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sitting-room. Could anything be more preposterous—any two statements more irreconcilable? Either she was wrong or I was wrong. I was not in bed, and yet her evidence went to show that I was there. Who was most likely to be right? I was surely conscious of my own whereabouts. I knew whether I was in bed or not; my faculties were in no degree impaired. I was determined to have an explanation. I rose from my seat, my heart swelling with indignation.

“ Madame Schwartzenbach,” I said, “I wish you to know that I am not in bed—not sleeping soundly, but that I am here, madame-here in this room 1-within a yard of where you are sitting.”

“I think, Margaretha," said Madame Schwartzenbach, “that that chair will have to be covered again. The hair, I see, is breaking out of the cushion.

“ Which chair do you mean?”

“ The arm-chair-that in which Mr. Neuendorff usually sits. Do you not observe that the covering of the cushion is torn ?”

I was more irritated—more perplexed than ever. I could obtain no reply to anything I said, and the very chair in which I was sitting was made the subject of their discussions and observations; they could see it and the cushion which required a new covering, but, strange to say, I invisible. I was bewildered; it was surely some hoax that I was exposed to-a dream-it could not be reality.

“ Madame Schwartzenbach," I said, springing again from my chair, “ I will tolerate this intrusion no longer-I am satisfied this is some trick you are practising upon me. I shall leave

house this

very moment, and never return to it.”

I rushed from the room with the greatest precipitancy, and in another moment I was in the open street. It was a beautiful night, or rather morning. The sky was of that deep blue colour, and the stars possessed that brilliant radiancy, which seem to indicate a very low temperature. The earth was no longer visible, for since my return to my lodgings the snow had fallen in abundance, and covered it completely. Its depth, to all appearance, could not be less than two or three inches.

I was once more free to wander whithersoever I listed—no longer pent up in a room-no longer exposed to the grossest insolence from the very creatures whorn I had in some degree assisted to support. A strange feeling, nevertheless, was upon me—there was some mystery surrounding me which I could not fathom--some singularity, of which ordinary mortals did not partake. What it was I knew not, but by some intuitive feeling I was conscious of its presence. I paused for a few minutes, not knowing whither to proceed. It was new year's morning, as I have stated—an occasion in many countries of great rejoicing. I thought, therefore, as I was perfectly disengaged, it would be a favourable opportunity for paying a visit or two to some of my friends. I had no sooner made this resolve than I proceeded to act upon it. As I walked up one of the streets of the town, I observed one of my friends on the opposite side of the way. He had no doubt been at some party, and was returning home. I crossed over to speak to him, and to wish him the compliments of the season. When I had reached the side of the road on which he was walking, I stood till he came up to me. As he approached, I thought I would take him by surprise, for he would never expect to meet me at this time in the morning, so I placed myself in front of him,


and when he was within a yard or two of me, I saluted him with a low bow, half in mockery, half in earnest. When I again stood erect I found he had passed me, without deigning to bestow the least recognition upon me. It was excessively strange-beyond all human comprehension. Had I in any way offended him, or was he so intoxicated that he was unable to see me?' I began to consider if there was anything I had done at which by any chance he could have taken offence. I knew of nothing. I had been to him as a confidential friend—a brother ; my advice-my purse had frequently been placed at his service, and I do not remember his asking me a single favour which I had ever refused him. Was this the behaviour, then, to show towards me-was this the manner in which he repaid the numerous kind offices I had performed for him ? Oh! if there be in the whole category of human frailties one crime more black than another, it surely is ingratitude! He was guilty of the grossest ingratitude. I was indignant beyond expression. I fumed with passion, and at the moment was prepared to commit any excess. I was resolved that behaviour such as this should not pass unnoticed. I would seek an explanation-demand an apology, and, if it were not instantly made, intimate to my friend that he was no longer to consider me as forming a part of the circle of his acquaintance. I hurried after him-I looked neither to the right nor left, but kept my eyes steadily fixed upon the objects before me. In a very short while my friend was in sight. I came up to him just as he was on the point of entering the house.

“ Mr. Von Bohnenstein,” I said, “ will you have the kindness to favour me with a few minutes' conversation ?”

I had hardly uttered these words before the door was unceremoniously thrust in my face. I reeled back like a drunken man, and fell my full length upon the snow. I was paralysed with the insult, for which I could discover no cause whatever. After the elapse of a few minutes I recovered. It was the last time Von Bohnenstein should have the opportunity of insulting me. The first shock was over, but the gnawing pain was still in my heart, and would remain there till my dying day.

