Emily Marshall.

The Rose, or affection's gift (Volume 1848) online

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ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1847,

*V "' *** ^ kfewrecoN fc COMM.NY* / . " * ;
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of



So many books are published in these times,
that a preface is expected to contain a distinct
apology for adding one more to the number. In
deference to this expectation of the public, it be-
comes the editor on the present occasion to say,
that it having been the prevailing fashion for some
twenty years to furnish annually certain elegant
volumes called Annuals, for the purpose of making
presents to esteemed and beloved friends at the
festive season of Christmas and the New Year ;
and the practice continuing with undiminished
vogue ; it is deemed right and proper to add one
more to the number of. Annuals at this present time,
especially as the publishers are possessed of the

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means of furnishing one of unusual excellence and
beauty, the literary matter proceeding as it does
from some of the ablest pens of the present literary
era, and the embellishments being executed by
some of the best artists and engravers in the world.

In the tales and narratives contained in this
volume, the reader will find a great variety, among
which are some exceedingly interesting stories from
the pen of Miss E. W. Barnes, including specimens
of the romantic, the pathetic, the humorous, and the
didactic ; while the poetry, lyric, sentimental and
heroic, is not less various suited to the great
variety of tastes which the recipients of holiday
presents may be supposed to possess.

Having used great exertion and care to render
the volume worthy of public favour, the editor res-
pectfully submits it to her readers, wishing them all
most cordially a Merry Christmas and a Happy
New Year.




The Bridal Ornaments. A Legend of Thuringia, . 9
Gildeluec ha Guilladun. An Armorican Legend, . 35

The Comet, 58

The Glowworm, ....... 88

To an Infant Sleeping on its Mother's Breast during a

Storm, . . . . .89

The Daughter, 90

The Inebriate, 92

The Attacked Escort, 106

Woman, - . . 117

Congenial Spirits, 118

Grace Neville, 120

To the Swallow preparing to Emigrate, . . . 133

Merlin and the Knight, " 134

Hope, . 135

Mary Donaldson, or the Wee Woman o' Breckonhill, 136

Six Hours in Iceland, 143

The Haunted Manor House, 161




The Highlander's Dream, . . . .190

Address to a Lady who was gathering a Convolvulus

for an Evening Party, 192

Maximilian and his Daughter, 193

The Hermit Knight, .202

To the Last Star of Morning, 204

The Bequest, 205

Song, . . . . . . . . 217

The Dying Knight, 218

The Fortune Seeker, 219

The Mourner, 230

Maria de Torquemada taking the Veil, . . .236

The Maiden's Curse, 238

The Unknown yet Well Known, . . . . 241

To the Clouds, 291

The Haunted Forest, 292

The Castle of Reinspadtz, 304







>/3. THE DAUGHTER, .... 90

^4. CONGENIAL SPIRITS, . . . .118



/7. THE HERMIT KNIGHT, ... 202

1/8. THE DYING KNIGHT, . . . 218

9. THE MAIDEN'S CURSE, . . .' 238

/10. THE HAUNTED FOREST, . . . .292




St 3Lejjentr of Sfjurfnflfa.


THE traveller, who some centuries ago had occasion
to pass through the country of Thuringia, took care to
choose his route by the Castle of Aarburg, unless disap-
pointed love, or some other miserable heart-ache, caused
him to seek a more solitary road. The warder stood
night and day upon the watch-tower, gazing about for
knights, pilgrims, or other strangers ; and when lucky
enough to discover one approaching, upon sounding a
flourish on his cheerful horn, by way of welcome, the
gates creaked, the drawbridges rattled, the horses
stamped, and the men-at-arms rode out to meet the tra-
veller, and courteously invite him to refreshment and a
night's comfortable rest. The knight of the castle had a
kind word for every new comer, and, according to his
rank, he either conducted him into, the hall, or left him
to the care of his retainers until he should think proper
to depart.



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The last knight of the family, Sir Thimo von der Aar-
burg, did not derogate from the fame acquired by his an-
cestors for hospitality. He had succeeded to the inheri-
tances of his brothers, uncles, and cousins, and knew no
care unless when strangers and guests were wanting to
partake of the good things of his castle : in such cases it
even sometimes happened that he sallied forth himself to
meet travellers, and invite them to share his hospitality.

