« AnteriorContinua »
him, as the Normans of these days and for God's sake be merciful to me and thought it right to deal with Jews.- to my aged father! These ornaments are Cedric, the sharer of their perils, of value, yet are they trifling to what he the father, and the daughter, are con
would bestow to obtain our dismissal from
this castle, free and uninjured.' veyed to separate prisons, there to await their separate dooms-while the the outlaw, these pearls are orient, but
"• Fair flower of Palestine,' replied wounded and helpless Ivanhoe, and they yield in whiteness to your teeth ; the the rest of those that attended them, diamonds are brilliant, but they cannot are flung into dungeons, there to abide match your eyes ; and ever since I have the issue of the troubles of their sup- taken up this wild trade, I have made a vow posed superiors. With the different to prefer beauty to wealth.' scenes that occur in this castle, during
6s • Do not do yourself such wrong,' said the day these captives spend there, Gold will purchase you pleasure,—to mis.
Rebecca ; • take ransom and have mercy ! the whole of the 2d volume is filled and it is in this part of the book, per- father" will willingly satiate thy utmost
use us, could only bring thee remorse. My haps, that the most striking delinea- wishes ; and if thou wilt act wisely, thou tion of the spirit of those tumultuous may'st purchase with our spoils thy restoratimes is to be found.
tion to civil society--may'st obtain pardon While her father is in peril of rack for past errors, and be placed beyond the and fire unless he consents to purchase necessity of committing more.' his freedom by giving up almost the
" It is well spoken,' replied the outlaw whole of his wealth, the beautiful in French, finding it difficult probably to Jewess is threatened with a fate neither
sustain in Saxon a conversation which Re. less dark nor less severe.
becca had opened in that language ; but
The high know, bright lily of the vale of Bacca ! and majestic spirit of the damsel, that thy father is already in the hands of a expressed in the style of her beauty powerful alchemist, who knows how to con. and demeanour, forms the very
charm vert into gold and silver even the rusty bars that has fascinated and subdued the of a dungeon grate. The venerable Isaac proud-souled Templar Bois-Guilbert; is subjected to an alembic, which will di. but he little suspects what a bar
stil from him all he holds dear, without any rier the very element of his cap- Thy ransom must be paid by love and
assistance from my requests or thy entreaty. tivation is about to oppose against beauty, and in no other coin will I accept the fulfilment of his guilty wishes. it." An old Saxon hag, the worn-out “Thou art no outlaw,' said Rebecca, harlot of Fronte-de-Bouf, is dis- in the same language in which he addressed placed from her apartment at the sum- her ; no outlaw had refused such offers. mit of one of the towers of the castle to No outlaw in this land uses the dialect in make room for Rebecca--and it is here which thou has spoken. Thou art no outthat she receives the first visit of her law, but a Norman-a Norman, noble per. lover. • He woos her as the lion woos
haps in birth-0 be so in thy actions, and his bride.”
cast off this fearful masque of outrage and
violence. “ The prisoner trembled, however, and
" • And thou, who canst guess so truly, changed colour, when a step was heard on
said Brian de Bois-Guilbert, dropping the the stair, and the door of the turret cham
mantle from his face, * art no true daugh, ber slowly opened, and a tall man, dressed ter of Israel, but in all, save youth and as one of those banditti to whom they owed beauty, a very witch of Endor. I am not their misfortune, slowly entered, and secured an outlaw, then, fair rose of Sharon. And the door behind him; his cap, pulled down
I am one who will be more prompt to hang upon his brows, concealed the upper part of thy neck and arms with pearls" and diahis face, and he held his mantle in such a monds, which so well become them, than to manner as to muffle the rest. In this guise, deprive thee of those ornaments.' as if prepared for the execution of some deed 16. What would'st thou have of me,' at the thought of which he was himself a. said Rebecca, . if r.ot my wealth ?--We can shamed, he stood before the affrighted pri- have nought in common between us--you soner ; yet, ruffian as his dress bespoke him, are a Christian--l am a Jewess-Our union he seemed at a loss to express what purpose were contrary to the laws, alike of the had brought him thither, so that Rebecca, church, and the synagogue.' making an effort upon herself, had time to “ • It were so indeel,' replied the Tempanticipate his explanation. She had already lar, laughing : ' wed with a Jewess ? Desa unclasped two costly bracelets and a collar, pardieux !– Not if she were the queen of which she hastened to proffer to the suppos. Sheba. And know, besides, sweet daugh. ed outlaw, concluding naturally that to gra.
