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thy breast."-"Guilty passion !" cried Theo- covered under pretence of the improbability that dore; “ can guilt dwell with innocent beauty Frederic, the nearest of blood to Alfonso, and and virtuous modesty ?"_“It is sinful,” replied who was come to claim his succession, would the friar, “ to cherish those whom heaven has yield to an alliance with the usurper of his right, doomed to destruction. A tyrant's race must be But nothing could equal the perplexity of the swept from the earth to the third and fourth ge- friar, when Hippolita confessed her readiness neration.”_" Will heaven visit the innocent not to oppose the separation, and demanded his for the crimes of the guilty ?" said Theodore. opinion on the legality of her acquiescence. The “ The fair Matilda has virtues enough-to undo friar catched eagerly at her request of his advice, thee,” interrupted Jerome.“ Hast thou so soon and without explaining his aversion to the proforgotten that twice the savage Manfred has pro- posed marriage of Manfred and Isabella, he nounced thy sentence?”-“ Nor have I forgot- painted to Hippolita, in the most alarming coten, sir,” said Theodore, “ that the charity of lours, the sinfulness of her consent, denounced his daughter delivered me from his power. I judgments against her if she complied, and encan forget injuries, but never benefits.”—“ The joined her in the severest terms to treat any such injuries thou hast received from Manfred's race," proposition with every mark of indignation and said the friar, “ are beyond what thou canst refusal. conceive.-Reply not, but view this holy image! Manfred, in the mean time, had broken his Beneath this marble monument rest the ashes purpose to Frederic, and proposed the double of the good Alfonso; a prince adorned with every marriage. That weak prince, who had been virtue; the father of his people, the delight of struck with the charms of Matilda, listened but mankind: Kneel, head-strong boy, and list, too eagerly to the offer. He forgot his enmity while a father unfolds a tale of horror, that will to Manfred, whom he saw but little hope of disexpel every sentiment from thy soul, but sensa- possessing by force; and flattering himself that tions of sacred vengeance- Alfonso, much in- no issue might succeed from the union of his jured prince, let thy unsatisfied shade sit awful daughter with the tyrant, he looked upon his on the troubled air, while these trembling lips own succession to the principality as facilitated -ha! who comes there?”—“The most wretch- by wedding Matilda. He made faint opposition ed of women," said Hippolita, entering the choir. to the proposal; affecting, for form only, not “Good father, art thou at leisure?- but why to acquiesce unless Hippolita should consent to this kneeling youth? what means the horror the divorce. Manfred took that upon himself. imprinted on each countenance? why at this Transported with his success, and impatient to venerable tomb-alas! hast thou seen aught?"- see himself in a situation to expect sons, he “We were pouring forth our orisons to heaven,” hastened to his wife's apartment, determined to replied the friar with some confusion, “ to put extort her compliance. He learned with indig. an end to the woes of this deplorable province. nation that she was absent at the convent. His Join with us, lady; thy spotless soul may obtain guilt suggested to him that she had probably an exemption from the judgments which the been informed by Isabella of his purpose. He portents of these days but too speakingly de doubted whether her retirement to the convent nounce against thy house.”—“I pray fervently did not import an intention of remaining there, to heaven to divert them,” said the pious Prin- until she could raise obstacles to their divorce; cess. “ Thou knowest it has been the occupa- and the suspicions he had already entertained tion of my life to wrest a blessing for my lord of Jerome, made him apprehend that the friar and my harmless children-One, alas ! is taken would not only traverse his views, but might from me; would heaven but hear me for my poor have inspired Hippolita with the resolution of Matilda ! Father, intercede for her !"_“Eyery taking sanctuary. Impatient to unravel this clue, heart will bless her,” cried Theodore, with rap- and to defeat its success, Manfred hastened to ture.-“Be dumb, rash youth,” said Jerome. the convent, and arrived there as the friar was “And thou, fond Princess, contend not with the earnestly exhorting the Princess never to yield powers above; the Lord giveth, and the Lord to the divorce. taketh away : Bless his holy name, and submit “Madam,” said Manfred, “what business to his decrees.”—“I do most devoutly,” said drew you hither? why did you not avait my Hippolita; “but will he not spare my only com- return from the Marquis ?”-“ I came to imfort; must Matilda perish too ?-Ah ! father, I plore a blessing on your councils," replied Hipcame-but dismiss thy son. No ear but thine' polita.—“My councils do not need a friar's inmust hear what I have to utter.”—“May heaven tervention," said Manfred; “and of all men grant thy every wish, most excellent Princess !” living is that hoary traitor the only one whom said Theodore retiring. Jerome frowned. you delight to confer with?”-“Profane Prince!”
