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THE PLAGUE OF ZURICH. 148

pliants eagerly listening to one of their most popular and fanatieal priests. A thrill of herror pervaded his frame, as these words of father Ambrose rang throngli the building:—

"Up, up, men of Zurieh, and smite the unbelieving raee, whese dwelling within the walls of our fair eity has eaused the wrath of God to fall so heavily upon us! Will you still linger and ery for merey, while the plague spot is upon your wives and ehildren, and even the ministers of Heaven's appointment are falling by hundreds around you? Away, men of Zurieh, east out the aeeursed Jews, even as Jonah was east out, to still the raging of the sea! While they remain in our land, woe, woe to our people!"

This address was reeeived by the kneeling erowd as a eommand direet from Heaven; they arose in one mass, and rushed from the ehureh, with whatever weapon they ehaneed to have, or eould piek up, towards the Jews' quarter of the eity; and, with fieree eries of "Death to the unbelievers !" moved sullenly on, the multitude augmented at every step by the eager, the eurious, and fanatieal.

Earlaeh was earried on by the living tide. He straggled, as only man may struggle whe has the life and death of one beloved objeet resting upon his efforts, to get witheut the erowd, that, by a nearer route, he might first reaeh the Jews' quarter and snateh Zillah, the daystar of his heart, from impending destruetion.

At length, finding himself free, he darted up an obseure and narrow nlley, and unexpeetedly eneountered his father. The old hero of Laupen, seizing him by the arm, asked the meaning of his haste, as well as the approaehing roar of the erowd. The eause was soon told, and, with every limb writhing with impatienee, the young man sought to be released. He was at last permitted to proeeed, and his father walked on, sternly revolving in his own mind the possible reason why his son sheuld be so anxious for the eseape of the old Jew. Of the daughter he had never heard. He followed the multitude towards the devoted dwellings, not so mueh to take a part in the bloody seene to be enaeted, as to wateh the proeeedings of his son, and perhaps reseuo him from danger.

The door of Ben Hassen's heuse was gained j with breatbless taste, young Earlaeh tried to burst it open, but in vain. He then sheuted to the inmates to open quiokly; but no answer eame. At last, a window slowly opened from above, and au old domestie, peeping out eautiously, asked what he wanted.

"Open the door quiekly, good Levi," eried Earlaeh; "life and death depend upon your hasto!"

The old man, with trembling hands, unharred the door; Earlaeh rushed in, hidding Levi har the door seeurely after him, and, springing on before the astonished domestie, made his way to the apartments usually oeoupied by Zillah.

What a eontrast did that peaeeful ehamber present to the fearful seene of tumult witheut I

Zillah's apartments had been fitted up by her doating father with every luxury and adornment that affeetion eould devise and wealth proeure, and was totally unlike the simple Swiss hahitations of that day. The eeiling was painted in arabesque, with flowers falling out of gilded haskets, seemingly threatening a rosy shewer upon the lovely oeeupant of the room. The walls were eovered with rieh hangings of velvet, and the apartment eontained two of these higbly polished plates of steel, whieh then supplied the plaee of the mirrors of the present day. The largest sized wero a luxury too expensive for the use of any but the nobles of the land. Delieate stands of earved ivory were plaeed about the room, on whieh were erystal bottles filled with the most delieious perfumes, and eostly vases, with flowers from distant elimes, shed their fragraneo from various parts of the room, their eulture being the greatest delight of the fair Zillah. They were like the faees of familiar friends: she had breathed their perfumo when a ehild in Eastern elimes, and with their beauty and fragranee was assoeiated in ber mind the image of her mother, upon whese gravo many were now blooming in that bright distant land. Persian earpets eovered the floor, and, on a pile of magnifieently embroidered eushions, half reelined the beautiful girl, seemingly lost in theught, her head resting upon her small dimpled hand.

Zillah retained her Eastern eostume, as well as tastes, and the eaftan of gold broeade, flowered with silver, well-fitted to her shape, shewed to admiration the beautiful proportions of her waist and bust. Her drawers were of pale pink; her waistooat green and silver; her slippers white satin, finely embroidered. Her lovely arms were adornod with braeelets of diamonds, and her broad girdle sot round with the same preeious gems. On her head she wore a rieh Turkish handkerehief, of pink and silver, her own fine, blaek hair hanging in long tresses; and on one side of her head were somo bodkins of jewels, presenting to the eye as radiant a pieture of loveliness as eould be imagined.

