Text:Marsh Hallig 1856

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Spriakwiis: Ingelsk
Skriiwer: Caroline Marsh
Tiitel: The Hallig
Onertiitel: or The Sheepfold in the Waters
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Maaget (juar): 1856
Ütjkimen (juar): 1856
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[001]


THE HALLIG:

OR,

THE SHEEPFOLD IN THE WATERS.

A TALE OF

Humble Life on the Coast of Schleswig.

TRANSLATED FROM

THE GERMAN OF BIERNATZKI,

BY

MRS. GEORGE P. MARSH.

WITH

A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF THE AUTHOR.

"On that lone shore loud moans the sea."


BOSTON:
GOULD AND LINCOLN,
59 WASHINGTON STREET.
NEW YORK: SHELDON, BLAKEMAN & CO.,
CINCINNATI: GEORGE S. BLANCHARD.

1856.

[002]



Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1866, by
GOULD AND LINCOLN,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.



STEREOTYPED BY
THOMAS B. SMITH,
92 & 84 Beekman St.. N. Y.

[003]


TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE


––––


The work now offered to the public for the first time,
as it is supposed, in an English dress, has received much
commendation in Germany as a highly interesting contri-
bution to the physical geography of a part of Europe
lying quite beyond the reach of ordinary observation,
and as a genial and faithful sketch of human life under
conditions which are hardly paralleled elsewhere. Its
descriptive portions are believed to be scrupulously ac-
curate, and though a thread of fiction has been woven
into the narrative, yet its leading incidents are historicsd
fiicts, and many of the most striking of them were drawn
from the personal experience of the author.
  Nor has the theology which pervades the volume been
thought to detract from its merits, even by those who
dissent from the doctrines inculcated. The divinity of

[004]

iv

TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE.

Pastor Hold is the divinity of his flock. The religion of
a people is as influential in the formation of their national
character as any other element, and if we would rightly
estimate their social, moral, and intellectual condition,
we must become acquainted with their fliith, as well as
with the form of their government and the spirit of their
laws.
  The religious opinions of Biernatzki, except upon the
obscure subject of consubstantiation, do not essentially
vary from those received by most denominations in this
country, and whatever diflerences may exist on this
point, all will approve the devout spirit of the author,
and the tone of his moral precepts. While, therefore,
the theology of "The Hallig" will offend none, its skill-
ful and picturesque delineations of nature and of man, in
their reciprocal action under new and strange relations,
will, it is hoped, interest and instruct a large class of
readers.
  The style of Biernatzki is in general unexceptionable,
but his partiality for oriental literature has sometimes be-
trayed him into the adoption of a more figurative mode
of expression than is quite consistent with the soberer
taste of the best European writers. The translator has not
thought herself authorized to retrench much of this ex-
uberance, or to take other liberties with the text than

[005]

v

TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE.

those necessary changes which are inseparable from all at-
tempts to mold ideas conceived in one language into the
forms required by the idiom and genius of another.
  The biographical sketch which precedes the volume is
abridged from a life of the author by his son. It pre-
sents little of incident or interest, except as it is con-
nected with Biernatzki's life as a Hallig preacher, and it
has therefore been restricted to such &cts as properly be-
long to literary history.
  The work before us may be regarded as in its &cts an
autobiography of that portion of his life which most com-
mends him to the affection and respect of men, and there
is good reason to believe that in his pastoral relation to
his humble flock, he more nearly realized the ideal he had
sketched in his picture of Hold's professional life than his
own modesty allowed him to suppose.

[006]

[007]


AUTHOR'S PREFACE.


––––


  Upon the form and objects of works like the present, I
have expressed myself in the preface to my first produc-
tion of this character, which appeared in 1835, under the
title " The Way to Faith, or Love from Childhood," and I
therefore take the liberty of referring my readers to that
volume for an explanation of my views on this subject.
  My friends who, in reading these pages, can not &il to
perceive that the material for my description of Hold's
social and professional career have been drawn from my
own experience as a Hallig preacher, will readily believe
that I have not sought, in my representation of his char-
acter and spiritual influence, to depict myself, but simply
to present my ideal of what such a preacher should be,
and what I ought to have been.
  To the above extract from the preface to my first
eflition, I now add that I have endeavored to prove my
gratitude for the favorable judgment of my reviewers
and the reading public, by the correction of the errors

[008]

viii

AUTHOR'S PREFACE.

and defects which have been observed. The general plan
and import of my book remain indeed the same, but I
have at least aimed to connect the didactic more closely
with the narrative element, and here and there to give
more finish to the execution.
  I have by no means realized my conception of a story
of this class, but I hope my failure will be ascribed to the
want of either earnest effort, or of a due sense of what
is demanded for the perfection of such a work, but to the
difficulty of the task, and my inability satisfactorily to
perform it.
  I had not access to a sufficiently wide range of books
to supply my chapters with borrowed mottoes. I have
therefore composed such myself, and if the reader thereby
suffers loss, I at least am a gainer in this, that my volume
is altogether my own.
  I have received assurances from various quarters, that
my tales have given more than mere entertainment to
some. May then this new edition of "The Hallig" at-
tain its end, which is to make smooth the way of the
Lord.
 

The Author.


February 16, 1840.

[009]

CONTENTS.

––––

PAGE

TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE ... 3
AUTHOR'S PREFACE ... 7
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF THE AUTHOR ... 17


CHAPTER I.


THE ISLAND HOME.

COAST OF SCHLESWIG — LARGER ISLANDS — HOW PROTECTED — FLATS —
  EBB-WALKERS — HALLIGS — EXTENT — HABITATIONS — ABSENCE OF VEG-
  ETATION — FRESH WATER, HOW OBTAINED — FISHERIES — INUNDA-
  TIONS — ATTACHMENT OF INHABITANTS TO THE HALLIG — MEANS OF
  KNOWLEDGE — THE FRISIC TONGUE — THE HALLIG OF THE TALE ... 25


CHAPTER II.


THE BETROTHED.

MARIA AND HER MOTHER — THEIR COTTAGE DESCRIBED — GODBER EX-
  PECTED — CONVERSATION — THE DOG — OMENS OF A STORM — GATHER-
  ING OF THE SHEEP — THE STORM — THE SHIP — THE ANCHOR CAST —
  ANXIETY RELIEVED—HYMN, "WHEN TEMPESTS RAGE, O GOD ... 36

[010]

x

CONTENTS.


CHAPTER III.

THE SHIPWRECK.

PAGE

THE SHIP IN THE STORM — GODBER AS PILOT — THE PASSENGERS –
  THE LEAK — THE CHAIN-CABLE BROKEN — BREAKING OF THE MASTS –
  THE WRECK — PREPARATIONS FOR LEAVING THE SHIP — DANGER OF
  TAKING BOAT — IDALIA OVERBOARD — RESCUED BY GODBBR — PARTING
  FROM CAPTAIN AND CREW — GODBER PILOTS MANDER, OSWALD, AND
  IDALIA TO THE HALLIG — ON THE WHARF — IDALIA AS A HALLIG
  MAIDEN — HER GRATITUDE TOWARD GODBER ... 43


CHAPTER IV.


THE CITY BELLE.

GODBER IN HIS HALLIG HOME — MARIA — DISTURBING VISIONS — GODBER
  C0NSCIBNCE-SMITTEN — MEETING OF GODBER AND MARIA — MARIA'S
  JOY — IDALIA IN HALLIG COSTUME — HER RECEPTION OF GODBER —
  MARIA'S EMBARRASSMENT — GODBER FAILS TO ACKNOWLEDGE HER
  AS HIS BETROTHED — MARIA ALONE IN HER SORROW — THB WRECK
  VISITED — CAPTAIN AND SAILORS LOST — THE ORANGES AND WINE —
  CONFESSIONS OF LOVE — IDALIA'S LOSS OF DELICACY — HURTFULNESS
  OF NOVEL-READING — CULTURE OF WOMEN ... 54


CHAPTER V.


THE GREAT WORLD.

PASTOR HOLD — GODBER'S HOUSE — IDALIA AS MISTRESS— CHARACTER OF
  OSWALD — FASHIONABLE LIFE DEPICTED — PASTOR HOLD'S "SIGHTS"
  — THE LITTLE GIRL — THB LABORER AND WIFE — SCENERY — THE MAN-
  SION — AT THE PIANO — THE FATHER AND HIS CHILD— " THEY ARE
CONDEMNED ALREADY" ... 71

[011]

xi

CONTENTS.


CHAPTER VI.

CONSOLATION.

PAGE

SAVING THE CARGO — MARIA'S DISTRESS — HOLD'S ATTEMPTS AT CONSO-
  LATION — MARIA'S WANT OF SUBMISSION — HOLD'S REPROOF — MA-
  RIA'S PRAYER OF SUBMISSION — POWER OF THE THORN-CROWNED
  CHRIST — NECESSITY OF A VISIBLE MANIFESTATION OF DEITY — HYMN,
  "SAVIOUR, THE GRIEFS THAT WERE THY PART." ... 82


CHAPTER VII.


THE POLICY OF NATIONS.

MANDER AND OSWALD — THE PASTOR'S WIFE — OSWALD'S SURPRISE —
  A HOME-QUESTION — MRS. HOLD'S VIEW OF THE POSITION OF HER
  SEX — POSITION OF THE PASTOR ON THE HALLIG — WANT OF CULTI-
  VATED SOCIETY — WANT OF BOOKS — SOHOOL-TEACHING — DISCUSSIONS
  — HOLD AND MANDER — HOLD'S VTEWS- POLITICS — THE INTRIGUING
  STATESMAN — PRIVATE AND PUBLIC MORALITY — CONDITION OF EU-
  ROPE — BALANCE OF POWER — WAR AGAINST NAPOLEON — HIGHER
  LAW — INFLUENCE OF WARS — MANDER'S IMPRESSIONS OF HOLD —
  ONLY ONE TRUE SOURCE OF LIGHT ... 90


CHAPTER VIII.


CONSCIENCE.

IDALIA IN LOVE — HER EFFORTS TO PLEASE GODBER — HER SUCCESS -
  MARIA FORGOTTEN — OODBER'S CONSCIENCE WON OVER — DANGER
  OF SELF-DELUSION — THE LAW, NOT CONSCIENCE, IS THE TRUE GUIDE
  — SOURCE OF WORLDLINESS AMONG SO-CALLED "GOOD MEN" —
  CONSCIENCE BUT A FABLE WITH MOST — TRUE CONSCIENCE NOT A
  LAW-GIVER BUT AN EYE OPEN TO A GIVEN LAW — NEED OF THE
  LAW AS A FIXED POLAR-STAR WITHOUT ... 107

[012]

xii

CONTENTS.


CHAPTER IX.

REMORSE.

PAGE

BODIES OF THE CAPTAIN AND SAILORS FOUND — COFFINS A PART OF
  NECESSARY HOUSEHOLD FURNITUBE — A HALLIG BURIAL — HOLD'S
  SERMON — GODBER'S FEELINGS — IDALIA'S PIQUE — WATCHING WITH
  THE DEAD — MEMORY — MABIA — REPENTANCE CHECKED — G0DBER AT
  THE GRAVE ... 118


CHAPTER X.


RESIGNATION.

MARIA'S SORROW AND SUBMISSION — OSWALD'S novels — THE FORGET-
  ME-NOT — HOLD AND OSWALD — HOLD'S REPROOF — DANGER FROM
  NOVELS — IDALIA — FRIENDSHIP PROFFERED ... 129


CHAPTER XI.


EARTHLY LOVE AND CHRISTIAN FAITH.

GODBER'S ILLNESS — IDALIA'S DEVOTION — LOVE — ITS EFFECTS ON THE
  CHARACTERS OF GODBER AND IDALLA — SONG, " MY FORMER SELF,
  TRULY" — IDALIA BY GODBER'S COUCH — UNEXPECTED APPEARANCE
  OF MARIA — THE BETROTHAL RING — COUNSEL IN AFFLICTION— DEATH
  OF MARIA'S MOTHER ... 136


CHAPTER XII.


PHILOSOPHY FALSELY SO CALLED.

MANDER— DISAPPOINTED BY PHILOSOPHY — CONVERSATION WITH HOLD
  — POWER OF WORDS — FAITH — ERROR OF PHILOSOPHY — PHILOSOPHY
  NOT A PRE-REQUISITE OF FAITH — MANDER'S CONFESSION — HOLD'S
  ADVICE — MISTAKE ABOUT "RELIGIOUS FEELING" CORRECTED — SU-
  PERNATURAL REVELATION VINDICATED — RELIGION OF REASON —
  OSWALD SILENCED ... 148

[013]

xiii

CONTENTS.


CHAPTER XIII.

THE DISAPPOINTMENT.

PAGE

SONG, "WOULDST THOU RECEIVE ME," ETC. — GODBER — IDALIA —
  DIFFERENT ESTIMATES OF HALLIG LIFE — ATTACHMENT OF THE IN-
  HABITANTS TO THE HALLIG — DISCLOSURES— OSWALD'S RAILLERY —
  MANDER'S VIEW — DISTANCE BETWEEN THE LOVERS — INTERVIEW
  BETWEEN GODBER AND MARIA — GODBER MISSES HIS BETROTHAL-RING ... 162


CHAPTER XIV.


THE SEARCH FOR TRUTH.

MANDER — SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE— GREATNESS OF GOD'S LOVE FOR
  MAN — HOLD'S SPIRITUAL DIRECTIONS TO MANDER - THE THORNY
  PATH — PHILOSOPHICAL CHRISTIANITY — FAITH AND REASON — LINES
  "TO POSITIVE DIVINITY" — FAITH EVERY THING OR NOTHING — SAV-
  ING GRACE MAKES CLEAR THE MEANING OF THE BIBLE ... 174


CHAPTER XV.


POETRY AND PROSE.


A BOAT-EXCURSION — HOLD AND OSWALD — THE SEA AND MAN COM-
  PARED — OSWALD'S PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE — HIS SENSATIONS IN VIEW
  OF IMPENDING DEATH — HOLD'S ADM0NITI0N - P0ETRY - GENUINE-
  NESS OF OSSIAN — OSWALD'S POETIC TASTE— POEM, "LIFE." ... 184


CHAPTER XVI.


THE EBB-WALKERS.

ISLAND DIKES — RETURN TO THE HALLIG — VESSEL AGROUND — EBB-
  WALKING — SINGULAR PHENOMENA OF SEA-FOG — HOLD AND OSWALD
  LOST IN THE FOG — OVERTAKEN BY THE RETURNING TIDE — HELP-

[014]

xiv

CONTENTS.
PAGE

LESSNESS — HOLD'S SELF FORGETFULNESS — OSWALD OVERWHELMED
  BY THE TERRORS OF DEATH — HOLD'S TRIUMPH OVER DEATH — HIS
  PRAYER AMID THE WAVES — EFFECT ON HIS COMPANIONS — THE
  TIDE ADVANCING ... 192


CHAPTER XVII.


THE WARNING AND THE RESCUE.

MYSTERIOUS INFLUENCE OF MIND ON MIND— HOLD'S EXPLANATION—
  GODBER AND IDALIA — THE PASTOR'S WIFE — PRETERNATURAL WARN-
  ING OF HER HUSBAND'S DANGER — HER ENTREATIES — GODBER IN
  SEARCH OF THE LOST — OSWALD'S SHRIEK HEARD — SITUATION OF
  THE LOST — CHARACTER OF OSWALD — HOLD AND HIS PARTY RES-
  CUED FROM DEATH ... 204


CHAPTER XVIII.


THE NEW BIRTH.

RECEPTION ON THE HALLIG — EXHAUSTION OF THE SUFFERERS — OS-
  WALD'S CONVALESCENCE — MANDER'S ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF GOD —
  CONVERSATION WITH HIS SON — "WHEN I AM GRAY-HEADED" —
  OSWALD'S INWARD STRUGGLE — A NIGHT OF WEEPING— OSWALD'S
  NEW BIRTH— HOLD AND OSWALD— OSWALD'S ZEAL — HUMILITY —
  HOLD'S IDEA OF A MISSIONARY — INFLUENCE OF COMMERCE — ITS
  RELATION TO MISSIONS — HOLD'S ADVICE TO OSWALD — HALF VIC-
  TORIES ... 214


CHAPTER XIX.


THE PARTING.

SEPARATING FROM FRIENDS — THE HALLIG PASTOR AND WIFE — COM-
  PARISON — AUTHOR'S EXPERIENCE — IDALIA'S CHANGE OF FEELING
  TOWARD GODBER — HIS POSITION PORTRAYED BY HOLD— GODBER'S

[015]

xv

CONTENTS.
PAGE

  BITTER REFLECTIONS — BETROTHAL OF GODBER AND IDALIA BROKEN
  — IDALIA'S HEARTLESSNESS— GODBER'S AGITATION — IDALIA IN AFTER
  LIFE — SONG, "EYERY LIFE HATH ONE MAY MORNING" ... 230


CHAPTER XX.


THE COMMUNION.

FALSE REVERENCE — HOLD'S VIEW OF THE EUCHARIST — UNDERSTAND-
  ING ITS CHARACTER NOT NECESSARY TO ITS EFFICACY — THE SUPPER
  RENEWS NOT MERELY THE MEMORY OF THE FACT OF EXPIATION,
  BUT THE FACT ITSELF — CONSUBSTANTIATION — DOCTRINE OF THE
  LUTHERAN CHURCH — CALVINISTIC VIEW — MANDER'S VIEW OF "DO
  THIS IN REMEMBRANCE," ETC. — HOLD'S REPLY — INTERPRETATION
  OF PAUL'S LANGUAGE — CASE OF THE FIRST DISCIPLES — CELEBRA-
  TION OF THE SUPPER ON THE HALLIG — MANDER AND OSWALD
  PARTAKE OF IT ... 244


CHAPTER XXI.


THE FAREWELL.

PARTING VISITS — MANDER'S GIFT — THE CASK OF WINE — DEPARTURE
  FROM THE HALLIG — IDALIA'S EMOTION — HOLD'S YOUTHFUL DREAMS
  REVIVED — SONG, "FLOAT AWAY, OH MOURNFUL MEASURE!" ... 257


CHAPTER XXII.


REPENTANCE.

GODBER ALONE — THE PASTOR AND GODBER — DISCLOSURE OF HIS FEEL-
  INGS — GODBER INSTRUCTED BY THE PASTOR — DIRECTED IN THE WAY
  OF PEACE — HIS CALMNESS RESTORED — GODBER'S WORLDLY AFFAIRS
  — HOLD'S PROTEST AGAINST FALSE HUMILITY — THE BETROTHAL
  NOT TO BE RENEWED ... 263

[016]

xvi

CONTENTS.


CHAPTER XXIII.

THE FLOOD.

PAGE

HISTORICAL FACTS — THE STORM — THE HALLIG UNDER WATER — MA-
  RIA'S ALARM — DAMAGE TO GODBER'S HOUSE — MARIA IK THE WAVES
  — GODBER'S ATTEMPT TO RESCUE HER — GODBER AND MARIA ON
  THE WHARF — HOLD'S DWELLING IN DANGER— THE LOST CHILD —
  DEMOLITION OF THE HOUSE — THE WINE-CASK — THE CHURCH SWEPT
  AWAY — DEATH OF GODBER AND MARIA — RECOVERY OF THE LOST
  CHILD — HOLD'S FAMILY SAVED ... 272


CHAPTER XXIV.

 

SIGHTS.

THE DESOLATED HALLIG — SITUATION OF HOLD AND FAMILY — THB RE-
  COVERED MANUSCRIPT — "SIGHTS" — THE HEAVENLY LADDER — THE
  ANGEL — THE SUPERNATURAL JOURNEY — THE CITY — THE CHURCH —
  THE SPARROW — THE RUINED HUT — THE DYING MAN — THE SPAR-
  ROW A SYMBOL — "BEHOLD THE FOWLS OP THE AIR." ... 283


CHAPTER XXV.


CONCLUSION.

GATHERING OP THE ISLANDERS — THE CHILD OP THE FLOOD — CONSO-
  LATION ADMINISTERED BY THE PASTOR — THE CASK OF WINE AND
  GODBER'S CORPSE — HOLD'S "REQUIESCAT IN PACE" — LUTHER'S
  HYMN, " AND SHOULD MY GRIEF LAST TILL THE NIGHT" — MARIA'S
  BODY FOUND — HOLD'S APOSTROPHE TO HER — THE GOLDEN COM-
  MUNION CUP — TABLEAU — THE PASTOR'S ADDRESS TO HIS PEOPLE ... 290

[017]


BIOGRAPHICAL

SKETCH OF THE AUTHOR.

––––

  The family of Biernatzki originated in Poland. His
grandfather, a Polish nobleman, of the Protestant re-
ligion, whose estates had been confiscated, emigrated to
Breslau, then passed into Hanover, and finally fixed him-
self at Altona, in the duchy of Holstein. He there estab-
lished a school, which he conducted with ability and suc-
cess, and thus supported his family in comfort and re-
spectability until his death. His youngest son, the father
of J. G. Biernatzki, was educated to the medical profession
at Copenhagen, obtained the favor of Privy-counsellor
Brandt, and was attached to the Royal Guards in the ca-
pacity of surgeon. He soon after married, and the author
of "The Hallig," the second child of this union, was
born at Elmshom on the 17th of October, 1795. The
death of Biematzki's mother, a woman of excellent heart
and superior intellect, which took place in 1801, appears
to have affected him more deeply and permanently than
is usual with children of so tender an age, and this afflic-
tion, so peculiarly felt, doubtless had some influence in

[018]

xviii

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.

modifying his character through life. With prematurely
developed mental powers, he had a slender constitation,
and suffered from a variety of maladies, and especially from
an affection of the eyes, which often interrupted his studies
for weeks together. During these intervals, his father de-
voted much time to the instruction and amusement of his
son, by reading to him, and assisting him to get by heart
short poems, and other matter worthy of being committed
to memory.
  At the age of twelve, young Biernatzki was attacked by
a disease of the chest, which brought him near the grave,
and kept him long hovering between life and death. After
the crisis was thought to have passed, he fell into a stupor,
and soon sunk into a state of suspended animation, in which
condition he lay for four and twenty hours. At the expira-
tion of this period consciousness suddenly returned, but
with a nearly total loss of all recollection of previous events,
except of the sufferings of his deceased mother, and he
never regained a distinct remembrance of his former life.
Health was very gradually restored, though never after-
ward firmly established, and it was not until the following
year that Biernatzki was able to enter the gymnasium at
Altona. He was here respected as much for his frank,
manly, and truthful character, as for his diligence in study;
his progress in the acquisition of learning was highly credit-
able, and he was particularly distinguished for his knowl-
edge of Latin. He had been accustomed from childhood
to look upon theology as his chosen vocation, and he there-
fore lost no time from uncertainty or indecision with respect
to the course of study most likely to be useful to him in his
future professional life. Both his poetical temperament,
which was rapidly developing itself, and his intended call-
ing, gave, in his eyes, a special interest to oriental litera-
ture, and he was already far advanced in the study of

[019]

xix

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.

Hebrew while still at the gymnasium. The glowing poesy,
the highly figurative style, the deep religious solemnity,
and the mystic tone of the prophetic books were particu-
larly attractive to him. The Hebrew tongue introduced
him to the Arabic, which language and its literature now
became his favorite pursuit, and would doubtless have
quite absorbed him, had not the claims of the profession
he had chosen required him to devote himself to other
studies.
  His first sermon, an eminently successful effort, was
preached in 1814, when he was still a gynmasiast; and
upon leaving the school at Altona to repair to the univer-
sity at Kiel, he delivered a discourse "on some of the lead-
ing virtues of Luther," which was much commended for the
classic elegance of its Latinity. At the university he pur-
sued his studies with his usual diligence, and returned with
renewed zeal to the cultivation of Arabic literature. "It
is," wrote he enthusiastically to a friend, " one of the no-
blest of tongues. The Arab speaks with the blaze of the
word, as with the lightning of his cimeter, with the dart of
his acuteness as with the arrow of his bow. His poetry
is a wild daughter of the desert. Whosoever has looked
into her flashing eye is hers to death. Thus is it with me.
How dull in comparison are all my other professional
studies! This is their sunny side, and I will never aban-
don it. She hurries me through the thirsty sands of the
wilderness to the cool oases, but her path is a hurricane,
and knows no rest."
  During his university life, Biernatzki occupied himself
much in poetical composition, and seems to have projected
any plans of this nature, few of which were executed,
and fewer still saw the light. Among them was a tragedy,
the subject of which was probably suggested by the his-
tory of his own family, and, as he says in a letter to a

[020]

xx

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.

friend, was sufficiently inspiring for me, as you will infer
from the following extract :

   "From a Polish stock descended,
    Yet a German by my birthright,
    Equal is my love and longing I
    For the Fatherland and Poland.
    But to both I am an alien I
    When I seek my father's homestead,
    Seek the tombs where sleep our grandsires,
    None the stranger's sorrow heedoth.
    And the soilthat was my birthplace,
    Where, a happy child, I sported,
    Crowns with oak-leaf wreaths and roses
    Every son bom of her people;
    For the offspring of the Polack
    Thorns she plats to bind his temples.
    As the pine, whose roots the water
    Washeth bare and undermineth.
    Leaving naught to hold or nourish,
    Trembleth, sinketb, falleth headlong —
    O'er it, 'neath it, dance the billows;
    Billows sport with its green branches:
    So he sinketh in life's river,
    Who no country hath to greet him.
    Hath no home to love him fondly.
    Hath no soil his life to cherish,
    From his mother earth uprooted,
    Orphaned through the world he wanders,
    Homeless always, always alien."

  Biernatzki probably never completed his tragedy, and,
with other similar projects, it was forgotten as soon as he
fully realized that graver occupations than poetry and
literature must be the business of his life.
  He left the university of Kiel in 1818, after having made
good progress in oriental learning, and consequently in
biblical exegesis, as well as in most branches of theological

[021]

xxi

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.

knowledge, but he had paid little attention to mathematics
or intellectual philosophy; a neglect for which, as to the
former at least, he atoned by laborions study at a later
period of life. From Kiel he went to Jena, and arrived
at that city on the 17th of October, 1818, the evening be-
fore the celebration of the Feast of the Wartburg. He
thus describes the ceremonies of the occasion :
  "On the 18th of the month of victory, we celebrated
the festival. At nine in the morning, the Burschenschaft
assembled. The chiefs, standard-bearers, aids, and mar-
shals were dressed in black, with old German coats, trunk
hose, and hats with black plumes. Over the shoulder
and across the breast was thrown a red scarf, to which
hung a sword. The procession first marched to the mar-
ket, where a spirited address was delivered, then, with ban-
ners flying, and in close order, to the church. After the
sermon, which dwelt exclusively on the triumphs of liberty,
the association dined on Oak-square, and then proceeded
to the Turn-square. In the evening, fires were lighted on
all the mountains which surround the valley of Jena. We
marched with six hundred torches to the summit of one
of the highest, and a mighty pile of wood, prepared for
the occasion, was soon kindled. Then a student stepped
forth, and spoke in words more glowing and heart-stirring
than the flames which blazed to heaven beside us. Hymns
to God, liberty, and the fatherland, mingled with the rus-
tling of the oaks that clothe the slopes of the mountain.
You should have witnessed it. The lofty peak, the whis-
pering oaks, the crackling fire, the wild songs, and the
strange garb of the officers of the Burschenschaft, who
seemed as if they had come Ibrth from their ancestral
graves — all these conspired to fill me with the most singu-
lar emotions."
  Sand, the murderer of Kotzebue, was then a member of

[022]

xxii

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.

the university of Jena, and was the first student whose ac-
quaintance Biernatzki made. Festivals like this no doubt
contributed much to heighten both Sand's enthusiasm, and
that of the political associations among the students, and
thus in some measure to stimulate him to the commission
of the crime, which cost his life as well as that of his vic-
tim. At Jena, Biernatzki continued his oriental studies
under the direction of Kosegarten. He occupied himself
with the careful perusal of the Hebrew Scriptures, es-
pecially the prophets ; and his Arabic partialities went so
far, that he wrote a defense of Mohammed against the im-
putation of feigning the performance of miracles. This
essay was afterward submitted to his examiners, as one of
the two dissertations required on such occasions. After a
year at Jena he went to Halle, attended the lectures of
Gesenius, and sedulously practiced disputation in Latin, in
the Anhaltina, a club which met for that purpose, and he
attained such facility in this exercise, that he was able to
give plausibility to the most palpable paradoxes, and to dis-
concert if not to confute his opponent by sportive repartee
and verbal wit.
  Early in 1821 he returned to Kiel, but left that univer-
sity after a few months' residence, and then devoted him-
self for some time to special preparation for his theological
examination. At the commencement of the year 1822, he
entered upon his professional career as pastor of the church
on the Hallig of Nordstrandischmoor (a congregation of
about fifty souls), and teacher of a school on the island of
Nordstrand, which lies about a German mile to the south
of the hallig. The discharge of this double duty required
frequent passages between the hallig and the island proper.
These were made by water, on foot across the flats, or upon
the ice, according to the tide and the season, and were
often performed under circumstances of great hardship and

[023]

xxiii

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.

danger. Both as a pastor and as a teacher, he rendered
himself very acceptable to those under his charge, and he
soon became reconciled to the life of isolation and self-
denial which his position necessarily imposed upon him.
  In 1823, he was married to Henrietta de Vries, a
woman of cultivated intellect and affectionate temper,
and the union appears to have been in all respects a
happy one.
  The terrible inundation of February, 1826, so ably de-
scribed in the twenty-third chapter of "The Hallig," de-
prived his flock not only of all their personal property,
but almost of the very soil on which their humble habita-
tions were reared. Biernatzki exerted himself most zeal-
ously in stimulating and promoting measures for their relief
among others by contributing the proceeds of a work en-
titled "Faith, a religious didactic poem," which he had
written some time before, and which now went through
two editions. So successful were his efforts, that his peo-
ple were furnished with the means of rebuilding their
church, their wharves, and their houses, and of replacing
their furniture and sheep ; and the whole congregation,
with the exception of a single couple, returned to the hal-
lig, though it had been within a very few years thrice laid
waste by the waves.
  In the autunm of 1825, Biernatzki was transferred to a
somewhat wider sphere of labor as pastor of a church in
the city of Friedrichstadt in Schleswig, a town founded in
1624 by Arminians from Holland, who had been compelled
to emigrate from their native country, by the resolutions
of the Synod of Dort. In this charge he was as successful
as he had been in his former humble parish, and was always
conspicuous for his zeal in the cause of education and
of philanthropy. His leisure hours were devoted to liter-
ary pursuits both general and professional, but all his

[024]

xxiv

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.

printed works were theologioal, or at least of a decidedly
religious tendency. The first of his tales, "The way to
Faith," appeared in 1835. "The Hallig," on which his
reputation as a writer mainly rests, in 1836, and a revised
and enlarged edition of this work was his last literary labor.
His other productions consist of works of imagination in
poetry and in prose, sermons, and occasional essays ; and
though none of them have been so well received as "The
Hallig," they are in general characterized by the same ex-
cellences as that remarkable work.
  Biernatzki continued in charge of his church at Fried-
richstadt until his death, which took place in May, 1840,
just after he had been nominated to the pastorate of
Süderau. This was a much more desirable position than
those he had before occupied, and he had the dying con-
solation of knowing that his merits were at length recog-
nized, though it was not the will of Providence, that he
should enjoy an earthly reward for his fidthfol devotion
to the responsibilities and duties of a life of toil, of suf-
fering, and of privation.

[025]



THE HALLIG.

––––

CHAPTER I.

THE ISLAND HOME.


    "The eye's first upward glancing at the day,
    The first faint footprints on life's dusty way,
    The mother's name lisped feebly at her knees,
    Can time steal from us memories like these?"

Along the western coast of the Duchy of Schleswig,
embosomed in the waves of the North Sea, lie several
islands which are the remains of a portion of the neigh-
boring shore that has fallen a prey to the ocean, and
serve as a continual warning to the inhabitants of the
mainland to resist the encroachments of the waves
by every means at their command.
    The larger islands are protected, partly by dykes
(artificial sea-walls), and partly by downs (natural hill-
ocks of sand), against the waves, which daily ad-
vancing and retreating with the tide, seem to be in-
cessantly making renewed efforts to sweep into the
greedy abyss of the ocean the last fragments of their
mighty spoil. At ebb-tide the sea retires so far as to
expose a soft slimy flat, miles in width, whose rippled
surfce repeats the forms of the waves that were roll-

[026]

26

THE HALLIG.

ing over it a few hours before. But small runs, and
other depressions, which furrow this waste, are not left
dry even at low tide ; and the now visible "chan-
nels," as they are called, which communicate with
each other as well as with the ocean, entangle the
islands in the serpent embrace of their giant enemy,
which, though now invading other shores, still holds
fast his prey, and never suffers it to hope for a
moment that he has renounced his conquest. These
channels, even at the lowest ebb, form impassable bar-
riers to the solitary wanderer who traversed the soft
bottom left bare for an hour, in search of crabs, or
rays, or perhaps a seal left stranded by the sudden
retreat of the waves, and they intercept the com-
munication between the islands by land, even when it
seems most practicable. It is only a few of the smaller
islands that, during the retreat of the sea, enjoy a
brief intercourse with each other or with the main-
land, without recourse to boats ; but woe to the loiterer
who trusts the treacherous giant too far ! The enemy
often returns with unexpected haste, bringing thick
mists in his train, and the ebb-walker — so they call
those who venture excursions upon the flats at low
tide — sees his home fading from his view, he feels
the returning current playing around his feet, and
seized with terror he rushes along in agony. The
swelling runs obstruct his path, he makes a circuit
to avoid them, loses his course, turns hither and thither,
and at length finds himself quite surrounded by the
advancing waves. The tide creeps higher and higher
at every breath, his cry is lost in the waste of waters,
and at last is choked by the rushing surge which now

[027]

27

THE ISLAND HOME.

engulfs his corpse ; and deep-rolling billows flow over
the ground just now marked by the footprints of the
victim.
  By way of distinction from the larger islands, which
are protected by dykes and downs, the smaller ones are
called halligs. A hallig is a flat grass-plot, scarcely
two or three feet higher than the level of ordinary
tides, and consequently, being protected neither by
nature nor by art, is often overflowed by the rolling
sea, especially in the winter months, and sometimes
twice in a day. The largest of these halligs are less
than half a German square mile in extent ; the
smaller, often inhabited only by a single family, are
barely a couple of thousand feet in length and breadth ;
the smallest halligs are uninhabited, and only produce
a little short thin hay, which is often swept off by
the waves before it can be secured. The hay is stored
in stacks, over which is thrown a covering of plat-
ted straw loaded at the ends with stones, and it be-
comes so solid, in consequence, that the supply for
daily use must be cut with a hay-knife ; and the
stacks near the dwelling often serve as a secure retreat,
when the walls of the house yield to the violence of
the waves. The habitations are erected on artificial
mounds of earth, or wharves, seldom leaving more
space than is required for a narrow walk around the
house, on the sloping side of the wharf. On most of
the halligs, therefore, there is no patch of garden
ground for any kitchen vegetable, not a bush to yield
refreshing berries, or a tree lo afford a resting-place in
its shade. For such enjoyments the wharves must be
larger, but small as they are, their erection and main-

[028]

28

THE HALLIG.

tenance involve a greater expenditure than the cost
of the simple dwellings which crown them. On the
plain below, the frequent overflows forbid the growth
of every pleasant shrub or nutritious fruit. It is a
waste whose pale green sod, often interrupted by
patches of gray slime, shows that the frugal sheep
may find here a scanty sustenance, but nowhere affords
the fresh and fragrant pasture where the thriving cow
revels, and the spirited horse prances. No bubbling
springs offer a refreshing draught on these thin mead-
ows burned by the direct rays of the sun, which no
shady foliage intercepts. You find indeed shores torn
by the waves, deep sea-creeks penetrating with winding
course far into the land, as if seeking to divide it into
smaller portions, in order to master it the more easily,
many standing pools left behind by the last inunda-
tion, as a token that the land already belongs half to
the ocean, and will soon be wholly his own ; but fresh
water is found only in reservoirs excavated upon the
wharves, and lined with sods. Into these the rain-
water falls and leaks through their sides, and this
water serves for the sheep and the tea-kettles of their
owners, though it derives from the salt earth a nau-
seously brackish taste, which renders it altogether un-
drinkable to the stranger. Sometimes a boat brings
off a keg of fresh water from the mainland, and in
seasons of drought it becomes necessary to fetch thence
the supply.
  But doubtless the inhabitant of the hallig enjoys the
advantage of a constant and abundant fishery ? No ;
he has not even the view of a clear green sea. A im-
pulsive turbid yellowish gray is the usual color of the

[029]

29

THE ISLAND HOME.

waters around him. The fish shun a shallow sea, that
at ebb leaves bare a wide expanse of slimy bottom, and
willingly relinquish to the seal and the ugly ray so
uninviting an abode. And this sea which surrounds,
and so often inundates the halligs, and which at dif-
ferent points is named after the districts it has swal-
lowed up — this sea so poor in gifts, and so rich in
plunder, is still forever a spoiler, which now with
gradual destructive steps, and now with impetuous
fury, is undermining the island piece by piece, so that
the inhabitant of the hallig can calculate the period
when it will ravish the last foothold from his flocks
and sap the foundations of his dwelling. Yet happy
were the hallig if the picture of its miseries were now
complete. But there still remains a fearful page. In-
undations that overflow the level surface, and roll their
billows against the wharf, dashing their spray upon
the walls and windows, are of frequent occurrence.
The habitations then show only their thatched roofs
above the tossing waters, and one would never imagine
that they are sheltering human beings, hoary grand-
sires, strong men and women, and playful children
perhaps gathered carelessly about the tea-table, and
scarcely casting a glance at the threatening ocean.
Many a stranger vessel driven out of its course by night
has on such occasions sailed over a hallig, and the as-
tonished seamen have thought it a delusion of witch-
craft when they have suddenly seen, alongside, a cheer-
ful candle shining through the window of a dwelling,
which, half buried in the waves, seemed to rest only
on their bosom. But sometimes tempest and tide to-
gether break upon the trembling hallig. The sea rises

[030]

30

THE HALLIG.

twenty feet above its usual level ; the waves swell and
sink to alternate mountains and valleys, and the ocean
calls out his forces in a quick succession of long surges
to advance against the wharves and sweep them
from his path. The mound, which has for a time
feebly resisted the waves, begins to crumble. Fragment
after fragment yields to repeated attacks, and disap-
pears beneath the waves. The posts of the house,
prudently buried as deeply in the wharf as they pro-
ject above its surface, are bared of their support, and
washed and shaken by the sea. The frightened peas-
ant hastens to secure his best sheep in the houseloft,
and then himself retires to the same shelter. The
wall soon gives way, and but a few studs remain to
sustain the quivering garret floor, the last retreat of
the terrified inmates. With triumphant fury, the
waves roll through the naked frame-work below, they
toss presses, boxes, beds, cradles, violently against each
other, force for themselves wide passages to sweep them
all out into the open sea, there yet more wildly to sport
with their plunder. The supports of the roof are fail-
ing — of that roof whose overthrow must inevitably
plunge in a watery grave a family whose members
were but a few hours before busied together in the
household duties or sleeping peacefully side by side.
The unhappy ones press nearer and nearer to each
other, they listen anxiously for the abating of the
storm, and their hearts beat fearfully at every renewed
shock. In the darkness none sees the pale, terrified
countenance of the other. The thunder roll of the mad
waves drowns the groan of fear; but each one can
measure by his own sufferings the agonizing terror

[031]

31

THE ISLAND HOME.

of the other. With despairing certainty of death, the
husband embraces the wife, the mother the child. The
boards beneath their feet are raised by the swelling
flood, the water gushes through every seam, the roof is
shattered by the dashing waves. A solitary moonbeam
pierces through the rent clouds, falls in upon this
scene of distress, and lighting it up by its pale trem-
bling rays, shows all its terrors, and mirrors to each
the horror-stricken face of the other. There cracks a
beam ! — a shriek of terror ! yet another moment of
torturing suspense — still another ! the floor settles
away, and the mountain wave breaks in, and the last
death-cry dies away amid the storm. The triumph-
ant waves toss to and fro the bodies of the dead and
the fragments of their dwelling.
  Still the inhabitant of the hallig loves his home —
loves it above every thing, and he who has just es-
caped from the flood always builds again upon the very
spot where he has so lately lost his all, and where
he may so soon again lose his life as well.
  We are surprised at the son of the African desert
who pitches his tent in the fiery heat of a vertical
sun, in the midst of a boundless burning sand-plain.
He has however a wide kingdom over which he courses
in every direction on his swift steed. He has, too, his
oases, those islands of the sand sea, where under the
shadow of the palm-tree, he hears the gushing of the
fountain, chants lays in praise of the desert, or listens
to the marvelous tales of the experienced caravan
leader. But the home that he loves is not without
variety, his life not without change. He does not
drag on a constant uniform existence ; he still finds

[032]

32

THE HALLIG.

room to exert his strength, and his landscape has its
distances which want not the interest of novelty. The
inhabitant of the hallig takes in at a single glance
his narrow boundaries. His toils and troubles are the
same from day to day, except when some rare occasion,
such as the sale of his wool, takes him over to the
mainland, and removed as he has been from intercourse
with his fellow men, he feels himself a stranger among
strangers when, pressed by necessity, he leaves his little
sea-girt sod. All his pleasures and enjoyments are like
his labors, confined within a very narrow sphere, with-
out the stimulating excitement incident to the expecta-
tion of something unusual. A wedding dance, which,
on account of the small number of the inhabitants of
the hallig, frequently does not occur for years, is one
of his greatest pleasures.
  Even the dangers to which he is exposed are without
the only attraction which nature can have — namely,
the pleasure of resistance. Though the sand of the
desert, whirled upward by the storm, in thick clouds,
as it the very vault of heaven would become a Sahara,
may bury in its stifling waves encampments and cara-
vans, yet the possibility of escape remains, and often
do men, flying on horses and camels before the sand
storm, succeed in avoiding the threatened destruction.
The islander's enemy is on every side of him ; and
if that power rise in its fearful might, he, more help-
less than the child in the way of the maddened bull,
must, trembling, resign himself to this resistless force
and wait the event, whether it will mercifully pass
over, or in wild fury crush every thing in its path ; he
must accept life or death as a passive victim, without

[033]

33

THE ISLAND HOME.

raising hand or foot for flight or defense, which are
alike impossible. Reason and strength are alike un-
availing ; ftdly conscious of his helplessness, submission
is his only choice.
  And yet it is not ignorance of the advantages of
other lands that makes the islander's home dear to him.
No ; he has the richest and most fertile tracts before his
eyes. Behind the dykes which protect the mainland
near him, lies a soil which affords to its inhabitants
an abundance such as few lands on earth bestow.
There ripens the heaviest grain. The cattle revel in
the most fragrant clover. There stand fine farm-houses
whose inmates, familiar with all the enjoyments of life,
and conscious of their own importance, proudly boast
themselves lords of the soil. Often too, though less
frequently than formerly, the inhabitant of the hallig
passes a portion of his youth and manhood as a mari-
ner on distant seas. By his frugality and honesty
he often rises to command ; the wealthiest commercial
ports and countries become as familiar to him as his
own home. But he has seen all, compared all, and for-
gotten all. He returns with his savings to his beloved
island home, to this comfortless soil — to this most peril-
ous spot upon earth — to this waste full of privation
and self-denial, and thanks God that his hallig is not
yet washed away. No sooner has he settled himself
there again, than he becomes in his tastes and mode
of life like one who never saw the world.
  Neither is it the freedom which endears the desert to
the Bedouin, that makes the hallig a paradise to its
inhabitant. He feels all the pressure of civilization
with its taxes and imposts, and, on the other hand,

[034]

34

THE HALLIG.

enjoys few of its advantages. As to security of pro-
perty, his poverty and the waves around him are a
sufficient protection ; as to general comunication, no
beaten road leads to the halligs. As to the diffusion
of knowledge, there seldom finds its way to him any
volume but the Bible and Psalm-book ; as to the
liberal arts, art does not penetrate to his hut. He
scarcely seems to enjoy even the society within his
reach. He is silent for the most part, lives to himself
contentedly on his wharf, and though he has great re-
spect for his pastor, or priest, as he calls him, it is not
easy for the latter to win his familiar confidence. The
pastor must acknowledge that between him and his
flock, especially the female portion of it, there is no
common point of sympathy, except on the subject of
religion ; and his High-German dialect still further
separates him from his congregation who speak only
Frisic. Indeed, it is only upon these islands that the
Frisic, which is closely allied to English, and to which
the German philologist would do well to direct his at-
tention more than he has hitherto done, retains its
original characteristics nearly entire, while on the main-
land coast it seems about to degenerate into a medley
of tongues.
  One of these halligs, of which we have here endeav-
ored to give a general and truthful description, is the
scene of the following narrative. It was in the sum-
mer of 1824 inhabited by about fifty persons in nine
huts, placed upon six wharves, scattered over a sur-
face of scarcely a square mile, and who supplied them-
selves sparingly with the bare necessaries of life by

[035]

35

THE ISLAND HOME.

keeping sheep. The old church having been swept
away in 1816, and in 1821 another which had just
been completed — a new one, scarcely distinguishable
from the other dwellings, served as a place of wor-
ship for the pious congregation.

[036]


CHAPTER II.


THE BETROTHED.

  The slender ship, with snowy canvas flying,
    Now proudly mounts, now plunges 'neath the wave ;
  Then struggling clears the gulf, still onward hieing ; —
    We seek the haven through the opening grave.

