Page images
PDF
EPUB

the noble Lord De Lacy should feel, and the wise Lord. "In good faith,” said the Constable," there is sense De Lacy should foresee, that a Flemish weaver is no in what thou şay'st; but I caution thee to repeat it fitting guardian for his plighted bride. Think her shut not, lest thou be taken for a heretic or a Jew. For up in yonder solitary castle, under such respectable me, my word and oath are pledged beyond retreat, protection, and reflect how long the place will be soli, and I have only to consider whom I may best name tary in this land of love and of adventure! We shall for that important station, which thy caution hashave minstrels singing ballads by the threave under not without some shadow of reason-induced thee to our windows, and such twangling of harps as would decline." be enough to frighten our walls from their founda- "There is no man to whom your lordship can so tions, as clerks say happened to those of Jericho-We naturally or honourably transfer such a charge," said shall have as many knights-errant around us as ever Wilkin Flammock, "as to the kinsman near to you, had Charlemagne, or King Arthur. Mercy on me! and possessed of your trust; yet much better would A less matter ihan a fine and noble recluse immured it be were there no such trust to be reposed in any --so will they term it-in a tower, under the guardian-one.' ship of an old Flemish weaver, would bring half the “If," said the Constable, "by my near kinsman, c:rivalry in England round us, to break lances, vow you mean Randal de Lacy, I care not if I tell you, that vows, display love-liveries, and I know not what fol. I consider him as totally worthless, and undeserving lies besides-Think you such gallants, with the blood of honourable confidence.” flying through their veins like quicksilver, would much "Nay, I mean another," said Flammock, "nearer mind my bidding them begone ?"

to you by blood, and unless I greatly mistake, much "Draw bolts, up with the drawbridge, drop portcul- nigher also in affection-I had in mind your lordship's lis," said the Constable, with a constrained smile. nephew, Damian de Lacy."

'And thinks your lordship such gallants would The Constable started as if a wasp had stung him ; mind these impediments ? such are the very essence but instantly replied, with forced composure, “Daof the adventures which they come to seek.—The mian was to have gone in my stead to Palestine-it Knight of the Swan would swim through the moat- now seems I must go in his; for, since this last illhe of the Eagle would fly over the walls-he of the ness, the leeches have totally changed their minds, Thunderbolt would burst open the gates."

and consider that warmth of the clinate as danger“Ply crossbow and mangonel," said De Lacy. ous, which they formerly decided to be salutary. But

“And be besieged in form," said the Fleming “like our learned doctors, like our learned priests, must ever the castle of Tintadgel in the old hangings, all for the be in the right, change their counsels as they may; and love of fair lady?-And then those gay dames and de- we poor laymen still in the wrong. I can, it is true, rely moiselles, who go upon adventure from castle to on Damian with the utmost confidence; but he is castle, from tournament to tournament, with bare young, Flammock-very young-and, in that particuhosoms, faunting plumes, poniards at their sides and lar, resembles but too nearly the party who might be javelins in their hands, chattering like magpies, and otherwise committed to his charge." Auttering like jays, and, ever and anon, cooing like " Then once more, my lord,” said the plain-spoken doves-how am I to exclude such from the Lady Eve. Fleming, "remain at home, and be yourself the proline's privacy ?"

tector of what is naturally so dear to you.” "By keeping doors shut, I tell thee," answered the "Once more, I repeat that I cannot," answered the Constable, still in the same tone of forced jocularity; Constable. “The step which I have adopted as a "a wooden bar will be thy warrant."

great duty, may perhaps be a great error-I only know Ay, but," answered Flammock, "if the Flemish that it is irretrievable." weaver say shut, when the Norman young lady says Trust your nephew, then, my lord," replied Wilkin open, think which has best chance of being obeyed ? -“he is honest and true; and it is better trusting At a word, my lord, for the matter of guardianship, young lions than old wolves. He may err, perhaps, and such like, I wash my hands of it-I would not but it will not be from premeditated treachery." undertake to be guardian to the chaste Susannah, “Thou art right, Flammock," said the Constable; though she lived in an enchanted castle which no "and perhaps I ought to wish I had sooner asked thy living thing could approach."