The greatest treasure in the Castle of Aarburg was
the knight's only daughter, celebrated throughout all Ger-
many by the name of "the Beautiful Bertha." Princes,
counts, and knights came from the four quarters of the
earth to admire her and humbly solicit her love but she
was not to be pleased so easily : this knight she found too
dull, that too presuming, and a third was splenetic
Frenchmen, Britons, and Italians, all shared the same
fate. " He who shall gain this bride," quoth gossip Ru-
mour, "will be fortune's greatest favourite ; for besides
the enchanting beauty with which nature has endowed
her, and the immense wealth with which fortune has
loaded her father, there is an invaluable casket of jewels
an ancient property of the house of Aarburg which
she, as the last of her family, will receive at her nuptials
for her bridal ornaments."

At the distance of a few arrow-flights from the Castle
of Aarburg stood an ancient ruin, which the late owner,
Sir Heerwart, had left as the sole inheritance of his only



son Baldwin. Before the period when the emperor Maxi-
milian introduced the spreading plant of Roman law into
the German soil, and whilst every knight could protect
his property with spear and sword, the good Sir Heerwart
was not the poorest among those of his own rank ; for he
was brave in battle, and made great profit by booty and
ransom : but now, when the knightly spear was obliged
to bend before the goose-quill, and the emperor, during
public peace, laid heavy fines upon all private feuds
against the property of others, he could not get on quite
so well as usual. Year after year he was obliged to cede
apartments and towers of his ruinous castle to the bats
and the owls, whose profession abroad was not prohibited
like that of its luckless lord.

The young knight, Sir Baldwin, beheld with great
pain the natural decay of the home of his ancestors.
Little space as the whole of his personal property re-
quired, it appeared very much as if his castle would only
grant him that little for the few warm days of summer,
by no means promising him protection against the frost
and snow of the ensuing winter. He held a private
council with himself, as to what was to be done under
such circumstances ; but his thoughts always swerved
from the task which he had given to his understanding,
and amused his imagination with dreams and wishes,
which had no sort of connexion with the case in question.

Sir Baldwin's heart was unfortunately as near to ruin



as his paternal castle, with this only difference, that the
cause was not from the attacks of age and pitiless ene-
mies, but rather from repeated assaults of youth and
beauty, and against which his means of defence were still
more slender. He had seen the daughter of the knight
of Aarburg at a tournament, where she had been pro-
claimed the Queen of Beauty, and presented the prize to
the victor. Sir Baldwin's arm was strengthened tenfold
by the sight of her loveliness : he lifted the knights out of
their saddles as if they had been men of straw; and his
blows fell as if spirits of the air conducted his arm. The
fair Bertha was not more shortsighted than the rest of her
lovely sex in these particular cases ; she saw plainly
enough that her eyes were the sunbeams, and her soft
words the breath of that spring, which produced such
vigorous plants of valour in the bosom of the young
knight : she therefore rewarded the judges of the combat
with her sweetest smiles, when they with one accord de-
creed the prize to her hero ; and she delivered it to him
with a blush, that to an experienced eye would have be-
trayed what was passing in her bosom.

After the tournament, Sir Baldwin did not fail to pay
frequent visits to the knight of Aarburg in his own castle ;
and as he was a lively companion, and assisted the baron
not only to project, but also to execute many an excellent
practical joke, he soon became a daily guest at Aarburg,
and always found a seat ready for him at the table, with


