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fair for it), he would be startled to see the reflection of that lunar world which his active fancy had peopled with gay inhabitants and covered with proud cities like our own. Let the reader turn to Dr. Robinson's animated description of its true image, as seen in the great speculum-a horrid alternation of cloudless crags and streamless ravines-and he will perceive that, if indeed it harbour a population not disembodied, they must be Troglodytes; a Cyclopean commonwealth, who dwell in gloomy caverns, heated by the volcanic furnaces whose chimneys rise over the jagged surface. But even poetic astronomers could easily part with such theories as these. The sorest loss which Scientific Romance had to endure was in the region of the Nebula-that region which, from its dim remoteness, seemed peculiarly her own. There philosophers, since the days of the elder Herschel (whose generalisations, always grand, were sometimes hasty), had loved to recognise "the stuff that worlds are made off," and trace (as the phrase went) "the process of creation actually going on." plain words, it was supposed that those Nebula which previous telescopes had been unable to resolve into clusters of stars, were matter condensing into stars; which, when thus formed, drew fresh nebulous matter to them, and grew bigger and bigger by incorporating it with their own mass. But when the penetrating scan of Lord Rosse's instrument was directed upon these imaginary workshops. of creation, it was perceived that not worlds, but human powers of observation needed growth; and as Nebula after Nebula was resolved into clusters of stars, ready made and of full stature, the warmest lovers of the theory began to feel their faith give way, and prepared themselves, with a sigh, for the construction of some new hypothesis.
Such then is the structure, and such the uses, of the monument which a resident Irish nobleman has raised in his own native land to the honour of himself, his country, and his species. The very mass of the erection strikes the unskil ful spectator with amazement; but this is the least part of the marvel. The brute-force of Titans piling Pelion upon Ossa, to scale heaven, is but a vulgar sublimity. It is the power which dwells in knowledge that affects the thoughtful mind most strongly. It is reflection upon the mental power, which, combining the resources of so many sciences, made way for the attainment of so splendid an object as the survey of the universe; it is this reflection, and not its giant proportions, which gives to the great telescope its real grandeur.
But it must not be forgotten that, while, with the many, Lord Rosse is thought of only as a great astronomer, there are others who contemplate him from a different point of view, and lose sight of the astronomer in the political economist. In both characters his turn of mind is eminently practical; but he has found statesmen less yielding material to his plastic touch than the metal of his specula. Had the advice of the philosophic patriot been listened to, the crushing blow of the present wretched poor-law would have been averted from this country. As it is, Parsonstown and its vicinity have been saved, by his influ ence, from that ruinous system of out-door relief, which has spread pauperism and demoralisation wherever it has prevailed.
One feature, and one only, remains to complete the portrait of a truly great man; and that is given when we add, in conclusion, that, with Lord Rosse's singular powers of intellect and acquirements of knowledge, are combined the modesty of sober wisdom, the calmness of regulated passions, and the integrity of sterling worth. He realises that union of moral with intellectual greatness, which Ovid, not finding in his contemporaries, was forced to fancy in the old astronomers :
"Felices animos quibus hæc cognoscere primis,
Non Venus et vinum sublimia pectora fregit,
Etheraque ingenio supposuere suo."
In the latter years of the last century, two youths, Ferdinand von Hallberg, and Edward von Wensleben were receiving their education in the military academy of Marienvheim. Among their schoolfellows they were called Orestes and Pylades, or Damon and Pythias, on account of their tender friendship, which constantly recalled to their schoolfellows' minds the history of these ancient worthies. Both were sons of officers, who had long served the state with honour, both were destined for their fathers' profession, both accomplished and endowed by nature with no mean talents. But fortune had not been so impartial in the distribution of her favours-Hallberg's father lived on a small pension, by means of which he defrayed the expenses of his son's schooling at the cost of the government; while Wenssleben's parents willingly paid the handsomest salary in order to ensure to their only child the best education which the establishment afforded. This disparity in circumstances at first produced a species of proud reserve, amounting to coldness, in Ferdinand's deportment, which yielded by degrees to the cordial affection that Edward manifested towards him on every occasion. Two years older than Edward, of a thoughtful and almost melancholy turn of mind, Ferdinand soon gained a considerable influence over his weaker friend, who clung to him with almost girlish dependence.
