Page images

"the window to the right-scale it, for God's sake, that opening had been only made when the soldier and undo the door of communication."

forced it in, and she saw no other access by which a The soldier seemed to comprehend her--he dashed stranger could have entered an apartment, the ordinary into the moat without hesitation, securing himself by access to which was barred and bolted. catching at the boughs of trees as he descended. In Rose felt the influence of those terrors which she one moment he vanished among the underwood; and had hitherto surmounted; she cast her mantle hastily in another, availing himself of the branches of a around her head, as if to shroud her sight from some dwarf oak, Rose saw him upon her right, and close blighting vision, and tripping back to the cabinet, to the window of the fatal apartment. One fear re- with more speed and a legs firm step than when she mained-the casement might be secured against en left it, she directed Gillian to lend her assistance in trance from without--but no! at the thrust of the conveying Eveline to the next room; and having Norman it yielded, and its clasps or fastenings being done so, carefully secured the door of communication, worn with time, fell inward with a crash which even as if to put a barrier betwixt them and the suspected Dame Gillian's slumbers were unable to resist. danger.

Echoing scream upon scream, in the usual fashion The Lady Eveline was now so far recovered that of fools and cowards, she entered the cabinet from she could sit up, and was trying to speak, though but the anteroom, just as the door of Eveline's chamber faintly. “Rose,” she said at lengih, "I have seen opened, and the soldier appeared, bearing in his arms her--my doom is sealed.”. the half undressed and lifeless form of the Norman Rose immediately recollected the imprudence of maiden herself. Without speaking a word, he placed suffering Gillian to hear what her mistress might say her in Rose's arms, and with the same precipitation at such an awful moment, and hastily adopting the with which he had entered, threw himself out of proposal she had before declined, desired her to go the opened window from which Rose had summoned and call other two maidens of her mistress's househim.

hold. Gillian, half distracted with fear and wonder, heap- "And where am I to find them in this house," said ed exclamations on questions, and mingled questions Dame Gillian, where strange men run about one with cries for help, till Rose sternly rebuked her in a chamber at midnight, and devils, for aught I know, tone which seemed to recall her scattered senses. frequent the rest of the habitation ?". She became then composed enough to fetch a lamp "Find them where you can,” said Rose, sharply; which remained lighted in the room she had left, “but begone presently." and to render herself at least partly useful in suggest- Gillian withdrew lingeringly, and muttering at the ing and applying the usual modes for recalling the same time something which could not distinctly be suspended sense. In this they at length succeeded, understood. No sooner was she gone, than Rose, for Eveline fetched a fuller sigh, and opened her giving way to the enthusiastic affection which she eyes; but presently shut them again, and letting her felt for her mistress, implored her, in the most tender head drop on Rose's bosom, fell into a strong shud- terms, to open her eyes, (for she had again closed dering fit; while her faithful damsel, chafing her them,) and speak to Rose, her own Rose, who was hands and her temples alternately with affectionate ready, if necessary, to die by her mistress's side. assiduity, and mingling caresses with these efforts, To-morrow--to-morrow, Rose," murmured Eveexclaimed aloud, "She lives !-She is recovering !- line--"I cannot speak at present.' Praised be God!"

"Only disburden your mind with one word-tell "Praised be God !" was echoed in a solemn tone what has thus alarmed you-what danger you apprefrom the window of the apartment; and turning to hend." wards it in terror, Rose beheld the armed and plumed “I have seen her, answered Eveline-"I have seen head of the soldier who had come so opportunely to the tenant of yonder chamber—the vision fatal to my their assistance, and who, supported by his arms, had race!-Urge me no more-to-morrow you shall know raised himself so high as to be able to look into the all."* interior of the cabinet.

