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Tales of the Tapestry. tation, or rather a command, had ar-
rived from the sovereign, who still held For the Olio.
court at Tutbury, which was promptly B.LA UNCHE FLO) R.
obeyed by the Lady De Ridware; A TALE OF HAMSTAL,
Blauchefior pleading illness, remained Concluded from p. 310.
at Hamstal. The employments of her
solitude were melancholy enough, being One day soon after the circumstances only varied from orisons in the chapel, we have narrated, the central space, in and the superintendence of alms-giving the front of the gallery, distinguished at the travellers' gate, to the neverby this stately harness, and to which the ending web of embroidery, or lonely widow, with weeping eyes, and the rambles into the romantic neighbourheiress, with a heart emulous of heroisın, hood. The remains of an old hermiso frequently looked, was discovered to tage in one of the deepest ravines in be vacant ! And scarcely had the asto-, the forest of Rough Fark, which had nishment and fruitless investigation long ago been tenanted by an anchorile caused by its disappearance begun to of great sanctity, was a favourite object subside, when, lo! a fresh source of in her woodland strolls. It was a deep terror manifested itself in the castle and circular dell, carpetted with the most its adjacent hamlets.. The armour, or delicate herbage and mosses. Summer rather, as they asserted, the dead corse and winter one eternal green sur of Sir Bertram usurping it, had been rounded and overshadowed this area seen by the servants, sometimes in the from the gigantic pines, that like a vas castle-chapel, by his own tomb, on wall encircled it
, save that one vista which the identical suit was chiselled, disclosed the old weather-stained tower coloured, and gilt in marble; some- of the lodge. Five or six great appletimes in the garden, whence it was said trees waved their carmine blossoms over to vanish into the old buttresses that, the remains of the cell; and its little clad in raiment of vines and roses, clear well still bubbled under its rude frowned over its turf walks. The vas stone crucifix; while, thickly enamelled sals had also encountered it. The miller on the short turf, constellations of pale had seen it in the Lighthurst croft, and primroses looked meekly up at the main Robertsholme, by the willowy banks jestic darkness of their lofty canopy. of the Blythe : the Reeve had met it at The melancholy boom of the woodNethertown, near his house,
pigeon, and the flippant notes of the "? Whose wonnynge was ful fair upon a heath, cuckoo, melodized well with the May With grene trees yshadowed was the place.” wind which brushed over the high tree And mine host of the Golden Gauntlet tops, like the sound of a distant ocean. had seen it in the glades of Rough Park, It was one evening, while her feet were as he was coming from a funeral at listlessly pacing among fragrant beds Yoxall.
of wild lilies of the valley, for which The Lady of Hamstal, deeply tinc- the woodlands of Rough Park were once tured, with the superstitions of the age, remarkable, that she heard a deep voice did not hesitate in attributing the re- pronounce her name: sheturned hastily. appearance of her dead lord to his dis- To recognize the formidable armour of approval of that suit which she was Sir Bertram in that sequestered dell, conscious she had been led to promote, might alone have terrified Blauncheflor: in opposition to her better judgment, what, then, must have been her sensaby her blind partiality towards her tions, when the raised aventail disclosed foster son, no less than by her dazzled to her view the features of her father! views of aggrandizement from her daughter. And if Blauncheflor's reflections King Edward held high festival at had a less poignant tinge of self-re- Tutbury Castle, on the occasion of his proach, her ingenuous spirit could not creating his noble host Duke of Lanconceal from herself that, even while caster. This beautiful baronial palace, her tongue most resisted Plantagenet's en wreathed, with its lowery diadem, the suit, her heart too warmly advocated brows of a steep green mound, thrown it; nor could she deny that, day and up as it were out of the very heart of night, since Edward's departure, she Needwood Forest; bannered halls, tahad abandoned herself to the bitter in- pestried chambers, lofty turrets, and dulgence of regretful affection.
