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through" which the line passes, this work presents a truly glorious picture of present and past. It has been published, we are informed, at an outlay of some fifteen hundred pounds, a large sum, if it is true; but only proportionate to the vast and varied interest and attraction of the subject of the work, and its demand on popular encouragement. By the aid of this very complete work we shall proceed to describe that truly magnificent line—the Great Western Railway.
"Bristol, the capital city of the West of England, has been distinguished for its commerce from a very early period, and was for many centuries the second city in the British dominions. Its position, upon a tide river, and surrounded by an extensive coal-field, appears as well fitted to secure a pre-eminence amongst the manufacturing interests of modern times as amongst those of commerce in days of yore. In practice, however, this has not been fulfilled. The manufacturers of England, since they have attained their present immense importance, have flourished chiefly in the Northern and Midland districts, and have not descended, in any great force, into the West."
It was natural to expect that the Railway System would be introduced at an earlier period amongst a population enriched by machinery, such as that iying northward of Birmingham, than amongst the men of commerce and agriculture who inhabit the West. Thus, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway was completed before any of the passenger-railways about Bristol wore commenced; and the Great Junction and London and Birmingham Railways both obtained their Acts earlier than the Great Western Railway: though, when the latter was brought forward, it received a far more cordial support from the population of its own districts than was the case with the northern lines.
Thirteen years have now elapsed since the Great Western Line was first proposed; mainly with the object of reviving the commerce of the ancient port of Bristol, in connecting it by this iron road with the Metropolis. The enterprise was a noble one, and reminds one of the recovery of its fortunes by Cabot, some three centuries and a half since.
The Railway project was warmly taken up; for we find Mr. Britton leaving his antiquarian pursuits to illustrate its advantages, in a Lecture read before the Literary and Philosophical Society of Bristol, Oct. 19, 1833. "London," says the Report, " from its greatness, is, and must long continue to be, the centre of wealth, of arts.and of commerce; but its port is not well situated for the trade of the West: a long and dangerous passage, during the winter season, of more than one hundred leagues, must be made by ships coming from the West. Could vessels discharge their cargo in this port, they would be in safety, and ready for another voyage; indeed, ships from America and the West Indies, under favourable circumstances, may make two voyages in the season; but the fortnight that it takes longer in going to London is often fatal to their doing so. This will show the advantage of a ready land communication with London, which is now afforded by the projected Western Railroad. By this, the cargo of a vessel discharged in Bristol, may, in six hours, be in the centre of London, and conveyed at a moderate price at all seasons of the year. Bristol may become, under these views, the Great Western Port of London, being but six hours' distance from her. It has been figuratively said that the Grand Junction Canal may be compared to the back-bone of England. Then, surely, we do not violate propriety by saying that the Great Western Railway may be the right arm of the Metropolis." This anticipation was not a mere rhetorical flourish; but, as we have just said, the promise has not been fulfilled. There were many difficulties at the outset: the advantages were, by no means, generally appreciated; the estimated capital,— two and a half millions,—was large; and 4 ho line was to be carried through a district altogether unused to such undertakings, and prc-occupied by powerful turn
pike-road and canal interests. It is not to our purpose to enumerate the several Acts of Parliament obtained for forming this Railway; but it should be mentioned, that, in the early stage of the proceedings, the promoters of the measure did not consider it practicable to apply to Parliament at once for an Act for the whole line. It was, likewise, at first intended to connect the line with the London and Birmingham Railway at Kensall Green, about four miles from the Metropolis; but the idea of this junction was abandoned, and a separate entrance into London secured.