counsel, blunt as it is. But let what has passed be a "Thou holdest the language and thoughts," said secret betwixt us; and bethink thee of something that De Lacy, "of a vulgar debauchee, who laughs at fe- may advantage thee more than the privilege of speakmale constancy, because he has lived only with the ing

about my affairs." most worthless of the sex. Yet thou shouldst know * That accompt will be easily settled, my lord,” the contrary, having, as I know, a most virtuous replied Flammock; "for my object was to ask your daughter"

lordship's favour to obtain certain extensions of our "Whose mother was not less so," said Wilkin, privileges, in yonder wild corner where we Flemings breaking in upon the Constable's speech with some have made our retreat." what more emotion than he usually displayed.

“Thou shalt have them, so they be not exorbitant," law, my lord, gave me authority to govern and direct said the Constable. And the honest Fleming, among my wife, as both law and nature give me power and whose good qualities scrupulous delicacy was not the charge over my daughter. That which I can govern, foremost, hastened to detail, with great minuteness, I can be answerable for; but how to discharge me so the particulars of his request or petition, long pursued well of a delegated trust, is another question. --Stay at in vain, but to which this interview was the means of home, my good lord,” continued the honest Fleming, insuring success. observing that his speech made some impression upon The Constable eager to execute the resolution which De Lacy; "let a fool's advice for once be of avail to he had formed, hastened to the lodging of Damian change a wise man's purpose, taken, let me say, in no de Lacy, and to the no small astonishment of his wise hour. Remain in your own land-rule your own nephew, intimated to him his change of destination; vassals-and protect your own bride. You only can alleging his own hurried departure, Damian's late and claim her cheerful love and ready obedience; and present illness, together with the necessary protection sure I am, that, without pretending to guess what she to be afforded to the Lady Eveline, as reasons why his may do if separated from you, she will, under your own nephew must needs remain behind him-lo represent eye, do the duty

of a faithful and a loving spouse." him during his absence-to protect the family rights, And the Holy Sepulchre ?" said the Constable, and assert the family honour of the house of De Lacy with a sigh, his heart confessing the wisdom of the above all, to act as the guardian of the young and advice, which circumstances prevented him from fol- beautiful bride, whom his uncle and patron had been lowing.

in some measure compelled to abandon for a time. "Let those who lost the Holy Sepulchre regain it, Damian yet occupied his bed while the Constable my lord," replied Flammock. "If those Latins and communicated this change of purpose. Perhaps he Greeks, as they call them, are no better men than I might think the circumstance fortunate, that in this have heard, it signifies very little whether they or the position he could conceal from his uncle's observation heathen have the country that has cost Europe so the various emotions which he could not help feeling; much blood and treasure.

while the Constable, with the eagerness of one who

[ocr errors]

" But

is desirous of hastily finishing what he has to say on | The Abbess acquiesced, though coldly, in a proan unpleasing subject, hurried over an account of the posal, which her ideas of decorum recommended; arrangements which he had made, in order that his and preparations were hastily made for the Lady nephew might have the means of discharging, with Eveline's return to the castle of her father. Two sufficient effect, the important trust committed to him. interviews which intervened before her leaviog the

The youth listened as to a voice in a dream, which convent, were in their nature painful. The first was he had not the power of interrupting, though there when Damian was formally presented to her by his was something within him which whispered there uncle, as the delegate to whom he had committed the would be both prudence and integrity in remonstrating charge of his own property, and, wilich was much against his uncle's alteration of plan. Something he dearer to hin, as he affirmed, the protection of her accordingly attempted to say, when the Constable at person and interest. length paused; but it was too feebly spoken to shake Eveline scarce trusted herself with one glance; bat a resolution fully though hastily adopted, and explicitly that single look comprehended and reported to ber use announced, by one not in the use to speak before his ravage which disease, aided by secret grief, had made purpose was fixed, or to alter it when it was declared on the manly form and handsome countenance of te

