Subscribe for ad free access & additional features for teachers. Authors: 267, Books: 3,607, Poems & Short Stories: 4,435, Forum Members: 71,154, Forum Posts: 1,238,602, Quizzes: 344

Chapter 1

VOL. II.


CHAPTER I.


DURING this voyage, when on calm evenings we conversed on deck, watching
the glancing of the waves and the changeful appearances of the sky, I
discovered the total revolution that the disasters of Raymond had wrought
in the mind of my sister. Were they the same waters of love, which, lately
cold and cutting as ice, repelling as that, now loosened from their frozen
chains, flowed through the regions of her soul in gushing and grateful
exuberance? She did not believe that he was dead, but she knew that he was
in danger, and the hope of assisting in his liberation, and the idea of
soothing by tenderness the ills that he might have undergone, elevated and
harmonized the late jarring element of her being. I was not so sanguine as
she as to the result of our voyage. She was not sanguine, but secure; and
the expectation of seeing the lover she had banished, the husband, friend,
heart's companion from whom she had long been alienated, wrapt her senses
in delight, her mind in placidity. It was beginning life again; it was
leaving barren sands for an abode of fertile beauty; it was a harbour after
a tempest, an opiate after sleepless nights, a happy waking from a terrible
dream.

Little Clara accompanied us; the poor child did not well understand what
was going forward. She heard that we were bound for Greece, that she would
see her father, and now, for the first time, she prattled of him to her
mother.

On landing at Athens we found difficulties encrease upon us: nor could the
storied earth or balmy atmosphere inspire us with enthusiasm or pleasure,
while the fate of Raymond was in jeopardy. No man had ever excited so
strong an interest in the public mind; this was apparent even among the
phlegmatic English, from whom he had long been absent. The Athenians had
expected their hero to return in triumph; the women had taught their
children to lisp his name joined to thanksgiving; his manly beauty, his
courage, his devotion to their cause, made him appear in their eyes almost
as one of the ancient deities of the soil descended from their native
Olympus to defend them. When they spoke of his probable death and certain
captivity, tears streamed from their eyes; even as the women of Syria
sorrowed for Adonis, did the wives and mothers of Greece lament our English
Raymond--Athens was a city of mourning.

All these shews of despair struck Perdita with affright. With that sanguine
but confused expectation, which desire engendered while she was at a
distance from reality, she had formed an image in her mind of instantaneous
change, when she should set her foot on Grecian shores. She fancied that
Raymond would already be free, and that her tender attentions would come to
entirely obliterate even the memory of his mischance. But his fate was
still uncertain; she began to fear the worst, and to feel that her soul's
hope was cast on a chance that might prove a blank. The wife and lovely
child of Lord Raymond became objects of intense interest in Athens. The
gates of their abode were besieged, audible prayers were breathed for his
restoration; all these circumstances added to the dismay and fears of
Perdita.

My exertions were unremitted: after a time I left Athens, and joined the
army stationed at Kishan in Thrace. Bribery, threats, and intrigue, soon
discovered the secret that Raymond was alive, a prisoner, suffering the
most rigorous confinement and wanton cruelties. We put in movement every
impulse of policy and money to redeem him from their hands.

The impatience of my sister's disposition now returned on her, awakened by
repentance, sharpened by remorse. The very beauty of the Grecian climate,
during the season of spring, added torture to her sensations. The
unexampled loveliness of the flower-clad earth--the genial sunshine and
grateful shade--the melody of the birds--the majesty of the woods--
the splendour of the marble ruins--the clear effulgence of the stars by
night--the combination of all that was exciting and voluptuous in this
transcending land, by inspiring a quicker spirit of life and an added
sensitiveness to every articulation of her frame, only gave edge to the
poignancy of her grief. Each long hour was counted, and "He suffers" was
the burthen of all her thoughts. She abstained from food; she lay on the
bare earth, and, by such mimickry of his enforced torments, endeavoured to
hold communion with his distant pain. I remembered in one of her harshest
moments a quotation of mine had roused her to anger and disdain. "Perdita,"
I had said, "some day you will discover that you have done wrong in again
casting Raymond on the thorns of life. When disappointment has sullied his
beauty, when a soldier's hardships have bent his manly form, and loneliness
made even triumph bitter to him, then you will repent; and regret for the
irreparable change

