ePub 版


Very rustic


I have forgotten the exact price off, at a slivering canter, for the mounwhich he demanded for board and long- tain paths. ing: but it was something extremely in- By half-past twelve we were bearings significant-not inore, certainly, than our empty, espectant stomachs up and iliree dollars a week. It was so much down the great cating-hall. Patients like gratuitous lios; itality, that we sent followed patients through the creaking il porter to the Colile: Star for our doors, until nearly two hundred sick, trunks, and followed the superintendent blind, and deforined people were hun. to one of the cottages. We found it a grily patrolling around the long tables,

built of raw clap-boards, Eight or ten neat, curiously white-faced and approached through a puddie, the dainsels hurried in and out, loaded with overrunnings of a neighboring water- piles of plates, or with monstrous trough. It had begun life, indeed, as a lonres, of what seeined to be mahogastable; but we olujected very little to ny breal. Presently they all entered that, as the scent of quadruped life in a co!umn, bearing spacious, smoking had been tutally exercised from its platters of ineiit and vegetables, prebreezy chambers. The floors and par- pared, as I afterwards found, by cooks titions were of the consistency of paste- of Satan's providing. No other signal board, and we sair at once that, if we was necessary to the fainished invalids, did not wish to disturb our neighbors, who immediately made for the tables we inust live in a whisper. Everything at a pace which reminded one of the was of unsophisticated pine-the walls, fast-trotting boarders of a Western hothe narrow bcásteads, the chairs, and tel. Ilowcrer sick they may have been the aguish wash-stands.

in other respects, they were certainly Tiere were only three chambers for well enough to eat; and I think I four of us, and but one of them was never saw, before nor since, such an double-bedded and double-chaired. We average large appetito ainong such it iussed up kreutzers for the single rooms. number of people. A disgracefully Irwine got one of them, and Burroughs dirty inan, with an ugly swelled face, the other. While the trunks were coin- who sat on our left, filled his plate three ing we commenced a dance, in celebra- or four inches deep with cvery kind of tion of our advent, thinking that, per- prorever, ate it up, and then did it laps, we should never feel like it again. again, and a third time, as if it were no Presently we heard a yell of fury from feat at all. We afterwards learned that some profundity below, accompanied by Priessnitz counseled his patients to a double knock against the floor under cat all they wished, the more the betour fict, from what seerned to be a pair ter; for the old peasant was as perof boots. We paused in our shaker ex- versely ignorant of it stoinach as if he ercises, questioning what abodes of tor- carricul a crop and digested with pebture might exist beneath us, and whit bles, like à chicken; maintaining, lost mortal or demon might inhabit among other heresies, that a waterthem. We afterwards found that a patient's gastric powers should be neuralgic Russian lived on the first floor, strengthened by hard work, as much as and that, feeling annoyed loy our clamor, luis legs by hard walking. Partly, in hic had souglit to mend matters by howl consequence of this monstrous theory, ing and tlirowing his shoe-leather about. and partly, because of the native sav

Presently, we all gathered in the ageness of Silesian cookery, the food passage to catechise a young English- was of the worst description, consistinan, who was, also, (in) stalled in our ing of such horrors as veal ten days ex-stable. Having been orce months old, sauer kraut, and the most unsuisunder treatment, he could give us some ceptible dough-balls. Such a diet would idea of what we were to do and to suffer; produce a galloping dyspepsia in any but, in the very middle of his talk, lie ouo who was not invigorated by frewas imperiously summoned away, by a quent baths and wet rubbings; but, as moist, cool exccutioner, arined with a things were, I imagine that no great wet sheet. In a moment more we heard, harm was done, and that, in a general with mingled mirth and horror, the rasp- way, two hundred ostriches could not ing splasli of the dripping linen, as it have digested better. A man, who iell upon our friend's devoted body; and, takes four colil duckings per diem, a quarter of an hour afterwards, we saw walks five or six miles after each of him hurry out, with wet locks, and make them, and wears a wet bandage over his abdomen, may confide, eren to reck- ively the color of my skin, and the lessness, in bis gastric juices.

