« AnteriorContinuar »
AN HISTORICAL ROMANCE,
SOME OF THE PUBLIC EVENTS, AND DOMESTIC AND
PRINTED BY J. & J. HARPER, 82 CLIFF-ST.
SOLD BY COLLINS AND HANNAY, COLLINS AND CO., G. AND C. AND H. CAR
How have you pass'd the time you wanted victuals!
The illustrious warriors who found themselves wasting by some lingering illness, were not always content barely to excuse their fate; they often availed themselves of the few moments that were yet remaining, to shake off life by a way more violent or glorious.-But if none of these reliefs were afforded, and especially when Christianity had banished these cruel practices, the heroes consoled themselves at least by putting on complete armour as soon as they found their end approaching; thus making, as it were, a solemn protest against the kind of death to which they were forced involuntarily to submit.
MALLET'S NORTHERN ANTIQUITIES.
WHEN that I had thus re-entered the cell, I saw none of the foes which my troubled fancy had looked for in that place, the Viscount being there alone, and seated on the very same spot whereon
I had last seen him; but although I looked anxiously round for the Hebrew, yet was Israel nowhere to be seen. The chamber was now full dark, saving the red flickering of a few dying firebrands near the Lord Lovel, which cast their light upon a face in which the decaying spark of life seemed as near its departure, and threw into most mournful shadow his ghastly looks, whereon distress, famine, and death, seemed to have wrought wild work since I had gazed on him before. His eyes had now lost all their martial brightness, and were glazed and dim, and there was that keen sharpness in his features and limbs which is the forerunner of the last hour; but though his voice was weak and hollow, and his utterance slow, yet was there now about him a holy calmness and piety, which seemed to show that he had learned better how to live or die within the past week, than in all the years of his life beside.
When I drew so near him as that he might well note that some one approached, he said, "Ha! who cometh there?-But it skills not now, for a dying man fears no earthly enemies; and blessed be God who hath given me again to behold the face of a fellow-creature! What is it indeed thyself, my kind Plantagenet?"
His altered speech, his changed countenance, and his wasted form, had so riveted my looks upon him, that sorrow and wonder had partly enchained my tongue, and I could not on the instant make reply; but, at length somewhat recovering, I said," Ay, my good Lord, it is indeed your poor friend, Plantagenet; who, God be praised! findeth you still living and in safety; and hath
brought with him such healing medicines from the good Chirurgeon as shall work a speedy cure upon your fainting frame."
"Nay, good Richard," answered the Viscount, full sadly smiling and speaking in a low voice, "that may not be ;-thy kind ministration cometh all too late, since I wot that physic is but for the quick, and I do already deem myself as one of the dead!"
I heard him with much sadness, though with little amaze after having beheld him, yet, being willing to support his hopes, I replied, "not so, my noble Lord, since I can well trust that there yet remain for you many years of life and honour."
"I pray God, Plantagenet," returned he, "that thine own hopes, whatever they be, may have better foundation and fulfilment, than they ever can which thy kindly spirit now breathes for one on whom the cold grasp of death is already laid, and whose last hour is close at hand."
"Oh! say not so, mine honoured Lord," replied I, bending over him and taking his thin wasted hand, whereon were hanging the clammy dews of death," say not so, since I have brought with me certain most potent and reviving cordials, compounded by your approved and faithful Chirurgeon, which shall full quickly bring you back unto life."
"Alas!" responded he, faintly," the physician's skill cometh all too late; since I may now say. with holy Job, 'spiritus meus attenuabitur, dies mihi breviabuntur, et solum mihi superest sepulchrum: my breath is diminished, my days are