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on your diving-dress, your bull's-eyed helmet, the lowermost deep, is seen as distinctly and your leaden-soled shoes; enter the waves; as if the keel could touch it. Your boat make your serving-men follow you overhead to stops gently, for it has run its prow into ply the forcing air-pump with brawny arms; the soft, glistening edge of Sandy Island. and you shall see, if you do not perform, Take care! That end of the beach is reserved exclusively for the ladies. The gentlemen's bathing machines are at the opposite extremity.
Yes; come to Heligoland, for a change in the beaten routine of watering-places. I shall probably be strolling on the Unterland when You have had your plunge, and now for you land. If I like not your looks, I will ob- breakfast. What? Here? Certainly. You stinately speak nothing but German in your must have your breakfast on the spot, and it presence. And in this I shall be justified by will be unparalleled. I defy you to know the the authorities; for, although the natives have true definition of that ill understood word, una tongue of their own which has some anal- til you have breakfasted after a sea-bath on ogy with that of the North Frieslanders Sandy Island. That pavilion, with windows German is the only language employed in the all around within, and the thick belt of seats schools and for divine service. If I like your and tables without, opposite to the place where looks, I will introduce myself as the writer of you land, and at an equal distance from the this contribution, and will proceed at once to bathing-machines of the ladies and gentlemen, initiate you at once into life in Heligoland. I is the refectory. What will you have to eat? shall knock you up very early in the morning Some gorgeous scarlet lobster, of which a - at an hour, in short, only known at home Heligoland appetite seems able to eat any to your housemaid and milkman. You spring quantity with impunity; the most slippery of out of bed. You need not be a minute dress- slippery oysters; eggs in all forms, from the ing; and it will not matter even if you dress in domestic boiled, or the smooth-faced poached, your sleep; for the delicious, the unrivalled to the luscious rumbled. What will you drink? air, will waken you the instant you get into it. The bottles of porter and beer, the cups of Your lodging will be on the Oberland, and tea, coffee, chocolate, despatched in and around you make at once for the High street of Heli- this busy pavilion, are not to be counted any goland the Stairs. As the native flirtations more than the golden sands that lie before take place chiefly on the landings, we shall you. Everything is excellent, and the servdoubtless disturb, as we pass down, a pretty ing-girls are quick and clever, with now and little scene of tenderness between a sea-and- then quite an original among them, who assun-browned youth, and a pretty little fair-sists your digestion with jokes and quaint rehaired Heligolandess. On the strand we find marks. The cooking is done in a kind of one of the pilot-boats ready to take us over to gipsy-hut behind the pavilion; and, if you beSandy Island. come a great favorite with your serving-maidAs to the passage you need not be under en, you will be admitted into the arcana of the slightest apprehension. It is performed in this queer little cooking-camp, and will get large sloops or yawls, capable of carrying thirty your breakfast hot from the stove, no bad passengers at least, and which are placed un- thing if the morning be a little cold. But der the entire superintendence of select pilots, then you lose the novel sensation of breakfastand which are no other than the famous Heli- ing in the company of a bevy of mermaids. goland salvage-boats, well-known throughout The ladies, after bathing, issue forth from their the North Sea, for rendering assistance to machines with their long hair floating down trading vessels in distress, even in the midst gracefully over their shoulders, to dry in the of the most violent storms, and which can be sun. They leave their looking-glasses at rowed when a sail dare not show itself. An home, and do not use them until they arrive officer of the company of Pilots is always present, both at the embarcation and disembarca- After breakfast comes the slow meditative tion; he receives the passage-money, which is saunter along the downs. You may find a fixed at four schillings (four pence) each per- tempting sunny hole in these downs, where son. In fine weather we are over in ten mi- you may lie down and take a siesta, sung to nutes; in rough, it may take four times ten; sleep by the listless and monotonous "Rausbut it is only late in the season that such long chen" of the waves on the shore. Rauschen transits take place. Of course it shall be a is the word which conveys the sound so exfine day when we go; and, looking over the actly, that I cannot prevail on myself to use gunwale as it cuts the water into streaming any other; and besides, I suppose the waves ripples along the sides of the boat, you feel have a right to express themselves in German that there is no word to express the wondrous on our tight little island, although the Union clearnesss of that transparent sea. Every Jack does spread its colors above it. After rock, every pebble, every zoophite, every your sandy lounge, you take a ramble on the waving sea-plant, down, down, down, in side of the downs, among pavilions and bath
ers; and here, instead of yellow sands, you find pebbles of every hue and shape; some exceedingly beautiful, and worthy of adorning the fairest wrist, after a little cutting and polishing. Walk to the extreme end of this little promontory, where the waves curl round you on every side. Do not look behind, and you will imagine yourself standing alone in the ocean, where no land is to be seen, nothing but the green sheet spread out on all sides, with here and there shifting dots of whitecrested waves.