yawning gateway, throwing their maniNearly a fortnight had elapsed in this fold grandeur around an area of three dreary manner; the Prince of Wales acres. Emerging majestically from the had parted for Aquitaine, and an invi- great woodlands, it sweeps downwards
into the brave pastures and meadows * There will be no need," said his of the Dove and the Trent. Tradition companion, soothingly, 66 surely the says, that, on a clear day, the warder, Lady Blauncheflorfrom the Donjon rampart, commanded “Oh, the Lady Blaunchefior-the twice-five counties. The castle itself, Lady Blauncheflor!” interrupted the long the residence of the powerful and other—" fool that I was to urge her so wealthy Lancasters, Earls of Derby, far! Had I but contented myself with had ever maintained a degree of pomp praising her rejection of the Prince, all and circumstance, whose bold exhibi. had been well; but I so holly pressed tion awakened the jealous eye of royalty her on the subject of thy suit, Sir Hugh, itself. With Edward the Third, how- so insisted on the Los thou hast acever, the family were in high favour: quired in France; and the avowal of he had not only raised its representa- ny obligations to thee, so nearly made tive, Henry The Good,' (as he was me command her to wed thee—that I popularly termed) to the ducal rank, fear-I fear' some rash word of mine but by affiancing his daughter to the has driven my dove to flight !" young Prince John of Gaunt, rendered The younger horseman sighed deeply him the sire of a lineage of kings. To and said, give some idea of the splendid mainten “ It cannot be that the Prince hath ance displayed at Tutbury Castle, there lured her away; though young and fiery, is an old cofferer's account extant, which he is too honourable." estimates the expences of the pantry,
“ He is honour's minion,” rejoined butlery, and kitchen, alone, at the the other, “ and, though mad in deyearly cost of 40001. ; while other scending from his own orbit to her’s, items, consisting in purchases of silver will nought that savours of ill-faith.cups, dishes, coffers, &c. ; with vermil- But, see! the castle already glares upon lion and wax for torches; and, chiefly, us with its hundred eyes; we shall the wardrobe expenditures for quanti- carry tidings of wonder and of dole into ties of minever and other furs, cloths, its chambers !” velvets, and silks for the bishops, ba Like some colossal lantern hung berons, and knights frequenting this tween earth and sky, the mighty circlet princely residence, together with gifts of Tutbury Castle revealed itself to to the Queen of England, French knights, their view, pierced with a thousand Countess Warine's nurses, minstrels, loops of ruddy lustre radiating in every esquires, &c., complete the annual ex- direction, from the hill, upon the massy penditure of 80001.-a prodigiouş sum darkness, and by its interminable illuwhen we consider the difference be- mination proclaiming its extent. As, tween that time and our own!
riding up the street, that wound round Night leaned over the romantic the waist of the hill, to the grand gatethickets of Needwood, when two horse- way on the north, they passed the deep men were seen in successive and earnest Norman porch of the Priory Church, the parleys with mine host of the Flaggon, belfry struck up a loud and merry peal. in the lovely village of Yoxall; with The taller horseman, as if stung to the the grey porter of Longcroft by the quick, dashed the rowels into his steed, torch-light waters of its moat; with an and, followed by his companion, gal. old wood-cutter at Hadley ; with a fish- loped round to the turretted gateway, erman whom they encountered by the Proud over the rest of the pile soared forest streams of Linbrook; and, lastly, the imperial Keep; but though its with the seneschal of Byrkley Lodge. stately strength was entire, and barThe deep disappointment they testified baric ornaments of window, pillar and at the answers their enquiries received, arch still remained, it was in a later and the speed at which they renewed building, profuse in more delicate and their course, along the woodland path, luxuriant sculptures, that the royal fesmight have bespoken them to be stran tival was held. The approach to it lay gers repulsed in their endeavours to by many a tower, through many a paintgain an asylum for the night; but as, ed chamber, to a broad stone stair, with through the opening thickets, the lights bannisters wrought in arches and foliage of Tutbury glistened over the gloom, the of granite, from whence a pair of studdfirst speech of the taller horseman de- ed oak doors, twenty feet high, poured, clared otherwise.
on opening, a golden food of festal • We will to the Court -to the Court, light through the vast archway of the De Hanbury!- Edward will make a hall, a mighty room, one hundred and wilderness of the whole country, but he ten feet long and proportionately broad. will aid me to reclaim her!"
