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with equal skill, warded off his antagonist's lance, neither could boast of any advantage. The second course likewise only served to display the scientific dexterity of the assailants. For the third time they dressed their lances to their rests, and gave their steeds the rein. The shield of our hero was again impenetrable, but that of his opponent proving false, gave free passage to the well-aimed thrust of the Gascon, and was fairly pinned to the corslet of its lord, who was also borne from his seat by the superior strength and prowess of his foe. As he fell upon the soft sand he received little or no injury by the fall, and recovered himself in an instant; while the cheering cry of “ Honour to the sons of the brave” bursting forth from the assembled thousands inspired him with fresh vigour. The Knight of the Plumeless Helm dismounting, flung away his shield and advanced to meet his half-conquered rival, whose bright sword was already“ beating the empty air” in token of proud defiance. The struggle on foot proved long and desperate ; but was at last terminated by the fairy-gifted glaive, the Vraiacier, forcing its way through the brazen helmet of De Langeville, and, cleaving it in an oblique direction, it penetrated with the same blow through the shoulder greaves, and by the wound it made entirely disabled his sword arm from any further effort. The wounded knight at the same moment fell all his length upon the earth, and the blood flowed profusely from both his head and shoulder. The victor, with soldier-like alacrity unlaced his shattered helmet, and demanded as the price of life a confession of his guilt and treachery. Almost unconscious of what he did, Langeville complied with this demand :-“ Heaven was with thee,” he muttered : “ Thine was the better cause.
Enough, I ask no more !” said Sir Gaston de Biern, and therewith withdrew the threatening falchion from the naked and defenceless throat of his vanquished enemy. Then turning away he presented himself before his sovereign and laid the sword of victory at his feet; while the squires and officers at arms bore off the bleeding knight to his pavilion, where the leeches were already in attendance to apply their healing balsams to his wounds.
The conqueror was hailed with the greetings of a thousand tongues, and the clangor of a thousand warlike instruments; but disregarding both, and intent upon the primary object of his journey to the round table of Kenilworth, he hastened to lay his plumeless helm near his Vraiacier, before the throne of the royal arbitrator of the chivalrous contests, and kneeling himself beside them, besought the pardon of his liege lord and master. Edward had a soul too noble and too princely, to cherish hatred or malice against a brother knight, or to allow any one to exceed him in an act of generosity. Rising therefore in his seat with a grace of port and bearing which proclaimed him
every inch a king,” he replied to the request of the suppliant hero “ Sir Gaston de Biern, we have done you wrong; but by the word and honour of a king, it shall be recompensed. What, ho! my lord of Mortimer! what sayest thou now to the Knight of the Plumeless Helm ? Seekest thou a braver son-in-law? Or wilt thou still bestow the hand of the Lady Alice upon the vanquished John de Langeville ?"
My liege,” replied the proud, though now abashed baron, “never, while I live, shall a false and craven knight, if I am aware of it, quarter his arms with those of Mortimer. The Lady Alice shall be free to choose.” This every one knew was making a virtue of necessity; for, after the demonstrative proof of affection given by the damsel herself not many hours before, her choice was a riddle already solved. And on being appealed to upon the subject, she made no scruple in declaring that her first-love should be her future lord.
At the banquet in the evening, our hero received from the hand of his betrothed bride, the rewards of valour which he had so well earned, and the next morning was blessed with the hand itself; his prince at the same time restored to him his hereditary possessions, and commanded that in future he should add to the quarterings of his shield a plumeless helm, in remembrance of the renown which he had that day acquired as its wearer. Thus the sports of Kenilworth were concluded, as it was intended they should, by a bridal, though by an unexpected but fortunate accident the bridegroom was changed.
Young Eric was rewarded for his fidelity and attachment, by being made the favourite attendant upon the happy bride of his beloved master; who, returning to his native land, passed the residue of his days happily and honourably; and when gathered to his fathers, left a name behind him which shall endure till the waves of time wash away the glowing record of romantic chivalry, and with them the valorous achievements of the “ Knight of the Plumeless Helm.”
On! coldly on my breaking heart
The glance of stern unkindness falls,
And boding fear appals.
