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Chambers's miscellany of useful and entertaining tracts (Volume v.5-6) online

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bonds — a tower near the guard-house. During this short way
he sank down, groaning at almost every step. Walking seemed
to be not only painful, but a motion with which he was quite
unacquainted. Soon after entering the small apartment allotted
to him, he lay down on a straw-bed and slept soundly.

A close scrutiny of this strange being's attire increased the asto-
nishment. It consisted of a peasant's jacket over a coarse shirt,
a groom's pantaloons, and a white handkerchief marked K. H.
The contents of his pockets created the greatest surprise. They
consisted of coloured rag's, a key, a paper of gold sand, a small
horn rosary, and several religious tracts. An examination of his
person presented new grounds for surprise. The soles of his feet
were as soft as the palms of his hands ; but were covered all
over with blisters, which fully accounted for the pain which
walking seemed to give him. His gait was that of a child learn-
ing to walk in leading-strings ; indeed he could not walk at all
without assistance. To account for this, his knees were atten-
tively examined, when it was found that the joint, instead of
being a protuberance when the leg was straightened, formed a
sort of hole or depression ; while at the back, his hams so nearly



touched the ground, that a common playing- card could scarcely
be thrust between.

After a time, Caspar was no long-er kept in the tower, but was
admitted amongst the family of the prison keeper, Hiltel, of
whose children he seemed very fond. About a fortnight after
his arrival, he was visited by a young college professor, Daumer,
who eventually, with the concurrence of the city authorities, took
Caspar to his own home to educate him. The professor soon dis-
covered that his mental powers only required attention to be-
come cultivated. He soon was able to speak intelligibly; and
the first use to which he put his new accomplishment, was to
make a deposition before the burg-omaster of Nuremberg. Not to
cause him embarrassment, however, Mr Binder, the burgomaster,
abandoned legal forms, and had Caspar to his house, so as to g-et
him to converse freely, and without restriction, concerning' his
previous history. From these conversations he drew up a docu-
ment, of which we give an abridgment. Caspar declared that he
knew not who he was, nor where his home is. As long* as he can
recollect, he had constantly lived in a sort of hole, which he some-
times called a cage, where he always sat upon the ground, with
his back supported in an erect posture (this was fully corro-
borated by the state of his knees). The only human being he
had ever seen, up to the time of his arrival in Nuremberg, was
" the man," as he said, " with whom I have always been ;" whose
face he had never seen. He knew no difference between day and
night ; but whenever he awoke from sleep, he found a loaf of
bread and a pitcher of water beside him. Shortly before his
removal, " the man " placed a small table over his feet, and
spreading something white upon it (paper), he put a kind of
stick between his fingers (proved to have been a lead pencil),
and guided his hand in making black marks, which pleased
him very much. The man came every day to guide his hand ;
and by imitating the marks thus made, after the man was gone,
Caspar learned, it would seem, to write his name. As to speaking,
all he was ever taught to say was " Reuta," &c. Finally, the
man came one day, placed his hands over Caspar's shoulders, and
carried him on his back out of his prison, and made him try to
walk; but "it became night" — that is, he fainted with the
effort ; and at last he brought him to the gate of Nuremberg.

This extraordinary account increased the mystery. The story
of Caspar spread not only over Germany, but throughout Europe.
Many thought him an impostor. He was examined by the
faculty, by law officers, and by every competent person who
imagined they could find a clue to the mystery. Meanwhile he
continued under the tutorship of Professor Daumer, and made
very great improvement ; though his new state of existence was
extremely distasteful to him, and he longed to go back to " the
man with whom he had always been." He suffered from head-
ache. The operation of his senses, from their extreme acuteness;



gave him pain rather than pleasure. He soon learned to talk
like a child, for his memory was very g-ood. As an instance of
it, Dr Osterhausen, an eminent physician, gave him a nosegay,
naming" the different flowers : several days afterwards, other
flowers were broug-ht him, and all of the same kind as those
which composed the former nosegay he named correctly. At an
early stage of instruction, he exhibited a great love of order, and
was extremely obedient. In short, he in less than a year became
nearly reconciled to his new position, and was allowed to go
about with little restraint.

