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A TALE OF FORMER TIMES.
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Wor15 are inadequate to express the as- grounds than many others. In despair at the tonishment which Friedbert's mo!her experienced loss of Calista, whom he tenderly loved, our at this strange metamorphosis; after shrieking young soldier found himself in a most unpleasant aloud she made the sign of the cross, implored dilemma, and knew not how to act; to lose an the Holy Virgin and all the saints in paradise. amiable woman on the eve of his marriage, As she had never heard of Leda, genii, or sylphs, might be compared to suffering shipwreck in she had no idea of supe natural beings, and par-sight of the wished for harbour. If the object took greatly of the ignorance in which her of his attachment had been snatched from his country was involveil during that dark age. She arms by death, or by a rival, or if a barbarous thought the lovely Calista was no other than a father had immured her in a convent, there still witch, or perhaps the devil himself, and her dear would have remained some resource, either to Friedbert was no longer, in her opinion, any follow her to the lomb, to destroy her ravisher, or other than a vile magician. She bitterly lament- to scale the walls of the convent; but when she el that he had not died, like a good Christian, in chose to fly away through the window, how could the wars, before he had suffered himself to be he pursue her? In our days, indeed, he might entrammelled in the net of satan and his sor. have had recourse to a balloon, but in those of cery.
poor Friedbert, they had not discovered any mea
means Poor Friedbert, however, was not sufficiently of traversing the aerial regions without wings. skilled in the art of divination to have foreseen The manner therefore by which he could the fatal catastrophe which had taken place overtake his fair fugitive, was to follow her by during his absence. On his return in the even- | sen ; and his impatience to behold her again ing he flew to the apartment where he thought | made him deem a voyage from Eglisau to the to find his charming bride; but instead of what Cyclades as almost as long and impracticable as a he expected, he was welcomed, on opening the journey to the moon. “Ah !” exclaimed he, dedoor, by a volley of curses from his niother, ac- spairing,“ how can the snail, with its slow pace, companied with a torrent of abuse and reproach. think of pursuing the butterfly, that flies frona
He soon learned what had happened, and his lower to power without resting on any, and despair and rage had no bounds; his first pa- wantons at pleasure in airy space? Besides, how roxysm of passion was so violent, that his mother do I know that Calista will return to the isle of might have become its victim if she had not Naxos; will not the fear of being looked on in given the alarm by her loud cries, and called up | her native country as a runaway daughter, preall the servants, who succeeded at length in dis- vent her returning thither? and even if she arming this new Oriando.
should return, shall I be the better for it? how When the first violence of passion was abated, shall I, who am only a citizen of a small town, more peaceful explanations were resorted to. | dare to aspire to the hand of the daughter of a Friedbert exerted all his power to exculpate him. || prince ?" self from the imputation of magic or sorcery, These reflections tormented him for a long and the design of giving his mother for a time; he, however, might have spared them, if daughter-in-law, a devil in the shape of an angel. he had been acquainted with the strength of his He related 10 her the whole of his adventures || passion, and if he had known that there is no with Calista, and revealed likewise the mystery difficulty but what love can overcome when of the plumage; but this in the good woman's carried to a degree of enthusiasm. An involunopinion, who understood nothing of the Grecian tary and sudden impulse made him adopt a resomythology, did not free him from her suspi- lution which the cold calculations of reason cions, and if he did not proceed to have him would never have inspired. tried by the law, heowed it only in some remains After selling all he possessed, and putting the of inaternal affection.
money in his purse, he secretly departed to avoid In the mean time this strange adventure gave his mother's loquacious adieus, mounted his rise to a thousand conjectures in the litile town || horse, and galloped off with as much speed as of Eglisau, and if Friedbert had been less young, if he had expected to reach the Cyclades that or less handsome, he wou'd soon have been con- evening. Heluckily recollected the route which demnd for sorcery, and that on much better father Bruno had taken, and repaired immediately
to Venice, where he embarked on board a Ve. ty; and the fair Zoe could now only have served Delian galley; and after having surmounted the A pelles as a model for the head of an old wousual difficulties of a long navigation, arrived safe at Naxos.
