in a firm voice, " our faculty knows how to keep such
malicious spirits at a distance."
Here our conversation ended ; we sent the pa
tient home in a sedan chair to his hotel, and I ac
companied the physician.
While walking in the quiet of night through the
dark avenues of trees, he said to me, " Dear sir, we
are too much excited to sleep, favor me with your
company to my lodging ; a powerful aromatic car
dinal* will keep up our spirits, and I will there tell
you my opinion respecting our two invalids, of whose
recovery, after what I have heard, I no longer doubt.
I would almost promise that in two months I shall
send them home in tolerably good health."
I was astonished at this, as I had given up all
hope of the recovery of my friends. Our strongly-
* A beverage usually prepared of wine, brandy, sugar, and pine-ap
ples, or other fruit.
96 THE TOKEN.
spiced beverage much enlivened us ; and the doctor
continued : " The mental disease of your friend is to
me one of the most interesting psycological phenom
ena that has ever passed under my observation. He,
as well as his wife, are laboring under a singular
madness ; and if we once succeed in attacking it
rightly, then in weakening, and finally in eradicating
it altogether, the physical recovery will follow of it
self. Though I did not know your friend formerly,
yet, from his communications, I can exactly and truly
construe his character and fate. He is naturally
good and tender, the latter rather preponderating ;
and, like most men of this disposition, is more sub
ject to vanity than those of firmer character. He
has been handsome and amiable, possessed of talents,
and persuasive manners, and has, therefore, been
everywhere well received, so that, being a general
favorite, and naturally pliant, he may have turned
the head of many a pretty girl. Meeting, at last,
with his beautiful wife, he determined to change his
condition, and her naturally sensitive and nervous
nature was delighted to call so amiable a gentleman
her husband. And, as usually happens to enthusi
asts, so is it in this case ; they do not find in mat
rimony that transcendant felicity which they antici
pated ; a slight discord takes possession of the tender
cords of the nerves, which impatiently look forward
to new vibrations. The ugly, deformed sister felt,
like most persons of the sort, jealousy and envy
THE KLAUSENBURG. 97
against the preferred, flattered, and fondled wife.
She plainly showed her indignation, and confessed
that she hated the count. This amiable conqueror
of -hearts now employed all his art to overcome this
hatred. He succeeded, and the poor deluded crea
ture even fancied that she had excited his affection,
while his vanity exulted in the triumph. This
heartlessness could not but mortify and shock the
unfortunate Ernestine. An inward rage consumed
her, she fell a victim to her unfortunate passion ;
and, dying, she uttered the menace to persecute
them in every possible way. This is plainly mad
ness. This madness, as has often been observed, is
hereditary, and relations, brothers, sisters, and chil
dren, are seized with it whenever it is manifested in
a member of the family. So, in the case of your
friend. Perhaps the affectionate count has not been
quite silent on the subject to his wife ; and she being
already in a delicate state, has indulged these fancies,
and with anxious curiosity pursues the gloomy feel
ings produced by her nerves. Thus, what is more
natural than that she should soon find an occasion
on which she fancied she really saw her sister ? The
fears of his wife were communicated to him, anguish
of mind at his misfortunes heated his imagination,
and he also sees the apparition. Thus they go on,
until both have nearly destroyed themselves by a
mere phantom. If we can dissipate this phantom,
they may be restored to health."
98 THE TOKEN.
" Dear doctor/ I replied, " I know not whether
I have a particular propensity for superstition, but
your reasons do not satisfy me. Much that has been
handed down both by tradition and writing, on this
curious subject, cannot be mere fancy or invention,
however much our reason may be opposed to it.
There are, no doubt, states of the mind and of the
nerves, as well as diseases, during which certain
persons see what is veiled from all others. What is
spirit ? What notions does this word suggest ?
Do we know the nature, talent, or power, which these
millions of differently constituted souls possess, after
having shaken off their earthly frame ? Do we know
by what possibility this or that strong mind, by the
power of his will, or anxious repentance, or a secret
tormenting yearning after home, forms from his im
agination a visible frame, such as he used to wear ? "
"And supposing you to be quite right, what
would you profit by it ? " exclaimed the zealous doctor.