"will move
In hearts all rocky now, the late remorse of love."[1]

The stinging "remorse of love" now pierced her heart. She accused herself
of his journey to Greece--his dangers--his imprisonment. She pictured
to herself the anguish of his solitude; she remembered with what eager
delight he had in former days made her the partner of his joyful hopes--
with what grateful affection he received her sympathy in his cares. She
called to mind how often he had declared that solitude was to him the
greatest of all evils, and how death itself was to him more full of fear
and pain when he pictured to himself a lonely grave. "My best girl," he had
said, "relieves me from these phantasies. United to her, cherished in her
dear heart, never again shall I know the misery of finding myself alone.
Even if I die before you, my Perdita, treasure up my ashes till yours may
mingle with mine. It is a foolish sentiment for one who is not a
materialist, yet, methinks, even in that dark cell, I may feel that my
inanimate dust mingles with yours, and thus have a companion in decay." In
her resentful mood, these expressions had been remembered with acrimony and
disdain; they visited her in her softened hour, taking sleep from her eyes,
all hope of rest from her uneasy mind.

Two months passed thus, when at last we obtained a promise of Raymond's
release. Confinement and hardship had undermined his health; the Turks
feared an accomplishment of the threats of the English government, if he
died under their hands; they looked upon his recovery as impossible; they
delivered him up as a dying man, willingly making over to us the rites of
burial.

He came by sea from Constantinople to Athens. The wind, favourable to him,
blew so strongly in shore, that we were unable, as we had at first
intended, to meet him on his watery road. The watchtower of Athens was
besieged by inquirers, each sail eagerly looked out for; till on the first
of May the gallant frigate bore in sight, freighted with treasure more
invaluable than the wealth which, piloted from Mexico, the vexed Pacific
swallowed, or that was conveyed over its tranquil bosom to enrich the crown
of Spain. At early dawn the vessel was discovered bearing in shore; it was
conjectured that it would cast anchor about five miles from land. The news
spread through Athens, and the whole city poured out at the gate of the
Piraeus, down the roads, through the vineyards, the olive woods and
plantations of fig-trees, towards the harbour. The noisy joy of the
populace, the gaudy colours of their dress, the tumult of carriages and
horses, the march of soldiers intermixed, the waving of banners and sound
of martial music added to the high excitement of the scene; while round us
reposed in solemn majesty the relics of antient time. To our right the
Acropolis rose high, spectatress of a thousand changes, of ancient glory,
Turkish slavery, and the restoration of dear-bought liberty; tombs and
cenotaphs were strewed thick around, adorned by ever renewing vegetation;
the mighty dead hovered over their monuments, and beheld in our enthusiasm
and congregated numbers a renewal of the scenes in which they had been the
actors. Perdita and Clara rode in a close carriage; I attended them on
horseback. At length we arrived at the harbour; it was agitated by the
outward swell of the sea; the beach, as far could be discerned, was covered
by a moving multitude, which, urged by those behind toward the sea, again
rushed back as the heavy waves with sullen roar burst close to them. I
applied my glass, and could discern that the frigate had already cast
anchor, fearful of the danger of approaching nearer to a lee shore: a boat
was lowered; with a pang I saw that Raymond was unable to descend the
vessel's side; he was let down in a chair, and lay wrapt in cloaks at the
bottom of the boat.

I dismounted, and called to some sailors who were rowing about the harbour
to pull up, and take me into their skiff; Perdita at the same moment
alighted from her carriage--she seized my arm--"Take me with you," she
cried; she was trembling and pale; Clara clung to her--"You must not," I
said, "the sea is rough--he will soon be here--do you not see his
boat?" The little bark to which I had beckoned had now pulled up; before I
could stop her, Perdita, assisted by the sailors was in it--Clara
followed her mother--a loud shout echoed from the crowd as we pulled out
of the inner harbour; while my sister at the prow, had caught hold of one
of the men who was using a glass, asking a thousand questions, careless of
the spray that broke over her, deaf, sightless to all, except the little
speck that, just visible on the top of the waves, evidently neared. We
approached with all the speed six rowers could give; the orderly and
picturesque dress of the soldiers on the beach, the sounds of exulting
music, the stirring breeze and waving flags, the unchecked exclamations of
the eager crowd, whose dark looks and foreign garb were purely eastern; the
sight of temple-crowned rock, the white marble of the buildings glittering
in the sun, and standing in bright relief against the dark ridge of lofty
mountains beyond; the near roar of the sea, the splash of oars, and dash of
spray, all steeped my soul in a delirium, unfelt, unimagined in the common
course of common life. Trembling, I was unable to continue to look through
the glass with which I had watched the motion of the crew, when the
frigate's boat had first been launched. We rapidly drew near, so that at
length the number and forms of those within could be discerned; its dark
sides grew big, and the splash of its oars became audible: I could
distinguish the languid form of my friend, as he half raised himself at our
approach.