He introduced himself to her, as Bruno had Full of joy and hope, he leaped on shore and || done, under the title of an Italian knight. Whe. saluted the native ground of his beloved Calista; ther Zoe felt any render recollections allied to and no longer doubting that he should find her this country and title, or had alrealy observed returned to ber own country, his first enquiries the ring, which was once hers, the beau: iful ruby were respecting the Princess; but no one could of whichi, in the shape of a heari, gli iened on tell him what was become of her. They related || his finger, she certainly gave him a very flatrering to him the different reports which had circulated | reception, and seemed parucularly io distinguisti respecting her; which, when a lovely young womun suddenly disappears from the circle of her When the festivities and games in celebration acquaintance, are seldom to her advantage. || of the marriage had concluded, and the Pincess Friedbert now, almost despairing of ever finding Zoe had quitted the court, lo retire to the peaceher again, was undecided whether to re:urn to fal seat of her own palace, Friedvert obtained his hermitage, and wait for her on the borders of access to this retreat, where a select party only the lake, or perform a pilgrimage to the source were ever adınitted, and was honoured with marks of the Nile, certain that the wish of remain- of a truly maternal affection. ing young and beautiful would induce her to visit One day, as she walked with him beneath these places.
che pleasant shades of her park, she led him He had not get determined on any plan, when to a solitary gruve, and thus addresseri hin:-he heard that Prince Isidor, of Paphos, a vassal “ I have a request to make whichi, I hope, you of the sovereign of the Cyclades, was arrived at will not refuse. Tell me how you cainie in posNaxos, to marry the Princess Irene, Calisia's session of that ring, which is on your right eldest sister. Splendid preparations were making hand; it once belonged to me, but I lost it for the celebration of their nuptials, and a tour- without knowing where or when, and I feel a nament was to conclude them. This news renewed great curiosity to know how it caine into your the warlike ardour of our Suabian hero; and tho' hands?" grievously tormented by vexation and disappoint- “ Noble lady," replied the aritul Suabian, “I ment, he resolved to take a part in this, to re- won this ring in combat, in an honourable lieve his mind, especially as all foreign knights manner, from a brave knigh of my own were invited to it, by heralds who proclaimed | country; but I am unable to inform you wheit through the whole city. Frierlbert's want of ther he gained it from a warrior, or received it birth prohibited him from sharing in these amuse- from a fair lady." ments in his own country, where, if he had pre. “ What would you do,” continued Zoe, sented himself as a citizen of Eglisau, he would were I to request you to restore it toxne? A have suffered the disgrace of being conducted out valiant kniglit will not refuse a lady such a boon, of the barriers; but at Naxos, protected by a However, I do not require you tu bestou glawell-filled purse, it was easy for him to assume tuitously a jewel which I have no doubt your the prerogatives of an illustrious knight; he valour has well deserved, but wish you to receive therefore resolved to support this character with from me a reward proportionate to the value you all becoming dignity. He procured a suit of attach to it. Moreover, in yielding it 10 me, you white armour, purchased a handsome horse, will have an everlasting claim on my gratirichly caparisoned; and on the day of the tour- tude." nament, his noble appearance gave him free ac- Friedbert was not embarrassed at this process within the barrier. On his entrance he posal; on the contrary, he exulted at the success gracefully bowed to the assembly, and challenged of his design. “ Your wishes, virtuvus Printhe bravest champions, split many lances, stood cess," said he,“ are lo me ihe most sacred laws; firm in his saddle, and at length gained the my fortune and life are at your disposal, but do prize, which he received from the hands of the
not require me to violate a sacred vath bride.
in combat I gained this ring, I solemnly vowed He had likewise the honour of kissing the that it should never quit my hand but to be hand of the once lovely Zoe, who, according to placed on the finger of a bride, at the momen: I the etiquette of courts, still preserved her titular pledged my faith to her at the altar. If through honours. The ravages of time, and the want of your means I have the happiness of gaining he the bath, had made a deep impression on the affections of a fair maid, I shall willingly allow features of the good lady: she was no longer as you to receive again from her this ring, which Bruno had described her, the perfection of beau- was once in your possession."
