Page images
PDF
EPUB

step:

Hameline, who first counselled, and indeed urged in the night-quarter near Namur, and which appearmy flight, has already taken this wise and honourable ed the result of an agreement betwixt the King and

William de la Marck. Isabelle shuddered with horYour kinswoman!", repeated Quentin, awakened ror, and then recovering herself, said, “I am ashamto recollections to which the young Countess was a ed, and I have sinned in permitting myself so far to stranger, and which the rapid succession of perilous doubt of the saints' protection, as for an instant to and stirring events, had, as matters of nearer concern, have deemed possible the accomplishment of a in fact banished from his memory.

scheme so utterly cruel, base, and dishonourable, Ay-my aunt-the Countess Hameline of Croye while there are pitying eyes in Heaven

to look down know you aught of her ?" said the Countess Isa- on human miseries. "It is not a thing to be thought belle; “I trust she is now under the protection of of with fear or abhorrence, but to be rejected as such the Burgundian banner.—You are silent! Know you a piece of incredible treachery and villainy, as it were aught of her ?”

atheism to believe could ever be successful. But I The last question, urged in a tone of the most now see plainly why that hypocritical Marthon often anxious inquiry, obliged Quentin to give some ac- seemed to foster every seed of petty jealousy or discount of what he knew of the Countess's fate. He content betwixt my poor kinswoman and myself, mentioned, that he had been summoned to attend whilst she always mixed with flattery, addressed to her in a fight from Liege, which he had no doubt the individual who was present, whatever could prethe Lady Isabelle would be partaker in-he mention-judice her against her absent kinswoman. Yet never ed the discovery that had been made after they had did I dream she could have proceeded so far as to gained the forest-and finally, he told his own re- have caused my once affectionate kingwoman to turn to the castle, and the circumstances in which have left me behind in the perils of Schonwaldt, while he found it. But he said nothing of the views with she made her own escape." which it was plain the Lady Hameline had left the Did the Lady Hameline not mention to you, then,” Castle of Schonwaldt, and as little about the float- said Quentin, "her intended flight ?" ing report of her having fallen into the hands of No," replied the Countess, “but she alluded to William de la Marck. Delicacy prevented his even some communication which Marthon was to make hinting at the one, and regard for the feelings of his to me. To say truth, my poor kinswoman's head companion, at a moment when strength and exer- was so turned by the mysterious jargon of the misertion were most demanded of her, prevented him able Hayraddin, whom that day she had admitted to from alluding to the latter, which had, besides, only a long and secret conference, and she threw out so reached him as a mere rumour.

many strange hints, that-that-in short, I cared not This tale, though abridged of those important par- to press on her, when in that humour, for any ex: ticulars, made a strong impression on the Countess planation. Yet it was cruel to leave me behind her." Isabelle, who, after riding some time in silence, said at "I will excuse the Lady Hameline from intending last, with a tone of cold displeasure, “And so you such unkindness," said Quentin ; "for such was the abandoned my unfortunate relative in a wild forest, agitation of the moment, and the darkness of the at the mercy of a wild Bohemian and a traitorous hour, that I believe the Lady Hameline as certainly waiting-woman ?-Poor kinswoman, thou wert wont conceived herself accompanied by her niece, as I at to praise this youth's good faith!"

the same time, deceived by Marthon's dress and de Had I not done so, madam," said Quentin, not un- meanour, supposed I was in the company of both reasonably offended at the turn thus given to his the Ladies of Croye :--and of her especially," he addgallantry,“ what had been the fate of one to whose ed, with a low but determined voice, "without whom service I was far more devoutly bound? Had I not the wealth of worlds would not have tempted me to left the Countess Hameline of Croye to the charge of leave Schonwaldt." those whom she had herself selected as counsellors Isabelle stooped her head forward, and seemed and advisers, the Countess Isabelle had been ere scarce to hear the emphasis with which Quentin had now the bride of William de la Marck, the Wild Boar spoken. But she turned her face to him again when of Ardennes."

