Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

"Tis the seventh and fatal sign!
Then, Count Arnold-thou art mine !
For the sinking of thy star-
Know another

from afar
Sheds a beain that makes it pale
Which shall at the last prevail
By a mightier must be told-

Till the seventh sign thine shalt hold.”
“Then shall it hold till doom !" whom I have done so much rise to be
said the count. “But I would know Queen of the East? shall my daughter
from thee of Emmeline : shall she for sit upon a throne ?"

“ I have told what fate is thine ;

But for that of Emmeline-
Darkness, thickest darkness clouds it-
A spell thou canst not break enshrouds it :
This alone 'tis given to know-
She shall wed thy deadliest foe ;
Yet thou shalt see thy daughter reign
And_count-no longer I remain-
Words of power and good are spoken,

I must away—thy spell is broken!”
At these words the flame rose sud- to him that the term of his mortal
denly from the altar, and, flashing career would be prematurely ended,
vividly over the chapel, disappeared. and he therefore instructed her, when

“ Villain !" said the count, catching reason first began to dawn, in the arts at Hubert in the darkness, “ this dis- by which the elemental spirits are appointment is thy work ; but I will compelled to obey the behests of men. be revenged.”

He was assassinated by his younger The affrighted Hubert in vain de- brother, and thy parent would have clared that he had not muttered a shared his fate had she not been single prayer, and fled from the cha- warned by an attendant spirit, and pel, pursued by his enraged master. sought safety in flight. After many

“Do thou now retire to thy cham- wanderings she reached the Christian ber," whispered the voice to Jocelyn; principality of Edessa, and was re" and this night shalt thou learn who ceived into the convent founded by the thou art, and who I am."

piety of the Courtenays. The abbess Returning to his room, guided by treated her with the tenderness of a the mysterious light, Jocelyn heard daughter, and instructed her in the the count give orders for the imme- benevolent principles of the gospel. diate confinement of Hubert a dun. Your mother, in return, entrusted her geon, with a strict command that none with the secret of the supernatural should be allowed to hold any commu- power that she possessed, and, at her nication with him. The young page persuasion, resolved never to exercise proceeded without paying any regard it but under the pressure of overto this circumstance, and passed on to whelming necessity. The deceased his couch. Scarcely had he thrown Prince of Georgia had loved me more himself upon the bed when the follow- than any of the elemental spirits that ing narrative was not so much spoken were subject to his skill; I was then in his ear as written mysteriously on perfectly pure, and none but the good his soul:-

could claim my services. I had also “ Thy mother, Jocelyn, was the twice served thy mother, the Princess only child of a Georgian prince, who Zilla, and was delighted with the symhad learned the secrets of mystic pathy she_felt for beings of another power from the descendants of the nature. From a cause thou canst not Magi, concealed in the recesses of comprehend, from a crime thou canst Mount Caucasus. His art disclosed not conceive, a stain came upon the

Her courage

purity of my nature, and I was forced, dered her to be sent, under an escort, for a season, to obey the powers of to the caverns of Carmel. With some evil. My new master was a prince of of the western courtesy which he still the Batheniens, and his service was a retained, he advanced to offer her bitter thraldom. He was engaged in some consolation, and the turban a war against the Christians, and, by accidentally falling from his brow, the agency of his spirits, prevailed in disclosed features that she had once every engagement. By his command seen on the table of her destiny as I watched particularly over a young those of her mortal foe. Frank whom he anxiously desired to rose at the prospect of danger: she obtain as a prisoner, because the heard his honeyed words in silence, powers of evil bad declared that in the and he, auguring from thence that she stranger he would find an associate as listened with favour, gave strict comdaring and as impious as himself. mands that she should be treated with The present Count Arnold, then very all possible respect. When permitted young in years but old in guilt, was to retire and make preparations for the object thus confided to my care. her journey, she had recourse to her Though not past his eighteenth year, father's arts, and summoned me to her the murders of a father and brother presence. I obeyed : she heard the were upon his conscience, and he tale of my miseries, and promised to deemed no crime too great as a price intercede with the prince of our race for the gratification of his ambition. I for my complete pardon. I prepared overthrew his steed in a skirmish near for her the means of rescue. Her Mount Carmel, and kept him fixed to escort set out that night; by my arts the earth until he was secured by a they were led into the plains, and a party of my master's soldiers; and I company of Christian warriors, headed saw him conveyed in safety to the by thy father, brought upon their caverns of the mountain.

