Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

spot,—this the asylum of my childhood-where I once was happy,—where I first knew thee, but where I must never see thee more."

“To quit this spot, Emily! why surely, child, thou dreamest? Did de Bavay give thee leave to go? Why, Emily," he continued, recollecting himself, “all is confusion to me--all enigma. 'Twas told to me thou wert already gone; and lo! when least I did expect to find thee, here thou art, to tell me we must meet no more.How is all this?"

Emily then explained to him all that had occurred since they last saw each other, and then acquainted him with the resolution she had formed of leaving Bavay.

“Oh cruel, cruel maid,” replied Gaultier ;“how can’st thou thus talk ?-knowest thou not, then, that ere I loved thee, I knew not happiness,—that, since loving thee, thou hast been to me as life; and that, if I lose thee, I shall die ; yet dost thou talk of leaving me! Hast thou the heart to do it, Emily ?-Whither wilt thou go? Who shall tend thee on thy way– Who comfort thee, when in sorrow—Who nurse thee, if thou fallest sick-Who support thee, if in need ?Oh Emily, Emily, hear me, in pity listen-pity, pity,-leave me not!"

“Hush, Gaultier !-knowest thou not each word thou speakest is a poniard in my bosom; but, Love, I must not let my purpose thus be shaken! I go—but be thou sure, that in whatever portion of the world her fate or fortune drives thine Emily, her heart shall ever hold thee as her dearest treasure, and that she'll think of thee as of one who deigned to love a maiden having nought to render in return, except the poor affections of a grateful heart.”

To words, so fond in expression, yet firm in maintaining the original purpose of the speaker, what could be replied ?

Gaultier rested his cheek upon his arm, and wept. The tears trickled down, and fell upon his loved one's hand-she kissed them off.

“Gaultier, I would not willingly be forgotten by one I love so well. 'Twould hurt me to think I were so, and this poor heart of mine already is so deeply grieved, it can ill bear another wound.—Take this," she continued, as, stooping

to the earth, she picked up a pebble, which, wrapping with a small parcel, so as to give it weight, in a piece of satin,-she tilted towards him,—" Take this—’tis a lock of my hair, cut off on the day before the Seigneur your father forbade our farther intercourse. I should have given it to you ere this, had I been able ; when, as I could not, I would have destroyed it ; but that had been a sacrilege, for it had been dedicated to thee, and thus become sacred. Take it, therefore, dear Gaultier, and when thou lookest thereon, think upon her, who will ever think of thee. Now fare thee well!"

“ Thanks, thanks, and blessings on thee, my ever dearest,” said Gaultier, kissing the packet as it alighted in his hands. “Yet, oh stay one moment, but one moment more, to tell me whither thou wilt go,—to what country, to what clime. Oh love, go not at all, --stay with him who'so affections thee, and who will foster thee, and cherish thee. Emily! wait but a few days, -a few weeks,-my father, wearied with punishing, will soon release me from prison. Ay he will be glad to loose me, for de Laval will

[ocr errors]

soon again be here, -and then, oh then, dearest, will I accompany thee, whithersoever thou shalt lead.”

“Nay, nay, Gaultier,” replied the maid, “break not thus my heart, by asking that which needs must be denied to thee. Shall I thus take thee from thy home-thy parents-thy station-fortune-friends, and all which is most dear to man,--and make thee a companion of a poor lone wanderer, who, in the morning, knows not where she shall lay down her head at night? No, Gaultier, this were to make theethee, my beloved, on whom my fond soul doth hang with such a pure and most entire affection,--but a sorry recompense for love. The Seigneur de Mauny, too, hath he not menaced my Sire, his vassal, with his severest anger, should he e'er suffer us to meet. Besides, too, Gaultier, thinkest thou I do not bear within me that which doth forbid me furtively to wed with one whose sire doth spurn me from his door? Countest thou my pride for nought? Thou dost not know me, Gaultier! perchance I did not know myself, till Love, and Love's companion, sorrow, made me turn in mine eyes upon my heart, and view it as it is. No! rather would I-a poor and needy wanderer-beg my bread from door to door, or earn it by the daily labour of mine hands, than e'er consent to that which would diminish thy esteem,--and this thou now requirest."

It is difficult to say how long the conversation betwixt the lovers would have continued, or how, had they been allowed to carry it on, it might have terminated, though it may be feared, for we are but poor creatures at the very best!that a much longer delay might have put to flight the generous determination Emily had formed of not any longer standing as a barrier 'twixt him and his parent's love ; but this was a trial she was not compelled to undergo,-for a sentinel, stationed near that part of the castle, who, from the first of Emily's arrival, had, unseen, observed her speaking with him, and who, hearing the distant tramp of the patrol making its rounds, crept gently up to her, and whispered in her ear:

“ Damoyselle—the guard !-haste, leave the spot, or you are undone.”

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »