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though under the ban of the church, for his their faces, he demanded “why they appeared rival Rodolphe had received from Pope Gre | so thoughtful and sorrowful ?” gory a crown of gold, in token of his investure “Because the majesty of the throne is in by him of temporal dominion, and a bull in- danger," replied Guthram, with some abruptvoking the malediction of heaven upon his enemy. Henry defeated and slew Rodolphe “ Who has endangered the throne ?" deat the battle of Wolskieur, near Gera, after manded the emperor. which he returned victorious and furious into | The Empress Praxida, your wife," said Italy, bringing with him the Bishop Guibert, Guthram. whom he had made Pope. This time it was No other tidings would have made Henry of for Gregory to tremble, who could not expect Germany turn pale, for he had only been more mercy than he had shown to Henry. He married to the Empress two years, for whom shut himself up in Rome, and when the emperor he felt the tenderness of a parent, and the appeared under the walls, sent a legate to faithful love of a husband. His union with make up the quarrel, by the offer of the inves- this angelic young woman had given him the titure of the crown, and absolution and recon only happy hours he had passed during his ciliation to the church. Henry's only reply stormy and unfortunate life. He had not was the capture of the city. The Pope fled to courage at this miserable moment even to ask the Castle of St. Angelo, where he was put in what his wife had done, but was gathering a state of blockade by Henry, who placed upon the strength of a failing heart to do so, when the Papal throne the Anti-Pope Guibest, from Guthram broke the ominous silence, by say. whose hand he received the imperial crown. ing, “she has done what we cannot pass by He had scarcely done this before he received unnoticed, for the honour of the imperial the annoying intelligence that the Saxons had | throne, and we should deserve the name of elected in his room, Hermann, Count of Lux- traitors to our sovereign lord, if we should embourg. Henry repassed the Apennines, hesitate to make her misconduct known to beat the Saxons, subdued Thuringia, and took him." Hermann prisoner, whom he permitted to live | “What has she done?” again demanded the and die unknown in an obscure corner of his emperor, growing paler than before. empire. He once more re-entered Italy, “In your absence she has encouraged the where he caused his son Conrad to be elected love of a young knight, and that so openly," King of the Romans. Believing he had replied Guthram, “that if she gives birth to settled peace on a firm basis, he came back to a son, however the people may rejoice in that Germany, and turned his arms against the event, your nobility will mourn; for though Bavarians and Suabians, who still remained any master is good enough for the multitude, in a state of revolt.
none but the noblest in the empire can comHis son, whom he had just made King of mand the highest nobles in the world, who the Romans, and who aspired to the empire, will render homage to none but the son of an conspired at that time against his father, raised emperor." an army, and got Pope Urban II. to excom Henry supported himself against the chair municate him a second time. Henry upon of state on which he leaned, or he would have this convoked the diet to Aix-la-Chapelle, laid fallen to the floor, for he remembered that open before it his paternal grief, and displayed only a month before, the empress had written the wounds of a heart wrung by filial ingra- to him to announce her maternal hopes, with titude, and demanded that his second son, the pleasure natural to a young woman about Henry, should be acknowledged for King of to become a mother. the Romans, in the place of his brother. In “What has become of the knight ?” asked the midst of the sitting, he received a mys the emperor. terious intimation that his presence was re " He quitted Cologne as suddenly as he quired at Cologne, where, he was told, an | entered it, without any person knowing from important secret would be made known to whence he came, or whither he is going. His him. Henry quitted the diet in great haste; country and name are secrets with which we and found two of the noblest barons in the are unacquainted, but you had better ask the empire, Guthram de Falkenbourg and Walter empress, she perhaps can satisfy your made Than, waiting for him at the gates of his jesty." palace. The emperor invited them to enter “ Very well," replied the emperor. “Enter, with him, and led them into his chamber, gentlemen, that cabinet.” Then the emperor when perceiving sadness and gloom painted on summoned his chamberlain, and bade him
