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I D" A L I A



A ROMANCE



BY OUIDA, ast^

AUTHOR OF ' L'NDliK TWO FLAGS," " STKAT1IMORK," "CHANDOs"
" PUCK," ETC.




A NEW EDITION



Eonion
CHATTO AND WINDUS, PICCADILLY



SALLANTYNE AND HANSON, EDINBURGH
CHANDOS STREET, LONDON



75-5



CONTENTS.



i. THE BORDER EAGLE 1

ii. HAVING BROKEN HIS BREAD . . . .20

III. SOUFFRIR EN Koi . .- . . . .31

IV. 'N'ETES VOUS PAS DU PARADIS ?' . . .44
V. 'AN IGNIS-FATUUS GLEAM OF LOVE 7 . . . 58

vi. THE WISDOM OF MOTHER VERONICA . . . 08
vi r. THE BADGE OF THE SILVER IVY . . .78
vin. i PASSION BORN OF A GLANCE' . . . .92

ix. HITTER TANNHAUSER ...... 109

x. THE SOVEREIGN OF THE ROUND TABLE . .121
xi. FAIRY-GOLD . . . . . . .130

xii. DIAMOND CUT DIAMOND 150

XIII. <DlE QUALST MICH ALS TYRANN ; UND ICH? ICH

LIEB DICH NOCIl!' ..... 159

xiv. ' SHE SMILES THEM DOWN IMPERIALLY, AS VENUS

DID THE WAVES' . . . . .189
xv. THE ALLEGORY OF THE POMEGRANATE . .195

XVI. 'MONSIGNORE' 215

xvn. 'A TEMPLE NOT MADE WITH HANDS' . . . 225
* GRAVEST THOU ARCADY? BOLD is THY CRAVING.

I SHALL NOT CONTENT IT' . . . . 230

'THE LIGHT IN THE DUST LIES DEAD' . . 254
' MORE GREAT IN MARTYRDOM THAN THRONED AS

CESAR'S MATE' 203

xxi. * THE DEVIL TEMPTED ME, AND I DID EAT' , 275
xxn, THE CAPTIVE OF THE CHUBOH , , i ,298

437



iv CONTENTS.

C'lAP. PAGB

XXIII. 'RlEN QUE TOl' . . '-., . 506

xxiv. LION AND LEOPARD 330

xxv. i STOOP DOWN AND SEEM TO KISS ME ERE I DIE' 361
xxvi. i WHY MUST I, 'NEATH THE LEAVES OF CORONAL,

PRESS ANY KlSS OF PARDON ON THY BROW? 7 373

xxvn. THE STORY OF THE PAST ... 389
xxviii. <BY MORNING TOUCHED WITH AUREOLE LIGHT;

BY SUNSET STRANDED' . . . .414

AXIX. BESIDE THE SEA 430

xxx. ' THE SERPENT'S VOICE LESS SUBTI/J THAN HER

Kiss' 444

xxxi. <LET IT WORK!' 465

xxxii. 'SHALL EVIL BE TUT GOOD?' .... 470
xxxiii. ' UNTO HIS LAST' 481

XXXIV. 'I GIVE MY BODY FOR EVER TO INHERIT PUNISH-

MENT, AND PINE* . . . . .505

XXXV. *I WOULD HAVE GIVEN MY SOUL FOR THIS !' . 531

XXX IV. ' LOST IN THE NIGHT, AND THE LlGHT OF THE SEA' 5G1



IDALIA



CHAPTEE I.

THE BORDER EAGLE.

IT was a summer day late in the year in the wild moorland
of the old Border.

