Page images

ciated with the idea of high consolation under trials and fears.

In those wild years of strange adventure, many a dreary night of perilous exposure and of fearful watching, on ocean and land, was solaced by the sight of that beautiful starry cross, standing erect, or bending at various angles over the south pole; — sometimes sought in hours of danger as a beacon and guide, and ever hailed with joy, and hope, and gratitude.

[blocks in formation]

The environs of Baden, to the distance of three or four leagues, are varied by the most striking and the most picturesque scenery ; full of chivalrous associations, and peculiarly well adapted for the generation of those unearthly thoughts that are said to come to poets by inspiration. The ruins of the chateau of * Yburg consist of two lofty towers, and the remains of some old walls, at the distance of about two leagues from Baden. One of these towers was rent from top to bottom, some years ago, by a thunderbolt; but the other is well preserved ; and, as it is the highest point which the country around presents, the view from it is singularly magnificent. On the east, the majestic mountains of the Black Forest appear in the distance; while, towards the west, we behold a boundless plain, watered by the Rhine, and shining in all the pride and beauty of human life and industry.

The ruins of the castle of † Eberstein are also particularly interesting. It was the abode of the Baden family, from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century, during which period its ample precincts witnessed many tournaments and feats of arms. The strength of this ancient castle may be collected from the romantic history of the attempt which was made by Otho the Great, to gain possession of it by a stratagem.

War may be said never to have ceased during the reign of this emperor. After he had suppressed the formidable insurrection which had broken out at Strasburg, he learned that the principal instigators of that revolt were the Counts of Eberstein. He marched immediately, with a large army,

* Pronounced, Ecboorg.


against the r castle, and besieged it, without success, during two years and a half.

He then resolved to have recourse to other means for the accomplishment of his purpose. He affected to make peace with the Counts of Eberstein, withdrew his army, and gave, at * Spires, a series of festivals in celebration of the cessation of the war. A tournament of course formed part of the amusements of this season of joy: a multitude of princes and lords were invited to attend it, - among the rest the three brothers of Eberstein. One of these, a fine youth, of robust figure and martial bearing, captivated the affections of a lady of the court, who, while he was dancing with her, took an opportunity to whisper into his ear that the castle of Eberstein was in danger, and that the emperor had despatched emissaries to take possession of it during the absence of the three brothers. The latter consulted with each other immediately, and resolved to lose no time in returning home; but, in order to avoid suspicion, they continued apparently to enjoy the scene of festivity, as the gayest of the gay, announced that they would measure their arms with those of any other knight or gentleman present, and that they would present a hundred golden florins to the conqueror.

During the night, they crossed the Rhine in a boat, and towards morning, found themselves, once more, safe within the walls of their castle. When the emperor heard of their departure, he was much enraged, and ordered the castle to be assaulted. But the attack was bravely repelled. He then sent three knights to endeavour to prevail on the brothers to give in their submission. The only answer these messengers received was this: — they were conducted to the caverns of the castle, which were stored with wine and corn for three years. Their report was that the castle of Eberstein could not be taken either by storm or by famine. Otho finally concluded a real peace with the three brothers, on terms equally honourable to both parties, and gave his sister to one of them in marriage. This was the lady who had warned one of the Counts of Eberstein, at Spires; and the object of her affection became her husband.

* Pronounced, Speeraiss.



Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Cousin, I have been thinking what you are to do with your pet rose when you go to New York, as, - to our consternation, — you are determined to do: you know it would be a sad pity to leave it with such a scatter-brain as I am. I love flowers, indeed; that is, I like a regular bouquet, cut off and tied up, to carry to a party ; but as to all this tending and fussing, which is needful to keep them growing, I have no gifts in that line.”

“Make yourself easy as to that, Kate," said Florence, with a smile; “I have no intention of calling upon your talents: I have an asylum in view for my favourite."

“Oh! then you know just what I was going to say. Mrs. Marshall, I presume, has been speaking to you : she was here yesterday; and I was quite pathetic upon the subject, telling her the loss your favourite would sustain, and so forth; and she said how delighted she would be to have it in her greenhouse, - it is in such a fine state now, so full of buds. I told her I knew you would like to give it to her ; you are so fond of Mrs. Marshall, you know.”

