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As the youth reached the hall he were large, but admirably chiselled, and turned, and then, the source of all these the hair, an auburn with not one streak symptoms of transport was revealed. of gray, was suffered to mingle its shining
Bending over the Minstrel Gallery, waves with the beard, which curled down which traversed at mid-height the upper from a pair of thick moustachios, crisped end of the baron's hall, a beautiful girl with great precision, and gave a stately, bright in all the budding fascination of as well as a manly grace, to a face which that stage when the child begins to peer had surely not seen fifty winters. into maidhood, smiled, and waved what A cap (not unlike the broad bonnet might seem a reiterated adieu to the de- of Aberdeen), composed of purple cloth parting page.
of turse, without band or tassel, a dalHer fair redundant tresses were grace- matica of yellow silk, damasked, and fully pursed up in that charming head- overlaid with the family blazon, gules tire of the period called a crestine, being on a saltire argent, a rose of the field, a a golden net caul, which, imprisoning long full-folded mantle of crimson satin, the whole hair, allowed it to cluster in embroidered with black bulls and golden its glittering cage, with most elegant oak-branches, and the then rare luxury, undulations, round the brow and cheek. gloves of fragrant leather, fretted with
Her kirtle or cyclade was of the rich gold and various coloured silkwork, ancelestial blue; and its material, termed nounced the Lord Hubert de Neville, saracennet, from its Saracenic, or Ori- baron of Middleham and Raby, ental origin ; her inner robe was of the The expression on his commanding tyretaine, a glowing scarlet, confined by brow darkened from displeasure to fiercea girdle of goldsmith's work; and that ness, as Lord Hubert perceived the convery slender waist, shewed that tight- fused air and hesitating step of his daughlacing at least did not follow in the wake ter, who was retiring from the front of of intellect's dread march!
the gallery as he entered. There was all of girlish love that could Lady Aveline then, for the first time, beam from two sunny eyes, and wreathe read that tragic page in a volume which a roseate cheek and ruby lip, but there had hitherto always been delightful to was evident constraint mingled with this her, and a scream of childish terror parting token; for, when those white evinced its effect. Then too, for the first fingers touched those lips, and tossed a time, did his only child, the heiress of sugared kiss along the air, as you would his castles and domains, meet the baron's swing a censer; no sound added music eye without awakening the most pleato sweetness; and, in the hurried glance surable sensations. and gesture, if there was affection, that She made an irresolute movement, as braves all, there was also caution that if to fly from his presence, without exactly apprehends all.
knowing why; but her father detained The boy stopped, and stood breathless her, and with no soft grasp. with adoration; all the bold, the haughty, Neither the limits of our story nor and the fierce in his eye-glance, blending our own inclination, admit of our acin one intense gaze of love; as various counting for the piece of stage effect ingredients in the alchemist's crucible with which we have ushered in our prinmingle in one rose-coloured flame. cipal personations, any farther than thus:
Again the bright girl waved her hand, - Polydore the page had been (by a but now it was not so much a farewell deviation from the practice of chivalry, as a warning gesture. A hurried, averted which destined the sons of esquires, glance, and a straining of the swan-like knights, and even nobles for that office) neck towards the arched door at the taken to the nurture and favour of De back of the gallery, indicated an un- Neville, from the hut of a vassal of Midwelcome approach; and, starting at this dleham, at the early age of seven, merely admonition, the young Damoiseau hasti- because he was a child of rare beauty, ly waved his embroidered hawk's-glove, and because the little motherless Lady of and vanished through the hall doorway Middleham took great contentment in just in time to avoid seeing another of the childish plays he shewed her,—such our dramatis personæ enter the min- as making helmets of rushes, weaving strel's gallery.
