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Then dashing the spurs into his beast, he was out of sight in a mo
I felt much relieved by his departure he was no sooner gone, than I got by degrees warmer and warmer; even my horse appeared to feel a difference, for he pranced and neighed as if freed from some restraint, and in a very little time was as warm as myself.
I began to think there was something-there was really somethinghorridly unnatural about the stranger; his hollow voice, pale complexion, and heavy eye,-above all, the strange coldness came over me! I felt rejoiced that I was thus rid of him; and that I had not accepted his offer of the cloak (as then, in all probability, we should not have parted so soon); and now, so little did I need it, that I was compelled to unbutton my coat, and take my thick lambs' wool comforter from my neck.
Who could the stranger be? I remembered to have heard, that the German who was hung in chains, and whose gibbet I had passed, had suffered the sentence of the law for having burnt a house and murdered in the most cruel and shocking manner, a person, whom he strangled with his cloak. Now, it was also currently reported, (but only believed by the idle and superstitious) that this man did not then die for it was said, that the devil, to whom after his condemnation he had sold himself, had, while he was suspended, in some way or other, supported him; and had afterwards fed him on the gibbet, in the form of a raven, until the fastenings decayed, so that he could release himself, when he substituted the body of a person whom he murdered for the purpose!
There were many persons now alive who had sworn to having seen the raven there, morning, noon, and to have heard its croaking even at midnight. Many accounted for this, by saying it came there to feed on the body; but one of the villagers, who was known to be a stout fellow, having occasion to go by the gibbet
one twilight, declared, that he heard the man talking with the raven, but in a language he could not understand; that at first he supposed he was deceived by his own fancy, or the creaking of the iron fastenings, but on approaching nearer, he distinctly saw the eyes of the man looking intently at him; and he verily believ ed bad he stopped he would have spoken to him, but that he was so alarmed he took to his heels, and never once looked behind or stopped to take breath, until he reached the end of the plain, a distance of above five miles. And it was further said, the German, when released from the gibbet, was obliged, in fulfilment of his vow, to do the devil's will on earth-that he was most dreadfully pale, owing to the blood never having flowed into his face since his strangulation, for the devil, it is said, had only just kept his word; that the German, as he was called, had since often been seen riding up and down the road, and that he entered very freely into conversation, and endeavoured to entrap the unwary to put them in the power of his master.
Could it be possible that this was the German? Tut! an idle thought; and yet I remember there was something foreign in his accent;then the paleness of his face,-the strange circumstances that accompa nied his presence, the pressing and extraordinary manner in which he offered his cloak, which might have been some device to get me within his power,-the extreme cold with which I was afflicted,-the ominous beckoning, too, of the figure on the gibbet; each circumstance came forcibly before me; and were he the German or not, I more than ever rejoiced that I had thus easily got rid of him.
I now rode briskly on to a small inn, that was situated about half way between the commencement and end of my journey, and arrived there about half-past eight o'clock. On alighting, the host, a fat jolly fellow, with a perpetual smile on his face,
came out and welcomed me. "Shew me into a private room," said I, "and bring me some refreshment." landlord replied he was very sorry his only room was at present occupied by a gentleman who had been there about ten minutes, but he was sure he would have no objection to my company. He departed to obtain his permission, and returned with the gentleman's compliments, and that he would be most happy in my comExpany: so I followed mine host to the room; but what was my confusion, when, on opening the door, I discovered seated, the mysterious stranger, whose presence had before caused me such aunoyance ! A sort of chillness instantly came over me, and I would have retired, when the stranger got up, and bowing politely, said he was exceedingly happy to accede to my request of allowing me to occupy the same room, and at the same time handed me a chair. It was impossible for me now to refuse; so, thanking him for his offer, I seated myself, and, as I before said, being rather chilly, asked him if he had any objection to a fire? I immediately perceived a strong alteration in his features, but it was only moment ary; he instantly recovered himself, and said, "that for his part, his cloak, pointing to one which hung on the back of his chair, was quite enough for him, however cold the weather might be," and added, "if I would but put it on for one moment, he was sure I should be warm enough then." I had a sort of instinctive dread of this cloak, and I determined not to put it on; so starting up, I rang the bell, and on the landlord's entering, asked his permission to have a fire. The stranger bowed his head, and fixing his eyes on the wall, remained quite silent. The landlord, I observed, rubbed his hauds as he went out, saying, this was one of the coldest nights he had felt this year.
ness seemed to pervade the place; the large clock that was in the room had stopped, from some cause or other, about ten minutes before I arriv ed; and on the maid coming in, though before a merry, cheerfullooking damsel, she presently became as melancholy and as grave as either of us, especially as, after numerous attempts, she was obliged to confess her inability to light the fire. It was now very cold, so the landlady came and did her best endeavours to light a fire, but in vain; afterwards the landlord, boots, hostler, and the cook, who never having been out of a perspiration for the last ten years of her life, was nearly killed by the sudden effect of cold she experienced on coming into the room: last of all I myself tried, but unsuccessfully. They all looked surprised, and the landlord observed it was very strange
it was not so cold, he was sure, any where else. The stranger all this time remained as quiet and inmoveable as before.
