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“ It did,” replied Mrs. Penelope, returning Mrs. Trevanion's significant look with one still more significantą" it did, cousin. God rest her soul ! But she had strange ways with her.”
“ It will go hard with you, I think,” said Mr. Andrewe, “to make a witch of my aunt Bridget, who was as simple a body,poor soul, as my sister Pen—(Mrs. Penelope tossed back her head at these words)—but true it is, I found these guineas in the way described, and marvellous as true, that I never could discover how they came there; while certainly they came no more after mentioning the circumstance to Mrs. Skipwith. More marvellous still, however, and equally true, was the adventure that befel me some years afterwards in the Venetian States, when I was upon my travels, after the death of my grandfather, by whose kindness I became independent of Coke and Littleton. It is a long story, but I will make it as short as possible.
“ I found myself, one evening, entering a large forest, through which my path lay for the space of nearly three miles, before I could arrive at the town where I intended to sojourn during the night. I had not ridden more than half the distance, when I was beset by a body of armed men, to the number of at least a dozen. I knew plunder was their object; and with such odds, I also knew resistance would have been in vain. They made me dismount, and in a trice every thing I had about me changed masters. This was bad enough; but this was not all. When they had rifled me, one of them inquired of the captain whether he should cut my throat ?'
“ What heathens !" exclaimed Mrs. Trevanion.
“ Upon this, they all stepped aside to consult, as I guessed, upon the propriety of finishing me; so I watched my opportunity, took to my heels, darted into the thickest part of the wood, and ran for it. They pursued, firing their arquebuses as they caught a view of me, every now and then, between the trees. The forest became more and more intricate as I advanced, and so dark, from the close interlacing of the trees and the approach of night, that I frequently stumbled, or struck my face against the branches. At length, the assassins gave up the chace; but I had escaped one danger only to incur another, that of wandering all night through a dismal wood, which, for ought I knew, might be the haunt of other banditti, or the abode of ravening beasts. You may guess, therefore, I was right glad, when, after a time, I espied a twinkling light glimmering at a distance. With infinite difficulty I reached the spot whence it proceeded, and found myself at the gate of a castle. I knocked. Who's there?' snarled a voice from above. For God's sake give me shelter !' I replied. 'I have been, robbed by banditti, and am pursued by them for my life.' No answer was returned: but presently, the gate opened.”
“ Thank goodness !” exclaimed Margaret Glenluce, with a hearty warmth of manner, which evinced the strong impression made upon her by Mr. Andrewe's recital,
“The entrance,” he continued," was still, gloomy, and dark as the grave. *Come,' said the same snarling voice; and an ice-cold hand seized mine, and dragged me in. I accounted myself no coward, in those days, but í confess I would have gone the other way, if the door, shutting behind me with a thundering noise, had not cut off my retreat.”
“ I am wonderfully curious to hear the issue,” said Mr. Randall, fixing his dull grey eyes intently upon Mr. Andrewe.
“ I took courage from despair, and since I found I could not shun the worst, whatsoever it might be, I e'en resolved to meet it bravely. The icy hand was withdrawn when I had advanced, or rather, had been dragged, a few
paces. I stopped, to wait till it should again lay hold of me--and lead. me farther. But I waited in vain. • Good friend,' said I, will you conduct me to the lord of this fair castle?' No answer. I spread out my hands, expecting to find my guide: but he was gone. I then resolved to proceed onwards at all hazards, but had not advanced far, ere I found some resist
ance. I examined what it was, and staggered back as I felt a heap of skulls and bones.”
“ Lord !” exclaimed Mrs. Trevanion. Margaret shuddered. The rest sat silent with wondering faces.
