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bounty of nature has provided him, noble maiden so well calculated to made his way through the drifting adorn the splendid scene. snow to the spot where the stiffening When the occupations of Michael body reposed. This canine preserver were over for the day, and he was at was followed by an aged but athletic liberty to attend upon his guest, he inman ; the dog scraped away the snow vited the knight to take a seat beside from the traveller, and his companion the blazing hearth. Adelheid had alchafed the cold forehead, and applied ready drawn towards the fire, and a strong cordial to the lips. This Carloman wanted no other inducetimely aid aroused the fainting spirits ment to accept the offered chair which of the knight : revived by the draught, was placed opposite to so much beauand reanimated by the warmth im- ty. “ Sir Knight,” said the hermit, parted by his welcome visiters, he was though living in this lone spot, and soon enabled to proceed to the friend- encountering the fury of the elements ly shelter which they offered. Lean- rather than the tyranny of man, we ing on the arm of the hermit, for such are not uninterested in the passing he seemed, and following the saga- events of the world below us. You cious brute who could alone discern appear to be late from Germany, our the proper path, he soon arrived at a native land ; what tidings do you
bear romantic dwelling, wherein the inge concerning the state of the empire ?” nuity and labour of man had combatted “ The friend of peace," returned Carsuccessfully with the hostility of the loman, “as I infer from your habit, clime, and where comfort smiled in you will grieve to learn that the wilddespite of the devastation which reign- est anarchy prevails in the distracted ed without.
country I have left." Then,” said It was not, however, until the suc- Michael, sighing, “ Lodowic, the tyceeding day that the tempest-beaten rant of Bavaria, has effected his amwanderer discovered all the charms of bitious purpose. By treachery and his asylum. The hermitage was spa- force," responded the knight, aby secious, furnished with many of the cret machinations and open rebellion, luxuries of a splendid though rude he has forced the Emperor. Wencesage, and well supplied with food and laus to fly; usurping the supreme auta fuel. A stout female peasant of the thority, the electors who refuse to mountains, the dog, the old man, and lend their sanction to his elevation a fair young girl, delicate and tender are kept in close confinement, and as the zephyr which wantons over an threatened with death.” “And where,” eastern vale, were the sole inhabitants. cried Adelheid, " is the noble and the Carloman, the rescued knight, beheld good Wenceslaus ? the liege Lord of this lovely vision with amazement : Germany, in what country has he though clad in a simple dress, and se found an asylum ?” “Gentle lady," questered in the wildest and most un- replied Carloman,“ an outcast and a frequented haunts of the snow-crowned fugitive, the few friends whom his Alps, she wore the impress of nobility misfortunes have left him know not upon her brow, and her language and at this moment whether he be alive demeanour forcibly assured the ad- or dead.” “Alas, father !” said Adelmiring stranger that in her he saw no heid, “ although I might well disreobscure or low-bred personage. The gard my own sorrows in sympathy for accomplishments of knighthood were the deeper calamities which have beevident in him, and there needed no fallen our illustrious monarch, yet will question to convince his hosts that he a selfish anxiety intrude. Shall I be came of honourable lineage. It was safe, even amid these rocks and everseldom that so distinguished a pair lasting snows, from the now widely had met in such an humble residence, extended power of the inhuman Loand Carloman felt an anxious desire dowic ?" “ Our retreat," returned to learn the cause which had deprived Michael, “is, I trust, a secret, nor the glittering circle of a court of the can the ambitious tyrant of the hour
be so securely seated on a throne as nines, where, remote from grandeur not to find sufficient employment for and from wealth, love should rear an his time and thoughts in his own im- altar and a throne. She knew not, mediate affairs. We are in all proba- she inquired not the prospects of bility forgotten amid higher cares. ." Carloman; but her own inheritance, “ Thou too then,” said Carloman, "art the wide and rich domain of Falkena sufferer from this bold abandoned stein, she would gladly relinquish for man ?"