those delicious amateur fish caught on your own hook in the North Sea. What a supper they make, with the invariable Heligoland accompaniment of a smoking pyramid of potatoes! the native island vegetable. Potatoes and the sheep are the great institutions on Heligoland; the latter performing the duties usually performed by the cow in other countries. Indeed, one of the most amusing features in your evening promenade along Kartoffel Allée is the large number of red petticoats with yellow hems, employed in milking the patient little sheep; which afterwards gets its reward of cabbages and other green stuff.
But it is time to return to the rock, where we change our toilet, and amuse ourselves till dinner, at three o'clock." The best table Every profession is represented (except, we d'hôte is the Stadt London, on the Oberland; are happy to believe, the law), in Heligoland: and here we are sure to meet our mermaid Music by a German band and the mermaids, friends, all nicely dried and combed, who make many of whom are syrens also; and painting dinner a most cheerful affair. After dinner, by Herr Gaetke-of course, a marine-painter. we go to a pavilion on the Unterland for a cup He came to Heligoland about eighteen years of coffee, and after that comes the promenade ago, determined to win the secrets from the sea, along Kartoffel or Potato Walk to the end of where it was, as it were, at home, and without the rock, where everybody sits till sunset. the restraint of a coast. He went to spend a sumThis is the grand sight of our little island, and mer, and he did not leave the island for more worth walking a mile or two to see, if we could than sixteen years. His pictures of Heligowalk that distance in Heligoland. But do not land in all kinds of weathers, his ships in disimagine that we go to bed with the sun. We tress, and his wrecks ashore, breathe life. no sooner see him safely tucked up in his gor- Look round his atelier on the Falm or Esplangeous sheet of sea, than we bethink ourselves of ade, and you see that Gaetke is no common the pleasant Conversations-haus down below in painter, a good ornithologist, and a capital a sheltered nook, where balls take place sev- shot. All those birds on his shelves, constituteral times a-week: the native girls, with scar- ing every variety of feathered biped that takes let petticoats broadly edged with yellow, danc- its wing across the island, were shot, and stuffing among the ladies. On the nights when ed by himself. He therefore gives to his there are no balls, there is conversation. adopted little country a museum, to complete There are also a billiard-room and a rouge-et-its claim to art and science. Try to make his noir table. Here all the visitors meet every acquaintance: you will find him an agreeable evening, and here they find the newspapers, companion, and the best cicerone on the islwhich arrive in the afternoon with the Ham- and. burg steamboat. Plans are discussed for the amusement of the visitors, because you must know there is a Pleasure Committee on our solitary little isle. This committee is composed of gentlemen. There is a treasurer, who receives subscriptions from all who wish to join, and then the committee discuss how they can best lay out the money.
Finally if you have a mind to feast on fish; to breathe pure air, at least once in your life; to drink un-taxed brandy, wine, and gin; to smoke un-ac-customed tobacco; to get on with your German; to realize, though not completely, Johnson's definition of a ship, — a prison, without the chance of being drowned; to form an attachment which shall last for Sometimes, in the dark nights, when there life, or an aversion which shall grow bitterer is no moon, the whole company set off in boats and bitterer until you and its object can only for a tour round the island; each person torch quit the island in different steamers; to get in hand, to explore the dark, mysterious cav- a fierce, shark-like appetite; to rise with the erns, in some of which the waves roar like lark (if there were one); to go to bed with thunder, or like wild beasts getting at their the hens; and, above all, to behold me, the prey. This torchlight tour has a magical ef- gifted scribe, in bodily presence- remember fect; and, if you have once made it, you are that the Heligoland season begins in June and not likely ever to forget it. Fishing parties ends in September; make hay, or way, while are also formed-lobster-fishing being in espe- the sun shines, and swell our list of fashionable cial vogue. The finest turbot you could buy arrivals! Or, if you long for a uniform, the for money, could never pretend to taste like books of the Foreign Legion are not closed.
