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short time the richest farmer in the had entertained them. At such times, whole village. When his children the little ones were agreeably surprised played upon the Field of Terror, which to find their pockets stored with sweetboth they and Sabina now visited with meats or glittering toys, among which out apprehension, they told some- a valuable gold coin was frequently times how the good Waldmann had discovered. come, and with what pretty stories he
THE BATH OF BEAUTY;
THE SWAN'S POOL.
A Romantic Tale from the German.
AMONG the romantic mountains of the comforts, and many of the superthe Vortenburgh in Swabia, there is a Auities of life. But there was one cirlittle streamlet, well known by the name cumstance in his general conduct that of the Swan's Pool, which is reported | was food for the astonishment of his to possess the power of restoring or neighbours. At sunrise, whether the perpetuating female beauty. Its effi- winds were abroad, or the rain fell in cacy, however, is confined to the
torrents, he was always discovered in fairies, or their descendants, who are tears by the banks of the lake, with accustomed to pay an annual visit to his eyes raised to heaven, and his hands the pool ; and in the shape of swans, clasped in an attitude of the deepest with a light gossamer veil Aowing down devotion. Many were the conjectures their necks, to bathe in its limpid wa- respecting this singular conduct ; but ters, and renew their personal attrac- at last, after mature deliberations, a tions.
synod of the villagers came to the sage On the banks of the lake was erect- opinion, that it was a very extraordied a simple hermitage, as remarkable nary circumstance. for the beauty of its situation, as for It happened one summer's evening, the virtues of the anchoret who inhabit- when the last rays of the setting sun ed it. He was a man who had resided had tinged the lake with a faint reflecthere for many years, and though his tion of its light, that a young Swabian name was unknown to all, he procured peasant, who had escaped the slaughter universal respect for the patriarchal of his countrymen, when their territosimplicity of his life. He had formed ries were laid waste by the Austrians, the hermitage himself, reared the most arrived at the hermitage, and entreated beautiful shrubberies around it, and the protection of its venerable owner. raised a plantation of Aowers, inter- He was received with a hearty welcome, spersed with delicious vineyards. The and after remaining a few days, was natural amenity of his manners ingra- invited to take up his final residence at tiated him strongly with the mountain the cottage. This request was cheerpeasants, who had recourse to him on fully complied with ; Brenno, for that every emergency where advice or con- was the name of the young soldier, had solation was needed, and, in return for met with numerous misfortunes; and huis kindness, presented him with all unwilling, from past experience, to encounter' morė, resolved to quit the died from the jealousy. of her parents, world for ever, and assume the dress who refused to permit her visit to the and behaviour of an anchoret. Every pool, and I resolved to pass the rest of succeeding day increased the friend my life in a spot which had once been ship of the hermit for his young com- honoured with her presence. She was panion. He accompanied him in all lovely as the summer rose, and grateful his rambles, ministered to him in his as the earliest breath of morning ; but sorrows, and assisted him by his ad- she faded in the spring of her days, and vice and consolation. Such "intimacy has left me for ever inconsolable. But at last produced a perfect confidence you, my young friend, who are yet in on both sides, and soon the hermit ac- the morning of your life, may succeed quainted Brenno with all the particulars where I failed. By annually watching of his past life. At the season of the at the magic pool, you may see the equinox, the natural kindliness of his beautiful swans lay aside their gossamer manner seemed chilled into a gloomy veils, and assume the appearance of reserve; and he never failed to send virgins, lovely as the warmest imaginaBrenno to the extremity of the pool, tion can conceive. Select the one most to ascertain whether any swans made agreeable to your fancy; mark where their appearance on it surface. If the she deposits her veil when she bathes fight was numerous, the hermit, to the in the Bath of Beauty, seize it, and the infinitesurprise of his companion, seem- virgin will be unable to reassume the ed greatly elated in health and spirits ; appearance of a swan, till the magic but when none appeared, he grew more texture is restored to her. You may, gloomy and discontented.
