« VorigeDoorgaan »
son of Don Zelos, habited as Rus-shores where misfortune is sure of sian' servants, embarked in their train, an asylum. and landed safely on the happy ||
Moj THE GIANTS OF THE SHARKA VALLEY:
A popular Tale of Bohemia.
(Concluded from p. 154.) The youth hastened with all pos- || ry, piety, accompanied the princess sible speed into his beloved valley, to and swelled her train. They carried equip himself for the perilous consacred relics along with them; the flict: repairing to the black palace, whole procession joined in prayer; he took the horse out of the stable, but no miracle took place, and the put on the suit of armour, and when prince of darkness, in the figure of a he had emptied the flagon, he found knight, clad in magnificent armour, himself able to wield the ponderous over which was thrown a loose scar. sword with ease, and felt so strong, | let mantle, richly embroidered with that he conceived himself already to gold, advanced and claimed the perbe more than a match for the foul formance of the duke's promise. He fiend. As it had been agreed upon held up the contract in his hand, and by the duke, the princess was con- when the priests and their pious comducted to an open place, situated be- | panions beheld the bloody signature, tween the city and the Sharka valley, || they were plunged into the greatest where the stranger had promised to affliction; their tongues refused their attend to receive her. When she had office; they could pray no more, nor been arrayed in bridal attire for this were they capable of any opposition her last excursion, and her weeping to the evil spirit; so that he had al. attendants brought flowers to adorn ready extended his arm to seize the her bosom and her beautiful hair, she princess, when a horseman in black chanced to cast her eyes on the nose-armourand scarf, with uplifted sword, gay which some days before the hand- dashed along, with the rapidity of some young gardener had gathered lightning, on a steed of exquisite for her. All the flowers were faded beauty, and in an authoritative tone and withered, excepting that one commanded Satan to release the prina which she had so much admired, and cess. The infernal spirit instantly which was still as fair and fresh as turned round, and cried, with eyes, ever. She removed it, and placed flashing fire, “ Who art thou, morit in the nosegay in her bosom: tran- | tal, that presumest to require me to quillity and hope revisited her heart; renounce my rightful property?", and after taking the most affectionate “ I come," undauntedly replied the farewell of her father, she prepared black knight, " to protect innocence with great resignation to go forth to against thy malice, and I bid defiance, meet the detestable stranger. to thee and to all hell. If thou wilt
The priests of all the convents, and not set the princess at liberty, preall persons of both sexes who pos- pare thyself for the combat.”.. sessed the reputation of extraordina- || Satan did not wait for the repeti· Vol. IV. No. XXII.
tion of this challenge, but called to spirits, hastened by the shortest way the black knight to dismount; where to the crystal palace, emptied the upon so tremendous a conflict ensu- Alagon, put on the white brilliant ared, that all present were nearly pe- mour, and away he galloped on the trified with astonishment, and even snow-white steed, beautiful as the the oldest men did not recollect any day, to the field of combat. The parallel to it. The combat had last- princess and her train had already ed with the utmost fury above an arrived ; and Satan appeared in the hour, when Satan, weary with the shape of a hideous dragon, with four exertion, cried, “It is enough for to- heads, from each of which he vomitday, and I appoint to-morrow morn-ed flames of fire against his advering to decide the matter." The black sary. Fortunately, however, Jarosknight approved the proposal, and law was protected by his enchanted without waiting for the thanks of the armour from all injury. He boldly princess and the applauses of all the began the conflict, and laid about him spectators, he vaulted upon his steed, so stoutly, that in half an hour the clapped spurs to his sides, and away field of battle was covered with drahe galloped to the mysterious valley. gon's heads which he had cut off;
The prince of darkness disappeared, but though they were immediately and the princess was conducted back replaced by others, yet the monster in solemn procession to the palace of could not gain any advantage over her father, who, astonished and in the him, and after they had again fought highest degree rejoiced at the appear- a whole hour, Satan once more deance of so valiant a champion, again | sired to defer the decision of the conventured to conceive an idea of the test till the following morning. Japossibility of his daughter's deliver-roslaw, mindful of the red wine that ance from the clutches of Satan. I was yet left in the red castle, assent