From Household Words.
own; she was so warm a friend that she was a friend unto death, and one attached soul after another breathed their last in her arms. HusTHERE are few subjects that present to band after husband departed, and still her hand the psychologist more curious traits, and more was sought, and still it practised its cunning. subtle enigmas than lady poisoners. The At length, in her four-and-fiftieth year she character is so opposed to all our ideas of was detected, and arrested. In prison, she feminine feeling and affection, that, except walked amid the apparitions of all her vicunder circumstances of extreme excitement, tims, wept tears of tenderness over their meresentment of slighted attachment, blind jeal- mory, and finished by desiring that her life ousy, or revenge of injured honor, its exist- might be written; so that, having lost everyence would seem hardly possible. If we search thing else, she might yet enjoy her fame. for motives, we find them to be generally of All women of this class have had an extrathe most selfish and grovelling kind. They ordinary degree of vanity,—and, what is are, commonly, to put out of the way some more, they have had a perfect passion for or all of the people around who have money their art. The Marchioness de Brinvilliers to leave. Other base passions come into play, was an enthusiast in the composition of the but Mammon, the basest spirit that fell, is rarest poisons, of which her accomplice, Saintegenerally at the bottom of their career. It is Croix, was so eminent a compounder. The amazing the variety and amiability of charac-admiration of her beauty, the distinctions of ter that is worn for years, to cover the foul her rank, afforded her but a feeble satisfacfiend within. For long periods these female tion in comparison with that of watching the vampyres live in the heart of a family circle, operation of some subtly lethal essence. She wearing the most life-like marks of goodness certainly was not the mere marchioness, but and kindness, of personal attraction and spi- the princess of poisoners; and yet it remained ritual gifts; caressed, fêted, honored as the for Madame Ursinus to give additional touchvery pride of their sex, while they are all the es of perfection to this peculiar character. time calculating on the lives and the purses She was at once a lady of fashion, a pietist, a of those nearest, and who should be dearest, writer of useful tracts, a poetess and a poisonto them. er. Through all the dangers of these various Some of these modern Medeas have played careers, she lived to the good old age of 76, the part of the fashionable, or the aesthetic; and died-lamented! Brinvilliers, Zwansome, of the domestically amiable; some, of ziger and Gottfried confessed that they were the devoted attendant on the sick and the conquered by their crimes; but Madame Ursuffering. Heaven defend us from such devo-sinus, branded in public opinion, continued to tion! May no such tigress smooth our pil- defy it, and conquered even that; and to the low; smile blandly on us in our pains which very last gasp persisted in playing the heroine. she cannot take away, though she has the Nay more, without confession, remorse, or pesatisfaction of knowing that they will take us nitence, she strove in her own way and with no away; and mix with taper fingers the opiate trifling success, to achieve the reputation of a of our repose! Amid the most stealthy-footed saint. Surely it is worth while to dig up from and domestically benign of this feline race, the rubbish-heap of the Prussian criminal court, were the Widow Zwanziger, and Mrs. Gott- a few fragments of the history of such a woman. fried, of Germany. They were amongst the The widow of Privy-councillor Ursinus lived most successful, though not the most distin-honored and courted in the highest circles of guished, in this art of poisoning. They went Berlin. Her rank, and the reputation of her on their way, slaying all around them, for husband, whom she had lost but a few years, years upon years, and yet were too good and agreeable to be suspected, though death was but another name for their shadows. Funerals followed these fatal sisters as certainly as thunder follows lightning, and undertakers were the only men who flourished in their path.
The Widow Zwanziger was an admirable cook and nurse. Her soups and coffee had a peculiar strength; her watchful care by the sick bed was in all hearts; she kissed the child she meant to kill, and pillowed the aching head with such soothing address that it never ached again. Mrs. Gottfried was so attractive a person that her ministration was sought by people of much higher rank than her
her handsome fortune, her noble figure and impressive features, together with her spirit and her accomplishments, made her a centre of attraction in the society of the time. She lived in a splendid house, and her establishment, in all its appointments was perfect. We may imagine the sensation created by the news of her arrest.