perhaps, be surprised at the existence One morning while Brenno was of these etherial spirits. Tradition keeping his annual watch by the side reports, that they once lived with man of the pool, he observed a vast number in familiar intercourse; till sin degradof swans alight on the surface, a cir- ed his character, and compelled his cumstance which he immediately re- fairy companions to return to their naJated to the hermit. The old man was tive heaven. But their descendants still enraptured; he bestowed unusual com- flourish on earth, and partake of the mendation on the vigilance of Brenno, sensibilities of human nature, with the and desired him to prepare a supper, privilege of immortal youth obtained with an extra modicum of wine. "The by an annual visit to the magic pool. glass went cheerily round, the reserve This visit occupies them but a few days; of age gradually wore off before its ex- and if at the time of the equinox, when hilirating effects, and the good father the sun is high in heaven, and the grew remarkably loquacious : he laid mountain shadows lengthen along the aside his accustomed sanctity, hymned glassy surface of the pool, you seize songs in praise of his long-neglected the veil which will be deposited by its deity, Bacchus; and with eyes that side, a fairy will be your prize. Never sparkled with unwonted vivacity, re- let her know the theft, but endeavour lated to his protege some of the prin- to win her heart by gentleness, and she cipal occurrences of his life. He in- will make you an exemplary wife. formed him of the peculiar properties Ever blooming in youth and beauty, of the swan's pool, of the beautiful when you fade into the tomb, she will fairies who paid their annual visit to the be still lovely, and remain as a tender stream, and of the mode to be adopted evergreen mourning upon a new-sodded in ensnaring them. “ I was myself,” grave. Years have gone by since the continued the aged narrator, “ in love bright form of my fairy virgin withered with one whom I encountered at her in the silent tomb. She was prevented father's palace in Bohemia ; but she from visiting the pool, and lost its privileges. But her form is ever before had once beheld his mistress, and the me; it steals upon me in the night sea- spring flowers were planted upon the son; and consoles me with the prospect turf
. The village peasants lamented of our union. At day-break I wander the death of the good man, and came to the spot where I once saw her ; I there in crowds to visit his tomb. They offer up my orisons to the Deity, and thought of his virtues, his numerous pray that the fond fairy who was refused acts of benevolence, his pious disposito me on earth, may be restored to me tion, and eagerly procured every relic in heaven. It is this alone that sheds a that remained of him. Anticipating gleam of sunshine upon the snow of the probability of such enthusiasm, my existence. I recall the past to my Brenno had prepared himself for the mind I think of my fairy maid lovely event. He cut up the staff of the her-innocent as I first found her, and feel mit, and fashioned it into tooth-picks ; assured that she is smiling on me from his sandal shoon he converted into taabove. As for my life, unconnected lismans of a marvellous quality, and with my love, I look back on it as a predicted perpetual youth from frequent dream that had better be forgotten, as application to the relics. But this poan age spent in fruitless exertion and pular enthusiasm soon abated ; custounavailable despondency."
mers dropped off, and the hermitage It is probable that the old hermit was once more a scene of utter solitude. would have continued his harangue like Brenno was not displeased with this two parallel lines, ad infinitum, had return of tranquillity ; it gave him meanot a snore from the musical nose of sure to pursue his romantic scenes ; Brenno warned him that a great deal and as the time of the equinox was of good but lengthy morality had been approaching, he wisely considered that a wasted on a reprobate. Mortified at fairy wife would be an agreeable addithe somnolent effect of his eloquence, tion to the household furniture of the and astonished at such symptoms of bad hermitage. Impressed with this juditaste in his auditor, he reluctantly pre- cious opinion, he made every requisite pared to follow his example ; and arrangement, and awaited the annual having finished a brace of Te Deums, visit of the swans in a state of the to which the clerkly snout of his com- greatest anxiety. panion furnished an “ Amen,” threw The long expected season of the equihimself on his couch of rushes.
