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The woods are sighing!
And the wild birds crying !
Dark pines are groaning !
And night winds are moaning!
And muttering thunder rumbles hoarse and deep!
Come, Sisters, come, come!
Down, Spirits, down, down!
Scream amid the dashing waves, and shriek among the willows! Her voice ended in a wild shriek, rity which encompassed me. The inand she disappeared. I had no cou- cidents of last night returned forcibly rage to follow up this adventure. to my mind; there was something Her character seemed to change mysterious, unreal, and preternatuhere; enthusiasm degenerated into ral in every thing connected with that frenzy, and gentleness gave way to Vale, and this was a fit place forexecutmore than sybilline extravagance of ing the final catastrophe. As I passed voice and gesture. I returned to the on, at intervals some horrid thing cottage, and as I did not wish to be would brush by me, and a wet flaccid questioned by the woman concern- wing like that of a monstrous bat would ing her daughter, I retired immedi- flap me in the face; sometimes a phanately to my chamber.
tom would come and whisper busily, There was something of a forebode in my ear, yet I heard nothing; and ing nature in this last incident. The I saw many hideous shapes, who by morning after, I received a post let- their distortions were apparently in ter from the neighbouring town whi- the acts of screaming, laughing, and ther the widow had gone for provi- making other abominable noises, yet sions, acquainting me that my father the air was as silent as death. All was on his death-bed, and requiring of a sudden, this subterranean pasmy immediate attendance to receive sage of horror and darkness opened his last blessing. This was impera- into the bright fields of day; I was tive; and though I had neither seen reinspirited; but the recollection of nor heard of Lilian since the pre- the dreary glen, the vale, Lilian and ceding night, after having taken a her preternatural disappearance, still hasty leave of her mother, I set off remained. Pondering on these subimmediately to the village where I jects, and endeavouring to account might procure some mode of convey- for them in some probable manner, I ance to my father's residence. The proceeded through the open valley direct path from the Vale of the Wa- into which the sides of the glen had terfalls to the village lay through one widened, and passing by a tuft of of the glens or dingles in which the green bushes, I thought I heard from valley terminated. The sides of the within them, some one weeping like mountains which formed this defile a deserted child. I immediately were so precipitous that they almost opened them, and to my astonishment met overhead, and they were more- found Lilian sitting on the green plat over clothed with a dark mantle of in the midst with her head in her lap, hanging fir, which increased the lamenting piteously, and drowned in gloom and horror of the place. At a flood of tears. She rose and spread the very bottom lay the path, and as her arms to receive me. I flew to I looked up the sides of this dreary her embrace, but when I thought to profound, which seemed the very have caught her to my bosom, she realization of the Valley of the Sha- was still at the same distance from dow of Death, my fancy grew be- me as before. “ Lilian,” said I,“ why wildered ; though waking, I seemed do you avoid me? I am going.” “I to walk in a dream, and a thousand know it,” she replied, “and I came dim and terrible phantoms appeared to take my last farewell.” « Not the to rise from the brambles under my last, not the last, dear girl! (said I, feet, and darken still more the obscu- forgetting yesterday's adventure) if
heaven will spare us for each other: ceiving me silent, she said, “Come,
Farewell the groves, and farewell the bowers!
And farewell, Lilian !... Here she was interrupted by a loud peatedly, till she faded entirely from laugh uttered over my shoulder. I my view. turned to see from whom it came, When I reached my father's house, but no one appeared. On turning I found him partially recovered. I again towards Lilian, she was gone. accompanied him to Italy, where he Immoveable with astonishment, I had been ordered by his physicians. stood for some time stupified, but re- -too late however for his preservacovering my senses, I called several tion; he died within a few miles of times, “Lilian, Lilian! dear Lilian, Turin. My attention to him on his answer me!" She appeared a long death-bed was necessarily unremitway off at the entrance of the valley, ting; and this, combined with my own with her hands covering her face, and previous delicate state of health, ocwalking slowly towards her home. casioned a relapse of my nervous disI now recollected my father, and con- order. With some difficulty. I residering that it would be useless to covered so much of my health as to pursue this adventure any farther at think of returning to my native counpresent, summoning up my courage, try, to which the desire of revisiting I proceeded onwards to the village. the Vale of the Waterfalls, and inI had scarcely walked twenty paces, vestigating its mysteries completely, when, to my utter surprise, this apó was no small inducement. The unparition stood before me again in the ceasing attendance which my father's midst of the path, but when I ap- illness required upon my part, added proached, quitted it and appeared on to the novelty of scene and society, the top of some rock or prominence had prevented me from dwelling inat a distance, where her small figure tensely on the extraordinary incidents whitening in the sun would seem to which I so lately experienced; but kiss its hand to me as I passed. In my thoughts now reverted naturally this way, she continued to accom- to them, as well from my innate tenpany me, till the signs of population dency to the romantic, as from the began to appear. She had gradually singularity of the facts themselves, kept behind me as I approached the and the influence of my late illness high road, and when I at length and my father's death, in rendering reached it, on looking round I per- such melancholy recollections attracceived her standing on a high rock at tive. The cottage where my father some distance, the sunbeams glisten- died was situated on the borders of ing in her eyes which were filled with a lake in the bosom of a