“His ward;” replied the her- so sweet a home, if his bright smile mit; “ her trusting father left her an and tender glance were beaming there. orphan to his care : he abused the At length came the hour of parting: trust, and would have forced her to a thousand promises of a quick return wed'a menial whilst he secured her were breathed by the stranger knight, wealth. Though young and almost a thousand vows of eternal constancy friendless, she disdained the sacrifice. were returned by the weeping maiden. Resentment at her disobedience to his Carloman pursued his journey, and commands determined him to 'effect Adelheid was left to experience all her ruin ; and, to rob her of her life, the miseries of solitude. For the he preferred a malicious charge against first month she was absorbed in pleasher, absurdly accusing her of a designing recollections of past delights, eveto poison him : though it would have ry word that he had spoken was been
easy, before an unprejudiced tri- treasured in her memory, and fancy bunal, to vindicate her innocence, yet, brought him again to her side: the surrounded by creatures devoted to next was filled with joyful expectaher guardian's will, her only chance tions of his speedy arrival; but as of safety rested in immediate flight. week after week wore away, and he An old, an humble, yet a faithful ser came not, the sickening pang of hope vant of her father, I became the happy deferred subdued the buoyancy of her instrument to effect her deliverance spirits, and she became a prey to from persecution. The jewels which gnawing grief. No longer able to didecorated her person sufficed to pur- vert her mind by her wonted occupachase the comforts as well as the ne- tions, she wandered about like a spirit cessaries of life, and here we hope to of the mountains, as fair and as fragile remain unmolested until the fall of the as the frozen mist which a breath villain Lodowic shall enable the might dissolve. The agonies of disheiress of Count Falkenstein to assert regarded and unrequited love were and recover her rights.”
not, however, the only miseries she It was many days ere the inclemen- was destined to endure. The hermitcy of the season would permit the age was invaded by a hostile crew; knight to depart. Deeply interested her faithful attendant, Michael, was in the fate of the charming Adelheid, slain at her feet; and the shrinking 'he entreated to be allowed to wear and defenceless victim was borne by 'her colours'; and never had the hours armed men from her Alpine retreat, speeded so rapidly with the fair exile, and hurried to the banks of the as when Carloman, seated by her Rhine, where a vessel was stationed, side, related the dangers he had pass- destined for the city of Worms, in ed, the scenes he had witnessed, and which she was compelled to embark. the deeds of martial valour which It was here that the usurper, Lodohe had seen accomplished. He sang wic, held his court; and within its to her the songs of Italy; in that chili gloomy towers the hapless orphan region of eternal frost she felt the in- committed to his care anticipated fluence of its sunny skies and laugh- perpetual imprisonment. She had, ing vallies; and, though her lips re- however, too highly exasperated the fused to give utterance to the wish, savage heart of the tyrant by her her heart whispered the exquisite fe- flight, for him to rest satisfied with licity which might be found in some what he deemed so light a punishvine-sheltered cottage, deeply em ment. Without cemprehending the bowered 'mid the clustering Appe- extent of his designs, she had evaded
them by withdrawing from his castle: crimson plume, commanded his eshis brutal soul had felt the power of quire to take up the glove. The her charms, and the possession of her heralds prepared the lists for the enlands contented him not. Unskilled in counter, and, hushed into deep' sithe softer arts, he resolved to force her lence, the numerous spectators awaitto purchase her forfeited life by com- ed the termination.
The struggle pliance with his wishes ; and to ap- was deadly, and its event for some prize her of the extent of his power time doubtful. The most intense and and the extremity of her danger, he eager interest prevailed, for many determined to convict her in an open were touched by the youth and beaucourt.
