October 31, 2004
Kerry Slanders National Guard - Again
On October 25th, John Kerry once again lunged for his opponent's jugular and, in so doing, sneered at the honorable service of our National Guard veterans. And this is not the first time he has done so. This man will truly say anything to get elected.
Earlier in the campaign, Kerry equated National Guard service with draft-dodging, but being the tolerant soul he is, declined to pass judgement on it:
'I've never made any judgments about any choice somebody made about avoiding the draft, about going to Canada, going to jail, being a conscientious objector, going into the National Guard,' Mr. Kerry said. 'Those are choices people make.'
What a classy guy. But then I suppose when you have a whopping 4 months of service 'in country' under your belt as opposed to years of flight experience, I suppose you can afford to be generous.
Laura Armstrong, daughter of Black Jack Bartholomew, a 1st Air Cav hilo pilot who was killed in Vietnam on Thanksgiving Day, 1968, sent this to me:
KERRY to Couric: "Now let me just look you and America in the eye and tell you this. Unlike Dick Cheney and George Bush, I put my life on my line for my country when it counted. I fought for this nation and I defended it as a young man. And I will defend America as President of the United States."
Kerry's comments have enraged a group of Vietnam-era fighter pilots who erved with then-Lt. Bush at each stage of his military career. These men, who recently formed the group Wingmen for Bush and the web site www.WingmenForBush.com demand an immediate apology from Senator Kerry.
Silver Star recipient Col. Tom Lockhart (Ret.) spent 24 months fighting in the Vietnam War as a fighter pilot. In 1969, he trained then-Lt. Bush to fly jet aircraft at Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Georgia. Lockhart said: "John Kerry, your statement on national television, which implied that George W. Bush did not put his life on the line indicated that you simply don't know what it means to fly fighter aircraft. This has historically been the most dangerous assignment that any military officer could choose, and that danger exists in training for combat as well as in combat. Mr. Kerry, your comments disparage the National Guard and are a disgrace, especially in light of the current commitment of Guard troops to Iraqi Freedom." Lockhart added, "I flew with George W. Bush, and I can attest to his skill as a fighter pilot. All fighter pilots put our lives on the line every time we strap on a jet fighter."
Bush stepped up and volunteered for this very risky service to his country in a time of crisis." From the spring of 1968 to 1973, Bush served as a member of the 147th Fighter Interceptor Group of the Texas Air National Guard (ANG). In 1966, the Air Force called his unit, "The most combat ready of all Air Guard units." For the first two years of his enlistment, Bush trained on active duty, full time. Capt. Paul Repp (Ret.), who was a member of Bush's pilot class, remembered, "George enlisted at a time when Guard fighter units from Colorado, New Mexico, New York and Iowa were being sent to fight in Vietnam. He joined knowing that his unit could go. After training, when his unit wasn't called overseas, George and Fred Bradley (a Texas ANG member) volunteered to go but their squadron leader, Maurice Udell, turned them down due to lack of flight time."
In the Texas ANG, Bush flew the all-weather F-102 Delta Dagger Interceptor, a Buck-Rogers-looking, "Century Series" jet that had one large delta-shaped wing, no tail, and one of the highest mishap rates in the USAF inventory. Col. Bill Campenni (Ret.), who served with Bush in the Texas ANG stated, "The F-102 was underpowered and, unlike modern fighters, had a split front view through the canopy. It literally had a bar down the center, so you'd have one eye on each side of the bar. It also had a built in altimeter error of up to 500 feet, which made it interesting when you were at 500 feet out over the ocean at night."
Campenni recalled, "Our Texas ANG unit lost several planes right there in Houston during Lt. Bush's tenure, with fatalities. Just strapping on one of those obsolescing F-102s was risking one's life." Noted author Tom Wolfe echoed Campenni's sentiments in his famed book, The Right Stuff. Wolfe wrote,"Being a fighter pilot -- for that matter, simply taking off in a single-engine jet fighter of the Century series, such as an F-102, or any of the military's other marvelous bricks with fins on them -- presented a man, on a perfectly sunny day, with more ways to get himself killed than his wife and children could imagine in their wildest fears."
Campenni feels that Kerry's latest comments have demeaned his service, Bush's service, and the service of the 8 million military men and women who served during the Vietnam-era but not in the Vietnam theater of operations.
According to Campenni, "Guard pilots, like George W. Bush and myself were answering 3 a.m. scrambles for who knows what inbound threat over the Canadian sub arctic, the cold North Atlantic, and the shark-filled Gulf of Mexico. Our role was to defend America from Soviet nuke-carrying bombers, just like the Guard defends American cities today from 9-11 style terrorist threats."
Bush's wingmen, his "Band of Brothers," have come forth from every era of his military career in reaction to Kerry's latest indignations.
Lt. Col. John "Bill" Calhoun (Ret.), was a Guard pilot who served with Bush at Dannelly ANG base in Alabama. He stated, "Kerry's latest insult of Bush's military service is nothing new. He and his party have knowingly misrepresented the truth, saying that Bush "deserted" from the Guard or went "AWOL" and that he never showed up for duty in Alabama. Well, I served with Bush 8-10 times in Alabama. So did James Anderson, James Copeland, Joe LeFevers and others. We're living proof that Kerry's latest statement is just another slur in a series of slanderous mistruths."
John Kerry's Today Show comments have galvanized the men who served with Bush, who, until today, have been low-key and positive in their messages. Now, according to their web site, over 15 of the wingmen have called for Kerry to publicly apologize for his comments. According to Bush's flight instructor, Lockhart, "When Kerry said that Bush did not put his life on the line for his country, Kerry showed his contempt for Bush, for those who served with him, for the men and women who served during the Vietnam-era but not in the war theatre, and, worst of all, Kerry showed his disregard for the Guard and Reserve personnel who are now serving in Iraq."
On their web site, the Wingmen For Bush assert that they are not alone in their support for Bush and their disapproval of Kerry. They cite an Army Times poll showing that at least 75% of the military is voting for Bush. The Wingmen For Bush have also posted a letter from the famed Easy Company "Band of Brothers" WW II paratroopers that condemns Kerry's use of the title "Band of Brothers." In reference to Kerry's 1971 Senate testimony, the Easy Company paratroopers question Kerry's judgment, "in testifying against your 'brothers' when you returned home (from Vietnam)."
The irony of Kerry, who couldn't wait to flee the combat zone, leveraging three Bandaid wounds so minor that the most severe of them only required two days' light duty and wouldn't have stopped one of our Iraqi Freedom vets for 20 seconds, having the nerve to criticize the service of these National Guard veterans who risked their lives in hazardous jets, day in and day out, for YEARS at a time is unbelievable.
And one of those vets is his opponent: George W. Bush, who risked his life for far longer than John F. Kerry. And who also volunteered to go to Vietnam. Just another lie, brought to you courtesy of the Fab Hair Duo. But people will believe any lie if it is repeated long enough.
October 30, 2004
- Joatmoaf -
Beating Ourselves: Will Kerry's Defeatist Message Win The Day?
I will not comment on this much because I'm far too angry, and frankly it needs no comment. Just read it.
It's obvious, it's plain and simple common sense, and for that reason, no one is paying any attention.
We are the richest and most powerful nation on the planet.
We are fighting a ragtag, disorganized bunch of insurgents.
Not an entire army.
Not a massive nation like the Soviet Union or China.
If we fail, it will be because we decided to fail.
Not because we lack the resources: that's preposterous.
Not because we lack the ability: our armed forces are unparalleled.
Because we lack the will.
I've said it before. Victor Davis Hanson says it better.
One Iraqi's Opinion On The US Election
Alaa of The Mesopotamian speaks:
Now, do we have a right, as Iraqis to express our opinion about the U.S. elections, which are of course an entirely internal affair for the American people? Or are they?
It seems to me, that since this matter is going to have a direct impact on our lives and very existence and since the U.S. government and people have seen fit to intervene and initiate this profound revolution in our country; it would not be extravagant nor incorrect for us even to demand to take part in those elections, rhetorically speaking of course.
So, I have been, personally very attentive to the debates and positions of both candidates, and I have some thoughts which I would like to share with you, my American friends. To start with, Senator Kerry may be a very good man and quite patriotic. Also we have to respect the almost 50% of the American people who lean towards the democrats. I don’t know much about domestic issues in the States so naturally, as might be expected, the position of any Iraqi would be mainly influenced by the issue that most concerns him. Thus, regardless of all the arguments of both candidates the main problem is that President Bush now represents a symbol of defiance against the terrorists and it is a fact, that all the enemies of America, with the terrorists foremost, are hoping for him to be deposed in the upcoming elections. That is not to say that they like the democrats, but that they will take such an outcome as retreat by the American people, and will consequently be greatly encouraged to intensify their assault. The outcome here on the ground in Iraq seems to be almost obvious. In case President Bush loses the election there would be a massive upsurge of violence, in the belief, rightly or wrongly, by the enemy, that the new leadership is more likely to “cut and run” to use the phrase frequently used by some of my readers. And they would try to inflict as heavy casualties as possible on the American forces to bring about a retreat and withdrawal. It is crucial for them to remove this insurmountable obstacle which stands in their way. They fully realize that with continued American and allies’ commitment, they have no hope of achieving anything.
Good heavens, man... will someone please alert Bob Herbert? The poor man's under the impression we're getting our tails kicked over there.
On the other hand if President Bush is reelected, this will prove to them that the American people are not intimidated despite all their brutality, and that their cause is quite futile. Yes there is little doubt that an election victory by President Bush would be a severe blow and a great disappointment for all the terrorists in the World and all the enemies of America. I believe that such an outcome would result in despair and demoralization of the “insurgent elements” here in Iraq, and would lead to the pro-democracy forces gaining the upper hand eventually. Note that we are not saying that President Bush is perfect, nor even that he is better than the Senator, just that the present situation is such that a change of leadership at this crucial point is going to send an entirely wrong message to all the enemies. Unfortunately, it seems to me that many in the U.S. don’t quite appreciate how high the stakes are.
Apparently the NY Times does do home delivery, even in Iraq...
The challenge is mortal, and you and we are locked in a War, a National Emergency; and in such circumstances partisan considerations must be of secondary importance. If you lose this war, you are no more, and you will have to withdraw within your boundaries cringing and waiting for terror to strike you in your homeland, afraid to move around, afraid to travel, afraid to do business abroad. You will have to see all your friends abroad annihilated and intimidated and nobody will have any confidence or trust in you anymore. And you will have to watch from far with bitterness the forces of darkness and evil taking over in many parts of this earth, with feelings of impotence and inability to do anything about it. In other words you would lose all credibility, and the fiends of terror and obscurantism would go triumphantly dancing the macabre dance of mayhem and death, and darkness would descend and obliterate the light and the hope. You think I am exaggerating, you think I am being paranoid? I just pray that destiny would not prove all these things; I pray that these horrors will not come to pass. And all this for what? For failing to confront few thousands ex-baathists and demented religious fanatics and some common criminals, concentrated in some rural areas of a country of the size of just one of your states; and that for a nation that has defeated Natzism, Imperial Japan and the Soviet Empire!
Ah...my friend... you do not understand the triumphant American psyche. We are a highly civilized nation, fortunate to have pundits like Thomas Friedman to tell us that we are "addicted to 9/11": we have politicians like John Kerry who helpfully inform us that we need to get back to the days when "terrorism was just a nuisance"! That we are fighting the "wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time" with a "trumped-up, phony coalition of the bribed, the coerced, the bought, and the extorted". That we have no "genuine allies". That this is a war "we cannot win", but if we must fight it, we must fight a more "sensitive war on terror".
Well if Senator Kerry is such a good man, and he may well be, then it would be prudent to wait just another four years to elect him, after the job is done. And if this is interference in your national affairs by a foreigner, I am not going to give you any apology for it.
On the contrary my man. Sometimes we need someone who is a bit removed from the madness.
You seem to see quite clearly.
The People's Choice
We know that John Kerry is the preferred candidate of 72% of Frenchmen.
But who does the average Iraqi support in this election?
Not surprisingly, surveys by the Iraqi Center for Research and Strategic Studies find that, whereas Mr. Bush garners the most support in the Kurdish north and from Iraq's well-educated urban elites, Mr. Kerry draws his strongest support from what the Center's Sadoun al-Dulame calls Iraq's "hottest places"--hotbeds of resistance to the U.S. A poll taken earlier this month in Baghdad, for example, finds that while President Bush would win a higher tally in New Baghdad's Christian precincts, Sen. Kerry carries Sadr City hands down.
So now we know how the "insurgents" will vote. They apparently have had no trouble decoding the Senator's "wrong war, wrong place, wrong time" message.
Leaving aside that speechifying about a U.S. withdrawal culminates in what Mr. Rubaie describes as "a huge moral boost to the terrorists": How does Sen. Kerry intend to work alongside the pro-U.S. Iraqis he denigrates at every turn? This is a practical as well as a moral question. By advancing the fiction that there's no such thing as bringing the troops home too soon and nothing to justify an adequate level of expenditure in Iraq, he's already signaled his willingness to forfeit America's obligation to rebuild the country it turned inside out. And he offers this as heightened moral awareness.
But if John Kerry, who famously demanded that the U.S. "stop this blind commitment to a dictatorial regime" in Vietnam, imagines history repeating itself in Iraq, he really ought to visit the place. Having passed through eight time zones and one looking glass, what he will find is not the reactionary playground of his fantasies, but a country where thousands of idealistic young men and women go to work each day in the hope of creating a democratic society. One of them, Mustafa Al-Khadimiy, who risks his life cataloging the depredations Saddam Hussein inflicted, has this to say: "The terrorists want to destroy everything and we're dying every day. If we're going to have democracy, the Americans cannot leave." Alas, he won't be voting on Tuesday.
How will you vote?
Stop The Madness
An idea whose time has come:
I think it is time for a moment of grace in this year's presidential election.
John Kerry and George W. Bush ought to take a few minutes out of their schedule to have a heart to heart chat, much as Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy had six days after the 1960 presidential election.
The Democrat and Republican should agree to accept the outcome of this year's presidential election, no matter how close, no matter which of the two candidates comes out on top. They also should forswear any post-election lawsuits. And they should urge their supporters to do the same.
