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the truth as to Catarina's origin—“she is happy. I fancy she is a queen among them, for my lord had given her, so my maids tell me, many jewels and much gold. It were no hard task, Iween, to find some clown with close-kempt locks to spend it with her l’” But the maids Alice and Janet would often sigh as they thought of the lost mistress, and marked the fierce temper cf the high-born dame. They had worshiped Lady Catarina; they hated Lady Isobel. At last an heir was born. But, ere this, a bitterer sorrow than even that of the past had fallen upon the earl's proud heart. It was whispered that a court gallant, no less a noble than Surrey himself, had hung too oft about the Lady Isobel, and that it might be this heir was no lawful one. It needed not jealous eyes to see that the boy's face held no resemblance to that of its assumed father. The earl's heart was heavy. Bitter indeed to have reached forty years childless but to become the mock of a dissolute court—for such he believed himself to be. But he took no action upon his suspicions. was never known. It might be that he wood not again repudiate a wife ; and to leave again, as he had done for two years after the departure of Catarina, his home in England, was what he could not bring himself to do. In the prime of life the earl seemed aged. His heart had grown old. And, from the hour of the birth of the heir, it was a sealed book to the Lady Isobel. He withdrew himself, like a wounded stag parted from the herd, leaving his lady at court, and sought the solitude of his castle. , It was here that there reached him rumors of a wonderful poetess who made the deeds of lofty chivalry and the tales of romance her theme ; and whose sweet verse in the rhythms of that choice Italian, so dear to the Earl of Orme, had won much fame among the learned of her country, and great honors abroad. It was said that King Henry had invited her to court, had caused her poems to be transcribed upon vellum, and bound in embossed gold; and that, at a festival soon to be given in honor of his approaching nuptials with Anne Boleyn, the poetess would send her son to recite some verses of her composition—lines, it was said, of wonderful harmony and beauty. None spoke of the lady's face—for none had seen it— but it was rumored that she was a widow; and that the son—a boy of marvelous beauty—inherited the poetic talent of her mother.
Why, Earl Orme could not have said, but he had
yearned, from the first moment of hearing of this wonderful songstress, to listen to the recitation of some poem from her pen. The few lines he had gathered at court spoke to something that lay in the most secret depths of his being ; their sadness mated with his own. The court had all assembled. Earl Egbert had not acquainted his wife with his intent to appear there; and it was with an angry start that, on entering, he marked her seated in a place of honor, with the light-minded Surrey beside her, glittering, like Isobel herself, with jewels. Too easy was it to read their secret—he that “ran might read”! Easy and bitter indeed Catarina's secret had been a slight thing and innocent compared to this 1 At last the moment came for the reading of the poem. It was a sweet story of the love of an humble maiden for a lordly knight, and told how, in her hope to win his love, she had followed him to war, garbed as a page, till, at last, after all hope had failed her that her heart's prayer would be granted, she had sought the battle
field, and—in this the poetess called her “most happy”— saved the life of the noble knight by receiving into her own breast the lance aimed at his heart. But what had startled the court, and held it ontranced more perhaps than even the harmonious verse of the “matchless poetess Florinda"—so they called her—was: the noble beauty of her son, who, garbed like the god Apollo, and bearing in his hand a silver lyre, recited in dulcet tones the wondrous rhythms of the “piteous storieof Isolinde and the Knight Rupert.” The earl's eyes stared at the youth. “By my faith,” murmured he, “the lad is like Brian, my brother, dead these fifteen years past ! Not Brian even bore himself more nobly 1” The poem ended. The King rose. “Noble words,” said King Henry, “and nobly uttered. Approach, and receive of us the fitting guerdon for thy sweet gift of song.” And the King placed upon the brow of the boy a wreath of laurel-leaves wrought in the purest gold. But, though the youth knelt to receive the wreath, it no sooner touched his brow than he removed it. “Not to me, most noble monarch, this wreath of fame. The verses are my mother's; hers is the “sweet gift of song.’” And, though some lordlings made a movement to detain him, after bowing low the youth departed. + * + * + * It was not many days after the court fete that the Lady Isobel completed the sum of her evil deeds by disappearing from her post as attendant upon the new-made Queen. She had fled ; not, indeed, with Surrey, but with a . foreign nobleman of infamous character, though of singular beauty. The cruel mother, true to an utterly heartless nature, left behind her the son she had borne. The lad, a puny, sickly boy, grew daily punier and sicklier, till at last, in but a few short months after his mother's desertion of the earl, of her son and her duty, he fell into a malady of languor that ended in death. For the Lady Isobel—from the hour of her departure from England she was doomed. The gallant with whorn she had fled became, after being deperately enamored, desperately jealous, and—this was the last intelligence that ever reached the earl concerning her—in his fury, it was said, poured poison into wine, of which the lady drank, and expired in agony. + + o: + + * One year later—and by this time, shame, sorrow, and, it may be, remorse, when he thought of Catarina—had made Earl Orme's hair white as the Winter's snows—a boy, the same beautiful youth whom we have seen at court reciting the sad “Storie of Isolinde and the Knight Rupert,” rode up to the castle-gate. He bore a letter signed “Florinda”; and, when admitted to the presence of the earl, stated that the poetess, his mother, had bade him hand to the Earl of Orme the missive bearing her Ilaine. It had required some courage to undertake the errand, young Lorenzo admitted to himself—for the earl was known to be a grave recluse; and, it was said, loved no society, especially that of women. But the earl seemed glad to see the beautiful youth, and—strange for so stern a man—passed his arm about his waist, and led him to the portrait gallery, where, upon the wall, hung the painting representing Brian of Qrme, his dead brother. “Strange I strangel" murmured the earl; “the boro
is liker to my house than the dead heir who bore my strength in the fierce ardor of study by which I hoped at name.. I will follow you," added he, “though it is now last to win, as I have won, fame you need not blush to one year since my footsteps have passed beyond yon hear of. And the boy-my countrymen call him Lorenzo, drawbridge. Come ! mount your horse let us away, My | but I call him Egbert-you need not blush for him. He steed stands beside your own. I will go whither you may has acquired, besides many of the secrets of science and lead me.”
