Page images
PDF
EPUB

had obtained his commission under the was neither light nor trifling; for, to his White Rose, and was a personal friend eyes, manifest as the daylight which it of Anthony Monkshaw, that, before even- obstructed, a figure of giant stature and ing had lengthened the shadows of the stalwart limb, arrayed in a tawny leathern great elm, Master Caxton, with a suffi- jerkin, and a cloak of russet serge, with a cient comitatus, approached the dreaded fox fur tippet about his shoulders, a collar precincts of the Templar's Monument; of blazing suns and roses upon his breast ; Luke himself acting as their guide a red morion, blackened with time stains, through the formidable sepulchre into hovering over a livid, grisly haired, stony the souterrain.

face, and, in his neck, the mortal gash, The spectacle, which assailed their occupied the broken aperture of the eyes in the vault, might well stretch to templar's tomb. the utmost every feeling of horror and They passed on through the wood, compassion-for there, dimly seen by the and over the very meadow, where Tyler lamplight, stood Sir Baldwin, the image had been so grossly insulted by Monkof unutterable woe, Floralice fainting in shaw. The towers of the solitary Grange his arms, and at his feet the bloody, pu- stood in naked outline against the blue trefying, and unshrouded remains of the sky, their gaunt uncouth features mock. murdered Monkshaw.

ing the ungenial umbrage of their decreWe would fain hasten over this scene, pid pine trees. to which we feel our powers utterly in- At length Master Tyler and his comcompetent; but there was one incident panion reached the tower which defended which claims to be recorded.

the bridge of Heronswood Hall ; when At the direction of Master Tyler, a similar epilepsy, the second time, seized whose wishes were implicitly followed by upon the conscience-stricken Luke : and the much shocked magistrate, Floralice, again those dead eyes, half veiled with still insensible, had been conveyed, under grisly hair, glared from underneath that the care of her summoned attendants, dark red cap; and again the fox fur back to Heronswood; the sad remains of tippet and the tawny and russet clothes, the once redoubtable Franklin were also contributed their visionary attributes, so removed to his Solitary Grange; and Sir horribly mocked by the phantom glories Baldwin Hercey, disarmed and strong of the Plantagenet collar, to that angry ly guarded, was escorted to Warwick, apparition, whose well known figure there to await the result of the inquest. needed no herald to Tyler's blood-stained

Luke Tyler and the magistrate were soul. the last to quit the souterrain; they This time the wretched Luke was so had arrived at the bottom of the long far overcome, that he sank down under Aight of steps which led upwards into the archway, and was carried almost the bloody templar's tomb. The sul- insensible to a bed chamber, followed len swoofs of wind through the long by a degree of commiseration from those passage behind them, sounded most who witnessed his disorder, almost equal appalling, and, on the damp steps, to that which they bestowed on their which they now began to ascend, the most miserable, but innocent mistress. daylight fell in streams of silver and The well known circumstance of the ebony—a weltering, cold, and spectral factionary enmity, between Anthony lustre, like the moonbeam.

Monkshaw, and Sir Baldwin Hercey, They continued the toilsome ascent, combined with the discovery of the latter till the broken side of the supulchre dis- in such an extraordinary situation, by closed its orifice, with the green thicket the dead corse of his supposed victim, beyond; when, on a sudden, Luke grasp- was backed by more than sufficient false ed his companion's arm convulsively. witness on the part of Luke Tyler, to Master Caxton turned, and saw his face overwhelm an innocent man; even if working with spasms, and his hair erect that man had not been a distinguished on his dewy brow; while his eyes were object of suspicion to the government. strained upward through the opening by Luke, partly from covetousness, and which the unwelcome daylight intruded; partly with a view to that ulterior use, and his limbs so utterly failed him, that to which at length he applied it, had, on it required all the nerve of the worthy the very night of the murder, carefully justice, to get him up the remaining secured old Anthony's sun and rose steps into the open air. There Luke collar. soon recovered ; recent circumstances So far from his having been intrusted easily accounted for his indisposition; with it by Sir Baldwin, it is a question, and he himself treated it lightly, but it whether that devoted being remembered its existence. And, as to Floralice, Her- that, although he resided at the Solitary cey had not indulged his lips even with Grange, Floralice had pertinaciously reher name, during his last interview with fused to see him, till the day preceding Tyler ; and he had prepared himself for the trial of Sir Baldwin : and of that voluntary exile from all his affections interview, extorted from the mourning and all his hopes, in calm uncomplaining orphan by his importunity, little was heroism ; strong in the panoply of inno- generally divulged, save that Master Luke cence, and consoled by feeling that Flo- came forth from the presence of Floralice, ralice never would believe him guilty, a stricken and blasted man, and that the But the unslumbering justice of heaven leech who was hastily summoned to his provided for him a happier fate.

