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my son."

“ Thanks! thanks!” exclaimed the old man, while he pressed the hand of Blankenberg. “Drink away, children, and take your farewell quickly. Here, my dear Reelzingen," continued he, placing a large purse in the hand of the amazed captain ; "we cannot know whether, your road may not be divided; you are very generous in accompanying

“And would you repay this with gold ?" interrupted the captain, displeased. “On my word, sir, I accompany my brother because we are old comrades, and not on account of your money. I would be

"Reelzingen,” said Kathchen, in her sweet voice, "you do not understand jesting; they are bright copper coins, and I gave my

father the purse, to send you in April.”

“I do understand," whispered the captain, while he, colouring, kissed the hand of the fair girl. "I will bring you something from Frankfort for this.”

Bring me,” replied she, while she could no longer restrain her tears, “only our Gustavus safely back, and," added she, smiling through them, "play me no foolish trick which may betray you.”

" The horses are before the Watergate," said the consul to Reelzingen and his son.

“You must not pass by the gate itself, for the first round is already over. Blankenberg, accompany my son through the garden, and bring me word how they succeed.”

Young Lanbek embraced his father and sisters; the latter followed him and his friend, weeping, to the garden-door; and as Hedwig afterwards bitterly blamed her younger sister because she had allowed the captain to kiss her, the other answered—“It was you who erred, and not I, in omitting it; we owe such complaisance to a man who does so much for our brother."

“Ah!” answered Hedwig, blushing, " Blankenberg has also aided him.”


The two young men rode on in silence through the dark night; there was not a star in the sky, and the wind howled round the hills.

“Ha! do you see there?” whispered Reelzingen, as they rode past the iron gallows, erected, during the reign of Duke Frederic in 1597, by the alchemist Honaüer in metal, which he had promised to change into gold.

“ See that horrid brood of crows, who seem as if they scented some fresh carrion."

His friend looked upwards in silence, but quickly cast down his eyes, for it appeared to him as if he beheld the fair, dear form of Leah sitting weeping beneath the gallows.

“This iron pillar of infamy is strong enough,” continued the captain, “to bear all the rascals in the country; but, were they to hang upon it with the gold they have pocketed, the gallows would then become but a rotten and broken stick. What a horrid melody these crows sing, to be sure! But what is this? Heaven preserve us, comrade! Give your horse the spur; there is a spirit seated near the gallows !”

It now seemed as if the horses, too, were afraid of this terrible spot, for at these words they gallopped past the hill with the speed of the storm, nor rested until out of hearing of the screaming of the crows.

There was a small bridge betwixt Stuttgart and Ludwigsburg, of which there were many fearful tales told, and of which this much was certain, that something so inexplicable had occurred there, that persons said their prayers as they rode past the fearful spot. The story ran, that on this night the consul's son and the gay captain went speedily forward until they reached that bridge, but, once arrived there, their horses would not pass it, but stood still, snorted, and trembled. While the youths spurred and whipped them to no purpose, an aged and trembling voice was heard to exclaim—“ Charity to an old man!”

“Who can draw his purse at night, and in the mist?” replied the soldier. “ Back, old man; away from the bridge: our horses shy at you. Away, I say, or you shall feel my whip!” “Not so fast, young blood—not so fast !” retorted the old man,

whose dark form they now plainly perceived seated on the rails.

“ Haste with leisure; you will be soon enough. Give charity to an old man!”

“ This passes my patience !” exclaimed the captain, raising his whip in the air. * If, while I count three, you have not left, I will strike you down!”

The old man coughed and tittered; it seemed to Gustavus as if his dusky form lengthened itself out unendingly, while a long arm held out a large hat, and, for the third time, but now in a threatening voice, the man of the bridge again croaked out—“ Charity to an old man !-it will bring you success. Do not ride so fast; you cannot be yonder before twelve o'clock.”

The arm of Reelzingen fell powerless and trembling by his side; he declared afterwards that a strange cold hand had laid hold of him. Gustavus, with a beating heart, drew out his purse, and threw a silver coin into the large hat.

“What o'clock is it, old man ?” asked he.

“I know no hour except twelve,” replied the form, in a hollow voice, once more squatting together upon the rail. “ Thank yourself that you have luck; ride on,” he said, and plunged backward with a heavy fall into the swamp over which the bridge led.

Terrified, Reelzingen put spurs to his horse, which now reared up, and then cleared the bridge at two bounds. But Gustavus, horrified, reined in his horse, alighted, and looked over the rails. Nothing stirred.