Their companionship had now lasted with satisfaction and happiness to both, for several years, and the youths had formed for themselves the most delightful plans-how they were never to separate, how they were to enter the service in the same regiment, and if a war broke out, how they were to fight side by side and conquer, or die together. But destiny, or rather Providence, whose plans are usually op posed to the designs of mortals, had ordained otherwise for the friends than they anticipated.
Earlier than was expected, Hallberg's father found an opportunity to have
his son appointed to an infantry regiment, and he was ordered immediately to join the staff in a small provincial town, in an out-of-the-way mountainous district. This announcement fell like a thunderbolt on the two friends; but Ferdinand considered himself by far the more unhappy, since it was ordained that he should be the one to sever the happy bond that bound them, and to inflict a deep wound on his loved companion. His schoolfellows vainly endeavoured to console him by calling his attention to his new commission, and the preference which had been shown him above so many others. He only thought of the approaching separation; he only saw his friend's grief, and passed the few remaining days that were allowed him at the academy by Edward's side, who husbanded every moment of his Ferdinand's society with jealous care, and could not bear to lose sight of him for an instant. In one of their most melancholy hours, excited by sorrow and youthful enthusiasm, they bound themselves by a mysterious vow, namely, that the one whom God should think fit to call first from this world should bind himself (if conformable to the Divine will) to give some sign of his remembrance and affection to the survivor.
The place where this vow was made was a solitary spot in the garden, by a monument of grey marble, overshadowed by dark firs, which the former director of the institution had caused to be erected to the memory of his son, whose premature death was recorded on the stone.
Here the friends met at night, and by the fitful light of the moon they pledged themselves to the rash and fanciful contract, and confirmed and consecrated it the next morning, by a religious ceremony. After this they were able to look the approaching separation in the face more manfully, and Edward strove hard to quell the melancholy feeling which had lately arisen in his mind on account of the constant foreboding that Ferdinand expressed of his own early death. "No," thought
Edward, "his pensive turn of mind and his wild imagination cause him to reproach himself without a cause for my sorrow and his own departure. Oh, no, Ferdinand will not die early-he I will not die before me. Providence will not leave me alone in the world."
The lonely Edward strove hard to console himself, for after Ferdinand's departure, the house, the world itself, seemed a desert; and absorbed by his own memories, he now recalled to mind many a dark speech which had fallen from his absent friend, particularly in the latter days of their intercourse, and which betokened but too plainly a presentiment of early death. But time and youth exercised, even over these sorrows, their irresistible influence. Edward's spirits gradually recovered their tone; and as the traveller always has the advantage over the one who remains behind, in respect of new objects to occupy his mind, so was Ferdinand even sooner calmed and cheered, and by degrees he became engrossed by his new duties, and new acquaintances, not to the exclusion, indeed, of his friend's memory, but greatly to the alleviation of his own sorrow. It was natural, in such circumstances, that the young officer should console himself sooner than poor Edward. The country in which Hallberg found himself was wild and mountainous, but possessed all the charms and peculiarities of "far off” districts-simple, hospitable manners, old-fashioned customs, many tales and legends which arise from the credulity of the mountaineers, who invariably lean towards the marvellous, and love to people the wild solitudes with invisible beings.