assistance, had great difficulty in restorIf Sir Baldwin had any reason to ing him. apprehend that Floralice's confidence in It did not transpire till afterwards, him was staggered upon the first break- that Phyllis, who had entered the room ing out of this shocking affair; if in upon a piercing bitter cry from her mistheir most unexpected interview in the tress, declared that in the tapestried paroubliette of the Solitary Grange, the lour, manifested by such sombre light, agony of Floralice, at the first sight of as one high casement fretted with blazonher slaughtered parent, had extorted ries admitted, she beheld the apparition from her such bitter and vehement re- of her murdered master, with all his proaches against her guiltless lover, as dreadful paraphernalia, the gory gash in to send him in proud and despairing his neck, the huge red cap, the fox fursilence to his dungeon at Warwick; yet, tippet, the tawny jerkin, the russet cloak, to that very dungeon, did Consolation and the grand golden collar: he stood in follow him with her balmy chalice, and the centre of the apartment; his clothes Fortitude stood a championess sheathed and face blood-bedabbled ; his countein adamant at his side.

nance frozen and livid ; and his right Generosity's martyr to the last, Bald- arm extended towards Floralice, who lay win resolved that the fatal truth should fainting on the floor. descend with him to his grave; not only Whether this was, or was not, merely from a rational conviction that any a spectral illusion, such as the harrowing attempt to rebut the accusation, so wel- and exciting character of the recent transcome to the ruling party, and so reck, actions might very naturally produce, lessly impledged by Luke Tyler, would

we cannot tarry to discuss. be fruitless; but also, from a desire that Certain it is, that the same power the heart of Floralice, already so deeply which took off the wheels from the lacerated, should not be further wounded chariots of the Egyptians, after he had by a late and unavailing proof of his permitted them to plunge undaunted into innocence.

the abysm of the Red Sea, only to overAs for that unhappy lady herself,—no whelm them in more inevitable destrucsooner had she rallied from the conse- tion,-had now made bare bis holy arm. quences of that heart-scathing scene in When Luke Tyler was called upon to the Templar's Vault, than not only her give his evidence before the high court of love, but her judgment, pronounced it justice, assembled to try this solemn cause, impossible that Baldwin Hercey should -all his acquaintance were astonished at be the miscreant he was represented by his altered appearance. His demure and Luke Tyler.

placid demeanour was gone; his eye roved The die however was cast; the coroner's to and fro round the vast hall of judg. verdict had consigned Sir Baldwin to a ment,—from the pavement of upturned public trial for murder : any attempt at human faces, to the ribbed and arched an interview with her devoted lover was oak ceiling; from the gothic windows on all hands impossible ; and Floralice, flaming with sun-purpled robes of prelates left to the only resource for the helpless, and princes, to the scarlet-mantled judge, besieged heaven day and night with and the gorgeous magnates of the county prayers that the guilty, and the guilty at his side, who had been attracted by the alone, might be punished.

deeply pregnant interest of the cause.Master Luke Tyler had, during this His suit of rich mourning habiliments, interval, greatly withdrawn himself from was singularly marred by the hasty dispublic; which was the less remarked, as order, in which it had been put on;-a he was the nearest male kinsman to the neglect most striking in one, who had deceased, and the principal witness for hitherto been remarkable for the precision the impending trial.

