« AnteriorContinua »
place. Thinkest thou that He of the recesses of the Hercynian woods, Gaspar double-headed black eagle would not acquired considerable skill as a hunter ; amply reward the sword that cut this had it been to preserve his own life only, fading lily from the earth ?”
he had laid him calmly down upon the “ No more, no more, De Saintefleur !” sod, and resigned that life to famine, or cried Gaspar; “ even from you who to the hungry wolf ; but he had still iwo placed me where I might flourish beneath objects which bound him to existence, that lily's shade, will I not hear this trea- and therefore in the chase the wild-buck son. Rest secure that I will not betray was too slow to escape his spear, and the thee to the King; my life shall sooner be bear too weak to resist his aitacks. given for thine ; but I will watch thee His fate, notwithstanding, preyed heawith more vigilance than the wolf hath vily upon him, and often brake out in when he watcheth the night-fold, and your fits of vehement passion, and the most first step to the heart of Francis shall be bitter lamentations, which at length so over the body of Gaspar de Marcan- wrought upon the grief-worn frame of ville."
Rosalie de Marcanville, that about ten “ Nay, then," said De Saintefleur, years after Gaspar's exile, her death left aside, - he must be my first victim ;' him a widower, when his daughter Adele and immediately drawing his sword, he was scarcely eighteen years of age. It cried alond, “What ho! guards ! trea was then, with a mixture of desperation son !”—whilst Gaspar stood immoveable and distress, that De Marcanville delerwith astonishment and horror. The event mined to rush forth from his solitude into is soon related; for Francis was but too France; and, careless of the fate which easily persuaded that De Marcanville was might await him for returning from exile in reality guilty of the act about to have unrecalled, to advance even to the Court, been perpetrated by De Saintefleur ; and and laying his papers at the foot of the the magnanimity of Gaspar was such, throne, to demand the Ordeal of Combat that not one word which might criminate with De Saintefleur ; but when he had his former friend could be drawn from arrived at the woody Province of the him, even to save his own life. The kind Upper Limousin, his purpose failed him, hearted Francis, however, was unable to as he saw in the broad day-light, which forget in a moment the favour with which rarely entered the Harz Forest, the afflictfor years he had been accustomed to look ing changes which ten years of the severupon De Marcanville ; and it was only est labour, and the most heartfelt sorrow, at the earnest solicitation of the Courtiers, had made upon his form. He might, many of whom were rejoiced at the indeed, so far as it regarded all recollecthoughts of a powerful rival's removal, tions of his person, have safely gone even that he could be prevailed on to pass into the Court of Francis ; but Gaspar upon him even the sentence of degrada- also saw, that in the retired forest surtion and banishment.
rounding St. Yrieux, he might still reside Gaspar hastened to his chateau, but unknown in his beloved France; that the treasures which he was allowed to under the guise of a hunter, he could bear with him into exile, were little more still provide for the support of his gentle than his Rosalie and his daughter Adele ; Adele ; and that, in the erent of his death with whom he immured himself in thé she would be considerably nearer to the dark, and almost boundless recesses of Sovereign's abode. It was, then, in conthe Hanoverian Harz, where his fatigues sequence of these reasons, that De Mar. and his sorrows soon rendered his gaunt canville employed a part of his small reand attenuated form altogether unknown. maining property, in securing a residence In this savage retirement, he drew up a in the dilapidated Chateau, as it has been faithful narration of De Saintefleur's already mentioned. treachery ; and in confirmation of it's It was some time after their arrival, truth, procured a certificate from his that the inhabitants of the Town of St. confessor, Father Ægidius,-one of those Yrieux were alarmed by the intelligence holy men, who of old were dwellers in that a Wehr-Wolf, or perhaps a troop of forests and deserts,- and directing it “ To them, certainly inhabited the woods of the King,” placed it in the hands of his the Limousin. The most terrific howlings wife, that if, in any of those hazardous were heard in the night, and the wild excursions in which he was engaged to rush of a chase swept through the desertprocure their daily subsistence, he should ed streets; yet the townspeople-accordperish, it might be delivered to Francis, ing to the niost approved rules for acting and his family thus be restored to their “where Wehr-Wolves are concerned, rank and estates, when his pledge to De never once thought of sallying forth in a Saintefleur could no longer be claimed. body, -and with weapons, and lighted Years passed away, and, in the gloomy brands, to scare the monsters from their
