網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

“A singular novelty,” muttered the knight, “to advance to storm such a castle without pennon or banner displayed ! — Seest thou who they be that act as leaders ? "

“A knight, clad in sable armor, is the most conspicu5 ous," said the Jewess; “ he alone is armed from head to

heel, and seems to assume the direction of all around him.”

“What device does he bear on his shield ?” replied Ivanhoe.” 10 “Something resembling a bar of iron, and a padlock painted blue on the black shield.”

“A fetterlock and shacklebolt azure,” said Ivanhoe; “I know not who may bear the device, but well I ween

it might now be mine own. Canst thou not see the 15 motto ?”

“Scarce the device itself, at this distance,” replied Rebecca ; " but when the sun glances fair upon his shield, it shows as I tell you."

“Seem there no other leaders ?” exclaimed the anxious 20 inquirer.

“None of mark and distinction that I can behold from this station,” said Rebecca; “but, doubtless, the other side of the castle is also assailed. They appear even now preparing to advance.”

Her description was here suddenly interrupted by the signal for assault, which was given by the blast of a shrill bugle, and at once answered by a flourish of the Norman trumpets from the battlements.

“And I must lie here like a bedridden monk,” ex30 claimed 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 35 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 5 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 10 not right on to carry the castle by pure force of arms, the

archery may avail but little against stone walls and bul. warks. 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.” 15 “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 20 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 25 back!— Front-de-Bauf © 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. It is the meeting of two fierce tides — the con

flict of two oceans, moved by adverse winds!” 30 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 ta 85 band. Look again ; there is now less danger.”

*Pronounced Fron(g)-dú-Bŭf.

Rebecca again looked forth, and almost immediately ex. claimed:

“ Front-de-Boeuf and the Black Knight fight hand to hand on the breach, amid the roar of their followers, who 5 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 10 sake, tell me which has fallen ?”

“The Black Knight," answered Rebecca, faintly; then instantly again shouted, with joyful eagerness, — “But no — but no ! — he is on foot again, and fights as if there

were twenty men's strength in his single arm — his sword 15 is broken-he snatches an axe from a yeoman-he presses

Front-de-Beuf 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. 20 " Front-de-Beuf !” answered the Jewess. “His mcn

rush to the rescue, headed by the haughty Templar — their united force compels the champion to pause — they drag Front-de-Bæuf within the walls.”

“ The assailants have won the barriers, have they not?25 said Ivanhoe.

" They have — they have !” exclaimed Rebecca “and they press the besieged hard upon the outer wall; some plant ladders, some swarm like bees, and endeavor to

ascend upon the shoulders of each other — down go stones, 30 beams, and trunks of trees upon their heads, and as fast

as they bear the wounded men to the rear, fresh men supply their place 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 !” 35 “ 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; 5 “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 10 the battle — stones and beams are hailed down on the bold

champion — he regards them no more than if they were thistledown or feathers !”.

“ By Saint John of Acre !” said Ivanhoe, raising himself joyfully on his couch ; “methought there was but ono 15 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 — they hurl the defenders from the

battlements — they throw them into the moat! Oh, men, 20 — if ye be indeed men, — spare them that can resist no longer!”

“ The bridge, — the bridge which communicates with the castle, — have they won that pass ? ” exclaimed Ivanhoe.

“ No,” replied Rebecca ; " the Templar has destroyed 25 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!” 30 “What do they now, maiden ?” said Ivanhoe; “ look forth yet again — this is no time to faint at bloodshed.”

“It is over for the time," answered Rebecca. “Our friends strengthen themselves within the outwork which

they have mastered, and it affords them so good a shelter C5 from the foeman's shot, that the garrison only bestow a

few bolts on it, from interval to interval, as if rather to disquiet than effectually to injure them.”

XL. — THE PROGRESS OF SOCIETY.

CHANNING. (WILI IAM ELLERY CHANNING was born at Newport, Rhode Island, April 7, 1780, was graduated at Harvard College in 1798, and died October 2, IN2. He was settled as a clergy man over the church in Federal Street, Boston, in 1803, and continued in that relation till his death. His works, which consist of sermons, occasional discourses, essays, and reviews, all have a common resemblance, and tend towards a common object. They set forth the dignity of man's nature, his capacity for improvement, the beauty of spiritual trutlı, and the charm of spiritual freedom; and press upon the attention of man those views and considerations which should induce him to be true to his destiny, and to obey his highest aspirations. Some of his earlier writings were controversial ; but controversy was not the element in which his mind most gladly moved ; and he preferred to unfold those truths in morals and religion which are felt and recognized by all Christians. In the latter part of his life, his mind was more turned towards practical subjects. He wrote upon war, temperance, popular education, the duties of the rich towards the poor, and especially upon slavery. Upon this last subject, his writings are marked by a fervor and earnestness which meet the clains of the most zealous opponent of slavery, and yet are free from anything vituperative or needlessly irritating.

Dr. Channing's style is admirably suited for the exposition of moral and spiritual truth. It is rich, flowing, and perspicuous; even its diffuseness, which is its obvious literary defect, is no disadvantage in this aspect. There is a persuasive charm over all his writings, flowing from his earnestness of purpose, his deep love of humanity, his glowing hopes, and his fervent religious faith. He has a poet's love of beauty and a prophet's love of truth. He lays the richest of gifts upon the purest of altars. The heart expands under his influence, as it does when we see a beautiful countenance beaming with the finest expression of benevolence and sympathy.

He was a man of slight frame and delicate organization. His manner in the pulpit was simple and impressive; and the tones of his voice were full of sweetness and penetrating power. As a speaker he may not have produced the greatest effect upon those who heard him for the first time, but all who were accustomed to his teachings recognized in him the elements of the highest eloquence.

The following extract is the conclusion of a lecture on “ Self-Culture.'')

What a contrast does the present form with past times ! Not many ages ago the nation was the property of one man, and all its interests were staked in perpetual games

of war, for no end but to build up his family, or to bring 5 new territories under his yoke. Society was divided into

two classes, the high-born and the vulgar, separated from each other by a great gulf, as impassable as that between the saved and the lost. The people had no significance as individuals, but formed a mass, a machine, to be wielded

« 上一頁繼續 »