he began to speak of the policy of Louis; and it was “You are right," said the Countess Isabelle, in not difficult for them, by mutual communication, to her usual manner; and I, who have the advantage of ascertain that the Bohemian brothers, with their acyour unhesitating devotion, have done you foul and complice Marthon, had been the agents of that crafty ungrateful wrong. But oh, my unhappy kinswoman! monarch, although Zamet, the elder of them, with a and the wretch Marthon, who enjoyed so much of perfidy peculiar to his race, had attempted to play a her confidence, and deserved it so little—it was she double game, and had been punished accordingly. In that introduced to my kinswoman the wretched the same humour of mutual confidence, and forgetting Zamet and Hayraddin Maugrabin, who, by their the singularity of their own situation, as well as the pretended knowledge in soothsaying and astrology, perils of the road, the travellers pursued their journey obtained a great ascendency over her mind; it was for several hours, only stopping to refresh their horses she who, strengthening their predictions, encouraged at a retired dorff, or hamlet, to which they were conher in-1 know not what to call them delusions ducted by Hans Glover, who, in all other respects, concerning matches and lovers, which my kins- as well as in leaving them much to their own freewoman's age rendered ungraceful and improbable. dom in conversation, conducted himself like a person I doubt not that, from the beginning, we have been of reflection and discretion. surrounded by these snares by Louis of France, in Meantime, the artificial distinction which divided order to determine us to take refuge at his Court, or the two lovers, (for such we may now term them,) rather to put ourselves into his power; after which seemed dissolved, or removed, by the circumstances rash act on our part, how unkingly, unknightly, in which they were placed; for if the Countess boastignobly, ungentleman-like, he hath conducted him-ed the higher rank, and was by birth entitled to a self towards us, you, Quentin Durward, can bear fortune incalculably larger than that of the youth, witness. But alas! my kinswoman-what think whose revenue lay in his sword, it was to be conyou will be her fate ?"

sidered that, for the present, she was as poor as he Endeavouring to inspire hopes which he scarce and for her safety, honour, and life, exclusively infelt, Durward answered, that the avarice of these debted to his presence of mind, valour, and devotion. people was stronger than any other passion; that They spoke not indeed of love, for though the young Marthon, even when he left them, seemed to act lady, her heart full of gratitude and confidence, night rather as the Lady Hameline's protectress; and, in have pardoned such a declaration, yet Quentin, on fine, that it was difficult to conceive any object these whose tongue there was laid a check, both by natuwretches could accomplish by the ill usage or mur-ral timidity and by the sentiments of chivalry, would der of the Countess, whereas they might be gainers have held it an unworthy abuse of her situation had by treating her well, and putting her to ransom. he said any thing which could have the appearance

To lead the Countess Isabelle's thoughts from this of taking undue advantage of the opportunities which melancholy subject, Quentin frankly, told her the it afforded them. They spoke not then of love, but treachery of the Maugrabin, which he had discovered the thoughts of it were on both sides unavoidable;

[ocr errors]

and thụs they were placed in that relation to each | against a host-always excepting my liege Lord of other, in which sentiments of mutual regard are Burgundy. But there is little time to talk of it. These rather understood than announced, and which, with filthy looking fiends have made a halt, as if they inthe freedoms which it permits, and the uncertainties tended to dispute the matter.-By Saint George of that attend it, often forms the most delightful hours Burgundy, they have the insolence to advance against of human existence, and as frequently leads to those the banner of Crèvecæur!-What! will not the which are darkened by disappointment, fick leness, knaves be ruled ?—Damian, my lance - Advance banand all the pains of blighted hope and unrequited at- ner-Lay, your spears in the rest-Crèvec@ur to the tachment.

Rescue !" It was two hours after noon, when the travellers Crying his war-cry, and followed by his men-atwere alarmed by the report of the guide, who, with arms, he galloped rapidly forward to charge the paleness and horror in his countenance, said that Schwarz-reiters. they were pursued by a party of De la Marck's Schwarz-reiters. These soldiers, or rather banditti, were bands levied in the Lower Circles of Germany,

CHAPTER XXIV. and resembled the lanzknechts in every particular, except that the former acted as light cavalry. To

THE SURRENDER. maintain the name of Black Troopers, and to strike

Rescue or none, Sir Knight, I am your captive ; additional terror into their enemies, they usually rode Deal with me what your nobleness suggestson black chargers, and smeared with black ointment Thinking the chance of war may one day place you their arms and accoutrements, in which operation

Where I must now be reckon'd-i' the roll

Of melancholy prisoners. - Anonymous. their hands and faces often had their share. In morals and in ferocity these Schwarz-reiters emulated THE skirmish betwixt the Schwarz-reiters and the their pedestrian brethren the lanzknechts.*