Perdita's questions had ceased; she leaned on my arm, panting with emotions
too acute for tears--our men pulled alongside the other boat. As a last
effort, my sister mustered her strength, her firmness; she stepped from one
boat to the other, and then with a shriek she sprang towards Raymond, knelt
at his side, and glueing her lips to the hand she seized, her face shrouded
by her long hair, gave herself up to tears.

Raymond had somewhat raised himself at our approach, but it was with
difficulty that he exerted himself even thus much. With sunken cheek and
hollow eyes, pale and gaunt, how could I recognize the beloved of Perdita?
I continued awe-struck and mute--he looked smilingly on the poor girl;
the smile was his. A day of sun-shine falling on a dark valley, displays
its before hidden characteristics; and now this smile, the same with which
he first spoke love to Perdita, with which he had welcomed the
protectorate, playing on his altered countenance, made me in my heart's
core feel that this was Raymond.

He stretched out to me his other hand; I discerned the trace of manacles on
his bared wrist. I heard my sister's sobs, and thought, happy are women who
can weep, and in a passionate caress disburthen the oppression of their
feelings; shame and habitual restraint hold back a man. I would have given
worlds to have acted as in days of boyhood, have strained him to my breast,
pressed his hand to my lips, and wept over him; my swelling heart choked
me; the natural current would not be checked; the big rebellious tears
gathered in my eyes; I turned aside, and they dropped in the sea--they
came fast and faster;--yet I could hardly be ashamed, for I saw that the
rough sailors were not unmoved, and Raymond's eyes alone were dry from
among our crew. He lay in that blessed calm which convalescence always
induces, enjoying in secure tranquillity his liberty and re-union with her
whom he adored. Perdita at length subdued her burst of passion, and rose,
--she looked round for Clara; the child frightened, not recognizing her
father, and neglected by us, had crept to the other end of the boat; she
came at her mother's call. Perdita presented her to Raymond; her first
words were: "Beloved, embrace our child!"

"Come hither, sweet one," said her father, "do you not know me?" she
knew his voice, and cast herself in his arms with half bashful but
uncontrollable emotion.

Perceiving the weakness of Raymond, I was afraid of ill consequences from
the pressure of the crowd on his landing. But they were awed as I had been,
at the change of his appearance. The music died away, the shouts abruptly
ended; the soldiers had cleared a space in which a carriage was drawn up.
He was placed in it; Perdita and Clara entered with him, and his escort
closed round it; a hollow murmur, akin to the roaring of the near waves,
went through the multitude; they fell back as the carriage advanced, and
fearful of injuring him they had come to welcome, by loud testimonies of
joy, they satisfied themselves with bending in a low salaam as the carriage
passed; it went slowly along the road of the Piraeus; passed by antique
temple and heroic tomb, beneath the craggy rock of the citadel. The sound
of the waves was left behind; that of the multitude continued at intervals,
supressed and hoarse; and though, in the city, the houses, churches, and
public buildings were decorated with tapestry and banners--though the
soldiery lined the streets, and the inhabitants in thousands were assembled
to give him hail, the same solemn silence prevailed, the soldiery presented
arms, the banners vailed, many a white hand waved a streamer, and vainly
sought to discern the hero in the vehicle, which, closed and encompassed by
the city guards, drew him to the palace allotted for his abode.

Raymond was weak and exhausted, yet the interest he perceived to be excited
on his account, filled him with proud pleasure. He was nearly killed with
kindness. It is true, the populace retained themselves; but there arose a
perpetual hum and bustle from the throng round the palace, which added to
the noise of fireworks, the frequent explosion of arms, the tramp to and
fro of horsemen and carriages, to which effervescence he was the focus,
retarded his recovery. So we retired awhile to Eleusis, and here rest and
tender care added each day to the strength of our invalid. The zealous
attention of Perdita claimed the first rank in the causes which induced his
rapid recovery; but the second was surely the delight he felt in the
affection and good will of the Greeks. We are said to love much those whom
we greatly benefit. Raymond had fought and conquered for the Athenians; he
had suffered, on their account, peril, imprisonment, and hardship; their
gratitude affected him deeply, and he inly vowed to unite his fate for ever
to that of a people so enthusiastically devoted to him.

Social feeling and sympathy constituted a marked feature in my disposition.
In early youth, the living drama acted around me, drew me heart and soul
into its vortex. I was now conscious of a change. I loved, I hoped, I
enjoyed; but there was something besides this. I was inquisitive as to the
internal principles of action of those around me: anxious to read their
thoughts justly, and for ever occupied in divining their inmost mind. All
events, at the same time that they deeply interested me, arranged
themselves in pictures before me. I gave the right place to every personage
in the groupe, the just balance to every sentiment. This undercurrent of
thought, often soothed me amidst distress, and even agony. It gave ideality
to that, from which, taken in naked truth, the soul would have revolted: it
bestowed pictorial colours on misery and disease, and not unfrequently
relieved me from despair in deplorable changes. This faculty, or instinct,
was now rouzed. I watched the re-awakened devotion of my sister; Clara's
timid, but concentrated admiration of her father, and Raymond's appetite
for renown, and sensitiveness to the demonstrations of affection of the
Athenians. Attentively perusing this animated volume, I was the less
surprised at the tale I read on the new-turned page.

The Turkish army were at this time besieging Rodosto; and the Greeks,
hastening their preparations, and sending each day reinforcements, were on
the eve of forcing the enemy to battle. Each people looked on the coming
struggle as that which would be to a great degree decisive; as, in case of
victory, the next step would be the siege of Constantinople by the Greeks.
Raymond, being somewhat recovered, prepared to re-assume his command in the
army.

Perdita did not oppose herself to his determination. She only stipulated to
be permitted to accompany him. She had set down no rule of conduct for
herself; but for her life she could not have opposed his slightest wish, or
do other than acquiesce cheerfully in all his projects. One word, in truth,
had alarmed her more than battles or sieges, during which she trusted
Raymond's high command would exempt him from danger. That word, as yet it
was not more to her, was PLAGUE. This enemy to the human race had begun
early in June to raise its serpent-head on the shores of the Nile; parts of
Asia, not usually subject to this evil, were infected. It was in
Constantinople; but as each year that city experienced a like visitation,
small attention was paid to those accounts which declared more people to
have died there already, than usually made up the accustomed prey of the
whole of the hotter months. However it might be, neither plague nor war
could prevent Perdita from following her lord, or induce her to utter one
objection to the plans which he proposed. To be near him, to be loved by
him, to feel him again her own, was the limit of her desires. The object of
her life was to do him pleasure: it had been so before, but with a
difference. In past times, without thought or foresight she had made him
happy, being so herself, and in any question of choice, consulted her own
wishes, as being one with his. Now she sedulously put herself out of the
question, sacrificing even her anxiety for his health and welfare to her
resolve not to oppose any of his desires. Love of the Greek people,
appetite for glory, and hatred of the barbarian government under which he
had suffered even to the approach of death, stimulated him. He wished to
repay the kindness of the Athenians, to keep alive the splendid
associations connected with his name, and to eradicate from Europe a power
which, while every other nation advanced in civilization, stood still, a
monument of antique barbarism. Having effected the reunion of Raymond and
Perdita, I was eager to return to England; but his earnest request, added
to awakening curiosity, and an indefinable anxiety to behold the
catastrophe, now apparently at hand, in the long drawn history of Grecian
and Turkish warfare, induced me to consent to prolong until the autumn, the
period of my residence in Greece.

