when I hear in the Scotch Highlands or in the Tyrol a simple song, it seems to me as if the high church windows were shining again, and organ-tones passed into the wind, and a new world were opening itself, — more beautiful than the starry heavens and the violet fragrance.

This is what I remember from my earliest childhood, and then comes between the dear face of my mother, as well as the mild, serious glance of my father, - and gardens, and vineyard, and green, soft turf, and an old, venerable book of

, prints, - and that is all I can make out from the first faded leaves of memory.

After that it becomes clearer and plainer. Names and forms are deciphered. Not only father and mother, but brothers and sisters, and friends and teachers, and a host of strange people. Ah yes! of strange people, - so many of these are written in the memory!

Second RECOLLECTION. Not far from our house, and opposite to the old church with the golden cross, there stood a large building, even larger than the church, and with many towers. These towers looked gray and old, but they had no golden cross; stone eagles were seated on their summits, and a large blue and white flag fluttered from the highest tower over the high entrance-door, which was ascended by steps, and where on both sides two soldiers on horseback kept guard. The house had a great many windows, and behind the windows one could see red-silk curtains with golden tassels, and in the court-yard the old linden-trees stood around strewing the turf with their white, fragrant blossoms, and overshadowing the gray walls with their verdant foliage. Often had I gazed on all this, and in the evening, when the lindens gave out their fragrance, and the windows were lighted, I saw many figures like shadows gliding hither and thither, and music was heard from above, and carriages drove up, from which men and women alighted and hastened up the steps. They

all looked so good and beautiful, - and the men had stars on their breasts, and the women had fresh flowers in their hair, — and I often thought to myself, Why dost not thou go in also ?

At last one day my father took me by the hand and said : “ We will go up to the castle. Thou must behave very gently, if the Princess speaks to thee, and must kiss her hand.”

I was about six years old, and was greatly delighted, as one can only be at six years. I had already had so many silent thoughts about the shadows which I had seen passing before the lighted windows of evenings, and had heard so many good things said of the Prince and Princess, how

gracious they were, and how they helped and comforted the poor

and the sick, and how they were chosen by the grace of God to protect the good and to punish the bad. I had for a long time pictured to myself how everything must go on in the castle, and the Prince and the Princess were already old acquaintances in imagination, whom I knew as familiarly as my nut-crackers and my tin soldiers. .

My heart beat when I was going up the high steps with my father, and whilst he was still telling me that I must call the Princess “ Your Highness," and the Prince “ Your Excellency,” the doors flew open, and I saw before me a tall figure with brilliant, penetrating eyes. She was coming towards me and holding out her hand. There was an expression in her face, — which I had long known, — and a familiar smile passed over her features. Seeing all this, I

. could restrain myself no longer; and while my father was still standing, and bowing very low, I could not tell why, my heart sprang to my lips, and I ran up to the beautiful lady, fell on her neck, and kissed her as if she had been my mother. The beautiful tall lady did not seem displeased; she smiled and stroked my hair.

But my father seized my band, and drew me away, saying I was very naughty, and he would never bring me here again. This perplexed me

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greatly; the blood rushed to my cheeks, for I felt that my father was unjust to me.

And I looked at the Princess, expecting that she would defend me; but there was an expression of mild seriousness in her face. And then I looked round to the ladies and gentlemen who were in the room, thinking that they would stand by me. But when I looked, I saw that they were all laughing. Then the tears came into my eyes, and I ran out to the door, down the steps, passed the linden-trees in the court-yard, and ran homewards till I got to my mother, when I threw myself into her arms, sobbing and crying.

“ And what has happened to thee?” said she.

“ Ah, mother!” cried I, “I was near the Princess; and she was a beautiful and kind lady, just like thee, my dear mother, and so I fell upon her neck and kissed her.”

" Ah," said my mother, “but thou shouldst not have done that, for they are strangers and high dignitaries.”

“ And what then are strangers ?” said I. “May I not love everybody who looks upon me with kind, loving eyes ?

