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Sturmgang, merchant in Zell, for reasons which I need not mention: he knows them."n demodt nezroq vłámog to Itismy duty, Captain Sturmgang," said I "to make you acquainted with the law on this point. The father

who disinherits his son, without grounds which the law recognizes as valid, is considered as of unsound mind, and his will, on application of the injured party, at once set aside. I am aware that you have had disagreements with your son, which unfortunately could not be settled without an appeal to a court of justice; but I must tell you that the law does not admit this as a sufficient ground for the proceeding you meditate."

bo" Humph! and what grounds does the law admit as sufficient for such a proceeding ?" bao bandend

To enumerate them all would exhaust your patience, if not iny own; but I will mention a few, and you will see how little likely is it that any among them should apply to the present case. For instance, then, when a son has accused his father of an offence against the state, has treated him in a way that compromises his-the father's honour, has corporeally maltreated or assaulted him, has practised against his life, has-"

"Quite enough! I have legal grounds, and I disinherit him as I have said."

"But I must further inform you," proceeded I," that the grounds of disinheritance must be expressly stated in the instrument, and must be sustainable by proof; otherwise the act is null and void."

"Does the law require that?"
"It does."

"In the devil's name, then, writeI disinherit my son Ludwig, because he has practised against my life."

I was mute for a moment with surprise and horror, and could only gaze blankly on the old man.

"And this accusation," said I at length, "is true?"

That's my affair. Let Ludwig Sturmgang contest the truth of it, if he has the courage. The proofs will

not die with me.'

"The proofs? Let me remind you, Captain Sturmgang, that in a matter so improbable in itself proof should be of no common cogency."

"I have proof sufficient-proof con

clusive-proof that would satisfy any jury in Europe. adswod; morz "May I ask how long ago i it is that your son committed this great crime?" Three years ago."

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"I wish, Captain Sturmgang, you would reconsider this matter. In the space of time you mention, what changes may have taken place in the character of your son. Will you not try what he is now, before you punish him for what he was then? Come, my dear sir, we have all of us need of forgiveness, and I do trust you will not carry your resentment against your son into another world."

"The learned assessor," interrupted the sub-rector in his grating voice, the driest that ever fell upon mortal ear, seems inclined to dabble in our craft, and to preach instead of minding hi protocols."

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I looked at the man with astonishment. A sneer that I could not help thinking infernal, wreathed his thin lips, and his grey eyes looked hemlock at me from under their shaggy and overhanging brows. Behind him stood his nephew, with cheeks white as paper, and drops of sweat standing visibly on his forehead. CHOLEFT

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"Sir," said I, addressing the cler gyman with looks, I believe, expressive of all the indignation I felt, 1 know, if you do not, what belongs to my office. I am ignorant neither of its rights nor of its duties; and, to make you acquainted with one of the former, of which you are,d perhaps, not aware-let me inform you that am empowered to direct the removal of persons who thrust themselves, uncalled, into the business I am engaged in. Should you think proper a second time to interrupt me, I shall exercise this right, and insist on your quitting the room. You will be good enough

to bear that in mind."

The sub-rector replied to this threat only by a glance, which would have made a believer in the "evil eye" go home and take to his bed. The stepson could not control his agitation; he trembled from head to foot, and seemed to grow positively sick with terror. These two persons made a singularly unpleasant impression on me, and I only wished that the uncle had indulged in another effusion of bile, to give me an excuse for getting rid of him. The old captain fidgeted

in his arm-chair; his brow portended storm; however, he put constraint on himself, and said coldly

"I beg that what I have dictated to the clerk of the court may now be written. I disinherit my son, Ludwig Sturmgang, because of his having prac tised against my life."

"It is written," said I, with equal

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"I appoint my stepson, Christian Schein, here present, my sole heir, and bequeath to him all the property, real and personal, which I shall die possessed of."On Tallons

The uncle and nephew exchanged a rapid glance. The young man's eyes blazed with triumph, and the blood, which had forsaken his very lips, flowed in a full tide back to his cheek and brow.

The invalid proceeded

To my housekeeper, Theresa Froh berg, I bequeath thirty louis d'or, and to my maid Margareta Reuter the bed

the Mephistopheles of the drama, and the eves-dropping housekeeper a comely person, though not in the first bloom of youth might fill the part of one of his ministering fallen angels. I determined to look farther into the matter.