Into this ehamber her lover wildly rushed, beseeehing her to fly. The startled girl sprang from her eoueh terrified, she knew not at what.

"I eome to snateh you from destruetion, Zillah! Your people, all, all !" oried he, shudderingly, as he theught of her possible fate, "are devoted to a bloody death; and we must fly! Even now I hear their eries, and the work of destruetion is going on!"

"My father! where is he V exelaimed the herror-strieken girl.

"I would save him, too, but know not where he is, and time is preeious. We must not linger. Do you not hear their savage eries approaehing nearer and nearer?" And, seizing her in his arms, would have borne her from the room, when he fonnd his arm gently grasped by the old rabhin, who had entered uupereeived.

"Whither would you fly, young man, with a daughter of my hated raeo? We are hemmed around by your eruel people; and a* well might you ask merey for the lamb from the hungry wolf, as hope to eseape through their ranks with the despised Jowess. Either leave us or follow me at onee; there is still one ehanee of eseape."

As he spoke, he led the way into a small, dark ehamber in the rear of the house, whieh overlooked the Limmat, upon whose hank the edifiee was built . A fow hundred yards lower down, the river entered the lake from whieh the town took its name. It was always eovered with a number of small eroft employed as lighters to tho ships anehored in the lake, many of whieh, being owned by tho Jows, offered a better ehanee of eseape than Earlaeh antieipated.

Ben Hassen looked anxiously through a narrow slit in the wall out upon the boats lying lazily upon the water, and then striking a portion of the wall with his hand, pressed a spring, and a small door opened, showing a narrow flight of steps. He motioned to Earlaeh and Zillah to deseend, and quiekly elosing the aperture, they groped their way in silenee and darkness to tho bottom of the flight. He then hade them remain quietly in the same spot until his return; and, as he turned an abrupt angle of the wall, they eould hear his footsteps again deseending a mueh longer flight, hahit having made him perfeetly familiar with the seeret passage.

In a fow moments he returned with a lantern, and they were eondueted by him through a short gallery to another flight of steps, whieh they deseended, and found themselves in a large eave, evidently mueh improved in size by the hand of man. Piles of merehandise were plaeed around its sides, of the most varied deseription: fine shawls from India, hales of spiees and furs worth a prinee's ransom. Never before bad so mueh of luxury met the eyes of the young Swiss. The sullen plashing of the waters of tho lake was distinetly heard; and a small iron door at the extreme end of the eave opened upon it, the roek jutting out into the lake, the roof of the eave forming a foundation to tho house, and extending beyond it.

The euraged multitude, meanwhile, beeoming every moment more furious, had earried desolation before it, destroying the houses of the Jows, and putting to death, without regard to age or sex, as many as fell into their hands.

Old Earlaeh followed moodily, but took no part in the massaere or spoliation, until the house of the <abhin was reaehed. Bars and axes, wielded by willing hands, soon hattered down the doors and windows, and the rabble rushed in. Then it was the old hero, with a shout, dashed aside those before him, and led the seareh; from room to room bo

i went, ealling upon his son, but none answered. The father's anguish suggested the fear that Rudolph had been murdered or earried off by the old Jow and his eomrades, in revenge for the popular assault.

Filled with these dreadful thoughts, the old ehief hastily ealled together some of his friends in tbe erowd, and making known to them his fears and determination not to leave a stone of the building standing until ho sought in every possible hidingplaee for his lost son, he ordered his followers to drive off the plunderers of the erowd. These, sooth to say, had well nigh helped themselves to all that was worth earrying off in the house.

Hans, the foster-brother of Rudolph, was ehafing like a wild boar, the opprehensions of old Earlaeh having reaehed his ears. He doubted not that Rudolph had been slain by the Jows; and, eolleeting ; a hand of his own assoeiates, wild, daring young men, warmly devoted to himself and Rudolph, they formed a eordon around the house, that none might eseape from it unseen.

