« ForrigeFortsett »
Mid the tempest of war must be shaken.
So cool when the war-horse is bounding?
When the trumpet of England is sounding:
And win ye a name in proud story,
Are not worth one moment of glory.
Of the Whigs, as ye strike for your country and king. “The whole household of Wiltonhall, including Walter Selby and myself, had gradually gathered around this merchant-minstrel, whose voice from an ordinary chant, had arisen, as we became interested, into a tone of deep and martial melody. Nor was it the voice alone of the stranger that became changed—bis face, which at the commencement of the ballad had a dubious and sinister expression, brightened up with enthusiasm-his frame grew erect, and his eyes gleamed with that fierce light, which has been observed in the eyes
of the English soldiers on the eve of battle. · What thinkest thou pretty Eleanor, of our merchant now,' said Walter Selby - I should like to have such a form on my right hand when I try to empty the saddles of the southern horse of some of the keenest whigs. And I'll pledge thee, young gentleman,' said the pedlar -raising his voice at once from the provincial drawl and obscurity of lowland Scotch into the purest English,--'any vow thou askest of me to ride on which hand thou wilt--and be to thee as a friend and a brother, when the battle is at the hottest-and so I give thee my
hand on't I touch no hand,' said Walter Selby, and I vow no vow either in truce or battle, till I know if thou art of the lineage of the gentle or the churl-I am a Selby, and the Selbys– • The Selbys,' said the stranger, in a tone, slow and deliberate.
« are an ancient and a noble race--but this is no time, young gentleman, to scruple precedence of blood. In the fields where I have ridden, noble deeds have been achieved by common handswhile the gentle and the far descended have sat apart nor soiled their swords—I neither say I am of a race churlish nor noble-but my sword is as sharp as other men's, and might do thee a friendly deed were it nigh thee in danger. Now God help us,” said the dame of Wilton-hall, what will old England become here's young Wat Selby debating lineage and blood with a packman churl-in good truth, if I had but one drop of gentle blood in my veins, I would wrap him up in his own plaid and beat him to death with his ell wand-which I'll warrant is a full thumb breadth short of measure.' I stood looking on Walter Selby and on the stranger-the former standing aloof with a look of haughty determination and the latter, with an aspect of calm and intrepid resolution, enduring the scoff of the hot-headed youth, and the scorn of the vulgar matron. It might be now about nine o'clock—the air was balmy and mute, the sky blue and unclouded, and the moon, yet unrisen, had sent as much of her light before her as served, with the innumerable stars, to lighten the earth from the summit of the mountains to the deepest vales. I never looked upon a more lovely night, and gladly turned my face from the idle disputants to the green mountain-side, upon which that forerunner gleam which precedes the moon had begun to scatter its light. While I continued gazing, there appeared a sight on Soutra-fell sidestrange, ominous, and obscure, at that time, but which was soon after explained in desolation and in blood. I saw all at once, a body of horsemen coming swiftly down the steep and impassable side of the mountain-where no earthly horse ever rode. They amounted to many hundreds and trooped onwards in successiontheir helmets gleaming and their drawn swords shining amid the starlight. On beholding this vision, I uttered a faint scream, and Walter Selby, who was always less or more than other men, shouted till the mountain echoed. • Saw ever man so gallant a sight? A thousand steeds and riders on the perpendicular side of old Soutra-see where they gallop along a linn, where I could hardly fly a hawk! 0, for a horse with so sure and so swift a foot as these, that I might match me with this elfin chivalry. My wanton brown,
which can bound across the Derwent like a bird with me on its back, is but a packhorse to one of these. Alarm was visible in every face around-for we all knew what the apparition foreboded -a lost battle and a ruined cause. I heard my father say that the like sight appeared on Helvellyn side, before the battle of Marston-inoor- with this remarkable difference--the leader wore on his head the semblance of a royal crown, whereas the leaders of the troop whom I beheld wore only earls coronets. Now his right hand protect us,' said the dame of Wilton-hall, . what are we doomed to endure:-what will follow this??Misery to many,' answered the pedlar, “and sudden and early death to some who are present. Cease thy croak, thou northern raven,' said Walter Selby-- if they are phantoms let them pass—what care we for men of mist?--and if they are flesh and bone, as I guess by their bearing they must surely be—they are good gallant soldiers of our good king, and thus do I bid them welcome with my bugle.? He winded his horn till the mountain echoed far and wide-the spectre horsemen distant nearly a quarter of a mile seemed to halt -and the youth had his horn again at his lips to renew the note, when he was interrupted by the pedlar, who, laying his hand on the instrument, said, “young gentleman be wise, and be ruledyon vision is sent for man's instruction--not for his scoff and his scorn?—the shadowy troop now advanced, and passed towards the south at the distance of an hundred yards. I looked on them as they went, and I imagined I knew the forms of many living men -doomed speedily to perish in the battle field, or on the scaffold. I saw the flower of the jacobite chivalry-the Maxwells, the Gordons, the Boyds, the Drummonds, the Ogilvys, the Camerons, the Scotts, the Foresters, and the Selbys. The havoc which happened among these noble names, it is needless to relate--it is written in tale--related in ballad-sung in song-and deeper still it is written in family feeling and national sympathy. A supernatural light accompanied this pageant, and rendered perfectly visible horse and man-in the rear I saw a form that made me shudder-a form still present to my eye and impressed upon my heart-old and sorrow-worn as it is, as vividly as in early youth. I saw the shape of Walter Selby-his short cloak, his scarlet dress-his hat and feather-his sword by his side and that smiling glance in bis
deep dark eye which was never there but for me, and which I could know among the looks of a thousand. As he came, he laid his bridle on his horse's neck and leaned aside, and took a long look at me. The youth himself, full of life and gladness beside me, seemed to discover the resemblance between the spectrerider and him, and it was only by throwing myself in his bosom, that I hindered him from addressing the apparition. How long I remained insensible in his arms I know not, but when I recovered, I found myself pressed to the youth's bosom-and a gentleman with several armed attendants standing beside me--all showing by their looks the deep interest they took in my fate."* Lammerlea, Cumberland.
(To be Continued.)
Art. IX.-Alice and Berenger. From the French. In 1374, under the reign of Charles the fifth, so justly surnamed the Wise, was born, in a castle upon the banks of the Seine, a short distance from St. Germains, Berenger de Presles, son of a brave gentleman attached to the court of the king.
It was in the midst of the rejoicings on account of the truce, that the baptism of this infant was celebrated, to whom the king, in remembrance of the services of his father, appointed as godfather, John lord of Neuville, one of the most renowned captains and knights of that brilliant age. Berenger was yet in the cradle when his father died.
After he had attained his 12th year, the lady, his mother, having caused him to be instructed in the first principles of a military education, sent him to his illustrious godfather, to commence his career as a pursuivant, (a kind of apprenticeship, during which the pupil bore the lance and basnet of the knights, learned
* The attested account of this extraordinary vision, as we find it in the pages of several travellers, differs little from the narrative of Eleanor Selby; it is signed by two peasants, Daniel Stricket and William Lancaster, who with about twenty four other persons witnessed this spectral procession for several hours. Several learned men have written many wise pages, to prove tbat all this was either real or imaginary—a conclusion to which many will probably be able to come without the aid of learning. VOL. XII.
to ride, and was instructed in the profession of arms.) On the morning of the day of his departure, the youth entered the chamber of his mother to receive her blessing. She made him recite the poem of Hugh of Fabarie upon the order of chivalry, and placed on his neck a small chain, by which was suspended a flint, which one of his ancestors had brought from the banks of the Jordan, and on which were engraved these words, “God, France, and Honor.” The lady after having embraced her son, with tears, confided him to the care of an old servant, and ascended the turret of the castle to follow him with her eyes as far as it was possible.
Berenger did not arrive until the following day at the castle of Neuville. Its warlike appearance was the first thing that fixed his attention. The embattled walls, the marchecoulis, the wide fosse, the double drawbridge, the elevated keep, the bell of the chapel which was ringing the Ave Maria, at the moment when the young pursuivant arrived, all these objects, strangers to the peaceful environs of Presles, excited in his mind astonishment mingled with awe, of which he retained the impression, when he appeared ber fore the lord of Neuville.
This nobleman embraced him, promised to treat him as a son, and conducted him to the countess who received him in the most affectionate manner.
The little Alice, her daughter, one year younger than Berenger, and whose grace and beauty seemed to be beyond her age, was seated near her mother, who was teaching her to work in tapestry.
On the next day the pupil of the count, was initiated in his new office, and soon after subjected to all the duties of the military life, to which he was destined. The slightest fault was punished with a severity which often caused the tears of the good little Alice to fow; but Berenger consoled himself with the reflection that it was at the same price that the lord of Neuville had obtained the great fame which he enjoyed. Military exercises did not however occupy all the time of Berenger; he dedicated some hours every day to the study of poetry, which he passionately loved, and in which the prior de Rieux, great uncle of the countess, gave him instructions.
The prior had an irresistible passion for writing satires against the most distinguished personages of the court. Like all the 11 bellers of that time, who had much difficulty in keeping themselves