The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 13,



* * * * *



The author of this delightful novel, by the fertility of his genius,
has almost exhausted the rhetoric of admiration, and even the
vocabulary of criticism. But we still hail his appearance with
heartfelt interest, if not with the enthusiasm and rapture with which
we were wont to speak of his earlier productions. The _incognito_ of
their authorship is removed, but with it none of their genuine fame;
and, like few works of the same class, their popularity bids fair to
outlive hundreds of matter-of-fact works, whose realities might have
been expected to ensure them a more durable character. It would be
idle, at this time of day, to go over the ground upon which the
_Waverley Novels_ will take their stand among our national literature:
they are not merely pictures of fact and fancy blended by a masterly
hand, but beyond this merit, they abound with so much knowledge of the
human heart and the mastery of its passions, as to render them
interesting to every reader beyond _Robinson Crusoe;_ and above all,
the free, conversational style in which this knowledge is imparted, is
one of their greatest attractions. The author does not account for
effects by any tedious appeal to our judgment, but he strikes at once
at our feelings and common sense, and we become, as it were,
identified with the dictates and impulses of his heroes. This merit
belongs to _book-effect_, as _situations_ belong to stage-effect; the
endings of his chapters are like good _exits_--we are sure to be
curious as to the following page or scene.

But we are trifling, like a subordinate who stays behind to say a
silly thing in a farce. Having overrun Scotland, England, France,
Palestine, and Germany, Sir Walter, in the work before us, introduces
us to some of the most stirring times of Swiss story. Upon this simple
intimation, the reader will anticipate all the fascinations of
picturesque scenery and eloquent description--so characteristic of
every volume of the _Waverley Novels_, and in this expectation, he
will not be disappointed. The latter charms are constant in nothing
but perpetual change; and the sublimities of Switzerland will excite
admiration and awe, when the labours of man have crumbled to ruin, and
all his proud glories passed away in the dream of time.

The novel opens in the year 1474, when Helvetia, after her heroic
struggles for independence, began to be recognised by the neighbouring
countries as a free state. At this date, its inhabitants "retained, in
a great measure, the wisdom, moderation, and simplicity of their
ancient manners; so much so, that those who were entrusted with the
command of the troops of the Republic in battle, were wont to resume
the shepherd's staff, when they laid down the truncheon, and, like the
Roman Dictators, to retire to complete equality with their fellow
citizens, from the eminence to which their talents, and the call of
their country had raised them."

The first chapter introduces us to two travellers and their guide, who
lose their way in the mountainous passes of the Alps, from Lucerne to
Bale. The travellers are Englishmen, give themselves out as merchants,
and assume the name of Philipson, the Christian name of the younger,
who is the hero of the novel, being Arthur. They are overtaken by a
storm, and fall into perils, a scene of which we have already given at
page 313, of the MIRROR. They are at length rescued, by a party of
Swiss from the neighbourhood of the old castle of Geierstein, or Rock
of the Vulture. This party turns out to consist of Arnold Biederman,
the Landamman, or Chief Magistrate of the Canton of Unterwalden, and
his sons, who reside upon a farm among the mountains. Along with them
comes another, who is mainly instrumental in saving the life of
Arthur, and this is _Anne of Geierstein_, the Landamman's niece, a
mountain maiden, but of noble birth, the daughter of one of the best
families in Switzerland, and combining all the delicacy of a woman
with all the heroic spirit of a man. Her portrait will be found at
page 344, of the MIRROR.

The travellers spend some days at the Landamman's house. Arthur
becomes intimately acquainted with the sons of Arnold Biederman, joins
with them in their athletic sports, and gains no small reputation for
his activity and skill. A cousin of these young men is also
introduced, by name, Rudolph, of Donnerhugel, a youth of ambitious
temperament, and withal a passionate admirer of Anne of Geierstein.
Arthur and he, of course, are not disposed to regard each other with
much complacency, and at the commencement of their acquaintance a
challenge is exchanged between them; the combat is extremely well

The sun was just about to kiss the top of the most
gigantic of that race of Titans, though the long shadows still lay on
the rough grass, which crisped under the young man's feet with a
strong intimation of frost. But Arthur looked not round on the
landscape however lovely, which lay waiting one flash from the orb of
day to start into brilliant existence. He drew the belt of his trusty
sword which he was in the act of fastening when he left the house, and
ere he had secured the buckle, he was many paces on his way towards
the place where he was to use it.

Having hastily traversed the fields and groves which separated the
Landamman's residence from the old castle of Geierstein, he entered
the court-yard from the side where the castle overlooked the land; and
nearly in the same instant his almost gigantic antagonist, who looked
yet more tall and burly by the pale morning light than he had seemed
the preceding evening, appeared ascending from the precarious bridge
beside the torrent, having reached Geierstein by a different route
from that pursued by the Englishman.

The young champion of Berne had hanging along his back one of those
huge two-handed swords, the blade of which measured five feet, and
which were wielded with both hands. These were almost universally used
by the Swiss; for, besides the impression which such weapons were
calculated to make upon the array of the German men-at-arms, whose
armour was impenetrable to lighter swords, they were also well
calculated to defend mountain passes, where the great bodily strength
and agility of those who bore them, enabled the combatants, in spite
of their weight and length, to use them with much address and effect.
One of these gigantic swords hung around Rudolf Donnerhugel's neck,
the point rattling against his heel, and the handle extending itself
over his left shoulder considerably above his head. He carried another
in his hand.

"Thou art punctual," he called out to Arthur Philipson, in a voice
which was distinctly heard above the roar of the waterfall, which it
seemed to rival in sullen force. "But I judged thou wouldst come
without a two-handed sword. There is my kinsman Ernest's," he said,
throwing on the ground the weapon which he carried, with the hilt
towards the young Englishman. "Look, stranger, that thou disgrace it
not, for my kinsman will never forgive me if thou dost. Or thou mayst
have mine if thou likest it better."

The Englishman looked at the weapon, with some surprise, to the use of
which he was totally unaccustomed.

"The challenger," he said, "in all countries where honour is known,
accepts the arms of the challenged."

"He who fights on a Swiss mountain, fights with a Swiss brand,"
answered Rudolf. "Think you our hands are made to handle penknives?"

"Nor are ours made to wield scythes," said Arthur; and muttered
betwixt his teeth, as he looked at the sword, which the Swiss
continued to offer him--"_Usum non habeo_, I have not proved the

"Do you repent the bargain you have made?" said the Swiss; "if so, cry
craven, and return in safety. Speak plainly, instead of prattling
Latin like a clerk or a shaven monk."

"No, proud man," replied the Englishman, "I ask thee no forbearance. I
thought but of a combat between a shepherd and a giant, in which God
gave the victory to him who had worse odds of weapons than falls to my
lot to-day. I will fight as I stand; my own good sword shall serve my
need now, as it has done before."

"Content!--But blame not me who offered thee equality of weapons,"
said the mountaineer. "And now hear me. This is a fight for life or
death--yon waterfall sounds the alarum for our conflict.--Yes, old
bellower," he continued, looking back, "it is long since thou hast
heard the noise of battle;--and look at it ere we begin, stranger, for
if you fall, I will commit your body to its waters."

"And if thou fallest, proud Swiss," answered Arthur, "as well I trust
thy presumption leads to destruction, I will have thee buried in the
church at Einsiedlen, where the priests shall sing masses for thy
soul--thy two-handed sword shall be displayed above the grave, and a
scroll shall tell the passenger, Here lies a bear's cub of Berne,
slain by Arthur the Englishman."

"The stone is not in Switzerland, rocky as it is," said Rudolf,
scornfully, "that shall bear that inscription. Prepare thyself for

The Englishman cast a calm and deliberate glance around the scene of
action--a courtyard, partly open, partly encumbered with ruins, in
less and larger masses.

Thinking thus, and imprinting on his mind as much as the time would
permit, every circumstance of the locality around him which promised
advantage in the combat, and taking his station in the middle of the
courtyard where the ground was entirely clear, he flung his cloak from
him, and drew his sword.