a chamber and a bed besides, when he did not like to ride
home through fog and darkness. The Lady Bertha sent
many an inquiring glance towards the active, slender
knight ; even challenged him sometimes to the dance,
when awkward guests threatened her with a round or a
saraband ; and solicited his advice when she purposed to
add something new to her ornaments or her attire.
These little condescensions gave courage and strength
to the hopes of the young knight ; and one lovely sum-
mer's evening, when the Lady Bertha was seated in a
bower, accompanying her harp with her sweet voice, he
suddenly found his heart become too warm and too large
for his bosom : so he sprang up from the bank of turf,
sank at Bertha's feet, and swore roundly, that, like the
sound of her song, he only lived by her breath, and fondly
and earnestly wooed for her sweet love in return. The
lady was surprised, but not so much at the knight's glow-
ing passion, which she had for a long time observed with
secret satisfaction, as at its hasty and violent effect. In
her consternation the harp slipped from her fair hands,
and, as she bent forward to recover the instrument, her
lips encountered those of Sir Baldwin ; while her arms,
which were accidentally extended, intertwining them-
selves with his, the lovers were guilty of a kiss and an
embrace, before they were aware how much the demon
Chance had played into the hands of the divinity Cupid.
After the first few moments, they were somewhat startled


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upon considering how Sir Thimo, the rich lord of Aar-
burg, would regard his daughter's love for the poor knight
of the ruins. They conned the subject ever and over
again many nights after this ; and sat many an hour to-
gether without coming to any conclusion, except that
Baldwin was to fix himself more firmly in the favour of
the knight of Aarburg, and to 'take an early opportunity
of disclosing his hopes and plans respecting Bertha.
This opportunity soon offered itself. Notwithstanding all
the magnificence and expense of the Castle of Aarburg,
father Thimo's money-chests became fuller and fuller
every day, so that there was really no end to his riches
and purchases. On one occasion (the acquisition of a
rich lordship), when his friends and guests wished him
joy in full bumpers, he placed his cup gloomily upon the
table before him, and would not accept their congratula-
tions v " Of what use is it all to me ?" said he ; " you
know I have no heir, to whom to leave my property and
possessions." " No," replied one of the guests ; " but
have you not a lovely daughter, who can 'give you just
such a son-in-law as your heart would desire ?" " True,"
replied the knight of Aarburg, sighing ; " but I would
rather have had a son : a son-in-law carries off his wife to
his own castle, and the old father sits deserted and soli-
tary in his empty hall. If I had a son now a son, for
instance, like Baldwin there I should look out for a
proper wife, and place him over this new lordship, or let

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him dwell in the castle of my ancestors, where there is
room enough for a whole generation."

Sir Baldwin's courage rose at these words it had
already been considerably elevated by the quantity of wine
which he had drunk ; he did not hesitate as to how he
should begin his speech, but commenced the attack
straight-forward : " Father Thimo," said he, " what hin-
ders you from making me your son ? Give me your
daughter, the beautiful Bertha, to wife, and let us dwell
in one of your castles, or, if it please you better, here at
Aarburg : you shall have children and grandchildren to
your heart's content."

But instead of accepting this friendly offer in a friendly
manner, the knight of Aarburg turned coolly round, and
showed a very long face to the speaker ; and " Do you
think so, knight of Heerwart ?" was the only answer he
deigned to give the petitioner, who beheld him quietly re-
sume, without further remark, an indifferent conversation
with one of his guests. Baldwin's anger rose at the cool-
ness with which the knight of Aarburg received his court-
ship. In the zeal of his heart he rose from his seat, re-
peated his words, and declared his love for the beautiful
Bertha in terms of the most impassioned eloquence.
Thimo allowed him quietly to go through with his oratory,
and when he had finished, " Knight," said he, " how am I
to know whether you really love my daughter, or only
woo her for your own temporal advantage ? Hear me

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quietly I listened patiently to you. You appeal to your
knightly word ; that is certainly sufficient for me in all
affairs of honour : but my Bertha is not only the pride of
my house, but also the darling of my heart. Besides, I
have, like all rich people, my whims, which all your elo-
quence will not make me resign : he who wins the hand
of my Bertha must be rich in castles and lands, in order
that she may not live in less splendour as a wife than she
did as a maiden. I can add nothing as a fortune, for all I
possess will be spent hi the purchase of bridal ornaments,
magnificent as those which a spirit once bestowed upon
our family, and which, since that period, have unfortu-
nately been lost. For this reason my son-in-law must be
a rich man. Those bridal ornaments I will have, and
their purchase will swallow- up my fortune ; but they are,
notwithstanding, an acquisition too important to be neg-