Ferdinand had soon, without seeking for it, made acquaintance with several respectable families in the town; and, as it generally happens in such cases, he had become quite domesticated in the best country houses in the neighbourhood; and the wellmannered, handsome, and agreeable youth was welcomed everywhere. The simple, patriarchal life in these old mansions and castles-the cordiality of the people, the wild, picturesque scenery, nay, the very legends themselves were entirely to Hallberg's taste. He adapted himself easily to his new mode of life, but his heart remained tranquil. This could not last. Before
half a year had passed, the battalion to which he belonged was ordered to another station, and he had to part with many friends. The first letter which he wrote after this change, bore the impression of impatience at the breaking up of a happy time. Edward found this natural enough; but he was surprised in the following letters to detect signs of a disturbed and desultory state of mind, wholly foreign to his friend's nature. The riddle was soon solved. Ferdinand's heart was touched for the first time, and, perhaps, because the impression had been made late, it was all the deeper. Unfavourable circumstances opposed themselves to his hopes: the young lady was of an ancient family, rich, and betrothed since her childhood to a relation, who was expected shortly to arrive in order to claim her promised hand. Nothwithstanding this engagement, Ferdinand and the young girl had become sincerely attached to each other, and had both resolved to dare everything with the hope of being united. They pledged their troth in secret; the darkest mystery enveloped not only their plans, but their affections; and as secresy was necessary to the advancement of their projects, Ferdinand entreated his friend to forgive him if he did not entrust his whole secret to a sheet of paper that had at least sixty miles to travel, and which must pass through so many hands. It was impossible from his letter to guess the name of the person or the place in question. "You know that I love," he wrote, "therefore you know that the object of my secret passion is worthy of any sacrifice; for you know your friend too well to believe him capable of any blind infatuation, and this must suffice for the present. No one must suspect what we are to each other; no one here or round the neighbourhood must have the slightest clue to our plans. An awful personage will soon make his appearance among us. His violent temper, his inveterate obstinacy (according to all that one hears of him) are well calculated to confirm in her a well-founded aversion. But family arrangements and legal contracts exist, the fulfilment of which the opposing party are bent on enforcing. The struggle will be hard-perhaps, unsuccessful; nothwithstanding, I will strain every nerve. Should I fall, you must
console yourself, my dear Edward, with the thought, that it will be no misfortune to your friend to be deprived of an existence rendered miserable by the failure of his dearest hopes, and separation from his dearest friend. Then may all the happiness which heaven has denied me be vouchsafed to you and her, so that my spirit may look down contentedly from the realms of light, and bless and protect you both."
had hitherto proved a regular and frequent correspondent.
Another fortnight dragged heavily on, and at length the announcement came in an official form. Lieutenant von Hallberg had been invited to the castle of a nobleman whom he was in the custom of visiting, in order to be present at the wedding of a lady; that he was indisposed at the time, that he grew worse, and on the third morning had been found dead in his bed, having expired during the night from an attack of apoplexy.
Edward could not finish the letter, it fell from his trembling hand. To see his worst fears realised so suddenly, overwhelmed him at first. His youth withstood the bodily illness which would have assailed a weaker constitution, and perhaps mitigated the anguish of
is grief. He was not dangerously dill, but they feared many days for his reason; and it required all the kind solicitude of the director of the college, combined with the most skilful medical aid, to stem the torrent of his sorrow, and to turn it gradually into a calmer channel, until by degrees the mourner recovered both health and reason. His youthful spirits, however, had received a blow from which they never rebounded, and one thought lay heavy on his mind which he was unwilling to share with any other person, and which, on that account, grew more and more painful. It was the memory of that holy promise which had been mutually contracted, that the survior was to receive some token of his friend's remembrance of him after death. Now two months had already passed since Ferdinand's earthly career had been arrested, his spirit was free, why no sign? In the moment of death Edward had had no intimation, no message from the passing spirit, and this apparent neglect, so to speak, was another deep wound in Edward's breast. Do the affections cease with life? Was it contrary to the will of the Almighty that the mourner should taste this consolation? Did individuality lose itself in death, and with it memory? Or did one stroke destroy spirit, and body? These anxious doubts, which have before now agitated many who reflect on such subjects, exercised their power over Edward's mind with an intensity that none can imagine save one whose position is in any degree similar.
Such was the usual tenor of the letters which Edward received during that period. His heart was full of anxiety he read danger and distress in the mysterious communications of Ferdinand; and every argument that affection and good sense could suggest did he make use of, in his replies, to turn his friend from this path of peril which threatened to end in a deep abyss. He tried persuasion, and ur him to desist for the sake of their long-tried affection. But when did passion ever listen to the expostulations of friendship?
Ferdinand only saw one aim in lifethe possession of the beloved one. All else faded from before his eyes, and even his correspondence slackened; for his time was much taken up in secret excursions, arrangements of all kinds, and communications with all manner of persons; in fact every action of his present life tended to the furtherance of his plan.
