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• Here is a mistake,' said one who had been best acquainted with Rossayne;' this is not the man, sirs, we are deceived; who is this man ??
I am Richard of Rossayne; thou art demented to doubt it.' A scornful laugh was the sole answer. • An impostor doubtless ; this were well looked into,' said one.
• Nay,' answered another, I have it, he is a poor maniac, my Lords, the marshals would do well to set him free.'
Sir Henry Vincent hath spoken well,' said Hugo, • let him go ; it were folly to hinder him—'.
He was here interrupted by Rossayne, who suddenly whirling round his horse, had well nigh overthrown the marshal, and having disengaged himself from the circle around him, advanced into the centre of the lists.
• I stand here,' said he, · Richard of Rossayne, an English knight; whoever denies that I rightfully claim that title, I challenge him to single combat, on horse or on foot, with lance or with sword ; now on the instant.'
He threw down his gauntlet in affirmance of his words. But the Count having spoke to the Duke approached the challenger, and again addressed him.
• It is the pleasure of his highness that no knight accept your challenge; the charges against you are withdrawn; you are free to depart; but the Duke desires that you will please to grant him the helmet you wear in exchange for such an one as you may select from his stores.'
Most willingly will I part with it; but I was interrupted in the joust; I must complete that contest.'
• It may not be, sir. You have shewn yourself to be a good knight; I advise you as a friend to begone. You will hardly find a knight in defiance of his highness's pleasure to take up your gauntlet.'
There is a fate hangs over me,' returned the indignant and disconsolate knight; ' it is vain to contend with it; take the helmet.
• This armourer will furnish you with another. Farewell, sir. Rossayne spurred his horse out of the lists. Now, thank heaven !' said the marshal, 'we are rid of this mad knight. Let the tourney be renewed.
Rossayne lost no time in departing from Florence. Though filled with shame and mortification he had some hopes of having escaped from the accursed helmet to which he attributed all his calamities. But when the following morning he arose to pursue his journey, he found the helmet he had worn the preceding night was gone, and that he had received from the palmer was again returned.
He determined upon retracing his steps to his native land. It was possible he thought, that there he might find one who would recognise him, changed as he was; one whose eyes no enchantment could deceive. 'Surely,' thought he, ‘my crime in forgetting her for a moment when gazing on the daughter of him of the Stein Hauss, is expiated by what I have undergone. I will make the trial ; if unsuccessful I will abandon the track which I have loved and followed, and fly from a world that has no longer hope nor arm for Richard of Rossayne.'
Pursuing this design he travelled without ceasing. Skirting the base of the Alps he entered France, crossed the country, and having arrived at Calais he passed over the channel, and gave a sad greeting to his native land.
Who knows not the sweet shire of Devon, with its hills, its vallies, and its streams?' There it was that Sir Raymond Grey maintained, in his ancestral abode, all the hospitality of the time. There it was that his daughter, the lovely and far-famed Amice Grey, wept in secret for the return of
her own true knight, and there it was that numberless suitors, the noble, the brave, and the wealthy, strove to win her from her sadness and inspire her with other thoughts. But she refused them all, nor would Sir Raymond interfere with her determination.
I refuse' said he,-' I refuse admission into my poor house to no one of gentle blood and gentle manners ; if any such can apply his wit so as to win my daughter he shall have her be he wealthy or be he poor, but her will is free and shall remain so.'
At this dwelling arrived one morning a visitor, with a page his single attendant. He rode quick, and his horse's hoofs rang shrilly on the frostbitten ground. He brought letters of introduction to Sir Raymond, and was installed as an accepted guest.
The new comer was a man of fair person and knightly demeanour. His conversation was pleasing and diversified, abounding with knowledge gathered in foreign lands. Yet the tone of his voice was often sad, and he rarely exhibited any signs of mirth. Perhaps it was owing to this that Amice seemed to listen with less indifference to him than to any one who had previously addressed her. It was true that there was then no other visitor in her father's hall, and therefore the society of Sir Amylot Lacin and her father was all she had to partake of. But society she shrunk from, and Sir Raymond, when he beheld her manner towards her fresh suitor, began to think the time was at hand when he must lose his daughter,
But it was not so. Although whenever Sir Amylot spoke of foreign scenes and manners, or addressed her on indifferent subjects, she took an evident pleasure in his conversation, yet he never pressed his suit without receiving a gentle but firm intimation that it was in vain.