chains of the dandelion, and stringing It was a grave and majestic-looking carkanets of daisies and king-cups. Of personage, whose broad front and blue course the widowed baron soon grew eye wore at this moment an expression fond of his Aveline's favourite, and about of severity, the more terrible from being eight years of luxurious nurture,—obseso dignified and quiet. The features quious obedience, and servile flattery
from the domestics, condescension that windows, whose recess retired to the forgot its dignity from the baron, and depth of twelve feet in the solid wall. somewhat more than the kindness of a Now this magnificent Castle of Mid. sister on the part of young Aveline, dleham consists of a parallelogram, served to foster, if not unfold, those which contains eight noble towers, with charming qualities in which human na- numerous stories and suites of chambers; ture, so circumstanced, never fails to be and encloses a court, from the centre of prolific-viz; selfishness, insolence, and which, isolated, gloomy, and of impresumption.
mense size, soars the donjon keep, A downright love affair (ridiculous flanked with turrets ;-the brackets and enough between a boy not fifteen, and architraves of its state apartments are a girl a year younger) had been long still to be seen. You may also trace the watched by the envy he had awakened, windows and a cornice of heavy fluteand was at last betrayed by the animosity work in the chapel ; and, in the hall, a he had provoked.
flat, arched window, eighteen feet wide, This morning had proved fatal to poor and proportionately high, lets in a flood Polydore. A declaration of everlasting of light upon the battered ruins. love had been interchanged; and a In this window stood Lord Neville mutual embrace and kiss were the seal; with his shrinking child, and compelled but, alas ! both bond and seal were at- her attention to a particular spot, where tested by unwished-for witnesses, and a broad low arch led from a flight formally laid before the indignant, the of steps in the yard below to the buttery. thunder-struck Lord Hubert.
And there the poor girl beheld, with The Lady Aveline had scarcely time agonies of childish grief and fear, the to turn a look of breathless supplication page Polydore, in the hands of the upon her offended sire, when, in a mo- vassals, half divested of his gay apparel, ment, Polydore's voice was heard from stretched across the buttery hatch, wriththe castle court below.
ing and bleeding, but without a complaint " Unhand me, villains ! Slaves, un- or moan, under a discipline by no means hand me, or right dearly shall ye abye uncommon in the household government it! My Lord Hubert, help! haste, maintained in their baronial mansions by Lady Aveline, they are about to slay the great of old.
It is very probable that the punishGasping, and speechless with horror, ment of young Polydore's presumptuous her slight figure trembling from head to affaire de cæur would have ended here. foot, Aveline did not dare so much as to Provoked as the Baron was, and reraise up her eyes to her father's face. solved to put a full stop to such folly;
“ The Baron himself deigned not a still he could consider it only in the look at his daughter, whose arm he light of a boyish freak; and as such, the grasped, while his lead was bent, in the punishment he awarded, while calculated direction of Polydore's outcries. to tame down the page's aspiring blood,
Resentment kindled his brow, and did not, in the opinion of that day, by pride curled his lip, and both broke any means exceed the transgression. forth in a cruel laugh.
Polydore therefore, on his submission • Unhand thee ?” he said, “ By Saint and acknowledgment, would, very likely, Edward if they do, their own backs shall have been reinstated, ere nightfall, in all bear the characters in rubric that I have his privileges at Middleham, save the destined for thine. My Lord Hubert, imaginary one of a share in the heart of forsooth! he is no saint to help thee, if its beautiful heiress. he could; and my Lady Aveline, cannot, As for Lady Aveline, his chance was if she would ! And you, minion !” turning lost eternally there; for terror, not slightly a glance of lightning on Aveline, “you tinged with shame and contempt, took so to dare decline from your high birth and large a share in the feelings with which state, to a base serf. See now, since she had witnessed the unlucky DamoiAveline Neville hath joined lips to those seau's punishment, that love and Polywhich, by her very bower-woman, would dore were dissevered in her imagination have been deemed too mean,-see what for ever. it hath cost the audacious coxcomb !" Not so the culprit !