While they were about preparing to light the fire, the stranger sat quie silent; for my part, I got colder and colder; a sort of melancholy chill47 ATHENEUM, VOL. 9, 2d series.
I now desired the landlord to bring in tea, hoping by that means to warm myself. When the tea things were brought, the stranger drew a chair for himself to the table, and requested I would make tea; I desired the maid to pour some water into the teapot, from a kettle which she held in her hand, apparently just from the fire: however, on pouring in some water no steam arose ; so far from it, the water appeared to be scarcely warm. I questioned her what she meant by it, and how she expected I could make tea with cold water? she declared that it boiled when it left the kitchen fire, and she did not know how it could get cold since. I then told her to take the teapot and fill it from the large kettle, which she assured me was boiling on the kitchen fire; she returned, and on my tilting it up to pour out the tea, it ran gently for a few moments, and then congealed into a long icicle! The maid looked first at me and then at the stranger, and then went quickly out of the room.
I remained some time sitting in
tently gazing on the stranger, who sat with his dull heavy eyes still intently fixed on the wall. I can scarcely describe what I felt; I shook so dreadfully both with fear and cold, that I could hardly keep my seat-my teeth chattered my knees shook-in short, I began to fear that if I staid any longer, I should be frozen to death. At length he noticed my confusion, and starting up, he again said, "perhaps I would accept of his cloak." Now I was really dying with cold, and the cloak looked so warm and so tempting, that I could not help eyeing it wistfully; this the stranger perceived, and opening it, shewed the lining, which was of the finest lamb's wool, looking infinitely warmer as well as softer, and more comfortable than anything I had ever seen. He then, in the most obliging manner, requested that I would put it on, adding, in his own expressive way, he was sure I should be warm enough then. I felt myself wavering; but, summoning up my resolution, I determined I would not yield, so quitting him abruptly, I ordered my horse, and being resolved, once and for ever, to rid myself of this odious stranger, I mounted as quickly as possible, and putting spurs to his side, for I heard the stranger calling loudly for his horse, I galloped the whole of the way home; and I can safely swear that nothing whatever passed me on the road.
Now, said I, at any rate I have distanced him and knocking at my door, it was quickly opened by my wife, who had been anxiously expect ing me. After our usual salutation, she informed me I should meet an old friend up stairs who had been waiting my arrival.、 "With an old friend, a good bottle of wine, and a warm fire," said I, "I can forget every thing ;" and hastening up stairsit would be impossible to describe my confusion-before me was seated the identical stranger, with the mysterious cloak hanging over the arm of the chair on which he sat !-He rose as I entered-rage prevented me from uttering a word. He bowed
politely, saying, "that he hoped he was not an intruder; but, after our having passed some hours together on our journey, he thought he might make bold to beg a night's lodging, having found himself benighted, close to my house." I was so thunderstruck that I could not say a word in answer. My wife now entered the room, and complained of the cold. She said the fire had gone out soon after my friend arrived," and, what is very strange," added she, “we were unable to light it again. I have been to order a bed to be made for your friend-and I have ordered the sheets to be aired, as the night is rather cold." "Oh!" said the stranger, you need not mind that—I always sleep warm enough!" and pointing to his cloak, he gave a most expressive but sarcastic smile. This was almost too much; yet what could I do? I had no excuse to turn him out. Suppose it should be the German ?-tush! nonsense !-but however I tried to rid myself of this thought, I never could succeed in entirely banishing it; such strong hold has the idea of supernatural interference on a superstitious mind. I resolved, however, in mere contradiction to my opinion, to put up with his company this once; and, endeavouring to appear as unconcerned as possible, I made suitable acknow ledgments in the best way I could.
After a painful silence, which was only disturbed by the chattering of our teeth, supper was announced, and hastily despatched, for every thing was cold. Silence again ensued; till at length I caught up a candle, for I could bear it no longer, and asked the stranger if I should shew him his room; he consented, and bowing to my wife, took his cloak and followed me.
When we came into his room, I observed the water was frozen in the ewer; "I will order the servant," said I, to bring you some warm water in the morning to shave with." He replied," that he had rather I would not give myself so much trou ble on his account, for that he could lather his face with snow!" He then
asked me if I slept warm? "I am afraid," said I, “I shall not do so to-night." He placed his cloak in my hand, saying, with a chuckle, "I had only to throw it over me and my wife, and he was sure we should be warm enough then!"-I threw down the cloak, and rushed out of the room.
