posure, and an expression of determined malignancy settled upon his countenance, as he gave peremptory orders that the apartment in question should be immediately locked up, and the key placed in his own possession.
"Have you heard of the unhappy death of the old hunter Berlifitzing?" said one of his vassals to the Baron, as, after the departure of the page, the huge steed which that nobleman had adopted as his own, plunged and curveted, with redoubled fury, down the long avenue which extended from the palace to the stables of Metzengerstein.
"No!" said the Baron, turning abruptly towards the speaker; "dead! say you?"
"It is indeed true, my lord; and, to the noble of your name, will be, I imagine, no unwelcome intelligence."
A rapid smile shot over the countenance of the listener. "How died he?"
"In his rash exertions to rescue a favorite portion of his hunting stud, he has himself perished miserably in the flames."
"I—n—d—e—e—d—!" ejaculated the Baron, as if slowly and deliberately impressed with the truth of some exciting idea.
"Indeed;" repeated the vassal.
"Shocking!" said the youth, calmly, and turned quietly into the palace.
From this date a marked alteration took place in the outward demeanor of the dissolute young Baron Frederick Von Metzengerstein. Indeed, his behaviour disappointed every expectation, and proved little in accordance with the views of many a manœuvring mamma; while his habits and manners, still less than formerly, offered anything congenial with those of the neighboring aristocracy. He was never to be seen beyond the limits of his own domain, and, in this wide and social world, was utterly companionless—unless, indeed, that unnatural, impetuous, and fiery-colored horse, which he henceforward continually bestrode, had any mysterious right to the title of his friend.
Numerous invitations on the part of the neighborhood for a long time, however, periodically came in. "Will the Baron honor our festivals with his presence? "Will the Baron join us in a hunting of the boar?"—"Metzengerstein does not hunt;" "Met-