It is not the great calamity-the sudden and unexpected catastrophe, that are the most difficult to endure; they come down upon us with the force of the avalanche, crushing and rendering prostrate everything beneath them. It is when the shock is over that the pain is felt the most acutely—the stupor--the prostration to which we have been for a while subjected have passed away, and the real misery of our situation is at length vividly revealed to us. The canker has entered the heart, and it will fester and fester there till its last pulsation shall have ceased, and neither days, nor months, nor years can work a change, nor “pluck from the soul that rooted sorrow' which we bear with us till our mission be accomplished, and the grave—the great place of our disburdenment be attained.

Humiliated and grieved at the indignity I had just experienced, I began at once to consider what course I should next pursue. I should surely meet with a better reception in other quarters ; but if I did not, I resolved immediately to leave the city. It was impossible that my conduct could have deserved such ill-usage; there was scarcely a single misdemeanour with which I could accuse my conscience. I passed on from one street to another, miserable and restless. I had no definite object before me, but I found some kind of locomotion was necessary.

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I wandered in this way for some time, till at last I desired to retrace my steps; and as this part of the city was strange to me, I found it would be necessary to have recourse to my footprints to enable me to regain the point from which I had started. I examined the path, which was covered with snow, and along which I had walked, very carefully, but I could discover no traces of any footsteps whatever. I had surely mistaken the road; but that was impossible, for I had never diverged from it for a single moment. A dreadful terror seemed to seize hold of me; I turned sick and giddy, and was obliged to lean against a neighbouring wall for support; the awful truth forced itself upon me--my feet had left no impression upon the snow! This was a circumstance I was not prepared for. The snow was soft, and the least pressure upon it must have produced an indentation. How was it, then, that my feet had left no traces behind them? Was I different from other men—was I otherwise endowed ? The supposition was monstrous, and could not be entertained for a moment. My organs and faculties were the same. I was subject to the same laws and influences that they were subject to. How, then, should I be different, and yet how else could I account for the singular fact to which I have just referred ? In my agitation and confusion those questions occurred to me again and again ; yet they seemed incapable of solution. I was unquestionably surrounded by certain mysterious influences which I could neither account for nor dispel; they had come upon me suddenly and unexpectedly, and it was impossible to estimate the length of their duration. I tried for a moment to calm myself, and to think seriously and dispassionately upon the matter. The more composed I became, the more revolting did it appear. The thing was so uncommon-so glaring a departure from all natural laws, that the very idea of it was unbearable. Everything that trod the earth—every man, every beast of the field, every bird of the air, the very reptile that crawled—left an impress behind it; but I-I alone was exempt from those organic laws by which other creatures were influenced, and walked the earth as though I were a vapour—a mere fleeting shadow! I took a survey of myself, and could observe nothing wherein 1 differed from other men, and yet the snow, as I have stated, did not yield to my pressure.

I hastened forward, indifferent as to the road I took, so long as I found excitement. To stay and think was impossible-unbearable. The air was extremely cold, if I were to be guided by the appearance of the people whom I met; but I did not feel it in the least. I came up at length with some boys who were throwing snowballs at each other;

young rogues appeared to have been out all night. I stood and watched their movements, for I was much interested in the sport, and had half a mind to join them myself, if it were only to divert my mind from more painful subjects. I had stood here, I suppose, nearly a quarter of an hour, when one of the lads took up a snowball from the ground, and threw it deliberately at me, as I thought. I cried out for him to desist, but my injunctions were not attended to; nay, worse than that, the other lads followed the example, and apparently selected me as the target at which they aimed. They hit me several times, and I fancied at first that the balls hurt me; but, incredible as it may appear, and astounded as I was at the discovery, I found that the balls passed harmlessly through me! I say through me, by which expression I mean


over me.


to imply that they went through my breast—through my stomachthrough my head! The boys, I found, had been aiming at a lamp-post against which I stood. This shock was more dreadful than any I had as yet sustained. It is useless to attempt to describe the awe which crept

Was I deprived of all those functions and properties that appertained to the human body? It was impossible--an insane idea had entered

my head—it was a gross delusion, which ought at once to be banished from my mind. I remembered everything that had occurred but a few hours before. I remembered the attack of toothache to which I had been subjected; I remembered the exercise which I had taken out of doors when I could sit no longer in my room; I remembered landlady furnishing me with a light, and showing me to my chamber. I was then as I had always been, then how should I be different now? I endeavoured thus to convince myself that there was nothing the matter with me; but it was all to no purpose; the one prevailing idea perpetually haunted me, I was no longer what I had been. It was useless to stay longer where I was, so I walked forward, not knowing whither I should bend my steps.

I began to weigh the events of the past hour or two over in my mind, and to fancy that they bore a certain relationship to each other. It is impossible to deny the extraordinary character of the circumstances ; and I think I may say, without fear of contradiction, that no mortal was ever before placed in situations so remarkable. How stood the matter? In the first place, my person, it should seem, was not perceptible to the human eye; in the second, my feet left no traces on the soft snow or earth on which I had trodden; and thirdly, my body (?) offered no resistance to anything that was brought in collision with it. If these things were really so, I could no longer be mortal. What was I then ? I had all the semblance of a mortal creature the same quasi-corporeal appearance-the same thoughts—the same powers of locomotion. I was altogether unconscious of the period of my dissolution; but how was I to reconcile my present position with the circumstances that preceded it?

As I was walking along, I perceived a gentleman of whom I had a casual acquaintance coming towards me. I resolved upon throwing myself in his way, to see if I were more fortunate in attracting his attention than I had been with Von Bohnenstein, and to which circumstance reference has already been made. When we met, I was delighted to find that he stopped-nay, that he actually held out his hand; but what was my consternation and dismay to find that it was held out to a gentleman close behind me!

A very brief space seemed to have elapsed before I found myself in a fresh scene, and surrounded by objects altogether new. I was transported—but by what precise process I know not-from the city of Dresden to Prague. I was in the midst of a large chamber brilliantly decorated with lights and ornaments. It was a ball-room. The people were gaily attired, and several couples were whirling round the room as I entered. The music was lively and inspiriting, and pleasure seemed to beam from every countenance. And she she was there ; my


dearest Marie! Oh! I had never seen her to so much advantage ; she wore a dress of white satin-a wreath of white roses encircled her head. She was exceedingly animated, and appeared to enter into the spirit of the scene.

I saw no lady there who could be compared with her as far as


personal beauty was concerned-at least, such was my opinion ; but, perhaps, I partook of the ordinary infatuation, which permits no lover to see a blemish in the appearance of his mistress. I walked about the room quite unobserved. This did not surprise me, for I scarcely looked for recognition after the curious events I have already described. I avoided Marie as much as possible, lest she should recognise me ; for although I was unnoticed by others, I was afraid that I should not escape her observation. It was not very long before her quick glance appeared to be directed towards me. She advanced to where I stood. I thought it was of no use attempting any longer to escape, so I remained where I was. At this period, however, the gentleman upon whose arm she leaned invited her to join in the dance then being formed. I was annoyed at this circumstance, and at once pressed forward to prevent, if possible, Marie accepting of his invitation. I was too late ; but I was determined that she should have two partners instead of one, so I took my place opposite to where she stood. The dance had not proceeded many minutes before Marie fainted, and was obliged to be carried from the room.

I am unable to say from what cause it arose ; it might be from fatigue or from the heat of the room. This occurrence induced me at once to withdraw.

I have no distinct recollection of anything that afterwards occurred till I found myself in front of the house in which I lodged. I was much surprised to find some mourning coaches standing in the street, with other indications that a death had occurred within the house. I was very desirous of knowing who had died. Was it my landlady-was it her daughter-was it Fraulien Mindengratz, the old maiden ladywas it Herr Bogenspiegel, the banker? It was not likely to be any of these, for they were in perfect health, to my knowledge, a very short time before. Who could it be? A gentleman who was passing at this juncture evinced some curiosity on this head, and he asked whose remains they were which were about to be deposited in the earth. He was told that it was Mr. Neuendorff who was going to be interred.

“ Mr. Neuendorff!” I exclaimed; “it is an abominable falsehood.”
“So, so, Mr. Neuendorff ?” repeated the querist.
“Yes,” replied the man to whom he had addressed himself.

This was surely the culminating point of all my misery and perplexity. I was dead, it should seem-the funeral cortege was on the point of carrying my remains to their final destination—my friends were mourning for me as one whose connexion with the present world was closed for ever. I am not a person who would speak lightly of death, but there seemed to me to be something extravagantly absurd in the preparations which were being made. If I were dead, when did I die ?-what was the occasion of my death?—what were the circumstances attending it? It was natural that questions of this kind should instantly occur to me, but it was impossible to find an answer to them. I was not dead ; it was a lie--a base and wicked deception for the purpose of securing a little property of which I was possessed. What other object could have instigated these proceedings? I saw in a moment through the barefaced and fraudulent imposition. If I were dead, I must have experienced the sufferings and struggles that usually precede death—if I were dead, I should not have been able to


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