« AnteriorContinua »
of a long narrow lane, in the well-known labour in the field. She was seated on the village of Reydon, where four cross coun- bank opposite the grave, guarding a large try roads terminate, in the entrance to sack of gleaned corn, and the boy, a rosy Goose Green, a piece of common so curly-pated infant of three years old, was called from the number of geese which lying on the unconsecrated mound, playare bred upon it. Each of these roads ing with a branch of ash, scattering the forms a pleasant summer's walk, shaded keys one by one on the turf, and humfrom the heat of the sun by tall bawthorn ming playfully to himself. After some hedges full of fine old trees. The grave preliminary converse, and in answer to a rises to a considerable height in the cen request, that she would relate the history tre of a pretty waste, of a triangular form, of the Dead Man's Grave, “ Alack a day," which attracts the notice of the traveller said she, “ that were a hard matter to do. from each of its approaches. Generally, It was so called before my grandfather's it is covered with a soft mantle of ver- day, but I have heard him tell the story dure, rivalling the emerald in brightness. many a time, and a dismal tale it is, but The ground about it is thickly studded the family names of the parties are gone with broom and stunted black thorn from the memory of man. The lady was bushes, seldom rising to the height of called fair Margaret, and her lover the four feet above the turf, and affording, handsome young yeoman of the green. with their low branches, a shelter for the But his beauty was of no avail, there he violets that open their deep blue eyes be- lies, folks do say, in a very unquiet grave, neath, and grow in profusion around the but how can that be wondered at, when grave, while the more aspiring primrose the spot was never blessed or hallowed by rears her pale star-like crest above the the word of God, and he died by an act of mossy mound, and encircles it with a dia desperation ! My grandfather and neighdem of living gems. When both violet bour Silverstone affirmed they had oîten and primrose have faded before the iu seen Richard's ghost, when the moon was creasing heat of the sun, the harebell bright, hovering round the pool in which comes forth in her beauty, entwining her he drowned himself, but at the sound of slender flowers among the gay, garish human steps he always disappeared in the blossoms of the purple heath and yellow water." broom. The voice of the bee murmurs The old woman proceeded :-" Many, there through the long days of summer, many years ago, lived at the old hall, you and the blackbird trolls his merry lay left to the right of you, when you took from his bower of May-flowers, and is the road that brought you bither, a very answered by his rival minstrel of the grand family-one of those, which our old grove, the lively thrush, from the clerk says, came from foreign parts, when branches of the lofty elms which soar far England was conquered in the olden time. above his head. In truth, it is a lovely The lord, who held all these manors, had quiet spot, and I have often thought it an only son, a youth of great promise, would make a pretty picture.
who was finishing his education abroad. The green is nearly a mile in length, The last of his race, and having no young and exhibits in detached groups, several kinsmen, he was very fond of his fosterspecimens of thestyle of architecture which brother, the son of a stout yeoman who existed two centuries ago, the high tur rented a fine farm on the green, and mayreted chimneys and lofty indented roofs bap lived in that old-fashioned white house peeping from between fine old walnut and with the great firs before it. The young elm trees, conveying in this age of luxus lord, however, was plain in face, and ries, the idea of a good substantial coun mean in stature, while Richard was retry residence for the yeoman or farmer. marked for the beauty of his countenance, The history of the Dead Man's Grave has and the comeliness of his form, and though been related to me, with variations, by lowly born, had the carriage and dignity many different people; but the account of a prince. Many a damsel of high dewhich most interested me was from the gree was fain to cast an eye of affection lips of an old woman, born and brought on the handsome young yeoman. But up in a cottage on the green, whieh had Richard was true to one, and she was as been rented by her father and grand- dear to his heart as light to the blind, or father, and whom I considered a worthy health to the sick. Fair Margaret was chronicler of every strange legend con- the grand-daughter of the rich old 'Squire neeted with the spot.
