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When he looked at Marie, he was amazed to see how plain and old she had become. Again the thought crossed his mind it might have been better for her had Harms made her his wife. Certainly no man would marry her now.
her had been but transitory, yet how beau- | the musical world. It cost him a struggle tiful while it lasted! She would always to reply to her with civility. retain a certain interest for him in having been the passive object which had awakened those heavenly feelings of first love. But he had long seen clearly that it was the light of his own genius which had transfigured her, and that he had fallen at the feet of an idol of his own creation. Ah! the wild, the wonderful, the delicious generosity of youth! He could not restrain a smile when he reflected, that in those days he had desired to consecrate his whole powers, his whole future life, to the service of a little moon-faced girl with round eyes and red hands.
He supposed her hands were no longer red. Harms had written she had grown thin, and had otherwise much changed. But the real Marie must of course remain the same, a soul on a lower plane which could never be raised to his, any more than he could successfully stoop to her. And such was to be their union, one in name but never in fact.
He could and would show her kindness, bear himself with patience, but henceforth all his highest desires and sympathies must be unshared. Mournful anticipa tions of the future began to blot out the pleasanter reminiscences of the past, and he reached Klettendorf and stood with his hand on the familiar garden gate.
The click of the latch brought two women out from the cottage to greet him: an old woman with bands of yellow-white hair showing in front of a close net cap his aunt Kunie; and a woman no longer young, with the expression women get whose lives have been all duty without one satisfying joy-this was the once bright and hopeful sister.
Schoenemann sat down with them to the meal they had prepared for him; the best they could manage, and yet almost barbarous in its homely ingredients and rude cooking, after the civilizations of Paris. The coarse tablecloth was distasteful to him, so were the horn-handled knives and forks, the earthen beer-mugs with their pewter tops. Aunt Kunie produced in his honor the Bowle wine, which she made herself from elder-flowers and oranges, and which as a boy he had thought so delicious. Now he found it detestable, and could scarcely bring himself to finish the small glassful she ladled out for him. Her hesitating, trivial conversation teased him; he was only an. noyed by her well-meant efforts to please. She thought herself bound to talk about Paris, the friends he had made there, and
He almost wished he had never returned to Klettendorf at all. His memory-pictures would always have remained agreeable had he never confronted them with the reality. However, he had been obliged to come in order to see Harms.
"What is all this about the Dittenheims?" he asked his sister. "August writes such mysterious letters. Marie Dittenheim has lived well enough without me for seven years. What is the 'urgent need' she has for me now?"
"People say she has always counted on your coming," said the other Marie.
"Well, and have I not come? I always intended coming this summer, but it would have been more convenient to have come a few months later on. Only, August finally gave me no peace. Where is he? Why is he not here to meet me?"
"He will be here at four. He had a lesson to give across the river."
Always the same life, I suppose? He still lodges with Schumacher?"
"Always the same," said the sister dryly; "no change but one ever comes to the poor."
"You will wish to go and visit your blessed mother's grave?" said aunt Kunie. "Marie will take you there, and you will be back in time for coffee."
Emil walked with his sister to the quiet God's acre on the hill. He stood before the slate headstone inscribed to the memory of Franz Schoenemann and Marie his wife, and thought over many things. It is certain that a man cannot stand by the grave of his mother and not experience emotion. He had told her once in a transport of child-affection, that when he was a man he would never leave her, but would live with her always. And yet he had not found it possible to get to her dying bed. He wished now it had been possible; but it had not been so, although he had forgotten by this time the particular obstacles which had prevented him. He left the graveyard trying to recall them. He walked fast, absorbed in thought, and his sister was left far behind.
A man in slovenly clothes stood by aunt Kunie in the little garden watching for his return. Emil saw it was Harms, and said to himself he too had changed
for the worse.
He looked broken-down, | you, a Rhinelander, would be true. And
Her lot was perhaps harder; she had
Aunt Kunie had prepared coffee for two in the parlor. She and Marie retired to drink theirs in the kitchen, feeling sure that Emil would prefer being left alone with his friend. Harms sat for long silent and embarrassed. Momentarily he grew more impressed with Emil's immense superiority, visible even in such trifles as his dress, his manners, the way in which he held his head. He saw that any equality or companionship between his former pupil and friend was out of the question. He feared he had shown presumption in the warmth of his greetings. Emil was obliged to question him before he regained courage to talk.