If Kerry and Bush were to evince such statesmanship, they not only would do much to restore faith in the American electoral system, they also would do much to promote civility between all but the most rabid Democrats and Republicans.
That would be a great service to this country.
Read it all.
October 29, 2004
What will be the deciding factor when you cast your vote?
Do you think terrorisim is only a nuisance, or a vital threat?
In case you`re unsure, Russ asks........
The question you must ask yourself
As you head off to your poll,
Is who you trust to lead us now
That survival is our goal.
We tread the path of Jihad’s wrath,
Where misstep could spell doom,
And future times of horrid climes,
In Holocaust’s gray gloom.
What then again I’ll ask of you,
Should be our true agendas,
Privilege and prosperity
Or ways to best defend us?
Affluence won’t concern us much,
Other problems will confound us,
When our cities lie in smoking ruins,
With destruction all around us.
What sort of man I ask you now
Do we really want to lead us?
A nuanced pol, who talks and talks,
While Jihadis grimly bleed us?
Or a fighter, who will walk the walk,
Take the battle to them there,
Force their hand and make them stand,
Destroy them in their lair?
This veteran says let’s fight them there;
Lure all those fanatic fools,
To where they face armed fighting men,
Not children in their schools.
I know how I shall vote this time,
I’ll vote to win this war;
Not to let John Kerry lose it,
As he did mine long before.
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
- Joatmoaf -
Well, I must say this is a bit embarrassing...
...but it's Friday and it's almost MILLER TIME!
I swear I did NOT do this on purpose. Why the heck couldn't I have been a beer?
mr. rdr requested that I post this. Remind me not to get him ticked off at me:
Riddle me this Batman: Why isn't this quote from ABC's terrorist tape on the front page of every newspaper in the country ?
"People of America, I remind you of the weighty words of our leaders, Osama bin Laden and Dr. Ayman al-Zawahri, that what took place on Sept. 11 was but the opening salvo of the global war on America, . And that Allah willing, the magnitude and ferocity of what is coming your way will make you forget all about Sept. 11....
After decades of American tyranny and oppression, now it's your turn to die."
You'd think a terrorist threat of this magnitude would be newsworthy. Well think again.
Here's the International Section of today's NY Times. See it anywhere?
How about the Washington Post? Nope. Not there either.
The Miami Herald? Uh uh.
Why is this story being buried? Well, you know "it might influence the outcome of the election." Yeah, it might. And guess in whose favor? Everyone who thinks that we are in a real war, facing real dangers, raise your hand. You will vote for Bush.
Now, everyone who thinks that these threats are just a "nuisance" and will go away if we just uphold our national principles and reach out to the global community, raise your hand. You will vote for Kerry.
If you're still undecided, go back and read that quote again.
Now you know why this story is missing from the mainstream media.
- spd rdr
The Monk - Part IV
Avaunt! and quit my sight! Let the Earth hide thee!
Thy bones are marrowless, thy blood is cold!
Thou hast no speculation in those eyes
Which Thou dost glare with! Hence, horrible shadow!
Unreal mockery hence!
Continuation of the History of Don Raymond.
My journey was uncommonly agreeable: I found the Baron a Man of
some sense, but little knowledge of the world. He had past a
great part of his life without stirring beyond the precincts of
his own domains, and consequently his manners were far from being
the most polished: But He was hearty, good-humoured, and
friendly. His attention to me was all that I could wish, and I
had every reason to be satisfied with his behaviour. His ruling
passion was Hunting, which He had brought himself to consider as
a serious occupation; and when talking over some remarkable
chace, He treated the subject with as much gravity as it had
been a Battle on which the fate of two kingdoms was depending. I
happened to be a tolerable Sportsman: Soon after my arrival at
Lindenberg I gave some proofs of my dexterity. The Baron
immediately marked me down for a Man of Genius, and vowed to me
an eternal friendship.
That friendship was become to me by no means indifferent. At the
Castle of Lindenberg I beheld for the first time your Sister, the
lovely Agnes. For me whose heart was unoccupied, and who grieved
at the void, to see her and to love her were the same. I found
in Agnes all that was requisite to secure my affection. She was
then scarcely sixteen; Her person light and elegant was already
formed; She possessed several talents in perfection, particularly
those of Music and drawing: Her character was gay, open, and
good-humoured; and the graceful simplicity of her dress and
manners formed an advantageous contrast to the art and studied
Coquetry of the Parisian Dames, whom I had just quitted. From
the moment that I beheld her, I felt the most lively interest in
her fate. I made many enquiries respecting her of the Baroness.
'She is my Niece,' replied that Lady; 'You are still ignorant,
Don Alphonso, that I am your Countrywoman. I am Sister to the
Duke of Medina Celi: Agnes is the Daughter of my second Brother,
Don Gaston: She has been destined to the Convent from her
cradle, and will soon make her profession at Madrid.'
(Here Lorenzo interrupted the Marquis by an exclamation of
'Intended for the Convent from her cradle?' said He; 'By heaven,
this is the first word that I ever heard of such a design!'
'I believe it, my dear Lorenzo,' answered Don Raymond; 'But you
must listen to me with patience. You will not be less surprised,
when I relate some particulars of your family still unknown to
you, and which I have learnt from the mouth of Agnes herself.'
He then resumed his narrative as follows.)
You cannot but be aware that your Parents were unfortunately
Slaves to the grossest superstition: When this foible was called
into play, their every other sentiment, their every other passion
yielded to its irresistible strength. While She was big with
Agnes, your Mother was seized by a dangerous illness, and given
over by her Physicians. In this situation, Donna Inesilla vowed,
that if She recovered from her malady, the Child then living in
her bosom if a Girl should be dedicated to St. Clare, if a Boy to
St. Benedict. Her prayers were heard; She got rid of her
complaint; Agnes entered the world alive, and was immediately
destined to the service of St. Clare.
Don Gaston readily chimed in with his Lady's wishes: But knowing
the sentiments of the Duke, his Brother, respecting a Monastic
life, it was determined that your Sister's destination should be
carefully concealed from him. The better to guard the secret, it
was resolved that Agnes should accompany her Aunt, Donna Rodolpha
into Germany, whither that Lady was on the point of following her
new-married Husband, Baron Lindenberg. On her arrival at that
Estate, the young Agnes was put into a Convent, situated but a
few miles from the Castle. The Nuns to whom her education was
confided performed their charge with exactitude: They made her
a perfect Mistress of many talents, and strove to infuse into her
mind a taste for the retirement and tranquil pleasures of a
Convent. But a secret instinct made the young Recluse sensible
that She was not born for solitude: In all the freedom of youth
and gaiety, She scrupled not to treat as ridiculous many
ceremonies which the Nuns regarded with awe; and She was never
more happy than when her lively imagination inspired her with
some scheme to plague the stiff Lady Abbess, or the ugly ill-
tempered old Porteress. She looked with disgust upon the
prospect before her: However no alternative was offered to her,
and She submitted to the decree of her Parents, though not
without secret repining.
That repugnance She had not art enough to conceal long: Don
Gaston was informed of it. Alarmed, Lorenzo, lest your affection
for her should oppose itself to his projects, and lest you should
positively object to your Sister's misery, He resolved to keep
the whole affair from YOUR knowledge as well as the Duke's, till
the sacrifice should be consummated. The season of her taking
the veil was fixed for the time when you should be upon your
travels: In the meanwhile no hint was dropped of Donna
Inesilla's fatal vow. Your Sister was never permitted to know
your direction. All your letters were read before She received
them, and those parts effaced, which were likely to nourish her
inclination for the world: Her answers were dictated either by
her Aunt, or by Dame Cunegonda, her Governess. These particulars
I learnt partly from Agnes, partly from the Baroness herself.
I immediately determined upon rescuing this lovely Girl from a
fate so contrary to her inclinations, and ill-suited to her
merit. I endeavoured to ingratiate myself into her favour: I
boasted of my friendship and intimacy with you. She listened to
me with avidity; She seemed to devour my words while I spoke in
your praise, and her eyes thanked me for my affection to her
Brother. My constant and unremitted attention at length gained
me her heart, and with difficulty I obliged her to confess that
She loved me. When however, I proposed her quitting the Castle
of Lindenberg, She rejected the idea in positive terms.
'Be generous, Alphonso,' She said; 'You possess my heart, but use
not the gift ignobly. Employ not your ascendancy over me in
persuading me to take a step, at which I should hereafter have
to blush. I am young and deserted: My Brother, my only Friend,
is separated from me, and my other Relations act with me as my
Enemies. Take pity on my unprotected situation. Instead of
seducing me to an action which would cover me with shame, strive
rather to gain the affections of those who govern me. The Baron
esteems you. My Aunt, to others ever harsh proud and
contemptuous, remembers that you rescued her from the hands of
Murderers, and wears with you alone the appearance of kindness
and benignity. Try then your influence over my Guardians. If
they consent to our union my hand is yours: From your account of
my Brother, I cannot doubt your obtaining his approbation: And
when they find the impossibility of executing their design, I
trust that my Parents will excuse my disobedience, and expiate by
some other sacrifice my Mother's fatal vow.'
From the first moment that I beheld Agnes, I had endeavoured to
conciliate the favour of her Relations. Authorised by the
confession of her regard, I redoubled my exertions. My principal
Battery was directed against the Baroness; It was easy to
discover that her word was law in the Castle: Her Husband paid
her the most absolute submission, and considered her as a
superior Being. She was about forty: In her youth She had been
a Beauty; But her charms had been upon that large scale which can
but ill sustain the shock of years: However She still possessed
some remains of them. Her understanding was strong and excellent
when not obscured by prejudice, which unluckily was but seldom
the case. Her passions were violent: She spared no pains to
gratify them, and pursued with unremitting vengeance those who
opposed themselves to her wishes. The warmest of Friends, the
most inveterate of Enemies, such was the Baroness Lindenberg.
I laboured incessantly to please her: Unluckily I succeeded but
too well. She seemed gratified by my attention, and treated me
with a distinction accorded by her to no one else. One of my
daily occupations was reading to her for several hours: Those
hours I should much rather have past with Agnes; But as I was
conscious that complaisance for her Aunt would advance our
union, I submitted with a good grace to the penance imposed upon
me. Donna Rodolpha's Library was principally composed of old
Spanish Romances: These were her favourite studies, and once a
day one of these unmerciful Volumes was put regularly into my
hands. I read the wearisome adventures of 'Perceforest,'
'Tirante the White,' 'Palmerin of England,' and 'the Knight of
the Sun,' till the Book was on the point of falling from my hands
through Ennui. However, the increasing pleasure which the
Baroness seemed to take in my society, encouraged me to
persevere; and latterly She showed for me a partiality so marked,
that Agnes advised me to seize the first opportunity of declaring
our mutual passion to her Aunt.
One Evening, I was alone with Donna Rodolpha in her own
apartment. As our readings generally treated of love, Agnes was
never permitted to assist at them. I was just congratulating
myself on having finished 'The Loves of Tristan and the Queen
'Ah! The Unfortunates!' cried the Baroness; 'How say you,
Segnor? Do you think it possible for Man to feel an attachment
so disinterested and sincere?'
'I cannot doubt it,' replied I; 'My own heart furnishes me with
the certainty. Ah! Donna Rodolpha, might I but hope for your
approbation of my love! Might I but confess the name of my
Mistress without incurring your resentment!'
She interrupted me.
'Suppose, I were to spare you that confession? Suppose I were
to acknowledge that the object of your desires is not unknown to
me? Suppose I were to say that She returns your affection, and
laments not less sincerely than yourself the unhappy vows which
separate her from you?'
'Ah! Donna Rodolpha!' I exclaimed, throwing myself upon my knees
before her, and pressing her hand to my lips, 'You have
discovered my secret! What is your decision? Must I despair, or
may I reckon upon your favour?'
She withdrew not the hand which I held; But She turned from me,
and covered her face with the other.
'How can I refuse it you?' She replied; 'Ah! Don Alphonso, I have
long perceived to whom your attentions were directed, but till
now I perceived not the impression which they made upon my heart.
At length I can no longer hide my weakness either from myself or
from you. I yield to the violence of my passion, and own that I
adore you! For three long months I stifled my desires; But grown
stronger by resistance, I submit to their impetuosity. Pride,
fear, and honour, respect for myself, and my engagements to the
Baron, all are vanquished. I sacrifice them to my love for you,
and it still seems to me that I pay too mean a price for your
She paused for an answer.--Judge, my Lorenzo, what must have been
my confusion at this discovery. I at once saw all the magnitude
of this obstacle, which I had raised myself to my happiness. The
Baroness had placed those attentions to her own account, which I
had merely paid her for the sake of Agnes: And the strength of
her expressions, the looks which accompanied them, and my
knowledge of her revengeful disposition made me tremble for
myself and my Beloved. I was silent for some minutes. I knew
not how to reply to her declaration: I could only resolve to
clear up the mistake without delay, and for the present to
conceal from her knowledge the name of my Mistress. No sooner
had She avowed her passion than the transports which before were
evident in my features gave place to consternation and
constraint. I dropped her hand, and rose from my knees. The
change in my countenance did not escape her observation.
'What means this silence?' said She in a trembling voice; 'Where
is that joy which you led me to expect?'
'Forgive me, Segnora,' I answered, 'if what necessity forces from
me should seem harsh and ungrateful: To encourage you in an
error, which, however it may flatter myself, must prove to you
the source of disappointment, would make me appear criminal in
every eye. Honour obliges me to inform you that you have
mistaken for the solicitude of Love what was only the attention
of Friendship. The latter sentiment is that which I wished to
excite in your bosom: To entertain a warmer, respect for you
forbids me, and gratitude for the Baron's generous treatment.
Perhaps these reasons would not be sufficient to shield me from
your attractions, were it not that my affections are already
bestowed upon another. You have charms, Segnora, which might
captivate the most insensible; No heart unoccupied could resist
them. Happy is it for me that mine is no longer in my
possession; or I should have to reproach myself for ever with
having violated the Laws of Hospitality. Recollect yourself,
noble Lady; Recollect what is owed by you to honour, by me to the
Baron, and replace by esteem and friendship those sentiments
which I never can return.'
The Baroness turned pale at this unexpected and positive
declaration: She doubted whether She slept or woke. At length
recovering from her surprise, consternation gave place to rage,
and the blood rushed back into her cheeks with violence.
