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she had been before pale, "jest not amidst such a tale. young man; "are you a priest come to unburden my
-But can this be reality ?-Is Randal indeed slain ?-conscience ?" and the Constable returned ?"
"I am not a priest,” replied the Palmer, “but one These were hasty and hurried questions, answered who brings you news of discomfort." as hastily and confusedly, and broken with ejacula- "You bring them to one to whom comfort has tions of surprise and thanks to Heaven, and to Our been long a stranger, and to a place which perchance Lady, until ihe ecstasy of delight sobered 'down into a never knew it,” replied Damian. sort of tranquil wonder.
may be the bolder in my communication," said Mean while Damian Lacy also had his explana- the Palmer;, “those in sorrow will better hear ill tions to receive, and the mode in which they were news than those whom they surprise in the possesconveyed had something remarkable. Damian had sion of content and happiness." for some time been an inhabitant of what our age "Yet even the situation of the wretched,” said would have termed a dungeon, but which, in the Damian, "can be rendered more wretched by susancient days, they called a prison. We are perhaps pense. pray you, reverend sir, to speak the worst censurable in making the dwelling and the food of at once-If you come to announce the doom of this acknowledged and convicted guilt more comfortable poor frame, may God be gracious to the spirit which and palatable than what the parties could have gained must be violently dismissed from it!" by any exertions when at large, and supporting them- “I have no such charge,” said the Palmer.-selves by honest labour ; but this is a venial error "I come from the Holy Land, and have the more compared to that of oțr ancestors, who, considering grief in finding you thus, because my message to a charge and a conviction as synonymous, treated the you was one addressed to a free man, and a wealthy accused before sentence in a manner which would one.' have been of itself a severe punishment after he was "For my freedom," said Damian, "let these fetfound guilty: Damian, therefore, notwithstanding ters speak, and this apartment for my wealth.-But his high birth and distinguished rank, was confined speak out thy news-should my uncle, for I fear thy after the manner of the most atrocious criminal, was tale regards him, want either my arm or my fortune, heavily fettered, sed on the coarsest food, and expe- this dungeon and my degradation have further pangs rienced only this alleviation, that he was permitted to than I had yet supposed, as they render me unable to indulge his misery in a solitary and separate cell, the aid him.” wretched furniture of which was a mean bedstcad, "Your uncle, young man,” said the Palmer, "is and a broken table and chair. A coffin-and his own prisoner, I should rather say slave, to the great arms and initials were painted upon it-stood in one Soldan, taken in a battle in which he did his duty, corner, to remind him of his approaching fate; and though unable to avert the defeat of the Christians, a crucifix was placed in another, to intimate to him with which it was concluded. He was made prithat there was a world beyond that which must soon soner while covering the retreat, but not until he had close upon him. No noise could penetrate into the slain with his own hand, for his misfortune as it has iron silence of his prison-no rumour, either touching proved, Hassan Ali
, a favourite of the Soldan, The his own fate or that of his friends. Charged with cruel pagan has caused the worthy knight to be loaded being taken in open arms against the King, he was with irons heavier than those you wear, and the dunsubject to military law, and to be put to death even geon to which he is confined would make this seem without the formality of a hearing; and he foresaw a palace. The infidel's first resolution was to put the no milder conclusion to his imprisonment.
valiant Constable to the most_dreadful death which This melancholy dwelling had been the abode of his tormentors could devise. But fame told him that Damian for nearly a month, when strange as it may Hugo de Lacy was a man of great power and wealth ; seem, his health, which had suffered much from his and he has demanded a ransom of ten thousand bewounds, began gradually to improve, either benefited zants of gold. Your uncle replied that the payment by the abstemious diet to which he was reduced, or would totally impoverish him, and oblige him to disthat certainty, however melancholy, is an evil better pose of his whole estates; even then he pleaded, time endured by many constitutions than the feverish con- must be allowed him to convert them into money. trast betwixt passion and duty. But the term of his The Soldan replied, that it imported little to him imprisonment seemed drawing speedily to a close; whether a hound like the Constable were fat or lean, his jạiler, a sullen Şaxon of the lowest order, in more and that he therefore insisted upon the full amount of words than he had yet used to him, warned him to the ransom. But he so far relaxed as to make it look to a speedy change of dwelling; and the tone in payable in three portions, on condition that, along which he spoke convinced the prisoner there was no with
the first portion of the price, the
nearest of kin time to be lost. He demanded a confessor, and the and heir of De Lacy must be placed in his hands as jailer, though he withdrew without reply, seemed a hostage for what remained due. On these conto intimate by his manner that the boon would be ditions he consented your uncle should be put at granted.
liberty so soon as you arrive in Palestine with the Next morning at an unusually early hour, the gold." chains and bolts of the cell were heard to clash and "Now may I indeed call myself unhappy," said groan, and Damian was startled from a broken sleep, Damian “that I cannot show my love and duty to which he had not enjoyed for above two hours. His my noble uncle, who hath ever been a father to me in eyes were bent on the slowly opening door, as if he my orphan state. had expected the headsman and his assistants; but "It will be a heavy disappointment, doubtless, to the jailer ushered in a stout man in a pilgrim's the Constable,” said the Palmer, " because he was habit.
eager to return to this happy country, to fulfil a con"Is it a priest whom you bring me, warden ?" said tract of marriage which he had formed with a lady of the unhappy prisoner.
great beauty and fortune." He can hest answer the question himself,” said Damian shrunk together in such sort that his setthe surly official, and presently withdrew.
ters clashed, but he made no answer. The pilgrim remained standing on the floor, with "Were he not your uncle," continued the Pilgrim, his back to the small window, or rather loophole, by and well known as a wise man, I should think he which the cell was imperfectly lighted, and gazed is not quite prudent in this matter. Whatever he intently upon Damian, who was seated on the side was before he left England, two summers spent in of his bed'; his pale cheek and dishevelled hair bear the wars of Palestine, and another amid the tortures ing a melancholy correspondence to his heavy irons. and restraints of a heathen prison, have made him a He returned the pilgrim's gaze, but the imperfect sorry bridegroom.”, light only showed him that his visiter was a stout “Peace, pilgrim,” said De Lacy, with a commandold man, who wore the scallop-shell on his bonnet, as ing tone. 'It is not thy part to censure such a noble a token that he had passed ļhe sea, and carried a knight as my uncle, nor is it meet that I should listen palm branch in his hand, to show he had visited the to your strictures. Holy Land.
"I crave your pardon, young man,” said the Palmer. Benedicite, reverend father," said the unhappy | "I spoke not without some view to your interest, pray thee."
which, methinks, does not so wet, consort with thine "And the ransom,” said the Palmer, "how is that uncle having an heir of his body."
to be provided ?" “Peace, base man!" said Damian. "By Heaven, "How, but from the estates, which, nominally reI think worse of my cell than I did before, since its stored to me, remain in truth and justice my uncle's doors opened to such a counsellor, and of my chains, and must be applied to his use in the first instance? since they restrain me from chastising him.-Depart, if I mistake not greatly, there is not a Jew or Lom1
bard who would not advance the necessary sums on "Not till I have your answer for your uncle," an- such security.-- Therefore, dog,” he continued, adswered the Palmer: My age scorns the anger of dressing the jailer, " hasten thy unclenching and unthy youth, as the rock despises the foam of the rivu- doing of rivets, and be not dainty of giving me a little let dashed against it.”
pain, so thou break no limb, for I cannot afford to be “Then, say to my uncle," answered Damian, “I stayed on my journey: am a prisoner, or I'would have come to him-I am The Palmer looked on a little while, as if surprised a confiscated beggar, or I would have sent him my at Damian's determination, then exclaimed, "I can all.'