As Gillian entered with two of the maidens of her Rose immediately ran towards him. "Go-go- mistress's houschold, they removed the Lady Eveline, good friend," she said; " the lady recovers--your by Rose's directions, into a chamber at some distance reward shall await you another time. Go-begone! --yet stay !--keep on your post, and I will call you if a passage in the Memoirs of Lady Fanshaw, which have since

• BAHR-GEIST. -The idea of the Bahr-Geist was taken from there is farther need. Begone-be faithful, and be been given to the public, and received with deserved approsecret."

bation. The soldier obeyed without answering a word, and The original runs as follows. Lady Fanshaw, shifting among she presently saw him descend into the moat. Rose her friends in Ireland, like other sound loyalists of the period,

tells her story thus:then returned back to her mistress, whom she found "From thence we went to the Lady Honor O'Brien's, a lady supported by Gillian, moaning feebly, and muttering that went for a maid, but few believed it. She was the youngest hurried and unintelligible ejaculations, all intimating daughter of the Earl of Thomond. There we staid three nights that she laboured under a violent shock sustained from the first of which I was surprised at being laid in a chamber,

where, when about one o'clock, I heard a voice that awakened some alarming cause.

me. I drew the curtain, and in the casement of the window I Dame Gillian had no sooner recovered some degree saw, by the light of the moon, a woman leaning through the of self-possession, than her curiosity became active in

casement into the room, in white, with red hair and pale and

ghastly complexion. She spoke loud, and in a toue I had never proportion. "What means all this?" she said to Rose; I heard thrice, " A horse;" and then, with a sigh more like the what has been doing among you ?”.

wind than breath, she vanished, and to mo her body looked more "I do not know," replied Rose.

like a thick cloud than substance. I was so much frightened that "If you do not,” said Gillian, "who should ?-Shall my hair stood on end, and iny night clothes fell off. I pulled and

pinched your father, who never a woke during the disorder I was I call the other women, and raise the house ?". in, but at last was much surprised to see me in this fright, and

"Not for your life," said Rose, "uill my lady is more so when I related the story and showed him the window able to give her own orders; and for this apartment, opened. Neither of us slept any more that night; but he enter80 help me Heaven, as I will do my best to discover tained me by telling me how much more these apparitions wero the secret it contains !--Support my mistress the cause to be the great superstition of the Irish, and the want of whilst."

that knowing faith which should defend them from the power So saying, she took the lamp in her hand, and, of the devil, which he exercises among them very much. About crossing her brow, stepped boldly across the mysteri- had not been in bed all night, because a cousin O'Brien of hers, ous threshold, and, holding up the light, surveyed the whose ancestors had owned that house, had desired her to stay apartment.

with him in his chamber, and that he died at two o'clock; and It was merely an old vaulted chamber, of very she said, I wish you to liave had no disturbance, for 'tis the cusmoderate dimensions. In one corner was an image shape of a woman appears every night in the window until they of the Virgin, rudely cut, and placed above a Saxon be dead. This woman was many ages ago, got with child by font of curious workmanship. There were two seats, the owner of this place, who murdered hier in his garden, and and a couch, covered with coarse tapestry, on which Mung her into the river under the window ; but truly I thought it seemed that Eveline had been reposing. The

frag- hot of it when I loved you here, it being the best room in the

house. We made little reply to her speech, but dieposcd our ments of the shattered casernent lay on the floor; but I selves to be gone suddenly."

I see a hand you cannot see,

which the latter had occupied, and placed her in one would hold my hand out to catch drops of molten of their beds, where Rose, dismissing the others (Gil- lead, rather than endure your tears; and yet, my lian excepted) to seek repose where they could find it

, sweet mistress, I would rather at present see you continued to watch her mistress. For some time she grieved than angry. This ancient lady hath, it would continued very much disturbed, but, gradually, fatigue, seem, but acted according to some old superstitious and the influence of some narcotic which Gillian had rite of her family, which is in part yours. Her name sense enough to recommend and prepare, seemed to is respectable, both from her conduct and possescompose her spirits. She fell into a dei'p slumber, sions; and, hard-pressed as you are by the Normans, from which she did not awaken until the sun was high with whom your kinswoman, the Prioress. is sure over the distant hills.

to take part, I was in hope you might have had
some shelter and countenance from the Lady of


“Never, Rose, never," answered Eveline;" you

krow noi---you cannot guess what she has made me Which beckons me a way;

suffer-exposing me to witchcraft and fiends. ThyI hear a voice you cannot hear,

self said it, and said it truly-the Saxons are sull Which says I must not stay.

half Pagans, void of Christianity, as of nurture and MAILET.

kindliness." When Eveline first opened her eyes, it seemed to be “Ay, but,” replied Rosc, “I spoke then to dissuade without any recollection of what had passed on the you from a danger; now that the danger is passed night preceding. She looked round the apartment, and over, I may judge of it otherwise."'. which was coarsely and scantily furnished, as one