" If any one who is in a discontented mood, or state
of excitement, sees any thing, it is, indeed, only and
always his own fancies, his own internal phases, which
appear before his bodily eye. This may happen to
any one at times. We have in the morning a vivid
dream ; we certainly awake, and still, for a moment,
we see the child for whom we yearned, the lily or
rose which delighted us, or an old friend who is a
hundred miles distant. Perhaps it never yet hap
pened that, to one of the many ghost-seers, his aged
THE KLAUSENBURG. 99
father or grandfather appeared as a youth or bride
groom, the murderer as a boy in his innocence, the
wild spectre of an aged prisoner as a blooming virgin.
Why, then, do not these spectres, for once, change
their shape ? "
" Because," rejoined I, " they perhaps can express
their imagination only in the last state immediately
preceding their change."
"Ah ! this is idle," exclaimed the doctor, impa
tiently ; " yield the point quietly rather than vainly
endeavor to refute me. Assist me rather in restoring
" In what way can I do so ? "
" It is only by some violent means that a happy
beginning can be made. Believe me, in the deepest
recesses of our minds there are still growing some
weeds of vanity, concerning which we fondly deceive
ourselves, by fancying that the external surface is
the proper soil for them to luxuriate in. Even in
moments of terror, in the horror of death, or during
tormenting disease, we are tickled by the conscious
ness that, notwithstanding these, we experience
something apart that we see apparitions which
awaken anxiety. Nay, we go further ; we wish them,
back again, and, as it were, call them forth ; our
plastic and pliant nature, and our almost incon
ceivable fancy obey, and again such a bugbear is
conjured up. Assist me then in persuading and
disposing our invalid to have music in the count s
100 THE TOKEN.
or your own apartments ; let us procure an instru
ment, and as the countess cannot sing, she will at
least play. That they may not cause an excitement,
should they again be seized by this mania, no one
but yourself and I must be present, or at most her
attendant in case of a relapse. But it will not
happen in my presence, as I shall have my quick
eyes everywhere. By these means our patients will
gain confidence and tranquillity, and by a daily repe
tition, and the use of stronger remedies, we shall
cure their wild fancies."
" And if not ? " I replied, with anxious doubt.
" Well, then, by heavens ! " he replied, with a
loud laugh, "if I, without having previously taken
too much, see any thing, then "
" Then, baron, you shall call me a fool, which,
viewed in the proper light, we are all by nature."
Thus we parted, and it required much persua
sion to prevail upon my afflicted friend to consent
to our experiment. His wife, to my astonishment,
was more easily persuaded. She said, not without
reason, " I feel it, my life is drawing to a close, all
help is vain ; the nearer death is the better. So
much the better if a new terror can crush me like a
stroke of lightning. And if the event which I an
ticipate does not take place, then my last days will
at least be free from this fear and anxious horror ;
I shall be able to amuse and divert myself, and it
remains in the hand of Omnipotence whether I and
my hushand shall have further hope of recovery."
The third day was fixed upon for music, and a
late hour in the evening was appointed, because the
countess, like most persons suffering from fever, felt
it strongest at that time, and would thereby shorten
the night, as she seldom slept till morning. An
instrument had been placed in the room ; more
lights than were required were burning, and the ad
joining chamber likewise was brilliantly lighted, in
order that no doubtful shadow might be produced
in the dark. Besides the easy chair and sofa in the
sitting-room, there was a couch, on which the
countess reposed in the day. The piano was placed
against the wall, between two windows, looking
over the garden and some vineyards beyond. After
tea, the door being locked, the waiter and servant
were dismissed ; no one remained but the countess s
attendant, a strong young woman, whom we begged
to keep up her spirits.
The countess took her seat at the instrument.
The doctor stood beside her, in order to observe her,
as well as to overlook both rooms, while I sat and
stood alternately on the other side. Francis, in his
morning-gown and slippers, walked slowly up and
down behind us, and the attendant leaned against
the open chamber-door.
At first the countess played faintly, uncertainly,
and timidly. But by degrees the beauty of the
102 THE TOKEN.
composition, and the consciousness of her talent
inspired her, and she played with precision and fire
a humorous and melodious fantasia. Her eyes
sparkled, her cheeks were flushed, and a smile, full
of soul, played upon her once beautiful mouth. The
doctor cast a triumphant glance at me, and by the
strong light, the mien and feature of every one in
the room were distinctly visible. All praised the
performer, and the doctor gave her something to
revive her. She was as if inspired with new life,
and confessed that she had not felt so well for the
last year. Poor Francis was in raptures, and his
tearful eyes were full of hope.