Burgundian men-at-arms lasted scarcely five minOn looking back, and discovering along the long utes, so soon were the former put to the rout by the level road which they had traversed a cloud of dust superiority of the latter, in armour, weight of borse, advancing, with one or two of the headmost troopers and military spirit. In less than the space we have riding furiously in front

of it, Quentin addressed his mentioned, the Count of Crèvecæur, wiping his bloody companion—"Dearest Isabelle, I have no weapon sword upon his horse's mane ere he sheathed it, came left save my sword; but since I cannot fight for you, back to the verge of the forest, where Isabelle had reI will fly with you. Could we gain yonder wood that mained a spectator of the combat. One part of his is before us ere they come up, we may easily find people followed him, while the other continued to purmeans to escape.

sue the flying enemy for a little space along the " So be it, my only friend," said Isabelle, pressing causeway, her horse to the gallop; " and thou, good fellow," "It is shame," said the Count," that the weapons she added, addressing Hans Glover, get thee off to of knights and gentlemen should be soiled by the another road, and do not stay to partake our misfor- blood of those brutal swine." tune and danger." The honest Fleming shook his head, and answer- and added, " This is a rough welcome to your home,

So saying, he returned his weapon to the sheath, ed her generous exhortation, with Nein, nein! das my pretty cousin, but wandering, princesses must ex. gcht nichts, and continued to attend them, all three pect such adventures. And well I came up in time, riding towards the shelter of the wood as fast as their for, let me assure you, the Black Troopers respect a jaded horses could go, pursued, at the same time, by countess's coronet as little as a country-wench's coif

, the Schwarz-reiters, who increased their pace when and I think your retinue is not qualified for much rethey saw them fly. But notwithstanding the fatigue sistance." of the horses, still the fugitives, being unarmed, and "My Lord Count," said the Lady Isabelle, "withriding lighter in consequence, had considerably the out farther preface, let me know if I am a prisoner, advantage of the pursuers, and were within about a and where you are to conduct me." quarter of a mile of the wood, when a body of men- You know, you silly child," answered the Count, at-arms, under a knight's pennon, was discovered "how I would answer that question, did it rest on advancing from the cover, so as to intercept their my own will

. But you and your foolish match flight

making, marriage-hunting aunt, have made such wild They have bright armour," said Isabelle ; " they use of your wings of late, that I fear you must be must be Burgundians. Be they who they will, we contented to fold them up in a cage for a little while must yield to them, rather than to the lawless mis- For my part, my duty, and it is a sad one, will be creants who pursue us.'

ended when I have conducted you to the Court of the A moment aster, she exclaimed, looking on the Duke, at Peronne; for which purpose, I hold it nepennon, "I know the cloven heart which it displays! cessary to deliver the command of this reconnoitring It is the banner of the Count of Crèvecæur, a noble party to my nephew, Count Stephen, while I return Burgundian-to him I will surrender myself.". with you thither, as I think you may need an interces

Quentin Durward sighed; but what other alterna-sor-And I hope the young giddy pate will discharge tive remained ? and how happy would he have been his duty wisely." but an instant before, to have been certain of the So please you, fair uncle,” said Count Stephen, escape of Isabelle, even under worse terms? They "if you doubt my capacity to conduct the men-a:soon joined the band of Crèvec@ur, and the Countess arms, even remain with them yourself, and I will be demanded to speak to the leader, who had halted his the servant and guard of the Countess Isabelle of party till he should reconnoitre the Black Troopers; Croye." and as he gazed on her with doubt and uncertainty, "No doubt, fair nephew," answered his uncle, she said, Noble Count, -Isabelle of Croye, the "this were a goodly improvement on my scheme; but daughter of your old companion in arms, Count Rein-methinks I like it as well in the way I planned it. old of Croye, renders herself, and asks protection Please you, therefore, to take notice, that your busifrom your valour for her and hers."

ness here is not to hunt after and stick these black "Thou shalt have it, fair kinswoman, were it hogg, for which you seemed but now to have felt an Fynes Morrison describes this species of soldiery as follows: I especial vocation, but

to collect and bring to me true He that at this day looks upon their Schwarz-Tellers, (that is, tidings

what is going forward in the country of Liege, black horsemen,) must confess, that, to make their horses and concerning which we hear such wild rumours. Let boots shine, they make themselves as black as colliers. These horsemen wear black clothes, and poor though they

be, spend main with my banner, under your guidance."

