Imatges de pÓgina

veiled it with that mystery, which conceals it | thur's code of love, and partly from the cusfrom the eyes of the profane. The nearer the tomary edicts. They made sure of the execution intercourse of the two sexes approached Platonic of these decrees before hand, by making all love, the more there resulted from it strange parties swear they would submit to their deciamorous controversies, and it was apparent that sion; besides, no one would have dared to disthe subtleties of the dialectic and scholastic phi- pute the judgment awarded by the most honorlosophy, lent to love that solemn drapery, which able and powerful in the kingdom. There have made it appear amongst the most important and been instances of pecuniary fines, but the puaugust sciences. They soon formed a code of nishment was generally banishment from the love, which a knight of Bretagny brought from Kingdom of Love; that is to say, an exclusion the court of King Arthur to his lady. These from good society and other disreputable pelaws soon formed the basis, from which they nalties. The manner of proceeding was usually eventually judged every thing connected with verbal, and very properly so, in a tribunal conthe Erotic empire. There were, at first, only sisting of judges endowed by nature with an adcasual assemblies of ladies to determine difficult mirable loquacity. They kept records, however, matters of debate; for who could have been to preserve a remembrance of the most celebetter judges of these matters, than those, who brated causes. are not only made for love, but are its most bewitching ornaments.

The following is an example-it happened in the 13th century William de Cabestaing was Although we cannot positively state the pre- accused by the Lady Eleanor de Comminge, of cise epoch of their institution, we find from the having violated the laws of gallantry. "We commencement of the twelfth century, in many will," says the Chronicle, "cite the names of provinces in the south of France, and the ad- the ladies summoned to give judgment on this jacent countries, Courts of Love; of which his- occasion:-Madam de Sabian; the Countess de torians have transmitted to us detailed descrip- Forcalquier; Mesdames d'Ampus, de Blacres, tions. The Courts of Love were composed of de Simiane, de Villeneuve, de Turenne, de a president, and from ten, to sixty counsellors. Montfort; Margaret de Tarascon, the wife of Princes and kings, sometimes became presidents, Berenger, Count of Toulouse; a lady of Ventithey were then called Princes of Love. There mille; the lady of the city of Glandèves; Meswere at each court, many posts and dignities; dames de Sault, de Castellane; the lady de for instance, at the Court of Love, which flou- Pourrières, and the Countess de Porcelet. The rished at Paris, under the presidency of Isabella cavaliers descended from the same families, with de Bavière, in the time of Charles the Sixth, there the exception of Antoine de Boulins, Claude de were two grand huntsmen, one hundred and Montauban, and many others; most of whom eighty-eight keepers of the records and charters had crossed the sea, and made war upon the Saof love; fifty-nine chevaliers of honor, as coun- racens, fought in Bohemia, or been in the sersellors of the court; fifty, as treasurers; fifty-vice of the King of France. The ladies espeseven, as masters of the court; thirty-two secretaries, &c. &c. Among these different classes of dignities, were enrolled names of the most illustrious families, and of the most celebrated men of learning in the state. There were, besides this, many other inferior tribunals, from which they could appeal to the High Court of Love, sitting at Paris. The decisions of the council were called arresta amorum, (love's de-assembly, another led him by the hand, saying, crees), and were taken, partly, from King Ar

cially charged with watching over the preservation of gallantry and chivalrous principles, neglected nothing which tended to this object; they were beautiful and considerate, and decorum was with them the faithful companion of love. The young knight remained outside the barriers. A lady who performed the office of herald, called him three times; he entered the

"Gentle knight, leave your arms without; you



want no other here, than politeness and courtesy; with these, and a desire to please, you will assuredly succeed."

When he heard the complaint of the Lady Eleanor, he blushed, for he was too sincere not to feel embarrassed-he knew not how to defend himself-he feared to offend this amiable tribunal; not being aware that his was one of those causes, which the court had chosen to make merry with. He demanded an official defender, and was permitted to make choice of one of his judges. Approaching the Lady Margaret, kneeling, he presented her with his glove; she accepted it, and, blushing, placed herself beside her client. The defence excited universal interest and applause, and the knight, enchanted with the eloquence of Lady Margaret, threw himself at her feet, to express his gratitude. "The court," said a herald, "grants you permission to embrace your advocate ;" which favour he did not allow to be repeated. The noble knight, Raymond, (husband of the lovely Margaret), wished to protest against it; but they only answered him with bursts of laughter. The court commanded silence, and Eleanor de Turrenne, President of the Court of Love, pronounced the following judgment:-" There is nothing punishable in your conduct, noble knight, but you have not known your duty towards the Lady Eleanor; the court, however, absolves you, and recommends you to be less embarrassed and less timid-to remember it is the duty of a chevalier to endeavour to please, to make love, at all times, with discretion and honour, and to bear in mind, that at any age, ladies are capable of loving, and expect a just return. Take heed of disdaining those who are not young, for there is then greater need of delicacy, honour, and discernment. Go, gentle knight, learn courtesy among the fair, and may the lady of your thoughts pardon you this adventure." Thus terminated these singular proceedings.