track. After a brief struggle thy “A month had elapsed ere I was mother was rescued, and was soon summoned to the presence of the Ba- after united in marriage to thy father. thenien prince: it was at midnight Thy parents returned to Europe, while when I obeyed the call: he stood in Ilderim ruled as a prince at Edessa. his hall of power, accompanied by the He was there married to a Bathenien youthful Frank, who was about to seal princess, by whom he had a daughter; his apostacy, and swear allegiance to one of the captives whom he detained Eblis the prince of evil. I saw him as a slave was the wife of the chief of rend the cross I saw him kiss the the Courtenays, and bad a daughter crescent-I heard the awful Eblis pro- nearly of the same age as Ilderim's. nounce the words, 'He is ours !' and It happened that the renegade's castle all the thrones, powers, and domina- was attacked by a wandering troop of tions in the realms of Zetanai, an- Le Gukians, and stormed at the very swered, “He is ours ! Edessa was moment that he was coming home. attacked by hordes, under the guid- A fierce fight' ensued between the ance of a leader more formidable than Le Gukians and the followers of Ilany that had yet appeared in its plains. derim : in the confusion the Countess The renegade Arnold, disguised by the of Courtenay and the chief household name of Ilderim, led the Moslem to slaves of Ilderim were slain; his wife certain conquest, and the blood of the fled to the woods with her child on gallant Courtenays was spilled in vain. the first aların, and being seized by The convent in which thy mother re- another troop of Tartars, both were sided was surprised and stormed on the carried captives to the desert. In the day that my bondage terminated. contest the castle caught fire, Ilderim The unfortunate nuns were dragged believed that his wife had perished in from their cells by the pitiless barba- the flames, and that Emmeline Courterians, and thy mother was seized as an nay, whom he rescued with difficulty, appropriate present for the chieftain. was his own daughter. She was dragged before Ilderim, who “Ere long the victorious Saladin was struck with her charms, and or- appeared in Palestine, and determined

[ocr errors]

to extirpate the Batheniens : in vain suspicious of evil from oue whom she they had recourse to unhallowed arts, had known so long, and distracted by he was protected by a spell more the torturing recollections which the potent than theirs, and their forces unexpected presence of Ilderim reAed before him as chaff before the vived, she drank the cup of death, and wind. Ilderim saw the signs of im- knew not of her danger until it was pending ruin, and, abandoning Edessa, too late to apply a remedy. Her last returned to Europe, and claimed the thoughts were of thee-at the midinheritance of his ancestors. The night hour she sent for thee, and thou fame of Count Arnold's unexpected rememberest how she wept on thy arrival soon spread through the neigh- cheeks, and told thee that Ilderim, bouring provinces, and at length who had destroyed her, would seek reached the ears of thy father. Hav- thy life also. While she spoke thus, ing known the count in childhood, thy he was communing with the demon sire hasted to congratulate him, and Azaziel, and had learned that destiny invite him to his castle. The count had given to thee a powerful influence was then busied in preparations for over his fate. I had watched this unhis nuptials with his present lady, and holy communion, and I spoke it in two years elapsed before he found an thy mother's secret soul. Exhausted opportunity of accepting the invitation. nature was sinking, and she burst Soon after your birth your mother into wild exclamations, which brought had read the table of thy destiny, but thy father and all the tenants of the its results remained a secret in her castle to her room. Her passionate bosom: she, however, declared that appeal to Ilderim, her obscure hints of her mortal foe would also be thy danger, her predictions of evil threatworst enemy, and that the dangers ening thy life, were understood only threatened by his machinations could by one; the others deemed that she only, be averted by the incessant was insane. She saw their error,

