« السابقةمتابعة »
and against these rose the far-off hills, the waters were even as high as the very and the large black masses of the town, roofs, and then hundreds Aung themin which now all noise, all light, all selves into the stream, and, struggling revelry, were fast sinking into that still, with their fate, vainly endeavoured to still gloom and quiet, which proclaims make towards the land. In one place the interval of repose. The shades of a father, encircled by his children, was night hung upon every object, and the buffeting the tide, and in another a breezes that came from the shores of husband sustaining his wife, tried to save the ocean, swept chillingly round the her from the danger that surrounded steep, and to a fanciful ear might have them. But that was indeed vain! The appeared to wail and lament for the power that invoked their destruction, approaching work of desolation. At defeated their exertions; and every soft, length, when O'Halloran and his weep- sweet tie of kindred was swept into one ing family were seated on a projection of inevitable ruin. Groan and cry and theeminence, they ventured to look down lamentation, intermingled with strange on the houses beneath them: one by and fearful oaths, arose from the town; onethe tapers had been extinguished, and O'Halloran's brain felt as if spinning the tones of the lute, and the wild and round; he shut his eyes, and pressed joyous carrol, were hushed. All lay in his hands tightly on his ears, to close one dark and heavy mass of obscurity, out that sight of woe,--that shriek of and the sleep of the grave seemed to bewildering despair: it sounded again rest on the inhabitants. O'Halloran on the breezes of night, and then all cast his eye around, and beheld the fatal sunk into stillness, broken only at inguest whom he had harboured, standing tervals by a faint splash in the water, as on the very summit of the mountain : a hand or arm rose to the surface, and his cap had fallen off, and his cloak and waving for a moment sunk heavily in loose hair streamed wildly on the breeze; 1 the stream. After the lapse of a short his hands were stretched forth, and his time, O'Halloran and his wife and moeyes, beaming with more than mortal ther again ventured to gaze upon
the brilliancy, were fixed on the planets scene! All-all was gone! and where which were silently rolling in the canopy a town had reflected the beams of the above. Again O'Halloran bent his last setting sun, a dark, deep lake was glances upon the town, and far and wide
now stretching its sullen waters! Long as he could see, water was welling and silvery streaks of light in the horizon welling as though the springs of the betokened the dawning of morning; earth had broken loose. Suddenly the and as the thick clouds of night rapidly stillness was dissolved ; the bands of rolled into the west, the distant bills sleep burst asunder; the bells rung vio- were illumined by the first early rays of lently, and lig were seen flashing to the day. O'Halloran looked round for and fro, in house and castle, and from the stranger whose terrible endowments room to room. Dreadful was the scene had called down the ruin; but he was that now presented itself to the senses gone, and the breeze only waved the tall of the appalled family on the hill: the reeds where he had stood. A pious houses were sinking rapidly, and the ejaculation broke from the lips of water was level with the windows on the O'Halloran, and he prayed with a deep second stories: the upper casements and ardent and burning intensity for the were dashed open, and knight and lady souls of the deceased. When he had and bondsman issued forth on the tops concluded, he rose from his knees, and of the houses, and tossed their arms taking the hands of his companions, in harrowing despair, as they beheld turned his steps far from that scene of retreat cut off on every side. Lower destruction which, to this day, is known and still lower sunk the dwellings, till by the name of LOUGHMORN.
E. S. C.
At the distance of three miles from himself muscular and stout, he acknowBlackpool in Swabia, there was situated ledged no law butthe rightof the stronger. a strong freebooter's hold: it was occu- At the alarm, “ Siegfried is abroad! pied by a valiant knight, named Sieg- Siegfried is at hand !” all Swabia was fried. He was the flower of the free- seized with consternation; the peasants booting errantry, the scourge of the Alocked into the fortified towns, and the confederate towns, and the terror of all watchmen upon the towers blew their merchants and carriers, who ventured horns aloud, to give warning of the along the high roads, without purchasing danger. his passport. The moment his vizor But at home, when he had doffed his was down, his cuirass fixed, his sword armour, this dread freebooter became girt about his loins, and his golden spurs gentle as a lamb, hospitable as an Arab, tinkled at his heels, his heart was steeled the kindest of masters, and the fondest to rapine and bloodshed. In confor- of husbands. His wife was a soft, amimity with the prejudices of the age, ble lady, a perfect pattern of virtue and he accounted pillage and plunder among good conduct. She loved her husbnnd