There remain many other sentences of a similar kind in various works which treat of these extraordinary tribunals. In our next, we will insert a collection of those rules which served to regulate the decisions and resolutions of the Courts of Love.


FADING flowers, fading flowers,
Ye are like the sadden'd heart,
When it's hopes, like passing hours,
From it, transiently depart:

Ye are like the clouds of even,

As they darken one by one;

When each has had its last faint smile, And farewell of the sun.

But the darken'd clouds have only, When the light of day has ceased; Again to fleet across the skies, To meet it in the east.

And the flowers if fragrant ever, Will a sweetness still retain, But the broken heart will neverOh, never bloom again!


I FOUND the warrior on the plain,
His eyes was fixed-his hand was chill.
Still bore his breast the life blood's stain,
The blood was on his helmet still;
He died as hearts like his should die,
In the hot clasp of victory.

The eye was fixed, but in its gaze,
Look'd the high soul, the crimson'd brow
Was cold, but life's departing rays
Had lit it with a warrior's glow;
The soul that from it swift had flown,
Could not have sought a prouder throne.

I saw the lover's living shade
Shiv'ring in summer's rosiest gale,
The look of woe, the cheek decayed,
The eyes' dark brilliance sunk and pate;
Rather than drag that life of pain,
Give me the sword, the strife, the plain.


SMOOTH'D be that brow, and chas'd the frown
That half obeys thy tardy will,
Nor think to awe my raptures down,
For anger makes thee lovelier still.

In vain thou would'st compel the ire, But lightly felt, but lightly shewn, Thine eyes betray beneath their fire, The pardon thou would'st blush to own.

Then still that proudly swelling breast-
And soften down thy mantling cheek,
"Twas but a kiss-that well expressed
The tenderness I could not speak.



"Ar length motives, partly political, partly generous, induced the Emperor Charles the Fifth, to offer the island of Malta to the Hospitallers. This proposal was soon accepted, and after various negoeiations, the territory was delivered up to the knights, who took full possession on the 26th of October, 1530. Thirty-five years had scarcely passed, when the Order of St. John, which was now known by the name of the Order of Malta, was assailed in its new possession by an army composed of thirty thousand veteran Turkish soldiers. The news of this armament's approach had long before reached the island, and every preparation had been made to render its efforts ineffectual. whole of the open country was soon in the hands of the Turks, and they resolved to begin the siege by the attack of a small fort, situated at the end of a tongue of land which separated the two ports. The safety of the island and the order depended upon the castle of St. Elmo, a fort which the Turkish admiral well knew, and the cannonade that he soon opened upon the fortress was tremendous and incessant. The knights who had been thrown into that post, soon began to demand succour, but the Grand Master, La Valette, treated their request with indignation, and speedily sent fresh troops to take the place of those whom fear had rendered weak.

"A noble emulation reigned among the Hospitallers, and they contended only which should fly to the perilous service. A sortie was made from the fort, and the Turks were driven back from their position; but the forces of the Moslems were soon increased by the arrival of the famous Dragut; and the succour of the viceroy of Sicily had promised to the knights, did not appear. After the coming of Dragut, the siege of St. Elmo was pressed with redoubled ardour. A ravelin was surprised, and a lodgement effected; and the cavalier, which formed one of the principal fortifications, had nearly been taken. Day after day, night after night, new efforts were made on either part; and the cannon of the Turks never ceased to play upon the walls of the fort, while, at the same time, the ravelin which they had captured was gradually raised till it overtopped the parapet. The whole of the outer defences were now exposed the garrison could only advance by means of trenches and subterranean approach; and to cut off even these communications with the parapet, the

Pacha threw across a bridge from the ravelin, covering it with earth, to defend it from fire.