'Villain!' She cried; 'Monster of deceit! Thus is the avowal of
my love received? Is it thus that. . . . But no, no! It
cannot, it shall not be! Alphonso, behold me at your feet! Be
witness of my despair! Look with pity on a Woman who loves you
with sincere affection! She who possesses your heart, how has
She merited such a treasure? What sacrifice has She made to you?
What raises her above Rodolpha?'
I endeavoured to lift her from her Knees.
'For God's sake, Segnora, restrain these transports: They
disgrace yourself and me. Your exclamations may be heard, and
your secret divulged to your Attendants. I see that my presence
only irritates you: permit me to retire.'
I prepared to quit the apartment: The Baroness caught me
suddenly by the arm.
'And who is this happy Rival?' said She in a menacing tone; 'I
will know her name, and WHEN I know it. . . . ! She is someone
in my power; You entreated my favour, my protection! Let me but
find her, let me but know who dares to rob me of your heart, and
She shall suffer every torment which jealousy and disappointment
can inflict! Who is She? Answer me this moment. Hope not to
conceal her from my vengeance! Spies shall be set over you;
every step, every look shall be watched; Your eyes will discover
my Rival; I shall know her, and when She is found, tremble,
Alphonso for her and for yourself!'
As She uttered these last words her fury mounted to such a pitch
as to stop her powers of respiration. She panted, groaned, and
at length fainted away. As She was falling I caught her in my
arms, and placed her upon a Sopha. Then hastening to the door, I
summoned her Women to her assistance; I committed her to their
care, and seized the opportunity of escaping.
Agitated and confused beyond expression I bent my steps towards
the Garden. The benignity with which the Baroness had listened
to me at first raised my hopes to the highest pitch: I imagined
her to have perceived my attachment for her Niece, and to approve
of it. Extreme was my disappointment at understanding the true
purport of her discourse. I knew not what course to take: The
superstition of the Parents of Agnes, aided by her Aunt's
unfortunate passion, seemed to oppose such obstacles to our union
as were almost insurmountable.
As I past by a low parlour, whose windows looked into the Garden,
through the door which stood half open I observed Agnes seated at
a Table. She was occupied in drawing, and several unfinished
sketches were scattered round her. I entered, still undetermined
whether I should acquaint her with the declaration of the
'Oh! is it only you?' said She, raising her head; 'You are no
Stranger, and I shall continue my occupation without ceremony.
Take a Chair, and seat yourself by me.'
I obeyed, and placed myself near the Table. Unconscious what I
was doing, and totally occupied by the scene which had just
passed, I took up some of the drawings, and cast my eye over
them. One of the subjects struck me from its singularity. It
represented the great Hall of the Castle of Lindenberg. A door
conducting to a narrow staircase stood half open. In the
foreground appeared a Groupe of figures, placed in the most
grotesque attitudes; Terror was expressed upon every countenance.
Here was One upon his knees with his eyes cast up to heaven, and
praying most devoutly; There Another was creeping away upon all
fours. Some hid their faces in their cloaks or the laps of their
Companions; Some had concealed themselves beneath a Table, on
which the remnants of a feast were visible; While Others with
gaping mouths and eyes wide-stretched pointed to a Figure,
supposed to have created this disturbance. It represented a
Female of more than human stature, clothed in the habit of some
religious order. Her face was veiled; On her arm hung a chaplet
of beads; Her dress was in several places stained with the blood
which trickled from a wound upon her bosom. In one hand She held
a Lamp, in the other a large Knife, and She seemed advancing
towards the iron gates of the Hall.
'What does this mean, Agnes?' said I; 'Is this some invention of
She cast her eye upon the drawing.
'Oh! no,' She replied; ' 'Tis the invention of much wiser heads
than mine. But can you possibly have lived at Lindenberg for
three whole Months without hearing of the Bleeding Nun?'
'You are the first, who ever mentioned the name to me. Pray, who
may the Lady be?'
'That is more than I can pretend to tell you. All my knowledge
of her History comes from an old tradition in this family, which
has been handed down from Father to Son, and is firmly credited
throughout the Baron's domains. Nay, the Baron believes it
himself; and as for my Aunt who has a natural turn for the
marvellous, She would sooner doubt the veracity of the Bible,
than of the Bleeding Nun. Shall I tell you this History?'
I answered that She would oblige me much by relating it: She
resumed her drawing, and then proceeded as follows in a tone of
'It is surprising that in all the Chronicles of past times, this
remarkable Personage is never once mentioned. Fain would I
recount to you her life; But unluckily till after her death She
was never known to have existed. Then first did She think it
necessary to make some noise in the world, and with that
intention She made bold to seize upon the Castle of Lindenberg.
Having a good taste, She took up her abode in the best room of
the House: and once established there, She began to amuse
herself by knocking about the tables and chairs in the middle of
the night. Perhaps She was a bad Sleeper, but this I have never
been able to ascertain. According to the tradition, this
entertainment commenced about a Century ago. It was accompanied
with shrieking, howling, groaning, swearing, and many other
agreeable noises of the same kind. But though one particular
room was more especially honoured with her visits, She did not
entirely confine herself to it. She occasionally ventured into
the old Galleries, paced up and down the spacious Halls, or
sometimes stopping at the doors of the Chambers, She wept and
wailed there to the universal terror of the Inhabitants. In
these nocturnal excursions She was seen by different People, who
all describe her appearance as you behold it here, traced by the
hand of her unworthy Historian.'
The singularity of this account insensibly engaged my attention.
'Did She never speak to those who met her?' said I.
'Not She. The specimens indeed, which She gave nightly of her
talents for conversation, were by no means inviting. Sometimes
the Castle rung with oaths and execrations: A Moment after She
repeated her Paternoster: Now She howled out the most horrible
blasphemies, and then chaunted De Profundis, as orderly as if
still in the Choir. In short She seemed a mighty capricious
Being: But whether She prayed or cursed, whether She was impious
or devout, She always contrived to terrify her Auditors out of
their senses. The Castle became scarcely habitable; and its Lord
was so frightened by these midnight Revels, that one fine morning
He was found dead in his bed. This success seemed to please the
Nun mightily, for now She made more noise than ever. But the
next Baron proved too cunning for her. He made his appearance
with a celebrated Exorciser in his hand, who feared not to shut
himself up for a night in the haunted Chamber. There it seems
that He had an hard battle with the Ghost, before She would
promise to be quiet. She was obstinate, but He was more so, and
at length She consented to let the Inhabitants of the Castle take
a good night's rest. For some time after no news was heard of
her. But at the end of five years the Exorciser died, and then
the Nun ventured to peep abroad again. However, She was now
grown much more tractable and well-behaved. She walked about in
silence, and never made her appearance above once in five years.
This custom, if you will believe the Baron, She still continues.
He is fully persuaded, that on the fifth of May of every fifth
year, as soon as the Clock strikes One, the Door of the haunted
Chamber opens. (Observe, that this room has been shut up for
near a Century.) Then out walks the Ghostly Nun with her Lamp
and dagger: She descends the staircase of the Eastern Tower;
and crosses the great Hall! On that night the Porter always
leaves the Gates of the Castle open, out of respect to the
Apparition: Not that this is thought by any means necessary,
since She could easily whip through the Keyhole if She chose it;
But merely out of politeness, and to prevent her from making her
exit in a way so derogatory to the dignity of her Ghost-ship.'
'And whither does She go on quitting the Castle?'
'To Heaven, I hope; But if She does, the place certainly is not
to her taste, for She always returns after an hour's absence.
The Lady then retires to her chamber, and is quiet for another
'And you believe this, Agnes?'
'How can you ask such a question? No, no, Alphonso! I have too
much reason to lament superstition's influence to be its Victim
myself. However I must not avow my incredulity to the Baroness:
She entertains not a doubt of the truth of this History. As to
Dame Cunegonda, my Governess, She protests that fifteen years ago
She saw the Spectre with her own eyes. She related to me one
evening how She and several other Domestics had been terrified
while at Supper by the appearance of the Bleeding Nun, as the
Ghost is called in the Castle: 'Tis from her account that I drew
this sketch, and you may be certain that Cunegonda was not
omitted. There She is! I shall never forget what a passion She
was in, and how ugly She looked while She scolded me for having
made her picture so like herself!'
Here She pointed to a burlesque figure of an old Woman in an
attitude of terror.
In spite of the melancholy which oppressed me, I could not help
smiling at the playful imagination of Agnes: She had perfectly
preserved Dame Cunegonda's resemblance, but had so much
exaggerated every fault, and rendered every feature so
irresistibly laughable, that I could easily conceive the Duenna's
'The figure is admirable, my dear Agnes! I knew not that you
possessed such talents for the ridiculous.'
'Stay a moment,' She replied; 'I will show you a figure still
more ridiculous than Dame Cunegonda's. If it pleases you, you
may dispose of it as seems best to yourself.'
She rose, and went to a Cabinet at some little distance.
Unlocking a drawer, She took out a small case, which She opened,
and presented to me.
'Do you know the resemblance?' said She smiling.
It was her own.
Transported at the gift, I pressed the portrait to my lips with
passion: I threw myself at her feet, and declared my gratitude
in the warmest and most affectionate terms. She listened to me
with complaisance, and assured me that She shared my sentiments:
When suddenly She uttered a loud shriek, disengaged the hand
which I held, and flew from the room by a door which opened to
the Garden. Amazed at this abrupt departure, I rose hastily from
my knees. I beheld with confusion the Baroness standing near me
glowing with jealousy, and almost choaked with rage. On
recovering from her swoon, She had tortured her imagination to
discover her concealed Rival. No one appeared to deserve her
suspicions more than Agnes. She immediately hastened to find her
Niece, tax her with encouraging my addresses, and assure herself
whether her conjectures were well-grounded. Unfortunately She
had already seen enough to need no other confirmation. She
arrived at the door of the room at the precise moment, when Agnes
gave me her Portrait. She heard me profess an everlasting
attachment to her Rival, and saw me kneeling at her feet. She
advanced to separate us; We were too much occupied by each other
to perceive her approach, and were not aware of it, till Agnes
beheld her standing by my side.
Rage on the part of Donna Rodolpha, embarrassment on mine, for
some time kept us both silent. The Lady recovered herself first.
'My suspicions then were just,' said She; 'The Coquetry of my
Niece has triumphed, and 'tis to her that I am sacrificed. In
one respect however I am fortunate: I shall not be the only one
who laments a disappointed passion. You too shall know, what it
is to love without hope! I daily expect orders for restoring
Agnes to her Parents. Immediately upon her arrival in Spain, She
will take the veil, and place an insuperable barrier to your
union. You may spare your supplications.' She continued,
perceiving me on the point of speaking; 'My resolution is fixed
and immoveable. Your Mistress shall remain a close Prisoner in
her chamber till She exchanges this Castle for the Cloister.
Solitude will perhaps recall her to a sense of her duty: But to
prevent your opposing that wished event, I must inform you, Don
Alphonso, that your presence here is no longer agreeable either
to the Baron or Myself. It was not to talk nonsense to my Niece
that your Relations sent you to Germany: Your business was to
travel, and I should be sorry to impede any longer so excellent a
design. Farewell, Segnor; Remember, that tomorrow morning we
meet for the last time.'
Having said this, She darted upon me a look of pride, contempt,
and malice, and quitted the apartment. I also retired to mine,
and consumed the night in planning the means of rescuing Agnes
from the power of her tyrannical Aunt.
After the positive declaration of its Mistress, it was impossible
for me to make a longer stay at the Castle of Lindenberg.
Accordingly I the next day announced my immediate departure. The
Baron declared that it gave him sincere pain; and He expressed
himself in my favour so warmly, that I endeavoured to win him
over to my interest. Scarcely had I mentioned the name of Agnes
when He stopped me short, and said, that it was totally out of
his power to interfere in the business. I saw that it was in
vain to argue; The Baroness governed her Husband with despotic
sway, and I easily perceived that She had prejudiced him against
the match. Agnes did not appear: I entreated permission to take
leave of her, but my prayer was rejected. I was obliged to
depart without seeing her.
At quitting him the Baron shook my hand affectionately, and
assured me that as soon as his Niece was gone, I might consider
his House as my own.
'Farewell, Don Alphonso!' said the Baroness, and stretched out
her hand to me.
I took it, and offered to carry it to my lips. She prevented me.
Her Husband was at the other end of the room, and out of hearing.
'Take care of yourself,' She continued; 'My love is become
hatred, and my wounded pride shall not be unatoned. Go where
you will, my vengeance shall follow you!'
She accompanied these words with a look sufficient to make me
tremble. I answered not, but hastened to quit the Castle.
As my Chaise drove out of the Court, I looked up to the windows
of your Sister's chamber. Nobody was to be seen there: I threw
myself back despondent in my Carriage. I was attended by no
other servants than a Frenchman whom I had hired at Strasbourg
in Stephano's room, and my little Page whom I before mentioned to
you. The fidelity, intelligence, and good temper of Theodore had
already made him dear to me; But He now prepared to lay an
obligation on me, which made me look upon him as a Guardian
Genius. Scarcely had we proceeded half a mile from the Castle,
when He rode up to the Chaise-door.
'Take courage, Segnor!' said He in Spanish, which He had already
learnt to speak with fluency and correctness. 'While you were
with the Baron, I watched the moment when Dame Cunegonda was
below stairs, and mounted into the chamber over that of Donna
Agnes. I sang as loud as I could a little German air well-known
to her, hoping that She would recollect my voice. I was not
disappointed, for I soon heard her window open. I hastened to
let down a string with which I had provided myself: Upon hearing
the casement closed again, I drew up the string, and fastened to
it I found this scrap of paper.'
He then presented me with a small note addressed to me. I opened
it with impatience: It contained the following words written in
Conceal yourself for the next fortnight in some neighbouring
Village. My Aunt will believe you to have quitted Lindenberg,
and I shall be restored to liberty. I will be in the West
Pavilion at twelve on the night of the thirtieth. Fail not to be
there, and we shall have an opportunity of concerting our future
plans. Adieu. Agnes.