 
  It was a calm pleasant afternoon, the 9th of Sep-
tember, 1824. The clear sky was imaged on the
smooth surface of the sea, which was rendered still
more beautiful by that reflection. Even the lightest
cloud would have been visible in that limpid mirror,
but neither cloud nor ripple broke the transparency
of the light blue sea. Maria, with her mother, an aged
widow, sat spinning in a small room of their humble
dwelling. The extreme neatness of the walls and
window-seats, painted red and blue, the chests orna-
mented with brass which contained the household treas-
ures of linen, holiday dresses and silk handkerchiefs,
and concealed in a private drawer a few gold rings
and chains, so dear to the inhabitant of the hallig,
gave to the whole a home-like appearance. The gayly
painted doors of the press-bed added to the general
look of cheerful comfort. The chairs covered with loose
cushions, and the table, which necessarily occupied a

[037]

37

THE ISLAND HOME.

great portion of the room, were of unpainted wood, and
owed their polish only to constant wear and indus-
trious rubbing. Rarely did a word from the lips of
the busy spinners break the silence, which was en-
livened only by the monotonous hum of the busy wheel.
And equally still sat the white shepherd dog upon
the window-seat, looking with his clear wise eyes out
through the small lead-bound window panes steadily
upon the sea, without any apparent object to fix his
attention.
Maria, too, when her work would allow it, threw oc-
casionally a glance at the sea ; for about this tune, after
nine years' absence, was Godber to return. He had
lately written from Hamburg, that he had earned a
small capital sufficient to redeem his paternal home-
stead, and that he now longed to come back to his
hallig, and his Maria. According to the custom of
the island, she had been betrothed to him from her
childhood ; and she had retained for him a calm and
true affection, which was indeed far removed from that
impatient passion that so many of our time seem to re-
gard as a necessary ingredient in love, but which not
the less by its depth and sincerity pervaded her whole
being, excluded every o|her passing inclination, and
had directed and fixed every thought and sentiment
of the girl upon her duty as the betrothed bride of
Godber. It is true there were many things in God-
ber's letter quite above the comprehension of his
simply-educated Maria, and she could not entirely
overcome a secret fear of him who had seen and
learned so much, that he could write such fine things.
But had he not thought of the happiness of leaving

[038]

38

THE HALLIG.

the world behind him to live on this small patch by
the side of a beloved sympathizing wife, forgetting all
the gay life and busy activity which were so distasteful
to him ? In such assurances her heart found solace
and relief. They called up hopes for the future so
bright that she readily forgot such portions of the let-
ter as might otherwise have made her anxious.
  "He must come to-day," said she to her mother ;
"something tells me so."
  At the same time she continued spinning as busily as
before, for, like all her island sisters, she was ignorant
of a passion which makes one untrue to the call of
the humblest duty.
  "I would rather believe," said the mother, "that
Godber is not at sea to-day, for there is a storm ap-
proaching. Don't you hear the sea-mew's scream ?"
  "Mother," exclaimed Maria, "God will never do
that ! I have prayed so earnestly, and He has given
me such a cheerful confidence, that I know He will not
do it."
  "What will He not do ?" asked the mother.
  "He will not suffer a storm to come and shipwreck
Godber. He will only permit the winds to rise and fill
his sails fuller, and bring him quickly to me — to us."
  "Let Him do His own good pleasure," devoutly re-
plied the other. "What God does, that is well done.
The dog has jumped down from the window, and is
looking at us wistfully ; let us drive up the sheep be-
fore the storm breaks upon us."
  They went out, and the dog, which, whether from his
own observation of the usual signs of an approaching
change in the weather, or from the sensibility of his

[039]

39

THE BETROTHED.

nerves, had for some time seemed conscious of the
coming storm, bounded rapidly before them, and with
noisy barking gathered the sheep and drove them
toward the hut. Already an occasional gust came over
the waves, which rolled up reluctantly and then sank
slowly back, as if too indolent to rouse themselves for
the conflict. The evening sun still stood in the south-
west, but threw its rays only upward. Below it, had
appeared a thick cloud, whose edge reflected a yellow-
ish gray light, and which for some time seemed to
increase neither in length nor breadth, but stood like
a sentinel over the sea. Suddenly another and fuller
gust swept along the deep, but still with such uncertain
strength, that only here and there a solitary wave broke
into foam before it, then all again was still. But now
as if driven by irresistible force, black masses of clouds
rolled upward, and concealed the face of the sun.
Blast followed blast with increasing rapidity and
strength ; more and more restlessly the waves raised
their dark heads. The heavy cloud seemed to stretch
its long arms around the horizon, ever rising higher and
higher, while its deep shadows spread rapidly over the
ocean. Along those shadows the spirit of the storm
seemed to follow in his strength, bowed himself to the
sea, and the fearful conflict began. The billows rose
in broad and mighty lines, as if they would draw the
clouds into their depths. But the tempest beat them
down, so that they fell only to rise, to still greater
heights, and still more madly roared the storm, and
ever higher rolled the waves with heavy dashings.
  Meanwhile the little flock was hastily driven to the
wharf, and now Maria first turned her anxious look

[040]

40
THE HALLIG.

over the ocean which had already advanced upon the
land, and separated by its waves the scattered cabins
from each other. There she saw, and her heart beat
faster at the sight, a white point, which sometimes rode
boldly on the foaming edge of a high rolling billow,
then, sinking into the deep galfs, vanished from her
sight as if never to reappear.
  "A ship, mother," cried she, and thought of
Godber.
  The sympathizing mother looked in the direction in-
dicated, where at first her eyes, enfeebled by age, could
discern nothing. But it drew nearer and nearer,
first like the white wing of some lagging sea-mew,
now seeming resolved to force a passage through the
dark vault above her, now plunging into the engulfing
waves. By degrees the shape of the sails might be
distinguished, then the masts became visible, and at
length the whole fine model of the ship could be seen.
Now she leans completely on her side, her strained
cordage almost touching the swollen waves, which fre-
quently in their wild sport broke against the sails, then
like a proud conqueror descending to his tomb, she
boldly leaps into the deep abyss below. But once more
the light bark with her slender masts and weather-
beaten sails rides on the topmost waves, then plunging
again, and again rising, she seems blindly to pursue
a way which is in fact directed by an experienced
hand.
  "They have a good helmsman," said the mother ;
and Godber's name fell from the lips of Maria.
  The ship now changed her course, and passing be-
tween two shoals which almost touched each other, tri-

[041]

41

THE BETROTHED.

umphantly left the foaming breakers behind her and
lay again in deep water.
  "Helm a-lee !" shouted the mother, as if her voice,
which was lost in the storm, could guide the ship ;
but it veered to the left, and every moment the
anxious watchers expected to see it reach the point
which they knew to be so full of peril, where the least
turn tb the right or left must inevitably dash it against
hidden shoals. But suddenly the already reefed sails
dropped from the masts, and the naked spars sustained
uninjured the force of the tempest, the reeling ship
swept slowly round in a semicircle till her bowsprit,
which had so long followed the direction of the storm,
now pointed to windward.
  "They have cast anchor," cried Maria, joyfully ; and
the experienced widow said :
  "If they, as I think, are bound to Husum, they
may with the coming ebb fall into their right course,
from which they have been driven so far to the
north."
  Relieved from their anxiety for the mariners, they
both went into the house. So long as daylight per-
mitted, Maria threw many a look from the little back
room toward the ship, that with the now approaching
ebb still remained moored, and no signs of activity
on board were visible from the shore. When the
twilight shut it from her view, she quietly began to
spin again by the side of her mother. Then there was
a long talk between the two about the dowry and the
future housekeeping ; for the mother, too, through
Maria's confidence, was disposed to believe that Godber
was on board the ship. Later than usual they went to

[042]

42

THE HALLIG.

rest in cheerful hope, but not until they had com-
mended themselves to the protection of the Most High
in the following simple hymn :

  "When tempests rage, God !
    Do Thou my life watch over ;
  And round my frail abode
    Let Thine own angels hover ;
  That the wild waves may shrink with fear,
  Like lambs which see the lion near.

  "But should Thy holy will
    Decree my death the rather,
  In mercy take my soul
    Into Thy hands, Father !
  From every stain of sin set free,
  Through Jesus' blood who died for me."

[043]


CHAPTER III.


THE SHIPWRECK.

    How sinks and swells the flood,
      Restless and tossing — yet
    Obedient to His word
      Who ruled Genesaret.

 
  Let us now turn to the ship which, rocked by the
waves, was lying at anchor in the place it had selected
to await the abating of the storm. As Maria had sus-
pected, and as the skillful steerage of the vessel in
these difficult waters made probable, Godber was in-
deed on board as pilot. Beside himself, the ship's com-
pany consisted of the captain, four sailors, and three
passengers : — Mr. Mander, a merchant from Hamburg,
and owner of the cargo, with a grown son and daughter,
Oswald and Idalia. Mr. Mander had undertaken the
voyage, not on account of his business, but merely for
the sake of his children, who had promised themselves
much pleasure from a sea voyage.
  The captain's hope of regaining his course, as Maria's
mother had said, was disappointed. When after some
hours the ebb commenced, the water, on account of the
strong south-west gale, which was still blowing, re-
treated with so feeble a current, that it was not possi-

[044]

44

THE HALLIG.

ble with its help to work out the ship against a head
wind. The purpose, therefore, of Godber, who had
selected precisely this anchorage because the current at
ebb-tide was usually particularly strong there, was de-
feated. And now the ship left in shoal water by the
retreating tide, and held fast by her anchors, thumped
often and heavily upon the bottom. And when, after
many anxious hours, the flood returned, and the storm
came on with still greater violence, it soon became evi-
dent that the water was pouring in through the seams
which had been opened by the shock. The darkness
greatly increased the danger, and it now became neces-
sary to take some decisive resolution. But the con-
sultation begun between the captain and pilot was
suddenly and involuntarily terminated. A fearful con-
cussion, which shook the ship in every part, as if it
were on the point of going to pieces, announced some
new accident.
  "The chain-cable has broken !" This cry of terror
explained the mystery. "The cables, too ?" shouted
the captain. Those, indeed, weaker but more flexible
than the chain, still held fast two small anchors, but it
might be expected that the next blast would carry off
these last stays.
  "Slip the cables ! set all sail ! every rag out !" was,
after a brief consultation between the officers, the next
order. Then receiving the whole force of the gale in
her canvas, and dashing through the foaming billows
as if they had been but snow clouds, the ship flew
toward the strand. The flood-tide had already covered
it, but the experienced steersman would not have
missed it, although the darkness no longer permitted

[045]

45

THE SHIPWRECK.

him to see the wharves distinctly. But the masts were
overtasked. They bowed as if they still retained the
elastic force with which they had resisted the winds
on their native mountains. They leaned forward as if
they would leave the heavy hulk of the ship far behind
them. But a distinct crackling sound proved they
were overstrained.
  "Stand by with the axes !" brought every sailor to
his post, where all now stood in anxious expectation,
waiting with lifted arms, the next command. A sud-
den crash was heard throughout the ship above the
howling of the tempest and the roaring of the waves,
and the whole rigging fell forward and sunk into the
water, so that the lower broken ends of the masts
pointed upward.
  "Clear away ! for God's sake, clear away !" shouted
the captain to the sailors, who, although the ship by
the first falling of the masts, was buried so deeply in
the water, that it seemed as if it would never rise, now
worked with wonderful dexterity, urged by the con-
sciousness that their lives depended upon the quick and
successful execution of the order. The next moment
the sails and masts, which lately rode so proudly and
bowed so gracefully, lay a loose, confused mass upon
the surface of the sea, and the ship, stripped of her
fairest ornaments, and without the means of guiding
her course, was tossed to and fro, the helpless play-
thing of the waves. From a seemingly animated being
full of grace, courage, and strength, it had now become
a dull, dead hulk, a leaky wreck.
  Under these circumstances, must they whose lives
were now in imminent peril take some decisive step.

[046]

46

THE HALLIG.

Should they wait to see how the conflict would end,
which the winds and waves were carrying on around
the dismasted vessel, these constantly pressing in and
seeking to draw her down into their depths, those
driving her before them with ever-increasing force, and
threatening to dash her to pieces on the shoals ? The
long-boat, which was lying at the foot of the mast, had
been crushed by its fall, and was there any probability
that they could get to the shore in the small boat, and
in the darkness reach one of the wharves on the over-
flowed hallig ? The passengers earnestly begged that
this experiment might be tried. Any change was to
them a hope of life ; to remain on the ship seemed cer-
tain death. The captain's sense of duty would not al-
low him to leave his post so long as a plank remained.
But he would not oppose his passengers, and permitted
his pilot to take them into the boat if he considered
the attempt to reach the land in that way safer than
remaining on board the ship. Godber, trusting to his
precise knowledge of the channel and the hallig, con-
sented to this, and two sailors, who, like the rest, de-
spairing of escape, still preferred to venture a final
struggle for their lives, and to go down resisting, rather
than to remain paisive and helpless on the sinking
wreck, joined themselves to him. If there had still re-
mained the faintest hope of saving the ship from com-
plete destruction, it must have died away at the mo-
ment when Godber, who alone was familiar with the
channels and shoals of these waters, left the wreck.
This thought passed through his own mind. Already
he was about to relinquish the undertaking ; but, the
weeping, imploring Idalia stood before him, and every
 

[047]

47

THE SHIPWRECK.

other consideration must be forgotten. The jolly-boat
was lowered from the poop, manned by the three sea-
men, and brought dexterously round to the leeward.
But it required a full half hour to take in the pas-
sengers, for the light bark was floated off on the foam-
ing crest of a wave far from the ship, then tossed back
with a force which threatened to dash it against its
side. After many attempts, which fear, as often as a
want of skill, rendered useless, the passengers were
obliged to be let down by ropes, and, suspended over
the breaking waves, must wait till the boat was again
under them. Were they then but half a minute too
late, the boat would have bounded far away from them
on the top of some mountain billow, or would be hid
from their sight in the deep, and they themselves mo-
mentarily plunged beneath the water. Mander and
Oswald, whose hope of saving their lives by means
of the boat had been completely annihilated by this
unexpected difficulty, passively followed every direction.
Idalia, terrified by these circumstances, long hesitated
to follow her father and brother, and the impatience
which her delay excited was indeed one of the causes
that when she at length ventured, the rope which was
to sustain her till she could be received into the boat,
slipped from the hands of the sailors who were holding
it on the ship, and she fell into the sea. But Godber,
who had never turned his eyes from her, sprang in-
stantly into the sea and held her up with a strong arm.
But the most powerful swimmer could not have
snatched its prey from such a raging sea. Fortunately,
however, those in the boat succeeded in getting hold
of one end of the rope, which was fastened round

[048]

48

THE HALLIG.

Idalia's shoulders, and in this way they were drawn
safely in.
  From the delay and excitement occasioned by this
circumstance, it was not now easy to find again the
right direction toward those little points of land, upon
the reaching of which all their hopes of safety de-
pended. Only Godber, who so well knew the position
of the houses, and who, through the whole day, had
scarcely turned his eyes from his beloved home, could
discern through the darkness certain still darker points,
and toward these he steered. A mutual "farewell, and
may God protect you" was exchanged between those
who remained and those who were leaving, and soon
the dark night and rolling sea had so separated them
that reunion would have been impossible even if it
had been desired. Mander sat with Oswald and Idalia
in the bottom of the boat. They uttered an occasional
cry when some huge wave dashed over the frail bark,
and threatened to bury it altogether. The sailors,
though despairing of life, rowed calmly and with strong
and steady strokes as if no peril of death were near.
Godber held the tiller with a powerful arm, skillfully
avoiding the shock of the heaviest waves, and sought
the safety of his little shallop by choosing, with the
acuteness and dexterity of an experienced seaman, the
least perilous path through the waters. In the mean
time he looked about him with the closest scrutiny,
whenever a high wave lifted the boat so as to give
him a wider view. But the darkness was settling
more and more thickly upon the troubled sea, and it
was only by the shortness of the waves that, after two
hours of the severest labor on the part of the oarsmen

[049]

49

THE SHIPWRECK.

and of tho closest observation on his part, he was able
to ascertain that they were upon the overflowed surface
of the hallig. The remains of an old wharf or any
other object hidden under tho water might now upset
the boat and cause them all to perish. With the most
searching glance Godber sought to discover a line of
deeper rolling waves, which would indicate a narrow
creek, that, as he well knew, ran far into the land in
this direction. God strengthened his vision, and guided
his rudder. He found an entrance where none could
have been discovered by a less experienced eye. Then
he called upon young Mander to take the tiller. But
stupefied by fear and deprived of all power of action,
ho remained motionless. The father was more ready,
and, though half unconscious, he placed himself at the
helm ; but without the help of the sailors, who with
their oars assisted in steering the boat, he would have
done little toward carrying out the rapid orders of God-
ber, who stood in the bow holding a long pole. As no
one on board knew any thing of the inlet into which
they had now entered, but every one supposed they
were still in deep water, they understood nothing of
Godber's peremptory orders, now to the right now to
the left ; but the elder Mander submitted like a slave
who had neither thought nor will of his own, and the
sailors like those who are accustomed to surrender their
own judgment to the duty of unqualified obedience.
In this way they proceeded another hour and a half,
sometimes before the wind, and sometimes with the
wind a-beam, without making any considerable ad-
vance, for the frequent turns retarded the boat, and
the strength of the oarsmen was nearly exhausted.

[050]

50

THE HALLIG.

Another short turn and they heard only the roaring of
the wind, but felt it no longer, and the waves, whose
dashing still sounded near, played more gently round
the boat. Here their little anchor might hold, and it
was immediately thrown over and the oars taken in.
  Astonished at this marvelous change in their circum-
stances, Mander and the sailors gazed out into the
night while the brother and sister gradually recovered
from the stupor of their terror ; but every thing about
them was so vailed by the darkness of the night, that
they could scarcely perceive one another, much less any
thing beyond the boat, and all turned inquiringly to
Godber. He alone who had guided them so wonder-
fully, could explain. "We are safe," said he, and
sprang toward Idalia, loosened the rope which had re-
mained round her waist, fastened one end about his
own body, tied the other to a boat-ring, set his pole
in the water, and with a powerful bound leaped into
the waves. A cry of horror escaped from all. They
stood some minutes anxiously awaiting how this to
them aimless adventure would end. Already they had
given him up for lost, and with him every hope of
escaping from the terrors of that night. Suddenly a
loud halloo echoed as if from the clouds above them.
The sailors answered mechanically the well-known call,
though they could not understand how the voice could
seem so near and yet so high. In vain they strained
their eyes ; quick as they were to discern every thing
at sea, they could distinguish nothing here but impene-
trable night. A few moments more of most anxious
expectation ! See ! all at once a cheerful light shines
through the window of a quiet dwelling which appears

[051]

51

THE SHIPWRECK.

to be almost directly above them, and after some
seconds of motionless astonishment the sailors greeted
its appearance with a joyous hurrah ! while the other
three sank into each other's arms with tears of joy.
The circumstances of their situation now became plain.
The boat was anchored by the side of a half-overflowed
wharf and was protected from the wind by it and the
house which stood upon it, while the storm was raging
round them in its full strength and apparently more
wildly than before. The end of the rope which God-
ber had taken with him he had already fastened to
the door-post, and hauling the boat up as closely as
possible, it served to assist them to disembark, so that
in a few minutes they all found themselves under the
shelter of the house.
  Here being received with the kindest hospitality and
refreshed with the most active zeal, they did not fail to
offer grateful thanks to their happy deliverer, which the
sailors did briefly with a hearty pressure of the hand
and "you are a brave pilot !" The father, too, said
but few words and then sat down silent and thought-
ful. Oswald could not find words enough to express
his eternal gratitude ; he was as gay too as a child,
laughed and joked about the borrowed clothes in which
they were dressed, and which, though really not of the
newest pattern, diffused an agreeable warmth through
their chilled frames. Idalia, who had been changing
her dress in an adjoining room, now came in ; and
while Oswald joyfully embraced her, and laughed im-
moderately at her strange costume, which, he said, would
cause a furore at the next fancy ball in Hamburg, she
was to Godber a vision which thrilled every nerve with

[052]

52

THE HALLIG.

delight. She was now a maiden of the hallig. The
hair in smooth bands partially covered by the little cap,
the green bodice with its short sleeves, the gay silk
handkerchief tied in a careless knot, the striped skirt
which was not long enough to conceal the blue stock-
ings, all these had transferred the city belle to a modest
lass of his own race. But that high white brow, those
brown sparkling, speaking eyes, those fine features,
those rosy lips and cheeks, those lovely rounded arms
with the small delicate hands ! — no ! she was the
heavenly counterpart of a mortal child of the hallig.
He was still lost in contemplating her when Idalia,
freeing herself from her brother, impelled by strong
emotion, and forgetting every thing around her, hast-
ened toward Godber, and with passionate impetuosity
threw herself upon his breast, and covered him with her
tears and kisses. It was he who by his bold and skill-
ful conduct had saved the life of her father and
brother ! How could she pause to consider whether
her gratitude was overstepping its proper bounds?
How could she who had never been accustomed to con-
trol her feelings from regard to others, how could she
repress the impulses of her heart ? Her mind had
been excited by these hours of terror to the most fear-
ful pitch of anguish, and now her joy at her escape
was equally uncontrollable. In the gentlest tones,
which scarcely amounted to words, and which were
constantly interrupted by floods of tears, she thanked
Godber for her life. As often as the thought of the
dreadful death from which she had escaped presented
itself to her, she shuddered at the terrible image, and
clung still closer to the neck of her deliverer, as if he

[053]

53

THE SHIPWRECK.

were to lift her again out of the awful deep. And
Godber — there stood the manly youth trembling with
rapture as one to whom the door of a new unlooked-
for existence had suddenly opened. Alas ! poor Maria's
star of hope had set in that long wished-for hour of her
lover's return.

[054]


CHAPTER IV.
THE CITY BELLE.

    Say, bringst thou home again
      Thy former love and truth ?
    Live with us happy then ;
    We greet thee all again
      With former love and truth.

 
  The next morning the sky was bright and cheerful.
Behind the dykes on the mainland the morning sun
rose and seemed to throw a look of curiosity toward the
hallig, as if to ascertain what had been the destruction
of the preceding night, and to inquire whether there
were still living beings there to be refreshed by his
beams. The sea flowed calmly on in its ordinary bed,
and seemed to say, smilingly, to those in whose ears the
fearful roar of the late storm was still ringing — "You
have only dreamed !"
  Godber, who, notwithstanding the exertions he had
been forced to make during the dangers described in
our last chapter, had slept little, now stood before the
door of the hospitable dwelling. His heart was agi-
tated by a variety of emotions. There lay before him
the soil of his hallig, after which, even on the blooming
shores of Italy and on the rich plains of Holland, he

[055]

55

THE CITY BELLE.

had longed with such a feeling of home-sickness, the soil
upon which alone he could be happy, from which to
tear himself again would be impossible. For this home
he had struggled and toiled in distant lands. The
thought of it had stimulated him to unwearied activity,
to the most ready obedience, to the most earnest zeal
in the fulfillment of all his duties ; had restrained him
from all the enjoyments of his class and incessantly
admonished him to practice the most careful economy.
Every new accession to his little treasury, which he al-
ways carried about him, and had therefore preserved
through this last peril, had been the commencement
of a new dream of a happy return to which he on
such occasions surrendered himself for hours. Only his
desire for improvement, his efforts to obtain an educa-
tion above his condition, could induce him occasionally
to draw upon his earnings, but he economized all the
more rigidly to make up for such outlays. Now he had
reached it. There stood the paternal roof. A thrill
passed through his frame and tears of joy moistened
his cheek. A stranger who could have seen that naked
tract, with its scanty grass half buried in the mud of
the late inundation, and its deeply washed and shat-
tered wharves, and called to mind the preceding night
which had brought so near to death every thing upon
the island, would never have suspected that such a
home could draw from the young man tears of joy.
But for this sight Godber had endured for nine years
a life of toil and danger full of privation and self-denial,
and had it been twenty years that he had so suffered
and toiled, he would not have thought his return too
dearly bought.

[056]

56

THE HALLIG.

Yet his joy was not unmixed. He could not bow his
knee before God, who had graciously protected and led
him back to the home of his fathers. Had he done so,
perhaps he might have recovered his former heart
again. The vain dream might have vanished. His
oath of fidelity to Maria might have been kept, and the
seductive form of Idalia have lost its power.
  In every man's life indeed such bewitching visions
sometimes rise, disturb his inward peace, and prevent
him from seeing clearly the duty which lies nearest to
him ; and if they are not mere dreams of fancy, but
rather called forth by extraordinary circumstances, they
often seem to him like the voice of destiny. They
hover about his soul as if inviting him to enjoyments
from which only narrow scruples and want of self-
reliance have hitherto withheld him, and which are cer-
tain to him if he will only venture to exert his powers.
They point out to him a future, in comparison with
which all that a quiet continuance in his former course,
a firm adherence to early principles, a willing obedience
to the hitherto supposed commands of God, have to
offer, seem vapid, colorless, even unworthy of him. It
seems to him that he has only to take a step forward to
escape a long servitude, and to enter into a paradise
whose gates he has himself, till now, kept obstinately
shut. He asks himself why he should not break the
feeble bars of duty and conscience ; indeed he fancies
these bonds are mere nursery tales, which he ought to
have outgrown, or that he now first understands what
duty and conscience really require of him. At such
times there is nothing in man that can restrain him
or point out to him the right path. The solid ground

[057]

57

THE CITY BELLE.

upon which he has hitherto walked firmly has slid from
beneath his feet ; the objects of his past life become
confused, and his thoughts and emotions at the new
prospect have not yet become familiar to him. In
this situation he can have no aid but that which comes
from above. Let him then raise his mind and thoughts
to the strong tower of pure truth, let him hold fast with
eye and heart the eternal word of the Great Judge of
quick and dead. Let him leave the world and its
dreams a moment behind him, and lose himself entirely
in the contemplation of Him who, through His holy
spirit, makes the pious heart a temple for Himself.
And this spirit will give him the light which he needs.
The cloudy phantoms will have disappeared when he
looks at his path. He will recognize them as the
shadows of some sin concealed in the background, and
now he clearly sees his way and walks on with confi-
dence.
  But Godber did not pray ; and his eye and soul
grew darker as he threw a hasty glance toward the
abode of Maria. A feeling like a pang of conscience
seized him ; but he shrunk from an examination of
himself, and was glad when the recollection of the
wreck he had left in the storm, and of those who re-
mained upon it, repressed every other thought. He
turned his searching eye toward the west side of the
hallig — there lay the ship on her side not far from the
shore. He hurried rapidly toward it. But his way led
him by the dwelling of Maria, and his heart felt
strangely as he approached it, his blood flowed faster
in his veins and gave his, cheeks a deeper red. He un-
consciously trod more lightly as if he feared by the

[058]

58

THE HALLIG.

noise of his step to awaken his betrothed from a dream
of hope, and call her to the door which, to his joy, still
remained shut. When he had passed, he felt as if
a weight had fallen from his heart, without considering
how little was gained by so short a respite. Again the
wreck occupied his whole attention, and in a few
minutes he was on the beach. But he strained his eyes
in vain ; he could discover no human form. He waded
out as far as possible, and sent his ringing halloo over
the waters. There was no reply. Silent and motion-
less lay the now shapeless hulk before him, which, so
lately full of life and activity, was, with wide-spread
pinions, plowing the waves. After repeated attempts
to call forth a reply, Godber was obliged to yield to the
conviction that his comrades had perished ; and the
thought forced itself upon him, that it would have
been better for him to have been buried with them
in the sea, than to survive, conscious of a double
faithlessness, first toward the ship whose helm had been
intrusted to him, and which, like every true sailor,
he loved as a bride, and secondly, toward the betrothed
of his earliest youth. He gazed long and fixedly, with
a troubled mind, until by reflecting on the events of
the past night, Idalia's image rose before him, and
drew to itself every thought and every emotion. An
indescribable longing to see her again took possession
of him. He reproached himself for not having waited
to receive her morning salutation, and hastily retraced
his steps.
  He was thoughtlessly passing near the house of
Maria — suddenly the door opened, and she came out
with her water-pail. Her first look fell upon Godber.

[059]

59

THE CITY BELLE.

She threw down her pail, and, springing from the wharf,
flew toward him, and with a joyful cry, "Godber, is it
you ?" seized the hand which he mechanically stretched
toward her. Had he pressed her to his heart, she would
have received and returned his kiss without affectation.
But she was in no way disconcerted that he did not do
so, for the daughter of the hallig was accustomed to a
more quiet expression of affection, than the passionate
inhabitants of the mainland would have thought proper
on such occasions. But she knew that he had remained
true to her, and even if he had not written this to her,
was he not a child of her own home, where want of faith
between those who have been betrothed from their
childhood, is as unheard-of as that between married
persons ?
  "Where did you come from to-day ? We did not
expect you till to-morrow from Husum, for you were in
the ship which we saw anchored far in the offing yes-
terday ; were you not ? What has become of the ship
then ?" Saying this, she looked eagerly toward the an-
chorage at which she had gazed the day before with
such longing hope.
  "There it is," said Godber, stretching out his hand
toward the wreck.
  "Good God !" cried Maria, now almost sunk on the
breast of her lover. "And so you were struggling with
death while I was dreaming of you so quietly. We
heard but little of the storm in the front room, and sup-
posed it had passed over. But I told mother we ought
to set a light in the back-room, and I should have liked
to watch by it. She thought it might mislead vessels
unacquainted with the coast, and laughed at me be-

[060]

60

THE HALLIG.

cause I was so certain that you were on board the ship.
And now you have been wrecked. Oh, how much you
must have suffered ! and how I should have wept if you
had been lost. Oh, I should have died too !" And then
she covered her face with her apron, and wept from fear
and joy.
  Godber trembled like a criminal. The tears of the
girl fell like burning drops upon his heart. His tender-
ness for her returned for a moment. He clasped her in
his arms, pressed her passionately to his heart, and as
she raised her moist blue eyes, so full of love, the image
of Idalia was effaced from his heart.
  But Maria freed herself quickly from him, and ex-
claimed, "Poor Godber, how you tremble ! Come into
the house immediately. The tea shall be ready in a
moment. How glad mother will be when you stand be-
fore her bed. Are you the only one saved ?"
  This question turned Godber's thoughts at once to
Idalia. He fell back into his first coldness toward
Maria, and said hurriedly, and in broken words,
  "There are others saved. Farewell, for the present.
I must carry them news of the ship."
  "Wait a moment," said Maria ; "where are they ?
I'll go with you. Only let me tell mother ; and she
sprang gayly up the wharf, and in a few moments was
again with Godber who had remained motionless, and
in silent despair.
  They now walked on together ; he with a troubled
mind, and speaking only in monosyllables ; she, with
sparkling eyes, and with a lively talkativeness quite un-
usual to her. She had so much to tell him ; how she
had longed for his return ; how she had thought of him

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in all her occupations ; how industriously she had spun
to make ready for the housekeeping ; and then she
named to him every article which she had in readiness,
part of which she was to receive from her mother, and
the rest she had prepared for herself. Godber felt as if
in some painful dream, which was constantly pressing
more and more heavily upon his heart. But she talked
on — how she had prayed God so often to bring him
safely back again ; with what confidence she relied upon
the fulfillment of her petition ; with what heartiness
she would thank her Heavenly Father for his goodness
and mercy ; and she hoped He would not be offended
with her because she had not yet been able, from the
excess of her joy, to frame a proper thanksgiving.
While she with childish simplicity sometimes addressed
herself to God, and sometimes spoke to Godber about
their going to church together for the first time, her
words fell like lead upon his heart. He was obliged to
stop to recover his breath, and his knees threatened to
fail him.
  Maria observed it ; but not suspecting the true cause,
she took him tenderly by the arm, and reproached him
for having refused to take refreshment at her mother's ;
he was so much exhausted, and it was quite wrong in
him not to have fairly rested. "But just wait a little,"
she added ; "for the next fortnight you shall not stir
from the arm-chair. I will nurse you like a baby.
Wrapped in father's sheepskin, and with his woolen
night-cap over your ears, you shall get thoroughly warm
again.
  "Really it is dreadful — the way in which you have
exposed your health by refusing to come into the

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THE HALLIG.

house," continued she, half angry and half weeping, as
they came to the slender timber stretched across the
creek, here some yards in breadth, and which certainly
would have been called a foot-bridge by none but an
inhabitant of the hallig, as it was laid with one of its
angles uppermost to prevent the sheep from passing.
Maria bounded lightly over ; Godber followed her slowly
and tremblingly.
  As they entered the house, they found the whole fem-
ily gathered around the large table at breakfast, which
consisted only of tea, with black bread and butter, and
sheep's milk cheese. Idalia still wore the costume of
the hallig ; but she had managed by her inventive fancy
and tasteful choice, to give many an additional charm,
without detracting any thing from its peculiarity. Her
hair, though smoothed back from her forehead, was only
partially confined under the little cap, several ringlets
being allowed to fall over her shoulders. She had also
borrowed from the casket, which contained the family
ornaments, and which she was surprised to find so well
filled, a long gold chain which now glittered on her
breast, being used to lace the bodice loosely at the top,
and more snugly as it approached the waist, according
to the fashion adopted by the brides of the hallig. Her
good taste had led her not to cover the gold medallions
which are generally suspended from it. As Golber
stood, she rose, and approached him with irresistible love-
liness in every feature ; not indeed with the all-forget-
ting passionateness of yesterday, but with a smile that
showed she was confident of pleasing him. But we should
do Idalia injustice were we to represent her conduct to-
ward Godber as pure coquetry, Unaccustomed as she was

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to consider the relation of things, or think of conse-
quences where her own inclinations were concerned, she
now resigned herself to the impulse of the moment, and
this impulse was more than gratitude toward the pre-
server of her life. It was, if not a love capable of every
sacrifice, an ebullition of passion which makes as strong
claims upon its object. She desired to please in order
to win the heart of the young man for whom her own
spoke warmly, and she was far from wishing merely to
make him the slave of her caprice, although her whole
conduct was guided by motives of which only a coquette
is capable. Godber gazed upon the lovely image with
silent rapture. Fixed to the spot where he stood, he
saw her move toward him with a look which penetrated
the depths of his soul. As she now seized his hand,
pressed it to her heart, and with melting tones, said
familiarly, "Godber, my deliverer ! how could you leave
us so early witliout receiving my thanks for a morning,
which, without you, I should never have seen !" At
these words he almost sunk at her feet ; and Idalia had
obtained the most complete victory. This was not un-
observed by her, as the satisfied smile on her lips plainly
showed. He must sit down by her side, while Maria,
timid, embarrassed, and suddenly disconcerted, in the
presence of the stranger, scarcely ventured to seat her-
self opposite to Idalia, and only threw half glances to-
ward her whose delicate beauty, and whose costume,
familiar, yet strange, fixed all her attention. She could
not avoid a feeling which was more than mere un-
easiness, at her appearance, and the familiar manner
of the strangers toward Godber. Bhe could not help
involuntarily comparing the rounded, but slender form

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THE HALLIG.

and the dazzling charms of Idalia, with her own face,
browned by the sun, and her hands and arms which
spoke of heavy toil ; her manner, easy and graceful,
yet far from the imposing airs of pride, with her own
awkward bashfulness. She, who was, without question,
the most beautiful of the hallig maidens, in her mod-
esty, set herself far below the stranger — much further
indeed, than she really deserved to stand. What God-
ber's coldness in responding to the joy she had experi-
enced at their meeting, could not awaken, the sight of
the stranger soon forced upon her : doubt of the truth
of her betrothed. It was not only Idalia's behavior to
Godber, which so pierced her heart, but the jealousy of
love, which lends to the simplest maid a sharpness of
vision, not easy to be deceived, when she is with her
lover in the company of some other woman, would
have forced upon her many observations independent of
Idalia's familiarity with the young man. Maria's heart
was soon to be completely broken.
  "Who is the dear girl ?" asked Idalia in the kindest
tone, accompanied, however, by a searching glance at
Godber, as if she knew how much the answer con-
cerned her.
  Maria blushed deeply, but at the same time looked
up with a certain conscious pride toward the stranger.
Godber colored still more deeply. His eyes fell to the
floor, and his voice trembled, when, after a moment's
pause, he said, "Maria Nommans."
  He seemed to wish to add something, but was silent.
Maria listened yet another moment, full of anguish — he
was still silent. Pale as death, she pressed her hand
upon her heart, where every pulse had ceased, and saw

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and heard no more. That he could not or did not wish
to add "my betrothed," was decisive of her fate. By
this silence the happiness of her life was destroyed.
She now knew that she had lost him. Idalia had some
suspicions of the real state of things. The embarrass-
ment of both did not escape her, but the joy of having
Godber for herself almost overcame her sympathy for
the poor girL Godber, too, felt that he, by not speak-
ing of his connection with Maria, had confessed every
thing) and did not suppose it possible for her to regard
this silence as insignificant. He did not dare to look
up, and sat in the most painful uneasiness, till, to his
great relief, Mander inquired whether he had seen any
thing of the ship. He started up hastily, and with an
interest quite inconsistent with his previous silence on
the subject, told what he had seen, and the probable
fate of those they had left on board.
  They all now decided to go down to the wreck.
Maria followed slowly and alone. She only saw how,
on arriving at the above-mentioned crossing, Idalia
trembled at the giddy pass, and after several vain at-
tempts to get over with the help of Godber's hand, at
last threw her arm about his neck, and was carried by
him to the opposite side. Her tears now fell un-
checked. She thought no more of following them, but
arriving at her own home, she staggered up the wharf
and threw herself sobbing into a chair. Maria re-
mained alone with her sorrow. Curiosity had taken her
mother to the beach, where nearly all the inhabitants
of the hallig were assembled. When Godber had
joined the company, after the first greetings of wel-
come had been bestowed, it was proposed to drag a

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THE HALLIG.

boat through the surge till they could reach a sufficient
depth to float it when manned. In this way they
boarded the wreck, and examined it with the greatest
care. There was no trace either of the living or tiw
dead. Probably when the ship capsized, the captain
and sailors had been washed from the deck, and it was
most likely that one of the next flood tides would
throw their bodies upon the shore. Some valuables
were taken off, and Godber did not forget to secure for
Idalia a box of southern fruits and a basket which con-
tained some bottles of sweet wine. The saving of the
remainder of the cargo, which chiefly consisted of casks
of wine and boxes of oranges, was the next object.
Cordage was tied to the stump of the masts, and slung
round various parts of the wreck, and then fastened at
the other end to the shore. While those who had re-
turned from the ship were telling in what condition
they had found things on board, Mander talked about
the rate of salvage with the people, who, to his aston-
ishment, did not wish to make any contract, but were
willing to leave every thing to his own sense of jus-
tice, and gave him their services with the most ready
good-will, proving in this way their disinterested-
ness. In the mean time Idalia, with the help of her
brother, who, as he said, desired some refreshment fit
for human beings, had opened a box of oranges and a
flask of wine, from which Oswald immediately took two
long draughts. She now peeled with her snowy fingers
one of the sweet oranges, and gracefully dividing it,
offered half to Godber, with the most cordial thanks
for his thoughtfulness. She then sipped a little wine
from the flask, and reaching it smilingly to him,

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67

THE CITY BELLE.

begged he would not refuse the refreshing beverage.
The lips of the delighted young man seemed held as if
by enchantment to the place which hers had so lately
touched, and only Idalia's question, why he had not
thought to bring her box of clothing from the ship,
roused him from his reverie.
  "Ah," exclaimed he, "I should wish never to see
you in any other dress than this of my own island."
  He blushed at the confession contained in these
words. Idalia's cheeks, too, became of a deeper color,
and it was only after a pause that she replied in a low
tone, as she bent gracefully toward him :
  "I will wear no other as long as this gives you pleas-
ure. But I suppose all of you who live on this island
must be connected either by blood or marriage, for I
have heard no mode of address except the familiar
thou. If then you would wish to consider me as a
hallig maiden why do you address me alone with the
cold you ?"
  A thrill of surprise and delight closed Godber's lips.
His eye rested inquiringly upon her for a moment, but
an expression of deep feeling was too evident in that
friendly smile and that gentle tone : he could no longer
doubt the fulfillment of his boldest hopes. While the
long silken lashes fell over her eyes as if to punish them
for telling too much, and her lips contracted as if for
fear of saying more till she knew how what she had al-
ready said would be received, he sunk gradually at her
feet. Though startled at the passionate action of the
young man, yet with a sudden self-recollection, she
took his hand for a moment, and then turning away
from him left him to recover his self-possession. But

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68

THE HALLIG.

who could blame the lover for reading a responsive
"thine," in that pressure of the hand and the look
which accompanied it. She now called her father, and
asked him to partake of the refreshment which Alicant
had presented to the beach of a hallig.
  Let us not be surprised that Idalia, who had ob-
served the impression made upon Godber by her charms
while they were still on board the ship, should have
hastened to gain a complete triumph on his heart by a
response so ready as to seem scarce maidenly. It was
not in her character to find any pleasure in the fears
and uncertainties of love. She wished to see her de-
sires speedily accomplished without the tormenting sus-
pense between fear and hope. The probable shortness
of her stay on the hallig urged her still more to this
course, since she could not help fearing that a few days
at most, would separate her from Godber, whom she
loved as sincerely as her selfish nature was capable of
loving. Early novel-reading, too, had long since de-
stroyed that timid delicacy which is a part of woman's
nature, and which, like the soft fragrant enamel on
flowers, that subdues and yet beautifies their colors,
adds more to her charms than any acquired grace, but
an assumption of which is the most disagreeable of all
affectations.
  This fair inheritance, this never-to-be-reoovered fra-
grance of maidenly modesty, is lost to your daughters,
ye careless parents, who permit them to read any thing,
almost without exception, which belles-lettres literature
offers. With your rules of propriety, with your pru-
dential maxims, with your notions of honor, you can
never recreate that incense of unconscious innocence

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THE CITY BELLE.

which should pervade the whole life and conduct of
woman, like a breath from the pure Heavenly fields,
and that makes her recall to us the lilies of which our
Lord said that "even Solomon in all his glory was not
arrayed like one of these." With this dowry is not
only lost a charm which the most dazzling beauty and
the most perfect cultivation can never supply, but there
is no longer any restraint upon the passions, and a
course of conduct soon follows which despises all your
counsels, and brings your gray hairs with sorrow to
the grave. You cherish your flowers, and protect them
from the night vapors, and the fierce beams of the
noon-day sun, but you suffer your daughters, by novel-
reading, to live in a world whose poisonous atmosphere
is favorable only to the growth of unhappy passions,
and which is all the more fatal because so attractive to
the fancy. Religion, their only defense, is there trans-
formed to a floral queen, who, crowned with bright gar-
lands, watches the display with an approving smile,
and speaks to them only in tones of love, gentleness,
and indulgence.
  The eye of the maiden, and even of the wife, need
not be too widely opened to the great theater of human
passions ; they should rather, in innocent ignorance of
the errors and crimes of mankind, preserve a devout and
quiet spirit, with an undisturbed feeling for the good,
the true, and the beautiful. While man must neces-
sarily engage in the great conflict, and is fortunate if he
return from it with only lasting scars, her modest place
in the world, her more delicate physical organization,
and her natural sensibility, in which she rather re-
sembles the mimosa, than the sturdy oak which has

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70

THE HALLIG.

grown up amid storms and tempests, seems to mark
out for her a quiet path. But her ordinary reading, if
not her actual life, open to her a realm that would
have better remained closed, and she is placed in situ-
ations which, though they are but imaginary, take a
happy vail from her eyes, making her discontented with
her lot, and producing a fruit of knowledge, like that
of Eve's, which cost a paradise.
  Far be it from us to consider in the education of
woman only the cradle and the fireside. But certainly
every species of cultivation which makes domestic life
intolerable to her must be wrong. Neither would we
encourage a superficial culture, which aims only at
show ; and yet we would rather her mind should be
ripened by the results of knowledge, than lose itself in
the depths of research. We are far, too, from wishing
to see a dreamy sentimentalism without strength or
power of endurance ; but the refined heart anticipates
the overloaded reason, and, at once detesting the false
and the sinful, has already given the will the right di-
rection while the other is still examining and weighing
the conflicting arguments. And over this heart let Re-
ligion hover, penetrating and enlightening it with her
mild beams, but still wrapped in a rosy vail, which
shall provoke no desire to withdraw it, and only excite
a pure and holy love. Religion should appear only to
man, never to woman, as Theology — the stately queen
whose throne is built upon the ruins of superstition,
doubt, and unbelief.

[071]


CHAPTER V.


THE GREAT WORLD.

    In want they pine,
      With wealth untold;
    Hearts warm with wine,
      And yet so cold !
    Refined are they —
      Yet what alloy !
    Pleasure and play,
      And yet no joy !
    Glitter and show —
      No beam from heaven;
    Can greater woe
      By death be given?