The friends who loved me,--where are they?
The good, the gen'rous, and the brave?
Some moulder in the grave:
And others, once so kind, are changed,
Their features scarcely seem the same;
Their “friendship but a name.”
Oh! why was I so fondly loved,
And cherished with such watchful care,
No eye looked coldly there.
My mother's smile, so sweetly mild,
No longer meets my tearful gaze;
Mine was that mother's latest smile,
And mine that father's latest prayer;
Would that their child were there!
Father of all! thy spirit shed,
My erring thoughts control.
Oh! teach me fortune, friends, and home,
Without a murmur to resign;
J. F. T.
CHIT-CHAT; LITERARY AND MISCELLANEOUS. Among the volumes announced for publication in the autumn, we are pleased to observe a new series of poems from the pen of Miss L. E. Landon, entitled “The Golden Violet, with its tales of Romance, Chivalry, and other Poems.” The plan of the work is not only extremely happy, but eminently calculated to display the peculiar powers of the writer. A competition for the Poetical Prize at the ancient festival of Thoulouse introduces the minstrels of all countries to sing their national songs, or recite their national legends. We had intended to have presented our readers, this month, with a splendid engraving by Mr. Finden, illustrative of this lady's Improvisatrice, but have been disappointed in the completion of the plate. It will be given in our next number without fail.
Mr. Gans, one of the contributors to the Literary Magnet, has just published a very spirited translation of Engel's Lorenz Stark; a story which presents a truly characteristic picture of a German family. We trust the success of this work will induce Mr. G. to render into English some other tale of equal merit and popularity.
The balloon-mania is not yet over; a Mr. Corneillot, who ascended a few days ago from Seven-Oaks, assures us that he has discovered the practicability of sailing horizontally in any direction, or at any given point of elevation. These aeronauts must be doing a pretty fair trade just now, for to say nothing of gratuitous newspaper puffs of their intrepidity, they are realizing from three to four hundred pounds a flight; and if fortunate enough to lose a balloon now and then there is sure to be a subscription collected for them amounting to thrice its value.
The very pleasing dirge on Weber, is from the pen of Mr. Planché, and does great credit both to his head and heart. It has been composed by Braham, the movements haying been selected from Weber's own compositions.
Mr. Mawman the bookseller, has, we are told, a very beautiful Bacchante from the chisel of Canova, which is pronounced by connoiseurs one of the best specimens of the talents of that great sculptor. Mr. Corbould has been making a design from it preparatory to its being engraved.
Mr. Sass, whose name the Literary Gazette misprints a “ Lass” (alas !) is preparing for publication, a history of the arts of Painting and Sculpture in England, as far as it is connected with his own time; with some account of the different institutions for the encouragement of the art which are in existence at the present day; and a comparison between the British school of painting and the modern schools of France and Italy. We have every reason to anticipate, not only an extremely useful, but a very entertaining work, from Mr. Sass's announcement; we know of no man better able to fulfil the task he has assigned to himself.
Mr. W. G. F. Richardson, (not the Mr. Richardson who placards himself and his verses, on all the walls and magazine covers from the Land's End to John of Groats), the author of an unpretending volume of very pleasing poems, is about to present us with a biography of the German poet Koruer, and selections from his poems, tales, and dramas. The mention of Korner reminds us that we have seen some very spirited translations from the soldier-poet from the pen of Mr. Cyrus Redding, of the New Monthly Magazine, and we hold, ourselves, for future publication in the Magnet, one or two striking versions of the same poet by another hand.
The Duke of Bedford has given unlimited commissions to some of our first rate artists, to paint him pictures characteristic of their several styles. Leslie and Newton are painting companion subjects for his Grace, from Don Quixote and Gil Blas. Ward has just completed the sketch of what bids fair to be one of his most successful efforts, for the same noble patron of the arts; the subject is a brewer's horse drawing up an empty butt from the cellar of a village public-house. The Duke has also, we have heard, given a commission to Landseer, the subject of which has already engaged his attention ; it is the monkey that has seen the world. There are, we believe other artists employed for his Grace, including the two who may be said to form part of his household establishment, Messrs. Hayter and Bone. Too much praise cannot be given to those noblemen who are now doing so much to encourage the arts of their native country. There are few painters of talent of the present day who cannot find a ready sale for their productions, and that too at a fair remunerating price.