The cries of the Damoiseau had now Few who saw him, when his correcceased.
tion had been inflicted, deliberately The ireful Baron led Aveline down arrange his dishevelled raiment, replace into the hall, and there compelled her to his cap upon his disordered locks, and look forth from one of the arched gothic walk coolly out of the castle gateway in
the north-east tower, would have ima- shaw the cook, "you'll have him back, gined how deeply the stripes of ignominy and on his marrowbones, when he rehad eaten into his proud soul ! They members that the fat haunch in the could see his brow was red, but that kitchen looks fairer than the palmy antmight be with pain ; they could note the lers in the forest.” white teeth glaring through his writhen “Ay! ay!" said the huntsman, “many lips ;-his lurid eye too, they all re- a lashed hound that hath fled from the marked, whose hectic fire seemed to thong, is coaxed back by the platter." loathe the light. Still,-less than this And thus the domestics prattled upon none in the castle, who knew his fierce Polydore's disappearance from Middleand misproud temper, would have ex- ham castle. pected from Polydore. One and all With the baron Hubert, and his regarded it merely as the plunging and daughter Aveline, Polydore's flight was rearing of the colt who feels curb and a subject of higher interest, and a source lash for the first time.
of more delicate feelings. Ah! could they have seen his heart ! Lady Aveline, striking as the revolu
As it was, the Scourged Page gave tion had been in her young and ductile them good cause to conceive that he had mind, from the hitherto inexperienced felt his chastisement more acutely than severity of her father, still could not but was customary on such occasions, since participate forcibly in the sensation prohe absented himself altogether from the duced by Polydore's absence. She felt Castle of Middleham.
sorrow for his sufferings, and shame for Great was the marvelling among the having herself been the cause of them, domestics.
but in the apprehension she entertained “ Did ever lad so play the haggard for his safety, love had not the slightest with his own good fortune? and then to share. take wing for a few stripes! Why," Lord Neville, for his part, being thus moralized Roger the falconer, kind-hearted and placable man, although “here have I the marks of many a good punctilious in exacting the deference due skin-cutting from old Grimshaw the to rank, began to regret he had been so cook, when I was an overthwart lad, and severe with the lad ; his newly-awakened what of that? Where would have been anxiety and pride, however, found such the head falconer's place, and twenty sedulous employment in weeding from merk a year, if Roger Teesdale had Aveline's mind every trace of her childshewn them a clean pair of heels the ish regard for the offending Polydore, first time they bade him untruss ? Give that it diverted much of his melancholy me the doublet, well-faced and lined, musing on the probable fate of his Dathat hides all lashes. Let me only have moiseau. a good store of my lord's beef and ale, In short, the page seemed resolved to and I'd stomach fifty floggings. But appear no more at Middleham; and this young Eyas of a page, forsooth !- perhaps it was as well he should not; for touch his silky skin, and he's off like a had he returned within three months' ruffled bird ! "
space, he would have had the mortificaBy'r lady!” said Stephen the pant- tion of finding himself as totally forgotler, “the younker shewed fight however ! ten as if he had never dared to clasp the I'd have been sworn to hold such a strip- waist, and kiss the lips of lady Aveline; ling as that with my teeth, untruss him and never been stript and flogged for his with one hand, and Ay-flap him with the impudence, at the buttery-hatch. other, and, lo ye ! he tasked some half At the expiry of that period howdozen of us !"
ever, he was reinstated with horrible cirAy, and fought like a heron on his cumstance in their remembrance. back, when we had hampered him!” One dreary nightfall, towards the
“ Well! 't was a misproud Jackanapes close of autumn, just about the hour -not that I bore him malice-but h’as when a great supper was nearly ready to had his well-earned wages this blessed be dished up for a company of distinday!”
guished guests at Middleham castle, who “ The lad has surely never been such should present himself to the porter, a fool as to pitch himself into the Ure.— while preparing to close the great gates I should be loath to hear that."
of the castle, according to the universal “ Not he—'t is far more likely he's manorial custom during meal-timesranging Mowbray plain, or snaring rab- drenched and shivering, and, as he said, bits in Gaunless thickets."
pinched with hunger, but the long“ P'shaw! my masters," said Grim- missing Polydore !