  The pastor Hold now joined the group assembled on
the shore. Having been but a few years on the island,
he had never seen Godber, but he had learned to know
him through Maria, and therefore gave him a friendly
greeting.
  The house which had first received the strangers not
being large enough to accommodate them comfortably,
the pastor and other persons of the congregation offered
their own dwellings ; but as there was the same want
of space in all, a separation of the party seemed to be
necessary. Godber, however, proposed to furnish the
house formerly owned by his father, but now unoccu-

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THE HALLIG.

pied, with the most necessary articles ; and as the vacant
sheep-fold would be the best place for storing such por-
tions of the cargo as might be saved from the wreck,
and those present readily offered their aid in completing
the arrangement, Idalia gave her voice for the accept-
ance of this proposal. She expressed her delight by
clapping her hands at the prospect of governing there,
as house-wife regent, and her fancy really painted a
most attractive idyllic picture of this domestic rule.
But her father thought it proper to ask for an older
and more experienced Martha to be her assistant. The
three strangers, with Godber and an old matron of the
hallig, now went into the vacant house, and the others
separated to return each to his own dwelling, there to
select the furniture most necessary to their guests.
Through the day, Idalia was fully employed in arrang-
ing every thing in the most comfortable and tasteful
manner that her materials permitted. Ten times at
least must the position of a chair be changed ; then a
table must be moved to the other side ; and it required
all the patience of a woman trained on the hallig to ex-
ecute orders which must have seemed to her so entirely
without motive.
  Godber smiled within himself to see this industry ;
and to carry out the direction of Idalia, he worked as
zealously as if he had been preparing the captain's
cabin for the reception of distinguished visitors. Man-
der himself was pleased to observe in his daughter an
interest in these occupations which he had never before
seen. Oswald only remarked jokingly, that it was lucky
for them that their dinner had been promised from the
parsonage ; and compared his sister with cousin Fritz,

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73

THE GREAT WORLD.

who, in a discussion, being accused of growing more
and more confused, answered hastily, "No ; I am only
arranging my thoughts."
  It may be time here to look a little more closely at the
character of young Mander. If he has shown himself
hitherto only as one of those miserable, vapid beings on
whom the sensuous side of life alone has influence, and
who are not capable of being elevated above mere
physical enjoyments, he has not manifested his charac-
ter so fully as to render our judgment of it quite cer-
tain. On the contrary, although two years younger
than his sister, who was now twenty-three, his exterior
was no longer the mirror of his heart. While she
united calculation and impulse, so that the most expe-
rienced observer of human nature would have found it
difficult to decide what was the real spring of her ac-
tion, and even she herself would have been embarrassed
to understand her own motives, he possessed a heart
capable of the warmest susceptibility for all that is
truly great and beautiful, though the aims of his life
had been almost exclusively directed to mere sensual
enjoyment. It was not really a mask which he had as-
sumed, when he spoke and acted as if he knew nothing
higher than the well-being of the body and the gratifica-
tion of the senses ; but he rather belonged to that class
of city young men who call it the philosophy of life to
drown every earnest tone of the heart in the noise of
mirth and revelry. He was yet too young to have the
germs of a true life entirely overgrown and choked by
that philosophy which is the offspring of a fallen spirit,
who, wishing to cover his own degradation, and silence
the voice of conscience, dignifies his brutishness by the

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74
THE HALLIG.

name of a system. But he had been too docile a pupil
at the feet of this soul-destroyer, not to persuade himself
that he was precisely what he gave himself out to be, or
at least able to maintain in the presence of others the
appearance of being a master in this miserable school
Naturally there must be hours in life like those he had
lately passed on the sea, which showed him the truth.
But for that very reason he strove the more to drive
them from his memory ; and he understood how to
banish from his mind that view of the world which such
moments had forced upon him and others, by an imme-
diate return to his former course of life, however loudly
the warning voice of his awakened conscience might
speak to the contrary. His laughing and jesting, imme-
diately after their escape from the most imminent peril,
was therefore rather an unnatural exertion of his power
over himself, than, as he wished to believe, and make
others believe, a proof of his thoughtlessness.
  It would require the voice of a prophet to awaken
those dreamers who are walking in the same path as
Oswald — men and women who are in possession of all
the wealth and pleasures of life — except life itself.
But the truth of Christ's words, "He that believeth
not is condemned already," is never more fully exempli-
fied than in them. The empty poverty of their exist-
ence in the midst of abundance is their condemnation.
The mere description of one of their "charming days"
operates as a blight upon the mind. That endless
toilet with all its miserable arts, the delight at a suc-
cessful knot — at the grace of some new-fashioned gar-
ment — that last triumphant glance at the mirror — those
pleasing anticipations of admiration — now a couple of

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75

THE GREAT WORLD.

visits made or received, a conversation in set form where
nothing is said or intended to be said — the subjects
being the first melon, the new opera, or the last ball,
on which they linger as if conscious that their whole
storehouse of thought had been expended there. For-
tunate is it for the visitor if he has some town news to
communicate, a newly published novel, or some fresh
piece of scandal, as in this way, he may earn the praise
of being an interesting and agreeable talker. Now
comes the table with its wine and other luxuries — an
excellent opportunity to talk of delicate constitutions,
war and peace, famine and cholera, popular revolutions
and military parades, served up much in the same
manner as the dishes. Then the concert, where the
most melting tones are designed only to win applause
and pay, and not to touch the heart — or the theater
where Thecla listens to the ghostly voice of the
prompter, and the murdered Wallenstein is thinking
how he shall thank his applauding public, while the
same public is coquetting from box to box, forgetful of
every thing else — or the ball where the giddy whirl of
the waltz fens up the last spark of passion in the worn-
out heart, and then the artificially heated blood is
cooled again with artificial ice. And this life whose
orgies we could not wish to unvail, however well they
may suit the fine polish and graces of this class of per-
sons — is it not pitiable ? In comparison with such hol-
lowness and insipidity is not the bold transgressor of
God's commands still a man ? He is still something,
and therefore may yet be made to feel that there is a
Judge of quick and dead, and be brought back from his
evil ways. But with the above described class of per-

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76
THE HALLIG.

sons their poverty is their riches, their degradation
their pride, their folly wisdom, and their condemnation
blessedness.
  To the careless observer they may appear fair, but
they are dead within — a decaying fruit which has Men
from the tree of life and now lies in the dust contented
with its place and desirng no reunion with the parent
stem.
  Pastor Hold probably entertained views very similar
to those we have expressed, after he had become better
acquainted with Oswald and recalled to himself his
own experience in town society. For we find in a man-
uscript of his, to which he had given the somewhat
quaint title of "Sights," and from which we may
perhaps hereafter make some further extracts, the
following " Sight" apparently written about that
period.
  "I saw a little girl with all the marks of hunger on
her pale sunken cheeks, sitting by the wayside, clad in
rags of the deepest poverty. Her age might have been
ten or twelve years, but her form was weak and puny
like the sickly growth of a hot-house. A woman neatly
but humbly clad passed, carrying in her arms a smiling
infant and leading a lively boy by the hand. A basket
hung on her arm. Her hasty step was arrested by the
sight of the little girl ; she dropped the hand of her
boy and looked at her basket. But she passed on, and
crossing over a little foot-bridge went up to a man who
was working in the field. He wiped the perspiration
from his brow and took the black bread from the basket
while the boy filled a flask from the adjacent spring.
The little girl looked over from the road at the bread,

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77

THE GREAT WORLD.

and the laborer breaking it went to her and gave her
half. She thanked him by the eagerness with which
she carried the gift to her mouth. The man then
looked at her more attentively, and after a moment he
laid the other half of the bread in her lap. The child
forgot her hunger and looked wonderingly after him as
he crossed the ditch. But the wife passed her hands
over her eyes as if she were weeping, then with her
apron wiped her husband's forehead, and I thought she
kissed him. Then they sat down together under the
shade of a thorn-tree, and the empty basket stood be-
side them ; but they played with the smiling baby.
Meanwhile a carriage rolled by, and they who were
within, turned away from the persons on their right
hand, and I only heard the remark of the gentleman
who was riding on the left side : 'What a stupid piece
"The Orphan" proved to be.'
  "Then thought I to myself, 'They are condemned
already.'
  "I went on further and saw the laborer in the field
nod at me kindly as I gave the child a small coin. I
colored with shame — how much more had he given !
  "The scenery was growing more and more beautiful
as I advanced. It was spread out before me like a gar-
den of God, clothed in beauty, filled with the riches of
His glory, dropping with the blessings of His goodness,
and fragrant with the breath of His presence. There
a chain of sheltering mountains whose free tops rose
over the dark pine forests, here the rich, soft green pas-
ture where the well-fed cow lay stretched on the clover,
while the fiery horse practiced his strength in the race.
Lower down flowed the winding stream, a welcome

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78
THE HALLIG.

channel to the sailor after the perils of the ocean, a
fountain of wealth to the fisherman. I went on still
further to the broad-armed, thick-leaved oak, on the
top of the hill. There a voice from on high seemed to
say, 'Taste and see how gracious the Lord is.' In this
temple of God my foot had found that altar by which
no one can pass without casting a look at the wide-
spread manifestations of God's goodness, or without
offering a sacrifice of admiration and thanksgiving to
Him whose works are so great and so numberless, who
orders them all in wisdom, and fills the earth with His
goodness. And it was long before, happy and transfig-
ured, like one whose faith has been turned to sight, I
drew near the house at the foot of the hill. It rose with
its red tiles very conspicuously above the exotic shrub-
bery which surrounded it, and by its great size con-
cealed half of the village which lay behind it. T?he
inscription, ’To rural enjoyment’ shone in large gilt
letters over the door. In the front court stood many
carriages, and servants in richly embroidered liveries
were shouting in an adjoining bowling-alley. The
guests within were amusing themselves in a noisy way
at billiards, and as I looked for a more quiet side room
I met the dark looks of some card-players whom I had
disturbed. I fled from their ill-natured murmurs to
another room. Here sat many gentlemen and ladies
turning over newspapers and journals, till the repre-
sentation of a Parisian fancy dress attracted every eye
and called forth a variety of longing exclamations and
witty remarks. But all this in no way disturbed a
young lady, who was at the piano singing to her own
satisfaction an aria from Fra Diavolo. As she rose they

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79

THE GREAT WORLD.

all pressed round her to express their admiration of her
enchanting song and artistic playing.
  "Then rose to my mind that garden of God which
was lying all around them, and I said to myself.
'They are condemned already.'
  "Suddenly we heard a voice, outside the window, say-
ing, "Sing something to us,' and all eyes were now
directed toward the street : I looked with the rest.
  There stood the child of the wayside. She had list-
ened to the song, and was about to steal away when
she saw herself noticed. But some one offered her a
silver coin, and told her to sing, while a gentleman,
whom I recognized as the rider who had passed me
with the carriage, said, with knit brows and a threat-
ening voice, 'Begone, girl !'
  “'No, she must sing,' exclaimed the rest. The
gentleman then threw a dollar into the street before
the child, and called out again, 'Away with you !'
  "The rest of the company ordered a servant to stop
her, and would not be deprived of the fine sport of hav-
ing the doggerel verses of a street song from the re-
luctant lips of an innocent child.
  "'I can't sing,' stammered the poor girl in distress.
  "'Then tell us some song that you know ; otherwise
you can't put a finger on the dollar.'
  "The child looked toward the money that lay at her
feet, then toward the gentleman who had thrown it,
but who had now retired in bad humor from the win-
dow, and began at length with a trembling voice :
        "'He who is willing that God should reign,
            Who sees by faith — '

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THE HALLIG.

  "But the shouts of laughter which these words
called forth, terrified the poor girl, a deep flush of
shame mounted to her cheeks, and, like a hunted roe,
she flew down the street.
  "The servant picked up the dollar and hurried with
it to the har-room. But the company after this inter-
lude begged the accomplished singer for an air from
'Robert the Devil.'
  "Then thought I, * They are condemned already.'
  "This house was too close for me, and I set out to
walk through the village. Near one of the last houses,
I heard a scolding voice — 'You vagrant, do you never
come into my sight again ! and an angry old peasant
woman pushed the little wanderer from the door.
  "She seated herself upon a stone and wept bitterly.
I went to her and tried to comfort her, and asked her
whether her parents had taught her the song she had
begun to repeat.
¨'My parents,' said she, and looked at me with sur-
prise ; 'my mother always scolds me. I learned it by
listening at the door of a blind neighbor who sings it
every evening.'
  "'Indeed ! then will you promise me to repeat to
yourself one verse of this hymn every day until you are
grown up ?' She promised willingly and wept no more.
'Here is the dollar which you were to have from the
people at the window, for your song.'
  "The little one grasped it eagerly. 'Thank you,
thank you !' said she ; 'now I can buy mother a bed-
spread.' Then I learned that her mother was very sick,
and had sent the child to beg a warm bed cover from
her grandmother.

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THE GREAT WORLD.

  "'Now I can buy the quilt ;' she looked half tri-
umphantly toward the cabin of her grandmother, who
had just driven her off. But she saw the old woman
at the window, and forgetting all her resentment, held
the dollar toward her in her uplifted hand. And this
rejoicing — for whom was it ? for a mother who always
scolded her. 'Here, child,' I called after her, 'have
you never known your father ?'
  "The girl looked timidly around as if afraid that
some one was near, then she came close to me and
whispered softly, 'My father's rich and respectable,
but I dare not call him father ;' then added more
softly still and hurriedly, as if she feared her own
words, 'It was he who threw me the dollar.'
  "Then thought I, ' They are condemned already.'"

[082]


CHAPTER VI.


CONSOLATION.

   The Spirit, striving, giving light,
    The heart's deep mysteries may unroll —
    The Father shows his awful mighty
    And deep amazement fills thy soul ;
    But dost thou seek a friend to be
    Touched by thine own infirmity,
    To whom thy griefs shall not seem small,
    He having known and tasted all ?—
    Then Christ the Son thy God must be.

  At ebb tide in the afternoon, they commenced their
efforts to save the cargo. Mander and Oswald employed
themselves in this work ; but Godber remained at the
house, as Idalia had declared positively that she must
have his assistance if the party were to pass a comfort-
able night.
  Pastor Hold had gone to the dwelling of Maria to
offer her his congratulations on the return of her lover.
How different did he find every thing there from what
he had anticipated. Maria swimming in tears, her
mother anxiously busy about her ; sometimes coaxingly
consoling her, and sometimes earnestly remonstrating
with her for her foolish and strange behavior.
  "Thank God !" she cried, as she saw Hold, "thank
God, pastor, that you've come ! I don't know what

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83

CONSOLATION.

to do with the girl. She came bounding up to my bed
this morning with a spring as high as the ceiling, cry-
ing, "Godber has come ;" so that I, poor old woman,
feel the shock still in every limb ; now there she sits
ever since I came back from the shore, in the very same
comer, crying and sobbing because she fancies that the
strange town lady, who looks so oddly in our dress, has
turned his head with her long locks. As if such a ship-
wrecked chalk-face could cut the grass under the feet of
the handsomest and cleverest girl on the whole hallig."
Now she related, turning at every pause toward the
weeping Maria, all that she had been able to learn by
degrees from her, which indeed was not very consistent,
and which, in her mouth, with the softening construc-
tion put upon the conduct of Godber, failed to convince
the pastor of his unfaithfulness. But he was so much
surprised and grieved to find the heart, whose joy he
had wished to lead to an ardent thanksgiving, rather
standing in need of consolation, that he entered more
than he otherwise would have done into Maria's views.
At the same time, he believed that his efforts to console
her would be more successful if he made no direct at-
tempt to oppose the current of her agitated feelings,
and so he said to her,
  "Even supposing, dear Maria, that your love for God-
ber has not found in his conduct more than there really
was in it ; that the sympathy, naturally felt for one
whose life he had just saved, goes further than you
could wish ; will he not, when the first lively impression
is over, return to the faith he plighted you ? Will he
not soon recover the affection which, as you know from
his letters, he preserved for you through nine years of

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THE HALLIG.

absence, al though certainly he must have seen many a
prettier face than this young stranger's ?"
  Maria shook her head in silence.
  "If, too," continued the pastor, " the inclination of
the young lady for Godber goes for the moment some-
what beyond the bounds of friendship and gratitude,
does it follow that it is a serious passion ? Could you
expect that having been just saved by him from the
most imminent peril of death, she should at once re-
press her feelings within those limits which she must
and will hereafter observe. That bewitching language,
that seductive manner, which has given you so much
pain, will after a little consideration be changed to mere
friendly thankfulness ; and Godber, in case you have
judged rightly his conduct this morning, will confess
the passing excitement like a penitent child."
  Still Maria made no reply.
  "But why do we talk longer ?" was the conclusion of
this attempt at consolation ; "is then your faith in
Godber's love so weak that a single moment can shake
it ? Has not your mutual faith been plighted in the
presence of Hira who turneth the hearts of men like
the water brooks ? And shall not that God who has
brought him home to you after so many years of peril,
— shall He not still further watch over you, and bring
all to a happy end ? Leave your future in the bands
of the Lord. He will do according to His own counsels
of wisdom and goodness. Commit thy ways to Him.
He will leave none without comfort and hope who put
their trust in Him."
  "Amen," said the mother, who had devoutly folded
her hands ; but Maria could not respond, and only sob-

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85

CONSOLATION.

bed the louder, till at length she broke forth in these
words,
  "He has rejected my prayer and turned away from
my faith."
  "Child, do not blaspheme !" cried the mother in
alarm ; "and may God lay not this sin to her charge,"
she prayed with uplifted hands, while tears rolled down
her furrowed cheeks.
  The pastor saw with astonishment to what a passion
Maria's love for Godber had suddenly risen — that love
which, during the long separation attended by so many
dangers to Godber, had remained so calm. But does
not the little meadow brook flow gently alike in sun-
shine and storm, and yet if you throw a stone into its
current, it foams up angrily. It was no time now to
discuss whether her views were true or false ; her soul
needed quick and powerful aid.
  He took Maria's hand, which had fallen at her side,
and said in a serious and quiet, but impressive tone :
  "Woe to the heart which denies its God, and to the
hands which do not hold fast upon Him. But we look
unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith. He
came to bring peace upon earth. He had not where to
lay His head. He was despised by His enemies, be-
trayed by His friends. He wept tears of blood in
Gethsemane, wore the wounding crown of thorns, and
was obedient unto death, even to the death of the
cross. He hath finished the work. To Him come the
weary and the heavy laden and receive peace, even His
peace. How can we weep and complain in our sorrow
when we remember His sufferings for us ? How can
we weep and complain at our brief passing earthly lot ?

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86
THE HALLIG.

Have we not then received more than the world can
take away from us ? Have we not a share in His
blessings, and in these are the riches of that godliness
which is 'profitable unto all things, having the promise
of the life that now is and of that which is to come ?'
But I will lift up mine eyes from the earth toward the
Heaven, and inquire what is man, oh, God ! that lie
should ask for more than Thy will, desire more than
Thy love, which has been made manifest upon earth,
and which having itself known the bitterest sorrow
draws kindly near the heart, overflowing with grief, and
says : 'Behold me, and weep no more ; lo ! the Heav-
ens are opened unto you !' But those whom the cares
and troubles of this life separate from the love of
Christ, they crucify Him afresh and destroy their own
souls. Therefore give Him thine heart, keep thy vows
made to Him, and thou shalt not be overcome in the
hour of sorrow, but through the trial of thy earthly
affections, thy love to the Saviour shall bum yet the
more purely and brightly. 'They that sow in tears
shall reap in joy.'"
  And now raising Maria's hand, still clasped in his
own, while she sank silently on her knees, he prayed,
  "O, Lord God, Father of all who are called children
in Heaven and on earth, here is Thine handmaid. Thy
will be done. Amen."
  Maria repeated the last words with a trembling voice.
Her tears flowed more gently, her pulse beat more
calmly. Then she rose and turning her swimming eyes
toward Heaven, folding her hands upon her breast and
breathing deeply as if suddenly freed from a heavy
weight, she said once more, louder and with a stronger

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87

CONSOLATION.

voice, "Here is Thine handmaid ! Thy will be done."
She then in a firm tone gave her mother the promise
quietly and patiently to leave every thing in the hands
of the Lord, to lire henceforth only for her, and be the
joy of her old age.
  As the pastor withdrew, Maria and her mother
thanked him for his consolation, only by their look, not
with words. They were accustomed to regard the min-
ister of the hallig as a sympathizing friend in such
hours, and to experience in themselves the blessings of
his spiritual office. The mother, making some excuse
for leaving Maria within, followed the pastor to the
door, as he turned away, and begged him, when a good
opportunity should offer, to speak a serious word or two
to Godber which indeed he had already resolved to do.
  On his way home. Hold asked himself why the point-
ing to Christ had so evidently wrought upon the heart
of the afflicted girl. He believed that this tranquiliz-
ing influence did not proceed merely from a contempla-
tion of God which lifts us into a higher sphere and
makes the joys and sorrows of earth appear only shad-
ows and dreams, but that the Prince of Peace, the
Conqueror of this world must show Himself to us with
His cross and crown of thorns.
  Man must see face to face ; and this is true not only
of him who rejects faith as a disparagement to reason,
but of him, too, who has kept a child-like, obedient
heart for the word of the eternal Father. This longing
for sight is a necessity of our weak mortal nature which
requires something that addresses itself to the senses,
even when it is most earnestly striving to elevate itself
above their domain ; as the eagle which soars toward

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88
THE HALLIG.

the sun can only in tho lower and heavier regions of
the atmosphere give his wings the impetus necessary to
bear him calmly and smoothly aloft. A faith, which
proceeds not from Him whom whosoever seeth hath
seen the Father also, will feel the want of that media-
tion by which alone may be raised to the one eternal
Spirit a soul for which the body is not only a necessary
tenement, but to whose proper being and existence it
belongs, so that even if its earthly tabernacle be dis-
solved, it must yet again be clothed upon with that
house which is from Heaven. Even when the mere
common feeling of devotion raises man to the eternal
heights, and overcoming the timid senses allows him to
repose on the paternal bosom of the father, with as cer-
tain a confidence as if faith had become sight, yet he
soon loses himself again in the depths of the Godhead,
without having found a firm resting-place, and the
fruits of his devotion vanish in a floating confusion of
thought and feeling. But especially is it difficult for
him in trouble to draw sure and lasting consolation
from Him who knows no sorrow, where he finds no
point of sympathy for the griefs which afflict him, and
therefore often strives in vain to let go that end of the
chain of thought by which he is bound to suffering, and
seize the other, endeavoring thereby to raise himself
heavenward. In Christ, these two ends are conjoined.
In Him the sufferer sees united a heaven of peace and
an earth of trial. He sees the bleeding image of his
own wounded heart, and at the same glance, he sees
that victory which overcometh the world, that peace
which comes down from heaven and leads thither again.
So by the hand of Christ the way to the Father is

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89

CONSOLATION.

made smooth. It is no sudden leap over the gulf of
affliction, but a gradual path out of the thorns of the
valley, leading to the peaceful palms upon the heights.
As he mounts with the suffering Saviour, he carries
with him his own sorrow, and he feels how near and
sure is the healing hand that guides him. In this
sense also is it true that "no one cometh to the
Father, except through the Son"
       Saviour, the griefe that were thy part
            Throughout life's thomy way,
          Encourage every wounded heart
            To find a Mend in Thee.

          Saviour, thy happy victory won
            O'er every want and woe.
          O'er sorrow's fount a light hath thrown,
            Reflecting heaven below.

          Dew from eternal realms of light,
            Tears such as earth doth weep,
          Shine pearl-like on one garland bright,
            One cup the mingled draught doth keep.

          A tomb, dark offspring of the night !
            A cross of pain and scorn —
          They lead to crowns of glory bright.
            On life's eternal morn.

          Behold the fleshly vail is rent !
            Transfigured are our woes ;
          The sigh may now be upward sent,
            Though bom of earthly throes.

          Thanks for a mortal lot severe,
            The weary way is trod ;
          And now a fiiend doth gently bear
            My spirit home to God.

[090]


CHAPTER VII.


THE POLICY OF NATIONS.

   Through sunshine and through shadow
      The path of nations leads ;
     Bondage doth nurture freedom,
      Wrong reaps its own misdeeds.

  As the pastor returned to his house, he found Man-
der and Oswald already there. They had come, partly
to thank him for the interest he had shown for them,
and partly to see whether, during their stay on the
hallig, they were likely to enjoy the society of a single
cultivated family. Their expectations indeed were
small, and the exterior and interior of the house, in
comparison with which that of the gardener at their
country seat was a palace, were not calculated to in-
crease them. Simplicity and economy seemed to be
stewards here. Neatness supplied the place of show,
tidiness that of elegance, and convenient arrangement
that of abundance. The dress of the pastor's wife, as
well as that of her child, bore the marks of her indus-
trious needle, which knew how to make the worn fabric
last as long as possible, and to give it new and becom-
ing, if not fashionable, forms. The mother and the

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91

THE POLICY OF NATIONS.

daughter were in the full bloom of health, and the
hearty welcome given to the strangers by the former
produced upon them an agreeable impression, not
from her handsome face and pleasing figure only, but
from a certain ease of manner, that indicated much
previous intercourse with the higher circles of society.
Oswald was quite taken by surprise. He had counted
not a little upon gaining great credit for himself by a
dexterous covering of the expected awkwardness, and
by kindly condescending to the contracted ideas and the
favorite trivial conversational topics of a family whose
sphere of vision, as he supposed, must be very narrow.
But he soon found that it required all his tact to sus-
tain with equal ease his part in a conversation suited to
the peculiar circumstances under which the acquaint-
ance was formed. Mander, also, the polished man of
the world, who knew how to judge and to appreciate
such manners, he too was surprised not to find here, as
he had expected, either helpless embarrassment, or ex-
cessive civility. After the first greetings, he took an
early opportunity, by an easy turn in the conversation,
to ask the pastor's wife if she could really feel happy
in her present position ? "That is a home question,"
said she, smiling. Women are in some respects more
dependent upon outward circumstances than men. The
places where we grow up, the playmates of our youth,
the social circle in which we rejoiced with those who
rejoiced, and wept with those who wept, the customs,
the forms of early life, remain fixed in our memories,
and maintain longer their influence over our inclinations,
wishes, and hopes, than is usual with man whose calling
and profession is his world, in with all his thoughts,

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92
THE HALLIG.

wishes, and acts are centered, so that his recollections of
the past are weakened, and his dreams of the future
less vivid."
  "I suppose your situation here is less agreeable to
you than to your husband ?"
  "I have," replied she, "only spoken of one side of
woman's heart ; the other will speak more for my con-
tentment. Our humble sex seems designed for man.
We attach ourselves to him ; him we follow ; the wife
will leave father and mother and cleave to her husband
Why then not sacrifice to him her former tastes, her
favorite habits, as well ? Indeed this is most easy by
the side of a beloved husband. The past and the
future pale before the rosy glow of the present, even if
this does not extend beyond the four walls of the house,
or if it only beams from the eyes of the husband. It
still finds an entrance into the open heart, and exerts its
transfiguring power upon every thing around. Domestic
happiness subdues even a 'hallig' with all its priva-
tions and self-denial."
  "But," said Oswald, "it is inconceivable to me how
the pastor himself can be contented here, since during
the years of his professional study he must have been
familiar with a life of activity and excitement."
  "Not only has he spent a portion of his student life
in Germany, and further improved himself by traveling
through the most interesting parts of our Fatherland
and of Switzerland, but also in his childhood and early
youth, he lived in the full enjoyment of every thing
that town habits and town luxuries can furnish."
  "Perhaps he has learned to forget his present priva-
tions by occupying himself in learned research," said

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93

THE POLICY OF NATIONS.

Mander, casting at the same time a glance at the small
collection of books.
  "You think so," said the lady, smiling, "because you
see the titles of Arabic and Persian books. No ; these
belong to a period of Hold's life when, ho says, the
grandmother's farthingale was as pleasing in his eyes tis
the fragrant garlands on the heads of the grandchil-
dren, or when the dried plants or fruits of distant coun-
tries tasted better than the fresh plum of the homestead
garden. If it were not for mc, the dust would settle
on the gilt lettering of many of them ; only a few
can boast of retaining the freshness of his early
affection."
  "Naturally," said Mander, "the present rapid ad-
vancement of scientific knowledge obliges the educated
man to leave his favorite pursuit somewhat in the back-
ground ; and little as I am acquainted with theological
studies, I know that the divine who desires to keep up
in some degree with the progress of ecclesiastical leani-
ing, will have reading enough."
  "If," replied the wife, in a tone which betrayed the
fear of saying more than was proper for the ears of
strangers — " if the minister had any means of supplying
his intellectual wants. Hold often laments this, and
said the other day that a quarter's salary of an ordinary
opera-singer, or ballet-dancer, would be sufficient to
supply all the clergymen of the hallig, who are cut off
from book markets and all social intercourse, with such
journals and other publications of the day as would
enable them to keep pace with the literature of their
profession. Then there was the daily school teaching,
which from the low standard of education on the hallig,

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94
THE HALLIG.

and the total want of all co-operation on the part of
the parents, was limited to the merest rudiments."
  "What !" exclaimed Mander and Oswald, in aston-
ishment ; "is the pastor then condemned to teach the
alphabet and prepare copy-books ?"
  "If you call this condemnation, I can't object to it.
It often wounds me to the soul when I hear in the next
room the monstrous spelling, and cast a glance at these
books. But Hold knows very well how to accommodate
himself to it, and goes just as cheerfully into the school-
room as he comes out of it. On each of the halligs
the office of school-master is combined with that of
pastor."
  "But I would have an assistant," said Oswald, some-
what thoughtlessly.
  "The same reasons," replied the lady, as her eyes
fell, and her face colored slightly, " which have made it
necessary to unite the two offices, spare us the trouble
of thinking about an assistant."
  The arrival of the husband now relieved the wife
from a conversation which was becoming somewhat
painful to her, as women are less inclined than men to
expose to strangers their straitened circumstances, and
try as long as possible to keep up appearances.
  Hold met his visitors with cordial frankness, and
skilfully interrupted their thanks for his exertions to
make them comfortable on the island, by saying that
he was much more indebted to them for coming here to
tell him a little something of the world without.
  While their hostess now prepared the tea with the
black bread and butter, which is aU that tfie inhabitant
of the hallig has to offer his guests on such occasions,

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95

THE POLICY OF NATIONS.

and which generally serves both him and his family
even for dinner, the gentlemen had in their rapid dis-
course already flown over the earth, run through the
intricate paths of politics, touched the lofty heights of
speculation, and were now diving into the depths of
science. But they nowhere agreed upon any thing ;
neither could contrive to form a harmony for the key
note struck by the other. If Oswald wished to dispose
lightly of a question, Mander and Hold showed him its
serious side, and the decisive influence of a proper an-
swer upon the happiness or misery of mankind. If
Mander praised the acuteness of mind which men had
already shown in solving the great questions of life,
Hold brought experience to prove how little these solu-
tions had profited.
  But politics is now what theology was formerly, the
province where mind loves to wrestle with mind, the
common ground to which scarce any one is a stranger,
which assembles with equal rights of speech around its
council fires those most differing in rank and race, and
at the same time is for the keen observer a Diet, where
men's hearts reveal themselves, and betray mutual sym-
pathies, that reach beyond the brawls of journals and
of parties ; and therefore our friends were constantly
brought back again to this general starting-point.
  Hold said, as he perceived this :
  "It is a miserable age which furnishes no common
material for conversation beyond circumscribed individ-
ual interests. It breeds a narrowness of spirit, a trivial
meum and tuum life, a wretched prosaic utilitarian-
ism. Above our every day occupations, above our dig-
ging and delving, each in his own little sphere, a realm

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96
THE HALLIG.

must be opened which admits all without requiring
passport or other qualifications, and which affords
abundant room for the exercise of thought, and en-
larges the sensibilities by a contemplation of the weal
and woe of multitudes. For this reason I do not en-
tirely discard as mere loss of time these political dis-
cussions which have become so universal, and into
which we fall so unintentionally ; although politics, as
now taught and practiced by one state toward another,
seems to me only a monstrous deformity."
  "How," exclaimed Mander full of astonishment,
"must you not respect the statesman who weighs in
his mind the destinies of nations and countries, knows
how to combine the past, the present, and the future,
and often achieves more with a single stroke of his pen
than the most victorious armies, who guides the ship
of state through the rocks in the darkest storm, and by
a thousand windings brings her safe to port ?"
  "For aught I know," said Hold, "his wisdom may
be very admirable, but when I see that it is just his in-
trigues which have called forth the storm and conjured
up the rocks ; when I see him digging an abyss at his
own feet, while he self-complacently boasts of his deep
insight into the future ; when I see him playing with
truth and faith, with the sacredness of treaties, with
the laws of eternal right, as with empty shells, which
he throws away when the nutritious kernel has been
taken out, and perhaps picks up again to press out the
last remaining drop of oil ; when he bows one knee,
and prays with open mouth to God and all the saints
for the maintenance of his own righteous cause and the
punishment of treachery, while at the same time he

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97

THE POLICY OF NATIONS.

raises the other foot to tread justice into the dust, then
the statesman, or rather the politics which he repre-
sents, becomes very repulsive to me."
  "But you certainly would not carry the laws of pri-
vate morality, which are important enough in our do-
mestic and social relations, into the management of
state affairs ?"
  "Certainly I would," replied Hold, with much
warmth. "Justice and truth are no inventions of man,
to be distorted and perverted at his pleasure. They
are the commands of the living God, who guides the
world by the counsels of His wisdom, and judges the
nations of the earth with justice. The idea that be-
cause I can overlook the miniature history of one little
point on this sand-grain of a world, and am to guide it
for a few seconds, that, therefore, I am raised above the
laws of the Creator and the eternal Ruler of Heaven
and earth — this thought is so pitiable, that one could
only smile at it, if it were not at the same time so con-
temptibly profane. Indeed, so long, as the cold-
blooded wisdom of the directors of the state refuses to
recognize the law of God as the only true guide, so
long must this remain a machine dripping with blood
and tears, going now forward, now backward, in its con-
fusion, and bringing only disgrace upon its architect.
By their fruits ye shall know them. What then is
Europe ? An eternal playground for an iron game of
dice, a mighty church-yard ever open to receive its
murdered millions. Every state has its great national
debt, and is only safe from bankruptcy by a change of
creditors. Everywhere there is a shaking and trem-
bling of the people and their rulers, lest the engine, so

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THE HALLIG.

fortunately brought to a stand-still, should again be set
in motion ; and to maintain this anxious quiet, great
standing armies must be kept always ready for conflict
even during the boasted peace, the master-stroke of
diplomacy."
  "But you do not lay the blame of these circum-
stances upon statesmen ?"
  "By no means, but upon the false, ambiguous, un-
just goddess whom they worship. Can you believe that
the condition of Europe would be worse, if the diplo-
matists, instead of making morality the last consider-
ation, had followed her laws as the sovereign rule in all
relations of states with each other ?"
  "But," interposed Oswald, "the balance of power
must be preserved. A dominant power would produce
a one-sidedness in the intellectual tendencies of Europe,
fetter the free development of national peculiarities,
and degrade other rulers to mere subjects of one all-
powerful will. And the object of politics is, after all,
merely to preserve this necessary balance."
  "So far as concerns nations, we know from history,
that every state, which has extended itself beyond its
natural bounds, is drawing near its fall, without any
assistance from foreign diplomacy, but only through
the false policy which dictated its extension. You
know that this boasted balance, always to be contended
for anew and at so much sacrifice, is, after all, but a
dream of the imagination, or at best an uncertain
equilibrium among the greater powers, while the lesser
ones, like reeds blown by every wind, lean now to this
side, now to that, and often are cut into fragments to
preserve the poise of the scales. The princes of these

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THE POLICY OF NATIONS.

states well understand this, and would gladly keep
themselves and their lands aloof from these conflicts,
in which the right of the stronger is the only law, and
the sacredness of treaties only respected when main-
tained at the point of a hundred thousand bayonets.
But this balance would never suffer or have suffered
such disturbances if the ambitious projects of aggress-
ive states were not facilitated by the diplomatic policy
of opposing nations. If a successful opposition is com-
menced against such an aggressor, then comes diplomacy
with her eyes askance, and points out, with far-sighted
cunning, how easily an ally may win too much by the
common victory, but does not look at that which lies so
near, the advantage which the common enemy is to
draw from their mutual distrust, until it is too late. Is
not this the history of almost every war for the main-
tenance of the balance of power during the last hun-
dred years ?"
  "To convince you of the contrary," replied Oswald,
"I need only remind you of the last war against Na-
poleon, in which my father took a part."
  "That very struggle argues for me," continued Hold.
"It was, for oppressed princes and people, a moment of
inspiration which elevated them above the intrigues of
diplomatic policy. If this war had been carried on
with the same cold watchful calculation, with the same
one-sided political views as the preceding ones against
that great conqueror, what would have been the result ?
But whatever of magnanimity was at this time added to
the sagacity of statesmen, it arose only from the ex-
citement of the storm of counter-revolution, which was
shaking thrones, altars, and cabins ; it was no part of

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THE HALLIG.

their nature. Because the arch hypocrite was driven to
prayer in the hour of extremest need, does it follow
that she ceased to be a hypocrite ? And was she not
during that very prayer in which she called upon the
justice of God, plotting new wrongs ? Was she not
at the same time preparing her folded hands to snatch
some new prey, and to sow upon the field of victory the
dragon's teeth of fresh discord ?"
  "You may be right there," replied Mander, "but, at
the same time, you will acknowledge that by a firm ad-
herence to the principles of morality, many a state
would have insured its own destruction, and has escaped
from it only by adopting a dexterous policy, which ac-
commodated itself to the circumstances and conditions
of the crisis."
  "Very true ; but this is the cause, the evil has gone
so far that the devil can only be cast out through Beel-
zebub the prince of devils, that we are compelled to
take the unworthy weapons of our adversary into our
own hands. But do not forget, that in spite of its po-
litical arts, perhaps even through their very means,
many a state has fallen to ruin, and that we have only
before us the history of countries as it has been mod-
ified by this policy, and therefore can not affirm that
the continual existence of an independent state is
without the range of possibility, were its rulers al-
ways to keep in view and observe in their management
at home and abroad only the strictest justice and the
most conscientious faith."
"I would not advise any government to try the ex-
periment," said Oswald, "until all the others shall agree

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THE POLICY OF NATIONS.

to the same principles ; and I think it will never come
to that."
  "And why may it not come to that ?" asked Hold.
"Whatever is true and right has its root in Heaven,
and its blooming boughs reach down to earth, there to
scatter their good seed. If then the good seed finds
on this stony ground no depth of earth on which to
spring up, or lies drying in the sand of the desert, the
same Heaven has dew and sunshine wherewith to pre-
pare the soil by degrees, and make it capable of receiv-
ing the good seed. Out of all this wrong and confusion
may a kingdom of righteousness, joy, and peace, arise,
whose happy citizen shall never suspect with what
blood the soil on which he treads is enriched; with
what disappointment those resting in the grave strove
for a peace which was before them, but which they
could not see ; with what madness they had laid down
two sets of principles ; one for the individual man,
'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,
and thy neighbor as thyself,' and the other for a body
composed of the same individuals, and called a State,
'Thou shalt love or hate according to every shifting
wind, and overreach thy neighbor wherever thou
canst.'"
  "Such a kingdom of peace upon earth must ever re-
main," said Mander, smiling, "only the beautiful dream
of a gentle heart ; and even if it were possible, it would
not further the development of mankind, in whom con-
flict must excite to activity and exertion, must steel the
nerves and sharpen the intellect. History must be an
epic ; it can never become an idyl. Everywhere in
creation we find the same struggle. What changing

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THE HALLIG.

phases indicative of frightful revolutions do astronomers
observe in the heavenly bodies ! What earthquakes,
floods, and volcanic fires ! what periods of drought !
what torrents from the bursting clouds, belong to the
history of the earth ! What a ceaseless warfare among
animals ! how the law of the stronger prevails ! what
plundering and slaughter of the weaker !"
  "And would you," objected Hold, "compare man to
these — man who is made in the image of his Maker ; to
whom He gave the power of using the experience of past
ages for the benefit of the present ? to whom He gave
his holy commandments, which have for their object
not only his well being upon earth, but his eternal sal-
vation ? to whom He has manifested here below the
brightness of his glory, in the person of Jesus Christ —
a glory which is justice and love, power and peace ?"
  "Was not Christ also obliged to suffer, to contend
and die ? and have not new causes of difference sprung
up through His coming ?"
  "And are we therefore to continue forever his mur-
derers by rejecting his teachings, his blessings, and his
promises ? Shall we set him up as our private and
social household Deity, and at the same time worship,
as the God of nations, him who was a murderer from
the beginning ? No ; as certainly as, setting aside
Christ who is above all comparisons, the apostle who
proclaimed the Gospel to all the world, brought
greater blessings to the children of men than all those
who have preceded or followed, so certainly will the
Gospel extend to every hill and valley ; and then first
shall be seen true activity among men, an activity
which expends itself not in fightings, but in love ; then

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will many a name now highly praised in history, whose
fame is built on blackened ruins and moldering skele-
tons, only fill as a monument of human folly a small
unenviable space in the book of the past, while they
shall diligently inquire after the deeds of him who has
helped to lay a foundation-stone for the better time."
  "And still the most apparently destructive wars," re-
marked Oswald, " have contributed essentially to the
progress of mankind."
  "Because there is a God in heaven who watches and
directs them. The tempest clears the atmosphere, and
is succeeded by a day of sunshine. But this fair day
must have its origin above the tempest and the clouds ;
the storms do not create it ; they only discharge their
baleful weapons, and dispel the vapors from which they
themselves are born."
  The pastor's wife, who feared that her husband was
growing somewhat heated, now interrupted him by say-
ing with a smile, "The vapors of my tea-kettle have
had plenty of time to gather themselves into a thunder-
cloud, if they were not of a peaceable nature."
  Mander, however, after a short pause recommenced
their earnest conversation. The experiences of an
eventful life had gifted him with that cautious judg-
ment which confines itself within the bounds of the
actual, and ventures no glance beyond the visible point
of departure. Yet he was pleased to listen to a man
who, in a position so narrow, and so barren of bright
and cheerful hopes for himself, was still dreaming of an
ideal for humanity ; and therefore he had purposely
made objections so far as was necessary to keep up the
excitement on the part of Hold. But by this means

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THE HALLIG.

many a sentiment slumbering in his own heart seemed
inclined to re-awake.
  "I can well understand that from your education as
a popular teacher, and your position as such, you should
feel the greatest interest in men of science."
  "There is only one science," replied Hold, "the
source of true light in time and eternity, the knowl-
edge of the way of salvation for men. By its light and
laws must every thing be determined ; that which is,
and that which is done, and other science and knowl-
edge, has worth and durability only so far as it ad-
vances us and others in the consciousness of our de-
pendence upon God in a holy desire to do his will, in
a cheerful reliance upon his wisdom, in a word, in a
perfect filial relation to him. So our willing and doing
bears a living gem and abiding fruits in itself so for as
it aids that knowledge to manifest itself in our indi-
vidual life and that of humanity."
  "According to this view, all sciences have but one
and the same problem to solve, though they issue from
so many diiferent points, take such different directions,
and often learn to conflict with each other."
  "Let me use a figure," was Hold's reply. "This
one knowledge is the sun in the heaven of humanity,
the other strivings of curiosity are only the bearers of
the rays of this sun on every side and into every obscur-
ity. If these forget their office and go about with
their own farthing candles, they will lose themselves in
the desert and wander into a thousand by-paths. But
they will more perfectly develop their knowledge,
more clearly arrange it, and more firmly establish it,
ripening in the consciousness of their own true vocation

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THE POLICY OF NATIONS.

by a constant reference of all science to the one source
of true knowledge. The more thoroughly the paths of
error are explored, the more readily they may be re-
traced, and then they may serve as guides to the right
way."
  "You are a theologian, and to every man his own
profession stands first."
  "Theology is not the science that I mean : she in
only the guide to it. When she has once understood
herself, she makes it her duty to bring all that has
been, all that is, under the focus of Divine wisdom,
where the pure metal is separated from the dross, and in
this sense should every man be a theologian, so far as
to allow every thought, desire, and act, every labor and
every experience of his life, all his aspirations and all his
hopes, to be enlightened and purified by that true wis-
dom which comes from God and leads to him. The
theologian is not only to try the springs of his own ac-
tion, but the struggles and experiences, the opinions
and hopes of all times and all nations by the light of Di-
vine wisdom, and thereby he learns to judge with clear-
ness and accuracy of the doings of his own time, seeing
beyond the mere surface and discovering the sources of
the errors and godlessness of mankind, as well as of the
individual. Thereby he becomes fitted to be a leader
of the blind, a teacher of the unskillful, an admonisher
of the thoughtless, a strengthener of the weak in faith,
an awakener of the lukewarm and the careless, a pro-
claimer of judgment against those who despise salva-
tion themselves, and hinder such as would accept it.
And because through our weakness and sinfulness we
all belong sometimes to the one class, and sometimes to

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THE HALLIG.

the other, so should no one, whether he be priest or
layman, fail to labor in building up this true knowledge
for himself, or neglect the opportunity to ripen in wis-
dom, virtue, and godliness."
  "But where," inquired Mander, "is this true wisdom
to be found, to which we should refer all things, and
by which we should prove all things ?"
  "It is not, and can not be," replied Hold, "where
error and delusion are, to say the least, always possible
— in any system of philosophy. It can only be drawn
from the fountain of truth itself."
  "I might answer," said Mander, "not without be-
traying a painful emotion, with the question of Pilate,
What is truth ?"
  "The word of God," said Hold, firmly, and solemn-
ly. But a slight shake of the head on the part of
Mander, and an almost contemptuous smile from his
son, showed him how unsatisfactory his answer had
been to his listeners.
  Oswald now reminded his father that it was already
late, and the guests departed with the welcome prom-
ise to repeat the visit soon.

[107]


CHAPTER VIII.


CONSCIENCE.

    Dost murmur that 'twixt thee and truth
         Dark shadows intervene ?
      'T was thine own heart that gave them birth I
         Wages and fruit of sin.

 
  Idalia thought she had never been so happy in her
whole life as she now found herself. The domestic oc-
cupations to which she devoted herself with much zeal,
perhaps the more from being unaccustomed to them,
had a greater charm, even a fascination for her, from
the singularity of her situation and the circumstances
of her stay on the island. Love had called forth in
her bosom, where once there was only room for the
thoughtlessness of a vain girl, the idea of true woman-
hood and a conception of the dignity of a matron. At
the same time she knew that in this very way she most
pleased him by whom she desired to be loved. She did
not make use of all the means which her father's
wealth afforded to provide those comforts and conven-
iences which were in accordance with her social posi-
tion, and which otherwise were not attainable on the
hallig, but she conformed at once to the simplicity and
frugality of her present home, and made a thousand

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THE HALLIG.

proposals, frequently quite impracticable, to clothe
every thing in a still more idyllic form. She bordered
the margin of the sodded cistern in which the rain-
water was collected with a broad wreath of sea-shells,
that she had been obliged to seek with much pains
along the beach, as the ocean is here miserly even of
these. True, the drinking water for the unaccustomed
palates of the strangers, must be brought from the
main land. To supply the place of a snug, shady
arbor, she had, with Godber's help, erected a tent of
sailcloth on the wharf, and when the weather permitted
they drank their coffee under its shelter. She had
many a dispute with her brother, in which she main-
tained the superiority of a life on this island to all the
magnificence of a great town, and whenever she play-
fully praised very highly some little peculiarity of their
hallig life, Godber felt himself more and more closely
drawn toward her, and resigned himself to the brightest
dreams of a golden future. The love of his home was
so woven into his innermost being, that whatever Idalia
said on the subject seemed to him only a natural ac-
knowledgment of the truth, and a proof of the union
of their souls, and with every word of approbation
from her lips, his love for her increased, a love which
was equaled only by his affection for his birth-place,
and which outweighed every other thought and feeling.
The remembrance of Maria fell more and more into the
back-ground, and even if there came moments which
exhorted to faith and truth, Godber practiced the art
of holding dialogues with his own conscience, until at
length she gave him her approbation. How 'could he
help it, if he had now first found the star which was

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CONSCIENCE.

destined to light him through his earthly journey ? If
he had now first learned to know himself by intercourse
with a being in whom his thoughts and feelings were
reflected as in a transfiguring mirror, so that he was
thereby inspired and elevated to a height before un-
dreamed of ? He was shocked at the thought of the
low sphere in which his mind and heart must have
remained, if Idalia's magic wand had not touched the
very depths of his soul, if he had spent his days with
the insignificant Maria.
  So was it with him, and so is it with all. Vanity,
which in the most various forms and shapes, with the
most diversified turns and disguises, mingles in our
self-examinations, throws a false light over every thing
and blinds our clear judgment of the true relations in
which we stand, and of the plain demands of right and
duty. For this reason, it is necessary that man should
hold fast to the firm prophetic word. When he arrives
at a point where he sees diverging ways, he must neither
blindly obey external influences, nor seek to find the
right path by self-reliant investigation. By such spec-
ulations every evil passion is awakened in him, as error
selects these cross-ways for the orgies of his nocturnal
demons. Sensuality, selfishness, and vanity strive to
lead his judgment astray, and with the best will in the
world, his examination will never result in a fair esti-
mate of what may be said on both sides. He should
rather, in such cases, surrender his reason, which, through
the awakening of those evil impulses, is preserved from
rendering a truthful testimony to the guidance of his
faith. He should ask what is the Lord's will here ?
and not seek the answer in himself, as if his own heart

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THE HALLIG.

were a dwelling-place of the Holy Spirit, since if that
were so it would not have been necessary to put the
question, but he must seek the answer in the commands
of God, as they are given him in the pure and clear
revelation of the Divine law. Such a law, standing
there in its firm decisiveness, in its simple grandeur,
leaving no room for perversion or casuistry, however
much men may turn and twist it, tolerates no addition
and no subtraction without being changed entirely and
made to contradict itself, and such a command without
exception, such a guide pointing only in a single direc-
tion, such a positive yes or no, must decide without
compromise. Without such a stronghold of law it
comes to this, and it has already come to this, that
every man has his own system of morality, and that this
morality is a Janus head with two faces, and eyes which
regard as gray to-morrow what they held to be green
to-day. If you appeal to the voice of conscience, this
is nothing else, if indeed it deserve the name you have
given it, than a stream of living water from the rock
of the law, and if it is not that, there is less confidence
to be placed in it than in a weathercock, which at least
has the advantage of pointing out the direction from
which the wind blows. The clear, pure, revealed word of
God, which is not to be made or modeled according to
circumstances, should be for thee, in all thy willing
and doing, an immovable Sinai. At the sound of his
voice through the clouds, let all other voices be hushed,
and however flatteringly they may whisper around you
in the very tones of truth, still they are false just in
proportion as they differ more or less from the plain
open sense of the law. Do you think of consequences ?

