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CAPTAIN KYD;



THE WIZARD OF THE SEA.
A ROMANCE.

BY THE AUTHOR OF

THE SOUTHWEST," " LAFITTE," " BURTON," &c.



" There's many a one who oft has heard

The name of Robert Kyd,
Who cannot tell, perhaps, a word
Of him, or what he did.

" So, though I never saw the man,

And lived not in his day,
I'll tell you how his guilt began
To what it led the way."

H. F. GOULD.



IN TWO VOLUMES.

VOL. I.



NEW-YORK:

HARPER & BROTHERS, 82 CLIFF-STREET.

1839.



Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1838,

By HARPER & BROTHERS,
In the Clerk's Office of the Southern District of New-York.



PS



.JL

/



THE AUTHOR OF THE

"WINTER IN THE WEST,"
CHARLES FENNO HOFFMAN, ESQ.,

THESE VOLUMES ARE,
WITH SENTIMENTS OF ESTEEM,

Hespectfullg Enscvtfceu.



PRE FA C E.



THE following dramatic romance consists of two
acts, with an interval of five years between them.
The time and action of the first part, the scene of
which is placed in the south of Ireland, are com
prised in something less than three days ; that of
the second, the scenes of which are laid in New-
York Bay and on its adjacent shores, embraces a
somewhat longer space of time, the two comprising
the most prominent crises of the hero's life one
giving the colouring to the whole of his subsequent
career, which in the other is brought to its close.

Natchez, Miss., Jan., 1839.



B O O K I

THE CAUSE.






" A lady should not scorn
One soul that loves her, howe'er lowly it be."

BARRY CORNWALL

" 'Twere idle to remember now,

Had I the heart, my thwarted schemes.

I bear beneath this alter'd brow
The ashes of a thousand dreams

Some wrought of wild Ambition's fingers,
Some colour'd of Love's pencil well

********

Ambition has but foil'd my grasp,
And Love has perish'd in my clasp."

Melanie.



CAPTAIN KYD;

OR,

THE WIZARD OF THE SEA.



BOOK I.



CHAPTER I.

" Oh, bold Robin Hood

Was a forester good
As ever drew bow in the merry green wood ,

And what eye hath e'er seen

Such a sweet maiden queen
As Marian the pride of the forester's green."

ON a rocky headland that stretches boldly out
into the bosom of one of the lakelike bays that in
dent the southern shore of Ireland, stands a pictu
resque ruin, half hidden to the eye of the voyager
amid a group of old trees. With its solitary square
tower, and warlike battlements jagged and stern in
their desolation, it still wears an air of imposing
grandeur, that conveys some idea of its ancient
baronial state. It is known by the name of " old
Castle Cor ;" and in its palmy days was the summer
abode of the last Earl of Bellamont.

On a bright morning in the merry month of May,
in the year sixteen hundred and ninety-four, its now
silent halls rung with the joyous voices and noisy
sports of a score of gallant youths and noble maid
ens, gathered there, from many a lordly roof both



10 CAPTAIN KYD; OR,

far and near, to celebrate a rural fete in honour of
the sixteenth birthday of the only child of this an
cient house, the beautiful Kate Bellamont, better
known throughout the barony as " wild Kate of
Castle Cor." In the pastimes of the day, archery,
then much practised by ladies of gentle blood, was
to hold a conspicuous place, and a silver arrow was
to be awarded to the victor by the hands of Lady
Bellamont herself. As the hour of noon approach
ed, the earl's chief forester, Cormac Dermot, his
gray locks covered with a red cloth bonnet, in
which was fastened an eagle's plume, and his goodly
person arrayed in a holyday suit of green and gold,
made his appearance on the lawn by the west side
of the castle, and wound his horn, loud and long,
as the signal that the " gentle sporte of archerie"
was now about to begin.

