« 上一页继续 »
ing their necks, and pawing with their hoofs, could, with difficulty, make their way; and drawn by these, a cart full of dead bodies, and after that another, and then another, and another; and on each hand monatti walking by the side of the horses, hastening them on with whips, blows and curses. These corpses were, for the most part, naked, while some were miserably enveloped in tattered sheets, and were heaped up and twined together, so that, at every trifling obstacle, at every jolt, these fatal groups were seen quivering and falling into horrible confusion, heads dangling down, women's long tresses dishevelled, arms torn off and striking against the wheels, exhibiting, to the already horror-stricken view, how such a spectacle may become still more wretched and disgraceful. *
Coming down the steps of one of the door-ways, and advancing towards the convoy, he beheld a woman, whose
appearance announced still-remaining, though somewhat advanced youthfulness; a veiled and dimmed, but not destroyed beauty, was still apparent, in spite of much suffering and a fatal languor. Her gait was weary, but not tottering; no tears fell from her eyes, though they bore tokens of having shed many; there was something peaceful and profound in her sorrow, which indicated a mind fully conscious, and sensitive enough to feel it. But it was not only her own appearance, which, in the midst of so much misery, marked her out so especially as an object of commiseration, and revived in her behalf a feeling now exhausted, extinguished in men's hearts. She carried in her arms a little child, about nine years old, now a lifeless body; but laid out and arranged, with her hair parted on her forehead, and in a white and remarkably clean dress, as if those hands had decked her out for a long-promised feast, granted as a reward. Nor was she lying there, but upheld and adjusted on one arm, with her breast reclining against her mother's, like a living creature ; save that a delicate little hand, as white as wax, hung from one side with a kind of inanimate weight, and the head rested upon her mother's shoulder with an abandonment deeper than that of sleep: her mother; for, even if their likeness to each other had not given assurance of the fact, the countenance which still depicted any feeling would have clearly revealed it.
A horrible-looking monatto approached the woman, and attempted to take the burden from her arms, with a kind of unusual respect, however, and with involuntary hesitation. But she, slightly drawing back, yet with the air of one who shows neither scorn nor displeasure, said, “ No, don't take her from me yet; I must place her myself on this cart, here.” So saying, she opened her hand, displaying a purse which she held in it, and dropped it into that which the monatto extended towards her. She then continued, “ Promise me not to take a thread from around her, nor to let any one else attempt to do so, and to lay her in the ground thus."
The monatto laid his right hand on his heart, and then zealously, and almost obsequiously, — rather from the new feeling by which he was, as it were, subdued, than on account of the unlooked-for reward, - hastened to make a little room on the car for the infant dead. The lady, giving it a kiss on the forehead, laid it on the spot prepared for it, as upon a bed; arranged it there, covering it with a pure white linen cloth, and pronounced the parting words, " Farewell, Cecilia, rest in peace! This evening, too, we will join you, to rest together forever. In the mean while,
and the others." Then turning again to the monatto, “ You,” said she, “when you pass this way in the evening, may come to fetch me too, and not me only.”
So saying, she reëntered the house, and, after an instant, appeared at the window, holding in her arms another more dearlyloved one, still living, but with the marks of death on its countenance. She remained to contemplate these so unworthy obsequies of the first child, from the time the car started till it was. out of sight, and then disappeared. And what remained for her to do, but to lay upon the bed the only one that was left her, and to stretch herself beside it, that they might die together, as the flower already full-blown upon the stem falls together with the bud still enfolded in its calyx, under the scythe which levels alike the herbage of the field !
JENS BAGGESEN. 1764-1826.
“ Baggesen was born at Korsöer, and died at Hamburg. He was for a time professor in the University at Kiel ; but as travelling, and a residence in foreign capitals, seem to have been more in accordance with his restless spirit than a fixed abode in his native land, a large portion of his life was passed on the continent.'
[Translated from the Danish, by Longfellow.]
When my whole frame was but an ell in height;
And therefore I recall it with delight.
I sported in my tender mother's arms,
I rode a horse-back on grandfather's knee ;
And gold, and Greek, and love, unknown to me.
Then seemed to me this world far less in size ;
Likewise, it seemed to me less wicked far;
And longed for wings, that I might catch a star.