some half score of lances follow me, and the rest te no small time in brushing them. The most of them have black horses, which, while they painfully dress, and (as I have said)

“Yet one moment, cousin of Crevecæur," said the delight to have their boots and shoes shine with blacking-stuff, Countess Isabelle, "and let me, in yielding myself their foresaid

name. Yet I have heard Germans say, that they have befriended me in my misfortunes. Permit this their hands and faces become black, and thereof they have prisoner, stipulate at least for the safety of those who enemies." -FYNES MORRISON'S Itinerary. Edition 1617, p. 165. ) good fellow, my trusty guide, to go back unbarmed * "No, no I that must not be."

to his native town of Liege."

[ocr errors]

"My nephew," said Crèvec@ur, after looking sharp: them. Why, I myself

, who have been at Peronne ly at Glover's honest breadth of countenance, "shall with the Duke for this week and better, cannot reguard this good fellow, who seems, indeed, to have solve this riddle any more

than you; and yet, sir Iittle harm in him, as far into the territory as he him- Squire, upon the solution of that question depends the self advances, and then leave him at liberty." said point, whether you are a prisoner or free man;

Fail not to remember me to the kind Gertrude," and, for the present, I must hold you as the former said the Countess to her guide, and added, taking a Only, if you have really and honestly been of service string of pearls from under her veil, “Pray her to wear to my kinswoman, and if you are candid in your anthis in remembrance of her unhappy friend.". swers to the questions I shall ask, affairs shall stand

Honest Glover took the string of pearls, and kissed, the better with you." with a clownish gesture, but with sincere kindness, The Countess of Croye,” said Quentin, "is best the fair hand which had found such a delicate mode judge if I have rendered any service, and to her I reof remunerating his own labours and peril.

fer you on that matter. My answers you will yourself "Umph! signs and tokens !" said the Count; "any judge of when you ask me your questions." farther bequests to make, my fair cousin ?-It is time “Umph!-haughty enough," muttered the Count we were on our way.

of Crèvec@ur, "and very like one that wears a lady's "Only," said the Countess, making an effort to favour in his hat, and thinks he must carry things speak, that you will be pleased to be favourable to with a high tone, to honour the precious remnant of this-this young gentleman.”

silk and tinsel. --Well, sir

, I trust it well be no abate"Umph!" said Crevecæur, casting the same pe- ment of your dignity, if you answer me how long you netrating glance on Quentin which he had bestowed have been about the person of the Lady Isabelle of on Glover, but apparently with a much less satisfac- Croye ?" tory result, and mimicking, though not offensively, Count of Crèvec@ur," said Quentin Durward, "if the embarrassment of the Countess—"Umph!-Ay, I answer questions which are ask

in a tone ap--this is a blade of another temper.–And pray, my proaching towards insult, it is only lest injurious infecousin, what has this-this very young gentleman rences should be drawn from my silence respecting done, to deserve such intercession at your hands ?'' one to whom we are both obliged to render justice.

“ He has saved my life and honour," said the I have acted as escort to the Lady Isabelle since she Countess, reddening with shame and resentment. left France to retire into Flanders.”

Quentin also blushed with indignation, but wisely "Ho! ho !" said the Count; "and that is to say, concluded, that to give vent to it might only make since she fled from Plessis-les-Tours ?-You, an Armatters worse.

cher of the Scottish Guard, accompanied her, of “Life and honour ?-Umph !" said again the Count course, by the express orders of King Louis ?". Crèvec@ur; "methinks it would have been as well, However little Quentin thought himself indebted my cousin, if you had not put yourself in the way of to the King of France, who, in contriving the surprilying under such obligations to this very young gen- sal of the Countess Isabelle by William de la Marck. tleman.-But let it pass. The young gentleman may had probably calculated on the young Scotchman wait on us, if his quality permit, and I will see he has being slain in her defence, he did not yet conceive no injury-only I will myself take in future the office himself at liberty to betray any trust which Louis of protecting your life and honour, and may perhaps had reposed, or had seemed to repose in him, and find for him some fitter duty than that of being a squire therefore replied to Count Crèvecour's inference, of the body to damosels errant."

"that it was sufficient for him to have the authority My Lord Count," said Durward, unable to keep of his superior officer for what he had done, and he silence any longer, "lest you should talk of a stranger inquired no farther." in slighter terms than you might afterwards think It is quite sufficient,” said the Count. “We know becoming, I take leave to tell you, that I am Quentin the King does

not permit his officers to send the Durward, an Archer of the Scottish Body-guard, in Archers of his Guard to prance like paladins by the which, as you well know, none but gentlemen and bridle-rein of wandering ladies, unless he hath some men of honour are enrolled."

politic purpose to serve. It will be difficult for King I thank you for your information, and I kiss your Louis to continue to aver so boldly, that he knew not hands, Seignior Archer," said Crèvec@ur, in the same of the Ladies of Croye's having escaped from France, tone of raillery. "Have the goodness to ride with me since they were escorted by one of his own Lifeto the front of the party."

guard. - And whither, Sir Archer, was your retreat As Quentin moved onward at the command of the directed ?" Count, who had now the power, if not the right, to "To Liege, my lord," answered the Scot; "where dictate his motions, he observed that the Lady Isa- the ladies desired to be placed under the protection of beile followed his motions with a look of anxious and the late Bishop.". timid interest, which amounted almost to tenderness, “The late Bishop !" exclaimed the Count of and the sight of which brought water into his eyes. Crèvecæur;is Louis of Bourbon dead ?-Not a But he remembered that he had a man's part to sus- word of his illness had reached the Duke Of what tain before Crèvecæur, who, perhaps of all

the chival- did he die ?" ry in France or Burgundy, was the least likely to be " He sleeps in a bloody grave, my lord—that is, if moved to any thing but laughter by a tale of true love his murderers have conferred one on his remains. sorrow. He determined, therefore, not to wait his Murdered !" exclaimed Crèvec@ur again-"Holy addressing him, but to open the conversation in a tone Mother of Heaven !-young man, it is impossible!" which should assert his claim to fair treatment, and “I saw the deed done with my own eyes, and many to more respect than the Count, offended perhaps at an act of horror besides." finding a person of snch inferior note placed so near “Saw it! and made not in to help the good Prethe confidence of his high-born and wealthy cousin, late!" exclaimed the Count, “or to raise the castle seemed disposed to entertain for him.

against his murderers ?--Know'st thou not, that even "My Lord Count of Crèvecæur," he said, in a tem- to look on such a deed, without resisting it, is profane perate but firm tone of voice, may I request of you, sacrilege ?" before our interview goes farther, to tell me if I am “To be brief, my lord," said Durward, "ere this at liberty, or am to account myself your prisoner ?!! act was done, the castle was stormed by the blood

"A shrewd question," replied the Count, "which, thirsty William de la Marck, with the help of the inat present, I can only answer by another-Are France surgent Liegeois." and Burgundy, think you, at peace or war with each "I am struck with thunder !” said Crèvecmur. other ?

"Liege in insurrection !-Schonwaldt taken !-the "That,” replied the Scot, "you, my lord, should Bishop murdered !-Messenger of sorrow, never did certainly know better than l.' I have been absent one man unfold such a packet of woes !-Speakfrom the Court of France, and have heard no news knew

you of this assault of this insurrection of this for some time.

murder ?-Speak-thou art one of Louis's trusted "Look you there,” said the Count; " you see how Archers, and it is he that has aimed this painful arrow. easy it is to ask questions, but how dificult to answer -Speak, or I will have thee torn with wild horses!" "And if I am so torn, my lord, there can be nothing | rendered untractable. Quentin easily saw that the rent out of me, that may not become a true Scottish grief which he manifested was augmented by the gentleman. I know no more of these villanies than bitter recollection of past intercourse and friendship you, -was so far from being partaker in them, that I with the sufferer, and was silent accordingly; respectwould have withstood them to the uttermost, had my ing feelings which he was unwilling to aggravate, means, in a twentieth degree, equalled my inclination. and at the same time felt it impossible to soothe. But what could I do?-they were hundreds, and I but But the Count of Crèveçæur returned again and one. My only care was to rescue the Countess (sa: again to the subject-questioned him on every parbelle, and in that I was happily successful. Yet, had ticular of the surprise of Schonwaldt, and the death I been near enough when the ruffian deed was so of the Bishop; and then suddenly, as if he had re cruelly done on the old man, I had saved his gray collected something which had escaped his memory, hairs, or I had avenged them; and as it was my ab- demanded what had become of the Lady Hameline, horrence was spoken loud enough to prevent other and why she was not with her kingwoman? "Non horrors."