He had always been a favourite with struck various senses at once in this vast Lambert Norris, the porter; and, in fact, had paid him more court than he Viands either ready for the fire, or usually deigned to the other domestics, freshly removed from it, argued the imas being a convenient friend in case of mediate approach of the banquet. his requiring greater liberty of egress and Dimly distinguishable, amidst this ingress than the strict regulations of the culinary chaos, the master cook, the castle permitted.
demogorgon of the scene, commanded Former kindly feelings thus re-awak- and countermanded, — tasted, stirred, ened, enhanced by the piteous appear- examined, and where all were busy, ance of the youth, and backed by the seemed himself the busiest. conviction that his return would be During all this turmoil, it is not to be gladly hailed by all at Middleham, en- supposed that Polydore's sudden and unsured from Lambert the porter, not only expected apparition would excite the a hearty welcome to the returning prodi- attention it might otherwise have done. gal, but also a prompt acquiescence in Some effect it certainly did produce, his request of secresy, until Polydore to wit, that Master Grimshaw suffered a should be enabled, by the aid of his old stew, on which he peculiarly prided himfriend the chaplain, to make his peace self, to burn to the silver pan; and that with his offended lord.
sundry of the deputy coquinarii did pitch The' Damoiseau, however, casting a into each other's aprons the sauces desshivering look on the bare walls and tined for the palates of the baron's scanty fire of the gloomy porter's lodge, guests; kettles boiled over ; spits forgot declared his intention of seeking warmth to turn; and, in short, the magnum at the kitchen fire-place, which as he well opus of cookery was in imminent peril of knew flamed the brightest at that hour, as perishing in its very projection. well as of obtaining refreshment from Polydore, notwithstanding, glided the viands it was preparing for the ba- quietly to the vast glowing vaults of the ron's hall.
fireplaces, and bidding the fellows post. So saying, Polydore quitted the hea. pone their wonder till the supper was vily machicolated gateway, and travers- served, promised that he would then coning the court, soon reached the bulky tent them to the full. pile in its centre, generally termed Fitz- And the mighty operation soon proranulf's Tower.
ceeded as if nothing strange had hapIn its lowest range stood the castle pened. kitchen. Ah! who that sees now the Polydore took his station under the witchelm in the open arch of that im- red and sooty pavilion of the fireplace, mense chimney, hanging in the evening apparently not only indifferent but totally sky, all coloured over with a warm sun. unobservant of all that was going on; set of gorgeous golden haze, airless, and his only occupation being the very sweet, and still, could imagine the scene natural action, in his condition, of that presented itself to the eyes of the wet, stretching and turning his chilled limbs and shivering, and famished Polydore? before the blaze.
A vaulted apartment, nearly fifty feet To the short interrogatories occasionhigh, was illuminated by the Phlegethou ally addressed to him by the master tic blazes of two stupendous fireplaces, cook or his assistants, as their business each more than twenty feet wide, and at drew them to the fireplaces, the page right angles with each other, whose vol. listened with apathy, or replied with canoes of flame were eclipsed by huge brevity. cauldrons, black pots and pans of every At length all things were prepared. size and shape, each seething, simmering, Grimshaw gave the signal by rapping and sputtering, with their savoury ingre- with his cleaver on the dresser; the castle dients of boil, fry, and stew ; while their bell tolled quick and loud; and the lid of fowl.
the great cauldron was lifted off. red grates were blockaded by unweildy As the rich ambergris steam of pheajoints of meat, and spits of trussed wild sants, partridges, and hares, blended into
Ever and anon would the flaring stove a stew, with other delicate meats and of some oven expand its fiery jaws, while herbs, arose in clouds from the mighty from the tormented flood, bubbling and vessel, the hungry page seemed suddenly billowing in the crater of that great fur- awakened to a joyful anticipation of his 'nace, a vapour as of hecatombs arose. share in the good things it contained. A Fumes of precious odour, gleams of Pan- strange gleam of delight shot forth from demonial light, and voices in various keys his hollow eye, as he turned to the huge
kettle, and passed his hands rapidly over while the expanded nostrils and dewy it three or four times, till two of the flanks of his charger seemed fully to under cooks returned to carry it from sympathise in bis gratification. the fire.