deep valley tears, whilst she kissed her hand re- among the Piedmontese hills, and I was sitting, about the close of the on his approach I made inquiries evening, in the room that had been concerning the widow and her daughhis, ruminating successively on him ter. He replied, that the person who and on Lilian. The window where had lived in the cottage was dead I sat looked out on the lake which some months, that she never had any lay in calm unruffled stillness before daughter to his knowledge, but lived me, and the blue mountains towards quite alone; that the only person he the west were just sinking into that had ever heard of in the valley, bemellow haze which characterises the side her, was a young man who came softness of an Italian evening ; the there for the recovery of his health, lattice was open, and I leaned for but he remained for a short time ward to catch the summer breeze as only; that the cottage now belonged it gently moved the tendrils of a jes- to himself, and he was about repairsamine which crept to the roof of ing it for his own family. This ac the cottage. A rustic bench outside count, to me, appeared very singurose nearly to the level of the win- lar. I went to the entrance of the dow ;-Lilian came and sat down on dreary glen, where I had experienced it. I started at the sight, but looking such horrors. The mountains seemsteadfastly on the figure, I saw it melt ed to have opened overhead, and the gradually into air. In a little time it place was comparatively lightsome. appeared standing on the bright sur- I passed through it safely, and came face of the lake, but disappeared in the to the circle of green bushes where I same manner as before. Then on a rock had found Lilian weeping. A rude at some distance, and again vanished. stone cross stood in the midst. It I had no doubt but this was a sha- was apparently of very great age, dow raised by my own imagination, yet I never had observed it before. pursuing the same train of ideas ina These things were still more extratensely. Indeed the figure I now ordinary. On returning to the vilsaw was very different from the lage, the inhabitants gave me the original
in the Vale of the Water- same account as the peasant had, falls. The form was evidently in- and when I spoke of Lilian they substantial; the figure, though pre seemed not to understand me. Many serving its characteristic outlines, was of them recognised me, yet I could emaciated and stiff; the bloom had gain no father satisfaction. They also totally faded froin its cheek and lip, called the vale by a different name. and was replaced by the wan sickli: I have frequently revisited this ness of death; the eyes were glazed valley, but never could obtain any and motionless. “ Lilian is dead,” intelligence concerning the extraorsaid I. Whilst I journeyed home, the dinary being whom it was my fortune figure occasionally appeared, but at alone to have met there. An im each time more faintly than before, penetrable veil seemed to have been till it disappeared entirely.
drawn over her history, and I am at Upon reaching England, the Vale length compelled to give up all atof the Waterfalls was my first object. tempts at investigating it. That she I quickly sought out the village near was mortal and had actual existence, to which it lay, and pursuing my the evidence of my senses, and my former steps, soon found myself in disbelief in the theory of spirits visitthe midst of the valley. It was ing this world, induce me to assert; beautiful as ever, but methought ap- yet it is totally unaccountable how peared to wear less the air of en- such a being could exist, and chantment than when I had left it. but the whole world, with one exI turned to the cottage ; it was in ception, remain ignorant of it. I ruins. The bower was overgrown have never been able to come to any with nettles and tall weeds; the conclusion upon this point; some smooth plat had shot up into long times, indeed, I am inclined to think rank grass that waved heavily in the that this vision of Lilian of the Vale was breeze, and emitted a close suffocat- a mere creation of my own brain, naing odour. As I stood ruminating turally very imaginative, and at the on these changes, my heart swelling period of this adventure, disturbed with the melancholy conviction that and overheated by the fever which Lilian was indeed no more, a pea- accompanies a nervous disease such sant appeared on the hills, carrying a
as mine. mattock and other instruments. Up
SCHILLER'S LIFE AND WRITINGS,
FROM HIS SETTLEMENT AT JENA TO HIS DEATH (1790–1805.) The duties of his new office natu- to practice. He was now busied rally called upon Schiller to devote with the History of the Thirty Years' himself with double zeal to history; War. a subject, which from choice he had This work, which appeared in 1791, already entered on with so much is considered by the German critics eagerness. In the study of it, we as his chief performance in this dehave seen above how his strongest partment of literature: the Revolt of faculties and tastes were exercised the Netherlands, the only one which and gratified; and new opportuni- could have vied with it, never was ties were now combined with new completed; otherwise, in our opimotives for persisting in his efforts. nion, it might have been superior. Concerning the plan or the success of Either of the two would have sufficed his academical prelections, we have to secure for Schiller a distinguished scarcely any notice: in his class, it rank among historians, of the class is said, he used most frequently to denominated philosophical; though speak extempore; and his delivery even both together, they afford but was not distinguished by fluency or a feeble exemplification of the ideas grace,-a circumstance to be im- which he entertained on the manner puted to the agitation of a public of composing history. In his view, appearance, for as Woltmann assures the business of history is not merely us, “ the beauty, the eloquence, ease to record, but to interpret; it inand true instructiveness with which volves 'not only a clear conception he could continuously express him- and a lively exposition of events and self in private, were acknowledged characters, but a sound, enlightened and admired by all his friends." His theory of individual and national matter, we suppose, would make morality, a general philosophy of amends for these deficiencies