Hippolita then acquainted the friar with the said Jerome; “is it at the altar thou choosest proposal she had suggested to Manfred, his ap- to insult the servants of the altar?-but, Manprobation of it, and the tender of Matilda that fred, thy impious schemes are known. Heaven he was gone to make to Frederic. Jerome could and this virtuous lady know them-Nay, frown not conceal his dislike of the motion, which he not, Prince; the church despises thy menacts. Her thunders will be heard above thy wrath. inciding with the novel appearance of Theodore, Dare to proceed in thy curst purpose of a di- seemed to bespeak a correspondence. Still more vorce, until her sentence be known, and here I was he troubled with the resemblance of Theo-lance her anathema at thy head.”_"Audacious dore to Alfonso's portrait. The latter he knew rebel !” said Manfred, endeavouring to conceal had unquestionably died without issue. Frethe awe with which the friar's words inspired deric had consented to bestow Isabella on him. him; “ dost thou presume to threaten thy law- These contradictions agitated his mind with ful prince?"_" Î'hou art no lawful prince," numberless pangs. He saw but two methods of said Jerome; “thou art no prince--go, discuss extricating himself from his difficulties. The thy claim with Frederic; and when that is one was to resign his dominions to the Marquis. done” “It is done,” replied Manfred; “Fre- Pride, ambition, and his reliance on ancient proderic accepts Matilda's hand; and is content to phecies, which had pointed out a possibility of waive his claim, unless I have no male issue." his preserving them to his posterity, combated As he spoke those words, three drops of blood that thought. The other was to press his mar. fell from the nose of Alfonso's statue. Manfred riage with Isabella. After long ruminating on turned pale, and the Princess sunk on her knees. these anxious thoughts, as he marched silently “ Behold !" said the friar; “ mark this mira. with Hippolita to the castle, he at last discoursed culous indication that the blood of Alfonso will with that princess on the subject of his disquiet, never mix with that of Manfred !”-“My gra- and used every insinuating and plausible argucious lord,” said Hippolita, “let us submit our- ment to extract her consent to, even her promise selves to heaven. Think not thy ever obedient of promoting, the divorce. Hippolita needed wife rebels against thy authority. I have no little persuasions to bend her to his pleasure. will but that of my lord and the church. To She endeavoured to win him over to the measure that revered tribunal let us appeal. It does not of resigning his dominions; but finding her exdepend on us to burst the bonds that unite us. hortations fruitless, she assured him, that as far If the church shall approve the dissolution of as her conscience would allow, she would raise our marriage, be it so I have but few years, no opposition to a separation, though without and those of sorrow, to pass. Where can they better founded scruples than what he yet alleged, be worn away so well as at the foot of this altar, she would not engage to be active in demandin prayers for thine and Matilda's safety?" ing it. “ But thou shalt not remain here until then," This compliance, though inadequate, was sufsaid Manfred—“Repair with me to the castle, ficient to raise Manfred's hopes. He trusted that and there I will advise on the proper measures his power and wealth would easily advance his for a divorce ; but this meddling friar comes not suit at the court of Rome, whither he resolved thither ; my 'hospitable roof shall never more to engage Frederic to take a journey on purpose. harbour a traitor. - And for thy reverence's off- That prince had discovered so much passion for spring," continued he, “ I banish him from my Matilda, that Manfred hoped to obtain all he dominions. He, I ween, is no sacred personage, wished by holdingoutor withdrawing his daughnor under the protection of the church. Who- ter's charms, according as the Marquis should ever weds Isabella, it shall not be Father Fal appear more or less disposed to co-operate in his conara's started-up son.”_" They start up," views. Even the absence of Frederic would be said the friar, “who are suddenly beheld in the a material point gained, until he could take furseat of lawful princes; but they wither away like ther measures for his security. the grass, and their place knows them no more.” Dismissing Hippolita to her apartment, he re--Manfred, casting a look of scorn at the friar, paired to that of the Marquis; but crossing the led Hippolita forth, but, at the door of the great hall through which he was to pass, he met church, whispered one of his attendants to re- Bianca. The damsel he knew was in the confimain concealed about the convent, and bring dence of both the young ladies. It immediatehim instant notice if any one from the castle ly occurred to him to sift her on the subject of should repair thither.
