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no help except to those who live our life, share
our duties, bend under the game-burdens as we,
and do not claim, like you, the right of living
as they please, free from all laws and all duties!"

As Jack was about to re-enter in despair,
two shots were fired near by, and an unfortu-
nate hare, mortally wounded, ran forward and
fell dead at the distance of two or three hundred
paces from the cave. Jack ran to pick it up,
and met the sportsman, who had just left his
post. Imagine his joy when he found that it
was Siffrein, a comrade, a brother poacher, a
friend! In a few words Siffrein was informed
of the state of affairs, and at once promised his
assistance; and it was arranged that he should
see the doctor and the cure 1 , and tell them in
what state he had left Flise. Comforted by
the certainty of soon obtaining help, Jack re-
entered the cave, and, worn out by fatigue and
emotion, soon fell into a deep slumber by the
corner of the fire.

He was awakened by heart-rending cries.
F61ise was writhing on her miserable bed; the
delirium had left her, but with the return of
reason terror had entered her soul. " I am
going to die," she cried; "Jack, do not leave
me to die! Jack, I am afraid. Jack, I am
dying! Help me, help me! Do not let me
die, Jack, I conjure you!"

"Fe"lise, Fe'lise! " replied Jack in destraction;
"calm yourself; I am here, I shallnot leave you!
what is there to frighten you? I am here
Oh, you are suffering cruel pain, my poor Lise!"

She clung to him with extraordinary force,
clasping him spasmodically in her arms so as
almost to choke him. A convulsive sob arose
from the depths of her chest, and issued from
between her closed teeth in violent gasps, with
a rattling sound, while a white froth moistened
the corners of her mouth.

"Ah, Jack! " cried F615se with an accent of
despair, "adieu, Jack, adieu! It is all over! "
Her arms all at once relaxed their hold, and
she sank back lifeless on her couch.

When the curd and the doctor at length ar-
rived about midnight they were too late to
render any assistance to poor F61ise. Jack's
agony was great, but very quiet; and it was a

long time before he could be roused to speak
of the necessary preparations for the funeral.
Then, with pitiful earnestness he begged the
cur6, if it could be done, to consecrate a little
bit of ground beneath a tall juniper which grew
near the cave, so that Felise might be buried
there, and he might be always near her as he
had promised to be on the day of their betrothal.

The cur6 consented; and Jack himself dug
the grave, resolutely refusing all assistance in
that melancholy task.

All the people of the village, and many from
the neighbouring hamlets, marched up to the
cave of Maraval to attend the funeral. Old
Martin was there too, and at the grave he flung
himself into Jack's arms, manifesting extreme
grief, which was no doubt rendered more poign-
ant by remorse. Simon Fifteen Ounces flung
into the open grave the knife which had tempted
him to become a traitor, and in the name of
Fe'lise implored Jack to forgive him.

"You have done us much harm, Simon,"
said Jack, sadly; "but it shall not be in vain
that you invoke the name of Fe'lise. I pardon
you from the bottom of my heart."

Fe'lise' s death finally determined the course
of Jack's life. But for that event the refractory
conscript, the despiser of social trammels
circumstances aiding might have become like
other men and entered on a settled life. Mar-
ried, and the father of a family, Jack would
have been the first to recognize the necessity
of reconciling himself with society, and would
certainly have taken advantage of the general
amnesty that followed the revolution of 1880.
But wifeless, alone, and no longer having any
reason for struggling against his natural bent,
Jack was bound to return to the life of vaga-
bondage which had for him become a second
nature. If he lived a life of hardship on his
inaccessible mountain, where the blues had
ended by leaving him quite unmolested, yet
he was dependent on no one he was truly his
own master in the full sense of the word.

By building some pieces of dry stone-wall
to keep out the wind, he had made of the cave
of Maraval an abode that a human being
could almost live in. He had his head-quarters
there, his provision store, and his workshop;
he came there every evening to sleep, often
from a long distance, and in all sorts of weather.
In the morning, before starting on his excur-
sions, he knelt beside the tomb of F61ise, said
his prayers devoutly, then piously threw a stone
on the shapeless heap, which being augmented



by a stone from every passer-by, was soon, and
is still called The Dead Woman's Cairn.