The work of destruetion wont on, and the erash of the beams and falling masoury was distinetly heard by the fugitives in the eave. Ben Hassen opened the iron door, and made signals to some of the small boats near, but they were not answered; the boatmen not being willing to quit their plaee of safety for tho dangerous vieinity of tho shore. The old man looked around for some small boat, in whieh, unassisted, he might make his eseape, and found one attaehed to the iron ring used for that purpose, and driven into the roek at the entranee of the eave. Hastening haek, he throw a large eloak over his daughter, and hurried her on to this their only hope of safety, followed by Rudolph. Putting his daughter in, he pushed off; the young man stepped in nlso, and, taking up an oar, began to ply it dexterously before a word was spoken.

As they shot out into the open stream, from what seemed to be the foundation of the house, some of the sentinels stationed by Hans on the stone platform just above their heads, gave the alarm, and they were assailed by various missiles, but with no effeet. After a brisk row of half an hour, they found themselves at the side of a dark, hatterod-looking vessel, whieh had been for several days anehored far out in the lake, waiting for a fair wind to proeeed to its destination at tho mouth of the Aar, where it was stationed as a sort of reeeiving-ship for the merehandise brought down that lordly river by smaller boats. The eaptain was a Jow, well known to Ben Hassen, and often employed by him in the transportation of his merehandise. They ! elambered up the tides of the vessel, and the old ( man, in a fow words, told the eaptain of their strait, i and tho neeessity for immediato flight; but not a i ripple disturbed the ealm waters of tho lake, the i sails flapped idly against the mast, and, with a . eountenanee of despair, the Jow turned to Rudolph. THE PLAGUE

"Young man," said he, "I thank you for the j kindness yon have manifested towards me and ] mine; but your presenee here ean do ns no farther j serviee, and may work ns, if possible, more deadly peril. Take the boat, and return to these whe? doubtless await you at their hanquet of blood!"

"Not so," replied the young man; "I leave yon not until ZiUah is in a plaee of safety. Nor then, if she permits me to remain.":

"Can the dove mate with the wolf?" asked the j old man, hitterly. "As well imagine that as expeot! to wed my daughter. Evil was the day on whieh her feet touehed these sheres; and, if we eseape, { never more shall she beheld them!"

They were too mueh absorbed in their own feel- j ings to observe two or three boats put off from the t town, and steering most suspieiously for the vessel j in whieh they had taken refuge. The eaptain j pointed this out; and, as the dead ealm prevented J the ship's getting under way, they awaited whatever ] might befall them with the ealmness of utter defeneelessness.

The boats eamo nearer and nearer, filled with \ strong and aetive foes. Twenty sprang upon deek, Hans at their head, whe no sooner saw Rudolph! than he sheuted, "Heaven be praised, we have found you alive !" and seized his friend by the hand.

The Jew and his daughter were eaptured, but not j murdered, as they expeeted. Rudolph loudly eom- j manded his partisans and friends to return and J leave the Jews to make their eseape. Hans, to the j surprise of these he had just led to the assault, vehemently supported him, and insisted on their' departure. The sturdy foster-brother was too mueh j aeeustomed to yield to Rudolph's judgment, and j follow his lead unquestioning, to think of disputing his will. Theugh, had he paused to eonsider, he might have wondered what magie influenee had j awakened so deep an interest for this Jewish family j in the young man's breast.

Ben Hassen and his daughter were released, and; the men were about returning to the boats, when j another and most unweleome aetor appeared upon j the seene.

"Seize the Jew and his daughter, and plaee them in the boats !" eried the stern voiee of old Earlaeh,; whe had been an unobserved speetator of the seene, some minutes before he spoke, from one of the last boats, whese approaeh was unnotieed until then, j "And you, young sir"—to his son—" follow me!"

"Strike at onee, Nazarene!" said the old Jew, with dignity, eonfronting Earlaeh. "Spare yon in- j noeent girl, if not myself, the fury of the erowd on yonder blood-stained shere. Strike, and wo will deem it merey 1"

"I am not your exeeutioner, old man. Ton and your daughter shall be brought before a higher tribunal—that of Mother Chureh—to answor for the erimes laid to your eharge."