Before we proceed to details, it may be as well to notice certain circumstances in which the Great Western district differs from any other. Its traffic is altogether of a higher class than that in the North: for example, the existence of such a city as Bath, or such a town as Cheltenham, (to which latter the line has been extended,) supported entirely by persons living upon their incomes, is peculiar to the West; and the passengers, if not so numerous, yet indulge in higher comforts than the general population of such towns as Birmingham or Manchester. The line of country westward of London, also, differs from every other lino in the number and character of the towns upon the route. "Of a train-load of passengers starting from London, a considerable number, and of the highest class, might be expected to leave the Railway at Windsor, a,t Reading, at Oxford, at Gloucester, at Cheltenham, or at Bath; comparatively few of the original passengers will leave at Bristol; whilst, on the other hand, the scats of many of those who had left the train would bo filled by persons proceeding to Bristol from the place for which the others had departed. This is wholly different from what takes place either upon the Birmingham, or upon any other line of Railway proceeding out of London; and the towns that have been named are, notoriously, centres of a numerous and wealthy population."
In choosing the course of the Railway, two lines of country were to be considered, between London and Bristol, or rather, between Reading and Bath; the one ascending the vale of the Kennet, keeping the high ground south of the Marlborough downs, and descending through the Cotteswold by the valley of the Avon; the other following the ravine of the Thames, from Reading to near Wallingford, ascending the great vale of Berks, at the foot, and to the north of the Marlborough downs; and therefore intersecting the crest of the Cotteswold, above Box, a village a few miles east of Bath.
Mr. Brunei, the appointed engineer to the Company, chose the latter line—to the north of the Marlborough downs—both as being, in an engineering point of view, the best line, and as affording, in a greater degree than any other, facilities of communication with Oxford, Gloucester, Cheltenham, South Wales, and the West of England generally; points of very great importance.
The line, accordingly, takes the following direction through the counties of Middlesex, Bucks, Berks, Wilts, and Somerset. It commences at Paddington, passes by Acton, Ealing, Hanwcll, over the Brent, to near the cattle-market at Southall, within two miles of Uxbridge; through Slough, and within one mile and three-quarters of Eton and Windsor: through Salt-hill to Maidenhead, where it crosses the Thames, and within six miles of Marlow; and thence passes within five of Wokingham and Henley, to Reading. The line next takes rather a northerly direction, ascending along the right bank of the Thames, which it crosses and recrosscs at Basildon and Moulsford, where it is four miles from Wallingford; and thence passes to Staunton, where it is four miles from Abingdon, and ten from Oxford. Its course then proceeds westward, within two miles and a half of Wantage, six miles of Faringdon, four of Highworth, and one and a half of Swindon, whence there is a ready communication with Marlborough, Hnngcrford, and the south of Berkshire, and whero the line is joined by the Cheltenham and Great Western Union Railway, now complete to Cirencester, and between Cheltenham aai Gloucester; the latter city being the intermediate point for future Railway communication between South Wales and the Metropolis. From the Swindon Station, taking a south westerly course, the line passes within half a mile of Wootton-Basset, six miles of Malmesbury, and six of Calne, through Chippenham, within lire miles of Melksham, and nine of Devizes, through the southern suburb of Bath, where it crosses the Avon, to Bristol. Here it passes close to the depot of the Coalpit-heath Railway, which brings down the coal of the Gloucestershire collieries, and will, when completed, form the line of railway communication between Bristol and Gloucester. The communication westward and south, from Bristol, is continued by the Bristol and Exeter Railway, now open through Bridgewater to Taunton, and in rouse of construction to Exeter. This line affords an easy access to Weston and the watering-places on the Severn; and Exmouth, Dawlish, Teignmouth, Torquay, ind the other places of resort in the south of Devon lie at no great distance from its extremity.
The Railway traverses a great variety of geological formations, and terminates in the centre of a district of high geological interest. As the arrangement of the strata is on the whole uniform, the upper and newer formations being found at the eastern end, and the older cropping out or rising to the surface in regular geological succession as they approach the West, there is little difficulty in arranging the order of their description: still, we are compelled, by want of space, to omit it, and summarily state that the formations intersected by the Railway extend from the London clay down to the coal-measures of the Bristol basin; and within a distance of thirty miles from that city, upon the railways that branch from it, are found all varieties of rocks. from chalk, to grauwacke and trap. It would be difficult to select a line or district possessing greater geological interest, and better fitted for the convenient study of the science itself. Accordingly, the chapter devoted to the " Geology" of the line, in the great work before us, is one of its most important sections.