. the distinguished privileges of the no- with the most inviolable attachment, blesse : so he fell, from time to time, and superintended her household with without mercy, upon the defenceless unremitting diligence. When Siegfried traders and country people ; and being sallied forth in quest of adventures, it was not her custom to sit at the lattice, only distributed among them the remlooking out for admirers, but she set her nants of her table on set days, but also hand to the wheel, and drew out the made them considerable presents of flax to a thread so fine, that Arachne money. herself, the Lydian spinstress, need not Once, when Siegfried had sallied have been ashamed to own it. She forth with his troop, to waylay the merhad brought her husband two daughters, chants coming from Augspurg fair, he whom she assiduously instructed in the tarried abroad beyond the time he had lessons of piety and virtue. In her mo- fixed for his return. His affectionate nastic retirement nothing disturbed her lady, alarmed at the unprecedented depeace of mind, except the unjust means lay, apprehended nothing less than that by which her husband acquired his he bad been slain in the rencounter, or wealth. In her heart she abhorred this at least had fallen into the enemy's privilege of robbery, and she received hand. Hope and fear wrestled in her no satisfaction from his presents of cost- bosom for several days. She would ly stuffs, interwoven with gold and sil- often call out to the dwarf that kept ver. “ Of what use is all this to me, watch upon the battlements: “ Look out
, bedewed as it is with the tears of the Hansel, towards the wond, and see what wronged ?" would she say to herself, makes such a rustling among the trees. as she threw it into her coffer, where it -Hark! I hear a trampling of horses in was suffered to lie without further no- the valley What raises yonder cloud tice. She found some relief to these of dust Dost thou espy thy master melancholy reflections in administering hastening home?" Hansel mournfully consolation to the captives, who had fall- replied, “ There is nothing stirring in en into Siegfried's clutches: and num- the wood—I hear no trampling of horses bers from time to time were released in in the valley—I see no clouds of dust consequence of her mediation ; and she rising—there is no nodding of plumes ? never failed to furnish them privately afar off.” She repeated these inquiries with a small sum to bear their expenses incessantly, till the evening star began home.
to twinkle, and the full moon peeped At the foot of the eminence on which over the eastern hills. Being no longer the castle was seated, a plentiful spring able to endure her apartment, she threw arose within a kind of natural grotto, her cloak over ber shoulders, and stole and immediately concealed itself among out at the private door towards the grove' the tangled thíckets. The fountain of beeches, that she might pursue her head, according to tradition, was inha- melancholy ideas without interruption, bited by a nymph of the family of the beside her favourite fountain. Her eye Naiads, though, instead of that sort was dissolved in tears, and her moans of Grecian appellation, she passed here harmonized with the melting murmurs under the name of the Nicksy. If re- of the rivulet, as it lost itself
among the port spoke true, she had sometimes thick grass. been seen, on the eve of important oc- As she approached the grotto, it currences, in the castle. Whenever, seemed as if an airy phantom hovered during her husband's absence, the noble just within the entrance ; but she was lady wanted to breathe the fresh air be too deeply absorbed in sorrow to pay yond the gloomy walls of the mansion, much attention to the vision; and a or stole out to exercise her charity in transitory idea, that it was some illusion secret, it was her custom to repair to this of the moon-light, passed half unperfountain. This spot was her favourite ceived across her imagination. But on retreat. At the grotto she appointed a nearer approach a figure in white was to meet the
poor, whom the porter had distinctly seen to move, and to beckon refused admittance; and here she not her into the grove. An involuntary
hortor fell upon the mournful lady, but daughter was to become an infant orshe did not Hy back ; she only stopped phan. She was unable to suppress her short to take a more distinct view. The maternal tears. The Naiad, deeply report concerning the inhabitant of the touched by her sorrow, endeavoured to spring, that circulated in the neighbour- compose her mind: “ Be not afflicted hood, had not failed to reach her ears, beyond measure; when thou art no and she now recognized the phantom longer able to tend thy infant, I will in white for the nymph of the fountain. myself discharge a mother's office, on She concluded that the apparition de- condition, however, that I am chosen for noted some important family event: and one of her god-mothers, that I may have her husband being uppermost in her
some interest in the babe. Be careful thoughts, she instantly began to tear her at the same time that the child, provided raven locks, and set up a loud lamenta- thou wilt entrust her to me, bring me tion, “ Alas, unhappy day! Ah, Sieg-back safe the baptismal gift which I fried, Siegfried, thou art no more !