Rudolf had at first believed that his foreign antagonist was an
effeminate youth, who would be swept from before him at the first
flourish of his tremendous weapon. But the firm and watchful attitude
assumed by the young man, reminded the Swiss of the deficiency of his
own unwieldy implement, and made him determine to avoid any
precipitation which might give advantage to an enemy who seemed both
daring and vigilant. He unsheathed his huge sword, by drawing it over
the left shoulder, an operation which required some little time, and
might have offered formidable advantage to his antagonist, had
Arthur's sense of honour permitted him to begin the attack ere it was
completed. The Englishman remained firm, however, until the Swiss,
displaying his bright brand to the morning sun, made three or four
flourishes as if to prove its weight, and the facility with which he
wielded it--then stood firm within sword-stroke of his adversary,
grasping his weapon with both hands, and advancing it a little before
his body, with the blade pointed straight upwards. The Englishman, on
the contrary, carried his sword in one hand, holding it across his
face in a horizontal position, so as to be at once ready to strike,
thrust, or parry.

"Strike, Englishman!" said the Switzer, after they had confronted each
other in this manner for about a minute.

"The longest sword should strike first," said Arthur; and the words
had not left his mouth when the Swiss sword rose, and descended with a
rapidity which, the weight and size of the weapon considered, appeared
portentous. No parry, however dexterously interposed, could have
baffled the ruinous descent of that dreadful weapon, by which the
champion of Berne had hoped at once to begin the battle and end it.
But young Philipson had not over-estimated the justice of his own eye,
or the activity of his limbs. Ere the blade descended, a sudden spring
to one side carried him from beneath its heavy sway, and before the
Swiss could again raise his sword aloft, he received a wound, though a
slight one, upon the left arm. Irritated at the failure and at the
wound, the Switzer heaved up his sword once more, and availing himself
of a strength corresponding to his size, he discharged towards his
adversary a succession of blows, downright, athwart, horizontal, and
from left to right, with such surprising strength and velocity, that
it required all the address of the young Englishman, by parrying,
shifting, eluding, or retreating, to evade a storm, of which every
individual blow seemed sufficient to cleave a solid rock. The
Englishman was compelled to give ground, now backwards, now swerving
to the one side or the other, now availing himself of the fragments of
the ruins, but watching all the while, with the utmost composure, the
moment when the strength of his enraged enemy might become somewhat
exhausted, or when by some improvident or furious blow he might again
lay himself open to a close attack. The latter of these advantages had
nearly occurred, for in the middle of his headlong charge, the Switzer
stumbled over a large stone concealed among the long grass, and ere he
could recover himself, received a severe blow across the head from his
antagonist. It lighted upon his bonnet, the lining of which enclosed a
small steel cap, so that he escaped unwounded, and springing up,
renewed the battle with unabated fury, though it seemed to the young
Englishman with breath somewhat short, and blows dealt with more

They were still contending with equal fortune, when a stern voice,
rising over the clash of swords, as well as the roar of waters, called
out in a commanding tone, "On your lives, forbear!"

The two combatants sunk the points of their swords, not very sorry
perhaps for the interruption of a strife which must otherwise have had
a deadly termination. They looked round, and the Landamman stood
before them, with anger frowning on his broad and expressive forehead.

[The Landamman was indebted for his knowledge of the rencontre taking
place, to the watchful care of Anne of Geierstein.

The scene is now speedily changed. The Swiss Cantons, provoked by some
encroachments on their liberties made by Charles the Bold, of
Burgundy, and one of his ministers, Archibald Von Hagenbach, to whom
the duke had intrusted the government of the frontier town of La
Ferette, determine on sending a deputation to the court of Charles,
either to obtain reparation for the injuries received, or to declare
war in the name of the Helvetian Cantons. This deputation consists of
Arnold Biederman, Rudolf Donnerhugel, and three others. As the two
Englishmen are also on their way to the court of Charles, they agree
to travel with the deputation; and as Count Geierstein, Anne's father
and Arnold's brother, who has attached himself to the Duke of
Burgundy, is anxious for his daughter's return to the paternal roof,
she also proceeds along with the rest, together with a female
attendant. An escort of 20 or 30 young Swiss volunteers complete the

The remainder of the first, and the whole of the second volume, is
occupied with an exceedingly interesting and varied account of the
different adventures of the deputation, or its individual members, in
their progress. Among these are an account of a night-watch in an old
castle in the neighbourhood of Bale, including the mysterious
moonlight appearance of Anne of Geierstein to Arthur, and
Donnerhugel's wild and wonderful narrative of the supernatural
circumstances supposed to be connected with her family; the last of
which will be found at page 324, of the MIRROR.

At the opening of the second volume, the two Englishmen leave the
deputation for La Ferette, where, on their arrival, we are made
acquainted with the ferocious governor, Archibald Von Hagenbach,
Kilian, his fac-totum, and Steinernherz, his executioner, who has
already cut off the heads of eight men, each at a single blow, and is
to receive a patent of nobility, as soon as he has performed the same
office for the ninth. The English travellers fall into the hands of
these notable persons, and are saved from death, after a succession of
the narrowest escapes, owing to a general rising of the town, and the
death of the cruel governor. In these dangers, both father and son are
saved by the apparently supernatural interference of Anne.

The elder Philipson proceeds on his journey, and at an inn in Alsace,
meets with the following extraordinary adventure, the whole of which
is wrought up with great effect:]

He had been in bed about an hour, and sleep had not yet approached his
couch, when he felt that the pallet on which he lay was sinking below
him, and that he was in the act of descending along with it he knew
not whither. The sound of ropes and pullies was also indistinctly
heard, though every caution had been taken to make them run smooth;
and the traveller, by feeling around him, became sensible that he and
the bed on which he lay had been spread upon a large trapdoor, which
was capable of being let down into the vaults, or apartments beneath.

Philipson felt fear in circumstances so well qualified to produce it;
for how could he hope a safe termination to an adventure which had
begun so strangely? But his apprehensions were those of a brave,
ready-witted man, who, even in the extremity of danger, which appeared
to surround him, preserved his presence of mind. His descent seemed to
be cautiously managed, and he held himself in readiness to start to
his feet and defend himself, as soon as he should be once more upon
firm ground. Although somewhat advanced in years, he was a man of
great personal vigour and activity, and unless taken at advantage,
which no doubt was at present much to be apprehended, he was likely to
make a formidable defence. His plan of resistance, however, had been
anticipated. He no sooner reached the bottom of the vault, down to
which he was lowered, than two men, who had been waiting there till
the operation was completed, laid hands on him from either side, and
forcibly preventing him from starting up as he intended, cast a rope
over his arms, and effectually made him a prisoner. He was obliged,
therefore, to remain passive and unresisting, and await the
termination of this formidable adventure. Secured as he was, he could
only turn his head from one side to the other; and it was with joy
that he at length saw lights twinkle, but they appeared at a great
distance from him.

From the irregular manner in which these scattered lights advanced,
sometimes keeping a straight line, sometimes mixing and crossing each
other, it might be inferred that the subterranean vault in which they
appeared was of very considerable extent. Their number also increased;
and as they collected more together, Philipson could perceive that the
lights proceeded from many torches, borne by men muffled in black
cloaks, like mourners at a funeral, or the Black Friars of St.
Francis's Order, wearing their cowls drawn over their heads, so as to
conceal their features. They appeared anxiously engaged in measuring
off a portion of the apartment; and, while occupied in that
employment, they sung, in the ancient German language, rhymes more
rude than Philipson could well understand, but which may be imitated

Measurers of good and evil,
Bring the square, the line, the level,--
Rear the altar, dig the trench,
Blood both stone and ditch shall drench.
Cubits six, from end to end,
Must the fatal bench extend,--

Cubits six, from side to side,
Judge and culprit must divide.
On the east the Court assembles,
On the west the Accused trembles--
Answer, brethren, all and one,
Is the ritual rightly done?

A deep chorus seemed to reply to the question. Many voices joined in
it, as well of persons already in the subterranean vault, as of others
who as yet remained without in various galleries and passages which
communicated with it, and whom Philipson now presumed to be very
numerous. The answer chanted run as follows:--

On life and soul, on blood and bone,
One for all, and all for one,
We warrant this is rightly done.

The original strain was then renewed in the same manner as before--

How wears the night?--Doth morning shine
In early radiance on the Rhine?
What music floats upon his tide?
Do birds the tardy morning chide?
Brethren, look out from hill and height,
And answer true, how wears the night?

