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a considerable portion of the heathen world, may seem unnatural. A second thought, however, will assure one who knows a little of the ways of this world, that nothing is more common than inconsistencies of this very kind. There are men, who delight to please everybody, and to labor for the improvement of every community—but their own family and their own neighborhood. God seems to require of them some magnificent sacrifice, some heroic endeavor—anywhere but at their own fireside, and in the midst of the circumstances in which fortune has placed them. Wieland inherited violent religious passions. This element of his character, thus unnaturally predominant at the outset, and neglected by the hand of sober and persevering discipline, came at last to overshadow the whole of his being, and to involve himself and the innocent ones about him in hideous ruin.
Not long after, Henry Pleyel, brother of the wife of Wieland, was added to their society, after having spent some years in Europe. His views were skeptical, yet his nature was kindly, his intellect of a high order, and in his fondness for music and poetry, he fully sympathized with each member of the circle into which he was now come. The action of his peculiar views upon Wieland, and the reaction of the faith of the latter against his skeptical arguments and incredulous pleasantries, may doubtless be understood as contributing their share towards the consummation of that fatal growth in which Wieland's superstitious feelings were rapidly progressing. The four spent many hours of gaiety and pastime at the '' temple" where the elder Wieland came to so mysterious an end, and which had been refitted into a beautiful summer retreat. This was especially the favorite resort for musical diversion, sometimes for the reading of favorite authors, occasionally for a banquet. Thus were passed six years of uninterrupted happiness.
But a different season was approaching. One evening, a letter of a certain acquaintance, who was travelling in the Southern States, had been the occasion of some slight controversy between Pleyel and his friend. This letter had been received while all were in the "temple," and was accidentally left behind, on returning to
the house. In order to settle the dtp' Wieland went for the letter. The s« that followed we shall give in the autla own words. The passage is as good a sp men as we could select, for exhibiting main characteristics of the author's mam
"In a few minutes he returned. 1 somewhat interested in the dispute, and therefore impatient for his return; yetheard him ascending the stairs, I could r' remark, that he had executed his intention remarkable dispatch. My eyes were fixed on him on his entrance. Methought be bra with him looks considerably different from t with which he departed. Wonder, u slight portion of anxiety, were mingfc" them. His eyes seemed to be in searc some object. They passed quickly frr-os person to another, till they rested on bis « She was seated in careless attitude on the i in the same spot as before. She had the i lin in her hand, by which her attention chiefly engrossed.
"The moment he saw her, his perpt1 visibly increased. He quietly seated hid and fixing his eyes on the floor, appear? be absorbed in meditation. These singii ties suspended the inquiry which I was paring to make respecting the letter, short time, the company relinquished the ject which engaged them, and directed attention to Wieland. They thought thi only waited for a pause in the disconrs* produce the letter. The pause was uninten ed by him. At length Pleyel said, 'W suppose you have found the letter.'
"'No, said he without any abatement o gravity, and looking steadfastly at his wif did not mount the hill.' 'Why not V—' C arine, have you not moved from that since I left the room ?'—She was aflbcted the solemnity of his manner, and layins iJ her work, answered in a tone of surprise. Why do you ask that question ?'—His were again fixed upon the floor, and he d.<! immediately answer. At length, he said,! ing round upon us, 'Is it true that Csth: did not follow me to the hill? That sb not just now enter the room?' We a^him, with one voice, that she had not beet sent for a moment, and inquired into the tive of his questions.
"' Your assurances,' said he, 'are si and unanimous; and yet I most deny orpt your assertions, or disbelieve the testimor my senses, which informed me, when 1 half way up the hill, that Catharine was a' bottom.'
"We were confounded at this declara Pleyel rallied him with great levity on hi havior. He listened to his friend with c ness, but without any relaxation of feature Due thing,' said he, with emphasis, 'is either I heard my wife's voice at the botif the bill, or I do not hear your voice at nt'
Truly,' returned Pleyel, 'it is a sad diK to which you have reduced yourself, in it is, if our eyes can give us certainty, your wife has been sitting in that spot
* every moment of your absence. You heard her voice, you say, upon the hill, ineral, her voice, like her temper, is all sss. To be heard across the room, she is >) to exert herself. While you were
if 1 mistake not, she did not utter a word. . ind 1 had all the talk to ourselves. Still y be that she held a whispering conferwith you on the hill; but tell us the parIB.'