keep the old man's secret no longer-such high-souled "Such virtuous purposes are easily and boldly an- generosity must not be sacrificed.-Hark thee, brave nounced,” said the Palmer, when he who speaks Sir Damian, I have a mighty secret still to impart, them knows that he cannoi be called upon to make and as this Saxon churl understands no French, this good the boast of his tongue. But could I tell thee of iş no unfit opportunity to communicate it. Know ihy restoration to freedom and wealth, I trow thou that thine uncle is a changed man in mind, as he is wouldst consider twice ere thy act confirmed the sacri- debilitated and broken down in body. Peevishness fice thou hast in thy present state promised so glibly." and jealousy have possessed themselves of a heart
"Leave me, I prithee, old man,' said Damian; which was once strong and generous; his life is now "thy thought cannot comprehend the lenor of mine on the dregs, and, I grieve to speak' it, these dress -go, and add not to my distress insults which I have are foul and bitter." not the means to avenge."
"Is this thy mighty secret?" said Damian. "That “But what if I had it in my power to place thee in men grow old, I know; and if with infirmity of body the situation of a free and wealthy man, would it comes infirmity of temper and mind, their case the please thee then to be reminded of thy present boast? more strongly claims the dutiful observance of those for if not, thou mayst rely on my discretion never to who
are bound to them in blood or affection." mention the difference of sentiment between Damian Ay,” replied the Pilgrim, " but the Constable's bound and Damian at liberty."
mind has been poisoned against thee by runours “How meanest thou ?-or hast thou any meaning, which have reached his ear from England, that there save to torment me?" said the youth.
have been thoughts of affection betwixt thee and “Not so," replied the old Palmer, plucking from his his betrothed bride, Eveline Berenger.-Ha! have I bosom a parchment scroll to which a heavy seal was touched you now?". attached.--"Know that thy cousin Randal hath been "Not a whit,” said Damian, putting on the strongstrangely slain, and his treacheries towards the Con- est resolution with which his virtue could supply him stable and thee as strangely discovered. The King, -"it was but this fellow who struck my shin-bone in requital of thy sufferings, hath sent thee this full somewhat sharply with his hammer. Proceed. My pardon, and endowed thee with a third part of those uncle heard such a report, and believed it?" ample estates, which, by his death, revert to the “He did," said the Palmer-"I can well aver it, crown."
since he concealed no thought from me. But be "And hath the King also restored my freedom and prayed me carefully to hide his suspicions from you my right of blood ?" exclaimed Damian.
otherwise,' said he, the young wolf-cub will never From this moment, forth with," said the Palmer thrust himself into the trap for the deliverance of tbe -"look upon the parchment-behold the royal hand old he-wolf. Were he once in my prison-house, your and seal.'
uncle continued to speak of you, he should rot and "I must have better proof.--Here,” he exclaimed, die ere I sent one penny of ransom to set at liberty the loudly clashing his irons at the same time, "Here, lover of my betrothed bride." thou Dogget-warder, son of a Saxon wolf-hound !" "Could ihis be my uncle's sincere purpose ?" said
The Palmer, striking on the door, seconded the Damian, all aghast. "Could he plan so much tresprevious exertions for summoning the jailer, who chery towards me as to leave me in the captivity into entered accordingly.
which I threw myself for his redemption ?-Tush! it Warder,” said Damian de Lacy, in a stern tone, cannot be." "am I yet thy prisoner, or no ?".
"Flatter not yourself with such a vain opinion, The sullen jailer consulted the Palmer by a look, said the Palmer--"if you go to Syria, you go to eterand then answered to Damian that he was a free man nal captivity, while your uncle returns to possession
“Then, death of thy heart, slave," said Damian, of wealth little diminished-and of Eveline Berenger. impatiently, "why hang these fetiers on the free “Ha!" ejaculated Damian; and, looking down for limbs of a Norman noble ? each moment they confine an instant, demanded of the Palmer, in a subdued him are worth a lifetime of bondage to such a serf as voice, what he would have him to do in such an thou !''