of man- human life, whereby to judge of ner: to judge from his introductory them, and measure their effects. The lecture, preserved in his works, with historian now stands on higher ground, the title, What is Universal His- takes in a wider range than those tory, and with what views should it be that went before him; he can now studied, there perhaps has never been survey vast tracts of human action, in Europe another course of history and deduce its laws from an expesketched out on principles so magni- rience extending over many climes ficent and philosophical. But college and ages. With his ideas, moreover, exercises were far from being his ul. his feelings ought to be enlarged: timate object; nor did he rest satis- he should regard the interests not of fied with mere visions of perfection: any sect or state, but of mankind; the compass of the outline he had the progress not of any class of arts traced, for a proper historian, was or opinions, but of universal happiscarcely greater than the assiduity ness and refinement. His narrative, with which he strove to fill it up. in short, should be moulded accordHis letters breathe a spirit not only ing to the science, and impregnated of diligence but of ardour; he seems with the liberal spirit of his time. intent with all his strength upon this Voltaire is generally conceived to fresh pursuit; and delighted with the have invented and introduced a new vast prospects of untouched and at- method of composing history: the tractive speculation, which were chief historians that have followed opening around him on every side. him have been by way of eminence He professed himself to be exceed- denominated philosophical. This is ingly “contented with his business: hardly correct. Voltaire wrote hishis ideas on the nature of it were ac- tory with greater talent, but scarcequiring both extension and distinct- ly with a new species of talent: he ness; and every moment of his lei- applied the ideas of the eighteenth sure was employed in reducing them century to the subject; but in this
there was nothing radically new. have been influential on the progress In the hands of a thinking writer his- of the species." tory has always been philosophy That there is not some excess in teaching by experience;" that is, such this comprehensive, cosmopolitan philosophy as the age of the historian philosophy, may perhaps be liable to has afforded. For a Greek or Roman, question. Nature herself has, wise it was natural to look upon events ly no doubt, partitioned us into with an eye to their effect on his "kindreds, and nations, and tongues: own city or country, and to try them it is among our instincts to grow by a code of principles, in which the warm in behalf of our country, simprosperity or extension of this formed ply for its own sake ; and the busia leading object. For a monkish ness of reason seems to be to chasten chronicler, it was natural to estimate and direct our instincts, never to de the progress of affairs by the number stroy them. We require individualiof abbeys founded; the virtue of men, ty in our attachments: the sympathy, by the sum total of donations to the which is expanded over all men, will clergy. And for a thinker of the commonly be found so much attenuatpresent day, it is equally natural to ed by the process that it cannot be measure the occurrences of history effective on any. And as it is in naby quite a different standard; by ture, so it is in art, which ought to their int upon the general des- be the image of it. Universal phitiny of man, their tendency to ob- lanthropy forms but a precarious and struct or to forward him in his ad- very powerless rule of conduct; and vancement towards liberty, know- the si
progress of the species,” will ledge, true religion and dignity of turn out equally unfitted for deeply mind. Each of these narrators sim- exciting the imagination. It is not ply measures by the scale, which is with freedom that we can sympaconsidered for the time as expressing thize, but with free men. There the great concerns and duties of hu- ought, indeed, to be in history a manity.
spirit superior to petty distinctions Schiller's views on this matter and vulgar partialities; our particuwere, as might have been expected, lar affections ought to be enlightened of the most enlarged kind. “ It seems and purified; but they should not be to me,” said he, in one of his letters, abandoned, or, such is the condition “ that in writing history for the mo- of humanity, our feelings must evaderns, we should try to communicate porate and fade away in that extreme to it such an interest as the history diffusion. Perhaps, in a certain sense, of the Peloponnesian war had for the the surest mode of pleasing and inGreeks. Now this is the problem : structing all nations is to write for to choose and arrange your materials so that, to interest, they shall not This too Schiller was aware of, need the aid of decoration. We mo- and had in part attended to. Bederns have a source of interest
at our sides, the Thirty Years' War is a subdisposal, which no Greek or Roman ject in which nationality of feeling was acquainted with, and which the may be even wholly spared, better patriotic interest does not nearly than in almost any other. It is not a equal. This last, in general, is chiefly German but a European subject; of importance for unripe nations ; for it forms the concluding portion of the youth of the world. But we the Reformation, and this is an event may excite a very different sort of belonging not to any country in parinterest if we represent each remark- ticular, but to the human race. Yet, able occurrence that happened to if we mistake not, this over-tendency men as of importance to man. It is to generalization both in thought and a poor and little aim to write for one sentiment has rather hurt the present nation; a philosophic spirit cannot work. The philosophy, with which tolerate such limits, cannot bound it is imbued, now and then grows its views to a form of human nature vague from its abstractness, ineffecso arbitrary, fluctuating, accidental. tual from its refinement: the enthuThe most powerful nation is but a siasm which pervades it, elevated, fragment; and thinking minds will strong, enlightened, would have told not grow warm on its account, except better on our hearts, had it been conin so far as this nation or its fortunes fined within a narrower space, and