Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

24 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

RELIGIOUS LIBERTY IN AUSTRIA.I

SERVANTS AND THEIR CHARACTERS.

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A WINTER IN ITALY.

THE INNISKILLINGS AND THE…

THE NEW [STRUGGLE FOR LIBERTY…

THE ADVENTURES OF A CHIMNEY.

WOMEN IN RANGOON.

A BATH BY INSTALMENTS.

INTERESTING SCIENTIFIC FACTS.

THE LAW OF LADIES' BONNETS!

A SWISS TRAGEDY.

Newyddion
Dyfynnu
Rhannu

A SWISS TRAGEDY. In a hook called From Savage Africa," giving an account of the travels in that region of the world lately made by Mr. Winwood Reade, we find the following singular account of a wanderer whom he encountered. The narrative refers to a singular custom known as se veiller, in Switzerland but still prevalent in some parts of Wales. Diving direct into the subject, he says:- But what is there to prevent your seeing Switzer- land again ?" p What is there to prevent me ? Well, I will tell you," said he, clenching his teeth. "I have made a vow. It is that which prevents me." Oh, avow You are romantic, Joachim." Yea, 1 "am very romantic," he said bitterly. "Listen. I love Switzerland; I hate the Swis I had a friend; that brutal people drove him away. I made a vow that I would go among them no more." "Drove him away Joachim swallowed a glass of neat brandy, and now spoke thickly and rapidly, as if afraid of being interrupted. You wish me to tell you this story. I will tell it you. This young man, my friend, he was a student; he was young and handsome; he was tin pelt galant; when he was merry he sang when he was thoughtful he wrote verses to pretty women; he led the life of a bird which has a gay plumage and a sweet voice. His parents were Swiss; but not pure Swiss there was Italian blood there. He went to see them, for he had his money from an uncle, who had made him his heir and he was independent of them. He gave them a visit; they were proud of him when they saw his fine clothes and his French manners and the girls of the village they thought him very handsome, and they called him 'Monsieur.' He had another uncle in that same village. He was a bear-hunter, a huge brute of a man with a black beard and limbs like a giant's. But he had a very pretty daughter—the cousin of my friend. You know, monsieur, the custom which they have in Switzerland on Saturday nights for young people to pass the night together: in French we call it se veiller. One Saturday night his e c cousin came into his father's house; she had a new cap on, and gay ribbons,. and for a Swiss she was charming. His mother -yes, it was his own mother who said it—told him that such a pretty couple must se veiller that night; and Pauline clapped her little hands, and kissed my friend on the cheek, and "But what was his name?" "His name! Eh, sacre Dieu !—his name Oh, the name of this young man, it was Franz. You know, monsieur, that a custom is nothing because it is a custom. In Switzerland the young people do not think it strange to se veiller; they are stupid besides —they are not men and women, they are swine of the mountain. But this Franz, he was a young Parisian he had hot blood-he did not understand this custom you can easily understand, monsieur, why Pauline had such pale cheeksthe next day. She was a child, this Pauline; a woman knows how to hide a folly, but the tongue of a child is quicker than her thought. When the bear-hunter came home that night he called her to him, and sat her on his knee, as he always did, and kissed her. And she began to cry, and twisted her fingers in his beard, and then she hid her head in his breast and told him all. And what did this wise father do ? In France, and in Russia, and in England too, I dare say, they understand these things they do not foul their own nest-they keep still tongue, and they make a marriage. Franz was not a bad man then, he would not have refused I to marry her. But no,- this man talks to everybody when Franz enters the village the girls who used to bring him flowers turn away their eyes and look at him after he has nassed HIp. old Deonle whisner gether, looking at him. He does not understand this he does not know why the people come together. Ah! now that man whose daughter Franz has known, he rushes from the crowd he seizes him by the neck and beats him with the wood of mountain-ash. He beat him—he beat him like a dog and when he fainted away. he left him like a dog to die 1' And did Franz die?" I asked. Joachim, who had sunk his face in his hand, raised his eyes, which shone like those of a hyena. No, he did not die. In the night he crawled to his father's house, a hand was put outside the door and gave him food-a voice told him to go from them and to return no more. He went away, and to return no more. But he would stay a little yes, a little while, in the mountain. He went to the place where he had been beaten; his alpen-stock still lay there no one had touched it: it was his it would have tainted them. He climbed up the mountain till he came to a small chasm in its side; he walked along its side till he came to the path of the hill-goats it was by this path that the hunter of bears always went to seek his sport. It was a wide place to leap, but a large flat stone jutted out from the mountain side, and was imbedded in a soil of gravel. When Franz had first sprang upon it in chasing the chamois, he had feared that it would yield beneath his feet. This fear was the instinct of his revenge. He laboured all night, though his limbs were cramped and tender, and loss of blood had made him faint. But every pain which he felt reminded him of his insult, and urged him to his task. It was scarcely dawn when his work was done. He hid himself behind a bush, some feet above the stone, which tottered in the very wind. He heard a step. Was it a goat, which would come and spoil his snare ? N o; it was the firm tread of a man upon the rattling stones. Yes it was he no one could mistake that form of a giant: he came on and on—to his doom. It was scarcely light he could not see that the earth had been touched; he did not even examine the leap he had to make; he had leaped it a thousand times. Franz saw him running forwards-saw his body as it bounded in the air. The giant stood quivering before him as the stone rolled from beneath his feet and fell crashing in the ravine below. With a yell, which made the hills echo all around, the giant sprang up in the air, athlete that he was, and seized a plant which grew from the mountain-side: it slowly-oli, how tlowly I-tore itself out, root by root, fibre by fibre. But his active feet were searching for a resting-place -another moment, and he was saved :-when Franz held out the alpen-stock, and cried, 'Quick, quick: take this and you are saved." When a man struggles for life he does not suspect a snare-he seized it with both his hands. Those hands had lost their brown and healthy colour; fear had made them all white and mottled. And oh his face, that was horrid to see. I see it sometimes now,' said Franz: his mouth covered with foam, and his eyes bursting from his head. But that only pleased me then. I laughed in that fearful face I let go the pole I saw him fall, the blood spurting as he struck against the rocks; ana after I could see no more, I heard something faint and dull fall in the invisible depths below. Joachim was silent. And what became of Franz I asked. Franz left Switzerland," said Joachim, in a dull, dreamy tone. "He returned to Paris, where he spent all his money like a madman. When it was gone his friends left him; his mistresses insulted him. He became a vagabond, and while a vagabond he was a criminal"

WHERE WILL IT END?

A WELCOME TO THE BABY PRINCE.

THE NEW MORGUE IN PARIS.

DISEASES OF OVERWORKED MEN.

A WOMAN'S RIGHTS IN SLAVERY.…

LOOKING FOR A SUPPER.

ENGLAND AND THE WAR IN NEW…

The ^Latte. CONSPIRACY to…

TO THE EDITOR.

lOSMINISCENCE OF THACKERAY.

DEATH OF " A MAN OF MARK !"

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