but watchfulness of thy guardian spirits. her efforts to explain accelerated the

“At length the long expected visit effect of the poison, and she expired. of Count Arnold took place: he was Count Arnold remained to console received by the baron, thy father, thy father, and, when on the eve of with open arms, and the baroness was departure, exacted from him a prosummoned to bail his arrival. With mise that thou shouldst be sent hither indescribable horror she beheld, as he to learn the exercises of chivalry. raised his visor, the unforgotten fea. Thou hast seen his power-thou knowtures of the Bathenien Ilderim. She est thy danger; in the hour of worst Aed from the hall with a sudden need and utmost extremity, but not shriek, leaving the baron and his guest before, use the inaternal 'spell, and overwhelmed with astonishment. It the spirit Ayubi will hear thee and was then that she taught thee the holy obey. spell, and the efficacious words that It has taken us long to tell this hiscontrol the powers of evil, and whis- tory, but the whole was presented to pered to thee the secrets which give the mind of Jocelyn at a single glance. dominion over the elemental spirits. Time and place are the limits of our Vested with influence which thou mortal organs, but cannot fetter the couldst not understand, a change soul. Scarce had he comprehended came over thy soul of wbich thou wert the mysterious narrative when a peacescarcely conscious. Since that hour I ful calm fell upon his senses, and he have been bound to thy service, and sunk into repose, from which he woke watched over thy safety.

not until the sun was high in heaven. “The history of his inarriage, which When Jocelyn came forth in the the baron communicated to the count, morning he found the castle in conrevealed to the latter the extent of his fusion, letters of importance had danger. Poison afforded him the reached the baron, requiring his premeans of escape, and the leech sent to sence in a distant province, and it was see thy mother was bribed to ad- uncertain how long his stay would be minister a medicated draught. Un. protracted. Jocelyn sought Hubert,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

to learn some explanation of this sud- of civility. The heart of the countess den resolve, but he was nowhere to be yearned for some object on which she found; and while engaged in the might bestow her love, and she found search he was unexpectedly sum- in Emmeline, her supposed stepmoned to meet the count in the great daughter, one every way worthy of hall.

her affectionate care. The circumArnold had now reached the meri. stances of her early life had cast dian of life

shade of melancholy over the mind of

Emmeline: she had a faint remem“ Over his brow not time alone A blight had in its transit sent,

brance, somewhat like the impression But harrowing griefs and cares had gone,

produced by a horrid dream, of that And left their foot-prints as they went.”

night of terror which had deprived

her of a mother, and her imagination Jocelyn felt involuntary respect mingle loved to dwell on the gloomy topic. with his natural hatred against the The stern dulness that reigned in murderer of his mother, as he gazed Count Arnold's castle increased the on the martial figure, the noble bear- sombre cast of her mind, and the ing, and the proud appearance of the countess was but too ready to deepen count. This was so manifest in the this tendency to sadness. When first obeisance he paid that Arnold noticed Jocelyn arrived at Count Arnold's it, and was delighted as all men are seat, full of youthful spirit, and aniwith the real homage of the soul. mated with the prospects which the “Young page," said he, “thy services magic of hope opens to all in the must be paid to the ladies of the castle dawning of life, the melancholy of the during my absence, but I will give ladies made him wretched in their orders to the castellan that thy chival- company, and he scarcely could force rous exercises shall not be neglected, himself to fulfil the duties imposed on and if, on my return, I find thee per- a page by the custom of the time; fect in the use of arms, thou shalt ac- but when the dangers to which he company me, as squire, to the Holy stood exposed were revealed-when, Land, whither our good King Philip by unaccountable means, he had beand the Lion of England

purpose, ere come acquainted with secrets of terlong, to lead their forces.'

rific import, the disposition of the Jocelyn bowed in silence, and the ladies became more accordant with his count, turning to his squire, D'Arblay, own, and he found delight in congenial said, “ To thee, D'Arblay, I entrust glooin. The change was soon observed the wardship of this castle, and if, on by Emmeline, and she bestowed more my return, I find thy duty faithfully attention on the grave and serious performed, the honour of knighthood Jocelyn, than he could have gained sball be thine, and I will myself be while he continued the merry and thy godfather in chivalry."

jocund page, who thought every hour D'Arblay promised that all his that brought not some new source of exertions should be devoted to the inerriment a blank in his existence. safety of his charge, and the count The increasing similarity of disposisoon after departed.

