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manding eminence, where the beauty of English landscape was displayed in its utmost luxuriance. Here the Duke alighted, and desired Jeanie to follow him. They paused for a moment on the brow of a hill, to gaze on the unrivalled landscape which it presented. A huge sea of verdure, with crossing and intersecting promontories of massive and tufted groves, was tenanted by numberless flocks and herds, which seemed to wander unrestrained and unbounded through the rich pastures. The Thames, here turreted with villas, and there garlanded with forests, moved on slowly and placidly, like the mighty monarch of the scene, to whom all its other beauties were but accessories, and bore on its bosom an hundred barks and skiffs, whose white sails and gaily fluttering pennons gave life to the whole.
272, FROM IVANHOE.'
REBECCA DESCRIBES THE SIEGE TO THE WOUNDED IVANHOE.
“And I must lie here like a bedridden monk,” exclaimed Ivanhoe, “while the game that gives me freedom or death is played out by the hand of others !-Look from the window once again, kind maiden, but beware that you are not marked by the archers beneath-Look out once more, and tell me if they yet advance to the storm."
With patient courage, strengthened by the interval which she had employed in mental devotion, Rebecca again took post at the lattice, sheltering herself, however, so as not to be visible from beneath.
“What dost thou see, Rebecca ?” again demanded the wounded knight.
Nothing but the cloud of arrows flying so thick as to dazzle mine eyes, and to hide the bowmen who shoot them.”
“ That cannot endure,” said Ivanhoe ; “if they press not right on to carry the castle by pure force of arms, the archery may avail but little against stone walls and bulwarks. Look for the Knight of the Fetterlock, fair Rebecca, and see how he bears himself; for as the leader is, so will his followers be.”
“I see him not,” said Rebecca.
“Foul craven !” exclaimed Ivanhoe; “ does he blench from the helm when the wind blows highest ?”
“He blenches not! he blenches not !” said Rebecca, “I see him now; he leads a body of men close under the outer barrier of the barbican. — They pull down the piles and palisades ; they hew down the barriers with axes.-His high black plume floats abroad over the throng, like a raven over the field of the slain.—They
have made a breach in the barriers—they rush in-they are thrust back !-Front-de-Bæuf heads the defenders ; I see his gigantic form above the press. They throng again to the breach, and the pass is disputed hand to hand, and man to man. God of Jacob! it is the meeting of two fierce tides--the conflict of two oceans moved by adverse winds !”
She turned her head from the lattice, as if unable longer to endure a sight so terrible.
“Look forth again, Rebecca,” said Ivanhoe, mistaking the cause of her retiring; "the archery must in some degree have ceased, since they are now fighting hand to hand.-Look again, there is now less danger.”
Rebecca again looked forth, and almost immediately exclaimed, Holy prophets of the law! Front-de-Bæuf and the Black Knight fight hand to hand on the breach, amid the roar of their followers, who watch the progress of the strife.—Heaven strike with the cause of the oppressed and of the captive!” She then uttered a loud shriek, and exclaimed, “He is down!-he is down!”
“Who is down?” cried Ivanhoe; “ for our dear Lady's sake, tell me which has fallen ?"
“ The Black Knight," answered Rebecca, faintly ; then instantly again shouted with joyful eagerness –“But no-but no !-the name of the Lord of Hosts be blessed !—he is on foot again, and fights as if there were twenty men's strength in his single arm- 0–His sword is broken-he snatches an axe from a yeomar—he presses Front-deBauf with blow on blow—The giant stoops and totters like an oak under the steel of the woodman-he falls—he falls !”
" Front-de-Boeuf ?” exclaimed Ivanhoe.
“ Front-de-Bouf !” answered the Jewess; "his men rush to the rescue, headed by the haughty Templar—their united force compels the champion to pause—They drag Front-de-Boeuf within the walls."
“The assailants have won the barriers, have they not?” said Ivanhoe.
“ They have—they have !” exclained Rebecca—" and they press the besieged hard upon the outer wall; some plant ladders, some swarm like bees, and endeavour to ascend upon the shoulders of each other—down go stones, beams, and trunks of trees upon their heads, and as fast as they bear the wounded to the rear, fresh men supply their places in the assault-Great God! hast thou given men thine own image, that it should be thus cruelly defaced by the hands of their brethren!”