An amber light was on the lochs, a soft mist on field and
fell ; the salmon waters were leaping down from rock to rock,
or boiling in the deep black pools beneath the birches ; the
deer were herding in the glens and wooded dips that sheltered
under the Cheviot range here, in the debatable land be-
tween the northern country and the Southrons, where
Bothwell had swept with his mad moss-troopers, ere the
Warden of the Marches let passion run riot for his fair
White Queen, and where Belted Will's Tower still rose
above its oaks, as when the bugle blast of the Howard
sounded from its turrets, and the archers were marshalled
against a night-raid of the Scots. On the distant seas,
which once had been dark with the galleys of jN^orse pirates,
nothing now was in sight but a fisherboat in the offing ; on
the heather-moors, which had once echoed with the beat of
horses' hoofs, as Douglas or Percy had scoured through the
gorse for a dashing Border fray, or a Hotspur piece of
derring-do, there was only now to be heard the flap of a
wild duck's wing as the flocks rose among the sedges ; and
the sole monarch of earth or sky was a solitary golden
eagle soaring upward to the sun.

With a single swoop the bird had come down from his
eerie among the rocks, as though be were about to drop

B



a ID ALIA.

earthward ; then, lifting his head he had spread his pinion*
in the wind that was blowing strong and fresh from Scot
land through the heat of the August day, and sailed upward
glor^usly with slow majestic motion through the light.
Ear below him lay the white-crested waves gleaming afar
off, the purple stretch of the dark moors and marshes, the
black still tarns, the rounded masses of the woods ; higher
and higher, leaving earth beneath him, he rose in his royal
grandeur, fronting the sun, and soaring onward and upward
against the blue skies and the snowy piles of clouds, rejoic-
ing in his solitude, and kingly in his strength.

With his broad wings spread in the sun gleam, he swept
through the silent air, his eyes looking at the luminance
which blinds the eyes of men, his empire taken in the vast-
ness of the space that monarchs cannot gauge, and his
plumes stretched in all the glory of his godlike freedom, his
unchained liberty of life. Far beneath him, deep down
among the tangled mass of heather and brown moor grasses,
glistened the lean cruel steel of a barrel, like the shine of a
snake's back, pointing upward, while the eagle winged his
way aloft. There, in his proud kingship with the sun, how
could he note or know the steel tube scarce larger, from
his altitude, than a needle's length of his foe, hidden deep
among the gorse and reeds ? The sovereign bird rose higher
and higher still, in stately flight. One sharp sullen report
rang through the silence ; a single gray puff of smoke curled
up from the heather ; a death-cry echoed on the air, quiver-
ing with a human agony ; the eagle wheeled once round, a
dizzy, circle in the summer light, then dropped down through
the sunny air stricken and dead.

"Was it more murder when Caesar fell ?

The assassin rose from where he had knelt on one knee
among the gorse, while his retriever had started the wild-
fowl up from the sedges of a pool, and strode through
bracken and heath to the spot where his science had brought
down the eagle, at a distance and with an aim which marked
him as one of the first shots in Europe. A hundred yards
brought him to the place where his quarry had fallen, and
he thrust the heather aside with impatient movement. He
was keen in sport as a Shikari, and he had looked for no
rarer game to-day than the blackcocks or the snipes, or at
very best a heron from the marshes.



THE BORDER EAGLE. 3

On the moor the king-bird lay, the pinions broken and
powerless, the breast-feathers wet and bathed in blood, the
piercing eyes, which loved the sun, blind and glazed with
film ; the life, a moment before strong, fearless, and rejoic-
ing in the light, was gone. A feeling, new and strange, carne
on his slayer as he stood there in the stillness of the
solitary moor, alone with the dead eagle lying at his feet.
He paused and leaned on his rifle, looking downward.

* God forgive me. I have taken a life better than my
own.'

The words were involuntary, and unlike enough to one
whose superb shot had become noted from the jungles of
Northern India to the ice plains of Norway ; from the
bear-haunts of the Danube to the tropic forests of the
Amazon. But he stood looking down on the mighty bird,
while the red blood welled through the blossoming furze,
with something that was almost remorse. It looked
strangely like slaughter in the still golden gleam of the
summer day.

If you wonder at it, wait until you see an eagle die on a
solitary moorland that was his kingdom by right divine,
with all the glorious liberty of life.

The skill which you would have challenged the first
marksman in Europe to have beaten will look, for a second
at least, oddly base, and treacherous, and cowardly, when
the lord of the air lies like carrion at your feet.