My first step was to get information respecting the person and circumstances of Ludwig Sturmgang, and all that I heard told in his favour: he was known in the town for an upright, industrious, and well-conducted man, but had, it seemed, inherited the fiery, impetuous temper of his father. He was in his twenty-seventh year, and was the father of two children-a boy of eighteen months and an infant in the cradle: his wife was described to me as a good and gentle creature, devoted to her husband and her little ones: his business was not flourishing; he was able to live by it, but in a very straitened way.

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My next step was to go to him, to see what light he could or would af

hall die, with all its appur- ford me on the affair. I found him in

After some other unimportant todispositions, he said he had nothing more to add. The clerk jumped up to call for a l light to seal the instrument, and opened the door hastily, when a loud beream was heard from the antecham

e Demoiselle Prohberg's ear had, it seems, been rather near the keyhole, and to sobotungentle conand her head bad come into taet. S The captain was furious at this and it required the intercessions both of his stepson and the subrector to withhold him from adding a postscript to his will, revoking the legacy bestowed on the fair inquisitive.


The testament was signed and sealed, the captain invited us to lunch, but we declined, and returned to Zell, in no cheerful mood. As for me, I could not get the events of the morning out of my head: I had read stories by the dozen, in which one brother juggled the other out of his inheritance by diabolical machinations; I had seen plays, in which similar treason furnished the materials of the plot. Schiller's Franz Moor and this sneaking Christian Schein were blended by a curious association of ideas in my thoughts. Who knows, thought I, what devilry may be here at work? The reverend sub-rector seemed to me quite capable of playing

his shop, and requested to be permitted to speak a few words with him in private. Telling his shop-boy to attend to the business, he led me into his sitting-parlour, which looked very or derly and neat. An open door gave me a momentary glimpse into the bedroom, where I discovered the young wife, her foot rocking the cradle, her fingers occupied in needlework.

Sturmgang closed the door, and begged me to sit down.

"I don't know," said I, "whether I have to tell you who I am?"

"Oh! no, Mr. Assessor," cried he, "I know you very well. I have stood before now as a plaintiff at your green table."

"I will tell you, without preface, Mr. Sturmgang, what brings me here. I have got, without my seeking it, a peep into your family secrets.'


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"I know you have been with my father about his will. Ay, ay, I have been expecting that; I was prepared for it, quite."

"You know the tenor of the will?" "I can guess it."

"Mr. Sturmgang, I have a great desire to reconcile you with your father."

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"That is impossible, Mr. Assessor; that is out of the question. After what has passed between us, I will

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never stretch out the hand of reconciliation, nor would he accept it if I did. When I say," added he, "I will never stretch out the hand, I mean: unless 49€ DHW 1996

2 Well: unless ?"o

"Unless he acknowledge the wrong he has done me, and ask my forgiveness." not


The father ask forgiveness of the And do you, then, feel yourself so free from all blame? Have you contributed nothing to the rise or the increase of this mutual hatred ?"

"Who says I hate my father? God forbid I were so abandoned! But I don't love him: how could I, when he never loved me? And to humble myself before him, when I am the injured party! To own myself in the wrong, when I am not! And that for money! I would beg first I would starve first."

"Well then, Mr. Sturmgang, do you not believe that your father would speak exactly as you do?-that he too would cry, What, humble myself where I have been injured-own myself wrong where I am right!' Where a quarrel is, my dear sir, there are two parties, and the cases are rare indeed in which the blame lies entirely on one side. But suppose the present to be one of those rare cases -what does it come to ? A father has offended his son; is it too much to ask the son to forgive his father?"

"I would forgive with all my heart, if in fact, let him take the first step, and there is no one readier for a reconciliation than I."

"If you and he were brothers, I should have no ground to urge you further, but you are the child, he the parent, and I must press it on you, my dear Sturmgang, I must indeed, to be yourself the first to make overtures of peace."

"Never! I have been too deeply offended, wounded, outraged, and without provocation-yes, I will say itwithout provocation on my part. Sir, he has cursed me! Do you feel the weight of that word? I see you do. Love! reconciliation! peace!-what is the meaning of such phrases between people whom the bottomless gulf of a curse-divides ?"

The young man was silent for some moments, and then resumed with more composure

"And you don't know my father, Mr. Assessor: he is a far more posi tive man than you suppose, and as violent as he is positive. Even if I could bring myself to make the first advance, he would reject it, and the breach would only be widened-though wider it could hardly be."