"Then, indeed, may wo expeot the most eruel

OP ZURICH. 145

fate. For myself I eare not; these old sinews may be raeked and tortured; I ean endure the worst; but my innoeent, darling ehild, doom her not to anything so fearful I—or," eried the old man, ehanging his tone and attitude of supplieation to one of fieree menaee, " the hitterest eurses of a father shall eleave to your heuse to the latest generation!"

"Plaee them in the boat, Hans, and see they eseape not," said old Earlaeh, sternly. And taking his son by the arm, drew him into the boat, and seated himself by his side while they proeeeded to the eity.

Rudolph in vain entreated his father to forego his determination of plaeing Ben Hassen and his daughter in the eustody of the Abbot of the Franeiseans. He eonfessed the deep interest he took in the safety of ZiUah, thereby uneonseiously inereasing her peril. Not that his father was eruel by nature, but the mental darkness of the age had obseured his otherwise elear understanding; and the idea of his son being in love with a Jewess, even wore she a seeond Queen of Sheha, was something So utterly startling and abherrent to him, that he eould aseribe it to no ageney save that of magio. The Jews were said to be addieted to the blaek art, and Earlaeh bolieved the aeeusation just .

Immured in one of the eells of the Franeisean Convent sat ZiUah, despoiled of her rieh robes and glittering jewels, and hahited in a eoarse serge garment, leaving only the exquisite hands and throat exposed to view. Her faee was deadly pale, and she looked, in her attitude of dejeetion, more like some finished pieee of seulpture than a breathing being. After being separated from her father, she had fallen into sueh a deatblike swoon, that her eaptors at one time theught she had eseaped from their hands, and at onee ended her sorrows and her life. But sorrow and life were still strong in that young heart; the magnitude of the afflietion enabled her to endure it; for, after the first keen pang, in the agony of whieh the very semblaneo of life passed away, returning eonseiousness brought with it a dull, leaden weight of sorrow, by whieh the aeuteness of the first feeling was blunted. The past, the present, and the future wero alike misty aud indistinet to her; a troubled expression would at times agitato her deatblike eountenaneo, and onee or twiee she pressed her hands upon her brow, as if attempting to eolleet her seattered theughts, and to remove the sense of oppression whieh weighed so heavily there.

The grating of the door upon its rusty hinges, as it was unloeked and opened, eaused a slight shiver to run through the frame of the unhappy girl; but she did not raise her eyes or ehange her posture.

"Daughter of an aeeursed raee." said the monk whe entered, "oonfess the dark arts you have used to inthral the spirit of young Rudolph, of Earlaeh, whe now lies bereft of reason, ealling upon you in his madness, unable to shake off the fieree fever and spell by whieh you have enehanted him. Confess, and avow your penitenee, and peradventure the Holy Chureh may be mereiful."

"Alas, dread sir, I have naught to eonfess. I know no art sare that of loving too well, too rashly; and woe is me that my father has thereby fallen into the hands of his enemies!"

Here, for the first time, hitter tears eovered her faee, and triekled through the slender fingers that were pressed in agony before her eyes.

The monk was touehed, and, for one moment, the eloquenee of nature was stronger than prejudiee and fanatieism; but, walking hastily to and fro the little eell, he dispelled the uneasy feeling, and, with all his previous sternness, hade her prepare to appear before the heads of the ehureh, who had assembled to try her, or rather to eondemn her to sueh punishment as they ehose to award.

"My father! May I not see onee more my pooT father?" said Zillah, beseeehingly.

"Yes, yes," said tho monk, hurriedly. "And let mo warn you onee again, your only ehanee of eseape from the fiery death awaiting you is by eonfessing freely, and throwing yourself upon the merey of the ehureh—by beeoming a eonvert to her doetrinos. In two hours, a lay brother will eonduet you into the preseneo of tho holy tribunal." So saying, without easting another look upon Zillah, tho monk strode from the eell, loeking tho door after him.

When his footsteps eould be no longer heard, Zillah prostrated herself upon the floor, in earnest supplieation for strength in this her hour of need, and sought it not in vain.

Where was Rudolph? Stretehed on a bed of pain and raging fever, the effeet of anxiety and agitation of mind. At tho moment his efforts were most needed, he was disabled from doing anything towards the liberation of Zillah.