At perusing these lines my transports exceeded all bounds;
Neither did I set any to the expressions of gratitude which I
heaped upon Theodore. In fact his address and attention merited
my warmest praise. You will readily believe that I had not
entrusted him with my passion for Agnes; But the arch Youth had
too much discernment not to discover my secret, and too much
discretion not to conceal his knowledge of it. He observed in
silence what was going on, nor strove to make himself an Agent in
the business till my interests required his interference. I
equally admired his judgment, his penetration, his address, and
his fidelity. This was not the first occasion in which I had
found him of infinite use, and I was every day more convinced of
his quickness and capacity. During my short stay at Strasbourg,
He had applied himself diligently to learning the rudiments of
Spanish: He continued to study it, and with so much success that
He spoke it with the same facility as his native language. He
past the greatest part of his time in reading; He had acquired
much information for his Age; and united the advantages of a
lively countenance and prepossessing figure to an excellent
understanding and the very best of hearts. He is now fifteen; He
is still in my service, and when you see him, I am sure that He
will please you. But excuse this digression: I return to the
subject which I quitted.
I obeyed the instructions of Agnes. I proceeded to Munich.
There I left my Chaise under the care of Lucas, my French
Servant, and then returned on Horseback to a small Village about
four miles distant from the Castle of Lindenberg. Upon arriving
there a story was related to the Host at whose Inn I descended,
which prevented his wondering at my making so long a stay in his
House. The old Man fortunately was credulous and incurious: He
believed all I said, and sought to know no more than what I
thought proper to tell him. Nobody was with me but Theodore;
Both were disguised, and as we kept ourselves close, we were not
suspected to be other than what we seemed. In this manner the
fortnight passed away. During that time I had the pleasing
conviction that Agnes was once more at liberty. She past through
the Village with Dame Cunegonda: She seemed in health and
spirits, and talked to her Companion without any appearance of
'Who are those Ladies?' said I to my Host, as the Carriage past.
'Baron Lindenberg's Niece with her Governess,' He replied; 'She
goes regularly every Friday to the Convent of St. Catharine, in
which She was brought up, and which is situated about a mile from
You may be certain that I waited with impatience for the ensuing
Friday. I again beheld my lovely Mistress. She cast her eyes
upon me, as She passed the Inn-door. A blush which overspread
her cheek told me that in spite of my disguise I had been
recognised. I bowed profoundly. She returned the compliment by
a slight inclination of the head as if made to one inferior, and
looked another way till the Carriage was out of sight.
The long-expected, long-wished for night arrived. It was calm,
and the Moon was at the full. As soon as the Clock struck eleven
I hastened to my appointment, determined not to be too late.
Theodore had provided a Ladder; I ascended the Garden wall
without difficulty; The Page followed me, and drew the Ladder
after us. I posted myself in the West Pavilion, and waited
impatiently for the approach of Agnes. Every breeze that
whispered, every leaf that fell, I believed to be her footstep,
and hastened to meet her. Thus was I obliged to pass a full
hour, every minute of which appeared to me an age. The
Castle Bell at length tolled twelve, and scarcely could I believe
the night to be no further advanced. Another quarter of an hour
elapsed, and I heard the light foot of my Mistress approaching
the Pavilion with precaution. I flew to receive her, and
conducted her to a seat. I threw myself at her feet, and was
expressing my joy at seeing her, when She thus interrupted me.
'We have no time to lose, Alphonso: The moments are precious,
for though no more a Prisoner, Cunegonda watches my every step.
An express is arrived from my Father; I must depart immediately
for Madrid, and 'tis with difficulty that I have obtained a
week's delay. The superstition of my Parents, supported by the
representations of my cruel Aunt, leaves me no hope of softening
them to compassion. In this dilemma I have resolved to commit
myself to your honour: God grant that you may never give me
cause to repent my resolution! Flight is my only resource from
the horrors of a Convent, and my imprudence must be excused by
the urgency of the danger. Now listen to the plan by which I
hope to effect my escape.
'We are now at the thirtieth of April. On the fifth day from
this the Visionary Nun is expected to appear. In my last visit
to the Convent I provided myself with a dress proper for the
character: A Friend, whom I have left there and to whom I made
no scruple to confide my secret, readily consented to supply me
with a religious habit. Provide a carriage, and be with it at a
little distance from the great Gate of the Castle. As soon as
the Clock strikes 'one,' I shall quit my chamber, drest in the
same apparel as the Ghost is supposed to wear. Whoever meets me
will be too much terrified to oppose my escape. I shall easily
reach the door, and throw myself under your protection. Thus far
success is certain: But Oh! Alphonso, should you deceive me!
Should you despise my imprudence and reward it with ingratitude,
the World will not hold a Being more wretched than myself! I
feel all the dangers to which I shall be exposed. I feel that I
am giving you a right to treat me with levity: But I rely upon
your love, upon your honour! The step which I am on the point of
taking, will incense my Relations against me: Should you desert
me, should you betray the trust reposed in you, I shall have no
friend to punish your insult, or support my cause. On yourself
alone rests all my hope, and if your own heart does not plead in
my behalf, I am undone for ever!'
The tone in which She pronounced these words was so touching,
that in spite of my joy at receiving her promise to follow me, I
could not help being affected. I also repined in secret at not
having taken the precaution to provide a Carriage at the Village,
in which case I might have carried off Agnes that very night.
Such an attempt was now impracticable: Neither Carriage or
Horses were to be procured nearer than Munich, which was distant
from Lindenberg two good days journey. I was therefore obliged
to chime in with her plan, which in truth seemed well arranged:
Her disguise would secure her from being stopped in quitting the
Castle, and would enable her to step into the Carriage at the
very Gate without difficulty or losing time.
Agnes reclined her head mournfully upon my shoulder, and by the
light of the Moon I saw tears flowing down her cheek. I strove
to dissipate her melancholy, and encouraged her to look forward
to the prospect of happiness. I protested in the most solemn
terms that her virtue and innocence would be safe in my keeping,
and that till the church had made her my lawful Wife, her honour
should be held by me as sacred as a Sister's. I told her that
my first care should be to find you out, Lorenzo, and reconcile
you to our union; and I was continuing to speak in the same
strain, when a noise without alarmed me. Suddenly the door of
the Pavilion was thrown open, and Cunegonda stood before us. She
had heard Agnes steal out of her chamber, followed her into the
Garden, and perceived her entering the Pavilion. Favoured by the
Trees which shaded it, and unperceived by Theodore who waited at
a little distance, She had approached in silence, and overheard
our whole conversation.
'Admirable!' cried Cunegonda in a voice shrill with passion,
while Agnes uttered a loud shriek; 'By St. Barbara, young Lady,
you have an excellent invention! You must personate the Bleeding
Nun, truly? What impiety! What incredulity! Marry, I have a
good mind to let you pursue your plan: When the real Ghost met
you, I warrant, you would be in a pretty condition! Don
Alphonso, you ought to be ashamed of yourself for seducing a
young ignorant Creature to leave her family and Friends:
However, for this time at least I shall mar your wicked designs.
The noble Lady shall be informed of the whole affair, and Agnes
must defer playing the Spectre till a better opportunity.
Farewell, Segnor-- Donna Agnes, let me have the honour of
conducting your Ghost-ship back to your apartment.'
She approached the Sopha on which her trembling Pupil was seated,
took her by the hand, and prepared to lead her from the Pavilion.
I detained her, and strove by entreaties, soothing, promises, and
flattery to win her to my party: But finding all that I could
say of no avail, I abandoned the vain attempt.
'Your obstinacy must be its own punishment,' said I; 'But one
resource remains to save Agnes and myself, and I shall not
hesitate to employ it.'
Terrified at this menace, She again endeavoured to quit the
Pavilion; But I seized her by the wrist, and detained her
forcibly. At the same moment Theodore, who had followed her into
the room, closed the door, and prevented her escape. I took the
veil of Agnes: I threw it round the Duenna's head, who uttered
such piercing shrieks that in spite of our distance from the
Castle, I dreaded their being heard. At length I succeeded in
gagging her so compleatly that She could not produce a single
sound. Theodore and myself with some difficulty next contrived
to bind her hands and feet with our handkerchiefs; And I advised
Agnes to regain her chamber with all diligence. I promised that
no harm should happen to Cunegonda, bad her remember that on the
fifth of May I should be in waiting at the Great Gate of the
Castle, and took of her an affectionate farewell. Trembling and
uneasy She had scarce power enough to signify her consent to my
plans, and fled back to her apartment in disorder and confusion.
In the meanwhile Theodore assisted me in carrying off my
antiquated Prize. She was hoisted over the wall, placed before
me upon my Horse like a Portmanteau, and I galloped away with her
from the Castle of Lindenberg. The unlucky Duenna never had made
a more disagreeable journey in her life: She was jolted and
shaken till She was become little more than an animated Mummy;
not to mention her fright when we waded through a small River
through which it was necessary to pass in order to regain the
Village. Before we reached the Inn, I had already determined how
to dispose of the troublesome Cunegonda. We entered the Street
in which the Inn stood, and while the page knocked, I waited at a
little distance. The Landlord opened the door with a Lamp in his
'Give me the light!' said Theodore; 'My Master is coming.'
He snatched the Lamp hastily, and purposely let it fall upon the
ground: The Landlord returned to the Kitchen to re-light the
Lamp, leaving the door open. I profited by the obscurity, sprang
from my Horse with Cunegonda in my arms, darted up stairs,
reached my chamber unperceived, and unlocking the door of a
spacious Closet, stowed her within it, and then turned the Key.
The Landlord and Theodore soon after appeared with lights: The
Former expressed himself a little surprised at my returning so
late, but asked no impertinent questions. He soon quitted the
room, and left me to exult in the success of my undertaking.
I immediately paid a visit to my Prisoner. I strove to persuade
her submitting with patience to her temporary confinement. My
attempt was unsuccessful. Unable to speak or move, She expressed
her fury by her looks, and except at meals I never dared to
unbind her, or release her from the Gag. At such times I stood
over her with a drawn sword, and protested, that if She uttered a
single cry, I would plunge it in her bosom. As soon as She had
done eating, the Gag was replaced. I was conscious that this
proceeding was cruel, and could only be justified by the urgency
of circumstances: As to Theodore, He had no scruples upon the
subject. Cunegonda's captivity entertained him beyond measure.
During his abode in the Castle, a continual warfare had been
carried on between him and the Duenna; and now that He found his
Enemy so absolutely in his power, He triumphed without mercy. He
seemed to think of nothing but how to find out new means of
plaguing her: Sometimes He affected to pity her misfortune, then
laughed at, abused, and mimicked her; He played her a thousand
tricks, each more provoking than the other, and amused himself by
telling her that her elopement must have occasioned much
surprise at the Baron's. This was in fact the case. No one
except Agnes could imagine what was become of Dame Cunegonda:
Every hole and corner was searched for her; The Ponds were
dragged, and the Woods underwent a thorough examination. Still
no Dame Cunegonda made her appearance. Agnes kept the secret,
and I kept the Duenna: The Baroness, therefore, remained in
total ignorance respecting the old Woman's fate, but suspected
her to have perished by suicide. Thus past away five days,
during which I had prepared every thing necessary for my
enterprise. On quitting Agnes, I had made it my first business
to dispatch a Peasant with a letter to Lucas at Munich, ordering
him to take care that a Coach and four should arrive about ten
o'clock on the fifth of May at the Village of Rosenwald. He
obeyed my instructions punctually: The Equipage arrived at the
time appointed. As the period of her Lady's elopement drew
nearer, Cunegonda's rage increased. I verily believe that spight
and passion would have killed her, had I not luckily discovered
her prepossession in favour of Cherry Brandy. With this favourite
liquor She was plentifully supplied, and Theodore always
remaining to guard her, the Gag was occasionally removed. The
liquor seemed to have a wonderful effect in softening the
acrimony of her nature; and her confinement not admitting of any
other amusement, She got drunk regularly once a day just by way
of passing the time.
The fifth of May arrived, a period by me never to be forgotten!
Before the Clock struck twelve, I betook myself to the scene of
action. Theodore followed me on horseback. I concealed the
Carriage in a spacious Cavern of the Hill, on whose brow the
Castle was situated: This Cavern was of considerable depth, and
among the peasants was known by the name of Lindenberg Hole. The
night was calm and beautiful: The Moonbeams fell upon the
antient Towers of the Castle, and shed upon their summits a
silver light. All was still around me: Nothing was to be heard
except the night breeze sighing among the leaves, the distant
barking of Village Dogs, or the Owl who had established herself
in a nook of the deserted Eastern Turret. I heard her melancholy
shriek, and looked upwards. She sat upon the ride of a window,
which I recognized to be that of the haunted Room. This brought
to my remembrance the story of the Bleeding Nun, and I sighed
while I reflected on the influence of superstition and weakness
of human reason. Suddenly I heard a faint chorus steal upon the
silence of the night.
'What can occasion that noise, Theodore?'
'A Stranger of distinction,' replied He, 'passed through the
Village today in his way to the Castle: He is reported to be
the Father of Donna Agnes. Doubtless, the Baron has given an
entertainment to celebrate his arrival.'
The Castle Bell announced the hour of midnight: This was the
usual signal for the family to retire to Bed. Soon after I
perceived lights in the Castle moving backwards and forwards in
different directions. I conjectured the company to be
separating. I could hear the heavy doors grate as they opened
with difficulty, and as they closed again the rotten Casements
rattled in their frames. The chamber of Agnes was on the other
side of the Castle. I trembled lest She should have failed in
obtaining the Key of the haunted Room: Through this it was
necessary for her to pass in order to reach the narrow
Staircase by which the Ghost was supposed to descend into the
great Hall. Agitated by this apprehension, I kept my eyes
constantly fixed upon the window, where I hoped to perceive the
friendly glare of a Lamp borne by Agnes. I now heard the massy
Gates unbarred. By the candle in his hand I distinguished old
Conrad, the Porter. He set the Portal doors wide open, and
retired. The lights in the Castle gradually disappeared, and at
length the whole Building was wrapt in darkness.
While I sat upon a broken ridge of the Hill, the stillness of the
scene inspired me with melancholy ideas not altogether
unpleasing. The Castle which stood full in my sight, formed an
object equally awful and picturesque. Its ponderous Walls tinged
by the moon with solemn brightness, its old and partly-ruined
Towers lifting themselves into the clouds and seeming to frown on
the plains around them, its lofty battlements oergrown with ivy,
and folding Gates expanding in honour of the Visionary
Inhabitant, made me sensible of a sad and reverential horror.