The roof, rising io eighty feet, was one
magnificent vault of Irish oak, laboured with and see to it,” was Duke Henry's into huge ribs, that spanned the cham- reply; and the seneschal vanished as ber in a succession of arcs, whose he came. Lancaster then turned to the spandrils were pierced with the most king, and addressed a few words in a elaborate carve-work, terminating in a low tone, at which his highness seemcornice that was composed entirely of ed much moved, and going up to the heraldic coats, and from whence, in Lady de Ridware, who was in converse cumbrous grandeur, down rolled the with the queen, announced that the voluminous pageantry of arras, impic- Warder, while on his nightly post, had tured with the story of Ahasuerus and observed a strong light westward, and Esther. The rare luxury of thick and from his experience in the neighbourgaudy turkey carpets, and gold broider- ing halls and castles, had ascertained ed cushions of taffetta and damask, was that the beacon on the great watchevery where seen; and of all the count tower of the Ridware Hamstal (never less lights that flamed, from gold and lighted but on emergence) was now silver candlesticks, upon the dazzling a blaze, and tossing its fiery plumage array of the guest tables, there was not far and wide. one which was not in the hand of an Language can but faintly image the attendant.
frame of Lady Joanna; forgetful of the On the feast it were idle to enlarge, royal presence, and thinking only of indeed such terms as "Fylettes in Ga- the defenceless Blauncheilor, she was lentyne;'“ Vyaund Ryall; Signettes ;' rushing from the hall, when Phillippa,
Capon of haute grece ;' 'Sew Lum- hastening after her, used the most gra. , barde ;' Purpayes in frumente:' and cious endeavours to pacify her aların. so forth might puzzle the greatest pro- The startling intelligence whispered ficient in the French cuisine. The from one to another, had now pervaded raiment of the guests displayed so much every part of the vast hall; tlie noble of the magic of colour, that the eye company had arisen and crowded towandered till it was bewildered over wards the king ; the harps of the minthe peacock variegation of violet, silver, strels were hushed; and, amidst this rosecolour, pale greer, and gold; but most admired disorder, in a moment, here and there the paragon glow of and as if dropped from the vaulted roof, the auriphrygiate, recently introduced, or bursting from the floor below, a coclaimed a splendid distinction; the lossal figure, sheathed in the superb new-fashioned armilace, or short cloak, harness of Sir Bertram de Ridware, apof superb dies, was every where seen; peared under the vast arch of the hall and you might notice, around the flow- door. Then might you see the groupes ing hair of the young nobles, a garland of richly attired ladies recoil with cries of goldsmiths' work, enriched with of terror, either fluttering together like emeralds, pearls, and rubies, so as to startled swans, or fainting on the rich represent flowers : and, if we add that cushions and carpets ; while the Lady most displayed great cost of ornament Joanna with a harrowing exclamation, on their broad golden girdles, and wore “It is my dead husband!” was borne shoes crooking upwards, with crack- in frightful convulsions from the hall. owes (as they were called) or claw Edward and Philippa alone stood buckles fastened with gold and silver unblenching; whether it were the galchains to their knees, we shall have lant pride of their princely hearts, or said enough for this sketch of a festival, the high necessity they felt, of at least at a period when banquetting was car- assuming the superiority of kings, a ried to such an excess as io require slight start was all the outward sign sumptuary laws.
