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feared the worst, and yet would not wil- MARIA. I was just thinking about lingly destroy the hope of his less expe- that. What, then, had become of it? rienced friends, with which they were JULIA. Where, then, were the poor continually flattering themselves. Over
men they had left ? whelming and sorrowful news is always FATHER. Who could answer these soon enough.
questions? Nothing could be more cer“How well it is for us,” he said, “that tain than the destruction of the unfortu. we can sit here in a dry place!”. He nates, whether they had been wandering spoke with a beating heart. The fate of on the ice or had remained on the sinking his comrades presented itself to him; the wreck. thought that they might now be wander- Max. But, father, was there not some ing about on the ice in this frightful piece of the wreck or a corpse driven on weather, in the impenetrable darkness, the shore ? and the conviction that the torch could Father. Not the slightest trace of one. no longer burn, disquieted his heart ; MARIA. But might not some of the scarcely could he hide from his friends unfortunate crew liave wandered somewhat he feared. To examine whether the where on a field of ice? Might they not have torch was yet burning was impossible ; landed on some other place on the coast? the storm would have dashed any one to Gus. This last supposition was not the chasm below who ventured to leave the very likely, for they would keep looking
It was perfectly impossible, in towards the burning torch. the darkness, to climb the ledge of rocks, Father. Alas! they had little benefit as the ascent, even by the glimmer of; from this. It lay overthrown, extinguished, daylight, was dangerous to life. “God and hardly burnt down a few inches, on Almighty only can grant that our friends the rock. should not be lost!” he cried out almost Overwhelmed and almost annihilated, against his will; “May his angels direct stood the three friends on the spot. They them!” A wish in which they all partici- reflected not on their own sad lot, they pated, although the others felt not the felt nothing but for the calamity of their same anxiety that he did. They went comrades, and this the more, the less they back into the cavern; and notwithstanding knew whether the uufortunate men had their disturbed thoughts, soon fell asleep been overwhelmed, or whether they were again. After a long while, the poor men still driven about, a sport for the ocean awoke. In the whole region there reigned billows. No one of the three friends spoke a deathlike stillness; the storm was en- a word ; every one of them was tortured tirely laid—the air was pure and clear, by the most sorrowful thoughts, and every but exceedingly cold, and our unfor- one took care not to communicate his tunates almost felt ready to imagine painful ideas to the others. With their that they had only been dreaming. eyes filled with tears, they looked out toIt was yet dark, indeed; but they ob- wards the place in which, a few hours served in the southern part of the sky before, they saw the wreck. Their liearts that always increasing arch of light which were greatly oppressed and ready to burst, indicated the rising of the sun. With and their bosoms most deeply weighed longing they waited for the day, and down. scarcely had it broken than they clambered “Might not, then, our friends have been up the rocky ledge; this time with still saved ? It was not impossible. God may greater risk of life, as it was rendered | lead them to find us, probably, wholly un. smooth by the ice and snow. But what a expectedly,” finally said the pilot, more view !—what horror! That vast field of in order to raise Ivan and Gregory's sunken ice over which they had come yesterday spirits than from his own conviction. had disappeared! High waves were roll- “ And if we should not see them again," ing close in to the shore, and broke foam- replied Ivan, “if only they are saved ! I ing on the rocks; only single cakes of should be glad of it with all my soul. ice were, driven on the coast. Of the Our friends may then take measures, in wreck there was not the slightest trace to their own country, for our rescue." But be discovered.
he was well convinced, while expressing
this wish, as well as was the pilot, that it and hardly provided with the necessary could pot be so.
supply of their wants for a single day. MARIA. But, father, that does not quite How would it be with them in the applease me. Iván and the pilot should not proaching winter, lasting for almost half utterly despair of the fulfilment of their a year? How should the poor men withdesire.