“ Well," replied Zoe, “ select then from I confess that a hidden flame consumes it, and amongst my court, the fair one who shall strike I know not whether I may nourish it with liope your fancy, and you shall receive her from ine, or abandon myself to despair. Yes, my heart is with a rich dowry, on condition that she gives me inaccessible to all the nymphs who here celebrate the ring, which you shall have placed on her the feast of Flora : the heavenly crea!ure wlio finger; and as to yourself, I will raise you to the has robbed me of it, is not among the joyful first dignities of the state.”
group: yet it is in your palace that I have beheld This treaty was no sooner concluded, than the her. Alas! perhaps, she was only the produc. Princess's palace was transformed into an barem. tion of the painter's ardent fancy; though, She selected for her service the most fascinating surely such a master-piece could only be the females, and clothed them in the most magni- 1 work of a divinity! He must certainly have ficent dresses to heighten iheir na:ural charms. had a model; and the all powerful being who
Friedbert swam for some time in a stream of formed these charming nynaphs and lovely pleasure, without, however, being carried away by il Mowers, has combined all their beauties to create the current. Amidst the tumult of this brilliant the original of this painting !" court, and all the bewitching charms of the sex, The Princess felt much impatience and curinotwithstanding the song and the dance, grief osity to know what picture in her gallery had still shaded his counienance; though these lovely produced so surprising an effect on the young Grecians displayed their charms lo g in his heart, knight. “Come,” said she," let me see if it yet that heart remained equally cold and insen. be not a trick which love has played upon you, sible to all. The Princess little expected to meet and given you a cloud to embrace instead of a with so much indifference, in so young a man. goddess; or if, for once, he has acted fairly, in She had herself, it is true, ever followed the displaying to your view an object which it is not system of her wise compatriot, Plato; but in in your power to ob'ain." Friedber: she could only observe the principles Zoe had a fine collection of paintings, some of of a severe stoic; which, while they excited her which were chefs-d'æuvre of the most celebrated astonis, ment, left her but litile hope of recovero l artists, the rest were family portraits. Among ing her jewel.
the last were many of the most renowned beauSome months passed in this manner; but the ties of ancient and modern Greece; and among Princess, impatient to gain possession of her ring, the number were many representations of herwished to have another interview with her knight, self, adorned in all the charms of youth and as she called Friedbert, for the purpose of ques. | loveliness, which she once possessed, when she tioning him on the stale of his heart. On the performed her annual voyages to the fairy batlis. day, therefore, consecrated to celebrate the re- A slight emotion of that vanity which, in every turn of spring, all the young maidens of the age, preserves its empire over the female breast, court, ornamented with garlands of flowers, lad | inspired her with the idea that it inight be one of begun the merry dance, when Zoe discovered these pictures which had taken such firm hold our hero alune, silling mournfully in an ar- of Friedbert's imagination. She already, in anbour, deep in thought, and scattering about | ticipation, felt a secret pleasure in saying to some wild flowers which he had just ga- him-“My friend, it is myself whom you love; thered.
but as I no longer resemble this picture, you must “ Cold and insensible knight!” said she, "has suppress your passion, and aspire to a less ideal new-born nature so few attractions for your mind, 1 object.” that you feel a melancholy satisfaction in destroy- But Friedbert well knew that his fame was ing her precious gifts, and thus profaning the not merely the painter's fancy, and that the orie feast of Flora? Is your heart sa indifferent to ginal possessed even more beauty than he had all soft affections, thut neither the fresh and beau- been able to catch in the picture; yet he was viful Auwers of my garden, nur the youthful || still ignorant as to the abode of this original, charmıs of the females of my court, can inake or how he should be able to discover it. On any impression on it? Why remain in this soli- entering the gallery, he rushed with all the tary spot, when mirth invites you to the saloon? | ardour of the most impassioned adorer towards ), au cortunate passion the cause of your so!. this beloved portrait, and falling on his knees, yow? Reveal to me the secret with confidence. I his hands extended towards it, he exclaimed: I am and would wish to be your friend and “ This is the goddess I adore! wise princess, proiectress; let me then dispel your melan- you are now going to pronounce my sentence of
life or death! If I am deceived by a cbimerical “ Wise Princess," replied Friedbert, “I affection I shall expire at your feet; but if this confess that your suppositions are true; you have || divine object exist, if she be known :o you, Oh! penetrated in:o the in most recesses of my heart. tell me what country contains this treasure, and
I will fly and seek her wherever she is to be darted from behind a thicket, and seized poor found, and endeavour to deserve her by the Calista, who had loitered behind to search for an strength of my affection."