who lived in the mansion-house just off It was one of those warm still evenings the Green, and though she secretly prewhich often occur at the latter end of ferred Richard to all her many wooers, August, that I met the 'dame-her and she held him as a fellow of no reckoning, ber grandson-returning from her day's and one far beneath her. Yet who shall
say nay to love-wlio has humbled in all deep on the ground, that the lovers could
“The summer passed on, and they love, the young lord of the manor returned met here every evening; and mayhap he from France; and hearing that his old has whispered many a love tale to the neighbour, the Squire, was in London, he maiden beneath the shade of the veryelm paid him a visit, and became deeply enaunder which we are sitting. At length moured with fair mistress Margaret. Richard entreated her to allow him to ask Margaret was bewitched with the idea of the old Squire's consent to their union; being called My Lady; and though the for he was an only son, and his parents young lord was very plain in his person, were wealthy people. But she dreaded the and grave in his conversation and deportold man's wrath, and put him off by tel. ment, she joyfully accepted his proposals. ling him that her grandsire was an aged This was the middle of May, and the wedman, bending beneathinfirmities--that he ding-day was to take place the first week might die, and then she should be her own in June, and the family returned into the mistress : and, if he waited patiently, all country to make the necessary preparawould be well.
tions for the bridal. The news of the “ Winter set in earlier than vsual, and grand match she was ahout to form spread a cold winter it was, and the snow lay so like wildfire through the country, Richard
was the first to hear the fatal intelligence. mind ill at ease. Never had he appeared If this be true,' said he, dashing his so handsome in her eyes; and but for hand against his head, 'there is no faith very shame and pride, she would have in woman, no honour in this world. O, called him back and renewed her old Margaret! Margaret! think you the God, promises. who witnessed your vows, will shut his “Early the next morning, her waiting eyes on your falsehoold ?-I will see her woman knocked at her chamber door, and myself,' he cried, 'and learn from her told her, by way of news, that the body own lips the truth of this horrible tale.' of the young yeoman had been discovered He rushed with all speed towards the in the pool at the bottom of the garden ; mansion house. The gay London servant and that the quest was shortly to be held did not know him, and when he asked to on hiin at the next cottage. What she speak to Mistress Margaret he was readily felt on the occasion is known only to heradmitted. Little thinking who was the self: if it was agony, she suppressed it; visitor, she entered the room with a smil. if remorse, she hid its pangs from the obing countenance; but when Richard ad- servation of those around her. From that, vanced to meet her, she cast a hasty glance moment his name never passed her lips, on his agitated face, turned her back on nor did she once allude to the circumhim, and would have quitted the apart- stances which led to his death. When ment, but he caught her clothes and de- told that he was buried in the cross-ways tained her.
on the very spot where they had so often "' After all your solemn promises-allmet, she was seen to shudder and turn your vows of love and constancy—is it pale; but if she wept, it was when noeye thus, Margaret, we meet? Has your saw her, and people marvelled at the visit to the great city learned you to be hardness of so young a heart. Even her false hearted, or were you all along de- lover was troubled in spirit, for he had ceiving me?' Sobs choked his utterance, tenderly loved the unhappy youth. The and he sank weeping at her feet. Marga- preparations went on just the same for her ret gazed on her stricken lover till tears wedding, and the night before that joyful came into her own eyes; but she called event was to take place, Margaret compride to her aid, and though she still loved plained of a pain in her head, and retired him, she hardened her heart against him. early to rest. It was a beautiful moon
" "Richard !' she said, 'I beseech you light evening; and the woodbine and the rise, and leave the house directly. Your new-mown hay smelt as sweetly as they being here will expose me to the displea- did that day twelvemonth, when she had sure of my grandfather. You must be plighted her faith, beneath the shade of well aware that a lady of my birth and the elm, to Richard of the green. She fortune is no mate for you.'
looked out on the face of nature-but " "Oh, God ! it is true then !' he called there was no joy in her heart. She paced out in an agony of sorrow; 'it is your to and fro, and listened, and started at own voluntary act and deed that condemns every sound. Her old nurse marked her me to despair. Cruel, treacherous lady! disquietude, and called to her to undress how often have I held this lovely form in and come to bed. She knelt down, and my trembling arms—how often have I felt tried to pray, but her spirit was sore your heart throb against mine, as I vowed troubled, and she could only sigh and on those sweet lips eternal constancy? groan; and when she lay down on the Margaret! I have kept my.vow; and pillow, she muttered to herself, and turnthink you that heaven will so easily for- ed from side to side, till the old woman get yours?