Madame Ursinus was seated in the midst of a brilliant company on the evening of the fifth of March, 1803, at the card-table, when a servant, with all the signs of terror in his face, entered, and informed her that the hall and ante-room were occupied by police, who insisted on seeing her. Madame Ursinus betrayed no surprise or emotion. She put down
her cards, begged the party with whom she was engaged at play to excuse the interruption, observing that it was some mistake, and that she would be back in a moment.
She went, but did not return. After waiting some time, her partners inquired after her, and learned, to their consternation, that she was arrested and carried off to prison, on a charge of poisoning.
soul, who had laid her grand plans well, and
A confidential servant, Benjamin Klein, had complained in the preceding month of February of indisposition. She gave him a basin of beef-tea, and some days afterwards some medi- But, there was no getting over the fact that cine in raisins. This, so far from removing his the prunes intended for the cautious Benjamin complaint, increased it; and when his mistress, Klein had arsenic in them; and the Ura few days afterwards, offered him some boiled sinus was too shrewd to attempt to deny it. rice, he said he could not eat it, and was much On this point she did confess, promptly, frankstruck by observing that she carefully put it ly, and fully. But then, she meant no harm, away where no one else could get it. This at least against him. She had no intention of excited in his mind strong suspicions that there murdering the man. What good could that was something in the food which was detri- do her?-he had no money to leave. No; mental to health, and associated with his con- her motive was very different. In early life dition. He resolved secretly to examine his her affections had been thwarted through the mistress's room and cabinet, and in the latter obstinacy of parents; she had married a man he found a small parcel, with the ominous label whom she highly esteemed, but did not love; -Arsenic. another friend, whom she did love, had died The next day his attentive mistress brought of consumption; and she was disgusted with him some stewed prunes, which she recom- life. The splendor and gayety which surroundmended as likely to do him good; and this ed her were a hollow splendor, a wearisome time be accepted them with apparent thank-gayety. She had been prosperous, but that fulness, but took care that none of them should prosperity had only accelerated her present enter his mouth. He communicated his sus- mood. She had outlived the relish of existpicions to the lady's maid, in whom he had ence, and had resolved to die. Ignorant, howconfidence; and she quickly carried off the ever, poor innocent soul! of the force of this prunes to her brother, who was the apprentice poison, she wanted to learn how much would of a celebrated apothecary. The apprentice be sufficient for its object; and therefore she communicated the prunes and the suspicion to had done as young doctors are said to do in his master, who tested them, and found them hospitals-made a few experiments on her pawell seasoned with arsenic. The apothecary tient, the unfortunate Benjamin Klein. She very soon conveyed the discovery to the magis- had given him the very minutest quantity, so trate, and the magistrate, after hearing the as to be quite safe, and had cautiously increas statement of the servant and the lady's maid, ed the successive doses-not with the least inarrested the great lady. tention to do him any permanent harm, but to People, of course, now began to look back ascertain the effectual dose for herself. She on the life of this distinguished woman; and would not for her life have hurt the man. In it was remembered, that her husband and an society she had been noted for her sensibility aunt, to whose last days she had paid assidu--for the almost morbid delicacy of her nerves ous attention, and whose wealth had fallen to and the acuteness of her sympathies. That her, had gone off suddenly. Madame Ursi- was all. As to the charges of having adminnus was at once set down as a second Brinvil-istered poison to her nearest connections, she liers, and wonderful revelations were expected. treated the calumny with the utmost indignaThe general appetite for the marvellous be- tion. The judges were puzzled; the Ursinus came ravenous and insatiable. There ap- was resolute in the protestation of her innopeared almost immediately it is wonder- cence; and the public were at a disagreeable ful how quickly such things are done-a nonplus. book, by M. Frederic Buchholz, entitled the "Confessions of a Female Poisoner written by herself," which was rapidly bought up and devoured, as the veritable confession of the Ursinus.