The answer was returned, though less loud than at first, and it seemed
that those to whom the reply was given were at a much greater distance
than before; yet the words were distinctly heard.

The night is old; on Rhine's broad breast
Glance drowsy stars which long to rest.
No beams are twinkling in the east.
There is a voice upon the flood,
The stern still call of blood for blood;
'Tis time we listen the behest.

The chorus replied with many additional voices--

Up, then up! When day's at rest,
'Tis time that such as we are watchers;
Rise to judgment, brethren, rise!
Vengeance knows not sleepy eyes,
He and night are matchers.

The nature of the verses soon led Philipson to comprehend that he was
in presence of the Initiated, or the Wise Wen; names which were
applied to the celebrated judges of the Secret Tribunal, which
continued at that period to subsist in Swabia, Franconia, and other
districts of the east of Germany, which was called, perhaps from the
frightful and frequent occurrence of executions by command of those
invisible judges, the Red Land. Philipson had often heard that the
seat of a Free Count, or chief of the Secret Tribunal, was secretly
instituted even on the left bank of the Rhine, and that it maintained
itself in Alsace, with the usual tenacity of those secret societies,
though Duke Charles of Burgundy had expressed a desire to discover and
to discourage its influence so far as was possible, without exposing
himself to danger from the thousands of poniards which that mysterious
tribunal could put in activity against his own life;--an awful means
of defence, which for a long time rendered it extremely hazardous for
the sovereigns of Germany, and even the emperors themselves, to put
down by authority those singular associations.

* * * * *

He lay devising the best means of obviating the present danger, while
the persons whom he beheld glimmered before him, less like distinct
and individual forms, than like the phantoms of a fever, or the
phantasmagoria with which a disease of the optic nerves has been known
to people a sick man's chamber. At length they assembled in the centre
of the apartment where they had first appeared, and seemed to arrange
themselves into form and order. A great number of black torches were
successively lighted, and the scene became distinctly visible. In the
centre of the hall, Philipson could now perceive one of the altars
which are sometimes to be found in ancient subterranean chapels. But
we must pause, in order briefly to describe, not the appearance only,
but the nature and constitution, of this terrible court.

Behind the altar, which seemed to be the central point, on which all
eyes were bent, there were placed in parallel lines two benches
covered with black cloth. Each was occupied by a number of persons,
who seemed assembled as judges; but those who held the foremost bench
were fewer, and appeared of a rank superior to those who crowded the
seat most remote from the altar. The first seemed to be all men of
some consequence, priests high in their order, knights, or noblemen;
and notwithstanding an appearance of equality which seemed to pervade
this singular institution, much more weight was laid upon their
opinion, or testimonies. They were called Free Knights, Counts, or
whatever title they might bear, while the inferior class of the judges
were only termed Free and worthy Burghers. For it must be observed,
that the Vehmique Institution,[1] which was the name that it commonly
bore, although its power consisted in a wide system of espionage, and
the tyrannical application of force which acted upon it, was yet, (so
rude were the ideas of enforcing public law,) accounted to confer a
privilege on the country in which it was received, and only freemen
were allowed to experience its influence. Serfs and peasants could
neither have a place among the Free Judges, their assessors, or
assistants; for there was in this assembly even some idea of trying
the culprit by his peers.

We must now return to the brave Englishman, who, though feeling all
the danger he encountered from so tremendous a tribunal, maintained
nevertheless a dignified and unaltered composure.

The meeting being assembled, a coil of ropes, and a naked sword, the
well-known signals and emblems of Vehmique authority, were deposited
on the altar; where the sword, from its being usually straight, with a
cross handle, was considered as representing the blessed emblem of
Christian Redemption, and the cord as indicating the right of criminal
jurisdiction, and capital punishment. Then the President of the
meeting, who occupied the centre seat on the foremost bench, arose,
and laying his hand on the symbols, pronounced aloud the formula
expressive of the duty of the tribunal, which all the inferior judges
and assistants repeated after him, in deep and hollow murmurs.

* * * * *

A member of the first-seated and highest class amongst the judges,
muffled like the rest, but the tone of whose voice, and the stoop of
whose person, announced him to be more advanced in years than the
other two who had before spoken, arose with difficulty, and said with
a trembling voice,--

"The child of the cord who is before us, has been convicted of folly
and rashness in slandering our holy institution. But he spoke his
folly to ears which had never heard our sacred laws--He has,
therefore, been acquitted by irrefragable testimony, of combining for
the impotent purpose of undermining our power, or stirring up princes
against our holy association, for which death were too light a
punishment--He hath been foolish, then, but not criminal; and as the
holy laws of the Vehme bear no penalty save that of death, I propose
for judgment that the child of the cord be restored without injury to
society, and to the upper world, having been first duly admonished of
his errors."

"Child of the cord," said the presiding judge, "thou hast heard thy
sentence of acquittal. But, as thou desirest to sleep in an unbloody
grave, let me warn thee, that the secrets of this night shall remain
with thee, as a secret not to be communicated to father nor mother, to
spouse, son, or daughter; neither to be spoken aloud nor whispered; to
be told in words or written in characters; to be carved or to be
painted, or to be otherwise communicated, either directly, or by
parable and emblem. Obey this behest, and thy life is in surety. Let
thy heart then rejoice within thee, but let it rejoice with trembling.
Never more let thy vanity persuade thee that thou art secure from the
servants and Judges of the Holy Vehme. Though a thousand leagues lie
between thee and the Red Land, and thou speakest in that where our
power is not known; though thou shouldst be sheltered by thy native
island, and defended by thy kindred ocean, yet, even there, I warn
thee to cross thyself when thou dost so much as think of the Holy and
Invisible Tribunal, and to retain thy thoughts within thine own bosom;
for the Avenger may be beside thee, and thou mayst die in thy folly.
Go hence, be wise, and let the fear of the Holy Vehme never pass from
before thine eyes."

At the concluding words, all the lights were at once extinguished with
a hissing noise. Philipson felt once more the grasp of the hands of
the officials, to which he resigned himself as the safest course. He
was gently prostrated on his pallet-bed, and transported back to the
place from which he had been advanced to the foot of the altar. The
cordage was again applied to the platform, and Philipson was sensible
that his couch rose with him for a few moments, until a slight shock
apprised him that he was again brought to a level with the floor of
the chamber in which he had been lodged on the preceding night, or
rather morning.

[Meanwhile Arthur Philipson proceeds along the banks of the Rhine, and
in his road falls in with a damsel, who proves to be Annette, the
attendant of Anne of Geierstein. By the former he is conducted to the
castle of Arnheim, where he has an interview with Anne, where she, in
some measure, explains the cause of her late mysterious appearances,
to convince him that the only witchery she possesses is that of female
charms and kindness: we give her solution of the mystery:]

"Signior Arthur Philipson," she proceeded, "it is true my grandfather,
by the mother's side, Baron Herman of Arnheim, was a man of great
knowledge in abstruse sciences. He was also a presiding judge of a
tribunal of which you must have heard, called the Holy Vehme. One
night a stranger, closely pursued by the agents of that body, which
(crossing herself) it is not safe even to name, arrived at the castle
and craved his protection, and the rights of hospitality. My
grandfather, finding the advance which the stranger had made to the
rank of Adept, gave him his protection, and became bail to deliver him
to answer the charge against him, for a year and a day, which delay
he was, it seems, entitled to require on his behalf. They studied
together during that term, and pushed their researches into the
mysteries of nature, as far, in all probability, as men have the power
of urging them. When the fatal day drew nigh on which the guest must
part from his host, he asked permission to bring his daughter to the
castle, that they might exchange a last farewell. She was introduced
with much secrecy, and after some days, finding that her father's fate
was so uncertain, the Baron, with the sage's consent, agreed to give
the forlorn maiden refuge in his castle, hoping to obtain from her
some additional information concerning the languages and the wisdom of
the East. Danischemend, her father, left this castle, to go to render
himself up to the Vehmegericht at Fulda. The result is unknown;
perhaps he was saved by Baron Arnheim's testimony, perhaps he was
given up to the steel and the cord. On such matters, who dare speak?