"Speak not for them, Rose," replied Eveline, an destined for the use of domestics and menials, and said grily; "no innocent victim was ever offered up at to Rose, with a sinile, “Our good kinswoman main- the altar of a fiend with more indifference than my tains the ancient Saxon hospitality

at a homely rate, father's kinswoman delivered up no me an omhan, so far as lodging is concerned. I could have willingly bereaved of my natural and powerful support. I hate parted with last night's profuse supper, to have ob- her cruelty--I hate her house-I hate the thought of tained a bed of a softer texture. Methinks my limbs all that has happened here-of all, Rose, except thy feel as if I had been under all the fails of a Franklin's matchless faith and fearless attachment. Go, bid our barn-yard."

train saddle directly--I will be gone instantly-I wil "I am glad to see you so pleasant, madam," an- not attire myself," she added, rejecting the assistance swered Rose, discreetly avoiding any reference to the she had at first required"I will have no ceremony events of the night before.

--tarry for no leave-taking." Daine Gillian was not so scrupulous. “Your lady- In the hurried and agitated manner of her mistress ship last night lay down on a better bed than this,' Rose recognised with anxiety another mooi of the she said, "unless I am much mistaken ; and Rose same irritable and excited temperament, which had Flammock and yourself know best why you left it.". before discharged itself in tears and fits. But per

If a look could have killed, Dame Gillian would ceiving, at the same time. that remonstrance was in have been in deadly peril from that which Rose shot vain, she gave the necessary orders for collecting at her by way of rebuke for this ill-advised communi- their company, saddling, and preparing for departure; cation. It had instantly the effect which was to be hoping that, as her niistress removed to a farther apprehended, for Lady Eveline seemed at first sur- distance from the scene where her mind had received prised and confused; then, as recollections of the past so severe a shock, her equanimity might, by deztees, arranged themselves in her memory, she folded her be restored. hands, looked on the ground, and wept bitterly, with Dame Gillian, accordingly, was busied with arangmuch agitation.

ing the packages of her lady, and all the rest of Lady Rose entreated her to be comforled, and offered to Eveline's retinue, in preparing for instant de parture, fetch the old Saxon chaplain of the house to ad- when, preceded by her steward, who acted also as a minister spiritual consolation, if her grief rejected sort of gentleman-usher, leaning upon her confiden. teniporal comfort.

tial Berwine, and followed by two or three more of “No-call him not,” said Eveline, raising her head the most distinguished of her household, with looks and drying her eyes --" I have had enough of Saxon of displeasure on her ancient yet lofty brow, the Lady kindness. What a fool was I to expect, in that hard Ermengarde entered the apartment. and unfeeling woman, any commiscration for my Eveline, with a trembling and hurried hand, a youth-my late suflerings-my orphan condition! I burning check, and other signs of agitation, was herwill not permit her a poor triumph over the Norman self busied about the arrangement of some baggage, blood of Berenger, by letting her see how much I have when her relation made her appearance. Ai once, suffered under her inhuman infliction. But first, Rose, to Rose's great surprise, she exerted a strong comanswer me truly, was any inmate of Baluringham mand over herself, and, repressing every external witness to my distress last night ?”'

appearance of disorder, she advanced to meet her Rose assured her that she had been tended exclu- relation, with a calm and haughly stateliness equal sively by her own retinue, herself and Gillian, Blanche to her own. and Ternoite. She seemed to receive satisfaction "I come to give you good morning, our niece," said from this assurance. "Hear me, both of you," she Ermengarde, haughtily indeed, yet with more defeisaid, "and observe my words, as you love and as you ence ihan she seemed at first to have intended, so fear me. Let no syllable be breathed from your lips much did the bearing of Eveline impose respect upon of what has happened this night. Carry the same her;-"I find that you have been pleased to shift ihat charge to my inaidens. Lend me thine instant aid, chamber which was assigned you, in conformity with Gillian, and thine, my dearest Rose, to change these the ancient custom of ihis household, and betake disordered garments, and arrange this dishevelled yourself to the apartment of a menial.

air. It was a poor vengeance she sought, and all " Are you surprised at thai, lady ?" demanded Evebecause of my country.