prey ; but adding a more secure fasten- like a castle-wall. Mass, now! but it ing to every window, which is the Wehr. would be simply the making of my forWolf's usual entrance, they deserted such tune, an' I could but get one of their as had already fallen their victims, with hides." one brief expression of pity for them, and Truly, for a churl," began Dr. Du many a “ Dieu me benit!” for them. Pilon, " an unlettered artizan, thy wish selves. It was asserted, too, that some sheweth a pretty wit ; for a cloak made of the country people, whose dwellings from the skin of a Wehr-Wolf, would for came more immediately into contact with ever defend its wearer from all other the Liinousin forests, had lost their chil. Wolves, and all animals that your Wolves dren ; whose lacerated remains, afterwards feed upon; even, as Pythagoras writeth, discovered in the woods, only half de- that one holding the eye of a Wolf in his voured, plainly denoted them to have hand, shall scare away from him all fallen the prey of some abandoned Wehr- weaker creatures ; for like as the sight of Wolf:
a Wolf doth terrify—" It is not surprising, that in a retired
“ Hark, neighbours ! did ye hear that town, where half the people were with- cry? it is a Wehr-Woll's bark !” exout employinent, and all were through claimed Jerome Malbois starting from bred gossips, and lovers of wonders, that his settle. the inroads of the Wehr. Wolf formed too
“Ay, by the Bull of St. Luke! did important an epoch in their history, to be I, riend Jerome,” returred Bonvarlet ; passed over without a due discussion. “surely the great Fiend himself can make Under pretence, therefore, of being a no worse a howling ; 1 even thought 't protection to each other, many of the would split the very raiters last night, people of St. Yrieux, and especially the though I deem that they're of good seaworthy conclave mentioned at the begin. soned fir.” ning of this history, were, almost eternal " There thou errest again,” said the ly, convened at ihe Chevalier Bayard's Doctor, in a pompous tone, to the last Arms; talking over their nightly terrors, speaker; “ Oh! ye rustics, whom I live and filling each other with such affright, with as Orpheus did with the savages of by the repetition of many a lying old tale Thracia, whence is it that ye possess such upon the same subject, that, too much boundless stupidity? Thou sayest, Jerome alarmed to part, they often agreed to pass Malbois, that they bark; and could I the night over Nicole Bonvarlet's wine imagine, that shooting in the dark, thou flask and blazing fagots. Upon a theme hadst hit on the Greekish phrase, which so intimately connected with magical lore calls them Nučtege vol Kaves, or Dogs of as is the history of Wehr-Wolves, Dr. the Night, I could say thou had'st said Antoine Du Pilon discoursed like a Solo: wisely; but now I declare that thou hast mon; citing, to the great edification and spoken full ignorantly, right woodenly, wonder of his hearers, such hosts of au Jerome Malbois ; thou art beyond thy thors, both sacred and profane, that he square, friend joiner ; thou hast overstepwho should have hinted, that the Wehr- ped thy rule, good carpenter. Doth not Wolves of St. Yrieux were simply like the great Albertus bear testimony, Oh, other Wolves, would have found as little most illiterate! that Wolves bark not, gentleness in his hearers, as he would when he saith :have experienced from the animals themselves.
• Ast Lupus ipse vlulat, frendit agrestis aper,' " Well, my masters !” began Bonvarlet, one evening when they were met, which for thine edification, is, in the vul“ I would not, for a tun of maimsey wine gar tongue, now, be in the Limousin forest to night; But the Wolf doth loudly howl, and the boar
his teeth doth grind, for do ye hear how it blusters and pours
Where the wildest plains, are spread before, By the Ship of St. Mildred ! in a wild night like this, there's no place in the Et idem Auctor, and the same Anthor world like your hearth-side in a goodly also saith, which maketh yet more against auberge, with a merry host and good li
thée, 0 mentis inops ! quor ; both of which, neighbours, ye have to admiration.”
Per noctem resonare Liipus, vlulantibus “ Ay, Nicole,” replied Cuirbouilli,
urbes,' " it's a foul night, truly, either for man which in the common is or cattle; and yet I'll warrant ye that
The wolf by night tbrough si'ent cities the Wehr-Wolves will be out in 't, for
prowls, their skin is said to be the same as that And makes the streets resound with hideons the Fiend himself wears! and that would shut you out water, and storm, and wind,
( To be Caritinued.)
and forests rise behind.
