Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

a

The subject which we have chosen as an embellishment to , architect Mr Nash, and cost, it is said, no less a sum than our present number, is a view of one of the most aristocratic | £80,000. residences in the province of Ulster, or, as we might perhaps Like that of most architectural compositions of Mr Nash, say, in all Ireland. It is therefore deserving of a place in our the general effect of Killymoon is at once imposing and pictur, topographical illustrations from its own importance; but we esque. Its form is that of a parallelogram ; the north and confess that it is not on that account only that we have thus se- east sides, which are the principal architectural fronts, and lected it for illustration, and that, even if its attraction had been contain the chief apartments, being but little broken in their less, it would still have paramount claims on our notice, as the surfaces, and forming two sides of the square ; while the reresidence, when delicate health permits, of one of the best of maining sides, which contain the offices, are of an irregular landlords, and most estimable and accomplished gentlemen ground-plan, and are much hidden by trees. The east, or in his native province. Such, at least, is the impression made principal front, which is that represented in our wood-cut, has on our mind from all that we have ever heard of Colonel a large circular tower nearly at its centre, and is terminated Stewart's private character; and it is only, therefore, in har- at its northern angle by an octagon tower of inferior height, mony with what might be expected of such a proprietor, but otherwise equal dimensions; and the north front, extendthat the enjoyment of the beauty and magnificence which ing from the octagon tower above mentioned, has a square nature and art have conjointly contributed to create at Killy- tower at its west extremity, with which is connected, in a nearly moon should not be restricted to himself or friends, but be continuous line, a structure in the style of a Gothic chapel, freely extended without solicitation to all ranks of the com- having stained glass windows, and buttresses intervening, and munity, whom indeed he may justly and proudly class under a belfry at its western termination : this portion of the buildthe same denomination.

ing, however, is used as a library, and is the only part reKillymoon House, or Castle, as it is popularly called, is maining of the original mansion which existed on the estate situated in the immediate vicinity of Cookstown, and on the when the ancestor of Colonel Stewart purchased it from the Earl north bank of the Ballinderry or Kildress river, a beautiful of Tyrone, and which was subsequently destroyed by an acstream which winds through the demesne. It was erected for cidental fire. The north or entrance front is adorned with a the father of the present proprietor by the celebrated English porch leading into a small vestibule, and thence into the ball, which is of great size, and is terminated by a stone staircase and was paid respect and honour besides, as the deliverer of having two return flights leading to a corridor which commu- the country's hope. She had abjured, at least outwardly, her nicates with the bed-chambers. This hall also communicates Moslem creed, and, for the sake of her son, whom she tenderly by doors with the several portions of the building below, those loved, conformed in all respects to the customs of her adopted on the west side leading to the servants' rooms, and those on one. In truth, however, she was a quiet, unpretending creathe east to the state apartments, which consist of a breakfast ture, who never said or did anything to the injury of any one parlour, dining-room, ante-room, and drawing-room, all of with malice prepense, and not being feared, was not hated. which are of noble proportions, and their woodwork of polished | Even Elvira herself, hateful to Caya for giving her no reaoak.

sonable cause for jealousy since her marriage with Sancho It will be seen from the preceding description that the ge-(which was a mere matter of state policy), made the Moorish neral character of this building is that of a castle; and we may woman the confidante of most of her joys and sorrows. And add, that the details of its architecture are for the most part many were the sorrows of that gentle queen. Sancho had those popularly but erroneously called Saxon. But, like most ever been indifferent towards her, though she repaid his coldmodern structures of this kind, it has but little accurate ness with devoted attachment. He was, besides, continually resemblance to an ancient military fortress, and its architec- away at the wars, in imminent danger from the chances of tural details present that capricious medley of styles of various battle, while she, at home, was ever mourning over the neages, ecclesiastical, domestic, and military, so commonly glect of her lord and the disobedience of her children. Garcia found in modern buildings of this description. Such an in- had made, before his twentieth year, no fewer than three difcongruous amalgamation of styles, however, in an architectural ferent attempts to excite a revolt in Ribagorza during the composition, is, it must be confessed, not very consistent with absence of the king, impatient as he was to seize the reins of refined taste, and cannot be too strongly reprobated; but it command. Gonsalo, cunning as a fox, and darkly-working has existed for a considerable time, and will unfortunately as a mole, was continually endeavouring, by secret machinacontinue till architects become skilful antiquaries as well as tions, to render the people of Navarre discontented with the tasteful artists, and their employers acquire such an accurate government of his mother and her councillors ; and even the judgment and knowledge of art as will enable them to form a child Fernando had exhibited signs of a rebellious nature, and correct opinion of the capabilities of those they employ, and was but too apt to listen to the dangerous instructions of his not take their estimate of them, as now, from fashion or popu- brothers. Elvira, therefore, was greatly to be pitied, delar reputation.

