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reason they have called the Mannsfelder here, that he may take them to heretical Schweidnitz, where they can practise their idolatry undisturbedly; and because, out of zeal for the true faith, I wished to prevent their heathenish abominations, I am calumniated by the apostate women and their accomplice."
"Heap not new insults upon us, ," cried Dorn, forgetting in whose presence he stood. "You know that you yet owe me satisfaction for those of last evening. You promised indeed to meet me this morning; but you preferred to rob me of my liberty and the ability to punish you for the outrage you committed, by false charges.'
"Mannsfelder! Mannsfelder!" exclaimed the duke, secretly delighted with the boldness of the warrior; "We also are yet here!" and turning to the captain, he asked; "What have you to say to his accusation ?"
"Challenged and not appear!" cried he, as the captain stood mute, with frightfully flashing eyes. "A Friedlandish captain! Announce yourself to the officer of the day as under arrest, and immediately afterwards seek for your discharge. You can no longer serve under Wallenstein !"
"Yet the captain's information with regard to the secret church-going of these women may well deserve some consideration," remarked the jesuit, rising.
"A soldier should be no priestly spy," angrily answered the duke. "I am the emperor's generalissimo; but not his inquisitor. What care I about the catechisms of his subjects. They may believe what they like, provided they but give what they should. I adhere to my decision."
With a devout sigh the jesuit again seated himself; and, in despair at the rebound of his last arrow, the captain left the hall.
With a kindness which strangely suited his stony face, the duke now stepped directly to Dorn and slapped him upon the shoulder. "You are laconic and resolute," said he, "I like that; and moreover I must have seen this face somewhere." "Perhaps on the Elbe near Dessau," answered Dorn. "Right!" cried the duke. "You are the officer who held the last entrenchment with such obstinacy. I liked you, even then. Will you become a major in my regiment of life-guards? I shall conclude a peace with Denmark at the earliest opportunity, and so your Danish commission need be no hindrance."
To the true hero the truth may be fearlessly spoken," "I cannot fight against my conscience."
"I regret that any obstacle deprives me of your services,"
said the duke. "I would very willingly do something to oblige you. Ask some favour of me!"
"I have only to ask you," said Dorn, "to permit me to depart immediately for Schweidnitz with these ladies, and also your permission to take back with me the poor boy whom I tore from his friends in obedience to your commands."
"Well, take the whole baggage, comrade," said the duke beneficently: ، and a prosperous journey to you ! I will cause the necessary papers to be given you."
The duke kindly nodded permission to retire, and Dorn led the ladies from the hall.
"A happy escape from the lion's den!" sighed the matron with a lighter heart, as she turned her back upon the palace. "What may not one accomplish who is a man in the fullest sense of the word!" cried the enthusiastic Faith, pressing Dorn's hand to her heart.
"I know not," said Dorn pensively, "whether I shall have especial reason to rejoice at the turn the affair has taken or not. It just now occurs to me that the dismission of your persecutor from his quarters in your house, removes the evil which impelled you to leave Sagan, and that you may not now wish to accompany me to Schweidnitz."
"O! we have on many accounts long desired to visit our Katharine," said Faith with great earnestness. "Our house can never remain long free from this detestable quartering, and who knows how the next may conduct himself! Besides, I fear the captain now as much as I did before. He has lost the power of tormenting us, and his bread into the bargain. He will soon be released from the guard-house, and a bad man, however insignificant may be his situation, has the power to njure with the will!"
"My daughter's zeal," smilingly interposed the matron, saves me the trouble of explaining my reasons for wishing to go with you. Let it suffice, that we ride with you to Schweidnitz."
(To be continued.)
THE CITY CHURCH.
EVERY Sabbath morning, in the summer time, I thrust back the curtains, to watch the sunrise stealing down a church steeple, which stands opposite my chamber window. First, the weathercock begins to flash; then, a fainter lustre gives the
spire an airy aspect; next it encroaches on the tower, and causes the index of the dial to glisten like gold, as it points to the gilded figure of the hour. Now, the loftiest window gleams, and now the lower. This carved frame-work of the portal is marked strongly out. At length, the morning glory, in its descent from Heaven, comes down the stone steps, one by one; and there stands the steeple, glowing with fresh radiance, while the shades of twilight still hide themselves among the nooks of the adjacent buildings. Methinks, though the same sun brightens it, every fair morning, yet the steeple has a peculiar robe of brightness for the Sabbath.
By dwelling near a church, a person soon contracts an attachment for the edifice. We naturally personify it, and conceive its massive walls, and its dim emptiness, to be instinct with a calm, and meditative, and somewhat melancholy spirit. But the steeple stands foremost, in our thoughts, as well as locally. It impresses us as a giant, with a mind comprehensive and discriminating enough to care for the great and small concerns of all the city. Hourly, while it speaks a moral to the few that think, it reminds thousands of busy individuals of their separate and most secret affairs. It is the steeple, too, that flings abroad the hurried and irregular accents of general alarm; neither have gladness and festivity found a better utterance, than by its tongue; and when the dead are slowly passing to their home, the steeple has a melancholy voice to bid them welcome. Yet, in spite of this connexion with human interests, what a moral loneliness, on week days, broods round about its stately height! It has no kindred with the houses above which it towers; it looks down into the narrow thoroughfare, the lonelier, because the crowd are elbowing their passage at its base. A glance at the body of the church deepens this impression. Within, by the light of distant windows, amid refracted shadows, we discern the vacant pews and empty galleries, the silent organ, the voiceless pulpit, and the clock, which tells to solitude how time is passing. Time-where man lives not-what is it but eternity? And in the church, we might suppose, are garnered up, throughout the week, all thoughts and feelings that have reference to eternity, until the holy day comes round again, to let them forth. Might not, then, its more appropriate site be in the outskirts of the town, with space for old trees to wave around it, and throw their solemn shadows over a quiet green? We will say more of this, hereafter.
