Page images
PDF
EPUB

A NOVEL

“ The renegade,
On whose base brutal nature unredeemid,
Even black apostacy itself could stamp
No deeper reprobation."

SOUTHEY'S RODERICK.

IN THREE VOLUMES.

VOL. II.

LONDON:
RICHARD BENTLEY, NEW BURLINGTON STREET

1851.

249. W. 480.

London :
Printed by Schulze and Co., 13, Poland Street.

THE CONFESSOR.

CHAPTER I.

..Led by the sound,
As thus he cried aloud, a woman came
Toward him from the ruins. ..

Her words, her voice,
Her look, more horror to his heart conveyed,
Than all the havoc round : for though she spake
With the calm utterance of despair, in tones
Deep-breathed and low, yet never sweeter voice
Poured forth its hymns in ecstasy to heaven,

While she spake,
She raised her lofty bands to Heaven, as if
Calling for justice on the Judgment-Seat ;
Then laid them on her eyes, and leaning on,
Bent o'er the open sepulchre.

Roderick, the Last of the Goths.

“NEARLY a year had elapsed since the scene which I have described to you had occurred: and

VOL. II.

в

it was on the last day of the Carnival, as I well remember, that I was returning from the unwearying exhibitions of fun and frolic, which Paris has ever presented at that period; and in order to arrive at the miserable abode of my protector, or rather tyrant, I passed through the dark and gloomy street, the Rue de la Harpe, in which, as is well known by those curious in antiquity, are situated the ruins of a Roman edifice, called at the present day, the Palais des Thermes. That it was originally a royal palace, and the dwelling of some of the Emperors, I have heard to be the fact. But what remains of it would indicate rather the purpose implied in the latter part of its designation, namely, an immense assemblage of baths.

“In these obscure and gloomy halls, which now frown ruinously, the ground is perforated in numerous large and deep excavations, such as tradition says the Romans formed for their baths, and from these hollow cavities subterranean passages extend in every direction under the old city. The horror of the place, even in broad

daylight, is indescribable, and many a frightful tale is attached to it, which made me shudder, when a boy, each time I passed it after dark.

.“ On the night in question, however, my terror was not so great, as I had closely followed the steps of two masques, who were taking the same route, and thus had avoided the horrors of passing the spot alone. The two individuals before me, who were closely masqued, and habited in some foreign costume, were not apparently of equal rank, as one took a formal precedence of the other, and from the few words that passed between them I gathered that they were natives of another land.

“At length they arrived, closely followed by myself, opposite to the entrance of the Palais des Thermes, and without seeming to notice the place, the masques were passing on, when suddenly three figures in the common dress of the watermen of the Seine issued from the gate, and coming behind the masques, instantly one of them struck a poniard into the side of the foremost. He quickly turned, and drawing his sword, was

« PreviousContinue »