Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub
[graphic][merged small]

THE REGICIDE. habit of a priest; while the rich vest of (For the Parterre).

the other, his gold chain and gilt spurs, declared him a knight. An expression

of cunning and dissimulation pervaded « Oh, my afflicted soul! I cannot pray; And the least child that bas but goodness in him

the fine features of the ecclesiastic, but May smite my head off."-

those of the knight indicated repugnance Beaumont and Fletcher. and disgust.

I seek not the blood of this wretched The meridian sun poured down a flood man,” said the priest ; “but should he of light upon the blue waters of the land in England, the peace of our counEnglish Channel, across which the gentle try will again be threatened. Alas! Sir breeze urged a small vessel, which a few Henry, your brother's broad acres-perhours before had quitted a French port. haps his life, may be at the disposal of Other craft, of various forms and sizes, the outlaw Gournay." from the deeply laden argosie to the light “Peace, peace, father,” replied the skiff of the fisherman, dotted the vast knight; “my brother warred not against expanse of water, while ever and anon, the captive; his sword was never drawn the whistle, the rude song, or the balloo but for his country's weal. When he bespoke the light heart that floated on heard of the cruel butchery of Edward, its bosom.

he wept like a weak woman.” But no sound of mirth or cheerful “ It may be so," rejoined the priest ; ness rose from the small vessel in ques- “but idle tongues have been waggingtion, which moved sluggishly through even my lord bishop hath shared of the the waters. A short, stout, hard-featured scandal. Will the knightly crest escape man stood at the helm, and three others the keen eye of those who boldly check were carelessly looking out forward. at the mitre?Close by the mast, engaged in earnest “Our blessed Lady grant that the conversation, stood two figures, whose guilty may be dragged into light," excostume shewed at once that they were claimed the knight: “let the axe descend not mariners. One of them wore the on the necks of all who rejoiced at the

death of the unhappy prince: my soul pling of feet, and presently a man assickens at the thought that one of his cended the ladder, and came upon the butchers sails with us. Holy Mother, deck, followed by the knight's attendant. fill our sails, and cast the wretch again The follower appeared to have no relish upon the land he has polluted! Gour- for his employment. He stood behind nay, a thousand fiends wait to

the prisoner with a dogged, surly coun« Who calls on the wretched Gour- tenance, while he muttered to himselfnay?” cried a voice from beneath the My stomach loathes this gaolership, deck, which made the monk and the and I care not how soon our man may soldier start. “ Is there no hope of be delivered into other hands ! fah! he mercy? Where is my Lord of Here- is a whining rogue, and fears death like ford--where Lord Mortimer? 'Twas at

a woman, though he is as cruel as the their bidding. Had I not their seals ?' Paynim!”

“ Peace, peace,” said the knight, It will be scarcely necessary to inform stamping impatiently, and the voice sub- the reader, that the man whom he thus sided into a low murmur, broken by characterised was one of the three rufdeep sobs of anguish.

fians who had destroyed their sovereign “ His grief will make him desperate, in his prison, at Berkeley Castle, a few and he will impeach the innocent with years before. the guilty,” remarked the priest.

Wretched, indeed, was the appearance “ What have the innocent to fear of the prisoner : pale and emaciated, he from the ravings of this wretched mang could scarcely totter towards the monk. father?"

His apparel was tattered, and his un“ Alas, Sir Henry, there is much to trimmed beard and hair bespoke the infear. Should this wretch be laid on the difference of one who had long been a rack, I tremble for those whom he may stranger to repose and comfort. denounce. The king hath sworn to do “Mercy, father! mercy, Sir Henry!” justice on all who were privy to his groaned the miserable man, addressing father's death. More than one tongue the priest and the soldier by turns. hath mentioned the name of Penning- “ Give me not up to torture! Why ton."

should the great ones escape, and I their “Ha! mass !” exclaimed the knight, poor slave be hunted down? My Lord grinding his teeth with rage. “Where of Hereford can tell ye that I acted is the villain? Let me know his name, in and the lap of the Virgin shall be no “ Silence, man!” cried the priest sanctuary to the foul slanderer !”

sternly: then turning to the knight, he “ Be calm,” said the monk, “and whispered, “ You see the danger! Many reject not my counsel. I say again the a noble head will be laid low, if the lives of many are in danger while Gour- ravings of this wretch find willing ears.

