« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
greatest repugnance, and from whom I had nothing but contempt, privation, and harsh treatment to expect!
On leaving Vienna, we heard the people singing ballads on the conquest of Belgrade, which again most painfully reminded me of my misfortunes; and my situation in Landshut, was not much calculated to make me forget them. My master, it is true, was a kind and well-disposed man; but his lady, a Bohemian by birth, was severe and unmerciful, led a disorderly life, and in particular was given to intemperance, and often tormented and illtreated me beyond measure. How often did I sigh for deliverance! but it seemed as if no ear listened to my requests. I found no female friend or confident to whom I could unbosom myself, and Gulyah! I had entirely forgotten to mention something of her fate. We were clinging closely together, in order to die with each other, when Colonel Burget entered the house, and made me prisoner; while another Bavarian captain entered from the other side, seized Guly's arm, and in spite
of her shrieks and struggles, tore her away from me :-I saw her no more. Thus my fate was hard and painful: but at length a season of refreshing arrived.
THE MAGISTRATE OF LIEBENZELL.
It was during that winter that the war broke out in the provinces of the Upper Rhine, and the Elector of Bavaria was the first who took the field against France. I was therefore compelled to proceed with the Colonel and his lady, on whom I had to attend, in the winter of the year 1689, farther into Swabia, and the duchy of Würtemberg. It was thus that I first got sight of that country where so many blessings awaited me. Our road lay through Wurzburg and Heilbronn to Pfortzheim, and from thence to the little Würtemberg town of Liebenzell. I was obliged to stay there as long as the campaign lasted, whilst my master and mistress proceeded farther, and was boarded in the house of the magistrate of the place, whose name was Frisch.
I was now liberated from my prison for a time, and was able to breathe more freely.
The little town lies in a deep narrow valley of the Black Forest, on the river Nagold, and is situate on a hill, which is picturesquely surmounted by the ruins of an ancient baronial mansion. During the whole year the place is quiet and free from noise. The road which leads down through the valley from Calw and Hirsau is not much frequented; steep hills, covered with oaks and larches, rise on every side towards heaven, and the little town itself is only more lively during the summer months, when its warm baths are much visited.
But that which was of more value to me than this, was the fact, which I soon ascertained, that I was residing with a truly Christian family. I had seen in Vienna the transient appearance of a true Christian; but here I was able daily to contemplate the tranquil and lovely picture of a whole domestic Christian circle, from every point of view. It was now that I began to form a better opinion of Christians and their religion. The sermons which I heard from the Rev. Mr. Mack, the vicar of the place, and his curate, Mr. Mosseder, and the kindness and affection I experienced from the worthy family of the magistrate, first excited in me the idea that a Christian was certainly better than a Turk; and that it might be possible for me to resolve on becoming a Christian.
But I wished above all things to make myself acquainted with the word of God; for I had once heard the passage quoted in the church, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed, and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” This passage had caused me much pleasure; for when a captive is told that he may be free, he is glad at heart: I did not think at the time of the liberty which Christ intended; for I understood nothing of it. But from that moment I felt a powerful desire to read the New Testament through. It is true I heard many portions of it in the church ; and at our morning devotions a chapter was daily read from the Bible by the magistrate himself; but all this did not suffice me, and I wished to go to the fountain-head myself, in