“ Think not of that,” said Ivanhoe; “this is no time for such thoughts-Who yield ?—who push their way ?”
“ The ladders are thrown down,” replied Rebecca, shuddering ;
“ the soldiers lie grovelling under them like crushed reptiles—The besieged have the better."
“ Saint George strike for us !” exclaimed the knight; “do the false yeomen give way?”
“No!” exclaimed Rebecca, “they bear themselves right yeomanly --the Black Knight approaches the postern with his huge axe-the thundering blows which he deals, you may hear them above all the din and shouts of the battle-Stones and beams are hailed down on the bold champion-he regards them no more than if they were thistle-down or feathers !"
“By Saint John of Acre," said Ivanhoc, raising himself joyfully on his couch,“methought there was but one man in England that might do such a deed ! ”
The postern gate shakes,” continued Rebecca ; "it crashes it is splintered by his blows-they rush in-the outwork is won—Oh, God !— they hurl the defenders from the battlements—they throw them into the moat-0 men, if ye be indeed men, spare them that can resist no longer !”
“ The bridge—the bridge which communicates with the castlehave they won that pass ? ” exclaimed Ivanhoe.
“ No," replied Rebecca, “the Templar has destroyed the plank on which they crossed-few of the defenders escaped with him into the castle—the shrieks and cries which you hear tell the fate of the others—Alas! I see it is still more difficult to look upon victory than upon battle.”
273. FROM THE ABBOT.'
DSECRIPTION OF MARY QUEEN OF Scots. Her face, her form, have been so deeply impressed upon the imagination, that even at the distance of nearly three centuries, it is unnecessary to remind the most ignorant and uninformed reader of the striking traits which characterize that remarkable countenance, which seems at once to combine our ideas of the majestic, the pleasing, and the brilliant, leaving us to doubt whether they express most happily the queen, the beauty, or the accomplished woman. Who is there, that, at the very mention of Mary Stewart's name, has not her countenance before him, familiar as that of the mistress of his youth, or the favourite daughter of his advanced age? Even those who feel themselves compelled to believe all, or much, of what her enemies laid to her charge, cannot think without a sigh upon a countenance expressive of any thing rather than the foul crimes with which she was charged when living, and which still continue to shade, if not to blacken, her memory. That brow, so truly open and regal—those eyebrows, so regularly graceful, which yet were saved from the charge of regular insipidity by the beautiful effect of the hazel eyes which they overarched, and which seem to utter a thousand histories—the nose, with all its Grecian precision of outline—the mouth so well proportioned, so sweetly formed, as if designed to speak nothing but what was delightful to hear—the dimpled chin—the stately swan-like neck, form a countenance, the like of which we know not to have existed in any other character moving in that class of life, where the actresses as well as the actors command general and undivided attention. It is in vain to say that the portraits which exist of this remarkable woman are not like each other; for, amidst their discrepancy, each possesses general features which the eye at once acknowledges as peculiar to the vision which our imagination has raised while we read her history for the first time, and which has been impressed upon it by the numerous prints and pictures which we have seen. Indeed we cannot look on the worst of them, however deficient in point of execution, without saying that it is meant for Queen Mary ; and no small instance it is of the power of beauty, that her charms should have remained the subject not merely of admiration, but of warm and chivalrous interest, after the lapse of such a length of time. We know that by far the most acute of those who, in latter days, have adopted the unfavourable view of Mary's character, longed, like the executioner before his dreadful task was performed, to kiss the fair hand of her on whom he was about to perform so horrible a duty.
SHELLEY, KEATS, AND CAMPBELL.
Lord Byron, 1788-1824. (Manual, pp. 422-431.)
FROM `CHILDE HAROLD.'
274. THE EVE OF THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO.
And all went merry as a marriage bell ;
Did ye not hear it ?-No; 'twas but the wind,
And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before !
Within a window'd niche of that high hall
i The sound of the cannon decided the Duke of Wellington to appear at the ball, where he remained till three o'clock in the morning, that he might calm, by his apparent indiffererce, the fears of his supporters in Brussels, and depress the hopes of the wellwishers to the French. SP. ENG. LIT.