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ment is got up for the last day of the car- off the peculiar dress, and strolled back to nival, regardless of expense and trouble. the place from which he had started, while
One year it was the wood industry of another man of the same size, and dressed the country that was represented. Two as he had been, came running in apparmasked men as man and wife (the latter ently from the top of the village, but really specially, grotesque and hideous) drew from behind a house close by; so of course about a band-cart with faggots, as if for the horseman was beaten by many minsale. Next came an imitation of the utes. There was also a menagerie of wood being floated down the rivers, as is stuffed and made-up animals, and though done in spring, when the streams are in in the description it may seem but little, flood from the melting of the snow and the absurdity of the whole thing was very from rain. The wood was rolled along entertaining: the street, while men and women, dressed But of all their entertainments the one as they would be on such an occasion, on which they seem most to pride thempretended to be wading and drawing out selves was the representation of what a the wood to shore with the small, long. Bavarian wedding in the mountains used handled axes and hooks they employ for to be, as now they prefer taking a little that purpose.
jaunt, or making use of the money in some A saw-mill worked by ingenious ma other way, to spending so much on the chinery paraded the streets. But the wedding feast. The bridegroom chosen chief thing was a race as to who could was a good-looking married mason, the turo out one of the little wooden casks bride the pretty daughter of the tanner. for plaster of Paris, before mentioned, in They were dressed in old-fashioned costhe shortest time. A platform was erected tumes; the man had a long coat, kneealong the street in front of the principal breeches, and shoes with buckles; the hotel; on this were seated all who wished girl also had shoe-buckles, and she wore to contend, having their tools and mere a handsome short bodice, with white blocks of wood beside them. On a given sleeves, and a sort of crown on her head, sigoal all began stripping off the laths re with long plaits of wadded, light-colored quired, putting them into position, bend. satin hanging down her back. They went ing them round, etc. With those not very together everywhere to invite the guests, dexterous, the whole thing has a knack accompanied by the master of the cereof collapsing when just on the point of monies and a band of curious old instru. completion, and all has to be put together ments, more quaint than harmonious, of again. Unfortunately for the man who the same date as the dress. was the first to accomplish the task, he A cart supposed to contain the bride's paused to look about him before an- possessions passed, all decorated, with nouncing the fact, and the second shout much ceremony through the village. The ing out before him, gained the first prize. bride in Bavaria is supposed to furnish The time taken was three-quarters of an the entire house, so the cart was well piled hour.
up. Conspicuous in front was the spinAnother year there was an imaginary ning-wheel, ornamented with flowers and fair, Booth's were erected and grotesque blue and white ribbons (the Bavarian colfigures hawked their wares. One man ors), and at the back there was a cradle, looked specially absurd; he was of some as this used always to be the rule. what small stature, and was dressed in a Sometimes the bride herself used to be lady's embroidered linen dress and hat, mounted on the top of the things, in which and had a wig of fax, and rouged cheeks. case the bridegroom had to be at the door One great feature of the fair was a lot of the new home to lift her down and tery, the prizes being supplied by begging over the threshold, and to carry the beds from house to house for anything that and cradle to their places. But at other could be given, whether of any value or times it is only the sempstress, who has pot. The tickets were 10 pf. (about id.), beep employed to assist in preparing the and all got prizes, though one might have things, that accompanies them; and in a dirty old glove, while the next had this case this sempstress was personated something pretty and useful. Another by a grotesque, masked man in woman's part of the programme was a race between attire. a man on horseback and one on foot all At 6 P.M. the guests all assembled at round the village ; the man on foot to the principal hotel, formed a procession, bave a certain start. He started off at and, accompanied by the band, marched full speed, but directly be was out of to the inn where the entertainment was sight, he went behind some houses, took to take place. There they sat down to
eat and drink at different tables, the place | accompanying him. But so great is their of honor being near the happy pair. ingenuity, it would be impossible to tell of About eight, dancing began in the adjoin- all their fanciful doings. ing room, communicating with the one in I may mention that no .carnival amusewhich the guests were assembled, the ments of any kind took place at Ammergau dancers returning to their tables at the itself this year, because of the solemn conclusion of each dance. Honored ceremonial before them. guests arriving in the course of the even- The great out-of-door recreation of the ing were met by the band at the head of men is a species of curling with wooden the staircase, and welcomed with a flour- stones (if one may be excused using such ish of instruments; and the same cere. an expression) instead of the heavy granite mony attended their leaving.
ones of Scotland. After a time came the giving of the The children amuse themselves with presents, each guest in turn walking up to small sleighs, like the American toboggan. the bride and bridegroom with a sum of These are too well known in England now money or some other gift, and after hand- to require describing, but it may be said shaking and drinking of healths returning that no idea of the excitement of the to his or her seat. Of course the presents amusement in these altitudes can be had in this case were as absurd as possible. in our British clime. Swift as lightoing At the conclusion of this there came a do they glide down the roads into the long speech from the master of the cere- valleys, on tracks ground smooth as glass monies, and then dancing recommenced, by the passing of horse-sleighs; or still but not indiscriminately. The bride and more rapidly do they skim over the snowbridegroom had first to take a turn togeth- covered grass slopes, especially wheo the er, then the master of the ceremonies with surface has been turned into ice by the the old woman called the braut mutter, alternate influences of sun and frost - ice who notes and takes charge of the pres. so hard as to give severe cuts when an ents, and who may be called the mistress upset takes place. Sometimes on these of the ceremonies. After this the married snow.slopes sudden dips occur, causing people danced, and then the unmarried. the sleigh to leave the ground and go This done, dancing became general. But through the air till it again comes in conthe bridegroom had to dance with every tact with the surface of the snow. Thirtylady guest who cared to dance, and with six feet have been measured from where any girl he saw sitting from want of a a sleigh has jumped to where it alighted, partner.
and it may be imagined that the slightest One incident that often happens at a loss of balance at such a moment might Bavarian wedding was left out that even cause a very serious accident. No won. ing. While the bridegroom is dancing, der gentlemen have said the sensation was the bride is often carried off by some of more that of hunting than of anything the young men and hidden, when the else. bridegrooin has to redeem her by paying These little sleighs are helps to chilfor a certain amount of beer and cigarettes. dren who have to go daily to school from This arranged, the bride is brought out of the surrounding mountain hamlets; for go her hiding place, the band turning out and they must through frost and snow, or rain accompanying her back in triumph. and slush -even little delicate-looking
Occasionally the entertainment chosen children may be seen trudging home in the is a play acted on a stage erected in the afternoon a distance of three and four open air, on some convenient spot; and miles in all weathers. Arrangements are the natives really seem born actors, so generally made for them to have dinner in capitally do they perform their parts. one of the little inns. A lady, thinking of
Besides the great entertainment of the the cold the poor little wet feet must suffer day, there are numerous small amuse- during the long school-hours, negotiated ments, such as a man walking about with with the owner of a house close to the something resembling a fishing-rod, with school for any who liked to change shoes ginger-bread or some such sweet attached and stockings on arrival and before start. to the end of the line; this the children ing again in bad weather; but not one try to seize, and find it cleverly jerked child availed him or herself of the permis. from their grasp. Another is a masked sion, showing how lightly they esteem man dressed as a mountebank, with bells what we should consider not only a grave hung on his person, which he sets ringing discomfort, but a real danger. Certainly by dancing in a particular way, a inan they are usually well shod, and warmly playing some sort of instrument generally I clad, and head well protected, girls with
hoods, boys with comfortable caps. But my fate, and without making light of it, what can withstand the soaking, penetrat- have ceased to think about it, or regard it ing effects of sleet and slush! The coun. as interfering materially with the ordinary try postmen, too, have what Englishmen conduct of daily life. would think a hard time, as they have to Very well, then. I chanced some three carry letters to all the hamlets round in years ago to be staying with some friends all weathers. Fortunately for them, the in their country-house -- not very far from Bavarian peasant does not take his daily London, but nevertheless situated in a paper, and his letters are few and far be delightfully rural and secluded district. tween. Happily, too, for both them and My host and hostess lived in good style ; the school-children and also for the people kept much company, and entertained in in general, hot sunshine and clear, still air munificent fashion. Most of their friends, is the rule most seasons for a large pro too, were wealthy; and the jewelry, as I portion of the winter days.