On Saturday, 17th October, Caspar was the subject of an
extraordinary and nearly fatal event. He was accustomed,
daily between eleven and twelve, to leave Professor Daumer's
house to attend a ciphering class ; but on the above day, not
feeling well, he was desired to remain at home, while his host
went out to take a walk. A little after twelve, Daumer's
sister was sweeping the house, when she observed on the stairs
several spots of blood and bloody footsteps. These marks she
traced along the passage to a closet, and there, to her hor-
ror, beheld a larg'e quantity of clotted blood. She instantly
called her mother. In great alarm, they sought Caspar in his
chamber, but he was not to be found either there or in any
other part of the house. The marks of blood being more care-
fully traced, were found to lead to a cellar door. This was opened,
and after a time Caspar was found within, to all appearance
dead, with a large wound across his forehead. The servant-maid
and the son of the landlord had now joined them, and Caspar
was removed to his chamber. He appeared to breathe, and
presently gave a deep groan, saying with difficulty, " Man I
man ! — mother tell professor — closet ;" he could say no more, for
he was seized with a strong ague ; after which he lay senseless
for forty-eight hours. In his delirium, he murmured at various
times, " Man came ! — don't kill me — I love all men — do no one
anything. Man, I love you too — don't kill — why man kill ?" He
was assiduously attended by the medical officer of the city juris-
diction, and under his hands gradually recovered. When strong
enough, the judicial authorities caused him to be examined as to
his misfortune. From his deposition,* it appears that, while in
the closet, to which he had occasion to retire, he heard footsteps
softly treading the passage, and presently the head of a person
masked appeared. In an instant he received a severe blow
on the forehead, which felled him to the ground: he fainted,
and did not completely recover his senses till found in the
cellar. How he got there, he was unable to remember cor-
rectly, but thought that he must have been left for dead ; and,
coming to a sort of half consciousness, had crawled thither,

* It may be well to observe, that all the depositions respecting this
extraordinary case are still preserved in the pohce court of Nuremberg.



partly from frig-ht, and partly from having' mistaken his way to
Mrs Daumer's chamber.

This neAV circumstance redoubled public curiosity respecting
Hauser. Some deep and diabolical mystery hung over him. It
was evident that those who sent him to Nuremberg had been
disappointed in his not becomings at once absorbed in the ranks
of the army, and were afraid lest the attention of the pub-
lic which he had excited would lead to the discovery of his
origin. To prevent this, his murder must have been planned and
attempted. These machinations were, however, on this occasion
frustrated, for the wound was not so serious as to prevent his
complete recovery. He resumed his studies, and pursued them
with so much success, that he was not to be known in company
from any other young" man who had been brought up under
ordinary circumstances. His temper was good, and his manners
g"entle and amiable.

While with Professor Daumer, he became an object of great
interest to Earl Stanhope, who wished to have the entire charge
and expense of his future education. With this view, Caspar
was removed by that nobleman to Anspach, and put under the
care of an able schoolmaster. After a time, he was found com-
petent to imdertake an official situation, and he received the
appointment of clerk in the registrar's office of the Court of
Appeal. It was Lord Stanhope's plan to accustom him, whilst
filling this situation, to the ordinary business of life ; with the
view of bringing him eventually to England, and of adopting
him as his foster-son. But unhappily these benevolent in-
tentions were frustrated, for the same mystery which shrouded
his birth hung over his death. On the 17th of December 1833,
Caspar Hauser, while returning from his official duties at mid-
day, was accosted in the streets by a person who promised to
impart to him the secret of his origin, if he would meet him in
the j)ark of Anspach Castle. Without informing his protectors
of this circumstance, Hauser imprudently kept the appointment.
The stranger was at his post ; he took Caspar aside, and, without
speaking a word, plunged a dagger into his breast, and instantly
disappeared. Hauser had just time to reach the residence of his
new tutor, into whose apartment he rushed, and had just breath
enough to utter two or three indistinct words, when he imme-
diately fainted. The police were instantly sent for ; but before
its officers could return, Caspar Hauser expired. Every expedient
which the police could invent was adopted to discover the mur-
derer, but without success. The secret, which it cost so much
crime to preserve, has not yet been divulg-ed.

This history is so strange and mysterious, that its authenticity
would be open to many doubts, but for the unquestionable re-
spectability of our informant, and the notoriety of the facts at
the time.



Not a flower

But shows some touch, in freckle, streak, or stain,

Of his unrivalled pencil. He inspires

Their balmy odours, and imparts their hues,

And bathes their eyes with nectar, and includes,

In grains as countless as the sea-side sands,

The forms with which he sprinkles all the earth.

