This was the case

In the mean time, Roderick had been completely victorious in Spain. He
had reached Madrid and established Don Pedro as King; and was now on
his return to Seville, where he had left M. de Mallet and his charming
daughter. Edric, of course, accompanied him; but the rest of the army
had marched to Cadiz to embark, the Greek page only attending upon his

“Well, Edric!” said the King, laughing, as they approached Seville,
“does not your heart beat with pleasure at the thought of quitting

“How can you torment me so, Roderick?”

“Torment you! why I thought you would be in raptures; though I must
own, if you are, they are the most melancholy raptures I ever beheld
in my life.”

“This raillery is not generous. It is unworthy of you. I own I love
Mademoiselle de Mallet–but I despair.”

“And why?”

“Alas! how can I ask her to share the fortunes of a banished man?”

“Am not I your friend?”

“I know it; but I cannot brook dependence even upon you.”

“I do not wish you to be dependent; but what can I do to serve you?
Shall I make war upon this cross old father of yours?”

“Oh, do not speak of him so lightly! Say what you please of me, but
spare my father!”

“I respect your feelings; and as I can say no good of him, I will have
the discretion to be silent.”

Edric felt no inclination to reply to this remark, and they travelled
on in perfect silence till they reached Seville. Here they found every
thing changed: the town had been partially re-built, and the lovely
groves of orange and myrtle trees in the vicinity, glowing with all
the rich luxuriance of a southern spring, gave no idea of the scene
of ruin and desolation it had before presented. They inquired for
the house of M. de Mallet, and upon entering the inner square, or
court-yard, they found him seated under the piazza that stretched round
it, enjoying the evening breeze, whilst his fair daughter was occupied
in reading to him.

A fountain played in the centre of the court, its sparkling spray
descending in silvery showers; whilst innumerable orange trees and
flowering shrubs, which were placed around, perfumed the air with their
delicious fragrance; and a light awning, spread over the roof of the
court, mellowed the light to a soft though glowing tinge, which gave an
air of voluptuous languor to the whole scene.

The delight felt by M. de Mallet and his daughter at again seeing their
deliverers was enthusiastic; and though it was most openly expressed
by the father, the burning cheeks and sparkling eyes of Pauline spoke
quite as intelligibly her silent transport.

“We have long expected you,” said M. de Mallet; “for I cannot describe
how anxious we are to leave this country. Pauline has wearied Heaven
with prayers for your safety, and as I have felt my strength decay
daily, I too have prayed for your return, for I have a secret to
confide to you that weighs heavily upon my spirits.”

“To confide to us?” cried Edric.

“Yes, to you,” said M. de Mallet. “It is true I have not known you
long; but some circumstances make men better acquainted in a month than
the ordinary routine of life does in years. Thus, the kindness with
which you have treated me, and the important events in which I have
seen you engaged, have made me consider you as old and tried friends,
and have induced me to confide to you a secret which I have hitherto
guarded with the utmost scrupulous fidelity.”

“What can you mean?” asked Edric in astonishment; whilst Pauline gazed
upon her father with a look of the most intense anxiety.

“Pauline is not my child!” said the old man impressively. Pauline
uttered a cry of agony that thrilled through the souls of her auditors,
and threw herself at his feet, looking up in his face with an
expression of the bitterest anguish, as though she implored him not to
desert her. M. de Mallet’s agitation was equal to her own, and, as he
fondly regarded her, he continued:

“Yes, miserable being that I am! I am not her father. Alas! often when
I have beheld her enduring hunger and thirst for my sake; when I have
seen her delicate frame exhausted with fatigue or shivering with cold,
whilst still with angelic sweetness she has seemed to forget her own
sufferings, and to think only of alleviating mine–oh, then, how I have
burned to tell her that I did not deserve her kindness, and that I was
an alien from her blood!”

“Oh father! my dearest father!” cried Pauline, her eyes streaming with
tears; “what do you not deserve from me? What is there that I could do,
that could half express my love and gratitude? Alas! though I am not
your child, the tender care you took of my infancy–your kindness, your
affection–” Pauline could not continue, her sobs impeded her utterance.