conduct the empress to his chamber. As soon reign master; but if any other man than your as the emperor was alone, he threw himself | self had dared to utter such words, I would into the chair, like a man who had lost his answer that he lied through envy or malice.” personal strength and mental firmness. He The emperor turned in the direction of his who had endured with unbending fortitude cabinet, and in a loud voice said, “ Come in." civil and foreign wars, the ban of the church, The door opened, and Guthram de Falkenand the filial revolt, yielded to a doubt. His bourg and Walter de Than entered the imhead, which had borne the weight of a crown perial chamber. The empress, at the sight of for five-and-forty years, without bending be her enemies, trembled all over. They advanced neath the burden, grew feeble under the to the other side of the emperor's chair, and, weight of a suspicion, and hung down as if the holding up their hands, prepared to make their hand of a giant was upon it. In a moment unjust accusation good upon the first sign he the man, who had scarcely passed his full me might give. ridian of intellect, forgot everything-empire, He motioned them to speak, and they were ban, malediction, revolt. He remembered not slow to avail themselves of his permission. nothing but his wife, the only human being “Sire," said they, “what we have told you who possessed his entire confidence, and who is true; and we are ready to support the had deceived him more basely than any other charge, at the peril of our bodies and souls, creature had yet done. Much as he had ex- | two against two, against any knights who perienced, throughout his long regnal life, of may dare to dispute the truth of our impeachdisloyalty and guile, tears fell from his eyes, ment of the empress.” for the rod of misfortune, like that of Moses, “Do you hear what they say, madam ?-for had struck the rock so forcibly, that it had it shall be done as they have demanded ; and drawn these drops from a source hitherto if, in a year and a day, you cannot find any sealed up and barren.
knights to clear your fame by a victorious The empress entered unseen, for her light combat, you will be burned alive in the great step had not been heard by her unhappy square of Cologne, in the face of the people, husband. Fair, blooming, and blue-eyed, and by the torch of the common hangman." with a graceful form, of tall and slender pro “My lord, I invoke the aid of God," replied portions, this daughter of a northern clime the empress, “and I hope, by His grace, my approached her lord with a sweet smile, and truth and innocence will find vindicators, and with almost filial reverence united to conjugal will be completely established.” affection, imprinted a chaste kiss on the “ Well, be it so," said the emperor; and he troubled brow of her lord, who shrank and summoned his guards, to whose wardship he shuddered as if the touch of her rosy lips had consigned his empress. By his command she been the fangs of a serpent.
was conveyed to the lowest apartment in the " What is the matter, my lord ?” asked the castle, which differed in nothing from a prison empress, in a tone of alarm.
but in name. "Woman,” replied the emperor, raising his She had been imprisoned nearly a twelvehead and showing her his tearful eyes, “you month, and had given birth to a son, conhave seen me for four years carrying a heavy demned, like herself, to the pile. This babe she cross; you have seen my crown a crown of nourished at her own bosom, and reared with thorns; you have seen my face bathed in the her own hands, like one of the wives of the sweat of toil, my brow in blood; but you never people. None of her women paid her any saw my eyelids moistened with tears. Well, attention or rendered her the smallest service, behold me now and see me weep!”
but Douce, Marchioness of Provence, who, "And why do you weep, my dearly-loved having abandoned her own country, then the lord ?” replied the empress, in a tone of
theatre of civil war, to seek an asylum at the sorrowful inquiry
court of her suzerain, had remained faithful to "Because, abandoned by my people, denied her mistress in her misfortunes. The empress, by my vassals, cursed by the church, and pro who had diligently exerted herself, by letters scribed by my son, I had nothing but you in and promises, to procure champions for her the world—and you, Praxida, you too have ordeal by battle, had been hitherto completely betrayed me.”
unsuccessful. The renown of her accusers, The empress stood like a statue, only her their prowess in war and revengeful disposicomplexion, varying from red to pale, be- | tions, had outweighed all her entreaties and trayed her feelings. “My lord," said she, “it is largesses. Only three days of the time allowed not true. You are my liege lord and my sove- / by the emperor now remained, and the envoy sent by the fair Marchioness of Provence had cent, I will fight, not only with one of her not yet returned. She began to despair her accusers, but with both, and indeed will self-she who had always soothed the de | undertake her defence against every knight spondency of the injured empress with hope. in Germany."