Philippa shewed, while the king even King Edward had quitted his cano advanced towards the mailed apparipied state, and was courteously ad- tion, and in a dignified tone he said, dressing the Duke of Lancaster's little “The arms and cognizance Sir Berdaughter, who was engaged in childish tram of the Hamstal hath so often sigplay with her boyish betrothed; and nalized, can never be unwelcome to Philippa of Hainault, whose preposte- King Edward, if he come in the flesh; rous crescent of head gear was niore and if not,” (here his voice lowered but than emulated by the subordinate divi- faltered not),“ hrave spirit! wherefore nities of the banquet hall, had joined art thou here?” herself to the Lady de Ridware, when “Great king, and gracious master!" the seneschal suddenly entered, and in said the knight, taking off bis cerveilsome haste whispered the noble host. lere, and disclosing the war-bronzed
“Let some of you take horse forth- features and grizzled hair of Sir Ber
tram, “thy soldier and servant hath the savage purpose of enabling him to been restored from the dead, only to bear all the rigours of a hopeless captilose all that made life lovely; and 10 vity. After a whole year spent in the have that restored, he now kneels to sufferance of every insult and hardship, him, who, under the King of kings, and his brother in arms Sir Hugh de HanMary the Mother of God, can alone bury, had by chance discovered his achieve it."
captivity, and at great personal risque Our story must, however, quit reluc- accomplished his deliverance. During tantly this extraordinary scene, leaving his imprisonment, De Ridware had, in to imagination the sorrow and the joy, accordance with the superstition of the the condolence and congratulation, at age, made a solemn vow that if he might tendant on such unhoped reunion; recover his freedom, he would, on and, irerely premising that all search reaching his domain, wander for a cerafter the lovely Blauncheflor (though tain time about the precincts of his expedited by every exertion of the royal castle by way of penance for his sins, prerogative), proved unavailing; and neither sleeping under a roof, nor eatthat a solemn disavowal of all partici- ing at a board. In the accomplishment pation or even knowledge of her flight, of this vow, he was much assisted by was given in by the Prince of Wales, Sir Hugh de Hanbury; and, little then warring in France; we must pro- dreaming of Blauncheflor's love embarceed to the tediously brief task of reca rassments, had listened with high sapitulation. The body of Sir Bertram tisfaction to that knight's declaration de Ridware had been found after the of attachment to his only child, and fight of Cregy (still bleeding but most even promised him her hand. severely wounded, and overwhelmed in In his extraordinary interview with his heavy harness), by a party of plan- the Prince of Wales, under the yew derers, who were roaming the field with tree in Hamstal churchyard, and the the purpose of despoiling English and subsequent conference in the moonlight French indiscriminately. The eminent Pleasaunce, he had learned with high beauty of Sir Bertram's armour particu- approbation, Blauncheflor's magnanilarly attracted them, and having entirely mous conduct towards her royal wooer; stripped him, they were even disputing and the result of the argument which its possession, when they were disturb- Sir Bertram himself added, was the imed by a body of English, headed by Lord mediate departure of Edward (under a Reginald Cobham and Lord Stafford, promise of secresy) for his dominions who had been dispatched by King Ed- in Aquitane. ward with three heralds to examine the Delighted at his daughter's heroic blazons of the slain, and two secretaries self-denial, Sir Bertram would not wait to write down their names. One of the for the expiration of his vow, ere he marauders, however, despairing of the sought an interview with Blauncheflor. armour, and surmising that its owner Both with a view to his personal safety, must be a captive of no mean ransom, and also to deter intruders from his had seized the naked body of Sir Ber- haunts, he had availed himself of his tram, and, flinging it across his strong- experience in the secret passages of his backed destrier, fairly galloped off with castle, to abstract his splendid harness him from the field. Sir Bertram's ar- from the gallery, and soon found that it mour was soon distinguished by his procured him a free path wherever he friends, and a naked corpse found near wished lo wander. The result of his it, but too horribly mangled to admit interview with Blauncheflor we have the possibility of recognition, was na- partly seen; after the first alarm and turally enough concluded to be his, and rapture had subsided, he urged her on as such honoured, mourned, and inter- the subject of Sir Hugh de Hanbury's red. Meanwhile, Sir Betram's captor attachment, so strongly employing her fell in with a knight, a friend of his, a own weapons against her, by shewing nephew of the Grand Prior of France, that her espousing another would at who had fallen in the battle. This once render hopeless any further adknight, who had dearly loved his uncle, vances from the Prince, that poor and burned with vengeance for his Blauncheflor, in the distraction of her death, offered the marauder so tempting feelings, saw no resource from ber faa sum for the still insensible Sir Ber- ther's affectionate importunity, but the tram, that he surrendered him at once. execution of a design she had long en• By this knight, de Ridware was con tertained. veyed to a strong hold in Picardy, where his wounds were carefully tended, with
Many years afterwards, the Prince of Twelve towns having been destroyed Wales, on marrying his beautiful coue by an earthquake, this emperor remitsin Jane, daughter of Edmund Planta- ted all excises and imposts for five genet, and better known by the name of years, and helped the inhabitants with The Fair Maid of Kent, received the large sums of money. The city of Sarfollowing letter at Bordeaux, the capi. dis having been visited by a dreadful tal of his French domain, where he had plague, he excused the people from established a splendid Court.
