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but the marshal required no less than that he should remain some days with him. This noble warrior having retired from the court, enjoyed in his honourable retreat, the happiness of private life, to which his love of letters added a new charm.
His castle was the resort of the troubadours, and every day witnessed some new festival. These pleasures, in which Berenger at any other time, would have indulged with so much delight, could not alienate his thoughts from the remembrance of his disgrace, the loss of his mother, and the adored image of Alice.
This deep melancholy at so tender an age, made the marshal desirous of knowing the cause; and his entreaties became so pressing, and so affectionate, that Berenger was obliged to yield to them. He employed some concealment in his recital, that he might not place the conduct of the prior of Rieux in an unfavourable light, but the marshal was convinced of his innocence, and offered to conduct him to the court, to justify himself in the eyes of the prince. Berenger declined this offer, declaring to his illustria ous protector that honour imposed silence on him, and on the morning of the fourth day from his arrival at Loigny, full of impatience to meet his faithful servant at Dijon, he took leave of the marshal who gave him, at parting, testimonies of the most lively affection. He arrived at Dijon; Raymond had been waiting there two days; he brought him a leaf of Alice's tablets, upon which the lovely girl had traced some words in haste:
« The anger of my father is still great,” said she, “but he will not fail to be pleased with the glory which you will gain. Adieu.”
These two lines, which made no change in the destiny of Berenger, were to him a source of inexpressible joy, and revived his courage and his hope. He suspended to the chain which his mother had given him, and which he bore on his neck, this talisman of love.
He loaded Raymond with presents, and sent him back to the castle of Presles, with a billet in which he contented himself with writing these words:
“ You shall never see or hear any thing unworthy of me.”
The next day be presented bimself at the castle of the duke of Burgundy, where he found that entrance was refused to simple esquires. After eight days, more mortified than fatigued with the
journey which he had made to no purpose, as he was preparing to leave Dijon, he understood, that troops were levying to march against the duke of Guilders, and he immediately joined, as a volunteer, the army which the king commanded in person. The campaign was not so long, as it was bloody. Berenger covered himself with glory, and many brilliant deeds of arms would have gained for him honourable distinctions, had not the presence of the duke of Berri obliged him to conceal his name.
The duke of Guilders finished the war by doing homage to the king of France, and Berenger resolved to appear at the public games, which were about to be celebrated.
These games, recently instituted on a new plan, by Clemence Isaure, engaged the attention of the whole nation, and the names of the victors were proclaimed throughout France.
As Berenger excelled in the Chant Royal, he wrote a poem on the happy auspices of the new reign, which he sent to the assembly. It was superior to those of Cartel and Jean de Fontaine, the most famous poets of the time, and accordingly the prize was unanimously decreed to him. It was at the castle of Loigny, that he heard of his success, to which happiness the good marshal wished to put a finishing stroke by making him a knight. Alice and this dignity! Berenger thought of no greater happiness upon earth.
The chapel of the castle was arranged for the august ceremony. Many of the marshals companions in arms were invited to it, and came completely armed. After divine service, the chaplain having blessed the armour of the candidate, the marshal delivered to him the spurs, the mail, the cuirass, and gauntlet. Thus furnished, he girded him with his sword, saying:
« Berenger, I give you this sword and commit it to your hands, praying God to bestow on you such and so good a heart that you may be as brave a knight as was formerly your father of valorous memory."
Then having given him the salute, and struck him three times on the neck with his sword, he added:
« In the name of God, of Saint Michael and Saint George, I make thee knight, be worthy, brave and loyal."
The rest of the day was spent in festivities.
The young knight was too sensible of his newly acquired dignity, to delay doing honour to his, illustrious patron. The festivals which were preparing at St. Denis, in honour of Louis II king of Sicily and cousin of Charles, offered him a brilliant opportunity. Tournaments were announced. The proudest of the nobility both French and foreign were admitted. Berenger repaired thither and attracted notice, no less by his youth and gracefulness than the simplicity of his armour.
His shield, without any coat of arms, bore a simple cipher composed of the letters A. and B. which were entwined with a branch of ash. The tournament was to commence after the service which the king had celebrated in honour of the grand constable.
Berenger placed himself in the church so as to hear the funeral oration of Bertrand Duguesclin, which was pronounced by the bishop of Auxerre. We may judge of his surprise and his pleasure, on perceiving Alice, the charming Alice, at the foot of the queen's throne, with her eyes fixed on his shield. Placing himself opposite to her, he raised his visor which he had kept half closed. Alice recognised him, and all that the human heart contains of tender emotion, was at once shown in her angelic form.