Anne, his youngest and only unmarried sister, and the faithful Hans, watehed over him night and day; and, as he raved ineessantly of the young Jowess, thoy grieved hitterly over him, and sympathized with his sufferings. But youth and a strong eonstitution triumphed over disease; and, on the tenth day after tho eaptivity of poor Zillah, he woke from a long, deep sleep perfeetly eolleeted, and the throbhing of his pulse quieted to almost infantile weakness.

"Sister Anno," said he, tenderly, taking the hand of the fair girl who was bending anxiously over him, "what is all this? I have been ill. What has happened V

"Hush," whispered Ms sister. "You have, indeed, been fearfully ill; but, the Holy Virgin be praised, our prayers in your behalf have been heard, and you are spared to us. But you must be quiet, and sleep again, dear brother, before I enn hear or answer any questions." And, going to a table near

j the eoueh, she brought him some light nourish. :; ment.

He partook, and sank down exhausted into another profound sleep, whieh lasted for several hours.

Hans walked softly into the room, and, to his anxious look of inquiry, Anne smiled and whispered, "Botter, mueh better; but we must be quiet, and keep him so as long as possible."

"I have just heard that," thought Hans, "whieh will send the blood boiling through his veins in another fever flood. Well, she may be a Jowess, and have dealings with the devil; but to my mind she has an innoeent look, and is too pretty to be burnt like an old witeh. I am heartily sorry I ovor had anything to do with her eapture."

Anne hade Hans wateh by Rudolph until she took some needful rest, boing well nigh worn out with fatigue. He prepared to obey by taking his seat in an old oaken ehair, from its weight a fixture at the side of tho bed; and the more he thought of the fate of Zillah the more he pitied her, and dreaded its effeets upon Rudolph.

"I have ever laeked thought," muttered he, " or I might devise some plan for her reseue. Were he only better, and know all, something might bo done. There are still three days. I must tell him, and whatever he eommands, I will perform."

Brightening up under the influenee of these kind and hopeful thoughts, Hans eontinued to muse until Rudolph's heavy breathing became so infeetious that he, perforee, yielded to the influenee of sleep. How long he remained in this state he know not, but a toueh and the laughing remonstranee of Rudolph roused him.

"Hans, my good fellow, yon must be blowing a trumpet aeeompaniment to the advanee of an imaginary army, from the loudness of your breathing."

The good youth exeused himself by saying he had walked far over tho mountains for some herbs, said to be sovereign in tho eure of distempers eaused by witeheraft, if gathered before sunrise, and was somowhat wearied.

"Witeheraft! What folly, Hans! Do you believe, like the rest, that I am bowitehed? I tell you, I love Zillah better than life; her danger alone, and tho mad exeitement of the fow days preeeding her eapture, have produeed my illness. Both Zillah and her father eseaped from the boats, did they j not?" asked he, looking eagerly at Hans. !" Alas, no!" replied Hons. "They have been 'divided among tho hirds of prey. The Dominieans 'have the old man, and will drain his eoffers well, be 'they ever so full, before they let him off; and the ! girl was loeked up by the Franeiseans." I "Gold ean do mueh," said Rudolph; "but where I ean I proeure the gold? Yet Zillah mual be libe! rated!"

j "It must be soon, then," said Hans, abruptly;

"for she has been tried and eondemned." !" Condemned to what, and for what?" exelaimed THE PLAGUE

Rudolph, fiereely, springing up in the bed and seizing the arm of Hans, as if to prevent his eseape before answering the question.

"I pray you," eried Hans, "do not go mad again! Be quiet, and I will tell you all I know; and, moreover, will peril life and limb to do whatever yon may eommand."

This last sentenee, uttered with an expression of deep devotion to Rudolph, soothed him, and he sank haek upon his pillows, while Hans proeeeded with his narrative.

Zillab, aeeording to his aeeount, had been brought before the eeelesiastieal eouneil, aeeused by old Earlaeh of having bewitehed his son, whese life was then in peril from her spells. In the state of popular feeling against the Jews, to bo aeeused was but to be eondemned; and, as Zillah either eould not or would not eonfess herself guilty of the eharge, she was senteneed to be burnt at the stake, with some others, as a terror to evil-doers. In threo days, the sentenee was to be earried into exeeution beforo the Franeisean Convent.