As to the poor emperor, no one suffered like “It is but justice on my part,” replied the him: struck by this blow at once as sovereign, emperor, “ to grant your request, Sir Count." husband, and father, he had vowed publicly to The unknown bowed, and retreated towards join the Crusades, in the hope of averting the the door, but the emperor recalled him. “My wrath of heaven; and the day he had fixed lord count, have you made a vow to keep your for the vindication or execution of the empress, visor down, and conceal your face ?" would bring to him as severe a trial as to that | “No, sire," replied the knight. unfortunate and injured princess. He had at “ Then will you do me the favour to raise length given the matter into the care of hea your visor, that I may engrave on my memory ven, and, immuring himself in the most private. the features of him who is about to imperil his apartments in his palace of Cologne, gave up life to save my honour ” all business, whether public or private, having The knight took off his helmet, and the no heart to attend to anything whatever. emperor saw the dark-complexioned, but exSuch was the state of his mind when the dawn pressive features, of a young man of eighteen of the three hundred and sixty-fifth day found or nineteen years. His forehead and head him still miserable, and his accused empress were finely formed, and indicative of talent championless.
and power. The monarch regarded the At noon, he had scarcely quitted his oratory youthful countenance of the champion with a when he was told that a foreign knight, from sigh, and remembered with regret that the a distant country, wished to speak to him. accusers of Praxida, his empress, were men The emperor was agitated, for, at the bottom not only well skilled in war, but in the prime of his heart, he secretly wished that heaven of manly strength. “May God preserve you, would yet send the unfortunate Praxida a lord count," said he, "for you appear to me champion; and he received him in the same full young for success in the difficult enterchamber in which, sitting in the same chair, prise you have undertaken. Reflect, for there he had commanded the arrest of the empress. is still time to withdraw your promise." The knight entered, and bent his knee to the “Do me the honour to let me see the ground. The emperor bade him rise, and de empress," replied the knight, who had no inclare the occasion of his visit to his court. tention of abandoning without cause an unfor
“My lord," replied the unknown knight, tunate lady. “ I am a Spanish count. I was told at matins The emperor gave him his signet ring. “Go, that the empress, your spouse, was accused by then, Sir Knight; this seal will open for you two knights of your court, and that if, within the doors of her prison." the space of a year and a day, she could not The knight kissed, on his knee, the hand find a champion to defend her by battle, she which offered him the ring; then rose, saluted would be publicly burned. Now, I have heard the monarch, and departed. so much good said of this lady, and she is so The sight of the emperor's signet opened, as renowned for piety throughout the world, that he had said, the guarded apartment of the I am come from my own distant land to under empress, and in ten minutes the youthful take her quarrel against both her accusers." champion found himself in the presence of the
“Count, you are welcome," replied the accused lady, for whom he was about to risk emperor. “Certainly you show great friend his life. ship for the accused, or a great desire for re The empress was seated on her bed, nursing nown. You are yet in time to save her, for her infant. Accustomed to the entrance of there still remains one day before the sentence her jailors, and for a long time abandoned by to which the laws of Germany condemn the her women, she never even raised her head adultress can be put in force against her." when the door was opened, only, by the in