omament which she had dropped. He bore her The Princess, having expected a very different in his arms to the vessel, and conveyed her to choice, was much embarrassed ; a shade of dissa- his own country. He was young and handsome, tisfaction cloaded her brow, and the pleasing and as he employed every art to inspire her wih smile which had played on her face was con- affection, it is not strange that he should have verted into a frown. “ Imprudent youth," said succeeded with an inexperienced maid, who, she," how have you presumed to engage your forgetting her birih, was on the point of bestowheart without knowing whether the object that ing her hand on her seducer; when happy chance inflamed it has ever existed? However, learn made her discover, among the effects of her that in the present instance it has not en lover, the precious jewel which she was seeking tirely led you astray. This lady is neither ima- when he carried her off, and which he had ginary, nor the monument of a beauty of former doubtless previously found, and purposely contimes; it is the Princess Calista, my youngest | cealed to draw her into the snare, and separate daughter. Alas! she was my favourite girl, but her from her sisters. She felt so indignant at is now the very child of misery, and can never this artifice, that she thought, in the first mobe yours, for her heart is no longer her own. A ment of rage, she should never love him devouring and unextinguishable passion burns in A vessel from this country having arrived her bosom for a wretch separated froin her hy an on the shores where she resided, the love of her immense tract of land ! She had resolution home, the idea of her mother's grief, the voice enough to escape from his deceitful snares; but, of reason, all helped to increase her resentment, like a bird that drags after it part of the net from and determined her to escape from the captivity which it has escaped, she passionately loves him, | in which she had been held. To effect her in. though she has Aed from him, and weeps her tentions was not very difficult, as her lover, conmisfortunes in the solitude of a cloister, despising, fiding in the affection with which he had in. herself for her foolish affection, and yet not spired her, scarcely watched her motions. She able to renounce it, or to think of any thing escaped. But alas ! the unhappy passion which else."
had taken possession of her heart, has pursued Friedbert, though internally transported with her to her native land. Grief daily consumes joy at having discovered Calista's retreat, and at her, and renders her insensible to all the pleasures being able to flatter himself that he was beloved of her age; and soon will that animation which by her, had still sufficient command of himself to once shone in her countenance be totally extinexpress nothing more than astonishment at the guished. Instead of a husband she invokes the Princess's relation. The indignation the fair maid tomb, and soon her wishes will be gratified; soon felt at his conduct, and the contempt Zoe ex- will the unhappy object of your absurd passion pressed for the object of her daughter's passion, be inclosed within its jaws.” did not make him very uneasy, as by dint of de- “I then will share her fate !” exclaimed Fried. ceiving others, with regard to his birth, he had bert. “ My life is at my own disposal, and I now almost deceived himself; and the Princess || will die with the lovely Calista, happy to be Zoe's knight appeared to him very well qualified united with her even in the grave. You will not to obtain her daughter's hand. He continued to refuse to place my mortal remains beside her; interrogate Zoe respecting the circumstances at- and our souls shall together wing their flight tending the young Calista's amour with an air towards eternity. But ere this happens grant of interest which was not feigned, as his curiosity me the consolation of seeing her, and of telling had been. She satisfied him as well as she could, her that I die for her. I will even, before I quit without revealing the secret of the swans; which this world, once call her my bride; in pronouncwas thought, in the families who possessed it, as ing that sacred word, I will give her this ring as important as the philosopher's stone, or free- a pledge of my love; in doing which I shall be masonry; but she composed extempore an alle- freed froin my vow, and you will soon again gorical story, which answered her purpose. possess your valuable jewel."
Calista," she said, was walking one even- The knight's warmth affected Zoe so much ing with her sisters, on the shores of the sea, that her eyes were filled with tears; and she when imprudently they had the curiosity of could not have refused his request, independent going beyond the bounds I had prescribed to of the desire she had of recovering her ring; them, through places which were quite unknown yet she much feared that in the present state of to them, and where a Corsair lay at anchor. My Calista's heart, she would not like to reccive unsuspecting girls had no idea of the danger that either a visit or a present of this nature. Friedawaited them, when one of the pirates suddenly bert, however, employed all his eloquence to No. XXI. Vol. III.