With the same arrangement we proceeded to the
second piece, while she played still more confidently,
and with less exertion. Bravos and applause ac
companied her when suddenly a terrible shriek
was heard how shall I describe it ? Never were
my ears rent by such terrific sounds it was some
time after that I perceived that Francis had uttered
it the candles burned with a blue flame, but yet
there was light enough. And what a spectacle !
Francis, with foaming mouth, and eyes starting
from their sockets, was clasping a horrible spectre ;
and wrestled with the withered hideous form. " You
or I," he now cried, and it clasped him with its
bony arms so firmly, pressed its crooked deformed
body so strongly against his, and its pale face so
firmly against his chest, that we all heard how in
THE KLAUSENBURG. 103
this struggle his bones were crashing. The attend
ant had hastened to assist the countess, who had
fainted. The doctor and myself approached the
count, just as he threw the spectre with gigantic
force on the couch, which creaked under her. He
stood erect. It lay on the couch like a cloud, like
a dark cover, and as we approached, it was gone.
Francis now felt all his bones broken, his last
strength was annihilated. In three days he was no
more, and the physician found his body much
bruised. The countess never recovered from her
state of delirium, and two days afterwards she fol
lowed her beloved and unfortunate husband to his
AULD ROBIN GRAY.
BY LADY ANNE LINDSAY.
WHEN the sheep are in the fauld, and the kye at
And a 7 the warld to sleep are gane ;
The waes o my heart fa in showers frae my ee,
When my guideman lies sound by me.
Young Jamie loo d me weil, and socht me for his
But saving a croun, he had naething else beside :
To make that croun a pund, young Jamie gaed to
And the croun and the pund were baith for me.
He hadna been awa a week but only twa,
When my mother she fell sick, and the cow was
stown awa ;
My father brak his arm, and young Jamie at the sea,
And auld Robin Gray cam a courtin me.
AULD ROBIN GRAY. 105
My father couldna work ; and my mother couldna
I toiled day and nicht, but their bread I couldna win ;
Auld Rob maintained them baith, and wi tears in
Said, Jennie, for their sakes, oh, marry me.
My heart, it said nay, for I looked for Jamie back ;
But the wind it blew high, and the ship it was a
The ship it was a wreck why didna Jamie dee ?
Or why do I live to say, Wae s me.
My father argued sair : my mother didna speak ;
But she lookit in my face till my heart was like to
Sae they gied him my hand, though my heart was
in the sea ;
And auld Robin Gray was gudeman to me.
I hadna been a wife, a week but only four,
When, sitting sae mournfully at the door,
I saw my Jamie s wraith, for I couldna think it he,
Till he said, I m come back for to marry thee.
Oh, sair did we greet, and mickle did we say ;
We took but ae kiss, and we tore ourselves away ;
I wish I were deid, but I m no like to dee ;
And why do I live to say, Wae s me !
106 THE TOKEN.
I gang like a ghaist, and I carena to spin :
I darena think on Jamie, for that wad be a siri ;
But I ll do my best, a gudewife to be,
For auld Kobin Gray is kind unto me.
A HARZ STORY.
IN a small town which possessed the right of hold
ing criminal courts there was once a famous Magician
caught, the country being at that time infested with
such sort of people. He had been forced to make a
free confession of his crimes by torture ; and there
fore the court found itself at full liberty to sentence
the wicked wretch to be burned alive.
The day fixed upon for the execution drew nigh ;
the pile stood already erected before one of the gates,
and all the inhabitants of the adjoining country were
impatiently awaiting the arrival of the hour of exe
cution, for the little town had never been so dull and
desolate as for some months before. During all that
period they had neither drowned a single witch, nor
even flogged a pickpocket : so the whole country had
been longing for an execution to diversify the monot
ony of their existence, and now hands and feet got
enlivened, and for several days all who could wag
their tongues talked of nothing but the burning of
108 THE TOKEN.
the Magician, and all who could move their limbs
skipped twice a-day round the pile.