To Sir Baldwin this speech appeared extremely ridi-
culous, though he took care not to declare this as his par-
ticular opinion ; on the contrary, he affected to treat the
thing in a very different manner. " Sir Thimo," he be-
gan gravely, throwing a most sentimental expression into
his face, and placing his right hand pathetically upon his
heart, " surely you cannot imagine that / have any wish
for these vanities and superfluous treasures; keep them
all, I beseech you, for ever : it is Bertha herself alone
I covet; is not her beauty a richer jewel than "




" Pshaw ! ; ' thundered the old man, now become exceed-
ingly impatient, " don't I know beforehand all that you
are going to say ? Have I not sworn the same thing my-
self a thousand times, and could you do otherwise, pro-
fessing love for my Bertha, than swear by all the saints
that you preferred one lock of her hair to all the chains
of gold that emperors and princes could bestow ? There,
now, you look rather foolish ; but no matter. Bertha
must have the ornaments, and I will have my whim : for
the rest we may still be good friends if you choose ; but
you must first pass your knightly word, that there shall
be no private tampering with Bertha's duty, neither inside
nor outside the castle : I'll have no love-making, Baldwin,
or we part company afonce."

Sir Baldwin made a wry face or tw r o at this bitter pill,
which nevertheless he was obliged to swallow ; and there-
fore, much against his will, gave his knightly word to Sir
Thimo, lest he should be altogether deprived of the sight
of his lovely mistress. The knights and gentlemen,
friends of Sir Thimo who were present at this scene,
forgot to sympathise with the unsuccessful wooer, in the
ardour of their curiosity respecting those valuable bridal
ornaments, on the possession of which the lord of Aar-
burg seemed to have placed all his happiness. They
anxiously inquired whence they came, whither they had
gone, and what were the particular virtues they pos-
sessed; swearing most manfully (for Sir Thimo's wine



had inflamed their valour) to get them back for their
good host, even from under the Grand Turk's beard.
" Whither they are gone," replied Sir Thimo, " is more
than I can tell you, since the loss was before my father's
time. The last person who wore them was the Lady
Urilda, the sole child and heiress of the then Baron von
der Aarburg, and hers is a fearful history. She loved a
knight, who was as poor, though not so honest, as Bald-
win there ; and upon her father's refusal to permit the
match, she, on the suggestion of her admirer, murdered
the poor old man, and, dressing herself in the bridal orna-
ments, waited at midnight for her lover to carry her off.
He came, as the legend goes but what he said or did,
or whither they went, has never been known to this day ;
only during that dreary night frightful shrieks and loud
wailings were heard, as of one in mortal agony beseech-
ing for mercy ; and in the morning it was known that the
Lady Urilda and the bridal ornaments had strangely dis-
appeared together. It is an ugly history, and the less is
said upon the subject the better ; but as to the ' how they
came into the family,' the story being of a more pleasing
character, I shall not hesitate to repeat it as it has been
often related to me by our old confessor.

" The Countess Ursula von der Aarburg, who lived
many centuries ago, and was a perfect pattern both as a
wife and a mother, was sleeping quietly one night among
her seven children (it was the Eve of St. John), when she

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suddenly awoke from hearing herself called by a shrill
clear voice. Opening her heavy eyelids, she was sur-
prised to observe a singularly-dressed female figure, of
great beauty but diminutive stature, standing by the side
of her couch, and who said, in a sweet small voice,
' Arise, noble lady, and lend a sufferer your assistance ;
the Queen of the Mountain will die without your aid.'
The countess rose, though utterly unable to understand
the speaker, who waited upon her toilette, and officiated
as her waiting-maid, and with as much readiness and zeal
as if it had been the habit of years ; and the countess her-
self, who was no very keen observer, could not help re-
marking, that the several articles of her dress seemed to
be instinct with life, or to possess some very extraordi-
nary deference to her attendant, the motion of whose little
finger they instantaneously obeyed, placing themselves
upon their owner's person at the first signal given by the
stranger. The Countess Ursula had never been so well
attended before, and in pure gratitude for the honour done
her (howbeit not loving moonlight walks, having seven
children), quietly followed wherever her singular visitor
thought fit to lead her. Away they went (not flying, but
soberly walking) from the castle, unseen of the guards,
through whom, however, they passed, over ramparts and
drawbridges, through doors and gates, over fields and
water, without even wetting their feet, till they arrived at
a high mountain, at the foot of which her guide knocked