was told, which occasionally sparkled Imperceptibly these winter days fly within those hospitable walls represented quickly by, till in March comes a thaw. large sums of money. It was a thor. Rapidly the snow vanishes, and its place oughly easy-going establishment; meals is taken by countless fowers. White were made movable festivals to suit the snowflakes, pink heath, blue hypaticas, varied arrangements which a constant proyellow oxlips, blue gentians, pink primu- gramme of amusement sometimes en. las, golden coltsfoot, purple and pink tailed. lungwort, purple and white crocuses, and The month was August; the weather many others, come on in rapid succession. was fine and hot; and on the particular Winter is a thing of the past, but it leaves evening in question, it so happened the behind many pleasant memories; and the dinner was to partake of the character of labors and pleasures of spring and sum- supper, to suit the convenience of the mer are entered upon with all the more house-party, who were going on zest, because of the complete change of picnic boating excursion on the neighborthougbt and occupation the renewed life ing Thames. of nature brings with it.
Now I did not join them for two reaSo season by season passes life's little sons - firstly, because I wanted to enjoy day for these Bavarian peasants, as for us. the quiet and peace of the house, gardens, Happy those who are enabled to fulfil and shrubberies when entirely deserted; therein the work God has given them to secondly, because, always rather a bad co.
H. C. WARD. sleeper, I had been more than usually
wakeful for some nights, and I determined to go to bed early and to take a certain narcotic which had been recommended as
quite harmless and exceedingly pleasant. From Chambers' Journal. AN ADVENTURE - QUITE IN THE DARK. tions said it was to be mixed with a pint
It consisted of a powder, and the direcBLIND men, however sharpened their bottle of light claret - a glass or two of remaining senses may become, would not which might be taken on going to bed or exactly be selected as the fittest agents in the course of the night, if occasion refor the purpose in which I once found quired. Early in the evening I secured myself engaged. Still, there is no know the wine from the batler, and myself mixed ing to what they may have to put their it with the drug by simply shooting the wits; and although I have no pretensions latter dexterously into the bottle. Then I to being sharper than the rest of my fel- shook it, corked it, and stood it on the low-sufferers, or claim the possession of bed-table with a large claret-glass, to be any especial dodginess, yet there is no ready for use when I retired for the night. doubt when one has to rely very persist. This I did as I proposed a little before ently on all one's faculties in order to ten, at which time I was the sole occupant keep fairly abreast of ordinary mortals, it of the house, with the exception of the is wonderful how quick the apprehension servants. Their quarters, with kitchen, and the power of drawing conclusions be. etc., lay at the extreme opposite wing come. You are not concerned with the from that in which my bedroom was sit. history of my infirmity - how I lost my uated. sight and so forth – it is enough for the Thus, as I crept up the main staircase present purpose if I say that I have been with the aid of my stick, and by feeling bliod for some twenty years — that I have the well-known landmarks by which I am grown quite accustomed and reconciled to always able to guide myself after very
QUITE IN THE DARK. little practice along passages and corri- | a sense of loneliness. Nevertheless, I dors, my footsteps echoed strangely, and would take a glass of my light claret forth. I was conscious that an unusual air of with, considering that by the time I should solitude pervaded the place. Of course be getting into bed it would be beginning the autumu twilight had faded into night to take effect. I stepped out in the direcby this time, but that made no difference tion of the table where it stood, felt about to me, and equally, of course, I carried no for an instant, and the next had the bottle chamber candle. Somehow, nevertheless, within my grasp. Then I found the glass, I had a strange feeling of not quite liking and was proceeding, as I expected, to take the solitude - a sensation akin to nervous. the cork out, when lo! there was no cork. ness, I suppose it would be called. Un- Raising the bottle, I instantly knew from accustomed to regard myself as a coward, its lightness that it was empty. This disĮ yet could have wished that the house covery was conclusive. Somebody bad had not seemed quite so lonely. It was a been in the room - perhaps was in the vague, vain, and ridiculous idea, I knew room at this moment - a most unpleasaot