Having thus briefly described the general and geological features of the country traversed by the Railway, we shall next bestow a short notice upon its main points of construction; and, first, of the gradients.
The greater part of the rise upon this line is concentrated within a comparatively short space by means of two inclined planes, upon one of which assistant power U employed, and the remainder of the line thus left free to be more economically worked. There is but one summit level, which is 77 miles from the London end; and, consequently, within about IS miles only from the centre of the whole line. This summit is 270 feet above the London depflt, and 292 above that at Bristol. From London the railway rises gradually to Maidenhead, Reading, and the Oxford Station at Steventon, by easy gradients, nowhere exceeding four feet in the mile, or one in 1,320, and frequently under this. This is a distance of 56 miles, and upon it occurs the heaviest traffic. From Steventon to the Swindon summit, the line continues to rise gradually, without undulations, at a maximum inclination of eight feet in the mile, or one in COO. From the summit level, the line descends by two inclined planes at Wootton-Basset and Box. The intermediate gradients do not exceed eight feet in the mile; the inclinations of the two planes are one in a hundred, or 52 feet in the mile. The length of the Wootton-Basset plane is one mile and 550 yards; it is surmounted without any extraordinary assistance. The Box plane is two miles and 660 yards in length, and upon it occurs the Box tunnel, the first out of London. Upon this plane an assistant engine is employed. From Bath to Bristol, the descent is one continued gradient of four feet in the mile, or one in 1320. Thus, the whole line, (118 miles 20 chains in length,) with the exception of the inclined planes, may be regarded practically as level; and it has been so arranged that four-fifths of the traffic are carried
on upon that part of the Railway of which the maximum gradient docs not exceed four feet in the mile.
From the latter advantage, the absence of objectionable curves, and the great proportion of passenger traffic expected upon the Great Western Railway, it was proposed at a very early period of the undertaking to travel at a higher speed than had been attained upon other Railways. With a view to this end, the permanent way was peculiarly laid—principally in fixing the gauge or distance between the rails at seven feet, a much greater width than had hitherto been adopted, and by which it was proposed to ensure greater steadiness than was otherwise consistent with high speed.
The rails upon the Great Western are what is called bridge-shaped, with wide wings, or flanges; they are laid upon continuous bearings of wood, instead of upon the interrupted support of chairs or pedestals, as usually employed in this country; and it was proposed by this means to obtain greater steadiness of motion, with less , noise, and less of that wear and tear which forms a very serious objection to high speeds upon ordinary Railways. The longitudinal bearings are half timbers of American yellow pine, connected together by transverse timbers. The whole frame is simply laid upon the road, which is previously covered with a bed of broken stone, burnt clay, or gravel, called technically "ballast," The main timbers are themselves canted or inclined inwards, at a slope of one in twenty; and the rail, of sixty pounds weight to the yard in length, are screwed down upon a strip of felt. The rails are almost wholly of Welsh iron, rolled at the several works of Dowlais, Ebbw-Vale, and Rhymny.
Such are the main constructive peculiarities of the "Great" Western Railway: by the magnitude and importance of its engineering works, entitled to the character of "Magnificent." \Vc now proceed to notice, in the order in which they occur, the principal objects on the line,and the picturesque country throughwhichit passes.
Starting from the Paddington Station, there is little to notice: the present arrangements are temporary only; a large plot of gound being set aside for the purposes of a permanent station. Nevertheless, we are struck with the vast space covered by the engine and carriage sheds and workshops. We are struck, too, with the colossal size of the engines. The carriages, also, are of excellent build and accommodation, and some of them cost 40tU. each. Some are eighteen feet long and eight feet wide, while others are twenty-one feet in length. Here, too, is kept the royal state carriage, fitted up for the accommodation of Her Majesty and Prince Albert. It is twenty-one feet in length, and nine feet in width, and the interior is divided into three compartments; the centre forming a saloon, twelve feet long, and six and a-half high, and httcd up with crimson and white silk, panelled with gilt mouldings in the style of Louis Quatorzc; and embellished with allegories of the four elements, painted by Parris. The furniture is of richly carved oak ; and the upper part of each end of the carriage is fitted with plate-;;lass, affording an uninterrupted view of the railway line. We have spoken of the vastness of the engines: one of them, " the Great Western," has driving-wheels eight feet in diameter, eighteen-inch cylinders; and two-feet stroke; and, in a trial made in J une last, this engine drew a train one hundred tons weight, at the rate of from sixty-five to seventy miles an hour; yet, with this extraordinary speed, the passengers had no feeling of uneasiness.
