To this ingratitude he
opposed nothing but calm indignation, and a contempt
which was perhaps too magnanimous ; for if a noble
man always preserves silence, calumny and falsehood
will be more readily believed by the foolish and those
who have no character to lose. If he could not pre
vail on himself to meet his opponents and to relate
the circumstance in detail, he felt himself quite dis
armed on discovering how much he was misunder
stood in his family, and by the being who was near
est to his heart. He had married late in life, and
his wife having a few days before presented him with
a son, was still confined to her room. In her pre
sent weak state he could not dispute or urge w r ith
any force the justice of his proceedings, when she
reproached him with the cruelty he had exercised
towards these poor innocent men, who rather deserved
his compassion than such hard persecution. When
on leaving her chamber some old cousins told him the
same thing in plainer terms, he could no longer sup
press his rage ; and his replies were so wrathful, his
THE KLAUSENBUKG. 43
curses so vehement, the gestures of the irritated man so
superhuman, that the old prattling women lost their
composure and almost swooned. To prevent his sick
wife from learning all this, he immediately sent them
by main force to another of his estates, and then rode
to a solitary part of the mountains, partly to divert
his thoughts and strengthen himself by the sublime
aspect of nature, and partly to resume the pursuit
of the gipsies. But what was his astonishment when
he learned from his ranger that those noblemen who
in conjunction with him, had undertaken the war
against these vagabonds, had dispersed and retired to
their seats without giving him notice !
Without being disconcerted at this, he again
succeeded in apprehending some of them who were
guilty of heavy crimes, and ordered them to be
bound and thrown into a secure dungeon. When
after having dismissed his attendants, he rode
thoughtfully back alone towards the Klausenburg,
the aged castellan on his arriving at the gate gave
him a packet which had been sent by the govern
ment. This he opened with anticipating vexation,
and was so surprised by its contents that his anger
rose, and he became infuriated almost to madness.
The purport of the letters it contained was no less
than a penal accusation for murder and high treason
in consequence of the count s having, on his own au
thority, and as leader of an armed troop, seditiously
opposed the government. Almost senseless, he.
44 THE TOKEN.
dropped these preposterous letters, and then, recov
ering by a sudden effort, went to his apartment to
read the impeachment more calmly, and to consider
how he could defend himself. Passing the countess s
chamber, and hearing strange voices within, he hasti
ly opened the door, and beheld what he certainly
did not expect two dirty old gipsies dressed in rags,
sitting by the bedside of the invalid, and foretell
ing her fate, while they frightfully distorted their
hideous countenances. As might be expected, the
countess was horror-struck at beholding her husband
enter, for what he now did was truly barbarous.