“My dear child!” said M. de Mallet: and folding her in his arms, he
mingled his tears with hers; whilst Roderick and Edric were both too
powerfully affected to interrupt their sorrows, and stood gazing upon
them in silence, though both ardently desired an explanation of this
seeming mastery. After a short pause, M. de Mallet resumed: “I see the
astonishment I have caused you, and my heart bleeds for the pain I have
been compelled to inflict upon Pauline, but I could not die in peace
without disclosing the truth.”

“Oh, do not talk of dying!” cried Pauline, still clinging to him with
the fondest affection.

“And who are the parents of Mademoiselle de Mallet?” demanded Roderick.

“Alas! I know not,” returned the Swiss. “About twenty years ago, I was
travelling in England with my wife, who, afflicted with an incurable
disease, had been advised to try the skill of English physicians,
they being considered the most able in the world. One night, my poor
wife being exhausted with fatigue, we stopped at a small inn in a
village near the sea coast. The night was tempestuous, and a blazing
light in the kitchen tempted us to wait there whilst the parlour was
prepared for us. A woman sate near the fire, with a lovely little
girl, about two years old, playing at her feet. My poor wife was always
passionately fond of children, though Heaven had never blest us with
any; and attracted by the exquisite beauty of the little cherub, she
took it in her arms and began to caress it.

“‘Is your honour fond of children?’ asked the woman with an evident
affectation of vulgarity.

“‘I dote upon them,’ replied my wife. ‘Oh Louis,’ continued she,
addressing me in French, ‘if I could have such an angel as this to
supply my place to you, I think I could be resigned to die.’

“‘If your honours like the child, you may have her,’ said the woman.

“I started: but recollecting that, from the over education of the
lower classes in England, they were all linguists; the circumstance of
the woman’s understanding what we said, did not appear extraordinary.
‘She is my child,’ continued the woman; ‘I live hard by–and have only
taken shelter here from the storm. The landlady knows me very well.
My husband has been dead some months; and, as I find it hard work to
maintain myself and the child too, I own I shall be glad to place her
in hands where she is sure to be taken care of.’

“The woman’s tale seemed plausible; and my wife and I were easily
induced to conclude the bargain that gave us possession of Pauline!
We visited the cottage of this woman the next morning, and found her
story true, excepting that she had only lived there a few weeks. This,
however, appeared immaterial; as indeed she had not fixed any definite
time for the period of her residence, and gave some reason which I
have forgotten for having left her former abode when her husband died.
Soon after this, we left England, taking Pauline with us: her beauty
increased with her years; and when my poor wife died, which she did a
few months after our return to Switzerland, Pauline formed the sole
consolation of my life. Two or three years afterwards, a friend of
mine visiting England called by my desire upon the reputed mother of
Pauline. He found the cottage deserted, and the landlady of the inn
told him, that the woman had left the place a few hours after we had
done so ourselves.

“This circumstance, combined with the evidently affected vulgarity of
the woman, and the elegance and delicacy of Pauline, has always induced
me to suspect I was the dupe of a deception, and that the child had
been stolen from parents in a superior rank of life to that in which I
found her. Whether my conjectures are correct, I know not; but when I
have surveyed the beauty and graces of my child, my breast has smote
me for confining her to my own humble station, and I have determined,
whenever circumstances would permit, to take her to England, and
endeavour, if possible, to elucidate the mystery that hangs over her

“Accompany me then to Ireland,” said Roderick, “and when you have
stayed there till you are tired, if you still wish to prosecute your
researches, I will give you letters of introduction to the English
Court, and I sincerely hope we may find our fair friend to be a
princess of the blood at least.”

In the mean time, M. de Mallet’s narrative had caused the greatest
agitation in the breasts of Edric and Pauline. “Not his daughter!”
thought the former; “whose can she be, then?” and his imagination ran
wild amongst a variety of dreams and fancies, each more extravagant
than the last: for, to suppose the elegant and accomplished Pauline
the daughter of a mere peasant was impossible; and the transporting
hope that she might yet be his, with the consent of his father and the
approbation of all his friends, danced before him; whilst Pauline,
uncertain what to think, and unable to analyze her own sensations,
felt, even amidst the desolation in which the avowal of M. de Mallet
had involved her, a faint emotion of pleasure still throb at her heart,
when she reflected that now her country was that of her lover’s, and
that it was possible–she dared go no farther, for her senses seemed
unable to support the intoxicating thoughts of what might follow.