As soon as the health of Raymond was sufficiently re-established, he
prepared to join the Grecian camp, hear Kishan, a town of some importance,
situated to the east of the Hebrus; in which Perdita and Clara were to
remain until the event of the expected battle. We quitted Athens on the 2nd
of June. Raymond had recovered from the gaunt and pallid looks of fever. If
I no longer saw the fresh glow of youth on his matured countenance, if care
had besieged his brow, "And dug deep trenches in his beauty's field," 2 if
his hair, slightly mingled with grey, and his look, considerate even in its
eagerness, gave signs of added years and past sufferings, yet there was
something irresistibly affecting in the sight of one, lately snatched from
the grave, renewing his career, untamed by sickness or disaster. The
Athenians saw in him, not as heretofore, the heroic boy or desperate man,
who was ready to die for them; but the prudent commander, who for their
sakes was careful of his life, and could make his own warrior-propensities
second to the scheme of conduct policy might point out.

All Athens accompanied us for several miles. When he had landed a month
ago, the noisy populace had been hushed by sorrow and fear; but this was a
festival day to all. The air resounded with their shouts; their picturesque
costume, and the gay colours of which it was composed, flaunted in the
sunshine; their eager gestures and rapid utterance accorded with their wild
appearance. Raymond was the theme of every tongue, the hope of each wife,
mother or betrothed bride, whose husband, child, or lover, making a part of
the Greek army, were to be conducted to victory by him.

Notwithstanding the hazardous object of our journey, it was full of
romantic interest, as we passed through the vallies, and over the hills, of
this divine country. Raymond was inspirited by the intense sensations of
recovered health; he felt that in being general of the Athenians, he filled
a post worthy of his ambition; and, in his hope of the conquest of
Constantinople, he counted on an event which would be as a landmark in the
waste of ages, an exploit unequalled in the annals of man; when a city of
grand historic association, the beauty of whose site was the wonder of the
world, which for many hundred years had been the strong hold of the
Moslems, should be rescued from slavery and barbarism, and restored to a
people illustrious for genius, civilization, and a spirit of liberty.
Perdita rested on his restored society, on his love, his hopes and fame,
even as a Sybarite on a luxurious couch; every thought was transport, each
emotion bathed as it were in a congenial and balmy element.

We arrived at Kishan on the 7th of July. The weather during our journey had
been serene. Each day, before dawn, we left our night's encampment, and
watched the shadows as they retreated from hill and valley, and the golden
splendour of the sun's approach. The accompanying soldiers received, with
national vivacity, enthusiastic pleasure from the sight of beautiful
nature. The uprising of the star of day was hailed by triumphant strains,
while the birds, heard by snatches, filled up the intervals of the music.
At noon, we pitched our tents in some shady valley, or embowering wood
among the mountains, while a stream prattling over pebbles induced grateful
sleep. Our evening march, more calm, was yet more delightful than the
morning restlessness of spirit. If the band played, involuntarily they
chose airs of moderated passion; the farewell of love, or lament at
absence, was followed and closed by some solemn hymn, which harmonized with
the tranquil loveliness of evening, and elevated the soul to grand and
religious thought. Often all sounds were suspended, that we might listen to
the nightingale, while the fire-flies danced in bright measure, and the
soft cooing of the aziolo spoke of fair weather to the travellers. Did we
pass a valley? Soft shades encompassed us, and rocks tinged with beauteous
hues. If we traversed a mountain, Greece, a living map, was spread beneath,
her renowned pinnacles cleaving the ether; her rivers threading in silver
line the fertile land. Afraid almost to breathe, we English travellers
surveyed with extasy this splendid landscape, so different from the sober
hues and melancholy graces of our native scenery. When we quitted
Macedonia, the fertile but low plains of Thrace afforded fewer beauties;
yet our journey continued to be interesting. An advanced guard gave
information of our approach, and the country people were quickly in motion
to do honour to Lord Raymond. The villages were decorated by triumphal
arches of greenery by day, and lamps by night; tapestry waved from the
windows, the ground was strewed with flowers, and the name of Raymond,
joined to that of Greece, was echoed in the Evive of the peasant crowd.