— still, the nearer I got to my room the notion, but I was no longer nervous. more it possessed me. When I laid my “Who is there? Speak," I cried. hand on the lock, for a moment it quite “Who are you, and where are you?” overwhelmed me, and I need hardly say No reply. I listened intently; not a that when I found the door resist my sound broke the stillness of the sweet aueffort to open it, my discomfiture was tumn night. Taking my stick, I thrust it complete. Then, after a moment, I pulled under the bed, and round about in various myself together, feeling heartily ashamed corners of the room.
The furniture apof the rapidity with which my heart was peared a little disarranged, but otherwise beating. Another push at the door, and it there was no evidence of the presence of opened partially --- enough to admit me. any human being. Very strange, I thought. Something had fallen inside and blocked Anyway, I must ring for the footman it. I stooped to discover what it was, and for I may say here that I dislike being presently my fingers lighted on a wedge. valeted ; and beyond indispensable assist. shaped block of wood with a screw stick: ance, prefer doing everything as much as ing partially through it. This had caused I can for myself, especially in my bed.
But what could it be? How-room. ever, I left it on the floor, closed the door, As my hand passed across the corner of and walked slowly towards the window, the table, it knocked something off on to knowing every step of the way nearly as the ground which rattled like tin and glass. well as you would with your eyes. The Not stopping to investigate, the next diswindow - - a French one, opening on to a covery my sensitive fingers made on the small balcony, to my surprise was not table was some short iron tool. I took it closed, as I am certain I left it an hour up and felt it; but could not make out or two earlier, when I brought up the wine what it was, so proceeded to grope for the to my room. You might think these little bell-rope close to the bed-head. discoveries would have increased my ner. Now, with all that had gone before, imvousness; they had a contrary effect; at agine my sensations when, as my fingers least every sensation was swallowed up in passed over the edge of the pillow on their surprise and curiosity as to what could way to the top of the bedstead, they fell have happened.
upon a warm human cheek! Yes! the However, I began slowly to undress cheek of a man, as I knew instantaneously a blind man has to do most mechanica! from his sparse beard, whisker, and hair! things slowly, if he would not be perpet. Imagine my sensations, I say, at that moually bruising or maiming himself, and so ment! I went on for a few minutes fumbling That I was startled beyond expression, about with my garments as usual, deposit. I admit; but I checked my impulse to ing each in its accustomed place, for only shout aloud. I stepped back into the midby that means are we incapables able to dle of the room, bumping against a chair find any object with certainty again. or something in my haste. In two sec
Suddenly I thought of the purpose onds, however, I collected my wits. which had brought me to bed so early, and Quick as thought, almost, I drew my conbegan to doubt if I was going through a clusions and settled what to do. I went good preparation for giving the sleeping to the window, closed and fastened it as draught a fair chance. I had grown wider securely and as noiselessly as I could, for and wider awake every moment from that I had no desire to disturb the intruder, when, ascending the stairs, I had first felt who, so far, except for the warmth of his