He must die!” The knight folded his arms, and strode “Mercy, mercy!” again cried the up and down the deck for some mi- prisoner, kneeling and clasping his hands

At length he stopped, and look- in agony, for he guessed that his death ing his companion in the face, he hour was nigh. Why should your said

wrath descend on me alone?-Even my “ And what would you do with this Lord Berkeley left the castle with his man?

company.” He of the cowl read what was passing “Whist! whist !” said the knight in the mind of the querist. He per- fiercely, “and prepare thyself for death ceived that he had not preached to a deaf - thou hast but a few moments to

The knight had taken the alarm, live!” and he again inquired

" Alas! alas !” cried the wretch, as " What should be done?

he wrung his hands in despair, “ why “ Justice, speedy justice,” replied the am I to die thus? Why am I not tried priest; “justice, tempered with mercy, by my countrymen? I may deserve to 't will be merciful to dispatch him at die, but I am the lesser villain!”

- hideous tortures await him in He was again interrupted, and the England.”

nay lives.

nutes.

ear.

monk bid him prepare to make his « William Delaval !” shouted the shrift; but so completely had the fear of knight, after a pause; and a man ap- death bewildered the unhappy man that peared from the cabin.

he turned a deaf ear to the ecclesiastic, Bring up the prisoner.”

and continued to supplicate for mercy. Groans were heard below, and a tram- But nought, save a miracle, could

once

my foe

[ocr errors]

have averted his fate, Several of those Delaval, who overheard this advice, “I who held high offices in the court of the am no headsman!” English king, had rejoiced at the un- “ But you shall perform his office,” timely end of his predecessor, and some said the knight sternly. “Why do'st of them had taken parts in the earlier tremble man? Thou hast showered hard scenes of that hideous drama; they there- blows on helmed heads. I once saw thee fore dreaded the return of one of the re- chine a Picard archer with a stroke that gicides. Gournay had been seized at would not have shamed Guy of WarMarseilles, and was now on his way to wick." meet the reward of his fiendish cruelty. “ But that was in fair fight,” remark

To accomplish the death of this wretch, ed William Delaval sulkily, as he crossed the sea, was the object of was before me, with his sallet on his the guilty ones, and they had chosen a head, and his mell in his hand.” proper agent in the monk, who was now “ Tut,” said the knight, “the man intreating Gournay to proceed with his thou see'st before thee is a murderer – confession.

our lives are in his power.” But he might as well have lectured the The follower grasped the weapon winds. Fear and suspicion fettered the which he still held in his hand, and retongue of the prisoner, who would nei- luctantly approached the prisoner. ther pray nor confess, and remained “ Strike!” cried the knight, “he is kneeling on the deck, wringing his my enemy!” hands, grinding his teeth, and rocking The bright sword was raised aloft, his body to and fro, while he uttered a flashed in the sun beams, and then delow moaning sound, like a wild beast scended upon the neck of the culprit. when held in the toils of the hunter. But the blow was awkwardly struck,

William Delaval looked on, his rough though dealt by no feeble hand. A but honest features distorted into an odd convulsive tremor shook the frame of expression of disgust and contempt. Gournay, and William Delaval averted

“ Mass !” thought he, “how the his face and flung down his weapon with blood-guilty villain writhes at the ap- horror. proach of death; and yet the shrieks of Holy Mother !” cried he, “I canthe poor king could bring no tear in not strike an unarmed man!” his fierce eye, or stay his murderous “ Varlet !” shouted the knight, layhand.”

ing his hand on his dagger, “ proceed The knight and the monk were also with your work!” regarding the prisoner, and conversing The crew of the vessel were looking with each other in whispers.

on the scene with amazement and dread. “ Bring up my great cutting falchion,” Again the sword was raised, again it said Sir Henry; and terror froze the descended, and the head of the regicide vitals of the kneeling wretch, who seem- fell with a heavy splash into the sea, ed at these words to have been struck mo- while jets, of blood spouted from the tionless.

severed arteries. The follower descended into the cabin, “ Cast the body overboard,” said the and presently returned with the weapon. knight, descending with his companion The arms of Gournay were now bound into the cabin ; and in a few minutes the tightly behind his back, and he was headless trunk was hurled into the sea, dragged to the ship's side, and fastened while the crew were busied in washing to an iron ring in the bulwarks, without from the deck of their vessel the traces his making any attempt at resistance. of the execution.