of his dress. It was not generally known however, When, however, he was requested by

[ocr errors]

the judge to state what he knew of this (themselves unseen) whatever was going dark affair, Luke seemed completely to on in the hall below. have recovered his self-possession. He Every eye now turned, in wondering commenced in a low, clear, and not un- expectation, to the lattice, which, dull musical voice, by expressing his regret and dark, from its interior situation, exat being called upon to testify against hibited a singular contrast to the other one, whom, till lately, he had held most windows, whose coloured and burnished dear.

glass neighboured nearer to the sun. Some further glossing about duty to Nothing, however, was then discernihis kinsman, regard to public justice, ble beyond the gloomy panes. and so forth, brought him at last to the Still, many a hind there was who, commencement of his story; the begin- when he talked over that day's events by ning of the end, as it might well be his winter hearth, or among his comtermed.

panions at the sheepcote, used to affirm Every inducement, both natural and that a huge red morion, and grisly hair moral, my lord ! urged me to do my en- and beard, and dead staring eyes, and deavour in hunting out the perpetrators hollow, stony jaws, were to be traced on of this foul deed, ere these last troubles the other side of that umbered lattice. shook the land, and public justice veiled The trial proceeded: matters, howher head before domestic war. When ever, seemed to grow more hopelessly the peace, for which we are now blessing confounded with Master Tyler. He no our prosperous, happy king, had given longer pursued his story with downcast men leisure to think of their own affairs, eyes, but darted them hither and thither, my head and heart were sorely exercised like lightning, as at first. Rambling, by distracted musings upon my poor lost too, and incoherent was his talk, kinsman. At length, my lord ! I had a Nothing but the vital importance of dream

his evidence, and compassion for his Luke had proceeded thus far, with his emotion (which was only too charitably eyes obstinately bent upon the earth: interpreted), would have induced the here he raised, and directed them to- court to listen to him. wards the judge, and in so doing, his When the rose and sun collar was voice was as suddenly arrested as if he produced, and Luke was asked if he had received a blow across his mouth; knew it, he stopped, trembled, and gazed earnestly Ay, well enough, well enough, I at the judgment-seat; but he mustered know it!” effort to suppress his emotion, and, once “ Had he seen Master Anthony Monkmore casting down his eyes, proceeded shaw wear it ?” with his fictitious narrative; but now he “ Have I seen him wear it? shame, became so confused, so winding, and so shame, my lord! why do you ask me ? obscure, that the judge called upon him do you not see he is wearing it now? to be more concise and lucid in his state- What mockery is this, to bewilder a ments.

man's brains already crazed with sorrow? Tyler's eye answered the judge's ap- Ask himself all about it : he is at your peal; and again a violent shudder, as of side, and he can tell you !—nay! do not some suppressed sensation, that shook whisper with him!—beware your ermine, his very life within him, pervaded his my lord judge! the Franklin's throat whole frame, and he said in hurried hath bloodied his old fox fur ;-faugh!

-see now!-faugh!-how it has smirched My lord, it is impossible for me to your tippet !-ah, hah! the judge himproceed, while that old man in the red self bloody! nay, then, good night to cap is glaring and mowing at me from justice! she ought to be spotless, they yonder lattice!

say." He pointed upward, to a feature of The presiding judge, together with domestic architecture very common in the whole range of magnates on the those buildings, and which I have myself bench, arose in the utmost consternation, seen at old Haddon Hall, and the castles but amidst a breathless hush in that apaf Tamworth and Naworth ; namely, a palled assembly, the frantic man prowide shallow lattice, of dusky greenish ceeded. glass, high up in the lofty wall, and com- “ No! no! believe him not, he hath a municating either with a chamber, a favour to the prisoner! Sir Baldwin hath closet, or a gallery, on the other side; bought him off! he will say anythingby the means of which, persons from he will say,—hush! what does he say?above had the privilege of observing False, false, lord judge !-I did not strike

tones :