The place chosen for the trial of skill was an
ample lawn of the softest and greenest verdure,
lying between the wall of the castle and the verge
of the cliff. A few ancient oaks grew here and
there upon it ; and towards the south it was open
to the land-locked bay and far-distant sea, which,
wide as the vision extended, seemed to belt the
horizon like a shining band of silver. At each
extremity of the field, one hundred yards apart,
was pitched upon the sward a gorgeous pavilion,
one of blue, the other of orange-coloured silk : the
hangings of the former were fringed with silver;
and from the festooned curtains of the latter pended
tassels of silk and gold. In these were laid tables
spread with cloths of crimson damask, and covered
with every luxury that could tempt the palate
or gratify the eye. From the summit of one of
the pavilions fluttered a crimson banneret, display
ing the arms of Bellamont, its boar's-head crest
pierced through with an arrow, emblematical of the



THE WIZARD OF THE SEA. 11

occasion ; and from the top of the other waved a
white banner, in the centre of which, according to
the rules of heraldry, a bow, quiver, target and
other signs of archery were tastefully emblazoned.

Twenty-five yards in front of each pavilion, two
targets were placed, fifty yards apart, so that, after
sending all their arrows at one, the archers might
walk up to it and gather them, and, taking their
stand by it, shoot back to the other ; thus alternately
reversing the direction of their shots, and adding
healthful exercise to their graceful pastime. The
targets were both very beautiful, and gay with
colours ; being round wooden shields half an inch
in thickness and three feet in diameter, with four
circles painted on the faces : the outer white, with
a green border ; the next black ; the next within
it orange ; and the inner circle red, encompassing
a gold centre. They were elevated, at a slight
angle, twenty inches from the ground, on a light
frame resembling a painter's easel.

Midway between the targets, but safely placed
several paces back from the erratic path of the
arrows, was erected beneath an ancient linden-tree
a sylvan throne, surmounted by a canopy of silk,
elaborately worked with the needle to represent
Diana, with her nymphs and hounds, pursuing a
herd of deer with flights of arrows. This was the
seat of the umpire of the sports Katrine, the
lovely Countess of Bellamont. Altogether, it was
an imposing and gorgeous scene ; and, with its stern
castle rising boldly from the verdant lawn topped
with battlements and towers ; with its boundary
on the north side, of green, dark old woods, and the
calm, deep bay beneath, with a yacht sleeping on its
bosom ; with its extended prospect of the illim
itable sea for-ever breathing with a mysterious life,
the field of archery at Castle Cor, for ihe natural



12 CAPTAIN KYD; OR,

beauty of the spot and the taste displayed in its
adornment, has doubtless had no parallel in the
annals of archery.

Scarcely had the echoes of old Cormac's horn
died away in the forest, startling many a stately
stag to flight, when the castle poured forth its gay
throng of archers towards the lists. In their midst
was the Countess of Bellamont, escorted by a body
guard of young archeresses. She was then in the
prime and beauty of ripe womanhood : at that
delightful age when the wife and mother, all the
charms of mind and person fully developed and re
fined by taste and elegant culture, fascinates by a
thousand nameless graces, and captivates and en
slaves even the youthful crowd that sigh at the feet
of her lovely daughter of seventeen the age that
leaves one in doubt whether beautiful women ar
rive at the zenith of their beauty and power under
five-and-thirty.

This was the age of Katrine of Bellamont ; and
though at eighteen (when she became a bride) the
loveliest of all Irish maidens either of gentle or
lowly birth, yet now, as the Countess of Bella
mont, far-famed for her rare and stately beauty.
She was arrayed in a simple white robe ; and a
laced jacket of royal-purple velvet closely fitted
her magnificent bust. When she entered the field
she was conducted by her juvenile escort to the
throne, on which she seated herself, and with a play
fully assumed queenly dignity that became her
highborn air. A coronet of pearls graced her brow ;
and her symmetrical hand, that rivalled pearls in
its soft transparency, gracefully held, like a sceptre,
the miniature arrow which was to be the prize for
excelling in archery. Her deep blue eyes, as she
looked around, reflected, in a thousand smiling
beams, the joy that danced on each youthful face,



THE WIZARD OF THE SEA* 13

and the sunny light of her own countenance com
municated sunshine of the heart wherever it fell.