Happy who walks with him ! whom what he find3

Of flavour or of scent in fruit or flower.

Or what he views of beautifiil or grand

In natvu*e, from the broad majestic oak

To the green blade that twinkles in the sun,

Prompts with remembrance of a present God. — Cowper.


EAUTIFUL children of the woods and fields !

That bloom by mountain streamlets 'mid the heather,
Or into clusters 'neath the hazels gather — •

Or where by hoary rocks you make your bields,
And sweetly flourish on through summer weather —

I love ye all !

Beautiful flowers ! to me ye fresher seem
From the Almighty hand that fashioned all,
Than those that flourish by a garden-wall ;
And I can image you, as in a dream,

Fair, modest maidens, nursed in hamlets small — •

I love ye all !
No. 49.


Beautiful g-ems ! tliat on the brow of earth.
Are fixed as in a queenly diadem :
Though lowly ye, and most without a name,

Young hearts rejoice to see your buds come forth,
As light erewhile into the world came —

I love ye all [■

Beautiful things ye are, where'er ye grow !

The wild red rose — the speedwell's peeping eyes—
Our own blue-bell — the daisy, that doth rise

Wherever sunbeams fall or winds do blow ;
And thousands more, of blessed forms and dyes—

I love ye all !

Beautiful nurslings of the early dew !

Fanned in your loveliness by every breeze,
And shaded o'er by green and arching- trees :

I often wish that I were one of you,
Dwelling afar upon the grassy leas —

I love ye all !

Beautiful watchers ! day and night ye wake !
The evening star grows dim and fades away.
And morning comes and goes, and then the day

Within the arms of night its rest doth take ;
But ye are watchful wheresoe'er we stray —

I love ye all !

Beautiful objects of the wild bee's love !

The wild-bird joys your opeuing- bloom to see,
And in your native woods and wilds to be.

All hearts, to Nature true, ye strangely move ;
Ye are so passing fair — so passing free —

I love ye all I

Beautiful children of the glen and dell —
The dingle deep — the moorland stretching wide,
And of the mossy fountain's sedgy side !

Ye o'er my heart have thrown a lovesome spell ;
And though the worldling, scorning, may deride —

I love ye all !



Let us go to the woods — 'tis a bright sunny day :
They are mowing the grass, and at work with the hay.
Come over the meadow and scent the fi*esh air.
For th*e pure mountain breezes are everywhere.


We'll follow this winding' path up to the hills,

And spring- with a lightsome foot over the rills.

Up, up — it grows sweeter the higher we get,

With the flowers of the season that linger here yet.

Nay, pause not to gaze at the landscape now ;

It is finer when seen from the hig-h hill's brow.

We will gather all curious flowers as we go ;

The sweet and the scentless, and those that bend low ;

The pale and the gaudy, the tiny, the tall,

From the vine, from the shi'ub, we will gather them all.

Now here's the Clematis, all graceful and fair •,

You may set it like ]3earls in the folds of your hair.

And if for your bosom you'd have a bouquet.

Here's the Meadow-pink sweet, and the Touch-me-not gay.

Here's the full-blown Azalea, perfuming the air.

Here's the Cardinal-flower, that a princess might wear.

And the wild mountain Phlox, pink and purple and blue,

And Star-flowers both of white and of golden hue.

And here's a bright blossom, a gay one indeed,

Our mountain-maids name it the Butterfly-weed ;

So gorg-eous its colours, one scarcely can tell

If the flower or the insect in beauty excel.

Here's the low dwarf Acacia, that droops as it grows,
And its leaves, as you gather them, tremble and close.
And near us, I know by her breath on the gale.
Is the tall yeEow, Primrose, so pretty and pale.

Here's the Pigeon-pea, fit for a fairy's bowers,

And the purple Thrift, straightest and primmest of flowers.

Here is Privet, no prettier shi'ub have we met ;

And the Midsummer-daisy is hiding here yet.

But stay — we are now on the high hill's brow !

How bright lie the fields in the sunlight below !

Do you see those white chimneys that peep o'er the grove ?

'Tis your own little cottage, the home that you love :

Let us go by the fields where the Chinquapins are,

And through the long lane where the Chestnuts hang" fair,

They are scarcely yet ripe, but their tender green

Looks lovely the dark clustering* foliage between :

And we'll stop at the nest that we found in the wood,

And see if the blackbird hath flown with her brood :

And we'll list to the mocking-bird, wondering thereat,

Till he pauses, as if to ask, " Who can do that ?"