The conference,' said he,' was short, and ixn being carried on in a whisper. You
with what intention I left the house, way to the rock, the moon was for a mo
Liiden from us by a cloud. I never r the air to be more bland or more calm, lis interval I glanced at the temple, and |^t I saw a glimmering between the colr* It was so faint, that it would not per| k»ve been visible, if the moon had not lihrouded. I looked again, but saw noth
I never visit this building alone, or at I, without being reminded of the fate of funer. There was nothing wonderful in »npoirance; yet it suggested something titan mere solitude and darkness in (lie [place would have done. 'I kept on my way. The images that Bed me were solemn; and 1 entertained imperfect curiosity, but no fear, as to the Be of tbia object. 1 had ascended the hill lucre than half way, when a voice called ■an behind. The accents were clear, disk. powerful, and were uttered, as I fully bek by my wife. Her voice is not common
• kwd. She has seldom occasion to exert ar. nevertheless, I have sometimes heard oil with force and eagerness. If my ear I not deceived, it was her voice which I M.
"$op. go no further. There is danger in fpua.' The suddenness and unexpectedly this warning, the tone of alarm with kk it was given, and, above all, the persuaI that it was my wife who spoke, were *fb to disconcert and make me pause. I nd and listened to assure myself that 1 was ; weaken. The deepest silence succeedAt length, I spoke in my turn. 'Who W! la it yon, Catharine?' I stopped and ■*% received an answer. 'Yes, it is I. <M op; return instantly; you are wanted *t bouse.' Still the voice was Catharine's, P *»» it proceeded from the loot of the
'•What could 1 do? The warning was
mysterious. To be uttered by Catharine at a place, and on an occasion like this, enhanced the mystery. I could do nothing but obey. Accordingly, I trod back my steps, expecting that she waited for me at the bottom of the hill. When I reached the bottom, no one was visible. The moon-light was once more universal and brilliant, and yet, as far as I could sec, no human or moving figure was discernible. If she had returned to the house, she must have used wondrous expedition to have passed already beyond the reach of my eye. I exerted my voice, but in vain. To my repeated exclamation, no answer was returned.
"' Ruminating on these incidents, I returned hither. There was no room to doubt that I had heard my wife's voice; attending incidents were not easily explained; but you now assure me that nothing extraordinary has happened to urge my return, and that my wife has not moved from her seat.'"
This inexplicable event was treated by Pleyel as a mere deception of the senses. Catharine could not wholly recover her mind from disquietude, although the arguments with which Pleyel maintained his opinion seemed plausible. The sister of Wieland recurred at once in her mind to the death of her father—on which event, from a child, she had been accustomed to ruminate, and which she could never account for as other than miraculous—though she found it impossible fully to credit such a solution. But on the imagination of Wieland himself, the effect of this occurrence was truly momentous. He had long regarded his father's death as the result of a Divine decree—of a supernatural interposition. The affair of this evening sunkhis mind into a deep, permanent religious gloom—strong and transforming as that which took possession of the soul of Pascal, after his almost miraculous escape from death, yet wanting all the counterbalancing effect of culture and manly reason that saved the French scholar from even* tendency toward insanity. He regarded the voice as supernatural, and his obedience thereto as a narrow escape from some impending danger—perhaps from the fate of his father.
