ePub 版

who surround me, and in my audacity. I have almost repulsed the law under which I live, to believe. If thou hast so strong a desire to remain no longer mistress in those places where thou no longer art considered a prisoner, I would have been thy faithful guide. My life was of little import, compared with seeing thee. Alas! as my ardent constancy renders me hateful to thee, the sun which lights the skies and sends its brightness to the stars, also sends his rays on earth. Those looks which have consumed me, ought to discover in my soul sufficient greatness to have atoned for my fault towards thee."

The Moor said these words, and many more, in Arabic, and they were translated nearly as we state them, by a Jew named Dinar, who served as interpreter in this deplorable business.

On hearing these words, Virginia wept, but with an anguish very different from that of the Moor. She thought only of the short duration of her hopes, and she had so great a horror of herself, that she fell sick of a great malady. When somewhat restored, Virginia thought of nothing but again attempting to arrange a second' flight towards Captain [Hercoles, with whom a difficult and rare communication was still kept up. And she again succeeded in getting away, much in the same fashion as the former occasion.

The alcaid felt this second mark of disdain with such venemence that his love turned to hatred. He ordered his two sons to seek the fugitive with well-mounted horsemen, and to place her in such a situation that she could never again escape.

The sons were prompt in their revenge, and urged by their mothers it required but small inducement for them to take a vengeance they ardently wished for. They departed instantly, and although the unhappy Virginia, had succeeded in concealing herself during several days in the midst of rocks and suffering incredible misery, she was re-taken, and conducted back in triumph to the house of the alcaid, exhausted, half dead with want and fatigue. She was thrown into a dungeon, where the Moor dared not go to see her. The sons and the wifes of the Arab united so well in exaggerating the crimes of the captive christian towards him, that he began to lose the remembrance entirely of his love for her. Soon they succeeded in blackening the unfortunate woman yet more in his eyes, and he ordered that she should never again be brought before him, but remain a prisoner for life. Her enemies now conceived a horrible project.

Oh! what a fate when we remember having seen that young woman in our camp, so beautiful, and attracting all regards, and now think of that beauty being the cause of her melancholy fate. Certes, it is a thing worthy of great lamentation, when we think upon it, and above all when we recall to mind that she was only christian woman who was not liberated from captivity.

Spurred on by their mother's hatred towards the Christians, added to their own ferocity, and disappointed guilty views, the alcaid's sons drew forth Virginia from her prison, during the period of their father's absence from the city, and in their mad revenge attached her hands so firmly, and so cruelly, that she instantly comprehended the end of her days was nigh ; and seeing death thus approach, she addressed her murderers' family as follows:

"Men! cowards in your vengeance,-if my deplorable fate troubles your peace, leave me to myself;--the God I adore knows that I have never wished to excite your hatred. You triumph in my death, and during my life I could have become absolute mistress of your lives. But I tell you, cowards! that I dread not your cimetars. My love-my blighted honour-are the poignards which give me death, and with it bring peace to my broken heart. You may mangle my body, but my soul disdains your power, and sighs to seek forgiveness at the throne of Grace, for having so long lingered to life."

Thus spoke Virginia before the alcaid's wives, to whom her words were interpreted; but their hatred blinded them to pity; and they excited their sons to terminate the tragedy,-saying,-"The Christian desires to die; so be it. The Christian has stolen your father's heart from you, and devoured it with magic.-Let her die."

Swift descended the gleaming sabres on the golden tresses; her pale cheeks were drowned in crimson gore; and it is said, so sudden was her death, that her lips had only time to pronounce with her dying sigh the name of her Creator and Hercoles.

Thus ended the life of Virginia.-What Hercoles felt at her death can only be imagined ;---what we, who knew her well, experienced at her tragic fate, Cannot be easily expressed.

The alcaid met a bad end. Having been sent by the scherif towards the kingdom of Guago, he returned from thence a prisoner, and in such a deplorable state that an honourable gentleman assured me that he had actually given him charity.

The two sons, the murderers of Virginia, fell by each other's hands, disputing the succession of their father's property; having, it is supposed, plotted towards his death, in the circumstances that led to his disgrace.

And thus ends a tragical tale I myself have witnessed;-so true it is, that the truth is sometimes so improbable, as no longer to resemble truth.



I'VE thought of thee-I've thought of thee
On ocean-many a weary night,
When heaved the long and sullen sea,
With only waves and stars in sight.
We stole along by isles of balm,

We furl'd before the coming gale,
We toss'd amid the starlit calm;

We flew beneath the crowded sail; But thou wert lost for years to me, And day and night I thought of thee!

I've thought of thee-I've thought of thee In France-amid the gay saloon, Where eyes as dark as eyes can be,

Were many as the leaves of JuneWhere life is love, and ev'n the air

Is pregnant with impassion'd thought; Where song and dance and music are

With one warm meaning solely fraughtMy half-snared heart broke lightly free, As, with a blush, I thought of thee!

Iv'e thought of thee-Iv'e thought of

In Florence-where the fiery hearts Of Italy are breathed away

In wonders of the deathless arts-
Where strays the contadina down

Val d'Arno, with a song of old,
Where clime and woman seldom frown,
And life runs over sands of gold—
I've walk'd to lone Fiesole
On many an eve-and thought of thee!


[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« 上一頁繼續 »