Yet did not these sensations occupy me so fully, as to prevent me
from witnessing with impatience the slow progress of time. I
approached the Castle, and ventured to walk round it. A few rays
of light still glimmered in the chamber of Agnes. I observed
them with joy. I was still gazing upon them, when I perceived a
figure draw near the window, and the Curtain was carefully closed
to conceal the Lamp which burned there. Convinced by this
observation that Agnes had not abandoned our plan, I returned
with a light heart to my former station.
The half-hour struck! The three-quarters struck! My bosom beat
high with hope and expectation. At length the wished-for sound
was heard. The Bell tolled 'One,' and the Mansion echoed with
the noise loud and solemn. I looked up to the Casement of the
haunted Chamber. Scarcely had five minutes elapsed, when the
expected light appeared. I was now close to the Tower. The
window was not so far from the Ground but that I fancied I
perceived a female figure with a Lamp in her hand moving slowly
along the Apartment. The light soon faded away, and all was
again dark and gloomy.
Occasional gleams of brightness darted from the Staircase
windows as the lovely Ghost past by them. I traced the light
through the Hall: It reached the Portal, and at length I beheld
Agnes pass through the folding gates. She was habited exactly
as She had described the Spectre. A chaplet of Beads hung upon
her arm; her head was enveloped in a long white veil; Her Nun's
dress was stained with blood, and She had taken care to provide
herself with a Lamp and dagger. She advanced towards the spot
where I stood. I flew to meet her, and clasped her in my arms.
'Agnes!' said I while I pressed her to my bosom,
Agnes! Agnes! Thou art mine!
Agnes! Agnes! I am thine!
In my veins while blood shall roll,
Thou art mine!
I am thine!
Thine my body! Thine my soul!
Terrified and breathless She was unable to speak: She dropt her
Lamp and dagger, and sank upon my bosom in silence. I raised her
in my arms, and conveyed her to the Carriage. Theodore remained
behind in order to release Dame Cunegonda. I also charged him
with a letter to the Baroness explaining the whole affair, and
entreating her good offices in reconciling Don Gaston to my union
with his Daughter. I discovered to her my real name: I proved
to her that my birth and expectations justified my pretending to
her Niece, and assured her, though it was out of my power to
return her love, that I would strive unceasingly to obtain her
esteem and friendship.
I stepped into the Carriage, where Agnes was already seated.
Theodore closed the door, and the Postillions drove away. At
first I was delighted with the rapidity of our progress; But as
soon as we were in no danger of pursuit, I called to the Drivers,
and bad them moderate their pace. They strove in vain to obey
me. The Horses refused to answer the rein, and continued to rush
on with astonishing swiftness. The Postillions redoubled their
efforts to stop them, but by kicking and plunging the Beasts soon
released themselves from this restraint. Uttering a loud shriek,
the Drivers were hurled upon the ground. Immediately thick
clouds obscured the sky: The winds howled around us, the
lightning flashed, and the Thunder roared tremendously. Never
did I behold so frightful a Tempest! Terrified by the jar of
contending elements, the Horses seemed every moment to increase
their speed. Nothing could interrupt their career; They dragged
the Carriage through Hedges and Ditches, dashed down the most
dangerous precipices, and seemed to vye in swiftness with the
rapidity of the winds.
All this while my Companion lay motionless in my arms. Truly
alarmed by the magnitude of the danger, I was in vain attempting
to recall her to her senses; when a loud crash announced, that a
stop was put to our progress in the most disagreeable manner.
The Carriage was shattered to pieces. In falling I struck my
temple against a flint. The pain of the wound, the violence of
the shock, and apprehension for the safety of Agnes combined to
overpower me so compleatly, that my senses forsook me, and I lay
without animation on the ground.
I probably remained for some time in this situation, since when I
opened my eyes, it was broad daylight. Several Peasants were
standing round me, and seemed disputing whether my recovery was
possible. I spoke German tolerably well. As soon as I could
utter an articulate sound, I enquired after Agnes. What was my
surprise and distress, when assured by the Peasants, that nobody
had been seen answering the description which I gave of her!
They told me that in going to their daily labour they had been
alarmed by observing the fragments of my Carriage, and by hearing
the groans of an Horse, the only one of the four which remained
alive: The other Three lay dead by my side. Nobody was near me
when they came up, and much time had been lost, before they
succeeded in recovering me. Uneasy beyond expression respecting
the fate of my Companion, I besought the Peasants to disperse
themselves in search of her: I described her dress, and promised
immense rewards to whoever brought me any intelligence. As for
myself, it was impossible for me to join in the pursuit: I had
broken two of my ribs in the fall: My arm being dislocated hung
useless by my side; and my left leg was shattered so terribly,
that I never expected to recover its use.
The Peasants complied with my request: All left me except Four,
who made a litter of boughs and prepared to convey me to the
neighbouring Town. I enquired its name. It proved to be
Ratisbon, and I could scarcely persuade myself that I had
travelled to such a distance in a single night. I told the
Countrymen that at one o'clock that morning I had past through
the Village of Rosenwald. They shook their heads wistfully, and
made signs to each other that I must certainly be delirious. I
was conveyed to a decent Inn and immediately put to bed. A
Physician was sent for, who set my arm with success. He then
examined my other hurts, and told me that I need be under no
apprehension of the consequences of any of them; But ordered me
to keep myself quiet, and be prepared for a tedious and painful
cure. I answered him that if He hoped to keep me quiet, He must
first endeavour to procure me some news of a Lady who had
quitted Rosenwald in my company the night before, and had been
with me at the moment when the Coach broke down. He smiled, and
only replied by advising me to make myself easy, for that all
proper care should be taken of me. As He quitted me, the Hostess
met him at the door of the room.
'The Gentleman is not quite in his right senses;' I heard him say
to her in a low voice; ' 'Tis the natural consequence of his
fall, but that will soon be over.'
One after another the Peasants returned to the Inn, and informed
me that no traces had been discovered of my unfortunate Mistress.
Uneasiness now became despair. I entreated them to renew their
search in the most urgent terms, doubling the promises which I
had already made them. My wild and frantic manner confirmed the
bye-standers in the idea of my being delirious. No signs of the
Lady having appeared, they believed her to be a creature
fabricated by my over-heated brain, and paid no attention to my
entreaties. However, the Hostess assured me that a fresh enquiry
should be made, but I found afterwards that her promise was only
given to quiet me. No further steps were taken in the business.
Though my Baggage was left at Munich under the care of my French
Servant, having prepared myself for a long journey, my purse was
amply furnished: Besides my equipage proved me to be of
distinction, and in consequence all possible attention was paid
me at the Inn. The day passed away: Still no news arrived of
Agnes. The anxiety of fear now gave place to despondency. I
ceased to rave about her and was plunged in the depth of
melancholy reflections. Perceiving me to be silent and tranquil,
my Attendants believed my delirium to have abated, and that my
malady had taken a favourable turn. According to the Physician's
order I swallowed a composing medicine; and as soon as the night
shut in, my attendants withdrew and left me to repose.
That repose I wooed in vain. The agitation of my bosom chased
away sleep. Restless in my mind, in spite of the fatigue of my
body, I continued to toss about from side to side, till the Clock
in a neighbouring Steeple struck 'One.' As I listened to the
mournful hollow sound, and heard it die away in the wind, I felt
a sudden chillness spread itself over my body. I shuddered
without knowing wherefore; Cold dews poured down my forehead, and
my hair stood bristling with alarm. Suddenly I heard slow and
heavy steps ascending the staircase. By an involuntary movement
I started up in my bed, and drew back the curtain. A single
rush-light which glimmered upon the hearth shed a faint gleam
through the apartment, which was hung with tapestry. The door
was thrown open with violence. A figure entered, and drew near
my Bed with solemn measured steps. With trembling apprehension I
examined this midnight Visitor. God Almighty! It was the
Bleeding Nun! It was my lost Companion! Her face was still
veiled, but She no longer held her Lamp and dagger. She lifted
up her veil slowly. What a sight presented itself to my startled
eyes! I beheld before me an animated Corse. Her countenance was
long and haggard; Her cheeks and lips were bloodless; The
paleness of death was spread over her features, and her eyeballs
fixed stedfastly upon me were lustreless and hollow.
I gazed upon the Spectre with horror too great to be described.
My blood was frozen in my veins. I would have called for aid,
but the sound expired ere it could pass my lips. My nerves were
bound up in impotence, and I remained in the same attitude
inanimate as a Statue.
The visionary Nun looked upon me for some minutes in silence:
There was something petrifying in her regard. At length in a low
sepulchral voice She pronounced the following words.
''Raymond! Raymond! Thou art mine!
Raymond! Raymond! I am thine!
In thy veins while blood shall roll,
I am thine!
Thou art mine!
Mine thy body! Mine thy soul!----''
Breathless with fear, I listened while She repeated my own
expressions. The Apparition seated herself opposite to me at the
foot of the Bed, and was silent. Her eyes were fixed earnestly
upon mine: They seemed endowed with the property of the
Rattlesnake's, for I strove in vain to look off her. My eyes
were fascinated, and I had not the power of withdrawing them from
In this attitude She remained for a whole long hour without
speaking or moving; nor was I able to do either. At length the
Clock struck two. The Apparition rose from her seat, and
approached the side of the bed. She grasped with her icy fingers
my hand which hung lifeless upon the Coverture, and pressing her
cold lips to mine, again repeated,
''Raymond! Raymond! Thou art mine!
I am thine! &c.----''
She then dropped my hand, quitted the chamber with slow steps,
and the Door closed after her. Till that moment the faculties of
my body had been all suspended; Those of my mind had alone been
waking. The charm now ceased to operate: The blood which had
been frozen in my veins rushed back to my heart with violence: I
uttered a deep groan, and sank lifeless upon my pillow.
The adjoining room was only separated from mine by a thin
partition: It was occupied by the Host and his Wife: The Former
was rouzed by my groan, and immediately hastened to my chamber:
The Hostess soon followed him. With some difficulty they
succeeded in restoring me to my senses, and immediately sent for
the Physician, who arrived in all diligence. He declared my
fever to be very much increased, and that if I continued to
suffer such violent agitation, He would not take upon him to
ensure my life. Some medicines which He gave me in some degree
tranquillized my spirits. I fell into a sort of slumber towards
daybreak; But fearful dreams prevented me from deriving any
benefit from my repose. Agnes and the Bleeding Nun presented
themselves by turns to my fancy, and combined to harass and
torment me. I awoke fatigued and unrefreshed. My fever seemed
rather augmented than diminished; The agitation of my mind
impeded my fractured bones from knitting: I had frequent
fainting fits, and during the whole day the Physician judged it
expedient not to quit me for two hours together.
The singularity of my adventure made me determine to conceal it
from every one, since I could not expect that a circumstance so
strange should gain credit. I was very uneasy about Agnes. I
knew not what She would think at not finding me at the
rendezvous, and dreaded her entertaining suspicions of my
fidelity. However, I depended upon Theodore's discretion, and
trusted that my letter to the Baroness would convince her of the
rectitude of my intentions. These considerations somewhat
lightened my inquietude upon her account: But the impression
left upon my mind by my nocturnal Visitor grew stronger with
every succeeding moment. The night drew near; I dreaded its
arrival. Yet I strove to persuade myself that the Ghost would
appear no more, and at all events I desired that a Servant might
sit up in my chamber.
The fatigue of my body from not having slept on the former night,
co-operating with the strong opiates administered to me in
profusion, at length procured me that repose of which I was so
much in need. I sank into a profound and tranquil slumber, and
had already slept for some hours, when the neighbouring Clock
rouzed me by striking 'One'. Its sound brought with it to my
memory all the horrors of the night before. The same cold
shivering seized me. I started up in my bed, and perceived the
Servant fast asleep in an armed-Chair near me. I called him by
his name: He made no answer. I shook him forcibly by the arm,
and strove in vain to wake him. He was perfectly insensible to
my efforts. I now heard the heavy steps ascending the
staircase; The Door was thrown open, and again the Bleeding Nun
stood before me. Once more my limbs were chained in second
infancy. Once more I heard those fatal words repeated,
''Raymond! Raymond! Thou art mine!
Raymond! Raymond! I am thine! &c.----''
The scene which had shocked me so sensibly on the former night,
was again presented. The Spectre again pressed her lips to mine,
again touched me with her rotting fingers, and as on her first
appearance, quitted the chamber as soon as the Clock told 'Two.'
Even night was this repeated. Far from growing accustomed to the
Ghost, every succeeding visit inspired me with greater horror.
Her idea pursued me continually, and I became the prey of
habitual melancholy. The constant agitation of my mind naturally
retarded the re-establishment of my health. Several months
elapsed before I was able to quit my bed; and when at length I
was moved to a Sopha, I was so faint, spiritless, and emaciated,
that I could not cross the room without assistance. The looks of
my Attendants sufficiently denoted the little hope, which they
entertained of my recovery. The profound sadness, which
oppressed me without remission made the Physician consider me to
be an Hypochondriac. The cause of my distress I carefully
concealed in my own bosom, for I knew that no one could give me
relief: The Ghost was not even visible to any eye but mine. I
had frequently caused Attendants to sit up in my room: But the
moment that the Clock struck 'One,' irresistible slumber seized
them, nor left them till the departure of the Ghost.
You may be surprized that during this time I made no enquiries
after your Sister. Theodore, who with difficulty had discovered
my abode, had quieted my apprehensions for her safety: At the
same time He convinced me that all attempts to release her from
captivity must be fruitless till I should be in a condition to
return to Spain. The particulars of her adventure which I shall
now relate to you, were partly communicated to me by Theodore,
and partly by Agnes herself.
On the fatal night when her elopement was to have taken place,
accident had not permitted her to quit her chamber at the
appointed time. At length She ventured into the haunted room,
descended the staircase leading into the Hall, found the Gates
open as She expected, and left the Castle unobserved. What was
her surprize at not finding me ready to receive her! She
examined the Cavern, ranged through every Alley of the
neighbouring wood, and passed two full hours in this fruitless
enquiry. She could discover no traces either of me or of the
Carriage. Alarmed and disappointed, her only resource was to
return to the Castle before the Baroness missed her: But here
She found herself in a fresh embarrassment. The Bell had already
tolled 'Two:' The Ghostly hour was past, and the careful Porter
had locked the folding gates. After much irresolution She
ventured to knock softly. Luckily for her, Conrad was still
awake: He heard the noise and rose, murmuring at being called
up a second time. No sooner had He opened one of the Doors, and
beheld the supposed Apparition waiting there for admittance, than
He uttered a loud cry, and sank upon his knees. Agnes profited
by his terror. She glided by him, flew to her own apartment, and
having thrown off her Spectre's trappings, retired to bed
endeavouring in vain to account for my disappearing.
