« AnteriorContinuar »
they seemed so many soft reproofs for want of confidence.--I acknowledged his bounty ; I told him of the lack of ability which was in me, compensate for the honours showered upon my head : he would not heed my protestations, but proffered still more bounty, and trusted then he should be worthy the esteem of Chatelar.--What conflicts wrung my soul, which seemed to feel the taint of base ingratitude ; I would have barter'd worlds to breathe the truth, yet dared not make confession of my love.--I cannot live in this uncertainty ; I wander like a melancholy fiend, and seem unthankful where most I would be grateful :-bere, too, religion stays my hand from the infliction of that blow which I have vainly sought within the jaws of death. Where must I fly? where hide my miserable form ?-A trackless desart would be paradise to all I suffer here.-Oh! that I were wafted to some steril
where never human foot had made its pressure; there would I tell my anguish to the heedless waves, and gives my sighs to the neglectfuil air--no soul could tax me with ingratitude. -Yes, there would I atone to Condé and my chiefs for my apparent want of gratitude, by yet enduring life a little, and then relieve my woes in everlasting sleep.
A lapse of time has given reflection scope ; I can by penitence regain the
pardon of offended majesty; I can once more gaze upon the lovely queen, and then retire to end the tragedy of my fatal love.-Yet being there, could I, when basking in the lustre of her charms, and greeted perhaps with her reanimating smile—Ah ! could I then tear myself away? -Compared with love so hot as mine, what is the boasted resolution of the soul ?-Hope then would cherish life, and life is misery. perplex'd in thought, and stand like a benighted traveller, doubtful of the traek I should pursue.
I can no more ; fate still must marshal me the way where passions such as mine will lead, and I have therefore yet one blessing left to comfort me.—Yes, I am so doubly cursed, that I can laugh to scorn all other ills of life. Thy cup of misery is full, poor Chatelar; but add one drop it must o'erflow, and life ebbs with it.
1 AM bewildered, and every occurrence of this life seems but illusion to my senses.-Can it be? are men the sport of heaven ?-Can the Omni. potent delight in torturing the creatures of his care ?-It is incompatible with his boundless mercy.-- Yet, what are we to conjecture ; what inference can be drawn from such a wilderness of woes as chequer the existence of Chatelar ? Three nights are passed, and I have still concealed the truth ; I have forborne, my queen, to tell thee that Chatelar is beloved.-The poor deserts of him who dies thy slave, have won the heart of Angeline-yes ! of the noble heiress, De Beaumont.--Ah! that I could return the flame, and give to her one ray of that passion which only lives for thee, my Mary. But, no! Angeline, like Chatelar, must bear the load of anguish ; for never will my heart be touch'd with
thrill for her, save only melting pity --How noble is
the race of Beaumont; wbat honours would accrue to Chatelar from such an alliance ! Angeline, too, is lovely in all eyes, but those of the adorer of the heavenly Mary! 'Twas D'Andelot confided to me the whole mystery of this luckless passion, that preys upon the maiden's heart, and she be. fore bestowed on me a token of her love, Cruel fate! wretched Angeline ! unfortunate Chatelar! wherefore wast thou preserved to in. flict the wound thou feel'st, and lacerate the bosom of another ?
With D'Andelot and the dejected Angeline I had stray'd far from the walls of Orleans, collecting choicest flowers; the songsters of the morn attuned their joyous lays--all nature wore the aspect of serene tranquillity: methought that in my breast alone was treasured up the shaft of love and misery. Beneath an amply spreading tree we gained at length a cool retreat, by nature formed, beneath a bank enamelled o'er with brightest verdure ; before the opening of the cavity luxuriant roses of the milky hue waved to the passing breeze. D'Andelot entered, whilst with Angeline I gazed in silence on the surrounding scene. Upon a distant hill a shepherd youth attended to his fleecy tribe, whilst ever and anon be tun'd his reed to some old Norman tale of love.
Chatelar,” said Angeline, in a soften'd tone of voice,“ doth yonder lay, that breathes from
shepherd's pipe, convey such tender sweetness « to thine ear as thrills
soul ?" I gazed upon the maid ; a languor beam'd upon her modest cheek, which struck my very heart.--I was for a moment mute, when, pointing to the swain, I thus replied :
“ Yes, Angeline ; my feelings are in unison “ with thine."-a sigh escaped me as I spokeit was the incense of my soul offered at Mary's shrine. -But, ah! the maid knew not the thrillings of my breast ; she greeted these soft tokens as proofs of love requited ; and, snatching a verdant bow with roses chequered, she gave it to my care, and blushing deep, replied :" Oh! wear this token then--for me!"
Like the timid roe, she swift vanished from my sight, and in the robe of D’Andelot concealed her maiden blushes, and the tear of fervent love.
I must fly from Orleans ; my presence here can only tend to inflame the poison which rankles in the heart of the dejected maid.-I must quit this scene of honour-I must no more present myself before the aged sire of Angeline, the venerable Count de Beaumont. -Why did I appear so gracious in his eyes? why was I singled out to be the friend of the Prince Condé ? Had I not