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Chapter 7

THESE events occupied so much time, that June had numbered more than half
its days, before we again commenced our long-protracted journey. The day
after my return to Versailles, six men, from among those I had left at
Villeneuve-la-Guiard, arrived, with intelligence, that the rest of the
troop had already proceeded towards Switzerland. We went forward in the
same track.

It is strange, after an interval of time, to look back on a period, which,
though short in itself, appeared, when in actual progress, to be drawn out
interminably. By the end of July we entered Dijon; by the end of July those
hours, days, and weeks had mingled with the ocean of forgotten time, which
in their passage teemed with fatal events and agonizing sorrow. By the end
of July, little more than a month had gone by, if man's life were measured
by the rising and setting of the sun: but, alas! in that interval ardent
youth had become grey-haired; furrows deep and uneraseable were trenched in
the blooming cheek of the young mother; the elastic limbs of early manhood,
paralyzed as by the burthen of years, assumed the decrepitude of age.
Nights passed, during whose fatal darkness the sun grew old before it rose;
and burning days, to cool whose baleful heat the balmy eve, lingering far
in eastern climes, came lagging and ineffectual; days, in which the dial,
radiant in its noon-day station, moved not its shadow the space of a little
hour, until a whole life of sorrow had brought the sufferer to an untimely
grave.

We departed from Versailles fifteen hundred souls. We set out on the
eighteenth of June. We made a long procession, in which was contained every
dear relationship, or tie of love, that existed in human society. Fathers
and husbands, with guardian care, gathered their dear relatives around
them; wives and mothers looked for support to the manly form beside them,
and then with tender anxiety bent their eyes on the infant troop around.
They were sad, but not hopeless. Each thought that someone would be saved;
each, with that pertinacious optimism, which to the last characterized our
human nature, trusted that their beloved family would be the one
preserved.

We passed through France, and found it empty of inhabitants. Some one or
two natives survived in the larger towns, which they roamed through like
ghosts; we received therefore small encrease to our numbers, and such
decrease through death, that at last it became easier to count the scanty
list of survivors. As we never deserted any of the sick, until their death
permitted us to commit their remains to the shelter of a grave, our journey
was long, while every day a frightful gap was made in our troop--they
died by tens, by fifties, by hundreds. No mercy was shewn by death; we
ceased to expect it, and every day welcomed the sun with the feeling that
we might never see it rise again.

The nervous terrors and fearful visions which had scared us during the
spring, continued to visit our coward troop during this sad journey. Every
evening brought its fresh creation of spectres; a ghost was depicted by
every blighted tree; and appalling shapes were manufactured from each
shaggy bush. By degrees these common marvels palled on us, and then other
wonders were called into being. Once it was confidently asserted, that the
sun rose an hour later than its seasonable time; again it was discovered
that he grew paler and paler; that shadows took an uncommon appearance. It
was impossible to have imagined, during the usual calm routine of life men
had before experienced, the terrible effects produced by these extravagant
delusions: in truth, of such little worth are our senses, when unsupported
by concurring testimony, that it was with the utmost difficulty I kept
myself free from the belief in supernatural events, to which the major part
of our people readily gave credit. Being one sane amidst a crowd of the
mad, I hardly dared assert to my own mind, that the vast luminary had
undergone no change--that the shadows of night were unthickened by
innumerable shapes of awe and terror; or that the wind, as it sung in the
trees, or whistled round an empty building, was not pregnant with sounds of
wailing and despair. Sometimes realities took ghostly shapes; and it was
impossible for one's blood not to curdle at the perception of an evident
mixture of what we knew to be true, with the visionary semblance of all
that we feared.