the sweet art of poesy, that noble art of war in which And the earl and the beautiful youth went forth to those of his blood won fame, even in the Holy Land. Begether.
lieve me, he will not dishonor you !"
“Call him hither. Let me embrace my child !” CHAPTER IV.
“A moment," resumed the dying Catarina, and her THE earl followed his guide.
voice sank to a whisper ; “let me tell you also that I At last they reached the city.
have taught him whose son he is; and yet, believe me, It was in an humble dwelling in the outskirts that the Lord Egbert does not blush to call Catarina, the Beggar youth dwelt with his mother.
of Genoa, his mother." There were a few flowers about the door, and the vines “Pardon ! pardon !" cried the earl. clustering over it formed a cool, delicious shade ; but “It remains to me only to bid your son embrace his there were no signs of luxury.
father, and to depart in peace,” murmured the mother, as The youth led the earl to a room-not spacious, but the beautiful youth entered the room, and knelt at lis tasteful-where, on a low couch, reclined a female form. father's feet. The boy knelt, removing his cap, kissed his mother's A glorious smile played upon the face of Catarina brow; and, rising in obedience to a sign from her, made Pessali, the last waning light of a life ever sad. She obeisance to the earl, and left the apartment.
raised her hands, and laid one upon the head of the But as he did so a low, agonized cry broke from the father—the other upon that of the son. lips of the earl.
“Be worthy of the House of Orme," murmured she; For, on the lowly couch, lying prostrate, and—or the "the noble House of Orme." sunken eyes, pale cheeks and emaciated form spoke And as she spoke, looking up thus, she died. falsely-dying, lay his lost Catarina !
But her memory died not. It lived, while they lived, Was it for this that he had hoped for eleven years—he in the heart of Egbert her husband, and of Egbert the had hoped--that she would return to him, that they heir, her son. The name of Lady Isobel Shaftonsbury should be happy again ?
and of her offspring is blotted out of the annals of the The dying poetess raised herself.
honse-into which she came but to disgrace it. Across There had been a world of sorrow and despairing the false heir's name lies the “bar sinister.” But in unwretchedness in Earl Egbert's heart-cry, and it had been dying lustre lives upon its pages the “historie of the balm to her crushed spirit. It gave her strength to speak most virtuous, the most 'faire,' and”—so stands the those words he must hear, ere her waning life departed. archive — " the most noble Ladye Catarina Pessali,
“ Yes, it is I, Egbert, my husband ! After many years! Countess of Orme." And now we meet but to part again ; the death-dews stand upon my brow. But do not sob so ! The earl had sunk weeping upon his knees at the bedside. “It is best LEBANON AND ITS INHABITANTS. thus-though now, I think, my lord and liege, you will not blush to have wedded poor Catarina, the Beggar of
Dy OSCARYAN. Genoa! No," added she, “when we parted, when you MUSULMAN fanaticism, that Asiatic plague, which has cast me forth out of your heart, away from your arms, devastated some of the fairest portions of the globe, has and into that cold world which, even in childhood, had again made its appearance, this time in the Soudan, but never to me been kind, I felt that I had failed to satisfy it will not be long before its malarial influence will be your great heart”-here Egbert clasped her cold hand, felt in other parts of the Mussulman world. and pressed it humbly to his lips—“I saw that my ignor Ever dominant, it has, for a long while, been kept in ance was a crime; my untutored mind unfit to mate with check through the progress of civilization, but has not yours; and that she whose intincts still yearned for an been entirely eradicated ; the germ, ever existing, is really anfettered and informal life, was, as you said, not fit to be to break forth at any time and place on the least provocathe mother c' another earl.” A sudden light broke upon the husband.
