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nothing could arrive unprovided for by Him, who held earth and heaven in the hollow of his hand. Arnold and Margaret passed their days in peace, amidst such enjoyments as necessity compelled. Yet devoting their leisure hours to objects ever worthy of pursuit, they loved to visit the widow and fatherless in their affliction, and to pour the balm of consolation into their bleeding wounds. Thus, keeping themselves unspotted from the world, they journeyed through the vale of tears. Morning found them happy: evening left them blest. But they had engagements, which possibly hung with a yet deeper interest at their hearts-engagements which every call of duty, every whisper of parental and conjugal affection, invited them faithfully to discharge. Gertrude, it is true, had outgrown, as she advanced to girlhood, some of those minute attentions, which her infancy had claimed, and which, indeed, belong alone to the helplessness of the cradle. Yet dear were the moments, when returned from her gentle avocations, the Shepherdess of the Mountains could seat herself at her parents
' side, and listen while they imparted instruction. That instruction was such as experience had enabled them to afford; and it was hallowed by the influence of religion, “pure and undefiled." Like the moon-beam from the throne of night, softening the landscape, and tinging it with its magic hues, her gentle hand diffused over all they told her a sacred halo, whose loveliness and beauty were peculiarly her own. But, for Gertrude, time was unfolding other scenes. Life was now to open to her, if
pardoned the expression, in a more substantial form. The dreams of infancy, and the visions of childhood, were now to yield to the realities of existence; which, of what character soever they might be, were at length to overtake her, and to prove to her, amidst the silence and solitude of her native scenes, that something more durable should be sought for, than what floats with the bubbles of time's unstaying stream. But whatever of mystery involves her fate, this at least we are enabled to declare, that one solace found her-one sweet hope remained. That solace tranquillized, that hope embalmed her breast.
“ The years wore fast away, and still she rose
In stature and in beauty : the soft winds
GERTRUDE, meanwhile, was springing to maturity. Years were rolling over her, and they had borne her, with all her contemporaries, irresistibly along. Could the destroyer of our race be won by gentleness, or allured by beauty, to stay his flight, surely over Gertrude of Weimar he had reposed him on his way. But, ah! who shall arrest him? Who expunge the mark that every fleeting moment leaves upon our brow? Who could
recall the instant that has fled, were a thousand worlds to be the bribe? But beyond, there is something stable--and only, only there. O how sweet, how full of consolation, that thought of immortality, which surveys it ever running to its ebb, yet ever rising in its flow! It has glided from eternity, and yet is fresh in its lapse to-day.
“For ever moving, yet for ever still ;
Changing for ever! ever yet the same!" But where shall the pencil be found, that could pourtray her, as now she first beheld the morning of womanhood ? The scenes amidst which she sojourned may perhaps render more difficult the task. The country where the Switzer dwells, inwoven with the stories of other days, and entwined with our fondest and earliest prepossessions; clad, too, in a mantle of inviting loveliness, on which Fancy gazes with unwearied delight, has thrown round the Shepherdess of the Mountains a mysterious veil, yet unlifted by the band of time—for she, with all that concerns her, has long long since been buried beneath the ruins of revolving ages. And, gentle reader ! whose heart may be interested in what was once her lot-in events in which she bore a part, a part as real as thyself art acting on the theatre of life-if she now appears before thee, O think it is only as in visions of the past! Yes, she lived, and drew the vital air like thee.—But, she has been swept away by that wave, which, or wild or peaceful, will in thy turn remove thee also to another, a more abiding scene. Does the reflection elicit a sigh? It did so once, too, from the bosom of Gertrude ; --but her bosom is now at rest. Not
hours may plume their wings for eternity, till thine also, may have ceased to beat. The place that once knew thee, will, and, o how soon! know thee thenceforth no more for ever! Life and joy, friends and kindred, all must be bid adieu to, and thou must pass that“ irremeable boyrne, from which no traveller returns."