Once, at the dusk of the evening, we saw a figure all in white, apparently
of more than human stature, flourishing about the road, now throwing up its
arms, now leaping to an astonishing height in the air, then turning round
several times successively, then raising itself to its full height and
gesticulating violently. Our troop, on the alert to discover and believe in
the supernatural, made a halt at some distance from this shape; and, as it
became darker, there was something appalling even to the incredulous, in
the lonely spectre, whose gambols, if they hardly accorded with spiritual
dignity, were beyond human powers. Now it leapt right up in the air, now
sheer over a high hedge, and was again the moment after in the road before
us. By the time I came up, the fright experienced by the spectators of this
ghostly exhibition, began to manifest itself in the flight of some, and the
close huddling together of the rest. Our goblin now perceived us; he
approached, and, as we drew reverentially back, made a low bow. The sight
was irresistibly ludicrous even to our hapless band, and his politeness was
hailed by a shout of laughter;--then, again springing up, as a last
effort, it sunk to the ground, and became almost invisible through the
dusky night. This circumstance again spread silence and fear through the
troop; the more courageous at length advanced, and, raising the dying
wretch, discovered the tragic explanation of this wild scene. It was an
opera-dancer, and had been one of the troop which deserted from
Villeneuve-la-Guiard: falling sick, he had been deserted by his companions;
in an access of delirium he had fancied himself on the stage, and, poor
fellow, his dying sense eagerly accepted the last human applause that could
ever be bestowed on his grace and agility.

At another time we were haunted for several days by an apparition, to which
our people gave the appellation of the Black Spectre. We never saw it
except at evening, when his coal black steed, his mourning dress, and plume
of black feathers, had a majestic and awe-striking appearance; his face,
one said, who had seen it for a moment, was ashy pale; he had lingered far
behind the rest of his troop, and suddenly at a turn in the road, saw the
Black Spectre coming towards him; he hid himself in fear, and the horse and
his rider slowly past, while the moonbeams fell on the face of the latter,
displaying its unearthly hue. Sometimes at dead of night, as we watched the
sick, we heard one galloping through the town; it was the Black Spectre
come in token of inevitable death. He grew giant tall to vulgar eyes; an
icy atmosphere, they said, surrounded him; when he was heard, all animals
shuddered, and the dying knew that their last hour was come. It was Death
himself, they declared, come visibly to seize on subject earth, and quell
at once our decreasing numbers, sole rebels to his law. One day at noon, we
saw a dark mass on the road before us, and, coming up, beheld the Black
Spectre fallen from his horse, lying in the agonies of disease upon the
ground. He did not survive many hours; and his last words disclosed the
secret of his mysterious conduct. He was a French noble of distinction,
who, from the effects of plague, had been left alone in his district;
during many months, he had wandered from town to town, from province to
province, seeking some survivor for a companion, and abhorring the
loneliness to which he was condemned. When he discovered our troop, fear of
contagion conquered his love of society. He dared not join us, yet he could
not resolve to lose sight of us, sole human beings who besides himself
existed in wide and fertile France; so he accompanied us in the spectral
guise I have described, till pestilence gathered him to a larger
congregation, even that of Dead Mankind.

It had been well, if such vain terrors could have distracted our thoughts
from more tangible evils. But these were too dreadful and too many not to
force themselves into every thought, every moment, of our lives. We were
obliged to halt at different periods for days together, till another and
yet another was consigned as a clod to the vast clod which had been once
our living mother. Thus we continued travelling during the hottest season;
and it was not till the first of August, that we, the emigrants,--reader,
there were just eighty of us in number,--entered the gates of Dijon.