It had been agreed that our friends should remain a few days at
Seville, to give the army at Cadiz time to recover from the fatigue of
their march previous to their embarkation; but the morning after their
arrival, a courier arrived with despatches from England, which made
Roderick impatient to leave Spain immediately. He was at breakfast when
these letters, which had been forwarded to him from Cadiz, were put
into his hands. He changed colour, and, starting from his seat, begged
Edric to follow him into the garden.

“Good God, what is the matter?” asked M. de Mallet.

“Nothing, nothing!” replied Roderick; “but that I must return to
Ireland immediately.”

And waving his hand as though to repel farther inquiry, he left the
room; Edric followed in silence. “Edric,” said the Irish Monarch,
throwing himself into a garden-seat and burying his face in his hands;
“Elvira is dethroned, and perhaps murdered, all owing to my cursed
folly in remaining so long in Spain.”

“Elvira!” exclaimed Edric, looking at his friend in the most profound
amazement; for he could not imagine why he took so deep an interest in
her fate.

“I see your astonishment, Edric,” resumed the King; “but I have not now
time to explain whys and wherefores. Suffice it to say, that I adore
Elvira, and if she perish, I will not survive her.”

A piercing shriek burst from the thicket as he uttered these words,
and both Edric and Roderick sprang involuntarily to the spot–it was
vacant; they searched the wood, but no creature was to be seen.

“It was fancy,” said Edric.

“It was the Mummy,” murmured the King, “come to chide me for doubting
his promises for an instant.”

“The Mummy!” cried Edric; “good God! what do you mean?” and he gazed
with horror upon the wild and haggard countenance of his friend, who
he seriously believed had become distracted. His look recalled the
fleeting senses of Roderick, and with a ghastly smile he replied, “I am
not mad, though I have enough to make me so. We must return to Ireland
without a moment’s delay, and there reinforce my army. Elvira must be
restored immediately, for her life is in danger from every moment’s

“I hope not,” said Edric; “for, though I detest Rosabella, I do not
think her capable of assassination.”

“If she be not, Father Morris is,” returned Roderick, in a low voice,
with a look of intense feeling.

Edric turned pale.–“In the name of God, tell me who and what you are?”
said he earnestly; “and how you have obtained this close knowledge of
the English Court.”

“I am called the Devil’s favourite, you know,” returned Roderick,
smiling, in spite of his distress, at his friend’s embarrassment, “and
it would be very hard if my patron did not give me a hint now and then
upon subjects of importance.”

“How _can_ you jest upon such a topic?” asked Edric reproachfully.

“True,” returned Roderick; “as you say, the subject is not one to joke
upon: for we must quit Seville in a few hours, and leave M. de Mallet
and the pretty Pauline to follow us under the escort of my Greek page;
or rather, what perhaps you would prefer, you shall stay behind to take
care of them, and Alexis and I will proceed alone.”

“Oh Roderick!” exclaimed Edric, “how can you imagine I could leave you?”

“Not even for Pauline?” asked the King, smiling.

“Not even for Pauline,” repeated Edric firmly; “my love for you
surpasses even the devoted love of woman; and whilst I breathe, neither
peril nor pleasure shall tear me from your side.”

“My dear Edric!” said Roderick; the tears glistening in his eyes: the
next instant, however, he dashed them away, and added gaily, “But come,
we must go and make our bows, and take our leave like pretty behaved
cavaliers; and you may trust my discretion, Edric, that I will not tell
Pauline of your want of gallantry.”

The Greek page looked the image of despair, when he heard his master’s
commands that he should remain behind; and passions, dark as the
lowering heavens before a storm, hung upon his brow. He offered no
opposition, however, to his master’s will; and crossing his arms upon
his breast, bent his head in token of obedience.

The voyage of Edric and Roderick to Ireland was rapid and favourable in
the extreme; and on their arrival, their reception was enthusiastic.
The Irish are proverbially warmhearted, and the rapture with which they
now greeted their victorious Monarch defies description. Triumphal
arches were erected, the walls were hung with tapestry, and the streets
strewed with flowers, to greet his entry into his capital. Roderick did
not refuse these honours; but it was evident to all who knew him well,
that his mind was occupied with other things; and, in fact, he took
his measures so promptly and so decidedly, that, by the time his army,
with M. de Mallet and his daughter, Dr. Entwerfen, and the Greek page,
arrived from Spain, he had assembled a force quite sufficient for the
restoration of the Queen.

