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ring. And therewithal he again plunged into his riotous and deboshed courses.
" It chanced once, that returning home from a wild revel as the sun was dawning and the apprentices afoot, he betook himself to his lodging at the Flower-de-luce, next to the French Embassador's, on the outside of Temple Bar, where, being heavy with his carouse, he cast himself upon his bed, in his cassock as he was, and forthwith fell asleep, 'as it is surmised, and had a troublous and astounding dream ; though he himself ever stoutly did maintain that being right well awake, and having just then heard the Temple clock strike eight of the morning, he looked to his bed-foot, and lo!. there stood before him a strange lady of stately presence and surpassingly beauteous. More especially was he astonied at her large, round, glistering dark eyes, with two goodly arcs of black thereover spreading, the which seemed to him a more noble and majestical vision withal than he had ever encountered upon earth. Her cheer was not the less fraught with dignity than comeliness, albeit that her visage was passing wan, and of somewhat melancholic and tristful ostent; and so she gazed earnestly upon him, who in like wise did glue his looks upon her, much marvelling what this might
But incontinent after, sith she neither moved nor spake, he being ever of a right courageous heart, and deeming moreover that it might be some prank of his irregulous and profane companions, did raise himself up on the bed, and drawing nigh unto the figure, so to convince himself by touch of hand whether it might be real flesh and blood, in this wise said unto it :-Most sweetly fair and wondrously delectable lady! whom I more admire and love than may my tongue upon so short a summons worthily confess, suffer that I doff from thy throat that ungainly ruff wherein thy beauty is muffled, sith it is an unseemly fashion that I did ever marvellously mislike. Whom when she saw approaching as if to untie the ruff, a sudden great terror and change of countenance fell upon her, so that she clasped both her hands round her throat as if to hold it fast, and, uttering a piteous soulpiercing shriek, the spectre or apparition, for such in good sooth might it seem, straight vanished away!
“Now Sir Guy was of that stubborn and misbelieving spirit that holdeth not faith in ghostly things, so he arose and cautelously searched throughout the chamber and in the cupboards thereof; but nothing might he discover, the windows being double-latched, and the door locked even as he had left it. So anon he heard a knocking thereat, and opening he found his servant, who came in fear that some mishap might have befallen, sith he had also heard the shrieking of the vision, whereby his master was right well assured that it was not a dream. Nathless he was in no wise amort or forlorn in mind, but entertaining the misadventure with a merry and regardless mockery, as was in all things his wont, he betook himself to the Lady Rivers, whom he thus greeted in laughing guise — Ods Pitikins ! sister mine, happy man be my dole, for I have seen the eyes that shall bribe me to thy wishes, and thou shalt presently dance at my spousal, if thou wilt find me the queen of the bright crystals that did draw my.curtains this morn, but would not tarry my embracing.' Whereupon he recounteth what he had seen, concluding with a Styx-sworn oath, that none other would he marry but she whom once seeing he would never forget nor forbear to love. Now God and good provision forbid !' quoth his sister; "for yet ye wot not what manner of vision this may be, nor whether, if a mortal woman, she be not a harlot and a Jesabel.' —- Of that I reck not,' said Sir Guy ; be she of chaste and holy approof, be she besmirched with sin, I tell thee in all sooth none other will I wed;' and to this his unmastered resolve did he conjure himself by many irreverent and profane protests which it were not seemly that I should repeat.
“ On the evening of the day next following, as he went homeward, he was overtaken of a sudden by a perilous and rageful storm, wherein the whole welkin did seem to pomit forth fire and water, while men did stop up their ears because of the splitting roar of the thunder. This was that self tempest which there be many now living may remember, sith it followed hard upon the Proclamation of our late King Edward, and even then was the tower of St. Mary Woolnoth Church split by the lightning, as to this day it remaineth. Sir Guy, I say, running with much speed to evitate this hurricane, passed so fleetly into the porch of his dwelling, that he might hardly be aware of a female standing thereon, having her head sheathed in a wimple ; but as she drew somewhat on one side so to let him pass, he glimpsed beneath her hood, and lo! there were the twain large black eyes, above all measure lustrous, and that visage of fair sorrow, more beautiful than beauty, which had stood before him in his chamber.' Judge you if he were not fixed like a statue, while she with a modest courtesy besought him that she might there abide the return of her servant, whom, being surprised by the foul weather, she had sent within the Bar for a carriage, nothing mistrusting that he would speedily appear therewith. There was no lack of earnest and passionate entreatment from Sir Guy that she would take shelter in his parlour upstairs ; but it booted not, for ever with sweet but grave denial she thanked him for his proffer, still resolving there to tarry till her laggard servant should come back. Howbeit, while they were discoursing, the storm blowing into the passage where they stood, wrested open the door at the other end, where was a small garden, in such wise that the wind rushed in from the street side, and much rain therewith ; whereupon the lady, already somewhat bemoiled, consented to withdraw upstairs from that rude blustering of the weather. Whom, when she was seated, Sir Guy did courteously invite to doff her wimple, which done he might mark the self ruff that misliked him in his dream, and again making show to remove it, her visage waxed wroth and fearful, she clasped her throat with her hands, and Sir Guy might hear a faint shriek, as at a distance, which he bethought on such a noisome night might peradventure be of some pass senger in the streets smitten by the then thickly falling tiles. Nathless he mused much why she should thus cautelously enwrap her throat.