We had expected this moment with eagerness, for now we had accomplished the
worst part of our drear journey, and Switzerland was near at hand. Yet how
could we congratulate ourselves on any event thus imperfectly fulfilled?
Were these miserable beings, who, worn and wretched, passed in sorrowful
procession, the sole remnants of the race of man, which, like a flood, had
once spread over and possessed the whole earth? It had come down clear and
unimpeded from its primal mountain source in Ararat, and grew from a puny
streamlet to a vast perennial river, generation after generation flowing on
ceaselessly. The same, but diversified, it grew, and swept onwards towards
the absorbing ocean, whose dim shores we now reached. It had been the mere
plaything of nature, when first it crept out of uncreative void into light;
but thought brought forth power and knowledge; and, clad with these, the
race of man assumed dignity and authority. It was then no longer the mere
gardener of earth, or the shepherd of her flocks; "it carried with it an
imposing and majestic aspect; it had a pedigree and illustrious ancestors;
it had its gallery of portraits, its monumental inscriptions, its records
and titles."[1]

This was all over, now that the ocean of death had sucked in the slackening
tide, and its source was dried up. We first had bidden adieu to the state
of things which having existed many thousand years, seemed eternal; such a
state of government, obedience, traffic, and domestic intercourse, as had
moulded our hearts and capacities, as far back as memory could reach. Then
to patriotic zeal, to the arts, to reputation, to enduring fame, to the
name of country, we had bidden farewell. We saw depart all hope of
retrieving our ancient state--all expectation, except the feeble one of
saving our individual lives from the wreck of the past. To preserve these
we had quitted England--England, no more; for without her children, what
name could that barren island claim? With tenacious grasp we clung to such
rule and order as could best save us; trusting that, if a little colony
could be preserved, that would suffice at some remoter period to restore
the lost community of mankind.

But the game is up! We must all die; nor leave survivor nor heir to the
wide inheritance of earth. We must all die! The species of man must perish;
his frame of exquisite workmanship; the wondrous mechanism of his senses;
the noble proportion of his godlike limbs; his mind, the throned king of
these; must perish. Will the earth still keep her place among the planets;
will she still journey with unmarked regularity round the sun; will the
seasons change, the trees adorn themselves with leaves, and flowers shed
their fragrance, in solitude? Will the mountains remain unmoved, and
streams still keep a downward course towards the vast abyss; will the tides
rise and fall, and the winds fan universal nature; will beasts pasture,
birds fly, and fishes swim, when man, the lord, possessor, perceiver, and
recorder of all these things, has passed away, as though he had never been?
O, what mockery is this! Surely death is not death, and humanity is not
extinct; but merely passed into other shapes, unsubjected to our
perceptions. Death is a vast portal, an high road to life: let us hasten to
pass; let us exist no more in this living death, but die that we may live!

We had longed with inexpressible earnestness to reach Dijon, since we had
fixed on it, as a kind of station in our progress. But now we entered it
with a torpor more painful than acute suffering. We had come slowly but
irrevocably to the opinion, that our utmost efforts would not preserve one
human being alive. We took our hands therefore away from the long grasped
rudder; and the frail vessel on which we floated, seemed, the government
over her suspended, to rush, prow foremost, into the dark abyss of the
billows. A gush of grief, a wanton profusion of tears, and vain laments,
and overflowing tenderness, and passionate but fruitless clinging to the
priceless few that remained, was followed by languor and recklessness.

During this disastrous journey we lost all those, not of our own family, to
whom we had particularly attached ourselves among the survivors. It were
not well to fill these pages with a mere catalogue of losses; yet I cannot
refrain from this last mention of those principally dear to us. The little
girl whom Adrian had rescued from utter desertion, during our ride through
London on the twentieth of November, died at Auxerre. The poor child had
attached herself greatly to us; and the suddenness of her death added to
our sorrow. In the morning we had seen her apparently in health--in the
evening, Lucy, before we retired to rest, visited our quarters to say that
she was dead. Poor Lucy herself only survived, till we arrived at Dijon.
She had devoted herself throughout to the nursing the sick, and attending
the friendless. Her excessive exertions brought on a slow fever, which
ended in the dread disease whose approach soon released her from her
sufferings. She had throughout been endeared to us by her good qualities,
by her ready and cheerful execution of every duty, and mild acquiescence in
every turn of adversity. When we consigned her to the tomb, we seemed at
the same time to bid a final adieu to those peculiarly feminine virtues
conspicuous in her; uneducated and unpretending as she was, she was
distinguished for patience, forbearance, and sweetness. These, with all
their train of qualities peculiarly English, would never again be revived
for us. This type of all that was most worthy of admiration in her class
among my countrywomen, was placed under the sod of desert France; and it
was as a second separation from our country to have lost sight of her for
ever.

The Countess of Windsor died during our abode at Dijon. One morning I was
informed that she wished to see me. Her message made me remember, that
several days had elapsed since I had last seen her. Such a circumstance had
often occurred during our journey, when I remained behind to watch to their
close the last moments of some one of our hapless comrades, and the rest of
the troop past on before me. But there was something in the manner of her
messenger, that made me suspect that all was not right. A caprice of the
imagination caused me to conjecture that some ill had occurred to Clara or
Evelyn, rather than to this aged lady. Our fears, for ever on the stretch,
demanded a nourishment of horror; and it seemed too natural an occurrence,
too like past times, for the old to die before the young. I found the
venerable mother of my Idris lying on a couch, her tall emaciated figure
stretched out; her face fallen away, from which the nose stood out in sharp
profile, and her large dark eyes, hollow and deep, gleamed with such light
as may edge a thunder cloud at sun-set. All was shrivelled and dried up,
except these lights; her voice too was fearfully changed, as she spoke to
me at intervals. "I am afraid," said she, "that it is selfish in me to have
asked you to visit the old woman again, before she dies: yet perhaps it
would have been a greater shock to hear suddenly that I was dead, than to
see me first thus."

I clasped her shrivelled hand: "Are you indeed so ill?" I asked.

"Do you not perceive death in my face," replied she, "it is strange; I
ought to have expected this, and yet I confess it has taken me unaware. I
never clung to life, or enjoyed it, till these last months, while among
those I senselessly deserted: and it is hard to be snatched immediately
away. I am glad, however, that I am not a victim of the plague; probably I
should have died at this hour, though the world had continued as it was in
my youth."

She spoke with difficulty, and I perceived that she regretted the necessity
of death, even more than she cared to confess. Yet she had not to complain
of an undue shortening of existence; her faded person shewed that life had
naturally spent itself. We had been alone at first; now Clara entered; the
Countess turned to her with a smile, and took the hand of this lovely
child; her roseate palm and snowy fingers, contrasted with relaxed fibres
and yellow hue of those of her aged friend; she bent to kiss her, touching
her withered mouth with the warm, full lips of youth. "Verney," said the
Countess, "I need not recommend this dear girl to you, for your own sake
you will preserve her. Were the world as it was, I should have a thousand
sage precautions to impress, that one so sensitive, good, and beauteous,
might escape the dangers that used to lurk for the destruction of the fair
and excellent. This is all nothing now.

"I commit you, my kind nurse, to your uncle's care; to yours I entrust the
dearest relic of my better self. Be to Adrian, sweet one, what you have
been to me--enliven his sadness with your sprightly sallies; sooth his
anguish by your sober and inspired converse, when he is dying; nurse him as
you have done me."

Clara burst into tears; "Kind girl," said the Countess, "do not weep for
me. Many dear friends are left to you."

"And yet," cried Clara, "you talk of their dying also. This is indeed cruel
--how could I live, if they were gone? If it were possible for my beloved
protector to die before me, I could not nurse him; I could only die too."

The venerable lady survived this scene only twenty-four hours. She was the
last tie binding us to the ancient state of things. It was impossible to
look on her, and not call to mind in their wonted guise, events and
persons, as alien to our present situation as the disputes of Themistocles
and Aristides, or the wars of the two roses in our native land. The crown
of England had pressed her brow; the memory of my father and his
misfortunes, the vain struggles of the late king, the images of Raymond,
Evadne, and Perdita, who had lived in the world's prime, were brought
vividly before us. We consigned her to the oblivious tomb with reluctance;
and when I turned from her grave, Janus veiled his retrospective face; that
which gazed on future generations had long lost its faculty.