“Old man,” cried he at length, “ have you hurt yourself? Can I help you ?" No answer—all was still as the grave.

An inexplicable dread now seized upon young Lanbek also; he felt his horse tremble as he again mounted it, and he did not venture to look back even once upon the fearful place as he rode after his friend.

“ This is the second time that I have met him," whispered Reelzingen, breathing deeply, as Lanbek once more reached his side.

“ Who?” asked Lanbek, surprised.
“ The devil!” answered the captain.

His companion made no answer, and they went on through the darkness. As they passed through Zussenhausen, the clock struck a quarter to twelve; lights still burned in most of the houses, and now and then hymns were heard singing in the apartments. The night watchman blew his horn, and called the hour. The captain stopped and asked him, What was meant by this late psalm-singing and praying?

“Ah! sir, this is a fearful pight: a man has knocked at many of the houses, and directed that the people should pray until twelve o'clock."

“ Who was the man?” asked Lanbek, amazed.

An old man, sir, as those say who saw him. It might be our old clergyman; may God keep him! He has been dead these twenty years; but it was nothing unchristian what he asked, and therefore it is that they are praying and singing in the lighted rooms, and spinning there."

"This night will turn my brain !” exclaimed the captain, as they rode on.

Gustavus, I believe that this night he is going round the world in bodily form; I think that this would be the best time to ask the old fellow, whether one may soon expect to be a colonel, or may have two hundred thousand Spanish quadruples.”

“ Nonsense,” answered his friend; "the one you think of has nothing to do with prayers.”

It now seemed as if the horses accelerated their speed on account of the lights, but yet the quarter of an hour seemed lengthened out to a whole one. Ludwigsburg was not yet in sight, and the night was so dark, that they could not tell, from the appearance of the country, whether they had mistaken their way, or whether the place was at hand. At length, after they had ridden for about half an hour longer, they observed a light shining at the distance of some thousand steps, and immediately found their way impeded by four horses, which, yoked to a travelling carriage, stood right across the highway. “ Take your horses aside, driver!” exclaimed the captain,

or my whip shall do so. Why do you



the road?” “Easily, sir, will that be done,” answered a man who descended from the vehicle; but the time he put off in doing this, taking up the dropped reins and arranging them, was too much for the fiery soldier. He tried to turn aside the negligently-placed halters of the foremost team, and desired his friend to do the same; but, as usually happens in such cases of blind haste, the man drew up the reins of the vehicle, and the captain's horse remained with one of his feet entangled in the raised cords.

Lanbek leapt down to assist his friend, the driver bastened with sympathy towards him, and just as the foot of the unpaid-for horse was set free, some riders were heard approaching in great haste from the side of the town. The foremost had the start by about five hundred steps, but his horse was not a good one, and the captain distinctly discerned that he went at a short parade gallop, while the paces of the horse following were fewer, but far fleeter,

Away! Give place! Away!” cried the first rider, and at the same moment the two young men heard a well-known voice, calling, with a loud tone and fierce expression—“Stop, Jew, or I will shoot you through the body."

Among the people of Wurtemberg, there was once heard a rhyme, which seemed to point to this impressive moment; it ran thus:

" Then out spoke Herr von Röder

• Halt, or thou shalt die;"" for it was the old colopel who now sprung forward upon his companion

" but

with a pistol in his hand, seized his arm with fury, and cried—“ Whither away, Jew? Why so quickly to horse, when I called upon you to wait?”

* Be calm, colonel,” answered the other in a haughty voice, while he trembled with anxiety; “I go on to Stuttgart, to ask her serene highness the duchess for directions how to proceed at this moment“ That is my road, too, sir!" replied the colonel, in a terrible voice;

you shall not stir from my side, or I will fasten you to it with my pistol. Way, there! Who stands in the road?”

“ Captain Von Reelzingen of the first company, and the counsellor of expedition, Lanbek."

“Good evening, gentlemen," continued Röder. “ Are your pistols loaded, captain ?"

“Yes, colonel," was the answer of the soldier, while he unfastened them from his waist.

“I command you, upon whatever errand you may now be, to ride bere at the left hand of the minister. By your service and your honour, as a good man, if he attempts to fly, send a bullet through him. I take the responsibility upon myself.”

Counsellor," exclaimed Süss, “ I take you to witness, that force of the most disgraceful sort is used towards me. Colonel Röder, I warn you once more; this scene shall be punished.”