The remonstrance of Damian, besides, if it could youth before her. She received his salutacon in : be termed such, was spoken in terms too contradic- manner as embarrassed as that in which it was mace; tory to be intelligible. In one moment he professed and, to his hesitating proffer of service, answered, 1931 his regret for the laurels which he had hoped to gather she trusted only to be obliged 10 him for his good-xll in Palestine, and implored his uncle not to alter his during the interval of his uncle's absence. purpose, but permit him to attend his banner thither ; Her parting with the Constable was the next and in the next sentence, he professed his readiness to which she was to undergo. It was not without enadefend the safety of Lady Eveline with the last drop tion, although she preserved her modest composit, of his blood. De Lacy saw nothing inconsistent in and De Lacy his calm gravity of deportment. His voix these feeling, though they were for the moinent con- faltered, however, when he came to announce, " that I tradictory to each other. It was natural, he thought, were unjust she should be bound by the engagement that a young knight should be desirous to win honour which she had been graciously contented to abide natural also that he should willingly assume a under. Three years he had assigned for its term; to charge so honourable and important as that with which space the Archbishop Baldwin had corented which he proposed to invest him; and therefore he to shorten the period of his absence. If I appear not thought it was no wonder that, assuning his new when these are elapsed,” he said, "let the Lady office willingly, the young man should yet feel regret Eveline conclude that the grave holds De Laes, and at losing the prospect of honourable adventure, seek out for her mate some happier man. She cannot which he must abandon. He therefore only sıniled find one more grateful, though there are many who in reply to the broken expostulations of his nephew; better deserve her." and, having confirmed his former arrangement, left On these terms they parted; and the Constable, the young man to reflect at leisure on his change of speedily afterwards embarking, ploughed the narrow destination, while he himself

, in a second visit to the seas for the shores of Flanders, where he proposed Benedictine Abbey, communicated the purpose which to unite his forces with the Count of that rich and he had adopted, to the Abbess, and to his bride-elect. warlike country, who had lately taken the Cross, and

The displeasure of the former lady was in no to proceed by the route which should be found most measure abated by this communication; in which, practicable on their destination for the Holy Land. indeed, she affected to take very little interest. She The broad pennon, with the arms of the Lacys pleaded her religious duties, and her want of know- streamed forward with a favourable wind from the ledge of secular affairs, if she should chance to mis- prow of the vessel, as if pointing to the quarter of the take the usages of the world; yet she had always, she horizon where its renown was to be augmented ; and, said, understood, that the guardians of the young and considering the fame of the leader, and the excellence beautiful of her own sex were chosen from the more of the soldiers who followed him, a more gallant mature of the other.

band, in proportion to their numbers, never went 10 Your own unkindness, lady,'' answered the Con- avenge on the Saracens the evils endured by the stable, "leaves me no better choice than I have made. Latins of Palestine. Since the Lady Eveline's nearest friends deny her the Mean while Eveline, after a cold parting with the privilege of their roof, on account of the claim

with Abbess, whose offended dignity had not yet forgiven which she has honoured me, I, on my side, were the slight regard which she had paid to her opinion, worse than ungrateful did I not secure for her the pro- resumed her journey homeward io her paternal cascle, tection of my nearest male heir. Damian is young, where her household was to be arranged in a manner but he is true and honourable; nor does the chivalry suggested by the Constable, and approved of by herof England afford me a better choice."

self. Eveline seemed surprised, and even struck with The same preparations were made for her accordconsternation, at the resolution which her bridegroom modation at every halting-place which she had es. thus suddenly announced ; and perhaps it was for- perienced upon her journey to Gloucester, and, as lunate that the remark of the Lady Abbess made the before, the purveyor was invisible, although she coun answer of the Constable necessary, and prevented be at little loss io guess his name. Yet it appeared him from observing that her colour shifted more than as if the character of these preparations was in some once from pale to deep red.