he added contemptuously, " that I consider her ab. "I believe thee, youth," said the Count; "thou art sence as at all a loss to the Countess Isabelle; for, neither of an age nor nature to be trusted with such although she was her kinswoman, and upon the bloody work, however well fitted to be the squire of whole a well-meaning, woman, yet the Court of dames. But alas! for the kind and generous Prelate, Cocagne never produced such a fantastic fool; and I to be murdered on the hearth where he so often en hold it for certain, that her niece, whom I have tertained the stranger with Christian charity and always observed to be a modest and orderly young princely bounty-and that by a wretch, a monster! a woman, was led into the absurd frolic of flying from portentous growth of blood and cruelty !-bred up in Burgundy to France, by that blundering, romantic, the very hall where he has imbrued his hands in his old, match-making and match-seeking idiot!" benefactor's blood! But I know not Charles of Bur- What a speech for a romantic lover to hear! and gundy-nay, I should doubt of the justice of Heaven, to hear, too, when it would have been ridiculous in if vengeance be not as sharp, and sudden, and severe, him to attempt what it was impossible for him to as this villany has been unexampled in atrocity. And, achieve-namely, to convince the Count, by force of if no other shall pursue the murderer,";-here he arms, that he did foul wrong to the Countess the paused, grasped his sword, then quitting his bridle, peerless in sense as in beauty-in terming her a struck both gauntleted bands upon his breast, until modest and orderly young woman; qualities which his corslet clattered, and finally held them up to Hea- might have been predicated with propriety of the ven, as he solemnly continued--"I-1, Philip Crève- daughter of a sunburnt peasant, who lived by goadcour of Cordès, make a vow to God, Saint Lambert, ing the oxen, while her father held the plough. And, and the Three Kings of Cologne, that small shall be then, to suppose her under the domination and sumy thought of other earthly concerns, till I take full preme guidance of a silly and romantic aunt-the revenge on the murderers of the good Louis of Bour- slander should have been repelled down the slanbon, whether I find them in forest or field, in city or derer's throat. But the open, though severe phyin country, in hill or plain, în King's court, or in God's siognomy of the Count of Crèvec@ur, the total con. church ! and thereto I pledge lands and living, friends tempt which he seemed to entertain for those feeland followers, life and honour. So help me God and ings which were uppermost in Quentin's bosom, Saint Lambert of Liege, and the Three Kings of Co- overawed him; not for fear of the Count's fame in logne!"

arms-that was a risk which would have increased When the Count of Crèvecæur had made his vow, his desire

of making out a challenge-but in dread of his mind seemed in some sort relieved from the over- ridicule, the weapon of all others most feared by whelming grief and astonishment with which he had enthusiasts of every description, and which, from its heard the fatal tragedy that had been acted at Schon- predominance over such minds, often checks what is waldt, and he proceeded to question Durward more absurd, and fully as often smothers that which is minutely concerning the particulars of that disastrous noble. affair, which the Scot, nowise desirous to abate the Under the influence of this fear, of becoming an spirit of revenge which the Count entertained against object of scorn rather than resentmenų Durward, William de la Marck, gave him at fu!l length. though with some pain, confined his reply to a con

“But those blind, unsteady, faithless, fickle beasts, fused account of the Lady Hameline having made the Liegeois,” said the Count, that they should her escape from Schonwaldt before the attack took have combined themselves with this inexorable place. He could not, indeed, have made his story robber and murderer, to put to death their lawful very distinct, without throwing ridicule on the near Prince!"

relation of Isabelle, and perhaps incurring some himDurward here informed the enraged Burgundian self, as having been the object of her preposterous that the Liegeois, or at least the better class of them, expectations. He added to his embarrassed detail, however rashly they, had run into the rebellion that he had heard a report, though a vague one, of against their Bishop, had no design, so far as ap- the Lady Hameline having again fallen into the peared to him, to aid in the execrable deed of De la hands of William de la Marck. Marck; but, on the contrary, would have prevented "I trust in Saint Lambert that he will marry her," it if they had had the means, and were struck with said Crèvec@ur; "as, indeed, he is likely enough to horror when they beheld it.