Aesh, apparently showed no sigo of life ter too, by jigs. You are an ugly cus. my quick ear told me that. I stood still tomer and no mistake, you are! What a for a moment listening, and could not even lucky thing you're so sound asleep - tobear him breathe. Then I crept to the o-o be sure ; and I'll make sure of you, my door, felt for the key, which had been, I friend, while I've got the chance anyhow. knew, inside ; but it was no longer in the These 'ere bracelets will fit you like gloves. lock. By great good luck, just as I was There !” debating how I might secure the door on A pause again - a little fumbling, fol. the outside, my foot trod on what I knew lowed by the audible click of the handto be the key. It was lying close to that cuffs. wedge-like bit of wood with the screw “Call up my mate, sir, will you, please ?" which had first attracted my attention. I This no doubt to the butler, who, going to now guessed what it was so picking it the window and opening it, shouted to the up with the key, I passed out into the man below, who soon entered the room. passage, softly closed and locked the door Then I could guess pretty well from the after me, and jammed the bit of wood in sound wbat they did, which of course was the crack beneath it. At least, I thought, to lug the fellow off the bed, thinking that whoever you are, you shan't get out this would wake him; but although he fell on way. Then I made what haste I could to the floor with a heavy thud, it appeared along the corridor and down the stairs, to do nothing of the kind. rang the dining-room bell, and in a few Then the thought suddenly flashed miputes had told my story to the butler. through my mind that he had drunk deeply
He was for immediately rushing off up- no doubt of my particular brew; and restairs to see about it all.
membering that the bottle was empty, I “No, no, Pitts," said I. “Wait a bit. trembled lest, having taken half-a-dozen Call two of the footmen, and let them take doses of the fascinating mixture at once, up a position where they can see that no he inight never recover from his sleep. one leaves that rooin. Go out and get So stepping forward, I stated my surmise hold of two or three gardeners - anybody, as to what had happened, and said: “You and post them under the window. Then had better send for a doctor immediately.” start off somebody from the stable to the “Well, p'raps so, sir," agreed the convillage for the constable - for two con- stable; "it would be best, anyways, for stables, if there are two. Now, quick's he's about as heavy a bit of goods to move the word. The fellow is sound asleep, as I've come across for a long while." whoever he is, but we may as well make Then they laid the huge, burly burglar sure who he is."
on the floor, propped up his head, and left These orders were rapidly carried out; him in charge of the officers till the doctor and in less than half an hour two stalwart arrived. He did so just as my hosts and policemen arrived. One joined the men their friends returned from their excurunder the window, the second, the head. sion, and you may judge of the excitement constable, went up-stairs with the butler that followed throughout the household. and me.
He was the first to enter the The medical man, after due examination room; I slipped in last to listen.
and suggesting certain douches of cold Hullo, my man, what are you up to water, etc., reassured us all with the hope here? Come, wake up – give an account that he would not die. My assumption as of yourself."
to the cause of his coma was so feasible A pause.
as.not to admit of dispute. Doubtless by Why, he is as sound as a top still ! ” aid of his dark lantern he saw the bottle A noise as of shaking something an- of wine with its label announcing it to be other pause.
Medoc of the first quality. Tasting and “Oh yes, of course, here's the little trying, and finding it to be a light and game - dark-lantern rolled over on the agreeable fluid, he drained the bottle at a foor, jemmy and crowbar, box of noiseless gulp, probably as the first step towards matches, etcette-rarr, etcette-rarr; I see. giving him the necessary courage and Here you ! wake up. This 'ere kid won't strength to proceed with the business of wash; get up and come along with ine the night. In this he was probably interquietly” another shaking
rupted by the rapid action of the exces"Oh! you won't, won't you? Hullo, sive dose, and feeling suddenly overcome what's this? Oh! indeed armed, ay ? by a drowsy stupor, had staggered to the Yes, a six-shooter in your breast-pocket! bed, and thrown himself helplessly on it. Fully loaded, too, no doubt! We'll see to The fellow had entered the room, of that a bit later. Ah! and a knuckledus- course, by the balcony, having hauled