A.A.A. Again the monk approached the prisoner to receive his shrift, but Gournay looked at him with a vacant stare, and

JERICHO BELEAGURED. maintained a dogged silence- fear seemed to have rendered the wretched man

(For the Parterre.) incapable of utterance.

The white cliffs of England now appeared stretching right and left along Now, 'mid the graceful palm, and cythe coast until lost in the distance.

press bowers, “ Time flies,” said the monk, address- Th’escaped of Egypt view those mighty ing the knight: “ let your man smite off towers; his head at once-his soul is lost-- he Tow'rs built to heaven, and ramparts will not confess.”

that defy, “Gramercy, father!” cried William In impious strength, the wrath of Deity.

BY H. GUILFORD.

sits;

men.

See! on each brow distrustful Wonder tinguished my light, and sat down before

a wooden fire, which blazed cheerily, See! o'er each cheek degenerate Terror and listened to the strange sounds which Aits.

it emitted. Sometimes it began a low “ How shall our arms against such walls song, upon one key, and then changed avail ?

to another; sometimes it gave out a What ropes, what engines shall those creaking sound, like the working of maturrets scale?”

chinery; now it was like the sound of “Oh, faint and faithless,” thus their Æolian harps, and now like distant horns, God replies,

and the cracking of whips. At last, it “Though to my throne th' audacious seemed to take the inflections of the castles rise,

human voice ; and I heard this dialogue Ay, though their spires had baffled human begin, which fancy in sleep formed into sight,

a sort of tale. Said the innkeeper's wife Foiled the bold eagle in his sunward to her husband, “ These are not mortal

flight, And cleaving fathoms deep as their ascent, “ I know not,” replied the innkeeper, To earth's mid womb, in vast tempta. “ whether they be mortal men or not, tions, went,

but I know that they are eating a supper What should ye fear, when Israel's mate- like mortal men; and since I cannot less lord,

charge them for eating and drinking, In Israel's battle bares the burning they shall at least pay well for the room. sword?

‘Hush, husband,” said the innkeeper's Enough that I have destined to the fall, wife—“ speak less boldly; you

know Each towery portal and gigantic wall ; not what we may have in the house : for Enough that Jericho, at my co nmand, my part I wish they were out of it, though Grove, street, and palace, waits your I should never see the glitter of their conquering hand.”

coin. I would give a silver florin that Whose was the earth when from its the good Curé were here." Just at that wealthy tomb

moment the fire cracked, so as might reThose ramparts sprang, those gardens present the rap of a Curé; and at the burst in bloom?

same time a new sing-song tone came Whose gracious rain, along the green from it. 6 Welcome, Mr. Curé," said arcade,

the innkeeper's wife; “the presence of Bade the proud palm aspire in stately a holy man does good in an extremity. shade?

A pretty business we have got here, such Whence had they wealth to build; or as never before happened in the city of whence the time,

Trèves, which is as holy a city as any in Or skill to plan those monuments sublime? the king's dominions.

We have got From me alone! and I, who gave them all, three strangers up stairs, who are not Can, at my pleasure, all I

mortal men.' And had my heavenly ministers, in aid Jesus Maria,” said the Curé, and Of Jericho, their bannered hosts dis- he naturally crossed himself, as any other played

holy man would do upon a like occasion. Then, on her towers, in vain had Joshua “Sit down, Mr. Curé," said the innwarr’d,

keeper's wife, “and you shall hear the Those towers that owned Jehovah's sleep- history of the business.” less guard :

The Curé seated himself, and the innHeedless were then the giant bulwark's keeper's wife went on. length,

“It might be about seven o'clock, When God's protection formed their Mr. Cure, and we had just begun to hope and strength,

sup, when a man, upon a large black The open portals then had mocked the horse, rode up to the door, dismounted, foe,

and walked in, and asked if he could And baffled Israel sunk like Jericho!” have a chamber. You know, Mr. Curé,

we are not in the habit of refusing lodgTHE INNKEEPER OF TREVES ing to any respectable-looking traveller ; AND HIS WIFE,

(God forgive me for calling him so !) and for aught that we could know, he

might call for his supper; and indeed One day, at a little inn in the kingdom the supper we were just beginning to eat of Bohemia, on the road betwixt Prague was savoury enough to give an appetite and Doserdorf, after I had dined, I ex- to a man who felt none before. But the

gave, recall.