extremity. "They are soon rid of, Sir Damian,” said the man; "The case is plain, according to my poor judgment" "and I pray you to take some patience, when you re- replied the Palmer. "No one is bound to faith with member that ten minutes since you had little right those who mean to observe none with him. Anticito think these bracelets would have been removed pate this treachery of your uncle, and let his now short for any other purpose than your progress to the scaf- and infirm existence moulder out in the pestiferous fold."
cell to which he would condemn your youthful "Peace, ban-dog," said Damian, "and be speedy! strength. The royal grant has assigned you lands --And thou, who hast brought me these good tidings, enough for your honourable support, and wherefore I forgive thy former bearing-thou thoughtest, doubt- not unite with them those of the Garde Doloureuse ? less, that it was prudent to extort from me professions -Eveline Berenger, if I do not greatly mistake, will during my bondage which might in honour decide my scarcely say nay. Ay, more-1 vouch it on my soul conduct when at large. The suspicion inferred in it that she will say yes, for I have sure information of somewhat offensive, but thy motive was to ensure her mind; and for her pre-contract, a word from my uncle's liberty."
Henry to his holiness, now that they are in the heyAnd is it really your purpose," said the Palmer, day of their reconciliation, will obliterate the name to employ your newly-gained freedom in a voyage to Hugh from the parchment, and insert Damian in iis Syria, and to exchange your English prison for the stead.” dungeon of the Soldan ?
“Now, by my faith,” said Damian, arising and "If thou thyself wilt act as my guide,” answered placing his fool upon the stool, that the warrer the undaunted youth, "you shall not say I dally by might more easily strike off the last ring by which he the way."
was encumbered, -"I have heard of such things as
this, I have heard of beings who, with seeming gra- | necessary-indispensably necessary. Strange reports vity of word and aspect-with subtle counsels, art- have been abroad, which thy absence on this occasion fully applied to the frailties of human nature-have would go far to confirm. Eveline's character and haunted the cells of despairing men, and made them mine own are concerned in this." many a fair promise, if they would but exchange for "If so," said Damian, "if it be indeed so, no their by-ways the paths of salvation. Such are the task will be too hard for me. But I trust, when the fiend's dearest agents, and in such a guise hath the ceremony is over, you will not refuse me your consent fiend himself been known to appear. In the name of to take the cross, unless you should prefer my joining God, old man, if human thou art, begone !-I like not the troops destined, as I heard, for the conquest of thy words or thy presence-I spit at thy counsels. Ireland." And mark me," he added, with a menacing gesture, “Ay, ay," said the Constable ;, "if Eveline grant "Look to thine own safety-I shall presently be at you permission, I will not withhold mine." liberty !".
"Uncle," said Damian, somewhat sternly,, " you "Boy," replied the Palmer, folding his arms con- do not know the feelings which you jest with.". temptuously in his cloak, “I scorn thy menaces-I Nay," said the Constable, "I compel nothing; leave thee not till we know each other better." for if thou goest to the church, and likest not the
"I too,” said Damian, "would fain know whether match, thou may'st put a stop, to it if thou wilt--the thou be'st man or fiend; and now for the trial." As sacrament cannot proceed without the bridegroom's he spoke, the last shackle fell from his leg, and clash- consent. ed on the pavement, and at the same moment he "I understand you not, uncle," said Damian ; "you sprung on the Palmer, caught him by the waist, and have already consented." exclaimed, as he made three distinct and desperate “Yes, Damian," he said, "I have to withdraw attempts to lift him up and dash him headlong to the my claim, and to relinquish it in thy favour; for if earth, "This for maligning a nobleman-this for Eveline Berenger is wedded to-day, thou art her bridedoubting the honour of a knight-and this (with a yet groom! The Church has given her sanction-the more violent exertion) for belying a lady!".