The Paddington depflt is crossed by three large bridges, or viaducts, carrying roads between various parts of the adjacent property, upon which a new town is now building, under long leases from the See of London. The large size and embellished character of the mansions, in a moment, impress the beholder with the gigantic spread of luxurious London, and its thousand-fold piles of patrician dwellings, more observable in this western suburb than in any other direction. Yet the eye soon leaves this palace-building grandeur, and returns to the Railway, which quits Paddington in cutting. On the right, however, is ^een the Kcnml Oroon Cemetery, with its glittering temple, and its classic monumental memorials—the emblems of the sleep of death, strangely contrasting with the turmoil of the Kailway progress, which can scarcely indicate the rapidity ot life. We have often lingered in this Cemetery—this vast and daily increasing assemblage of costly temple and column, mingled with foliage of funcrcal'liiic —and there reflected how the Great Town is daily contributing its dead to this city of tombs.
Opposite the Cemetery, we gain an occasional view of thevalo of the Thames, over Wandsworth and Kichmond, with the wood of Holland House in the foreground, and the Surrey chalk-hills in the extreme distance. The line here crosses the course of tho abandoned works of the Thames Junction Kailway, at about only aquartcrof a mile from the London and Birmingham Kitilway ; and from the top of the embankment, at Old Oak Common, there is a pleasant view of a tract of country, well studded with villas and other indications of opulence. The part of the line east of Acton, including the depot and terminus, forms "the Paddington extension," or that portion of the line formed after the plan was relinquished of entering London by the Birmingham Kailway from Kensal Green. Yet, by making private arrangements with the landowners, the works were commenced long before the Act for the extension was obtained; so that, by scvero engineering exertions, this part of the lino was completed at the same time with the portion between Acton and Maidenhead, which had been commenced under the original Act, nearly a year previously.
Wc soon reach the Ealing Station, five miles and ahalf from London, though from the line lying in cutting, we lose the picturesqueness of Ealing Common. We are now close on the northern side of the Uxbridge Koad, once a noted pleasure drive out of the Metropolis, but now an almost deserted and silent highway. The village of Ealing lies leftward of the road; the church fell down in 1729, and was rebuilt in 1736, "apparently after designs by the churchwardons," for it is a heavy, tasteless, brick pile. Further on the L'xbridge Koad are the Old HaU taverns mentioned by Biekerstaff, in his play of the " Hypocrite." On the opposite side of the Kailway, the station opens upon the road from Ealing to Twyford, and the high ground of Castle-bar, where the Duke of Kent, the father of her present Majesty, possessed a well-appointed mansion; though only a lodge and entrance-gate remain.
The Kailway soon enters Hanwcll, upon a gravel embankment ; and the Hanwcll Station, seven and a-quarter miles from London, stands upon the northern side of the line, upon a short viaduct; from whence a second embankment leads to the Wharncliffe viaduct, the largest piece of brickwork upon the railway.and about the first work completed. It is, indeed, a gigantic structure, consisting of eight elliptical arches, each seventy feet span, and seventeen feet Bix inches rise; the piers are composed each of two square massive pillars of brick, slightly pyramidal, and of somewhat Egyptian character. The base of each pier stands upon an area of 252 feet, the total length of the viaduct is 900 feet; the breadth between the parapets thirty feet. It is named "the Wharncliffe Viaduct," in acknowledgment of the services rendered by the late Lord Wharncliffe to the Urcat Western Kailway Company, as Chairman of the Lords' Committee upon their bill, and its principal supporter in the Upper House. Upon the south faee of the parapet are set up the Wharncliffe arms, sculptured in stone. The viow from the Kailway here is very striking; the new church of Hanwell, in the early English style, and
"That neighbouring hill, where
arc the principal objects on the north;
"Ferivale, pranked up with
I and Grccni'ord, are still, as when sung by Drayton, to be seen upon the banks of
"Brent, that pretty brook,"
I '■' and the churches of these villages are bits of not uni picturesque antiquity." On the the south side of the i Kailway, the Lunatic Asylum for the County of Middlesex occupies the foreground, and rarely tails to give rise to commingled feelings of pain and consolation in the spectator; in showing a dire necessity to be met by the mildest means that humanity can dictate.