barred, as she thus found herself, from all the joys which she The demesne attached to this noble residence ranks second naturally yearned for as a wife and a mother. If Caya was to none in Tyrone in extent, the beauty of many of its fea- an ambitious woman, as most of her nation were, or if she tures, and the fineness of its timber. The Kildress river, which had cherished, under an outward show of meekness and conpasses through it, is crossed about the centre of the demesne tentedness, thoughts and purposes of bringing about by means by a picturesque bridge of five arches; and from this point the of her opportunities the establishment of the Moorish dynasty most favourable views of the surrounding scenery are to be in Christian Spain, she might have drawn hope of success in had. Looking northwards, the sloping banks of the river, at her schemes from the dissensions of the royal family; at the opposite sides of an extensive meadow, are thickly planted | least she might have sought in them some excuse for making with larch, fir, beech, and ash, from the midst of which, an her darling Ramiro a sharer in one of those arbitrary partiaged oak is here and there seen to rise above its younger and tions of the Spanish kingdoms which the barbarous notions of less aspiring companions ; and, looking westward, the turrets the times rendered of frequent recurrence. But Caya was of the castle overtop the deep masses of foliage which cluster gifted with too noble a mind to seek any advantage, however round it on every side. In like manner, to the east, the river tempting, by unworthy means. She still fondly loved the chiwinds its way through a tract of rich meadow land, the banks valrous prince with whom she fled from a cruel father's roof, of which are fringed with sallows and thorn trees; and to the and with whom, for a few happy, happy years, she had forsouth, the grounds slope gently up from the river, and present gotten the pleasant olive groves of Grenada, under the wild detached groups of elms and oaks of the most luxuriant cha- pine forests and glaciers of the Pyrenees. She sincerely com

The views in this demesne are indeed such as might passionated the sorrows of Elvira, and therefore the afflicted naturally be expected in conjunction with a mansion of such queen had a safe and steady friend in her generous rival. Let magnificence, and will, as we are persuaded, not create a feel the reader “judge with knowledge" these two women in their ing of disappointment in the minds of any, whether artist or affection for one anotherpleasure tourist, who may be led by our remarks to visit them.

In those old, romantic days,
P.

Mighty were the soul's commandments

To support, restrain, or raise !
THE SPANISH MOTHER.

Their rivalry was of the forbearing kind which existed

between the two wives of that old crusader mentioned in the DURING that dark and ill-recorded period in which Spain was Orlandus of Kenelin Henry Digby, and which the first poet little more than a field of battle between the Moors and the of our day* has thought it worth his while to embalm for all Christians, the Sanchos of Navarre held the most conspicu- eternity in his “ Armenian Lady's Love." But Elvira had ous rank among the peninsular potentates, and Sanchez “et another trusty friend in Sancho's “master of the horse," Mayor” was the most conspicuous of the Sanchos. Besides whom he was wont to leave behind him as deputy when he the throne of Navarre, he had succeeded to the royalty of went to the wars. Don Pedro Sesse was a faithfül minister Arragon, and the sovereignty of Castile was the dower of and a merciful viceroy. A gallant soldier in his youth, he his queen. He had married the beauteous Elvira Muna early

was an enemy to treachery and to everything that tended to in life; and before he had reached the full prime of manhood, infringe the laws of chivalry. He it was who had frustrated two of his sons, Garcia and Gonsalo, were able to bear the the designs of Garcia and Gonsalo, and had therefore earned panoply of a knight; and a third, Fernando, a boy of thirteen, their hatred. Elvira looked to him as her best guide and was sighing for the day to come when he too should have the protector amidst the sorrows of her lot. spur upon his heel and the sword upon his thigh. Another