said it was fearful to hear her lamenta« Insolent peasant! returned the tions. At length, all was still, till about scornful maiden, you do well to insult the dead hour of the night; when they me by recalling my weakness. I knew heard a sweet voice singing beneath the not the crime I was guilty of when I window, and Margaret few up in the bed stooped to listen to you. Instantly leave to see whom it might be; but fear came my presence !' Richard rose from the upon her, and she sank dowp weeping on ground, and regarded her with a glance the pillow. But it was Richard's voice, which she never afterwards forgot. “Fare- and the old nurse heard his song on that well, Margaret !' he said ; ' you have this night, and she often afterwards repeated day rent my heart in twain. I shall be the words, which as nearly as I can recolhold you
in this world no more. I wish lect were these :you joy of your splendid bridal. He whom you have chosen is deserving of a better bride. Farewell! be happy if you
Pale shines the moon on my grave, Margʻret, can in another's woe!' He left the room, But colder far is thy heart, Marg'ret,
Oh, cold, cold, are her beams! and she stood looking after him with a Than ice on the wintry streams.
Till thou art in the dust!
Mly grave is dark, and deep, Marg'ret; tiful Margaret laid in the silent dust, then
left the country for many years, till the
of the old things had nearly died
away. But I have heard the people say, •Thou art thinking of titles and wealth, that on the first of June a white shadow Marg'ret,
is seen at midnight lying upon this grave; Thou art thinking of rich array, But thou never shalt be a bride, Marg'ret,
and they doubt not that it is the ghost of Or smile on the coming day!
her whom heaven requited for her pride
and perjury."--La Belle Assemblee.
Beneath yon paly moon;
ILLUSTRATIONS OF HISTORY. "Then come and dwell with me, Marg'ret,
Sweet smells the yellow broom,
This military order had its commence
ment in the year 1118. When certain (You need not fear the storm, Marg'ret,
religious knights under Hugh de Paganis The hail or sleety shower; For the grave is as still and calm, Marg'ret,
and Godfrey de St. Andomaro, engaged As the boly twilight hour.
themselves in the service of the Church,
and proceeded to the Holy Land, where No sound disturbs iny sleep, Margʻret,
they determined to form a brotherhood. But the heavy thought of thee
Upon their arrival at Jerusalem they held
a council among themselves, to consider
what acts they should do that might be a • For theel bartered heaven, Marg'ret,
service acceptable to God, and being And every holy trust;
informed that the town of Zaff was inAnd my soul will find no peace, Marg'ret, fested by hordes of marauders, who sub
sisted by preying upon the pilgrims that “Then come to my lowly grave, Margʻret,
resorted to the Holy Sepulchre, they reThy true love waits for thee;
solved upon dispersing the robbers : their Resign each earthly tie, Marg'reta
intention was by so doing to render all Haste! haste! and sleep with me.'
the approaches to Jerusalem safe. Their
good undertaking gained them the coun“ All the time this sad song was sing- tenance of King Baldwin II, who assigned ing, Margaret lay trembling like an aspen unto them a house adjoining the Temple leaf. At length the voice died away on of Solomon, from which circumstance they the night breeze, and the maiden sprung derived the name of Knights Templars. from the bed. • It is the voice of my King Baldwin and the Patriarch of love,' she cried, 'my murdered love.- Jerusalem, finding that success attended List! he calls me, and I must not stay.' their actions, offered to supply them with
“ The old woman, shaking with terror, all necessary provisions, as their poverty tried in vain to hold her. She darted from
was extreme; in token of which Fuller the chamber, and, undressed as she was, says, “they gave for their seal two men left the house. The old crone also arose ; riding upon one horse,” and hence it was but for a long time her fears hindered her that if any of their fraternity fell into the from following the maiden. At length hands of the infidels, that their ransom she gained courage to call up some of the was always a sword and a belt, it being servants, who instantly went in search conceived that their poor state could of their young mistress. The sun had well afford no higher price. During the first nigh risen when they reached the Dead nine years they experienced such great Man's Grave; and his first rays glanced privations that they were often compelled on something white, that was stretched to resort to the degradation of asking alms over the newly-raised turf. On approach- for their support from well disposed pering the spot, they found it to be her whom sons, although their modest deportment they sought; but the breath of life was and the valiant services they performed no longer in her nostrils. The wind lifted made them acceptable unto all, insomuch* the long tresses of fair hair, which were that their feats and praise-worthy actions scattered over her face, but the ashy hue made many desirous of joining them, of the cheek they shaded was chilled by thereby augmenting their numbers, and the hand of death. The body was in- being the occasion of their receiving the stantly removed to the mansion bouse'; full countenance of those high personages and I trow there was wailing and weeping that had so long been wanting towards in hall and bower for the loss of the fair them. The King, the Prelates, and bride. Her promised lord saw his beau- other rich men now gave thein sums of