ty of the fair Adelheid, whilst LodoThe great hall of the palace, mis- wic and his infuriated partisan were named of justice, was thronged when devoured by inward rage, since they the gentle Adelheid was led to the had deemed not that any present judgment-seat of Lodowic of Bavaria. would venture to espouse the quarrel Friendless and forlorn, her fair hair of one who, it was evident, had inhanging dishevelled over her shoul- curred the resentment of the powerders, and mingling its silken tresses ful. Alarmed lest this bold example with the white folds of her flowing should be followed by others, in defiveil, she stood alone in the midst of a ance of his acknowledged will, Lodocrowd of armed men, and listened in wic resolved at any risque to crush fearful amazement to the charges the unknown champion. He watched which were brought against her. The for some manifest advantage on the mockery of a trial was soon concluded. part of Philip to put an end to the Accused of a conspiracy and attempt battle ; but the knight of the blue to murder, of leaguing with traitors amulet allowed not his adversary to and rebels, the imputation was suffi- gain the ascendant; and at the mocient when the sovereign will was ment that he himself had nearly known. Adelheid was found guilty, wrested the sword from the hand of but, ere the passing of her sentence, his antagonist, the tyrant suddenly her judges inquired of her whether commanded the heralds to interfere she had aught to say in her defence. and adjudge the victory to the crimAdelheid looked anxiously round the son warrior. A low murmur of inassembly; the love of life, the appre- dignation ran through the hall at this hension of personal violence, swelled infringement of the laws of chivalry. her heart with an earnest desire of “ Treason!” cried Lodowic ; “What, preservation ; her eyes glanced wild- ho! my guards! secure the leader of ly from stranger to 'stranger, and just yon factious crew.” The ready inas she was withdrawing them in des- struments of the usurper's will adpair from that cold and heartless vanced, but the knight, planting himmultitude, they caught the azure- self in an attitude of defence, and tinted scarf which she had wound raising the vizor of his helmet so that round the arm of Carloman. It the noble lineaments of his counte. streamed from the shoulder of a nance were exposed to view, exknight, and, clasping her hands, she claimed, “On your allegiance, hold ! advanced a step, exclaiming, “ Í de- My friends! my subjects ! 'tis Wenmand a champion !” In an instant ceslaus, your sovereign, commands. the armed warrior who bore the sil- Now, now is the fitting time to drag ken token darted into the centre of the enslaver of Germany from his the floor, and, flinging his gauntlet on sanguined throne, and wrest the scepthe ground, offered battle in the cause tre of its ancient kings from his unof Adelheid de Falkenstein, to any righteous hand. He tramples on your and to all who dared accept his gage. rights, wreaks his accursed will on Lodowic gazed upon this unexpected helpless woman, and denies the wardefender with a gloomy eye, and giv- rior the privileges of knighthood. ing a sign to one of his hardiest re- Come
who love your suftainers, Philip Swartzburg, of the fering country, and I will break its
The cries of “Long live sion of blood for the gratification of the rightful emperor! the elected of his own wishes, offend his people, and the nobles !” resounded through the raise up enemies by a match unequal hall. Swords were drawn and wea- and perilous in the present situation pons clashed ; a brief and murder of affairs ? He knew the disinterestous combat ensued; the blood of Lo- edness of Adelheid's attachment, and dowic dyed the floor, and his ermined he hoped that she would be satisfied mantle was soiled by the trampling with the impassioned devotion of his feet of an exasperated multitude ; but heart, nor wish to involve him in the Adelheid heard not the shouts or the horrors and the crimes of a civil war loud acclaims of victory; she saw not occasioned by a selfish determination the fall of her prostrate foe, and the to consult private feelings rather than triumph of virtue and Wenceslaus ; the welfare of the state committed to for the moment that her listening ear his care. drank in the fatal words which, in Adelheid's her lover, had revealed the emperor continuance. Depending upon a wo
suspense was not of long of princely Germany, her heart sank; man's weakness and a woman's love, she saw at one glance the immeasúr Wenceslaus ventured to
pose a able distance which had suddenly union sanctioned only by the heart. arisen between them; and, unable to More grieved than offended, she could bear the idea of losing the beloved not but see the impossibility of surobject who even now had testified the mounting the obstacles which opposed purity and the fidelity of his affection, her lover's wish to share his empire she fell insensible to the ground. with her, yet was she not for one in
