« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
a dee's are S TAS I kad to Bore: because de serrat, the las access FTTI I han she wrong, tube fou users rune. I have care cbe greater t she audied, esser mache
-- What is that ca, maat! sked toe dr. Sementat acons and ning Es eres tampon his repeat .
* Fade." said Ramad. Seekoeling at his feet, and her hands won her breas, -Imt Thua kerest thai, ty my father's enters I mr wall rech der till noon within the current wants. At the end of the genial, ntar the wood, a buat was one dar med. when Joan and I came by: the river was so beautiful and bright that I longed to cross it, ard to feel once more free
I prayed of Joan to go; but she refused, and forced me to return. She told the abbess all, and I was punished. Oh, my father, three days and nights I knelt upon the cold stones of the chapel floor, with bread and water only for my food. I could not bear it; and the third day, when vespers rang, and all the sisters came, I called on Joan to help me. The abbess heard me cry,—and from that hour I have been forbidden to speak to her. I was wrong, holy father,” she continued with great agitation, “ I know it was very wrong, - 1 ought to have submitted. . Punish me if you will, but give me back my friend; let me but lay my her breast, and I will bear all.”
In the earnestness of her appeal, Rosamond raised herself upon her knees, and, clasping her hands, held them imploringly towards the prior, until they almost rested upon his knee. With a hasty gesture, he drew back; and then, as if to evade an immediate answer to this appeal, he said, in a voice he vainly tried to render harsh,
My daughter, it grieves me to see thee thus cling to worldly thoughts and
worldly affections. Put away such; they are sinful.”
My father,” said Rosamond, meekly, “I would fain do as you desire; but," and she hesitated, “is it sinful to love those who love us?”
The prior moved uneasily in his chair. Never before had he met with a being who attracted him so powerfully. Her demeanour was stamped by intelligence far beyond her years; her voice, of silvery sweetness, was distinct and clear; and the decision of tone which marked it
gave way to a tenderness that thrilled through the heart. Father Thomas felt that he would rather have replied to a whole college of churchmen than answer the simple questions of this straightforward child. Nature had been her guide; honesty was upon her brow, affection in her heart;
what had sophistry to do with these? A feeling of compunction arose in his heart; but, schooled in the art of self-control, he instantly repressed it, and replied,
“ If love for our neighbour is not in itself sinful, it becomes so if it interfere
with graver duties. Maiden, it is thy province to submit, not to question.”
“Pardon me, my father,—I know it is; and I could submit to one I loved : but I have no one here to love. Oh, my father," she continued, as she clasped her hands passionately, “I am very desolate ! — my only comfort is gone. Oh! if
Oh! if you knew my life, shut up as it is within my cell. To steal across the court and talk to Joan was my sole joy; and now that is denied, I shall hear no more of knights and ladies, and their hawks and hounds. How my heart rejoiced when we used so to talk !-I thought myself at home, upon my own dear hills, and saw my father lead out his men-at-arms, as he was wont to do. Methinks !” and with an animated gesture she rose from her knees, “that war must be a fine sight; so grand !-50 king-like! My father, have you ever seen a battle? Oh, tell me,-tell me all! But,” she added, checking herself, as she suddenly observed the perturbed countenance of her hearer, “I forgot; you, too, live in a convent: and here one sees nothing, hears nothing. One might as well be
dead,”—and with a shiver, the beauteous Rosamond cast her eyes upon the bare walls of the room, unadorned save with a crucifix on one side, and a death's-head upon the other; and then her look fell upon the prior, and her kind heart smote her, for he was evidently pained. He sat with his head bent down, and his dark eyebrows were contracted until they almost met.
“ Father,” she added, after a long pause, “ forgive me, I have done wrong; profane, unholy words are not for thee,—they sully the purity of thy thoughts. The lady abbess says that I contaminate her mind. I meant not to offend: but I pine for my father's house. My heart is at Clifford Castle, while my body is here. Oh, my father! thou who knowest many things, tell me in thy wisdom, will this prison never end ?-are there no tidings from abroad?”
“ The Holy Land is far hence," said the prior, evasively, “and the rumours of war are many."
“ There is danger, I know," rejoined Rosamond, with a shudder; but she immediately added, as she raised her stately