When we arrived at Kishan, we learnt, that on hearing of the advance of
Lord Raymond and his detachment, the Turkish army had retreated from
Rodosto; but meeting with a reinforcement, they had re-trod their steps. In
the meantime, Argyropylo, the Greek commander-in-chief, had advanced, so as
to be between the Turks and Rodosto; a battle, it was said, was inevitable.
Perdita and her child were to remain at Kishan. Raymond asked me, if I
would not continue with them. "Now by the fells of Cumberland," I cried,
"by all of the vagabond and poacher that appertains to me, I will stand at
your side, draw my sword in the Greek cause, and be hailed as a victor
along with you!"

All the plain, from Kishan to Rodosto, a distance of sixteen leagues, was
alive with troops, or with the camp-followers, all in motion at the
approach of a battle. The small garrisons were drawn from the various towns
and fortresses, and went to swell the main army. We met baggage waggons,
and many females of high and low rank returning to Fairy or Kishan, there
to wait the issue of the expected day. When we arrived at Rodosto, we found
that the field had been taken, and the scheme of the battle arranged. The
sound of firing, early on the following morning, informed us that advanced
posts of the armies were engaged. Regiment after regiment advanced, their
colours flying and bands playing. They planted the cannon on the tumuli,
sole elevations in this level country, and formed themselves into column
and hollow square; while the pioneers threw up small mounds for their
protection.

These then were the preparations for a battle, nay, the battle itself; far
different from any thing the imagination had pictured. We read of centre
and wing in Greek and Roman history; we fancy a spot, plain as a table, and
soldiers small as chessmen; and drawn forth, so that the most ignorant of
the game can discover science and order in the disposition of the forces.
When I came to the reality, and saw regiments file off to the left far out
of sight, fields intervening between the battalions, but a few troops
sufficiently near me to observe their motions, I gave up all idea of
understanding, even of seeing a battle, but attaching myself to Raymond
attended with intense interest to his actions. He shewed himself collected,
gallant and imperial; his commands were prompt, his intuition of the events
of the day to me miraculous. In the mean time the cannon roared; the music
lifted up its enlivening voice at intervals; and we on the highest of the
mounds I mentioned, too far off to observe the fallen sheaves which death
gathered into his storehouse, beheld the regiments, now lost in smoke, now
banners and staves peering above the cloud, while shout and clamour drowned
every sound.

Early in the day, Argyropylo was wounded dangerously, and Raymond assumed
the command of the whole army. He made few remarks, till, on observing
through his glass the sequel of an order he had given, his face, clouded
for awhile with doubt, became radiant. "The day is ours," he cried, "the
Turks fly from the bayonet." And then swiftly he dispatched his
aides-de-camp to command the horse to fall on the routed enemy. The defeat
became total; the cannon ceased to roar; the infantry rallied, and horse
pursued the flying Turks along the dreary plain; the staff of Raymond was
dispersed in various directions, to make observations, and bear commands.
Even I was dispatched to a distant part of the field.

The ground on which the battle was fought, was a level plain--so level,
that from the tumuli you saw the waving line of mountains on the
wide-stretched horizon; yet the intervening space was unvaried by the least
irregularity, save such undulations as resembled the waves of the sea. The
whole of this part of Thrace had been so long a scene of contest, that it
had remained uncultivated, and presented a dreary, barren appearance. The
order I had received, was to make an observation of the direction which a
detachment of the enemy might have taken, from a northern tumulus; the
whole Turkish army, followed by the Greek, had poured eastward; none but
the dead remained in the direction of my side. From the top of the mound, I
looked far round--all was silent and deserted.

The last beams of the nearly sunken sun shot up from behind the far summit
of Mount Athos; the sea of Marmora still glittered beneath its rays, while
the Asiatic coast beyond was half hid in a haze of low cloud. Many a
casque, and bayonet, and sword, fallen from unnerved arms, reflected the
departing ray; they lay scattered far and near. From the east, a band of
ravens, old inhabitants of the Turkish cemeteries, came sailing along
towards their harvest; the sun disappeared. This hour, melancholy yet
sweet, has always seemed to me the time when we are most naturally led to
commune with higher powers; our mortal sternness departs, and gentle
complacency invests the soul. But now, in the midst of the dying and the
dead, how could a thought of heaven or a sensation of tranquillity possess
one of the murderers? During the busy day, my mind had yielded itself a
willing slave to the state of things presented to it by its fellow-beings;
historical association, hatred of the foe, and military enthusiasm had held
dominion over me. Now, I looked on the evening star, as softly and calmly
it hung pendulous in the orange hues of sunset. I turned to the
corse-strewn earth; and felt ashamed of my species. So perhaps were the
placid skies; for they quickly veiled themselves in mist, and in this
change assisted the swift disappearance of twilight usual in the south;
heavy masses of cloud floated up from the south east, and red and turbid
lightning shot from their dark edges; the rushing wind disturbed the
garments of the dead, and was chilled as it passed over their icy forms.
Darkness gathered round; the objects about me became indistinct, I
descended from my station, and with difficulty guided my horse, so as to
avoid the slain.