In the mean while Theodore having seen my Carriage drive off with
the false Agnes, returned joyfully to the Village. The next
morning He released Cunegonda from her confinement, and
accompanied her to the Castle. There He found the Baron, his
Lady, and Don Gaston, disputing together upon the Porter's
relation. All of them agreed in believing the existence of
Spectres: But the Latter contended, that for a Ghost to knock
for admittance was a proceeding till then unwitnessed, and
totally incompatible with the immaterial nature of a Spirit.
They were still discussing this subject when the Page appeared
with Cunegonda and cleared up the mystery. On hearing his
deposition, it was agreed unanimously that the Agnes whom
Theodore had seen step into my Carriage must have been the
Bleeding Nun, and that the Ghost who had terrified Conrad was no
other than Don Gaston's Daughter.
The first surprize which this discovery occasioned being over,
the Baroness resolved to make it of use in persuading her Niece
to take the veil. Fearing lest so advantageous an establishment
for his Daughter should induce Don Gaston to renounce his
resolution, She suppressed my letter, and continued to represent
me as a needy unknown Adventurer. A childish vanity had led me
to conceal my real name even from my Mistress; I wished to be
loved for myself, not for being the Son and Heir of the Marquis
de las Cisternas. The consequence was that my rank was known to
no one in the Castle except the Baroness, and She took good care
to confine the knowledge to her own breast. Don Gaston having
approved his Sister's design, Agnes was summoned to appear before
them. She was taxed with having meditated an elopement, obliged
to make a full confession, and was amazed at the gentleness with
which it was received: But what was her affliction, when
informed that the failure of her project must be attributed to
me! Cunegonda, tutored by the Baroness, told her that when I
released her, I had desired her to inform her Lady that our
connexion was at an end, that the whole affair was occasioned by
a false report, and that it by no means suited my circumstances
to marry a Woman without fortune or expectations.
To this account my sudden disappearing gave but too great an air
of probability. Theodore, who could have contradicted the story,
by Donna Rodolpha's order was kept out of her sight: What proved
a still greater confirmation of my being an Impostor, was the
arrival of a letter from yourself declaring that you had no sort
of acquaintance with Alphonso d'Alvarada. These seeming proofs
of my perfidy, aided by the artful insinuations of her Aunt, by
Cunegonda's flattery, and her Father's threats and anger,
entirely conquered your Sister's repugnance to a Convent.
Incensed at my behaviour, and disgusted with the world in
general, She consented to receive the veil. She past another
Month at the Castle of Lindenberg, during which my non-appearance
confirmed her in her resolution, and then accompanied Don Gaston
into Spain. Theodore was now set at liberty. He hastened to
Munich, where I had promised to let him hear from me; But finding
from Lucas that I had never arrived there, He pursued his search
with indefatigable perseverance, and at length succeeded in
rejoining me at Ratisbon.
So much was I altered, that scarcely could He recollect my
features: The distress visible upon his sufficiently testified
how lively was the interest which He felt for me. The society of
this amiable Boy, whom I had always considered rather as a
Companion than a Servant, was now my only comfort. His
conversation was gay yet sensible, and his observations shrewd
and entertaining: He had picked up much more knowledge than is
usual at his Age: But what rendered him most agreeable to me,
was his having a delightful voice, and some skill in Music. He
had also acquired some taste in poetry, and even ventured
sometimes to write verses himself. He occasionally composed
little Ballads in Spanish, his compositions were but indifferent,
I must confess; yet they were pleasing to me from their novelty,
and hearing him sing them to his guitar was the only amusement,
which I was capable of receiving. Theodore perceived well enough
that something preyed upon my mind; But as I concealed the cause
of my grief even from him, Respect would not permit him to pry
into my secrets.
One Evening I was lying upon my Sopha, plunged in reflections
very far from agreeable: Theodore amused himself by observing
from the window a Battle between two Postillions, who were
quarrelling in the Inn-yard.
'Ha! Ha!' cried He suddenly; 'Yonder is the Great Mogul.'
'Who?' said I.
'Only a Man who made me a strange speech at Munich.'
'What was the purport of it?'
'Now you put me in mind of it, Segnor, it was a kind of message
to you; but truly it was not worth delivering. I believe the
Fellow to be mad, for my part. When I came to Munich in search
of you, I found him living at 'The King of the Romans,' and the
Host gave me an odd account of him. By his accent He is supposed
to be a Foreigner, but of what Country nobody can tell. He
seemed to have no acquaintance in the Town, spoke very seldom,
and never was seen to smile. He had neither Servants or Baggage;
But his Purse seemed well-furnished, and He did much good in the
Town. Some supposed him to be an Arabian Astrologer, Others to
be a Travelling Mountebank, and many declared that He was Doctor
Faustus, whom the Devil had sent back to Germany. The Landlord,
however told me, that He had the best reasons to believe him to
be the Great Mogul incognito.'
'But the strange speech, Theodore.'
'True, I had almost forgotten the speech: Indeed for that
matter, it would not have been a great loss if I had forgotten
it altogether. You are to know, Segnor, that while I was
enquiring about you of the Landlord, this Stranger passed by. He
stopped, and looked at me earnestly. 'Youth!' said He in a solemn
voice, 'He whom you seek, has found that which He would fain
lose. My hand alone can dry up the blood: Bid your Master wish
for me when the Clock strikes, 'One.'
'How?' cried I, starting from my Sopha. (The words which
Theodore had repeated, seemed to imply the Stranger's knowledge
of my secret) 'Fly to him, my Boy! Entreat him to grant me one
Theodore was surprised at the vivacity of my manner: However, He
asked no questions, but hastened to obey me. I waited his return
impatiently. But a short space of time had elapsed when He again
appeared and ushered the expected Guest into my chamber. He was
a Man of majestic presence: His countenance was strongly marked,
and his eyes were large, black, and sparkling: Yet there was a
something in his look which, the moment that I saw him, inspired
me with a secret awe, not to say horror. He was drest plainly,
his hair was unpowdered, and a band of black velvet which
encircled his forehead spread over his features an additional
gloom. His countenance wore the marks of profound melancholy;
his step was slow, and his manner grave, stately, and solemn.
He saluted me with politeness; and having replied to the usual
compliments of introduction, He motioned to Theodore to quit the
chamber. The Page instantly withdrew.
'I know your business,' said He, without giving me time to speak.
'I have the power of releasing you from your nightly Visitor; But
this cannot be done before Sunday. On the hour when the Sabbath
Morning breaks, Spirits of darkness have least influence over
Mortals. After Saturday the Nun shall visit you no more.'
'May I not enquire,' said I, 'by what means you are in possession
of a secret which I have carefully concealed from the knowledge
'How can I be ignorant of your distress, when their cause at this
moment stands beside you?'
I started. The Stranger continued.
'Though to you only visible for one hour in the twenty-four,
neither day or night does She ever quit you; Nor will She ever
quit you till you have granted her request.'
'And what is that request?'
'That She must herself explain: It lies not in my knowledge.
Wait with patience for the night of Saturday: All shall be then
I dared not press him further. He soon after changed the
conversation and talked of various matters. He named People who
had ceased to exist for many Centuries, and yet with whom He
appeared to have been personally acquainted. I could not mention
a Country however distant which He had not visited, nor could I
sufficiently admire the extent and variety of his information.
I remarked to him that having travelled, seen, and known so much,
must have given him infinite pleasure. He shook his head
'No one,' He replied, 'is adequate to comprehending the misery of
my lot! Fate obliges me to be constantly in movement: I am not
permitted to pass more than a fortnight in the same place. I
have no Friend in the world, and from the restlessness of my
destiny I never can acquire one. Fain would I lay down my
miserable life, for I envy those who enjoy the quiet of the
Grave: But Death eludes me, and flies from my embrace. In vain
do I throw myself in the way of danger. I plunge into the Ocean;
The Waves throw me back with abhorrence upon the shore: I rush
into fire; The flames recoil at my approach: I oppose myself to
the fury of Banditti; Their swords become blunted, and break
against my breast: The hungry Tiger shudders at my approach, and
the Alligator flies from a Monster more horrible than itself.
God has set his seal upon me, and all his Creatures respect this
He put his hand to the velvet, which was bound round his
forehead. There was in his eyes an expression of fury, despair,
and malevolence, that struck horror to my very soul. An
involuntary convulsion made me shudder. The Stranger perceived
'Such is the curse imposed on me,' he continued: 'I am doomed to
inspire all who look on me with terror and detestation. You
already feel the influence of the charm, and with every
succeeding moment will feel it more. I will not add to your
sufferings by my presence. Farewell till Saturday. As soon as
the Clock strikes twelve, expect me at your chamber door.'
Having said this He departed, leaving me in astonishment at the
mysterious turn of his manner and conversation.
His assurances that I should soon be relieved from the
Apparition's visits produced a good effect upon my constitution.
Theodore, whom I rather treated as an adopted Child than a
Domestic, was surprized at his return to observe the amendment in
my looks. He congratulated me on this symptom of returning
health, and declared himself delighted at my having received so
much benefit from my conference with the Great Mogul. Upon
enquiry I found that the Stranger had already past eight days in
Ratisbon: According to his own account, therefore, He was only
to remain there six days longer. Saturday was still at the
distance of Three. Oh! with what impatience did I expect its
arrival! In the interim, the Bleeding Nun continued her
nocturnal visits; But hoping soon to be released from them
altogether, the effects which they produced on me became less
violent than before.
The wished-for night arrived. To avoid creating suspicion I
retired to bed at my usual hour: But as soon as my Attendants
had left me, I dressed myself again, and prepared for the
Stranger's reception. He entered my room upon the turn of
midnight. A small Chest was in his hand, which He placed near
the Stove. He saluted me without speaking; I returned the
compliment, observing an equal silence. He then opened his
Chest. The first thing which He produced was a small wooden
Crucifix: He sank upon his knees, gazed upon it mournfully, and
cast his eyes towards heaven. He seemed to be praying devoutly.
At length He bowed his head respectfully, kissed the Crucifix
thrice, and quitted his kneeling posture. He next drew from the
Chest a covered Goblet: With the liquor which it contained, and
which appeared to be blood, He sprinkled the floor, and then
dipping in it one end of the Crucifix, He described a circle in
the middle of the room. Round about this He placed various
reliques, sculls, thigh-bones &c; I observed, that He disposed
them all in the forms of Crosses. Lastly He took out a large
Bible, and beckoned me to follow him into the Circle. I obeyed.
'Be cautious not to utter a syllable!' whispered the Stranger;
'Step not out of the circle, and as you love yourself, dare not
to look upon my face!'
Holding the Crucifix in one hand, the Bible in the other, He
seemed to read with profound attention. The Clock struck 'One'!
As usual I heard the Spectre's steps upon the Staircase: But I
was not seized with the accustomed shivering. I waited her
approach with confidence. She entered the room, drew near the
Circle, and stopped. The Stranger muttered some words, to me
unintelligible. Then raising his head from the Book, and
extending the Crucifix towards the Ghost, He pronounced in a
voice distinct and solemn,
'Beatrice! Beatrice! Beatrice!'
'What wouldst Thou?' replied the Apparition in a hollow faltering
'What disturbs thy sleep? Why dost thou afflict and torture this
Youth? How can rest be restored to thy unquiet Spirit?'
'I dare not tell!--I must not tell!--Fain would I repose in my
Grave, but stern commands force me to prolong my punishment!'
'Knowest Thou this blood? Knowest Thou in whose veins it flowed?
Beatrice! Beatrice! In his name I charge thee to answer me!'
'I dare not disobey my taskers.'
'Darest Thou disobey Me?'
He spoke in a commanding tone, and drew the sable band from his
forehead. In spite of his injunctions to the contrary,
Curiosity would not suffer me to keep my eyes off his face: I
raised them, and beheld a burning Cross impressed upon his brow.
For the horror with which this object inspired me I cannot
account, but I never felt its equal! My senses left me for some
moments; A mysterious dread overcame my courage, and had not the
Exorciser caught my hand, I should have fallen out of the Circle.
When I recovered myself, I perceived that the burning Cross had
produced an effect no less violent upon the Spectre. Her
countenance expressed reverence, and horror, and her visionary
limbs were shaken by fear.
'Yes!' She said at length; 'I tremble at that mark!-- respect
it!--I obey you! Know then, that my bones lie still unburied:
They rot in the obscurity of Lindenberg Hole. None but this
Youth has the right of consigning them to the Grave. His own
lips have made over to me his body and his soul: Never will I
give back his promise, never shall He know a night devoid of
terror, unless He engages to collect my mouldering bones, and
deposit them in the family vault of his Andalusian Castle. Then
let thirty Masses be said for the repose of my Spirit, and I
trouble this world no more. Now let me depart! Those flames are
He let the hand drop slowly which held the Crucifix, and which
till then He had pointed towards her. The apparition bowed her
head, and her form melted into air. The Exorciser led me out of
the Circle. He replaced the Bible &c. in the Chest, and then
addressed himself to me, who stood near him speechless from
'Don Raymond, you have heard the conditions on which repose is
promised you. Be it your business to fulfil them to the letter.
For me nothing more remains than to clear up the darkness still
spread over the Spectre's History, and inform you that when
living, Beatrice bore the name of las Cisternas. She was the
great Aunt of your Grandfather: In quality of your relation,
her ashes demand respect from you, though the enormity of her
crimes must excite your abhorrence. The nature of those crimes
no one is more capable of explaining to you than myself: I was
personally acquainted with the holy Man who proscribed her
nocturnal riots in the Castle of Lindenberg, and I hold this
narrative from his own lips.