SUBJECT OF THE ILLUSTRATION which for a long period had remained of PRESENTS the fight of Clorinda, a va
a pure unstained Ausonian blue, became liant inaid on the side of the Pagans, with regularly clouded, as the sun neared his Tancred, a knight of Godfreys, who she
western declension ; at which time also, opposes, full of revenge, caused by a chill wind arose, attended with those slighted love. *
marshy exhalations, so noted throughout
the Campagna, as the pestilent source of Tancred bis name-0! grant some happter hour the malaria. Nature was as yet, however, May yield him, living, prisoner
forory Bower! only half rifled of her sweets ; for, in the And sweet revenge appease my restless mind! delightful land of Italy, the natural spirit She said, and ceased! the king the danisel of lile breathes with freedom and health.
heard, But to a different sense her speech referr'd ;
The vineyards groaned beneath their Whfle, mingled with these artful words she gushing and purpled clusters ;-- the fruitspoke,
age hung in ripeness throughout orchard A sigh spontaneous from her bosom broke.
and garden ;-and the flowers of the Meanwhile, her lanee in rest, the warrior. latter blossomed in all their rich and
dame With eager haste t'encounter Tancred came.
beautiful varieties. Their vizors struck, the spears in shivers flew; As if on purpose to disappoint the stuThe virgin's face was left exposed to view ; dious Pietro Giannone of his accustomed The thongs that held her helmet burstin twain; and favourite sunset walk, the dews deHurlod from her head, it bounded on the plola; scended
almost in a shower, and every Loose in the wind her golden tresses flow'd, And now a maid confess'd to all she stood ; thing without doors looked so cheerless Keen flash her eyes, her look with fury glows; and uncomfortable, that he found himself What charms must then her winning smiles compelled to occupy his twilight breathing disclose
time from research, by seating himself What thoughts, O Tancred ! have thy bosom beside a window that overlooked one of
moved Dost thou not see and know that face beloved ?
the principal thoroughfares of the city of Lo! there the face that caused thy amorous
Pavia, and surveying the motley groups pains,
that were passing to and fro on the pavé. Ask thy fond heart, for there her form remains; Here some noble Dama whirled along in Behold the features of the lavely dame,
her chariot to an evening coterie ; and Who for refreshment to the fountain came! The knight, who mark'd pot first her crest there a brawny porter bent under his and shield,
Herculean load. In one corner stood a Astonish'd now her well-known face beheld. She, o'er her head disarm'd, the buckler threw, of water from the public fountain ; and,
patient girl, waiting her turn for a pitcher And on her senseless foe with fury flew ; The f9e retired ; on other parts be turn'ı in another, a knot of noisy urchins had His vengeful sttel; yet still her anger burn'd; congregated for sportive pastime. And with a threatening voice aloud she cry'd,
As twilight deepened, the crowd were Aud with a two-fold death the chief defy'd. Th' enamour'd warrior ne'er returns a blow,
thrown into greater obscurity; but the Nor beeds the weapon of his lovely foe : occasional lighting up of the warehouses But views with eager gaze her charming eyes, of the different merchants, cast a transient From whence the shaft of love unerring flies; gleam over the faces and garments of Then to bimself-In vain the stroke descends; such as chanced' lo cross the openings. In valu her angry sword the wound intends ; While from her face unarm'd she sends the One after another, in rapid succession,
dart, That rives, with surer aim, my bleeding heart! playing in a long vista, down the squares
the street-lamps sparkled brilliantly, disBook III. and alleys, a far-off line of lights, gra:
dually losing themselves in the distant
haziness of night. The fruiterers had THE PNEUMATOLOGIST.
removed their linen-covered stalls; and,
as the gathering stars began to glitter from
on high, the bustle and the business of
As Pietro sat musing, his mind natų.