do, for the sake of her money-bags; and equally like Speak not of the faithless, inconstant, plebeian ly to knock her on the head, so soon as these are rabble !" said Crèvecæur. "When they took arms either secured in his own grasp, or, at farthest, against a Prince, who had no fault, save that he was emptied." too kind and too good a master for such a set of The Count then proceeded to ask so many ques ungrateful slaves-when they armed against him, tions concerning the mode in which both ladies had and broke into his peaceful house, what

could there conducted themselves on the journey, the degree of be in their intention but murder ?--when they band- intimacy to which they admitted Quentin himself ed themselves with the wild Boar of Ardennes, the and other trying particulars, that, vexed and ashamed greatest homicide in the marches of Flanders, what and angry, the youth

was scarce able to conceal hisemelse could there be in their purpose but murder, which barrassment from the keen-sighted soldier and couris the very trade he lives by? And again, was it not tier, who seemed suddenly disposed to take leave of one of their own vile rabble who did the very deed, him, saying, at the same time, "Umph-I see it is as by thine own account ?- I hope to see their canals I conjectured, on one side at least ; I trust the other running blood by the light of their burning houses. party has kept her senses better. Come, Sir Squire, Oh, the kind, noble, generous lord, whom they have spur on, and keep the van, while I fall back to disslaughtered !-Other vassals have rebelled under the course with the Lady Isabelle. I think I have learpressure of imposts and penury; but the men of ed now so much from you, that I can talk to her of Liege, in the fulness of insolence and plenty."-He these sad passages without hurting her nicety, though again abandoned the reins of his war-horse, and I have fretted yours a little. - Yęt stay, young gallant wrung bitterly the hands, which his mail-gloves--one word ere you go. You have had, I imagine.

THE UNBIDDEN GUEST.

a happy journey through Fairy-land-all full of he-Iconvent during the residence of the Countess Isabelle roic adventure, and high hope and wild minstrel-like of Croye, -ostensibly to secure her safety, but perdelusion, like the gardens of Morgaine la Fée. For- haps secretly to prevent her attempting to escape. get it all, young soldier,” he added, tapping him on The Count only assigned as a cause for the garrison the shoulder; "remember yonder lady only as the being vigilant, some vague mimours which he had honoured Countess of Croye--forget her as a wan- heard of distubances in the Bishopric of Liege. But dering and adventurous damsel : And her friends, he was determined himself to be the first who should one of them I can answer for-will remember, on carry the formidable news of the insurrection and the their part, only the services you have done her, and murder of the Bishop, in all their horrible reality, to forget the unreasonable reward which you have had Duke Charles; and for that purpose, having procured the boldness to propose to yourself."

fresh horses for himself and suite, he mounted with Enraged that he had been unable to conceal from the resolution of continuing his journey to Peronne the sharp-sighted Creveccur feelings which the without stopping for repose ; and informing Quentin Count seemed to consider as the object of ridicule, Durward that he must attend him, he made, at the Quentin replied, indignantly, "My Lord Count, same time, a mock apology for parting fair company, when I require advice of you, I will ask it; when I but hoped, that to so devoted a squire of dames a demand assistance of you, it will be time enough to night's journey by moonshine would be more agreegrant or refuse it ; when I set peculiar value on your able than supinely to yield himself to slumber like an opinion of me, it will not be too late to express it.”' ordinary mortal.

“Heyday !!' said the Count; "I have come be- Quentin, already sufficiently afflicted by finding tween Amadis and Oriana, and must expect a chal- that he was to be parted from Isabelle, longed to lenge to the lists !"

answer this taunt with an indignant defiance; but "You speak as if that were an impossibility," said aware that the Count would only laugh at his anger, Quentin--"When I broke a lance with the Duke of and despise his challenge, he resolved to wait some Orleans, it was against a breast in which flowed future time, when he might have an opportunity of better blood than that of Crèvecaur-When I mea- obtaining some amends from this proud lord, who, sured swords with Dunois, I engaged a better war- though for very different reasons, had become nearly rior."

as odious to him as the Wild Boar of Ardennes him“Now Heaven nourish thy judgment, gentle self. He therefore assented to Crevecæur's proposal, youth !" said Crèvecour, still laughing at the chi- as to what he had no choice of declining, and they valrous inamorato. “If thou speak’st truth, thou pursued in company, and with all the despatch they hast had singular luck in this world; and, truly, if it could exert, the road between Charleroi and Pebe the pleasure of Providence exposes thee to such ronne. trials, without a beard on thy lip, thou wilt be mad with vanity ere thou writest thyself man. Thou canst not move me to anger, though thou mayst to

CHAPTER XXV. mirth. Believe me, though thou mayst have fought with Princes, and played the champion for Countesses, by some of those freaks which Fortune will some- No human quality is so well wove times exhibit, thou art by no means the equal of In warp and woof, but there's some flaw in it.

