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rank demanded at each, now sate round Such were the host and bridal pair that about the radiant fire, mingled promis- were solemnizing the twelve nights at cạously together with no other distinction Goldenrood Castle. As for their guests, than that which courtesy assigns to age or as well might we be expected to call stars beauty.

from the constellations in the sparkling Lord Roland de Mainefort, a noble spe- heavens that hung above the castle towers, cimen of the feudal baron (the staunchest as to particularize them by rank and among the stern grandees, whose mailed name ; such was the gorgeous multitude, forms, closed vizors, and grim silence in the harmonious contrast, the well-assorted the House of Parliament had recently confusion of magnificence, that reigned so startled their royal suzerain, and the among those Christmas revellers. foremost of those who uttered their pa- Round flew the tale, the ballad, and triotic fiat, « Nolumus Leges Angliæ the jest. Mighty mazers of gold and mutare !") sate conspicuous among the silver richly chased, or of curiously enrest, not less from his own majestic figure graven woods hooped with metal, perthan from the two personages who sate formed their pleasant pilgrimage at stated at his right hand and at his left. The intervals around the festal ring—now one was a bold-eyed youth, with fair laving the silver beard with ivory dewbrow and bright hair, wearing a silken now moistening the thick brown mousvest emblazoned with the arms of his tache, and then with gentler courtesy, house; or, a leopard passant regardant accosting the ruby pouting lip, that disgules; over which was an azure velvet missed with scarcely a touch, their rich cloak, scarcely covering his broad shoul- and spicy beverage. ders; his neck bare to his chest, till the But while the genius of hospitality deep and straight hem of superfine and thus kept his Christmastide within the snow-white linen rose above the tunic, walls of Goldenrood, a cheerless contrast over which the broad gold links of a was presented by the woods and plains massive chain fell in heavy folds. This and fields without. A deep snow had was Sir Ildebrand Blondel, who, by per- fallen during the last two days, and when petually leaning across the patriarchal it ceased, no enchanter could have effected old baron, breaking in upon his speech, a more complete metamorphosis, Hill and greatly discomposing his minever and valley, tree and field, village, town, robe, in order to devote eye, ear, and and tower, were arrayed in one thick, soul to the lady on his other side, evinced cheerless, but most dazzling vesture of how much he disapproved of the tempo- white. The vast old oaks stood up into rary barrier that existed between them. the clear, still sky, every branch and

That lady was Leonora de Mainefort, spray thickly incrusted with hoary crys. and never was there more adequate cause tal; the tall hedge-rows resembled walls for a lover's impatience of restraint, than covered with tapestry of silver tissue; in that beautiful maiden. Night had while the broad yellow moon looked lent her own intensest sable to those down upon the stately castle towers, whose luxuriant tresses, and her sovereign planet black forms were strangely chequered was not so serene, so noble, so blessed with snowy patches, lodged by the storm in its brilliance, as the countenance that capriciously here and there upon their smiled below them; a broad garland of ramparts and buttresses. The old Saxon pearls, wrought in the pattern of roses, steeple of the church, generally so dark bound them up; and the golden girdle and grave, now glared and grinned hidewhich confined her crimson velvet robe ously with fantastie swathings that the above a costly kirtle of snowy samite, snow had whirled around it; and the clasped a waist that Psyche might have neighbouring Grange in the middle of a envied.

large croft, seemed, with its stables and Such attention as maidenly decorum barns, to be absolutely overwhelmed by might allow the lady Leonora to bestow the unwelcome inantle, that drove its on her bethrothed knight, she by no melancholy flocks and herds to the shelter means reluctantly accorded; and, though of the fold and the shed. it may be supposed she did not go to At this dreary hour, for it was about the extremity of turning a deaf ear to her midnight, a belated traveller, wandering friends about her, yet the ever glowing in that wide meadow that stretches becolour, and the ready smile, and the side- tween the wood of Goldenrood and the long glance, most eloquent when the river side, paused in his path, and raising lips were silent, were all pledges that in his bowed head, seemed for the first time heart at least, if not in act, she was idol- to become aware that he was in the izing her beloved with undivided homage. immediate vicinity of a feudal mansion

of the first rank, and illuminated at that This awkward and strange embarrasscheerless hour with all the promises of ment was at length broken by Baron hospitality.