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CONSCIENCE.

a smiling sunshine beckons to you, if for once you will
not interpret the commands of God so narrowly and
strictly, or will clothe it in the form of a more agreeable
truth. On the other hand, heavy clouds hang around
thy path, and prepare to discharge their hail-stones
and lightning upon thee and thine, upon the harvest
of those nearest thee, if without trembling and hes-
itation thou still remainest steadfast to the letter of the
law. Remain steadfast unto death, that thou mayst
win life. Thou shalt so counsel thine immortal soul,
that she may be able to stand before the Judge of the
quick and the dead. Let him care for the conse-
quences. They are in his hands, the hands of an al-
mighty God, of a merciful Father. They are not thy
concern. But it is thine to be found faithful. Let this
suffice thee, even if experience did not show how often
our calculations of consequences prove erroneous, how
the day brings forth night and night the day. Still
must all things, be they poverty or riches, success or
misfortune, life or death, work together for good to him
who can say "Here am I, Lord ; Thy word is a lamp to
my path."
  Whence comes then all this pitiful worldliness among
so called "good men ?" Whence among them those
many "innocent weaknesses," those nice shrinking
evasions when God requires a new burnt-offering on
the altar of truth. Because they have made their vir-
tue for themselves, that like a convenient and pleasant
pillow they may shift it now to this side, now to that,
to prop their earthly slumbers. Because they have
planted a shady park in the desert at the foot of Sinai,
which conceals the mountnin from their sight, while

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THE HALLIG.

they wander up and down through blooming paths,
satisfied if they do not stray so far that their com-
panions in the park can no longer recognize them as
their fellows. Verily this generation requireth the burn-
ing mirror of the law, to consume to ashes the tares
which they call good seed, but which can not even hide
the naked soil.
  It accords indeed illy with the so called enlighten-
ment of our time to bind one's self to such a fixed
letter. No, we would rather be a law unto ourselves,
and we talk much of the law written in our hearts, by
which, if we will confess the truth, we mean a soft
waxen tablet, upon which outward impressions sketch a
variety of figures, and from which we select as an oracle
the one most in accordance with our own inclinations,
and then follow it as a Divine decree. In this way have
we found it so easy to be very good and moral men, be-
cause whenever by fortunate circumstances, by educa-
tion, by a certain shrinking from the judgment of the
world, our inclinations are kept in a kind of calm, which
does not allow a wild outbreak of the passions, and so
we are saved from being called thieves and murderers,
a little pride, love of the world, scandal, revenge, de-
ceit, and even some worse vices, may very well go along
with this respectability.
  Such is a worldly life ; there is no judge in our hearts
who examines closely ; there is. no law there, which,
sharper than a two-edged sword, divides between God
and the world, right and wrong, virtue and vice. As in
lukewarm water, heat and cold are mingled, so in our
self-created law, are light and darkness combined into a
hazv mist which does not dazzle the sight. As the ser-

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CONSCIENCE.

pent line leads now right, now left ; and when it in-
clines to one side is already preparing for a turn in the
other direction ; so is this course of ours never a direct
progress in the path of life ; nor does it entirely lose
itself in the way to death. Truly when the day dawns
in which God shall judge the nations of the earth ;
when he demands an account for every idle word that
has proceeded from our mouths ; when these words are
thundered from his throne, "Be ye holy for I am holy,"
then will the soft wax of our law melt before the flam-
ing light of his commandments ; then indeed will our
compromising middle path be evidently the way of the
flesh and of destruction, which in its windings some-
times borders too closely on the path of life to sanction
the excuse that what the Lord our God required had
been hidden from us. The mistaken idea of conscience,
as this word is generally understood, must be given up
before true virtue can be thine. And in truth consci-
ence is but a fable, and that with a very bad moral,
whenever, as with most men, it is nothing more than a
mixture of worldly wisdom, care for a good name, re-
spect for station, compounded with a portion of natural
amiability, which might as well be called weakness of
character, and a partial knowledge of the Divine will,
which, however, can not combine with the other in-
gredients ; it therefore seems to serve as lees that, when
the conscience is once agitated, float about without hav-
ing any affinity for the rest. True conscience is no law-
giver, but only an eye open to the given law. It does
not inquire how a thing should be decided, but points
out how it has been decided by him who has said,
"Thou shalt, and thou shalt not." It reserves to itself

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THE HALLIG.

no right of judgment in reference to circumstances, but
simply declares the judgment of God in the case pre-
sented. In this way alone docs it preserve its freedom
against the assaults of evil inclinations and desires ; that
it derives its light and power from a height to which
these can not attain. But if it seek itself to find the
way in which we should walk, then it falls into bondage,
is perhaps a proud but a willing servant of evil spirits
and worldly desires, and wears the livery of his lords.
Conscicnce has need of a fixed pole, the stand-point of
Archimedes, to plant the lever wherewith it may move
the world. It has not its light within itself, but requires,
even as the natural eye, light from without to enable it
to see. Arc then the intellectual and the spiritual so
divided and distinct in man, that each may keep itself
entirely free from the action and influence of the other ?
Can the one act and choose for itself without any har-
mony with the other ? Then, while the heart shrinks
from a sacrifice that virtue requires ; while sensuousness,
evil inclinations, and worldly wisdom, selfishly advise to
choose the broad road, is conscience, without any guide
except these impulses, likely to act independently of the
common brotherhood ? Will it not very soon join in
the seductive song of the sirens, or at least, will not its
protesting discord be drowned, unless aid from without
be afforded it ? When long habit makes us thought-
less and indifferent about the way in which we walk ;
when the paths which we are treading have become so
natural and so convenient to our feet that we no longer
think of choosing others, has not then the conscience
fallen into the same habit ? Will it watch while thou
sleepest ? Will it stand while thou art going forward ?

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CONSCIENCE.

Will it see when thou art blind ? Will it speak, ad-
monish, punish, otherwise than thou wiliest, as if it were
no part of thee, and that, when thou pointest only to
thyself as the fountain from which it is to draw its wis-
dom ? To expect this, is to ask that thou shouldst
contradict and vanquish thyself, shouldst demand light
from darkness, strength from weakness, and an answer
from the question. There must be something without,
at which we may gaze as at a fixed polar star, a light
that is raised above the misty clouds of this world ; not
a sign of our own painting to indicate what we believe
to be the right road, but one set up by Him whose word
is a "lamp to our feet and a light to our path." The
holy will of the Father of light must be made known
to us. Otherwise we live as in a land of revolution,
where the old government is abolished and a new one
not yet re-established ; where every one consults his
own views and inclinations as to what he shall do, or
omit to do ; where one becomes a murderer with the
best conscience, and another with an equally good
one takes the booty to himself. It is not because men
act without conscience, that the pile of the martyrs is
kindled, and the guillotine erected ; but because they
have forgotten the commandment of God, "Thou shalt
not kill !" and have made their own opinions and wishes
the law of conscience. He does not live against his
conscience, to whom the gratification of earthly desires,
activity in temporal affairs, and the pleasant enjoyment
of worldly peace, arc every thing ; to whom the heavens
are never opened by a look of devotion, whose heart is
never moved by an inquiry after Divine things, the sanc-
tification of whose heart and conduct does not lie before

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THE HALLIG.

him as the great business of life. On the contrary, be
does not feel within himself any protest against such a
state of being, because he has never learned, or has for-
gotten how to examine his own life in the mirror of
God's law ; and besides, he has his points of honor
which his conscience will not allow him to disregard.
The voice which perhaps sometimes reaches him, as
from a higher world, is but an echo of the Divine law
which he once knew, or a note of the same called forth
by one of God's providences. But conscience, in its.
truth and purity, is neither more nor less than a reflec-
tion of the glory of the Divine law. It is a mirror in
which we may perceive the will of the Eternal, if we
will hold this will before it. But if we place before it
only our own image, then shall we see in it also only
the likeness of ourselves ; and our desires and acts will
be but a repetition of that image, not the willing and
doing of that which the Lord our God requires of us.
The pilgrim who has no point before him which he is
striving to reach, no guide as to how or where he should
go, is governed by the vigor or the weariness of his
limbs, by the pleasantness or the difficulties of the road,
by the sunshine or the showers of the day. So it is
with the pilgrimage of life, without a law from without
But where this Jaw shines before us as the supreme will
of the Judge of the living and the dead, then no delay
and no hesitation avail, no fear and no favor, no life and
no death, nothing is considered but the stem, unyield-
ing word that permits no distorting, no interpreting
away, no pretext or excuse, recognizes no seduction or
temptation, but demands obedience — obedience alone.
Without such a word of discipline and power, that is

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CONSCIENCE.

raised above our wisdom and above our censure, we shall
never overcome sin, never walk in righteousness and
holiness. Therefore, should the conscience be only an
examiner and weigher of this word ; and if a thousand
voices cry out against it ; if the whole world utter forth
its anathemas ; if the affections of thy heart entreat
against it ; or if the last throb of thy earthly happiness
be at stake, the last hope of thy temporal being — let
them perish ; thou hast but one law, the law of the
Lord ; and be thou steadfast therein unto the end.
The kingdom of God shall remain to thee.
  Godber had been brought up in the fear of the Lord
and in the discipline of His commandments. It was
not, therefore, so easy for him to force his conscience,
which still stood with one foot firmly planted on the
everlasting rock, into accordance with his present views.
Even when he thought it was satisfied to go on quietly
with him in the way which he tried to believe destiny
had marked out for him, it would suddenly turn aside
and remain obstinately fixed on these precepts : Be ye
not carried about by every wind, follow not every new
path like the unstable of heart, but be ye steadfast in
your mind and of one manner of speech. But we are
never more crafty and dexterous than when the object
is to deceive ourselves, and Godber tried every art to
transform the tables of the law into wax, and to tame
his restive conscience. But the Lord from on high
would show him how vain such arts were, and how idle
it was to endeavor to subject by such means a con-
science which had been accustomed to other guidance.
God spoke by the mouth of the dead, and before the
door of that paradise into which Godber thought him-
self about to enter, stepped an angel with a flaming sword.

[118]


CHAPTER IX.


REMORSE.

   The hour will come at God's own bidding
      When the sense-blinded soul shall wake ;
    On the dark page she now is hiding
      Shall a clear flash of sunlight break.

The corpses of those who had perished with the ship
were found. Godber had observed upon the old church
mound a stone in the form of a large baptismal font,
and had gone thither at Idalia's request to see whether
it might not in some way be made to contribute to the
decoration of their own wharf. There lay before him
the corpse of his captain, and afterward were found not
far from it, still faithful in death, the bodies of the two
pallors. After having been long the sport of the waves,
they had at length found a resting-place together in
the old church-yard, which, though now well-nigh a
prey to the ocean, proved its former use by many a
skeleton laid bare by the washing of the sea.
  "Have not the dead in these half open, moldering
coffins," said Hold, who was soon summoned there to
decide upon the proper arrangements to be made for
the burial, "have they not stretched out their arms, as
it were in sympathy, to offer these bodies a place by

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CONSCIENCE.

their side ? And how soon, too, will the place to
which we shall commit these be washed away, by the
surge, and the waves resume their play with the restless
bones.
  "The isolation in which the halligs are often kept by
wind and weather, or ice, compels the father of every
family to see that a coffin is always in readiness,
Among the necessary household furniture, this memento
mori must not be lacking, difficult and painful as it
might be elsewhere to accustom ourselves daily to
measure with the eye the narrow house destined for us
or one of those dear to us. Coffins, therefore, were not
wanting for the early interment which was of course
necesary on this occasion, and the next day, being
Sunday, was fixed upon for the funeral.
  "The burial of three bodies at once, an almost un-
heard-of occurrence on the hallig, the extraordinary
circumstances which had attended this event, the sin-
gular rescue of the remainder of the ship's company,
all ese decided Hold to consecrate the whole day to
this ceremony. At the hour of service, the three coffins
were placed before the church door, the space within
being too small to contain both them and the congre-
gation. After the reading of the Gospel for the day,
the tirteenth Sunday after Trinity — Luke xvii. 11-19,
the sermon commenced with the question, "But where
are the nine ?" and the simple announcement of this
text, however little such a selection of a single word or
phrase may be in accordance with homiletic rules, could
not fail to produce a strong impression, as there were
precisely nine persons on board the ship. This ques-
tion united again the saved and the lost, led the mind

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THE HALLIG.

back to their former companionship, and forced it to
consider how it would have been, had their lots been
changed. "But where are the nine ?" For the
strangers this question was a sermon never to be for-
gotten. It seemed also as if in announcing this text
the pastor had wished to make a forcible but brief ap-
peal to the hearts of the strangers, for in the end he
spoke much less than many of his hearers had expected
with reference to the special circumstances before him,
and made a general application of the peculiar occur-
rences, not forgetting the congregation in the few.
Perhaps for this very reason his words found an en-
trance into the hearts of these few. In this way they
were spared the disagreeable consciousness that every
eye and every thought were upon them, and of hear-
ing only a discourse addressed to or concerning them-
selves. They could now follow the sermon with entire
attention, as their fancy was not continually carried
back to the scene of horror through which they had
just passed. They were not disturbed by a false de-
scription of the circumstances of their peril and rescue,
by a depicting of emotions which they had never felt,
by a detail of wishes and vows which had never entered
their minds. After the sermon, the coffins were carried
to the adjoining burying-ground by three successive
processions, as the want of a sufficient number of bear-
ers made it impossible to take them all at once. But a
single grave received the three, and the great flag of
the ship, to which the last service of their life had been
given, was to be lowered upon the coffins. Godber had
borne this flag, which was hung with black crape, be-
fore the procession; but as he was about to lower it

[121]

121

REMORSE.

into the grave, it fell from his trembling hands, and as
the staff struck the coffins they gave back a hollow
sound. Godber, pale as death and trembling in every
limb, fell back upon the bystanders.
  But here we must go back a little to follow Godber's
inward struggles up to this moment. With the discov-
ery of the bodies of his drowned companions a dark
cloud had come over his spirits, which he had made
every exertion to drive away, or at least to conceal from
others. The stiff stem lines in the face of his captain,
when he stood by his corpse on the strand among the
sea-washed graves, seemed to inquire of him, " Why
did my pilot leave the ship before me ?" and as he
turned to look away, he saw Maria slowly going up to
her own dwelling, and it seemed as if he heard her sigh,
"Godber, why hast thou forsaken thy betrothed bride ?"
It grew dark before his eyes, an icy hand was laid upon
his heart, a mocking laugh rang in his ears : " twice
forsworn !" He hastened from that fearful place as if
pursued by a curse, and stood again in the presence of
Idalia before he had recovered his senses. If she had
met him with tears or even with the reproaches of
anger, he would have fallen upon her neck, and wept
out on her bosom the sorrows and bitterness of his full
heart. But she came toward him with her usual gen-
tle smile — that smile which had so often charmed him
as if with magic power ; but now in his present mood
it was only repulsive to him ; it was too contradictory
to all his feelings, and it did not recur to him that she
was yet unacquainted with what he had just seen, and
therefore could not be expected to show sympathy for
the fate of his lost companions. Instead of bending

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122
THE HALLIG.

over to her, he could not help shrinking back. Grazing
fixedly at her, he was obliged to ask himself : "Is this
heartless, mocking child of enchantment worth a dou-
ble treason ?"
  Idalia stepped proudly back. She was too much ac-
customed to an all-absorbing devotion to inquire of him
sympathizingly what was the matter. Although love
as well as curiosity strongly urged her to ask an ex-
planation of his conduct, he having now thrown him-
self into a chair and covered his eyes with both hands,
yet pique obtained the victory. She seated herself pet-
tishly in another comer, and supporting her head with
her arm, pouting out her delicate lips, pressing her
handkerchief upon her eyes moist with tears, and throw-
ing now and then a hasty stolen glance at Godber, she
played perfectly the part of one in ill humor, as in fact
she really was. At least this had become evident, that
she did not reign so exclusively iu his hearty but that
there was still something in the world which could make
him insensible to the power of her charms ; that her
victory was by no means so complete as she had till now
supposed. And was this agitation of his owing perhaps
to a meeting with Maria ? If this thought was to the
prejudice of her affection, which required from its object
an idolatrous worship as well as a complete surrender
of the heart, it also roused her pride, and through this a
resolution to chain him by every means in her power.
It is true that she did not herself so clearly understand
her own feelings, and attributed this resolution chiefly
to love.
  But Godber seemed to be entirely absent with his own
spirit. Sometimes he brooded over his own thoughts

[123]

123

REMORSE.

in sullen silence, sometimes sighs and convulsive starts
announced the strong agitation within. Idalia could
scarcely endure longer this tension between curiosity
and vexation. Her insensible lover had not even heard
her sobs. To her joy her father at length came in, and,
from his sympathizing and consoling words to Godber,
who had risen hastily on his entrance and endeavored
to appear more calm, she now learned the discovery of
the bodies. If Godber's distress at the fate of those who
had long been given up as lost was incomprehensible to
her, if she felt still more wounded that so small a cause
could call forth such behavior toward her, she had at
least gained this, that jealousy had no longer any part
in her judgment of his conduct. Glancing at her own
figure in the glass, she could not help smiling at the
idea that she could for a single moment have been jeal-
ous of a hallig maiden. But Godber should be se-
verely punished, at her feet should he implore forgive-
ness, and only after long entreaty would she even give
him her hand to kiss as a first sign of a future pardon ;
a perfect reconciliation should not take place for several
days, that he might never again forget how entirely his
happiness depended upon her love, and that this hap-
piness must be purchased by entire submission and self-
forgetfulness.
  And this is called love !
  For this day at least Godber did not seem inclined to
take any steps in the way of repentance, for casting
only a single look at Idalia, he went with Mander to
the pastor's house to consult about the funeral. Hold
named the persons likely to have the proper coffins, and
Godber went for them. When he returned to the par-

[124]

124
THE HALLIG.

sonage, Mander was already gone, and Hold had now
an opportunity to say a few words to Godber abeut his
relations to Idalia and Maria. But scarcely had he al-
luded to the subject, when Grodber interrupted him with
a cry which, however, sounded in no way like a willful re-
jection of counsel, but rather like an exclamation of
despair, "I know all you are going to say, and rushed
out of the house.
  Idalia waited that evening in vain for his return. She
now indeed wept bitter tears ; though only deeply
wounded pride had at first called them forth, yet as
she ascribed them to the pain of injured love, they had
raised her feelings to the height of real affection.
  The next morning Godber was missing at the breakfast
table, and no one knew whether he had been in the house
during the course of the night. Idalia first saw him
again when, pale and agitated, he passed on before the
funeral procession, carrying the mourning flag.
  Godber had watched that night with the dead, and
excluded every other person from this vigil, reluctant as
the two surviving sailors had been from love to their
old commander and companions to consent to this ar-
rangement. He wished to be alone with the happy
dead and his own unhappy heart. His anguish was
here relieved by tears of sorrow. His whole joyous
childhood, his plays with Maria, the vows he had made
to her, the letters he had written her, the dreams of a
bright future at her side in which he had indulged
through all the perils of the ocean, through all the con-
fused activity incident to his calling, the lonely nights
at the helm, when the waves of foreign seas dashing
round the keel brought, as it were, a greeting from his

[125]

125

REMORSE.

native island, and the stars of Heaven spoke of the
peaces of that home — all rose fresh in his memory, and
floated by him as pictures of a lost paradise. Why
might he not win again this paradise ? Why could he
not shake off the fetters with which his faithlessness
had bound him ? So he questioned himself ; and
Idalia's image could not for a moment lead back his
mind to its former bondage. Rather there arose in him
an intense desire to see once more Maria, his own
Maria.
  At midnight he left the chamber of the dead, went
softly out into the open air, and lo ! the stars seemed
to smile kindly down upon him, as if to bless his purpose.
He hastened rapidly forward, stepping over many a
grave, not to be detained by the circuitous direction of
the common path. Already in the distance there shone
toward him a friendly light from the longed-for house.
It did not strike him as any thing strange even at this
late hour. He thought it ought to be so ; she was
watching for him, she was guiding him by this light
back to his plighted vows. Hastily, but carefully avoid-
ing the slightest noise, he ascended the wharf. A pro-
jecting stone served as a step from which he could look
over the low half-shutter. There sat Maria by the bed-
side of her mother, her hands lying folded in her lap,
gazing upward with half-closed eyes as if in a dream.
Godber stood as it were rooted to the spot, holding his
breath within his heaving chest, his eyes fixed stead-
fastly on the young girl, who would have seemed to him,
if he could make comparisons at such a moment, like a
divine apparition contrasted with Idalia's earthly image.
  So he remained a long, long time.

[126]

126
THE HALLIG.

  The poor girl, overcome by drowsiness, nodded oc-
casionally ; and then Godber's heart beat stronger with
the fear that she might fall. When she again opened
her eyes, he was constantly expecting that she would
see him, and rush toward him as on the first day, with
the cry, "Godber, Godber, are you here again ?"
  But was not this the first day ? It seemed to him as
if he had only been in a heavy dream, and had now
just arrived on the hallig.
  Maria took the light, turned it carefully toward
her mother's bed, and listened to her breathing. So
passed away hours ; but for Godber they were minutes.
Morning had begun to dawn ; but it was still midnight
for him. The freshness which precedes the rising of
the sun chilled him. But he did not perceive it ; it
only directed his mind from Maria to the occasion of
her night-watchings. Ah ! thought he, her mother is
ill, and thou, thou alone art the guilty cause. Thou
bringest the mother to the grave, and the daughter-
he could not finish it — will follow her. Within, at her
feet, must he consecrate these hours of repentance, on
her bosom awake again to new life.
  He had his hand already on the door latch. The
cock crowed for the morning in the loft just by him.
He shrunk within himself like a surprised criminal
"Peter, the betrayer," he muttered low to himself,
withdrew his hand hastily from the door, and looked
wildly round. The stars had disappeared, and a gray
fog concealed the first red of the morning. Godber's
heaving chest drew in deep, hasty draughts of the chill,
heavy air. He felt again all the chains with which he
was bound, and dashed rapidly away. Breathless he

[127]

127

REMORSE.

reached once more the room of the dead. The lamp
was nearly burned out, and threw only a faint glimmer
into the darkness. His rapid footsteps struck one of
the coffins, the dry boards gave forth a hollow sound,
and the living sank unconsciously down by the side of
the dead.
  After such a night the day following must naturally
be a most trying one to Godber. The complete ex-
haustion of his physical strength gave his imagination
entire mastery over him. He saw and heard in every
thing only allusions to his faithlessness. In this church
had Maria prayed for his happy return ; hither had she
thought to walk the first time by his side. This whole
congregation knew of his betrothal ; every look ex-
pressed the deepest contempt. Every whisper was an
imprecation upon him ; every step was turned away
from him. The very letters of the psalm-book shrunk
from his eyes, and the tones of music forsook his poi-
soned breath. At the pastor's question, "Where are
the nine ?" the pale faces of the dead seemed to greet
him, and say, with a grimace, "The nine are again to-
gether." That these words were connected with the
sermon he could not comprehend ; he saw and heard
only the dead, who were always pressing nearer to him,
and whose icy breath penetrated to his very bones,
while hot drops fell from his forehead.
  In this state, after the conclusion of the church service,
was he drawn unconsciously into the funeral procession,
as the bearer of the mourning flag. But the flag of the
ship, which had been intrusted to him, seemed trans-
formed into a huge wave that was rolling on before him,
and dragging him after it. He grasped the staff with a

[128]

128
THE HALLIG.

convulsive effort, clinging to it more and more, as he be-
came ever more impressed with the delirious fancy, that
he had fallen into the sea,, and was holding on to the
last plank of the shattered ship. Tortured by this hor-
rible idea, he had thrice headed the funeral train, and
now stood by the open grave. He gazed down, and
strained his eyes in vain to penetrate the pit at his feet.
Deeper and deeper the bottomless abyss seemed to open
before him. Leaning further and further forward to
measure the grave with his uncertain eye, he would
have fallen in if Mander and Oswald, who saw in him
only a deep mourner for his lost companions, had not
held him back. Just then he heard the pastor, speaking
of the captain's refusal to leave the ship which was in
his charge, say, "There is a blessing for the faithful, if
not in time, in eternity." These words crushed his last
strength. He murmured softly, like, one dying of a
broken heart, "And a curse with the unfaithful, both
in time and eternity." Again he would have fallen,
had he not leaned his trembling frame against the flag-
staff which was thrust into the ground by his side.
Hold was obliged to remind him that he must lower the
flag into the grave. He seized it convulsively and stag-
gered forward. There lay the three coffins ; but though
the vault had looked fathomless before, he now saw
them, as it were, rising toward him ; the black lids
seemed to fly open, and the dead to start up with angry
threatenings. He reeled backward in terror, and the
flag fell from his fainting hands down upon the coffins.

[129]


CHAPTER X.


RESIGNATION.

   Beneath that cottage roof so lowly,
    Simple in life, in purpose holy,
      Ripens a priceless heart ;
    Each wound to it a blessing brings,
    From darkest hours its sunlight springs,
      And dew from every smart.

 
  Maria's conduct during these days had been, the
mirror of a heart given to God. She performed the
household duties that devolved upon her with the same
zeal and the same patience as before. One who had
not known her when cheered by the hope of a bright
future, could never have suspected with what anguish
the young girl, who seemed born with this still, quiet,
nature prayed daily for the victory over herself, and
what strength she needed to fix her in her choice to be
the handmaid of the Lord. God, who cares for the
broken heart, and who will lay no more upon any one
than he can bear, lightened her struggle by the illness
which attacked her mother. And Maria, as if she had
been conscious that this illness was to bring healing to
her wound, gave herself up with such devotion and
self-sacrifice to the care of her mother, that all her

[130]

130
THE HALLIG.

thoughts and feelings were entirely absorbed in this
new occupation. The hallig afforded no medical aid
and to seek it elsewhere was not within the means of
the poor widow, had there been a wish to do so, and if
rest, care, and domestic remedies had not been thought
sufficient in cases of sickness. Hold frequently visited
the patient, and when she sometimes alluded to the
faithlessness of Godber, Maria would quickly interrupt
lier, saying, "Never mind that, mother, I can take care
of you all the better for not having him to think
about." When, however, she talked with the pastor
alone, a tone of sorrow would sometimes break forth,
but as if he had only one message of peace to bring
down from the mouth of the great Carer for souls, he
always returned to the plain requirement of pious sub-
mission.
  He could not help smiling when Maria, on one of
these visits, gave him a couple of novels much read at
that time, with a request that he would return them to
young Mander. He now learned that Oswald, perhaps,
merely to gratify a desire for a little variety in the uni-
formity of the life to which he was condemned, had
sought the acquaintance of Maria, bringing one day a
bottle of wine for the mother, and the next, the novels
for the daughter.
  But she thought she should understand as little of
the books as she had been able to comprehend of his
conversation. Indeed, she did not like the latter be-
cause it sounded very much like what Godber had writ-
ten in some of his letters, and which was probably the
cause of his having forsaken her ; and unacquainted
with the flower whose very name should bind fast the

[131]

131

RESIGNATION.

memory, she added, with the keen irony of a deep
wounded heart :
  "They talk about forget-me-not as if it were some-
thing to be plucked like a flower that is destined to
wither. No wonder they can forget so easily."
  "Ah !" thought Hold, as he went home, "these fine
gentlemen who are attracted by every pretty face, when
they have the simplicity of innocence before them, do
not perceive that the clear crystal is incapable of im-
bibing their poison, and that its purity remains unsul-
lied. Ah, my fine Oswald ! would you first skillfully
prepare the soil with your novels ? But here is no soil
on which such ensnaring plants can take root. This is
God's own garden, and no foul bed of concealed passion.
Maria must long be your pupil before she understands
you and your poison, thereby giving it power to injure
her. And the forget-me-not which blooms in her heart
like a flower in God's paradise, that shalt thou not
pluck so lightly — that shall God's angels protect
against every secret or open attempt to pluck it."
  To spare the father, Hold waited for an opportunity
to return the books to Oswald when no one was pres-
ent ; and said to him, at the same time,
  "Do not suppose I have taken these books from the
young woman. She gave them to me quite of her own
accord because she can not understand such things."
  "I thought," stammered Oswald, with some embar-
rassment, "that a little cultivation would not harm one
for whom nature had done so much."
  "And was it her personal attractions," asked Hold,
seriously, "which first led you to think about her men-
tal culture ? Why then, if you prize this cultivation

[132]

132
THE HALLIG.

so highly, do you pass by without sympathy those who
are equally uncultivated, but with less external beauty ?"
  "It is quite natural that those who possess external
beauty should excite particular interest."
  "Yes, quite natural," replied the pastor, "if we are
in the habit of allowing our interest to depend upon
mere physical charms."
  "You take the matter too seriously," said Oswald
smiling, having recovered entirely from his momentary
embarrassment ; "but, as shepherd, you are quite right
to see that no mischief happen to any of your flock."
  "Was there then any wrong intended," said Hold,
with a severer tone ; and Oswald, who felt himself
caught by his own expression, answered after a pause,
  "I have told you already that I desired for the girl,
who, I will not deny, pleased me much, at first sight, a
little more cultivation of mind and heart, and accord-
ingly gave her the books."
  "For Maria's sake," resumed the pastor, "I should
not have wasted a word about this affair. She has that
innocence which may drink poison, and be unharmed —
which may tread upon serpents, and be unwounded ;
her heart is simple and devout. For her understanding
sin is too high ; for her heart it is too low. But for
your sake, young man, permit me to say a few words.
Compare yourself, for once, in your own conscience, with
this Maria. You know much, she very little. You
know the history, the language, and the customs of na-
tions ; Maria's knowledge is almost entirely confined
within the sphere of this little island. You have seen
and experienced much, and can talk of a hundred thou-
sand things, the names of which Maria has never heard.

[133]

133

RESIGNATION.

From your refinement of manners, your pleasing ad-
dress, and your judicious use of all your advantages for
improvement, you pass for a well educated person.
Maria is straight-forward and natural ; speaks what is
in her heart without ornament or coloring. You seek
recreation from business by entering into all the pleas-
ures which excite the senses and gratify the desires of
this mortal body. Maria prays and toils day after day,
and nurses her sick mother with a self-sacrificing love.
Yon regard joy and sorrow alike as the sport of chance.
Maria thanks God and trusts her Father in heaven.
You stand far above her, far as earth with her gifts and
pleasures can raise you, and yet" — he took Oswald's
hand, and concluded in a somewhat elevated tone — "I
say to you, if you believe in God, then in the name of
that true God, I say to you that Maria stands far above
you, for her walk is in Heaven." Young Mander hesi-
tated between displeasure and shame, and then replied
with a tone of mingled vexation and embarrassmennt,
"A little more culture would do the pious young woman
no harm."
  "Maria's education," replied Hold, "is sufficient for
her condition, and whatever else it might be desirable
for her to know is not to be found in these books. Yes
— pardon me if, as a fellow-islander of Maria, I speak
plainly and directly what is in my heart — what you
might learn from her is more and greater than any
thing that she could learn from all your knowledge and
all your books. Suppose she were capable of the cul-
ture you offer, what would she gain by it ? Discontent
at her situation, and a longing for u life by her unattain-
able, and what is still worse, the excitement of passions

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THE HALLIG.

which as yet have found no entrance into her heart ;
but who would lose, irrecoverably lose, the patience
and repose of a spirit given to God, the peace of a soul
now triumphing over earthly sorrows ; lose the quiet of
an unspotted conscience, and the sure happiness of a
childlike undoubting faith."
  "How can you ascribe such a pernicious influence to
these harmless novels ? They are designed only for
momentary amusement, but, at the same time, they in-
sensibly improve the understanding."
  "We take," was Hold's reply, "such books for what
they are — mere fruits of the imaginative faculty — and
are too well acquainted with the life which they describe
to find in them any thing except ourselves in a new cos-
tume. But for Maria, if she could understand them,
they would open a new world, a world which would
kindle as ardent desires, and therefore would be as in-
jurious to her, as America was, on its first discovery, to
the Spaniards. But I am forgetting that your wish for
Maria's improvement was only a preface to your playing
the same part with her that your sister is now doing
with Godber."
  Oswald did not again attempt to vindicate himself
from this reproach. He seized rather, with an eagerness
which betrayed his satisfaction at seeing the conversa-
tion likely to take another direction, the opportunity to
bring forward Idalia as the subject of discussion.
  "How can she help it," said he, "if her attractions
are so irresistible? She has already seen at her feet,
men very different from this Godber."
  "How can she help it!" said Hold, sarcastically.
"These words seem to me like an outwork which is

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RESIGNATION.

thrown up against the advancing enemy, from want of
time to erect more substantial defenses. But it would
be idle to talk with you on this subject, as you would
even now be treading in the very footsteps of your sis-
ter, if a broken heart, particularly when God's holy
angels have set their watch there, were not as difficult
to conquer, as it is to subdue a heart in which vanity
and sensuousness stand guard."
  As Oswald, reddening with anger, was taking his hat,
the pastor added,
  "One word more, Mr. Mander! You will always
find me ready for every service due to the guest of our
hallig ; and you will very much oblige me, if, during
these few weeks, you will allow me the pleasure of en-
joying as much as possible of your society. It would
be a great gratification to me to talk over, with your
father and yourself, those subjects which I have so often
discussed with my early friends. You must, however,
permit me, in my own way, to seek to win your esteem,
and consequently to show myself to you as a shepherd
of souls on every fit occasion. If I failed in this ; if I
suffered the office confided to me by God to be forgot-
ten, I should forfeit the respect of every reasonable man.
You must go your own way as pleases you, and leave
to me the path which my calling and my conscience
point out to me ; and in this way, we will endeavor to
make the brief hours of our intercourse together pass
pleasantly ; and I trust we shall part from each other
as men who have cause to rejoice that they have met."
  Oswald was somewhat softened by this turn, and
withdrew after some indifferent phrases which were in-
tended to be friendly.

[136]


CHAPTER XI.


EARTHLY LOVE AND CHRISTIAN FAITH.

    Leaving the furrow, dew, and night,
        Boldly tho lark now soars away I
      Mounts to the fields of morning lights
        To seek in heaven the new-born day.
  So Faith, on pinions strong, o'er grief shall rise,
  And view, with tearless eye, a Heaven above the skies.

 
  Those fantasies which at last left Godber fainting
by the side of the open grave, proved the commence-
ment of a fever common in these islands ; a fever which
rages for two days with violence, and then leaves the
patient one day of repose to prepare him for a fresh
attack. Idalia now showed again the whole passion-
ateness of her nature. She threw herself on Godber's
couch ; she covered his cold lips with her burning
kisses ; she called heaven and earth to witness that she
could not live without him, and reproached herself
bitterly for her unsympathizing treatment of him.
Mander saw with astonishment the powerful influence
which love was now exercising over his daughter. It is
true that her inclination for her preserver had not been
concealed from him, but he thought that when time
should have weakened her gratitude, distance would

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EARTHLY LOVE AND CHRISTIAN FAITH.

make her forget the passing excitement. He had pit-
ied the young man for whom he could not fail to have a
regard, when he perceived how he was ensnared by the
charms of Idalia. But accustomed as he was to be
rather a sympathizing companion for his children,
through their path of life, thau a paternal guide, he
had hesitated to disturb his daughter who was so hap-
py in her present attachment, by a clear exposition of
the true state of things. Now he rejoiced at this re-
serve, for if Idalia's love was really so deep and sincere
as it at present appeared, he would not wish to oppose
her choice. He did not lack the means of making
Godber captain of some large vessel, and he might
hope, from the tried skill and integrity of the young
man, as well as from his good heart and firm character,
to find in him a worthy son-in-law, in whose hands Idal-
ia's happiness would be safe. With such sentiments he
did not need the imploring entreaties of his daughter
to induce him to seek the aid of a physician. Os-
wald, for this purpose, went over to Husum, and re-
turned the following day with the physician for whom
Idalia had waited with the most anxious impatience.
The doctor, unacquainted with the mental state of the
young man, saw in his case nothing but an ordinary
fever, and said that at present only good nursing and
a careful diet were necessary, and that medicine would
not be required for some days.
  Idalia was obliged to be satisfied with this announce-
ment, unpleasant as it was to her. She had watched
nearly the whole of the first night by Godber's bed, and
only with difficulty could be induced to seek rest for
herself when the sufferer, after the wildest fancies, in

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THE HALLIG.

which the emotions that disturbed his breast mani-
fested themselves strongly and incoherently — at last
fell asleep. Godber's youthful vigor seemed deter-
mined to overcome the disease by a long slumber.
When he awoke, the chill that precedes fever was al-
ready past ; his pulse was growing quicker, bringing
back the former delirium. Idalia sat again by his bed-
side. He stared wildly at her, without making any
answer to her inquiries. It se'emed as if he was trying
to collect his thoughts, and as if the young person sit-
ting before him, was totally unknown to him, and that
he could not bring her form within the sphere of his
recollection. Suddenly he shuddered convulsively, his
features contracted as if some strange peril of death
had presented itself, and with the exclamation, "thrice
forsworn !" he concealed his face among the pillows,
uttering a deep groan.
  Idalia could but partially divine what had so much
agitated the young man, and she was sometimes half
inclined to regard the whole merely as the illusion of
fever, having no foundation in his actual feelings ; but
she was heartily rejoiced when, on the following days,
these fancies ceased to return with the access of fever,
and Godber's tenderness for her manifested itself in the
most unequivocal manner, more gentle, more submissive
than ever. His physical weakness softened the conflict
within. Idalia's faithful care had touched him more
deeply, harmonizing, as it did, with his own character,
than all the former proofs of her affection, although
these had excited a more passionate rapture. He re-
signed himself at once to his destiny, without strug-
gling longer against it by recalling the memory of the

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EARTHLY LOVE AND CHRISTIAN FAITH.

past. Upon her only rested his feeble gaze ; only when
she sat by him was he satisfied; only her smile cheered
his pale face. As the child watches its mother, so his
eye followed all her motions, and, though he said little,
the most entire devotion spoke in his very silence. As
a rosy twilight, after a stormy day, lends the liveliest
coloring to nature, now breathing in new creating life,
so now was spread over Godber's whole being, a pe-
culiar gentleness, tenderness, and submissiveness. This
change in his feelings formerly so much more passionate,
arose, in part, from a really deeper affection for Idalia,
and in part, from the necessity not indeed clearly un-
derstood by himself, of weaving his whole being into
hers, in order to secure peace of mind.
  This deep feeling on the part of Godber was not
without an important influence on the heart of Idalia.
She had never been so near true affection as now. This
unusual, unexpected softness quite foreign to her char-
acter, that entire fusion of every thought and feeling
with the beloved object, attracted her instinctively, and
there were hours when she even experienced something
similar within herself. At such times she would sing,
accompanying herself with her lute which she played
with superior skill, and whose preservation she owed to
the care with which she put it away after use on board
the ship, for she prized it as a means of displaying her
talent, and once every day at least, must she sing, at
Godber's request, the following song:
   My former self, truly,
          I know not again ;
    Yet unlike the present
          How could I have been?

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THE HALLIG.

   Did not thy first greeting
          Cradle my young life—
    As thy last caressing
          Would seal its death strife?

    Can the flower bloom freshly,
          Wanting light and dew,
    Can the rolling ocean
          Touch the ether blue ?

    Is there any region
          Where thy potent will
    Could not place thy creature
          There held captive still ?

    But I only render
         Back what thou dost give,
    If, alone for loving
         Thee, I wish to live.


Godber saw in this and other similar expressions, proofs
of the most devoted love, and they served to strengthen
him in his effort to cover his former relation to Maria
with the vail of complete forgetfulness ; for they seemed
at the same time to impose upon him the full return
of such an affection, as a duty, in the fulfillment of
which his heart too was deeply interested.
  So passed about two weeks, and, except the debility
which naturally followed such intense excitement of
body and mind, Godber had almost entirely recovered
from his illness, and the bond of affection between the
lovers was greatly strengthened. The manner, too, in
which Mander spoke of this connection, promised a cer-
tain future to an attachment which till now had seemed
to Idalia only a pleasant dream of the moment, a trans-
itory boon of fate which she had surrendered herself

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EARTHLY LOVE AND CHRISTIAN FAITH.

without consideration ; and she now seriously regarded
herself as really a betrothed bride.
  Although she confessed to herself that many new
cords of her heart had been touched by her love for
Godber, Idalia, reversing the words of her song, consid-
ered him as her creature. Had she not elevated him
above the narrow sphere of existence in which he had
once been contented to live ? Had she not opened to
him a new world, even to the portals of which, without
her, his boldest dreams could scarcely have soared ?
  Must he not see in her the star which was lighting him
to a brighter, happier future than his birth and life
thus far entitled him to expect ? That she could think
all this clearly and, except in occasional moments of
self-forgetfulness, weigh so nicely her position in refer-
ence to the young man, and regulate her conduct
accordingly, shows how little her heart was accessible
to true womanly love.
  Perhaps a circumstance which occurred on the ninth
day of Godber's illness, may have helped Idalia to
make a more precise estimate of her situation.
  It was a cheerful afternoon. The mild autumn sun
shone warm and kindly into the little room, which was
really charming in its lively coloring and neat order.
  Various occupations having taken all the other inmates
from the house, Idalia was sitting alone by Godber's
couch, and watching his peaceful slumber. His pale
face, from which every trace of the rude life of a mari-
ner had disappeared, while returning health had
breathed the first faint flush upon his cheeks, showed
in this reflected sunlight its manly beauty to the best
advantage. She had never found him so attractive,

[142]

142
THE HALLIG.

and could not refrain from touching his lips with a
gentle kiss. It did not awake him, though he must
have felt it, for, from the quiet smile which played
around his mouth, it seemed to have blended itself
with some pleasant dream, or to have called one forth.
Idalia leaned back in her chair, and turning her eyes
with a deepening tranquillity toward the sleeper, she
soon fell herself into that half sleep which is something
between waking and dreaming, and in which, some-
times with half-opened, sometimes with closed eyes, we
smile on the charming pictures of fancy ; as the child
who knows that the mother's loving face is over the
cradle, often in his light dreams throws through his
scarce lifted eyes a drowsy glance toward her.
  Bewildered, and uncertain whether she was waking
or sleeping, Idalia started from this slumber, as she
saw, standing at the foot of the bed, a dark figure
which was gazing fixedly at her and Godber, and which,
upon her suddenly waking, laid its finger upon its lips
with a sign toward Godber, as if begging silence for his
sake. The sign was scarcely necessary, as the unex-
pected appearance of Maria, whose countenance night-
watching and mental suffering had changed to a deadly
paleness, increased by her dress of deepest mourning,
completely paralyzed her rival. The black kerchief
which was thrown over her head, and almost entirely
covered her forehead and chin, making the pallor of her
cheek and the feeble glance of her eye still more con-
spicuous, gave to this figure a startling aspect. Maria
had very carefully clipped from Godber's finger, the
plain gold ring which she had given him and which he
still wore, and hidden it in the folds of her little shawl.

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EARTHLY LOVE AND CHRISTIAN FAITH.

Then she drew from her own hand the ring of be-
trothal, bent toward Idalia as if to give it to her ; her
lips moved — she tried to speak — but her tongue refused
its office — only an audible sigh forced itself from her
heart — a hot tear fell on Idalia's hand and the ring
upon her lap. But Maria turned quickly round, threw
from the door-way another long, painful look at God-
ber, then looked at Idalia with a confiding smile, as if
to commend his happiness to her, and — had vanished.
  Idalia remained long in the same position, before she
could draw any clear ideas out of the confusion of her
thoughts and feelings. It was now perfectly plain to
her that she had broken the heart of a loving girl, and
her sympathy was excited in the highest degree. At
the same time, she felt herself unpleasantly restricted
as to the freedom of her own heart, from the fact that
it had now become a duty to bestow on the young man
an affection as sincere as that which he had lost in the
heart of Maria, through her. Even though this duty
might harmonise with her inclination, still it was a fet-
ter, and it was, therefore, in accordance with her char-
acter, rather a check than a spur to her passion. She
concealed from Godber the fact that she had received
the ring, and said nothing to him of Maria's visit to
his bedside. She was now, in her relation to him, bur-
dened with a secret. She might have felt conscious
that her love would not stand every trial; how, then,
could she have full confidence in his love ?
 Maria, indeed, would scarcely have gone there, as above
related, to remind Idalia of her, if the death of her
mother had not excited her feelings to a greater degree
even than the infidelity of her lover, and given her an

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THE HALLIG.

impulse which had driven her out of the current of her
ordinary life.
  The physician who had come to the hallig on God-
ber's account, had, at the request of the pastor, visited
the poor widow, although her illness was thought by no
means serious. How startled was Hold, when the doc-
tor, after his visit, informed him that medical aid was
here too late, and that the aged patient was rapidly ap-
proaching her final release. Must Maria then stand
completely orphaned, alone in her sorrow ? Must her
hard-earned faith in the guidance of her Heavenly
Father receive a new shock ? The pastor endeavored
to prepare her as gently as possible for the loss that
was threatening her. To his astonishment, she received
almost with indifference, the gradual communication of
the physician's opinion. Could any thing be too hard
for her, after the sorrow through which she had already
passed ? She seemed almost ready to challenge Heaven
to smite her yet more heavily. Only when Hold made
her observe how little such submission deserved the
name, how much she was sinning by a determination
not to feel the grief which her Heavenly Father was
again preparing for her, when he with some severity
called this indifference unchristian, then she burst into
tears and ashed sorrowfully,
  "What would you have me to do ?"
  "I would have an open soul," answered Hold, "where
the warm beams of Divine mercy, which also mani-
fest themselves in affliction, may find a fruitful soil, no
closed, icy heart, over which the tempest may pass and
leave it untouched. I would have childlike obedience,
not obstinate endurance. I would have life, not death.

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EARTHLY LOVE AND CHRISTIAN FAITH.

The Lord shall see thy tears and hear thy sighs, that
thy humility may be made manifest, and thy wounds
from his chastening. Thy prayers and entreaties shall
rise to Heaven for strength and energy. Thou shalt not
be silent before him, as if thou already hadst what
thou needest. Thou shalt learn from the Author and
Finisher of our faith, to whom it would have been a
small thing to assume that cold, hard indifference with
which thou seekest to bear and suffer ; thou shalt learn
from him who wept and prayed, 'Father, if it be pos-
sible let this cup pass from me.' See, Maria, a spirit
has come over you which is not the true one, however
much it may boast of its patience and tranquillity. Let
us who have a Father in heaven ; let us go to him iu
sorrow as well as in joy. We will speak with him con-
fidingly — with child-like frankness and sincerity of
heart. We will ask him, and he shall answer and ex-
plain to us why he hath done thus. Certainly we shall
have an answer such as the Saviour obtained, when he
cried to Heaven upon the cross, 'My God, my God,
why hast thou forsaken me ?' and the reply was re-
ceived when, in expiring, he prayed, 'Father, into thy
hands I commend my spirit.' Go into thy chamber, and
weep from a full heart, before thy Father who is in
Heaven, and may thy tears no longer fall like burning
drops on a barren soil, but may they become a heavenly
dew to cool the wounds of thy heart.'"
  Maria's tears flowed more freely, and she said at
length, "Now I understand in myself what means,
'Lord, I believe! help thou my unbelief !'"
  "Yes, it is so," replied Hold. "The understanding
of Scripture comes to us only by degrees. It would al-

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146
THE HALLIG.

ways remain to us a book sealed with seven seals, if the
experience of our lives did not come to our assistance,
and open to us the revelations of God in their fullness,
as words of truth and salvation. We live ourselves into
the sacred writings, and in this way, they become for us
light and life. The mere reading of the Bible leaves us
in much darkness, even where we fancy that we see
clearly. So then, if with all thy past experiences, and
with what still remains before thee, thou wilt knock at
this sacred portal, it shall be opened to thee. A rich
treasury of comfort shall lie before thee, and thou shalt
be filled with resignation to the will of thy Father in
Heaven — a resignation which is sad, and yet joyful,
which trembles, and yet overcomes, which feels pain-
fully the loss of what has been taken away, and yet
rests peacefully in God who hath taken it."
  Maria's mother died as she had lived, calmly and
devoutly. She received the Lord's Supper, not as the
solace of a troubled conscience reserved for a dying
bed, but as the last seal of a faith in which she had re-
mained steadfast even unto the end. Her age made
her incapable of understanding the depth of the wound
from which her daughter was bleeding. Standing on
the border of the grave, her thoughts were turned away
from earthly things ; and the vanity of our temporal
wishes and hopes appearing more clearly to her now that
she was so near to her eternal home, it was impossible
for her to enter into the feelings of a youthful heart,
which does not so easily surrender its claims to this
world's happiness. She feared therefore nothing for her
daughter, and the less because she saw in her religious
character a certain assurance that comfort from above

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147

EARTHLY LOVE AND CHRISTIAN FAITH.

would not fail her, and that she would be able to over-
come all things. Her last words to Maria were the ex-
hortation, "Continue to trust God, and keep in the
right path, for with such it will be well at last !" and
she departed with the exclamation, "Lord Jesus, receive
my spirit !"
  So passed away one who had experienced much bit-
terness in her life, but who never lost her Christian
faith nor her inward peace. She passed from a world in
which few had known her, and in which she would
scarcely be missed by any but her daughter ; and yet
many a one whose life millions have admired, and whose
fame millions celebrate, might envy this widow, poor in
spirit and in worldly goods, and so soon to be forgotten
in her little circle, her place by the throne of God.
  To him whose calling leads him often to the bed of
the dying, and who has occasion to observe the simple
Christian spirit in the hour of departure from a life as
quiet and simple—to him any display of worldly grand-
eur is distasteful, even where it has true merit as its
foil, and if merit be wanting, it is hard for him to pre-
vent his sympathy from passing into contempt.

[148]


CHAPTER XII.


PHILOSOPHY FALSELY SO CALLED.

    O proud philosophy I thy shinhig stream
        Has brought me no refreshing ; all is vain.
      Give back for one short hour young faith's bright dream,
        Give back my heart; my child-heart back again !