The newly-restored monarch pur- stant tempted to accept the offered sued his triumphant course to Ratis- alternative. The mildness of her rebon. Adelheid, by his tender assi- jection inspired him with hope that duities, recovered her health, and to time and assiduity would overcome all appearance her happiness. She her scruples, whilst the generosity and made one of the brilliant procession fervour of his affection might have which ushered in the sovereign to given an ambitious mind a strong exthis renowned city, and conducted pectation of securing its object. Adelby her royal lover to a mimic Eden, heid was not quite proof against this she lived surrounded by all the luxu- feeling, but she too soon became aries which wealth could purchase or ware of the inevitable ruin she should fancy invent. Smiles sat on her lips, heap upon one so fondly beloved but weight oppressed her soul. She should she succeed in persuading him could not but feel and express joy at to adopt a measure that would irrithe happy fortune of one so dear, tate the whole of Germany against and who so well deserved the throne him, and she ceased even to wish to which he had reascended ; yet anxie- become his wife. Seated in the marAy concerning her own fate destroyed ble halls of the palace, where ten her heart's repose-for, what was she thousand perfumed tapers poured to hope? and could she dare aspire to their blazing effulgence upon richlyshare the crown of an anointed king ? wrought tapestry and columns of bur
Thoughts and anxieties of a similar nished gold; listening to the choral nature frequently passed across the swells and dying falls of instruments mind of Wenceslaus. The time had and voices exquisitely mingled and been when perchance he might have harmonized, the thrilling harpings of bound the fair brow of the woman of the silver-stringed lute, and the windhis choice with an imperial diadem; ing melody of the oboe ; surrounded but now that his authority was not by glittering cavaliers and lovely lafirmly established, even if he should dies moving lightly and gracefully in refuse to be guided by the advice of the dance, herself the object of an his counsellors, who urged him to emperor's warm devotion, Adelheid strengthen his power by a foreign al- felt the difficulty of denial and the liance, ought he to hazard the effu- danger of her situation. But, if amid
the splendours of a brilliant and ate her for ever from the world come erowded court the task were hard, menced ere Wenceslaus was apprized how much more fortitude did it re- of the intended sacrifice. Crowned quire to resist the pleadings of Wen- with flowers, decorated with jewels, ceslaus, when, wandering together and clad in a glittering robe, the selfthrough the pleached alleys of her immolated victim appeared before an stately garden, where the moonbeams admiring yet pitying multitude. Nothplayed coldly over the flushing blos- ing of external pomp was omitted by soms, and only the murmur of a dis- the members of the church to give eftant waterfall broke the delicious still- fect to the scene. Long processions ness of the night, he besought her to of veiled nuns trod the vaulted aisles ; sacrifice the opinion of a rigid world the officiating priests were decked in to one who was ready to hazard his splendid vestments; clouds of incense throne if she required so dangerous a were wafted from golden censers ; proof of his affection? She wanted and the solemn peal of the organ strength to resist the temptation, and came mixed with seraphic voices she determined to fly from it for ever. hymning songs of praise. Yet, though Adelheid quitted the enchantments the influence of these powerful stimuwhich threatened to enslave her, and lants was felt, the votary alone ensought an asylum in a convent. chained the attention of the gazing
This precipitate step deeply offend- crowd. She was pale even to the ed her lover. Stung with resentment, paleness of Parian marble, but the yet convinced that the tender crea- tint of the rose was not required to ture, whose whole soul was centred perfect beauty so dazzling and so in him alone, would soon repent her delicate. Her eyes had lost their raabandonment of his society, and pine diance; yet in their melting lovelifor a 'renewal of that sweet inter- ness they seemed softer, sweeter far, course which had formed their mutual than when they darted beams like happiness, he resolved to leave her the stars of heaven. to the solitude she had chosen until Firmly adhering to her high-wrought her own weariness should induce her purpose, though her quivering lip beto comply with his solicitations. Nei- trayed the emotions of her heart, she ther was he alarmed at the intention performed her allotted part with dig she expressed to take the veil, though nity, until the sudden arrival of the his anger was kindled by what he emperor disturbed the serenity of her deemed to be a threat, and with the brow. He had hastened to the church, pride of man he trusted to the year's and, forcing his eager way to the steps probation. Adelheid was not uncon- of the altar, he stood aghast at the scious of the danger of delay. Her near completion of her vows to heavstruggles had been painful, threaten- en. Shorn of her bright tresses, her ing even the destruction of a life so costly ornaments and roseate wreaths little adapted to the endurance of tu- scattered beneath her feet, she gave multuous conflicts; and lest she should to him and to the world a last fond have striven in vain to obtain the vic- look, then raised her eyes to heaven, tory over the secret wishes of her and, falling prostrate on the floor, the soul, she privately solicited a dispen- attendant priests spread a pall upon sation from the Pope.
her recumbent form. After the lapse many of the princes of the empire, of a few minutes they removed the who, dreading the power of' her sable and ominous covering ; but Acharms upon their sovereign, encour- delheid stirred not, breathed not, and aged her in her determination, and a wild cry from the surrounding ecaided her in her plans; and so well clesiastics announced to the gasping were their measures taken, that the multitude that she was dead. awful ceremony which was to separ