After remaining a week at Dijon, until thirty of our number deserted the
vacant ranks of life, we continued our way towards Geneva. At noon on the
second day we arrived at the foot of Jura. We halted here during the heat
of the day. Here fifty human beings--fifty, the only human beings that
survived of the food-teeming earth, assembled to read in the looks of each
other ghastly plague, or wasting sorrow, desperation, or worse,
carelessness of future or present evil. Here we assembled at the foot of
this mighty wall of mountain, under a spreading walnut tree; a brawling
stream refreshed the green sward by its sprinkling; and the busy
grasshopper chirped among the thyme. We clustered together a group of
wretched sufferers. A mother cradled in her enfeebled arms the child, last
of many, whose glazed eye was about to close for ever. Here beauty, late
glowing in youthful lustre and consciousness, now wan and neglected, knelt
fanning with uncertain motion the beloved, who lay striving to paint his
features, distorted by illness, with a thankful smile. There an
hard-featured, weather-worn veteran, having prepared his meal, sat, his
head dropped on his breast, the useless knife falling from his grasp, his
limbs utterly relaxed, as thought of wife and child, and dearest relative,
all lost, passed across his recollection. There sat a man who for forty
years had basked in fortune's tranquil sunshine; he held the hand of his
last hope, his beloved daughter, who had just attained womanhood; and he
gazed on her with anxious eyes, while she tried to rally her fainting
spirit to comfort him. Here a servant, faithful to the last, though dying,
waited on one, who, though still erect with health, gazed with gasping fear
on the variety of woe around.

Adrian stood leaning against a tree; he held a book in his hand, but his
eye wandered from the pages, and sought mine; they mingled a sympathetic
glance; his looks confessed that his thoughts had quitted the inanimate
print, for pages more pregnant with meaning, more absorbing, spread out
before him. By the margin of the stream, apart from all, in a tranquil
nook, where the purling brook kissed the green sward gently, Clara and
Evelyn were at play, sometimes beating the water with large boughs,
sometimes watching the summer-flies that sported upon it. Evelyn now chased
a butterfly--now gathered a flower for his cousin; and his laughing
cherub-face and clear brow told of the light heart that beat in his bosom.
Clara, though she endeavoured to give herself up to his amusement, often
forgot him, as she turned to observe Adrian and me. She was now fourteen,
and retained her childish appearance, though in height a woman; she acted
the part of the tenderest mother to my little orphan boy; to see her
playing with him, or attending silently and submissively on our wants, you
thought only of her admirable docility and patience; but, in her soft eyes,
and the veined curtains that veiled them, in the clearness of her marmoreal
brow, and the tender expression of her lips, there was an intelligence and
beauty that at once excited admiration and love.

When the sun had sunk towards the precipitate west, and the evening shadows
grew long, we prepared to ascend the mountain. The attention that we were
obliged to pay to the sick, made our progress slow. The winding road,
though steep, presented a confined view of rocky fields and hills, each
hiding the other, till our farther ascent disclosed them in succession. We
were seldom shaded from the declining sun, whose slant beams were instinct
with exhausting heat. There are times when minor difficulties grow gigantic
--times, when as the Hebrew poet expressively terms it, "the grasshopper
is a burthen;" so was it with our ill fated party this evening. Adrian,
usually the first to rally his spirits, and dash foremost into fatigue and
hardship, with relaxed limbs and declined head, the reins hanging loosely
in his grasp, left the choice of the path to the instinct of his horse, now
and then painfully rousing himself, when the steepness of the ascent
required that he should keep his seat with better care. Fear and horror
encompassed me. Did his languid air attest that he also was struck with
contagion? How long, when I look on this matchless specimen of mortality,
may I perceive that his thought answers mine? how long will those limbs
obey the kindly spirit within? how long will light and life dwell in the
eyes of this my sole remaining friend? Thus pacing slowly, each hill
surmounted, only presented another to be ascended; each jutting corner only
discovered another, sister to the last, endlessly. Sometimes the pressure
of sickness in one among us, caused the whole cavalcade to halt; the call
for water, the eagerly expressed wish to repose; the cry of pain, and
suppressed sob of the mourner--such were the sorrowful attendants of our
passage of the Jura.