Knee-deep in the purple heather, the destroyer leant on
his gun, alone on the Scotch side of the Border, with the
Bea flashing like a line of silver light on his left, and the
bold sweep of the Cheviot Hills fronting him. The golden
eagle had fallen by no unworthy foe ; he was a man of very
lofty stature, and of powerful build and sinew, his muscles
close knit, and his frame like steeJ, as became one who was
in hard condition from year's end to year's end. His com-
plexion was a clear bronze, almost as dark as an Arab's,
though originally it had been fair enough ; his black sweep-
ing moustaches and beard were long, thick, and silken ; his
eyes large, and very thoughtful, the hue of the eagle's he
had shot. His features were bold, proud, and frank, while
his bearing had the distinction of blood, with the dash of a
soldier, the reposeful stateliness of the old regime, with the
alert keenness of a man used to rapid action, clear decision,



4 ID ALIA.

coolness under danger, and the wiles of the world in all its
ways. Standing solitary there on the brown heath, his form
rose tail and martial enough for one of the night riders oi
Liddesdale, or the Knight of Snowdon himself, against the
purple haze and amber light.

In the days of Chevy Chase and Flodden Field his race
had been the proudest of the nobles on the Border-side
their massive keep reared in face of the Cheviots, the lands
their own, over miles of rock and gorse and forest, lords ot'
all the Marches stretching to the sea. Now all that be-
longed to him was that wild barren moorland, which gave
nothing but the blackcock and the ptarmigan which bred in
their wastes ; and a hunting-lodge, half in ruins, to the
westward, buried under hawthorn, birch, and ivy, a roost for
owls and a paradise for painters,

* A splendid shot, Erceldouue : I congratulate you ! * said
a voice behind him.

The slayer of the golden eagle turned in surprise ; these
moors, all barren and profitless though they were, were his,
and were rarely trodden by any step except his own.

' Ah, your grace ! Good-day. How does the Border
come to be honoured by a visit from you ? '

* Lost my way,' responded his Grace of Glencairne, an
inveterate sportsman and a hearty, florid, stalwart man of
sixty, clad in a Scotch plaid suit, and looking like a well-to-
do North-country farmer. ' "We're staying with Fitzallayne,
and came out after the black game ; lost all the rest some-
how, and know no more where we are than if we were at the
North Pole. You're a godsend. Let me introduce my
friends to you, Sir Fulke Erceldoune, Lord Polemore, Mr.
Victor Vane.'

The beggared gentleman raised his bonnet to the Duke's
friends with much such frank soldier-like courtesy as that
with which the Border lords, whose bJood was in his veins,
received Chatelherault and Hamilton in the wild free davs
of old.

e Shot an eagle, Erceldoune ? By George ! what a bird ! '
cried the Duke, gazing down amazed and admiring on the
murdered monarch.

* I envy you indeed,' said his companion whom he had
named as Victor Vane. 'I have shot most things men
and other birds of prey but I never killed an eagle, rot
even in the Hartz or the E



THE BORDER EAGLE. 5

Erceldoune glanced at him.

* They are rare, and when they do appear we shoot them
to insure their scarcity. Perhaps the eagle you would wish
to kill is the eagle with two heads ? What sport have you
had, Duke? '

1 Very bad. Birds wild as the . But G-od bless

my soul, your bag's full ! I say, we're nearly famished -,
can't you let us have something to eat at your place
yonder ? '

* "With pleasure, sir, if your Grace can honour an owl's
roost, and put up with a plain meal of cold game,' said
Erceldoune, as he thrust the dead king, with all his pomp
of plumage torn and blood-stained, into his bag with the
black-cocks, ptarmigan, wild duck, and snipes.

' My dear fellow, I'll thank you for a crust ; I'm. literally
starving,' cried the nobleman, who was pining so wearily
for his luncheon that the words l cold game ' sounded to
him like paradise. ' And, by the way, if you've any of
your father's Madeira left, you might feast an emperor
there wasn't such a wine connoisseur in Europe as Regency
Erceldoune.'