stand the cold and hunger ? Where should MOTHER. This was owing to the feel they find a protecting shelter, and from ing of their hearts, produced by misfor- whence could they obtain for themselves tune. The fates of men have a great warm clothing ? influence on their mode of thinking. Happy and hopeful as these sufferers Whoever sees himself often favoured by had been when, a few hours before, they Providence becomes thereby more easily left the cavern, thus wretched, almost assured, and not rarely too presumptuous. brought to despair, like men who seemed He flatters himself that he will always be to be abandoned by God, they now reso favoured. But if he is visited by mis- turned back to this their retreat. There fortune, he then becomes spiritless, he sees lay the few remnants of the provisions nothing but his own wretchedness-hope they had taken with them, their scanty forsakes him, and he is always timid. b, meal; not one of them touched it-not
FATHER. At least, he acts thus at the one of them felt hunger or thirst; they first moments in which misfortune affects had only one feeling, which must have him the more seriously. When he first wrought horribly upon them,--the thought comes to reflection, then new hope is ex- of their boundless misfortune. cited; the unhappy man feels the benefits JULIA. What a frightful situation ! of the same, and then clings to it the They could not be more wretched ! stronger the more innocent he is, and the FATHER. Do you think so? more reasons of calmness he can create JULIA. I cannot really conceive how for himself out of religion.
there could be anything in their situation Indeed the pilot and Ivan had little that could be called good fortune! reason for hope. If their friends had not FATHER. I do not exactly blame your landed on the island--and how little pro- view ; at the first moment the unfortunate bability there was of this !—the miserable men themselves would not have thought broken wreck could not hold together differently. But scarcely had the first long in the open sea, at least not long storm been laid in their breasts, than calm enough for them to reach land. How could reflection also again renewed its sway ; the unfortunate men guide it without mast and then they soon found, too, that even and sail ? They must look on quietly as in the most doubtful situation there still the wreck caught by the tempest and remained to them many good things. driven on by the foaming billows, finally What do you think there was, Max? was dashed to pieces on the heaps of ice, Max. I should think, father, it was a or was swallowed up by the raging waves. great piece of good fortune that there
This hour of hopelessness was certainly were three of them. If there had been horrible for the three unfortunates. The only one of them, this solitary man would poor creatures over whose fate they la- certainly have felt himself very unhappy. mented were their friends. Could they FATHER. Very true. But suppose the have landed on the island, and had they three had not been friends? brought supplies for their wants from the MARIA. Yet here they would have wreck, then it would have been tolerable ; become so ? were the country ever so desolate or FATHER. But supposing they had not, barren, it would be a great comfort to could they then have reasonably hoped them that there were so many of them that they could have overcome all their together. Union and friendship would obstacles ? have softened the horrors of their soli- MARIA. No! One would have wronged tude ; their united strength would have the others, and thus everything would lightened every burden, and even the have been ruined. severe toil would have been thus sweetened. FATHER. So the three were friends who But now they were three unfortunates, ' lived in unity and concord; and this was
a great and inestimable benefit. They were, an angel of deliverance for his could now, therefore, count on everyone friends. He was a man of a sound unhelping the others, and standing by them ; derstanding, of a correct view, of a pious, and thus half of their burdens fell off, firm character, a man whom a peril might and the other became tolerable and light. for a moment render daring, but who did Gustavus, what advantage beside had not lose his head in the most desperate they?
condition, but aroused his courage and Gus. They were healthy, stout men soon found means of aid, and then did not who could endure, able seamen, who knew allow himself to be diverted again from how to cut their way through in case of his path once entered upon. necessity.
Gus. That is my man ! He pleases Father. Very well! An essential be- me! He would make an able general, nefit. Now, Maria, do you know any like Ziethen or old Blucher ! other advantage ?
FATHER. The comparison is a good MARIA. They were active, laborious one ;, for it was by their firmness, and men, who had the best of dispositions. their unshaken courage in the greatest
FATHER. This is also true. And now dangers, that those two heroes showed I will tell you of yet another advantage. their character. For some hours the Had they brought themselves into this three friends had lain there silent and situation by rashness and folly?
inactive. It was not yet dark, the moon's Gus. No; they were in the discharge crésent, which was scarcely to be observed of their duty, and at their posts.
in the stormy night, and the glimmering FATHER. Had they anything to re- stars cast a feeble twilight into the cavern, proach themselves? I will except Ivan when the brave pilot at once raised himand Gregory, who must always have felt self up. “ Friends !” said he, we cannot, painfully that they had secretly left their and must not, remain as we now are. We father.
