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until Mary Anne's cousin deserted into our coal-hole and was brought out, to our great amazement, by a picket of his companions in arms, who took him away handcuffed in a procession that covered our front garden with disgrace.
“I am very sorry for all this, Doady. Will you call me a name I want you to call me?"
“What is it, my dear?” “It's a stupid name,
Child-wife. When you are going to be angry with me, say to yourself, 'It's only my Child-wife.'
'When I am very disappointing, say, 'I knew a long time ago, that she would make but a Child-wife.' When you miss what you would like me to be, and what I think I never can be, say, ‘Still my foolish Child-wife loves me.' For indeed I do.”
I invoke the innocent figure that I dearly loved to come out of the mists and shadows of the past, and to turn its gentle head toward me once again, and to bear witness that it was made happy by what I answered.
Christ God, who savest man, save most
Of men Count Gismond who saved me!
Chose time and place and company
And doubtlessly ere he could draw
All points to one, he must have schemed!
Few half so happy as I seemed,
I thought they loved me, did me grace
To please themselves; 'twas all their deed; God makes, or fair or foul, our face;
If showing mine so caused to bleed My cousins' hearts, they should have dropped A word, and straight the play had stopped.
They, too, so beauteous! Each a queen
By virtue of her brow and breast;
As I do. E'en when I was dressed,
But no: they let me laugh and sing
My birthday song quite through, adjust The last rose in my garland, fling
A last look on the mirror, trust My arms to each an arm of theirs, And so descend the castle-stairs
And come out on the morning-troop
Of merry friends who kissed my cheek, And called me queen, and made me stoop Under the canopy
(a streak That pierced it, of the outside sun, Powdered with gold its gloom's soft dun) —
And they could let me take my state
And foolish throne amid applause Of all come there to celebrate
My queen’s-day - Oh I think the cause Of much was, they forgot no crowd Makes up for parents in their shroud!
Howe'er that be, all eyes were bent
Upon me, when my cousins cast
The victor's crown, but . . . there, 'twill last
See! Gismond's at the gate, in talk
With his two boys: I can proceed.
Forth boldly — to my face, indeed
"Bring torches ! Wind the penance-sheet
About her! Let her cleave to right,
Shall she who sinned so bold at night
I? What I answered ? As I live,
I never fancied such a thing
What says the body when they spring
Till out strode Gismond; then I knew
That I was saved. I never met
I felt quite sure that God had set
He strode to Gauthier, in his throat
Gave him the lie, then struck his mouth With one back-handed blow that wrote
In blood men's verdict there. North, South, East, West, I looked. The lie was dead, And damned, and truth stood up instead.
This glads me most, that I enjoyed
The heart of the joy, with my content
By any doubt of the event:
Did I not watch him while he let
His armorer just brace his greaves,
my memory leaves No least stamp out, nor how anon He pulled his ringing gauntlets on.
And e'en before the trumpet's sound
Was finished, prone lay the false knight, Prone as his lie, upon the ground:
Gismond flew at him, used no sleight O'the sword, but open-breasted droye, Cleaving till out the truth he clove.
Which done, he dragged him to my feet
And said, "Here die, but end thy breath In full confession, lest thou fleet
From my first, to God's second death! Say, hast thou lied ?” And, “I have lied To God and her,” he said, and died.
Then Gismond, kneeling to me, asked
What safe my heart holds, though no word
My powers forever, to a third
Pass the rest
Over my head his arm he flung
Against the world; and scarce I felt
A little shifted in its belt;
So ʼmid the shouting multitude
We two walked forth to never more
Their life, untroubled as before
Our elder boy has got the clear
Great brow; though when his brother's black
And have you brought your tercel back?
THE DEATH OF ARBACES 1
EDWARD BULWER LYTTON
In the eventful year of the eruption of Vesuvius, there lived in Pompeii a young Greek by the name of Glaucus. Heaven had given him every blessing but one; it had denied him the
1 An adaptation by R. I. Fulton from the “Last Days of Pompeii.”