“I was horror-struck- unable to move. At that moment, I heard a hollow, moaning sound, like one in agony. It seemed at some distance. I listened. Again I heard it, more distinctly; and it was the low, stifled groan of a person suffering bodily pain. A desire to end the dreadful suspense, impelled me to follow that sound, as a possible means of escape, With fearful steps I crept along the wall, which led me to a staircase. Having descended four or five steps, the groans again fell upon my ear: but they were much nearer. I continued to descend slowly. At last I came to a door, which I easily opened. All was impenetrable darkness, and dismal silence. I called out : no answer was returned. I resolvedto enter boldly; when, fortunately, examining the entrance with my foot, I discovered that it was bottomless, and that, had I advanced a single step further, I should have been hurled into I know not what yawning place. Groping, now, upon my hands and knees, I discovered a second fight of stairs. I ascended seven steps—then descended the same number, and suddenly beheld a faint glimmer of light, which seemed to proceed from a great distance below me.
advanced a little further, and found myself on the edge of some abyss, from the bottom of which the light issued. An old, half-rotten staircase led down to it. I resolved to dare everything. I began to descend cautiously. When I had reached about halfway, the light suddenly disappeared, and 'I was in total darkness, while the groans, which I had before heard, were repeated louder and louder. A loose stone, against which my foot struck, rolled down with a terrible noise. Who disturbs my rest?' exclaimed a hollow voice. A door opened slowly, and a pale, white figure appeared, with a candle. It advanced two steps, lifted up one hand in a menacing manner, and disappeared. My blood seemed to congeal in my veins. I scarcely know how I re-ascended; or how, still wandering in darkness, I arrived at the bottom of a spiral staircase, where, stretching out my arms, I thrust my hand through a pane of glass. Who is there ?' cried a rough voice, and I heard a door open. I was just about to reply, when this dialogue arrested my attention, and filled me with fresh dismay. Have you sharpened the knife ? Yes—and here is the pan for his blood.' I fledbut was suddenly stopped by the ice-cold hand, which had grasped mine at my first entrance into this abode of horror. My spirits could sustain the conflict no longer~my head swam- - and I fell senseless to the ground !"
“No wonder, man,” observed Mr. Pendlebury.
" I should have been fit for nothing, I'm sure, after seeing the pale white figure, with a candle,” said Margaret.
But what was that, to the skulls and bones ?” added Reginald. “Or finding yourself at the edge of a bottomless pit, in the dark, and not knowing which way to turn ?" said Mr. Randall.
“There was no difficulty about that,” remarked Hoodless Oliver : “Mr. Andrewe had only to do what he did, turn back again.”
“ It was very venturesome of you to stir a step from the gate, without a light,” said Mrs. Trevanion, “after you had been hauled in by you didn't know who, with an icy hand. Had I been you, I would just have stood still till morning, that I might see where I was going. But now, how did you get out of this awful place at last ?"
“ When I recovered,” continued Mr. Andrewe, “ I found myself in a fine apartment, lying on a bed, and a kind lady, beautiful as opening day, chafing my temples."
“Just what I expected !” exclaimed Mr. Trevanion :-“ An enchanted castle.”
“ The castle of enchantment, I confess," added Mr. Andrewe; “ but there was no wicked dealer in unlawful spells, though magic enough to keep me a willing prisoner, for several days."
The arch expression of Mr. Andrewe's face, as he uttered these words, perplexed his hearers exceedingly; for they had forgotten the declaration with which he set out, that his adventure had “ a right merry ending." He soon relieved them, however, from their perplexity.
“ The owner ofthe Castle,” said he, “was the Countess Mancini, a widow, though in the bloom of youth and loveliness; her husband, to whom she was tenderly attached, and whose memory she cherished with undiminished affection, having lost his life in an affair of honor. I will not weary you with the recital of all that passed between us, nor how, (and here the old gentleman heaved a heavy sigh) I would fain have sped if I could, but shorten a too long tale by a brief unfolding of the realities of my situation. The icecold hand, belonged to the Countess' phlegmatic porter, Paulo, and I suspect it appeared to me much colder than it was, because I was myself overheated by my violent efforts to escape from the assassins. He did not answer me, when I entreated to be conducted to the lord of that fair castle, because he was gone to light his lamp, which had been extinguished by the wind.My staggering steps had led me to a part of the building, where the Countess had erected a sort of mausoleum to her deceased lord, and which she had provided with those solemn emblems of death, the skull and bones, on which my hand rested. The hollow groans came from an old woman who had got a hollow tooth, and who was suffering from the tooth-ache; and who, when the stone rolled down, came out of her dormitory to see who was there, threatening me with her hand, because she mistook me for one of her fellow servants whom she suspected of playing her a trick. The bottomless abyss was an old wine cellar, into which three steps once led, but being now utterly decayed, I fancied there was some dreadful chasm beneath. The conversation about sharpening the knife, and having the pan ready for the blood, was between the cook and butler, and related to a hog that was to be slaughtered the first thing in the morning; while the ice-cold hand which arrested my flight, was that of old Paulo again, who had been hunting for me, and by whom I was carried into the fine apartment I have mentioned, after I had swooned; like a green girl, at the scratching of a mouse behind the wainscot. But now” continued Mr. Andrewe—“ suppose I had been able, by any means, to make my escape out of the Castle that night, and out of the forest afterwards--should I not have had as pretty a tale of terror to tell, as ever sent the blood from the pale cheeks of fear round a winter's fire ?"