Well, the great day arrived. Long before dawn
hundreds of small wagons came pouring into the
city from fifty miles of the surrounding country, and
swelled the numerous company who had arrived the
night before and were spending the time till the
hour of execution in various gossip. With daybreak
all was crowd and bustle in the town ; and in less
than half an hour street and houses were deserted,
and the large field around the pile so crowded with
spectators, that had one tossed an apple into it, it
could not have reached the ground. Every eye was
fixed upon the pile, and upon the motions of the
executioner and his assistants ; while from time to
time a distant observer heard a loud noise resem
bling the rushing of a storm through a pinewood,
caused by the rustling of the crowd, which again sunk
down into an awful silence.
During one of these pauses a gloomy whispering
was heard 3 deep gravity spread over every face,
and after the lapse of some minutes, a universal
shout arose, "The Magician has escaped ! "
Nobody could believe it, nobody could think it
possible, yet every one shouted it the louder for his
disbelief, and thousands were about to run off to
storm the prison : for was it not quite insufferable
thus to. have their excited expectations deceived,
to have been kept awake the whole night for noth-
THE MAGICIAN. 109
ing t to have endured hunger and thirst, and all
for nothing I
A wild outcry of fury and rage was already
heard throughout the field, when the judges made
their appearance, and partly to confirm the sad news
that the impatient criminal had not chosen to await
his burning, and partly with the prudential motive
of saving themselves from a shower of stones, desired
the whole assembly to pursue the Magician, who
must undoubtedly, as they affirmed, still be lurking
about the neighborhood, and could not escape the
scrutiny of so many thousand eyes. They also in
vited the whole assembly to attend on the following
day at a still more solemn execution of the wizard.
In the twinkling of an eye the whole crowd were
in motion, galloping over and against one another
with as much confusion as ever distracted Babel.
Not a few were induced by the mischances they met
with to desist from the chase, and took their way
back to the town in no very good humor, though
not quite without hope ; but hundreds of them scat
tered themselves over the country in search of the
The constables, well-provided with arms, hasten
ed, according to orders, towards a wood where it was
thought the criminal could most easily hide him
self. On the road thither they met a man with a
long beard, whom they at first took for a wandering
Jew, and accompanied part of the way to learn if he
110 THE TOKEN.
could give them any information about the Magician.
Hereupon the stranger showed them a bow and an
arrow, and assured them that he never failed in shoot
ing with them, and could with these weapons keep
off a thousand enemies. The constables stared upon
him, and fancying that they could perceive the fea
tures of the Magician under the mask of the Jew,
began to tremble in all their limbs ; the wish to lead
him back in triumph to the town struggled with
their fear of the enchanted arrow ; but all of them
fell a few inches aside at every step, and thus a wide
circle was gradually formed around the pretended
He looked around him and discovered a falcon
soaring high in the air above him ; it now appeared
like a little black speck in the heavens, but he bent
his bow and presently the bird fell transfixed by the
arrow, into a marshy ditch all overgrown with thorns.
" Fetch me the falcon and my arrow ! " called he
out with a commanding voice to the constables, who
hesitated long, but at last the terror with which his
voice inspired them conquered, and one of them pro
ceeded with faltering steps towards the place where
the bird lay. Whilst he was yet picking his way
over the marsh, the archer drew a little whistle out
of his pocket and commenced playing a waltz, when
lo ! the poor fellow began to waltz about, and stretched
out his hands as if to invite his companions, who
stood gaping in astonishment upon him, to join him I
THE MAGICIAN. Ill
Presently they all rushed like mad people into the
marsh, where they danced and waltzed till their senses
reeled, and their hands and feet were grievously torn
by the briers. Often they implored the Magician to
spare them, and to allow them a little respite ; and
at last, when their strength was nearly utterly ex
hausted, he ceased to play^ and they left off dancing.
All breathless and exhausted they crept out from
among the thorns and the marsh ; but one of the
constables had sufficient presence of mind left, secret
ly to carry off the arrow and the bird along with him.
The archer received them laughing ; he now wore
another beard and garment, and no longer seemed
a Jew, but in truth the very Magician they were
in search of. ( Do you not know me ? " inquired he.