Jaroslaw, having hastily exchangeded to the proposal, rode back to the his knightly accoutrements for his valley to transform the knight again own humble apparel, returned to the into the gardener's lad, and as such ducal gardens, and related to the to give his master an account of the good-natured old man the particulars second combat. The princess was of the combat. He then resumed reconducted to the city, and looked his usualemployment, and after work forward to the morning of the third ing the remainder of the day with day with anxiety, but yet with hope; the greatest alacrity, retired to rest for her unknown champion had alat night with the most agreeable an-ready performed such prodigies, that ticipations. With the first dawn of she entertained little doubt of her day he quitted his bed, and begged final deliverance: besides, the wonthe gardener's permission to witness | derful flower in her bosom still conthe ensuing combat. The gardener tinued quite fresh and lively, as if to was too anxious to learn the issue of confirm her hopes and to announce a this extraordinary affair to refuse the happy futurity. '" bassy indulgence solicited by his young as- On the third morning, Jarosław sistant; but he again admonished him repaired to the red palace. The duke to take good care to keep himself and the princess, with their traiti, out of danger. Jaroslaw, in high meanwhile proceeded to the appointed place. At length a knight in nu, manifest his gratitude for so signal a by-red armour, and mounted on a red service. tisser ist seit fins les charger, like the god of fire, was When Jaroslaw returned home, the seen, approaching. On his arrival, gardener, who had been seriously the earth opened, and flames burst alarmed at his long absence, desired from its bosom as the precursors of to know what bad detained him. The Satan, who this time appeared in his youth related all that had happened, own proper terrific shape. All pre- and added, that he had tarried in sent were horror-struck, and the prin- the field of battle till the red knight cess swooned: Jaroslaw alone was had recovered from his swoon, upon not daunted, and prepared for the which he followed him to the entrance conflict. For two long hours were of the valley, where he ascended a the formidable combatants engaged, | hill, from which he watched him ride till Satan's strength forsook him; Ja into a magnificent red palace, that roslaw demanded the contract, which shone with such brilliance, as if it his adversary was obliged to surren- had been cut out of a single ruby.. der, and which he lighted at the The youth then returned contentflaming eyes of the evil one and re-edly to his work, and was always duced to ashes. The prince of dark- doubly delighted whenever the lovely ness vanished with a tremendous princess came to walk among the noise, and Jaroslaw fell on one knee flowers. One day on visiting the garbefore the duke: but he had receiv- den, she found the lad asleep on a ed so severe a wound in the elbow of shady bank, and observed her handhis left arm, that he bled profusely, kerchief tied round his left arın, and before he could utter a word, he wbich was otherwise uncovered. Assunk senseless to the ground. All tonished at this sight, she wakened bastened to his assistance, and the Jaroslaw, and inquired how he had princess herself hound up his wound come by the handkerchief. Conwith a handkerchief which she had vinced that he should never have a embroidered with her own hand. more favourable opportunity for reThe knight being still too faint to vealing his secret, he replied, “This move, the duke returned with his handkerchief, O most lovely of prindaughter and their retinue to the pa- cesses, thine own fair hand bound lace, with the intention of sending about my arm, when I enjoyed the his own surgeon to administer relief. inexpressible happiness of rescuing When the duke was gone, Jaroslaw thee from the power of the wicked recovered, and the attendants whom one. Well mayest thou be surprised; the prince had left with him would for it was no other than the humble have conducted him to the palace, gardener's lad who thrice combated but he mounted his horse, and with the prince of darkness for thy freeout so much as bidding them farewell, dom, and finally conquered him with posted to the mountains. The men the powerful assistance of that God gazed in astonishment after the mys- who is the protector of innocence.?: terious knight, and went to inform This story appeared too incredible the duke, who was sorely grieved that to the princess, glad as she would the valiant deliverer of his daughter have been to find that Jaroslaw was did not afford hin the pleasure to her deliverer. She conducted bin,
would be an eorowery fine, but it mined tents of the lovers, and
however, to the duke, to whom he ,, clasped him'affectionately to his borepeated his declaration; at the same som, and promised him a princely -time disclosing all the secrets of the reward; but when he observed Jawonderful valley, and the manner in roslaw's tender looks, and the modest which he had become possessed of flush that mantled on the cheek of such extraordinary strength. “What his daughter, he easily divined the thou tellest me," answered the duke, sentiments of the lovers, and deter"certainly sounds very fine, but it mined to celebrate their nuptials that would be an egregious folly in me very day. were I to give credit to thy story, When Jaroslaw imprinted the first without requiring some proof that kiss of love on the chaste lips of the thou art the same person who, by his || princess, she silently presented to him transcendent valour, has delivered the flower, which he instantly recogus from so great a calamity.” nised: he would have