There was an air of disappointment in every face at this upravelling of the mysteries; and Mrs. Trevanion said, “ she believed the first part of her cousin's story, because that might be true; but she could not comprehend how the latter could be so; and she did not believe it was.”
(To be continued.)
WIIY IS THY SWORD SO RED WITH BLOOD?
FROM THE GERMAN OF HERDER.
Why is thy sword so red with blood ?
My son, my son !
And why art thou so sad ?
And there flies not such another!
My son, my son !
Confess it, my son, confess!
So beautiful, so proud!
My son, my son!
Some greater grief hast thou !
Mother, mother !
And my heart is heavy and sad.
My son, my son !
Tell me, my son, tell!
But o'er the wave I'll ilee.
My son, my son!
So fair, and once so dear?
Till a heap of dust they be.
My son, my son!
When o'er the wave you flee ?
For I'll never behold them more.
And what wilt thou leave to thy mother dear?
My son, my son !
Oh say—what shall it be?
For You-YOU BADE ME DO IT !
LEAVES FROM MY WELCH NOTE BOOK.
BY TIMOTHY HUNDY, ESQ.
LEAF THE SECOND.
“There is some help,” says Cowley," for all the defects of fortune; for if a man cannot attain to the length of his wishes, he may have his remedy, by cutting of them shorter.” This is excellent philosophy ; good physic for the mind; but like good physic for the body, very disagreeable to take some-, times. Wishes, may be, as Young calls them, the constant hectic of a fool;" but if so, where is the man or woman, who does not play the fool by the hour? For my part, I approve of the good old custom of wishing with the merry-thought of a chicken, and can feel half disappointed when I happen to select the shorter of the two bones.
I had an excellent opportunity for reducing Cowley's theory of felicity to practice, upon my second visit to the Devil's Bridge. I had resolved to pass one entire day amid its magnificent scenery, and for that purpose set out the evening before from Aberystwith, avoiding the turnpike-road, by “ wending my way," as sentimental writers call it, along the valley of the Rheidol, and losing my way, as sentimental travellers are apt to do, when they are more intent upon the picturesque than upon finger posts. Never did romantic pedestrian stand so good chance of having a hill for his bed, and the canopy of heaven for his bed curtains, as I did. Fortunately, however, just as the sun was going down, and my spirits along with it, I met a shepherd boy, to whom I contrived to make my situation known, namely, that I wanted to get to the Devil's Bridge, but did not know how. “ Come along," said he; and away, he skipped down the side of a rather precipitous descent. Away I tried to skip after him; but, besides being rather foot sore, from having already walked some eight or ten miles more than I had bargained for, nature has not adapted me for “ tripping it on the light fastastic toe.” NevertheJess, I endeavoured to keep up with my guide, simply taking care I did not get before him by rolling down the hill after him; and inwardly rejoicing that he could speak English, as his “ come along” testified. I found, how
come along,” “a little further,” and “yes,” (sometimes said when he meant to say“ no,") constituted nearly his whole vocabulary. As often as I inquired how much further we had to go, or as he interpreted my looks and gestures to mean that inquiry, it was still “come along," with a good natured smile to comfort me, and an increased celerity in his movements, which did not comfort me; because I was getting tired, the night was getting dark, and I was afraid if he shot too much ahead I should lose sight
of him altogether ; so I kept shooting after him as nimbly as I could, up one hill, down another, through thick underwoods, for a near cut, and over narrow, decayed foot-bridges across roaring streams, which I heard but could not see. At length, we reached a broad level road, and pointing along it, he exclaimed, “ Tevel's Pridge"_by which I understood, that if I followed this road I should arrive where I wished. I offered him a shilling for