This pernicious malady, which, at present, is in an epi" The boy ! the boy !" exclaimed he, springing wildly demic form, being confined to Egypt, may become panto his feet.
demic throughout Mussulman territories. Whether the “Listen ! I have more to say. Listen, ere my voice is next eruption may occur in India, Armenia or Syria, no for ever silent,” urged Catarina. "After I left you, I felt one can tell ; but its recurrence is beyond a doubt. that, to be truly a mother to the child I was about to It is not likely, however, that it will first show itself in bear, I must learn the wondrous lore of your great India, where there are 40,000,000 of Mohammedans. It is country and of my own-for even the beggar,” added she, true that Moslem fanaticism will find as ready an echo and proudly, “has a country. I sold the jewels you had be- sympathy there as elsewhere ; but it must be remembered stowed upon me in the days when your love was mine "- 1 that human actions are not so much governed by sym. here the earl's sobs burst forth afresh—"and a learned pathy as by interest. It is not for the advantage of the sage gave me in exchange those treasures of learning that governing classes of the Mohammedans of India to yield have made me what I am ; not ‘Florinda,' but Catarina readily to the infection ; because, having on former occaPessali, the poetess. My countrymen know my name, sions received severe lessons, they are not likely to be and Italy has pride in me !"
easily inoculated. A pause; the dying woman's strength seemed failing Nor is it probable that it will break out in Armenia, fast.
because this malady has become endemic in that most “ But it has cost me my life. I have lost my body's I unfortunate country without any apparent remedy to
other great heen kind,
auce was a time is money want
KAB ELIAS, A DRUSE TOWN IN THE LEBANON. check its progress, unless it should suit the policy of history repeats itself. The political pot-pourri is already Russia to interfere.
set on the fire, and may soon boil over. For the Turk, It is therefore more than probable that the next demon. when cornered, will naturally resort to that dreadful stration of this scourge will show itself in Syria-because weapon which is most effective in the hands of the Mussulman fanaticism is not only more rampant and ma | Mussulman populace—the Jehad, or religious war, which lignant there than elsewhere, but other circumstances in- means war to the knife against all Christians. tervening will tend greatly to develop it.
In view, then, of coming events, which seem to cast France and Russia are already in the field, struggling their shadows before them, a brief sketch of the Lebanon, for supremacy ; the first through the Maronites and the where the next scene will be enacted, will not prove second through the Greeks.
devoid of interest to the general reader, as an anticipatory The French regard Syria as their natural share in the preparation for a just and sensible comprehension of inheritance from the “Sick Man," and have grown nerv- | things that are to occur there. ously anxious since England's recent acquisition of | Lebanon, or Jebel-Libnan, the White Mountain, is a Cyprus, and especially when that country is being drifted mountain range in Syria, a spur of the Taurus, extending into annexation of Egypt.
from northeast to southwest, almost parallel to the coast. Russia is already evincing symptoms of uneasiness, and ] It is nearly 100 miles long, and from ten to twenty miles is ready to revive her traditional claim to the protectorate wide. It has an elevation of about 7,000 feet, with a cul. of the Christians of the East and to the guardianship of minating point, Jebel-Makkel, of 12,000 feet. To the the Holy Sepulchre.
east of this mountain is another, called Anti-Lebanon, And England, notwithstanding she has her hands full, running parallel to it. It is not as high as Lebanon, nor will not certainly remain idle, or a passive spectator, but as long. Between these two is a valley, called El-Bukaa..
step in for her It is not pro-
2,000 to 3,000
trophe is self- freshing cool-
WOMAN OF MOUNT LEBANON.