persuade her that there was nothing in this re- Princess whose favour he had regained. Zoe was quest which could alarm or wound the most struck with astonishinent when she beheld the scrupulous delicacy. Zoe, therefore, assented to serene countenance of her daughter Calista, from what he asked; and gave him an order, addressed whose features melancholy and grief had leds to the superior of the convent, to obtain the de- but it increased still more when she learned that sired inierview with Calista.
her heart also was changed, and that it now beFriedbert, his heart fluctuating between hope | longed to the gallant knight. and fear, respecting the reception he should nieet The inputation of being a magician was about wih, instantly departed.
to be cast a second time upon Friedbert, espeIt was evident, however, from what Zoe had cially when Zoe was informed that they only told him, that she still loved him.
awaited her consent to becorne united. What. His heart beat violently when he entered the ever predilection she might feel for the youth, cell which inclosed his beloved. She was sitting on and however string her wish of being pui in pos. a sofa opposite i he door; her fine hair, negligently session of her ring, yet she was not sufficiently fastened with a blue ribbond, foated in ringlets blinded by these considerations to assent to an on her shoulders, her head reclined on her arın, improper alliance; she, therefore, required of the and her countenance was expressive of the kniglit to prove his nobility. deepest grief. She did not immediately notice Though it would not have been more difficult his entrance, nor till Friedbert threw himself at
to forge such credentials al Naxos than elsewhere, her feet, had she any idea of his being a more he preferred to these false titles, those of love and inportant messenger, ihan such as her mother valour. “ Love," he said, “ levels all ranks and usually sent to inquire after her healih; but she || distinctions; and my sword and my lance will slowly raised her eyes, and instantly recognized ever enable me to support and prove the honour the prostrate stranger.
of my birth.". Zoe had no reply to such weighty She started with surprise; he attempted to reasons, urged likewise by the choice of the fair seize her hand, but was repulsed with marks of Calista, who declared aloud that she was perfectly indignation. “Leave me, treacherous man!" sati:fied with him; in such a case a prudent moshe exclaimed, “it is enough to have been once ther must appear equally so. She thought, beyour dupe and victim. You shall not deceive sides, that the knight, whatever night be his ane again with your feigned virtues !"
rank, was at least preferable to the little citizen As Friedbeit had expected these reproaches, li of Suabia, or a convent. Calista gave her happy he did not feel disconcerted; and began to probe lover the tiile of Tetrach of Suabia, and he soon the lovely Calista's heart, by artributing all the conducted her to the altar, and placed on her faults he had coinmitted to the violence of his finger the ring which was afterwards restored to passion. This expedient seldom fails even when the impatient mother. The new Tetrach related the offence is more serious than the theft he had to Zoe the whole story of the ring. comunited, especially when there is love in the Mutual confidence now took place; Zoe con. case. Every argumwint which Friedbert made use of fessed that she had designedly left the ring and weakened Cali-ta's resentment; and he at length | glove beside the Lake of Swans; adding, that pleaded so successfully that he completely gained Bruno had well understood her meaning, but his cause, and no longer had to apprehend her that it was not in her power to repeat her visit, as escaping from him, either by the doni or through || her husband hadi learned, through the treachery the window. She quietly resumed her seat on of one of her cousins, the whole adventure of the the sofa, and allowed him to take one of her bath, which so enraged him that he go! posseshands, while with the other she covered her beau- sion of her feathers and instantly burnt that tiful eyes, fiom whence tears copiously fluwer!, beautiful gift of nature. And the only regret which were not however those of grief.
which damped the happiness of Calista wis, that Friedberi, still at her feet, swore that he would her husbanı! was unable to share with her the have sought her through the world; and his invaluable privilege of the bath. But love voyage from Suabia to the Cyclades was suffi- lengthens out the scason of youth, and Friedbert cient to prove that he told the truth This preserved a long time unimpaired the blooming assurance not only gained him his pardon, but wue and vigour of manhood. Yet when they ce. a confession that their love was reciprocal; and lebrated the twenty-fifth year of their union, the they each vowed to unite their hands and hearts, fine auburn hair of the blissful husband began to and never more to separate.
whiten, like the first snows of November that This arduous victory obtained, threw the happy || portend the approach of winter; while the lovely Friedbert into such transports of love and joy, Calista still resembled the rose, that spreads its that we shall not allempt to describe them. He blushing leaves to the gale, in the smiling month hastened to return to the palace with the fair