ter of Zion, that were the most Christian tify his avarice was to bespeak his favour. king to offer me his most Christian daugh
* * Take these,' she said, 'good friend, ter, with Languedoc for a dovry, I could not
wed her. It is against my vow to love any ner, and under high penalties, such intrigues maiden, otherwise than par amours, as I as he now prosecuted, and that, in some in. will love thee. I am a Templar. Behold stances, even degradation had followed upon the cross of my holy order.'
it thou art sharp-witted,' he said, . but «« • Darest thou appeal to it,' said Re- loud must be thy voice of complaint, if it becca, on an occasion like the present.'. is heard beyond the iron walls of this castle ;
** ¢ And if I do so,' said the Templar, within these, murmurs, laments, appeals • it concerns not thee, who art no believer to justice, and screams for help, die alike in the blessed sign of our salvation.'
silent away. One thing only can save thee, “ • I believe as my fathers taught,' said Rebecca. Submit to thy fatemembrace our Rebecca ; and may God forgive my belief religion, and thou shalt go forth in such if erroneous ! But you, Sir Knight, what state, that many a Norman lady shall yield is yours, when you appeal without scruple as well in pomp as in beauty to the favouto that which you deem most holy, even rite of the best lance among the defenders of while you are about to transgress the most
the Temple.' solemn of your vows as a knight, and as a " • Submit to my fate !' said Rebeccaman of religion ?
• and sacred Heaven! to what fate? -_em. “• It is gravely and well preached, 0 brace thy religion ! and what religion can it daughter of Sirach!' answered the Temp- be that harbours such a villain thou the lar; but, gentle Ecclesiastica, thy narrow best lance of the Templars ! craven Knight! Jewish prejudices make thee blind to our forsworn Priest ! I spit at thee, and I high privilege. Marriage were an endur- defy thee. The God of Abraham's promise ing crime on the part of a Templar; but hath opened an escape to his daughter-even what lesser folly I may practise, I shall from this abyss of infamy.' speedily be absolved from at the next Pre- " As she spoke, she threw open the latticed ceptory of our Order. Not the wisest of window which led to the bartizan, and in an monarchs, not his father, whose examples instant after, stood on the very verge of the you must needs allow are weighty, claimed parapet, with not the slightest screen be. wider privileges than we poor soldiers of the tween her and the tremendous depth below. Temple of Zion have won by our zeal in its Unprepared for such a desperate effort, for defence. The protectors of Solomon's Tem. she had hitherto stood perfectly motionless, ple may claim licence by the example of Bois-Guilbert had neither time to intercept Solomon.'
nor to stop her. ' As he offered to advance, «« « If thou readest the Scripture,' said she exclaimed, • Remain where thou art, the Jewess, and the lives of the saints, proud Templar, or at thy choice advance ! only to justify thine own license and profli- one foot nearer, and I plunge myself from gacy, thy crime is like that of him who ex- the precipice; my body shall be crushed out tracts poison from the most healthful and of the very form of humanity upon the necessary herbs.'
stones of that court-yard, ere it becomes the The eyes of the Templar flashed fire at victim of thy brutality.' this reproof". Hearken,' he said, “ Re- “ As she spoke this, she clasped her becca ; I have hitherto spoke mildly to
hands and extended them towards Heaven, thee, but now my language shall be that of as if imploring mercy on her soul before she a conqueror. Thou art the captive of my made the final plunge. The Templar hesibow and spear-subject to my will by the tated, and a resolution which had never laws of all nations, nor will I abate an inch yielded to pity or distress, gave way to his of my right, or abstain from taking by vio admiration of her fortitude. • Come down,' lence what thou refusest to entreaty or
he said, “ rash girl !—I swear by earth, and necessity.'