“So fell they forthwith into pleasant discourse, and if he admired much her facete entertainment and argute compassment of wit, much more was he astonied at her honey-sweet voice, which to his enchanted ears did seem more tuneably melodious than ever was the dulcimer of Miriam or Orpheus his lute. With every look from those majestical eyes, and every sound from her music-breathing mouth, love gained a greater empery over his soul; and forasmuch as he well wist that opportunity and likelihood of sphere were not to be lost, he straightway confessed his passion, and did woo her with many oaths and much amorous entreatment. Whereat, by blushing, she confessed at once her shamefacedness and somewhat angry surprise, rebuking him gravely, but sweetly withal; alway protesting she was of discreet virtuous bearing and goodly parentage, which warranted not any light or immodest encountering. Whereat he forbore furthermore to press her: whereas her servant came not, neither the carriage, he dispread before her a small supper of picked pullets, applejohns, marchpane, comfits and other dainty cates, and therewith a beaker of charneco wine, and a sherris sack-posset, whereof she frugally did partake.
6. Sith my varlet, who, in sooth, is but a dullard,' quoth the lady, "cometh not, and the storm seemeth to be in good measure abated, and beside it waxeth late, I will bid you good night, and seek my
dwelling a-foot, much thanking you for your hospitable bearing.' But Sir Guy, nowise willing so to part, led her to the window, inviting her to mark the pitchy darkness of the welkin : incontinent whereupon the black caverns of the sky opened, and the live lightning leaped forth like a flaming sword, by whose flash they saw through the Temple-bar up into Fleet-street, which was like a river of raging water clinquant with light; and, anon, all was again shrouded in inky blackness, and the deafening thunder bellowed as if it would fain burst asunder the solid earth. So, seeing there was no safe mean of then seeking her abode, and Sir Guy tendering to her use a small bed-room above his own, with pledge of safe and worthy dealing, she, much lamenting the chance of so forced intrusion upon a stranger, albeit thankful of his right courteous bearing, did there consent to pass the night. Straight whereupon Sir Guy, with unwilling steps, yet not without hope of more prosperous stead thereafter, ushered her to her chamber, and with a lover's benison, committing her to the sleepful god, did sorrowing take bis leave.
" In his own room scarce had he tarried five minutes, much pondering upon this occurment and the so strange mystery of the ruff, when he bethought him that he had left with his fair guest no lamp, whereof in a house unknown, and a night so fitful, she might well have special need. Wherewith he took one from the mantel, and ascending the stairs went into the lady's room, whom he found already in part unapparelled; her muffler and tirevolant being laid aside from her head, which as she moved, the black locks did bridle up and down upon her white shoulders, like a company of ravens newly alighted upon the snow. But, above all, what did rivet his eyes was to see that her ruff was doffed, and about her throat was there a full broad roundure of black velvet, thickly broidered with pearls and jacinths, close clasped to the skin, which (being moved thereunto by a not-to-be-subdued curiosity) he did again approach with offer to unlock, whereat her visage was again overshadowed with affrightment, she upraised her hands to her neck, and a distant shriek sounded through the air as aforetime. Nathless, so passing beauteous and bewitching sweet did she appear in that disordered gear, which seemed to celestify her charms, that Sir Guy, more than ever overcome with love, fell upon his knee, and with divers oaths and protestations, not sparing tears withal, did call all the saints to witness that he gave himself up to her with plight of hand, and took her for his betrothed wife, movingly beseeching her to compassionate his case. Nor did the lady, intenerated by his tears and piteous looks, and having moreover taken his plighted troth, which verily is a real spousal, any longer with cold denial repudiate his suit.