Isabella and Theodore. Calling her aside into the recess of the oriel window of the hall, and
soothing her with many fair words and promiCHAP. V.
ses, he demanded of her whether she knew aught
of the state of Isabella's affections. “I! my Every reflection which Manfred made on the lord ! no, my lord !-yes, my lord-poor lady! friar's behaviour, conspired to persuade him that she is wonderfully alarmed about her father's Jerome was privy to an amour between Isabella wounds; but I tell her he will do well,- don't and Theodore. But Jerome's new presumption, your highness think so ?"_“I do not ask you," so dissonant from his former meekness, suggest- replied Manfred, “what she thinks about her ed still deeper apprehensions: the Prince even father: but you are in her secrets; come, be a suspected that the friar depended on some se- good girl, and tell me; is there any young man cret support from Frederic, whose arrival com ha ! --you understand me?"-" Lord bless VOL. V.
me! understand your highness, no, not I. I said Manfred, “has it gone so far?-oh! this told her a few vulnerary herbs and repose”- cursed friar !—but I must not lose time-go, “I am not talking,” replied the Prince impa- Bianca, attend Isabella ; but I charge thee, not tiently, “ about her father; I know he will do a word of what has passed. Find out how she well.”—“Bless me, I rejoice to hear your high- is affected towards Theodore; bring me good ness say so; for though I thought it not right news, and that ring has a companion. Wait at to let my young lady despond, methought his the foot of the winding stair-case; I am going greatness had a wan look, and a something--I to visit the Marquis, and will talk farther with remember when young Ferdinand was wounded thee at my return." by the Venetian- " “ Thou answerest from Manfred, after some general conversation, dethe point," interrupted Manfred; “ but here, sired Frederic to dismiss the two knights his take this jewel, perhaps that may fix thy atten- companions, having to talk with him on urgent tion-nay, no reverences; my favour shall not affairs. As soon as they were alone, he began, stop here-Come, tell me truly, how stands Isa- in artful guise, to sound the Marquis on the subbella's heart?"-"Well! your highness has such ject of Matilda ; and finding him disposed to his a way," said Bianca, “to be sure—but can your wish, he let drop hints on the difficulties that highness keep a secret? If it should ever come would attend the celebration of their marriage, out of your lips- "“It shall not, it shall not," unless—at that instant Bianca burst into the cried Manfred-“Nay, but swear, your high- room with a wildness in her look and gestures ness: by my halidame, if it should ever be that spoke the utmost terror. “Oh! my lord, known that I said it - why, truth is truth, I my lord !" cried she, “ we are all undone! it do not think my lady Isabella ever much affec- is come again! it is come again !"_“ What is tioned my young lord your son-yet he was a come again ?" cried Manfred, amazed.—“Oh! sweet youth as one should see. I am sure, if I the hand! the giant! the hand-support me! had been a princess—but bless me! I must at- I am terrified out of my senses," cried Bianca. tend my lady Matilda ; she will marvel what “I will not sleep in the castle to-night; where is become of me."-"Stay," cried Manfred, shall I go? my things may come after me to“ thou hast not satisfied my question. Hast morrow—would I had been content towed Franthou ever carried any message, any letter?"- cesco ! this comes of ambition !”—“ What has “ I! good gracious !" cried Bianca; “I carry a terrified thee thus, young woman?” said the letter! I would not to be a queen. I hope your Marquis— Thou art safe here ; be not alarmhighness thinks, though I am poor, I am ho- ed.”—“Oh! your greatness is wonderfully good," nest. Did your highness never hear what Count said Bianca, “but I dare not-no, pray let me Marsigli offered me, when he came a wooing to go—I had rather leave every thing behind me, my lady Matilda ?”-“ I have not leisure," than stay another hour under this roof.”_“ Gó said Manfred, “ to listen to thy tales. I do not to, thou hast lost thy senses,” said Manfred. question thy honesty ; but it is thy duty to con- “Interrupt us not; we were communing on imceal nothing from me. How long has Isabella portant matters—My lord, this wench is subject been acquainted with Theodore ?"-"Nay, there to fits—Come with me, Bianca.”