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Sad and heavy should I part,
But for this love so far away!
Thou that of all things Maker art,
How true a love to pure desert,
None other love, none other dart
My author says, that never voyage was more unprosperous; that they had great storms, which obliged them more than once to put into port to refit, and sometimes were so becalmed that the ship could not make any way, but seemed almost motionless: but their worst misfortune was, they were attacked by two Turkish gallies, which but for the extraordinary valour and con
duct of Jeffery Rudel, had made them all prisoners. He received, however, several wounds, the anguish of which joined to his other fatigues, and the more severe anxiety of his mind, threw him into a languishing distemper, which every moment threatened dissolution.
They met by accident with a ship bound for the southern part of France; which being so near his own country, he was very much persuaded by the commander to go on board him, and turn back: he alleged to him, that in the condition he then was, nothing could be more improper than to prosecute his intentions; that probably his native air might be of service to him; and that when he was recovered, he might again set out for Tripoly, with more probability of success.
But all this, though highly reasonable, had no effect. The weak and decayed situation of his body had no influence over his mind; which, being wholly taken up with the perfections of the beautiful countess, made him resolute to proceed, whatever should be the consequence.
In fine, he continued his voyage, and, no ill accidents afterwards intervening, arrived safe at his so-much-wished-for port. When he was told, as he lay in his cabin, that they had dropped anchor, and were in view of the towers of
Tripoly, he lifted up his eyes and hands to heaven, giving thanks that, after all his sufferings, he had the happiness, at last, of breathing the same air with that admirable lady he had come so far in search of.
One, who was less a lover than he was, would have thought this a poor compensation, when, with all the efforts he made, he found himself unable to rise out of his bed; but he received much more than he expected, or indeed had reason to do. The countess, being informed who was in the vessel, and the motive which had brought him there, as well as the condition to which he was reduced, had gratitude and compassion enough to come and visit him, ardently wishing that this condescension might restore him to that health he had lost for her sake: but, alas! he was too far gone; inexorable death triumphed over the purest love that ever was. His eyes were closed, as those about him thought, for ever, but suddenly opened, on his hearing she was there; she took him by the hand, and, in the sweetest accents, told him she was pierced to the heart to think so worthy a man should have exposed himself to such innumerable dangers." All, all," cried he, eagerly gazing on her, as though he would carry her
image with him to the other world, " all my sufferings, in beholding you, are overpaid. He concluded this expression with a fervent kiss on her hand, and in that action expired.
So rare an example of an unfeigned affection must have necessarily affected any woman of a generous soul; but it made so deep an impression on that of this amiable countess, that she lamented his loss as of a lover who had long been dear to her. She devoted all that tenderness to his memory, which had he lived had rendered him the happiest of mankind. She had his body conveyed on shore, and buried in the most sumptuous manner, and erected for him a tomb of porphyry and jasper, intermixed with an epitaph in Arabic verse; had all his sonnets and odęs curiously copied over in letters of gold; and after she had done all she could think on to perpetuate his name, she took a vow of chastity, founded a monastery, of which she herself was abbess, and endowed it with her whole fortune.
FEMALE SPECTATOR, vol. ii. p. 312.
This narrative, singular and extravagant as it may appear, there is every reason to suppose is founded upon fact. It is recorded as such by Nostradamus, and by M. de Sainte Palaye and the Abbé Millot, in their Histoire Litteraire des
Troubadours; and by those who are familiar with the manners of chivalry, and with the history of the ancient Provençal poets, it will not be considered as an overcharged picture of the gallantry and fashion of that romantic period. Jeffrey Rudel has been celebrated by Petrarch.
A MORNING PIECE.
BRISK Chanticleer his matins had begun,
And thrice he hail'd the dawn's ambiguous light:
He stoutly strode over the dale;
He lent new perfume to the breath of the south;
Behind him came Health from her cottage of thatch,
And thus he sung, reclining on his rake: