Carl had followed at a distance. He had made frantic, but ineffectual efforts to enter the cell; when the crowd dispersed he went up the stairs without impediment, and there he found his friend extended. He raised him, he bore him home with those sightless, bleeding orbs. He comes, Marguerite; hasten forth to meet your husband: let the light of your love bless him, for the light of Heaven has departed forever.
There is great excitement in Dantzic, for the noble clock, which has been for ten years the marvel of Germany,—the clock which was made by the cunningest artificers who followed Dumiger’s model, has stopped. No one can arrange it; the model was broken up as a jealous precaution. There is but one who understands it—who can regulate the wondrous movement; that is he who constructed it.
Yes. the Council will go to Dumiger. They seek his house; they repent of the fearful crime they committed.
“Dumiger, come forth!” they exclaim. “Forgive us our offense. Greatest of citizens, all honors and rewards shall be heaped upon you. Regulate this great work, prized above all others in this city, for which we contended for five years with Hamburg. Stand forth in glory and honor!”
And a man, young in years, but decrepit in suffering, appears, supported by two friends. The partner of his hopes and fears is long since dead. The streets ring with applause as he appears, and many kneel to kiss his hand—ay, some his feet. But all he asks is to be led first to Marguerite’s grave. There, in the presence of thousands, he prays for strength; and then he desires them to conduct him to the clock-tower.
When he appears outside, the air is rent with shouts. “Dumiger, Dumiger, the first of the citizens!” Oh, popular feeling, at once base and baseless!
He seems to see the works again; he climbs up and touches every part of the wonderful construction—his hand has found the secret of the movement, again it is in order, and the pride of Dantzic is saved.
He stands still for some minutes. A god could not have been more worshiped, or a prophet looked grander. Again his hand is on the movement—crash, crash,—the slight spring on which the whole machinery depended is rent asunder by his own hand; the clock falls to pieces, never to be repaired. At the same moment there is a fall, a fearful groan, and Dumiger lies on the pavement a bleeding corpse. The clock and its maker have ceased to exist.
Such is the legend, and from that day there has been no clock in the Dom of Dantzic.
* * * * *
THE SHIP “EXTRAVAGANCE.”
Oh, Extravagance saileth in climes bright
She is built for the sunlight and not for the storm;
Her anchor is gold, and her mainmast is pride—
Every sheet in the wind doth she dashingly ride!
But Content is a vessel not built for display,
Though she’s ready and steady—come storm when it may.
So give us Content as life’s channel we steer.
If our Pilot be Caution, we’ve little to fear!