Schoenemann stared at the speaker with "You are raving," a glacial irritation. Speak German - if you are said he; "I have no conception of your meaning. able- and tell me what fate threatens my betrothed."
"Then command yourself, Emil,” said the good Harms, himself greatly agitated; "keep calm, I implore you! She and has consented to marry her cousin, has yielded at last to over-persuasion, Baron Max Dittenheim. The wedding is arranged for Friday next."
THESE words surprised Emil as much was quite silent. Then he felt a moveas a douche of cold water in the face. He ment of sensible relief. He saw for the first time in all its completeness how dear to him was the liberty with which he had been prepared to part. He was free, and in the only way possible to him, through the initiative of Marie herself.
Then his surprise returned. It was astonishing to the point of annoyance. astonishing she should have given him up A great many women in Paris, some as well-born, most far prettier and more intelligent than the little contesse, would have been proud of his preference. Flore, an artist to her finger-tips, good, gay, and witty, with the warmest heart you could desire, the most cultivated mind, only
"The Contesse Marie is ill? Is that the misfortune you hint at? You seem to imply she is dying of love for me. The idea is absurd. Now and again I have heard of the Dittenheims from Berliners in Paris, and from all accounts my betrothed has become a most accomplished young lady of the world; the exact coun-longed to be allowed to serve him. And terpart of her mother."
"You still love her, my poor Emil?" asked Harms earnestly.
"Does it not look like it," parried the
"You wish to make her your wife?"
"I knew it; I could trust you!" cried
he had eluded them all, had treated Flore little girl, who now dared to play him with studied coldness for the sake of this false - after letting him wait for her seven years, and just when the moment had come to claim the fulfilment of her promise.
Beneath a calm exterior his thoughts travelled with stormy rapidity. What unexampled impudence on the part of the
father, what treachery in the daughter! | trying even to the stolid cheeriness of the His anger augmented. He could no longer Berliners. People walked with heads conceal it; for his armor of polished held low, wraps muffled up to nose and coldness was but a weapon of defence painfully acquired. The color rose all over his face, and his ireful eyes fixed themselves on August as though he saw in him the chief cause of offence. "Go to Berlin," Harms urged; "you will yet be in time."
"Do you imagine I should beseech her to reconsider, to marry me after all? No. I think myself fortunate in discovering, before it was too late, the falseness and vacuity of which she is capable. But I will go to Berlin and see her. I owe this to myself. She shall not ease her conscience by saying I made no claim."
"Yes, I will see her," he reflected. "I will reproach her to her face." He foreboded in this interview a new experience which would be instructive to him. Still, as when a child, he sought curiously for emotions, and was eager to exalt, to intoxicate, to crucify his heart for the pleasure of standing aside to watch the effects. He purposely worked himself into the delusion that he still loved Marie Dittenheim with passion, in order that the sensations of the final interview might be the more intense. He began at once to prepare for departure. Harms desired to accompany him, and Emil permitted him to do so, not caring sufficiently for his absence to find it worth while to forbid his presence. He kissed his womenkind without affection, and turned his back on Klettendorf without regret. It happened that he never saw either kindred or village again.
He made the journey to Berlin in impenetrable silence-arranging the phrases he should make use of in the coming scene, testing the bitter flavor of each word, and selecting those that would inflict the sharpest pain.
Harms respected Schoenemann's silence. He knew so well what the renunciation of the beloved one means. His heart suffered vicariously for the suffering of his friend.
Berlin was reached late one evening, and the two men put up at a small hotel. Harms informed himself as to the quarter of the town the Dittenheims inhabited, its distance, and the way thither. He accompanied Emil next morning part of the way. "Take courage!" he said. "Be sure she still loves you;" and then, with a warm handgrip, turned and left him.
It was March; an iron day. The streets were searched by a piercing wind,
ears, hands encased in good woollen gloves, and still the universal enemy pierced into every chink and cranny, froze the marrow of their bones, and filled their eyes with dust. Not a propitious day for a wedding, if to-day it was, and yet the day poetic justice should select for the wedding of one who had broken plighted vows.
The Dittenheim house was large and handsome, with many windows looking on the street. Emil found the door standing half open, as though some one had just hurriedly passed in or out. An immense basket of flowers stood in the hall. Other flowers, rows of tall white lilies, masses of white bridal roses, white narcissi, and white snowdrops, were heaped in disordered beauty against one wall. There was a sense of expectancy, a flavor of excitement in the air, as though some imposing ceremony were about to take place. Emil, going in, found no one to question him. It was as though the household, thrown off its balance by the coming event, had abandoned its accustomed routine.