Roland, who, quitting his seat, advanced He wore the sable cloak and hood over to meet the friar midway in the hall, and the white cassock of a Dominican friar, with much stately kindness, led the veneand his steps were supported by a tall rable wanderer through its glimmering staff, surmounted with a cross. The gloom, to the more cheerful precincts of wanderer paused awhile, contemplating the blazing reredoss and its legendary the massive pile that rose in wide ring of revellers, array of turret, rampart, and window, An eye of a dazzling and a fearful above the topmost branches of the vene- glitter filamed from beneath that Domini. rable wood which clothed the sides of can's cowl, and a beard of ghastly whitethe mound on which it stood. The ness, and of such prodigious thickness gable end of the baron's hall shewed its and length that it concealed his lips, steeple roof and smoking lovery conspicu- descended curling and waving like the ously among the multifarious architecture froth of a cataract upon his black-steled of the castle ; and in its breast the mighty bosom. Norman window blazed like a bloody Repeated offers, hospitably pressed, of shield upon a warrior's armour; while in meat and wine, which still covered the the frosty stillness of the night air, faint table dormant in the spacious recesses of strains of minstrelsy, and the still fainter the oriel, the priestly mendicant pertisounds of festive laughter, came down naciously declined; he only requested the wooded steep.

permission to warm his chilled limbs by Apparently the hospitable summons, the fire. thus directed to eye and ear, was not to " I am one who hath little to do either be neglected; for with marvellous strides with merry-making or story-telling, and the friar quitted the meadows, climbed I must forward on my path, ere morning the hill, threaded the burly trunks of its dawn; I pray you, therefore, break not guardian wood with familiar ease, and off your entertainment for my coming, presented himself before the grand portal, and heed me not at my departure. And through which we, my courteous readers, as for the red cowled brother and his will endeavour to obtain as easy admission exploits, of which I caught some speech as this Dominican friar.

as I entered, let not my presence check A new subject of peculiar interest the theme; since I too have heard strange seemed at this time to have suddenly things recorded of him, and would, not engrossed the attention of our festive unwillingly, learn more." chroniclers at Goldenrood, for as the Thus saying, the Dominican quietly courteous seneschal, with the usual cry assumed the vacant seat which had been “ Room, lordings, room! Place for a respectfully surrendered to him ; then reverend friar!” ushered the wanderer dropping his tall, crosletted staff within into the vast darkness visible of that large his folded arms, he gathered his dusky and shadowy hall, he seemed almost a robes around him, drew his hood deeper mocking echo to the exclamations which over his brow, and, leaning back in his were, at that moment, passing from lip to rudely carved chair, sate like some lifelip—“How! is it possible ? never heard less effigy in a remote part of that festive of the Friar with the Gory Cowl and his circle, neither speaking, stirring, nor legends ? nay then, wasted though the (apparently) breathing, during the pronight be already, we will wear it a space gress of the wild and incredible stories further for thy behoof, sir knight !” that ensued. This seemed to be addressed to Sir

(See page 253). Ildebrand Blondel, who was laughing heartily, and at the same time courteously acknowledging this universal competition There is a great distinction to be made to enlighten him upon the ill-sounding between generosity of manner and genesubject, of which he was so lamentably rosity of heart. A good man, with the ignorant.

noblest sentiments and feelings, is someA general hush succeeded the intro- times disguised by a certain coldness duction of the Dominican, and, although and formality of manner; while a liberhospitality peremptorily commanded a tine, whose life is spent in the gratifigracious welcome to the benighted stran- cation of self, imposes on the multitude, ger, still a temporary sensation of con- by the bravery and frankness of his air, straint, a mingled feeling of awe and for a most generous-hearted fellow. dislike, for which no one could reasonably account, pervaded the whole company.

GENEROSITY.

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dim eyes,

encore

Ye beauteous forms, who on Olympus Eleven o'clock at night sounded from

CHAPTER I. -1751. dwell, And shower your gifts harmonious the cathedral of St. Stephen ; time's iron from the skies ;

voice echoed far and wide through the Like music lingering o'er some moon

still and deserted streets of the imperial lit dell,

city of Vienna with the deep and solemn Oh! from your cloudy couches now

tone peculiar to that hour, and which a arise,

great French poet has so well rendered And draw the misty veil from these

in those two lines, the imitative har

mony of which would do honour to the That I may view ye, as ye are, divine,

genius of a musician: And catch some floating echo as it flies Le bruit ébraule l'air, roule, et long-temps Slow-quivering from your harps, that dazzling shine,

Gronde, comme enfermé sous la cloche sonore.', Bright as those golden locks, which At the sixth stroke of the hammer #night and morn ye twine.

upon the bell, the door of a small obscure

dwelling, against which a barber's ensign Give me the harp that Homer's hand did trembled in the wind, was opened by smite!