have sat here more than two hours, with Gus. No; they had a quiet conscience. our heads on our hands. That this does
FATHER. Right; and so you see then, us no good, you see ; we must behave that they were not so wholly wretched. differently. So up, and forward! Let us Friendship, good - will, health, strength, eat something I am hungry, and we and a good conscience were left to them; onght not to injure our stomachs if we and so long as a man possesses these ad- wish to hold up our heads. We will eat, vantages, so long he is not wretched or and then we must go out to explore. forsaken. Besides this, they were pious, The night is not so very dark, we are religious men, who did not put God and armed, and, what is better yet, our hearts his commandment out of their sight. keep their right places. Possibly we may Therefore faith was ever increasing in find our comrades, and probably not; or their heart, that God would not leave it may happen to is to discover that hut, them, and that his wisdom would find or some other cavern ; and even if we do means and ways for their sustenance. Be- not accomplish all this, we shall have done sides, I may tell you beforehand thus our duty." much, that their wretchedness was to rise These words of the brave man and his yet higher and alınost to become intolerable. example, operated on the two others ; they I resume again, therefore, the thread of felt themselves lightened—their courage their history. To the question which returned again — they were ashamed of everyone of them made respecting the their sluggishness, and their despairing fate of his companions, there was joined distrust of God's government and their also another and as important a one- own powers. The small remnants of the which, indeed was easier put than answered food they had brought with them were -I mean the inquiry, what they must eaten; and when nothing more was left, now begin upon ?
the old pilot led the way—“Now, in God's The pilot, - a worthy old sailor, who had name, forward! I have satisfied my appemade many voyages, and lived through tite, and I feel new strength in myself." many adventures, had encountered and JULIA. And they really went out? In triumphed over many danger,-was, as it | the night ?
FATHER. Which you must recollect , tune can at once very inuch cheer the was not yet so very dark. The cold air is unfortunate. So it was here. The three purer ; the stars shine more brightly ; friends sat each on a stone which lay on even the snow diffuses a certain light, and the margin of the fountain, and drank to besides this, the moon stood in her first refresh themselves. The pilot, who carequarter. All this gave our wanderers light fully observed everything, now began: “I enough to see the path, and avoid the know not whether I err, but it seems to dangers in which a total darkness would me as if we were here in the neighbourhave precipitated them. They descended hood of men.” — With these words he from the height, and went again into the pointed to some stones, regularly laid as valley, and now turned themselves to the if for a table and seats.-" That is the opposite side. But the way still led along work of men's hands !” he added. between walls of rock, in which certain basin of the fountain too has been preforms and shapes stood forth like statues. pared with art, and here are stairs made In the weak light, these often appeared in the soft sandstone.
Either persons terrific and fearful; the sight of them have formerly inhabited here, or we shall produced even in these courageous men have the good fortune to-day to become many disturbed thoughts, to which was acquainted with our new neighbours.” joined the overwhelming idea that they Max. But did not the pilot deceive had consumed the last remnants of their himself? Possibly he only imagined that food. This circumstance filled the other he saw something ? wise so firm and composed pilot with dis- FATHER. The man was too well ex. tressing anxiety. In vain he related his perienced to be under such a deception. former voyages; recollections could as It is indeed true that Nature, especially in little enable him to avoid disquietude as rocks and cliffs, often produces forms and the solicitude of his companions. He shapes of which a man at the first sight sought in every way to keep up his friends' might believe that they were fashioned by courage ; but the wilder the country grew the hand of man: as for example, we find so much the more he felt in himself how towers, pyramids, wedges, and even figures his former strong courage was shaken. of beasts and men. But this was not the The rocks continually rougher, the over- case here; they soon became convinced, hanging cliffs ever more frightful, and that, in truth, the hand of man had been every moment threatened to fall, while there employed. the entire region around increased in hor- They now yet more eagerly searched ror.