"After this, the mine and the sap both went on at once; but the hardness of the rock was in favour of the besieged, and by a sortie, the bridge was burnt. In a wonderfully short time, it was reconstructed; and the terrible fire from the Turkish lines, not only swept away hundreds of the besieged, but ruined the defences and dismounted the artillery. In this state the knights sent a messenger to the Grand Master, representing their situation, shewing that the recruits they received, only drained the garrison of the town, without protracting the resistance of a place that could stand no longer, and threatening to cut their way through the enemy, if boats did not come to take them off. La Valette knew too well their situation; but he knew also, that if St. Elmo were abandoned, the viceroy of Sicily would never sail to the relief of Malta; and he sent three commissioners to examine the state of the fort, and to persuade the garrison to hold out to the last. Two of these officers saw that the place was truly untenable, but the third declared it might still be maintained; and, on his return, offered to throw himself into it with what volunteers he could raise. La Valette instantly accepted the proposal, and wrote a cold and bitter note to the refractory knights in St. Elmo, telling them that others were willing to take their place: Come back, my brethren,' he said, 6 you will be here more in safety; and, on our part, we shall feel more tranquil concerning the defence of St. Elmo, on the preservation of which depends the safety of the island and of the order.'

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"Shame rose in the bosom of the knights; and, mortified at the very idea of having proposed to yield a place that others were willing to maintain, they now sent to implore permission to stay.

"La Valette well knew, from the first, that such would be their conduct; but, before granting their request, he replied, that he ever preferred new troops who were obedient, to veterans, who took upon themselves to resist the will of their commanders; and it was only on the most humble apologies and entreaties that he allowed them as a favour, to remain in the post of peril. From the 17th of June to the 14th of July this little fort had held out against all the efforts of the Turkish army, whose loss had been already immense. Enraged at so obstinate a resistance, the Pacha now determined to attack the rock on which it


stood, with all his forces; and the Grand Master, perceiving the design by the Turkish movements, took care to send full supplies to the garrison. Amongst other things thus received, were a number of hoops covered with tow, and imbued with every sort of inflammable matter. For the two days preceding the assault, the cannon of the Turkish fleet and camp kept up an incessant fire upon the place, which left not a vestige of the fortifications above the surface of the rock. On the third morning the Turks rushed over the fosée which they had nearly filled, and at the given signal mounted to storm. The walls of the place were gone, but a living wall of veteran soldiers presented itself, each knight being supported by three inferior men. With dauntless valour the Turks threw themselves upon the pikes that opposed them; and after the lances had been shivered and the swords broken, they were seen struggling with their adversaries, and striving to end the contest with the dagger. A terrible fire of musketry and artillery was kept up and the Christians, on their part, hurled down upon the swarms of Turks that rushed in unceasing multitudes from below, the flaming hoops which sometimes linking two or three of the enemy together, set fire to the light and floating dresses of the east, and enveloped many in a horrible death. Still, however, the Turks rushed on, thousands after thousands, and still the gallant little band of Christians repelled all their efforts, and maintained possession of the height.

"From the walls of the town, and from the castle of St. Angelo, the dreadful struggle for St. Elmo was clearly beheld; and the Christian people and the knights, watching the wavering current of the fight, felt perhaps more painfully all the anxious horror of the scene, than those whose whole thoughts and feelings were occupied in the actual combat. La Valette himself stood on the walls of St. Angelo, not spending his time in useless anticipations, but scanning eagerly every motion of the enemy, and turning the artillery of the fortress in that direction where it might prove of the most immediate benefit. At length he beheld a body of Turks scaling a rampart, from which the attention of the besieged had been called by a furious attack on the other side. Their ladders were placed, and still the defenders of St. Elmo did not pereeive them-they began their ascent, but at that moment the Grand Master opened a murderous fire upon them from the citadel, and swept them from the post they had gained. The cavalier was

next attacked; but here also the Turks were met by those destructive hoops of fire which caused more dread in their ranks than all the other efforts of the Christians. Wherever they fell confusion followed; and at the end of a tremendous fight of nine hours, the Moslems were obliged to sound a retreat.

"A change of operations now took place; means were used to cut off the communication with the town; and after holding out some time longer, the fort of St. Elmo was taken, the last knight of its noble garrison dying in the breach. The whole force of the Turks was thenceforth turned towards the city; and a slow but certain progress was made, notwithstanding all the efforts of the Grand Master and his devoted companions. In vain he wrote to the Viceroy of Sicily no succour arrived for many days. The town was almost reduced to extremity. The bastion of St. Catherine was scaled, and remained some time in the hands of the infidels, who would have maintained it longer, had not La Valette himself rushed to the spot; and after receiving a severe wound, succeeded in dislodging the assailants.

"A small succour came at length under the command of Don Juan de Cardonna; but this was overbalanced by the junction of the Viceroy of Algiers. with the attacking force. The bulwark of all Christendom was being swept away, while Christian kings stood looking on, and once more saw the knights of St. John falling man by man before the infidels, without stretching forth a hand to save them.