On each side of the throne stood a wellborn youth
habited as a page, and behind her were stationed
two beautiful young girls attired as sylphides. On
her right hand, a few feet in the rear, leaning on a
yew bow six feet in length, stood Cormac Dermot,
his stag's horn, richly inlaid and curiously carved
with woodland devices, slung beneath his left shoul
der, with the mouthpiece brought round in front
ready for use. A little farther beyond, and nearer
the castle-wall, was assembled a group of lower de
gree, consisting of under-foresters, retainers of the
household, and neighbouring peasants ; while on
the opposite side of the lawn might be seen, relieved
against the sky, the forms of two or three fisher
men, whom curiosity had led to climb the dizzy
precipice from the beach far along the white line
of which were visible their scattered huts, looking
like black specks upon the sand.

All was now animation with the preparations
for the lists. From bundles of bows thrown by
Dermot on the ground before each pavilion, the
youths began busily to select weapons for the
fair archers, who were themselves earnestly en
gaged in choosing arrows from quivers that were
hung on the front of the tent ; fastening braces of
thick fawn's leather on their left or bow arm just
above the wrist to preserve it from injury by the
rebound of the bow-string; and drawing on the
right hand, from parcels handed them by pages,
shooting-gloves, with three finger-stalls, fitted with
a strap and button to fasten at the wrist, to pro
tect their fingers in drawing the arrow. Besides
these appendages of archery, each archeress wore
a belt buckled about the waist, to which pended a
tassel of the softest floss of Brussels, to wipe away

VOL.!, B



14 CAPTAIN KYD ; OR,

the soil that adhered to the arrows when drawn
from the ground ; and also an ivory box with a metal
lid, containing a perfumed paste for anointing the
finger-stalls of the shooting-gloves and the brace
on the arm, that the bow-string might the more
easily quit the fingers and pass over the guarded
wrist. A small pouch, either of tortoise-shell or
of silver, in shape and dimensions like a sportsman's
cup or a dicebox, was suspended on the right side
to receive two or three arrows ; the more cumber
some quiver, while in target-shooting, being left on
the ground near at hand, filled with shafts to re
place those broken or lost.

The party of archeresses consisted of seven fair
girls, the eldest scarce seventeen. They were fanci
fully attired, some in green, and others in orange or
blue hunting-jackets, after the tasteful fashion of the
period ; a costume admirably calculated to display
their sylphan shapes. They all wore hats of the col
our of their spencers, looped up in front, and orna
mented with waves of snowy plumes. Long white
trains descended from their waists to the ground,
but, in shooting, were gathered beneath the belt on
the left side, and, thence falling down again to the
feet in numerous folds, added to the grace and pictu-
resqueness of their appearance. Each archeress
was attended by a favoured youth as an esquire,
habited in a green or gray hunting-frock, bordered
with a wreath of embroidered oak-leaves, with an
arrow worked in silver thread on each lappel.
They wore broad flapping hats, turned boldly back
from the forehead, and shaded in front with a droop
ing black plume. Each carried a short hunting-
spear, decked with ribands of the colour of his mis
tress' jacket, gifts from her own hand and tied there
on with her own fingers, in token that she acknowl
edged him as her " Esquire of the Bow." The duty



THE WIZARD OF THE SEA. 15

of these youthful cavaliers was to select a bow suited
to the strength of the archeress whose colours they
wore ; to fit it with an arrow of a weight proportioned
to its power, having a nock exactly receiving the
string ; to assist, if the lady is unskilled, in string
ing the bow ; to draw the arrows from the butt, or
collect the far-shot shafts and return them to the
owner ; and otherwise, as courtesy and gallantry
prompted, to do their duty as " esquires of arch-
em."