developinent of my muscles. Ile then When we came to discuss the dough- ordered the wet sheet to be spreau, balls above-mentioned, a Gerinan as- and signed me to stretch myself in it. tonished us, by saying that they were As soon as I had measured mny length the favorito dish of the Emperor Fer- on the dripping linen, Franz folded me dinand of Austria. "Yes," said he, !p rapidly, and then packed me thickly " with those they coax him to sign in blankets and coverlets, as if I were state papers.

lle is rather childish a batch of dough sct away to rise. now; and thinks it is il great bore to be Neuvillo followed my damp example ; alwny's putting his signature to procla- and our teeth were soon chattering in mations and treaties. Accordingly, chilly sympathy. Having noted the inSchwartzenberg tells him that, if no tensity of our ague, as if it were a will write his name so many times, he means of judging what degreo of vigor shall have dough-balls for dinner." in the treatment we could bear, Priess

Our meal closed with spacious fruit- vitz marched off to survey the agonies pies, not much less than two feet in of Irwine and Burroughs. Neuvillo diameter. All these indigestibles gavo and I remained as fixed, and nearly as our stomachs exercise until six o'clock, moist, as King Log in the pond, but when tho table was set again with the in it state of anguish far beyond the fragments of the mahogany loaves, and cupacities of that solid potentato. We pitchers of sweet and sour milk. At were so cold that we could not speak ten we went to bed, and discovered that plainly, and shivered until our bedsteads we were expected to keep warm with caught the infection. Then a change onc blanket apicce, although the wea- came--a graduated, almost unconscither was chilly enough tv palliato the ous change to warmth-and, at the end use of four. For fear of a wot sheet, of ten minutes, it was hard to say whehowever, or some other such cold com- ther we were uncomfortablo or not. A fort, we took care to call for ao aldi- few minutes more brought a sensation tional covering, and supplied the hiatus of absoluto physical pleasure, and I for the night with our plaids and over- began to think that, after all, water was coats.

iny element, and that it was quite a misII.

take that I was not furnished with tasty

red fins like a perclı,or a convenient long FIRST DIPS IN GRIEFENBENC. tail, for sculling, liko a polliwog. Early in the morning, Priessnitzcamo Just at this pleasant stage of the exinto our room, followed by Franz, the periment, when I would have been glad bathman, and by Irwine, who lent liim- tu continue it longer, Priessnitz came self as interpreter. I saw before me a back and declared us ready for the medium-sized person, with weather-beat plunge-bath. Franz turned up tho on features; a complexion which would blanket so as to leave my feet and have been fair but for decp sun-burn; ankles free, shod mo with a pair of cyes of blue inclining to gray ; thin straw slippers, set me unsteadily uplight-brown hair touched in with silver, right, liko u staggering ninepin, took and an expression rescrved, composed, firm hold of my cnvelopments begrave, and carnest. lle sometimes hind, and started me on iny pilgrimage. smiled very pleasantly, but he spoke I set off at the rate of a furlong an littic, and more, in general, an air of hour, which was the top of my possiquiet, simple dignity. Altogether, I blo speed under the circumstancos. felt as if I were in the presencu of a Forming a littlo procession, with Priesskindly-tempered man of superior mind, nitz ahead as the officiating priest, accustomed to command, and habitual. then myself as the walking corpse, and ly confident in his own powers. I after then Franz as sexton, we moved solwards observed that he kept the same einnly on, until wo reached a stairway impassive self-possession in the pres- leading into a most gloomy and lowence of every one, were it even tho spirito cellar. Dark, rude, dirty flaghighest noble of the lustrian em- stones were visible at tho bottom; pire.