"A large army had, in the mean while, been assembled in Sicily, under the pretence of assisting Malta: and at last the soldiers clamoured so loudly to be led to the glorious service for which they had been enrolled, that the vacillating Viceroy, after innumerable delays, was forced to yield to their wishes, and set sail for the scene of conflict. The island was reached in safety, the troops disembarked; and, though the Turks still possessed the advantage of numbers, a panic seized them, and they fled. Joy and triumph succeeded to danger and dread, and the name of La Valette and his companions remains embalmed amongst the remains of the noble and great."



"It was with mingled and inexpressible feelings that Edmund found himself, as an enemy, in the presence of the loathed, but terrific Dane. He looked on his

fierce countenance, and measured with his eye the gigantic limbs of the unmoving chief, whose heavy mace resting on the ground, but firmly grasped in his nervous right hand, seemed reposing only that it might strike the surer and deadlier blow. Edmund felt no fear; yet such was the agitation of his feelings, that his limbs were seen to tremble, and his face to wax pale; and all who beheld expected that he would even then abandon his mad project, or too surely become an almost instantaneous victim. But his voice was loud and firm as he now proceeded to summon the Northman to submit.


"Monster!' he cried, by whose crimes this land has been for years polluted, once more are you offered the life which you so ill deserve. Throw down your arms, and submit yourself vanquished-then may you stil! breathe on through a few years of infamy ;-refuse this mercy and your doom is at hand.'

"While he spoke this, Edmund fixed his eye upon that of Hubbo, cautious to read every indication of hostile intent; and became almost instantly assured that such was fo:ming in the breast of his treacherous enemy.

"Saxon cur!' cried the Dane, foaming with rage, 'to such a demand Hubbo has but one reply: take it thus!'

"Lifting his mace, as he pronounced the last word, he sprang forward, and discharging a whirlwind stroke, which had his antagonist been less on his guard, might at once have terminated the combat: but Edmund leaped to the left from the thundering weapon, and passing behind with the speed of thought, let fall upon the undefended right side of the Dane, a stroke so tremendous that the corslet gaped, and the blood rushed forth in a thick stream. A loud shout hailed the blow, but Edmund was not thrown off his guard by untimely exultation. A hideous stroke, as Hubbo threw round the whole weight of his body, instantly replied, and with such quickness, that the youth could not wholly avoid it. The mace struck upon the central point of the buckler with a violence that drove it from the grasp of the bearer, and sent it with a loud clang to the earth, almost at the feet of the spectators. The arm of Edmund was benumbed; and dropped strengthless: but the returning blow was given almost before the shield had reached the ground. Lighting on the left shoulder of the Northman, the keen steel again bit through the armour,-again the red stream gushed forth, and again the shout of the Saxons arose. The fury of Hubbo now became madness; pressing upon

his foe, roaring aloud, and raining down to the right and to the left his hideous blows, he seemed resolved to annihilate the man who singly, had hitherto so foiled him. Nothing but the utmost presence of mind and quickness of eye and foot, could have preserved the Saxon against so tremendous a weapon, wielded by such an arm. It was impossible for him, in the brief interval betwixt the blows of his fell adversary, to attempt without imminent peril, any assault in return. Leaping now backward,-to this side now,-and now to that, he evaded though in momentarily peril of a fatal end, the blows against which no shield, and no armour could have defended him. But he saw the red stream flowing down on either side of the Dane, and expected with every passing instant, that his strength would fail him. No sign of this however appeared, though the breath of the gigantic foe became thick and frequent; and the impatient and fiery youth could with difficulty restrain himself, to a merely defensive contest so long protracted. Already had he trodden with backward step, thrice round the ring of silent spectators, and still the frenzied Northman, with strength unabated, was following. During all this time, the Saxon had not once ventured to attempt a blow upon him, since the mere instant of delay necessary, might have exposed him to the sway of that ponderous club, which would have needed no second stroke. At length however, he darted forward at the instant that the mace had passed him, lightly touching upon his breastplate-and struck with collected force at the uplifted right arm of the Dane. The sword missed its mark, but lighted upon the thick handle of the mace, and shore it in two, close to the gripe. Down dropped. with a dead weight the now harmless weapon; and the silence of the field changed to a thunder-burst of applause. But the sword of Hubbo was instantly forth, and his savage roar resounded above the tumult. Yet not so quick was his motion, but that Edmund, ere the blade of his adversary was drawn, had discharged a second stroke, which alighting upon his breast-plate close below the neck, burst through the iron cavity and inflicted another, and a wider, though slighter wound. But the Saxon was without his buckler, while that of the Northman was on his arm, and the contest appeared still likely to be unfavourable to him. Far superior skill in the use of his weapon,-equal strength and greater agility, were however, more than a counterbalance for this deficiency. He was also unhurt, save from the benumbing blow upon the shield, the effects of which were rapidly diminishing, and was

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