Once more the sonorous horn of old Cormac
was heard winding, now high, now low, in a long,
wild strain, and then ending in three sharp blasts,
like the stirring notes of a bugle sounding to the
charge. Every archeress now had her brace buck
led on her arm, and her shooting-glove buttoned
about her wrist ; every one had two good arrows
in the pouch at her belt, and a third on the string;
and each fair girl, attended by her esquire, hasten
ed to the stand by the southernmost target at the
sound of the forester's horn save, in each instance,
Kate Bellamont ! Her brace would not buckle all
she could do ; her shooting-glove would not go on,
and three, that she had pulled off, were lying rent
at her feet ; and not an arrow was to be seen in
her tortoise-shell pouch, though half a dozen fair
ones lay about her on the ground ! It was very
plain that something was going wrong with the
maiden. Such a dilemma could not have hap
pened without a cause. The braces of the rest
buckled with ease ; their shooting-gloves fitted
beautifully ; and there had been time enough to fill
twenty pouches. Why, then, was Kate Bellamont
not ready ? Her brace, both strap and buckle, was
perfect ; and the wrist it was destined to compass
was not to be matched for its smallness of size !
The gloves, plainly were just what they should be !



16 CAPTAIN KYD; OR,

Her companions had been fitted, and her hand was
the smallest as well as the fairest of the party ;
besides, there were a dozen pairs on the ground that
evidently were made for no other hand. The cause
could not lie in the arrows, for they were, to the
eye, without fault, and of every variety of shape
and fashion known to archery ; nor in her handsome
esquire, who, save when requested by some eager
girl to assist her, had been diligently serving her
with arrow after arrow, until he had emptied two
quivers, the contents of which now lay strewn
around. The cause is not to be found in either of
these. The truth is, Kate Bellamont was playing
with her little foot against the ground when sho
should have been trying on her glove. No sooner
was one pulled half way on than she suffered it to
remain so, drumming the while in a fit of absence
on the sward, while her eyes followed the motions
of her handsome esquire. The next moment, re
covering herself, she would tear it off impatiently,
and, with a laugh, fling it to the ground. She would
then take up another, and go through the same pro
cess, or play with her brace instead of buckling it ;
and when the young gentleman gave her an arrow,
without scarcely touching it to the bow-string she
threw it down, saying it was too heavy or too light,
too long or too short, had too much feather or had
not feather enough ; so that, when the rest of the
party were ready, Kate Bellamont was just where
ghe was at the outset, The result of all this, wheth
er brought about designedly or not by a little fe*
male manoeuvring, being a question to be solved by
such as are skilled in the ways and means by which
women work out their ends, was, that when the last
notes of Cormac's horn died away in the forest,
Kate Bellamont found herself and her esquire, the
noble and youthful heir of the broad lands of the



THE WIZARD OF THE SEA. 17

earldom of Lester, left quite alone. The brace was
on her arm unbuckled, and she held a glove in her
hand.

" Lord Robert, do clasp this troublesome brace
for me. Strange you could not see what difficulty
I have had to get ready ! But I suppose you were
:; so engaged fitting an arrow to pretty Gracy Fitz
gerald's bow, that you had no eyes for any one
else !"

This was said half in pique, half laughingly;
and holding, with a pouting lip, her snowy arm to
wards her esquire as she spoke, he gallantly re
ceived it, and with the merest effort in the world
clasped the rebellious brace. But he did not re
lease her soft hand without giving it a slight pres
sure, and looking into her face with an eloquent
gaze, which she consciously met with eyes half
downcast, yet beaming through their long dark
lashes with a gentle fire that young love only could
have kindled.

" Now, Sir Esquire, fasten this glove."

The youth bent till the black plume of his bonnet
rested on her arm, and, with some difficulty ap
parently, for he was a very long time about it, suc
ceeded in buttoning the silken strap across the blue-
veined wrist ; nor did he lift his head from the fair
hand, which lay nestled like a bird in his beneath
the thick covert of his drooping featker, ere he had
touched it with his bold lip.

" Ha, Sir Forester, is this a part of your service
as squire of archery ?" she demanded, with the blood
mounting to her cheek in maidenly surprise ; though
the pouting smile on her mouth, which she vainly
tried to turn into a frown, and the dancing light in
her telltale eyes, betokened any thing besides resent
ment at the bold deed ; " I see I must resign you
to my sly little cousin Gracy, and take her well-
B2



18 CAPTAIN KYD; OR,

behaved esquire ; doubtless you better understand
her humour than you seem to do mine."

By the time she had ended she had succeeded in
calling up a small cloud on her brow, which strug


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