Adrian had gone first. I saw him, while I was detained by the loosening of
a girth, struggling with the upward path, seemingly more difficult than any
we had yet passed. He reached the top, and the dark outline of his figure
stood in relief against the sky. He seemed to behold something unexpected
and wonderful; for, pausing, his head stretched out, his arms for a moment
extended, he seemed to give an All Hail! to some new vision. Urged by
curiosity, I hurried to join him. After battling for many tedious minutes
with the precipice, the same scene presented itself to me, which had wrapt
him in extatic wonder.

Nature, or nature's favourite, this lovely earth, presented her most
unrivalled beauties in resplendent and sudden exhibition. Below, far, far
below, even as it were in the yawning abyss of the ponderous globe, lay the
placid and azure expanse of lake Leman; vine-covered hills hedged it in,
and behind dark mountains in cone-like shape, or irregular cyclopean wall,
served for further defence. But beyond, and high above all, as if the
spirits of the air had suddenly unveiled their bright abodes, placed in
scaleless altitude in the stainless sky, heaven-kissing, companions of the
unattainable ether, were the glorious Alps, clothed in dazzling robes of
light by the setting sun. And, as if the world's wonders were never to be
exhausted, their vast immensities, their jagged crags, and roseate
painting, appeared again in the lake below, dipping their proud heights
beneath the unruffled waves--palaces for the Naiads of the placid waters.
Towns and villages lay scattered at the foot of Jura, which, with dark
ravine, and black promontories, stretched its roots into the watery expanse
beneath. Carried away by wonder, I forgot the death of man, and the living
and beloved friend near me. When I turned, I saw tears streaming from his
eyes; his thin hands pressed one against the other, his animated
countenance beaming with admiration; "Why," cried he, at last, "Why, oh
heart, whisperest thou of grief to me? Drink in the beauty of that scene,
and possess delight beyond what a fabled paradise could afford."

By degrees, our whole party surmounting the steep, joined us, not one among
them, but gave visible tokens of admiration, surpassing any before
experienced. One cried, "God reveals his heaven to us; we may die blessed."
Another and another, with broken exclamations, and extravagant phrases,
endeavoured to express the intoxicating effect of this wonder of nature. So
we remained awhile, lightened of the pressing burthen of fate, forgetful of
death, into whose night we were about to plunge; no longer reflecting that
our eyes now and for ever were and would be the only ones which might
perceive the divine magnificence of this terrestrial exhibition. An
enthusiastic transport, akin to happiness, burst, like a sudden ray from
the sun, on our darkened life. Precious attribute of woe-worn humanity!
that can snatch extatic emotion, even from under the very share and harrow,
that ruthlessly ploughs up and lays waste every hope.