The Hanwell Asylum, however, merits au independent note, it being one of tho noblest instances of wisdomtempered zeal and humane skill which our age can boast of. The building and its appurtenances occupy upwards of fifty-three acres; the several patients, sometimes nearly a thousand in number, are treated according to the intensity of their affliction; but in no case is unnecessary restraint practised. Working upon the proverbial association of idleness and vice, in all cases where practicable, employment is resorted to as a remedy; and nearly all the operations of this vast establishment are conducted with the utmost order by lunatics; shops of lunatic tailors and shoemakers may be seen here at work; and the bakery, the laundry, and other domestic offices, are worked by the same " patient" classes. Tho out-door arrangements are upon the same system of nonrestraint. The gardens and shrubberies are neatly kept by the inmates, who are allowed to enjoy their healthgiving air with the most indirect surveillance, and various pastimes are allowed to minister to the "mind diseased." Within doors, reading of an interesting nnd attractive, though not exciting, character, is provided; the tables are strewn with cheap periodicals, in the hope that their good seed may not invariably fall upon the mind, as it were, lying fallow. Here, as in the sane world outside of the Hanwell domain, society has its pets and butts, and men are prone to sport with each other's weaknesses; but this is no new phase of humanity. We, who remember but too distinctly the clanking fetters and the horrifying gaze of the inmates of the old Bethlehem, have inspected Hanwell with very different feelings; and, as we walked, almost unattended, through crowds of "lunatics," were indeed gratified to find them so far sane as to be sensible of their humane treatment. From tho wall of one of their dormitories we copied the following lines :—
No gloomy cells where sullen madness pines
In chains and woe, where no glud sunlight shines;
But here kind sympathy for fallen reusou reigns;
Our rule is gentleness, not force or galliug chains."
On the south side of the garden lies the burial-ground, wherein all patients not removed by their friends or parishes are buried; and here sleeps the individual who planned the Asylum, and eventually became one of- its inmates for a long period previous to his death—one of those extraordinary coincidences that belong to the category of popular fatalism.
Wc have wandered from the Kailway, but, we trust, not unprofitably, if this note have the effect of drawing attention to the frightful increase of insanity in this country, and to the best means that can be devised for its remedy and prevention. In the valley wherein lies this " happy port and haven" for afflicted nature, is a scene of serenity which should calm the angry passions that too often chase men out of the world of reason. The stream of tho Brent passes through a brick channel beneath the second eastern arch ; and the absence of its waters is compensated by the slopes and undulations, the graceful trees, and the foliage that thickly clothes portions of the embankment. The vastness and Egyptian design of the viaduct, perchance, remind us of the lasting grandeur of some of man's laliours; yet, look through one of the archways at the distant church, and tho memorials of mortality with which it is surrounded, and what a lesson—what a shock—docs human pride
receive in the contemplation! Turn again to the scene of pastoral beauty, and smiling nature, in the verdant valley, and what joy unspeakable is to be found there! The Wharnclitte \ iaduet, weshould mention, was built by Messrs. Uriasell and Feto, who were also the contractors for various portions of the railway between London and U&siidon. At about a quarter of a mile west of the viaduct, the Railway passes over, and obliquely, to two roads by an iron bridge and massive columns cast in Yorkshire. We soon reach the hamlet of Southal, nine utiles from London, at which distance there is a station, with accommodation for loading and unloading cattle; the celebrated cattle-market being held in the hamlet. In the south lies the well-wooded domain of Osterley, the seat of ideEari of Jersey. The Kail way passes throughSouthall Park, and near the mansion, a spacious brick structure, belonging to the Jersey family, but now used as a private lunatic asylum. Between Osterley and the Railway may be noticed Norwood church, which retains some features of the early English and decorated styles. At Bull's bridge, within a quarter of a mile, the Railway crosses the Haddington Canal, the Yedding Brook, and the Grand J unction Canal, in its way to join the Thames at Brentford.