and sky, I will offer thee no offence.' “Stand back,' said Rebecca- stand
6. I will not trust thee, Templar,' said back, and hear me ere thou offerest to com- Rebecca ; ' thou hast taught me better how mit a sin so deadly! My strength thou to estimate the virtues of thine Order. The may'st indeed overpower, for God made next Preceptory would grant thee absolution women weak, and trusted their defence to for an oath, the keeping of which concerned man's generosity. But I will proclaim thy nought but the honour or the dishonour of villany, Templar, from one end of Europe a miserable Jewish maiden.' to the other. I will owe to the superstition " • You do me injustice,' said the Tem. of thy brethren what their compassion plar ; ' I swear to you by the name which might refuse me. Each Preceptory-each I bear-by the cross on my bosom-by the Chapter of thy Order, shall learn, that, like sword on my side-by the ancient crest of a heretic, thou hast sinned with a Jewess. my fathers do I swear, I will do thee no inThose who tremble not at thy crime, will jury whatsoever. If not for thyself, yet for hold thee accursed for having so far dishon- thy father's sake forbear. I will be his oured the cross thou wearest, as to follow a friend, and in this castle he will need a daughter of my people.'
powerful one.' *** Thou art keen-witted, Jewess,' re- " • Alas!' said Rebecca, ' I know it but plied the Templar, well aware of the truth too well-dare I trust thee?' of what she spoke, and that the rules of his *** « May my arms be reversed, and my Order condemned, in the most positive man. name dishonoured,' said Brian de Bois
Guilbert, • if thou shalt have reason to com- array of archers and ill-armed peaplain of me! Many a law, many a com. sants, however, would have been of mandment have I broken, but my word little avail against the proud Norman never.'
castle of Front-de-Bæuf, had they «« « I will then trust thee,' said Rebecca, not been fortunate enough to secure • thus far,' and she descended from the verge the assistance and guidance of one well of the battlement, but remained standing skilled in every variety of military enclose by one of the embrasures, or machicolles, as they were then called. • Here," terprise. This is the knight of the she said, • I take my stand. Remain where Fetterlock, or, in other words, King thou art, and if thou shalt attempt to dimi- Richard himself, who, in passing nish by one step the distance now between through the forest, has already formed us, thou shalt see that the Jewish maiden
an acquaintance with some of the will rather trust her soul with God, than her Merrymen of Robin Hood, and who has honour to the Templar.' and firm resolve, which corresponded so well deliverance of Ivanhoe, and his other * While Rebecca spoke thus, her high come, a willing ally, to assist, by his
personal conduct and prowess, in the with the expressive beauty of her countenance, gave to her looks, air, and manner, captive subjects, from the hands of a å dignity that seemed more than mortal. set of lawless ruffians, whose hostility Her glance quailed not, her cheek blanched to his own just sway has been not less not, for the fear of a fate so instant and so than their cruelty towards the Saxons horrible ; on the contrary, the thought that of his kingdom. The description of she had her fate at her command, and could the siege of the castle by these forces, escape at will from infamy to death, gave forms another most vivid and splendid a yet deeper colour of carnation to her com. plexion, and a yet more brilliant fire to her which it is easy to recognise the fiery
piece of painting, in every line of eye. Bois-Guilbert, proud himself and highspirited, thought he had never beheld beauty touch of the Poet of Marmion. After so animated and so commanding.
many unsuccessful attacks, the outer “ • Let there be peace between us, Re- court of the castle is at last gained by becca,' he said.
the strength of the single arm of the • 6 Peace, if thou wilt,' answered Rebec- king, who beats the postern-gate into Cam Peace but with this space between.' fragments with his far-famed battle«« Thou need'st no longer fear me,' said
axe. The giantFront-de-Bæuf, receives Bois-Guilbert.