I saw the moon behind the island fade,
And thought, “0, were I on that island there,
Find out how large it is, how round, how fair!”
Wondering, I saw God's sun, through western skies,
Sink in the ocean's golden lap at night,
And paint the eastern heaven with crimson light;
And thought of God, the gracious Heavenly Father,
Who made me, and that lovely sun on high,
With childish reverence, my young lips did say
The prayer my pious mother taught to me; “O, gentle God! 0, let me strive alway
Still to be wise, and good, and follow thee!”
So prayed I for my father and my mother,
And for my sister, and for all the town;
Who, bent with age, went sighing up and down.
They perished, the blithe days of boyhood perished,
And all the gladness, all the peace, I knew!
God! may I never lose that too!
The following notice of this gifted and amiable lady is taken from a German periodical of 1843 :
“ Born upon a Finland estate not far from Abo, Frederika Bremer was, in her earliest years, removed to Sweden, where her father was an extensive land proprietor. The simple life of the family glided calmly away, from spring to autumn in the country, and from autumn to spring in the capital city, with agreeable society in either place, — their time being taken up principally in household duties, in familiar readings, where attention was mostly directed to the German classics, and in the practice of the arts.
“A sad reality, a deep and bitter melancholy - the origin of which, in consideration of her reluctance to explain it, we can only surmise, - here drew, like a dark, gloomy cloud, over the life of the young maiden; for many a year did she struggle with it, but at length she came out victorious, free and strong. The illusions of youth are dissolved, the spring-time of youth is past.' But a new youth, light and freedom, have arisen in the purified soul, and with renovated strength she goes to the daily task which she has recognized as her calling. She began early, even when but a girl, to write, yet it is but lately she has allowed any of her productions to be printed. On the verge of the autumn of life, she still delights in the same cheerful society to which she has been accustomed from her earliest spring days.
6. These revelations from the life of the authoress give a key to several of her female characters; a high-souled resignation, a calm and impartial contemplation of the world, a rising above the opposition of circumstances, and so forth. But that which imparts the calm and lofty bearing of her productions is the deep and warm religious tone which gushes like a spring, refreshing and purifying, from her inner life, and in all her works mirrors her soul brightly before us. The
devotion of a believing heart spreads itself through all the flowers of her fancy; and in all her writings, the yearnings of the soul for a higher world may be detected.”
Since the death of her parents, Miss Bremer has resided alternately at Stockholm, and with a female friend in the south of Sweden. unnecessary to add, that she is at present on a visit to our own country.
(From " The Neighbors ;” translated from the Swedish, by Mary Howitt.] RECONCILIATION BETWEEN BRUNO AND MA CHÈRE
MÈRE. With the most indescribable anxiety, I observed both mother and son, who now stood face to face. Their looks seemed to pierce through each other. Ma chère mère seemed to be smitten with the wildest amazement, and stepped a little backward. Bruno stepped a step forward, and said, slowly, and as with a benumbed tongue, “ You are rescued! God be praised! And for me now only remains to die, or to win forgiveness! My mother! my mother!” exclaimed he, at once, as if an angel had loosened tongue and feeling, while, with a heart-rending expression, he sank down and embraced her knees. “My mother! wilt thou not pardon? Wilt thou not bless thy son ? Take the curse from
brow! Mother! I have suffered much. I have wandered about, without peace; I am destitute of peace yet; peace can never be mine, while I am thrust from thy bosom! I have suffered; I have suffered much; I have repented; I can and will atone! But, then, you must pardon, you must bless me, mother! Mother, take away the curse! Lay a blessing on my head! Mother, will you not stanch the blood that flows on your account? See, mother!” — and Bruno raised his clotted locks, through which deep and streaming wounds were visible, “ see, mother, if thou wilt not lay thy hand here in blessing, I swear, by God! that this blood-stream shall never cease till my life has welled out with it, and has sunk me to the grave, on which alone thou wilt lay thy forgiveness! There, there, first shall I find peace! O, mother! was an error in young
and wild years then so unpardonable? Cannot a later life, of virtue and love, make atonement ? Mother! cast me not off! Let the voice of thy son penetrate to thy heart! Bestow on me forgiveness, full forgiveness !”