“ Colonel Röder,” said Gustavus, in a low tone of voice, “ for the love of Heaven, be not over hasty; think of what the consequences may be. Reflect,” added he, "upon the terrible wrath of the duke.”

“The duke is dead !” said Röder, loud enough for all to hear.

“ Charles Alexander dead?” exclaimed the captain, quite confused by all the occurrences of the night fearfully rushing upon his memory.

“ Is the news certain ? Heavens! what an event!” said Gustavus, musingly. “Was he at Kehl ?”

“ He died suddenly at Ludwigsburg a quarter of an hour ago; therefore it becomes our duty to bring these gentlemen, who employed themselves so busily in the government, quickly to the orphan rudder of the state.”

“ In Ludwigsburg, you say ?” exclaimed Lanbek, “and dead suddenly? Eternal Providence !"

" In this same Ludwigsburg," said Röder, with emotion, “dead of a stroke of apoplexy in his bed. Peace be with his ashes! He was a brave man; but let us go on, friends, that the news may not reach Stuttgart before us.”

“Gentlemen," cried Süss, in a voice nearly choked with anger and vexation, “I am still minister. Remember the edict which freed me from all responsibility. I tell you it will fare badly with you, if you join Colonel Röder. In the name of the duke and his heirs, I command you to leave me.”

“ Your rule is over, Jew!” exclaimed the captain, as he smiled savagely, took the bridle from him, and struck his horse upon the back with his whip, while the colonel rode at the right side, pistol in hand. The party set off at a gallop, and Gustavus followed in a halfdreaming state on through the psalm-singing village, towards the old man who once again sat hoarsely laughing on the bridge, and towards the gallows, where the crows screeched and flapped their wings; then, as he cast a shuddering look upon the place of execution, did Leah and her unhappy fate occur to his mind with sad foreboding.

CHAPTER XIV. When the inhabitants of Stuttgart awoke the following morning, they were surprised by two tales, which were equally incredible. The dake, instead of having set out upon his journey, had died suddenly the night before at Ludwigsburg. He had been a robust and healthy man, to whom many who had seen him would have given twenty or thirty years of longer life. The report of his death was almost annihilated by the joy at the other piece of intelligence. The Jew Süss, together with some of the chief persons at the court, had been at the castle of Ludwigsburg when the duke so suddenly died; he had, as soon as he saw the dead body, thrown himself upon his horse, and had ridden almost in a state of frenzy towards Stuttgart; but Colonel Röder, a man with whom there was no jesting, had detained him, and conducted him under surveillance thither. People laughed at the singular deception of the Jew, for he had expected to be with the duchess during the night to condole with her, and went out and desired an escort (stating that he must carry deeds of importance), composed of a lieutenant and six men. At the end of the corridor, a captain saluted him, and followed with twelve men: the other smiled, " It was too much honour;" but, as he turned the corner of Lanbek's house, and observed four sentinels before his palace, when he saw bayonets glittering at the entrance, and beheld Leah, pale, agitated, and weeping, opposite to him, then did he perceive what the blow was, and cried—“ Heavens! I am lost!”

Though the will of the late duke, in the event of his death, had named an administration which would have been more grateful to his ministers, yet Duke Rodolph of Neustadt, in spite of his great age, as the next in rank, succeeded as administrator, and the country felt relieved and pacified by this. He allowed those persons to retain their offices (with the exception of such as were known to be bad men) as they held them under the last administration, and this was truly an act of graciousness, when we reflect that two-thirds of these situations had been sold. One alone was not satisfied with the place to which the duke administrator, with the most gracious expressions, had appointed him; it was the younger Lanbek. He wished to be named anew simply as counsellor of expedition; but as old Röder, in his zealous friendship for the father, had described his son as a talented and acute lawyer, the duke directly selected him for the commission which conducted the process against the Jew Süss. Old Lanbek considered himself not a little honoured by this, and frequently called his son the pride and support of his old age; but Gustavus looked on this choice as inexpressibly unfortunate—not that he would not, like others, have condemned the man who had thrown the country into such a state of misery—not that it was against his conscience to bring those crimes to light which had been so artfully concealed: but Leah; it was her brother whom he was about to judge, and it was this thought which now made his employment so horrible to him. Mean souls greedily satiate themselves with revenge; and to many it would have proved a great joy thus to visit a man who had lately stood so high, and was now in the deepest dungeon of the fortress; in an im

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