degree altered. All the realities of convenience and Rose, who was not excluded from the conference, accommodation, with the most perfect assurances of drew close up to her mistress; and, by affecting to safety, accompanied her every where on the route; adjust her veil, while in secret she strongly

pressed her but they were no longer mingled with that display of hand, gave her time and encouiagement to compose tender gallantry and taste, which marked that the her mind for a reply. It was brief and decisive, and attentions were paid to a young and beautiful female. announced with a tirmness which showed that the The clearest fountain-head, and the most shady uncertainty of the moment had passed away or been grove, were no longer selected for the noontide resuppressed. In case of danger," she said, “she past; but the house of some franklin, or a small would not fail to apply to Damian de Lacy to come abbey, afforded the necessary hospitality. All seemed to her aid, as he had once done before; but she did to be ordered with the most severe attention to rank not apprehend any danger at present, within her own and decorum-it seemed as if a nun of some strict secure castle of the Garde Doloureuse, where it was her order, rather than a young maiden of high quality and purpose to dwell, attended only by her own household. a rich inheritance, had been journeying through the She was resolved," she continued, " in consideration land, and Eveline, though pleased with the delicacy of her peculiar condition, to observe the strictest re- which seemed thus to respect her unprotected and tirement, which she expected would not be violated peculiar condition, would sometimes think it anneeven by the noble young knigḥt who was to act as her cessary that, by so many indirect hints, it should be guardian, unless some apprehension for her safety forced on her recollection. made his visit unavoidable.

She thought it strange also, that Damian, to whose

care she had been so solemnly committed, did notand experience, was not likely to engage in any rash even pay his respects to her on the road. Something adventure or accidental quarrel. These men mainthere was which whispered to her, that close and tained a constant and watchful guard, commanded frequent intercourse might be unbecoming-even by the steward, but under the eye of Father Aldrovand, dangerous; but surely the ordinary duties of a knight who, besides discharging his ecclesiası ical functions and gentleman enjoined him some personal com- was at times, pleased to show some sparkles of his munication with the maiden under his escort, were ancient military education. it only to ask if her accommodations had been made Whilst this garrison afforded security against any to her satisfaction, or if she had any special wish sudden attempt on the part of the Welsh io surprise which was ungratified. The only intercourse, how the castle, a strong body of forces were disposed ever, which took place betwixt them, was through within a few miles of the Garde Doloureuse, ready, means of Amelot, Damian de Lacy's youthful page, on the least alarm, to advance to defend the place who came at morn and evening to receive Eveline's against any more numerous body of invaders, who, commands concerning their route, and the hours of undeterred by the fate of Gwenwyn, might have the journey and repose.

hardihood to form a regular siege. To this band, These formalities rendered the solitude of Eveline's which, under the eye of Damian de Lacy nimself, return less endurable; and had it not been for the was kept in constant readiness for action, could be society of Rose, she would have found herself under added on occasion all the military forceof the Marches, an intolerably irksome degree of constraint. She comprising numerous bodies of Flemings, and other even hazarded to her attendant some remarks upon foreigners, who held their establishments by military the singularity of De Lacy's conduct, who, authorized tenure. as he was by his situation, seemed yet as much afraid While the fortress was thus secure from hostile to approach her as if she had been a basalisk. violence, the life of its inmates was so unvaried and

Rose let the first observation of this nature pass as simple, as inight have excused youth and beauty for if it had been unheard; but when her mistress made wishing for variety, even at the expense of some dan: a second remark to the same purpose, she answered, ger. The labours of the needle were only relieved with the truth and freedom of her character, though by a walk round the battlements, where Eveline, as perhaps with less of her usual prudence, “ Damian de she passed arm in arm with Rose, received a military Lacy judges well, noble lady. He to whom the safe salute from each sentinel in turn, or in the court-yard, keeping of a royal treasure is intrusted, should not where the caps and bonnets of the domestics paid her indulge himself too often by gazing upon it.". the same respect which she received above from the

Eveline blushed, wrapt herself closer in her veil, pikes and javelins of the warders. Did they wish to nor did she again during their journey mention the extend their airing beyond the castle gate, * was not name of Damian de Lacy.

sufficient that doors and bridges were to be opened When the gặay turrets of the Garde Doloureuse and lowered; there was, besides, an escort to get greeted her sight on the evening of the second day, under arms, who, on foot or horseback as the case and she once more beheld her father's banner floai- might require, attended for the security of the Lady ing from its highest watch-tower in honour of her Eveline's person. Without this military attendance approach, her sensations were mingled with pain; they could not in safety more even so far as the mills, but, upon the whole, she looked towards that ancient where honest Wilkin Flammock, his warlike deeds home as a place of refuge, where she might indulge forgotten, was occupied with his mechanical labours. the new train of thoughis which circumstances had But if a further disport was intended, and the Lady opened to her, amid the same scenes which had shel- of the Garde Doloureuse proposed to liunt or hawk tered her infancy and childhood.