 
  Many persons in whose house there is no chamber
for retirement, and most of those who do not lack their
closet, would find it very agreeable if they had the op-
portunity to withdraw themselves, for a longer or shorter
time, completely out of the circle of their ordinary sur-
roundings and activity, and be thrown entirely upon
themselves, in a life of tranquil leisure. Many a tone
which is drowned in the tumult of every-day action will
then be heard ; much that lay concealed in the depths
of the heart will come to light, many a plant which has
till now wanted the proper soil, the proper air, will put
forth its blossoms, and at the same time, the worm will
become visible in many a fruit which has hitherto
seemed very fair. We are spiritually more or less en-
slaved by our earthly calling, and by the circle in which
we live. In the chains and bands which are thrown
around us by our position in the world, we easily lose
the strength and capacity for free observation beyond

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149

PHILOSOPHY FALSELY SO CALLED.

the sphere of vision which it allows us. The require-
ments, the enjoyments, and even the prejudices of the
class to which we belong, and the relations which we
sustain toward others, exercise an imperceptible do-
minion over our thoughts and feelings, and are so many-
clogs to hinder us from taking our proper place as men
in this world and in the kingdom of God.
  This Mander felt while on the hallig. It seemed to
him as if he had taken off the garb which till now he
had always worn, and when he tried to gird it again
closely about hirn, the old garment seemed intolerable.
He had always expected to find eventually in philosophy,
to which he devoted all his leisure hours, that flood of
sunlight which should give him a full and clear view of
the transitory human and the everlasting divine ; al-
though he was obliged to confess that so far he had
risen no more than the unfledged bird which vainly beats
its wings — that between the search after the fountain
from which all illumination proceeds, and the transfig-
uration in and through the same, there is a great gulf
fixed. Now the question forced itself upon him,
whether it were possible for philosophy entirely to
shake from herself the dust of this lower world, on
which she was striving to reign a queen ? Whether
the most acute thinker must not be influenced, in some
degree, by his time, his nationality, his relations in
life, his hereditary habits and the errors of his prede-
cessors ? Experience seemed to answer the question
in the affirmative. The point, which had been sup-
posed the summit, has proved only the foot of yet an-
other ascent, and philosophy, with her changing sys-
tems, resembles a perpetually molting serpent. Beau-

[150]

150
THE HALLIG.

tiful as the new covering may be at first, it can not es-
cape the fate of its precursor, and must become a dull,
colorless thing, serving merely as a foil to yet another
which succeeds it.
  These thoughts led Mander to have many earnest
conversations with Hold, in which, when Oswald was
not present, he gradually allowed the pastor a clear in-
sight into his heart, which was by no means at rest on
the subject of religion.
  "How often," said Mander, "on the announcement
of some new system of philosophy, have I rejoiced like
a child over its Christmas gift ; and when, having toiled
through its difficulties, I at last comprehended it, I
found only new questions without answers, new riddles
without solutions ; a deep insight into the human heart,
but no food for it; profound research indeed, but no
rewarding discoveries. Philosophers have seemed to me
like persons digging for a treasure whose hollow ringing
is continually urging them to new efforts, while mis-
chievous spirits are always sinking it lower and lower."
  "Let us," said Hold, "consider for a moment an ap-
parently trifling circumstance — the difficult language
of philosophers. There is a wonderful power in words.
When man gives a name to an object, he makes him-
self, as it were, master of it. It is no longer a vague
something which confuses his thoughts and may at any
moment escape from him ; no, it is bound to follow his
intellectual eye, and must listen as soon as he calls it
by name. There lies a deep significance in that por-
tion of the account of the creation, in which it is said
that God brought every creature to Adam to see what
he would call them. In this way was given to him a

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151

PHILOSOPHY FALSELY SO CALLED.

fixed dominion over them ; for now with the name,
their form, their properties, their habits, in one single
expression, immediately arose before his mind, and now
he could see at a glance their similarity, and their un-
likeness, their usefulness, and their hurtfulness. So we
are first really masters of an idea, when we have found
the proper expression for it. Our thinking is speaking,
either inwardly to ourselves, or for the outward ear.
To become masters of the idea of God, as that philoso-
phy aims to do which seeks to bring down divine
things to the level of man's capacity, we must also
have a language to express him. If we have not this
language — and I think the want of it sufficiently
proved by the hollow, ambiguous, sophistical dialect of
modern philosophy which seems to writhe helplessly
beneath its own sepulchral stone — so we must not ex-
pect from this philosophy any explanation of divine
things."
  "And indeed," sighed Mander, "we are not to ex-
pect it from any quarter, since all explanation must
come to us through language."
  "Through no human language," replied Hold, "but
through the divine speech, through faith.
  "Do you think it is so strange," continued Hold,
"that God, the Invisible, the Eternal, takes a differ-
ent method to reveal himself to us from that through
which we attain to a knowledge of things visible and
temporal ? To these we may speak — to use the word
in the sense of the serpent-charmers — we may grasp
them, hold them, and make ourselves masters of them
by the power of our intellect, whose chief force lies in
words. Shall this faculty, whose development and per-

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152
THE HALLIG.

fection depends upon language, shall this faculty ven-
ture so far as to prepare a place for the Almighty in
this our dust, that we may have, hold, and search him
out, as something to be discussed, as one to be meas-
ured by the measure of our conceptions, to be bound
within the limits of our comprehension ? Should we
not rather conclude beforehand that, if he desired to
make himself known to us and to be our God, he
would choose another method ? This method, then, is
faith ; by it he manifests himself to us, and through it
we come to him ; this is the only language in which
heaven and earth may converse together, and we dis-
solve this communion, and ourselves forget, and teach
others to forget, this speech, when we seek to bring the
divine within the sphere of our own vision by the same
means which we use to comprehend the earthly."
  "Are you not speaking of his being, his attributes,
his government, in your character of theologian ?"
  "As I speak of the spiritual in view of the material,
of its indivisibility, its immortality, its invisibility, and
of its manifestation by faith. I never attempt to make
my hearers conceive of the soul as a naked idea. So
also of God. In our sermons we call him Creator,
Preserver, and Ruler ; we point out all the manifesta-
tions of him in nature, in the guidance of our earthly
destinies, in faith, in the conscience of men and in rev-
elation ; but in so doing we only prepare the way for
him into the hearts of men ; our sermons do not aspire
to be the way. Indeed, if God himself had not al-
ready trod the path before, all our smoothing and
straightening would never carry him thither. And it is
here I think that philosophy is in error. She sets her-

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PHILOSOPHY FALSELY SO CALLED.

self up as the way to God ; she takes upon herself the
office of the Holy Spirit, and performs it very badly,
for she makes no use of its principal instrument, faith,
or at least where she can avoid it — and then not as the
only ladder to heaven, not as the only bond of union
between that which is above and that which is beneath.
  "But," inquired Mander, "does faith speak clearly
and distinctly In all hearts ? Must not philosophy first
overcome a host of errors which force themselves into
the idea of God ? Must she not labor continually to
erect a barrier against superstition, which, like a rolling
sea, is ever threatening humanity with a new deluge ?
Has she not, to this end, inspired the efforts of the no-
blest of our race ?"
  "Allow me first," Said Hold, "to reply to your last
remark. Was there philosophy in the language of the
prophets, ' The Lord hath spoken !' Was there philoso-
phy in the language of Christ, 'My words are not mine,
but the words of Him that sent me ?' Is there philos-
ophy in the demon of Socrates? or in the myths of
Plato ? In all this, is not rather the voice of God as-
sumed to have preceded discourse about God ? Is
there not here this lesson for our philosophy, that the
human understanding can bring forth no revelations
from the depth of the Godhead which none can search
out, except the Spirit of God, and him to whom he
will reveal himself. As to what you say of philosophy
as a barrier against superstition, he who came into the
world to be the light of the world, and whose teachings,
whatever you may think of them, have been mightier
than all the systems of the schools united, whether
as taught or learned in the lecture-room, or wrapped in

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THE HALLIG.

the dark mystical language of metaphysics, he has
spoken far more powerfully and more effectually against
it. He always testified that he spoke not of himself,
but only declared what God had given him to declare.
But as to the errors which philosophy combats, you
must yourself admit — and the contending philosophical
theories sufficiently prove this — that in her conflict with
these, she has not yet discovered the truth herself, and
that she often conjures up new falsehoods which would
be more pernicious than those she is attacking, if the
poison did not find its antidote in the unintelligible dia-
lect of the spiritual poison-vender. You have already
confessed that to you, philosophy has not been able to
bring peace, and that, so far as you are concerned at
least, she has failed of her aim."
  "It is precisely that which depresses me so much,"
said Mander. "I can not sleep away life, burying my-
self like a mole in the earth. A restless force is continu-
ally driving me out of these merely temporal concerns,
these surfeiting sensual enjoyments, these inferior cares,
to sigh, and ask anew, What is truth ? again to look up-
ward, and long for the light which, like an ignis fatuus,
leads me into by-paths — for the peace which beckons,
and yet flies from me."
  "Then throw away at once your knowledge and your
doubts," said Hold, with zeal. "Away with the old
inquiries and speculations ! Offer once more to the
Great Father in Heaven a childlike, open heart, that
desires nothing but to receive. Rise once more, with a
free soul, from the pit into which you have fallen, and
be not ashamed of prayers and tears ! Then truly you
shall find that Heaven sees and pities the seeking, long-

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PHILOSOPHY FALSELY SO CALLED.

ing, human heart ; that the dew of Heaven still falls on
the mountain of Sion ! Believe me, my friend, we have
only to keep at a distance whatever hinders and im-
pedes ; we must not put a glass over the flower, and
then expect it to be refreshed by dew of its own evap-
oration. No ; let us place the plant under the open
sky of heaven, and then it will not lack refreshment."
  Mander was struck by the enthusiastic language of
the pastor ; a tear trembled in his eye ; and his emo-
tion was still further increased by the interest of the
pastor's wife who pressed her husband's hand with a
look of affectionate approval. He could not immedi-
ately answer, and the lady filled the pause by saying,
  "It can never be so easy for man, as it is for our sex,
to forget himself and his knowledge, and force the ac-
tivity of his intellect into subjection to the receptivity
of his heart."
  "Believe me," said Mander, "I have never been en-
tirely a stranger to hours in which every doubt and
every question was silenced by religious feeling ; and I
have never ceased to cherish them as the consecrated
moments of my life, and to long for their return. But
precisely because they have only been holiday moments
in life's long work-day — only aurora beams of the night,
not the morning red of a bright future — it is this which
saddens me, even makes me distrust them. How then
can those dim, vague feelings, which we can neither
direct nor arrange, which rather, like some extraneous
influence, carry us out of ourselves — how can they pos-
sibly give us a conception of God which will satisfy our
calm contemplation ?"
  Hold's reply was,

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156
THE HALLIG.

  "Why do you give the name of feeling to that which
has so moved you at such periods ? I would rather call
it a sermon of Pentecost, which the Lord of heaven and
earth, in his mercy, sends to your weak faith. The
word feeling implies, beforehand, the idea of obscurity,
uncertainty, and instability ; we think of it as some-
thing belonging to ourselves, even something sensuous.
But you must remember what I have already said with
regard to the language in which God has chosen to re-
veal himself. Regard this religious excitement, this de-
vout solemnity within, as the voice of God, as you have
yourself compared its effect to that of some external in-
fluence, and you will give it more confidence. When
the breast swells as if heaved by a fresh breath of life,
when the frame trembles as if that too felt the presence
of Divinity ; when heartfelt tears gush from the eyes ;
when the soul is inundated by emotions in which she
feels herself so happy ; when the spirit breathes freely
and purely as if relieved from every bond and fetter —
why will we in such moments refuse to acknowledge —
deny that the Lord speaks ? How then shall the eter-
nal spirit manifest itself to the finite soul except by
taking it up into itself ? By this means it triumphs
over its clay covering, and generates emotions otherwise
foreign to the finite. The ambiguous expression, relig-
ious feeling, deprives this nearness and energy of the
Holy Spirit of all its worth for us, and of its influence
in illuminating, sanctifying, and blessing."
  "Maynot this devotional excitement and elevation be
a mere delusion, the consequence of some preconceived
idea of God, some false notion perhaps which we have
brought with us from our childhood ?"

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PHILOSOPHY FALSELY SO CALLED.

  "Is it the work of man," answered Hold, "our own
work, which at such moments lifts us far above all
our former sensations and emotions ? We can beget
only what is like ourselves ; we can only elevate our
selves in degree ; we can only advance on the same
road; we can not overleap the gulf — we can not cre-
ate something new. But I ask you, I ask every one
who has experienced similar periods of devotion, whether
he was not an entirely different being from what he
had been before ? Whether the old man did not
fall off like a garment, and a new one spring up in
him so that he became another creature full of light
and life, until the former darkness again came over
him, and he recognized himself in the old garb ? But
who, save the Almighty Creator, could call forth such
a new creature ?"
  "Admitting all this," said Mander, "here is no ques-
tion answered. Even with very imperfect religious con-
ceptions, such periods of devotional elevation are not
wanting. They may be perhaps a revelation of the
Godhead, but a revelation by which no knowledge of God
is gained."
  "There is at least joy, peace, and blessedness gained
for the moment, and the certainty that God has an ac-
cess to the human heart which is not, like our way to
him, filled up with stones of stumbling. The confi-
dence is gained that he will not leave his child in error
and blindness, in the dust, but that he will give him
of his fullness what is needful for him to know, that
he may not lack the power of receiving the gift of his
Holy Spirit by which he may be called to carry the fruit
of these consecrated hours into his ordinary life. Yes,

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158
THE HALLIG.

what we know of him, must be his own free gift, not
the doubtful hesitating deceptive result of our research."
  "But is not reason, too, the gift of God ?" said Man-
der. "And, if we use it as a means of making our-
selves acquainted with him, we too draw all our knowl-
edge of Divine things, if less directly, from the same
source as the believers in revelation."
  "Our eyes have to thank the light of day for the
power of vision," said Hold ; "but if they obstinately
gaze into the sun, then they must shrink back blinded.
It seems to have been especially reserved for our time
to deny the fact of a revelation from God to man above
the limits of human reason. We find the declaration
'Thus saith the Lord I' in every religion- upon earth.
Will you object to me that this comes from the fact
that the uncultivated reason is astonished at her own
triumphs, and dares not attribute the honor to herself,
or that the solitary sages felt obliged to lay claim to
Divine authority, in order more effectually to lead the
blind ? Then I may answer with equal probability,
that it comes from this : man knew that he had received
a divine revelation. But why are we talking of these
things ? Is it not because you have traveled through
the heights, and the depths, the length and breadth of
the realms of reason, and now come and inquire : What
is truth?"
  "But do not many walk the same way in peace,
firmly adhering to the religion of reason ?"
  "Do you call these vague ideas of God, freedom of
the will and immortality, the religion of reason ? You
must remember that it is not yet proved that these
ideas are the gifts of reason, and not rather a theft from

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PHILOSOPHY FALSELY SO CALLED.

revelation itself. And whence then comes the peace
of these many ? From this, because they seek no nour-
ishment beyond this gathered crumb ; or because they anx-
iously hold in check their reason, that is striving to escape
from that twilight, as if it were a spirited horse, which,
in rushing forward, might dash his rider over a preci-
pice. How often do we hear the remark — This is a sub-
ject not to be examined further except at the expense
of reason, as there are examples enough in the mad
houses to prove ? Just heaven ! am I not to think
upon the link which binds me to communion with the
Eternal ? upon the light by which I am to walk while
on earth in the way of the children of God ? upon the
bridge which is to conduct me over time's destruction
and death's decay, to a blessed eternity ? Am I to
shrink from reflecting upon these things ? Shall I fear
to look boldly into them ? Shall I timidly draw back
at the prospect of more light ? Where the worship of
God in spirit and in truth is concerned, where my own
being, my confidence in life and death, my salvation in
time and eternity, is at stake — am I there to take as a
warning the fate of the fly whose wings are scorched
by the flame that attracts it ?"
  "But is not this often, in fact, the fate of those who
inquire too deeply ?" asked Mander. "If they have
not discovered it themselves in their passion for some
brilliant systems, still it shows itself in their own change
of doctrine, in the contradictions which are apparent in
them, in the trifling influence of their wisdom which
lives feebly on in a few disciples, and even in them as-
sumes quite a different form from that in which she
sprang, Minerva-like, from the head of her master."

[160]

160
THE HALLIG.

"What need have we of further witnesses ?" said
Hold ; "have we not come to the necessity of a divine
revelation ?"
  This conversation might have lasted much longer if
Oswald had not come in to attend his father home, as
it was already late. The pastor's wife declared that she
was not sorry to have this conversation postponed, as
she could not resist the inclination to listen, and yet
was conscious of a chilling effect upon her heart.
  Oswald said, smiling :
  "My father is certainly likely to be converted by
you, Mr. Hold. But before I could bow my knee to
Balaam's ass, my hair must be as gray as the donkey's."
  His father gave him a look of disapprobation, and
would probably have severely reprimanded his unseemly
jest if the pastor had not answered hastily,
  "You must pardon a little rudeness in your son.
He is only returning, in his way, what he received from
me at our last interview, in mine. But for your sake,"
continued he, turning toward Oswald, who, though smil-
ing, reddened slightly at the allusion, "for your sake,
I would wish that your hair should soon be as gray as
you think necessary before you can bow the knee, if
not to Balaam's ass, at least to Him whom a similar
animal bore, when he entered into Jerusalem to bring
no constrained, but a free-will blessing, not to one, but
to all."
  "Pardon me, my dear sir," said Oswald, "if I ex-
pressed myself rudely. But it has always been incom-
prehensible to me how reasonable men can help rinding
insuperable difficulties in such narratives as the one to
which I alluded in the so-called word of God."

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PHILOSOPHY FALSELY SO CALLED.

  Hold replied, "Do you regard the saying, 'Thou shalt
love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy
soul, and with all thy mind ;' and this other, 'What-
soever things are true, whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure,
whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of
good report ; if there be any virtue, if there be any
praise, think on these things ;' do you regard these as
good, pure doctrines ?"
  "Yes, certainly."
  "Then do as they command. What would you say
of a man who should pass by a table richly loaded with
choice food, because he observed a dish which he did
not relish ?"
  "I would take good care not to call him a fool," said
Oswald, "for fear you might send me at once to the
mad-house, by the extra-post of my own words. But
you must admit that your ingenious question is an eva-
sion, not an answer."
  "Let me stick to my comparison," continued the
pastor. "The guest who seats himself at the table
prepared for him, and who satisfies his hunger and thirst
with food and drink which he can not help praising,
might be allowed to ask about a dish which seemed to
him tasteless. But he who despised all on account of
that one dish has no right to inquire."
  "You have me there," said Oswald, and took leave
with his father.

[162]


CHAPTER XIII.


THE DISAPPOINTMENT.

     Wouldst thou receive! then give, as price !
          Within thyself dost thou retire ?
          Behold thy looked-for joys expire !
      Life only pays for sacrifice.

      Thou wave-rocked child, of ocean born !
          Poor islet on a stormy seal
      Thy sod from earth's broad kingdom torn !
          Thou art my home ! my joy's in thee !

      No waving forest hems thee round ;
          No rocky girdle holds thee fas ;
      Only the watery waste profound,
          With heaven's broad curtain o'er thee cast.

      Thy meager landscape lieth bare
          Beneath the source of light intense ;
      And 'gainst the elemental war,
          Thou hast no weapon, no defense.

      Peace in thy humble huts doth live
          Thy riches are thy poverty ;
      And simple manners aye survive
          From sire to son, unchanged, in thee.

      Virtue and piety remain
          Guests at the fireside of the poor ;
      None envies here another's gain —
          No heart, impatient, asks for more.

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THE DISAPPOINTMENT.

      Thou wave-rocked child, of ocean born !
            Poor islet on a stormy sea !
        Though man may pass thee by in scorn,
            An angel loves to dwell with thee.

 
  Godber found these verses on a slip of paper that
was used as a mark im one of the books which Hold had
lent Mander. This simple song must have moved him
powerfully, as the sentiment seemed to be taken from
his own heart. He could scarcely read it without tears,
and would gladly have expressed his thanks to the pas-
tor who alone could have composed it, had not his pres-
ence always inspired him with a sort of timidity. The
concluding line,

      "An angel loves to dwell with thee,"
 
he referred to Idalia, and she was pleased with this, as
his love really made the place pleasant to her, and she
knew that her stay on the hallig could not now last
much longer. She could also enter into his views of
their future life together on his native island, so far as
to conceal from him for a long time the fact that she
saw only dreams in these pictures of a contented, world-
renouncing happiness. Had she for a moment sup-
posed that Godber would hesitate, in the least, as to
the choice between the loss of her or the leaving of his
home she would have drawn back from him with pride,
even with contempt, although perhaps with a wound
in her heart. If she felt herself happier, here on this
naked waste, than she had ever done in the gay world,
she referred this happiness in no way to the miserable
sod, but to her love for the young man whom she be-
lieved indifferent to every thing on earth but herself.

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164
THE HALLIG.

If she was pleased with her present mode of life, it was
only the momentary charm of novelty, of something
which was certainly different from all the former asso-
ciations, and the attraction of domestic duties. For
the amusement of a few weeks such an existence was
well enough — might even serve as a substitute for a
new watering-place ; but to remain forever on this
island whose inhabitants must renounce all the enjoy-
ments of life, where life itself was always in danger,
that was a thought so far from her that she could not
suppose it to be even in the mind of another to whom
a choice of something better was possible, especially, if
to this were to be added all that love, wealth, and in-
tercourse with the world can offer.
  But if we were to suppose Godber capable of giving
up his sea-washed home for any such prospect, we
should have sketched in him no true son of the hallig.
  The author has seen the hallig, which is the scene of
our story, when half the houses were heaped up in ruins
on the dikes of the mainland, and of the other half
only the bare frame-work and roofs remained to show
that they had once been inhabited — when only a single
cabin stood on its washed and crumbling wharf, suffi-
ciently firm to serve as a refuge for those of the inhab-
itants who had escaped death — when the adjoining
island presented nothing but a naked flat from which
mounds, houses, flocks, and men, had been swept off in
a single night, without leaving a trace of their former
existence. He has seen those to whom life seemed
scarcely a desirable gift, in the midst of this awful des-
olation, in which they had lost every thing, while the
recollection of the terrors of that fearful night was still

[165]

165

THE DISAPPOINTMENT.

fresh, with all the impression that cold, hunger, and
wet clothing, could make upon the mind through the
body ; he has talked with them under these circum-
stances ; he has represented to them that the next night
might complete the destruction by overwhelming all
who were left, and yet he was able to persuade only
two persons — and these so very old and infirm that they
could not raise a roof beneath which to shelter them-
selves — to seek a more safe asylum. All the rest re-
mained, and built again, as the truly Christian charity
of the high and low, the rich and poor, on the mainland,
gave them means to do — on the same soil so dear to
them. They might have lived wherever they wished, so
abundant was the relief afforded them ; but they were
quite sure they should die of home-sickness, even in the
most favored situation. They expressed very decidedly,
the wish that their pastor would always remain with
them ; and in their love for their home, they did not
suppose they were asking any sacrifice which would re-
quire a struggle; for to them, after the late terrible
experience, a hallig was sufficient to satisfy every de-
sire.
  We have been obliged to speak of this here, that the
reader may comprehend how it could be so far from
Godber's thoughts to leave the island again, and how
he could flatter himself that Idalia would willingly share
such a home with him. This illusion could not last
long ; and Oswald was the first to open the eyes of the
dreamer.
  "If one could only bring a horse over here !" said he
one day at table. "They get on so slowly with the un-
lading. If we are to be as long re-loading as we have

[166]

166
THE HALLIG.

been in getting the cargo out of the wreck, winter will
come and swaddle us in ice and snow, with this 'wave-
rocked child of ocean born,' till spring. Besides, it would
give my future brother-in-law a chance to practice the
art of riding." "Skill in riding is quite unnecessary
here," replied Godber ; "and here I would live, and here
die, by the side of Idalia."
  Oswald looked with astonishment now at him, now at
Idalia, who could not find in Godber's tone the jest
which was certainly intended by his words.
  "Idalia here !" exclaimed Oswald, when he found
words to express his wonder. "Here, on this solitary
turnip, which is rolling about in Neptune's big kettle !
this amphibium which one knows not whether to call a
land animal or a turbot ! Here, in this room painted
heavenly blue and purple red! Here, with the eternal
tea-kettle and its near relations, sheep's-milk cheese and
black bread ! Here, Idalia princess of the ball-room !
queen of the kingdom of hearts! the hope and despair
of a hundred suitors ! the undisputed leader in the cir-
cles of fashion ! that's a precious idea of yours, Godber,
that I shall not have done laughing at for a week."
  Godber turned from him, coloring with vexation ;
and taking Idalia's hand with confidence, repeated to
her, with the tenderest expression, the words from her
own song:

     "Is there any region
        Where thy potent will
      Could not place thy creature —
        There held captive still ?"


It was doubtful whether he intended by this to express
his willingness to follow her wherever she desired, or

[167]

167

THE DISAPPOINTMENT.

whether he intended to infer her sentiments from her
own words. He thought he was reading in her very soul,
as he was making use of her own language which had so
often delighted him, as a confirmation of his highest
hopes. But she — whether entirely without suspicion
that it was contrary to his meaning we will not decide —
chose to consider the words as the language of his own
heart, and without precisely saying as much, she answered,
  "Our mutual affection will make any place on earth
a pleasant home to us — to me as well as to you." The
decided emphasis placed on the words "as well as to
you," struck his heart as if with a painful blow ; a deep
red mounted to his cheek, and with a question on his
lips, he fixed a long and earnest look on Idalia. But
the words remained unspoken, as if in fearful anticipa-
tion of the wounding reply they might receive. She
bore this inquiring gaze with a smile, and a slight
touch of his lips with her finger, completely checked
the question. But Oswald was not disposed to let this
conversation drop so suddenly.
  "That sounds like a pastoral," said he gayly, "and
certainly I should have nothing to say against it — al-
though I am no Myrtillus myself, and never sued to any
Daphne — if it were any other place than a hallig, which
would scarcely he habitable for a pair of loving seals."
  Mander, who, till now, had listened to the conversa-
tion as mere pleasantry, reminded his son that they had
no occasion to speak contemptuously of this island to
which, by the help of God, through Godber's courage
and skill, they owed their lives, and where peace, vainly
sought by thousands in great cities, seemed to dwell with
all its inhabitants from the cradle to the grave.

[168]

168
THE HALLIG.

Godber caught joyfully at this praise of his birth-
place. "Is it not so ?" cried he ; "is not our life de-
lightful ? These numerous privations, this isolation
from the world, this want of outward attraction, throw
man back again upon himself, and teach him to find
within his own breast, in his little domestic circle the
happiness which is the more enduring because it is in-
dependent of external things, and has its root, as well
as its nourishment, in man himself. Even the dangers
which are connected with a residence here serve to keep
alive in us the childlike, humble, trusting spirit from
which proceed faith, confidence, and a cheerful depend-
ence on our Father in heaven. Here, man is once more
man, having stripped off the gay trappings which are,
after all, rather a care than a pleasure to him. Here,
he is free from the chains which conventionality has
forged for him by a thousand habits and necessities
which his heart does not know, and does not need, in
order to be happy ; which even he himself has only too
often felt to be fetters, without having the courage to
shake them off before the world. Here he is himself,
not what custom makes him, not what others require
him to be. Here, he may rejoice and weep, work and
rest, love and shun, where, how, and whom he will. He
has no master but himself, and there is no man to call
him to account. Not for all the treasures of the earth,
would I again willingly come under the yoke of this
perverted world, which cries 'Peace, peace, and there
is no peace,' where there is nothing but disunion and
distrust, struggling and straining for a goal which lies
far behind, which runs blindfold after its own pleasure,
and finds only disgust, fatigue, and satiety without en-

[169]

169

THE DISAPPOINTMENT.

joyment ; which reaches the poisoned chalice with the
sweetest smile, and, at the same time, unconsciously
mingles the venom in her own cup."
  "And would you not even follow me into this per-
verted world ?" said Idalia, with an affectionate glance,
while Mander and Oswald laughed at this dreadful pic-
ture of their world.
  "You !" cried Godber, as if struck by a sudden flash
— but calming himself, he added immediately, "it is
because your pure brightness has not been dimmed by
this former intercourse ; because though nursed in its
midst you have preserved your chaste feeling for true
happiness, of which the world knows nothing ; it is for
this that my soul is so chained to you, that you are to
me a priceless pearl."
  Idalia could not, at once, find an answer to these
words, and her expression, in which surprise and em-
barrassment were visible, threw an icy chill over God-
ber's enthusiasm. But Oswald said with tragi-comic
pathos :
  "Farewell, Idalia : I bow myself in profound admir-
ation before the future heroine of the green bodice and
striped petticoat ; but, for your fame's sake, I must
leave you. I will go, a winged messenger, into the
mourning circles of your native town, to bear the news
of your blessed martyrdom on this sea-embosomed altar
of love. Tour name shall shine among those constel-
lations, grown somewhat pale of late, which are sacred
to all-conquering love. Every week I will send you
over, post-free, a hundred harmonious sonnets and fifty
ambitious odes from the lips of poor broken-hearted
poets, in honor of your world-despising heart. You

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THE HALLIG.

shall be a burning coal to every girl who has not the
courage to follow your example.

   "' A little hut on a little sod,
    A husband and a little dog,
    Some sorry sheep with wool like hair,
    Black bread and tea for daily fare;
    Whose fancy adds to the above,
    Knows nothing of Idalia's love I'"


  Idalia remarked, that if her worthy brother should
hereafter condescend to make verses upon her himself,
she hoped they would be more refined and polished,
both as to manner and matter. But at the same time
she laughed at Oswald's jests, and the pain which God-
ber felt at this repressed his rising anger, and he choked
back the bitter answer which rose to his lips. Mander
saw that he was pale and trembling, and said to him
kindly,
  "Our friend here, does not take pleasantry so readily
as he uses it ;" and then added, gravely, "for myself I
can never speak contemptuously of a place which was
once so welcome to us. It would be hard for Godber to
leave his home, for the love of it seems to become sec-
ond nature to all who were born here. But he is, at
the same time, too reasonable not to suppose Idalia to
have her local attachments as well, and, therefore, he
will not expect from her, a sacrifice which he finds him-
self incapable of making ; especially when he must
confess that to give the hallig the preference to Ham-
burg, would be possible only for a native of the island."
  Godber was deeply agitated by these remarks. It
had never entered his mind that, happy as he now felt
himself on his hallig, perhaps Idalia could only find

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THE DISAPPOINTMENT.

contentment in her native city ; that he had no more
right to insist on the necessity of being an islander,
than she of being a town lady. If he felt that, even
at her side, he should pine with home-sickness in the
great world, how could he complain of her, if she were
to suffer from the same with him, on the hallig. These
reflections kept him silent. A deep melancholy lay
like a weight upon his heart. He became lost in
thoughts which now and then directed themselves to-
ward Maria, and awakened a feeling not unlike re-
morse.
  Oswald broke the embarrassing pause by raising his
glass to drink to their happy meeting in Hamburg.
Godber took up mechanically his glass, touched it to
Oswald's, but set it down without drinking.
  From this day there was a certain distance between
the lovers. Idalia was more serious, thoughtful, and
reserved, and, although she did not doubt that Godber
would give up his whim, still it was disagreeable to her
that he had ever conceived it, above all, that he should
not dismiss it at once, as soon as he perceived her dis-
inclination to this life. He, on the other hand, was
much grieved, but at the same time so submissive, so
attentive, so careful to show her the most entire devo-
tion, as if he still cherished a secret hope of inducing
her to make the sacrifice upon which the happiness of
his life depended. Both avoided making the slightest
allusion to the difference between them as to their
hopes of the future.
  The orphan Maria had, in the mean time, been re-
ceived into the pastor's family, and, in this way, was
brought nearer to Godber's house. They could not now

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THE HALLIG.

fail to see each other more frequently, even if only at a
distance. It sometimes happened, too, that they neces-
sarily came near and were even obliged to pass each
other, however much they might seek to avoid such oc-
casions. One day they met accidentally near the little
foot-bridge, having walked on, lost in thought, without
either observing the other till it was too late to avoid
speaking. They stood before each other ; the eyes of
both fell to the ground. Maria laid her hand on her
oppressed heart. Godber's lips trembled, unable to
utter a syllable. At last he took her hand and said,
faintly,
  "Maria, it was to be so !"
  She looked up, and a tear trembled in her eye.
  "The Lord has so willed it !" sighed she. "May He
make you happy!"
  "And you, Maria I" he replied.
  She turned he"r face toward heaven, and a light
seemed to break through her tears.
  "His strength is powerful in the weak."
  "Maria," cried Godber, grasping her hand more firm-
ly, "can you forgive me?"
  "When I took the ring from your finger," replied
she, "then I forgave you."
  Godber dropped her hand, and looked for the ring.
For the first time, he saw that it was missing. He
gazed at the finger on which he had worn it, and, un-
able to comprehend how this pledge had been taken
from him, it seemed to him as if his faithlessness was
now first complete — as if now, all return was impossi-
ble. He would have given much at this moment to
have seen the ring still there; he would have given it

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173

THE DISAPPOINTMENT.

up for no price. The thought that he had it no longer,
seemed to open a gulf before him, which separated him
forever from Maria. Now she was first lost to him,
irrecoverably lost, as if they had not been already long
parted ! When he looked up again, Maria was gone.
  Idalia had seen this meeting from a distance, and
without making the least allusion to it, she grew colder
and more reserved toward Godber. But his affections
clung to her more and more closely. She was the an-
chor that must hold him fast in the strife of his con-
tending feelings, in the struggle of his conflicting
thoughts. He felt that if she gave him up, the strength
of his life would be broken, that then his conscience
would tell him why it was so, and that he should, ever
after, be tossed on a sea of self-reproach.

[174]


CHAPTER XIV.


THE SEARCH FOR TRUTH.

      Light and life are of God's giving ;
          Peace, the offering of his love ;
      And the heavenly host appearing,
      Tread no ladder of thy rearing ;
          They have lowered it from above.

 
  Mander might perhaps have observed the lovers
more attentively, and have seen that his duty as a
father required him to dissolve a connection which,
from the entire want of unison in their hopes and
wishes for the future, could not fail to end in misery,
had he not been at this time especially occupied with
himself. He no longer hoped to raise the ladder to
heaven, neither was his mind yet prepared to admit
that God, in his mercy and love, had long since low-
ered it down to us.
  "How can you suppose," said he, in one of his con-
versations with the pastor on the subject of revelation,
"that God, who rules more worlds than the age of our
earth counts seconds, the ocean drops, or the desert
sand-grains — that this God should do so great things
for this puny race of men, whose mightiest intellects —
not to speak of its poor potentates — are like motes that
play in the sunbeams ?"

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THE SEARCH FOR TRUTH.

  "And whose great and even little intellects," added
Hold, "fancy they can limit and define this Being
whom they were created to worship, and assign to him
his place in their systems of the universe."
  "Let us leave them," interrupted Mander. "I per-
ceive that here, on this little flat, with the heaven so
wide above it, the sea so broad around it, and almost
without an object to remind one of the feeble works of
man, that here the heart grows larger, and that thought
will no longer permit itself to be bridled and held in
check by abstract ideas and logical conclusions, but
soars freely outward, toward eternity. As I was sit-
ting, last evening, on the broken font in the old church-
yard, and saw only the sea around, and the starry
heavens above, it seemed to me as if I, too, were float-
ing in the ocean of the universe, myself a little world,
moved by the breath of God, sustained by his power,
illuminated by his Spirit, peaceful and happy as the
other stars, worshiping, like them, the Creator, the Up-
holder, and the Governor of all ; and I still feel as if,
having been once so rich, I could never again be so poor
in faith and in the joy of believing- as before."
  "May, then," said Hold, as if in benediction, "may
then, the morning-star which has arisen in your heart
shine there forever. Must he not be a God of love,
who gives such hours to men? Shall we deny that in
such sacred moments, the Lord himself speaks ? deny
it, because our tongues have no power to repeat His
words ? But you inquired why God should do such
great things for insignificant man as to reveal himself
to him, in his majesty, to bring him light in his dark-
ness, peace in his warfare, in such a way as the Gospel

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176
THE HALLIG.

declares him to have done through Jesus Christ. I
go still further. I call man not only insignificant,
weak, helpless, ephemeral, but self-blinded, and stained
with sin. There is none, no not one, who is found just
before God. Our hearts are stained with unholy de-
sires, and in our lives we are indifferent to the truth,
and disobedient to God's commands. Every thought
of God, the holy and just Judge of all, should be a
confession, a prayer for mercy, from which all confi-
dence in our own merits and our own righteousness
must be banished. Not only then for a puny creature,
standing on a little point of God's vast universe, but
also for a self-ruined, and daily self-raining race, hath
God done so great things — for such is his love ! And
if on this earth there had been but a single soul, in-
stead of all these millions, capable of receiving his call
and his blessing, for this single soul would he have
moved heaven and earth in their axes to draw it back
to its Father's heart, for such is his love ! And, even
if this soul were to have fallen seventy times seven
times back into its darkness and rain, he would seventy
times seven times have moved heaven and earth to
bring it again to the kingdom of righteousness, joy and
peace, for such is his love ! We speak of his omnipo-
tence and his omniscience which fill immensity with
their witness ; we see the smallest worm of the dust as
delicately and artistically framed, and as little forgot-
ten of God, as the seraph whose hallelujah resounds
through heaven ; and shall not the love of God be as
perfect as all his other attributes ? Shall that know
limitation, confinement, restraint, when his power and
his wisdom know none ? It can and ought never to be

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177

THE SEARCH FOR TRUTH.

asked whether God could be so merciful as the Gospel
asserts in the doctrine of a Redeemer ? For that is a
question which denies him perfection — perfection in
the most glorious attribute in heaven or earth — love.
The only question is, was it needful for man fur the
healing of his soul, for his peace in life and death, that
God should reveal himself as the way, the truth and
the life, as Saviour, Mediator, Redeemer, and Prince of
Peace ? Man must answer this question in the affirm-
ative, when he has faithfully examined his conscience,
himself and his life ; when he has learned to disdain and
despise all half-way courses, all lukewarmness in thought
and deed, then he may with a bold hand grasp at the
cloud, then he can joyfully admit 'that God so loved
the world.' Then will he no more ask how can such
things be ? For as the being of God is far above hu-
man knowledge and understanding why should not the
love of God be above his knowledge and understanding
as well ?"
  "You have a faith strong enough to remove mount-
ains," said Mander, with emotion.
  "Would that it were so," replied Hold ; "then we
would soon be of the same faith."
  "I would willingly inquire what I shall do to inherit
eternal life," said Mander, speaking rather to himself
than to the pastor.
  "Ask the Scripture which testifies of Christ. First
of all, consider carefully the law. Try your life and
conduct, with unsparing severity, by the commands of
God, and by the example of our Lord. Excuse not
yourself of any sin on the plea of weakness ; for any
impurity on the ground of natural impulse ; attribute

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178
THE HALLIG.

no fall to insensible temptation ; soothe not your con-
science by a comparison of yourself with others. But
do not imagine that the love of God is, like man's
sickly affection, indulgent, nattering, forgetful ; it is a
love which goes hand in hand with the sternest justice,
and is illuminated by the lightning of his judgments,
which must prostrate in the dust, and sweep from us,
our virtue and our honor like chaff, that we may learn
to fear before him who will demand an account for
every idle word which has proceeded from our mouths ;
and our souls, little as we may now think it either
needful or possible, must tremble in repentance and
grief, before the light and the judgments of the Divine
law. Only through sorrow can we come to joy ! Only
through judgment, to mercy ! Only through conflict
to peace! Only through death to life ! Only the lowly
shall be lifted up, and the humble accepted ! As long
as we esteem ourselves something before God, we are
nothing, and can become and inherit nothing. But
such a saving penitence is not to be preached into us.
It must come from above, as the gift of love, the grace
of God. My words can only advise, can only assault
the opposing bulwark, only knock at the doors of your
heart, that you may open the more readily, when the
Lord himself shall come to judgment. Go, in some
solitary hour, and try this path of thorns."
  "And is it, then, through this thorny path that you,
too, have attained to the joy of believing ?" asked Man-
der, gently.
  "I tread this path daily," said Hold, "and yet am
happy, and blessed in the Lord."
  "That is wonderful."

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179

THE SEARCH FOR TRUTH.

  "Not so wonderful as the union of divine pardoning
love and unbending justice. Not so wonderful as Christ's
shrinking before the cross, and yet voluntarily submit-
ting to it. But I can give you no explanation of it, till
you have reached a certain point — which I must require
of you, which God requires of you, since he has him-
self brought you so near the same — if indeed you should
then ask for an explanation."
  It was, however, by no means easy to bring Mander
into that path of thorns, where his self-satisfaction was
sure to be wounded. Many evenings were passed in ani-
mated conversation, in which the pastor especially com-
batted Mander's inclination to build up for himself a
sort of philosophical Christianity.
  "But are not all the materials for that purpose, fur-
nished by the Scriptures, as in all the other evidences
of Deity ?" said Mander, by way of defence.
  "Materials more than enough," replied Hold ; "but
the mortar is wanting. The heart's blood, which flows
from repentance, and the tears which gush forth through
longing for peace, such as the world, and the world's
wisdom can never know. You are likely to fail, because
you commence by trying to fit the materials together,
before the idea of the whole edifice, in its length and
breadth, exists clearly in your mind."
  "But, perhaps the way to faith is not the same for
all," thought Mander.
  "Without humility none can enter there ; and with-
out a deep, penetrating, self-abasing sense of sinfulness
before God ; without a clear and honest confession of the
same, wrung forth by sorrow and repentance, there is
no return for those who, like you, have wandered in the

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180
THE HALLIG.

false paths of spiritual self-idolatry. That you would,
even now, be an architect before you are yourself truly
built up, or at least, are living only in the first spring
of your desire for a saving edification, proves to me suf-
ficiently that you are still under the bondage of your
own intellect, and are not yet brought into the freedom
of the children of God, whose faith is no Doric or
Corinthian structure, but a bold column, shooting up-
ward, whose base has its foundation in the depths of
the heart, and whose capital is crowned by the rainbow
of promise."
  "A firmer foundation, certainly, could be no injury
to faith," interposed Mander; "would even make it ac-
ceptable to reason, so that she might unite with the
heart which has need of her."
  "Now 'faith is the substance of things hoped for, the
evidence of things not seen,' says the Apostle," was
Hold's answer. "In this expression, 'things not seen,'
is included all which reason does not embrace in her ab-
stract ideas and conclusions ; for what she so chains to-
gether, link upon link, that she sees, and that ceases to
be an object of faith ; it then becomes a thing known,
and remains a patch-work, as is all our knowledge. But
faith is a complete, perfect whole ; a day without a
cloud, a jewel over which we rejoice without fear of
thieves or robbers. It is no spoil, but a gift. We do
not make it ; but it makes us. It is not ours ; but we
belong to it. We do not obtain it by drawing it down
to us, but are lifted up by it into its own sphere. There-
fore you build in vain at your edifice ; it remains but a
bare frame-work, through whose open timbers every

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181

THE SEARCH FOR TRUTH.

wind blows, and in which the Spirit of God will never
take up its abode."
  "But do not learned theologians aim to do precisely
what I would wish to do ?"
  "Unfortunately they often aim at nothing else. For
that reason it not unfrequently happens that their hear-
ers," said Hold, "come to the same conclusions about
them as I once did" — and he took from the shelf a
note-book which had belonged to his student-life, and
on a leaf of which was the following epilogue:

TO POSITIVE DIVINITY.

      So then, O knowledge, 't was a lying boast
          That to the blinded soul thou couldst give light !
          And now the last, last ray is vanished quite,
        And the mocked heart its hope of peace hath lost.

        Behold me borne far out into a sea
          Where no mysterious needle guides my bark,
          Where never lead an anchorage doth mark,
        And o'er whose billowy waste the winds blow free.

        One pilot cries "To left I" and one "To right !
        See there, the home lights beaming full in-sight !"
          "No ! there's a sunken reef ; here, follow me !"
        Lo, with a smile the third exclaims, "Take either ;"
        A fourth, with angry tone, shouts "No, take neither !"
          Meanwhile my foundering bark is sinking in the sea.


"It may be bad enough," said Mander, "to be a
leader when one is still standing in uncertainty on the
cross-way. But it is wiser first to place the ladder
firmly, and try it step by step, than to wait till the
upper round is reached, before examining its position,
and testing the strength of its steps."

[182]

182
THE HALLIG.

"Of such a trial," said Hold, "faith has no need. It
requires no ladder. It is an eagle whose wings bear him
far above the clouds. It does not become ; it already
is. It does not grow by degrees, but stands forth at
once in all its glory. A weak, lukewarm faith is a non-
entity. It may indeed yield at times in the hour of
trial, or to the temptations of a corrupt heart, and of
worldly lusts ; but it knows no composition, no analy-
sis, no division. It is all, or nothing ; entire, or non-
existent. There may be compromise in knowledge, will,
and action, not in faith. It must either bless or con-
demn ; it can not comfort a little, elevate a little, ter-
rify a little, cause a little fear, a little trembling. It
does not contend ; it conquers. It takes possession of
the heart in its strength, and fills it with its fullness,
hurls it into the abyss, then brings it triumphantly out
of the deep and raises it to heavenly heights. From
these heights we may discover the path of faith, but
not from below ; with the plummet, not with the
glass."
  Mander was often disposed to charge the pastor with
one-sided and narrow views. On the other hand, in his
painful struggle after certainty, he was often as humble
and teachable as the youngest disciple. Then he com-
plained of obscurity in Hold's language, to which the
latter replied :
  "The word is seed, neither more nor less. But in
the seed, beneath the husk, lies the germ, and waits for
sun and dew from heaven to burst its shell and become
flower and fruit."
  Sometimes he complained of the obscurity of divine
revelation. Hold reminded him —

[183]

183

THE SEARCH FOR TRUTH.

"That the sun which is to illuminate the various ways
of divine revelation, is the manifestation of the saving
grace of God in Christ. If this has arisen on the heart
in its full splendor, its beams will be shed over all the
darkness, and every thing will become light. Light
only proceeds from light. Our modest understanding
may well teach us not to expect to learn the truth from
that source. Our sinfulness, indeed, may waken in us a
longing for the grace of God, but what truth is, we first
learn from the truth, and redemption we first learn to
understand from the Redeemer himself. But you strive
for both as if you had already examined their nature
and experienced their power. But that this is not the
case is proved by your difficulty with certain obscure
points, for shadows lead us away from the fight, and are
no guides to it, as you must regard them, since you re-
main so long with them."

[184]


CHAPTER XV.


POETRY AND PROSE.

    Of a blissful home of quiet,
      Far above this wrong and riot,
          The stars shed witnessing light ;
      But the poet's fire revealeth
      The bright promise it unsealeth,
          And aids in the mortal fight.

 
  A professional duty obliged Hold to make an ex-
cursion to the nearest island which was almost a Ger-
man mile distant. Oswald went with him, partly to
take some measures for the more rapid transportation
of the rescued cargo to Husum, and partly, to give a
little variety to the life of the hallig, which had become
tedious to him. One fine moonlight evening, a favor-
able wind bore the boat, with a swan-like motion, toward
her destination, and Oswald, who had seen this same
sea in the most fearful agitation, and whose life had
been in peril there, expressed, again and again, his won-
der at the contrast.
  "To-day so still, floating the vessel onward with
wavelets scarce perceptible, and when last seen by me
it was itself one huge wave, on which the ship swung
up and down like a feather which the child blows into

[185]

185

POETRY AND PROSE.

the air. To-day the light breeze barely fills the sails,
and seems afraid to do more than just what we desire
— then, a mad wind raging and howling as if about to
roll the ship together like a ball and toss it toward the
sky. We have given so many names to the wind to
designate its fickle nature, but the sea is still called
sea, whether it serve us like a timid slave, or sports
with our lives bike a furious tyrant."
  "Man is called man," remarked Hold, "whether he
plays with flowers in childish joy, or piles corpse on
corpse in blind passion, and the transition from one to
the other in the same man is not less surprising than
the change in the sea, and it is fortunate that the
stormy waves in our own breasts have for the most part
little power to do mischief."
  "It is for this reason," said Oswald, "that I think
it best to take the smooth side of life, and keep the
blood as cool as possible. Tempests, either of love or
hate, are no affair of mine. In this way I have man-
aged, so far, to laugh and joke when others grieve them-
selves to death, or are beside themselves with distress or
anger.
    "So life let us cherish !
          Enjoy what we have ;
      Before our frames perish,
          Forgot in the grave."