We will listen and gaze, for the lowliest thing

Some lesson of worth to the mind can bring.



If we read Nature's book witli a serious eye,
Not a leaf but some precious thought on it doth lie :
And 'tis g'ood to go forth among scenes like these,
Amid music and sunshine, and flowers and trees.
If 'twere only to waken the deep love that springs
At the sight of all lovely and innocent things.
— Anonymous.


Fair daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon ;
As yet the early-rising sun
Has not attained his noon :
Stay, stay,

Until the hastening day
Has run

But to the even-song ;
And having* prayed together, we

Will go with you along !

We have short time to stay as you ;
We have as short a spring ;
As quick a growth to meet decay.
As you or anything :

We die,
As your hours do ; and dry

Like to the summer's rain.
Or as the pearls of morning dew,
Ne'er to be found again.
—Her RICK, 1648.


Our sweet autumnal western-scented wind
Kobs of its odours none so sweet a flower,
In all the blooming waste it left behind.
As that the sweet-brier yields it ; and the shower
Wets not a rose that buds in beauty's bower
One half so lovely ; yet it grows along
The poor girl's pathway, by the poor man's door.
Such are the simple folks it dwells among ;
And humble as the bud, so humble be the song.

I love it, for it takes its untouched stand
Not in the vase that sculptors decorate ;
Its sweetness all is of my native land ;
And e'en its fragrant leaf has not its mate


Among the perfumes whicli the rich and great
Buy from the odours of the spicy East.
You love your flowers and plants, and will you hate
The little four-leaved rose that I love best,
That freshest will awake, and sweetest go to rest ?


Come buy, come buy my mystic flowers,
All ranged with due consideration.

And culled in fancy's fairy bowers,
To suit each age and every station.

For those who late in life would tarry,
I've Snowdrops, winter's children cold ;

And those who seek for wealth to marry,
May buy the flaunting Marigold.

I've Ragwort, Ragged Robbins too,

Cheap flowers for those of low condition ;

For Bachelors I've Buttons blue ;
And Crown Imperials for ambition.

For sportsmen keen, who range the lea,
I've Pheasant's Eye and sprigs of Heather ;

For courtiers with the supple knee,
I've Parasites and Prince's Feather.

For thin tall fops I keep the Rush,

For peasants still am Nightshade weeding ;

For rakes, I've Devil-in-the-Bush,

For sighing Strephons, Love-lies-Bleeding.

But fairest blooms affection's hand

For constancy and worth disposes,
And gladly weaves at your command
A wreath of Amaranths and Roses.
-Mrs Corbold.


When beechen buds begin to swell.

And woods the blue-bird's warble know,

The yellow violet's modest bell

Peeps from the last year's leaves below.

Ere russet fields their green resume.
Sweet flower ! I love in forest bare

To meet thee, when thy faint perfume
Alone is in the virgin air.


Of all her train, the hands of Spring
First plant thee in the watery mould,

And I have seen thee blossoming"
Beside the snow-bank's edges cold.

Thy parent sun, who bade thee view
Pale skies, and chilling moisture sip,

Has bathed thee in his own bright hue.
And streaked with jet thy glowing lip.

Yet slight thj'- form, and low thy seat,
And earthward bent thy gentle eye,

Unapt the passing view to meet.

When loftier flowers are flaunting nigh.

Oft, in the sunless April day.

Thy early smile has stayed my walk.

But, 'midst the gorgeous blooms of May,
I passed thee on thy humble stalk.

So they who climb to wealth, forget
The friends in darker fortunes tried ;

I copied them — but I regret
That I should ape the ways of pride.

And when again the genial hour
Awakes the painted tribes of light,

I'll not o'erlook the modest flower
That made the woods of April bright.


Not worlds on worlds in phalanx deep.
Need we to prove a God is here ;

The daisy, fresh from Nature's sleep,
Tells of His hand in lines as clear.

For who but He who arched the skies,
And pours the day-spring's living" flood,

Wondrous alike in all He tries.
Could raise the daisy's purple bud !

Mould its green cup, its wiry stem,
Its fringed border nicely sjoin,

And cut the gold-embossed gem.
That, set in silver, gleams within !