In this state was the kingdom of Navarre, when the news son, also, King Sancho boasted of, but not by Donna Elvira.

came of a great victory gained by Sancho over the Moors of In his very first battle he had been taken prisoner by a Moor- Corduba, a place at that time the metropolis of Moorish Spain. ish captain of high rank, and confined in a dreary dungeon As this event was considered a decisive blow to the hopes many days and nights, until at length his escape was effected entertained by the Moors of obtaining possession of Castile

, by means of the daughter of his conqueror, a maiden of ex- | which was their principal object, Sancho's speedy return, after quisite beauty named Caya, who had seen him, and fallen in

an absence of several years, was anticipated at home, and love with him. This Moorish girl the generous young prince great were the preparations made for his triumphal entry to would gladly have married, if the political or religious laws the fortress of Najara, where was the royal palace and the of Navarre would have permitted him ; but he tried to per- residence of the chief nobility. In the midst of these preparasuade himself and her, that, under such circumstances, the tions, however, matters took place which turned the palace tie which bound them together after their flight from her into a scene of mourning and dismay. father's fortress would be nearly as sacred as if it were a conju- Don Pedro had a beautiful daughter named Blanca, whom gal one. The offspring of their love was a boy, whom Sancho the unprincipled Garcia bad long but vainly tried to influence named Ramiro, and who grew up with the king's legitimate chil.. dren, Caya too-- it was the custom of those days-lived at court,

# Wordsworth.

racter.

a

by his dishonourable proposals. The virtuous Blanca repel. when he found he was playing a wrong game, he could no longer led his advances with proper scorn; and when at length he conceal his rage, and he warned Elvira not to oppose him in found that he could not obtain her willing consent, he deter- his attempts to get rid of Ramiro, with a sincerity which the mined to carry her off by violence. An opportunity soon unhappy woman well knew was unaffected. arrived. Blanca was sitting alone one day in her garden, Garcia's first step was a demand that a council of the nobi. enjoying the loveliness of the prospect that stretched from lity should be held to determine upon a matter to be brought the terrace-foot to the summits of the distant mountains, forward by him, at which council the queen should preside in when Garcia, who had been waiting for a favourable moment, person. This being granted, he formally accused Ramiro of seized her in his arms, and bore her away towards a spot having attempted his assassination, exhibited his wound, where he had horses and attendants ready for the accomplish- and produced his attendants, who had been suborned by him, ment of his villanous project. Before the maiden was out of to testify to the truth of the accusation. Ramiro was then the reach of aid from such as might be disposed to assist her, summoned to answer to the grave charge of having attempted her shrieks were heard by Ramiro, who happened to be saun- the life of the heir to the crown-a crime for which death by tering near the place. He was at her side in an instant with torture was the punishment in Navarre. Ramiro defended his drawn sword in his hand.

himself by narrating the circumstance of his encounter with “Ruffian, desist !” exclaimed he, with wrath in his voice Garcia simply as it occurred, along with the cause which led and eye, as, passing his left arm round the waist of Blanca, to it ; and the beautiful Blanca shrank not from appearing he waved his armed right hand before the ravisher's face; before the court and the nobles, to bear witness for her be“though thou bearest my father's blood in thy degenerate trothed. Several of the nobles, however, who were in the veins, it shall dye the turf at our feet, if thou loosest not hold interest of Garcia and the abettors of his projects, declared of this maiden.'

that the testimony of Blanca was not sufficient to clear “ Away! base-born hound_half-Spaniard, away! and dare Ramiro of the imputation, and demanded that judgment not to thwart me in my pleasure,” cried Garcia, foaming with should be given against him. Don Pedro, who had been rage and disappointment.

aware of the true facts of the case, burning as he was with Ramiro answered not, but, freeing the frighted girl by resentment against Garcia, besought of the queen, for the dexterous manauvre from the grasp of Garcia, and placing sake of justice, and as a punishment due to a rebellious and himself between them, he struck the latter with the flat side of unnatural son, that Garcia, on the contrary, should be made his weapon, as if he thought him unworthy of a severer blow, to plead against the charge of having offered violence to the though the fire of his royal blood tingled in his cheeks at the daughter of the king's vicegerent. Elvira was about to insult.