_" Oh! the is nothing can escape your highness!” said saints! no,” said Bianca; “ for certain it comes Bianca ; « not that I know any thing of the to warn your highness; why should it appear matter. Theodore, to be sure, is a proper young to me else? I say my prayers morning and evenman, and, as my lady Matilda says, the very ing. Oh! if your highness had believed Diego image of good Alfonso ; has not your highness —'tis the same hand that he saw the foot to in remarked it?"-"Yes, yes-no-thou torturest the gallery-chamber. Father Jerome has often me,” said Manfred: “Where did they meet ? told us the prophecy would be out one of these when?”—“ Who! my lady Matilda ?” said days— Bianca,' said he, ‘mark my words' "Bianca.--" No, no, not Matilda-Isabella. “ Thou ravest,” said Manfred, in a rage ; “ beWhen did Isabella first become acquainted with gone, and keep these fooleries to frighten thy this Theodore?”-“Virgin Mary!" said Bianca, companions.”—“What! my lord,” cried Bianca, “ how should I know?"_" Thou dost know," “ do you think I have seen nothing? go to the said Manfred; “and I must know ; I will." - foot of the great stairs yourself-as I live I saw “ Lord ! your highness is not jealous of young it.”—“Saw what? tell us, fair maid, what thou Theodore?” said Bianca.-“ Jealous ! No, no: hast seen,” said Frederic.—“Can your highness why should I be jealous ?-perhaps I mean to listen,” said Manfred, “ to the delirium of a unite them ; if I were sure Isabella would have silly wench, who has heard stories of apparitions no repugnance.”-“Repugnance ! no, I'll war- until she believes them ?"-" This is more than rant her,” said Bianca ; « he is as comely a fancy,” said the Marquis; “ her terror is too youth as ever trod on Christian ground. We natural and too strongly impressed to be the are all in love with him ; there is not a soul in , work of imagination. Tell us, fair maiden, what the castle but would be rejoiced to have him for it is has moved thee thus."-" Yes, my lord, our prince-I mean, when it shall please heaven thank your greatness,” said Bianca; “I believe to call your highness to itself."-" Indeed!" I look very pale; I shall be better when I have recovered myself.--I was going to my lady Isa- conscience, your guilt accuses you, and would bella's chamber by his highness's order"_"We throw the suspicion onme-butkeep your daughdo not want the circumstances,” interrupted ter, and think no more of Isabella. The judgManfred : “Since his highness will have it so, ments already fallen on your house forbid me proceed; but be brief.”-“ Lord ! your high matching into it." ness thwarts one so !” replied Bianca. “I fear Manfred, alarmed at the resolute tone in which my hair-I am sure I never in my life-well! Frederic delivered these words, endeavoured to as I was telling your greatness, I was going, by pacify him. Dismissing Bianca, he made such his highness's order, to my lady Isabella's cham- submissions to the Marquis, and threw in such ber; she lies in the watchet-coloured chamber, artful encomiums on Matilda, that Frederic was on the right hand, one pair of stairs; so when once more staggered. However, as his passion I came to the great stairs--I was looking on his was of so recent a date, it could not at once surhighness's present here—""Grant me patience!" mount the scruples he had conceived. He had said Manfred, “will this wench never come to gathered enough from Bianca's discourse to perthe point? What imports it to the Marquis that suade him that Heaven declared itself against I gave thee a bauble for thy faithful attendance Manfred. The proposed marriages, too, remoon my daughter? we want to know what thou ved his claim to a distance; and the principality sawest."--I was going to tell your highness," of Otranto was a stronger temptation than the said Bianca, “ if you would permit me. So as contingent reversion of it with Matilda. Still he I was rubbing the ring—I am sure I had not would not absolutely recede from his engagegone up three steps, but I heard the rattling of ments; but purposing to gain time, he demanded armour; for all the world such a clatter, as of Manfred if it was true in fact that Hippolita Diego says he heard when the giant turned him consented to the divorce. The Prince, transportabout in the gallery-chamber.”