I joined my wife down stairs, who, on my upbraiding her with the folly of inviting a perfect stranger to sleep in the house, told me, that he had introduced himself as an old friend of mine, who wished to see me on particular business. I went to bedbut not to sleep,—not all the blankets 启 in the world could ever have made me warm. I hesitated whether I should not go and turn the stranger out, thus late as it was ;-but I might be mistaken, after all ;-he was very gentlemanly, and behaved throughout with the greatest propriety, so that I could have no excuse for so doing. And though there were many strange circumstances attending his presence, still they might be accidental. I resolved, at least, to wait patiently for the morning, though I felt as if I was exposed to the air on a cold winter's night; but I was doomed again to be disturbed. I had locked my room door (my constant custom upon going to bed), when, about one o'clock, as I was lying, wide awake,-the stranger, the German,-the fiend!-for I believe he was all three,-entered my room!-how, I know not,-I heard no noise. A horrid trembling immediately came over me, my
knees knocked together, my teeth
HE reputation of this writer is very disproportionate to the extent of his definite and tangible performances. He stands, in general estimation, among the highest names of our day for speculative science, for politics, legislation, history and rhetoric. Yet the works which have gained for him this high character are few and small-two or three
my tongue clave to the roof of my parched mouth, and fear, an all absorbing fear, had nearly choked me. He opened the cloak-another moment-and then-but rage, fear, despair, gave me strength :-I started up ;-" Villain !" said I," I will not tamely bear it:" and grappling with him, I threw the cloak from me. I now cared not what I did or said. "Hence," roared 1, "aud seek the fiend you serve!" and accidentally in the scuffle I caught hold of his long pointed nose ;-he shrieked aloud with rage and pain. "For mercy's sake, Mr. T——," said my wife," what are you about ?" I received a heavy fall :-immediately the whole was gone. I assisted my wife into bed; for it seems that I had lain half the night with the clothes completely off me; which, as often as she had endeavoured to replace, 1 had resisted; and on her persisting,
had eventually seized her by the nose, and we both tumbled out of bed together.
pamphlets, a score of speeches, and
sufficient to convince the world that Sir James Mackintosh is one of a small and neglected class, the lovers of wisdom. But men have done him more justice than they ordinarily render to his brethren; for he is thought of, almost on all hands, not as a dreamer of dreams, a wanderer through a limbo of vanity, but as rich in all recorded knowledge, and an honest and eloquent teacher. This fame has been obtained, not by the size of his writings, but the loftiness of the ground on which they are placed, that pure and philosophical elevation from which even the smallest object will project its shadow over an empire:* and, though vigour and perseverance are necessary to attain that height, how much larger does it make the circle of vision, than, when, standing among the paths of common men, our eyes are strained by gazing into the distance. It is not merely by the talent displayed in his works, brilliant and powerful as it is, nor by the quantity of his information, however various and profound, that he has obtained his present celebrity; but, in a great degree, by the tone of dignity and candour, which is so conspicuous a characteristic of his mind. He has less of the spirit of party than almost any partisan we remember.
His greatest talent is the power of acquiring knowledge from the thoughts of others. Of the politicians of our day, if not of all living Englishmen whatever, he is incomparably the most learned. His acquaintance with the history of the human mind, both in the study of its own laws, and in action, is greater than that of any contemporary writer of our country and his intimacy with the revolutions and progress of modern Europe, both in politics and literature, is, indeed, perfectly marvellous. He is also the more to be trusted in his writings on these points, because he is not very exclusively wedded to any peculiar
system or even science. Many of the chroniclers or commentators of particular tracts in the wide empire of knowledge, seem to consider that their own department is the only important one, or, even that their own view of it is incalculably and beyond dispute, the most deserving of attention; their works thus resemble some oriental maps, in which the Indiau ocean is a creek of the Persian gulf, and Europe, Asia, and Africa, are paltry appendages to Arabia, Sir James Mackintosh is, in a great degree, free from this error: and we are inclined to think, that the most valuable service he has it in his pow er to render to the world, would be by publishing a history of philosophy from the tenth to the seventeenth century; not because he has thought the thoughts, or felt the feelings, of those ages, but because he would give us fair and candid abstracts of the books which he had studied, and would supply questions to be answered by the oracle, of which he is not himself a priest; so that men of a more catholic, and less latitudinarian spirit, might find in his pages the elements of a wisdom to which he can minister, though he cannot teach it. He knows whatever has been produced in other men by the strong and restless workings of the principles of their nature. But he seems himself to have felt but little of such prompting. The original sincerity and goodness of his miud, display themselves unconsciously in much of his writing; but they do not appear to have given him that earnest impulsion which would have made him an apostle of truth, and a reformer of mankind. He is in all things a follower of some previously recognised opinions, because he has neither the bolduess which would carry him beyond the limits consecrated by habit, nor the feeling of a moral want unsatisfied, which would have urged him thus to take a wider range. But having an acute intel
* If we remember right, it is said, that, from one of the Swiss mountains, the traveller may see his own shadow thrown at sunrise to a distance of many leagues.