This evening was marked by another event. Passing through Ferney in our way
to Geneva, unaccustomed sounds of music arose from the rural church which
stood embosomed in trees, surrounded by smokeless, vacant cottages. The
peal of an organ with rich swell awoke the mute air, lingering along, and
mingling with the intense beauty that clothed the rocks and woods, and
waves around. Music--the language of the immortals, disclosed to us as
testimony of their existence--music, "silver key of the fountain of
tears," child of love, soother of grief, inspirer of heroism and radiant
thoughts, O music, in this our desolation, we had forgotten thee! Nor pipe
at eve cheered us, nor harmony of voice, nor linked thrill of string; thou
camest upon us now, like the revealing of other forms of being; and
transported as we had been by the loveliness of nature, fancying that we
beheld the abode of spirits, now we might well imagine that we heard their
melodious communings. We paused in such awe as would seize on a pale
votarist, visiting some holy shrine at midnight; if she beheld animated and
smiling, the image which she worshipped. We all stood mute; many knelt. In
a few minutes however, we were recalled to human wonder and sympathy by a
familiar strain. The air was Haydn's "New-Created World," and, old and
drooping as humanity had become, the world yet fresh as at creation's day,
might still be worthily celebrated by such an hymn of praise. Adrian and I
entered the church; the nave was empty, though the smoke of incense rose
from the altar, bringing with it the recollection of vast congregations, in
once thronged cathedrals; we went into the loft. A blind old man sat at the
bellows; his whole soul was ear; and as he sat in the attitude of attentive
listening, a bright glow of pleasure was diffused over his countenance;
for, though his lack-lustre eye could not reflect the beam, yet his parted
lips, and every line of his face and venerable brow spoke delight. A young
woman sat at the keys, perhaps twenty years of age. Her auburn hair hung on
her neck, and her fair brow shone in its own beauty; but her drooping eyes
let fall fast-flowing tears, while the constraint she exercised to suppress
her sobs, and still her trembling, flushed her else pale cheek; she was
thin; languor, and alas! sickness, bent her form. We stood looking at the
pair, forgetting what we heard in the absorbing sight; till, the last chord
struck, the peal died away in lessening reverberations. The mighty voice,
inorganic we might call it, for we could in no way associate it with
mechanism of pipe or key, stilled its sonorous tone, and the girl, turning
to lend her assistance to her aged companion, at length perceived us.

It was her father; and she, since childhood, had been the guide of his
darkened steps. They were Germans from Saxony, and, emigrating thither but
a few years before, had formed new ties with the surrounding villagers.
About the time that the pestilence had broken out, a young German student
had joined them. Their simple history was easily divined. He, a noble,
loved the fair daughter of the poor musician, and followed them in their
flight from the persecutions of his friends; but soon the mighty leveller
came with unblunted scythe to mow, together with the grass, the tall
flowers of the field. The youth was an early victim. She preserved herself
for her father's sake. His blindness permitted her to continue a delusion,
at first the child of accident--and now solitary beings, sole survivors
in the land, he remained unacquainted with the change, nor was aware that
when he listened to his child's music, the mute mountains, senseless lake,
and unconscious trees, were, himself excepted, her sole auditors.

The very day that we arrived she had been attacked by symptomatic illness.
She was paralyzed with horror at the idea of leaving her aged, sightless
father alone on the empty earth; but she had not courage to disclose the
truth, and the very excess of her desperation animated her to surpassing
exertions. At the accustomed vesper hour, she led him to the chapel; and,
though trembling and weeping on his account, she played, without fault in
time, or error in note, the hymn written to celebrate the creation of the
adorned earth, soon to be her tomb.

We came to her like visitors from heaven itself; her high-wrought courage;
her hardly sustained firmness, fled with the appearance of relief. With a
shriek she rushed towards us, embraced the knees of Adrian, and uttering
but the words, "O save my father!" with sobs and hysterical cries, opened
the long-shut floodgates of her woe.

Poor girl!--she and her father now lie side by side, beneath the high
walnut-tree where her lover reposes, and which in her dying moments she had
pointed out to us. Her father, at length aware of his daughter's danger,
unable to see the changes of her dear countenance, obstinately held her
hand, till it was chilled and stiffened by death. Nor did he then move or
speak, till, twelve hours after, kindly death took him to his breakless
repose. They rest beneath the sod, the tree their monument;--the hallowed
spot is distinct in my memory, paled in by craggy Jura, and the far,
immeasurable Alps; the spire of the church they frequented still points
from out the embosoming trees; and though her hand be cold, still methinks
the sounds of divine music which they loved wander about, solacing their
gentle ghosts.

[1] Burke's Reflections on the French Revolution.

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