_" What does ed to find no other obstacle, and depending on she mean, my lord?" said the Marquis ; “is his influence over his wife, assured the Marquis your castle haunted by giants and goblins?". it was so, and that he might satisfy himself of “Lord! what, has not your greatness heard the the truth from her own mouth. story of the giant in the gallery-chamber?" cried As they were thus discoursing, word was Bianca; “ I marvel his highness has not told brought that the banquet was prepared. Manyou--mayhap you do not know there is a pro- fred conducted Frederic to the great hall, where phecy"__" This trifling is intolerable,” inter- they were received by Hippolita and the young rupted Manfred. “Let us dismiss this silly princesses. Manfred placed the Marquis next to wench, my lord; we have more important af- Matilda, and seated himself between his wife fairs to discuss."_" By your favour," said Fre- and Isabella. Hippolita comported herself with deric, “ these are no trifles; “ the enormous an easy gravity ; but the young ladies were sisabre I was directed to in the wood-yon casque, lent and melancholy. Manfred, who was deterits fellow--are these visions of this poor maid- mined to pursue his point with the Marquis in en's brain?”-“So Jaquez thinks, may it please the remainder of the evening, pushed on the your greatness," said Bianca: “He says this feast until it waxed late; affecting unrestrained moon will not be out without our seeing some gaiety, and plying Frederic with repeated gobstrange 'revolution. For my part, I should not lets of wine. The latter, more upon his guard be surprised if it was to happen to-morrow; for, than Manfred wished, declined his frequent as I was saying, when I heard the clattering of challenges, on pretence of his late loss of blood; armour, I was all in a cold sweat-I looked up, while the Prince, to raise his own disordered and, if your greatness will believe me, I saw upon spirits, and to counterfeit unconcern, indulged the uppermost bannister of the great stairs a hand himself in plentiful draughts, though not to the in armour as big, as big I thought I should intoxication of his senses. have swooned-I never stopped until I came him The evening being far advanced, the banquet ther-Would I were well out of this castle! My concluded. Manfred would have withdrawn with lady Matilda told me but yester-morning that Frederic; but the latter, pleading weakness and her highness Hippolita knows something."— want of repose, retired to his chamber, gallant“Thou art an insolent!” cried Manfred. “Lord ly telling the Prince, that his daughter should Marquis, it much misgives me that this scene amuse his highness until himself could attend is concerted to affront me. Are my own do- him. Manfred accepted the party, and, to the no mestics suborned to spread tales injurious to small grief of Isabella, accompanied her to her my honour? Pursue your claim by manly da- apartment. Matilda waited on her mother, to ring; or let us bury our feuds, as was proposed, enjoy the freshness of the evening on the ramby the intermarriage of our children: But trust parts of the castle. me, it ill becomes a prince of your bearing to Soon as the company were dispersed their sepractise on mercenary wenches.”_" I scorn veral ways, Frederic, quitting his chamber, inyour imputation," said Frederic: “ Until this quired if Hippolita was alone, and was told by
hour I never set eyes on this damsel—I have one of her attendants, who had not noticed her gosip given her no jewel! My lord, my lord, your going forth, that at that hour she generally with
drew to her oratory, where he probably would but Hippolita stopping him, conjured him, in find her. The Marquis, during the repast, had the most plaintive accents, to explain the cause beheld Matilda with increase of passion. He noi of his disorder, and by what strange chance she wished to find Hippolita in the disposition her had found him there in that posture. “Ah, vir. lord had promised. The portents that had alarm- cuous Princess !" said the Marquis, penetrated ed him were forgotten in his desires. Stealing with grief--and stopped. “ For the love of Heasoftly and unobserved to the apartment of Hip- ven, my lord,” said Hippolita, “ disclose the polita, he entered it with a resolution to encou. cause of this transport; what mean these dolerage her acquiescence to the divorce, having per ful sounds, this alarming exclamation on me ceived that Manfred was resolved to make the name? What woes has Heaven still in store for possession of Isabella an unalterable condition, the wretched Hippolita?- Yet silent! by ever before he would grant Matilda to his wishes. pitying angel, I adjure thee, noble prince," con