" You were all active enough, however, in torturing
me ; and this morning you would doubtless have
been very well pleased to have assisted at my burn
ing. The pile is yet standing, and you wish to pre
pare for to-morrow the feast which has been spoiled
in the cooking to-day ; well, I will return with you,
provided you will promise to dance to my whistle, for
I suppose you are come to fetch me back."
The constables could not deny it ; but declined
very earnestly the honor of invitation to the dance.
Their protestations were, however, of no avail ; the
Magician took his whistle, and they felt themselves
constrained to obey. Fortunately he was this time
112 THE TOKEN.
content with playing a slow Polonese, and thus they
escaped skin-free for the present.
When they reached the field before the town, the
Magician greeted the executioner, who, happy at the
return of the Magician, but not without considerable
sensations of alarm, made what arrangements he
could, by beckonings and signs, to prevent the crim
inal again escaping.
The Magician mounted the pile, and sat very
contentedly down upon it : upon which the consta
bles hastened, as fast as their weary feet could carry
them, into the town to proclaim the unheard news,
their own great deeds, and the deliverance of the
country. They proceeded, attended by a crowd of
many thousands to the court-house, where the tri
bunal was yet assembled, and with loud complaints
brought forth fresh accusations against the knave, who,
in their persons, had affronted the whole citizens.
They were complimented on their good services the
arrow was placed as a corpus delicti among the crim
inal proceedings and as there seemed to be some
difficulty in keeping the rogue in prison, it was re
solved to fire the pile without farther delay : espe
cially as the auspicious burning of the Magician had
been already engrossed in the protocol of the pro
ceedings as having happened that day, and, accord
ing to an ancient and wise law, nothing which had
once been recorded could be afterwards altered in
THE MAGICIAN. 113
Three councillors marched in solemn and high
judicial array, to the pile, with the constables, pre
ceded by the assistants of the executioner bearing
burning torches, and followed by all the people,
who had remained in the town, in expectation of the
When they approached the gate they heard
from afar a shouting of ten thousand tipsy people ;
and soon, oh marvellous ! their own feet began to
skip under them, and skipping they went out at the
gate, and saw a numberless crowd of spectators,
every instant swelled by the crowds which streamed
towards them, all leaping with the greatest exertion
around the pile.
Upon the pile stood the Magician to whose
whistle they danced beating time with his feet.
All danced who had feet to dance, children, and
grandmothers, and grave-looking men who never
had dreamed of dancing in their lives before, and
old men, and nuns, and noble knights, and fish-
women all in the most motley crowd. Sometimes
the Magician led them through a reel, and some
times through a waltz, now he allowed them to
recover breath in a minuet, and presently he set
them a-dancing with increased vigor at a Swabian jig
or a Cosaque ; even the executioner and his assist
ants were footing it upon the pile itself, and streams
of perspiration flowed down their limbs at every saut
114 THE TOKEN.
The torch-bearers also approached dancing, their
leader incessantly calling out :
" Lack-a-day 1 Lack-a-day ! Did not I say :
" Let not the rogue take his whistle away ! "
" Bravo ! bravo ! " shouted the Magician, mak
ing a short pause in his playing welcome relief to
the feet of the dancers when he saw the van ap
proaching with the torches intended to light the
pile : " Bravo ! Bravo ! Now comes the torch-
dance.* Courage 1 Courage ! The torch-bearers
first ; and after them every one of you according to
his dignity 1 Only a few hours more of it ! But
you must sing also."
Instantly all the thousands who were dancing
around the Magician began to sing :
" Lack-a-day ! Lack-a-day ! Did not I say :
" Let not the rogue take his whistle away ! "
" Da Capo ! Da Capo ! " exclaimed the remorse-
* The torch-dance seems to have had its origin in a custom of
the Greeks afterwards adopted by the Romans who had a torch
carried before the bride, at their weddings, by a youth representing
the god Hymen. Constantino introduced the torch-dance at his own
court, when he transferred his residence from Rome to Byzantium. It
was consequently known in the 14th century as a court and ceremoni
ous dance. In later times it became a part of the merriments with
which emperors and kings celebrated their weddings; and when
tournaments had ceased, the torch-dance yet remained as a memo
rial of ancient times. The torch-dance was solemnly danced at