  "If you were to pine long years in a dungeon, or
were, for years, to be stretched on a bed of pain, do
you think you would then decorate the damp walls with
these lines, or lull your suffering with such a melody ?"
inquired Hold.
  "I am not prepared to say that," replied Oswald,

[186]

186
THE HALLIG.

"and so I rejoice that I am not exposed to the
trial."
  "But why do you not rather aim to secure something
which will stand even such trials ? Can you regard
that, as the true philosophy of life, which makes us de-
pendent on external circumstances beyond our own con-
trol ? Do you take mica for a gem, because it sparkles
in the sunshine like a diamond ?"
  "You are quite right my dear pastor," said Oswald,
"simply because you are pastor; but wrong for me be-
cause I sing,

    "Forgetting is pleasure,
       And thinking is pain ;
     Then take for the real,
       What seems the most plain."


  "I can give you another verse," said Hold :

    "O childish resolving !
       O folly most stark !
     So billows are tossing
       The rudderless bark.


And these lines remind me to ask you how you
thought and felt in those hours when you were lately
struggling between life and death, on these same
waters."
  "I thought and felt just nothing at all. All thought
and feeling entirely forsook me. I was a hollow shell,
into which the kernel returned only after we were safe.
Of what use would thought and feeling have been to
me ? They would not have tamed the savage sea, nor
have held together the fragile boat."
  "Thinking and feeling would not have helped you,

[187]

187

POETRY AND PROSE.

"but it would have been quite different with him, who,
in the dangers of the tempest could have said in the
words of the song,
     "Who, fighting or falling,
          Doubts not of success,
      Hath gained a sure triumph,
          Hath won the bride's yes.

      "She leads to the altar,
          She guideth him home ;
      His faith is now seeing,
          His rest-day hath come."


  "I will not argue with you my good pastor," an-
swered Oswald ; "I admit, as I said before, that you
are perfectly right. I respect your opinions and you,
on account of them. I should rely on your integrity
and truth, with more confidence than on my own. But,
I must remain what I am and as I am; unless, as I
have half promised, I should become converted to your
way of thinking when I am gray-headed, in order that
I may fold my winding-sheet decently about me. Cer-
tainly my dear sir," added Oswald, when he observed
that the pastor turned away displeased from him as he
was making the last remark, "I don't mean to jest,
though it may sound so ; it is mere empty words, to
which you must attach no more meaning than belongs
to them. But we are so wide apart, and take such dif-
ferent views, that no agreement between us is possible.
You stand firm on Zion, and I am steering my little
bark through every flowery brook that will float me !"
  "The empty words do not disturb me," replied Hold,
"but that there should have been an hour in your life,

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188
THE HALLIG.

when, to use your own language, you were but a hollow
shell, and yet that, after such a confession, you should
be satisfied to entertain longer such shallow views
which are, as you say; truly nothing more than mere
thoughtlessness ; that I can not understand. I fear
that God will some day lay a still heavier hand upon
you, or rather, I shall hope that he will."
  "Then you must pardon me," said Oswald, smiling,
"that I do not offer you my thanks for your pious
wish."
  Hold now turned the conversation upon other sub-
jects, and as they were both familiar with the little
poem from which the above stanzas have been quoted,
poetry now became the topic of their discussion. Here
they agreed almost entirely. Oswald's extensive read-
ing in this department of literature had not injured his
correct taste, but rather rendered it more discriminat-
ing. No dazzling imagery bribed him, no poetic
thought escaped him, for want of the proper dress. Os-
sian, the bard who knew how to give strength and
grace to the cloud, was his favorite, and he maintained,
with Hold's entire assent, that he must be a critic of
gross perceptions who could suppose that Ossian's
poems could be the forgery of a later age. The more
animatedly Oswald spoke, the more he unfolded his ex-
tensive and varied knowledge of literature, the more he
separated the shallow from the profound, the artificial
from genuine inspiration, the greater was Hold's sur-
prise that a person of so acute and just a judgment
could live so thoughtlessly; that one who could feel so
truly and so profoundly, should be so insensible to the
Spirit of God. It was incomprehensible to him how

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189

POETRY AND PROSE.

Oswald could live in the poet's lofty inspiration, with
full recognition, and not be forced to think of himself
and his own estrangement from every thing divine. It
seemed as if his fancy bore him aloft with the poet, but
he saw in this flight only the course of a balloon which
descends from its lofty heights, bringing to earth no
news of heavenly things. But they have eyes and see
not, ears have they and hear not.
For the sake of the reader, we insert the poem, some
verses of which, have been introduced above.

LIFE.


    Beginning, unending ;
          No picture, yet vailed ;
      A dreaming, and longing
          That never is stilled.

      A blooming and scenting,
          A song of sweet lies ;
      Yet naught but illusion
          That charms and yet flies.

      A willing and doing,
          Yet nothing complete ;
      A learning and knowing,
          No wiser a whit.

      A rushing and pushing
          O'er valley and hill :
      A caring and toiling,
          The grave waiting still.

     A wonderful play for
          Both master and slave ;
     For earnest, too trifling,
          For jesting, too grave.

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THE HALLIG.

    And jet for such living
       The love is so groat !
     In folly's lap idling,
       How pleased the fools sit

     But why art thou chiding
       The comical play ?
     The end art thou asking ?
       The end is the way.

     Thy hoping and caring,
       Suppose it not paid;
     In hoping and caring
       A joy thou hast had.

     Uncrowned with laurels
       The hero may bleed ;
     He joys in his courage,
       And there finds his meed.

     The riddles so many ?
       The answers so few ?
     Why ask the red wine-cup
       On what vine it grew ?

     Forgetting is pleasure,
       And thinking is pain ;
     Then take for the real
       What seems the most plain.

     So life lot us cherish,
       Enjoy what we have ;
     Before our frame perish,
       Forgot in the grave.

            _________

     O childish resolving !
       folly most stark !
     So billows are tossing
       The rudderless bark.


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191

POETRY AND PROSE.

    Dost call life a vailing,
       That nothing doth hide !
     Nay! honor that covering !
         It drapeth the bride

     Who vails herself coldly
       From gazers profane,
     But gladdens the faithful
       With promise most plain.

     Her breathing is wafted
       On every side,
     As sea-airs bring greetings
       When oceans divide;

     And wanders the pilgrim
       To north or to south,
     She welcomes him kindly,
       With smiles on her mouth ;

     From stars shining o'er him
       Kind glances doth give ;
     And smileth, prophetic,
       On cradle and grave.

     In storm, then, and conflict,
       In nights of thick cloud,
     Though blamed by the wise ones,
       And scorned by the proud,

     Thy brow bind with garlands,
       For festival hall,
     From hope's tree immortal,
       Whose leaves never fall.

     Who, fighting or falling,
       Doubts not of success,
     Hath gained a sure triumph,
       Hath won the bride's yes.

     She leads to the altar,
       She guideth him home ;
     His faith is now seeing,
       His rest-day has come.


[192]


CHAPTER XVI.


THE EBB-WALKERS.

     Each new wave for me is weaving
          A watery shroud that I must wear ;
       Each new wave, with steady heaving,
          Sounds the death-call in mine ear.

 
  We pass over the short stay on the island, whose in-
terior, surrounded and intersected by strong dikes more
than twenty feet in height, and from eighty to a hun-
dred feet in thickness, was thus cut off from all view
of the ocean, and presented the appearance of a camp
defended by ramparts, now forsaken by its garrison, or
occupied by peaceful husbandmen who had hitherto
neglected to remove the bulwarks.
  On their return to the hallig, the vessel had at first
to contend with contrary winds; then came a perfect
calm, and, within about a mile from the ordinary land-
ing, the anchor was cast, for as the ebb-tide was ap-
proaching, they could advance no further even with a
favorable wind. It was a bright afternoon, and the
scattered houses of the hallig lay in full view. of the
persons so unpleasantly detained. The vessel was soon
left on dry ground, and it seemed very easy to walk
over the little space which separated them from the

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193

THE EBB-WALKERS.

higher surface of the hallig. Even if it were necessary
to wade a little in the soft mud, or now and then to
leap over a channel or run, still they would get home
before evening. The idea of being detained in this
way, made Oswald impatient, and every hour of ab-
sence from his family was a loss of so much happiness
to Hold. The two sailors made no objection to let the
boat he till the next tide, as they had often done before,
and so the four set out together on their way to the
hallig. The many unfortunate accidents which had
happened to ebb-walkers, certainly ought to have with-
held them from this undertaking ; but the air was so
clear and the land so nigh, how could there be any
danger ? Oswald laughed outright when Hold re-
marked incidentally, that such attempts had cost many
a life, and even the latter was readily induced to be-
lieve that to-day, there could be no risk. O short-
sighted mortals who think themselves so safe, when
rushing into the very arms of death ! Scarce ten min-
utes had passed when the wanderers stood anxious and
uncertain, knowing no longer in which direction to turn
their steps, whether backward or forward. A thick fog
which came so suddenly that it was impossible to tell
whether it was from the earth or the air, had com-
pletely surrounded them.
  These fogs, or sea mists, are often not higher than
six or eight feet, and it once happened to us that we
conversed from the deck of a vessel, with people on the
island, without being able to see any thing of them ex-
cept their heads which seemed to swim in clearest
light over the gray impenetrable mass, and whose mo-
tion from place to place, the body and limbs being

[194]

194
THE HALLIG.

invisible, presented a most curious spectacle. What
we are about to relate may seem almost incredible to
all unacquainted with these seas, but we speak from
personal experience here, as well as in other portions of
the book.
  As soon as the fog rose, every eye was unconsciously
turned back toward the vessel. If they could only have
seen something in any direction ! If they were more
than three steps apart they became invisible to each
other, and could find one another again only by calling.
Oswald had as yet no suspicion of the great danger, and
could not understand their anxious consultations. He
thought that by carefully keeping the right direction,
they could not fail to reach firm land. The result of the
council, too, was to go forward, as the hallig, though
more distant, would not be so easily missed as the small
vessel. Oswald walked boldly in advance, trilling a
song, but when they came to deeper places which could
not be waded through, to runs which they were com-
pelled to avoid by making various turns before a place
could be found narrow enough to overleap, when some-
times one, sometimes another of the party, was lost for
a considerable time in the fog, he then became more
and more silent. When he had twice, either from
hurrying thoughtlessly forward, »r remaining too far be-
hind, been able to find his companions only by loud
shouts — for the thick fog impeded sound as* well as
sight — when sometimes sinking deep into the ooze,
sometimes making a false spring, he had learned all the
difficulties of the way; then cold drops fell from his
forehead, and at every pause, he felt the trembling of
fear in his limbs. Such pauses became more and more

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195

THE EBB-WALKERS.

frequently necessary, partly to recover from exhaustion,
and partly to make sure of the right direction. But
what circuitous ways were taken in the dense fog,
which might have been avoided in a clear atmosphere.
How easy would have been the passage of a channel a
few steps to the right or left, and yet a half hour was
wasted in searching for the ford, because they had mis-
taken its direction; and when they were at length sat-
isfied that it was not where they were seeking it, another
half hour was lost in trying to return to the last start-
ing-point. At length the four unhappy wanderers were
obliged to take each other by the hand, to prevent
being entirely separated by the gray wall which made
them invisible to each other, at the distance of a single
step. Till now, little had been said except what the
circumstances necessarily required. They had walked
on, each occupied with his own troubled thoughts ;
only Oswald now broke the painful silence by his sighs
and lamentations. But soon the terrible question
passed from mouth to mouth, "Which way shall we
go ?" Alas ! the contradictory answers only too surely
proved that no certain reliance was to be placed upon
any. The direction, hitherto partially kept by observ-
ing every turn, and by the familiarity of the sailors
with the course of the principal runs, was entirely lost.
For the zig-zags and windings had become more and
more intricate, the running backward and forward, this
side and that, more and more confused, and — fearful
token ! — the channels were, by degrees, becoming wider
and wider, overflowing into new runs which crept on
like stealthy spoilers, winding themselves around the
more elevated portions of the land, or lurkingly resting

[196]

196
THE HALLIG.

against some higher bank, while waiting for reinforce-
ments ; then boldly climbing the wall and spreading
out in every direction, they inundated the whole plain.
  Of these movements the travelers saw nothing, al-
though the fog now began to disperse a little. But
they well knew the hour when their mortal enemy
would again assert his dominion over the soil which
they had so lately boldly ventured to tread. They had
observed, too, that he was already casting his net-work
about them, for wherever they went, they struck upon
his path, wherever they turned he pursued them, and
soon he was playing continually around the feet of his
prey. Now, heaving and swelling, it crept on slowly
but surely, and in the same proportion increased the
discouragement and fear of the wanderers, whose steps
were every moment more hurried and more uncertain on
the now completely overflowed flat. The water curled
around their trembling knees with a rushing sound, as
if saying, "You escape me no more." Of what avail was
the new consultation, which way shall we turn ? Even
if they had been sure of the true direction, as indeed a
careful observation of the motion of the tide now showed
with partial certainty, had they not before them chan-
nels which had become of impassable depth ? Inde-
pendently of this obstacle, could they conceal from
themselves the fact that a direction only nearly right
was no direction at all, as they might easily pass to the
right or the left of the hallig, now, as it were in mid
ocean. Yet an attempt was made to press forward, but
soon given up, as the leader of the party suddenly sunk
to the shoulders in a run, from which he was with diffi-
culty lifted out. Nothing was now left but to remain

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197

THE EBB-WALKERS.

just where they were, and, in utter helplessness, resign
themselves to the steadily advancing ocean, commend-
ing their souls and bodies in prayer to that Father in
Heaven who alone can say to the waves, "Thus far and
no further." "My poor, poor wife !" thought Hold, and
his mind was so completely occupied with this idea, so
entirely filled with sympathy for her in the loss of her
husband, that all consciousness of the present danger
was forgotten in her affliction. The two sailors stood
in silent resignation. But in this forced inactivity, Os-
wald had no power of contending against the fear of
death by opposing it with a stronger feeling, or even
to conceal it under apparent tranquillity. As long as
it was possible to make any effort to escape, every
favorable circumstance filled him with hope, and the
difficulties of the way caused him, sometimes, to forget
entirely that they were treading a path which was per-
haps only leading them to more certain destruction.
But to stand still with the wide waste of waters around
him ; to see in every light dash of the waves a new mes-
senger of death, sent maliciously by the enemy now sure
of his prey ; to endure a martyrdom which was without
change of pain; to see drop after drop steadily falling
from the cup of hope; to measure, second by second,
the advance of a cruel death which surrounded him like
a huge serpent, winding itself upward in higher and
higher circles ; to feel it approaching nearer and nearer
to the loud beating heart; this was more than Oswald
could bear. At first he vehemently urged his compan-
ions to endeavor to think of some other means of es-
cape. At length, when forced to believe their repeated
assurances that every expedient had been tried, and that

[198]

198
THE HALLIG.

their last hope was now the possibility that the fog
might clear away, and the land prove sufficiently near
for them to be able to call over a boat to their assist-
ance, seeing only certain death in delay, he gave a
scream so piercing, so heart-rending, that only the
most fearful agony of soul could have given him the
preternatural strength to utter such a cry. But this
shout completely exhausted his strength, his limbs could
support him no longer, he trembled violently in every
joint, his teeth chattered, and his hair stood up with
horror ; he could no longer utter a coherent word. He
would have sunk if the pastor had not held him up.
They were now all obliged to draw closely together for
mutual support, as the waves had already risen so high
that it was difficult to resist their pressure. Silent,
with hand grasped in hand, the group stood firmly by
each other. Each had his life's reckoning to work up,
and therefore had no time to complain, no disposition
to console. Oswald, indeed, desired to commit his soul to
the protection of Heaven, and in the confusion of his
wild thoughts and feelings he once threw a look up-
ward, but the heavens, where here and there a star was
glimmering through the fog, did not seem to regard the
glance ; at least the young man's eye shrunk timidly
back, and, at the same moment, a higher wave rolled
up behind him dashing a double stream from his neck
and shoulders upon his breast. "Thou art condemned,"
was the thought that passed through his shuddering
soul, and forced from him a new cry of anguish, which
was followed by low continued moans, mingled with
broken sighs. Perhaps, to firmer souls, this lamentation
might have been repulsive, but its effects on his com-

[199]

199

THE EBB-WALKERS.

panions in suffering, was to make them give free vent
to their own sighs and complaints.
  But onward and onward came the rolling water ;
wave piled itself on wave, each one cutting off a mo-
ment from the brief hour of life that remained.
  The fog finally disappeared entirely, burying its damp
mists in the sea. Only a few stars were visible in the
sky, and on the sea they who were standing nearly breast
high in the water could see nothing except, here and
there, the reflection of the star-light on the crest of a
curling billow. The darkness concealed the boat. But
there ! there ! and there again ! there are the lights of
the hallig. Close up your accounts the more quickly,
ye unhappy ones ! the light of your homes will serve for
your funeral tapers. How you have gone astray! These
lights show that you are three times further from the
hallig than when you first left the vessel. No cry of
yours can reach that distant coast ; and even if it could,
the swiftest boat could not come in time to save you.
There sit your loved ones waiting for you ! "He will
come soon !" say father and mother, wife and child,
brother and sister, and your place will be left vacant in
their midst till you come. For your warm reception,
for your refreshment after the journey, every thing is
ready ; all will seem familiar and friendly ; hearty and
sincere will be the welcome that greets you. You shall
tell the listening circle what you have seen, and praise
again your pleasant fireside. But no ! your place will
remain empty in the midst of that circle ; for onward
and onward rolls the tide, wave heaps itself on wave,
each snatching a moment from the short half hour
which still remains to you.

[200]

200
THE HALLIG.

  "My poor wife! my child! my child!" cried Hold,
aloud to Heaven. Beside him the men stood, sighing ;
and Oswald's despairing groans filled every pause. But
the troubled spirit which had oppressed the soul of the
pastor, and which had so paralyzed him who was gene-
rally filled with the joy of believing — perhaps because
he had been led by an impulse of vanity to assent to
this walk over the flats, rather than risk being thought
cowardly — this troubled spirit had with this cry reached
the acme of its anguish, and was now met, as it were,
by the lightning from heaven; "God has not given us
the spirit of fear, but of power and love." Then it
seemed as if Hold came forth in victorious triumph
from the shades of darkness and the bonds of death,
which had so long bound him ; and with a loud and
firm voice, he commenced a sort of exhortation ; rather,
indeed, in broken sentences, as the nature of the cir-
cumstances permitted, than in the connected form in
which we here present it.
  "Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, the Father of mercy and the God of all com-
fort, who consoles us in all our sorrows, that we may
comfort those who are in every kind of affliction
with the comfort wherewith we are comforted by him.
Praised be the Lord in all his works, for his works are
perfect. At his command the waters rise and fall. He
blows upon the sea with the breath of his mouth, and
the waves shrink before him. He blows upon the sea
with the breath of his mouth, and it heaves and swells
obedient to his word ! and what he commands, that
comes to pass in good time. So this too is his hour.
It is his counsel which prepares this grave for us ; and

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201

THE EBB-WALKERS.

his hands will lead our souls also into his kingdom.
Rejoice ! for in this hour of anguish he hath cleansed
us from our sins. He hath left us to our weakness that
the last fragment of our self-reliance might disappear
before the words, 'Be still, and know that I am God !'
Thus hath he judged us here below ; and in his visita-
tion, our sins have gone over our heads, as the water is
now going over them ; so that we have thrown far from
us the robe of our own righteousness, and clothed our
souls in the wedding-garment of Christ's righteousness,
which alone avails before God. — Hallelujah to the God
of strength, the Father of love ! Through his power
we overcome the world ; and his peace fills the panting
heart with peace and joy. And those who weep for us
— O Lord, our God, our prayer ascends from the deep,
and through the clouds to thee, and thou hearest us
who pour out our hearts before thee ! We entreat,
and we doubt not ; thou art the father and the helper
of the widow and the orphan ; under the shadow of
thy wings they rest. Thou upholdest them, when they
think themselves ready to fall. Thou pointest out a
way where they see no path. Father, comfort them,
strengthen them, lead them for the sake of our prayer,
as thou hast promised, 'Ask and ye shall receive.' We
pray not for ourselves. We have only to render thanks
that thou hast permitted us to hear thy word with
true understanding and full faith. 'We are troubled
on every side, but not distressed. We are perplexed,
but not in despair. We are persecuted, but not for-
saken. We are cast down, but not destroyed.' For
thou hast set a bright light in our hearts ; and our
faith has become sight, even here below. May that

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202
THE HALLIG.

light continue to shine through the darkness, that we
may praise and glorify thee in death, and may our
souls ascend from the deep, with wings like eagles'.
Hallelujah ! Honor and glory to our God who hath
given us the victory over death. Hallelujah ! To the
Lord be glory and thanks through all eternity. Amen."
  These animated words of the pastor produced the
strongest impression upon the men of the hallig.
They had just heard his sighs and lamentations, had
seen him share the weakness and distress of his com-
panions, and now he was suddenly raised to such lofty
faith, to such triumph over death that they received his
address, although it was entirely within their compre-
hension, as a voice from on high, as the language of a
spirit which had triumphed over the world, which had
driven out the demon of fear and despair, and taken its
place in the breast of their shepherd who was so lately
overwhelmed like themselves. That almost every sen-
tence was borrowed from Scripture, gave this consolatory
exhortation, for those who, from their childhood, had
revered the Bible as the Word of God, the perfect
stamp of truth ; and therefore, it produced the more
decided effect upon their minds. But this consolation
was lost upon Oswald. While the others gave praise,
and thanksgiving, as though the hour of death were an
occasion for rejoicing, this testimony of the triumph of
faith seemed like a mockery of his own heart. He
sometimes tried to repeat a word of faith and hope
after his companions ; but he was not sure that he
really uttered it ; at any rate, it returned to him empty,
and found in his heart, agonized by the fear of death,
not even a momentary abiding-place. He hoped by

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203

THE EBB-WALKERS.

cries and lamentations to move some power to pity ;
but these cries and lamentations were entirely within
himself ; his lips quivered, but gave forth no sound ; he
thought he was contending vigorously against the waves ;
but his nerves only twisted convulsively; all muscular
power had forsaken his palsied limbs. He presented
the perfect picture of a man who had become a martyr
to his own want of faith and forgetfulness of God.
  But onward and onward rolled the tide ; wave piled
itself upon wave, each reducing by one, the few mo-
ments that now remained to the unhappy victims of the
sea.

[204]


CHAPTER XVII.


THE WARNING AKD THE RESCUE.

     Every thing they fain would know,
          Every thing would comprehend,
       Every thing would overthrow
          And the faulty fabric mend.
       If aught most plain agree not
          With the doctrines they declare,
       The open eye must see not,
          And the open ear not hear.

 
  Not alone with the above lines, would we introduce
the following narrative of the influence of mind upon
mind, which seems exalted even to the supernatural.
By the mere assertion or denial of an opinion which is
at variance with the ordinary belief, or of an experience
which is out of the every-day course of events, nothing
is gained. Also the grounds upon which our experience
endeavors to explain away such influence, as mere delu-
sion, we must confess, that tney, thus far, have not
had great weight with us, doubtfully and carefully as
we have always moved through the dark regions of
physical investigation. Hold's effort to make an unde-
niable fact more acceptable to his faith, partakes of the
usual character of such attempts. It is gray on gray,
or chiaroscuro, the wonderful explained by the wonder-

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205

THE WARNING AND THE RESCUE.

ful. Yet we gladly quote from him here by way of in-
troduction to this chapter.
  "Is there not much in our souls," says he, "which is
above the common laws of thought and feeling ? Does
not devotion open within us depths, which, but for her,
we should never discover ? and are not the pearls and
gems which she draws forth from these depths, of a
kind, the value of which, our knowledge and under-
standing are not competent to estimate ? But devo-
tion in its highest state is unity with Deity, a losing of
our own souls in'him, and we must be dead to our
former self-reliant physical life, and live, move, and
have our being in God alone ; by which means we be-
come capable of thinking, feeling, and acting far above
our former selves, because the power of God is mighty
in the weak. As then, love to God enables us to walk
upon heights unattainable by our natural faculties, so
earthly love shows us a way from heart to heart, which
would be unknown without this gift. There is in this
love, too, a language and a sympathy which, like devo-
tion, inscribes its mystical character in the book of our
lives only at a certain period. In moments in which
we entirely forget ourselves and sink all our thoughts
and feelings in "the soul of the beloved object, the dis-
tant becomes the near, separation becomes union; and
our prayers, warnings, sighs, and greetings become the
thoughts and the feelings of the person beloved, and so
they remain not as mere insignificant dreams, but
clothe themselves also in the garment of visible forms
and audible words, which, however, are only reflections
of ideas and emotions so called forth, and, therefore,
not appreciable to the senses of any but the person so

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206
THE HALLIG.

acted upon. There are recognitions here similar to
those whereby we shall know each other in the everlast-
ing habitations, when the soul is clothed with her new
body, of which our earthly covering is but a coarse
type. But these mutual influences of mind upon mind,
can be possible only in those whose love is not alone
capable of the most complete self-devotion, but where
it has been proved and strengthened by long and inti-
mate acquaintance, and a complete union of thought
and feeling."
  But now to our narrative.
  Godber and Idalia were sitting near each other in
their little dwelling, in the evening twilight of this day
which threatened to be one of so much sorrow to the
hallig. There were frequent pauses in their conversa-
tion, because each was making an effort to keep it up.
  This is always the case when two persons are to-
gether who have something on their minds, about which
they ought to come to a mutual understanding ; but
while recognizing this necessity, they avoid an open ex-
planation, because they fear from it, a result more
painful than the present oppressive uncertainty and in-
decision.
  Idalia took little pains to conceal her dissatisfaction,
while Godber exerted himself to the utmost, to show
the greatest possible kindness and tenderness in his
manner. Their hearts were already separated. The
flame of love was almost extinguished, only they could
not bring themselves to confess it to each other or to
their own hearts ; Idalia, because a certain sympathy for
the young man who had ventured his life for her, and
sacrificed to her his betrothed, was still strong in her

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207

THE WARNING AND THE RESCUE.

heart, and this feeling gave a weight to the feeble rem-
nant of her love which it would not otherwise have
had. Godber dared not think clearly upon his own
feelings, because he was loth to lose a treasure which
he had so dearly bought, although he began to perceive
that it would not make him happy, and because he
shuddered at the vacuity of a heart floating between
one life's hope thrown away, and another that had
proved deceptive.
  During one of these embarrassing pauses, the door
suddenly opened and the pastor's wife, a rare visitor in
that house, stood, pale and trembling, before the aston-
ished pair.
  "Godber, Godber ! I implore you ! take your boat
and row over toward the ship. They are in danger !
my husband is in danger ! Pity an unhappy wife,
Godber, and row over !"
  In the mean time, she had seized his hand with the
most imploring expression of anguish, and was on the
point of sinking to the floor, when Godber sprang up
and placed the half-fainting woman on his chair.
  "Quiet yourself, madam," cried he ; "I will do
every thing you wish. Is there any news of them ?"
  Mander, who now came in from another room where
he had been occupying himself with books calculated to
enlighten the present twilight of his faith, inquired,
eagerly, the cause of Madam Hold's distress, and how
she knew that the vessel was in danger.
  "O you ask questions ! you don't believe I" com-
plained she, wringing her hands, "and meanwhile my
husband is sinking in the waves ! you did not see him
as I saw him ! His finger tapped at my window. I

[208]

208
THE HALLIG.

hastened joyfully to the door. He stood there — I saw
his face so plainly in the mist ! I was about to em-
brace him and bring him into the house — but his fea-
tures dissolved, and as they melted away I heard him
sigh, 'My poor, poor wife !' O, Godber, take pity on
me and row out ! I will go with you ; I am strong enough
to row. You do not know what a wife and mother can
do when straggling for the life of her husband."
  Mander vainly endeavored to represent to her the
powerful effects of imagination, and how natural it was
that her love which endured so reluctantly the absence
of her husband, should conjure up before her every pos-
sible cause for anxiety, which, after all, had its found-
ation only in her longing for his return, and perhaps
in the idea, too long indulged in, while alone, "what if
he should never return from some of these journeys ?"
In vain Godber spoke of the wind, of the weather, of
the tide, that there could not possibly be any danger,
but that detention must have been unavoidable. The
pastor's wife opposed to all these objections what she
had just seen. She told what she had thought and
done up to the very moment of this strange appear-
ance ; she declared that, at that time, there was in her
mind nothing but the most cheerful picture of the pas-
tor's return, and spoke with such certainty of convic-
tion, and gave such an exact description of the most
minute circumstance, that all further open objection
ceased. Godber, who participated with most sailors in
a readiness to believe in mysterious influences and won-
derful premonitions, had scarcely a doubt that there
was something of the kind here. As the distress of the
wife, like a flood restrained with difficulty for a short

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THE WARNING AND THE RESCUE.

time, again overwhelmed every thought and feeling so
that she begged in the most heart-rending tones,
"Godber, save him, save him ;" he hastened to execute
her wishes. Mander and Idalia walked home with the
poor woman who was so tortured with anxiety for her
husband, and whose strength, now that she had ob-
tained her object, was completely exhausted. Yet she
was unwilling to remain longer from her child. God-
ber, with the two sailors who had been his former ship-
mates, went down to the beach and got into the boat.
Fortunately, as it was to be used the next morning as
a lighter, it lay in a place where, at the first coming on
of the flood, it could be easily pushed off, and although
the fog had as yet broken away little, they soon found
the vessel they sought, one of the sailors having ob-
served where she cast anchor just before the low-ebb.
When their calls, which had been kept up from the
first sight of the vessel, remained unanswered, when
they had climbed upon the deck, and gone down into
the cabin, and still saw no soul ; there was no longer
any doubt that the unhappy persons who had been on
board, were wandering somewhere on the flats, or per-
haps had already become the prey of the rising sea.
Where should they seek them ? In what direction
should they turn the boat ? So questioning, Godber
stood on the deck, and gazed with the most searching
look, as if his eye could pierce the dense fog. He heard
the light dashing of the waves against the keel, with a
shudder, as if he were standing himself, a helpless vic-
tim, in the midst of the swelling tide. "Hark ! what
was that ?" cried the three men at once. There came
a short, shrill cry, as if from far, far away. Each one

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THE HALLIG.

thought he heard in it a call for help, and our readers
will understand that it was Oswald's fearful shriek.
It is true they were doubtful again, when their united
and often repeated halloo brought no reply. As they
had nothing else to guide their choice of a direction,
they determined to follow the one from which they fan-
cied the cry had proceeded. They rowed rapidly for-
ward, often relieving each other in order to keep up the
speed of the boat, only pausing now and then for a mo-
ment, to listen for an answer to their shouts. But
none came ; and the tide had already risen so high
that, in their present situation, it seemed scarcely pos-
sible to find the lost ones alive, if they had wandered
about until now. The fog having cleared away, the
surface of the sea as far as they could overlook it,
showed only the unbroken play of the waves in the
starlight ; yet they resolved once more to unite all their
strength in one long halloo, and then turn in another
direction.
  We now go back to those whom we left in the most
imminent peril of death. Their strength, which they
were constantly obliged to exert in order to withstand
the pressure of the advancing tide, was gradually fail-
ing. Had there not been a perfect calm, death would
long since have done its work. The triumphant spirit
which had animated Hold, and through his exhorta-
tions, the two islanders, had now sunk into a silent,
almost unconscious submission ; while Oswald's breast,
though his body had become completely torpid, was still
fearfully possessed with the dread of the coming doom ;
and the vain seeking for some word of comfort had tor-
tured him to frantic despair. He had indeed always

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THE WARNING AND THE RESCUE.

belonged to that class of persons who observe the rules
of external respectability, though they extend its limits
so far as to include all those sins which arise from the
so-called weakness of human nature. He had obtained
universally the name of being an amiable, agreeable,
entertaining young man ; and this he thought all that
could reasonably be required of him. And yet what a
fearful emptiness and nakedness was here, in view of
eternity ! Why did his "good heart," with which he had
consoled himself hitherto in his most earnest hours,
leave him now so entirely comfortless and hopeless ?
His kindness to every one, his sympathy in their weal
or woe, his readiness to advance their interests, his dil-
igence in his own affairs, even the emotions, in moments
once not rare in his life, when he gazed at the firma-
ment of heaven or was reading the finer portions of
some noble poem, which awakened his better nature —
could not the recollections of these sustain him now in
the presence of death ? Why did all this vanish from
his memory ? or, when he was about to grasp it for sup-
port, disappear so like an empty shadow ? Why, in
spite of all this, did his life lie before him like a dry
naked heath, on which no blossom was to be gathered
for the harvest which was now come ? Why then,
since there are thousands in no way equal to him, thou-
sands so deeply sunk in sin and shame, that in compar-
ison with them he might be called a saint — why did not
the searcher of hearts, he whom the Christian praises
as the God of love and mercy — why did not he turn
from him the flaming sword of judgment which was
pressing his soul, and consuming the very marrow of
his strength ? Wherefore must he hear approaching

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THE HALLIG.

nearer and nearer the fearful thunder roll, "Lost !
lost !"
  Might not similar questions trouble your soul, dear
reader, if the Almighty should have such a fearful hour
in store for you ?
  The final struggle seemed now to have come, for they
were well-nigh covered by the waves.
  "Lord, into thy hands," said Hold, thinking that he
was uttering the last words for himself and his com-
panions, when lo ! a loud halloo came over the waters,
and penetrated, like a resurrection call, the souls of
those who had given up the last hope of life. But a
long moment of rapture and of agony passed away be-
fore they could gather strength to answer. The first
sound was scarcely more than a deep sigh, and served
only to waken the fear that their voices could not pos-
sibly be heard. At the same time, that hard-won resig-
nation to the will of God was suddenly swept away
from them by that call, and the full consciousness of
their terrible situation, the memory of dear friends,
whom their death would plunge in grief and anguish of
heart, came back in all their strength. At last, with a
fearful effort, a cry broke forth from all, which echoed
far over the sea, and which, now that their tongues were
once loosed, continued almost uninterrupted, and even
became stronger as the answers drew nearer. A boat
now appeared in sight, rolling on like a dark wave, and
impelled by vigorous strokes of oars, the spray from
which sparkled in the starlight like a shower of fire. A
shout of joy was exchanged. A thrill of delight trem-
bled through the frames of the drowning men. In long-
ing expectation, they already stretched out their arms

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THE WARNING AND THE RESCUE.

toward the still distant boat, which was rowed with
almost superhuman strength, and which seemed to dash
forward more and more rapidly, the nearer it ap-
proached. Now it was beside them. The joyful cry of
the rescued mingled with that of the rescuers ; and the
little boat, which had arrived at the latest moment,
snatched from the sea its victims, and soon bore them
to their own friends.

[214]


CHAPTER XVIII.


THE NEW BIRTH.

    This life is but a mirror
        Reflecting thine own heart ;
      The echoes thou art hearing,
        From thine own lips did start.

 
  The sending of the boat, and the cause of so unusual
a circumstance, were soon known on the hallig, and the
whole congregation assembled on the shore to await its
return. They saw from a distance that no one was miss-
ing, and the extreme anxiety of the pastor's wife was
now readily forgiven, in consideration of her affection
for her husband. But when it was told in what a dan-
gerous situation the four men had been found, which
was abundantly confirmed by their complete exhaustion,
then every eye was turned to her whose strong present-
iment all regarded as the means used by a merciful
God to save them. She only clasped her husband in
silence, gazing, with a smile of grateful, happy love,
now at him, now at the heaven above her. And thither,
too, she pointed, when the wife of one of the sailors
openly ascribed to her the rescue. It was not till after
their arrival at their own dwellings, that the sufferers
became fully aware of the physical effects of the dangers

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215

THE NEW BIRTH.

through which they had passed. In proportion as the
mental excitement became quieted by rest, the bodily
weakness increased, even to fainting, thus causing fresh
anxiety to the hearts of their friends. The following
day they passed in a half dreamy state, from which they
could scarcely rouse themselves for a moment, to
receive the cordials which were administered to them.
Hold, apparently the least strong of the party, was
the first to recover his physical and mental faculties.
Perhaps because his feelings were soonest directed
heavenward, and poured out in joyful thanksgiving to
God.
  Oswald lay for several days in an unquiet slumber,
broken by convulsive shudderings and fearful dreams,
and required the most careful medical attendance. On
the fifth morning, after a deep refreshing sleep, he woke
invigorated, but several days passed before he could
leave his bed for any considerable time. Leaning on
his father's arm, he walked up and down the chamber,
and tried, in talking over the late occurrence with him,
to take his former gay and trifling tone, although it was
not without an inward struggle. But the father was
grave and solemn, and said, finally :
  "Oswald, let us not strive against God's providence.
He has brought us to this island that we may know
and acknowledge the one thing needful. He wills to
save us. On me, too, has he laid his hand anew, in the
providence which suspended such a terrible fate over
your head. I can no longer resist him ; I must praise
him and thank him that his grace has been greater than
my blindness and my guilt. Henceforth I will serve
him, and him alone, and would I could say, 'As for me

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216
THE HALLIG.

and my house, we will serve the Lord.' How fearfully
has he revealed to you in his judgments, and by his
mercies also, that he wills not that any should perish,
but that all should turn to him and repent. As a brand
snatched from the burning, so the Lord would draw
your soul to himself. Oswald, my son, strive no longer
against him."
  "But, father," replied Oswald, as much embarrassed
as agitated by the emotion of his parent, "shall I then
sacrifice my youth to a joyless seriousness ?"
  "No, you shall not sacrifice it," said Mander ; "you
shall sanctify it, illuminate it, and your whole life, even
to the end, with a joy which is greater, and gives more
than all that you have thus far derived from worldly
pleasure. You shall obtain an inward, sure happiness
which can teach you to overcome such hours of agony
as those that have marked you forever."
  Surprised at the words, "have marked you forever,"
Oswald turned toward the little mirror, and now stood
there, paralyzed with horror. "When I am gray-
headed," he had said to the pastor, jestingly, "I will
perhaps think about my conversion." And lo ! that
one awful night had changed his hair to silver gray. He
had become a white-haired man in the flower of his
youth. Long he stood speechless, trembling in every
limb, and with the paleness of death on his face ; then
with the cry, "God, I acknowledge thee," he sank faint-
ing in the arms of his father.
  When he revived, he asked for a glass, but, at the first
look, he pushed it away with a shudder and groan. He
answered the soothing words which were said to him
only by a broken moan which spoke, now of a soul tor-

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217

THE NEW BIRTH.

tured by despair, now of a heart languishing for conso-
lation from above.
  "Let him alone," said Hold, to whom Mander had
turned. "It is enough if we watch him in silence : we
must not disturb him. The Lord has laid his hand upon
him, and a struggle is going on within him, in which all
human help would be useless, even dangerous. Oswald
must experience, must live through hours more fearful
than those in the sea, and it is not well that the boat
of safety should come to him too soon. In that case he
might leave it again."
  And the anxious father saw and heard Oswald start
from his bed, and, with hasty steps, in spite of his pre-
vious weakness, walk up and down the chamber, some-
times throwing a timid glance upward, sometimes cov-
ering his eyes with his hands, then, throwing himself on
the side of his bed, he would bury his face in the pil-
lows. At another moment he would try to pray — then
renounce all hope of God — then, again, more like one
dreaming than sleeping, he would lie speechless on his
couch. Toward evening, they heard him gently sob-
bing and weeping, and he then took feebly, and with in-
difference, the refreshment which his father offered him.
But when the latter inquired how he found himself, he
seized his hand, and wetting it with his tears, said en-
treatingly —
  "Father, father, forgive me!"
  "Let us both pray God to forgive us, my child," re-
plied Mander, tenderly ; and his tears mingled with
those of his son.
  But the thought of the necessity of divine forgive-
ness exerted again, in Oswald's heart, all the terrors of

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218
THE HALLIG.

the last few hours ; and Mander passed a night, by the
bed-side of his son, which, he confessed afterward, was
for him a school of the severest, and yet most whole-
some discipline.
  The morning came, and with it came to Oswald the
new creating Word, with its note of triumph, "old
things have passed away, and behold all things have be-
come new." The tempest in his breast was still ; the
troubled sea was calm and smooth ; and the star of
divine hope was mirrored in its depths. This transition
from the most torturing distress to the most happy
peace, was not like the gradual subsiding of the waves,
when the tempest grows weaker and weaker, but rather
resembled that miraculous change that took place when,
at the prayer of his disciples, "Lord save us ; we perish !"
the Lord rose, and rebuked the wind and the sea. Then
there was a great calm. In like manner, here too, had
the cry, "Lord save us, we perish," been uttered at the
right moment ; and in the wildest night of gloom, the
sun of peace and triumph suddenly arose. So does the
hour of spiritual regeneration often resemble that of
the natural birth. And are there not often, in our
seasons of devotion — unless our prayers are but a feeble
knocking, and have no entrance to the Father — mo-
ments in which the feeling of God's presence, and the
joy of communion with him, completely overflow the
heart, without gradual elevation or subsequent depres-
sion ? Oswald was like a child that has just waked from
a frightful dream, and. sees the bright display of his
Christmas pleasures all spread out before him. No
thought of the anguish which had but just now rent his
soul, disturbed the hosanna of the new life.

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219

THE NEW BIRTH.

  The father's emotions were but an echo of the son's ;
and his joy that his child had found peace, scarcely left
a full consciousness of what he himself had obtained.
  The pastor found him, early in the morning, on his
knees by the bed-side of his son. Their hands were
clasped together in united prayer. Their eyes, still
moist with tears, were turned toward him who had
granted them this healing mercy.
  The work of the Holy Spirit was complete. The
pastor said little. He made no allusion to the past, no
exhortation for the future ; his words were rather the
closing benediction, the final hallelujah of this solemn
consecration.
  It was not until the second and third days following,
that Hold indulged himself in a longer conversation
with young Mander ; and he found him so ready to re-
ceive all the blessings and promises of the Gospel, so
willing to accept all the mysteries of faith, so clear and
decided in his understanding of such portions of the
Revealed Word as were pointed out to him, that, full
of astonishment, he exclaimed,
  "When have you learned this ?"
  "Learned!" replied Oswald; "I know neither how
nor when. Those terrible hours in the water seemed to
me like the fire which purges the gold from its dross.
Terrible as were those, and the hours which have fol-
lowed them, still it seems to me as if I had suffered
nothing for the peace which I now possess ; as if I ought
to drink a far more bitter cup, before enjoying the riches
of his grace, which, out of his fullness, he has poured
upon me. Oh ! God is full of love, goodness, and mercy,
far, far above our knowledge or understanding! How

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220
THE HALLIG.

could I so long refuse to acknowledge him ! How of-
ten has he called me ! I see him now, from the begin-
ning, so careful for my soul ; I now understand that
voice in my heart, whose tones were once disregarded.
My whole past life lies before me, as an uninterrupted
succession of claims on my heart, of warnings from my
conscience, of directions into the right way, of the men-
aces of God's judgment. How could I have been so
deaf and so blind!"
  " We baptize our children with water," said Hold to
himself ; "but God chooses his own time to baptize them
with his Holy Spirit. And shall we question that grace,
when we see that our preparation for this baptism has
been longer and more painful, and the baptism itself not
richer in gifts than that of another child whom God has
chosen for a witness of the wonderful power of his love ?"
  Was this soliloquy of the pastor, who, only through
circuitous ways, and hard conflicts, had attained the
heights of faith on which he now stood, the result of a
feeling akin to envy, or of a cautious distrust of so
sudden a change in one who had till now been so com-
pletely a stranger to God ? There might have been
some little mixture of both, without the pastor's being
able to distinguish quite clearly the one from the other.
  The next morning Oswald declared his intention of
preparing himself to become a missionary.
  "I must go out," said he, "among the heathen. I
must preach the Gospel. I would stretch out my arms
to all those who are wandering in darkness, and call out
to them, Enter into the peace of your Lord ! The love
which I have experienced will become heavy and bur-
densome to me, if I can not suffer something for it. It

[221]

221

THE NEW BIRTH.

will grow to a flame that will consume me, if I do not
share its glow with others."
  Hold opposed this resolution, first by advising him
not to feel too sure, now in the first spring of his enthu-
siasm, that he possessed the stability necessary for an
apostle. But when Oswald urged the entire change
which had taken place in his being and character ;
when he declared it absolutely necessary to his future
peace that he should go and risk suffering and death,
for the sake of the Gospel, Hold reminded him with an
earnestness which is explained by his above mentioned
reflections on the conversion of Oswald,
  "How hardly do we learn to be truly humble in
spirit! How continually we strive against being mere
recipients ; we would take for ourselves, give to our-
selves, or, at least, pay off as far as possible, the debt we
owe entirely to the Lord. And so you would now strug-
gle, bear, and suffer, that you may in the end, claim a
little self-desert, where there is nothing but the pure
mercy of your heavenly Father."
  "O, certainly not," said Oswald," I feel too entire-
ly that nothing is mine, that all is his, that only his
warm spring-breath has driven the cold night of winter
from the desert of my life. I feel as new and strange a
happiness as must the earth, had she a soul, in spring-
time, at whose approach the long frozen rivers are un-
bound, all the streams flow freely again, and along
their banks vegetation shoots forth into life, and buds
and blossoms in the sunlight. I desire to do nothing
but to carry these blossoms and this perfume into the
wilderness where winter still reigns. I desire only to
seek a soul which shall awake like me, to life, and with

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THE HALLIG.

me, praise our Father who hath done so great things
for us."
  "Do not forget," replied Hold, "that hours will
come in your life, in which you will feel your own pov-
erty, although you now fancy yourself rich enough to
share with others. And then I would prefer, at least,
for messengers to the heathen, men of plain, pious
minds from their youth up, such as were the first apos-
tles ; men who, neither misguided nor bewildered from
the beginning, brought simple hearts to the Lord ; men
whose recollections of their youth would be less dark-
ened by repentance, and who would, therefore, assume
the office of evangelist from pure love, not coupled
with the idea of doing penance for the past. Their
preaching will be more simple, less studied, less out of
their own hearts, more certain to give only that which
they have received from the Lord and from his word.
  "Its object would not be so much to root out former
sin from the hearts of the converts, as to illuminate, to
sanctify, and to bless. It would not regard the heathen
world so exclusively as a field to be prepared for the
seed, but it would sow the grain in hope, and leave its
growth to the sun and dew from heaven ; and I think
that the true apostolic way, from which, however, he
departs so easily whose heart was a long time a bed of
weeds before the good seed took root."
  "O !" sighed Oswald, "you are always in the right,
after all. But it is impossible for me to return to that
dry business in which I was formerly engaged, and the
only object of which is to secure the luxuries of life ;
impossible that I should ever again feel happy in the
society of my native town."

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223

THE NEW BIRTH.