for a few hours, her safety was not confided to a guard She pressed forward her palfrey, to reach the so feeble as the garrison of the castle could afford. ancient portal as soon as possible, bowed hastily to It was necessary that Raoul should announce her the well-known faces which showed themselves on purpose to Damian by a special messenger despatched all sides, but spoke 10, no one, until, dismounting the evening before, that there might be time before at the chapel door, she had penetrated to the crypt, daybreak to scour, with a body of light cavalry, the in which was preserved the miraculous painting region in which she intended to take her pleasure ; There, prostrate on the ground, she implored the and sentinels were placed in all suspicious places guidance and protection of the Holy Virgin through while she continued in the field. In truth, she tried, those intricacies in which she had involved herself, upon one or two occasions, to make an excursion, by fulfilment of the vow which she had made in her without any formal annunciation of her intention; anguish before the same shrine. If the prayer was but all her purposes seemed to be known to Damian misdirected, its purport was virtuous and sincere; as soon as ihey were formed, and she was no sooner nor are we disposed to doubt that it attained that abroad than parties of archers and spearmen from Heaven towards which it was devoutly addressed. his camp were seen scouring the valleys, and guard

ing the mountain-pass, and Damian's own plume

was usually beheld conspicuous among the distant CHAPTER XXII.

soldiers.

The formality of these preparations so much allayed The Virgin's image falls-yet some, I ween,

the pleasure derived from the sport, that Eveline selNot unforgiven the suppliant knee might bend

dom resorted to amusement which was attended with As to a visible power, in which might blend Ali that was mix'd, and reconciled in her,

such bustle, and put in motion so many persons. of mother's love with maiden's purity,

The day being worn out as it best might, in the of high with low, celestial with terrene.

evening Father Aldrovand was wont to read out of WORDSWORTH.

some holy legend, or from the homilies of some deThe household of the Lady Eveline, though of an parted saint, such passages as he deemed fit for the establishment becoming her present and future rank, hearing of his little congregation. Sometimes also was of a solemn and sequestcred character, corres- he read and expounded a chapter of the Holy Scripponding to her place of residence, and the privacy ture; but in such cases, the good man's attention was connecied with her situation, retired as she was from so strangely turned to the military part of the Jewish the class of maidens who are yet unengaged, and history, that he was never able to quit the books of yet not united with that of mairons, who enjoy Judges and of Kings, together with the triumphs of the protection of a married name. Her immediate Judas Maccabeus ; although the manner in which he female attendants, with whom the reader is already illustrated the victories of the children of Israel, was acquainted, constituted almost her whole society. The much more amusing to himself than edifying to his garrison of the castle, besides household servants, female audience. consisted of veterans of tried faith, the followers of Sometimes, but rarely, Rose obtained permission Berenger and of De Lacy in many a bloody ficld, to for a strolling minstrel to entertain an hour with his whom the duties of watching and warding were as ditty of love and chivalry; sometimes a pilgrim from familiar as any of their more ordinary occupations, a distant shrine, repaid by long tales of the wonders and whose courage, nevertheless, tempered' by age I which he had seen in other lands, the hospitality

Vol. IV

which t'je Garde Doloureuse afforded; and sometimes accidents chanced, when men had been long abroad, also it happened, that the interest and intercession of to alter those purposes with which they had left home the tiring-woman obtained admission for travelling A strolling minstrel

, who sought ihe Garde Domerchants, or pedlars, who, at the risk of their lives loureuse, had recited, for the amusement of the lady found profit by carrying from castle to castle the and household, the celebrated lay of the Count of materials of rich dresses and female ornaments. Gleichen, who, already married in his own country,

The usual visits of mendicants, of jugglers, of tra- laid himself under so many obligations in the East to velling jesters, are not to be forgotten in this list of a Saracen princess, through whose means be achieved amusements; and though his nation subjected him his freedom, that he married her also. The Pope and to close watch and observation, even the Welsh bard, his conclave were pleased to approve of the double with his huge harp strung with horse hair, was some wedlock, in a case so extraordinary; and the good times admitted to vary the uniformity of their secluded Count of Gleichen shared his nuptial bed between two life. But, saving such amusements