rally reverted to the theme of his philosoThe year was now on the ware, and phical
researches ; and they had that day, the gorgeous tints of summer were mel. lain among the intricacies of metaphysical lowing into the less obtrusive hues of speculation. He had turned from one autumn. The foliage, so lately of a philosopher to another. He had read and fresh, glossy emerald green, now partook re-read, only to and doubt and perplexity. of a tinge of the sallow; and the sky. All was a labyrinth of intricacy-a chaos
of contradiction-a maze of obscurity* See the Embellishment, 1Upstrative of the 4 sea without a shore! above, page 97,
One result, and one only, was obvious
to him, and that was, the vigorous and spirits having power lv revisit the glimpses unwearied aspiration of the soul after of the moon,' and reveal themselves to Truth,--the deep interest of the mind in earthly survivors, universally prevails. It the knowledge of its own hidden nature is a matter of record, alike in the Talmud and destiny. At the same time, he felt of the Jews—the Iliad of the Greeks chagrined at the miserably narrow and the Æneid of the Romans and the Edda circumscribed view which our human fa. of the Scandinavians. Can such a point culties allow us to take of the subject. of belief, seemingly co-extensive with the
Instead of a solution of those doubts, dispersion of the human race, be other on account of which he had assiduously than an inherent principle in our nature ?" pored over the folios of a host of ethical Vividly did ihe recollection of that sophists, he had ended in greater per- period awaken to memory, when some plexity than he had set out ; for what at years before he had pursued the same first seemed only difficult and tangled, speculations, in conjunction with his friend now appeared a maze without a plan; Vasco Cellini ; and many deep feelings, and his attention, fatigued with grasping interwoven with that remembrance, now at illusive theories, had sunk down into obtruded themselves.
Both were conthat state of dreamy listlessness, which so vinced that the soul was an immortal and uniformly follows qver-excitement. He imperishable essence, embodied for a did not allow his acquiescence in the season in a human and perishable frame; noble belief of Socrates, or the profound yet, where goes it on its inmediate sepaspeculations of Plato, concerning the ration from the body? Lies it dormant soul's perpetuity, to be disturbed by the for ages in the cold grave? Does death cold, hesitating calculations of the Stagy- absolve all its ties to the earth? Is there rite, or the apathetic scepticism of Lucre. an intermediate state between the confines tius and Pliny. From the profane, he of time and eternity ? On some points of had turned altogether to the sacred writ. faith there existed a difference of belief ings,- from the efforts of unassisted between the two friends, and this, even reason, to the illuminated pages of reve- in essentials. Truth is no Janus, it looks lation; and he found that Scripture made but one way; and mentally convinced as that as clear as noonday, which had for- either was, how were they, between them, merly been seen, but as through a glass to elicit conviction ? darkly.'
Their lodgings having been in the same One point of his restless research, how street, they had been accustomed to enjoy ever, yet remained unexplained ; and he each other's company in unceremonious had vainly puzzled himself with the cu. evening visits, at which they talked over rious, but somewhal idle doctrines con- the subjects of their daily researches tocerning the intermediate state of the soul. gether. Once, it so chanced, that after
Deeply aware of their unsatisfactory much unavailing speculation on the subtendency, he had scarcely power to pre- ject alluded to, a colloquy to the following vent his mind from indulging in those effect took place :mystical trains of thought which had be. “ This subject, my dear Vasco, is not wildered the Pneumatologists of the mid- to be unravelled; for, how can we draw dle ages. However, though the reveries sound conclusions from a topic, which is of Cardan, Psellus, Sprenger, and Iam- at best conjectural ?". blicus, were enough to dazzle and mislead " True," answered Vasco, “ but it is the inaginations of romantic enthusiasts, not less on that account a subject of deep they were insufficient to satisfy the judge interest, and worthy of all the investigament of one, so discriminating and logical tion that our limited powers enable is to as Pietro; and though the Gnostics of bestow upon it. I would sacrifice oneearly Christian times, following Plato, half of my paternal inheritance for a sohad atiempted to classify the different lution of my doubts.” orders of angelic beings, and had thus, 10 Pietro, who was perambulating the their own satisfaction, formed a hierarchy apartment with measured steps, stopped of beatified spirits, according to their short opposite one of the windows; and own whimsical superstitions, our inquirer having drawn aside the hangings, exafter truth but too plainly saw, not only claimed—“ How brightly yon myriads that their structure was raised on idle of stars sparkle in the dark blue firinaconjecture, but was in many respects ment! The idea may be foolish, but it repugnant to sound reason and common has often struck me, that the soul may be
transferred from one of those bodies to * Yet," thought he, “it is a curious another, in long succession ; continnally fact, corroborated by the traditions of all in its progressive course, becoming more nations, and by all historians, however and more purified from the stains of its discordant, that a belief in disembodied terrestrial pilgrimage; throwing off its
acquired infirmities; and approximating nis eyelids; and a mystical perplexity to the nature of a pure and blessed spirit.' haunted his thoughts.