"The fair Persian became the wife of her guardian and protector. Amid
many excellences, she had one peculiarity allied to imprudence. She
availed herself of her foreign dress and manners, as well as of a
beauty, which was said to have been marvellous, and an agility seldom
equalled, to impose upon and terrify the ignorant German ladies, who,
hearing her speak Persian and Arabic, were already disposed to
consider her as over closely connected with unlawful arts. She was of
a fanciful and imaginative disposition, and delighted to place herself
in such colours and circumstances as might confirm their most
ridiculous suspicions, which she considered only as matter of sport.
There was no end to the stories to which she gave rise. Her first
appearance in the castle was said to be highly picturesque, and to
have inferred something of the marvellous. With the levity of a child,
she had some childish passions, and while she encouraged the growth
and circulation of the most extraordinary legends amongst some of the
neighbourhood, she entered into disputes with persons of her own
quality concerning rank and precedence, on which the ladies of
Westphalia have at all times set great store. This cost her her life;
for, on the morning of the christening of my poor mother, the Baroness
of Arnheim died suddenly, even while a splendid company was assembled
in the castle chapel to witness the ceremony. It was believed that she
died of poison, administered by the Baroness Steinfeldt, with whom she
was engaged in a bitter quarrel, entered into chiefly on behalf of her
friend and companion, the Countess Waldstetten."

"And the opal gem--and the sprinkling with water?" said Arthur

"Ah!" replied the young Baroness, "I see you desire to hear the real
truth of my family history, of which you have yet learned only the
romantic legend.--The sprinkling of water was necessarily had recourse
to, on my ancestress's first swoon. As for the opal, I have heard that
it did indeed grow pale, but only because it is said to be the nature
of that noble gem, on the approach of poison. Some part of the quarrel
with the Baroness Steinfeldt was about the right of the Persian maiden
to wear this stone, which an ancestor of my family won in battle from
the Soldan of Trebizond. All these things were confused in popular
tradition, and the real facts turned into a fairy tale."

[Arthur leaves the castle, and towards the close of vol. ii. we have
the following spirited scene:]

His steed stood ready, among about twenty others. Twelve of these were
accoutred with war saddles, and frontlets of proof, being intended for
the use of as many cavaliers, or troopers, retainers of the family of
Arnheim, whom the seneschal's exertions had been able to collect on
the spur of the occasion. Two palfreys, somewhat distinguished by
their trappings, were designed for Anne of Geierstein and her
favourite female attendant. The other menials, chiefly boys and women
servants, had inferior horses. At a signal made, the troopers took
their lances and stood by their steeds, till the females and menials
were mounted and in order; they then sprang into their saddles and
began to move forward, slowly and with great precaution. Schreckenwald
(the steward and confident of Anne's father,) led the van, and kept
Arthur Philipson close beside him. Anne and her attendant were in the
centre of the little body, followed by the unwarlike train of
servants, while two or three experienced cavaliers brought up the
rear, with strict orders to guard against surprise.

On their being put into motion, the first thing which surprised Arthur
was, that the horses' hoofs no longer sent forth the sharp and ringing
sound arising from the collision of iron and flint, and as the morning
light increased, he could perceive, that the fetlock and hoof of every
steed, his own included, had been carefully wrapped around with a
sufficient quantity of wool, to prevent the usual noise which
accompanied their motions. It was a singular thing to behold the
passage of the little body of cavalry down the rocky road which led
from the castle, unattended with the noise which we are disposed to
consider as inseparable from the motions of horse, the absence of
which seemed to give a peculiar and almost an unearthly appearance to
the cavalcade.

They passed in this manner the winding path which led from the castle
of Arnheim to the adjacent village, which, as was the ancient feudal
custom, lay so near the fortress, that its inhabitants, when summoned
by their lord, could instantly repair for its defence. But it was at
present occupied by very different inhabitants, the mutinous soldiers
of the Rhingrave. When the party from Arnheim approached the entrance
of the village, Schreckenwald made a signal to halt, which was
instantly obeyed by his followers. He then rode forward in person to
reconnoitre, accompanied by Arthur Philipson, both moving with the
utmost steadiness and precaution. The deepest silence prevailed in the
deserted streets. Here and there a soldier was seen, seemingly
designed for a sentinel, but uniformly fast asleep.

"The swinish mutineers!" said Schreckenwald; "a fair night-watch they
keep, and a beautiful morning's rouse would I treat them with, were
not the point to protect yonder peevish wench.--Halt thou here,
stranger, while I ride back and bring them on--there is no danger."

Schreckenwald left Arthur as he spoke, who, alone in the street of a
village filled with banditti, though they were lulled into temporary
insensibility, had no reason to consider his case as very comfortable.
The chorus of a wassel song, which some reveller was trolling over in
his sleep; or, in its turn, the growling of some village cur, seemed
the signal for an hundred ruffians to start up around him. But in the
space of two or three minutes, the noiseless cavalcade, headed by Ital
Schreckenwald, again joined him, and followed their leader, observing
the utmost precaution not to give an alarm. All went well till they
reached the farther end of the village, where, although the
Baaren-hauter[2] who kept guard was as drunk as his companions on
duty, a large shaggy dog which lay beside him was more vigilant. As
the little troop approached, the animal sent forth a ferocious yell,
loud enough to have broken the rest of the Seven Sleepers, and which
effectually dispelled the slumbers of his master. The soldier snatched
up his carabine and fired, he knew not well at what, or for what
reason. The ball, however, struck Arthur's horse under him, and, as
the animal fell, the sentinel rushed forward to kill or make prisoner
the rider.

"Haste on, haste on, men of Arnheim! care for nothing but the young
lady's safety," exclaimed the leader of the band.

"Stay, I command you;--aid the stranger, on your lives!"--said Anne,
in a voice which, usually gentle and meek, she now made heard by those
around her, like the note of a silver clarion. "I will not stir till
he is rescued."

Schreckenwald had already spurred his horse for flight; but,
perceiving Anne's reluctance to follow him, he dashed back, and
seizing a horse, which, bridled and saddled, stood picqueted near him,
he threw the reins to Arthur Philipson; and pushing his own horse, at
the same time, betwixt the Englishman and the soldier, he forced the
latter to quit the hold he had on his person. In an instant Philipson
was again mounted, when, seizing a battle-axe which hung at the
saddle-bow of his new steed, he struck down the staggering sentinel,
who was endeavouring again to seize upon him. The whole troop then
rode off at a gallop, for the alarm began to grow general in the
village; some soldiers were seen coming out of their quarters, and
others were beginning to get on horseback. Before Schreckenwald and
his party had ridden a mile, they heard more than once the sound of
bugles; and when they arrived upon the summit of an eminence
commanding a view of the village, their leader, who, during the
retreat, had placed himself in the rear of his company, now halted to
reconnoitre the enemy they had left behind them. There was bustle and
confusion in the street, but there did not appear to be any pursuit;
so that Schreckenwald followed his route down the river, with speed
and activity indeed, but with so much steadiness at the same time, as
not to distress the slowest horse of his party.

[At length, father and son reach Strasburg, where they deliver their
mission to Charles the Bold; and with vol. iii. commences quite a
different cast of characters.

In the cathedral at Strasburg, Philipson and his son meet with
Margaret of Anjou, and the interview between the exiled Queen, and as
we should now call Philipson, the Earl of Oxford, and his son, is one
of the most interesting scenes in the whole work; for there is a tinge
of melancholy in fallen royalty which is always extremely touching:]

There was a pause. Four lamps, lighted before the shrine of St.
George, cast a dim radiance on his armour and steed, represented as he
was in the act of transfixing with his lance the prostrate dragon,
whose outstretched wings and writhing neck were in part touched by
their beams. The rest of the chapel was dimly illuminated by the
autumnal sun, which could scarce find its way through the stained
panes of the small lanceolated window, which was its only aperture to
the open air. The light fell doubtful and gloomy, tinged with the
various hues through which it passed, upon the stately, yet somewhat
broken and dejected form of the female, and on those of the melancholy
and anxious father, and his son, who, with all the eager interest of
youth, suspected and anticipated extraordinary consequences from so
singular an interview.