I've known a brave man fly a shepherd's cur, those of whom thou hast been either the casual op

A wise man so demean him, drivelling idiocy ponent, or more casual companion. I can allow

Had well-nigh been ashamed on't. For your crafty, thee, like a youth who hath listened to romances till Your worldly.wise man, he, above the rest, he fancied himself a Paladin, to form pretty dreams Weaves his own snares so fine, he's often caught in them. for some time; but thou must not be angry at a well

Old Play meaning friend, though he shake thee something QUENTIN, during the earlier part of the night. roughly by the shoulders to awake thee."

journey, had to combat with that bitter heart-ach, My Lord of Crèvecæur," said Quentin, "my which is felt when youth parts, and probably for family!

ever, with her he loves. As, pressed by the urgency Nay, it was not utterly of family that I spoke," of the moment, and the impatience of Crèvecæur, said the Count;"but of rank, fortune, high station, they hasted on through the rich lowlands of Haiand so forth, which place a distance between various nault, under the benign guidance of a rich and lustdegrees and classes of persons. As for birth, all men rous harvest-moon, she shed her yellow influence are descended from Adam and Eve."

over rich and deep pastures, woodland, and corn "My Lord Count," repeated Quentin, "m an- fields, from which the husbandmen were using her cestors, the Durwards of Glen-houlakin"

light to withdraw the grain, such was the industry “Nay," said the Count, "if you claim a farther of the Flemings, even at that period; she shone on descent for them than from Adam, I have done! broad, level, and fructifying rivers, where glided Good-even to you."'.

the white sail in the service of commerce, uninterHe reined back his horse, and paused to join the rupted by rock or torrent, beside lively quiet villages, Countess, to whom, if possible, his insinuations and whose external decency and cleanliness expressed advices, however well" meant, were still more dis- the ease and comfort of the inhabitants;--she gleamagreeable than to Quentin, who, as he rode on, ed upon the feudal castle of many a gallant Baron muttered to himself, " Cold-blooded, insolent, over- and Knight, with its deep moat, battlemented court, weening coxcomb !-Would that the next Scottish and high belfry,-for the chivalry of Hainault was Archer who has his arquebuss pointed at thee, may renowned among the nobles of Europe ;--and her not let thee off so easily as I did !"

light displayed at a distance, in its broad' beam, the In the evening they reached the town of Charleroi, gigantic towers of more than one lofty minster. on the Sambre, where the Count of Crèvecaur had Yet all this fair variety, however differing from the determined to leave the Countess Isabelle, whom the waste and wilderness of his own land, interrupted terror and fatigue of yesterday, joined to a flight of not the course of Quentin's regrets and sorrows." He fifty miles since morning, and the various distressing had left his heart behind him, when he departed sensations by which it was accompanied, had made from Charleroi ; and the only reflection which the farincapable of travelling farther, with safety to her ther journey inspired was, that every step was carryhealth. The Count consigned her, in a state of ing him farther from Isabelle. His imagination was great exhaustion, to the care of the Abbess of the taxed to recall every word she had spoken, every Cistercian convent in Charleroi, a noble lady, to look she had directed towards him; and, as happens whom both the families of Crèveceur and Croye frequently in such cases, the impression made upon were related, and in whose prudence and kindness he his imagination by the recollection of these particucould repose confidence.

lars, was even stronger than the realities themselves Crèveceur himself only stopped to recommend had excited. the utmost caution to the governor of a small Bur- At length, after the cold hour of midnight was past, gundian garrison who occupied the place, and re- in spite alike of love and of sorrow, the extreme quired him also to mount a guard of honour upon the ) fatigue which Quentin had undergone the two pre

Vol. IV. 3 A

« PreviousContinue »