I fear thee not,' replied she ; " thanks from his hand a wound which entireto him that reared this dizzy tower so high, ly disables him from continuing in that nought could fall from it and live- - The Templar, Bois-Guilbert, is thanks to him, and to the God of Israel. laid prostrate by the same force; but I fear thee not.'
being desired to ask his life or peWe can with difficulty imagine any rish, he refuses to make any submis. thing finer than the mixture of nor- sion to an unknown enemy. Richard thern and oriental sublimities in the whispers a word in the Templar's ear, high-wrought passions of the persons which immediately produces the most of this scene; and yet of both there submissive and reverent demeanour on are still more striking specimens be- his part. The monarch knows Brian hind. In the mean time, however, well-he desires him to fly from Engthe author has collected a formidable, lish ground, and be thankful for unthough at first a despised force, for merited mercy. The Templar flies the rescue of Rebecca, of Cedric, and but the thoughts of Rebecca are still his other captives. The Saxon pea- uppermost in his mind, and he consantry of the neighbourhood have trives, in the midst of the tumult, to trooped together in aid of their Frank- place her on his saddle before him ere lin-the outlaws of the forest have he takes his departure. joined them, eager to have an oppor- Front-de-Bæuf, meantime, is extunity of revenging their many, quar- tended on his helpless couch in the rels against Front-de-Beuf and those main tower or keep of the castle-the Norman oppressors, whose tyranny only part of the fortress which has not has been, in most instances, the cause fallen into the hands of the assailants. of banishing them from the bounds of A terrible end is reserved for this ferosociety—a bold, a skilful, and withal cious and blood-stained noble. The a generous band, having at their head castle he possesses, as may be gathered a dauntless hero of the Greenwood, from its name (Torquillstone), is not who in due time turns out to be no one of Norman foundation, but the less a man than Robin Hood. This hereditary mansion of a Saxen noble,
which had fallen after the battle of And must I answer for the fault done by Hastings, into the hands of this ba- fifty ?-False fiend, I defy thee! Depart, ron's father. Torquill and all his sons and haunt my couch no more_let me die were slain, it appears, in defence of in peace if thou be mortal—if thou be a the castle ; and the only one of the fa- demon, thy time is not yet come." mily that survived, was a beautiful
• • In peacet hou shalt not die,' redaughter of the Saxon lord, reserved peated the voice ; * even in death shalt thou
think on thy murders on the groans which by the victor for the purposes of his this castle has echoed-on the blood that is own violent and merciless gratifica- ingrained in its floors !! tions. Dark hints are dropt of yet * • Thou canst not shake me by thy petty darker deeds that have stained the castle malice,' answered Front-de-Bæuf with a while this unhappy woman has remain- ghastly and constrained laugh. • The infi. ed with its two successive masters- of del Jew_it was merit with heaven to deal murder and of worse than murder with him as I did, ekse wherefore are men but they are only hints even in the canonized who dip their hands in the blood Romance. The Saxon harlot, how
of Saracens ?-The Saxon porkers, whom I
have slain, they were the foes of my coun. ever, is now old and neglected, and she
try, and of my lineage, and of my liege seizes the opportunity of this time of lord.--Ho! ho! thou see'st there is no creterror, to avenge, by one terrible blow, vice in my coat of plate--Art thou fled ?-the whole of her life of injuries on the art thou silenced ?' head of the fierce and heartless tyrant,
" • No, foul parricide ! replied the voice ; who has been guilty towards her of
think of thy father !-think of his death ! every thing that can make woman
-think of his banquet-room, flooded with hate man.
his gore, and by the hand of a son!'