“ Thou mayst love them, my son," answered the mother; “ but thou must not show it."

“ And is it then anything wrong," I asked, “ that I love people? And why then should I not show it?"

“ Well, thou art quite right,” said she; “but thou must do as thy father tells thee; and when thou art older, thou wilt understand why thou must not embrace all the beautiful ladies who look at thee with kind, friendly eyes.”

That was a dark day. My father came home, and insisted on it that I had behaved ill. In the evening my mother put me to bed, and I said my prayers; but I could not sleep, and I kept thinking what these strangers could be, whom one dared not love.

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Alas the poor human heart! thus were thy leaves torn off even in the spring, and the feathers pulled out of thy wings! When the spring dawn of life opens the folded-up bud of thy VOL. XXIII.



soul, all within is breathing out love. We learn to stand and walk, to speak and to read; but no one teaches us to love That belongs to us as life does; indeed, we might say it is the inmost foundation of our existence. As the heavenly bodies attract and revolve about each other, and are held together by the eternal law of gravitation, so do heavenly souls attract and revolve around each other, and are held together by the eternal law of love. A flower cannot blossom without sunshine, and a man cannot live without love. Would not the heart of the child break with anguish, when the first cold breath of this strange world comes to it, did not the warm sunlight of love meet it from the eyes of mother and father, - as a mild reflection of divine light and divine love? And the longing which arises then in the child is the purest and the deepest love. It is love which encloses the whole world; which kindles when two kind human eyes shine upon it; which shouts again when it hears the voices of men. This is the old, inexhaustible love, – a deep well

which no plummet has sounded, - a source of immeasurable riches. He who knows it knows also that there is no meas. ure in love, no more and no less, but that only he who loves with the whole heart, the whole soul, with all his powers, and from his whole mind, can love at all.

But o how little remains of this love, before we have accomplished half our life-journey! The child learns that there are strangers, and ceases to be a child. The well of love is uncovered, and in the course of years it is wholly

. Our eyes kindle no more, but we pass each other soberly and quietly on the miry streets. We scarcely greet each other, for we know how sharply it cuts into the soul when a greeting is not returned, and how much pain it gives to separate from those whom we have once greeted, and whose hand we have pressed. The wings of the soul soon lose all their feathers; the petals of the flowers are almost all torn and faded; and from the inexhaustible fountain of love there remain to us only a few drops, which

filled up

cool our tongues to keep us from quite fainting away. And then we call these drops love. But it is no more the pure, full, fresh child's love. It is love with care and anxiety, a burning glow, a raging passion, - love which consumes

itself like rain-drops on the hot sand, — love which desires,

not love which bestows itself, — love which asks, Wilt thou be mine? not love which says, I must be thine, - selfish, doubting love it is! And that is the love which poets sing, and which youths and maidens believe in, - a flame which flashes up and vanishes, but does not warm, and leaves nothing behind but smoke and ashes. We have all believed, at one time or another, that these rockets are sunbeams of eternal love. But the clearer the brightness, the darker the night which follows.

And then when all around is dark, when we feel ourselves truly alone, when all men, right and left, pass us by, and know us not, then a forgotten feeling sometimes arises in the breast, and we know not what it is, for it is really neither love nor friendship. “Dost thou not know me?” one might call out to each one who passes us by coldly and strangely. Then we feel that man is nearer to man than brother to brother, father to son, friend to friend. And it resounds through our spirits like an old, sacred tradition, that strangers are our nearest neighbors. And why should we pass by them silently? We do not know why, and we must acquiesce in our ignorance. Try it when two railroad trains are passing each other, and thou seest the eye of a friend who would fain greet thee, – try to stretch out thy hand and press the hand of thy friend, who is flying past thee, - try it, and thou wilt perhaps understand why man here below passes silently by his fellow-man.

An old sage has said: “I saw the fragments of a shattered bark floating on the sea. A few encountered each other, and kept together a little while. Then comes a storm, and drives them eastward and westward, and here below they never come together again. So is it with men. But no one has seen the great shipwreck.”

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