Thus be lived for many a long year in this
wild solitude, alone with the remembrance of
her whom he had lost, seldom descending to
the village except on Sundays and holidays for
the purpose of hearing mass. He spoke little,
and avoided society as much as he could; but
by a sort of tacit agreement he seemed to be
constituted the natural guardian of all the old
customs of the country on Easter even, for
example, he was always sure to be found posted
at the corner of the square with his finger on
the trigger of his gun, waiting till the bells
should ring the return from Rome, in order to
shoot Lent Lent being represented by egg-
shells, fish-bones, and dried vegetables sus-
pended to the hoop of a barrel at the height of
the roofs. It was he who gave the morning
serenade of the brothers of St. Mark, and he
had not his equal at beating a roll on the big
drum of the brotherhood. When St. John's
day came, it was he again who lighted the first
bonfire on the mountain in honour of his patron
saint. He was also a bombardier, and on St.
Antonine's day, the patron of the village, or
on that of St. Barbe, the patroness of artillery-
men, it was Jack who discharged the mortars
of the commune, into which it is thought he
put but little government powder. He knew
the rhyme for making swarms of bees come
back, and the prayer by which objects that
have been lost are found. He was also some-
thing of a bone-setter, had a secret way of
dressing wounds, discovered springs with the
divining-rod, and had a drug that was a sover-
eign cure for the bite of a mad dog.

Every one loved him for ten leagues round,
and he was often consulted in difficult circum-
stances, for he was knpwn to be as prudent as
he was clear headed. The young men were
unanimous in proclaiming the superiority of
Jack's powder to that of the government: and
the girls gave him always the preference if the
proclamation of a robbage had to be made.
So when harvest was over, and Jack went
about from farm to farm, sack on back like a
mendicant hermit, he was sure to receive his
peck of grain, his handful of olives, or his
bottle of new wine. When a pig was killed,
Jack got always a good piece for a fricassee,
and there was hardly a marriage or christening
party of any consequence to which he was not
invited as if of full right. So that this man
who possessed nothing under the sun, neither
lands nor houses; who, like the ancient philoso-
pher, carried about with him all that he had,
this vagabond beyond the pale of society, half

smuggler, half poacher, without recognized
trade or avowed employment this man lived
in comparative abundance, and undoubtedly
enjoyed the cordial esteem of his neighbours.
From the Revue, des Deux Mondea.



Old times! old times! the gay old times

"When I was young and free,
And heard the merry Easter chimes

Under the sally -tree.
My Sunday palm beside me placed

My cross upon my hand
A heart at rest within my breast,

And sunshine on the land!

Old times! Old times!

It is not that my fortunes flee,

Nor that my cheek is pale
I mourn whene'er I think of thee,

My darling native vale!
A wiser head I have, I know,

Than when I loitered there;
But in my wisdom there is woe,

And in my knowledge, care.

Old times! Old times!

I've lived to know my share of joy,

To feel my share of pain
To learn that friendship's self can cloy,

To love, and love in vain
To feel a pang and wear a smile,

To tire of other climes
To like my own unhappy isle,

And sing the gay old times!
Old times!

And sure the land is nothing changed,

The birds are singing still :
The flowers are springing where we ranged,

There's sunshine on the bill !
The sally, waving o'er my head,

Still sweetly shades my frame
But ah, those happy days are fled,

And I am not the same!

Old times! Old times'.

Oh, come again, ye merry times!

Sweet, sunny, fresh, and calm
And let me hear those Easter chimes,

And wear my Sunday palm.
If I could cry away mine eyes

My tears would flow in vain
If I could waste my heart in sighs,

They'll never come asiain.

Old times! Old times!







Like a missal all ablaze

With the gold and colours blended,
Shine the bright cluvalric days

lu their hazy distance splendid.

Knights in long processions go,

Tossing plumes and armour flashing,

Pennons interblending glow,

Glaives are shining, falchions clashing.

Maidens lone in 'leagured towns
Dreaming over minstrel praises,

Yard-long hair and silken gowns

(Sunny meadows prankt with daisies).

Lips that meeting lips bespeak,
Sidelong glances, smiles ecstatic;

Flowers freshening in the cheek,
Sighs distinctly aromatic.

Nobly born as passing fair,

For though sweet are thicket roses,
Perfect blooms of the parterre,

Only the parterre discloses.

Then at every maiden's side,
Sworn companion of her leisure,

Moves Sir Page my lady's pride,
Pleasing torment, tiresome pleasure.

Clad in suit of iris hues.

Hawk on wrist, with bells and jesses,
Eyes of liquid browns or blues,

Maiden cheeks and maiden tresses.

Fond of joust and fond of brawl
Dagger out ere word is spoken

Life of bower, and life of hall
Youth's free spirit all unbroken.

Critic of the limner's art,

Of the poet judge austerest

Cupid in the censor's part,
Piping sentences severest.

Singing to the twangling lute
Minstrel ballad last in fashion,

Till the lips that should be mute
Learn the parrot-lisp of passion.

Underneath the pleasaunce walls,
(Ripe with nectarines and peaches),

Glad my Lady's damozels
List the lesson that he teaches.

Eyes upon a blushing face

Curls against a milky shoulder

Arm about a resting place
Might dismay a lover bolder.

Of his heart and its despair,
Vowing oft and oft protesting,

Till so much of love is there,
Only half of it is jesting.

Happy Page, who thus can move
In a round of bright enjoyment

Happy to whom song and love
Represent life's sole employment !


Lewis, Duke of Liegnitz, was in his youth
fond of travel; and his desire being earnest to
visit strange countries and become acquainted
with foreign nations, no sooner was he his own
master, than he hastened to set forth. In the
progress of his journeys, he touched at every
part of Europe, and even went so far as the
torrid Asia. This young nobleman was at-
tacked whether through fatigue, heat, or
contagion by a violent illness, which seized
him at the tomb of Mahomet that being a
curiosity he had long coveted to see. During
the violence of his malady, he was faithfully
and affectionately attended by Charles of Chila,
his chamberlain; who, though an aged man,
never failed, either in the night watch, or the
day's duty. He was ever by his master's bed-
side, and soon had the happiness to see him
recover from the effects of the straggle between
death and life. But the true-hearted servant
drew his own death from his lord's safety: he
was smitten with the same disease, and received
from the Duke attentions almost as assiduous
and anxious as those he had bestowed : but they
had not the same fortunate result. The cham-
berlain died; but, before the breath left his
body, he commended earnestly to his master's
protection, his grandson, a tender boy, then
far distant at school, whose father fell at the
blockade of Cottbus, by the side of the Duke
of Sagen, and whose mother did not survive
her husband more than half a year. The
Duke bound himself to the dying man, by a
solemn oath, to provide for the now destitute
child exclaiming, "So may my last hour be
as serene as thine!"

"He is the last branch of our race," uttered
the chamberlain feebly, his voice being almost
extinguished by death: "receive him from me
as a solemn legacy: he is virtuous and affec-



tionate, and will exercise towards you and your
family the fidelity that has ever distinguished
his ancestors." A few moments afterwards
the Duke had to weep the loss of his most
zealous friend and devoted follower.

Duke Lewis, being smitten with melancholy,
hastened back to Europe. He made his entry
on his domains amidst the rejoicings of his
vassals : and if the pride of rank and power
swelled in his breast as he heard their shouts
and saw their manifestations of delight, he felt
the warmth of kindness towards these, his
dependents, accompanying the swelling of his
spirit; for sojourning amongst strangers, and
encountering hazards, had humanized his
disposition, and long absence had hindered
him from waxing, by usage, callous to the
wretchedness and wrongs of his inferiors, as
the best natures at that time too commonly

Nor did he forget his promise to the dying
chamberlain : one af his courtiers was soon de-
spatched to fetch to his palace the young Chila,
whom he appointed to be one of his pages.
Henry, the grandson of Charles of Chila, was
now seventeen; his shape tall and slender; his
face fine and manly; his mind richly accom-
plished; and his manners trained to elegance
by the graceful exercises of chivalry. He played
on the lute, and accompanied its soft tones
with a melodious voice. He became his master's
favourite; the ornament of the ducal court; the
most gallant of the princely retinue, when his
lord pursued the wolf or the bear, or gave tour-
naments at which theknights might distinguish
themselves amongst their companions, and
touch the hearts of their mistresses by gratify-
ing their female pride.

It was about the Easter of the year 1412,
that a messenger presented himself from the
Emperor Sigismund, inviting Duke Lewis to
repair to the imperial court; the sovereign
having in view to bestow a signal mark of his
favour on the Prince, his vassal. And precious,
indeed, was the boon ! no less than the hand
of the Emperor's niece, the Princess Etha of
Hungary, a beauty then shining in all the
splendour of youthful charms.

