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"My beautiful! my beautiful!"
   How exquisitely thrill,
Along the heart the praises true,
   That loving lips distil.

Yet what was beauty to the thought
   That the dark spell was gone,
Which her unthinking young despair
   So lightly had put on!

And Mabel told how through her dream
   She watched the fays and elves,
And knew they were but ministers,
   Heav'n's creatures like themselves.

How had he sped? Some ill intent
   Those errands sent untrue,
And still his mother lived, and longed
   To see her daughter new.

But, as with baffled malice stung,
   The aged crone was dead;
And with her from their sunny lives
   All chill, all shadow fled.

The grand old forest all their lives
   They loved, this king and queen,
And many a lover's walk they had
   Through its deep vistas green.

With ev'ry Christmas came the elves
   To bless their palace halls,
While children's children for their sake
   Made woodland of the walls.


I, THE writer of the following story, entreat
the reader of it not to believe that, because I
shall relate it somewhat circumstantially, it is,
therefore, a work of fiction, or in the slightest
degree embellished by fancy. I was well
acquainted with Max, the hero of the
tale, and with the other agents in its strange
conclusion: from more than one of whom,
as well as from personal knowledge, I
collected the following particulars. Singularly
enough, the paper which plays an
important part in this true drama, was for
some time in my possession. It had been
forwarded to me (unknowingly) in a book
that Max's family sent me as a memorial of
the deceased.

"And you really leave us, Max, to-morrow?"
exclaimed, in chorus, a knot of
students, who, with long hair, small caps, long
pipes projecting from their pockets, books or
portfolios under their arms, and mostly, with
spectacles on their noses, were grouped
together at an angle made by the
intersection of two gable-ended streets, in an old
picturesque town in southern Germany.

"Yes, really!" answered the youth to
whom the question was addressed. "All is
settled; and to my contentment, too. But,"
he added, after a pauseas if replying to the
sorrowful silence of his companions, which
seemed to fall blankly, and as it were
reproachfully upon his own cheerful tones
"you must not think I do not grieve to leave
you all, old comrades of the college and the
gymnasium. Yet consider; the first wish of
my heart is about to be realised,—that is, I
am making my first step towards its fulfilment.
I hope soon to be a burden on nobody,
for to-morrow I set out for Bologna, to study
medicine there!"

The speaker was a small and slight young
man, about eighteen years of age, with a
pale, delicate-looking, oval face, about which
fell long, but (it must be owned) rather lanky
hair. The expression of his countenance was
singularly amiable, and habitually somewhat
sad; his grey eyes, beneath which was a
faint purplish shade, had an unhealthy, morbid
look, scarcely even now counteracted by the
momentary excitement that gleamed in them.
Unlike as he appeared to the robuster-
frarned, coarser-featured youths whom he
had addressed as his fellow-students, he was
a great favourite with them. On the
announcement of his departure and destination,
they shouted right cordially:

"Bravo, Max! Live long! Good luck to
you! For, you are a good fellow, ay, and a
right jovial, for all your fair face and
maidenly looks. We green-caps will give
you a parting bout to-night, in the old room
at the Blaue Stern! No sleep, my lads, on the
last night of Max's stay with us. Hurrah
for jolly bottles of Ofner and Drachen-Blut,
and thundering healths fifty times over to
Dr. Max, Geheimer Medicinalrath, that is to
be! Good-bye, then, for the present. But
when are we to meet to-night? Come, Max,
the feast is for you; do you fix the hour."

To this hearty invitation, Max as heartily
replied; but, requested his friends to excuse
his naming a late, and, for Germany, a very
late hour, for the gathering.

"This departure of mine," he said, "has
been very suddenly determined on; and I
have all my baggage to pack, and much to
arrange between this and to-morrow morning.
Then, my father and grandfatherin
short, all the family up at the castlewill
hardly let me leave them, on this last night,
before their bed-time. I fear I cannot come
before eleven o'clock."

"Eleven o'clock be it, then!" cried Max's
friends. "We will not say that we may not
meet earlier ourselves: but we will drink no
wine till you comeonly some beer, perhaps,
to moisten our throats between the pipes which,
we'll smoke to your welfare. You know
we must smoke for ourselves and for you too.
Ah! You lose a great deal, Max, by not being
able to smoke. Pity that your chest is so
weak; but when you come back from
Bologna you'll smoke like the rest of us!"

A few minutes after this conversation,
Max was walking, arm-in-arm, through the
pleasure-gardens at the back of the town,
with his chosen friend, Ernest. The day (it
was late in autumn) was grey and
melancholy. Instead of the flowers, so bright and
gay in summer, were long, rank, rambling
stalks, crowned here and there with a pale,

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