The very day that Elvira fled in terror from the power of her rival,
the combined army of Roderick began its march to hasten to her
assistance; and it had nearly advanced through the whole of the tunnel
under the sea, which separates the two kingdoms, without opposition.
Orders were now given for the soldiers to rest for the night, and tents
were rapidly pitched for that purpose. Roderick, however, could not
sleep; and he stood with his arms folded, gazing at the singular scene
before him, the innumerable torches fixed against the dark sides of the
tunnel shedding their lucid light around, and showing distinctly the
long line of white tents that stretched as far as the eye could reach;
whilst the distant roaring of the sea above their heads, sounded like
the hoarse murmur of gathering thunder.

Whilst Roderick was thus engaged, Edric perceived a group of people
enter the cavern from the English side, and eagerly inquire for the
King. They were brought before him; they were four in number: but one
stayed behind, holding their horses, which looked dreadfully jaded and
distressed; whilst the other three, a man and two women, approached
and threw themselves at Roderick’s feet: “Good God! it is Elvira!”
exclaimed he.

“Henry Seymour!” screamed the Queen, and fell senseless upon the ground.

In the mean time all was anarchy in England. Disgusted with the
world and with himself, the King secluded himself from society, and
passed his time entirely upon a small estate adjoining the chateau
of his father. Sir Ambrose and he often met; but they never spoke,
though their hearts yearned towards each other. With all his good
qualities, Sir Ambrose was prejudiced and obstinate; he loved his son
passionately, but he could not endure a rebel, and the poor old man was
fast sinking into the grave, for want of the very consolation he would
not condescend to receive.

Edmund also was wretched: the habits of respect in which he had been
always brought up towards his father, prevented his daring to intrude
upon him against his will, though he would willingly have relinquished
his empty title of King, and have exposed himself to all the miseries
of absolute want, to have obtained the privilege of throwing himself
upon his father’s neck, and receiving his forgiveness. The title of
Edmund was, indeed, now only an empty one. Rosabella alone exercised
the power of a Sovereign, and her haughty temper and capricious tyranny
made her universally detested. Monarchs to be respected must be firm;
and whilst they continue to inspire respect, they may sometimes venture
to be tyrants. But Rosabella was no longer respected; he was despised;
and the Commons finding themselves oppressed, and their complaints
completely unattended to, began to regret the gentle sway of Elvira.
“She, at least,” said they, “treated us with kindness; and if she did
refuse our petitions, it was with gentleness. But now we are treated
with scorn, and trampled beneath the feet, not only of the Queen, but
of her confessor. We will not, we cannot bear it.”

Sad and mournful also was the life of the Duke of Cornwall: for days
and hours he would wander in the gardens of his chateau with his friend
Sir Ambrose, and lament sorrowfully over the complete destruction of
his hopes.

In these walks they often saw Edmund, gliding at a distance like a
solitary ghost, and plunging amongst the trees when he thought himself
observed. “How changed Edmund is become!” said the duke. “Alas! how
guilt corrodes the heart! He has destroyed my daughter, and he is now
suffering the penalty of his crime.”

“Say not so,” rejoined Sir Ambrose, who could not bear to hear his son
blamed by any one but himself; “if Elvira had not eloped with Prince

“Eloped with Prince Ferdinand!” cried the duke,–“I did not expect
this. What! can you, Sir Ambrose, join in the general voice? Will you
slander poor Elvira? Elvira, whom you have known from her cradle–whom
you have loved and fondled as your own child?”

“Patience! patience! my good friend.”

“I have no patience, I can have no patience, when I hear my daughter
scandalized–my poor motherless girl. Remember, if she should err, she
lost her mother in her childhood–she has been always brought up with
me, and as she has been the playfellow of your sons, from her earliest
infancy, perhaps she may not act according to those rigid restraints
imposed upon her sex, by those who have been always secluded from the
society of men. But she means well, Sir Ambrose, she means well always,
and I’d answer for her virtue with my life. Besides, you know, she has
always been used to have an intimate friend of the other sex;–You know

“No one ever blamed her whilst Edmund was her friend.”