decree that Garcia's charge had not been substantiated, when Garcia quailed before the lofty scorn of Ramiro, and he she caught the eye of the accusant fixed upon her with a look shouted to his attendants to come to his aid.

of demoniac malignity which chased the blood from her cheek, “Now, for my father's kingdom I would not let thee escape, and made her tongue cleave to the roof of her mouth. Her dastard as thou art !” said Ramiro, as he strode up to Garcia fortitude was nearly deserting her, and her love of justice and forced him to defend himself. In a moment Ramiro was giving way to her fear of Garcia's cruel revenge, when a stir standing over his prostrate and bleeding antagonist with was heard at the entrance of the court, and Caya, with disorhis sword lifted for the death-blow. As he was about dered dress, dishevelled hair, and eyes of fire, rushed up to to strike in self-defence, hearing the rapid step of Garcia's the foot of the tribunal, and throwing herself on her knees on assistants, he saw that they were already panic-struck at the the marble step, clasped the feet of Elvira, and looked up into sight of their fallen master, and were turning back in flight. the queen's face without speaking a word. Staying his hand, he said,

“ What does this Moorish devil in our hall of justice ?" said “Rise, Garcia-for thy father's sake I spare thee. Thou Garcia, in a stern voice: remove her.” wilt henceforth avoid the son of the Moorish Caya." Then No one stirred, for all were intently watching the scene. taking the lady Blanca, who was fainting with the effects of Caya still knelt without speaking, looking up to the queen's her terror, once again in his arms, he bore her into the house face; but now the large tears were gathering in her eyes, of Don Pedro, and left the vanquished ravisher in pain of under their jet-black lashes, and now they rolled down upon body and mortification of heart.

her dark cheek, which was no longer lustrous with the hue " Tell me, lady,” said Ramiro, as he leant over the form which Sancho in his youthful years had loved to look upon. of the reviving Blanca, “how art thou ? Assure me that I Elvira gently stooped her head towards the suppliant, and leave thee well and happy.”

was about to speak to her, when Garcia, with increased vehe“Leave me not yet, noble Ramiro,” said Blanca sweetly. mence in his tone, again demanded her removal, and Elvira, “How can I sufficiently repay thee for thy valiant protection? shudderingly, drew back. -all I can imagine would be too poor a recompense !”

* Oh, listen not to him !" at length gasped Caya; “heed not “Oh, not too poor, dear Blanca,” said Ramiro passionately, his cruel voice. Thou wilt not give my boy to his bloody “is the gift thou canst bestow : give me thy love, if one who vengeance; thou wilt not put his precious limbs hath the stain of Moorish lineage may hope to deserve it, and wheel; thou wilt not tear his manly sinews with red-hot pinI will bless the opportunity that gave thee to my arms. cers! Oh, queen, give me back my Ramiro !”

Blanca only blushed in answer. She knew Ramiro had Nay, Caya, what will become of me?—there is misery loved her long before, and that he was honoured and esteemed before me whichever way I turn !” said Elvira, as she saw by her father. The lovers plighted their troth to each other Garcia approaching: that hour, and felt themselves worthy of one another.

