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sants, who had been saved from starving by Flór Silin, now gathered around him.
• Behold,” said they, “the corn you lent us. You saved our wives and children; we should have famišhed but for you; may God reward you He only can-all we have to give, is our corn, and grateful thanks."
"I want no corn at present, my good neighbours," said he, “my harvest has exceeded my expectations. For the rest, thank Heaven-I have been but a humble instrument.”
They urged him in vain.
“No,” said he, “ I shall not accept your corn. If you have superfluities, share them among your poor neighbours: who, being unable to sow their fields last autumn, are still in want.-Let us assist them, my dear friends; the Almighty will bless us for it.”
“ Yes," replied the grateful peasants, " our poor neighbours shall have this corn. They shall know that it is to you they owe this timely succour-and join to teach their children the debt of gratitude due to your benevolent heart,"
Silin raised his tearful eyes to heaven.--An angel might have envied him his feelings!
At another time, fourteen farm houses were burnt down in an adjoining village. To each sufferer Silin sent two roubles and a scythe.
Some time after, a like misfortune happened at ano“ ther village. It was entirely consumed, and the inhabitants, reduced to the last degree of misery, had recourse to Silin. But his former benevolence had impoverished his means. He had no money to help them. What was to be done? “ Stop," said he, sud
denly recollecting himself, “here is a horse, I do not actually want him, take and sell it.”
He set at liberty two female slaves, whom be bought in the name of the lord of the manor, educated them as his own daughters, and, when they married, gave them a handsome dowry.
As long as thou continuest, noble Silin*, to inhabit this world, so long will thy life be spent in acts of generosity and benevolence towards thy fellow-creatures; and, when thou hast exchanged this for a better life, the recording angel shall proclaim thy virtues in heaven, the Almighty will place thee high above kings and princes, and thou wilt still be the friend of the comfort. less, and a father to the poor and indigent on earth. If ever I revisit that country whose ornament thou art, I shall approach thy cot with reverence, and pay homage to thy virtues. But, if the minister of peace hath removed thee into bliss, I will visit thy gravem-sprinkle it with my tears and place a stone upon the spot, on which with my own hand, I will write,
EXTRAORDINARY GERMAN IMPOSTOR,
“ And oft the mighty necromancer boasts,
With these to call from tombs the stalking ghosts." DRYD. A man named Schröpfer was for a long time waiter in a coffee house at Leipzig, and nobody observed any thing extraordinary in him. He disappeared of a sudden, and it was net till several years after that he again made his appearance at Leipzig, in the character of the Baron Schröpfer. He took a large house, hired a great number of servants, and puffed himself off as a suge, to whom all nature, and even the world of spirits, were subject.
* Silin is still alive, and having read this sketch of himself, he wept, and exclaimed ;_"No, I am unworthy of this--I can. not deserve such praise."
By pompous promises of splendid discoveries, he allured a multitude of credulous people, and pupils thronged to him from all quarters. Some actually expected to learn things of him that cannot be acquired at any university; others were delighted with the ex• cellent table he kept. He frequently received by post large jaarcels, addressed to Baron Schröpfer. Several bankers received orders to pay him large sums. He spoke of his secrets, which he pretended to have learned in Italy, with a seductive eloquence; and he showed people the spirits and shadows of their deceased acquaintance. When he had heated the imagination of his hearers; “ Come and see,” he cried to all who were inclined to doubt; they came and actually saw shadows, and various terrible sights, which made the hair of timorous persons stand on end. It must be observed, that his warmest adherents were not men of learning, or such. 26 were accustomed to logical deductions; for people who placed more reliance on their understanding than on their senses, would not at all suit. Schröpfer's purpose. Thus his pupils consisted entirely of noblemen and merchants, who were totally ignorant of the sciences. He exhibited the wonders of his art to others, but he taught them to none, and at last he only performed his miracles at home, in private. apartments prepared for the purpose. Amongst others
Mr. M. came in company with his friends to Schröp- ·
fer, to see his apparition. He found a great number of guests there before him, who were incessantly plied with punch. M. refused to drink any thing, but Schröpfer pressed him very much to drink at least a glass, which M. as firmly refused. At length they were all conducted into a large hall, hung with black cloth, the window-shutters of which were closed Schröpfer placed the spectators together, and drew a circle around them, beyond which he strictly enjoined them not to stir. At the distance of a few paces a small altar was erected, on which burned spirits; this cast the only light that illumined the room. Schröpfer, uncovering his breast, threw himself on his knees before the altar. He held in his hand a large glistening sword, and prayed with a loud voice, and with such. earnestness and warmth that M., who had come with the intention of unmasking the impostor and the imposture, felt in his heart a pious awe, and sentiments of devotion. Fire flashed from the eyes of the supplicant, and his breast was powerfully agitated.' He was to call the shadow of a well-known character lately de. ceased. After having finished the prayer, he called the ghost with the following words: “Oh! thou: departed spirit, who livest in an immaterial world, and invisible to the eyes of mortals, hear the voice of the friends thou hast left behind, and who desire to see thee; leave, for a short time, thy new abode, and present thyself to their eyes!" Hereupon the spectators felt in every nerve a sensation similar to an electric shock-heard a noise like a rolling of thunder, and saw above the altar a light vapour, which grew thicker by degrees, till it
assumed the figure of a man. However, M. observed that it was not a striking likeness of the deceased. The figure hovered over the altar, and Schröpfer, pale as death, flourished the sword above his head. M. resolved to step out of the circle and to go to Schröpfer; but the latter perceiving his intention, rushed towards him, holding the sword to his breast, and crying with a terrible voice, “You are a dead man, if you stir an. other step!” M. was so terrified at the dreadful tone in which Schröpfer uttered these words, and at the glis. tening sword, that his knees shook under him. The shadow at length disappeared, and Schröpfer was so fatigued, that he lay extended on the floor. The spectators were conducted into another room, where they were served with fruits. Many of the more sensible people went to Schröpfer's house as to a theatre; they knew that his boasted art was nothing but imposture, yet they were delighted with the serious comedy which he performed.
This continued for some time; but Schröpfer all al once got into debt with several trades-people of Leipzig, and unfortunately of that class who did not wish to see his ghosts. The bankers would not advance him a penny; and the miserable magician, worked up to the highest degree of despair, shot himself through the head in the Rosenthal*. Nobody knows, to this day, how he got his money, and for what purpose he played off his phantasmagoria.
* It is a place in Leipzig.