A shadow swept over the face of the golden eagle's foe
as he whistled his dogs, and led the way for his guests over
the moor, talking with the Duke. Vane caught the look,
and smiled to himself ; he thought it was because the
ruined gentleman shrank from taking them to his beggared
home and his unluxurious table : he erred for once. Such
a petty pride was wholly impossible to the bold Border
blood of Erceldoune ; he would have taken them to a
garret quite as cordially as to a mansion ; he would have
given them, Arab-like, the half of all he had with frank
hospitality, if that all had been only an oaten cake, and
would never have done himself such mean dishonour as to
measure his worth by the weight of his plate, the number
of his wines, or the costliness of his soups.

True the world, he knew well enough, only appraised
men by the wealth that was in their pockets ; but the
world's dictum was not his deity, and with its social heart-
burnings his own wandering, athletic, adventurous, and
hardy life l:ad never had much to do. He loved the saddle
better than the drawing-rooms, and mountain and moorland
better than the lust of fame or gold.



6 ID ALIA.

It was not more than half a mile to the King's Best, as
the sole relic of the feudal glories of the Border lords was
named, from an old tradition dating back to one of Mal-
colm of Scotland's hunting raids ; the place would have
maddened an architect or a lover of new stucco, but it
would have enraptured an archaeologist or an artist. One
half of it was in ruins a mass of ivy and gray crumbling'
stone ; the other half was of all styles of architecture, '
from the round quaint tower of the Saxons, to the fantas-
tic, peaked, and oriel-windowed Elizabethan. Birds made
their nests in most of the chimneys, holly and hawthorn
grew out .of the clefts in the walls, the terraces were moss-
grown, and the escutcheon above the gateway was lost in
a profusion of scarlet-leaved creepers. But there were a
picturesqueness, a charm, a lingering grandeur which it
had still ; it spoke of a dead race, and it had poems in
every ruin, with the sun on its blazoned casements, and
the herons keeping guard by its deserted weed-grown
moat.

' Grod bless my soul ! How the place has gone to rack
and ruin since I was here twenty years ago ! ? cried the
Duke heedlessly and honestly, in blank amazement, as he
stared about him.

Erceldoune smiled slightly.

t Our fortunes have gone to " rack and ruin," Duke.'

' Ah, to be sure yes, to be sure ! Sad thing ! sad thing !
No fault of yours, though, Erceldoune. Your father
shouldn't have been able to touch the entail. He was a
Well, well, he's gone to his account now/ said his Grace,
pulling himself up short, with a perception that he was on
dangerous ground, but continuing to gaze about him witli
a blank naivete of astonishment. Men used to call him a
' sexagenarian school-boy;' it was too harsh, for the Duke
was a thoroughly good man of business, and a manly and
honest friend ; but it was true that the simplicity and can-
dour of boyhood clung very oddly to him. ; and a courtier
or a fine gentleman his Grace of Grlencairne had never be-
come, though he was not without a frank dignity of hia
own when roused to it.

By an arched side-door, through a long corridor, they
passed into a room in the southern and still habitable por-
tion of the house; a long lofty room, lighted at the end



THE BORDER EAGLE. 7

with two magnificent painted windows, panelled with cedar
picked out with, gold, hung with some half-dozen rare pic-
tures, a Titian, two Watteaux, a Teniers, a Van Tol, and a
Memlinz, covered with a rich crimson carpeting, now much
worn, and with some gold and silver racing and hunting
cups on the buffet. The chamber was the relic of the
lavish and princely splendour which scarce thirty years ago
had been at its height in the King's Rest.

' Ah, dear me, dear me ! ' murmured the Duke, throwing
himself into a f auteuil. ' This is the old supper-room. To
be sure; how well I remember G-eorge IV. sitting just
there where you stand ! Lord, how fond he was of your
Father birds of a feather ! Well, well, we might be wild,
wicked dogs we were, sir ; but we had witty times of it.
Eegency Erceldoune was a very brilliant man, though he
might be a '

Erceldoune, with brief courtesy to the Duke, rang the
bell impatiently to order luncheon, and turned to the other
men.