shall leave with her.” This was no Woe is me, thou art cold and stiff ! offer to be rejected: to ratify the treaty, Thou hast made me a widow, and thy the Naiad took a smooth pebble out of poor children are become orphans !" the rivulet, and gave it to Matilda ;
While she lamented in this manner, charging her, at the proper season, to wringing her hands and beating her bo- send one of her damsels to throw it into som, a gentle voice was heard to proceed the fountain-head, when she would confrom the grotto: “Be not afflicted Ma- sider it as a summons to attend the ceretilda; I do not come to announce bad mony. The matron promised that her tidings: approach without fear; I am injunction should be punctually observonlya friend that wishes to converse with ed, laid all these things up in her heart, you.”. The appearance and address of and returned to the castle. Her Naiad the Naiad were so little alarming, that patroness stepped into the water, and the noble lady did not hesitate to com- vanished. ply with the invitation. As she stepped Not long afterwards the dwarf blew into the grotto, the inhabitant took her a merry blast with his horn from the kindly by the hand, kissed her forehead, watchtower; and Siegfried, with his seated herself close beside her, and borsemen and a rich booty, entered the spake: “ Welcome to my habitation, court-yard. Before a year had expired, beloved mortal, whose heart is pure as the virtuous lady communicated to her the water of my fountain : therefore the lord a discovery, which raised in his invisible powers are all propitious to mind the pleasing expectation of the thee. As for me, the only favour I can arrival of an heir male. It cost Matilda confer upon thee is to disclose the for- | much reflection, before she could contunes of thy life. Thy husband is safe: trive how to manage about the Nymph ere the morning cock crows thou shalt of the Fountain, for many reasons refold him in thy arms. Do not be appre- strained her from communicating the hensive of mourning for thy husband, adventure at the grove to her husband. the spring of thy life shall be dried up be- About the same time it happened that fore his. But thou must first bear a daugh- Siegfried received a message of mortal ter in an eventful hour. The balance of defiance from a knight whom he had her fate is equally poised between hap- offended at a feast. He lost no time in piness and misery. The stars are not equipping himself and his squires, and unpropitious, but an unfriendly gleam when, according to his custom, he came. threatens to rob her of a mother's fos- to bid his wife farewell, just before he
mounted, she eagerly inquired into the The tender-hearted Matilda was great- nature of his design; and when, inly affected, when she heard that her stead of satisfying her, he affectionately
reproved her for her unusual and ill- nor where she lives. If you promise timed curiosity, she covered her face this, and keep steady to the obligation, and wept bitterly. Her tears melted I will consent to lose the wager, and the knight's generous heart; neverthe- willingly own that the firmness of impeless he tore himself away, and, without rial man has a right to triumph over the shewing any signs of sympathy, rode frailty of our sex.” Siegfried, without briskly to the place of rendezvous, where, scruple, engaged his honour to forbear after a severe conflict, he dismounted all enquiry; and Matilda secretly rejoiced his adversary, and returned in triumph. at the success of her stratagem.
His faithful spouse received him with In a few weeks she presented her open arms: and by endearing conver- husband with a daughter. The father sation, and all the artillery of female would much rather have taken a boy address, strove to extort a communica- into his arms; he nevertheless rode tion of his late adventure. But he con- about in high spirits to invite his friends stantly barricaded every avenue to his and neighbours to the christening. heart by the bolt of insensibility, and They all appeared on the appointed all her artifices were unavailing. Find day; and when the lady heard the rolling that she still persisted in her pur-ing of carriages, the neighing of horses, pose, he endeavoured to abash her by and the hum of a large company, she raillery ;-"Good grandmother Eve, called to her one of her trusty maids, thy daughters have not degenerated : and charged her,
and charged her, " Take this pebble ; prying curiosity has continued to be the
go and throw it behind you, without portion of woman to the present day; saying a word, into the fountain in the not one but would have longed for the grotto : be careful to do exactly as ! forbidden fruit.” “I beg your pardon, have directed you.” The maid puncmy dear husband,” replied the artful tually obeyed the injunction; and be dame; “ you are too partial to the ladies; fore she returned, an unknown lady there is not a man existing who has not stepped into the apartment where the received his lawful portion of mother company was assembled, and made her Eve's inheritance; the whole difference obeisance very gracefully to the knights consists in this, the loving wife neither and dames. When the child was has, nor is permitted to have a secret brought out, and the priest had gone up from her husband. Could I find it into the font, the highest place fell to the my heart to conceal any thing from you, stranger, every one respectfully making I would risque a great wager that you
way for her.
Her beauty, and the would never be at rest till you had gracefulness of her demeanour attracted drawn the secret from me."
every eye; and above all the splendour assure you, upon my honour," replied of her dress, which consisted of a flowhe, “ that your secret would never give ing gown of azure blue silk, with cuffs me a moment's uneasiness—nay, you turned up with white satin ; she was may make the trial, I give you my full moreover, as heavily laden with pearls consent.” This was just the point to and jewels as my Lady of Loretto on her which Matilda desired to bring her feast-day. A brilliant sapphire fixed husband : “ Well then.” said she, her transparent veil, which flowed it " you know, my dear, that my time is easy folds from the crown of the head fast approaching. You shall allow me over her shoulders, down to her heels to choose one of the godmothers. I de- and the tip of the veil was dripping wet sign this office for a dear friend, whom as if it had been drawn through water. I have locked up in my heart, but with The unknown lady, by her unex whom you are altogether unacquainted. pected appearance, had so disarrange I only desire that you will never press the groupe, that they forgot to ask fo me to tell who she is, whence she comes, instructions about the child's name