“And who dares blame her now? No one, I trust, whilst I have an arm and
a sword ready to defend her.”

“My good friend, you reason like a fond father; who, though he sees,
is willing to excuse the faults of his offspring: your judgment
condemns Elvira, even more than mine.”

“No, no,–if I thought her wrong, I should not blame her as you do.
Your partiality to Edmund blinds you, and you fancy my poor child has a
thousand faults, because she was not sensible to the merit of your son.”

“You mistake me quite; my opinion of Elvira would be just the same if
Edmund were not in existence: though I acknowledge frankly, that every
time I see his fine noble countenance, worn with care–his pale cheeks
and sunken eyes–I feel a pang through my inmost soul. It is a strange
infatuation that she should repulse my noble boy, and yet elope so
readily with a youth she scarcely knew.”

“Take care what you say, Sir Ambrose–take care what you say,–I will
not have my child insulted.”

“I do not wish to insult her–I speak but the truth–I do not even
think her guilty, though the whole Court rings with her shame.”

“Guilt! shame! And this to me? Oh God! Oh God! I have lived too long!
To hear my child thus basely slandered, and be unable to resent it!”

“Base! and is this the conclusion of our long friendship–Base! and
have I lived to be called base, for merely blaming a coquettish wanton?”

“Wanton!” cried the duke, and transported by his passion he struck
Sir Ambrose violently. The aged baronet could not endure this insult;
his sword flew from his scabbard, and in a few seconds these ancient
friends were engaged in mortal combat.

It was a shocking thing to see these two old men, their white hair
streaming in the wind–their venerable features wrinkled with age,
and their feeble frames tottering for support–fighting with all the
vindictive fury of youth. How fearful is the storm of passion! How
vile the human heart when left to its own workings! Every gentler
feeling was extinguished in the breasts of the two veterans, and only
brutal rage remained. For some time victory was doubtful; but at last
Sir Ambrose fell, and in another moment the sword of his antagonist
would have passed through his bosom, had not a powerful arm arrested
the stroke. It was Edmund! he had heard the clashing of swords at a
distance, and, rushing to the spot, arrived just in time to prevent the
fatal blow.

“Oh my father!” cried Edmund with a thrill of horror, “for God’s
sake, do not die till you have forgiven me! He hears me not!” cried
he, wringing his hands in unutterable anguish. “Oh, for mercy’s sake,
speak! Do not destroy me.”

Sir Ambrose feebly opened his languid eyes: “Farewell,” said he,
faintly: “God bless you!”

“Oh, do you forgive me!” shrieked Edmund, falling upon his knees.

“I do,” said Sir Ambrose: “and–the–duke;” the words feebly ebbed from
his lips; and, as he spoke, the fearful rattle of death gurgled in his
throat, and with a convulsive sob he expired.

Sadly did the duke now gaze upon his fallen foe, but when he found him
dead he was distracted. Madly he tore his hair, and threw himself upon
the corpse; but his agonies were in vain, the vital spark was extinct.
Edmund stood also for some seconds gazing upon the body, without any
distinct idea existing in his mind; but when the whole sad reality
rushed upon him, he could not endure his own thoughts, and darted away
with the velocity of lightning. The duke heeded not his departure; he
had thrown himself upon the body of his departed friend, and the whole
universe seemed to contain for him only that bloody corpse. “I have
killed him! I have killed him!” cried he, “I have killed him!”

His fearful shrieks soon drew many persons to the spot. “I have killed
him!” screamed the duke, in answer to all interrogations; “I have
killed him!” Abelard was one of the first collected round this mournful
spectacle. “What can we do?” said he to Father Murphy,–“the case seems

“I’ve killed him!” again screamed the duke in agony.

“He’s entirely mad,” said Father Murphy, “and there’s no doubt of it.”

“I’ve killed him!” repeated the duke, with a still more piercing
shriek: “I’ve killed him!”

“Oh he is mad,” cried all the spectators, whilst they attempted to
remove him from the spot. With infinite difficulty they succeeded, he
still clinging to the corpse, and screaming “I’ve killed him!” till his
voice was lost in the distance.