All of a sudden his letters ceased. Many posts passed without a sign of life. Edward was a prey to the greatest anxiety; he thought his friend had staked and lost. He imagined an elopement, a clandestine marriage, a duel with a rival, and all these casualties were the more painful to conjecture, since his entire ignorance of the real state of things gave his fancy full range to conjure up all sorts of misfortunes. At length, after many more posts had come in without a line to pacify Edward's fears, without a word in reply to his earnest entreaties for some news, he determined on taking a step which he had meditated before, and only relinquished out of consideration for his friend's wishes. He wrote to the officer commanding the regiment, and made inquiries respecting the health and abode of Lieutenant von Hallberg, whose friends in the capital had remained for nearly two months without news of him, he who
Time gradually deadened the intensity of his affliction. The violent paroxysms of grief subsided into a deep but calm regret; it was as if a mist had spread itself over every object which presented itself before him, robbing them indeed of half their charms, yet leaving them visible, and in their real relation to himself. During this mental change the autumn arrived, and with it the long-expected commission. It did not indeed occasion the joy which it might have done in former days, when it would have led to a meeting with Ferdinand, or at all events to a better chance of meeting, but it released him from the thraldom of college, and it opened to him a welcome sphere of activity. Now it so happened that his appointment led him accidentally into the very neighbourhood where Ferdinand had formerly resided, only with this difference, that Edward's squadron was quartered in the lowlands, about a short day's journey from the town and woodland environs in question.
He proceeded to his quarters, and found an agreeable occupation in the exercise of his new duties.
He had no wish to make acquainttances, yet he did not refuse the invitations that were pressed upon him, lest he should be accused of eccentricity and rudeness; and so he found himself soon entangled in all sorts of engagements with the neighbouring gentry and nobility. If these so-called gaieties gave him no particular pleasure, at least for the time they diverted his thoughts; and, with this view, he accepted an invitation (for the new year and carnival were near at hand) to a great shooting-match which was to be held in the mountains-a spot which it was possible to reach in one day, with favourable weather and the roads in a good state. The day was appointed, the air tolerably clear; a mild frost had made the roads safe and even, and Edward had every expectation of being able to reach Blumenberg in his sledge before night, as on the following morning the match was to take place. But as soon as he got near the mountains, where the sun retires so early to rest, snow-clouds drove from all quarters, a cutting wind came roaring through the ravines, and a heavy fall of snow began. Twice the driver lost his way, and daylight was gone before he had well
recovered it; darkness came on sooner than in other places, walled in as they were by dark mountains, with dark clouds above their heads. It was out of the question to dream of reaching Blumenberg that night; but in this hospitable land, where every householder welcomes the passing traveller, Edward was under no anxiety as to shelter. He only wished, before the night quite set in, to reach some country house or castle; and now that the storm had abated in some degree, that the heavens were a little clearer, and that a few stars peeped out, a large valley opened before them, whose bold outline Edward could distinguish, even in the uncertain light. The welldefined roofs of a neat village were perceptible, and behind these, halfway up the mountain that crowned the plain, Edward thought he could discern a large building which glimmered with more than one light. The road led straight into the village. Edward stopped and inquired.
That building was, indeed, a castle; the village belonged to it, and both were the property of the Baron Friedenberg. "Friedenberg!" repeated Edward: the name sounded familiar to him, yet he could not call to mind when and where he had heard it. He inquired if the family were at home, hired a guide, and arrived at length, by a rugged path which wound itself round steep rocks, to the summit of them, and finally to the castle, which was perched there like an eagle's nest. The tinkling of the bells on Edward's sledge attracted the attention of the inmates; the door was opened with prompt hospitality-servants appeared with torches; Edward was assisted to emerge from under the frozen apron of his carriage, out of his heavy pelisse, stiff with hoar frost, and up a comfortable staircase into a long saloon of simple construction, where a genial warmth appeared to welcome him from a spacious stove in the corner. The servants here placed two large burning candles in massive silver sconces, and went out to announce the stranger.
The fitting-up of the room, or rather saloon, was perfectly simple Family portraits, in heavy frames, hung round the walls, diversified by some maps. Magnificent stags' horns were arranged between; and the taste of the master of the house was easily detected in the hunting-knives, powder-flasks, car