• Ha ! answered the Baron, after å In his agony, the Baron has been long pause, and thou knowest that, thou crying aloud, that he fain would pray art indeed the author of evil, and as ombut dare not.
niscient as the monks call thee ! - That se"• Lives Reginald Front-de-Bæuf,' said cret I deemed locked in my own breast, and a broken and shrill voice close by his bed in that of one beside
the temptress, the side, to say there is that which he dares partaker of my guilt.-Go, leave me, fiend ! * not !
and seek the Saxon witch Ulrica, who alorie “« The evil conscience, and the shaken could tell thee what she and I alone witnessnerves of Front-de-Bæuf, heard, in this ed-Go, I say, to her, who washed the strange interruption to his soliloquy, the wounds, and straighted the corpse, and gave voice of one of those demons, who, as the to the slain man the outward show of one superstition of the times believed, beset the parted in time and in the course of naturebeds of dying men, to distract their thoughts, Go to her she was my temptress, the foul and turn them from the meditations which provoker, the more foul rewarder of the concerned their eternal welfare. He shud deed—let her, as well as I, taste of the tordered, and drew himself together,; but, in- tures which anticipate hell! stantly summoning up his wonted resolution, “ “ She already tastes them,' said Ul. he exclaimed, · Who is there !-what art rica, stepping before the couch of Front-dethou, that darest to echo my words in a Bæuf; she hath long drunken of this cup, tone like that of the night-raven ?--Come and its bitterness is sweetened to see that before my couch, that I may see thee.' thou dost partake it.-Grind not thy teeth,
“ I am thine evil angel, Reginald Front-de-Bæuf-roll not thine eyes---clench Front-de-Bæuf,' replied the voice.
not thy hand, nor shake it at me with that “ Let me behold thee then in thy bodily gesture of menace ! - The band which, like shape, if thou be'est indeed a fiend,' replied that of thy renowned ancestor who gained the dying knight ; • think not that I will thy name, could have broken with one stroke blench from thee !-By the eternal dun- the skull of a mountain-bull, is now ungeon, could I but grapple with these horrors nerved and powerless as mine own?! that hover round me, as I have done with " • Vile murderous hag ! replied Frontmortal dangers, heaven nor hell should say de-Bæuf, • detestable sereech-owl! is it then thiat I shrunk from the conflict !'
thou who art come to exult over the ruins “• Think on thy sins, Reginald Front- thou hast assisted to lay low ?' de-Bæuf-on rebellion, on rapine, on mur. Ay, Reginald Front-de-Beuf,' an. der !_Who stirred up the licentious John swered she, it is Ulrica! it is the daugh. to war against his grey-headed father ter of the murdered Torquil Wolfganger ! against his generous brother?'
it is the sister of his slaughtered sons! it is "Be thou fiend, priest, or devil,' re- she who demands of thee, and of thy faplied Front-de-Bæuf, thou liest in thy ther's house, father and kindred, name and throat !-Not I stirred John to rebellion fame-all that she has lost by the name of not I alone-there were fifty knights and Front-de-Bæuf !—Think of my wrongs, barons, the flower of the midland coun. Front-de-bæuf, and answer me if I speak ites_better men never laid lance in rest not truth. Thou has been my evil angel, VOL. VI.
and I will be thine I will dog thee till the Ulrica, with frightful composure ; and a very instant of dissolution.'
signal shall soon wave to warn the besiegers «• Detestable fury!' answered Front-de- to press hard upon those who would extinBæuf, that moment shalt thou never wit- guish them.-Farewell, Front-de-Bouf! ness-Ho! Giles, Clement, and Eustace! May Mista, Skogula, and Zernebock, gods Saint Maur and Stephen! seize this damned of the ancient Saxons fiends, as the priests witch, and hurl her from the battlements now call them-supply the place of comheadlong-she has betrayed as to the Saxon. forters at your dying bed, which Ulrica now -Ho! Saint Maur! Clement ! false-heart- relinquishes ! But know, if it will give thee ed knaves, where tarry ye?'
