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man. You knew, but you did not notice that beauty of face. His countenance showed neither gayety nor melancholy. It was smooth, and impassive as marble; and, indeed, so inexpressive, that even when you saw him you did not seem to see him; so that, as he now walked away from us, it was only by an effort of memory that we realized the fact of his having so long been present to our sight. Nobody spoke to him, nobody spoke of him, yet every body must have observed him; for when he afterward became the subject of our conversation, there appeared to have been a sort of tacit coincidence and agreement in our previous and separate observations, and we all called him "the Gentleman in Black."

He walked away from the capsized table so quietly and so unconcerned, that one of our party, in perfect astonishment at the inexplicable fall of that awkward piece of furniture, exclaimed to the waiter, who was busily restoring the sprawling thing to its legs, "Holloa! what is the meaning of this? Have you ghosts about here?"

The gentleman who made this inquiry would no doubt have been a believer in table-turning if Mr. Home had emigrated to Europe in the year 1834.

"Well," said another who was sitting beside me, "if it was a ghost, I have seen him, and he was dressed in an infernally well-made suit of clothes, such as none but the devil's tailor knows the cut of."

"Ah!" cried the rest of the party all in a breath; "is it possible? The Gentleman in Black!"

To this explanation of the miracle I strongly objected. It was quite illogical, I asserted, and there

fore, to me at least, impossible, to assume that the personage who had just left us was capable of an awkward, not to say an ill-bred act. My ghost-seer, however, assured us all that he had distinctly seen the Gentleman in Black start up suddenly like a wooden figure pushed by a spring, and in so doing upset the table, just as the sub-lieutenant was laying down the law on cases of salvage. As on the strength of this positive testimony I found the majority entirely opposed to my theory of moral evidence, I soon relinquished the discussion and withdrew from the debate.

CHAPTER III.

I DRAW MY OWN CONCLUSIONS ABOUT THE GENTLEMAN IN BLACK.

WE were now approaching the Loreley. I sauntered to the forepart of the vessel in order to secure a good view of that famous rock, once so fatal, now so innocent. As I passed by the funnel, I again noticed the mysterious stranger about whom we had all been talking. He was standing alone, close to the little step-ladder which had just been uncorded from the bulwarks, and was now slanted forward in readiness to be let down for any passengers that might be waiting at the next station. He stood erect with folded arms, and appeared to be contemplating the play of the violent water as it hissed, and seethed, and bubbled about the beating paddle. As I watched that calm and imperturbable eye fixed upon the boiling spray beneath, I could not help wondering how the passions could so completely desert the face of man, to lavish upon inanimate nature at least the semblance of intense emotion. The words of the Prussian sublieutenant rushed into my mind. In order to remain true to his nature, how should this man conduct himself if a fellow-creature were drowning under his eyes? Would he shout for help? Would he exhort and stimulate others to the rescue by shaking a purse full of sequins in their ears like the count in Burger's bal

lad, Von Braven Mann? But how could he do this without instantaneously abdicating that prerogative of lofty and unassailable tranquillity which was proclaimed in every feature of his serene and severely beautiful countenance, in every outline of his self-composed and stately figure? It is told in an old story that a mortal was once admitted to the assembly of the gods. He was informed that, of the noble and majestic forms which he there beheld, one only was a man; and he was asked if he could recognize his fellow mortal. Amid the true gods, the one man, although he wore golden sandals and a purple fillet, and drank nectar with the rest of the Olympians, was at once detected by the restlessness of his eyes. Now, as I silently studied the face of the man before me, I felt that if one line of those marble features were to change, the entire expression which commanded my admiration would fall at once like a mere mask, and be detected as a superficial grimace at the mercy of any rude chance that might choose to pluck it away. The soul wants not clothes; but if she once puts them on, they should so finely fit her that she need never take them off.

Men with such faces as this should never change countenance, for fear they become contemptible. "No," I concluded; "that man must remain unmoved by the sight of a drowning creature."

The logic of this conclusion was irresistible, but I could not reconcile myself to accept it. I was glad when the cannons were discharged, and the explosion diverted my attention from the stranger.

The Loreley was not slow to return thanks for this

salute. For my part, I even found her too garrulous. Any little real miracle would have pleased me better than that miraculously natural echo. No subtle song came winding from the wizard rock to enmesh the souls of men in the folly of a fatal bliss. Alas! no such songs are wanted now. The sorcery is fled from the earth; the folly remains.

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