Fair had the morning opened upon the earth. The heavens were as blue as you may have seen them in the dawn of a summer's day, when your eye was yet fresh from repose, and your heart was bounding with the prospect of happiness. Not a cloud sailed over the ethereal vault; orif, perchance, some exhalation from the far off hill wandered its calm expanse, invested with the glow of a rising sun, it seemed only to add new charms to the enchanting perspective. Upon the remote mountains, wrapped in wintry garments --for many an Alpine summit is never disrobed of its snowy covering by the hand of Flora, or even visited by the breath of summer,-the rising beam had fallen, tinging them with a crimson radiance ; and they were now glowing in the horizon, like fires amidst the tranquil sky. Nor were the woodlands silent. Every spray seemed musical, as joining in the general thanksgiving. There, was the linnet heard sweetly weaving in her retreat the song of adoration, while over-head was caught, deeply mellowed by distance, the voice of the lark as she went to welcome the day spring at the gates of heaven.' The Red-breast, too, attuned his little anthem, unwilling to neglect his Maker, whilst all others praised, and his note would have reached soothingly your heart. The tale of Philomel indeed was done, for, wearied with her sorrows, she had sung herself to rest, and was now reposing in her bower. Soft, too, descended from the vals ley the murmur of the stream, as if some Naiad, wandering upon the banks, was complaining of morning as it swept her brow. Verdant then were the hills, that lined the path of the Shepherdess, as she led her charge along their accliyities, enamelled with a thousand flowers and herl's,
whose breath embalmed the peaceful labours, and perfumed the air she drew. Thus was the world inviting; and you might have fancied that nature was willing again to array herself in a loveliness, that should be some memorial of her beauty ere yet it was marred by that crime, which stained ourselves and every thing terrestrial. Earth! fit abode, ere while, of angels, but now polluted and defiled!-of angels, erst the companions of our sinhess parents—but, now, debarred from intercourse with thy apostate family.
It was on such a morning that Gertrude attended the little flock of her father to the uplands. But, while all was thus lovely about her, she had herself attractions and, if ever heart was unconscious of admiration, Gertrude's was—which, to another eye than her's, would have added charms even to the scene of enchantment amidst which she strayed. The sun of her eighteenth summer was shedding its maturing influence on the daughter of Arnold and Margaret. She had parted from childhood, and even was a girl no more. The seasons of lighter years had fled, and she was now on the borders of womanhood; the theme of every tongue among her mountains, though the object of universal admiration, so meekly were her honours worn, that while all confessed her fair, she excited not in the breast of any even the faint emotions of envy.
Her form was slender, and in her manner peculiarly graceful, she bore in her mien the dignity of her birth : and while all beheld her humble employment, none could have mistaken the Shepherdess of the Mountains for a peasant's child. The young and the aged alike revered her virtue and beanty; and even those, who knew not her origin, ever made obeisance as they passed her by. They saw that air which bespoke her lineage-for the eye of the rustic is quick to discern the difference of gesture and deportment which distinguish the clown from those conversant with the urbanities of polished life-and while they wondered that she should be tending a little and scattered flock, they thought within themselves, that, surely, she must have been born to a better fate.
In her eye, which was lovely as can be “the dark eye of woman," and beamed with mild intelligence, there was withal a look of melancholy which, while it told of secrets yet perhaps latent even to the heart thatillumined it, whispered something that denoted a bosom tremblingly alive to another's woes. It was raised to meet you with virgin confidence; and though her cheek might be tinged with the timidity of maiden bashfulness while she beheld you, perhaps an intruder on her retirement, there was,notwithstanding, in its look that sense of female decorum, which would have awed the the tongue of legity into instant silence. In stature she was above middle size, rather over, it might be, than under; and such was the symmetry of her person and the sylph-like elegance of her motions, that you might al. most have imagined you contemplated in her form, had you seen her at least moving slowly as often she was wont along the margin of the rivulet, that irrigated the glen, when the moon walked in brightness through beaven, some wandering spirit from Elfin-land, nor would you have felt less inclination to aid her, had she required your assistance, than if she had verily been some hapless fairy, that had lost her way. No knight of chivalry here was necessary for the defence of her girlish innocence: and the eye of every vassal, though no longer her father's, that surveyed her, would have looked on a falchion unscabbarded, had she sought its help. But such sought not Gertrude. She had a firmer arm to lean on than
humanity could furnish :-a buokler of surer protection than aught that could be forged on earth. The rose upon
her cheek was generally of a vivid hue; and yet, at times, it became so deadly pale, that you would have thought a rude, though unseen hand, had dashed it with some preparative of the tomb. Still it would quickly resume its lustre, and the smile that succeeded, and again brightened it, was perhaps more pleasing, from the very gloom out of which it rose. Such was Gertrude, when eighteen summers had matured her form. Such was she on that morning, when first she was seen by Conrade.
« Weave thee a wreath of woodbine, child,
"Twill suit thy infant brow:
As tender and frail as thou.”