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upon a square tablet for admission. The stony doors
gave way, and immediately a magnificent glittering arch
was formed in the mountain, under which the travellers
passed to the splendid hall of a subterranean regal palace.
Here many beautiful forms of men and women, but all
proportionably small, met the countess and her com-
panion, and respectfully saluting them, conducted them
through many royal saloons, glittering with gold and
silver, to one more superb than any of the rest, in which
were a pair of golden folding-doors communicating with
another chamber. These suddenly flew open, and another
female advancing, took the countess by the hand, and say-
ing that the Mountain-Queen longed for her impatiently,
conducted her into the apartment. The little men fell
back respectfully, but the waiting-maids accompanied the
countess into the chamber of the sovereign. Here walls
of pure marble were surmounted by a cupola of soft green
emerald, under which stood a bed of beaten gold, and
upon that reclined a lovely female, mild and gracious as
the Italian representations of the Madonna. ' Noble lady,'
said she, in a gentle tone, to dame Ursula, ' be not
alarmed ; you are even safer here than in the home of
your fathers : approach me without hesitation, and assist
me in this hour of mortal terror, which has fallen upon
me in the Eve of St. John, when the spirits of the earth
are powerless until morning. I bear beneath my heart a
pledge of our sovereign-husband's love, whicn, without



your aid, cannot see the light ; assist me, then, in this my
hour of need, as you would hope for help in yours.'

" Ursula was moved by this gentle address and the
high confidence reposed in herj she spoke some words
of comfort to the royal patient, and then Blessed her with
the sacred sign of the cross, in order to make quite sure
that the devil had no hand in the affair. In fact, every
thing remained unchanged except the beautiful face of
the queen, which smiled still more sweetly than before ;
and the soft mountain-air, which met the nerves of the
stranger, was loaded with fragrance, and breathed har-
mony around her; for wonderful music floated above
them, while Ursula presented to the queen a lovely infant
boy. As the mother folded him to her heart, a loud shout
was heard, and the deep majestic tones of many trumpets,
pouring forth sounds of triumph, rang through this sub-
terraneous paradise. The folding-doors again opened;
the king himself entered, took the child in his arms,,
kissed it, and then showed it to a great number of little
men, who had fallen upon their knees before the doors :
they bowed their heads to the earth, and then shouted
loudly as before.

" The Countess Ursula was an astonished spectator
of this strange yet happy scene, till the silver voice of the
queen recalled her attention. ' Take, noble lady,' it said,
' with the grateful acknowledgments of Saffira, the Moun-
tain-Queen, this little casket, which will serve as a rich

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and perpetual monument of the gratitude she owes for
your service. Be careful to preserve in your family the
jewels which it contains. As long as they make part of
your possessions, your house shall be the first in its
country, and the branches of your genealogical tree
shall even overshadow the empire itself; but if you lose
it, prosperity will vanish and your name be extinguished
for ever. You may, nevertheless, bestow a few of these
jewels upon a beloved daughter, for they have the power
of communicating happiness to their possessor ; but in
that case be careful to replace them with gems of the
same kind and value, that the whole set may be preserved
entire, and each bride of the house of Aarburg may adorn
herself with them on her bridal day.' She then signed to
the lady who had brought Ursula thither, and placing in
her hand the casket of exquisite workmanship, requested
her to conduct the countess home. This was performed
immediately : the attendant waited to undress the lady with
all duteous attention, placed the casket upon the table, and
retired, making a most profoundly respectful courtesy.

" When my good ancestress awoke in the morning,
she was very well disposed to consider the whole as a
dream, till the sight of the casket staring her in the face
convinced her there was no delusion. Her husband was
delighted with the present, for the blessing promised by
the Mountain-Queen was fulfilled to the letter ; the fam-
ily grew immensely rich and prosperous, and there was


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Online LibraryEmily MarshallThe Rose, or affection's gift (Volume 1848) → online text (page 1 of 17)