, and saving also wives of equal rank, and now sleeps between them the regular attendance upon the religious duties at the under the same monument. chapel, it was impossible for life io glide away in The commentaries of the inmates of the castle had more wearisome monotony than at the castle of the been various and discrepant upon this legend. Father Garde Doloureuse. Since the death of its brave Aldrovand considered it as altogether false, and an owner, to whom feasting and hospitality seemed as unworthy calumny on the head of the church, in natural as thoughts of honour and deeds of chivalry, afñrming his Holiness would countenance such inte the gloom of a convent might be said to have en- gularity. Old Margery, with the tender-heartedness veloped the ancient mansion of Raymond Berenger, of an ancient nurse, wept bitterly for pity during the were it not that the presence of so many armed ward- tale, and, never questioning, either the power of the ers, stalking in solemn state on the batilements, gave Pope or the propriety of his decision, was pleased that it rather the aspect of a state-prison; and the temper a mode of extrication was found for a complication of of the inhabitants gradually became infected by the love distresses which seemed almost inextricable. character of their dwelling.

Dame Gillian declared it unreasonable, thai, since a The spirits of Eveline in particular felt a depression, woman was only allowed one husband, a man should, which her naturally lively temper was quite inadequate under any circumstances, be permitted to have two to resist; and as her ruminations became graver, had wives; whilst Raoul, glancing towards her a look of caught that calm and contemplative manner, which verjuice, pitied the deplorable idiocy of the man who is so often united with an ardent and enthusiastical could be fool enough to avail himself of such a prin. temperament. She meditated deeply upon the former lege. accidents of her life; nor can it be wondered that her ?Peace, all the rest of you," said the Lady Eveline; thoughts repeatedly wandered back to the two several “and do you, my dear Rose, tell me your judgment periods on which she had witnessed, or supposed that upon this Count of Gleichen and his two wives." she had witnessed, a supernatural appearance. Then Rose blushed, and replied, "She was not much it was that it often seemed to her, as if a good and accustomed to think of such matters; but than in her evil power strove for mastery over her destiny. apprehension, the wife who could be contented with

Solitude is favourable to feelings of self-importance; but one half of her husband's affections, had never and it is when alone, and occupied only with their deserved to engage the slightest share of them." own thoughts, that fanatics have reveries, and ima- "Thou art partly right, Rose,'' said Eveline ; "and gined saints lose themselves in imaginary ecstasies. methinks the European lady, when she found herself With Eveline the influence of enthusiasm went not outshone by the young and beautiful foreign princess, such a length, yet it seemed to her as if in the vision would have best consulted her own dignity in resignof the night she saw sometimes the aspect of the Lady ing the place, and giving the Holy Father no more of the Garde Doloureuse, bending upon her glances of trouble than in annulling the marriage, as has been pity, comfort, and protection; sometimes the omninous done in cases of more frequent occurrence." form of the Saxon castle of Baldringham, holding up This she said with an air of indifference and even the bloody hand as witness of the injuries with which gayety, which intimated to her faithful attendant with she had been treated while in life, and inenacing with how little effort she herself could have made such a revenge the descendant of her murderer.

sacrifice, and served to indicate the state of her atteo On awaking from such dreams, Eveline would re- tions towards the Constable. But there was another flect that she was the last branch of her house--a than the Constable on whom her thoughts turned house to which the tutelage and protection of the more frequently, though involuntarily, than perhaps miraculous Image, and the eninity and evil influence in prudence they should have done. of the revengeful' Vanda, had been peculiarly attached The recollections of Damiam de Lacy had not been for ages. It seemed to her as if she were the prize, erased from Eveline's mind. They were, indeed, for the disposal of which the benign saint and vin- renewed by hearing his name so often mentioned, dictive fiend were now to play their last and keenest and by knowing that he was almost constantly in game.