comfort to know it, that Ulrica is bound to “Call on them again, valiant Baron,' the same dark coast with thyself, the comsaid the hag, with a smile of grisly mockery; panion of thy punishment as the companion • summon thy vassals around thee, doom of thy guilt.-And now, parricide, farewell them that loiter to the scourge and the dun- for ever !-May each stone of this vaulted geon-But know, mighty chief,' she con- roof find a tongue to echo that title into tinued, suddenly changing her tone, thou thine ear!'. shalt have neither answer, nor aid, nor obedi. “ So saying, she left the apartment; and ence at their hands.--Listen to these horrid Front-de-Bauf could hear the crash of the sounds,' for the din of the recommenced ponderous key as she locked and doubleassault and defence now rung fearfully loud locked the door behind her, thus cutting off from the battlements of the castle ; ' in that the most slender chance of escape. In the war-cry is the downfall of thy house_The extremity of agony he shouted upon his blood-cemented fabric of Front-de-Bauf's servants and allies-- Stephen and St Maur ! power fotters to the foundation, and before -Clement and Giles - burn here unaidthe foes he most despised !—The Saxon, ed !-To the rescue—to the rescue, brave Reginald !-the scorned Saxon assails thy Bois-Gilbert, valiant De Bracy--it is Frontwalls !_Why liest thou here, like a worn- de-Beuf who calls ! -It is your master, ye but hind, when the Saxon storms thy place traitor squires !-Your ally—your brother of strength ?'
in arms, ye perjured and faithless knights ! “Gods and fiends! exclaimed the all the curses due to traitors upon your wounded knight; " O for one moment's recreant heads, do you abandon me to perish strength, to drag myself to the melley, and thus miserably !—They hear me not they perish as becomes my name !
cannot hear me--my voice is lost in the din of “ • Think not of it, valiant warrior !'re battle.--The smoke rolls thicker and thicker plied she; thou shalt die no soldier's death, the fire has caught upon the floor belowbut perish like the fox in his den, when the O for one draught of the air of heaven, were peasants have set fire to the cover around it.' it to be purchased by instant annihilation !
" • Hateful hag! thou liest,' exclaimed And in the mad phrenzy of despair the Front-de-Bæuf ; . my followers bear them wretch now shouted with the shouts of the bravely-my walls are strong and high my fighters, now muttered curses on himself, on comrades in arms fear not a whole host of mankind, and on Heaven itself. The red Saxons, were they headed by Hengist and fire flashes through the thick smoke !' he Horsa ! -The war-cry of the Templar and exclaimed ; ' The demon marches against of the Free Companions rises high over the me under the banner of his own elementconflict! And by mine honour, when we Foul spirit, avoid !I go not with thee kindle the blazing beacon, for joy of our without my comrades--all, all are thine, defence, it shall consume thee, body and that garrison, these walls-Thinkest thou, bones ; and I shall live to hear thou art Front-de-Bæuf will be singled out to go gone from earthly fires to those of that hell, alone ? Non the infidel Templar--the liwhich never sent forth an incarnate fiend centious De Bracy_Ulrica, the foul mur. more utterly diabolical !'
thering strumpet--the men who aided my « • Hold thy belief,' replied Ulrica, 'till enterprizes the dog Saxons and accursed the proof reach thee-But, no !' she said, Jews, who are my prisoners—all, all shall interrupting herself, thou shalt know, even attend me a goodly fellowship as ever took now, the doom, which all thy power, the downward road-Ha, ha, ha!' and he strength, and courage is unable to avoid, laughed in his frenzy till the vaulted root though it is prepared for thee by this feeble mng again. Who laughed there !' ex. hand.-Markest thou the smouldering and claimed Front-de-Beuf, in altered mood, suffocating vapour which already eddies in for the noise of the conflict did not prevent sable folds through the chamber?-Didst the echoes of his own frenzied laughter from thou think it was but the darkening of thy returning upon his ear Who laughed bursting eyes—the difficulty of thy cumber- there ? - Ulrica, was it thou?_Speak, witch, ed breathing ?-No! Front-de-Bæuf, there and I forgive thee-for, only thou or the is another cause--Rememberest thou the fiend of hell himself could have laughed at magazine of fuel that is stored beneath these such a moment. Avaunt-avaunt ! apartments ?
" But it were impious to trace any far. " • Woman !' he exclaimed with fury, ther the picture of the blasphemer and parthou hast not set fire to it ?-By heaven ricide's death-bed." thou hast, and the castle is in flames !' While such are the sufferings of
" • They are fast rising at least,' said Front-de-Bæuf in the interior of the