"Well," said I," suppose I made the attempt with him, as I have done with you, and he were to speak just as you have done were to say, I will not take the first step, but I will not repulse my son if he takes it,' what would you do then?"

Sturmgang wavered he seemed to struggle with himself; at last he said

"I would take the step, if I had rea son to believe it would not be taken in vain.”u benden Bus 69tulinica de curs

You would go to your father?" add Iwould."UNTO Monet <BW utoe al

You would ask him to forgive and forget ?" prod stow alle T of Yes. "armomtrungas loved to grang

I shook him heartily by the hand, and declared my determination to make the attempt upon his father without delay.

The same day, in the afternoon, L went out to Dornfeld, praying on the way that I might find the old sailor alone, for I confess that I trembled at the thought that the stepson with his cattish sleekness, or the sub-rector, with his bearish roughness, might bar my access to him. Neither of these monsters, however, guarded the way, and the entrance to the enchanted castle lay free to my tread. I met nobody either in the court or the hall; the house door stood open, and I was obliged to walk in unannounced.

Proceeding to the room in which I had found the captain on a former occasion, I knocked at the door, and was answered by a 66 come in," that made me jump. The old gentleman had certainly been dreaming of a sea fight, and spoke as if he had had broadsides to out-thunder. As I entered, he rose from his arm-chair, in which, no doubt, he had been enjoying an after-dinner nap, and asked me in an angry growl, as he jerked off his night-cap, what I wanted, and why I had not sent up my name. Before I could reply, however, he had got better awake, recognized me, became more civil, and begged me to take a seat. Without ceremony I told him that, having been

obliged to decline the lunch he had offered me a few days before, I was now come to drink a cup of coffee with him. He seemed pleased at this, went out of the room, and presently I heard an awful bellowing through the house, now in the hall, now in the garret, now in the cellar. After some time he came back in a sea passion, imprecating every mischance that can befal a ship on the housekeeper and on his stepson, neither of whom was to be found; the maid, he said, had got leave to go to church, and so he was not able to give me a cup of coffee.

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I assured him that it was not of the slightest consequence, and expressed my pleasure at finding his health so much improved. In fact, he had recruited completely, and walked up and down the room with a vigorous tread. This room was recognizable at the first glance for the retreat of a seaman. The walls were hung with maps and prints of naval engagements, and a rude drawing of a man-of-war occupied a conspicuous place, flanked on one side by o

oasickle shaped dirk, and on the other by the triangular gold-laced hat, diminutive and formal, that had distinguished the service in his younger days.

I asked him if that, pointing to the drawing, was the ship he had commanded a more politic opening of a conversation was never made. It brought him on his favourite theme, and he began to tell me, with visible pleasure, of the voyages he had made in that very corvette, "the Dolphin," finishing with a grumble at having seen men leap over his head, one after another fellows he would not have trusted with the command of a jolly-boat; that was what had made him retire from the service, and live in that lubberly place on his half-pay. I now inquired after his family, listened patiently to his somewhat prolix accounts of what I knew before, and took the opportunity to tell him that his son Ludwig bore an excellent character in the town.

He was silent.

"I am the more astonished," continued I," when I think of your hav ing disinherited him. I will not conceal from you that I have conceived a lively interest both for you and for him, and, in short, that the motive of my present visit is to do you both a great service."dt and ther

His face darkened, but he still cons tihued silent, pacing up and down the room with a somewhat quickened step; at last he said ↳ chand

"My son has been with you?" "No," replied I, I went to his house yesterday." "Humph.

What for?"

"For the same purpose for which I came to you to-day to prepare him for a reconciliation."

"Oh ho! my good sir, we are not got quite so far yet. Allow me to say, once for all, that you will do me a pleasure by speaking no more on this subject."

"I hope to do you, not perhaps a pleasure, but, as I said before, a great service, Captain Sturmgang, by not complying with your wish."

He was going to interrupt me, but I spoke on without pausing.

"I am already half and half initiated into the secrets of your family, and I beg you to hear the dispassionate word of a dispassionate man-a man whose position renders him impartial. You are old, my dear sir, and you are alone; you have a son, and yet you are alone. Why should this be? Nay, hear me, I entreat you. Nature tolerates nothing unnatural, and what can be more unnatural than enmity between parent and child. Depend upon it, nature will revenge herself is revenging herself on you both for this outrage upon her. You are and will be, both sufferers, more deeply than you perhaps think. Let what will have taken place, no offence of a child can be so monstrous as to justify the parent in perpetual resentment."