Much dissatisfaction has been excited in the public mind by the obvious favouritism manifested by the hanging-committee of the Royal Academy towards Mr. Mulready, in placing his picture at what is called the bulk-head of the grand room, whilst Ward's splendid battle piece was stuck into a situation decidedly injurious to its effect; we see no reason why a man who paints a good picture one year, and secures for it the place of honour, should be allowed the same advantage over his rivals, even when he paints a bad one. But Mr. Mulready hung himself we are told ; if he did, it is the first time that suicide ever appeared in a good light. Ward, who is it appears, a proficient in every branch of his art he attempts, painted his Battle of Boston at the request of a well-known patron of the arts, and has received five hundred guineas for it; we hope he will not disappoint the great expectations this picture has excited, when he next exhibits. He has shewn us that he was born for greater things than the delineation of horses and cows, and we hope to witness another proof of the versatility of his genius ere long.
It is a gratifying fact, that the sum taken at the doors of the British Institution, during the season which has just closed, amounts to nearly five thousand pounds. The paintings now on view at this most interesting exhibition, are those belonging to his majesty, which he has graciously lent for the occasion. The king has, we are told, purchased the Hogarth lately offered for sale by Mr. Colnaghi.
The Rondini faun, an antique statue which excited great admiration whilst in the Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly, has, we learn, been transferred to the national collection at the British Museum.
A Mr. Browne (if the newspapers are to be believed) has succeeded in constructing a carriage to be impelled by gas, which will ascend an acclivity of ten inches in ten feet, at the rate of five miles an hour.
“ The Pool of the Diving Friar,” a humourous poem in the last New Monthly Magazine, is from the pen of Mr. T. L. Peacock, author of Headlong Hall, Rododaphne, &c. Mr. Peacock is in the enjoyment of a very lucrative situation in the India House, so that he has now, unfortunately, but little literary leisure.
That impudent coxcomb, Rossini, is, we hear, about to revisit London, in order to produce the very opera he engaged to compose when he was here last.
The Sun newspaper, conducted for so many years by that very worthy, urbane, and most amusing person, Mr. John Taylor, has at length changed hands, and promises to shine more brilliantly than ever. As the Sun selects leading articles from all the morning papers, it may be said to concentrate all the rays of its brother luminaries into one focus.
Messrs. Hunt and Clarke have published a novel called Truth, an imitation of, or, as the advertisements have it, a pendent to Tremaine, by the author of Nothing. It is certainly good for-nothing !
Mr. Dagley, whose taste in matters connected with the Fine Arts is well known, is about to publish a curious, and what we anticipate will be a very interesting little volume, entitled “ Death's Doings.” It is a sort of new Dance of Death, adapted to modern characters and incidents. It will consist of a variety of engravings by Mr. Dagley, with illustrations in prose and poetry by various distinguished living writers.
A very interesting romance has just been published, by Chateaubriand, entitled the Last Abencerrage. The language of the narrative is very flowery, but on the whole the book is not unworthy the great talents of the writer.
The Papists of London would not allow Protestant singers to chaunt a dirge at Weber's funeral! This, we shall perhaps be told, is religious liberty.
Our readers have no doubt seen the staring, goggle-eyed, mahogany-faced portrait of his Majesty, now exhibiting at Somerset House by a Mr. Thomson. In placing this picture in so prominent a situation, the hanging-committee must have considered rather the rank of the person painted, than the talent displayed by the painter. The News of Literature mentions, on confident authority, that the king sent a message a short time ago to the council, desiring that no portrait of himself should in future occupy a situation to which its inherent merit may not entitle it. We have every reason to believe this anecdote well founded. A noble lord, who is in great favour with his majesty, teased him to sit to Mr. Thomson. After the first sitting, the king was so little pleased with the attempt, that he is said to have taken the brush out of Mr. Thomson's hand, and drawn it across the sketch so as partly to deface it. The portrait seems to have been made up subsequently from the well known picture of Sir Thomas