Seite:Marsh Hallig 1856.djvu/78

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78
THE HALLIG.

channel to the sailor after the perils of the ocean, a
fountain of wealth to the fisherman. I went on still
further to the broad-armed, thick-leaved oak, on the
top of the hill. There a voice from on high seemed to
say, 'Taste and see how gracious the Lord is.' In this
temple of God my foot had found that altar by which
no one can pass without casting a look at the wide-
spread manifestations of God's goodness, or without
offering a sacrifice of admiration and thanksgiving to
Him whose works are so great and so numberless, who
orders them all in wisdom, and fills the earth with His
goodness. And it was long before, happy and transfig-
ured, like one whose faith has been turned to sight, I
drew near the house at the foot of the hill. It rose with
its red tiles very conspicuously above the exotic shrub-
bery which surrounded it, and by its great size con-
cealed half of the village which lay behind it. T?he
inscription, ’To rural enjoyment’ shone in large gilt
letters over the door. In the front court stood many
carriages, and servants in richly embroidered liveries
were shouting in an adjoining bowling-alley. The
guests within were amusing themselves in a noisy way
at billiards, and as I looked for a more quiet side room
I met the dark looks of some card-players whom I had
disturbed. I fled from their ill-natured murmurs to
another room. Here sat many gentlemen and ladies
turning over newspapers and journals, till the repre-
sentation of a Parisian fancy dress attracted every eye
and called forth a variety of longing exclamations and
witty remarks. But all this in no way disturbed a
young lady, who was at the piano singing to her own
satisfaction an aria from Fra Diavolo. As she rose they