And fling it, unrestrained and free.
O'er hill and dale, and desert sod,
That man, where'er he walks, may see
In every step the stamp of God.
— Dr Good.



READER ! hast thou ever stood to see

The holly tree?
The eye that contemplates it well perceives

Its glossy leaves,
Ordered by an Intellig'ence so wise
As might confound the atheist's sophistries.

Below, a circling fence, its leaves are seen

Wrinkled and keen ;
No grazing cattle, through their prickly round,

Can reach to wound ;
But as they grow where nothing* is to fear,
Smooth and unarmed the pointless leaves appear.

1 love to view these things with curious eyes,

And moralise :
And in this wisdom of the holly tree

Can emblems see
Wherewith, perchance, to make a pleasant rhyme,
One which may profit in the after-time.

Thus, though abroad, perchance, I might appear

Harsh and austere ;
To those who on my leisure would intrude,

Reserved and rude ;
Gentle at home amid my friends I'd be,
Like the high leaves upon the holly tree.

And should my youth, as youth is apt, I know.

Some harshness show,
All vain asperities, I, day by day,

Would wear away ;
Till the smooth temper of my age should be
Like the high leaves upon the holly tree.

And as, when all the summer trees are seen

So bright and green.
The holly leaves their fadeless hues display

Less bright than they ;
But when the bare and wintry woods we see,
What then so cheerful as the holly tree ?

So serious should my youth appear among

The thoughtless throng ;
So would I seem, amid the young and gay

More grave than they ;
That in my age as cheerful I might be

As the green winter of the holly tree.




A BONNIE wee flower grew green in the wuds,
Like a twinkling- wee star amang the cluds ;
And the langer it leevit, the greener it grew,
For 'twas lulled by the winds, and fed by the dew.
Oh, fresh was the air where it reared its head,
Wi' the radiance and odours its young leaves shed.

When the morning sun rose frae his eastern ha',
This bonnie wee flower was the earliest of a'
To open its cups sealed up in the dew,
And spread out its leaves o' the yellow and blue.

"When the winds were still, and the sun rode high.
And the clear mountain stream ran wimplin' by.
When the wee birds sang, and the wilderness bee
Was floating awa', like a clud ower the sea,
This bonnie wee flower was blooming unseen —
The sweet child of summer — in its rockely green.

And when the night clud grew dark on the plain,
When the stars were out, and the moon in the wane,
When the bird and the bee had gane to rest.
And the dews of the night the green earth pressed,
This bonnie wee flower lay smiling asleep.
Like a beautiful pearl in the dark green deep.

And when autumn came, and the summer had passed^
And the wan leaves were strewn on the swirling blast,
This bonnie wee flower grew naked and bare.
And its wee leaves shrank in the frozen air ;
Wild darnel and nettle sprang rank from the ground,
But the rose and white lilies were drooping around ;
And this bonnie blue flower hung doon its wee head.
And the bright morning sun flung his beams on its bed,
And the pale stars looked forth — but the wee flower was dead.


In Eastern lands they talk in flowers,

And they tell in a garland their loves and cares

Each blossom that blooms in their garden bowers.
On its leaves a mystic language bears.

The Rose is a sign of joy and love —

Young blushing love in its earliest dawn ;

And the mildness that suits the gentle dove,
From the Myrtle's snowy flower is drawn.


Innocence shines in the Lily's hell,
Pure as the heart in its native heaven ;

Fame's brig-ht star and glory's swell,
In the g'lossy leaf of the Bay are given.

The silent, soft, and humble heart,

In the Violet's hidden sweetness breathes ;

And the tender soul that cannot part,
A twine of Everg-reen fondly wreathes.

The Cypress that daily shades the grave,
Is sorrow that mourns her bitter lot ;

And faith that a thousand ills can brave.
Speaks in thy blue leaves, Forget-me-not.

Then gather a wreath from the garden bowers,
And tell the wish of thy heart in flowers.


The milk-white blossoms of the thoi'n

Are waving o'er the pool.
Moved by the wind that breathes along

So sweetly and so cool.
The hawthorn clusters bloom above,

The primrose hides below.
And on the lonely passer-by

A modest glance doth throw !

The humble primrose' bonnie face

I meet it everywhere ;
Where other flowers disdain to bloom,

It comes and nestles there.
Like God's own light, on every place

Online LibraryWilliam ChambersChambers's miscellany of useful and entertaining tracts (Volume v.5-6) → online text (page 29 of 59)