tion led to an intimacy which the The hours spent by Jocelyn in the countess sanctioned and encouraged. company of the countess and the Lady Its daily progress rendered Jocelyn Emmeline fled by, winged with pleac unwilling to send to his father, as he

The countess knew that she had at first intended, an account of possessed not the affections of her what he had witnessed in the chapel, husband: he had married her for the and before he had prepared an epistle, sake of the broad lands to which she he received intelligence that his father was heiress, and when, after the lapse had embarked once more for the Holy of two or three years, he found that Land. their union was not likely to be The absence of Count Arnold was blessed by a progeny, he withdrew protracted for several months, and himself from her society, and scarcely during this period the intercourse behonoured her with the ordinary forin's tween Jocelyn and Emweline had rapidly assumed a more tender, and kings. Count Arnold had declared even affectionate, character. In an his anxiety to proceed to the Holy hour of confidence, she revealed to Land in the train of King Philip, and him the strange suspicions that some. had sent home orders to arm his vastimes floated across her mind, that she sals ; but months rolled away, and the was not really the daughter of Count expedition had sailed long before he Arnold. “ A chill comes over my made any effective preparation to perspirits,” she said, “ whenever he form his promise. At length he respeaks to me, and my soul feels a turned home when he was least exhorror in his presence; yet my heart pected, and issued orders that instant yearns for the ideal authors of my levies should be made, and that all his being."

sure.

warriors should be ready forthwith to Jocelyn felt some difficulty in march towards Marseilles, where he framing an answer; to tell the his. purposed to embark. At the same tory related by Ayubi he dared not; time he declared his resolution to take but he suggested to her the possibility the Lady Emmeline with him, but of some mistake having arisen on the pereinptorily rejected the petition of night that the castle in the east had the countess to accompany her lord

stormed, and was rejoiced to find and her adopted daughter. Jocelyn her eagerly grasp at the idea.

was placed in command of one division “Some events that I cannot ex- of the count's vassals, and was ordered plain,” she said, "have been pictured to lead them on their way to the seato my sleeping fancy with all the port a few days before the baron proforce of reality. I have dreamed of a ceeded thither also with the main battle-field, where lay a noble warrior body. weltering in his blood, while over him Nothing remarkable occurred to our stood another whose horned bonnet hero on the march: he reached Marshowed him to be one of those assas- seilles on the evening of the fifth day, sins, of whom the crusaders tell us a little before sunset, and, having seen such horrid tales. I once caught a his men safely lodged in their quarters, glimpse of the features that the bon, strolled out to enjoy the, to him, novel net shaded: they were~ I shudder as I sight of the sea and shipping. As he tell it—those of Count Arnold! At paced the shore, he observed that he the same time it was whispered in my was followed and watched by an aged soul that I saw my father and his mur- pilgrim, who seemed anxious to gain derer !”

his attention. Jocelyn approached, Jocelyn frequently recurred to the and tendered him an alms, which the subject of this dream, and endea- other rejected, and then, turning round voured to suggest additional doubts; to see that no one could overhear them, at length Emmeline became firmly he said, in a low, but distinct, voice, persuaded that Arnold was not her “Sir squire, I would speak with you father, and eagerness to discover her alone; follow me at such a distance real parents became with her an ab- as not to attract notice.” The pilsorbing passion.

grim then turned away, and proceeded, The departure of the Kings of Eng, with a speed not at all consistent with land and France to recover Palestine his aged appearance, towards the city. from the dominion of Saladin, collected He passed through its streets with the the best warriors of Europe on the same quickness, and paused not until sbores of the Mediterranean. But he reached the gate leading to the neither religion, nor even the thirst of country, when he stopped for a momilitary glory, could be assigned as ment, and cast a hasty glance round the motive that influenced many sol. to see whether Jocelyn followed. He diers of the cross. Several of the ad- made a mute sign inviting him to adventurers were bankrupts both in for- vance farther, and continued his lasty tune and reputation; they hoped to pace. When they had gone so far as acquire broad lands in Syria, perhaps to lose sight of the wall, be turned to become the founders of new dy- from the road to a narrow pathway nasties—the authors of new races of which led them into a thick grove

« ForrigeFortsæt »