Time wore on. News had come of an immense inheritance in Lusatia, not only of wealth but also of political power, which was the undoubted right of Wieland, and which needed only his presence to secure. Pleyel long and strenuously urged his re
moral to Europe—in vain. "Was it laudable," said Wieland, " to grasp at wealth and power, even when they were within our reach? Were not these the two great sources of depravity? What security had he, that in this change of place and condition, he should not degenerate into a tyrant and voluptuary? Power and riches were chiefly to be dreaded on account of their tendency to deprave the possessor. He held them in abhorrence, not only as instruments of misery to others, but to him on whom they were conferred. Besides, riches were comparative, and was he not rich already? He lived at present in the bosom of security and luxury. All the instruments of pleasure, on which his reason or imagination set any value, were within his reach." Wieland and Pleyel walked out alone, one evening—and this matter was to be discussed for the last time. They promised their friends, whom they left in the house, a speedy return. But they did not come again until after midnight. They had wandered involuntarily into the " temple." Both had heard once more the mysterious voice—confirming the one in his resolution to remain on the banks of the Schuylkill—announcing to the other tiiat the Baroness de Stalberg, for love of whom he was chiefly anxious to hasten hie return to Europe, was dead. The senses of both gave the same report, and Pleyel was, for a moment, confounded. Subsequent tidings confirmed to the latter the message he had heard; and Wieland was forever fixed in his first resolution of remaining where he was.
At this stage, another character is introduced. Carwin appears as a rustic. The first impressions which his countenance and voice make upon Clara are peculiarly vivid, and not altogether unpleasing. Carwin at length becomes a constant guest of the Wieland family, and manifests traits of a cultivated and active intellect, and of a refinement of feeling and expression altogether above his apparent condition. But on all the events of his past life, he maintains an invincible taciturnity. Aside from this singularity, his society was welcome, and his presence always gave pleasure. His intercourse, for a long time, only strengthened the good feelings entertained towards him.
Clara confesses that her affections had
been secretly given to Pleyel. On a cam evening, there was to be a rehear-a, -,u tragedy which they had lately receivedfl Germany. She looked forward with m anticipations to the approaching inters with Pleyel and her other friends. Usjl punctual to a minute, he now de The evening wore on into night, and] he did not come. She was full of i hension and alarm for his sake. The I tended amusement was defeated by Lia^ sence; and she returned home, and r« to her chamber. She could not sle the tumult of her thoughts. She diit even lie down. Some time before, >}«! heard what seemed to be the voice of tj ruffians in a closet near her bed, whspi ing about her murder. In trepidati■-.. i had fled to the house of her brother. 1 the fright was now remembered Stmw at all—and Pleyel had always regards! as the result of a dream. She went tol closet, to-night, for a manuscript lefti her father. A voice within cried, •' f< hold!" And yet she unaccountably I sisted in her endeavor. The door opd and a human figure stepped forth. It' Carwin. The danger of Clara was cot like that of the Jewess Rebecca in the pi ence of Bois-Gilbert. Her courage: not the same; but like her she escaj and Carwin left the house.
At morning, she is called on by Pk; and his absence on the previous evenin explained. He comes, with what «« to him indubitable proof, to charge «, her the most infamous disgrace. S>itl could shake from his mind the convid which his own senses seemed to affirm, heaped the bitterest reproaches head, nnd withdrew, as he said, to < at once for Europe.
From the fatal night on which the hearsal had failed, the intense excitcn and hurry of events has no imerrup till the end. We cannot hint at a tith< the occurrences that now take place., there is one overwhelming incident, wl the reader of these volumes rcai bers in spite of all others, and which < seems to be the principal event to wl all the rest are but secondary and stil dinate. Wieland conceives himself to h received from Heaven a terrible mom of duty. He is called to sacrifice the A est objects of his affection—to offer
fh death, his wife and his little ones! i one start back from this idea as un]—as only horror, without any tra.!■■ i. ur or pathos. We want no betmranee of genius of a high order, b-' manner in which this most moi> part of the tale is conceived and ed. In only an ordinary mind, such at as b about to be related would : a revolting form. The attempt is otis, but the author comes off with :riumph. Wieland gives an account i occurrence in a free, fearless, and iastic manner, at the close of bis t murder. We can give but a portion impressive and affecting scene; but icile is an exhibition of the author's t power.