“ Stand back!” shouted Caya, springing to her feet, and The ferocious temper and evil heart of Garcia left him no speaking to Garcia ; then turning to Elvira, repose until he had matured a scheme of vengeance to effect “I charge thee let him not touch me--if thou valuest the the ruin of Ramiro, if possible, before the return of his father. life of thy son, admonish him to beware of hurting a hair of All the more violent means he rejected, as he was unwilling the Moorish woman's head, or of that of his child : and not of to compass so important an event except by plausible pre- my child alone of the child of Sancho of Navarre. And thee, texts. He therefore determined to work upon the fears of too, Elvira, I charge to beware how thou givest over to judgElvira, and as far as possible to arouse her jealousies. Hav- ment the offspring of thy lord! Hast thou no pity, Elvira ? ing first simulated a show of repentance for his past ill treat- Look not to Garcia--look to me. Dear Elvira (and here Caya ment, which he did so well as effectually to deceive the unsus- ventured to take the queen's hand), pity thy poor Caya, thy picious queen, he next informed her that a secret correspon- servant, and Sancho's servant, who never willingly offended dence had been carried on between Caya and the king during thee. Thou wilt-I see thou wilt. I am thy friend once the whole period of the last expedition, forged proofs of which more-thy sister !" she whispered, as her tears flowed upon he showed her; and insinuated that Caya had succeeded in the neck of the subdued Elvira, and she clasped her to her making the king promise to put Ramiro in possession of the bosom. fairest portion of his dominions, to the exclusion of Elvira's The queen, then, confirmed in her decision by the assenting offspring. This latter stratagem did not succeed so well looks and murmurs of the lord deputy and the majority of the with Elvira, and she openly told him she had too great faith council, declared Ramiro guiltless of the crime imputed to in Caya's friendship for her to believe she would seek to de- him, and the assembly broke up. prive her of her queenly prerogative, or her children of their Caya,” said Elvira, as they retired together, “I have just rights. Garcia for a long time continued to follow up his done much for thee this day. I have leaned towards thy plan by these insinuations and others of a similar kind, but' child against my own. I have made an enemy of the fruit of

upon the

[ocr errors]

overcome me.

ser.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

my own womb for the sake of a rival in my husband's love.” devil betrayed me in my dreams, and left me his image to

For the sake of truth and justice thou hast done it,” nurse at my bosom, and bring up at my knee.” replied Caya, “ and thou shalt have thy reward.”

“Is this thy answer ?" said Garcia, with a bitter smile ; * Thou knowest not what it is to fight against the tempta- “this reviling of the first-born of thy king will not save thee tions which nature puts in our path--pray that thou mayest from the stake.”. not know them."

“ The stake!” shrieked Elvira, “and is it to this thou “ I have had a victory many times over such,” said Caya, bringest me?" And then rising, and standing before Garcia, “ or thou wouldst not now be queen. Perchance other such she continued—“ Man--for son I cannot call thee now-how temptations may arise-and oh, Elvira, be sure they shall not canst thou be so cruel? Is there no voice in a mother's misery

to touch thy heart ?" Caya spoke prophetically, but even she could not have Garcia answered not, but desired the officer to proceed and guessed how soon or to what an extent her constancy was to summon the next witness. The officer called out the name of be tried.

Gonsalo! Garcia left the council maddened with rage, and burning Not alone Elvira, but the whole court were surprised to see with thoughts of vengeance, not only against Ramiro, who had the king's second son presenting himself as his mother's accusupplanted him in his love, and Pedro, who had been made Gonsalo had a new series of alleged facts to produce. deputy, principally with the intent that he should watch and He had been allured by the promises of Garcia, and his avarice counteract his villanies, but against Elvira and Caya, and and love of power outweighed whatever feelings of reluctance even Blanca. Some faint outlines of a design either to cut off he might otherwise have experienced. His courage failed him, Sancho himself, and usurp the whole of his father's posses- however, as he perceived those looks of aversion among the sions, or at least compel him to share the sovereignty with spectators which it required more firmness than he possessed him, began also to connect themselves together in his thoughts. to disregard; and having closed his testimony, he was slinkIn short, he was determined that he should accomplish the ing away, in order to escape the glance of Elvira, when she ruin of all, and that some blow should be struck instantly, for called him back, and catching his hand, addressed him :Sancho was already on his way to Navarre.