“Awaking full early next day, and finding the lady still asleep, Sir Guy bethought him of an appointment on that self morning to receive a sum of gold, which he had won on the yester from one of the diceing cavaleros, and kenning him to be a Bezonian and a lozel, he feared he might blench from his engagement did he not meet him ; which he the less willed, forasmuch as having latterly been free of dispense, his purse was somewhat more than usual disfurnished. So, slipping deftly from the bed, he donned his gear in silence, and hied with all speed to the White Rose, beside the Duke's-garden, at the Cross of Charing, where he received the purse of gold; wherewith as he hurried homeward, he conned over in thought what brooches, gimmal rings, carkanets, and jewelled gawds and braveries he should buy, to prank out her whom he termed his alder-liefest love. Whom not to awaken, he did full gently ope the door, and by the glooming light through the shutters oozing, saw her fair round arm, which Venus might envy, distended upon the counterpoint of the bed. So, taking it hushingly up with fond intent to kiss it-lo! it was key-cold he felt the pulse, and it did not beat;-he let go the arm, and it lumped deadly down! Amort with fearful misgivings, he threw back the shutters, when the new-risen sun shone bright upon the bed, and drawing aside the curtains—0, God of mercy! he beheld a soul-sickening corpse !—Those late glorious eyes were now bloodshot and well nigh brast from their sockets, and albeit that the sun glared full upon them, they were stony and unlustrous ; clenched were the teeth, wherefrom the bloodless lips started back; the visage was ghastly wan ; the hair wildly spread about the pillow ; and all bore semblance of one who with a violent and sudden death had painfully struggled !
“ Rushing, with a loud cry, from that chamber of death, he encountered his host, who, much astonied at his agony, and yet more when he kenned the cause thereof, betook him with right good speed to the Temple, searching a chirurgeon and the officers of justice, who coming with their posse to the house, made prisoner of Sir Guy, and with him straightway entered into the fatal room. But no sooner did they set eye upon the body, than backward, shuddering with much horror and consternation, while they crossed their foreheads, and called upon God and the saints to shield them, several voices did at once cry out. That is the Italian lady which was hanged on Thursday last !(Seemeth it that this misfortuned woman was the leman of the Italian ambassador, whom having in a passion of jealousy stabbed, she was judged therefore, and suffered the death at Tybourn.) So unbuckling the broad velvet necklace, behold! her livid throat was all over sore, discoloured, and bruised, and writhled, and deepcut into by the cruel and despiteous rope.
“ Sir Guy, who had awhiles stood aghast in a voiceless dismay, now heaved forth a deep and dread groan,-for well might he remember, when his sister would fain dissuade him from wedding any semblance of the vision, that he profanely did say :
-Soothly, Alice, were a she devil to tempt me in such winning wise, I would certes wed her ;' and he sorely trembled to think that some demon, peradventure Sathan himself, had incorporated himself in that now loathed form, to receive his plight and so delude and win his sinful soul. Thenceforward his gaysome heart and right merry cheer did altogether fail him; he 'gan to wail and dump, shunning converse of man, and in lonesome corners, would paddle his neck with his hand, saying he could lay his finger in the wound, as if himself had been hanged; and in this wise gat worse and worse, until at the last he went stark distraught and was mewed up in the Spittal for the crazed, where, some three or four weeks thereafter, he gave up the ghost in great wildness and agony of soul.”
POETRY. The Editor, though unauthorized to name the author of the following lines, ventures to announce their having been written by Professor EVERETT, of America, and conceives that they do no iscredit to that gentleman's respectable name.
DIRGE OF ALARIC, THE VISIGOTH, Who stormed and spoiled the city of Rome, and was afterwards buried in the
channel of the river Busentius, the water of which had been diverted from its course that the body might be interred.
When I am dead, no pageant train
Shall waste their sorrows at my bier,
Stain it with hypocritic tear ;
Upon the spot where I repose ;
In hollow circumstance of woes :
Your monuments upon my breast,
Lay down the wreck of Power to rest ;
And lay its secret channel bare,
A resting-place for ever there:
Back to the clods, that gave them birth ;-
The ransom of a conquer'd earth ;
Ye've laid your monarch down to rot,
Pillar por mound to mark the spot ;