' I hope your sport and our moorland air may have given
you an appetite, for Border larders were never very well
stocked, you know, except when the laird made a raid ;
and, unhappily, there is no " lifting," nowadays, to add to
our stock.'

' My dear sir,' laughed Vane, dropping his glass, through
which he had been glancing at the Van Tol, ' half a cold
grouse when one is starving is worth all the delicacies of a
carerne when one is not in extremis. I am delighted to
make acquaintance with your highly picturesque and me-
diaeval abode ; a landscape-painter would be in raptures
over it, if you might wish it a trifle more waterproof.'

There was a certain dash of condescension and the sus*
picion of a sneer in the light careless words ; if they were
intended to wound, however, they missed their mark.

c Starving on the moors would not be so very terrific to
you if you had been six days in the saddle on a handful of
maize, as has chanced to me in the Pampas and the Cor-
dilleras,' said Erceldoune curtly. There is nothing your

* mightly hunter before the Lord,' who is known from the
Libyan to La Plata, holds in more profound contempt than

* small miseries.'

* Eh ? What ? Were you talking about your father's



8 ID ALIA.

dinners ? ' broke in his Grace, who, lost in his reveries as
his eyes travelled over the familiar chamber, was not very
clear what was said. ' They were the best in Europe. 1
have seen Yarmouth, and Alvanley, and Talleyrand, and
Charles Dix, and the best epicures we ever had, round that
table ; I was a very young fellow then, and the dinners
were splendid, Erceldoune. He liked to outdo the king,
you know, and the king liked to be outdone by him. I
don't believe he'd have gone quite the pace he did if it
hadn't been for Greorge.'

Erceldoune moved inlpatiently ; these latter royal memo-
ries connected with the King's Ilest were no honour to him ;
there were so many brands of an extravagant vice, and
a madman's ostentation, that had made him penniless, and
bought a sovereign's smile with disgrace.

' I daresay, sir. I never knew any use that monarchs
were yet, save in some form or another to tax their sub-
jects.'

Grlencairne laughed. He had not seen much of the man
who was now his host, but what he had seen he liked.
The Duke abhorred the atmosphere of adulation in which,
being a Duke, he was compelled to dwell, and Ercel-
doune's utter incapability of subservience or flattery re-
freshed him.

At that moment luncheon was served. The promised
cold game in abundance, with some prime venison, some
potted char, and a pile of superb strawberries; plain
enough, and all the produce of the moorlands round, but
accompanied by pure claret, and served on antique and
massive plate which had been in the King's E/est for
centuries, and was saved out of the total wreck of the
Erceldoune fortunes, and at which Lord Polemore looked
envyingly ; he was of the new creation, and would have
given half his broad lands and vast incomes to have bought
that ' high and honourable aiicientness' which was the only
thing gold could not purchase for him.

' You have a feast for the gods, Erceldoune. If this be
Border penury, commend me to it,' cried Grlencairne, as he
attacked the haunch with a hearty and absorbed attention ;
like Louis Seize, he would have eaten in the reporters' box
at the Assembly while Sulleau was falling under twenty
sword -thrusts for his sake, and the Swiss Gruard were
perishing in the Cour Eoyale.



THE BORDER EAGLE. 9

' I am sure we are infinitely indebted/ murmured Pole-
more languidly, gazing at a Venetian goblet given to an
Erceldoune by the Queen Regent, Mary of Cruise.

' Nay, it is I who am the debtor to a most happy hazard.
Try this wine,' said Erceldoune, with that stately courtesy
which was blent with his frank, bref, soldier-like manners ;
sociality was not his nature, but cordial hospitality was.

The Duke looked up.