We soon reach the West Drayton Station (for Uxbridge, Colnbrook, and Staines,) thirteen miles from London, and standing on the brink of the brick district, npon the eastern edge of a broad, shallow valley, along which meander the streams of "the crystal Coin." West Drayton church, on the south of the line, is a very perfect example of the perpendicular style; and outside the churchyard is a brick gateway of later date, but worth examination. Here the Railway crosses "the County Ditch," and leaving Middlesex, enters Buckinghamshire. This valley appears also to divido the London from the plastic clay formation, though from thence to Slough the latter is covered up with marl and gravel beds. The dead flat of the view is now relieved by glimpses of Windsor Castle, Eton College, and St. Leonard's heights. There is little else to attract until we reach Slough, if we except the church of Langley Marsh, or St. Mary's, on the south, which is as architectural study, with its examples of the Pointed ionnan, early Decorated, and Tudor styles. (To be continued.)
They had now reached the valley; the house lay before them, and the inhabitants soon appeared, and interested themselves in preparing the carriage; and in putting everything in operation that was necessary ior us repair. It seemed that the stranger had the entire command here, and, as Luitgarde drew near, while he was not present, to one of the workmen, she saw for the first time that they were men of immense, even terrific, stature. It was not without unwillingness that she spoke to one of them, and asked about the gentleman— their master. He was a merchant from Budweiss, she was told, and the house and the implements here were his. At these words Luitgarde became more tranquil.
These dark savage looking men were workers in iron, and it was a great satisfaction to Luitgarde to see how ably they set about their business, so that she could soon hope to continue her journey. But the stranger was still absent; at length he appeared with a troubled expression on his countenance. He asked her pardon for having made her wait so long, begged her respectfully to come into the house, and then opened a handsome room on the ground floor; a small collation lay ready on the table, and an old woman received her with many reverences. The stranger's manner of giving her a chair, of offering to her fruit and preserves,
attracted her attention, and indicated a more elevated Btationof life; a melancholy expression in those strongly marked features, joined to a soft tone of voice, excited in her heart the strangest feeling.
Her attendants now came to tell her that all was readv, and the carriage in a state fit to continue the journey The stranger rose from his scat, and cast a terrific glance on the entering domestic, who brought this unwelcome message to his mistress. Luitgarde at the same time showed smyptoms of fear; the stranger noticed it, and again in a mild tone asked her pardon for the suddenness of his movement, and ottered her his arm in order to conduct her to the carriage. She bowed assent in a kind manner, and placed her hand on his arm. He suddenlv stopped, looked at her for some moments, and said, after a struggle with himself, "Noble lady, permit me to have the honour of saying a few words to
you alone." , ., _
Luitgarde made a sign to her maid to leave the room,
who left it accordingly.
"You have spoken to me of Black Fritz; you do not indeed fear him, but his band; he has reason to avoid me; where I am, he certainly does not come ; so permit me to present to you this ring, and if, by any unlucky chance, you fall into his or his people's hands, show this ring and yon are safe." ,
Luitgarde stood quite amazed; a thought which like lightning shot through her soul, overwhelmed her; tie swarthy stranger of the banks of the Moldaw appeared before her mind ; she fancied she found a resemblance between him and the Budweiss merchant; she was seized with a shuddering, and, without being able to speak, and without taking the ring which beheld out to her, she looked at him with a scrutinizing and tnghtened air. But the nobleness of those features, the mild expression of those eyes, checked her childish tears—she recovered herself and took the ring. It was a handsome cornelian, richly set in gold, and on both sides ornamented with three small diamonds in the form ol a
re"°I thank you from my heart, and I know the entire extent of mv obligation towards you; this ring will 1 preserve as a precious bijou, and I shall return it with the most lively thanks to its owner when 1 no longer require it: but now be so obliging as to tell me your name and habitation, that I may"
"Does the poor present of an uncouth Btranger overwhelm you?" asked the man, with evident emotion; "the ring is very dear to me; I give it to you; it sua 1 serve you, perhaps save you, therefore must remain with you, and you" , .
