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She strode two steps, and stretched her hand,
In attitude of stern command ;
The tremor of her voice and tread
Had more of passion than of dread,
The net had parted from her hair,
The locks fell down in the powerless air,
Her frame with strange convulsion rocked,
And Vidal was intensely shocked.

The lady drew a long low sigh
As if some voice had made reply,
Though Vidal could not catch a word,
And thought it horribly absurd,
“ Remember it?-avenging power!

I ask no word, I need no sign,
To teach me of that withering hour,

That linked this wasted hand in thine ! He was not there !—I deemed him slain; And thine the guilt,--and mine the pain ! There are memorials of that day Which time shall never blot away, Unheeded prayer, unpardoned sin, And smiles without, and flames within, And broken heart, and ruined fame, And glutted hate, and dreaded shame, And late remorse, and dreams, and fears, And bitter and enduring tears !"

She listened there another

space, And stirred no feature of her face, Though big drops, ere she spoke again, Fell from her clammy brow like rain: At last she glanced a wilder stare, And stamped her foot, and tore her hair, “ False fiend! thou liest, thou hast lied !

He was, what thou couldst never be, In anguish true, in danger tried,

Their friend to all, --my God to me!

He loved,

-as thou couldst never love, Long years,--and not, till then, in guilt; Nay! point not to the wailing grove,

I know by whom the blood was spilt, I saw the tomb, and heard the knell,

And life to me was lorn and blighted, He died, -and vengeance watches well!

He died,--and thou wert well requited !"

Again she listened ;-full five score
You might have counted duly o'er,--
And then she laughed; so fierce and shrill
That laughter echoed o'er the hill,
That Vidal deemed the very ground
Did shake at its unearthly sound.
“ I do not tremble ! be it so !
Or here, or there! in bliss or woe!-
Yea! let it be! and we will meet,
Where never

_” and at Vidal's feet
She sank, as ser ess and as cold
As if her death were two days old,
And Vidal, who an hour before
Had voted it a horrid bore,
His silken sash with speed unlaced,
And bound it round her neck and waist,
And bore her to her castle-gate,
And never stopped to rest or bait,
Speeding as swiftly on his track
As if nine fiends were at his back.

Then rose from fifty furious lungs
A Babel of discordant tongues.
« Jesu! the Baroness is dead !
Should'nt her Ladyship be bled ?-
Her fingers are as cold as stone!-
And look how white her lips are grown!
A dreadful thing for all who love her!
'Tis ten to one she won't recover!-

Ten?-did you ever, Mrs. Anne? Ten rogues against one honest man How master Vidal must have fought ! It's what I never should have thought; He seems the sickliest thing alive ;They say he killed and wounded five ! Is master Vidal killed or wounded ? I trust the story is unfounded I saw him on his legs just now, What! sawed his legs off? well, I vow Peace, babbler, peace ! you see you've shocked her! Help! ho !--cold water for the Doctor! Her eyes are open !-how they blink ! Why, Doctor, do you really think, My Lord, we never think at all; I'll trouble you to clear the Hall, And check all tendency to riot, And keep the Castle very quiet ; Let none but little Bertha stay; And,-try to keep the Friar away!" Poor Vidal, who, amid the rout, Had crept in cautious silence out, Reeled to his chạmber in the staggers, And thought of home, and dreamed of daggers.

Day dawned ; the Baroness was able
To beam upon the breakfast table,
As well as could be well expected,
Before the guests were half collected,
“A fainting fit ;-a thing of course ;-
In sooth it might have ended worse;
Exceedingly obliged to Vidal ;-
Pray, had the groom repaired her bridle?
She walked too late ;-it was a warning;
And, who was for the chase this morning ?"

Days past, and weeks: Clotilda's mien
Was gay as it before had been,

And only once or twice her glance
Fell darkly on his countenance,
And gazed into his eyes of blue,
As if she read his young heart through.
At length she mildly hinted,-—“Surely
“ Vidal was looking very poorly,-
He never talked, -had parted quite
With spirits, and with appetite,-
She thought he wanted change of air,
It was a shame to keep him there,
She had remarked the change with sorrow,
And well, he should set out to-morrow.”

The morrow came, 'twas glorious weather,
And all the household flocked together
To hold his stirrup and his rein,
And say, “Heaven speed !" with might and main.
Clotilda only said “ Farewell!"

And gave her hand to kiss and clasp;
He thought it trembled, as it fell

In silence from his lip and grasp,
And yet upon her cheek and brow
There dwelt no flush of passion now;
Only the kind regret was there
Which severed friends at parting wear,
And the sad smile and glistening eye
Seemed nought to shun, and nought defy.

“ Farewell !” she said, and so departed ;
And Vidal from his reverie started,
And blessed his soul, and cleared his throat,
And crossed his forehead, -and the moat.

END OF CANTO I.

CRUMBS OF CRITICISM.

“ A marvel it is to think, Swertha, how few real judicious men are left in this land. I ken few of consequence hereabouts, (excepting always myself, and may, be you, Swertha,) but what may, in some sense or other, be called a fule."-PIRATE, Vol. II. p. 278.

ON THE PLAYS OF Sir John SUCKLING. Have you read the plays of Sir John Suckling, reader ? If not, we recommend you by all means to postpone the perusal till you have finished Quentin Durward, and the present number of the Quarterly Magazine ; or rather to adjourn it sine die : unless you are a reader of old books in the abstract, or are actuated by the ambition of doing what nobody within fifteen miles of you has done: otherwise, ten to one but you will find yourself in the condition of a prim critic in 's Weekly, who declared that he found it utterly impossible to get through them ; just as Dr. Johnson said long ago of Thomson's Liberty. We are not gifted with more than the ordinary critical stock of patience, and yet we managed to perform the feat, at the expense of much less snuff than Lord Chesterfield bestowed on the six latter books of the Æneid. We have no reason to assign for this rash act. It was one of the things which people undertake without any assignable motive, and finish because it would be a pity not to complete what they have begun; not but we might have been worse employed. We might have been idling on our sofa under the influence of the κυανόπτεροι άλάστορες, , or chopping logic with a spinster of the same hue ; we might have been imbibing the latest tirade against kings and priests in the Morning Chronicle, or listening with lulled senses to the Courier's soporific purr of unvaried acquiescence in things established; we might have been washing down the newest rifacciamento of the quarterly jokes upon Hazlitt, with the fifth dilution of our evening tea pot; we might have been reading Tom and Jerry, or the Scottish Chiefs, or the article on Nightingales in the Classical Journal, or a great many other things, all and each worse than reading Sir John Suckling's plays. It is true, that these pieces are not very dramatic; that the composition is in most parts incorrect; that there are no original characters in them—no artifices of plot-few striking situations-very little scepti. cism-hardly any misanthropy--and not a word of destiny. Still they are not to be sneered at, at least in these days. They are more moral than Bertram, more poetical than Don Carlos, more original than Werner, more unaffected than VOL. I. PART II.

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