At length the female approached to the same side of the shrine with
Arthur and his father, as if to be more distinctly heard, without
being obliged to raise the solemn voice in which she had spoken.

"Do you here worship," she said, "the St. George of Burgundy, or the
St. George of merry England, the flower of chivalry?"

"I serve," said Philipson, folding his hands humbly on his bosom, "the
saint to whom this chapel is dedicated, and the deity with whom I hope
for his holy intercession, whether here or in my native country."

"Ay--you," said the female, "even you can forget--you, even you, who
have been numbered among the mirror of knighthood--can forget that you
have worshipped in the royal fane of Windsor--that you have there bent
a _gartered_ knee, where kings and princes kneeled around you--you can
forget this, and make your orisons at a foreign shrine, with a heart
undisturbed with the thoughts of what you have been--praying, like
some poor peasant, for bread and life during the day that passes over

"Lady" replied Philipson, "in my proudest hours, I was, before the
being to whom I preferred my prayers, but as a worm in the dust--in
his eyes I am now neither less nor more, degraded as I may be in the
opinion of my fellow-reptiles."

"How canst thou think thus!" said the devotee; "and yet it is well
with thee that thou canst. But what have thy losses been compared to

She put her hand to her brow, and seemed for a moment overpowered by
agonizing recollections.

Arthur pressed to his father's side, and inquired, in a tone of
interest which could not be repressed, "Father, who is this lady? Is
it my mother?"

"No, my son," answered Philipson; "peace, for the sake of all you hold
dear or holy!"

The singular female, however, heard both the question and answer,
though expressed in a whisper.

"Yes," she said, "young man--I am--I should say I was--your mother;
the mother, the protectress, of all that was noble in England--I am
Margaret of Anjou."

Arthur sank on his knees before the dauntless widow of Henry the
Sixth, who so long, and in such desperate circumstances, upheld, by
unyielding courage and deep policy, the sinking cause of her feeble
husband; and who, if she occasionally abused victory by cruelty and
revenge, had made some atonement by the indomitable resolution with
which she had supported the fiercest storms of adversity. Arthur had
been bred in devoted adherence to the now dethroned line of Lancaster,
of which his father was one of the most distinguished supporters; and
his earliest deeds of arms, which though unfortunate, were neither
obscure nor ignoble, had been done in their cause. With an enthusiasm
belonging to his age and education, he in the same instant flung his
bonnet on the pavement, and knelt at the feet of his ill-fated

Margaret threw back the veil which concealed those noble and majestic
features, which even yet--though rivers of tears had furrowed her
cheek--though care, disappointment, domestic grief, and humbled pride,
had quenched the fire of her eye, and wasted the smooth dignity of her
forehead--even yet showed the remains of that beauty which once was
held unequalled in Europe. The apathy with which a succession of
misfortunes and disappointed hopes had chilled the feelings of the
unfortunate princess, was for a moment melted by the sight of the fair
youth's enthusiasm. She abandoned one hand to him, which he covered
with tears and kisses, and with the other stroked with maternal
tenderness his curled locks, as she endeavoured to raise him from the
posture he had assumed.

[We are next introduced to the court of Charles the Bold, the
political relations of France, England, and Burgundy, and especially
to the part which the Earl of Oxford has taken in the wars of the
roses. The introduction of the latter to the Duke affords an
opportunity for a fine graphic description, of which we subjoin a

The elder Philipson was shortly after summoned to the Duke's presence,
introduced by a back entrance into the ducal pavilion, and into that
part of it which, screened by close curtains and wooden barricades,
formed Charles's own separate apartment. The plainness of the
furniture, and the coarse apparatus of the Duke's toilette, formed a
strong contrast to the appearance of the exterior of the pavilion; for
Charles, whose character was, in that as in other things, far from
consistent, exhibited in his own person daring war, an austerity, or
rather coarseness of dress, and sometimes of manners also, which was
more like the rudeness of a German lanzknecht, than the bearing of a
prince of exalted rank; while, at the same time, he encouraged and
enjoined a great splendour of expense and display amongst his vassals
and courtiers, as if to be rudely attired, and to despise every
restraint, even of ordinary ceremony, were a privilege of the
sovereign alone. Yet when it pleased him to assume state in person and
manners, none knew better than Charles of Burgundy how he ought to
adorn and demean himself.

Upon his toilette appeared brushes and combs, which might have claimed
dismissal as past the term of service, over-worn hats and doublets,
dog-leashes, leather-belts, and other such paltry articles; amongst
which, lay at random, as it seemed, the great diamond called
Sanci--the three rubies termed the Three Brothers of Antwerp--another
great diamond called the Lamp of Flanders, and other precious stones
of scarcely inferior value and rarity. This extraordinary display
somewhat resembled the character of the Duke himself, who mixed
cruelty with justice, magnanimity with meanness of spirit, economy
with extravagance, and liberality with avarice; being, in fact,
consistent in nothing excepting in his obstinate determination to
follow the opinion he had once formed, in every situation of things,
and through all variety of risks.

[The dialogue, interest, and situations now become too involved for
detached extracts, except in a few characteristic sketches. Among
these is one of Rene, the minstrel monarch of Provence, and father of
Margaret; and a beautiful autumnal picture of Provence:]

Born of royal parentage, and with high pretensions, Rene had at no
period of his life been able to match his fortunes to his claims. Of
the kingdoms to which he asserted right, nothing remained in his
possession but the county of Provence itself, a fair and friendly
principality, but diminished by the many claims which France had
acquired upon portions of it by advances of money to supply the
personal expenses of its master, and by other portions, which
Burgundy, to whom Rene had been a prisoner, held in pledge for his
ransom. In his youth he engaged in more than one military enterprise,
in the hope of attaining some part of the territory of which he was
styled sovereign. His courage is not impeached, but fortune did not
smile on his military adventures; and he seems at last to have become
sensible, that the power of admiring and celebrating warlike merit, is
very different from possessing that quality. In fact, Rene was a
prince of very moderate parts, endowed with a love of the fine arts,
which he carried to extremity, and a degree of good-humour, which
never permitted him to repine at fortune, but rendered its possessor
happy, when a prince of keener feelings would have died of despair.
This insouciant, light-tempered, gay, and thoughtless disposition,
conducted Rene, free from all the passions which embitter life, and
often shorten it, to a hale and mirthful old age. Even domestic
losses, which often affect those who are proof against mere reverses
of fortune, made no deep impression on the feelings of this cheerful
old monarch. Most of his children had died young; Rene took it not to
heart. His daughter Margaret's marriage with the powerful Henry of
England was considered a connexion much above the fortunes of the King
of the Troubadours. But in the issue, instead of Rene deriving any
splendour from the match, he was involved in the misfortunes of his
daughter, and repeatedly obliged to impoverish himself to supply her
ransom. Perhaps in his private soul the old king did not think these
losses so mollifying, as the necessity of receiving Margaret into his
court and family. On fire when reflecting on the losses she had
sustained, mourning over friends slain and kingdoms lost, the proudest
and most passionate of princesses was ill suited to dwell with the
gayest and best humoured of sovereigns, whose pursuits she contemned,
and whose lightness of temper, for finding comfort in such trifles,
she could not forgive. The discomfort attached to her presence, and
vindictive recollections, embarrassed the good-humoured old monarch,
though it was unable to drive him beyond his equanimity.

Another distress pressed him more sorely.--Yolande, a daughter of his
first wife, Isabella, had succeeded to his claims upon the Duchy
of Lorraine, and transmitted them to her son, Ferrand, Count of
Vaudemont, a young man of courage and spirit, engaged at this time
in the apparently desperate undertaking of making his title good against
the Duke of Burgundy, who, with little right, but great power, was
seizing upon and overrunning this rich Duchy, which he laid claim to
as a male fief. And to conclude, while the aged king on one side
beheld his dethroned daughter in hopeless despair, and on the other
his disinherited grandson, in vain attempting to recover a part of
their rights, he had the additional misfortune to know, that his
nephew, Louis of France, and his cousin, the Duke of Burgundy, were
secretly contending which should succeed him in that portion of
Provence which he still continued to possess, and that it was only
jealousy of each other which prevented his being despoiled of this
last remnant of his territory. Yet amid all this distress, Rene
feasted and received guests, danced, sang, composed poetry, used the
pencil or brush with no small skill, devised and conducted festivals
and processions, and studying to promote, as far as possible, the
immediate mirth and good humour of his subjects, if he could not
materially enlarge their more permanent prosperity, was never
mentioned by them, excepting as _Le bon Roi Rene_, a distinction
conferred on him down to the present day, and due to him certainly by
the qualities of his heart if not by those of his head.