  "Faith transfigures every thing," said Hold ; "all
our affections, occupations, trials, and hopes. If you
have, till now, considered the business of a merchant
merely as designed to secure earthly enjoyments, you
will now regard it in a new light. It is commerce
which breaks down all natural and artificial barriers be-
tween nations. It sends its flag over the broad ocean,
passes mountain chains, and leads the beast of burden
through barren wastes and desert sands. No toil, no
peril deters it. It defies the vertical sun of the south,
and the ice of arctic seas."
  "Yes," said Mander, joining in the conversation,
"we assist, too, in the intellectual developments of
mankind. It was not until after I had become satis-
fied of this, that I was able to pass without repugnance,
from the study of writings calculated to elevate the
mind above every thing merely selfish and worldly, to
the exchange and counting-room. We advance the
growing brotherhood and further the progress of na-
tions, by bringing them nearer to each other, thereby
removing their mutual distrust, hostility, contempt,
prejudice, and ignorance. For commerce is a living,
moving web, stretching over the whole surface of the
earth, whose threads bind all nations together, making
them mutually dependent, and so teaching them to
love and respect each other. It is the bearer of a
never-ending exchange, not only of worldly goods, but
of intellectual advancement. Not only does it make
the products of each one common to all, but it scat-
ters, everywhere that intellectual light, which, without
its world-embracing activity, would have shone only
over a very small part of the earth's surface. It tends

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224
THE HALLIG.

to maintain peace, because its interests, which suffer
severely during war, weigh heavily in the balance
against it. It makes the earth one common country,
man a single nation, which, though differing in lan-
guage and customs, is united by mutual intercourse,
and though often roused to conflict, yet at the first
note of peace, is again bound together by brotherly ex-
change."
  "And," continued Hold, "does not the flag of com-
merce open to the Gospel messenger, lands which would
otherwise be inaccessible to him ? Does not trade
build for the word of God bridges from land to land,
and from people to people ? Destroy commerce, and it
will be long before we can say, one flock under one
Shepherd, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God
and father of all ! We can not all labor directly, but
some must work indirectly, for the kingdom of God.
If we would elevate our calling, which, apparently,
serves to promote only immediate earthly well-being ;
we must learn to connect it with the one thing needful,
with the raising of the children of dust to the children
of God. It is a pleasure to the physician, if he has
been able, by his science, to raise his patient from the
brink of the grave to the enjoyment of life. But his
joy is greater, diviner, if he considers besides, that God,
through him, has granted to an immortal soul a longer
probation in which to ripen for eternity — that. God,
through him, has given a sinner yet room for repent-
ance, to one weak in faith, an opportunity to grow
stronger, to the devout, time to reach still greater per-
fection. So, too, the merchant. He provides the
necessities and business which perhaps satisfy only the

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225

THE NEW BIRTH.

lower, sensuous nature of man, but he is an instrument
in the hands of God, to smooth the way, and break
the paths for the blessings and promises which bring
peace and joy in time and eternity. With this con-
sciousness, he transacts his business cheerfully. It
becomes a consecrated work to him. He no longer en-
vies the clergyman whose office is confined to purely
spiritual things. Like him, he is a servant of the Lord,
and desires that all should receive the blessing, even to
the ends of the earth."
  "Now," remarked Mander, "I understand better
what you said some time ago, that you respected the
efforts of mankind only as they serve to advance the
cause of truth."
  "But," objected Oswald, "are not large commercial
towns precisely the places in which there is the most
complete estrangement from spiritual things ? Does
not the striving for wealth and profit, most surely divert
us from the search after true riches ?"
  "All great cities are alike in this respect," said Hold.
"But irreligion is by no means the natural consequence
of commerce. During the middle ages, the great com-
mercial cities — remember Augsburg, with its noble fam-
ilies, Fugger and Welser — were richer in piety, virtue,
and honor, than many other towns, whose renown rested
on their being the seat of a bishop, or a royal residence.
Return to your former calling. In the midst of corrup-
tion, be a witness for the kingdom of God. Be in your
mind and life the pattern of a merchant who knows
that his real treasure is in heaven, who, wakeful and
active in his business, ennobles it by the consciousness
of his higher vocation. Even among scoffers be not

[226]

226
THE HALLIG.

ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, be ready to give an-
swer to every man for the faith which is in you, and
win respect even from those who do not share it. Then
you will be what you desire to be, a laborer in the vine-
yard of the Lord, and perhaps more blessed in the har-
vest for his kingdom, than if you had sought out places
which are still lying entirely fallow."
  "You open to me a prospect," said Oswald, "whose
attractions I can not fail to recognize, but you are send-
ing me back to a conflict for which I am not yet suffi-
ciently strong."
  "But now you are clad in the panoply of light, armed
with the sword of faith, and covered with its buckler.
Yet you will have great need of constant care, of strict
watchfulness. Though the Lord has done great things
for you, Oswald, yours is yet but a budding faith, which
needs further cultivation and development before it can
refresh others with perfume and fruit. Pray God that
he will strengthen and perfect you. Then he will set
you for a witness without your pressing too earnestly
to become one."
  Oswald made no further objection, but he felt himself
embarrassed by the evident distrust of the genuineness
of his conversion, and might have suspected from this
very feeling, that this distrust was well founded.
  For his further establishment and edification, a longer
stay on the hallig, and the counsel and guidance of the
pastor were certainly necessary, and Oswald's triumph-
ant joy arose chiefly from a review of the past, and was
not sufficiently blended with a serious consideration of
the beginning and the end of faith.
  Perhaps, too, Hold had not relied sufficiently on the

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227

THE NEW BIRTH.

life-giving power of faith, and did not respect this con-
version so much as he ought, because it was something
entirely new to him. Besides, he had previously known
of young Mander, only as much as the latter had chosen
to show of himself, and thus he knew not that the
gradual operations of the Spirit of God, which turns the
hearts of men like streams of water, had long since pre-
pared the dry ground for the seed. Even Oswald had
not understood this preparation, and had seen in it only
an impulse of childish weakness, which he thought it
his duty to combat, and which he tried carefully to con-
ceal, that he might not lose the name of a strong-
minded man. And what witness could there be of the
fearful torment of purification in that hour when every
wave was a messenger which repeated the same sen-
tence, "It is appointed unto men once to die, and after
that the judgment." ' Who could testify of the severe
conflict afterward, until the morning star rose in his
soul.
  In his later years, Oswald had many sad proofs that
he had trusted too much to himself in these first mo-
ments of enthusiasm, that the morning glow of the sun
of faith is not without succeeding clouds and storms,
that sometimes we may soar above heights, which, after-
ward, we only climb with difficulty. His fight was not
yet fought. He was still to strike into wrong paths.
But he had gained this, that his eyes were opened to
the true goal, and for this reason he was always able
to return to the right way, and his tears of repentance
were blessed by the consoling words, "There is joy in
heaven over one sinner that repenteth."
  And indeed, few gain more by their faith in the Gos-

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228
THE HALLIG.

pel. Their good works are, perhaps, not more numerous
than those of such as despise salvation through Christ,
but they know that these works are without merit, and
without righteousness, and do not esteem themselves on
their account, rather confessing with all humility how
far they are behind the example of their Lord. Per-
haps they are not stronger to withstand temptation than
others, but they feel their unworthiness, and returning
in sorrow and repentance, they mourn over their own sin-
fulness. So then, though externally they differ little
from others, within they are wholly unlike. Here is
humility, there pride. Here a mourning for lack of
righteousness, and an ever-growing consciousness of
needing a Redeemer ; there, careless excuses, thought-
lessness, and reliance on what they call "a good heart,"
and upon the few laudable efforts to satisfy the de-
mands of the divine law.
  We say that few gain more than this from their faith
in the Gospel, and yet they will confess that even this is
of infinite value. Still, far be it from us to offer any
excuse for this half victory; we would rather point to
that perfection after which we must strive with prayers
and entreaties, with sighs and tears, with watchings and
struggles, with carefulness and hope ; the entire renew-
ing of the spirit of our minds, that illumination of the
inward man which is reflected in every thought and
every feeling, in every word and every work ; which ban-
ishes every unholy emotion, every worldly desire, as
cloud and shadow fly before the sun ; that new birth
by which the natural man is transformed to a child of
God, and the life on earth to a life in heaven, so that the
world itself becomes a new creation, the joys and the

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229

THE NEW BIRTH.

sorrows of which are witnesses that it is God's world.
The idea of such a new birth is only comprehensible to
these who believe in the doctrine of redemption, be-
cause by this faith, man's affections — and love is the
strongest motive power in heaven and upon earth — are
directed toward the Divine nature ; but this faith is not
regeneration itself, as our self-love may often persuade
us, it is a necessary condition to it, but remains a sound-
ing brass, a tinkling cymbal, if it does not become liv-
ing through love, through that love which labors earn-
estly for the sanctification of the heart and life.
  But what mortal may venture, then, to call himself
regenerate ?
  Let us pray our Father, that he will forgive our
weakness ; but woe to us if we forgive ourselves.

[230]


CHAPTER XIX.


THE PARTING.

   Though corn-field and vineyard no harvest give,
    With a hopeful heart I would always live ;
    Though faith be not sight in my earthly ill,
    Yet my breaking heart shall look heavenward still.

 
  The approach of winter reminded the strangers that
it was time to think of their departure. Mander and
Oswald were reluctant to fix a day for leaving a place
which had been, to them, an altar of the Most High.
This island was, indeed, their birth-place, for here they
had first learned, with a true sense of life, to lisp their
Father's name ; here they had found that rest from the
perplexity and confusion of their own spirits, for which
they had thirsted. Here the night had vanished, and
the morning-star had risen in their hearts. Both
shrank from returning to the now distasteful element
of their former life. There they must feel themselves
strangers, and they loved the hallig, which, though a
new, was a blessed home to them. It was with pain,
too, that they thought of leaving the pastor and his
wife. They respected him as their guide to light and
peace, as a man in whom knowledge was blended with
the most childlike faith ; a shepherd of souls, who,

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231

THE PARTING.

with all the variety of his acquirements, with all his
culture, seemed only to live for the duties of his appar-
ently insignificant post. They respected her loving
nature, her quiet management in the domestic circle,
and in both, their contentment in a more than humble
earthly lot ; one in which thousands accustomed, as
they, to something better, would have been completely
miserable. They did not know that a hallig pastor was
little respected, from the very fact of his being such,
and that this title is sufficient to inspire many with a
feeling of contempt ; but had they known this, they
would have considered the privations and self-denials,
the weariness and the dangers of such a position, and
would have represented the insignificance of the salary,
the necessity of busying himself with household labors,
and even the care of the sheep — the chief source in-
indeed from which his salary was derived — his isolation
from the world and all intellectual intercourse ; they
would have spoken of all these, to such of Hold's pro-
fessional brethren as might be disposed to complain of
a want of congenial society and means to keep up with
the progress of knowledge. Has the clergyman — their
defense would have been something of this sort — whom
you admire for his refinement of manner and his bear-
ing in the highest circles, whom you have placed among
the number of well-informed, highly cultivated, even
learned men — has he passed the best years of his youth
and manhood as a hallig pastor ? Has he tried what it
is to pass from a rich world of enjoyment to such a
state of privation, with a heart beating warmly for the
whole human race to be transplanted to such a forgot-
ten soil, taken from a blooming paradise of youthful

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232
THE HALLIG.

hopes, to find himself in a situation where not only
man is poor, but nature herself is more desolate than
the barren heath, to be banished to such a waste, desti-
tute of every source of knowledge, of every intellectual
refreshment, condemned to servile labor, a mere keeper
of sheep ? Has he tried what it is to support a family
on such a slender salary, earned in such a way, and
then to see a threatened death in every inundation, and
to know that if his wife and children survive him, they
must be left as beggars to the charity of the world ?
Ask him, on his conscience, if, under such circum-
stances, he should still have been the man you so much
praise ? Ask him whether he could have remained true
to himself for years — and many a hallig pastor never
leaves his sea-girt turf during his whole life — if he
could have preserved that spirit which is satisfied with
an inward reward, with the consciousness that his
labors are blessed and which, therefore, sustains the
mind and heart under such external disadvantages ?
  The writer of these pages is not ashamed to confess
that during the early years of his ministry, he was him-
self a hallig priest — as the clergymen on these islands
are called, and not unfrequently in scorn — and perhaps
would have been so. still, had it not been found impossi-
ble to rebuild his little church after it had been swept
away for the second time ; and he has wished to say a
few earnest words in defense of his early fellow-laborers,
to those who regard them with contempt. These words
will bring them no fruit, will prompt no hand to collect
a fund to provide even for their intellectual necessities,
and without which provision the most thinking and
learned young clergyman can make no advances in

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233

THE PARTING.

knowledge, or even keep up with the progress of the
day, and it must be a rare triumph over the weakness
of human nature if want, solitude, elementary teach-
ing, care of the sheep, dependance upon the price of
wool, do not by degrees dwarf the former man, and un-
fit him for further development. Only in him, who,
before this trial, had become thoroughly penetrated with
a true intellectual life, can we ever hope to find it pre-
served. For him who is placed in such circumstances
before he is thoroughly matured, it is earnestly to be
desired that his stay there should not be long. But
even though it may be fruitless to you, his former com-
panions, still he must speak with the warm zeal of a
brother who has long felt the necessity of saying some-
thing for you, and who reaches his hand to you over
the water. If his words return empty to him from the
closed hearts of those, who, from the high places of
their worldly care, look down upon you, still they will
be soothing to your hearts ; and it is the first time that
a voice has been heard in your defense against the un-
just opinions entertained of you, and the little consider-
ation felt for your martyrdom in the service of the
church.*

  * The above remarks have induced some women of rank, in Copenha-
gen, to make an attempt to improve the condition of the hallig clergy.
Little as the success of their effort has answered their wishes, I can not
pass over these exertions in silence. The interest of the capital collected
will at least furnish an increased allowance for the desolate widow of
some hallig pastor, in her extreme destitution, and so this mite, too,
shall not lose its reward. Neither would I take back my greeting to
that Danish island which was the only witness that these words, in be-
half of my fellow-laborers, were not in vain, although the relief afforded

[234]

234
THE HALLIG.

  As the day of departure drew near, Idalia found it
absolutely necessary to speak frankly to Godber. She
would willingly have seen their connection entirely dis-
solved without any such explanation. She had already
anticipated, in thought, her return home, and fancied
herself again in the brilliant circles of her native town,
in full enjoyment of an animated existence. There too,
she hoped her father and brother would soon recover
from their strange whims, which were only fed by soli-
tude and their long talks with Hold. Her aversion to
their mysticism, as she called it, rendered the hallig al-
together disagreeable to her ; and her dissatisfaction on
this subject, extended even to her relation with Godber,
who was so one with his island, that he seemed to hes-
itate whether he would sacrifice it, or his love. There
was always the same tenderness in Godber's manner ;
but she well knew that he would not leave his home
for her without some hesitation ; and now that his
passion found no longer a response in her heart, his af-
fectionate devotion seemed to her unmanly and childish.
She could not understand how she had ever been able to
think of a closer connection with him. She could no
longer see what she had found extraordinary and at-
tractive about him, and called herself a fool for having
allowed her gratitude to her deliverer, to go so far. She
now seriously feared that he might decide to follow her,

was less than was hoped. I here transcribe the last verse of that greet-
ing, with a heart as warm as when I wrote it:

      Hail to the isle where civic wreaths
        Are crowning every head!
      There found we ready sympathy,
        And not less ready, aid.

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235

THE PARTING.

and devised various plans, in case he should go with them
to Hamburg, to force him, by degrees, to retire into the
back-ground, and gradually give up all hope of possess-
ing her. But she must herself put the question, for he
seemed resolved not to speak, although she had signified
plainly enough her own resolution, by laying aside the
dress of the hallig, and had endeavored in vain, by her
coldness and reserve to alienate him ; it seemed as if
he were only the more magnetically attracted toward
her, the more she repulsed him. He could not fail to see
that his love was no longer returned as before ; and his
passion for her was cooled as well ; but the necessity
of having some object in whom he could forget himself
still chained him to Idalia. He anticipated her painful
question, saw the hour of separation drawing nearer and
nearer, and yet anxiously avoided every allusion to it.
  One bright November afternoon he was standing on
the sea-shore, and watching the play of the waves at
his feet. A melancholy feeling gradually threw a soft
vail over his thoughts and emotions, tranquilizing them
as the mother does the restless child, when she wraps it
in her drapery, and presses it to her breast. The past,
the present, and the future, seemed blended together
into a pensive vision of a quiet life, in which all his
dreams and longings were realized ; but whether this
picture was lighted by the rising beams of morning, or
the rosy glow of departing day, he could not tell ; that
it was only an image, only a longing, not a reality, the
tears which rolled over his cheeks were sufficient evi-
dence. He stood long in that forgetfulness, which, after
all, is no forgetfulness, where the wings of the brightest
dream are draped in mourning, and can not raise the

[236]

236
THE HALLIG.

heart to any great heights of light and happiness. In
this mood, his hallig seemed to him the only spot upon
earth which could satisfy him, the place in which alone
the wounds of his heart could be healed. It was impos-
sible for him to fancy himself in the midst of social
tumult ; and he shrank from the fearful loneliness and
abandonment, which he should feel among men who
were engaged in the loud bustle of life.
  The pastor — in whom exactly opposite feelings had
been excited by his intercourse with the guests of the
island, by their animating conversations, by the renewed
exchange of thoughts, by the recollection of the activity
of the great world, and who oftener than before, looked
longingly over the water which separated him from the
mainland, and its spiritual and political interests — sur-
prised Godber in his dream.
  Their conversation soon turned to the subject in
which both, each in his way, were especially interested.
  "So, then, you are going to leave us ?" said Hold.
  "No, no," replied Godber, warmly ; "I shall not
leave my home."
  "And does Idalia remain here ?" asked Hold, with
astonishment.
  "I do not know," replied Godber, gently, and in a
hesitating tone.
  "You do not know!" exclaimed the pastor, at the
same time, looking inquiringly at the young man, who
stood before him, silent and with downcast eyes. "You
do not know ! Godber, have you examined yourself ?
are you sure that you are taking the right course ?"
And as Godber still did not answer, he went on earn-
estly, "Certainly you would never be happy in a great

[237]

237

THE PARTING.

city, in an active and exciting life, among men who
would only ridicule such tears as are now standing in
your eyes. You, with your quiet, simple habits, would
never feel yourself at home in their brilliant circles.
For the son of a hallig, a hallig is the only soil in
which his being can thrive ; nowhere else can he be
happy. And Idalia — the inclination she has shown for
you is merely the excitement of gratitude, a conse-
quence of unusual solitude, the filling up of idle hours,
or at most, an impulse of passion which she could ex-
change as easily as her fashionable dresses."
  Godber colored deeply with mortification at these
words ; and Hold, observing it, took his hand, and said,
  "It humbles your pride that I say this ; it is painful
to you that another should know the fact that you
have over-estimated yourself. But it would rouse your
pride still more to learn it first at her side, when no re-
treat was possible, when you were fastened by a holy
bond to the magic sphere of her brilliant being, and
when you felt yourself uncomfortable then, and she al-
lowed you to perceive that you were only a disagreeable
shadow. And it is not your fault that you have trusted
her honeyed words and flattering ways. It is rather to
your honor that you could be deceived by it. The man
who can say, 'I was never deceived,' has pronounced
judgment against himself ; and I would shun his friend-
ship as much as I would seek that of one whose heart
was bleeding from the wounds inflicted by confidence
betrayed. For this reason, Godber, and because I
promised myself to do so, when in the boat you brought
to restore me to my wife and child, I press myself upon
you, and beg for your full confidence. I will never prove

[238]

238
THE HALLIG.

untrue to it so long as I remember the moment when
your shout and that of your companions, came ringing
over the waves which were playing around my head."
  Godber resisted no longer ; a glance of his eye in
which stood a grateful tear, and a hearty pressure of
the hand, showed that the reserve he had hitherto
maintained, was entirely overcome by the cordial man-
ner in which he had been approached.
  Godber now spoke frankly of his position and his
feelings. He did not conceal the fact that Idalia's con-
duct for some time past, had greatly wounded, and
almost convinced him that she wished to see her con-
nection with him dissolved.
  "Then let it be so !" said Hold. "Separate what
naturally stands apart as far as pole from pole. And
if your heart bleeds, cast it, with all its wounds, on
your heavenly Father's heart. He will know how to
heal it so that it shall come forth safely from the severe
conflict, with only scars to show that one may confi-
dently trust its strength and purity."
  Hold trusted more to the future than Godber, for the
latter alone knew the self-reproach which tormented
him whenever he allowed himself to reflect seriously.
It was but a show of strength which gave him courage
to have a last decisive conversation with Idalia. The
foundation of his weakness lay deeper than in disap-
pointed affection, for in that case a return to entire
peace of mind would have been very easy, since he was
now on the point of breaking a chain that had thus far
withheld him from the happiness for which he had
toiled patiently and hopefully during long years, and
which, even through the flames of a new passion, some-

[239]

239

THE PARTING.

times beamed on him as a milder, friendlier star. But
if his love for Idalia were to seem hereafter only as a
dream which fades on our waking, and scarcely sur-
vives in our memory, could he also forget that for her
sake he had forsaken the ship whose helm was confided
to him, that for her sake he had been faithless to his
betrothed Maria ? If she could forgive him, could he
forgive himself ? So long as he had any hope of possess-
ing her for whom he had given up so much, there was a
bright side to his sacrifice, an advantage, though per-
haps too deeply purchased, an altar on which he had
laid his offering. Now that he was about, himself, to
annihilate this hope, it fell back upon his heart like a
dark, heavy cloud, through which no beam of morning
could break to enlighten the prospect of his future
days. Only one thing was clear to him ; that it was
his immediate duty to separate from Idalia. All the
future was night and darkness for him, while Hold
looked forward, with happy sympathy, to the renewal
of his former relations with Maria.
  "Do you go with your father ?" said Godber the
next morning to Idalia in a tone which made the ques-
tion sound as if the answer were already certain ; for
a sleepless night of reflection had only fixed him the
more decidedly in his resolution to wrap himself, with
despairing courage, in the dark drapery of an unavoid-
able destiny.
  Idalia trembled visibly. Was it a last feeling of
affection for the youth, or was it the sudden approach
of the long wished-for moment of separation, which
agitated her so violently ? She could not immediately
answer. She was seeking for words, which, while they

[240]

240
THE HALLIG.

should cut off every hope of possessing her, should pain
him as little as possible, and as is usual in such cases,
her reply wounded him most severely.
  "How many thanks do I owe you, Godber ! Without
you, I should never again have seen my native place,
for which I long so much. Never" — and she took his
hand and pressed it warmly — "never can I forget how
you threw yourself into the rolling sea for me. Never
will my gratitude to you cease, never can I fail earn-
estly to desire your happiness. And have we not
amused ourselves pleasantly with each other on this
island, and shall we not always think of it as a period
of happy, childish relaxation, such as we can Beldom
enjoy in this world ?"
  Godber colored with shame and indignation. So she
could call amusement, what had cost him and poor Ma-
ria the happiness of their lives. He pressed his lips
together and stood for some time like one doubtful
whether it were best to bridle his anger or let it break
forth.
  Idalia became more and more disturbed, the longer
his silence lasted. She tried to summon all her pride
and turn away from him, but the consciousness that she
had done wrong, mingled with a certain fear of him
whom she had so deeply wounded, triumphed, and she
said with a caressing tone,
  "What a holiday it will be for me, if you should
visit us some day, in Hamburg. Then we will talk
over old times, and you shall see how faithfully my
memory has preserved the smallest circumstance con-
nected with our own life together on this island."
  Godber had heard nothing of these last words, but

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241

THE PARTING.

the angry tumult of his soul suddenly subsided to a
sadness which filled his eyes with tears; a change of
emotion natural to a gentle disposition which has not
been hardened by frequent excitement. The extreme
tension of his features and his whole frame was followed
by a relaxation which alarmed Idalia even more than
the appearance of anger, as she feared an exciting scene
which she wished to avoid at any price, because it
would lead to nothing, and because, on witnessing
Godber's deep agitation, she found that she was not
so completely mistress of her own heart as she had
supposed.
  But Godber bethought himself that Providence had
so ordered it ; that he himself desired the separation ;
that in fact, this separation had long since taken place
and only a word was wanting to confirm it. He turned
quickly round and hastened away without casting one
farewell glance at Idalia. She would have much pre-
ferred a more friendly parting. She hesitated a mo-
ment whether she should not follow him, and say a few
more affectionate words to him ; but before she could
resolve, it was too late. Godber hurried down the
wharf and was soon in his boat alone upon the sea. He
did not return until after the departure of his guests.
  Here we, too, may take leave of Idalia, only casting
a hasty glance into her future. Had she known how to
elevate her affection for Godber into true womanly love
she might perhaps have overcome his disinclination to
leave the hallig, and he might have forgotten how
dearly he had purchased the happiness of being at her
side. But having once in her life experienced such de-
votion and thrust it from her, could she expect ever

[242]

242
THE HALLIG.

again to find a heart that saw all its desires fulfilled
only in her love.
  Again in Hamburg, she was soon engaged in all the
amusements in which she had formerly lived, and
eventually married a man whose means and inclination
permitted her to shine as a wife in all those follies
which fill up time and never satisfy the heart, but
rather spur it on to a more headlong chase after new
objects to gratify vanity and the love of pleasure.
What emotions she may have felt, what memories of
the past may have risen during her childless married
life, when in the hours of solitude, never to be entirely
avoided, she sat leaning her head upon her hand, the
forgotten embroidery lying on her knee, and with half-
opened eyes staring at vacuity, until, startled by the
falling of a hot tear, she would spring suddenly up and
pass her fingers impetuously over the strings of her
harp as if the wild notes were forcibly to call forth a
joy to which her heart was a stranger, he may judge
who understands the following verses:
     Every life hath one May morning,
        One auspicious hour ; if then
      Thou dost let it pass with scorning,
        It returneth not again.

      Fortune once draws kindly nigh thee,
        Beckons thee with open hand;
      If neglected she pass by thee,
        Thou henceforth art ever banned.

      Tears of thine will never move her
        Thy sad path to cross once more;
      Thou may'st plow the ocean over,
        Thou may'st tread the furthest shore,

[243]

243

THE PARTING.

    Gather round thee all earth's treasures,
        Spread them out in shining rows ;
      Fill thy stately halls with pleasures,
        All the pleasures that life knows,

      Then from brimming goblets drinking —
        Ah ! thou sigh'st in all this bliss ;
      For thy banquet, thou art thinking,
        Lacks the consecrating kiss ;

      And the wreath thy brow entwining,
        Lacks the slighted evergreen ;
      For the flowers that there are shining
        Blossom but to fade, I ween.

      Once thou might'st have hoped, unhidden ;
        Fortune wooed thee once in vain ;
      Eden's gates stood wide, unbidden,
        Once, — but hope it not again.

[244]


CHAPTER XX.


THE COMMUNION.

    What God, our Father, to his own hath given,
        With warring words oh, seek not to define ;
      Question not that which hath its root in heaven ;
        It claims thy childlike faith by right divine.

 
  Mander and Oswald wished to receive the Lord's
Supper as a seal of their new covenant with him, while
still with the congregation to which they had become so
much attached. To her father's question, whether she
would unite with them in the sacred ceremony, Idalia
replied, that her thoughts were too much occupied with
the prospect of their return home, to permit her to take
part in the celebration with proper devotion.
  It is certainly most agreeable to us, when we can
clothe our "I pray thee have me excused" in the ef-
fective dress of a timid reverence for the Holy One ;
and there are persons who, if we are to believe them,
avoid the church their lives long, solely from the con-
scientious fear of giving only a divided attention to the
Divine service, and neglect family worship as well, wait-
ing to the end of their days, in the hope of being some-
time in a truly devotional frame of mind.
  Mander inquired of Hold, when he announced to him

[245]

245

THE COMMUNION.

his own and his son's wish to receive the communion,
what his views were, with regard to the holy Eucharist.
Hold replied:
  "I would rather you had not inquired, but, undis-
turbed by contending opinions, you had resigned your
soul, with entire passivity, to the impression of this
celebration, and thus learned from itself what it should
be to you. Perhaps this ordinance is not the same to
all, but suited to the wants and capabilities of each ;
and I would rather have heard from you, what worth
you had found in this treasure of Christianity, than have
given.you a bias toward some preconceived opinion ; for
such discussion is hardly practicable without giving rise
to divisions in the Church, which deprive the Supper of
its true character of a communion."
  "But there can be only one true view," objected Man-
der ; "and he only can derive from the sacrament its
full blessing, who knows what the Lord intended by it."
  "All blessing comes from above," was Hold's answer ;
"and I believe there are many who approach the Lord's
table with entirely different views, and yet retire from
it with equal blessing, because, when they receive the
elements, they think no more of their opinions, but re-
sign themselves to the influence which the solemnity it-
self has upon them. Certainly this influence will be
the more sure and "the more lasting with those who,
both before and after the ceremony, understand its full
significance."
  "So far you have been my instructor ; continue to
be so ;" begged Mander. "Your judgment, in consid-
eration of what I already owe to you, must have the
weight of authority with me."

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246
THE HALLIG.

  "My authority should have weight with you only in
so far as long years of reflection upon the sacred ordin-
ances of the Gospel may be better than the first insight
into the truth of the revelation of God in Christ. Only
permit me to say once more, I do not connect the bless-
ing of the celebration which you are contemplating so
much with a full understanding of its character, as with
the influence of God's grace upon the willing heart.
You should not, therefore, approach the Lord's table
with the expectation of experiencing this thing or that,
but rather wait for the promise which belongs to the oc-
casion. Do not bind yourself, or your devotion, to this
or that idea of the communion, but be willing and
ready to receive, with entire submission, what God offers
to you in it. I, for my part, stand on the ground of the
church's teachings."
  "If we consider the divine revelation through Christ,
as a miracle of God's redeeming grace, by which an en-
tirely new means of communication with heaven, enters
into the life of man — not a higher development of what
previously existed, but something entirely dissimilar —
as an elevation of the natural man, by which he is
made a recipient of that life which was with the Father,
and which has appeared upon earth — then we can not
deny its continued existence and constant action to be a
standing miracle. If, instead of a mediation between
that which is above and that which is below, linking its
spiritual gifts to those already bestowed on us — as is the
case with us in our most sacred hours of devotion, as
was the case with the prophets in an extraordinary de-
gree — there is promised a Mediator in whom Heaven
and earth are become one ; so we must not presume to

[247]

247

THE COMMUNION.

measure the teachings, the blessings, and the promises
of such a Mediator by the rules we apply to things that
are obedient to laws, according to which Heaven and
earth remain widely separated, and can never be brought
near each other, except by this bond of spiritual com-
munion. We should rather expect that whatever flows
from this great fact, should not only proclaim the fact a
miracle, but should itself possess a miraculous character.
So with the Lord's Supper. It is not merely to renew
the memory of the fact of expiation, but it is the fact
itself which is to be renewed in the believer. In this
sacrament he gives himself anew to me, not I myself
to him. As redemption was conditioned by his bodily
life and sufferings upon this earth, so is the Lord's Sup-
per not only spiritual food for the soul, but a food both
Heavenly and earthly, by which we become his, and he
ours, in a perfect union. In the sacrament is Christ
entire ; the instructor, the redeemer, the sufferer, and
the conqueror ; the crucified and the risen, the son of
Mary and the Son of God, the first not less than the
last. While in every other ordinance, sometimes the one,
and sometimes the other, stands out the most promi-
nent, in this sacrament both are united in one, and are
conjointly received by us. Without the bodily presence
of Christ in the Lord's Supper, redemption becomes a
fact in time, which lives on only in faith ; it has entirely
left the kingdom of the earthly, and has ascended into
the kingdom of the spiritual ; while, on the contrary,
it should also survive, on its earthly side, in the holy
communion, not only because Christ still lives in the
soul of the believer, but because he is himself actually
present to the communicant. For his living on in our

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248
THE HALLIG.

souls is always only our life in him, dependent on our
understanding and our devotion ; it is not, in very deed
and truth, his life in us ; it is ourselves, not he. But
our age is not poorer than that of the first disciples, if
we do not make it poorer ourselves. We have not only.
his teachings, blessings, and promises, but we have
himself, his body and his blood. To us also, is the new
creation offered, which, penetrating and transfiguring
our souls, as well as our bodies, raises us to unity with
him. 'How can such things be?' Is not here the ques-
tion, and all theories and formulas are follies. The only
question is, Is this doctrine of the communion as taught
by the theory and formulas of the Lutheran church
— so far as human speech is capable of expressing such
things without glazing or subtilizing — in accordance
with the words of Holy Writ, with the whole wonder-
ful counsel of God in the redemption of the children of
men, with the fact of redemption itself, and with the
faith of those who deserve to be called high priests in
the great congregation of the Christian Church ? By
this last reference, I do not intend to put forward any
human authority, as such faith must find its support in
the general accordance of the answers obtained from
the other sources, but I would maintain that, as intel-
lectual knowledge is the fruit of our intellect, so spirit-
ual truth is the fruit of the divine Spirit. This Spirit
has its special times and seasons for strengthening the
faith of the Church. For that which strengthens the
faith of the individual is in no way to be connected with
the labors of councils, or with the midnight studies of
the theologian ; but its cradle is a heart, which, with
its world-overcoming faith, does indeed overcome the

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249

THE COMMUNION.

world — a heart that not merely gathers a few sparks
from dust and ashes, but is enkindled by a holy flame,
and is purified and enlightened by this flame, to a tem-
ple from which God willingly sends forth his voice to
the world. Therefore whoever would put forth new
theories and new formulas in spiritual things, let him
not only ask himself what he knows, but also, what is
his life in God and his walk before him. With scho-
lastic learning and critical acumen one may venture to
cut up a Homer ; but the inspiration still glowing in
the divided members, will flash up again to a clear
flame, and a new figure comes forth in all its pristine
strength and beauty. If now, this dry, cold chemistry,
even in its analysis of the products of man's mind and
heart, like the knight of the sorrowful countenance, ob-
tains only a brief victory which makes subsequent de-
feat the more certain, with what face can it presume to
experiment in the realm of the spiritual ? So then the
true doctrine of divine things, as also the true formula
for its expression, can be given only by the Spirit of
God ; and this requires temple and altar, the heights
of Horeb and the plains of Mamre, hearts whose wings
are capable of an eagle's flight, men who have courage
and humility enough to pray God for illumination."
  "But," remarked Mander, "does not the Reformed
Church,* which owes her being to just such men as you
have described, regard the Lord's Supper merely as a
commemorative celebration?"
  "The Reformed Church too," was Hold's reply,
"through the influence of Calvin, soon inclined toward
a deeper significance; although in the Catholic and Lu-
  *The Reformed, as distinguished from the Lutheran Church.

[250]

250
THE HALLIG.

theran Churches only — however little they may agree
in the nicer points of this doctrine and its consequences.
— will be found a deeper and a juster estimate of this
sacrament ; for every thing which we have endeavored
to add to it through the excitement of feelings to the
highest point, by meditating upon the Lord, only pro-
duces a certain shrinking from considering it merely as
commemorative. They feel the necessity of giving the
congregation a nutriment which is not mere crumbs,
but a satisfying bread of life ; and they but add spices,
forgetting that these are only designed to give flavor,
and not to content hunger."
  "How, then," inquired Mander, "can you associate
such forgetfulness with the high priesthood which you
have just attributed to those men who are pillars in the
church of God, and among whom you reckon Zwinglius
and Calvin ?"
  "Remember, that to the authority of these Gospel
heroes, I found a check in the comparison of their ac-
cordance with the testimony of other witnesses. Where
there is agreement, I submit cheerfully ; and there is
this agreement in the vital point of the Gospel, the
doctrine of redemption ; where there is not this agree-
ment, I search with more zeal the Word of life, but I
rejoice when the truth that I find, has many other wit-
nesses in the Church of God."
  "I must frankly confess," said Mander, "that the
words, 'Do this in remembrance of me,' seem to me so
natural in the mouth of the Saviour at the moment
when they were spoken — just before the death upon the
cross — and the institution to which they referred, seems
so naturally connected with the hour of separation, that

[251]

251

THE COMMUNION.

I can not but regard it in its nature and character, as
only designed for the maintenance of a lively recollec-
tion of the sufferings and death of its Founder."
  "On the other hand, I must confess," replied Hold —
"so do judgments differ—that nothing seems more
strange to me than a ceremony in memory of him who
is the way, the truth, and the life for us ; in whom the
present improved condition of society had its rise and
progress, to whom we are consecrated in baptism, in
whose light we breathe, in whose congregation we live,
to whom we owe joy, peace, and blessedness, in life
and death. Can he who said, 'Heaven and earth shall
pass away, but my words shall not pass away/ and, 'I
am with you even unto the end of the world ;' can he
have intended to establish in this Supper, only a com-
memorative festival, such as one might have ordained,
who feared that his teachings and blessings would be
forgotten, and yet desired to live on in the memory of
man, as an individual who had been useful in his day ?
Must not, indeed, such an ordinance lose its signifi-
cance in the Christian church, in proportion as the
church more zealously cherishes the memory of its
Lord ? The more entirely a soul belongs to him, the
more deeply a soul loses itself in the fullness of his
blessings and promises, so much the less important
would be an ordinance which should only remind it not
to forget him.
  "The Apostle Paul speaks further of the Lord's Sup-
per in such a manner that all idea of regarding it
merely as a memorial, must vanish. He says, 'Where-
fore, whosoever shall eat this bread and drink this cup
of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body

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252
THE HALLIG.

and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine him-
self, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that
cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eat-
eth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning
the Lord's body/"
  "Permit me," interposed Mander, "to ask a question
on this point. Could the first disciples who sat at the
table with their Master, have enjoyed in the bread and
wine, such a sacrament as you are supposing, since the
Lord himself was then present with them ?"
  "I need not answer this question," said Hold, "until
you have replied to my objections to regarding it merely
as a memorial, until you have shown that the theory by
which it is endeavored to give the communion a higher
character without confessing the bodily presence, is
really any thing more than the superadding of acces-
sories, which, with all their apparent abundance, leave
it, after all, simply a commemorative ceremony, the
joining in which has no other effect on the believer than
such as may be derived from any lively refreshment of
our memory of the Lord and Redeemer. But I would
remind you, that not much depends upon the answer to
your question. If we recognize in the Lord's Supper,
a church ordinance for all future Christian congrega-
tions — and this but few have denied — so it may well
have a significance for the later professor, different from
that which it had for the first disciples to whom the
visible presence of the Redeemer was itself a sacrament,
an import which it first received after our Lord had
ascended again to his heavenly Father. This other
significance consists only in this, that we have in the
bread and wine what they had visibly before them.

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253

THE COMMUNION.

The virtue of the Supper, its sacramental fullness, is
the same, only sight with them, faith with us. Yet I
feel how uncertain are all our explanations in this realm
of the spiritual. The divine can only be experienced."
  "You leave me with such a feeling of uncertainty in
my heart," said Mander, with a sigh, "that I regret
having asked any questions."
  "I was satisfied beforehand, that you would derive
no other fruit from this discussion. But perhaps here-
after, you may say with me to those who do not rev-
erence the Lord's Supper in its full significance, Do not
strip your church of her holy ornaments, take not the
crown from her head, do not sever the roots of her life
from an inward actual communion with him who came
forth from the Father that he might testify of him. For
the rest, you should approach the Lord's table with de-
votion and submission, thankfully receiving what out
of his fullness he bestows. He is something to all who
come to him, and he so draws them to himself that he
becomes every thing to them. You will not miss his
blessing."
  The hour for the celebration had arrived. The whole
congregation had assembled for the communion, accord-
ing to special announcement made on the previous Sab-
bath ; for on the halligs this ceremony can not take
place at stated intervals, owing to the winds and inun-
dations which often prevent the inhabitants from at-
tending worship. The little church was contiguous to
the pastor's house, or rather, indeed, under the same
roof with the dwelling. After the conclusion of the
hymn, Hold approached the altar and gave a short, im-
pressive address, whose simple style seemed intended

[254]

254
THE HALLIG.

for the comprehension of his ordinary hearers, while,
from its very simplicity and the constant presentation
of that which had not yet ripened to clear insight in
the minds of the two who were now drawing near the
table of the Lord for the first time, with sincere longing
for the promised blessing — it produced upon them a
truly edifying and strengthening impression. At the
conclusion of this address, the oldest person in the con-
gregation, a man with snow white hair, advanced to-
ward the pastor, and bowing his head, spoke with a
voice trembling with emotion, and the feebleness of old
age, as follows, while all present rose from their seats :
  "Dear and respected pastor, I speak for myself and
in behalf of the rest of the congregation. I entreat you
to hear my confession, and repeat to me the promise of
pardon.
  "I poor, sinful man, confess and lament that I have
transgressed again and again the commands of the Lord
my God, often sinning against both him and my neigh-
bor, and truly, I justly merit God's sentence of tem-
poral and spiritual death. But I do earnestly repent
of all my sins, and am heartily sorry for them, and I
have no consolation except in the grace of God, which
is greater than my transgressions, and in the dear merits
of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. I come, there-
fore, now in the day of grace, that I may receive for-
giveness, and therewith new joy in God and strength to
sanctification through his Spirit. Amen."
  This circumstance, unexpected to the strangers, failed
not to produce its effect upon their hearts. Mander felt
deeply how important it was that the congregation
should take such an active part in this solemnity. For

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255

THE COMMUNION.

the moment he felt himself one with the venerable old
man who was speaking for all. It seemed his own con-
fession, his own prayer, and he therefore felt more clearly
and significantly, that he was approaching the commun-
ion with humble entreaties in expectation of the prom-
ises, than he would have done had the pastor alone
spoke. Oswald trembled violently. Every word that
the old man said, sank into his soul. It seemed to him
as if the prayer came from his own lips, but as if it were
more heartfelt, more forcible, more earnest ; while it
expressed his own longings, it became, as it were, a call
from the depths, a cry for mercy, a sigh of aspiration,
upon whose answer his life depended.
  When the old man had ended, the pastor folded his
hands, raised his eyes in silent prayer, and then, after a
short pause, said, laying his right hand on the head of the
venerable man before him, who, in the mean time, had
kneeled on the steps of the altar :
  "He who came into the world, not to condemn the
world, but that the world through him might be
blessed, he who calls the weary and the heavy laden to
himself that he may refresh them, he says, through the
office which he has bestowed upon me, to you and to
this congregation which have made true confession
through you : 'Be of good cheer, thy sins be forgiven
thee.'"
  As the minister now stretched forth his hands toward
the whole congregation, and repeated the words once
more, "Thy sins be forgiven thee," a vail seemed to
fall from the souls of Mander and Oswald.
  The Gospel had now become to them light, power,
and life, and all obscurity, weakness and lukewarmness

[256]

256
THE HALLIG.

melted like the last cloudy day of winter, before the
conquering breath of spring. They felt themselves so
open, so ready to receive every influence from above, so
clear and decided in their faith, so light and happy in
their confidence in the fulfillment of the promise, that
the realm of the spiritual, in which the Divine mani-
fests itself to the human, seemed to them a region al-
together natural, where they felt themselves already
quite at home, and they drew near to the table of the
Lord, fully confessing their faith in the whole doctrines
of their church.

[257]


CHAPTER XXI.


THE FAREWELL.

     Life hath sorrows which, unspoken,
        The resolved heart may dare ;
      But have words the silence broken,
        Broken is the strength to bear.

 
  The departure of the strangers was fixed for the next
day. The business, which had detained them, had
been completed some days previous, to the satisfaction
of all parties ; and Mander and Oswald took leave of
the inhabitants of the hallig by a visit to every house.
All received them as dear friends whom they could
never hope to see again ; and took leave of them with a
solemnity becoming a last interview ; nowhere without
tears on the part of the islanders, always so sensible to
every kindness shown to them. These people — espec-
ially those on the hallig of which we are speaking, and
on which, so far as the church records show, no illegit-
imate child was ever born ; and within the memory of
the oldest person, no angry quarrel had ever existed —
are quite too easily disposed to consider the world, with
the exception of their little island, as given up to infi-
delity and disorder, particularly the larger towns ; and
the fact that the strangers had united with them in the

[258]

258
THE HALLIG.

communion service, had raised them so much in their
estimation that they regarded them with a sort of ad-
miring reverence. They did not know that their island
had proved to their guests an Emmaus, where they first
recognized the Lord. Each family gave special thanks
to Mander for the silver candelabra which he had pre-
sented to the church for the altar, and which the pastor,
for certain reasons, had not placed on the table the day
previous, but had shown in the evening to such persons
as had assembled at his house. But their most painful
leave-taking was from Hold. As an indication of their
friendship and gratitude, they made presents to the
pastor and his wife, which were received without affected
reluctance. The difficulty, too, with which these things
had been brought from so great a distance, and the
time required for it, were indications that their friend-
ship was to last longer than their brief stay on the
island. Hold received every thing gratefully, declining
only a cask of wine, which was to have been sent to his
house, as he had long since ceased to make use of it as a
drink. But, even here, he was obliged to yield partially,
as Mander insisted that it might be serviceable to the
sick and suffering in the congregation, though the
pastor himself might have no occasion for it.
  Who could have foreseen, on listening to this discus-
sion, that the lives of several persons, and the health of
the whole congregation were to depend upon the recep-
tion of this gift, at first so positively declined.
  Oswald took leave of Maria with more emotion even,
than he had felt at parting with the other islanders,
and Mander deposited with the pastor a sum of money
for Maria and Godber, hoping, as did Hold, that they

[259]

259

THE FAREWELL.

might soon be happily united, and promising to make
it a yearly stipend. Also the ring of betrothal which
she had once given to Godber, and had withdrawn from
his finger during his illness, Idalia had requested her
father to restore to her. Mander gave it to the pastor,
that he might choose the proper moment in which to re-
turn it.
  The travelers found the whole congregation assembled
on the shore ; and after one more pressure of the hand,
and one more hearty farewell, with tears in their eyes,
the father and son went on board. Idalia turned more
than once her swimming eyes back toward the little
island which was soon to disappear in the mist. She
would have gladly bid the vessel stay, not for the sake
of landing again, but to keep the hallig in her sight.
All her thoughts and emotions were in confusion ; and
she could no more direct them to the future, than she
could center them on the past. It would have been a
comfort to her, if the ship that was bearing her steadily
onward, had been overtaken by the ebb, and detained
between the two shores, just as she was herself midway
between the past and future. Her first steps on the
mainland were tremulous and staggering, like the un-
certain tread of one who first sets foot on shore, after
having been accustomed to the motion of a ship during
a long storm.
  The islanders remained on shore so long as the fog
permitted them to catch a glimpse of the vessel ; and
mutual signals of farewell were exchanged, long after
it was possible to know whether they could be seen by
each other.
  During the whole day the pastor was in a mood which

[260]

260
THE HALLIG.

he called sadness at parting from his friends ; but it was
more than this separation which moved him so deeply.
All the dreams of his youth had been awakened by his
conversations with those visitors from the great world
in which he had himself formerly moved, so rich in hope,
so full of life. His early friends, from whom he had quite
disappeared since his transfer to the hallig, beckoned
him anew into their circle. The lands through which he
had traveled by their side, lay once more before him in
all their beauty. The active movement of the political
world, of which now and then a solitary journal fur-
nished a very meager account, presented itself again to
his mind, like a magical picture which suddenly shines
before us bright in the midst of darkness. The rich
field of knowledge spread out its blossoms and perfumes
before his soul, in the most attractive manner ; but like
a beautiful garden which we may look at through grat-
ings, and yet into which we can not enter. And here
was this barren hallig, with this living waste around it
— this dense fog which enveloped him as if to shut him
out forever from the world. Had he placed to his
thirsty lips the cup of Djemschid upon whose brim the
past, the present, and the future, were painted, only now
to pine his life away for another draught. With what
entirely different feelings, with what fair hopes for his
earthly life, had he trod the mountains of Switzerland,
wandered along the river-banks of his native country,
from which he was now perhaps banished forever, for-
gotten on a miserable sod, surrounded by a turbid sea,
obliged to submit to every variety of privation and self-
denial. He went down to the beach. He gazed wist-
fully into the mist, as if his eye could penetrate it, and

[261]

261

THE FAREWELL.

follow the thoughts which flew beyond the sea, and
swept over mountain and valley. His longing found
expression in a song which came like a deep sigh from
his heart :

   Float away, oh mournful measure !
      Greet once more my native strand;
    Dear, and beautiful, and sacred,
      Greet my German Fatherland.
  