The Marquis was not surprised at the silence tinued she, falling at his feet, “ to disclose the that reigned in the Princess's apartment. Con- purport of what lies at thy heart-I see thou cluding her, as he had been advertised, in her feelest for me ; thou feelest the sharp pangs that oratory, he passed on. The door was a-jar; the thou inflictest speak for pity !- does aught evening gloomy and overcast. Pushing open the thou knowest concern my child ?"_“ I cannot door gently, he saw a person kneeling before the speak," cried Frederic, bursting from her "Oh, altar. As he approached nearer, it seemed not Matilda !" a woman, but one in a long woollen weed, whose Quitting the Princess thus abruptly, he hasback was towards him. The person seemed ab- tened to his own apartment. At the door of it sorbed in prayer. The Marquis was about to re- he was accosted by Manfred, who, flushed by turn, when the figure rising, stood some mo- wine and love, had come to seek him, and to proments fixed in meditation, without regarding pose to waste some hours of the night in music him. The Marquis, expecting the holy person and revelling. Frederic, offended at an invitato come forth, and meaning to excuse his un- tion so dissonant from the mood of his soul, pushcivil interruption, said, “ Reverend father, I ed him rudely aside, and, entering his chamber, sought the lady Hippolita— " “Hippolita !” fung the door intemperately against Manfred, replied a hollow voice ; “ camest thou to this and bolted it inwards. The haughty Prince, encastle to seek Hippolita ?" and then the figure, raged at this unaccountable behaviour, withdrew turning slowly round, discovered to Frederic the in a frame of mind capable of the most fatal exfleshless jaws and empty sockets of a skeleton, cesses. As he crossed the court, he was met by wrapt in a hermit's cowl. “Angels of peace pro- the domestic, whom he had planted at the contect me!" cried Frederic, recoiling. * Deserve vent as a spy on Jerome and Theodore. This their protection !” said the spectre. Frederic, fall. man, almost breathless with the haste he had ing on his knees, adjured the phantom to take made, informed his lord, that Theodore, and pity on him. “Dost thou not remember me?” some lady from the castle, were at that instant said the apparition. “Remember the wood of in private conference at the tomb of Alfonso, in Joppa !"_" Art thou that holy hermit?” cried St Nicholas's Church. He had dogged Theodore Frederic, trembling_“Can I do aught for thy thither, but the gloominess of the night had preeternal peace ?"- Wast thou delivered from vented his discovering who the woman was. bondage,” said the spectre, “ to pursue carnal Manfred, whose spirits were inflamed, and delights? Hast thou forgotten the buried sabre, whom Isabella had driven from her on his urand the behest of Heaven engraven on it?"- ging his passion with too little reserve, did not “ I have not, I have not," said Frederic doubt but the inquietude she had expressed had “but say, blest spirit, what is thy errand to me? been occasioned by her impatience to meet Thee. what remains to be done?"-" To forget Ma- dore. Provoked by this conjecture, and enraged tilda !” said the apparition—and vanished. at her father, he hastened secretly to the great
Frederic's blood froze in his veins. For some church. Gliding softly between the aisles, ani minutes he remained motionless. Then falling guided by an imperfect gleam of moonshine the prostrate on his face before the altar, he besought shone faintly through the illuminated windows the intercession of every saint for pardon. A flood he stole towards the tomb of Alfonso, to whid of tears succeeded to this transport; and the he was directed by indistinct whispers of the per image of the beauteous Matilda rushing, in spite sons he sought. The first sounds he could dis of him, on his thoughts, he lay on the ground tinguish were," Does it, alas, depend on me in a conflict of penitence and passion. Ere he Manfred will never permit our unioncould recover from this agony of his spirits, the “No, this shall prevent it!" cried the tyrant. Princess Hippolita, with a taper in her hand, en- drawing his dagger, and plunging it over ha tered the oratory alone. Seeing a man without shoulder into the bosom of the person that motion on the floor, she gave a shriek, conclu- spoke.-"Ah, me, I am slain !" cried Matikis. ding him dead. Her fright brought Frederic to sinking. “ Good heaven receive my soul!"himself. Rising suddenly, his face bedewed with “ Savage, inhuman monster, what hast the tears, he would have rushed from her presence, done?" cried Theodore, rushing on him, and