I may not forget,' said she, “and to you Sir Everard I may confess it, the affection I feel for one who is far away, and of whose fate I am, alas! uncertain. But whatever it be, be he alive or dead, to all but him the hand of Amice Grey is and must remain a widowed hand. Cease then to urge a suit which can but give uneasiness to both.'
It seemed to her as she said this, that there was an expression of delight in the countenance of Lacin, for which she was utterly unable to account; but it was of brief duration, and was succeeded by a deep sadness.
At other times, when in repulsing his addresses, she alluded to Rossayne, a momentary pleasure seemed to be communicated to Sir Amylot. strange she thought ; she knew not to what to impute it.
It happened one day that Amice, attended by one of her women, was seated on a mossy eminence, half covered with violets, listening to the discourse of Lacin, who sat at her feet.
• Did not my father tell me, Sir Amylot, that you had a most beautiful helmet; may I see it.'
The knight despatched his page for the helmet. It was brought and admired.
The knight gazed mournfully upon it. Amice perceived it and inquired the reason.
• It is to that helmet, lady, that your servant owes all the evil of his life. Ay, all; but for it I might not now sue without hope to the fairest of her sex.'
That might hardly be, Sir Amylot, surely a piece of armour could effect no change in me. But it is a most choice helmet, and would almost tempt me to exchange my silken for a steel circlet. How should I look in such head-gear, Marian ?'
As she spoke she playfully placed the helmet on her brow. It sat there as easily as if it had been wrought for it, as lightly as if its material had been but the airy manufacture of an Eastern loom.
But ere a moment had elapsed, she sprung from her seat with a faint shriek. The condition was performed, the spell was broken, and she sunk fainting and breathless into the arms of the knight as the name of Rossayne burst from her lips.
Many months elapsed not e'er healths were quaffed in the halls of Sir Raymond Grey to the health of the bride and the bridegroom, the children of his age.
I have heard that after the death of Sir Richard de Rossayne and his lady, an old man, in a strange dress, and wearing an hat ornamented with scallop shells, presented himself at the gate of the hall, and obtained entrance, took down an helmet from the wall and disappeared. But whether this be so or not I cannot say; to assert the truth of the narrative I have related is sufficient for me.
THE SNOW DROP.
THERE is a flower, a fragile flower,
The first-born of the early spring,
Ere summer spreads its azure wing.
Upon the earth's pure breast of snow
The infant blossoms lowly bend,
Bereft of every earthly friend.
I hail thy coming, gentle flower,
Not simply that thou com’st alone; .
That shines as those of youth have shone.
Fair herald of the blushing year,
Life's messenger without its stain,
And earth shall yet be green again.
"Tis thine to tell of joyous spring,
When earth unlocks its fragrant stores,
The wandering birds from distant shores.
Over the world's deep solitudes
A bright and gladdening smile is cast,
"Tis of the winter that is past.
SOME PASSAGES IN THE LIFE OF A MAGAZINE EDITOR.
Just as I was on the point of emerging from my teens, at that season of life when the · fancies' of the idle brain' are
Thick and numberless
As the gay motes that people the sun-beams, and the moral energies are in a state of fermentation for want of some congenial employment on which they may be permitted to vent themselves, I became enrolled among the ‘ plural units' of Metropolitan literature ;-to express myself somewhat more intelligibly, was invested with the full powers, privileges, perquisites, and prerogatives, of a Magazine Editor.
This, my promotion to so important and dignified an office, formed an entirely new æra in my existence. From the earliest moment of my instalment, I considered myself elevated as much above the rank of mere contributor, as the newly translated Bishop of a productive Diocese may be supposed to feel above his poorer dependants, when sailing (conspicuous by his lawn sleeves, and swan-like deportment), at the head of a crowd of the unbeneficed clergy, of whom he had formerly been a member, but who are doomed for the future to look up to him for countenance and support. I had been an humble votary of the Muses, and the time was yet recent when the summit of my literary ambition was to behold an occasional slip of smooth verse, or a patch of no-meaning prose, from my excursive quill, duly honoured in the pages of the Gentleman's Magazine ; then the gocart in which literary sucklings acquired the art of setting their feet to the ground, and, finally, of running alone;--the aviary in which the newlyfledged choristers of the Muses expanded, for the first time, their infant wings, before they ventured their migration to a less encouraging atmost phere. Raised for ever above the feverish hopes and expectations of a craving contributor, I had now become an almoner of those favors to others for which I had formerly been an importunate suppliant myself. A portion of that fame
For which men write, speak, preach, and heroes kill,
And bards burn what they call their midnight taper, was now, as the Editor of a Magazine, in some respects, at my disposal, I could dole out my periodical pittance of praise to those who appeared to deserve it, or thunder down the monthly anathemas of my critical vengeance on the heads of all who refused to acknowledge my supremacy. But I am anticipating the order of precedence in these my confessions.
