The Works of Frederick Schiller: Early Dramas and Romances

By Friedrich Schiller; Henry G. Bohn | Go to book overview

not yet enjoyed this pleasure, I recommend exactly this station, the most eligible one, perhaps, in all Venice, to enjoy so splendid a prospect in perfection. A purple twilight hangs over the deep, and a golden mist on the Laguna announces the sun's approach. The heavens and the sea are wrapped in expectant silence. In two seconds the orb of day appears casting a flood of fiery light on the waves. It is an enchanting sight!

"One morning, when I was, according to custom, enjoying the beauty of this prospect, I suddenly discovered that I was not the only spectator of the scene. I fancied I heard voices in the garden, and turning to the quarter whence the sound proceeded, I perceived a gondola steering for the land. In a few moments I saw figures walking at a slow pace up the avenue. They were a man and a woman, accompanied by a little negro. The female was clothed in white, and had a brilliant on her finger; it was not light enough to perceive more.

"My curiosity was raised. Doubtless a rendezvous of a pair of lovers--but in such a place, and at so unusual an hour! It was scarcely three o'clock, and everything was still veiled in dusky twilight. The incident seemed to me novel, and proper for a romance, and I waited to see the end.

"I soon lost sight of them among the foliage of the garden, and some time elapsed before they again emerged to view. Meanwhile a delightful song was heard. It proceeded from the gondolier, who was in this manner shortening the time, and was answered by a comrade a short way off. They sang stanzas from Tasso; time and place were in unison, and the melody sounded sweetly in the profound silence around.

"Day in the meantime had dawned, and objects were discerned more plainly. I sought my people, whom I found walking hand-in-hand up a broad walk, often standing still, but always with their back turned towards me, and proceeding further from my residence. Their noble, easy carriage, convinced me at once that they were people of rank, and the splendid figure of the lady made me augur as much of her beauty. They appeared to converse little; the lady, however, more than her companion. In the spectacle of the rising sun, which now burst out in all its splendour, they seemed to take not the slightest interest.

"While I was employed in adjusting my glass, in order to

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