Ue *he was gone, I strode along the enlie fellness of a gloomy hurricane but re-*mbled the discord that reigned in my To omit this sacrifice must not be ; yet ews had refused to perform it. No al« was offered. To rebel against the I* wu impossible; but obedience would «K' the executioner of my wife. My u strong, but my limbs refused their
ereturned with a light; I led the way 4»mber; she looked round her; she liftf'Jrtain of the bed: she saw nothing.
length, she fixed inquiring eyes upon "»light now enabled her to discover in »e? what darkness had hitherto concealer cares were now transferred from my 9 myself, and she said in a tremulous
Wieland! you are not well; what ails
Can I do nothing for yon?' ■' accents and looks so winning should me of my resolution, was to be expected. "igrite were thrown anew into anarchy. A my band before my eyes that I might
her, and answered only by groans. She J other hand between hers, and pressing w heart, spoke with that voice which t swayed my will, and wafted away sor
ly friend! my soul's friend! tell me thy
* ?rief. Do I not merit to partake with
• thy care* 1 Am I not thy wife?'
>i» was loo much. I broke from her emuid retired to a corner of the room. In m*e, courage was once more infused into I resolved to execute my duty. She folT»\ and renewed her passionate entrea«r»w the cause of my distress. TM***diny head and regarded her with W looks. I muttered something about •■■A the injunctions of my duty. At these «he Arank back, and looked at me with
a new expression of anguish. After a pause, she clasped her hands and exclaimed—
"'O Wieland! Wieland! God grant that I am mistaken; but surely something is wrong. I see it; it is too plain; thou art undone—lost to me and to thyself.' At the same time she gazed on my features with intensest anxiety, in nope that different symptoms would take place. I replied to her with vehemence—
"' Undone! No; my duty is known, and I thank my God that my cowardice is now vanquished, and I have power to fulfil it. Catharine! I pity the weakness of thy nature; I pity thee, but must not spare. Thy life is claimed from my bands; thou must die!'
"Fear was now added to her grief. 'What mean you.' Why talk you of death? Bethink yourself, Wieland; bethink yourself, and this fit will pass. O why came I hither! Why did you drag me hither?
"' I brought thee hitherto fulfil a divine command. I am appointed thy destroyer, and destroy thee I must.' Saying this I seized her wrists. She shrieked aloud, and endeavored to free herself from my grasp; but her efforts were vain.
"' Surely, surely, Wieland, thou dost not mean it. Am I not thy wife? and wouldst thou kill me? Thou wilt not; and yet—I see—thou art Wieland no longer! A fury resistless and horrible possesses thee—spare me—spare—help —help—'
"Till her breath was stopped she shrieked for help—for mercy. When she could speak no longer, her gestures, her looks appealed to my compassion. My accursed hand was irresolute and tremulous. I meant thy death to be sudden, thy struggles to be brief. Alas! my heart was infirm; my resolves mutable. Thrice I slackened my grasp, and life kept its hold, though in the midst of pangs. Her eyeballs started from their sockets. Grimness and distortion took the place of all that used to bewitch me into transport, and subdue me into reverence.
"I was commissioned to kill thee, but not to torment thee with the foresight of thy death; not to multiply thy fears, and prolong thy agonies. Haggard, and pale, and lifeless, at length thou ceascdHt to contend with thy destiny.
"This was a moment of tri umph. Thus had I successfully subdued the stubbornness of human passions; the victim which had been demanded was given; the deed was done past recall.
"I lifted the corpse in my arms and laid it on the bed. I gazed upon it with delight. Such was the elation of my thoughts, that I even broke into laughter. I clapped my hands and exclaimed,' It is done! My sacred duty is fulfilled! To that I have sacrificed, O my God! thy last and best gift, my wife!'
"For a while I thus soared above frailty. I imagined I had set myself forever beyond tho
he perishes by his own hand. Clara sa
Sc.-h is an outline of this tale—a C^e synopsis of a work that most be ** lie author has written h, in on vva^VT a JBSt notion of its merits, fltrry to tie heart its real power, v-asocc Kftxar stating here onr n tits a tBiff o€ sarh celebrity and au :y ar tir? reraiSc of letters as Mr. .v;: ids> srtctf Sx-ooae should hare u iii;a iit; iuarnphy of one for whi .vo-ii. -:iaua ao oii^er eonsideratiot n i:<j inirrwase of wb-jse re potato jvtnit »k »* Bkjre iaMress. * VTh