“ What have I done to thee, Gonsalo, that thou shouldst A circumstance, of trifling moment in itself, furnished him blast my fame and take away my life? I would not injure a with sufficiently plausible means of entering at once upon his hair of thy head! Three times I snatched thee from the grave plan. Sancho had taken in fight from a Moorish chieftain a before thy childhood was past, when thou wert ailing. I lost most beautiful horse, which in a short time became such a strength and sleep and beauty while bending over thy cradle. favourite with him, that, fearing some accident would deprive I would I had been in my grave before thou sawest the light! him of the noble steed amidst the perils of war, he had sent I will not eurse thee- I will not even beg thy pity; but when him home to Elvira, with strict injunctions that no one should thou hast children of thine own, thou mayest guess what thou be suffered to mount him in his absence. These injunctions hast made me suffer, and that will be curse enough-go!" were forgotten by the queen, who suffered Don Pedro to use The infante Don Fernando, appear!” cried the officer. the animal occasionally. This fact Garcia laid hold of to sus- A pang, as if her brain had been pierced with a fiery needle, tain him in accusing the queen of adultery with Don Pedro, smote the wretched mother as the boy answered to his name. and he announced to the nobles his intention of so doing on A loud buzz of disapprobation ran through the assembly, and the arrival of his father.

Sancho himself seemed as if he could bear the unnatural Sancho had been six years away, and had heard of nothing in scene no longer ; but intense curiosity now prevailed with all, the interim from Navarre that was not calculated to diminish and overcame every other feeling. A dead silence ensued the little love he ever felt for Elvira, and increase the romantic while Fernando stood confronting the queen. attachment he felt towards Caya. Ramiro, the offspring of He was a pale, light-haired lad, with exceedingly soft blue that attachment, he loved beyond all his sons for his noble- eyes, which he inherited from the pure stock of the Gothic ness of nature and person, and he secretly wished for some sovereigns of Spain, descending to him unbroken from that excuse for distinguishing him above the others. For those glorious time when Pelayo swayed the strongest European six years he had been sojourning in the scenes of Caya's child- sceptre, before Tarik led his conquering bands from Africa. hood, where every thing reminded him of her, and of his early His ringlets streamed down his shoulders as he bent his head amour; and as it would only have been of a piece with the and crossed his small white hands upon his breast in token of practices of royalty in even later and more civilised times to reverence towards the king. As he appeared there in the have divorced himself from Elvira, he must not be over- graceful dress suited to his years, he looked more like a creaharshly dealt with if he confessed to himself that he would be ture of dreams, when holy imaginations colour them, than a happier to find her dead than living on his return. What his false witness against his own mother. Elvira looked at him thoughts were, therefore, may be guessed, when, as the gates for full a minute without moving or speaking, until at length of Najara were flung open for his

entrance, he was met with his innocent-looking beauty gave birth to some vague confi. the intelligence that his queen and her alleged paramour dence in her that he was not coming to destroy her, but were conspiring against his honour, his kingdom, and his perhaps the contrary. The moment this feeling took poslife!

session of her, she bounded forward with a shriek of delight, Sancho could imagine no possible motive by which Garcia and flinging herself on the ground before him, she clasped his might be actuated in preferring his accusation, ignorant as knees, and letting her head sink between her arms, she enthe king was of what had lately occurred, so he at once or- deavoured to stay so, while she wept for the first time since dered the queen to be arrested, and to be brought to trial in the she entered the hall. Fernando, however, drew back violently, Cortes of the kingdom. The unhappy Elvira was not allowed and disengaged himself from her embrace. The queen looked even to see her lord on his return, but was thrown into a up at him half-vacantly as he did so; and then she arose, and dungeon, as was also Pedro, until the preparations for the in a solemn though flattering voice she said, trial were complete.

“ What art thou going to do or to say, Fernando? They When the day arrived, Elvira and Pedro were led prisoners may take me away to the stake and burn me, if thou beliest into that hall of justice in which they had so lately sat as judges. me now, for thy crime will be worse torture to me than any Elvira cast a mournful and reproachful look towards Šancho, they can inflict.' who sat cold and severe upon his chair of state, but he did not Speak, Fernando,” said the king. notice her. She was so thin, and pale, and wretched-looking, Fernando trembled and hesitated, but a motion from Garcia that the very officials of the court wept at the sight of her; caught his eye and emboldened him to go on. He told that while those to whom she had been kind and merciful in her he had seen Elvira giving to Don Pedro Sesse, from the royal day of power, groaned audibly as they surmised the event of stables, that favourite steed which the king had ordered the trial. She was placed on a seat in the centre of the hall, should be ridden by none but himself. and the preliminaries were at once proceeded with.