\ blush diffused itself over the whole of Luitgarde s face and she instantly let the ring fall into her bosom, without, thinking what she was doing, for some one at the moment entered the room. .
The merchant again offered his arm; they lelt the room he assisted her into the carriage, a slight pressure which he permitted himself of her hand was even slightly acknowledged—their eyes met each other s once more, and the horses hastened off with the carnage.
In deep reflection, and with contending feelings, did Luitgarde proceed; she could not deny that the appearance of the Budweiss merchant had made a powerful impression on her as no man had yet done, and the lncomprehensibleness of the matter was the lorce by which his mind had acted on hers, obliging her as it were to unreservedness and kind feeling towards him, whom she had never seen, indeed whose exterior and "entourage seemed to comprise many singular, and not agreeable mysteries. ,
"Arrived at her uncle's castle—the latter came to meet her full of joy, and with the news that his son was expected in the evening. Luitgarde had accidentally heard that, and yet this news fell on her like a thunderbolt. She was not in a state to answer; the fatigue, the commotion of the journey, theaccident—which hermaid had related in all its circumstances—served her as a pretext to withdraw to her chamber. Here she threw herself on a chair: a storm rose in her breast; a thousand thoughts, images and feelings, sorrow and shame, curiosity and inquietude, terror and love, opposition and chagrin, moved in chaotic contention with each other; she was discontented with herself, with Frederick's sudden arrival, with the importunate attentions of the stranger, with the whole world. Then a noise was heard in the castle—doors were opened and shut—rapid steps were heard in the passages. Frederick was come: she was now forced to collect herself and meet him in a suitable manner. She rose from her chair, she felt that she trembled, and her knees tottered under her. "Heavens! what is this 1" cried she, " what is the matter with me!" In this agitated state, as she raised her hands, the stranger's ring fell from the folds of her neck handkerchief; she was alarmed as if at the appearance of a spirit: but some one was approaching her chamber, she rapidly seized the ring, looked on it once more, and then concealed it in its former place. The door of the antechamber was opened ; she heard her uncle and a second male voice, which strangely affected her. She rose up, however, with resolution, and hastened to meet them. Her uncle stood before her; and a younger man, in whose developed features she recognised the contours of her youthful friend, saluted her with grace and respect. "This is my son, my Frederick—thy Frederick," said the count joyfully, "and this is thy future bride."
"My fair bride!" gently whispered Frederick, while he stretched out his arms to embrace her; but in her the interior storm had reached its highest point, an indescribable sorrow agitated her breast, a deep cry escaped her, and she sank powerless on Frederick's shoulder.
On recovering she found herself on her bed; her uncle held her in his arms, Frederick was on his knees before her and holding her hand—and her maid was employing essences and restoratives. She looked wildly round; all seemed as a dream; and now a stream of tears broke from her eyes, and freed the oppressed heart.
"How are you, dear cousin 3" asked Frederick. "Ah 1 heavens, you weep!"