Brilliant were the festivities at the marriage:
but Henry, the Duke's page, was more stricken
by the charms of his new mistress, than by
the grandeur of the imperial court. The lady
soon behaved towards the graceful youth with
that affectionate familiarity of which her lord
set her the example; and in so doing she gave
a proof of the goodness of her disposition, and
of her devotion to her husband: but was it
not the page's misfortune to be so distinguished ?

Too surely it was; for there grew up in his
heart a violent passion, which he bitterly wept
over in secret, and blushed for in public, dread-
ing its discovery as the signal of his ignominy
and utter ruin.

Yet, in the midst of this agony of remorse,
the hopelessness of his love was a torture felt
by him above all the rest; and this he owned
to himself and deplored, for thus he knew that
the crime would be more tolerable to him if
it were not bootless a knowledge that made
him accuse himself of ingratitude and treachery
toward his excellent master. And thus torn
and worked upon in spirit, the consternation
of the poor youth showed itself visibly in his
altered appearance, so that none could fail to
perceive how heavy a load of secret grief was
borne by this once gay and happy, now most
miserable, page.

The Duke and the Duchess were both inces-
sant in their importunities to be told the cause
of their favourite's melancholy. "Dost thou
covet the well-trained falcon, which thou know-
est so well to fly? Is it the swift charger, that
bore thee so gallantly in the last tournament,
that thou wouldst be master of?" To these
kind inquiries, prompted by anxious affection,
Henry gave no answer, but he seemed con-
founded, and held his peace.

"Have I lost thy confidence then?" said the
duke: "what hast thou to complain of in my
friendship for thee? Have I not always shown
myself thy friend, rather than thy lord?"

"Ah, my dear, my gracious master," then
exclaimed Henry for he could hold no longer
"take my life I have lived too long but
never while I live can I forget, what I owe to
your grace: I am grateful, indeed I am but
miserable, very miserable. Oh my lord, do
not press me for the cause of my grief, but
rather drive me from your presence; recall your
favours, yet leave me your compassion; I
have much need of it."

The Duke was astonished at this, which he
thought little short of frenzy: and, consulting
with his Duchess, they agreed to watch the
young man narrowly, lest mischief might come
of his strange infatuation. ' .

One fine evening of the spring, the page
went out on the rampart of the castle, and,
believing himself to be unobserved, he sat down
beneath a lofty pine, while to his lute he sung
the following stanzas:


Ye pines that wave on high,

While echo wakes alone !
To your deep shade I fly,

To loose my bosom's groan.



Tis love consumes my peace ;

Yet though it tears this breast,
I would not it should cease,

Nor would I it were bless'd.
Ah no ! ah uu ! ah no !

(Echo) Ah no !

A sigh, a tear deny,

Should I my passion speak ;
But when I silent die,

Let gentle sorrow break
From forth thy lips so pure,

Dear mistress of my soul
For love will not endure

That duty should control.
Ah no ! ah no ! ah no 1

(Echo) Ah no!

So sung the page, accompanying the words
very mournfully with his lute. Just as he
had finished, and while he yet listened to the
echo of that sad syllable which was a negative
to all his happiness, he thought he heard light
footsteps approaching; and, turning round
tremblingly, to his great surprise and alarm,
he perceived the Duke and the Duchess standing
close by him. Attracted by the mournful air,
the princely couple had soon discovered who
the musician was, and were pleased to think
that their servant should continue to have
pleasure in one at least of his former accom-
plishments the practice of all the others hav-
ing been laid aside by him since his unhappy
alteration. Marking the words of the song,
however, the Duke mused over them; yet for-
bore to question his page on the subject, re-
collecting how much disturbance had before
been caused in his mind by inquiries of this
nature. The noble lady uttered some gentle
words to Henry, commending his voice, yet
chiding his turn for solitude, and complaining
that he should thus fly from friends, to whose
pleasures he might administer while he grati-
fied their kindness by his presence.