A door shut above. Looking up at the gallery which ran round the upper floor, Schoenemann saw a young woman flit rapidly by. She was in a light-colored gown. She was not unlike Marie. He was convinced it was Marie. He hurried up the shallow steps. But before he reached the landing she had disappeared through one of the several doors which met his view.
An overpowering scent of flowers greeted him. Here and there on the crimson carpets lay a sprig of jasmine or a lily-of-the-valley, as though such quantities had been carried up that the few which fell were left unheeded. The unfamiliar house in which he found himself, the silence, the fragrance, reminded Emil of that other day, so long ago, when he first visited Bellavista; then unknown to himself he was advancing to Love's birth. Now he told himself with a bitterness he did not feel, he went to Love's grave.
Opposite to him, as he reached the head of the stairs, were high doors of white enamelled wood. They gave presumably on to the reception-rooms, the dozen windows of which overlooked the street. Here he should doubtless find Marie herself, or at least some one who could bring him to her. He opened one door-wing.
To his surprise he faced darkness, for
the wind rushing up from the hall momentarily extinguished the six wax candles which stood in tall silver candlesticks down the centre of the floor. Emil took a step forward and closed the door behind him. The lights burned up again yellow and steady. They shed their radiance down on a mass of flowers, on a cloth of white satin what was it?-an altar?or a bed on which a woman was sleeping? The next instant Emil saw it was a bier. Advancing he stood between the candles, looking down on the dead Marie. For he knew intuitively it was she, though at first his eyes denied it. She was so changed from the little moon-faced girl he remembered. She was beautified and ennobled by the hand of death almost beyond recognition. Her features in their purer and finer outlines recalled those of her dead mother. Emil, who had looked at the Graefin and never seen her in the old days, saw her now, and admitted she was fairer than the little daughter who stood beside her; but the dead girl who lay at his feet was even fairer than the mother. Nothing remained absolutely of the Marie he remembered but the lightbrown, crinkly hair, which, flowing down on either side of the pale face, was spread out over the coverlet to the slightly raised knees. The delicate and waxen hands were crossed upon a crucifix, and on a satin ribbon round the neck hung a common crystal locket.
and faithful nature he had appeared the only man possible; he felt how constantly she had thought about him, how patiently she had waited and hoped, how the disappointment of his silence had only strengthened her love through pain. While he had been working, living, enjoying a thousand interests, or concentrating them all into the one absorbing pursuit, his image had been for her all in all. During these seven years, when he had forgotten her for months at a time, or only remembered her with coldness, every hour of every day her thoughts had turned to him. Love and hope had kept her alive, when otherwise she must long ago have fallen a victim to the hereditary disease which shed its fateful beauty upon her face. It was only when hope was crushed out, and she found herself on the point of ceding to the continuous pressure of relatives and circumstances, that she had given up the struggle and life both together.
Down Emil's cheeks tears ran unchecked. Love, melancholy, and passionate regret flooded his soul. He gazed at the dead face, and to his shaken fantasy it seemed to regain the warmth and colors of life. He listened intently, and could have sworn he heard low and regular breathing. But suddenly his heart stood still! A new force overwhelmed it.
Meanwhile a figure, sitting hitherto unnoticed in the darkness beyond the circle of candle-light, rose and came forward. It was Graf Dittenheim, but an altered man. His air of amused superiority, his ironical smile, were gone. Death for the moment had dragged him down to a level with his fellows. He and Emil exchanged
doubt, a sort of remorse showed themselves on Dittenheim's countenance. He looked at the tears which still wetted the young man's face, and with a movement of the hand indicated the dead Marie.
Emil had sought emotions; here he found some of unexpected thrillingness. He was genuinely shaken. The charm of his lost love for Marie returned with full force. His heart seemed to melt, tears gushed from his eyes, all his cold self-glances of instant recognition. Surprise, sufficiency fell from him. Could the dead at that moment have come to life, he might have flung himself at her feet and sworn eternal devotion. The locket cherished to the end touched him inexpressibly. He recognized his own hair still within it. He knew she had worn it day and night upon her heart, and had wished it to go untouched with her to the grave. He remembered with compunction that the companion locket was long since lost. It had gone astray in one of his many Paris removals.