'Beatrice de las Cisternas took the veil at an early age, not by
her own choice, but at the express command of her Parents. She
was then too young to regret the pleasures of which her
profession deprived her: But no sooner did her warm and
voluptuous character begin to be developed than She abandoned
herself freely to the impulse of her passions, and seized the
first opportunity to procure their gratification. This
opportunity was at length presented, after many obstacles which
only added new force to her desires. She contrived to elope from
the Convent, and fled to Germany with the Baron Lindenberg. She
lived at his Castle several months as his avowed Concubine: All
Bavaria was scandalized by her impudent and abandoned conduct.
Her feasts vied in luxury with Cleopatra's, and Lindenberg became
the Theatre of the most unbridled debauchery. Not satisfied with
displaying the incontinence of a Prostitute, She professed
herself an Atheist: She took every opportunity to scoff at her
monastic vows, and loaded with ridicule the most sacred
ceremonies of Religion.
'Possessed of a character so depraved, She did not long confine
her affections to one object. Soon after her arrival at the
Castle, the Baron's younger Brother attracted her notice by his
strong-marked features, gigantic Stature, and Herculean limbs.
She was not of an humour to keep her inclinations long unknown;
But She found in Otto von Lindenberg her equal in depravity. He
returned her passion just sufficiently to increase it; and when
He had worked it up to the desired pitch, He fixed the price of
his love at his Brother's murder. The Wretch consented to this
horrible agreement. A night was pitched upon for perpetrating
the deed. Otto, who resided on a small Estate a few miles
distant from the Castle, promised that at One in the morning He
would be waiting for her at Lindenberg Hole; that He would bring
with him a party of chosen Friends, by whose aid He doubted not
being able to make himself Master of the Castle; and that his
next step should be the uniting her hand to his. It was this
last promise, which overruled every scruple of Beatrice, since in
spite of his affection for her, the Baron had declared positively
that He never would make her his Wife.
'The fatal night arrived. The Baron slept in the arms of his
perfidious Mistress, when the Castle-Bell struck 'One.'
Immediately Beatrice drew a dagger from underneath the pillow,
and plunged it in her Paramour's heart. The Baron uttered a
single dreadful groan, and expired. The Murderess quitted her
bed hastily, took a Lamp in one hand, in the other the bloody
dagger, and bent her course towards the cavern. The Porter dared
not to refuse opening the Gates to one more dreaded in the
Castle than its Master. Beatrice reached Lindenberg Hole
unopposed, where according to promise She found Otto waiting for
her. He received and listened to her narrative with transport:
But ere She had time to ask why He came unaccompanied, He
convinced her that He wished for no witnesses to their interview.
Anxious to conceal his share in the murder, and to free himself
from a Woman, whose violent and atrocious character made him
tremble with reason for his own safety, He had resolved on the
destruction of his wretched Agent. Rushing upon her suddenly, He
wrested the dagger from her hand: He plunged it still reeking
with his Brother's blood in her bosom, and put an end to her
existence by repeated blows.
'Otto now succeeded to the Barony of Lindenberg. The murder was
attributed solely to the fugitive Nun, and no one suspected him
to have persuaded her to the action. But though his crime was
unpunished by Man, God's justice permitted him not to enjoy in
peace his blood-stained honours. Her bones lying still unburied
in the Cave, the restless soul of Beatrice continued to inhabit
the Castle. Drest in her religious habit in memory of her vows
broken to heaven, furnished with the dagger which had drank the
blood of her Paramour, and holding the Lamp which had guided her
flying steps, every night did She stand before the Bed of Otto.
The most dreadful confusion reigned through the Castle; The
vaulted chambers resounded with shrieks and groans; And the
Spectre, as She ranged along the antique Galleries, uttered an
incoherent mixture of prayers and blasphemies. Otto was unable
to withstand the shock which He felt at this fearful Vision:
Its horror increased with every succeeding appearance: His alarm
at length became so insupportable that his heart burst, and one
morning He was found in his bed totally deprived of warmth and
animation. His death did not put an end to the nocturnal riots.
The bones of Beatrice continued to lie unburied, and her Ghost
continued to haunt the Castle.
'The domains of Lindenberg now fell to a distant Relation. But
terrified by the accounts given him of the Bleeding Nun (So was
the Spectre called by the multitude), the new Baron called to his
assistance a celebrated Exorciser. This holy Man succeeded in
obliging her to temporary repose; But though She discovered to
him her history, He was not permitted to reveal it to others, or
cause her skeleton to be removed to hallowed ground. That Office
was reserved for you, and till your coming, her Ghost was doomed
to wander about the Castle and lament the crime which She had
there committed. However, the Exorciser obliged her to silence
during his lifetime. So long as He existed, the haunted chamber
was shut up, and the Spectre was invisible. At his death which
happened in five years after, She again appeared, but only once
on every fifth year, on the same day and at the same hour when
She plunged her Knife in the heart of her sleeping Lover: She
then visited the Cavern which held her mouldering skeleton,
returned to the Castle as soon as the Clock struck 'Two,' and was
seen no more till the next five years had elapsed.
'She was doomed to suffer during the space of a Century. That
period is past. Nothing now remains but to consign to the Grave
the ashes of Beatrice. I have been the means of releasing you
from your visionary Tormentor; and amidst all the sorrows which
oppress me, to think that I have been of use to you, is some
consolation. Youth, farewell! May the Ghost of your Relation
enjoy that rest in the Tomb, which the Almighty's vengeance has
denied to me for ever!'
Here the Stranger prepared to quit the apartment.
'Stay yet one moment!' said I; 'You have satisfied my curiosity
with regard to the Spectre, but you leave me in prey to yet
greater respecting yourself. Deign to inform me, to whom I am
under such real obligations. You mention circumstances long
past, and persons long dead: You were personally acquainted with
the Exorciser, who by your own account has been deceased near a
Century. How am I to account for this? What means that burning
Cross upon your forehead, and why did the sight of it strike
such horror to my soul?'
On these points He for some time refused to satisfy me. At
length overcome by my entreaties, He consented to clear up the
whole, on condition that I would defer his explanation till the
next day. With this request I was obliged to comply, and He left
me. In the Morning my first care was to enquire after the
mysterious Stranger. Conceive my disappointment when informed
that He had already quitted Ratisbon. I dispatched messengers in
pursuit of him but in vain. No traces of the Fugitive were
discovered. Since that moment I never have heard any more of
him, and 'tis most probable that I never shall.'
(Lorenzo here interrupted his Friend's narrative.
'How?' said He; 'You have never discovered who He was, or even
formed a guess?'
'Pardon me,' replied the Marquis; 'When I related this adventure
to my Uncle, the Cardinal-Duke, He told me that He had no doubt
of this singular Man's being the celebrated Character known
universally by the name of 'the wandering Jew.' His not being
permitted to pass more than fourteen days on the same spot, the
burning Cross impressed upon his forehead, the effect which it
produced upon the Beholders, and many other circumstances give
this supposition the colour of truth. The Cardinal is fully
persuaded of it; and for my own part I am inclined to adopt the
only solution which offers itself to this riddle. I return to
the narrative from which I have digressed.')
From this period I recovered my health so rapidly as to astonish
my Physicians. The Bleeding Nun appeared no more, and I was soon
able to set out for Lindenberg. The Baron received me with open
arms. I confided to him the sequel of my adventure; and He was
not a little pleased to find that his Mansion would be no longer
troubled with the Phantom's quiennial visits. I was sorry to
perceive that absence had not weakened Donna Rodolpha's
imprudent passion. In a private conversation which I had with
her during my short stay at the Castle, She renewed her attempts
to persuade me to return her affection. Regarding her as the
primary cause of all my sufferings, I entertained for her no
other sentiment than disgust. The Skeleton of Beatrice was found
in the place which She had mentioned. This being all that I
sought at Lindenberg, I hastened to quit the Baron's domains,
equally anxious to perform the obsequies of the murdered Nun, and
escape the importunity of a Woman whom I detested. I departed,
followed by Donna Rodolpha's menaces that my contempt should not
be long unpunished.
I now bent my course towards Spain with all diligence. Lucas
with my Baggage had joined me during my abode at Lindenberg. I
arrived in my native Country without any accident, and
immediately proceeded to my Father's Castle in Andalusia. The
remains of Beatrice were deposited in the family vault, all due
ceremonies performed, and the number of Masses said which She had
required. Nothing now hindered me from employing all my
endeavours to discover the retreat of Agnes. The Baroness had
assured me that her Niece had already taken the veil: This
intelligence I suspected to have been forged by jealousy, and
hoped to find my Mistress still at liberty to accept my hand. I
enquired after her family; I found that before her Daughter could
reach Madrid, Donna Inesilla was no more: You, my dear Lorenzo,
were said to be abroad, but where I could not discover: Your
Father was in a distant Province on a visit to the Duke de
Medina, and as to Agnes, no one could or would inform me what was
become of her. Theodore, according to promise, had returned to
Strasbourg, where He found his Grandfather dead, and Marguerite
in possession of his fortune. All her persuations to remain with
her were fruitless: He quitted her a second time, and followed
me to Madrid. He exerted himself to the utmost in forwarding my
search: But our united endeavours were unattended by success.
The retreat, which concealed Agnes remained an impenetrable
mystery, and I began to abandon all hopes of recovering her.
About eight months ago I was returning to my Hotel in a
melancholy humour, having past the evening at the Play-House.
The Night was dark, and I was unaccompanied. Plunged in
reflections which were far from being agreeable, I perceived not
that three Men had followed me from the Theatre; till, on turning
into an unfrequented Street, they all attacked me at the same
time with the utmost fury. I sprang back a few paces, drew my
sword, and threw my cloak over my left arm. The obscurity of the
night was in my favour. For the most part the blows of the
Assassins, being aimed at random, failed to touch me. I at
length was fortunate enough to lay one of my Adversaries at my
feet; But before this I had already received so many wounds, and
was so warmly pressed, that my destruction would have been
inevitable, had not the clashing of swords called a Cavalier to
my assistance. He ran towards me with his sword drawn: Several
Domestics followed him with torches. His arrival made the combat
equal: Yet would not the Bravoes abandon their design till the
Servants were on the point of joining us. They then fled away,
and we lost them in the obscurity.
The Stranger now addressed himself to me with politeness, and
enquired whether I was wounded. Faint with the loss of blood, I
could scarcely thank him for his seasonable aid, and entreat him
to let some of his Servants convey me to the Hotel de las
Cisternas. I no sooner mentioned the name than He profest
himself an acquaintance of my Father's, and declared that He
would not permit my being transported to such a distance before
my wounds had been examined. He added that his House was hard
by, and begged me to accompany him thither. His manner was so
earnest, that I could not reject his offer, and leaning upon his
arm, a few minutes brought me to the Porch of a magnificent
On entering the House, an old grey-headed Domestic came to
welcome my Conductor: He enquired when the Duke, his Master,
meant to quit the Country, and was answered that He would remain
there yet some months. My Deliverer then desired the
family Surgeon to be summoned without delay. His orders were
obeyed. I was seated upon a Sopha in a noble apartment; and my
wounds being examined, they were declared to be very slight. The
Surgeon, however, advised me not to expose myself to the
night air; and the Stranger pressed me so earnestly to take a bed
in his House, that I consented to remain where I was for the
Being now left alone with my Deliverer, I took the opportunity of
thanking him in more express terms, than I had done hitherto:
But He begged me to be silent upon the subject.
'I esteem myself happy,' said He, 'in having had it in my power
to render you this little service; and I shall think myself
eternally obliged to my Daughter for detaining me so late at the
Convent of St. Clare. The high esteem in which I have ever held
the Marquis de las Cisternas, though accident has not permitted
our being so intimate as I could wish, makes me rejoice in the
opportunity of making his Son's acquaintance. I am certain that
my Brother in whose House you now are, will lament his not being
at Madrid to receive you himself: But in the Duke's absence I am
Master of the family, and may assure you in his name, that every
thing in the Hotel de Medina is perfectly at your disposal.'
Conceive my surprize, Lorenzo, at discovering in the person of my
Preserver Don Gaston de Medina: It was only to be equalled by my
secret satisfaction at the assurance that Agnes inhabited the
Convent of St. Clare. This latter sensation was not a little
weakened, when in answer to my seemingly indifferent questions He
told me that his Daughter had really taken the veil. I suffered
not my grief at this circumstance to take root in my mind: I
flattered myself with the idea that my Uncle's credit at the
Court of Rome would remove this obstacle, and that without
difficulty I should obtain for my Mistress a dispensation from
her vows. Buoyed up with this hope I calmed the uneasiness of my
bosom; and I redoubled my endeavours to appear grateful for the
attention and pleased with the society of Don Gaston.
A Domestic now entered the room, and informed me that the Bravo
whom I had wounded discovered some signs of life. I desired
that He might be carried to my Father's Hotel, and that as soon
as He recovered his voice, I would examine him respecting his
reasons for attempting my life. I was answered that He was
already able to speak, though with difficulty: Don Gaston's
curiosity made him press me to interrogate the Assassin in his
presence, but this curiosity I was by no means inclined to
gratify. One reason was, that doubting from whence the blow
came, I was unwilling to place before Don Gaston's eyes the guilt
of a Sister: Another was, that I feared to be recognized for
Alphonso d'Alvarada, and precautions taken in consequence to keep
me from the sight of Agnes. To avow my passion for his Daughter,
and endeavour to make him enter into my schemes, what I knew of
Don Gaston's character convinced me would be an imprudent step:
and considering it to be essential that He should know me for no
other than the Conde de las Cisternas, I was determined not to
let him hear the Bravo's confession. I insinuated to him, that
as I suspected a Lady to be concerned in the Business, whose name
might accidentally escape from the Assassin, it was necessary for
me to examine the Man in private. Don Gaston's delicacy would
not permit his urging the point any longer, and in consequence
the Bravo was conveyed to my Hotel.
The next Morning I took leave of my Host, who was to return to
the Duke on the same day. My wounds had been so trifling that,
except being obliged to wear my arm in a sling for a short time,
I felt no inconvenience from the night's adventure. The Surgeon
who examined the Bravo's wound declared it to be mortal: He had
just time to confess that He had been instigated to murder me by
the revengeful Donna Rodolpha, and expired in a few minutes
All my thoughts were now bent upon getting to the speech of my
lovely Nun. Theodore set himself to work, and for this time with
better success. He attacked the Gardener of St. Clare so
forcibly with bribes and promises that the Old Man was entirely
gained over to my interests; and it was settled that I should be
introduced into the Convent in the character of his Assistant.