It was on my return from a delightful walk to Point Pleasant, a cluster of cottages situated on a promontory of the river Mersey, (and commanding an extensive prospect of wood and water, both in Cheshire and the fertile and diversified county of Lancashire), to the principal inn of S which I had, during my sojourn in that picturesque and beautiful little village, constituted my head quarters,—that a letter, bearing the London postmark, was put into my hands by my worthy hostess of the White Lion. The superscription was penned in a cramped and niggardly style of caligraphy, with which I was perfectly unacquainted; and the only agreeable circumstance connected, in the first instance, with its receipt, was the payment of the postage ; an omen from which I drew rather a favourable conclusion. With some degree of anxiety to possess myself of the contents of this mysterious epistle, i hastily broke the seal, and found to my infinitely agreeable surprise, that it contained a proposal from a London bookseller to become the Editor of his (as he was pleased to entitle it), popular Magazine.
This was the consummation I had so devoutly desired, from the earliest moment that I had become afflicted with the cacoethes scribendi. The disorder was at this time at its height, and here was offered an escape-valve through which its virus might periodically evaporate. I read over the letter again and again, and each time with additional satisfaction, until the niggling caligraphy of the bibliopole assumed to my gaze the appearance of the utmost symmetry and beauty, and his ragged sentences seemed to vie in eloquence with the flowing and harmonious periods of a Gibbon. I was quite intoxicated with contemplating, through the telescope of futurity, the glowing prospects of fame and fortune which presented themselves to my imagination. The joy of my own thoughts' threw me into a most delightful reverie, from which I was at length awakened, by the shrill pipe of my landlady recalling my wandering attention from the lofty speculations amid which it was luxuriating, to the more sublunary considerations of the tea-table and its accompaniments. After emptying, almost mechanically, eleven cups of tea, and devouring a proportionate quantity of bread and butter, I called for pen, ink, and paper, and inditing an epistle replicatory to Teucer Turnpenny, the London publisher, civilly, but coyly, accepted of his proposal, and promised to be in town in sufficient time to superintend the publication of the next number of his Magazine.
Having achieved this important task, and filled several sheets of paper with addresses to myself in my new capacity, and sentences in which a certain plural personal pronoun occupied no inconsiderable space, I retired to my bed-chamber, where I dreamt a thousand disjointed dreams,
Such visions as arise without a sleep; in which contributors to the work of which I was about to become the Editor, thronged upon my delighted view thick as the golden apples in the gardens of the Hesperides. I arose early the next morning feverish and unrested; packed up my portmanteau, settled with my worthy hostess of the White Lion, and at half-past nine o'clock was whirling rapidly along the great north road in that most expeditious conveniency' the Liverpool mail.
I shall not fatigue my reader with any account of my journey, or the difficulties which attended my initiation to the duties which I had to perform : suffice it to mention, that they were speedily overcome, and that the second evening after my arrival in the great city, saw me established in elegant apartments at the west-end of the town, sedulously occupied in preparing prospectuses, advertisements, and paragraphs, declaratory of the wonderful feats with which the · Proprietors and Conductors of the
Magazine,' intended to astonish a discerning and never enough to be respected public.'
Well do I remember the satisfaction with which I set about arranging the materials of which the first number of the Magazine which fell under my superintendance, was to be composed; and the confidence with which I subjoined editorial notes, whenever the slighest opportunity pesented itself of appending any illustrative comment.
These were golden moments, and much too sweet to last. On inspecting the orderly-book of my publisher, I found that of the gallant army of contributors, of which he had boasted to me in his preliminary correspondence, few had eyer enlisted under his banners, and of that few almost all who had a leg to stand upon had deserted long before my accession to the Editorial