nox at last arrived, and Brenno staMorning dawned ; and every lark tioned himself by the side of the pool. that welcomed the uprising sun was It was a fine summer morning; the mistaken by.Brenno for a swan. His sun was rising in the heavens, and the fancy, naturally warm and enthusiastic, early dew yet glistened on the mountain for ever dwelt upon the miraculous cir- precipices. A thousand feathered chocumstance of the beautiful birds, and risters welcomed the approach of day; their magic veils ; and often would he and the lark was singing at heaven's run in ecstacy from the hermitage, gate his song of gratitude. The beauty when the morning cry of the raven of the scene passed, with all its cheerechoed along the surface of the pool. fulness, into the buoyant heart of His companion in the meantime grew Brenno; and his expectations spoke daily and even hourly more indisposed. eloquently in his mantling cheeks. He Age came upon him with all its debility; had waited but a short time in his hiding and after the lapse of a few weeks, a place, when, from the hills of the west, gtave was dug by Brenno, and the corpse
came a luminous but moving appearof his venerable friend deposited therein. ance in the sky. He gazed at it in triHis remains were interred, at his own umph—it approached-and discovered particular request, in the spot where he the form of a milk-white swan, with a gossamer veil floating gracefully down quisite loveliness.
quisite loveliness. In a voice hall its neck, and a tuft of beautiful feathers choked with agitation, he implored her on its head. It descended from its to discard her care, and wait in calmheight, dropt the veil among the rushes ness till the veil should be discovered. that fringed the banks of the pool, and The beautiful girl turned round at the plunged into the waters. On a sudden expostulation; and as she beheld the it arose, and, to the fascinated eyes of fine form of Brenno hanging in fondBrenno, disclosed the form of a lovely ness over her, the fire of conscious woman, beaming in all the pride of beauty lighted up in her eye, and love innocence. A blush was on her coun- took possession of her heart. Her tenance, and her blue eye spoke of light etherial blood was incapable of blandishment and voluptuousness. Her lasting grief, and sorrow passed over figure was modelled with the most ex- her countenance, as the night-cloud quisite symmetry; her neck and breast that sails across the full-orbed moon, were bare, and rivalled even the snow and obscures its light with but a tranin whiteness. A transparent robe was sient gloom. Hopeless of recovering thrown negligently across her, but so her veil, she gradually resigned herself tbin, that every movement of her to the solitude of her situation; and beautiful limbs was discernible through though a tear sometimes trembled in it. As she sported in ecstacy on the her eye when she thought of her surface of the waters, a strain of music friends, and wandered in the long was heard floating gently on the gale ; summer evenings by the Bath of Beauty, it echoed across the stream, and died in the hopes of regaining her treasure, away among the distant mountains. she moved with a more elastic tread,
The youth was enraptured; he moved and smiled on Brenno with more than gently from his hiding place, and seized usual archness. the magic veil. He then bore it to the A month had now elapsed, and hermitage, and awaited in an agony of found the fairy the uncomplaining expectation the result of his stratagem. victim of Brenno. She was by this After a short interval, a sound as of time reconciled to her solitude, and approaching footsteps was heard, and never thought of her companion without the graceful figure of a fairy stood a sentiment of affection for the delicacy beside him, clad in the lightest attire, that respected her situation. As she and beaming in conscious loveliness. was one evening wandering with him She spoke of the loss she had sustained, on the banks of the pool, the conversaand implored his protection until ena- tion grew more than usually animated, bled to recover her loss. The heart of the fairy, in answer to the tender exthe youth melted at her sorrow; and he postulations of Brenno, informed him volunteered his services in assisting her that her name was Zoe, and that she to find the veil. They went out to- was the daughter of the celebrated Gregether, they wandered along the banks cian princess, Calista of Zante. That of the pool ; but the magic web was she was paying her annual visit to the no where to be found, and the poor Bath