the hand of a young man apparently Alas! I dare not touch its smallest about nineteen years of age, and, by a string,

counter movement closed again with Nor gaze on Shakspeare's brow of hallow. nicely calculated precision, in order that ed light,

such slight noise might be lost-absorbed Nor soar on Milton's waving out

in the pealing resound of the clock. stretched wing,

But that sage precaution was rendered Which he o'er Night and Chaos dared abortive by the indiscretion of the very to fling,

party by whom it had been adopted. E'en Byron’s “whisper floating on the So that, as though some irresistible imhili,”

pulse stronger than prudence itself, had Loud as a deep-toned trumpet seems

made him forget that silence was necesto ring,

sary to secure his retreat, scarcely had Calling on lesser mortals to be still;

he placed foot in the street, ere he trilled No answering challenge brays, from vale, with clear and melodious voice an exor wood, or hill.

tempore stave, to which the booming of the clock served as a bass, and which he

ended in a sharp C several times repeatWhat souls were theirs who sung i’the ed, whilst the bell-hammer struck the olden time!

same note two octaves lower. What bounding hearts, which thrilled

The principal, or to speak more corbeneath the strain,

rectly, the sole tenant of this dwelling, When the 6 young world was in its the barber Keller, shewed himself at the golden prime,”

casement, and recognizing the singer, (Long before gold brought feverish

“ 'Tis you, Joseph ? I thought you had care or pain);

been within this long while; what the When happy shepherds danced upon deuce are you at, my fine fellow, in the the plain,

street at such an hour ?" And lovely maidens pressed the daisy Without making reply, and perhaps down,

with a design to avoid the question, When in the greenwood dwelt each Joseph said to his interlocutor, happy swain,

“ With what sublime accents time When the piled forest was their only speaks in the night by means of these town,

clocks, ,don't you think so Master Keller? Their streets the flowery meads, their When all around is hushed and steeped courts the mountains brown !

in that repose which is born of fatigue, that voice, which the intelligence of man has given to time, still mounts towards heaven, to glorify him, even as a homage rendered whilst he sleeps; and hence it wooing me even from the cradle, has is, religious minds can never, under such taught me to express by song that which thoughts and circumstances, hear it passes within my heart.” without emotion.'

• Where are you going then ?" “ All very likely,” replied the barber ; “ Under the balcony of a lady, it is “but these fine metaphysics of which ) true ; but, merely to ask her opinion, understand not one jot, don't explain to touching the serenade I composed yesme the reason of your being in the street terday, and which I am going to execute at this hour singing away there like a with Georges and Grantz, who are waitnight-lark ; you'll soon lose all the little ing for me behind the church.” voice you have left, and then, good by “ And what lady is this ?” to your pupils."

“ The lovely Wilhelmina.” • What matter !” replied the young « The mistress of old Count de Sta. man ; “ if I should become dumb, the remberg! Know you her?" violin will sing for me! Do you really “ I know her not-save by name, and think then, my good friend, that I was as a relative of the harlequin Bernarcreated and brought into the world done.” merely for the honour of the solfa ? “ The very same." The meal of a nightingale is the pittance “ Really!” said Joseph laughingly, of those who have neither the head nor “you treat me like a gossip customer, and heart of a master. Be easy on that retail at second-hand all the scandalous score, the airs that are humming through chit chat of the city. But whether my brain, will never lack echoes for their spouse or mistress, they say she is a good repetition.”

musician, and therefore I hope after “ True, Joseph, thou art a great having heard me, she will deign to open musician : I well know it. I have always her window and cry, · Bravo ! the seresaid so from the first day I heard thee nade was well sung. So a good night sing; and, out of gratitude for the to you Master Keller. Here have we pleasure afforded me, have I lodged and been half an hour already, chatting boarded you beneath my roof, ever since together, my orchestra will become imyou were expelled from the soprani class patient, the night is cold, and that cosat St. Stephen's, for a boyish prank tume of yours seems somewhat too scanty which merited not so severe a punish- for you prudently to remain any longer

But don't let foolish ideas run there with your elbows upon the balcony. in your head; throw not away that So adieu ! I have a presentiment I shall which you have in your possession, to bring you back good tidings.” run after a shadow."

So saying, Joseph set off at full speed, He reiterated his recommendation, and turning the corner of the square, and perceiving that the young man was disappeared behind the church. The not lending the most attentive ear pos- barber casting up his eyes towards the sible, he followed it up with,

heavens, and emitting a sound, half “Come, get in doors.”

groan, half sigh, betook bimself to bed. “ That's impossible,” said Joseph. The three young men traversed a consi“ And why, if it so please you?” derable portion of the city, taking the

“ Because, far from wishing to come road towards the Carinthian theatre, of in, I was just taking my departure when which the harlequin was manager. They you opened the casement.”