For the moment he hated himself. By the power which is given to the imaginative, he identified himself with the dead Marie. In the interval of a few seconds he lived through her entire life, loved with her, suffered with her. He understood how completely and irrevocably she had given up her life to him, how to her gentle
"Is it possible you cared for her after all?" he said in a low voice; "that you have remained true?"
But Schoenemann only looked at him in silence and with an intense earnestness. Then he turned abruptly and walked out of the room. Out of the room, out of the house. Like one distraught he slipped through the streets of the city, and meeting Harms on the tavern steps, flung him aside with furious impatience.
"Oh, for God's sake, leave me alone!" he cried violently; and Harms was not wounded. He saw that something terrible had happened, and he understood so well the hopeless misery that cries for solitude.
Meanwhile Emil double-locked the doors of his room, fearful only that the unlucky encounter might have stemmed or diverted the torrent of music flowing within him. He seized pen and paper, and began to pour it forth in a series of spluttering dots and dashes. His brain was on fire with the excitement, his soul filled with the fierce joy which only the artist knows, and he in the moments of creation alone.
How many more centuries do the Americans want before they begin to lay aside the customs of savages?
Virginia was founded in 1607, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire in 1620, New York in 1621, Maryland in 1624, the Carolinas in 1663, New Jersey in 1664, Pennsylvania in 1681. The territory comprising the New England States was called by that name as far back as 1614, and was a highly civilized country-far more highly civil
With the waning light the sketch lay complete, and Schoenemann threw him-ized than most European countries- two self back in his chair with a smile of supreme contentment. Then presently came the reaction, he yawned, felt inclined for supper, locked up his papers, and went down to seek Harms, who was stupefied by his friend's genial spirits. But the latter was happy, knowing that the work he had just completed was very good.
For it was thus that the famous "Elegie" came to be written. This is the story.
From The Contemporary Review. THE BRAND OF CAIN IN THE GREAT REPUBLIC.
No man knew the American people better, and no man was more jealous for what is good in them, than the late James Russell Lowell. Even when, in his satirical vein, he threw their weaknesses into painful relief, it was done tenderly, as if he loved them. But there is one characteristic of theirs which he never touched on without disgust, or without a sharpness of reproof that was very unusual with him. Their proneness to violence and their disregard of the sanctity of human life revolted his intelligence as much as they grieved his heart. He would not admit that these are local peculiarities, that they spring from passing causes, or that they are merely a roughness natural to a new country. No, he would have none of this flattering unction. He clearly saw, and he honestly declared, what is the truth :From Rio Grande to Penobscot's flood
The whole great nation love the smell of blood. The excuse of " a new country," so often offered by Americans for their lawlessness, is a singularly weak one. To begin with, America is not a new country. It is nearly three centuries old, and if a country cannot "get through with its cussedness" in three centuries, what hope is there of its ever improving with age?
hundred years ago. But it is not necessary to rebut this plea of infancy. The plea itself would not be valid, even if it were true in fact, which it is not. I have had something to do with new countries, and I deny that bloodshed and violence are necessary or even usual attendants of the youth of nations.
Australia is two hundred years younger than the United States, and it had the drawback of starting from a convict settle. ment. It has about as many people as the American colonies had when they broke away from Great Britain a hundred years ago. Yet the Australians are not more prone to blood than the English themselves. New Zealand has been settled only fifty years, and for twenty years out of those fifty the settlers were clenched in a bitter struggle with a race of cannibals. Yet violence is almost unknown there, and any man carrying a weapon would be looked upon as mad. Mr. Brodie Hoare, the banker, a very shrewd and impartial observer, describing that colony a few years ago, said, quite truly, that all the government it wants is half-a-dozen policemen with walking-sticks. In all British colonies life and person are safe, and even a blow with the hand is rare, and is sure to be punished. It is not necessary to go outside of North America for instances. Canada is a bloodless country compared with the United States, though Canada is much younger than the United States.
The plea of boisterous youth breaks down in the United States itself. That country has the bad pre-eminence of showing more murders in proportion to the world; and these are only the murders population than any other country in the counted officially; whereas a vast number of homicides, which are murders in every sense of the word, are not counted officially at all. It would assuredly be within the mark to say that there are twice as many homicides in the United States, in proportion to the population, as in any other country in the world where law ex