of Beauty when she lost her veil ; fairy was inconsolable. On returning and that the privilege of immortal youth to the hermitage, she seated herself would cease, until it was recovered. near the latticed window, and refused | The sun had by this time sunk behind every consolation. The summer breeze the western hills, and the bright moon fanned her glossy tresses, and as her came up in her virgin splendour. The bosom palpitated with anxiety, and the heart of Brenno was softened at the warm flush of evening glowed on her sight, and he pointed out the scene to countenance, her fond admirer thought his companion. “ This, love," he exthat he had never yet beheld such ex- claimed, " is the soft, the beauteous hour, for ever hallowed in remembrance. the fair Zoe busied herself with her It was on an evening, sweet, holy as mother-in-law in arranging her dress this, you first smiled on me in fond- for the ceremony. « Oh! that I had ness. That smile hath never passed but the light Grecian veil,” she exaway; it visits me like an angel of claimed with sigh," then, indeed, heaven, in the night season, and soothes should I be viewed with envy.” “Grieve my lonely hours. May I hope, my sweet not yourself about that," replied the girl, that the time will come, when talkative old lady, “it is safe in my your affection will not speak in smiles possession ; my son desired me, from alone, but in the honeyed words of some unaccountable reason, to secrete love ?” He ceased, and turned on the it from your notice : but promise to blushing countenance of the fairy a conceal it from him, and I will restore look of the most impassioned admira- | it to its right owner.” Zoe was struck tion. She averted her face from his dumb with astonishment; indignation gaze; but in the soft expression of her at the hypocrisy of Brenno, and joy at blue eye he read all that could plead in the discovery of her veil, prevented her his behalf. His frame trembled with reply. But when she received the veil emotion, his blood rioted in delirious from the hands of the good matron, she ecstacy, and clasping Zoe in his arms, tbrew open the window, and as the he imprinted a warm kiss on her cheek, magic robe floated gracefully down her the first that man had ever imprinted fair form, it assumed the appearance of there. Warmed by the affection of her a milk-white swan, and sailed far away lover, the blashing girl confessed her into the blue distant horizon. affection, and promised, if he would The old lady in her turn now stared quit the dreary solitude of the Swan's with astonishment. She 'tore the few Pool, to bind herself irrevocably to hairs that time had yet left upon her him.
head, and when her son returned to Every requisite was now arranged for claim his beautiful bride, taxed him their departure. The superstition of with sullying the honour of his family, the neighbouring peasants had furnished by marrying a she-devil in disguise. the soldier with an ample sufficiency After a lengthy harangue, her enthusifor his travels, and he prepared for his asm for devotion so far conquered her retum home. On reaching the town of reason, that she concluded by the most Meussau, in Swabia, he was recognised convincing of all arguments, a sound by his companions; and the report was box on the ear. The son retorted the carried to the reverend fathers of the angry expostulations of his mother, town, that the valiant Brenno, escaped and the noise of the quarrel brought all from the massacre of his countrymen, the neighbours in a hurry to the door. was retuming in triumph to the scene “ My son,” shrieked the pious matron, of his nativity. The fat bailiffs of the “ has leagued himself with a she-devil.” town came out in procession to meet “ A she-devil !” exclaimed a little fat him ; and amid the sound of trumpet bailiff,“ heaven defend us all.”—“ She and the roll of drums, Brenno and his was a Grecian lady,” returned the disbeautiful Zoe were escorted home. The appointed Brenno. “ A she-devil,” old mother welcomed her son as one persisted the mother." A Grecian that was returned from the grave;
and lady,” resumed the son. “Whoever she received his virgin bride with expres- is," said the indignant bailiff, “it is sions of the deepest admiration. clear that she has escaped the clutches
The evening before the intended of the most Holy Inquisition ; but nuptials, when the bridal festivity was whether she be a male or a female preparing, and the light tones of music Beelzebub, or even Moloch himself, echoed through the vaulted apartments, Mother Church will conjure her back