Sancho's brow flushed with sudden anger when he heard Garcia first came forward, and repeated his accusation, this. “ Elvira ! Pedro !" said he, “is this true ?” adding a tissue of circumstances calculated to confirm his “It is true," said Elvira, “but I alone am guilty! Pedro statement. When he had finished, an officer desired the queen knew not of thy command. As I live, he did not. Let me to defend herself against his testimony.

suffer, oh, Sancho, for this one fault, but pardon the inno“ If I had been unfaithful to Sancho,” said she, “it was be- cent !" fore thy birth, Garcia ; for neither a gleam of Sancho's good- “She prays for pardon for her paramour !" cried Garcia, Dess, nor a feature of his face, has descended to thee! Some exultingly; " what other proof is needful ?"

[ocr errors]

or thou

a

Hast thou aught more to declare ?" said the king to Fer knight, in a voice which struck Garcia to the soul, nando, in a tone of displeasure.

diest on the spot." Again the boy trembled, and looked towards Garcia, whose “ She is innocent!" feebly articulated Garcia, as he writhed eagle eye was like a guilty spell upon him.

in the agony of his wounds. “Let him look at the queen as he speaks,” said Sancho. Taking up the sword of his vanquished adversary, the un

The boy turned towards his mother, but his cheek red-known cavalier brought it to the feet of Elvira, and then, dened as he did so, and he cast his eyes towards the ground gracefully bending on one knee, he lifted the vizor from his without speaking.

casque, and for the first time the queen knew that she had “ Speak on!" said the king.

been indebted for life and the preservation of her fair fame " He will not speak!” said Elvira ; "he will not make a liar to the son of the king by her Moorish rival. of Nature, who is telling the truth for him in his cheeks and Madam,” said Ramiro, “ not to me alone, but to Caya eyes! Look, monsters, the tears are coming to his eyes. Oh thy friend, thy thanks are due. Thou hast been a sister to holy drops, ye should be treasured among saintly relics—ye | her—let me be a son to thee.” shall be balm to these parched and thirsty lips !" And here Elvira could only weep her thanks. the queen bent to the earth, and kissed the tear-drops on the ground which had fallen from Fernando's eyes.

We find in Mariana, and also in Rodrigo of Toledo, that “ Fernando, speak !” said Garcia.

Sancho of Navarre, at his death, partitioned his kingdom In a voice broken by sobs and terror, Fernando began to thus :– To his eldest son Garcia he left Navarre and Biscay; say that he had seen Don Pedro stealing by night to the queen's to Gonsalo he left Ribagorza; to Fernando, Castile; and chamber, when he was interrupted by Elvira, who again clung Arragon to a natural son named Ramiro. This was that to him with frantic earnestness.

Ramiro of whom mention is made in the preceding narrative. “ Thou sawest it not! Oh, say thou sawest it not! My But we do not find in any of the old authors (and much we boy, the heavy wrath of God will fall upon thee if thou dost wonder that any event connected with so curious and touching not unsay this fearful falsehood. I am not cursing thee, but

a piece of history could have escaped them) that this same I would avert the curse. Thou must unsay it. It is not

Ramiro enjoyed the lordship of Arragon with Blanca, the possible mine own flesh could all rebel against me. What is beautiful and virtuous daughter of the cavalier Don Pedro it has bewitched thee, Fernando, to do what devils would leave Sesse.

R. M. undone ? Dost thou know what thou art doing to me? They will burn thy poor mother in the market-place for an adul. teress! Thou wilt give thy mother to die in the torments of

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF SELECTING CLEAN the damned-thy mother, that never crossed thee in thy ways—that fed thee with the milk of her breasts-that re