Whilst Arthur was receiving from his guide a full account of the
peculiarities of King Rene, they entered the territories of that merry
monarch. It was late in the autumn, and about the period when the
south-eastern counties of France rather show to least advantage. The
foliage of the olive tree is then decayed and withered, and as it
predominates in the landscape, and resembles the scorched complexion
of the soil itself, an ashen and arid hue is given to the whole.
Still, however, there were scenes in the hilly and pastoral parts of
the country, where the quality of the evergreens relieved the eye even
in this dead season.

The appearance of the country, in general, had much in it that was
peculiar. The travellers perceived at every turn some marks of the
king's singular character. Provence, as the part of Gaul which first
received Roman civilization, and as having been still longer the
residence of the Grecian colony who founded Marseilles, is more full
of the splendid relics of ancient architecture than any other country
in Europe. Italy and Greece excepted. The good taste of King Rene had
dictated some attempts to clear out and to restore these memorials of
antiquity. Was there a triumphal arch, or an ancient temple--huts and
hovels were cleared away from its vicinity, and means were used at
least to retard the approach of ruin. Was there a marble fountain,
which superstition had dedicated to some sequestered naiad--it was
surrounded by olives, almond, and orange trees--its cistern was
repaired, and taught once more to retain its crystal treasures. The
huge amphitheatres, and gigantic colonnades, experienced the same
anxious care, attesting that the noblest specimens of the fine arts
found one admirer and preserver in King Rene, even during the course
of those which are termed the dark and barbarous ages.

A change of manners could also be observed in passing from Burgundy
and Lorraine, where society relished of German bluntness, into the
pastoral country of Provence, where the influence of a fine climate
and melodious language, joined to the pursuits of the romantic old
monarch, with the universal taste for music and poetry, had introduced
a civilization of manners, which approached to affectation. The
shepherd literally marched abroad in the morning, piping his flocks
forth to the pasture, with some love sonnet, the composition of an
amorous troubadour; and his "fleecy care" seemed actually to be under
the influence of his music, instead of being ungraciously insensible
to its melody, as is the case in colder climates. Arthur observed,
too, that the Provencal sheep, instead of being driven before the
shepherd, regularly followed him, and did not disperse to feed, until
the swain, by turning his face round to them, remaining stationary,
and executing variations on the air which he was playing, seemed to
remind them that it was proper to do so. While in motion, his huge
dog, of a species which is trained to face the wolf, and who is
respected by the sheep as their guardian, and not feared as their
tyrant, followed his master with his ears pricked, like the chief
critic and prime judge of the performance, at some tones of which he
seldom failed to intimate disapprobation; while the flock, like the
generality of an audience, followed in unanimous though silent
applause. At the hour of noon, the shepherd had sometimes acquired an
augmentation to his audience, in some comely matron or blooming
maiden, with whom he had rendezvoused by such a fountain as we have
described, and who listened to the husband's or lover's chalumeau, or
mingled her voice with his in the duets, of which the songs of the
troubadours have left so many examples. In the cool of the evening,
the dance on the village green, or the concert before the hamlet door;
the little repast of fruits, cheese, and bread, which the traveller
was readily invited to share, gave new charms to the illusion, and
seemed in earnest to point out Provence as the Arcadia of France.

But the greatest singularity was, in the eyes of Arthur, the total
absence of armed men and soldiers in this peaceful country. In
England, no man stirred without his long bow, sword, and buckler. In
France, the hind wore armour even when he was betwixt the stilts of
his plough. In Germany, you could not look along a mile of highway,
but the eye was encountered by clouds of dust out of which were seen,
by fits, waving feathers and flashing armour. Even in Switzerland, the
peasant, if he had a journey to make, though but of a mile or two,
cared not to travel without his halbert and two-handed sword. But in
Provence all seemed quiet and peaceful, as if the music of the land
had lulled to sleep all its wrathful passions. Now and then a mounted
cavalier might pass them, the harp at whose saddle-bow, or carried by
one of his attendants, attested the character of a troubadour, which
was affected by men of all ranks; and then only a short sword on his
left thigh, borne for show rather than use, was a necessary and
appropriate part of his equipment.

[Next is a finely-wrought scene of Arthur's interview with Margaret in
a monastery, "on the very top of Mount Saint Victoire."]

So much was Arthur awed by the scene before him, that he had almost
forgotten, while gazing from the bartizan, the important business
which had brought him to this place, when it was suddenly recalled by
finding himself in the presence of Margaret of Anjou, who, not seeing
him in the parlour of reception, had stept upon the balcony, that she
might meet with him the sooner.

The Queen's dress was black, without any ornament except a gold
coronal of an inch in breadth, restraining her long black tresses, of
which advancing years, and misfortunes, had partly altered the hue.
There was placed within the circlet a black plume with a red rose, the
last of the season, which the good father who kept the garden had
presented to her that morning, as the badge of her husband's house.
Care, fatigue, and sorrow, seemed to dwell on her brow and her
features. To another messenger, she would in all probability have
administered a sharp rebuke, for not being alert in his duty to
receive her as she entered; but Arthur's age and appearance
corresponded with that of her loved and lost son. He was the son of a
lady whom Margaret had loved with almost sisterly affection, and the
presence of Arthur continued to excite in the dethroned queen the same
feelings of maternal tenderness which they had awakened on their first
meeting in the Cathedral of Strasburg. She raised him as he kneeled at
her feet, spoke to him with much kindness, and encouraged him to
detail at full length his father's message, and such other news as his
brief residence at Dijon had made him acquainted with.

* * * * *

As she spoke, she sunk down as one who needs rest, on a stone-seat
placed on the very verge of the balcony, regardless of the storm,
which now began to rise with dreadful gusts of wind, the course of
which being intermitted and altered by the crags round which they
howled, it seemed as if in very deed Boreas, and Eurus, and Caurus,
unchaining the winds from every quarter of heaven, were contending for
mastery around the convent of our Lady of Victory. Amid this tumult,
and amid billows of mist which concealed the bottom of the precipice,
and masses of clouds which racked tearfully over their heads, the roar
of the descending waters rather resembled the fall of cataracts than
the rushing of torrents of rain. The seat on which Margaret had placed
herself was in a considerable degree sheltered from the storm, but its
eddies, varying in every direction, often tossed aloft her dishevelled
hair; and we cannot describe the appearance of her noble and
beautiful, yet ghastly and wasted features, agitated strongly by
anxious hesitation, and conflicting thoughts, unless to those of our
readers who have had the advantage of having seen our inimitable
Siddons in such a character as this.

* * * * *

As Margaret spoke, she tore from her hair the sable feather and rose,
which the tempest had detached from the circlet in which they were
placed, and tossed them from the battlement with a gesture of wild
energy. They were instantly whirled off in a bickering eddy of the
agitated clouds, which swept the feather far distant into empty space,
through which the eye could not pursue it. But while that of Arthur
involuntarily strove to follow its course, a contrary gust of wind
caught the red rose, and drove it back against his breast, so that it
was easy for him to catch hold of and retain it.

"Joy, joy, and good fortune, royal mistress!" he said, returning to
her the emblematic flower; "the tempest brings back the badge of
Lancaster to its proper owner."

"I accept the omen," said Margaret; "but it concerns yourself,
noble youth and not me. The feather, which is borne away to waste
and desolation, is Margaret's emblem. My eyes will never see the
restoration of the line of Lancaster. But you will live to behold it,
and to aid to achieve it, and to dye our red rose deeper yet in the
blood of tyrants and traitors. My thoughts are so strangely poised,
that a feather or a flower may turn the scale. But my head is still
giddy, and my heart sick--To-morrow you shall see another Margaret,
and till then adieu."