"I will die or save her V said Rudolph, sternly. "I will reseue her from the very flames. Hans, hew many of our tried eompanions ean we rely upon to aid us in an enterprise, I know not hew wild and desperate, but one I swear to attempt, theugh followed by oertain death?"

"Do you but point out the way," replied Hans, "and leavo the rest to me. I know a seore of burly fellows whe would follow you to the pit itself without asking a question."

"Seareh them out, then, at onee, Hans; as you love me, lose no time; and beware that no one suspeets any movement of the kind upon our part. My illness must answer one good turn, by putting my father off his guard; and wo must make tho most, too, of his absenee from the eity."

Anne's entranee stopped further parley on the one absorhing topie, and she did not fail to notiee the exeited state of her brother, whe was impatiently tossing upon his bed. She glaneed reproaehfully at Hans.

"You have been talking imprudently, I fear," said she. "Reaeh me that eup with the potion the leeeh left."

Hans, mueh emharrassed, obeyed; and, taking it from him, she presented it to her brother, and insisted upon his drinking it. The drug was nareotie, and under its influenee the patient sank gradually into profound sleep; while Hans left the heuse with a quiek step, but theughtful brow. The enterprise to whieh he had pledged himself was not witheut great risk to all engaged, even supposing be eould find a suffieient number as devoted and willing to undertake it as himself, in the faee of the anathemas of the ehureh, more feared than deadly weapons.

"Ho, there, Hans!" eried a youth of stout frame and smiling faee; "hew fares young Earlaeh? Is

OP ZURICH. 147

it true the young Jewess has bewitehed him—that he is nigh unto death?"

"Fools say so, Ernst; but there is only one sort of witeheraft about it, Rudolph swears; and that, I trow, the pretty Gretehen, Dame Margaret's granddaughter, in the hamlet below, has dealt out freely to you! Nay, you well know my meaning! And I begin to think the helping hand we lent the old man in eapturing the Jewess was the worst day's work we ever undertook, let Mother Chureh say what she will."

"How!" demanded Ernst. "Rudolph wed with a Jewess?"

"Were Gretehen eome of Jew or Turk, think you you eould stand tamely by and see her burn, even theugh it might be for the good of your soul? Rudolph means not, I trust, to wed her; his only wish before, as you know, was to send her and her father in safety out of the eountry. Wo helped to prevent their eseape; and I have promised to lend a helping hand to undo my own work. I must see hew many of our eomrades will join me in doing his hidding, whatever it may bo. You, Ernst, must along with us."

"Provided Rudolph only desires to get the Jews out of the eountry, I will join you. The maiden, too, is a pretty one, like my own Gretehen. Go, Hans, and see as many of our eomrades as you ean, nor will I be idle; to-morrow we ean meet witheut the walls, and determine what is to be done."

They separated, taking different routes; the one deeper into the theroughfares of the eity, and the other witheut the walls, to the farm-heuses and hamlets below.

Ernst walked rapidly on, with the light, elastie tread whieh the braeing air and hardy life of a brave mountaineer eould alone give. His way lay through vineyards and eornfields, sometimes on the sloping hanks of the lake, sometimes on a small footpath formed upon terraees on a level with the water, during great part of the way shaded by large beeeh and oak-trees. The walnut and other fruit-trees that overhung the pathway like weeping willows, many of them being planted herizentally, stretehed from the sides of the hill, or from the edge of the water, their boughs dipping into the lake beneath. The seattered eottages, the numerous villages, the pieturesque villas on the hanks of the lake, with hero and there a neat ehureh, pointing with its taper spire to the ealm, blue heavens above, added to the beauty of the seene; and, by their silent appeal, touehed with softness the rugged, theugh not unfeeling breast of the mountaineer, whe had been revolving in his mind the eommunieation of Hans; nor was the termination of his walk, just in sight, likely to weaken these pleadings of eompassion.

A peasant's eottage, with a eluster of fine beeehtrees in front, its small terraeed garden on one side, and a few eherry-trees laden with fruit on the other. bespoke peaee and eontented industry, from th

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