while, from an unscen corner, bubbled He listened to a brief history of my the threatening voice of a runlet of wamalady, seeming very indifferent to its ter. Tho stair was so steep, and the past symptoms, but examining attent- steps so narrow, that it seemed in possible to descend without pitching for returning to its church-yard. I met ward, and, confiding myself desperately Neuville descending with a stiffness of to the attraction of gravitation, I cau- dignity which made me think of Buntiously raised my left foot, made a pivot ker Hill Monument walking down to of the right one, whiceled half a diame. get a bath in the harbor ; so woefully ter, settled carefully down sis inches, solemn, so dubious about his footing, so whceled back again to a front face, bolt upright and yet so tottering, that brought my dextral foot down, and he would have shaken the gravity of it found myself on the first step. Ten pyrainid, or moved a weeping crocorepetitions of this delicate and compli- dilo to laughter. Once more in the cated manæuvre carried me to the floor. double-bedded chamber, I gave myself ing of the cellar.

a few hurried rubs of supererogation. Franz now engineered me into a side- and was about dressing, when Neuvillos room, and halted me alongside of an ob- and Franz reappeared from the lower relong cistern, brimming with black wa- gions. With shivering fingers I seized ter, supplied by a brooklet, which fell my thick under-wrapper, and proceedinto it with a perpetual chilly gurgle. ed to don it, with a glorious sense of In a moment his practiced fingers hou anticipatory comfort. But that atmo). peeled me like an orange, only far cious Franz saw it, snatched it, tucked quicker than any orange was ever yet it under his arm, made a grab nest at stripped of its envelop. As I shuffed my drawers and stockings, and then oft' the last tag of that humid coil, the signified, by menacing signs, that I was stean curled up from my body, as from to leave my cloak on its nuil. No luckan acceptable sacrifice, or an ear of hot less urchin in Dotheboys Hall was ever boiled corn. Priessnitz pointed to the stripped half so pitilessly. As for cistern, like an angel of destiny signing Veuville, who had been toasting himto my tomb; and I bolted into it in a self over American fires through the hurry, as wise people always bolt out mediocre chill of a Florentine winter, of the frying-pan into the fire, when and was as sensitivo to wind as a butthere is no help for it. In a minute my terfly, or a weathercock, or Mr. Jarnwhole surface ras so perfectly iced dyce himself, he was despoiled with that it felt hard, smooth, and glossy, the silme hyperboreau unkindness. like a skin of marble. I got out on Out we went, nearly as thinly dressed the first symptom of permission, when as Adam and Eve, but leaving no ParaFranz set about rubbing me down, with dise behind us; forth we hurried, driven a new linen sheet, still possessed of all by Franz, that bald-headed cherub, hor. its nativo asperity. If I had been a ribly armed with a wet sheet; away into mammoth or an ichthyosaurus, with a the woods we fled, to wander like Cains, cuticle a foot thick, he could not have and drink three or four tuinblers of waput more emphasis into his efforts to ter before we might venture back to bring my blood back to a rigorous cir- breakfast. culation. Priessnitz joined in as if he I took my first taste at the Houseenjoyed the exercise, and honored me fountain, and swallowed a pint with with a scarching attrition froin his difficulty. I seemed to be chokc-full kooring fingers. Then, after examin- of water; oozing with it at every pore, ing me, to see if I grew healthfully like the carth in spring-time; ready to rosy under the excitement, ho signed brim over with it if I were turned ever me to throw a dry sheet over my shoul- so little off my perpendicular; fit to boil ders, and give myself an air-bath before and strain like a tea-kettle, should I a window, into which a fresh morning incautiously venture near a fire. It is breeze was pouring. Holding tight with astonishing how much moisture can be both hands to the corners of the slicet, absorbed into the system through the I flapped my linen wings as if I wero skin ; how nearly a man can resemble sone gigantic bat or butterfly, about to a water-logged ship, or a dropsicul cutako flight through the orifice, and soar cumber. away over the meadows. “Goot!" It was n raiv, misty morning—as are said Priessnitz, nodding his solemn nearly all Graefenberg mornings—and head in token of ample satisfaction; the chill humidity cropt like a breath of aud, folding my drapery around me, I ice through our thin remainder of raimarched up-stairs, like a statue look- ment. Loose and shaky, from our ing for a pedestal, or a belated ghost, coat-skirts to our teeth, we ambled up the hill, back of the establishment, in canes, with iron foot-spikes and curved hopes of sheltering ourselves in its handles, the thickest and fiercest that woods from an ill-dispositioned wind, could be had. Then we debated whether which blows, year in and year out, we should get drinking horns to wear over those unfortunate landscapes. over our shoulders, or drinking-cups to People passed us or met us every min. carry in our pockets. At last we deute--some just starting out, in a state cided in favor of the cups, and resolved of aguish misery; some returning, rosy to visit Freiwaldau after dinner, and and happy in their triumphant reac- choose some handsome ones of Bohetion. The wide path, moistened here mian glass. Then eleven o'clock ar. and there by spacious puddles, entered rived, and Franz had us away to sit the forest, and wound gradually up the face to face, for fifteen minutes, in tubs inountain. At every hundred yards or of cold water, at the end of which he so, smaller tracks diverged through the polished us off with wet sheets in lieu thickets, or a bubbling fountain re- of sand-paper. Then we got ashamed minded the passer that it was time to of the effeminacy of hats, and walked quench his thirst, if he had any. There out conspicuously under bare polls and must have been twenty miles of path. green umbrellas. At one o'clock came way around Graefenberg, all, or nearly dinner, which gave us hard work in the all of which had been paid for out of a digestive and peripatetic line for some small weekly tax levied on the patients. hours afterwards. At five, Franz wantSeveral score of fountains, some of them ed to put us in the wet sheet again, inere wooden troughs, others basins or and would not take "no" for an answer. obelisks of stone, had been erected by Then we had to walk half an hour or means of this same revenue. Then more to get warm; and, by the time we there was a bronze lion, and two other returned, it was necessary to eat more monuments of considerable cost, dedi. sour milk and mahogany. Then we cated to the honor of Priessnitz, one by remoistened bandages, preparatory to the Prussian patients, one by the Hun- trotting for an hour or two up and down garians, and the third, I believe, by the great, ill-lighted hall, in company somo noble or other.