But, even if fatigue had not induced Polydore's departure, which took place him to halt, that traveller might have immediately upon this, was totally un- been well contented to stay his route, noticed: and indeed, on the occurrence were it only to gaze on the magnificent that followed, all averred that it was a landscape that saluted his eyes. spirit.
A luxuriant extent of lawny meadows, At that supper all who partook of the studded with large trees, and braided stew were most miserably affected. with woodland, lay below, and stretched
The Lord Hubert himself, with whom away in parks and groves to the misty it was a favourite dish, together with two horizon. Far in the vale Saint Martin's of his guests, died suddenly; and the rest Chapel arose darkly graceful from its who chanced to eat of it never recovered sunny turf. On every side were to be the effects to the day of their death. discovered castles and towers, hooded
In vain was the marvellous story of with branching trees. Lurking behind Polydore's apparition related, - it was its dark rookery, Saint Agatha's Abbey universally repudiated as absurd; and at Eastby was betrayed by a white pinLambert Norris the porter, who alone nacle, a transparent window, or a gay could have thrown light upon this hor- weathercock glittering here and there; ribly mysterious transaction, was while its many-gabled mill stood basking panic-stricken at the wholesale ven- in the sun, boldly relieved against the geance which justice (miscalled) was shadowy foliage that over-arched its driving forward at the castle, that he chimneys. Swift through the fertile had not courage to reveal what he knew valley, blue as the sky he reflected, and of the matter; and by this culpable lively as the sun that danced on his cur.. silence saved his place, if not his life. rent, rolled the rejoicing Swale. Soft
Well indeed might Justice be painted pale slopes, fresh plundered of their juicy blind, for, on this dreadful occasion, grass, swept upwards from his margin. Grimshaw, the master cook, and his two Then gleamed the gardens, steaming assistants, were sacrificed to the manes with summer heat, where the wimpled of Lord de Neville and his murdered fair friends. Indeed they only escaped the “steal into the pleached bower, appalling punishment of boiling alive, Forbid the sun to enter ;'like favourites
Where honeysuckles ripened by the sun decreed by law* to their imaginary crime, Made prond by princes, that advance their pride at the weeping intercession of the Against the power that bred it.” Baroness Aveline ; and they were exe- Still higher up, the orchards whose cuted on the gallows at Middleham, pro- verdure was already diversified with red testing their innocence to the last. and yellow fruitage, stretched, like bro
A quarter of a century had elapsed caded scarfs, around the hill, crested and since these events, and it was about the crowned by tall extensive mansions, hour of the Complin, one radiant day in stately in aspect and redundant in de August, 13—, that a horseman of a lofty vice. And further back, the sun-clad presence reined in his white battle horse steeples of the Holy Trinity, the Grey just on the summit of the hill by which Friars, and Saint Mary's, stood challengyou enter the town of Richmond from ing each other with their jangling the Catterick road.
chimes; while, paramount over all, the A delicious breeze, most grateful Castle Keep marshalled his phalanx of during the oppressive sultriness of that turret, battlement and portal, along the season, gushed soft and low at intervals ridge, beneath a blaze of light that parcharound, transporting luxurious odours ed up the hilly streets, sheeted the steep from the new hayricks in the savannahs roofs in yellow, or leapt from vane to below, by the river side, and from the vane in living gold, as the lazy noontide flower beds whose colours lay hid among winds sleepfully shifted them to and fro. the trelliced alleys and hornbeam hedges, Whatever might be the feelings of the on the town banks.
horseman while his eye wandered over Great was the refreshment it seemed this delightful prospect, he did not exto afford the traveller, who wiped his press them aloud; and indeed, supposir moist and swarthy brow, with a fine he had, we have very good reasons for broidered kerchief, and inhaled eagerly not communicating them to our readers. the faint reluctant summer winds :- It is a well-established rule in the
* This law was in force till 1547. jurisprudence of romance, that no hero