[ocr errors]

the blow-it was not murder,-it was in Irving's reputation ; but it has no doubt self defence it was for my friend, it was served the purpose of both author and not, not, not murder !"

publisher, and as the book contains plenty Terrific was the energy with which of extractable matter, the reviewers have Luke uttered the word murder; and it of course been lavish in their praises. was on his lips, when he fell backward in By the bye, we wish to know why Ab. strong convulsions.

botsford stands before Newstead: does What eye, that turned from this Mr. Irving consider Sir Walter the heaven-smitten wretch, to the fettered greater genius ? if so, we believe he will prisoner, could fail of admitting the con- not find many Englishman, or foreigners, viction of his innocence into the inmost of the same opinion. There is more exheart!

quisite sentiment in a stanza of Don Juan, Baldwin's own sorrows, his own im- than in three volumes of Scott, (admirers pending doom, were all lost in unfeigned as we are of nearly all that he has written); commiseration for agonies himself could not that we commend Don Juan as a never experience.

poem, or recommend it to the perusal of Beauty is, in itself, a more powerful our children ; we merely mention it beadvocate with us than we often choose cause we consider it to contain passages to acknowledge! when conbined with far surpassing those which have been worth, it becomes truly powerful; but lauded in “Childe Harold.” But to rewhen exhibited in the person of a gene- turn to the work which has led us into rous, uncomplaining, innocent sufferer, it these remarks: it contains many anecdotes is irresistible ;-you would clasp it to your of Scott and Byron, which will doubtless heart,—you would lay your life at its be read with interest; and as the book feet.

registers no friendly scandal, we hope to Among the haughty magnates on the find that it has obtained a favourable judgment seat, Sir Baldwin Hercey had reception from the lovers of this kind of distinguished many, the bitterest antago- gossip. The following passage is taken nists of his political opinions ; but when, from the paper entitled “ Lake Leman on the removal of the dying Luke,—Sir and its associations." Baldwin's manly and modest narrative “ The morning after my arrival at the was heard,—not even the judge himself inn, which is placed (a little distance was more forward in descending from his from Geneva)on the margin of the lake, I state, to congratulate the knight on his crossed to the house which Byron inhabitacquittal,--than those noble champions ed, and which is almost exactly opposite. of the White Rose, to clasp the right The day was calm but gloomy, the waters hand of a calumniated and high-minded almost without a ripple. Arrived at the adversary.

opposite shore, you ascend, by a someWhy more words?

what rude and steep ascent, to a small Luke Tyler expired in frantic out. village, winding round which, you come pourings of remorse. The outlaw was upon the gates of the house. On the restored : on many a rich manor did the right-hand side of the road, as you thus golden coffers of the lady Floralice Hercey enter, is a vineyard, in which, at that rebuild the ruined mansions with ten- time, the grapes hung ripe and clustering. fold magnificence. Heronswood Hall Within the gates are some three or four was abandoned to ivy and jillyflowers, trees, ranged in an avenue. Descending

nd thieves and gypsies; and to this a few steps, you see in a small court beday the peasantry affirm that the red cap fore the door, a rude fountain ; it was of old Anthony Monkshaw, may be seen then dried up-the waters had ceased to in twilight, glooming over his grey locks, play. On either side is a small garden and staring eyes, from the hollow and branching from the court, and by the melancholy window frames of The Soli- door are rough stone seats. You enter a tary Grange.

small hall, and, thence, an apartment

containing three rooms. The principal NOTICES OF NEW BOOKS.

one is charming,—long, and of an oval shape, with carved wainscoting-the windows on three sides of the room com

mand the most beautiful views of Geneva, UNDER this very “ catching title,” Mr. the lake, and its opposite shores. They Washington Irving gives us a good deal open upon a terrace paved with stone; of gossip about Sir W. Scott and Lord on that terrace how often he must have Byron. There is a clap-trap in this watched with wistful eyes the setting which is quite unworthy a writer of Mr. sun!! It was here that he was in ripest