“Now, Kate, I am sorry, but I have otherwise engaged it.”

“Who can it be to? you have so few intimates here."
“Oh! it is only one of my odd fancies."
“ But do tell me, Florence.”

“Well, cousin, you know the little pale girl to whom we give sewing ?

“What! little Mary Stephens ! how absurd, Florence! This is just another of your motherly oldmaidish ways, dressing dolls for poor children, making bonnets, and knitting socks for all the little dirty babies in the neighbourhood. I do believe you have made more calls in those two vile ill-smelling alleys behind our house, than ever you have in Chestnut street, though you know every body is half dying to see you; and now, - to crown all, - you must give this choice little bijou to a sempstress girl, when one of your most intimate friends, in your own class, would value it so highly. What in the world can people in their circumstances want with flowers ?

“ Just the same that I do," replied Florence calmly. Have you not noticed that the little girl never comes here without looking wistfully at the opening buds? And don't you remember the other morning she asked me so prettily if I would let her mother come and see it, she was so fond of Howers ?

“But, Florence, only think of this rare flower standing on a table with ham, eggs, cheese, and flour, and stifled in that close little room, where Mrs. Stephens and her daughter manage to wash, iron, and cook.”

“Well, Kate, and if I were obliged to live in one coarse room, and wash, and iron, and cook, as you say; if I had to spend every moment of my time in toil, with no prospect from my window but a brick wall and dirty lane, such a flower as this would be untold enjoyment to me.

“ Pshaw! Florence; all sentiment! Poor people have no time to be sentimental. Besides, I don't believe it will grow with them ; it is a greenhouse flower, and used 13 delicate living.”

“Oh! as to that, a flower never inquires whether its owner is rich or poor; and Mrs. Stephens, — whatever else she has not, — has sunshine of as good quality as this that streams through our window. The beautiful things that God makes, are his gifts to all alike. You will see that my fair rose will be as well and cheerful in Mrs. Stephens's room as in ours.”

“Well, after all, how odd! When one gives to poor people, one wants to give them something useful, - a bushel of potatoes, a ham, and such things.”

“Why, certainly potatoes and ham must be supplied; but, having administered to the first and most craving wants, why not add any other little pleasures or gratifications we may have it in our power to bestow? I know there are many of the poor who have fine feeling and a keen sense of the beautiful, which rusts out and dies, because they are too hard pressed to procure it any gratification. Poor Mrs. Stephens, for example, I know she would enjoy birds, and flowers, and music as much as I do. I have seen her eye light up as she looked upon these things in our drawing-room; and yet not one beautiful thing can she command. From necessity, her room, her clothing, -all she has, - must be coarse and plain. You should have seen the rapture she and Mary felt when I offered them my rose.” “Dear me! all this may be true; but I never thought of it

before. I never thought that these hard-working people had any ideas of taste!

" Then why do you see the geranium or rose so carefully nursed in the old cracked teapot in the poorest room, or the morning-glory planted in a box, and twined about the window? Do not these show that the human heart yearns for the beautiful in all ranks of life? You remember, Kate, how our washerwoman sat up a whole night, after a hard day's work, to make her first baby a pretty dress to be baptized in."

“Yes; and I remember how I laughed at you for making such a tasteful little cap for it.”

“Well, Katy, I think the look of perfect delight with which the poor mother regarded her baby in its new dress and cap, was something quite worth creating. I do believe she could not have felt more grateful, if I had sent her a barrel of flour.”

“Well, I never thought before of giving any thing to the poor, but what they really needed, and I have always been willing to do that when I could without going far out of my way.”

"Well, cousin, if our heavenly Father gave to us after this mode, we should have only coarse, shapeless piles of provisions lying about the world, instead of all this beautiful variety of trees, and fruits, and flowers.”

“Well, well; cousin, I suppose you are right, but have mercy on my poor head : it is too small to hold so many new ideas all at once; — so go on your own way.”



The general condition of woman, among the ancient Jews, and in contemporary nations, was one of degradation and servitude. She was the slave of man.

But open the New Testament; and how, in a moment, is this estimation elevated! Of the physical and intellectual rank of woman, nothing is, indeed, there said. But as a creature of God, and a member of the great family of mankind, she is placed on an entire equality with man. Christi

« PreviousContinue »