“Sire," said the count, “I have a favour to stinct of modesty, she covered with her mantle ask you, which I hope you will courteously her unveiled bosom, still continuing the plaingrant me. I wish to see the empress, for in tive hymn by which she lulled her babe to this interview I should be able to form some rest, accompanying the air with the movement opinion of her guilt or innocence; for, if I of a nurse who rocks her babe to sleep. think her guilty, I will not imperil my body The knight contemplated for some minutes, and soul in battle for her, but if she is inno- in tearful silence, this moving picture of fallen
greatness, till, perceiving that the empress | the Knight of the Emerald. It is true that he seemed unconscious of his vicinity, he accosted sometimes conversed with me; but with so her in these words :-“ Madam, deign to raise much respect, that I could not distance him your eyes, and honour with your notice, a without appearing to consider his attention as man whom the renown of your virtue has a matter of more consequence than it really led from a distant land, to vindicate your was. Still he made a point of attending me honour, defamed, he trusts, by false accusation; on every public occasion. It happened one but before I undertake your cause, it is abso- day, when we were hawking on the borders of lutely necessary that I should learn from you the Rhine, and were got as far as Lusdorf, whether you are innocent of the charge laid without meeting any game; till at last a against you. For, madam, I require a clear heron rose, and I unhooded and cast off my conscience, as well as a strong arm, since a falcon, who immediately soared ; and, as he trial by battle is an appeal to God, the judge was a fine one, of true Norwegian breed, he of all, to decide the cause by the victory or soon reached the quarry, and I put my horse fall of the champion. In the name of heaven, to a full gallop, to be in at the death. Carried I entreat you to speak the truth; in which away by my ardour, I leaped a stream, followed case, if you can prove your innocence to me, I by none of my ladies but Douce, for they were swear by my knighthood that I will defend timid horsewomen. The wicked knights, who you to the last drop of my blood ; trusting have falsely slandered me, could not take the that the Lord will strengthen me to do your leap on their heavy steeds, but led my ladies battle with such power as will clear your ho to a fordable part of the rivulet. While making nour, and preserve my own life."
to the spot where the game had fallen, we saw “First, let me thank you, Sir Knight," a mounted cavalier fly from it like a phantom, replied the empress, shedding tears of joy; and re-enter a wood along the shore. The heron " but, before I clear up my fame in your hear we found Auttering in the agonies of death, for ing, I pray you tell me your name, and permit the falcon had pierced his brain; but he still me to see your face."
held an emerald ring in his beak, which Douce, "My face, madam, may be seen by every as well as myself, immediately recognised as body," said the count; “but my name is a dif the one we had often seen on the finger of the ferent thing, since I have sworn to tell it to unknown knight, whom we rightly supposed none but you." He removed his helmet, and to be the cavalier who had galloped into the displayed to her sight his noble and ingenuous wood. I was wrong, I will own, to do as I then countenance, full of the fire and intelligence did; but women are vain and thoughtless. So, of upright youth verging upon manhood. instead of throwing the jewel into the stream,
** Your name and quality, then, be pleased as I ought, perhaps, to have done, I put it on to show me," replied the empress.
my finger, and, displaying it to my suite as "I am a prince of Spain : Raymond Beren- they came up, related the adventure, without ger, Count of Barcelona."
being aware of my own imprudence. Nobody, At that name, so celebrated from father to however, doubted the truth of my recital but : son for lofty generosity and heroio deeds, the Guthram and Walter, who smiled iccreduempress clasped her hands together, while a lously, in a manner that seemed to ask explasmile of joy lighted up her beautiful features nations which would have compromised my through her tears, like a sunbeam breaking dignity, without allaying their unjust suspithrough a watery cloud.