with scores of other uncomfortable peoNow and then we found some favor- ple. The room was naturally chilly, ite fountain surrounded by invalids, built so expressly and by malice aforechatting cosily, or pausing to drain thought, as I believe ; in addition to their cups, and reminding one of a par- which, that rascally superintendent decel of hens clucking and drinking about lighted in throwing open an elevated a water-trough. Neuville and I made range of windows, thereby giving copia very respectable pedestrian effort that ous ingress to a damp wind that wan morning, and returned to the house with dered among our shivering forms like anxious voids in our stomachs, notwith- the ghost of a wet sheet. Nine o'clock standing that we occasionally stopped sent Franz after us, who insisted on to refill them with water. I should wetting our bandages and putting us have mentioned that Franz had surcin. immediately to bed, in as comfortless a gled us with broad linen bandages, of stato as half-drowned puppies. Rewhich the two first turns were wet, and peatedly in the night we woke, aching the two last dry, so as to constitute alto- with cold—sor our rations of bed-cloth. gether a kind of towel-and-water poul- ing were still restricted to a single tice. This is the finest digestive aid or blanket. At five in the morning, Franz curative that I know of; as much supe- was upon us, like the Philistines upon rior to stomachic pills and cordials as it Sampson, or like Sampson upon the is nearer to nature.