Extensive groves of oliv, mulberry, orange, lemon, citron and fig trees, are to be met with everywhere, as well as vineyards and grain fields. The cedars of Lebanon are of historic fame. There is a grove of several hundred of them, eight of which are most conspicuous, being very large and old. Numerous towns and villages dot these two mountains, and they are inhabited by two distinct races, known respectively as the Maronites and the Druses. There are also Turks, Greeks, and even Jews, but they are few, and do not form an important part of the inhabitants. The Maronites are the direct descendants of the ancient Phoenicians, consequently identified with the Greeks. In their adoption of Christianity they became victims of Mussulman persecution, to escape which they fled to Mount Lebanon, under the leadership of a certain Mar-Maron, or Father Maron. This prelate having built there, on an eligible spot, a convent, as strong and impregnable as a fort, people flocked thither for protection. From necessity other convents were erected, and these establishments multiplied, to afford shelter to those who sought in them a refuge. In course of time these people were known as the Maronites, in contradistinction to those who remained in the low lands. The Maronites are, therefore, the first settlers of Lebanon. During the invasion of the Crusaders they became converted to Roman Catholicism, through sympathy with the champions of the Cross, and through the material support which they received from them. Hence the Maronites are the Greek Catholics of Syria, acknowledging the Pope as the head of the Church, instead of the Patriarch, but retaining their native language, the Arabic, in the ritual of church service—a privilege accorded only to this community and to a few Catholic Armenians, Syrians, Chaldeans, Copts and Slavs. When the Saracens invaded Syria the use of the Greek language was forbidden, and the schools were closed ; so that the Greeks of Syria soon forgot their mother tongue, and, through force of circumstances, adopted a foreign dialect, so that the prevailing language of Syria is the Arabic. They are very zealous in their faith, and are often seen engaged in their devotions under the shade of the historic cedars, constituting a sort of camp-meeting. In physique they are noble specimens of humanity and manly bearing. Having in their mountain fastnesses long breathed the air of independence, they have become more brave and valiant than the rest of their compatriots. We will now proceed to describe the Druses, who differ from the Maronites only in religion; so that any further description of the manners and customs of the one will apply as well to the other. Besides, there is a sort of mystery which envelops the character and being of the Druses which is worth developing. The Druses are the remnants of the ancient Egyptians. It is a well known fact that the prevailing religion in Egypt, in ancient times, was a belief in metempsychosis, or transmigration of souls. When Christianity was introduced into the land of the Pharaohs those who embraced the new faith through the instrumentality of a certain divine, Khupt by name, were designated Khupties or Copts, and those who remained in their original faith through the advocacy of another zealot called Dürz, were known as Dürzies, or Druses. The invasion of Mohammedanism into Egypt, sword in hand, brought about an entire change. It tolerated no creed, and had for a rule of action, either to embrace Islamism or become abject slaves to the “true believers.”
Many, of course, became Mohammedans, to evade persecution and spoliation. The Copts preferred to remain in their faith, and resigned themselves to their fate and ignominy. Not so with the Druses. Proud by nature, and strong in their moral convictions, almost as fanatical as the Mussulmans themselves, they could not brook dictation or abject submission, so they concluded to emigrate. In the tenth century they left their homes in a body, under the leadership of a certain Fakhr-ed-Din, and took an easterly direction, as did the Israelites of yore under Moses. Their sufferings during their journey were naturally very great, owing toohardships and privations, as they had to traverse deserts and desolations, many perishing on the way. On reaching Syria they were glad to meet with habitable lands, and the emigrants evinced a strong disinclination to proceed any further. But as the land into which they emigrated proved to be as strongly Mohammedan as the one they had left, the leaders were perplexed as to what to do, and in their ignorance of geography, not knowing how far they still had to go before they could get out of the clutches of the detested Islamites, the chiefs held a conference, in which they decided to resort to diplomacy. They concluded to remain where they were and conform to the requirements of Mohammedanism outwardly, but in secret to practice their own favorite dogma unknown to the outside world. This they could easily do, because their sect was already a secret society and a close corporation. The Druses are divided religiously into two classes : the Akals, the knowing ones, or the learned in the law ; and the Djehals, the ignorant, or the mass. None, but the Akals can be present at their Halwās, or meetinghouses. They are very strict in this observance, and more consistent than the Freemasons in their selection of members. None are admitted into the rank of Akal without strict trial and severe probation. Even princes are excluded. The Akals, being looked upon as men of probity and the custodians of their faith, exercise a sort of mysterious influence over the rest of their community. Then, again, their moral code was also of a nature to greatly facilitate their plan. Hypocrisy being a part of their creed, they hold that it is lawful to speak falsehood to men of another creed in defense of their religion, and to keep aloof from the world; not outwardly, but in heart. Simulation, then, being a principle with them, it was not a difficult matter for them to assume the garb and character of the Mohammedans. But that they are not such at heart their acts and conduct plainly indicate. Although they occasionally go to mosque and indulge in Mussulman worship, they have their own Halorés. These are built on prominent places, and away from towns and villages. The approach to these Halwes is strictly guarded by sentinels, so as to keep their deliberations perfectly secret and free from intrusion. These are immediately advised of the approach of strangers, who are received into them, but their proceedings are stopped, and, if the intruder be a Mussulman, the Koran is produced ; if Christian, the Bible. Contrary to Mohammedan tenets, their women are not excluded from their Halwês, nor seclusion in private life practiced, except when Mohammedans are present, or when they may expect to come in contact with them. It is for that reason that the women are closely vailed when out of doors, flourishing that singular headgear called tantour. It is the scriptural horn, worn by the ancient Assyrian ladies of yore, which the Druse women have adopted. Independent of that feminine propensity which dictates a desire to shine above others, the Druse