[Oxford attempts to win over Charles the Bold to the Lancastrian
cause, and proposes an invasion of England, while Edward, with his
army, is in France. Charles acquiesces; but capriciously breaks off
the treaty, and rashly commences an attack on the Swiss Cantons. In
his first attempt at Granson, his vanguard is cut off, and he is
compelled to retreat into Burgundy. He, however, resolves to wipe out
the disgrace of his defeat, raises a powerful army, and fights the
memorable battle of Morat. His army is utterly ruined by the stern
valour of the Swiss; he is compelled to fight for Lorraine, before
Nancy; the treachery of an Italian leader of Condittierri, gives the
enemy access to his camp; and his army is surprised, and routed:]

It was ere daybreak of the first of January, 1477, a period long
memorable for the events which marked it, that the Earl of Oxford,
Colvin, and the young Englishman, followed only by Thiebault and two
other servants, commenced their rounds of the Duke of Burgundy's
encampment. For the greater part of their progress, they found
sentinels and guards all on the alert and at their posts. It was a
bitter morning. The ground was partly covered with snow--that snow had
been partly melted by a thaw, which had prevailed for two days, and
partly congealed into ice by a bitter frost, which had commenced the
preceding evening, and still continued. A more dreary scene could
scarcely be witnessed.

* * * * *

A broad red glare rising behind the assailants, and putting to shame
the pallid lights of the winter morning, first recalled Arthur to a
sense of his condition. The camp was on fire in his rear, and
resounded with all the various shouts of conquest and terror that are
heard in a town which is stormed. Starting to his feet, he looked
around him for his father. He lay near him senseless, as were the
gunners, whose condition prevented their attempting an escape. Having
opened his father's casque, he was rejoiced to see him give symptoms
of reanimation.

* * * * *

They looked back more than once on the camp, now one great scene of
conflagration, by whose red and glaring light they could discover on
the ground the traces of Charles's retreat. About three miles from the
scene of their defeat, the sound of which they still heard, mingled
with the bells of Nancy, which were ringing in triumph, they reached
an half-frozen swamp, round which lay several dead bodies. The most
conspicuous was that of Charles of Burgundy, once the possessor of
such unlimited power--such unbounded wealth. He was partly stripped
and plundered, as were those who lay round him. His body was pierced
with several wounds, inflicted by various weapons. His sword was still
in his hand, and the singular ferocity which was wont to animate his
features in battle, still dwelt on his stiffened countenance. Close
behind him, as if they had fallen in the act of mutual fight, lay the
corpse of Count Albert of Geierstein; and that of Ital Schreckenwald,
the faithful though unscrupulous follower of the latter, lay not far
distant. Both were in the dress of the men-at-arms composing the
Duke's guard, a disguise probably assumed to execute the fatal
commission of the Secret Tribunal. It is supposed that a party of the
traitor Campo-Basso's men had been engaged in the skirmish in which
the Duke fell, for six or seven of them, and about the same number of
the Duke's guards, were found near the spot.

[Previous to the battle of Nancy, Rudolf falls by the hand of Arthur:]

A pursuivant brought greetings from the family of the Biedermans to
their friend Arthur, and a separate letter addressed to the same
person, of which the contents ran thus:--

"Rudolf Donnerhugel is desirous to give the young merchant, Arthur
Philipson, the opportunity of finishing the bargain which remained
unsettled between them in the castle-court of Geierstein. He is the
more desirous of this, as he is aware that the said Arthur has done
him wrong, in seducing the affections of a certain maiden of rank, to
whom he, Philipson, is not, and cannot be, any thing beyond an
ordinary acquaintance. Rudolf Donnerhugel will send Arthur Philipson
word, when a fair and equal meeting can take place on neutral ground.
In the meantime, he will be as often as possible in the first rank of
the skirmishers."

Young Arthur's heart leapt high as he read the defiance, the piqued
tone of which showed the state of the writer's feelings, and argued
sufficiently Rudolf's disappointment on the subject of Anne of
Geierstein, and his suspicion that she had bestowed her affections on
the youthful stranger. Arthur found means of dispatching a reply to
the challenge of the Swiss, assuring him of the pleasure with which he
would attend his commands, either in front of the line or elsewhere,
as Rudolf might desire.

They met, as was the phrase of the time, "manful under shield." The
lance of the Swiss glanced from the helmet of the Englishman, against
which it was addressed, while the spear of Arthur, directed right
against the centre of his adversary's body, was so justly aimed, and
so truly seconded by the full fury of the career, as to pierce, not
only the shield which hung round the ill-fated warrior's neck, but a
breastplate, and a shirt of mail which he wore beneath it. Passing
clear through the body, the steel point of the weapon was only stopped
by the backpiece of the unfortunate cavalier, who fell headlong from
his horse, as if struck by lightning, rolled twice or thrice over on
the ground, tore the earth with his hands, and then lay prostrate a
dead corpse.

There was a cry of rage and grief among those men-at-arms whose ranks
Rudolf had that instant left, and many couched their lances to avenge
him; but Ferrand of Lorraine, who was present in person, ordered them
to make prisoner, but not to harm the successful champion. This was
accomplished, for Arthur had not time to turn his bridle for flight,
and resistance would have been madness.

When brought before Ferrand, he raised his visor, and said, "Is it
well, my lord, to make captive an adventurous Knight, for doing his
devoir against a personal challenger?"

"Do not complain, Sir Arthur of Oxford," said Ferrand, "before you
experience injury.--You are free, Sir Knight. Your father and you were
faithful to my royal aunt Margaret, and although she was my enemy, I
do justice to your fidelity in her behalf; and from respect to her
memory, disinherited as she was like myself, and to please my
grandfather, who I think had some regard for you, I give you your
freedom. But I must also care for your safety during your return to
the camp of Burgundy. On this side of the hill we are loyal and
true-hearted men, on the other they are traitors and murderers.--You,
Sir Count, will, I think, gladly see our captive placed in safety."

[Margaret of Anjou sinks amidst the ruin of her hopes, and dies in her
chair amidst a scene of royal festivity:]

To close the tale, about three months after the battle Nancy, the
banished Earl of Oxford resumed his name of Philipson, bringing with
his lady some remnants of their former wealth, which enabled them to
procure a commodious residence near to Geierstein; and the Landamman's
interest in the state procured for them the right of denizenship. The
high blood, and the moderate fortunes, of Anne of Geierstein and
Arthur de Vere, joined to their mutual inclination, made their
marriage in every respect rational. Arthur continued to prefer the
chase to the labours of husbandry, which was of little consequence, as
his separate income amounted, in that poor country, to opulence. Time
glided on, till it amounted to five years since the exiled family had
been inhabitants of Switzerland. In the year 1482, the Landamman
Biederman died the death of the righteous, lamented universally, as a
model of the true and valiant, simple-minded and sagacious chiefs, who
ruled the ancient Switzers in peace, and headed them in battle. In the
same year, the Earl of Oxford lost his noble Countess.

But the star of Lancaster, at that period, began again to culminate,
and called the banished lord and his son from their retirement, to mix
once more in politics. A treasured necklace of Margaret was then put
to its destined use, and the produce applied to levy those bands which
shortly after fought the celebrated battle of Bosworth, in which the
arms of Oxford and his son contributed so much to the success of Henry
VII. This changed the destinies of De Vere and his lady; and the
manners and beauty of Anne of Geierstein attracted as much admiration
at the English Court as formerly in the Swiss Chalet.

[1] The word Wehme, pronounced Vehme, is of uncertain derivation,
but was always used to intimate this inquisitorial and secret
Court. The members were termed Wissenden, or Initiated,
answering to the modern phrase of Illuminati.

[2] _Baaren-hauter_,--be of the Bear's hide,--a nickname for a
German private soldier.

* * * * *


* * * * *


Mr. Nathan, the musical composer, has just published a pleasant volume
of "_Fugitive Pieces and Reminiscences of Lord Byron_," with a new
edition of the celebrated "Hebrew Melodies," and some never before
published, of which the following are three, with Mr. Nathan's


I speak not--I trace not--I breathe not thy name,
There is grief in the sound--there were guilt in the fame,
But the tear which now burns on my cheek may impart
The deep thought that dwells in that silence of heart.
Too brief for our passion, too long for our peace,
Where those hours can their joy or their bitterness cease,
We repent--we abjure--we will break from our chain,
We must part--we must fly to--unite it again.