The plan was put into execution without delay. Disguised in a
common habit, and a black patch covering one of my eyes, I was
presented to the Lady Prioress, who condescended to approve of
the Gardener's choice. I immediately entered upon my employment.
Botany having been a favourite study with me, I was by no means
at a loss in my new station. For some days I continued to work
in the Convent Garden without meeting the Object of my disguise:
On the fourth Morning I was more successful. I heard the voice
of Agnes, and was speeding towards the sound, when the sight of
the Domina stopped me. I drew back with caution, and concealed
myself behind a thick clump of Trees.
The Prioress advanced and seated herself with Agnes on a Bench
at no great distance. I heard her in an angry tone blame her
Companion's continual melancholy: She told her that to weep the
loss of any Lover in her situation was a crime; But that to weep
the loss of a faithless one was folly and absurdity in the
extreme. Agnes replied in so low a voice that I could not
distinguish her words, but I perceived that She used terms of
gentleness and submission. The conversation was interrupted by
the arrival of a young Pensioner who informed the Domina that
She was waited for in the Parlour. The old Lady rose, kissed the
cheek of Agnes, and retired. The newcomer remained. Agnes spoke
much to her in praise of somebody whom I could not make out, but
her Auditor seemed highly delighted, and interested by the
conversation. The Nun showed her several letters; the Other
perused them with evident pleasure, obtained permission to copy
them, and withdrew for that purpose to my great satisfaction.
No sooner was She out of sight, than I quitted my concealment.
Fearing to alarm my lovely Mistress, I drew near her gently,
intending to discover myself by degrees. But who for a moment
can deceive the eyes of love? She raised her head at my
approach, and recognised me in spite of my disguise at a single
glance. She rose hastily from her seat with an exclamation of
surprize, and attempted to retire; But I followed her, detained
her, and entreated to be heard. Persuaded of my falsehood She
refused to listen to me, and ordered me positively to quit the
Garden. It was now my turn to refuse. I protested that however
dangerous might be the consequences, I would not leave her till
She had heard my justification. I assured her that She had been
deceived by the artifices of her Relations; that I could convince
her beyond the power of doubt that my passion had been pure and
disinterested; and I asked her what should induce me to seek her
in the Convent, were I influenced by the selfish motives which my
Enemies had ascribed to me.
My prayers, my arguments, and vows not to quit her, till She had
promised to listen to me, united to her fears lest the Nuns
should see me with her, to her natural curiosity, and to the
effection which She still felt for me in spite of my supposed
desertion, at length prevailed. She told me that to grant my
request at that moment was impossible; But She engaged to be in
the same spot at eleven that night, and to converse with me for
the last time. Having obtained this promise I released her hand,
and She fled back with rapidity towards the Convent.
I communicated my success to my Ally, the old Gardener: He
pointed out an hiding place where I might shelter myself till
night without fear of a discovery. Thither I betook myself at
the hour when I ought to have retired with my supposed Master,
and waited impatiently for the appointed time. The chillness of
the night was in my favour, since it kept the other Nuns confined
to their Cells. Agnes alone was insensible of the inclemency of
the Air, and before eleven joined me at the spot which had
witnessed our former interview. Secure from interruption, I
related to her the true cause of my disappearing on the fatal
fifth of May. She was evidently much affected by my narrative:
When it was concluded, She confessed the injustice of her
suspicions, and blamed herself for having taken the veil through
despair at my ingratitude.
'But now it is too late to repine!' She added; 'The die is
thrown: I have pronounced my vows, and dedicated myself to the
service of heaven. I am sensible, how ill I am calculated for a
Convent. My disgust at a monastic life increases daily: Ennui
and discontent are my constant Companions; and I will not conceal
from you that the passion which I formerly felt for one so near
being my Husband is not yet extinguished in my bosom. But we
must part! Insuperable Barriers divide us from each other, and
on this side the Grave we must never meet again!'
I now exerted myself to prove that our union was not so
impossible as She seemed to think it. I vaunted to her the
Cardinal-Duke of Lerma's influence at the Court of Rome: I
assured her that I should easily obtain a dispensation from her
vows; and I doubted not but Don Gaston would coincide with my
views, when informed of my real name and long attachment. Agnes
replied that since I encouraged such an hope, I could know but
little of her Father. Liberal and kind in every other respect,
Superstition formed the only stain upon his character. Upon this
head He was inflexible; He sacrificed his dearest interests to
his scruples, and would consider it an insult to suppose him
capable of authorising his daughter to break her vows to heaven.
'But suppose,' said I interrupting her; 'Suppose that He should
disapprove of our union; Let him remain ignorant of my
proceedings, till I have rescued you from the prison in which
you are now confined. Once my Wife, you are free from his
authority: I need from him no pecuniary assistance; and when He
sees his resentment to be unavailing, He will doubtless restore
you to his favour. But let the worst happen; Should Don Gaston
be irreconcileable, my Relations will vie with each other in
making you forget his loss: and you will find in my Father a
substitute for the Parent of whom I shall deprive you.'
'Don Raymond,' replied Agnes in a firm and resolute voice, 'I
love my Father: He has treated me harshly in this one instance;
but I have received from him in every other so many proofs of
love that his affection is become necessary to my existence.
Were I to quit the Convent, He never would forgive me; nor can I
think that on his deathbed He would leave me his curse, without
shuddering at the very idea. Besides, I am conscious myself,
that my vows are binding: Wilfully did I contract my engagement
with heaven; I cannot break it without a crime. Then banish from
your mind the idea of our being ever united. I am devoted to
religion; and however I may grieve at our separation, I would
oppose obstacles myself, to what I feel would render me guilty.'
I strove to overrule these ill-grounded scruples: We were still
disputing upon the subject, when the Convent Bell summoned the
Nuns to Matins. Agnes was obliged to attend them; But She left
me not till I had compelled her to promise that on the following
night She would be at the same place at the same hour. These
meetings continued for several Weeks uninterrupted; and 'tis now,
Lorenzo, that I must implore your indulgence. Reflect upon our
situation, our youth, our long attachment: Weigh all the
circumstances which attended our assignations, and you will
confess the temptation to have been irresistible; you will even
pardon me when I acknowledge, that in an unguarded moment, the
honour of Agnes was sacrificed to my passion.'
(Lorenzo's eyes sparkled with fury: A deep crimson spread itself
over his face. He started from his seat, and attempted to draw
his sword. The Marquis was aware of his movement, and caught his
hand: He pressed it affectionately.
'My Friend! My Brother! Hear me to the conclusion! Till then
restrain your passion, and be at least convinced, that if what I
have related is criminal, the blame must fall upon me, and not
upon your Sister.'
Lorenzo suffered himself to be prevailed upon by Don Raymond's
entreaties. He resumed his place, and listened to the rest of
the narrative with a gloomy and impatient countenance. The
Marquis thus continued.)
'Scarcely was the first burst of passion past when Agnes,
recovering herself, started from my arms with horror. She called
me infamous Seducer, loaded me with the bitterest reproaches, and
beat her bosom in all the wildness of delirium. Ashamed of my
imprudence, I with difficulty found words to excuse myself. I
endeavoured to console her; I threw myself at her feet, and
entreated her forgiveness. She forced her hand from me, which I
had taken, and would have prest to my lips.
'Touch me not!' She cried with a violence which terrified me;
'Monster of perfidy and ingratitude, how have I been deceived in
you! I looked upon you as my Friend, my Protector: I trusted
myself in your hands with confidence, and relying upon your
honour, thought that mine ran no risque. And 'tis by you, whom I
adored, that I am covered with infamy! 'Tis by you that I have
been seduced into breaking my vows to God, that I am reduced to a
level with the basest of my sex! Shame upon you, Villain, you
shall never see me more!'
She started from the Bank on which She was seated. I endeavoured
to detain her; But She disengaged herself from me with violence,
and took refuge in the Convent.
I retired, filled with confusion and inquietude. The next
morning I failed not as usual to appear in the Garden; but Agnes
was no where to be seen. At night I waited for her at the place
where we generally met; I found no better success. Several days
and nights passed away in the same manner. At length I saw my
offended Mistress cross the walk on whose borders I was working:
She was accompanied by the same young Pensioner, on whose arm She
seemed from weakness obliged to support herself. She looked upon
me for a moment, but instantly turned her head away. I waited
her return; But She passed on to the Convent without paying any
attention to me, or the penitent looks with which I implored her
As soon as the Nuns were retired, the old Gardener joined me with
a sorrowful air.
'Segnor,' said He, 'it grieves me to say, that I can be no longer
of use to you. The Lady whom you used to meet has just assured
me that if I admitted you again into the Garden, She would
discover the whole business to the Lady Prioress. She bade me
tell you also, that your presence was an insult, and that if you
still possess the least respect for her, you will never attempt
to see her more. Excuse me then for informing you that I can
favour your disguise no longer. Should the Prioress be
acquainted with my conduct, She might not be contented with
dismissing me her service: Out of revenge She might accuse me of
having profaned the Convent, and cause me to be thrown into the
Prisons of the Inquisition.'
Fruitless were my attempts to conquer his resolution. He denied
me all future entrance into the Garden, and Agnes persevered in
neither letting me see or hear from her. In about a fortnight
after, a violent illness which had seized my Father obliged me to
set out for Andalusia. I hastened thither, and as I imagined,
found the Marquis at the point of death. Though on its first
appearance his complaint was declared mortal, He lingered out
several Months; during which my attendance upon him during his
malady, and the occupation of settling his affairs after his
decease, permitted not my quitting Andalusia. Within these four
days I returned to Madrid, and on arriving at my Hotel, I there
found this letter waiting for me.
(Here the Marquis unlocked the drawer of a Cabinet: He took out a
folded paper, which He presented to his Auditor. Lorenzo opened
it, and recognised his Sister's hand. The Contents were as
Into what an abyss of misery have you plunged me! Raymond, you
force me to become as criminal as yourself. I had resolved never
to see you more; if possible, to forget you; If not, only to
remember you with hate. A Being for whom I already feel a
Mother's tenderness, solicits me to pardon my Seducer, and apply
to his love for the means of preservation. Raymond, your child
lives in my bosom. I tremble at the vengeance of the Prioress; I
tremble much for myself, yet more for the innocent Creature whose
existence depends upon mine. Both of us are lost, should my
situation be discovered. Advise me then what steps to take, but
seek not to see me. The Gardener, who undertakes to deliver
this, is dismissed, and we have nothing to hope from that
quarter: The Man engaged in his place is of incorruptible
fidelity. The best means of conveying to me your answer, is by
concealing it under the great Statue of St. Francis, which stands
in the Capuchin Cathedral. Thither I go every Thursday to
confession, and shall easily have an opportunity of securing your
letter. I hear that you are now absent from Madrid; Need I
entreat you to write the very moment of your return? I will not
think it. Ah! Raymond! Mine is a cruel situation! Deceived by
my nearest Relations, compelled to embrace a profession the
duties of which I am ill-calculated to perform, conscious of the
sanctity of those duties, and seduced into violating them by One
whom I least suspected of perfidy, I am now obliged by
circumstances to chuse between death and perjury. Woman's
timidity, and maternal affection, permit me not to balance in the
choice. I feel all the guilt into which I plunge myself, when I
yield to the plan which you before proposed to me. My poor
Father's death which has taken place since we met, has removed
one obstacle. He sleeps in his grave, and I no longer dread his
anger. But from the anger of God, Oh! Raymond! who shall shield
me? Who can protect me against my conscience, against myself? I
dare not dwell upon these thoughts; They will drive me mad. I
have taken my resolution: Procure a dispensation from my vows; I
am ready to fly with you. Write to me, my Husband! Tell me,
that absence has not abated your love, tell me that you will
rescue from death your unborn Child, and its unhappy Mother. I
live in all the agonies of terror: Every eye which is fixed upon
me seems to read my secret and my shame. And you are the cause
of those agonies! Oh! When my heart first loved you, how little
did it suspect you of making it feel such pangs!
Having perused the letter, Lorenzo restored it in silence. The
Marquis replaced it in the Cabinet, and then proceeded.)
'Excessive was my joy at reading this intelligence so
earnestly-desired, so little expected. My plan was soon
arranged. When Don Gaston discovered to me his Daughter's
retreat, I entertained no doubt of her readiness to quit the
Convent: I had, therefore, entrusted the Cardinal-Duke of Lerma
with the whole affair, who immediately busied himself in
obtaining the necessary Bull. Fortunately I had afterwards
neglected to stop his proceedings. Not long since I received a
letter from him, stating that He expected daily to receive the
order from the Court of Rome. Upon this I would willingly have
relyed: But the Cardinal wrote me word, that I must find some
means of conveying Agnes out of the Convent, unknown to the
Prioress. He doubted not but this Latter would be much incensed
by losing a Person of such high rank from her society, and
consider the renunciation of Agnes as an insult to her House. He
represented her as a Woman of a violent and revengeful character,
capable of proceeding to the greatest extremities. It was
therefore to be feared, lest by confining Agnes in the Convent
She should frustrate my hopes, and render the Pope's mandate
unavailing. Influenced by this consideration, I resolved to
carry off my Mistress, and conceal her till the arrival of the
expected Bull in the Cardinal-Duke's Estate. He approved of my
design, and profest himself ready to give a shelter to the
Fugitive. I next caused the new Gardener of St. Clare to be
seized privately, and confined in my Hotel. By this means I
became Master of the Key to the Garden door, and I had now
nothing more to do than prepare Agnes for the elopement. This
was done by the letter, which you saw me deliver this Evening. I
told her in it, that I should be ready to receive her at twelve
tomorrow night, that I had secured the Key of the Garden, and
that She might depend upon a speedy release.
You have now, Lorenzo, heard the whole of my long narrative. I
have nothing to say in my excuse, save that my intentions towards
your Sister have been ever the most honourable: That it has
always been, and still is my design to make her my Wife: And
that I trust, when you consider these circumstances, our youth,
and our attachment, you will not only forgive our momentary lapse
from virtue, but will aid me in repairing my faults to Agnes, and
securing a lawful title to her person and her heart.
Tomorrow Part V
- Joatmoaf -