I am resolved she shall line in her turn; 'or are you disappointed that you pot see the slightest trace of the sufferings she has find me not a corpse, within the limits of the chamber inflicted."

which your hospitality and affection allotted to me?" As she spoke thus, her eyes flashed with indigna- Your sleep, then, has been broken?" said Ers tion, which seemed to dry up the tears that had before mengarde, looking fixedly at the Lady Eveline, as filled them. Rose saw the change of her manner she spoke. with a mixture of plasure and concern, being aware "If I complain not, madam, the evil must be deemed that her inistress's predominant failing was incident of little consequence. What has happened is over to her, as a spoiled child, who, accustoined to be and past, and it is not my intention to trouble you treated with kindness, deference, and indulgence, by with a recital.” all around her, was apl to resent warınly whatever "She of the ruddy finger,” replied Ermengarde, resembled neglect or contridiction.

triumphantly, "loves not ihe blood of the stranger." "God knows," said the faithful bower-maiden, “I | "She had less reason, while she walked the earth, to love that of the Saxon," said Eveline "unless her ing at once of security and of triumph, which opelegend speaks false in that matter; and unless, as I rated towards the dispelling of her gloomy thoughts. well suspect, your house is haunted, not by the soul and of the feverish disorder which affected her nerves. of the dead who suffered within its walls, but by evil | The rising sun also--the song of the birds among the spirits, such as the descendants of Hengist and Hor- bowers-the lowing of the cattle as they were driven sa are said still in secret to worship.

to pasture the sight of the hind, who, with her fawn "You are pleasant, maiden,” replied the old lady, trotting by her side, often crossed some forest glade scornfully; "or, if your words are meant in earnest, within view of the travellers, -all contributed to dispel the shaft of your censure has glanced aside. A the terror of Eveline's nocturnal visions, and soothe house, blessed by the holy Saint Dunstan, and by to rest the more angry passions which had agitated the royal and holy Confessor, is no abode for evil her bosom at her departure from Baldringham. She spiries”

suffered her palfrey to slacken bis pace, and, with fe* The house of Baldringham,” replied Eveline, "is male attention to propriety, began to adjust her riding no abode for ihose who fear such spirits; and as I robes, and compose her head-dress, disordered in her will, with all humility, avow myself of the number, hasty departure. Rose saw her cheek assume a paler I shall presently leave it to the custody of Saint but more settled hue, instead of the angry hectic Dunstan."

which had coloured it-saw her eye become more "No till you have broken your fast, I trust?” said steady as she looked with

a sort of triumph upon her the Lady of Baldringham; "you will not, I hope, do military attendants, and pardoned (what on other my years and our relationship such foul disgrace ?" occasions she would probably have made some reply "Pardon me, madam,” replied the Lady Eveline; to) her enthusiastic exclamations in praise of her

those who have experienced your hospitality at countrymen. night have little occasion for breakfast in the morn- We journey safe,” said Eveline, "under the care ing.-Rose, are not those loitering knaves assembled of the princely and victorious Normans. Theirs is in the court-yard, or are they yet on their couches, the noble wrath of the lion, which destroys or is making up for the slumber they have lost by midnight appeased at once-there is no guile in their romantic disturbances ?"

affection, no sullenness mixed with their generous Rose announced that her train was in the court, and indignation-they know the duties of the hall as well mounted; when, with a low reverence, Eveline en- as those of batile; and were they to be surpassed deavoured to pass her relation, and leave the apart in the arts of war (which will only be when Plinlimment without farther ceremony Ermengarde at first mon is removed from its base,) they would still confronted her with a grim and furious glance, which remain superior to every other people in generosity seemed to show a soul fraught with more rage than and courtesy." the thin blood and rigid features of extreme old age "If I do not feel all their merits so strongly as if I had the power of expressing, and raised her ebony shared their blood," said Rose, “I am at least glad staff as if about even to proceed to some act of per- to see them around us, in woods which are said to sonal violence. But she changed her purpose, and abound with dangers of various kinds. And I consuddenly made way for Eveline, who passed without fess, my heart is the lighter, that I can now no longer further parley; and as she descended the staircase, observe the least vestige of that ancient mansion, in which conducted from the apartment to the gateway, which we passed so unpleasant a night, and the she heard the voice of her annt behind her, like that recollection of which will always be odious to me." of an aged and offended sybil, denouncing wrath and Eveline looked sharply at her. "Confess the truth, wo upon her insolence and presumption.