* Eh ! Tokay ? What, the very wine Leopold gave your
father? Tiny bottles all cobwebbed ? That's it ! The real
imperial growth ; can't get it for money. Ah, how much
have you got of it left ? '

c But little only a dozen or so, I believe ; but of what
there is I would ask the pleasure of your Grace's ac-
ceptance, if the wine find favour with you,'

' Favour with me ? Hear the man. Why, it's Leopold's
own growth, I tell you,' cried his Grace. ' As for giving it
away, thank you a thousand times, but I couldn't I
wouldn't rob you of it for anything.'

' Indeed I beg you will, my dear Duke/ said Erceldoune,
with a slight smile. ' To a rich man you may refuse what
you like, but to a poor man you must leave the pleasure of
giving when he can.'

' lleally, on my soul, you're very good,' said the Duke,
whose heart was longing after the imperial vintage. I
thank you heartily, my dear fellow ; but you're too gene-
rous, Erceldoune ! give your head away, like all your race
like all your race ! If your ancestors had had their hands
a little less free at giving, and their heads a little longer at
their expenditure, you wouldn't have this place all tumble-
down as it is about you now.'

' Generosity, if I can ever make claim to it, will not im-
peril me. Who has nothing can lose nothing/ said Ercel-
doune briefly. He did not feel particularly grateful for this
discussion of his own fortunes and his father's follies before
two strangers, and Vane, noticing this by tact or by chance,
glided in with a question admiringly relative to a small gold
salver singularly carved and filigreed.

4 No, you are quite right, it is not European,' answered
his host, glad to turn the Duke's remarks off himself, the
person he liked least to hear talked of, of any in the world.
4 It is Mexican. An Erceldoune who was in Cuba at the



10 ID ALIA.

lime Cortes sailed, and who went with him through all the
Aztec conquest, brought it home from the famous treasures
of Ayaxacotl. He bored a hole in it and slung it round his
neck in the passage of the JSToche Triste ; there is the mark
now.'

* Very curious,' murmured Polemore, with a sharp twinge
of jealousy ; he felt it hard that this man, living in an owl's
roost on a barren moor, should have had ancestors who were
nobles and soldiers in the great Castilian conquest, while he,
a viscount and a millionaire, could not even tell who his
fathers were at that era, but knew they had been wool-
carders, drawers, butterers, cordwainers, or something
horrible and unmentionable.

' Out with Cortes ! ' echoed Vane. ' Then we have a link
in common, Sir Fulke. I have some Mexican trifles that
one of our family, who was a friend of Velasquez de Leon,
brought from the conquest. So a Vane and an Erceldoune
fought side by side at Otumba and in the temple of Huit-
zitopotchli? We must be friends after such an augury.'

Erceldoune bowed in silence, neither accepting nor de-
clining the proffered alliance.

The sunlight poured through the scarlet creepers round
the oriel windows into the chamber, on to the red pile of
the fruit in its glossy leaves, the rich-hued plumage of the
dead birds where they were hastily flung down, the gold and
antique plate that was in strange contrast with the
simplicity of the fare served on it ; and on the dark martial
head of the Border laird, where he sat with his great hounds
couched about him in attitudes for Land seer. He looked, on
the whole, more to belong to those daring, dauntless, fiery,
steelclad Cavaliers of the Cross, who passed with Cortes
through the dark belt of porphyry into the sunlit valley of
the Venice of the West, than to the present unheroic, un-
adventurous, unmoved, unadmiring age. Near him sat
Victor Vane, a man of not more than thirty years, rather
under the middle size and slightty built ; in his bearing easy
and aristocratic, in feature, although not by any means
handsome, very attractive, with blue eyes that were always
smiling with pleasant sunshine, hair of the lightest hue that
glanced like silk, and a mouth as delicate as a woman's, that
would have made him almost effeminate but for the long
amber moustaches that shaded it, while hia face, though



THE BORDER EAGLE. II

very fair, was perfectly colourless, which lent to it the
delicacy, but also the coldness, of marble.

As the two men sat together host and guest antago-
nism seemed more likely between them than alliance ; and
; in such antagonism, it if arose, it would have been hard to
say which would be the victor. In a fair and open fight,
hand to hand, the blood of the Northern Countrie would be



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