But, on the Sabbath, I watch the earliest sunshine, and fancy
that a holier brightness marks the day, when there shall be no buzz of voices on the Exchange, nor traffic in the shops, nor crowd, nor business, anywhere but at church. Many have fancied so. For my own part, whether I see it scattered down among tangled woods, or beaming broad across the fields, or hemmed in between brick buildings, or tracing out the figure of the casement on my chamber floor, still I recognise the Sabbath sunshine. And ever let me recognise it! Some illusions, and this among them, are the shadows of great truths, Doubts may flit around me, or seem to close their evil wings, and settle down; but, so long as I imagine that the earth is hal, lowed, and the light of heaven retains its sanctity, on the Sabbath-while that blessed sunshine lives within me-never can my soul have lost the instinct of its faith. If it have gone astray, it will return again.
I love to spend such pleasant Sabbaths, from morning till night, behind the curtain of my open window, Are they spent amiss? Every spot, so near the church as to be visited by the circling shadow of the steeple, should be deemed consecrated ground, to-day. With stronger truth be it said, that a devout heart may consecrate a den of thieves, as an evil one may convert a temple to the same. My heart, perhaps, has not such holy, nor, I would fain trust, such impious potency. It must suffice, that, though my form be absent, my inner man goes constantly to church, while many, whose bodily presence_fills the accustomed seats, have left their souls at home. But I am there, even before my friend, the sexton. At length, he comes -a man of kindly, but sombre aspect, in dark gray clothes,. and hair of the same mixture-he comes, and applies his key to the wide portal. Now, my thoughts may go in among the dusty pews, or ascend the pulpit without sacrilege, but soon come forth again, to enjoy the music of the bell. How glad, yet solemn too! All the steeples in the city are talking together, aloft in the sunny air, and rejoicing among themselves, while their spires point heavenward. Meantime, here are the children assembling to the Sabbath-school, which is kept somewhere behind the church. Often, while looking at the arched portal, I have been gladdened by the sight of a score of these little girls and boys, in pink, blue, yellow, and crimson frocks, bursting suddenly forth into the sunshine, like a swarm of gay butterflies that had been shut up in the solemn gloom. Or I might compare them to cherubs, haunting that holy place.
About a quarter of an hour before the second ringing of the bell, individuals of the congregation begin to appear. The
earliest is invariably an old woman in black, whose bent frame and rounded shoulders are evidently laden with some heavy affliction, which she is eager to rest upon the altar. Would that the Sabbath came twice as often, for the sake of that sorrowful old soul! There is an elderly man, also, who arrives in good season, and leans against the corner of the tower, just within the line of its shadow, looking downward with a darksome brow. I sometimes fancy that the old woman is the happier of the two. After these, others drop in singly, and by twos and threes. At last, and always with an unexpected sensation, the bell turns in the steeple overhead, and throws out an irregular clangor, jarring the tower to its foundation. As if there were magic in the sound, the sidewalks of the street, both up and down along, are immediately thronged with two long lines of people, all converging hitherward, and streaming into the church. Perhaps the roar of a coach draws nearera deeper thunder by its contrast with the surrounding stillness -until it sets down the wealthy worshippers at the portal, among their humblest brethren. Beyond that entrance, in theory at least, there are no distinctions of earthly rank; nor, indeed, by the goodly apparel which is flaunting in the sun, would there seem to be such, on the hither side. Those pretty girls! Why will they disturb my pious meditations! Of all days in the week, they should strive to look least fascinating on the Sabbath, instead of heightening their mortal loveliness, as if to rival the blessed angels, and keep our thoughts from heaven. Were I the minister himself, I must needs look. One girl is white muslin from the waist upwards, and black silk downwards to her slippers; a second blushes from top-knot to shoe-tie, one universal scarlet; another shines of a pervading yellow, as if she had made a garment of the sunshine. The greater part, however, have adopted a milder cheerfulness of hue. Their veils, especially when the wind raises them, give a lightness to the general effect, and make them appear like airy phantoms, as they flit up the steps, and vanish into the sombre door-way. Nearly all-though it is very strange that I should know it-wear white stockings, white as snow, and neat slippers, laced crosswise with black riband.
Here comes the clergyman, slow and solemn, in severe simplicity. His aspect claims my reverence, but cannot win my love. Were I to picture Saint Peter, keeping fast the gate of Heaven, and frowning, more stern than pitiful, on the wretched appli cants, that face should be my study. By middle age, or sooner, the creed has generally wrought upon the heart, or