“ The idea,” replied his companion, In this uncomfortable, dissatisfied state, " is as novel as it is orthodox; but proof he determined to shake off altogether the -proof-proof, Pietro. We toss as be- disposition to slumber; and, leaving his fore in a sea of idle conjecture. Where couch, he put on his morning robe, is our assurance of such things? Hypo- lighted his taper,--and sat down, in the thesis-suggestion--probability—are not silence of the breathless night, to pursue certainty.'
his metaphysical speculations. Hour " True, my friend, such things are but lapsed away after hour, till at length the idle fashionings out of the inquiring and grey dawn began to glimmer in at the unsatisfied spirit, -whims of excursive casement, fancy, supported neither by revelation, The earliest morning was clouded, but nor logical deduction. These things lie silent; so that the twitter of the swallows ' within the veil,' and are shut out from which harboured beneath the eaves, was the explorations of human intellect. Ima- distinctly audible. Opposite were some gination may hover around ; but, like tall poplars, whose summits stood motionNoah's dove, it brings no token of as less. From the thickness of the air, it surance. Provided, however, it be not a was evident that a heavy dew was fallwarring against the fixed laws of nature, ing :- the silence felt almost unearthly :one of us may at least be made aware of and sorely did Pietro miss his favourite the uth, even before leaving this sub- blackbird, whose sweet, clear, thrilling lunary stage. Do you attend to me ?” song used to welcome in the dawn. The
Í am all attention Proceed.” ticking of the old Venetian clock on the “Well, then, my suggestion is this. staircase, sounded to his painfully attenLet which ever of us die first, return, in tive ear like the audible pulse of time. spirit, for the immediate information of Suddenly a violent knocking was heard at the survivor.”
the street door, the portico over which Agreed, with all my heart,” said almost shewed itself at his window sill. Vasco, proffering his hand, which was He started from his reverie, listening in cordially grasped by his friend :—" But anxious suspense ;-what could it be, this how know we that such things are al. untimely summons ? He did not bestir lowed ?"
himself; but waited a little, in the hope “ At all events," returned Pietro,“ one that some one of the servants would anof us shall learn as much by the issue, in In a few seconds it was repeated, the accomplishment, or the non-fulfilment and more violently, yet not a foot was of this paction. If a disembodied soul may stirring. Pietro lost his self-possession, return io earth, and reveal the mystery, a sudden awe fell shadow-like over his we are individually bound so to do. heart, and almost deprived him of the
Pietro, sitting with his listless gaze fixed power of motion. The third peal sounded, on the flickering fire, felt this conversa- just as, recovering himself, his foot tion repass through his mind, with a vivid touched the carpet. distinctness. Perhaps the same intensely He rushed forward to the window, the renewed perception of the intangible na sash of which he was about to throw upture of the subject, which had occupied when, lo! what meets his view ? He his mind on that memorable evening, bybeholds bis friend, Vasco Cellini, gallopawakening trains of association, had now ing down the centre of the street, on a brought to recollection the ideas con- horse white as the falling snows of Janunected with such an unsatisfactory specu. ary. Behind him streamed a long white lation more acutely.
mantle; and once he reverted his head, As Pietro laid him down to rest, the and waved his arm, as if in token of fareclock struck eleven. The night was calm; well. Could it be real ? Was it not a the city silent; and starry darkness reigned dream ? He glanced round the apaita over the wide, silent, serene hemisphere. ment, and then again after the figure ; Contrary to his wonted habit, his sleep but the illusive pageant had vanished, like was dreamy, disturbed, and unrefreshing. a shadow in the sunshine ; and nought The dim pageantries of by-past years was seen but the voiceless and deserted flitted before his mind's eye in feverish street, under the sombre covering of a and gloomy succession, and mixing up cloudy sky, and wet with the dews of with ihe heavy, lethargic, leaden coinage morning. of the brain, melted away in dim, sha The perturbed and agitated student dowy indistinctness. In vain, turning could not help exclaiming aloud to him. from side to side, he courted the refresh- self" And art thou, my friend, dead ? ing repose which eluded him. Still phan -Hast thou left this earth for ever! tasmagorial crowds awaited the closing of Are we now separated by the gulph of