Oh! thine be the gladness and mine be the guilt,
Forgive me adored one--forsake if thou wilt,
But the heart which I bear shall expire undebased,
And man shall not break it--whatever thou mayest.
And stern to the haughty--but humble to thee,
My soul in its bitterest blackness shall be;
And our days seem as swift--and our moments more sweet
With thee by my side--than the world at our feet.

One sigh of thy sorrow--one look of thy love
Shall turn me or fix, shall reward or reprove;
And the heartless may wonder at all we resign,
Thy lip shall reply not to them--but to mine.

Many of the best poetical pieces of Lord Byron, having the least
amatory feeling, have been strangely distorted by his calumniators, as
if applicable to the lamented circumstances of his latter life.

The foregoing verses were written more than two years previously to
his marriage; and to show how averse his lordship was from touching in
the most distant manner upon the _theme_ which might be deemed to have
a personal allusion, he requested me the morning before he last left
London, either to suppress the verses entirely or to be careful in
putting the date when they were originally written.

At the close of his lordship's injunction, Mr. Leigh Hunt was
announced, to whom I was for the first time introduced, and at his
request I sang "O Marianne," and this melody, both of which he was
pleased to eulogize; but his lordship again observed, "Notwithstanding
my own partiality to the air, and the encomiums of an excellent judge,
yet I must adhere to my former injunction."

Observing his lordship's anxiety, and fully appreciating the noble
feeling by which that anxiety was augmented, I acquiesced, in
signifying my willingness to withhold the melody altogether from the
public rather than submit him to any uneasiness. "No, Nathan,"
ejaculated his lordship, "I am too great an admirer of your music to
suffer a single _phrase_ of it to be lost; I insist that you publish
the melody, but by attaching to it the date it will answer every
purpose, and it will prevent my lying under greater obligations than
are absolutely necessary for the _liberal encomiums_ of my _friends_."


In the valley of waters we wept o'er the day
When the host of the stranger made Salem his prey,
And our heads on our bosoms all droopingly lay,
And our hearts were so full of the land far away.

The song they demanded in vain--it lay still
In our souls as the wind that hath died on the hill;
They call'd for the harp--but our blood they shall spill
Ere our right hand shall teach them one tone of their skill.

All stringlessly hung on the willow's sad tree,
As dead as her dead leaf those mute harps must be.
Our hands may be fettered--our tears still are free,
For our God and our glory--and Sion!--Oh thee.


"_Felix qui potuit ferum cognoscere causas_."--Virgil.

They say that Hope is happiness;
But genuine Love must prize the past,
And mem'ry wakes the thoughts that bless:
They rose the first--they set the last;
And all that mem'ry loves the most
Was once our only hope to be,
And all that Hope ador'd and lost
Hath melted into memory.

Alas! it is delusion all:
The future cheats us from afar,
Nor can we be what we recall
Nor dare we think on what we are.

The foregoing lines were officiously taken up by a person who
arrogated to himself some self-importance in criticism, and who made
an observation upon their demerits, on which his lordship quaintly
observed, "they were written in haste and they shall perish in the
same manner," and immediately consigned them to the flames; as my
music adapted to them, however, did not share the same fate, and
having a contrary opinion of any thing that might fall from the pen of
Lord Byron, I treasured them up, and on a subsequent interview with
his lordship I accused him of having committed suicide in making so
valuable a _burnt offering_: to which his lordship smilingly replied,
"the act seems to _inflame_ you: come, Nathan, since you are
displeased with the _sacrifice_, I give them to you as a _peace
offering_, use them as you may deem proper."

When the Hebrew Melodies were first published, Sir Walter, then Mr.
Scott, honoured me with a visit at my late residence in Poland Street:
I sang several of the melodies to him--he repeated his visit, and
requested I would allow him to introduce his lady and his daughter;
they came together, when I had the pleasure of singing to them
Jephtha's Daughter and one or two more of the most favourite airs;
they entered into the spirit of the music with all the true taste and
feeling so peculiar to the Scotch.

Mr. Scott again called on me to take leave before his return to
Scotland; we entered into conversation respecting the sublimity and
beauty of Lord Byron's poetry, and he spoke of his lordship with
admiration, exclaiming "He is a man of wonderful genius--he is a
great man."

I called on Lord Byron the same day, and mentioned to him that Walter
Scott had been with me that morning. His lordship observed, "Then,
Nathan, you have been visited by the greatest man of the age, and,"
continued his lordship, "I suppose you have read _Waverley_." I
replied in the negative. "Then," returned his lordship, "you have a
pleasure to come, let me recommend it to you; it is decidedly the best
novel I ever read; you are of course aware that it was written by
Walter Scott." It had at this period scarcely been rumoured that such
was actually the case, but Lord Byron was more than usually positive
in identifying the author with his writings.

In speaking of Moore, as a poet, Lord Byron acknowledged his powers,
and spoke highly of his effusions generally. "The Irish Melodies,"
said his lordship, "will outlive all his other productions, and will
be hailed by the Irish nation as long as music and poetry exist in
that country."

Many coincidences in life may seem to border on superstition, without
any existing reality; and, although never personally taxed with the
sin of superstition, yet the following circumstance brings strongly to
my remembrance what passed relative to my friend and patron.

I was with Lord Byron, at his house in Piccadilly, the best part of
the three last days before he left London, to quit England; I
expressed my regret at his departure, and desired to know if it was
really his intention not to return (little anticipating what
eventually took place;) he fixed his eyes upon me with an eager look
of inquiry, exclaiming at the same time, "Good God! I never had it in
contemplation to remain in exile--why do you ask that question?" I
stated that such a report had been rumoured. "I certainly intend
returning," continued his lordship, "unless the _grim tyrant_ should
be playing his pranks on me."

He appeared very anxious for the voyage, and walked about the room in
great agitation, waiting the return of a messenger who had been sent
respecting some delay which was likely to take place; the messenger
however soon entered, and presented him a letter, which his lordship
opened with great eagerness. In reading the letter his countenance,
like the earth illumined by the re-appearance of the moon, after
having been obscured by dark clouds, brightened up, and at the close
he exultingly exclaimed "this is kind--very kind--Nathan! to-morrow I
quit." I soon after left him; he shook me heartily by the hand, and
left with his impression a fifty pound note, saying, "Do not be
offended with me at this mode of expressing the delight you have
afforded me--until we meet again, farewell!--I shall not forget my
promise." His lordship here alluded to some promised verses.

Having left the room he called me back, and reverting once more to my
first allusion of the rumour about his not returning, laughingly said,
"Remember, Nathan, you shall certainly see me again in body or in

There are several other interesting anecdotical Recollections of Lord
Byron, especially of his connexion with Drury Lane Theatre, and above
all, a _new light_ is thrown on his Lordship's affair with Mrs.
Mardyn. Appended are likewise some characteristic _traits_ of the late
Lady Caroline Lamb, with some pleasing specimens of her Ladyship's
poetical talent. Altogether, Mr. Nathan's is just the book for _the
season_; and we have penciled a few of its pleasantries for our next

* * * * *


One of the most striking and gigantic buildings in St. Petersburg is
the Admiralty. The principal front on the land side is considerably
more than one-third of an English mile in length, and its wings, in
depth, extend six hundred and seventy two feet, down to the edge of
the Neva, this noble river forming the fourth side of the quadrangle.
Within the three sides (the Neva and two wings) are ranges of parallel
buildings, which form the magazines, artificers' shops, mast and boat
houses, offices, &c.; and in the area within these are four slips for
building the largest, and two for a smaller class of ships of war. The
whole of the outer range of buildings consists of grand suites of
rooms, and long and beautifully ornamented galleries, filled with the
natural history and curiosities collected in every part of the globe,
and brought by the different navigators which Russia, of late years,
has sent forth on discovery. In one room are assembled all the
different nautical and mathematical instruments; in another all the
models of ships of different nations and different eras; in another a
complete library connected with every branch of the marine
service.--_Granville's Travels_.

* * * * *

_Printed and Published by J. LIMBIRD, 143, Strand, (near Somerset
House,) London; sold by ERNEST FLEISCHER, 626, New Market, Leipsic;
and by all Newsmen and Booksellers_.


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