paying any imposts or tribute for five “ Royal Highness,
years afterwards. _ The same emperor “If I have delayed 'thus long the sharply rebuked Rectius, governor of hour when I might have the woeful Egypt, who had sent him a large sum pleasure of bidding him I love best of money which had been levied withfarewell in this world, it was that I did out orders ; “I would have my sheep not dare make trial of my soul's strength, shorn," said he, “but not flayed!'' until time and circumstance, and God's Nay, he lent the people some money high grace (strong mediciners), had from his treasury, without receiving certified me I might do so, without
prejudice to iny resolution, and (what I prize
Suetonius informs us, that Caligula higher), without stain to your Highness's scrupulously paid all the legacies which honour. Your Highness hath now
his predecessor had left to the Roman most worthily wedded; may all good people, and remitted the tax of a hunangels pour the fulness of their golden dredth penury on estates sold by aucvials on you and your generous spouse! tion. His kindness to the King of I now dare to tell (and sure, if i blush Commagene is well known. Claudius it is not with shame), that it was the remitted many taxes, and among the fear of proving an usurper to my coun- rest, that on salt, for ever. Nero would try in yielding to your suit, or becom- in all probability have abolished aling false to your Highness in wedding most every tax, but for the intervention another, that has forced me to fill with of the senate. Galba was parsimonisorrow and displeasure the breasts of ous, but his successor was liberal ; two tender parents (one now received and, throughout the history of Rome, from the dead), and to carry to the we shall find that her emperors were sanctuary of the Most High, a heart anxious to conciliate the many, howmore than divided between earth and ever arbitrary their conduct towards heaven. But heaven hath been kinder the few. While nation was in transto me than I deserve. Ere you receive ports in consequence of the remission this, I am once more with my father of a tax or impost, the death of a senator, and mother; and trust for their per- or a whole patrician family, was an mission to spend my time at Hamstal in event but little heeded, and still less blameless inaidhood, or if they will regretted.
E. M. A. otherwise, to become a votary of the convent that hath sheltered me so long. ELOQUENCE OF LORD CHATHAM.
“So, with her hearty commendations and prayers, writes, Your Highness's poor handmaiden,
LORD Chesterfield thus speaks of “BLAUNCHEFLOR DE RIDWARE. this distinguished man:-" His private “ From my humble Cell, at
life was stained by no vices, nor sullied St. Agatha's on the Swale."
by any meanness. His eloquence was of every kind; but his invectives were
terrible, and uttered with such energy BENEFICENCE OF THE ROMAN of diction and countenance, that he inEMPERORS.
timidated those who were the most willing and the best able to encounter
him." Sir W. Chatham Trelawney Julius Cæsar remitted many taxes used to observe of him, that it was imwhich had been imposed upon the Ita- possible for the members of the side lians, and made them in some cases opposed to him in the House of Comhandsome presents; and Augustus, as mons to look him in the face when he we are informed by Tacitus, after he was warmed in debate: he seemed to had reduced Egypt, brought so much bid them all a haughty defiance. “For money to Rome that the people were my own part,” said Trelawney, “I greatly eased by it. Tiberius, although never dared cast my eyes towards his, a monster of vice, performed many acts for if I did, they nailed me to the floor.' worthy of a wise and good prince. Smollet says, that he displayed “guch
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END OF THE TALES OF THE TAPESTRY.
For the Olio.