Rose; thou wouldst give thy best kirtle to know all "Pride," she exclaimed, “goeth before destruction, of my horrible adventure." and a haughty spirit before a fall. She who scorneth "It is but confessing that I am a woman,” anthe house of her forefathers, a stone from its battle- swered Rose; "and did I say, a man, I dare say the ments shall crush her! She who mocks the gray difference of sex would imply but a small abatement hairs of a parent, never shall one of her own locks of curiosity.". be silvered with age! She who weds with a man of "Thou makest no parade of other feelings, which war and of blood, her end shall neither be peaceful prompt thee to inquire into my fortunes," said Evenor bloodless !"

line; "but, sweet Rose, I give thee not the less credit Hurrying to escape from these and other ominous for them. 'Believe me, thou shalt know all-but, I denunciations, Eveline rushed from the house, mount- think, not now. ed her polfrey with the precipitation of a fugitive, and, Ai your pleasure,” said Rose; "and yet, methinks, surrounded by her attendants, who had caught a pari the bearing in your solitary bosom such a fearful of her alarm, though without conjecturing the cause, secret will only render the weight more intolerable. rode hastily into the forest; old Raoul, who was well On my silence you may rely as on that of the Holy acquainted with the country, acting as their guide. Image, which hears us confess what it never reveals.

Agitated more than she was willing to confess to Besides, such things become familiar to the imagiherself, by thus leaving the habitation of so near a nation when they have been spoken of, and that relation, loaded with maledictions instead of the which is familiar gradually becomes stripped of its blessings which are usually bestowed on a departing terrors.' kinswoman, Eveline hastened forward, until the huge "Thou speakest with reason, my prudent Rose ; oak-trees with intervening arms had hidden from her and surely in this gallant troop, borne like a flower view the fatal mansion.

on a bush hy my good palfrey Yseulte-fresh gales The trampling and galloping of horse was soon blowing round us, flowers opening and birds singafter heard, announcing the approach of the patroling, and having thee by my bridle-rein, I ought io left by the Constable for the protection of the man- feel this a fitting time to communicate what thou sion, and who now, collecting from their different hast so good a title to know. And-yes !-thou stations, came prepared to attend the Lady Eveline shalt know all !-Thou art not, I presume, ignorant on her farther road to Gloucester, great part of which of the qualities of what the Saxons of this land call a lay through the extensive forest of Deane, then a sil- Bahr-geist ?van region of large extent, though now much denuded "Pardon me, lady," answered Rose, my father of trees for the service of the iron mines. The cava- discouraged my listening to such discourses. I might liers came up to join the retinue of Lady Eveline, with see evil spirits enough, he said, without my imagiarmour glitiering in the morning rays, trumpets nation being taught to form such as were fantastical. sounding horses prancing, neighing, and thrown, The word Bahr-geist, I have heard used by Gillian each by his chivalrous rider, into the attitude best and other Saxons; but to me it only conveys some qualified to exhibit the beauty of the steed and dex- idea of indefinite terror, of which I have never asked terity of the horseman; while the lances, streaming nor received an explanation." with long penoncelles, were brandished in every man- "Know then," said Eveline, “it is a spectre, usually ner which could display elation of heart and readi

. the image of a departed person, who, either for wrong ness of hand. The sense of the military character of sustained in some particular place during life, or her countrymen of Normandy gave to Eveline a feel- I through treasure hidden there, or from some such other cause, haunts the spot from time to time, be- / that time befell them, to my parent's not baving comes familiar to those who dwell there, takes an done the hereditary homage to the bloody-fingered interest in their fate, occasionally for good, in other Bahr-geist." instances or times for evil. The Bahr-geist is, there- And how could you, my dearest lady," said Rose, fore, sometimes regarded as a good genius, sometimes knowing that they held among them a usage so as the avenging fiend, attached to particular families hideous, think of accepting the invitation of Lady and classes of men. It is the lot of the family of Ermengarde ?" Baldringham (of no mean note in other respects), to "I can hardly answer you the question," replied be subject to the visits of such a being."