money as well as grants of land, to be the Fair of France, the grand master held by them either for a set term of James of Molai was burned at Paris. The years, or to the end of their institution. whole order throughout Europe was im. At this period the order that was begun prisoned,and many of the Knights,against at first by nine individuals, might now whom singular acts of cruelty and exboast of containing three hundred knights, tortion had been proved, were executed sworn to protect the pilgrims from the in various provinces, and the whole of cruelty of the infidels, and keep the their possessions seized upon. The order passes free for such as undertook the voy- being abolished the year previous to their age of the Holy Land. The rules for being found guilty of the above enumethe regulating of their fraternity were rated enormities, by a decree of a genemade at the council of Troyes in Cham- ral council held at Vienna, under Pope pagne, when Pope Honorius, at the re- Clement V., 4th of Edward the II. Afquest of Stephen the Patriarch of Jeru. ter this, Clement, in the 7th year of his salem, prescribed to them the wearing of papacy, gave the principal part of their a white garment, and afterwards, in 1146, possessions to the Knights Hospitalars of Eugenius III added a cross to be set upon St. John of Jerusalem. the shoulder part of their cloaks. The The first settlement of the order in order performed their vows in the pre- England, was in Holborn in London, but sence of the before meutioned Patriarch, their chief residence was the place called of obedience, poverty, and chastity, and the New Temple; in Fleet-street, which to live under the rule of the regular they erected, together with a Church canons of St. Augustine. When the kvights (built after the form of the Temple at were at war, their banner was half Jerusalem) which Church was dedicated white, the other black, signifying white to God and our Blessed Lady by Heracand fair to Christians, but black and ter- lius, Patriarch of Jerusalem, in the year rible to their enemies.
1185, the 31st of Henry II, who was The Knights Templars (according to present at the ceremony attended by most Dugdale), wore linen coifs and red caps, of the nobles. close over them; their bodies were en In the thirteenth century the entertaincompassed in shirts of mail, with swords ments given by the Templars were often hanging from their girdles; over the above honoured by the presence of the King, they had a white cloak which reached to the pope's nuncio, foreign ambassadors, the ground, with a cross on the left and the chief of the nobility of the land. shoulder of it. The beards of the members The King's treasure was accustomed to of this order were worn of great length, be kept in the part now known as the whereas most other orders were close Middle Temple, and from their chief shaved.
officer, who as master of the Temple, was The order of the Templars now went summoned to Parliament in the 47th of on flourishing, increasing in numbers, and Henry III, the chief master of the Temdaily gaining fame, being high in favour ple Church is still called the Master of with all the Christian potentates of Eu- the Temple. rope, great in wealth, and its attendant
Among the liberal benefactors to this power, till their excessive pride drew on order was Henry II, who gave to it the them the indignation of those who had water course of Fleet, with the buildings been attached to them. One of the acts of standing near the bridge, together with their proud and insulting independence land to erect a mill upon, near Castle was the withdrawing themselves from the Baynard. He alsu granted the church of patriarch of Jerusalem, and joining with Clement Danes to them. Henry III gave the pope. But in the end they did not find their Masters and Brothers of the Order, the favour from his holiness which they and their successors, the annual sum of expected, for by him, charges were pre- £8, to be paid out of the Exchequer, to ferred against them forrapacious actscom maintaiu their three Chaplains. And he mitted by them, such as plundering the also gave his body upon his disease, as a christians,the attacking of crowned heads, deed of grapt unto them to be buried in and seizure of their estates, the holding of their Church, which grant was followed correspondence with the infidels, the giv- by a similar one of his Queen Eleanor. ing of advice to the Soldan of Egypt, The abiding place of the Templars in which information gave him an opportu- Fleet-street, was ordained a place of vity of surprising and taking prisoner the sanctuary by Pope Innocent, they had Emperor Frederick II. who had then made also another privileged place called the an expedition to the Holy Land. Being parish garden in Southwark, granted to convicted of these crimes, and other them by John Duke of Bedford. Among charges for impiety, by commissioners ap- the various other parts of England, where pointed by Pope Clement V., and Philip they possessed manors, lands, &c. may