"Are you, then, too proud to accept our
praises?" said she, with one of her sweetest
smiles, that no mortal could regard without
feeling his heart stirred within him so ex-
quisitely was goodness of soul there mingled
with a free gaiety, the consciousness and pride
of beauty, and a deep, native, passionate ten-
derness. Hers was a smile in which all that is
rich in woman's nature was concentrated; and
it burst forth, like a sudden ray of sunshine,
to kindle up ecstacy, and smite high and low
with admiration. And it was thus she now
smiled upon the page, only the common
fascination of her expression was heightened
by a touch of sorrowful sympathy, which hung
floutingly in her eyes; to Henry's conception,
it was as if the regard of divinity made itself
visible in the brightness of the sky, giving a

meaning of beneficence to its sparkling beauty.
He could not bear the effect of this look: it
shook him to the very depths of his nature: it
brought the music he had just been playing,
the song he had just been singing, back upon
him, like an overpowering wave, dashing his
energies to the earth. He hastily muttered
some words of thanks, which ran together into
one choking sob, and rushed from the presence
of his noble protectors to lock himself into his
little chamber in the turret, where, during the
whole night, he gave passionate utterance to
his intolerable affliction.

No sooner were the Duke and the Duchess
left alone together, than the former said,
"The cause of this youth's melancholy, I think
I have at last divined. He loves your cousin
Agnes, who accompanied you here from the
court of Sigismund: her rank makes him
deem his passion hopeless, and hence his sor-

"Agnes would not be severe to him, I dare
say," replied the Duchess. "If it be love that
is the cause of your page's melancholy, then
must we compliment his modesty at the ex-
pense of his penetration; for he knows not
the extent of his own power of pleasing, and
the general regard in which he is held, if he
allow himself to doubt of a favourable return
to his passion on the part of any lady of our
court, who can in honour receive and reward
his affection."

"Do you, then, sound your cousin on this
matter, "re joined the Duke; "for my conjecture
is right, as time will doubtless show.''

The fair Agnes owned to her friend arid
mistress, what she had before confessed to her
own heart, that the beautiful youth was not
to her an indifferent object; and she added,
that, for some time past, she had suspected it
was even as the Duchess surmised. It appeared
to her, that she was regarded with affection
by the duke's page though as yet he had not
said a syllable of hts passion for she had ob-
served that his eyes were ever directed to the
balcony, where she usually sat with the duchess,
and once he had been seen to press eagerly
to his lips a handkerchief which she had just
dropped from her hand, after taking it from
the neck of her royal relation.

With this news delighted, and eager to declare
them, the Duchess hastened to her husband:
who forthwith ordered that his court should
take a journey of pleasure to the baths of
Warmbrunn, that were even then much cele-
brated; contriving, at the same time, that the
two lovers (as they were esteemed) should be
left behind thus giving them good opportu-



nity of coming to an explanation. The Duchess,
as she went to her palfrey, conducted by the
erer assiduous Henry, whispered in his ear:
"Be of good heart, wait with patience till we
return, and then you shall be happy."

The page was thunderstruck: her words
thrilled through him: he could scarcely stand;
and the gracious lady, seeing his extreme agi-
tation, turned towards him her eyes, that
beamed with infinite kindness, and reached
him her hand to kiss. He fell on his knees,
as he received the unlooked-for boon; and
when he returned to his chamber, after the
Duchess' departure, he was almost convulsed
by the force and variety of his feelings. Did
he understand her aright? His duty to his
lord could he forget it ! Gratitude! Honour!
Love! all these considerations worked in his
mind with the fury of a volcano.

A message from his master and mistress gave
him soon occasion to join them at the baths.
"Well, you have now recovered your gaiety,
my distrustful page," exclaimed the Duke,
with an arch smile as he approached. The
youth looked with consternation at the speaker.
"The gentle Agnes was not obdurate, I dare
say approach, then, and thank your fair ad-
vocate here the Duchess I mean: she it was
who did a good office for you with her lovely

Henry felt despair circling his heart, and
freezing it, with each word of this address.
His resolution was instantly taken, and this
enabled him to preserve his calmness. His
cheek was pale, but it changed not: his eye
remained steady, as he made a common-place
reply, and the Duke and the Duchess con-
gratulated themselves on the restoration of the
page's tranquillity.

The 18th of May was the birth-day of the
Duchess: on that morning the rich cavalcade
set out for the Castle of Kynast, meaning to
celebrate the joyful festival by chivalrous sports.
Henry rode by his mistress' carriage, on a
beautiful horse which she had given to him
that day twelvemonth. Every one remarked
the paleness of his countenance; but an unusual

Online LibraryUnknownThe library of choice literature : poetry and prose selected from the most admired authors (Volume 4) → online text (page 48 of 75)