the neighbourhood, with his whole attention fixed Thus thinking, and experiencing little interruption upon her convenience, interest, and safety; whilst, of her meditations from any external circumstance of on the other hand, so far from waiting on her in per interest and amusement, she became pensive, absent, son, he never even attempted, by a direct communiwrapt herself up in contemplations which withdrew cation with herself, to consult her pleasure, even her attention from the conversation around her, and upon what most concerned her. walked in the world of reality like one who is still in The messages conveyed by Father Aldrovand, or a dream. When she thoughi of her engagement with by Rose, to Amelot, Damian's page, while they gave the Constable of Chester, it was with resignation, but an air of formality to their intercourse, which Evewithout a wish, and almost without an expectation, line thought unnecessary, and even unkind, yet served that she would be called upon to fulfil it. She had to fix her attention upon the connexion between accomplished her vow by accepting the faith of her them, and to keep it ever present to her memory. deliverer in exchange for her own; and although she The remark by which Rose had vindicated the disheld herself willing to redeem the pledge--nay, would tance observed by her youthful guardian, sometimes scarce confess to herself the reluctance with which arose to her recollection; and while her soul repelled she thought of doing so---yet it is certain that she en- with scorn the suspicion, that

, in any case, his pretertained unavowed hopes that Our Lady of the Garde sence, whether at intervals or constantly, could be Doloureuse would not be a severe creditor; but, satis- prejudicial to his uncle's interest, she conjured up fied with the readiness she had shown to accomplish various arguments for giving him a frequent place in her vow, would not insist upon her claim in its full | ber memory.-Was it not her duty to think of Darigour. It would have been the blackest ingratitude, mian often and kindly, as the Constable's nearest, to have wished that her gallant deliverer, whom she best beloved, and most trusted relative ?-Was he not had so much cause to pray for, should experience any her former deliverer and her present guardian? And of those fatalities which in the Holy Land so often might he not be considered as an instrument spechanged the laurel-wreath into cypress; but other cially employed by her divine patroness, in rendering effectual the protection with which she had graced Kites ! like her that brings the news,” said Raoul. her in inore than one emergency?

"No, nor kestrels like him that hears it," replied Eveline's mind mutinied against the restrictions Gillian; “but brave jerfalcons, with large nares, which were laid on their intercourse, as against strongly armed, and beaks short and something something which inferred suspicion and degradation, bluish" like the compelled seclusion to which she had heard Pshaw,, with thy jargon ?-Wliere came they the Paynim infidels of the East subjected their fe- from ?" said Raoul, interested in the tidings, but unmales. Why should she see her guardian only in the willing to give his wife the satisfaction of seeing that benefits which he conferred upon her, and the cares he was so. he took for her safety, and hear his sentiments only "From the Isle of Man," replied Gillian. by the mouth of others, as if one of them had been "They must be good, then, though it was a woman infected with the plague, or some other fatal or infec- brought tidings of them," said Raoul, smiling grimly tious disorder, which might render their meeting dan. at his own wit; then, leaving the mews, he demanded gerous to the other?-And if they did meet occasion to know where this famous falcon-merchant was to ally, what else could be the consequence, save that be met withal. the care of a brother towards a sister-of a trusty and "Why, between the barriers and the inner gate," kind guardian to the betrothed bride of his near re- replied Gillian, "where other men are admitted that lative and honoured patron, might render the melan- have wares to utter-Where should he be ?" choly seclusion of the Garde Doloureuse more easy "And who let him in ?" demanded the suspicious to be endured by one so young in years, and, though Raoul. dejected by present circumstances, naturally so gay “Why, Master Steward, thou owl!" said Gillian; in temper?