BY н.

D.

INGLIS,

ESQ.

stranger asked for nothing, but desired The Curé next applied his ear to the door, to be shewn to his room; so the girl to try if he could catch any of their conlighted him up stairs, and my husband versation ; but they were talking in an went to look after his horse, which is unknown tongue, of which he could comno more a real horse, Mr. Curé, than he prehend nothing. At last he pushed is a man; for it had found its way into open the door, and boldly entered, with the stable although the door was shut. his relics in his hand, and the innkeeper But no sooner had we begun to supper at his back. The moment the door was again, than suddenly we heard the sound opened, the steam of rich meats came of laughing and talking in the stranger's floating to the Curé's nose, and the first room, and the noise of people eating and stranger rose, and politely bowing, indrinking; and my husband, who is a vited him to “partake of their cheer.” bold man, crept softly upstairs, and The Curé wisely reasoned that the relics looked through the key-hole, and sure would be as efficacious after as before enough he saw the stranger, and two supper; and he placed himself at table. others, seated at the table, which was Never had he tasted of better meats, or covered with dishes and bottles, and they drank more delicious wine; but as his were eating and drinking heartily, and appetite yielded, he bethought himself of laughing and talking betwixt every what the innkeeper's wife had said of mouthful: only hear!” said the inn- the cook that had dressed the supper; keeper's wife; “ and the smell of the and he began to feel himself somewhat victuals fills the whole house, and never uncomfortable in such company. He did victuals smell so strangely to my nose: looked wistfully at his relics, and hardly it was no mortal cook that made ready less so at the door, uncertain of which he their supper.”

should avail himself; for he began to feel So they all snuffed and listened. The some slight doubts of the efficacy of the noise of the feast, indeed, was loud; but former, after having partaken of the unas for the scent of the viands, the Curé holy supper. Every time he looked up, found nothing extraordinary in it, unless he saw all the six eyes fixed upon him, that it was somewhat richer than he was and there was something in their expresaccustomed to.

sion not calculated to put him much at “ Truly (said the Curé) this is a won- his ease; and every moment he began to derful relation ; — these indeed cannot be wish more and more that his relics were mortal men. But in the church there in the church, and he in his bed. are some relics which have performed From the moment the Curé had taken many wonderful miracles, and I doubt his place at table there had been total not at all that they may have the power silence; but at last it was broken by one of dispersing this unholy meeting: I of the strangers laying his hand upon shall go and fetch them.”

the box of relics, and asking what it con“ Do so," said the innkeeper's wife, tained. "and God speed you !"

“ This," said the Curé, opening it, “I shall be back in a twinkling,” said and not without hopes that the mere exthe Curé.

hibition of the relics would of itself While the Curé was absent, the inn- disperse the meeting, “this is a fragment keeper's wife read her prayers, and the of the stone that killed Saint Stephen ; innkeeper continued his supper.

and this in the small box is a drop of his “ Now said the Curé (as he re-entered, blood.” with the box in his hand) I am ready The two others stretched their necks to go and dissolve the assembly.” So across the table to look at it, and the the Curé walked up stairs with the inn- Curé perceived, for the first time, that keeper behind him, and the innkeeper's all their faces were alike. wife remained at the foot, to await the “I cannot see the drop of blood,” said issue of the enterprise, of whose success the first stranger. she doubted nothing. As the Curé and “It somewhat difficult,” replied the innkeeper ascended the stair, the the Curé; “ but by long habit, I can clatter of plates, and the sound of merri- see it perfectly well myself.” Only ment, were as loud as ever; and it is figure a Catholic Curé 'shewing holy natural to think, that before entering the relics to three devils !! room they would apply their eyes to the Your relic,” rejoined the stranger, key-hole. The feast was going on merrily “ reminds me of a story which I will

the three were carousing joyously, tell you: A man stood upon a certain making vast havock among the ragouts, bridge, and exhibited a hair of the and tossing over huge bumpers of wine. Virgin Mary."

« ForrigeFortsæt »