Suddenly I heard a piercing shriek; a form seemed to rise from the earth;
it flew swiftly towards me, sinking to the ground again as it drew near.
All this passed so suddenly, that I with difficulty reined in my horse, so
that it should not trample on the prostrate being. The dress of this person
was that of a soldier, but the bared neck and arms, and the continued
shrieks discovered a female thus disguised. I dismounted to her aid, while
she, with heavy groans, and her hand placed on her side, resisted my
attempt to lead her on. In the hurry of the moment I forgot that I was in
Greece, and in my native accents endeavoured to soothe the sufferer. With
wild and terrific exclamations did the lost, dying Evadne (for it was she)
recognize the language of her lover; pain and fever from her wound had
deranged her intellects, while her piteous cries and feeble efforts to
escape, penetrated me with compassion. In wild delirium she called upon the
name of Raymond; she exclaimed that I was keeping him from her, while the
Turks with fearful instruments of torture were about to take his life. Then
again she sadly lamented her hard fate; that a woman, with a woman's heart
and sensibility, should be driven by hopeless love and vacant hopes to take
up the trade of arms, and suffer beyond the endurance of man privation,
labour, and pain--the while her dry, hot hand pressed mine, and her brow
and lips burned with consuming fire.

As her strength grew less, I lifted her from the ground; her emaciated form
hung over my arm, her sunken cheek rested on my breast; in a sepulchral
voice she murmured:--"This is the end of love!--Yet not the end!"--
and frenzy lent her strength as she cast her arm up to heaven: "there is
the end! there we meet again. Many living deaths have I borne for thee, O
Raymond, and now I expire, thy victim!--By my death I purchase thee--
lo! the instruments of war, fire, the plague are my servitors. I dared, I
conquered them all, till now! I have sold myself to death, with the sole
condition that thou shouldst follow me--Fire, and war, and plague, unite
for thy destruction--O my Raymond, there is no safety for thee!"

With an heavy heart I listened to the changes of her delirium; I made her a
bed of cloaks; her violence decreased and a clammy dew stood on her brow as
the paleness of death succeeded to the crimson of fever, I placed her on
the cloaks. She continued to rave of her speedy meeting with her beloved in
the grave, of his death nigh at hand; sometimes she solemnly declared that
he was summoned; sometimes she bewailed his hard destiny. Her voice grew
feebler, her speech interrupted; a few convulsive movements, and her
muscles relaxed, the limbs fell, no more to be sustained, one deep sigh,
and life was gone.

I bore her from the near neighbourhood of the dead; wrapt in cloaks, I
placed her beneath a tree. Once more I looked on her altered face; the last
time I saw her she was eighteen; beautiful as poet's vision, splendid as a
Sultana of the East--Twelve years had past; twelve years of change,
sorrow and hardship; her brilliant complexion had become worn and dark, her
limbs had lost the roundness of youth and womanhood; her eyes had sunk
deep,

Crushed and o'erworn,
The hours had drained her blood, and filled her brow
With lines and wrinkles.

With shuddering horror I veiled this monument of human passion and human
misery; I heaped over her all of flags and heavy accoutrements I could
find, to guard her from birds and beasts of prey, until I could bestow on
her a fitting grave. Sadly and slowly I stemmed my course from among the
heaps of slain, and, guided by the twinkling lights of the town, at length
reached Rodosto.

[1] Lord Byron's Fourth Canto of Childe Harolde.
[2] Shakspeare's Sonnets.

Sorry, no summary available yet.