laid hold of it · Jaroslaw bowed respectfully, and and pressed it to his lips, but it was solicited permission to go to the Shar-gone, nor did he see it again till the - ka valley to equip himself as the un evening of their wedding-day, when, known knight. The duke signified his contemplating the firmament, inwhich assent, and anxiously awaited his re the stars seemed to emit increased turn.' He was seated at table with lustre in honour of the occasion, they his whole court, when a messenger espied the lovely flower glistening all came to inform him, that a stately || alone; but presently it was transformknight, in brilliant white armour, was | ed into a garland, which hung over seen issuing from the Sharka valley the heads of the lovers, and seemed and approaching the palace. The to promise them long and durable fewhole company instantly rose; and licity. the fair princess; running impatiently Jaroslaw succeeded his father-into the window, instantly recognised | law in the sovereignty, and attained the champion of the second combat. a good old age by the side of his virThe knight was conducted into the tuous consort, who bore him several hall, and on removing his helmet, children, to whom he transmitted the discovered the features of the hand-ducal crown and throne. some young gardener. The duke
ros sos ... THE MASQUERADE. 7. I HAD long wished to go to a mas daughters; and as soon as I mention
querade, but the opportunity nevered my intention, the ladies were ea1 was afforded me till my last visit to gerin endeavouring to persuade their London, about two years ago. An mother to let them accompany me. entertainment of that description was This was not a very easy task to then given at the King's Theatre, achieve; the old lady had contracted and I determined to be present at some prejudices against masquerades what I conceived must be a scene of on the score of morality, which we unbounded hilarity and festive gaie- || had great difficulty in removing. ty. I was staying with a family con- However, they were removed, on sisting of a mother, one son, and two condition that the brother should
also be of the party; and the inter- || were not a little amused at seeing a val of two or three days was fully Meg Merrilies, in“ wild attire," joinoccupied with the important busi- || ing in a quadrille the other characness of arranging our characters, ters, in which were a British officer dresses, &c. . .
of the present day, a Greek of the At length the important evening | 16th and a British nobleman of the arrived; and with hearts beating high 17th centuries, a Spanish grandee, with expectation, we stepped into a “ sweet Anne Page," a Quaker, and coach, and in a very few minutes a Dutch flower-girl. Then, as to were launched at once into the vor- things, we noticed a Spaniard, who, tex of gaiety, where all were engag- by his dress, seemed to be divided ed in sailing down the stream of time equally between Spain and Venice; as lightly and as swiftly as possible. a Crusader had pistols stuck in his The confusion of characters, and the girdle; Richard I. was decorated noise and bustle which prevailed with the order of the Garter; a sularound, for some minutes bewil-tana, rich in silks and diamonds, had dered us; but we soon got accus-omitted the characteristic of Easttomed to the scene, and entered ern females, the trowsers. Various most heartily into all its whimsicali- similar anachronisms and mistakes ties. The associations, both of things I might have been discovered, but my and of persons, we found at times attention was soon arrested by a difirresistibly droll. Alexander the ferent and a far more interesting Great and Henry VIII. were in fa- || subject. miliar conversation; Mary Queen of In a corner of the room the most Scots, that beautiful and unfortunate deserted and lonely, if such epithets woman, was seen walking round can at all be applied to a spot from with Rob Roy; whilst her rival, which the crowd had receded only Elizabeth, joined in a waltz with an for perhaps a foot or two, attracted inhabitant of Otaheite. Greeks, by the graceful movements of a youthHebrews, Turks, Frenchmen, Spa- ful pair engaged in the Spanish fanniards, and Danes, jostled each other: dango, sat two figures, one (a male) here were tars, who had never seen wrapped in the ample folds of the the sea; there jockies, who knew as tartan, and the other (a female) simmuch of a horse as they did of Chi- | ply attired as a Swiss peasant: a nese; melancholy Hamlets making third person, his figure completely love to every female they could get concealed by an immense domino, to listen to them; and Rangers walk stood at a little distance, attentively ing about with all the solemnity and observing them. The two who were gravity of Methodist preachers. John seated appeared to be engaged in Wesley was engaged at whist, and earnest and anxious conversation, betting loudly on the odd trick. A and the tremulous heavings of the cardinal was paying his devoirs very lady's bosom proved that she at least assiduously to a fine young Savoy was deeply interested. At this moard, who seemed, however, to be ment a sudden rushing back of the rather inclined to desert his emi- throng, which had surrounded the nence for a dashing hussar, who dancers, carried me and my compawas dangling at her side; and we nions to the immediate vicinity of