Our friends however still kept on the into everything with anxious observation ; way they had chosen, and soon they per- the whole region was thoroughly examined, ceived a clearer, milder air, as the high, they went further into a dark hollow, and walls of rock kept off the keen draught of all at once saw themselves enclosed in a vast the cold wind. They saw that the points chasm of rock. It was now fully day. of the cliff's became clearer and more i The friends could not enough look at the illuminated, and justly concluded that the wild stones lying around them, and the short day had broken, and the sun had strange forms of the cliffs. “Men have inrisen. All at once they saw on the side habited here, or they still do so," said Ivan. a little running brook, which, pure as “See! here are foot-prints ; here, where no silver, gushed forth from a cliff, and lost tree is to be found, lie shavings. We must itself behind a distant rock. “ Thank search further!” God!” cried the pilot, one principal With these words he went round a cliff ; want is satisfied! Heaven will help us and a kind of stairs made of flat stones, yet further!"-All were now full of new rudely laid on each other, led on behind courage from this discovery. The water the cliff on the wall of rock. He called was beautiful, and was of so much the out to the two others; they came, and all greater benefit for them, as the provisions mounted some tolerably convenient steps, taken from the wreck consisted of biscuit and soon reached an ascending foot-path and salted meat.
which wound around spirally through Gus. Yes, then a drink relishes. some stones lying about, and which they FATHER. A small piece of good for- now followed.
There, all at once, the three friends and winds then do the rest, to float these found themselves on the ridge of the trees into that uninhabited region, where mountain ledge ;-opposite stood the low they are driven on the shore or left lying sun in its most beautiful splendour, and in the gulfs and bays._" And now we deep beneath them lay a fine valley which ought not to stop half-way," said the was bounded on the opposite side by pilot, interrupting the joyful expressions mountains and rocks. In the midst of of his friends. “If the history of the the valley there ran up a narrow bay, or cooper's hut is not a mere fable, it must basin.
be found here in this vale. We have yet JULIA. Do they not call it a bay when almost two hours left us of day, and this a part of the ocean runs up deep into the we will use in the right way!” They land ?
immediately went down into the vale, FATHER. Yes: they name it a gulf or towards which the way was more convenia bay. The soil of the valley from the ent than that which they had taken to hill to the bay was of a beautiful meadow climb the height. They betook themselves green, through which ran little brooks. to the shore and found it grown over with The view was beautiful and enlivening: spoon-wort, and other plants of the cress the vale lay exactly opposite the sun which kind; a discovery which was of the greatshone into it. The air was without mist, est value to them. and pure, and the mingling of colours Maria. Thus one perplexity was recharming, which the green of the meadow | lieved after another. ground, the glassy surface of the bay, the Mother. An observation which you dark cliffs, the projecting distant points of will often find confirmed, in the life of snow and ice, of the mountains and the man. clear blue heavens produced.
GUSTAVUS. Yes, they had wood and MARIA. Who would have looked for water, but with regard to provisions and this in Spitzbergen ?
lodging, they indeed do not appear to be FATHER. And yet this was the case. very well oft. That vale was sheltered by the rocks from JULIA. And who knows whether a the cold north and east winds, and as it remedy will not be found for this too? lay open towards the south the sun could FATIER. We will hope for it. Ivan, warm it. In the summer therefore the who had observed some large fish in the heat in this valley was almost intolerable. bay, now luckily thought of something.
To proceed, however, with our story. “We have,” said he," not much more But what caused the greatest joy to our day. On this account I advise that two of friends, was the sight of a vast collection us search for the hut, or some other of dry trees which lay on the shore of the lodging, while the third takes care and bay.
secures the fish and collects a heap of Max. Trees ?
dry wood. When it becomes later we FATHER. Large whole trees, with shall probably be hungry.” This proposal branches and roots.
met with approbation, and they concluded Max. Then there must have been forests they would carry it into execution. Ivan and groves in a pretty good condition ! offered himself to take charge of the cook.
FATHER. Forests and groves ? On the ing, and the two others iminediately went whole island there did not grow a single along the wall of rock to search out a tree or shrub, from which you could cut lodging. The former, on the other hand, the smallest stick.
turned towards the water. Scarcely had MARIA. But whence so much dry wood ? he advanced some hundred steps than he FATHER. The providence of God had noticed something thick on the shore, taken care that these regions without which drew his whole observation on it. wood, should yet not be wholly destitute of JULIA. And this was? this
necessary of life. The great streams in FATHER. In a little pool left by the North America lay waste by their overflow- water when it was higher, there was waling large tracts of woodland; their swell- lowing about a large fish like a salmon, ing waters tear up the strongest trees, and and was making all possible efforts to get bear them off into the sea. The storms out of his prison inclosure and to reach