"Had I thought that you would have been so much affected, I should have prepared you," said the old count; "but who could have believed"
Luitgarde endeavoured to contain herself. "Do not be uneasy, my dear uncle; and you, Frederick, forgive me! I had no power over myself, but now it is past, I am again easier." She stood up, and strove to look in a friendly manner on her cousin, and to speak to him of his journey and residence at Vienna. It cost her unspeakable pain, but she succeeded. Frederick began his narrative, his father listened with inward satisfaction, and Luitgarde's agitated feelings gradually became composed. It was from that time reported in the castle that Luitgarde was deeply enamoured of her cousin, and Frederick sought by all kinds of tender attentions to make himself deserving of this passion. Luitgarde felt this in a thousand careful attentions, in graceful efforts to anticipate Jier wishes, and to be agreeable to her. She had only to look, only to wish, so that whatever she required for her work, or for ornament, was instantly procured for her; she was forced to be on her guard, and not too loudly express her wishes, if she did not desire to be surrounded on all sides by attendants and obligations, in which her intended strove to display his own taste, and his love for her. These talents extended much farther; he began to undertake the setting in order the whole castle, he spoke to and contracted with the workmen, he managed every thing himself: he ornamented some rooms with his own drawings, he painted others, he was punctual, adroit, amiable, and full of knowledge and talent. Luitgarde discerned all this and prized his worth; she honoured his good heart, was fully decided to give him her hand; but, in solitary hours, or when a too delicate and elegant manner exhibited her cousin to her as feminine or weak, Bhe was not entirely able to keep down a rebel feeling—quite another
kind of image would rise up in her mind, and seemed to carry her away to a comparison which she did not dare permit herself to make.
In the mean time, Frederick knew how to occupy himself in a hundred different ways, and Luitgarde strove with earnest mind to move in her old accustomed habits without repugnance, and to look forward to a new and holier relation with serenity; for the old count had fixed the marriage festival of his children for the next spring. But every coming guest, every inhabitant of the castle or village, who by chance had been at the neighbouring town, brought fresh stories of robbery and murder by Black Fritz. There were also comical jokes, arch tricks, or incomprehensibly hazardous enterprises narrated of him,—such as only excess of daring and contempt of every danger could suggest; actions by which the bold robber not seldom, in order to keep a foolish promise he had given, or to prevent an injustice, had staked his life, or even his liberty, which was still dearer to him, upon the die. Not without a palpitating heart did Luitgarde, since the affair of the Budweiss merchant, hear these narrations; although the ring on which was engraven a beautiful noble coat of arms seemed to bespeak a different station. However, it explained nothing really, and, in spite of an inward horror, a secret power always brought her back to the thought, which came to her mind with terror and still with inexpressible pleasure, that she had been probably near that much dreaded man ;—near him, before whom all trembled; that she had received a proof of interest, indications of the tenderest respect, from that fierce and lawless individual. And this uncertainty, this enigmatical obscurity, wherein her relation to the unknown was enveloped, only served to awaken more frequently in her mind the recollection of the mysterious unknown. But those casual relations and conversations were not the only things which perpetually brought that portrait before her mind. For some time, she had distinctly felt that she was surrounded by an unknown power, and observed secret influences of which she did not discover the author, but from the kind and nature of which she was able to associate intentions of the tenderest respect, perhaps of a still softer sentiment. Many a little wish, which she accidentally manifested, was accomplished; many a care which occupied her as mistress of the house, appeared as if by accident taken away from her; what she ordered for the house, or for her own use, in provisions or other necessary matters, came to hand through the very middle of the most troubled locality; and, whilst every place was full of deeds of robbery, at the castle all was in safety; for several miles round her residence profound tranquillity existed, and, in the most impenetrable forests which surrounded it, one might travel during the night with handsfull of gold. It was as if a protecting divinity watched over that neighbourhood, and many a little theft which had been committed earlier on a tenant of her uncle, was now replaced in a mysterious manner. Every such incident struck a sharp arrow into Luitgarde's breast, and impressed a portrait now only too dear, still deeper upon her soul.
Some weeks before, she had accidentally at table expressed a wish to possess a parrot, such as she had seen at the house of one of her friends at Vienna. She spoke in a pleasant and laughing mood of the entertainment the bird would afford her in her solitary hours, when business or indisposition confined her uncle, and the pursuits of literature her cousin. But this conversation about the parrot and the pleasure of possessing it had long been forgotten, when suddenly on her getting up one morning, a singular cry struck her ear, and, going to the window from whence it came, she perceived with strange astonishment, a large cage attached to it, and in the cage was a handsome parrot! How did the cage come to her window, which, on the second floor of a castle built on a rock, was only accessible to the most daring adventurer 1 She called up every one in the ouse, and inquired of her cousin, who from the window