FLAX SEED. joiced in thy beauty. Oh, my God! oh, my God! have pity In recent numbers of the Penny Journal, Martin Doyle has upon me, and soften this boy's heart !” said she, looking up published two valuable papers upon the necessity of selecting for a moment, and then coaxingly fawning upon Fernando, good seed, and I would wish to call the attention of the culwith a faint smile upon her features. She continued— “My tivators of flax, who form so numerous a body amongst the child! my pretty boy Fernando ! wilt thou not unsay those small farmers of the north and west of Ireland, to the absolute wicked words ? Ah, let me kiss thee, and say I forgive thee, necessity of attending to the seed of that plant, and not to and we shall be mother and son together for the rest of our purchase the cheaper seed that is sometimes offered to them, days in some far off place out of the ways of these people. I in preference to that which, although rather more expensive, will love thee better than they, Fernando. They are killing is yet free from the seeds of a very noxious weed which are thy soul now, and they will kill thy body after, as they are usually mixed with the cheaper flax-seed. The weed to which killing mine, if thou dost not hearken to me. Oh, that I I refer is one of those curious plants, which, from their pecumight have life and length of days, only to be away with thee liar structure, are unable to draw their nourishment directly where I could look into thy blue eyes and play with thy from the earth, but are obliged to feed themselves by sucking golden curls from morning till night." Oh, child, have mercy the juices of other plants, and thus destroying them, or weak

ening them so greatly as to prevent their producing a crop " Mother!" cried Fernando, throwing himself upon the that will repay the cultivator for his labour and expense. In queen's neck, " forgive me, and I will unsay all !"

the case of the flax, the weed grows from seeds deposited in Elvira wound her arms about the infante's form, kissed him the earth with the seed of the tax, and at first appears as a without saying a word, and fainted at his feet.

slender pale thread, twisting about in different directions un“ Her artifices have prevailed with the boy,” said Garcia, til it meets with one of the stems of the flax, when it immediwith ill-dissembled rage, “but the testimony of others is not ately twists itself round it, and produces curious little knobs to be thus overborne.'

upon its inner side, which pierce the outer coat or bark of the “ Wilt thou enter the lists against her champion, if any dare stalk of the flax, and suck from it the juices which it has to defend her with his sword ?" said the king.

drawn from the ground, and prepared for its own nourishGarcia was silent.

The root of the weed then withers away, but the weed “ If thou wilt not,” said Sancho, Elvira shall be declared itself commences its most vigorous growth, for until it had innocent, and her accusers traitors."

obtained a victim upon which to feed, it had been unable to “Let her champion appear, then,” replied Garcia. “ What produce any thing except the slender fibre that I have already my tongue asserts, my sword shall ever prove. There lies mentioned, and would have soon died if it had not succeeded my_guage,” and he threw his glove into the centre of the floor. in seizing upon the flax. Its stem then increases in thickness,

But in all that crowded assembly there was not one who and, twisting round all the flax plants that it can reach, it came forward to take up the guage of Garcia. They all pitied receives enough of nourishment to produce its flowers, which the queen, and believed her innocent, but the dread of the form pretty little yellowish white heads, of about half the size future tyrant was too powerful a motive to keep them, so far of a nut, consisting of numerous small flowers so placed togeat least, on his side.

ther as closely to resemble a small mulberry in form and ap“ At the end of three days,” said the king, “ if no cham- pearance, although not in colour. This weed is called Dodpion appear for the queen, she shall perish by the flames, and der, or by botanists Cuscuta epilinum, and is commonly to be with her, her alleged paramour.'

found in fax-fields in several parts of England and Scotland,

but is happily less frequent in Ireland, although I have seen The lists were prepared, and at the noon of the second day it (in 1840) in the county of Ma In England it often quite a knight in bright silver armour, whose name was unknown, destroys the crop, and I understand that such was the case appeared in the queen's defence. His vizor was drawn over a few years since in the neighbourhood of Westport and his face, and his device gave no clue to the curious. The Newport, county Mayo. whole court was assembled to witness the combat, and Elvira I have now to point out the way to avoid this pest. It is occupied a seat nearest to the side at which her champion found that the seed of flax obtained from America is quite appeared. The signal was given, and the contest commenced. free from it, but that it is nearly always very plentiful in seed It was soon decided. The unknown knight quickly unhorsed from Odessa and other parts of Russia. Now, the Russian isa antagonist, and after a brief struggle with the sword, seed is cheaper than that from America, and so the poor peoGhrcia fell to the earth desperately wounded.

ple are tempted to buy the former in preference to the latter, “ Confess the innocence of the queen,” said the unknown although, by following an opposito course, they would escape

upon me!”

ment.

66

« AnteriorContinuar »