On the following day, Berenger, who had enrolled his name in the list of combatants, presented himself first at the place of the tournament, the most brilliant which had been seen for a century.
All the court was present, and by a chance which a lover alone can appreciate, Alice had been chosen by the queen to crown the victor. Who but Berenger could obtain such a reward!
Four times he entered the lists, and four times his triumph was proclaimed. The king wished to be acquainted with this brave youth, and was not less surprised than pleased to learn that this was the same troubadour who composed the Chant Royal.
Berenger came to receive from the hands of the trembling Alice, the scarf which was decreed him: in putting it on his neck, she whispered these words:
“In three days--at eight in the evening--at the fountain of ash trees."
The duke of Berri, who witnessed the triumphs of Berenger, could not hear without emotion a name, which recalled to his mind
an injury: his position near the king whose displeasure he had incurred, and the little favour he enjoyed in the public opinion, did not permit him to pursue his revenge openly; but he concealed not his plans from d'Amauri, lord of Beaume, one of the most powerful noblemen of the court, to whom the king had partly promised the hand of Alice.
How long these three days of delay appeared to Berenger! At last the third was closing; 'tis seven o'clock; the day fades; the lover advances, trembling with fear and hope, to the banks of the Oise, where every step awakens in his mind some delightful recollection.
He stops a moment beneath the walls of the abbey of Maubuisson, at a short distance from the castle of Neuville, to await there the precise moment of meeting. Eight o'clock sounded from the abbey clock; he runs, he darts through the thick underwood with which the foot of the hill is covered; he arrives at the fountain of ashes. He quenches his thirst in its waters,-he kisses every tree where he finds his name carved by a dear hand;-he goes, returns, stops,—he trembles at the least rustling of the leaves. Some one approaches; 'tis she. Berenger is at the feet of Alice.
Her emotion takes away her strength; she trembles; he supports her; he presses her in his arms.
What a moment in life, or rather what life in a moment! After some moments of silence, of which no language can express the charm-Alice, in few words, inforins her lover of the misfortune which threatened them!
“My father,” she said, “ to whom the king himself has made the demand, has promised my hanıl to the lord of Beaume; but he is yet ignorant of a secret, which will again give you all his affection, a secret which the prior on his death-bed has just revealed to my mother.”
“ Your merits have made you known to the king: I will acknowledge, if necessary, before him, the love which I have for you, and he will not condemn me to the pain of disobeying him, for I give you my word, Berenger, my life shall only be devoted to you or to God.”
Such a promise, in the face of heaven, in a retreat which had been the mysterious witness of so many sighs and tears, between
two young lovers united from their infancy,—such a promise was without doubt half fulfilled. But I hasten to the catastrophe of this fatal history,
Some days after the interview in the grove, Berenger, at the entreaty of Alice, and with the consent of her father, to whom the confession of the prior had been made known, went to throw himself at the feet of the king, whom he interested so strongly by the representation of his misfortunes and his love, that the monarch gave his formal consent to the marriage of Alice and Berenger, and promised the latter an honourable situation near his person. Armed with this precious writing, Berenger fears to lose a moment; it was eleven o'clock at night, his impatience would not allow him to wait for day; he flies back to Alice.
Already he discovers the lantern which beams at the summit of the castle tower. As he passed the foot of the hill of ashes, several assassins, completely armed, sprung from the midst of the coppice, and pierced him with many mortal wounds.
To the cries of the unfortunate youth, the nearest sentinel answered by a shout of alarm which roused all the castle. They hasten to the spot; Alice whom a mournful presentiment warned of her misfortune, flies to the fountain; she finds there Berenger extended lifeless, and pressing with his lips the scarf which had rewarded his exploits in the tournament.
The unfortunate Alice did not abandon herself to vain grief.
The day after this dreadful event, she retired to the abbey of Maubuisson; where she took the veil, and died in a few months.
Her last wish was regarded; her body was intered near that of Berenger, in the grove of the fountain of ashes, which was afterwards called the FOUNTAIN OF LOVE.
Art. X.-Life of Hugh Williamson, M. D. L. L. D. Abridged
from a Memoir, read by David Hosack before the New York Historical Society.
(With a Portrait.) Hugh WILLIAMSON was a native of the state of Pennsylvania; he was born on the 5th day of December, 1735, in West Nottingham township, near Octorara river, which divides Chester from