"he came but now to my chamber, and sent me Yet, though this train of reasoning appeared to hither to call you." Eveline, when tracing it in her own mind, so conclu- "Oh, the steward--the steward-I might have sive, that she several times resolved to communi- guessed as much. And he came to thy chamber, cate her view of the case to Rose Flammock, it so doubtless, because he could not have as easily come chanced that, whenever she looked on the calm hither to me hinıself.--Was it not so, sweetheart ?'' steady blue eye of the Flemish maiden, and remem- "I do not know why he chose to come to me bered that her unblemished faith was mixed with a rather than to you, Raoul," said Gillian; "and if I sincerity and plain dealing proof against every consi- did know, perhaps I would not tell you. Go to-miss deration, she feared lest she might be subjected in your bargain, or to make your bargain, I care not the opinion of her attendant to suspicions from which which-the man will not wait for you-he has good her own mind freed her; and her proud Norman spi- proffers from the Seneschal of Malpas, and the Welsh rit revolted at the idea of being obliged to justify her- | Lord of Dinevawr." self to another, when she stood self-acquitted io her “I come-I come,” said Raoul, who felt the necesown mind. “Let things be as they are," she said; sity of embracing this opportunity of improving his "and let us endure all the weariness of a life which hawking establishment, and hastened to the gate, might be so easily rendered more cheerful, rather than where he met the merchant, attended by a servant, that this zealous but punctilious friend should, in the who kept in separate cages the three falcons which strictness and nicely of her feelings on my account, he offered for sale. conceive me capable of encouraging an intercourse

The first glance satisfied Raoul that they were of which could lead to a less worthy thought of me in the best breed in Europe, and that, if their education the mind of the most scrupulous of man-or of wo- were in correspondence to their race, there could mankind.” But even this vacillation of opinion and scarce be a more valuable addition even to a royal resolution tended to bring the image of the handsome mews. The merchant did not fail to enlarge upon all young Damian more frequently before the Lady Eve their points of excellence; the breadth of their shouldline's fancy, than perhaps his uncle, had he known ers, the strength of their train, their full and fierce it, would altogether have approved of. In such re- dark eyes, the boldness with which they endured the flections, however, she never indulged long, ere a approach of strangers, and the lively spirit and vigorr sense of the singular destiny which had hitherto with which they pruned their plumes, and shond, or, attended her, led her back into the more melancholy as it was technically termed, roused themselves. He conteinplations from which the buoyancy of her expatjated on the difficulty and danger with which youthful fancy had for a short time emancipated her. they were obtained from the Rock of Ramsey, on

which they were bred, and which was an eyry unrivalled even on the coast of Norway.

Raoul turned apparently a deaf ear to all these comCHAPTER XXIII.

mendations. "Friend merchant," said he, "I know -Ours is the skie,

a falcon as well as thou dost, and I will not deny that Where at what fowl we please our hawk shall flie.

thine are fine ones; but if they be not carefully trained

and reclaimed, I would rather have a goss-hawk on One bright September morning, old Raoul was my perch than the fairest falcon that ever stretched busy in the mews where he kept his hawks, grum- wing to weather." bling all the while to himself as he surveyed the "I grant ye,” said the merchant; "but if we agree condition of each bird, and blaming alternately the on the price, for that is the main matter, thou shalt carelessness of the under-falconer, and the situation see the birds fly if thou wilt, and then buy them or of the building, and the weather, and the wind, and not as thou likest. I am no true merchant if thou all things around him, for the dilapidation which ever saw'st birds beat them, whether at the mount or time and disease had made in the neglected hawking the stoop. establishment of the Garde Doloureuse. While in "That I call fair,” said Raoul, "if the price be these unpleasing meditations, he was surprised by equally so. the voice of his beloved Dame Gillian, who seldom "It shall be corresponding," said the hawk-merwas an early riser, and yet more rarely visited himchant; "for I have brought six casts from the island, when he was in his sphere of peculiar authority: by the good favour of good King Reginald of Man, "Raoul, Raoul! where art thou, man ?-Ever to seek and I have sold every feather of them save these; for, when thou canst make aught of advantage for and so, having emptied my cages and filled my thyself or me!"

purse, I desire not io be troubled longer with the And what want'st thou, dame?” said Raoul, residue; and if a good fellow, and a judge, as thou "what means thy screaming worse than the sea-gull seemest to be, should like the hawks when he has before wet weather? A murrain on thy voice! it is seen them Ay, he shall have the price of his own enough to fray every hawk from the perch."

making." "Hawk!" answered Dame Gillian; "is it time "Go to," said Raoul, “we will have no blind barto be looking for hawks, when here is a cast of the gains; my lady, if the hawks be suitable, is more able bravest falcons come bither for sale, that ever flew to pay for them than thou to give them away.-Will a by lake, brook, or meadow!"

bezant be a conformable price for the cast ?''

RANDOLPH.

« PreviousContinue »