The loveliness of the scenery, the mildness of the air, the melody of the woodlands,-in a word, the serenity of earth and heaven, though not new to the eye or ear, to the heart and feelings, of Gertrude, yet on this occasion, so exquisitely serene was all, invited her to extend the limits of her usual wanderings. Her gentle charge were browsing about her, some in the depth of the glen, where its dark recesses shut them from her view, and some on the sward beside her; some hung on the adjacent rocks, nipping the wild thyme that grew there in abundance, sweetening the breath of
morn, and one little lamb-it was said she loved it for Ellen's sake, her mother's early friend, as it had been given to her by that still kind, still attentive creature-one little lamb was feeding from her lap. It had now finished its repast. She had untied the blue silk collar that Ellen had fastened round its neck, and had again returned it, with some additional arrangements, to its place. She had polished the silver bell suspended to it: she had adjusted, more gracefully, as she fancied, the knot that held it: she had smoothed some of the folds which it had contracted in the calm, though careless, slumbers of the night: had bathed its tufted forehead in the lucid fountain that bubbled at her feet: had wiped the dews of morning from its snowy fleece ; and had laid it down once more to gambol about her path. Her
way winded through the most secluded spots of the glen. Now it was concealed amidst the thick foliage of over-arching elm and sycamore: again it opened, in some short turning, to the light of day. Here it was
or only rising with the gradual acclivity of the hill : there it was almost precipitous, and demanded the daring of some feet, not unhabituated to Alpine ascents. She followed as it led. Her thoughts were wandering with her wandering steps. One while they hovered over scenes,
alas! from which hard fate, so some would deem, had excluded her ; scenes where mirth and revelry had resounded, while the tabret, and viol, and wine, were in their feasts. These a youthful imagination might have casually visited, without calling down the frown of indignation. Yet the records, whence we derive our story, furnish not even an incidental memorial, that their absence elicited from the bosom of Gertrude a passing sigh. Again,' her spirit returned to that dear spot, where she had first drawn the breath of life, and round which, hitherto, all her cares and her joys had centered. Reflection could not but ponder future days. Ellen, that faithful friend, was fast descending to the mansions of silence, and her own mother was far from well. She had heard tidings of her family, which had deeply afflicted her; and it was feared that her disorder might eventually prove fatal. Her father, too, began to manifest ailments, the seeds of which had been laid in his early years, amidst the bardships of the camp and the field. There was, however, no immediate prospect of dissolution, and hope, vivid in the breast of Gertrude, promised her his presence and counsel for a long period to come. But she thought, how lonely, how helpless she would be, when all were gone. All human aid, she had reason to believe, would fail her-then where was her heart to rest ? To wander on the world, like the fawn, whose mother had been slain by some cruel hunter's hand, without an eye to pity, or an arm to save! One refuge she had, which she knew was steadfast as the everlasting bills, which lifted her from the world below ; yet, withal, she could not restrain the tear. Reflections, deeply painful, crowded upon her, and the tribute of dejection would not be represt.
Unconscious of the distance to which she had strayed from home, Gertrude seated herself upon a verdant bank that lay along her path. Over her head depended the graceful branches of a birch-tree, whose light leaves were stirring in the morning wind. Sweet was their murmur, and it died on the ear of Gertrude like the voice of some fairy tale. At this moment another tear had fallen, and she had just wiped it away. Another had started, to follow its companion along her cheek, when her attention was attracted by a rustling among the long grass through which her route had led. It was her lamb. The little affectionate creature had pursued her step by step, for it well knew the hand that fed and tended it, and well it loved its mistress. “Is it you, Fanny ?” turning to it, she said. “ And who will feed and attend to thee, Fanny, when the friends of thy poor mistress have left her, and she has gone with them to the grave ? · Who, Fanny, will then feed and attend to thee? Who will adjust thy little collar, and polish thy silver bell ? Poor Fanny ! innocent as yet and happy-for the sorrows of life have erstwhile not reached to thee-innocent and happy, thou thinkest only of the passing hour. May thy existence glide smoothly, and O may no rude hand ever be lifted against thy blameless life !"
She was proceeding with the train of reflections to which this incident had given rise, when she was suddenly interrupted by a shrill whistle from the neighbouring eminence. Her heart misgave her. Evils unknown might be impending. She had heard of the outlaw-and Conrade of Col-derg instantly occurred to her. Trembling like the leaf above her, and pale as the moonbeam that yester evening had rested upon the vale, she rose, and snatching up her faithful companion, hastened, as fast as her agitated limbs could carry her, towards the security of that glen, from which she had