Eveline. “Partly I feared niy father's recent calamity, “May I ask the cause (if it be known) of such vis. to be slain (as I have heard him say his aunt once itation ?” said Rose, desirous to avail herself to the prophesied of him) by the enemy he most despiel, litermost of the communicative mood of her young might be the result of this rite having been neglected; lady, which might not perhaps last very long. and partly I hoped, that if my mind should be appalled

"I know the legend but imperfectly,” replied Eve at the danger, when it presented itself closer to my line, proceeding with a degree of calmness, the result eye, it could not be urged on me in courtesy and of strong exertion over her mental anxiety, "but in humanity. You saw how soon my cruel-hearted general it ran thus: Baldrick, the Saxon hero who relative pounced upon the opportunity, and how imfirst possessed yonder dwelling, became enamoured possible it became for me, bearing the name, and I of a fair Briton, said to have been descended from trust, the spirit of Berenger, to escape from the net in those Druids of whom the Welsh speak so much, and which I had involved myself.”. deemed not unacquainted with the arts of sorcery "No regard for name or rank should have engaged which they practised, when they offered up human me,” replied Rose, to place myself where apprehensacrifices amid those circles of unhewn and living sion alone, even without the terrors of a real visitation, rock, of which thou hast seen so many. After more might have punished my presumption with insanity. than two years wedlock, Baldrick became weary of But what, in the name of Heaven, did you see at this his wife to such a point, that he formed the cruel reso- horrible rendezvous ?" lution of putting her to death. Some say he doubted “Ay, there is the question,” said Eveline, raising her fidelity---some that the matter was pressed on her hand to her brow"how I could witness that him by the church, as she was suspected of heresy, which I distinctly saw, yet be able to retain command some ihat he removed her to make way for a more of thought and intellect!-I had recited the presented wealthy marriage—but all agree in the result. He devotions for the murderer and his victim, and sitting sent two of his Cnichts to the house of Baldringham, down on the couch which was assigned me, had laid to put to death the unfortunate Vanda, and command aside such of my clothes as might impede my rested them to bring him the ring which had circled lier I had surinounted, in short, the first shock which I finger on the day of wedlock, in token that his or experienced in committing myself to this mysterious ders were accomplished. The men were ruthless in chamber, and I hoped to pass the night in slumber their office; they strangled Vanda in yonder apart as sound as my thoughts were innocent. But I was ment, and as the hand was so swollen that no effort fearfully disappointed. I cannot judge how long I had could draw off the ring, they obtained possession of slept, when my bosom was oppressed by an unusual it by severing the finger. But long before the return weight, which seemed at once to stitle my voice, stop of those cruel perpetrators of her death, the shadow the beating of my heart, and prevent me from draxof Vanda had appeared before her appalled husband, ing my breath; and when I looked up to discover the and, holding up to him her bloody hand, made him cause of this horrible suffocation, the form of the fearfully sensible how well his savage commands had murdered British matron stood over my couch, taller been obeyed. After haunting him in peace and war, than life, shadowy, and with a countenance where in desert, court, and camp, until he died despairingly traits of dignity and beauty were mingled with a fierce on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, the Bahr-geist, or expression of vengeful exultation. She held over me ghost of the murdered Vanda, became so terrible in the hand which bore the bloody marks of her husthe House of Baldringham, that the succour of Saint band's cruelty, and seemed as if she signed the cross Dunstan was itself scarcely sufficient to put bounds devoting me to destruction; while, with an unearthly to her visitation. Yea, the blessed saint, when he had tone, she uttered these words :succeeded in his exorcism, did, in requital of Bald

'Widow'd wife, and wedded maid, rick's crime, impose a strong and enduring penalty