cions. I put on my glove, replaced my falcon “My lord, I can never repay you for the on my wrist, without meeting with any other consolation you have afforded me this day; extraordinary discovery.. At mass, however, but you have demanded the truth from me I again met the knight of the emerald, and the whole truth: I ought to tell it you, and I then perceived that he was without his ring, will not disguise it from your knowledge. It which from that moment I resolved to return is true that there came, in my husband's ab to him upon the first suitable opportunity. A sence, to the court of Cologne, a young and week after this adventure, the festival of Cohandsome knight, who, perhaps, was under logne was held. You are aware that this feast some vow, either to his sovereign or the lady attracts a concourse of people from all parts of of his heart, to conceal his name and rank; Germany: minstrels, players, and jongleurs of for he told them to no one, not even to me. It course abound. Among these last, there was a was supposed, from his magnificence and gene- man who showed wild beasts, which he disrosity, that he was the son of a king; but we played on a theatre built for the occasion, in called him, from the gem he wore on his finger, | the grand square, where the spectators could
gaze without danger on a lion from Barbary, month's imprisonment, and a false accusation, and a tiger from India. Seated in a gallery that imperils my life.” raised fifteen feet above them, I was there with The count drew his sword, and turning the my ladies, when, happening to discover the cross of the handle reverently towards the knight of the emerald among the company, I empress, said, “Swear to me, madam, upon was going to give the ring to Douce, in order this blade, that what you have just related to to restore it to him, when a spring from the me is perfectly true.” tiger, accompanied by a dreadful roar, so ter “I swear," replied the empress, " that I have rified me, that I dropped the jewel from my told you nothing but the truth." finger into the cage of the lion, which was “Well, by this sword, and the help of God, immediately below the balcony in which I was you shall be delivered from this prison, in which placed. Instantly, before I could utter a word, you have been confined a year, and be cleared I saw the knight in the theatre, sword in hand. also from the deadly accusation that clouds The tiger remained for a moment quiet, appa your fame." rently astonished at the unparalleled boldness "May God grant it," said the pious emof the action, before he sprang upon the daunt press. less stranger : then we saw what appeared like “Now, madam, will you bestow upon me a flash of lightning, and the head of the monster one of your jewels, in token that you accept rolled upon the sand, upon which his immense
me for your knight?” body and terrible paws were deeply impressed. “My lord count, take this gold chain, the The knight took a diamond agraffe from his only relic of my former state that I still possess. cap, flung it to the wild beast man, and, thrust- This pledge will serve as a proof that I have ing his arm through the bars of the lion's cage, chosen you for my champion." took up the ring I had dropped, and brought “Madam, I take it with thanks," replied the it to me, while the air rang with the acclama Count of Barcelona, returning, as he spoke, his tions of the spectators ; but, as I had resolved sword to its scabbard, and replacing his helmet to return it to him, I put back his hand, and on his head. He bowed courteously to the fair said, “No, my lord knight; this ring has cost prisoner, and rejoined the emperor, who was you too dear for me to retain. Keep it in re anxiously expecting his return. membrance of me.' These were the last words “Sire,” said the count, “I have seen her I ever addressed to him; for, fearing the ad Majesty the empress, and am satisfied with her venture would make more noise, I dispatched explanations. Will you, therefore, be pleased Douce with a message to the knight of the to inform her accusers that I am ready to do emerald, beseeching him in my name to quit battle in her cause, with one or both, either Cologne. He departed the same evening, together or by single combat." without informing me of his name or quality, “My lord count,” replied the emperor, “you or telling me whence he came, or whither he shall engage them separately; for it shall was going. This, my lord count, is the whole never be said that a knight who undertook the truth. And if I have been imprudent, I have, cause of an accused lady in so noble a manner I think, paid dearly for my fault, by a twelve- ! did not find noble enemies."
ITALY AND HER FOREMOST MEN.*
We left the Romans struggling with the purpose of giving information of all that passes vexations and degradations of the precetti, by | within the walls where they eat their daily virtue of which even the most respectable and bread, to some one of the tradesmen who may honoured among them find themselves every supply the family; he, again, communicates it day subjected, whether in the discharge of to the principal shopkeeper in the quarter, their lawful occupations, their hours of social who, in his turn, conveys it to the police. intercourse abroad, or in the most sacred enjoy- | Often these precetti are enforced on such trivial ments of home, to the brutal intrusions of a grounds as to make them almost ludicrous, ruffianly police, and the calumnious misrepre were not the inconveniences they inflict unforsentations of hired spies; often their own ser tunately serious. A party of friends had been vants, who are regularly organised, for the in the habit of meeting at each other's houses,
in the evenings, for a social game of cards ; * Continued from page 30.
| when, lo! in the midst of their tre sette, the