"It won't do, sir; it won't do. My son and I are done with each other. A child that attempts his father's life, sir, has no forgiveness to hope for."

"Not if he reform-if he repent." "I would not give much for a repentance that comes only when the attempt has failed, when the tables are turned, and the assassin finds himself at the mercy of his intended victim. If he repents-which is likely enough, it is not of having meant to kill me, but of having gone about it in such a lubberly way. He repents, sir, of having left it in my power to disin herit him.'


"Fie, Captain Sturmgang! These are thoughts unworthy of a father.

Your son is not to have your property-well, he subunits to the loss. But is that a reason that he should have your curge? It is not what you withhold from him that he complains of, but what you bequeath him; and Intell you in the name of God and humanity that you must revoke your curse: that horrible word must not continue to the hour of death, to ring in the ear of your son."o

"My curse! bequeath him my curse! What's all that? I know of no curse." "Have not you cursed your son ? He told me you had."

"Is that possible? Cursed him-I don't believe it. When I break out in a fury, no doubt I say here and there something I don't mean. No, no, I don't curse him-God forbid."menne

"You make me very happy, Captain Sturingang. May I tell your son what you say?"budaiw T

"No need, sir-no need. I send him no message; I want no communication with him, and I beg I may now hear no more of him." godini col

"Very well. It is then your de

termination that he shall live and die in the belief that his father's curse lies upon him."

"The devil! No, it isn't. I told you I didn't curse him."

"You told me. Well, then, tell him so." and undersque cuida

Him! I tell him! My good sir, you forget that you talk to an old officer, who would rather blow himself and the enemy up together than strike his colours.'

"Ay, but you are not blowing up yourself and your son together. You are blowing him up alone. You are wilfully leaving him under the false -impression that he has your curse.'

"Confound it! I can't bandy words with you. I am no match for a lawyer in talk. There! tell him, then, for aught I care; and now, no more about it or him, I beg of you.'

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A thousand thanks, my dear sir; but one moment more I must beg you to hear me patiently. You will not forgive your son his offence against you?"

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"Never! Not even on your deathbed-not even on his ?"pf nut

"Come, come, we're not on our death-beds, he or I, nor likely to be so soon, I hope. Ifta sono on almenos

"Did you thinki sora fortnight ago, when you were making your will s But I crave an answer to my question. Will you not forgive him even on your death-bed, or on his, should he be the first to die?" od Rai bas?

"Humph! Well, perhaps I might I think I would. Yes, I will forgive him on my death-bed."Bol Bad 1 vnt "Good. How long will you live ?" "How can I tell?" no 919 # I sur "Not easily, I confess. Well, then, suppose you were to die next week suppose you were to die to-morrow? Or, what security have you that a stroke of apoplexy may not end your life this day this hour?" of senɔza as

"Stuff and nonsense!"itnou sdr tir "Not at all. You are near your 'threescore-and-ten.'YoYou are, per haps, very near your death. Don't lose the precious moments. Do, today, what in a few days will no longer be in your power. Show mercy whilst you have time, lest you should find none when you need it."ed to 1900sar


"By! I was not so hard pressed by the English frigate sin the North Sea!" of bed exowls and sup291 9 Forgive us our debts, as we for give our debtors. I am sure, Captain Sturmgang, you make that petition every day. ed duida al snos He wavered visibly, grumbled something about having been all his lifet better at giving blow for blow than word for word, and then said aloudde

"Well, I'll talk about it with my brother-in-law." notessmui oldanovet

At the name of Mephistopheles, a chill ran through all my veins, jai muf

"He will undo all my work," thought I; and the image of the smooth stepson, associating itself with his, reduced my hopes to a still lower ebb. I was opening my lips, however, for a last attempt, when the door! opened, and the latter worthy made his appearance.

The old gentleman received him with a broadside of oaths, and asked where he had been so long. He answered, with great humility, that he had taken a little walk while his father enjoyed his usual afternoon's nap, not dreaming of his being exposed to in trusion. This he said with a sideglance at me. 3 X 3

"Where's Theresa?" demanded the captain, roughly. Is she gone to walk, too?"s afor odd andies # 913

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