stopped before a window, from which a “ Heaven forgive me !" cried Keller, soft and tranquil light made its way gazing more attentively at him, “heaven through a double curtain of silk and forgive me, for as plain as I can see by gauze. The serenade commenced, was help of the moonlight, thou hast decked continued and ended, without the slighest thyself gaily, and wear'st the black coat movement being observable within the thou we'rt wont to reserve for fete days chamber. The three disappointed mualone. Ah! Joseph, Joseph, I fear me sicians bad already exchanged several much, thou art taking to bad courses, uneasy glances with each other, when and that I have just surprised thee setting the door of the house opened. The forth on some gallant adventure !" harlequin Bernardone appeared upon

“ Believe me it is not so, Master the threshold, and inquired of the singers Keller; you full well know I have no whose music they had just executed. other sweetheart than your daughter “ It is mine, signior,” replied Joseph, Anne--and meanwhile that I await her "and to speak frankly, as I thought it becoming my bride, have none other passable, I was desirous of offering the mistress than the sweet muse, who, first essay to you and your wife.”

ment.

“ Thine, my good lad, why how old Joseph bowed in reply to this polite are you? There is a very charming air intimation, and the Count recommenced in that serenade of your's then, which his limping tour of the chamber. has just caused a dispute to arise between And I will go on purpose to applaud my niece and a great personage who it,” retorted Wilhelmina, seizing the ophonours us with his friendship - the portunity of contradicting her old cicisbeo, Count Staremberg. The Count, who is and I should like myself to choose your in an ill-humour this evening, I know libretto. Thank Heavens! we're in no not why, deems this said aria a very want of such," added she, at the same miserable composition ; Wilhelmina has time opening a cabinet in which some declared it ravishing, and I have left hundreds of manuscripts were heaped. them both at high words thereon. As After a short search, she drew forth one for myself, the tune pleases me exceed- and placed it in the hands of Joseph. ingly. Arrange it for me as a dance, “Thanks! madam,” said Joseph; "I bring it me to-morrow, and I will pay have ever experienced kindness from tbe you handsomely."

hands of the fair sex. The black coat I “ Many thanks for your proposition, wear upon my shoulders I owe to the signior ; but the serenade shall remain a generosity of an Italian lady, to whom serenade. As for airs de danse, if you I gave singing lessons some twelve require them, I have here,” said he, months ago, at the baths of Marendorff, tapping his forehead with his finger, “I whither, in the capacity of servant, I had have here wherewithal to set all the har- followed the celebrated Porpora. lequins in the world spinning en cadence. The Count cast a disdainful glance at Bestow upon me one touch of your the narrator. wand, and the stream will burst forth.” “ Yes, madam," continued Joseph,

Per Dio !exclaimed Bernardone, “for that great master, though as ill“the lad pleases me. Could you com tempered and brutally behaved man as pose an opera for me?”

ever existed, still deigned to give me “Why not, signior ?”.

what I prized more than all-instruction “Well, come up stairs; we'll have in harmony; for which I brushed his some talk about the matter.”

clothes, blacked his shoes, and powdered Joseph, begging his companions to his old peruke. He paid me my wages wait for him, followed Bernardone. He in basses and counterpoint. The lady was conducted to a richly furnished of whom I have just made mention hav. chamber, balmy with exhalations of the ing learned my history, sent for me to most exquisite perfume, wherein, though her house, and for twelve lessons gave all around breathed of luxury, yet a me six sequins, with which I purchased somewhat confused and disorderly kind this attire, that enables me to appear of elegance prevailed. But Joseph was everywhere dressed in as good style as far too great a novice in the world to Prince Esterhazy. You are equally as remark this. Besides, his opera alone kind as she, madam, and the contemplaoccupied his thoughts to such a pitch of tion of your beauty would be ample abstraction, as scarcely to allow of his recompense for passing one's life in comobserving that the Count Staremberg, posing serenades for the sole satisfaction who was passing the apartment with of obtaining a word of thanks, or even folded arms and a frowning brow, limped one look during the evening from you about in a most frightful manner. Wil through the apertures of your Venetian helmina, tired of the disputation, was blinds; but it would be sheer folly of extended, with her back towards the me to think of such a thing, and all that door, upon a sofa; she raised her head I desire is that you may esteem me as her relative entered, and judging that somewhat for my music.” the new-comer-short, mean and meagre, The Count, who was limping all the merited not a second glance, she resumed while round the apartment, halted again, her first position.

and ironically begged to know what “ Count,” said Bernardone, “I have might be the title of the poem selected brought you the culprit. I am grieved as a subject for the intended opera. that I am unable to be of the same The young man, with some difficulty, opinion as your excellency; but I am suppressed a smile that had well nigh sure that this lad will do something. curled his lip, on seeing written in large He talks about composing an opera.” characters upon the first page of the

The Count stopped shuffling about manuscript : Le Diable Boîteur. His for an instant, shrugged up his shoulders glance met that of Wilhelmina ; as he and said, “ Capital ! I'll go and hiss it."; thus answered the Count

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