But, alas for the hungering and thirsting public, Madame Ursinus was not a lady of the confessing sort! She was a clever, far-seeing
And what really had been the life and character of the Ursinus? Sophia Charlotte Elizabeth Weingarten was the daughter of a so-called Baron Weingarten-who, as secretary of legation in Austria, had, under a charge of high treason, crossed to Prussia, and assumed the name of Weiss. Fräulein Weingarten, or Von Weiss, was born 1760. While re
siding in her teens with an elder married sis-that she attended on him, gave him everything ter, wife of the Councillor of State Haacke, with her own hand, and that no wife could at Spandau, occurred that genuine love affair have been more assiduously tender of him than which her parents so summarily trampled upon. she was. She called herself Lotte in her comShe was called home to Stendal, and, in her munications with him; not only because her nineteenth year, married to privy-councillor name was Charlotte, but because she was an Ursinus. The privy-councillor was a man of enthusiast of the Werter school, and loved to high standing, high character, and most exem- be of the same name as Werter's idol. But plary life; but, unluckily, all these gifts and yet Rogay withdrew himself and died alone, graces are often conferred upon or acquired and at a distance. by men who do not possess the other qualities Three years after the decease of Rogay died that young ladies of nineteen admire. The Ursinus himself. Old he was, it is true, but worthy councillor was old, sickly, deaf, and he was in perfect health. The kind wife made passionless. In fact, he was a dull, common- him a little festival on his birthday, and in the place, diligent, unimaginative pack-horse and night he sickened and died. He had taken official plodder; most meritorious in his mo- something that disagreed with him-but what tives, and great in his department of public so common at a feast? Madame Ursinus sat business; but just the last man for a lively up with him alone; she called not a single handsome girl of nineteen. On the other hand, creature; she hoped he would be better; but he had his good qualities, even as a husband. the man was aged and weak, and he went his He had no jealousies, and the most unbounded indulgence.
The year after, followed as suddenly her Soon after their marriage they removed to maiden aunt, the wealthy Miss Witte. One Berlin, where, amid the gay society of the cap- evening her doctor left her quite well, and in ital, Madame Ursinus soon contracted a warm the night she sickened and died. The Ursifriendship for a handsome young Dutch officer, nus was quite alone with her, called no single of the name of Rogay. Rogay, in fact, was domestic, but let the good lady die in her arms. the man of her heart. She declared, with her Both the bodies of the husband and the aunt, usual candor, in one of her examinations be- now Klein's affair took place, were disinterred fore the magistrates, that she was made for do- and examined. There was no poison traceamestic affection. That as there was no domes-ble, but the corpses were found dried together tic affection between herself and her departed as if baked, or as if they were mummies of a husband, neither he nor she pretended any. thousand years old. The skin of the abdoThey agreed to consider themselves as a legal couple, and as friends, and no more. As to Captain Rogay, she made no secret of it that she clung to him with the most ardent feeling of love.
This attachment, the privy-councillor-the most reasonable of men-so far from resenting, encouraged and approved. He wished his wife to make herself happy, and enjoy life in her own way; and there is a long letter preserved in the criminal records, which he himself wrote at her dictation, to the beloved Rogay, on an occasion when he had absented himself for some time, urging him to renew his visits, and that in the most love-like terms, the tenderest of which the old man underlined with his own hand.
men was so tough that it resisted the surgeon's knife, and the soft parts of the body had assumed the appearance of hard tallow. The hands, fingers, and feet of the old man were drawn together as if by spasms, his skin resembled parchment, and the stomachs of both bore every trace of injury and inflammation which had reduced them to an inseparable mass. Yet, the eminent doctors declared that poison was not the cause of death in either case,-but apoplexy or-in short, that there was not the remotest symptom of poison.
So instead of the pleasure-loving multitude obtaining a spectacle and a fate, the whirling sword of the executioner and the falling head were exchanged for perpetual imprisonment, and the handsome, wealthy widow of forty But Rogay came not, he removed to anoth- was sent to spend the remainder of her days er place, and there, soon after, died. Here in the fortress of Glatz. was now another subject of suspicion. Rogay Here she assumed a new character. had cause, said people, to keep away; while part of the interesting woman of fashion was she fawned on him, she had killed him. But played out; she had become interesting behere, again, the testimony of two of the most yond her wish, and fate had now assigned her celebrated physicians of the day was unanimous another part,-to defend her life and reputathat the cause of Rogay's death was consumption. There was a call to develop her pow tion and nothing more. The physician attest-ers of fortitude and of intellect, and she emed that he had attended Rogay while he was braced it; not only before the tribunal of living and suffering under the roof of Privy- justice, but in her whole conduct through the Councillor Ursinus; that Madame Ursinus dis- thirty long years which she continued a played the most unequivocal affection for him; prisoner. DXCVI. LIVING AGE. VOL. XI. 14