Betrothed, betrayer, and betray'd ! upon every female descendant of the house in the The phantom stooped over me as she spoke, and third degree; namely, that once in their lives, and lowered her gory fingers, as if to touch my face, when, before their twenty-first year, they should each spend terror giving me the power of which at first it deprived a solitary night in the chamber of the murdered Van- me, I screamed aloud -the casement of the apartment da, saying therein certain prayers, as well for her was thrown open with a loud noise, -and-But what repose, as for the suffering soul of her murderer. signifies my telling all this to thee, Rose, who show During that awful space, it is generally believed that so plainly, by the movement of eye and lip, that you the spirit of the murdered person appears to the consider me as a silly and childish dreamer ?" female who observes the vigil, and shows some sign "Be not angry, my dear lady,” said Rose ; * I do of her future good or bad fortune. If favourable, she indeed believe that the witch we call Mara* has been appears with a smiling, aspect, and crosses them with dealing with you; but she, you know, is by leeches her unbloodied hand; but she announces evil fortune considered as no real phantom, but solely

the creation by showing the hand from which the finger was of our own imagination, disordered by causes which severed, with a stern countenance, as if resenting arise from bodily indisposition." upon the descendant of her husband his inhuman * Thou art learned, maiden," said Eveline, raiber cruelty. Sometimes she is said to speak. These par- peevishly; "but when I assure thee that my better ticulars I learned long since from an old Saxon dame, angel came to my assistance in a human form--that the mother of our Margery, who had been an attend at his appearance the fiend vanished-and that he ant on my grandmother, and left the House of Bald- transported me in his arms out of the chamber of ringhain when she made her escape from it with my terror, I think thou wilt, as a good Christian, put father's father.''

more faith in that which I tell you." “ Did your grandmother ever render this homage," " Indeed, indeed, my sweetest mistress, I cannot," said Rose, “which seems to me-under favour of replied Rose. * It is even that circumstance of the Saint Dunstan-to bring humanity into too close inter- guardian angel which makes me consider the whole course with a being of a doubtlul nature ?'*

as a dream. A Norman sentinel, whom I myself “My grandfather thought so, and never permitted called from his post on purpose, did indeed come to my grandmother to revisit the House of Baldring your assistance, and, breaking into your apartment, ham after her marriage; hence disunion betwixt him transported you to that where I myself received you and his son on the one part, and the members of that from his arms in a lifeless condition." family on the other. They laid sundry misfortunes, "A Nornian soldier, ha !" said Eveline, colouring and particularly the loss of male heirs which at

Ephialtes, or Nightmare.

extremely; "and to whom, maiden, did you dare give; A cloud of dust now announced the approach of the commission to break into my sleeping-chamber?" Constable of Chester and his retinue, augmented by

Your eyes flash anger, madam, but is it reason the attendance of his host Sir William Herbert, and able they should ?--Did I not hear your screams of some of his neighbours and kinsmen, who came to pay agony, and was I to stand fettered by ceremony at their respects to the orphan of the Garde Doloureuse, such a moment ?-no more than if the castle had been by which appellation Eveline was known upon her on fire."

passage through their territory. "I ask you again, Rose,” said her mistress, still Eveline remarked, that, at their greeting, De Lacy with discomposure, though' less angrily than at first, looked with displeased surprise at the disarrangement whom you directed to break into my apartment ?'' of her dress add equipage, which her hasty departure

Indeed, I know non, lady," said Rose; "for be- from Baldringham had necessarily occasioned; and sides that he was muffled in his mantle, little chance she was, on her part, struck with an expression of was there of iny knowing his features, even had I countenance which seemed to say, “I am not to be seen them fully. "But I can soon discover the cavalier; treated as an ordinary person, who may be received and I will set about it that I may give him the reward with negligence, and ireated slightly with impunity." I promised, and warn him to be silent and discreet in For the first time, she thought that, though always this matter."

deficient in grace and beauty, the Constable's coun“Do so," said Eveline; "and if you find him among tenance was formed to express the more angry pasthose soldiers who attend us, I will indeed lean to sions with force and vivacity, and that she who thine opinion, and think that fantasy had the chief shared his rank and name must lay her account with share in the evils I have endured the last night." the implicit surrender of her will and wishes to those

Rose struck her palfrey with the rod, and accom- of an arbitrary lord and master. panied by her mistress, rode up to Philip Guarine, the But the cloud soon passed from the Constable's Constable's squire, who for the present commanded brow; and in the conversation which he afterwards their little escort. 'Good Guarine," she said, "I had maintained with Herbert and the other knights and talk with one of these sentinels last night from my gentlemen, who from time to time came to greet and window, and he did me some service, for which I accompany them for a little way, on their journey, promised him recompense-Will you inquire for the Eveline had occasion to admire his superiority, both man, that I may pay him his guerdon ?"