Philistines (for it seems to have been Breakfast was on the table, as it had nip and tuck between those old fellows) been for two hours, when we entered dragging us down again into those the eating-hall. Like the last night's awful nether regions of wet pavements, supper, it consisted of sweet and sour brooks, and cisterns. milk, with the usual rye and barley It was astonishing how rapidly we bread. By the time we had swallowed became fanaticized under the influence a disgraceful quantity of this simple of the cure, and the example of our felnutriment, our waist-bandages were dry, low-invalids. Before a week was over, and required a new wetting. Then we I had discarded all my woolen garments repaired to a booth and bought stout of every cut, and wore linen from head to foot, in a temperature, like that of a decessors in the building. In fact, when New England March, or a Charleston I think of his frictions, and conside: December. It blew every ininute, and how wet I was at the time, I almost raineel vearly as often; yet we caught wonder that I was not rubbed out of 110 colus, and were savagely indifferent existence, like a pencil-mark. Occato our discomforts. All this, too. was sionally it was impossible not to shout in despite of sarcastic declarations, or stamp under the excitation, at which mindo on

our arrival, that we would times the old Russian below would bomdress and behave like civilized people, hard our floor with his boots, in token and not like the slouching, bare-headed, of disapprobation. bare-footed fanatics around us.

Among so inany hoinely people as we It was, also, remarkable how this had about us, there wero necessarily general carelessness in exteriors depre- some whose ugliness ran into eccenciated the average beauty of the patients. tricity, if not absurdity. Neuville, who Among the five hundred persons who had an extraorılinary faculty at diswere under cure in Graefenberg and covering resemblances between men and Freiwaldau. there inust have been a beasts, or birds, soon fixed on one old number with some natural claims to gontleman as the Owl; and I was obliged comeliness; but, by dint of shabby to confess that, bating the lacle of clothes, cropped hair, and neglected clairs, the said human certainly did bear beards, this favored few had melted a striking likeness to the solemn anit way into the great aggregate of ugli- chorite of ornithology. He was a inan ness, or retained, like Lucifer, only a of about sixty; with light gray hair, doubtful halo of former beauty. One light gray beard, and a light gray suit of our party, a man of sensitive nerves, of clothes, so that, from a distance, you complained that the daily spectacle of inight suppose hiin to be dressed in such a deteriorated humanity made him liglit gray feathers. He was tolerably u..well, and that he never should con- bare of chin, and liis mouth had retired valesce until he could see some hand. into obscurity under a bower of light svine people.

gray moustachios. His long, curved III.

nose looked wonderfully like a beak,

and his eyes were always wide open ('ERTAIS GRAEFESBERGJIERS.

with an expression of unqualified astonNEUVILLE and I had a pearl of a bath- ishunent. However early we rose, bonman. Ile was a strong, slow, blue-eyed, ever fast and far we went, we invariably light-colored, Silesian peasant, who had met hiin already returning, as if he had once possessed a scalp full of sandy hair, started out for his inorning walk some but had lost at least half of it in his time the day previous. Veuville affirmjourney to middle life. His whole ap. ed that he stayed in the woods all night, pearance, and especially his sinooth, and amused himself with hooting and shining pate, recked with an indescrib- chasing field-mice until daybreak, when ably cool, dewy expression, which made he would leave off at the approach of one think of cucumbers, wet pebbles, the carliest patients, and hurry down to drenched roses, or heads of lettuce after the establishment to take a bath. a shower. Seuville insisted that he Another interesting personage was a gained this fresh appearance by living middlo-aged, muscular llungarian, with on such things as celery and water- startling black eyes and wary black cresses, and by sleeping in one of the beard, who had the fame of being crazy. cisterns, or, perhaps, down a well like a or at least unreasonably original. He bull-frog. It may be, indeed, that the carried an cnormous yellow cane, ono instinct of association deceived us, and end of which was fashioned into a passthat we imputed this aqueous nature to able flute. He always walked alone, the man solely because he had so inuch like a man who had dealings with fairies to do with our baths; but however that and wood-nymplis, and, when he thought was, we certainly never looked at him no human being was within hearing, he without being impressed with the idea would put liis cane to his lips, and treat that he would slice up cold and juicy, his elfin friends to a melody. If a wanlike a melou or a tomato.

dering fellow-patient came upon him in Franz exhibited a forty-hostler power one of these dulcet inoments, le dropped iu rubbing us down, and had, perhaps, the end of his cane, whisked it about curried the hides of our quadruped pro- unconcernedly, and looked all around,

« 上一頁繼續 »