King his approbation-the lady says not nay--and Each effort of Damian seemed equal to have rooted the question only now remains, whether the brideup a tree; yet though they staggered the old man, groom will say yes." they overthrew him not; and while Damian panted The nature of the answer may be easily conceived ; with his last exertion, he replied, "And take thou nor is it necessary to dwell upon the splendour of the this, for so roughly entreating thy father's bro- ceremonial, which, to atone for his late unmerited ther."
severity, Henry honoured with his own presence. As he spoke, Damian de Lacy, the best youthful Amelot and Rose were shortly afterwards united, old wrestler in Cheshire, received no soft fall on the Flammock having been previously created a gentlefloor of the dungeon. He arose slowly and astounded; man of coat armour, that the gentle Norman blood but the Palmer had now thrown back both hood and might, without utter derogation, mingle with the dalınatique, and the features, though bearing marks meaner stream which coloured the cheek in crimson, of age and climate, were those of his uncle the Con- and meandered in azure over the lovely neck and bostable, who calmly observed, “I think, Damian, thou som of the fair Fleming. There was nothing in the art become stronger, or I weaker, since my breast was manner of the Constable towards his nephew and last pressed against yours in our country's celebrated his bride, which could infer a regret of the generous sport. Thou hadst nigh had me down in that last self-denial which he had exercised in favour of their turn, but that I knew the old De Lacy's back-trip as youthful passion. But he soon after accepted a high well as thou.- But wherefore kneel, man?" He raised command in the troops destined to invade Ireland; him with much kindness, kissed his cheek, and pro- and his name is found among the highest in the roll ceeded; Think not, my dearest nephew, that I of the chivalrous Normans who first united that fair meant in my late disguise to try your faith, which I island to the English crown. myself never doubted. But evil tongues nad been Eveline, restored to her own fair castle and domains, busy, and it was this which made me resolve on an failed not to provide for her confessor, as well as for experiment, the result of which has been, as I expect- her old soldiers, servants, and retainers, forgetting ed, most honourable for you. And know, (for these their errors, and remembering their fidelity. The walls have sometimes ears, even according to the Confessor was restored to the flesh-pots of Egypt, letter, there are cars and eyes not far distant which more congenial to his habits than the ineager fare of have heard and seen the whole. Marry, I wish, his convent. Even Gillian had the means of subthough, thy last hug had not been so severe a one sistence, since to punish her would have been to disMy ribs still feel the impression of thy knuckles.". tress the faithful Raoul. They quarrelled for the
" Dearest and honoured uncle," said Damian, ex- future part of their lives in plenty, just as they had cuse"
formerly quarrelled in poverty; for wrangling curs " There is nothing to excuse,” replied his uncle, will fight over a banquet as fiercely as over a bare bone. interrupting him. Have we not wrestled a turn Raoul died first, and Gillian having lost her whetbefore now ?—But there remains yet one trial for stone, found that as her youthful looks decayed her thee to go through-Get thee out of this hole speedily wit turned somewhat blunt. She therefore prudently -don thy best array to accompany me to the church commenced devotee, and spent hours in long paneat noon; for, Damian, thou must be present at the gyrics on her departed husband. marriage of the Lady Eveline Berenger."
The only serious cause of vexation which I can This proposal at once struck to the earth the un- trace the Lady Eveline having been tried with, arose happy young man. "For mercy's sake,” he exclaim- from a visit of her Saxon relative, made with much ed, "hold me excused in this, my gracious uncle ! form, but, unfortunately, at the very time which the I have been of late severely wounded, and am very Lady Abbess had selected for that same purpose. The weak."
discord which arose between these honoured personAs my bones can testify,"—said his uncle. "Why, ages was of a double character, for they were Norman, thou hast the strength of a Norway bear.” man and Saxon, and, moreover, differed in opinion
"Passion,” answered Damian, "might give me concerning the time of holding Easter. This, howstrength for a moment; but, dearest uncle, ask any ever, was but a slight gale to disturb the general thing of me rather than this. Methinks, if I have serenity of Eveline; for with her unhoped-for union been faulty, some other punishment might suffice.” with Damian, ended the trials and sorrows of The "I tell thee," said the Constable, "thy presence is BETROTHED.
END OF THE BETROTHED.