of sense and expression, and to remark the atiention Truly, I will owe him a guerdon also, pretty and deference with which his words were listened to maiden,' answered the squire; "for if a lance of them by men too high in rank, and too proud, readily to adapproached near enough the house to hold speech from mit any pre-eminence that was not founded on acthe windows, he transgressed the precise orders of his knowledged merit. The regard of women is generally watch !"

much influenced by the estimation which an indivi"Tush! you must forgive that for my sake,” said dual maintains in the opinion of men; and Eveline, Rose. "I warrant, had I called on yourself, stout when she concluded her journey in the Benedictine Guarine, I should have had influence to bring you nunnery in Gloucester, could not think without respect under my chamber window."

upon the renowned warrior, and celebrated politician, Guarine laughed, and shrugged his shoulders.- whose acknowledged abilities appeared to place him " True it is,” he said, "when women are in place, above every one whom she had seen approach him. discipline is in danger."

His wife, Eveline thought (and she was not without He then went to make the necessary inquiries ambition,) if relinquishing some of those qualities in a among his band, and returned with the assurance, husband which are in youth most captivating to the that his soldiers, generally and severally, denied female imagination, must be still generally honoured having approached ihe mansion of the Lady Ermen- and respected, and have contentment, if not romantic garde on the preceding night.

felicity, within her reach. "Thou seest, Rose," said Eveline, with a significant look to her attendant. The poor rogues are afraid of Guarine's severity,"

CHAPTER X V1. said Rose, "and dare not tell the truth-I shall have The Lady Eveline remained nearly four months some one in private claiming the reward of me. with her aunt, the Abbess of the Benedictine nunnery,

“I would I had the privilege myself, damsel,” said under whose auspices the Constable of Chester saw Guarine; "but for these fellows, they are not so ti- bis suit advance and prosper as it would probably have morous as you suppose them, being even too ready to done under that of the deceased Raymond Berenger, avouch their roguery when it hath less excuse-Be- her brother. It is probable, however, that, but for sides, I promised them impunity. Have you any thing the supposed vision of the Virgin, and the vow of grafarther to order ?"

titude which that supposed vision had called forth, Nothing, good Guarine," said Eveline;" only this the natural dislike of so young a person to a match so small donative to procure wine for thy soldiers, that unequal in years might have effectually opposed his they may spend the next night more merrily than the success. Indeed Eveline, while honouring the Conlast.--And now he is gone, --- Maiden, thou must, Istable's virtues, doing justice to his high character, think, be now well aware, that what thou sawest, and admiring his talents, could never altogether diwas no earthly being?"

vest herself of a secret fear of him, which, while it "I must believe mine own ears and eyes, madam," prevented her from expressing any direct disapprobareplied Rose.

tion of his addresses, caused her sometimes to shudDo-but allow me the same privilege," answered der, she scarce knew why, at the idea of their becoming Eveline. Believe me that my deliverer (for so I must successful. call him) bore the features of one who neither was, The ominous words, "betraying and betrayed,” nor could be, in the neighbourhood of Baldringham. I would then occur to her memory; and when her aunt Tell me but one thing-What dost thou think of this the period of the deepest mourning being, elapsed) extraordinary prediction

had fixed a day for her betrothal, she looked forward Widow'd wife, and wedded maid,

to it with a feeling of terror, for which she was unable Betrothed, betrayer, and betrayed ?'

to account to herself, and which, as well as the parThou wilt say it is an idle invention of my brain-ticulars of her dream, she concealed even from Father but think it for a moment the speech of a true diviner, Aldrovand in the hours of confession. It was not and what wouldst thou say of it?

aversion to the Constable-it was far less preference “That you may be betrayed, my dearest lady, but to any other suitor-it was one of those instinctive never can be a betrayer," answered Rose, with ani- movements and emotions by which Nature seems to mation.

warn us of approaching danger, though furnishing no Eveline reached her hand out to her friend, and as information respecting its nature, and suggesting no she pressed affectionately that which Rose gave in means of escaping from it. return, she whispered to her with energy, "I thank So strong were these intervals of apprehension, thee for the judgment, which my own heari con- that if they had been seconded by the remonstrances firms.'

of Rose Flammock, as formerly, they might perhaps

« PreviousContinue »