    Greet those verdant hills and valleys
      Where rings clear the hunter's note ;
    Where the blue and shining waters
      Play around the fisher's boat.

    Where the avalanches thunder
      Down the Staubach's silvery mist;
    Oh I to dimb those snow-capped mountains.
      Breathe the air that them hath kissed.

    Where, as decked with bridal chaplets,
      Glowing in the evening red,
    Jungfrau lifts her snowy forehead —
      Oh, once more her slopes to tread !

    Or wander on thy banks, O Saale,
      Where the pine its arched roof rears
    O'er the monuments of heroes,
      Crumbled by the storms, of years.

    Everywhere, along the Danube,
      On the Elbe and on the Rhine,
    Is my Fatherland the worthy
      Birthplace of the German line.

    Rich alike in oaks and vineyards.
      Rough with rocks, and soft with flowers,
    Everywhere you trace the features
      With which all her sons she dowers.

[262]

262
THE HALLIG.


   Float away, oh mournful measure !
      Greet once more my native land ;
    Every beauty, every pleasure
      Liveth in my Fatherland.

    Ah, in vain do my complainings
      Wake the hidden pain once more ;
    No mild breeze will deign to bear them
      Kindly to my native shore.

    Ocean's waves are roaring round me,
      Ocean mists my vision vail,
    All unanswered are my greetings,
      Lost upon the adverse gale.

[263]


CHAPTER XXII.


REPENTANCE.

     The present and the past thou know 'st,
        But every rising day
      Consecrate thee yet anew —
        To what, there's none can say.

 
  Soon after the departure of the strangers, Godber
returned to the hallig and continued to live in his
house, quite alone. When any one saw him, he turned
away with a melancholy look, and avoided all conver-
sation, with a painful shyness. His house, and his
wharf, during his long absence, and especially since the
death of his father, had become quite ruinous ; but he
did nothing toward the necessary repairs, and did not
seem to observe that the. waves, during the stormy
Christmas week, had caused great damage, and made
his stay there even unsafe.
  The pastor often went to him and endeavored to re-
vive in him new hopes for the future. He spoke often,
though the subject seemed little agreeable to Godber,
of Maria's devout submission to the will of God, of the
calmness with which she awaited her destiny, of the
kindness of her heart which could retain the memory
of no wrong. Without excusing Godber's conduct, he

[264]

264
THE HALLIG.

endeavored to make it appear in as mild a light as pos-
sible, and pointed him to the merciful love of God
which does not suffer us to be crushed by the burden
of a guilty conscience.
  One day, when he was talking in this way, Godber,
who had till now listened in silence, rose from his chair,
and standing before him, gazed at him fixedly, and
said in a tone at once solemn and fearful,
  "Will the God you speak of, uncreate that night in
which I forsook the helm of my vessel, to save her for
whose sake I twice broke faith ? Will he who has
healed Maria's wounded heart, rebuild that fair model
which became a miserable wreck through me ? Had
you set fire to your church in blind passion, would you
forget it so easily as you think I ought to forget my
wrong to the ship? Will God call back to life, the
three who lie in the church-yard yonder, that I may
again hear from them, 'Godber is a brave pilot' with-
out hearing at the same time, a hellish laughter in my
ears ?"
  Hold trembled, as much from the wild expression of
Godber's countenance and words, as from the discovery
of an unsuspected weight on the young man's con-
science. But Godber continued:
  "You tremble at such crimes, and yet you only hear
of them ; and I who have committed them, should not
I be crushed under their load ? There is no help for
me !"
  In a more subdued tone, whose slight tremulousness
indicated a transition from stern despair to sorrowful
emotion, he added, after a short pause :
  "Even if you bring Maria to my arms a happy bride,

[265]

265

THE REPENTANCE.

you can not say these eyes have never wept through
fault of yours, this heart has never bled through you,
the fidelity of the sons of the hallig has received no
stain from you. Maria has only my wrong to forget.
Such forgetting is easy. But to forget it myself, death
must help me do that. And death itself can not help
me," cried he, in a voice of terror, "for after that comes
the judgment."
  So saying, he covered his face with his hands, and
sank back into his chair, in a silent stupor.
  After considering some time, the pastor went to God-
ber and said —
  "I will not talk to you of the vessel, will not call
your attention to the fact that perhaps no skill of yours
could have availed to save it ; how much more probable
it is that you would have all perished in that case, while
now five persons owe their lives to you. But I will speak
of the Gospel which proclaims pardon. We are alto-
gether sinners, and have nothing wherein to glory be-
fore God. If we conscientiously examine our own works,
we must confess that we can not stand before a just and
holy God, we must confess that in the light and judg-
ment of the Divine law our virtue must melt away like
a shadow, and that, on the other hand, our sins rise
over our heads. Before the Words "Be ye holy for I am
holy !" before the declaration that "For every idle word
which proceedeth out of your mouth ye shall give an
account," no excuse stands, no pretext, no justification.
Our weakness is but falsehood, for it is the fruit of a
lying spirit, who darkens and disfigures the Divine com-
mand, but who could never have that power if we did
not ourselves grant it to him, suffering evil desires to

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THE HALLIG.

grow up within us. What we call temptations and se-
ductions are merely responses from without to the en-
ticing voice of sin from within. Whoever does not take
the word holy in its full signification, as a complete pur-
ification of ourselves and our lives from all evil thoughts
and worldly desires, as a perfect transformation from a
child of Adam to a child of God in every thought, word
and deed — he knows nothing of the Creator and his
will, or of our vocation upon earth, and still supposes
that one may worship both God and mammon; for all
imperfection and lukewarmness are abhorrent to our
Maker, since whosoever keepeth the whole law and yet
offendeth in one point, is .guilty of all. From this se-
verity we have no power to abate any thing, and God
himself can not, for he is holy."
  Godber wrung his hands, and sobbed aloud, "There
is no help for me !"
  But the pastor continued, " If we lay this to heart,
we can not stand before God with joy, nor with joy ful-
fill his commands. For between him and us our sins
have raised a thick wall of partition, which excludes us
from all hope and consolation, and our attempt to
change our characters and lives, must fail because sin
which has once become powerful in us, can only be over-
come by a severe conflict. To the success of this con-
flict, joy in God and love to him, are necessary ; and we
have them not, so long as our heavy-laden conscience
only testifies of the Judge of quick and dead."
  "He has pronounced sentence already," exclaimed
Godber.
  "We must be able to cast off the old robe of our own
righteousness, and put on a wedding-garment. We

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267

THE REPENTANCE.

must be able to lay aside our burden, and with a light
heart begin a new life. We must be able to renounce
our sorrowfulness, and look heavenward with joy. But
such ability lies not in our own strength. If we attempt
it of ourselves, bur feeble efforts are soon paralyzed by
the consciousness of unforgiven sin. Neither can we
forgive ourselves for the least impure thought, for we
stand not at our own bar, but are under the law and
judgment of God."
  "I know it, I know it," groaned Godber.
  But the pastor went on in an elevated tone: "We
need the forgiveness of God ; not merely a presumed,
supposed, hoped-for pardon, but a certainty against
which the gates of hell can not prevail. And now,
Godber, the time is fulfilled, the night is passed, and
the day has dawned ! The great mystery of redemption
has been proclaimed upon earth ; God was in Christ,
reconciling the world unto himself. Arise, thou weary,
sinful soul, arise ! For there is joy in heaven over one
sinner that repenteth. These words did not proceed
merely from man's longing desire for consolation ; in
that case they would be unavailing, would have no
power against the eternally renewed assaults of an ac-
cusing conscience. It is the word of him who came
forth from the Father that he might bear witness of
him, and it stands surer than the firmament of heaven.
The Saviour speaks, he whose word is not his own, but
the word of him who sent him. He speaks, and through
him the Judge of quick and dead, 'Be of good cheer,
thy sins be forgiven thee.' So, Godber, open your heart
and receive within the love that is seeking with these
words to enter where judgment against sin has already

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THE HALLIG.

been felt. Cast aside your heavy burden and enter joy-
fully upon a new path, as if you were born again and
had no past. Think of that only, as a means of pre-
serving that humility which esteems as nothing its own
merits, and its own righteousness, only to cherish a lively
zeal for the crown of perfection in all holiness of heart
and life, only to shun sin, which, as you have expe-
rienced, renders us so miserable, only to praise with joy,
peace, and blessedness to your life's end, the grace of
your heavenly Father who hath done so great things
for you. Remember the past, not to make it a curse to
yourself, but a blessing, as God will remember it only
to lead you forth from it into the kingdom of his bless-
ings and promises."
  Godber was much moved by the minister's words,
and if they could not restore to him the peace which
had fled from him, they served, at least, to turn his
eyes once more with a hasty, timid, but prayerful look,
toward heaven, and through the tempest of his troubled
conscience to send a gentle breath, as if from a land of
peace. They called forth hot tears, and at the same
time made an outlet for the consuming fires of remorse
which thereby lost their maddening power over him.
He seized the pastor's hand, and bowing his head, laid
his burning forehead upon it, acknowledging his kind-
ness in wishing to bring him out of his darkness.
  But the sufferer who is grateful to those who desire
to relieve him, is already on the right road to receive
consolation.
  Under the guidance of Hold, Godber became more
calm every day. By excusing his conduct as far as pos-
sible at first, and then condemning it where it deserved

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269

REPENTANCE.

censure, he had gradually succeeded in obtaining the
entire confidence of him who judged himself so severe-
ly, and in this way he brought him at length to the feet
of the Saviour. For the way to Golgotha leads over
Sinai, and whoever seeks to find an easier path thither,
will only half reach his destination, and, therefore, only
find an imperfect peace which will not stand the test of
lonely, solemn hours of self-examination.
  At the same time, the pastor often turned the con-
versation upon worldly matters, called Godber's atten-
tion to the miserable condition of his wharf, reminded
him that he was neglecting his little flock of sheep, ad-
vised him, and asked for advice in trifling household
affairs, and in this way, roused him to activity and to
an interest in the ordinary duties of life. He now
thought his victory complete, and that the unhappy
separation between Godber and Maria was near its close.
But here he found an unexpected obstacle. Every
allusion to a reunion was repulsed by both.
  "Oh this eternal halfwayness !" exclaimed Hold.
"Our gracious Father in heaven has done every thing,
that his children may enjoy this world and its good
gifts ; has freed us, in his mercy, from the weight of a
guilty conscience ; demands no more penance, no more
sacrifice, but desires that in the experience and ac-
knowledgement of his boundless love, we should now
live cheerful and happy, accepting and enjoying with
childlike confidence, what he offers us out of his full-
ness. He will have the hearts of his children to be
open to his love, not merely to that love which speaks
to them in loud organ-like tones, but also to that which
breathes, as it were, in the soft notes of the flute. He

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THE HALLIG.

will have his children rejoice, not only in his heaven,
but on his earth ; he will have them not only thank him
as the great Father above, who pours out his consola-
tion upon the weary and heavy laden, but also as a
Father here below, who is present with the happy as
well, and loves the hearts which are grateful to him for
having made their pilgrimage so bright with sunshine,
so rich with blossoms. And we will make a merit
for ourselves, by doing penance continually, and take
pleasure in denying ourselves the enjoyment of his tem-
poral blessings, as if we hoped in so doing to establish
a claim upon his promises for eternity ! That is a false
modesty which refuses to receive any thing at his hand,
a modesty which seeks to add something to the divine
work of redemption, as if cheerful faith, childlike love,
and the sanctification which results from such faith and
such love, as the fruit follows the blossom, were not
sufficient ; but as if by rejecting all pleasure in the
works and gifts of God here below, a sacrifice, worthy
of consideration, was offered."
  "O no," cried Godber, "it is not so! and if I had
ever thought so before, you have long since cured me
of this sickly humility which is the child of pride.
But, Maria could never be happy by my side. In every
cloud which shaded my brow she would see Idalia, in
every thought which I did not utter she would read
that name. Waked by painful visions from her own
slumbers, she would listen to my dreaming words, and
I should live with her in constant fear of giving her
occasion, even though innocently, of doubting my love.
It would be quite a different thing if we had not known
each other before, but broken faith always leaves a

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271

REPENTANCE.

thorn behind which the most watchful love but forces
in the deeper, since it must seem like calculation, to the
heart once so cruelly deceived."
  Hold could not make much objection, and perhaps,
too, Godber was in the right. At any rate the pastor
saw that Maria's feelings were much the same, for she
answered every allusion to the renewal of their former
connection, with a negative which could not have pro-
ceeded from any doubt that Godber would again seek
her hand. Besides, they both seemed to enjoy such a
childlike cheerful contentment, that whoever had seen
them, without being acquainted with the bitter expe-
riences of their lives, would have regarded it as the
ingenuous hopefulness of youth, when in fact, it was
the fruit of entire submission to the will of God, and
the reflection of a heart filled with his peace.
  "Let us leave the solution of this difficulty to time,"
said the pastor to his wife.
  "To time? yes, if time were only ours."

[272]


CHAPTER XXIII.


THE FLOOD.

     And such a night ! through life's long years,
          Fixed as a rock, it bides for aye ;
      Its image on the heart impressed,
          No flood of tears can wash away.

 
  So came the third of February, 1825. The portion
of the story which follows, consists almost entirely of
simple historical facts ; and if much should seem to the
reader like too bold a picture of the imagination, we
can assure him of its entire truthfulness. It is precisely
in those points where the events seem to pass into the
region of the marvelous, that the greatest care has been
taken to give the facts without any coloring ; and for this
reason, the materials, for the following description, were
taken entirely from an account of that terrible night of
distress in the author's own congregation.
  Heavy storms from the northward had driven the
waves over the island, so that even during the ebb, the
hallig remained covered with water. But accustomed
to such storms, and comparing its strength and direc-
tion with previous ones, the inhabitants supposed they
had nothing to fear on this occasion ; and while the
waves dashed against the wharves, and the cabins

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273

THE FLOOD.

trembled from the shocks of the blast, most of them
went early and quietly to their beds. Hold sat up
somewhat later, occupied with some literary labor. His
wife was quietly sleeping in an adjoining chamber by
the side of her first-born.
  To Hold's surprise, Maria stepped softly into his room.
  "The water is rising very high," said she, with a
trembling voice.
 "What !" cried Hold, and then checked the exclam-
ation for fear that he might wake his wife.
  "It is not full flood till two o'clock ; and now it is
scarcely ten, and the wharf is even now nearly covered,"
continued Maria. "The waves are already beating
against Godber's house ; and one side of the wharf is
settling away. From my window, I saw him standing in
his door. He looked so fixedly over toward me."
  Hold sprang up hastily, and hurried with Maria to
the open door.
  A brilliant moon was pouring a dazzling light over
the ocean, Whose broad, full waves, foaming and dashing,
alternating in dark valleys and shining ridges, broke
around the scattered dwellings, and over each other, as
if one sea would drown another.
  "God be merciful to our poor souls this night !" cried
Hold, and looked anxiously back, as he thought of his
wife. She already stood behind him ; and with that
calmness which, in hours of the greatest danger, is
found almost more frequently in woman than in man,
she said, as she threw her arms about his neck :
  "At least, we shall die together, you and I, and our
child. I shall not be left behind, as once before, when
these waves threatened you."

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274
THE HALLIG.

  At the same instant, a portion of Godber's house fell ;
and it was plain enough to foresee that the wretched
condition of the wharf, which had now become so evi-
dent, would soon cause the complete destruction of the
house and the speedy death of its inmate. But Godber,
although many a wave rolled near his feet, and drenched
him with its spray, appeared quite insensible to the
danger. There he stood in the bright moonlight, his
very features almost distinguishable, in the same spot
where Maria had first observed him. His look, how-
ever, was no longer turned toward the house of the
pastor, but directed to the side, where lay the church-
yard, the top of the wall which surrounded it being
now only occasionally visible. That one side of his
house had given way, did not seem to move him.
Maria cried out to him from her agonized heart. He
did not hear her. There! did she slide accidentally
from the side of the wharf, now made slippery by the
lashing of the waves ? or was it an intentional effort to
reach Godber ? Maria sank into the sea, and rose the
next moment on the foaming crest of a billow, twenty
paces from the mound, and then drifted away on the
dark ridge of a succeeding wave.
 The shriek of terror from Hold and his wife, roused
Godber from his stupor. His eye flew rapidly over the
water, in the direction from which the piercing cry had
come ; and at the same instant, a huge wave lifted
Maria again aloft ; and through its cloud of foam were
seen the raised head and extended arms of the poor
girl. Godber plunged into the stormy sea, measuring
with great presence of mind, the progressive motion of
the water, which, fortunately, was almost exactly in the

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275

THE FLOOD.

direction of his house. A long boat-hook which he had
been holding to support himself against the violence of
the tempest, served as a sort of anchor in his battle
with the mighty billows, to which his strength would
have been otherwise unequal ; and in this way, he
struggled on in the direction of the object he had seen.
Just as he rose to take breath from the deep vortex of
a wave which had broken over him — see ! on the white
edge of the nearest wall of water, a dark figure which
is swept onward directly toward him; and in a moment
more, Godber stood again on his wharf, and Maria hung
as if lifeless in his arms.
  So far, the anxious eyes of the pastor and his wife
had observed all their motions ; but now, a huge wave
which rolled over the floor of the house, warned them
to make the preparations necessary for their own safety.
Hold fastened the shutters as closely as possible, and
bolted the doors. The best sheep should have been
taken up to the garret ; but the two alone were not
strong enough to do this; and therefore, they were
obliged to content themselves with carrying up what-
ever else they had most valuable. But not to ex-
pose their child unnecessarily to the cold of the upper
room, and in the hope that by further strengthening,
the door might be made to resist the waves, they deter-
mined to remain below as long as possible. It is true
that light articles began to float about them as the sur-
rounding water could not be entirely excluded from the
house ; but as yet there was no opening large enough to
make them fear immediate danger from the power of the
element within. The mother, to be ready for any event,
had taken into her arms her child, who, after a drowsy,

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276
THE HALLIG.

but loving look at its parents, slept on quietly as before.
They spoke little, but sat by each other on the heavy
oak table, which, being an heir-loom of the parsonage,
had often before felt the sea around it ; and at every
surge which shook the foundations of the house, they
pressed closer to each other. In the course of the next
half hour, every box and chest in the house was afloat ;
and the water had risen to the top of the table. Now
they were forced to leave their position, and made to
the garret stairs. But before they had reached them,
the waves struck with a noise like thunder against the
door on the west side of the house, which gave way,
and with it a portion of the wall of the dwelling, forc-
ing in a large beam which broke down the stairs with a
fearful crash. In bewildered terror, the unhappy pair
stood for some moments motionless and breathless ;
they embraced each other closely, and hid their deadly
pale faces, each on the breast of the other. Just then,
they heard loud lamentations near them ; and from the
fragment of the roof which the beam brought with it,
and which fell to pieces in an instant, a neighbor, whose
wharf stood only a short distance from the parsonage,
was, with his wife, thrown in beside them.
  "My child, my child," screamed the poor woman, in
the most heart-rending tone when she recovered from
her first bewilderment. The child had been fastened
to a bundle of hay, as the father had foreseen the de-
struction of the house, and the unhappy parents did
not know whether it had been crushed by the falling of
the wall, or was floating about in the water.
  "My child, my child," cried the mother again and
again, and the father joined in the lament. Both for-

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277

THE FLOOD.

got that they were saved for the moment, both forgot
that the next instant the wild waves might sweep them
off again, a sacrifice to the raging sea. The situation
of the pastor's family, as well as that of their neighbors,
was now perilous in the extreme. The waves were roll-
ing around them with terrible violence, breaking down,
one by one, all the partitions in the interior of the
house, madly tossing about the heaviest weights as if
they had been but feathers, and the unfortunate in-
mates, in danger every moment of being crushed by the
large objects thus driven about, stood half dead with
fear before the open passage to the garret, which seemed
only to mock them with the hope of life, since there
was no longer any means of reaching the floor above.
But it was some relief to them, when a portion of the
wall opposite the place which had first given way, was
carried off, while the part directly behind them, still
remained firm. The boxes, beams, and fragments of
the wall, which had been so dangerous, were washed
out through this opening, and they soon had only to
sustain themselves against the continually rising flood,
for the bare posts alone remained, except just where
they were standing. Had the wall here given way, they
must all have been swept out into the sea. But the
flood rose higher and higher, and the certainty of death
increased, for even with the aid of the wall, the great-
est exertion was necessary to enable the unfortunate
sufferers to keep themselves on their feet, and it was
utterly impossible for them to reach the garret. Al-
ready several waves had broken over their heads, and
Hold's wife was obliged to lift the weeping child that
she had not been willing to confide even to her hus-

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278
THE HALLIG.

band, still higher, to prevent its drowning in her arms.
But help had been provided for them long before any
mortal could have dreamed of this danger. The wine
cask which Mander had forced the pastor to accept,
having been probably undermined by the water, was,
rolled over by a heavy wave and left standing directly
under the opening into the garret, at which they had
been gazing with such longing despair. Inspired with
new hope, they succeeded by the aid of this cask, in
climbing into the loft. But what a place of refuge !
A floor, already shattered by the tempest, supported by
piles which were trembling at every shock of the waves.
Around and beneath them the angry ocean whose bil-
lows often threw their foaming spray over the very roof
and poured abundant streams through its openings. In
this situation, quiet compared with that from which
they had just escaped, the child soon fell into a gentle
slumber which was not broken by the hot tears that the
mother dropped upon her precious burden. But the
neighbor's wife, starting from a torpid silence, began
once more to moan aloud for her son. And now the
church, which, we have already said, was under the
same roof, was swept away. This would have been
quite unnoticed — for the howling of the wind, the roar
of the waves, and the creaking of the timbers in every
joint, united in such a deafening confusion, that not
even the thunder of heaven could have been heard —
had not the falling church carried away with it the
studs which had, till now, supported the roof on two
sides leaving of the garret floor, only a couple of nar-
row boards, with a few rafters above it, over which the
thatching hung in rags, thus completely exposing the

[279]

279

THE FLOOD.

north and east side. What a prospect ! A broad
boundless expanse of waves that, sometimes, heaping
themselves up like an arch, threatened to crash their
place of refuge at a single stroke, then sinking down,
surged up from beneath, as if about to toss it high in
the air and scatter asunder its few remaining fragments.
Beams, boards, chests, beds, and cradles, with the bod-
ies of sheep, were all hurrying by together, and rolling
onward, as if each were anxious to find, as soon as pos-
sible, a resting-rplace behind the dikes on the main
land which lay in the direction of the storm. Among
these ruins which announced the fate of the islands
lying further to the north-west, floated here and there a
form which spoke fearfully to the despairing group of
their own approaching fate. The full moon shed a
painfully clear light on this terrible picture, as if night
had cruelly borrowed the brilliancy of day, that man
might not be spared this sight of horror. None of the
houses on the hallig, could have been seen in the direc-
tion which was open, except that of Godber, and this
had totally disappeared. But see ! do not two figures,
closely embracing each other, stand there on the surf—
for no solid object was visible on which the foot could
rest. It was Godber with Maria. With more than
human strength, he seemed struggling against the
winds and waves. Now he braced himself against the
force of a sudden gust which rolled a heavier billow
completely over them, then raised himself and lifted
the young girl in his arms, to recover breath for new
exertions. But in vain ! The support beneath his
feet, whether a wall, or a timber, held no longer. A
huge wave rolled forward like some greedy monster, and

[280]

280
THE HALLIG.

for a moment Maria and Godber, a united pair, were
borne upon the highest crest of the far stretching bil-
low, as if they would so ascend to heaven together —
then sank into the deep waters below from which they
were to rise no more. While watching this unfortu-
nate couple, the witnesses of their fate had for a few
moments forgotten their own peril, but now their
thoughts reverted to themselves with feelings natural
to those who have seen others suffer the death to which
they are condemned, and know that their own doom
follows next. Fear of death was no longer the ruling
idea, although at every renewed trembling of their poor
retreat, the dreadful anticipation of their last moment
thrilled through soul and body. But in the brief inter-
vals between the shocks, the certain expectation of
destruction became almost a hope, even a longing, for
speedy release from these horrors, by immediate death.
The fate of Godber and Maria had again fixed the
thoughts of the neighbors upon their child, who, they
could not doubt, was now, like them, the lifeless play-
thing of the waves, and their grief broke out anew in
lamentations. Just then some dark object floated to-
ward the, opening. It was a stack of hay which had
been held together by the loaded straw-plaiting that
covered it, but now, striking against a floating beam, it
was overturned and fell in pieces. The upper portion
of it was thrown under the roof covering those who
were lying on the boards, with wet hay. And lo ! the
child who had long since been given up for lost lies at
its mother's feet, living and uninjured. O ! who can
conceive the joy of the parents. They covered the boy
with a thousand kisses, with a grateful thanksgiving

[281]

281

THE FLOOD.

they praised the goodness and mercy of God. Every
thought that death was so near to all, entirely vanished.
And the sympathy of the pastor and his wife made
even them forget the common danger ; and had the
poor frame-work yielded to the tempest at this moment,
they would have been swallowed up by the flood in the
midst of rejoicings for the recovery of the child. When
their thoughts were turned once more to the dangers
which surrounded them, they were found to have al-
ready diminished. The storm no longer raged so vio-
lently, and grew calmer every moment. The waves no
longer threw such vast sheets of water over the ruined
roof, and were soon only rolling beneath it. But the
joy with which the new hope of life inspired them, was
greatly lessened by the tact that the supports of the
few joists and boards that remained, seemed now scarce-
ly equal to sustain the slightest shock, but trembled
even more violently than before, and seemed loosening
at every joint. As the water retired, large portions of
the mound on which these posts had rested, fell off,
making one side of the little portion of the garret that
remained, lean so much that it was only by clinging to
the rafters, that the unhappy company could prevent
sliding from the wet and slanting boards. But the sea
sent up a few more long, heavy surges toward the prey
which it left behind so unwillingly, and in its retreat,
undermined, so completely, the ground on which the
house-posts stood, that they were left almost entirely
without support, and the danger to which the pastor
and his companions were exposed, was now greater than
before. The higher their hopes of life had risen, the
more agonizing was the thought of falling a sacrifice at

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282
THE HALLIG.

last, to the now constantly abating flood. How slowly
the minutes passed by ! How slowly the sea retired !
But time measured itself by their beating hearts, and
after six hours, every minute of which had been to
them a stern and threatening messenger of death, the
two preserved families stood once more upon their
mother earth.

[283]


CHAPTER XXIV.


SIGHTS.

    God looks from heaven ! and lo ! the waves are stilled ;
      Help comes from him whose breath the winds did waken ;
    Now, in the longed-for dawn we may behold
      How God proteeteth and what God hath taken.
                                          From "The Flood," 1825.

 
  With what emotions did they, who had just escaped
death, look upon the scene of their former domestic life,
happy, though attended with so many privations ! Who
shall judge them severely if their first upward glance
was not one of gratitude ? Life could scarcely appear a
welcome gift, since they were now deprived of every
thing necessary to its support and enjoyment. The very
earth on which the walls of their dwelling had rested
was swept away — a dwelling which had contained all
the necessaries of life, and in which the devoted hus-
band and wife had fouud so much happiness. The
church was gone, and its loss was a most severe wound
to the heart of the pastor ; of his second sanctuary,
too, the quiet abode of his domestic happiness, there
remained but a few fragments, scarcely enough to mark
the place where it had stood. The unhappy couple
gazed at the desolation with tearful eyes. The husband
recollected his books; not one of them had escaped ;

[284]

284
THE HALLIG.

the wife thought of all the little articles indispensable
to her housekeeping, but there was no trace of any thing
with which she could hope to begin anew. One rouleau
of gold would have entirely outweighed all they had
both lost ; but the joy in what they had earned by care
and toil, the love of what was endeared to their hearts
by pleasant associations, the link with which habit
binds us to an article otherwise of little consequence,
the old familiar look of an object which, like a tried
friend, is connected with the joys and sorrows of our
every-day life — all these no money could restore. And
even if this had been possible, where was it to be ob-
tained ? Were they not standing there, poor and naked
indeed, with no prospect for the future, without know-
ing how to provide for the wants of the day ! Was it
not probable that they who had escaped the flood, would
now perish from cold and hunger ? Could they already
look trustfully over to the mainland coast from which
help was to be expected, before they knew how extensive
the inundation had been, how far it had swept away
dykes and embankments, and how far the charity and
means of their neighbors might reach, or how soon their
attention might be called to their situation ? As no
one in our own country could have foreseen that such
active benevolence would be exerted in behalf of the
halligs, and that such abundant relief would have flowed
in upon them as the event proved, how much less in
the first moment, in the full consciousness of their ter-
rible situation, could the unhappy inhabitants have ex-
pected it !
  Hold and his wife stood disconsolate on the site of
their former happiness, and their child cried with the

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cold. They looked about them and saw on all sides
only the same desolation. Wharves bare, or sustaining
only a few posts with the shattered fragments of a roof.
But a single dwelling was less injured, and might still
offer imperfect shelter and protection. Toward this
they directed their trembling steps. As the pastor de-
scended the crumbling mound, he observed a book pro-
jecting from under one of the iron plates of the overturned
stove. He stood still, and a deep flush of shame passed
over his pale face. His tears fell faster, but through
them he raised a beaming look to the heavens now cov-
ered with clouds. He seized the hand of his wife,
pressed it warmly, and said:
  "See there ! the Lord speaks to us again ! No, no,"
and he clasped his wife and child in his arms, "we will
never despair. He has resolved that we should hear
him. How clearly he has spoken again ! He himself
inspired me to write last evening what was this morn-
ing to strengthen my weak faith."
  And now, on the way to their place of shelter, he
told her what he had written on the preceding night in
his manuscript, entitled "Sights," for this was the book
that he had found.
  "And the heavens were opened again, as at the time
when Jacob the son of Isaac slept in the field. From
the light clouds which vailed the entrance to the abode
of the angels who behold the face of God, the heavenly
ladder descended into the silent night of this cold earth.
The sides of the ladder seemed broad sunbeams half
vailed by morning mists, and the steps were moonlight
and starlight combined. A messenger from God came
down, appearing first like a white vapory cloud that

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THE HALLIG.

rocks itself in the blue sea of heaven on a summer day,
then floating nearer to the earth, his form appeared as
might that of the pious soul to the heavenly hosts, when
hastening home to its Father in its transfigured body
invisible to mortal eyes. But mine eyes were to be
opened to behold the angel even in this form, for a fiery
coal had been prepared for me in the counsels of the
Father, because my weakness had despaired before the
cares of this life. And the angel touched the earth,
beckoned to me, and moved lightly toward me, light
as gossamer floats on the breeze. We wandered over
mountain, valley, and sea, through the still winter night,
and my foot slipped not on the smooth surface of the
ice, became not weary in the damp snows, as if its sole
touched not the earth beneath it. We met also several
night pilgrims, but they did not see us ; to the eye of
man my form was invisible. It seemed to me as if I had
left the dark heavy shadow of clay behind in its place
of slumber, and as if my soul were traveling, clad in
the drapery of her future home. At last we came to a
great city whose gates opened and shut in silence, as the
cloud-walls divide, to permit a sunbeam to pass, that
with a sudden flash upon the meadows it may wake
some sleeping bud. All was still and desolate in the
streets, and we passed through the long lines of houses
like persons, who, having prolonged their pleasures till
too late an hour, find the door of their own dwellings
shut, and are forced to seek hospitality with some dis-
tant friend. So the angel of God walked with me
through the wide city, and those who slept in lofty pal-
aces dreamed of the riches, the honors, and the pleasures
of the world as before, and they who slept in the huts

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SIGHTS.

of poverty were, even in their slumbers, as anxious how
to provide for the wants of the body, as eager for gain,
and as envious as they had been by day ; but the angel
passed by and none saw him. Only over the face of the
young child that, unconscious of the world, slept in its
cradle, and knew not yet whether it was born rich or
poor, a faint smile passed, more lovely and beautiful
than that of the bride who sees her betrothed in her
dreams. At the extreme end of the city, stood a lofty
church whose slender spires, broken by the glimmering
moonlight, reached to the clouds, and whose broad walls
and colonnades seemed built to cover the narrow alleys
which lay behind them, the home of the miserable and
the despised. Lighted lamps were shining through the
high arched windows, and as we stood under the gothic
doorway, a pleasant chime rung out for matins. The
sound from the tower, and the chant of the priest,
thrilled me with devotion, and I was anxious to press
in with the few worshipers who were hastening to
prayer. But the angel beckoned me to stay, and turned
his eye upward to the cornice of the stately temple. A
sparrow, stiffened by the frost, fell from the roof at the
feet of the angel. He lifted it up, and wrapping it in
the folds of his vesture, warmed it compassionately on
his bosom. And as if his mission in this place were
ended, he walked on more rapidly, and, as I thought,
with a more joyful countenance, directing his steps to
the despised quarter of the town, and through the dark,
narrow, and crooked lanes, until we reached the extreme
outer wall. There stood a hut so ruinous that I feared
even to pass by it. But God's messenger entered, and
I followed him reluctantly. A moldering staircase led

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THE HALLIG.

us up, then another, till we entered into a small boarded
chamber under the roof. The only window of this mis-
erable abode looked over the city wall upon the open
field, and its broken sash freely admitted the wind and
the full moonlight, so that I could as distinctly see
every object as if it had been day. Perhaps, too, my
sight may have been clearer than usual. On a straw
bed in the corner lay a dying person. I knew it by the
rattling in the chest. Alas ! he was the only, the last
stay of his family, who were standing about his bed, a
wife with six children and the seventh on her breast.
The children wrung their hands and wept aloud; but
the mother stared fixedly, with a pale unchanging face,
for she had no more tears. The nursling alone uncon-
cerned, lay on her despairing bosom, draining the little
nutriment it afforded. The dying man raised himself
feebly, and gazed with hollow eyes at his family. In
every feature was expressed a longing desire to find
some consolation for them ; his thin fingers grasped
convulsively at the straws lying about him, as if he
hoped to find among them an ear of wheat to remind
him of that God who giveth bread to the hungry ; but
the straws were empty, his heart, too, was void, and his
sighs became groans of despair. The children wept still
louder, the mother's knees failed, and she sank down
by the side of her husband.
  "' Where hast thou brought me ?' said I, softly, to
the angel. 'Help here, if thou canst, or let us depart
hence, that I may weep over the misery of mankind.'
  "But the angel replied — and his words sounded like
the breath of morning which precedes the rising day —
  "'The eyes of our heavenly Father behold all his

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SIGHTS.

children here in the dust. Help is in his counsels. He
will neither leave nor forsake any that are here ; but I
am only sent hither that the soul of this dying man
may depart in peace.'
  "At these words he lifted the folds of his vesture,
and the sparrow, warmed into new life upon his breast,
flew forth, and perched upon the window. In its sill,
lay a broken crust, the last store of the poor family ;
and the hungry bird, lighting near it, pecked off crumb
after crumb. Suddenly the face of the dying man
seemed transfigured. His eye followed, with kindling
light, every motion of the bird, which fluttered around
the new found food, tasting it now on this side, now on
that. And more and more plainly was joy mirrored on
the features of the dying man, and more and more blessed
was the expression of peace on his countenance. He
raised himself again as if the strength of his youth had
returned, a tear of gratitude glistened in his eye, now
turned toward heaven, and trust, and confidence, and
hope, were enthroned on his cheerful brow. Then, look-
ing again at his family, he stretched out his hand to-
ward his wife and children, pointed to the sparrow on
the window, said in a clear, firm voice,
  "'Behold the fowls of the air ; for they sow not,
neither do they reap nor gather into barns, yet your
heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much
better than they !'
  "He spoke, and gazed at his wife, whose eyes had
been dry so long, till gentle tears flowed from them ;
and then his soul departed in peace."

[290]


CHAPTER XXV.


CONCLUSION.

    Look heavenward, bowed and broken soul ! forget not
      That tears may nourish graces in thy heart ;
    The world's gifts passing, warn thee that thou set not
      Thy love on them, but choose the better part.
    All earthly perisheth, time's rightful prey,
      But love and. faith shall bloom without decay.

 
  On the morning that followed this night of destruc-
tion, the whole congregation, men, women, and children,
were assembled in the only house still capable of shel-
tering them. All the other dwellings were either en-
tirely swept off, or reduced to mere frame-work. What
a prospect was before the unhappy islanders. Houses,
lands, and flocks, destroyed ! No shelter, no provision
for the ensuing day, not even food and dry clothing for
the moment. Sickness, hunger, cold, and nakedness,
despair or death in the waves on the next returning
tide — such was the fate too nearly threatened to be
overlooked. As they hurried successively to the place
of refuge, each new narrative furnished a fresh subject
for admiration of the divine power and goodness.
  I may mention, among other cases, that of a poor
woman at the point of becoming for the first time a
mother. When the flood came on, she was carried to

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CONCLUSION.

the garret ; and the house being undermined, she was
thrown with its ruins, on a hay stack. There half
crushed by the timbers which swayed with every rising
and falling wave, she clung all night, and then waded
across the hallig, through deep water, to the only house
left standing, where she immediately gave birth to a
healthy child, who was christened John, or God is
gracious. This was the last child born upon this hallig,
excepting the eldest surviving daughter of the author.
  When at last, none were missing but Godber and
Maria, the thoughts and feelings of all were turned to
the losses they had suffered, and to the helplessness of
their present situation. All lamented, wept, and sobbed
together. But having overcome his first feeling of mis-
ery, the pastor who, during his residence upon the hal-
lig, had often pictured to himself a similar state of
things, and whom the Lord, as we have already seen,
had greatly comforted in his trial, soon began to recol-
lect the duties which his office imposed upon him ; and
never before had his vocation seemed so noble to him as
at this hour. He addressed himself, sometimes to indi-
viduals, sometimes to all ; called their attention to the
truly wonderful preservations told by one and another,
and endeavored to waken their confidence in their
Father in heaven, who sustains the birds of the air, and
clothes the flowers of the field ; pointed out to them the
fact that so many precious promises had been given ex-
pressly for such situations as that in which they now
found themselves, and encouraged them — as his first
proposition to endeavor to reach the mainland by the
help of the only vessel which lay at anchor uninjured,
was rejected — to wait with him in entire submission, on

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THE HALLIG.

the soil of their beloved home, and in what God would
do for them. His words were to the poor sufferers
like manna in the desert ; and he was reminded of the
flickering wick which does not go out, and the bent
reed that does not break. He rebuked the despairing
with earnest words : "Humble yourselves therefore un-
der the mighty hand of God." Who has been brought
to shame that has hoped in God ! Who has ever been
forsaken that has remained steadfast in the fear of the
Lord! Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and
shall we not receive evil ?" Therefore be patient in
your tribulation." "And above all," cried he, "if I
have but thee, Almighty Father, I will ask neither for
heaven nor earth. If soul and body languish, still thou,
O God, art at all times the confidence of my heart and
my salvation." By degrees his consolation found en-
trance into the hearts of his. afflicted congregation.
They gathered more and more closely about him, grad-
ually assenting to the truth of his remarks ; their com-
plaints ceased, their tears flowed more gently, and their
sighs were turned to silent prayers.
  Hunger and cold now warned them to prepare some
refreshment. Even if it were possible to kindle a fire,
they had no provisions except such as were thoroughly
wet by the sea, and most of all, they lacked fresh
water, as the inundation had filled every well. Hold
now remembered the cask of wine by means of which
his life had been preserved, and some young men went
to his wharf to fetch it.
  On their way they discovered the corpse of Godber,
which had found its resting-place by the washed grave
of his former captain and the two sailors, as if in sign

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293

CONCLUSION.

of perfect reconciliation. Could he have chosen his
own burial-place, he would have selected no other.
  In hours of special excitement, man is easily inclined
to give a remarkable coincidence, a deeper significance
than perhaps he ought. We shall, therefore, leave it
to our readers to decide whether Hold was right, when
afterward, in conversation with his wife upon the dis-
covery of Godber's body on the grave of his former ship-
mates, he expressed himself as follows : "It seems to
me as if God had designed by this circumstance to give
me great consolation. I can now think of Godber with-
out any doubts of his forgiveness. This union in death
with those whom he regarded, justly or unjustly, as
having been sacrificed by his unfaithfulness, strikes me
as an affirmative answer to the question of survivors,
'Was his repentance accepted ?' We should think of
him with peace, since we have seen him sleeping peace-
fully by the side of those with whose death his cousin
reproached him. I, at least, must thank God that he
so ordered it, and would not willingly have seen the
body of Godber lying elsewhere. He was to go first
where the voice of'reconciliation called him. Maria
belonged not there, and, therefore, they were separated.
The last moments of his life had expiated his offense
toward her, and they are now reunited in the everlast-
ing habitations."
  If our narrative has won your sympathy, kind reader,
we beg you also to take leave of Godber without re-
proaching him for his weakness. Who shall measure
the strength of passion whose glowing flame often con-
sumes, in one unhappy moment, all that we call our
truth and our duty, and we stand before their ashes,

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THE HALLIG.

and ask with astonishment, "How has all this hap-
pened ?" In judging ourselves, no severity is too
great ; but when we would judge others, let the con-
sciousness of our own weakness make us breathe the
prayer, "O God, lead us not into temptation !"
  The cask was fortunately found uninjured, was open-
ed at once, and the necessary food was prepared in the
wine. In this way refreshment was provided, which
infused new warmth and life into their wet and chilled
frames.
  "Thus far the Lord has helped us !" exclaimed Hold,
when all were satisfied. "Let us go out to the place
where his sanctuary stood, that we may thank him
there, where we have so often called upon his holy
name. There, in view of the destruction of all our
temporal goods, will we praise him that he has pre-
served those dearest to us, and still showed his love to
us, even when his hand was heavy upon us." And he
commenced singing Luther's hymn, "In deepest grief
I cried to thee !" and the whole congregation joined in
the following verses on their way to the site of the
church:

    And should my grief last till the night,
      Or even till the morrow,
    My heart shall trust its Father's might,
      Nor feel despairing sorrow.
    For thus the soul regenerate,
    Whom grace divine did re-create,
    Will on its God with patience wait.

    Although so many are our sins,
      Yet more the grace he giveth ;
    However great may be our need,
      His arm is strong that saveth.

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CONCLUSION.

   The only shepherd true is he !
    Israel's Redeemer will he be,
    And from his trouble set him free.


As the pastor ascended the mound, which, in its
washed condition, could scarcely be called a wharf, and
upon which not a stone or timber remained to remind
them that a building had stood here, the first object
which met his sight was the body of Maria. She must
have been floated back by the retreating tide, and was
left in one of the cavities of the mound, almost in a
sitting posture, so that at the first glance she seemed
like a living person who had sought shelter here from
the rough winds. All pressed around Hold as he bent
over the corpse with tearful eyes. He was so much
moved and saddened, that he endeavored in vain to re-
cover the cheerful, trusting confidence with which he
had led the congregation hither.
  So, then, this youthful life which had known happi-
ness only in a dream, had vanished. When the dream
seemed about to be fulfilled, a sharp winter frost
touched the buds of her bridal garland, and they with-
ered away. And thou, too, with thy modest, simple
nature, who seemed made to walk peacefully through
the world unnoticed by destiny which smites proud
hearts, and tries more excitable tempers, thou, too,
must bleed, a patient sacrifice to a world agitated by
passion. But a fair morning-star had risen in thy heart,
and called forth flowers not born of earth, over which
no winter frost has power, and which nourished by the
dews of heavenly peace and the tears of earthly sorrow,
unfolded themselves luxuriantly and sent a richer fra-
grance toward heaven. Thy soul has not passed into

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296
THE HALLIG.

another land, it was already loosed from the fetters of
earthly desires, was even here below, not a pilgrim trav-
eling toward heaven, but one already walking there.
The tears which fall upon thy clay, are not for thee
whose faith has now become sight, they are for the
world which has no resting-place, even for a heart that
asked so little. We arej indeed, strangers and pilgrims
upon earth.
  As the pastor stooped lower, less to observe the dead
more closely, than to conceal his own tears, he saw be-
side Maria the golden communion-cup which had
served the congregation since 1459.*
  This discovery struck him like a message from
heaven. His cheerful faith returned with overcoming
power. He eagerly seized the treasure so dear to him-
self and his people, and holding it high in his left
hand, raised the right as if in benediction over the
heads of the congregation who were surrounding him.
His face, beaming with joy, was turned toward the
heavens, through whose light clouds the sun was just
breaking, illuminating with its rays the terrible desola-
tion, and pouring at the same time a gleam over the
countenance of the pastor on which the holy joy within,
was brightly and clearly reflected. There he stood on
the highest portion of the ruined wharf, himself the
center of a wonderful picture. Near him the body of
Maria in a half sitting posture, like a faithful disciple
at the feet of the master; her countenance, too, turned
heavenward with the mild peace of death on her beau-
tiful features. The congregation were gathered round

  * This chalice is preserved in the Museum of Art and Antiquities, in
Copenhagen.

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297

CONCLUSION.

in every variety of posture, each indicating more or less
exhaustion, all thinly clad from the hurry and confusion
of the preceding night, men without neck-cloths and
their chests exposed, women and girls with their long
wet hair hanging over their shoulders ; some with coun-
tenances as it were transfigured, gazing upward ; others
with an expression of sorrow and distress at the fresh
eight of the annihilation of their earthly fortunes, chil-
dren looking timidly around and clinging to their pa-
rents, as if seeing again the horrors through which they
had just passed. And then the shattered wharf, here
washed into deep cavities, there into steep slides with
heaps of earth below it, like the blown up walls of a
fortress. On one side a half sunk house-frame, the last
remains of the parsonage, on the other a view over the
smooth flats covered with scattered ruins that a light
fall of snow during the morning, had made visible
above the dark, wet earth on which they lay. Beyond,
the sea, whose waves, from the impulse of the late
storm, were still in unusual agitation, proving how
great had been the violence of the tempest. All this
formed a picture whose reality left every creation of
fancy far behind it.

  "Fear not, little flock," exclaimed the pastor. "See !
the Lord is near you ! As the rainbow after the del-
uge, was a sign and a testimony that God's grace should
henceforth be greater than man's sin, so he gives us
this cup which has served so many generations and has
survived so many floods, as a sign and testimony to-day,
that he will take pity upon us in his love and faithful-
ness. Fear not little flock 1 The Lord who hath sent
Jesus Christ into the world that he might fill the

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THE HALLIG.

cup of reconciliation with his own blood, he says to
you through this cup of the holy sacrament, 'I will
never leave thee, nor forsake thee !' Lord, we hold fast
to thy word ! Lord, we build upon thy testimonies !
Who can dwell longer on what this night has taken
from him ? Whose breast is not filled with consolation
from on high ? Whose heart does not beat with child-
like gratitude to our Father in heaven ? He has sent
his messenger before — even this chalice ! He is here,
and gives to every one of the fullness of his riches. He
is here, O daughter of Sion, and has created a sanctu-
ary in thy heart, whose foundation is the Kock of assur-
ance, whose columns are light and grace, whose altar
is the promise of this life and the life to come, whose
battlements are peace and blessedness. Poor and help-
less as we came into the world, we stand now before
him. He allows us to be born again, that we may
henceforth be more wholly his, nourished only by the
pure milk of faith, strong only in his strength, rich
only in his wealth, blessed only in his love. Lord
our God, here we are, we are thine, heirs of thy king-
dom, no longer children of this world."

   All earthly perisheth, time's rightful prey,
    But love and faith shall bloom without decay.

Amen.


THE END.