ABBOTSFORD AND NEWSTEAD.

course.

cause.

maturity of his genius—in the most that! The ship heels to the wind, and interesting epoch of his life. He had the curling waters in her wake define, by passed the bridge that severed him from a circuitous trail, a deviation from her his country, but the bridge was not yet

The captain's voice is hurried broken down. He had not yet been and imperative, and the confusion on enervated by the soft south. His luxuries deck bespeaks an urgent and a desperate were still of the intellect—his sensualism was yet of nature-his mind had not We hastened from the cabin as soon faded from its youthfulness and vigour- as we could recover ourselves from the his was yet the season of hope rather than leeward part of it, where we had been of performance, and the world dreamt suddenly conveyed by the heeling of the more of what he would be than what he vessel. The crew were collected at the had been.

after part of the quarter-deck, hastily “ His works (the Paris edition) were preparing one of the quarter-boats: every on the table.

Himself was everywhere ! thing indicated consternation and alarm. Near to this room is a smaller cabinet, “ Cut away, my lads !--stand by to very simply and rudely furnished. On pump in,” exclaimed Captain Dove. one side, in a recess, is a bed,—on the A heavy, deep-drawn sigh called our other, a door communicates with a dress- attention in a different direction-it was ing-room. Here, I was told, he was Mrs. Ghumbs on her feet. chiefly accustomed to write. And what “Dear me! what a shocking thing !". works? Manfred,' and the most beauti. she exclaimed, as we exchanged a hasty ful stanzas of the third canto of Childe and inquiring look, and some big round Harold,' rush at once upon our memory, drops started at the moment from her You now ascend the stairs, and pass a eyes; “I fear there's no chance !” passage, at the end of which is a window, “Lower away handsomely,” continued commanding a superb view of the Lake. the captain ; and the boat descended to The passage is hung with some curious the surface with six of the crew, « Now but wretched portraits. Francis I., Diana then, my lads, pull away !_starboard of Poitiers, and Julius Scaliger among your helm-there, straight as you go ;" the rest. You now enter his bed-room. and every eye was directed to one point, Nothing can be more homely than the every heart throbbing responsive to the furniture; the bed is in a recess, and in sound of the oars, and the rocking moone corner an old walnut-tree bureau, tion of the boatmen. where you may still see written over some The ship had been brought round of the compartments, Letters of Lady suddenly, and without preparation, the B- His imaginary life vanishes be- moment the cries of two men, who had fore this simple label; and all the weari- suddenly fallen overboard, called attenness, and all the disappointment of his

tion to their situation; but so great was real domestic life, come sadly upon you. her velocity, with all sail set going beYou recal the nine executions in one fore the wind, that by the time her proyear—the annoyance and the bickering, gress was stopped, their heads were and the estrangement, and the gossip scarce to be seen at the opposite point of scandal of the world, and the Broken a semi-circle of dead water, which marked Household Gods.' Men may moralize the course she had taken, and the inter. as they will, but misfortunes cause error, vening waves occasionally hid them from and atone for it."

our view, The men in the boat, being

so much nearer the surface, could not NOTES OF A READER. behold even the heads of their unfortu.

nate shipmates: they pulled towards the AN INCIDENT AT SEA.

spot by conjecture, or by the direction Each day reduced, in rapid strides, the given to them by the captain at starting; span of our voyage, and we began to and we continued to watch their progress think of other and different scenes. The with intense anxiety, and with appreVenus was putting on her holiday attire; hension that the objects of our solicitude her suit of sails were changed, her top

would be exhausted before assistance masts were scraped and fresh greased, could be afforded them. her rigging set up and newly “rattled There are times when all the faculties down,” and her sides were in course of of the human soul seem to assume a copainting, while she pursued ber impetu- ordinate rank, and to converge, to conous course, at the rate of eight miles in centrate, and interfuse one with another, the hour, through the yielding waters. as if in unison of purpose to produce one

Gracious heavens! what sound is great effort, one intense and indivisible

« PreviousContinue »