Whilst these scenes were transacting at the English Court, the army of
Roderick marched through the kingdom without opposition, for the people
every where, tired of the tyranny of her rival, received Elvira with
open arms, and the chief nobility vied with each other in opening their
houses to entertain her and her suite as she passed along.

It was a fine evening in March, and the night was clear, though cold,
when Elvira, with hurried steps, paced the fine terrace belonging to
the castle of one of these noblemen. The Queen was evidently lost in
reflection, and as she occasionally stopped, she threw back her long
hair and looked up to the sky with an air of intense anxiety. “It is
a lovely night!” murmured she: “Heaven grant that peace may still
attend us! yet, I fear I know not what of danger. Oh, if the forces of
Rosabella should resist–and Roderick should fall–and for me–”

She paused, for the thought seemed too dreadful for endurance. The
moon shone brightly in the heavens, and the stars sparkled like
diamonds on the clear blue sky; whilst Elvira, raising her eyes to
heaven, and clasping her hands together, seemed lost in silent prayer.
Her fair face, shaded by her long black veil, looked even more lovely
than usual, in the soft light thrown upon it; and, as she stood thus
apparently quite absorbed in inward devotion, she seemed almost a
celestial being descended for the moment upon earth, and about to
remount to her native skies.

A figure, wrapped in a dark long cloak, now appeared at the extremity
of the terrace, and advanced slowly towards the Queen. Two other
figures also emerged from the shade, and followed, though at a
considerable distance. Elvira was not aware of their approach till the
first figure stood behind her, and seizing her arms, threw a cloak
over her head to stifle her cries; and then, with the help of the
others, was hurrying her off. At this moment, Roderick sprang actively
upon the terrace, and with one blow from his vigorous arm, felled the
first assailant to the ground. Then, drawing his sword, the enraged
Monarch would have instantly dispatched him, had not the supposed
assassin uttered a piercing scream, and, clinging round his knees,
implored mercy. The moon shone full upon the boy’s face, and disclosed
to Roderick’s astonished eyes the features of the dumb page. “Alexis!”
cried he.

The boy sprang from the ground.

“Roderick!” screamed he; “then I am ruined!”

“Stay!” returned the King, grasping his arm, and preventing his escape;
“who, and what are you? Speak, or dread my vengeance.”

The boy’s heart beat almost to suffocation; every nerve throbbed with
the most violent emotion, and drawing a dagger from his belt, he
attempted to plunge it into the heart of Roderick. “Ah!” cried the
King, starting aside in time to prevent the blow; whilst ere he could
prevent it, the page had buried the weapon in his own bosom.

“Good God!” exclaimed Roderick, “what can this mean?”

The whole of this scene had passed with such rapidity, that Elvira had
scarcely time to recover herself, or to be aware of what had happened.
The two assistants had fled the moment they perceived the King; and
Elvira, with trembling steps and pallid cheeks, approached the spot
where Roderick knelt beside the bleeding page.

Kneeling beside him, she attempted to staunch the blood which flowed
rapidly from the wound, but in vain; for the boy’s life was evidently
fast ebbing.

Brian, a servant of the King, who had followed his master to the
terrace, aided her endeavours; but Roderick remained fixed and
immoveable, his eyes chained as by the power of fascination upon the
page, who now slowly unclosed his eyelids, and heaving a deep sigh,
fixed his languid eyes upon those of Roderick.

“Zoe!” cried the King.

“Yes,” returned the page, gasping for breath, and speaking with
difficulty; “Zoe! I am indeed that wretch. I loved you, Roderick; I
would have died for you. I do die for you; but–but–Elvira–”

“What meant your outrage upon her?”

“What did it mean?” cried Zoe, her eyes flashing fire, and her whole
frame supported by a supernatural energy; “did I not see that you
loved her, and could I endure to resign you to another? No,” continued
she, starting from the ground; “I would have killed her, and, had she
perished, I should have died contented.”

The violence of the action made the blood gush in torrents from her
wound; and, pale and feeble, her failing eyes closed. She staggered a
few paces, fell, heaved one convulsive struggle, and Zoe was no more!

Sadly did Roderick gaze upon that form which had so lately thrilled
with feeling–now cold and inanimate at his feet: the victim of passion
lay before him. Her hopes, her fears, her rage, and her love, had
passed away, and there her body remained a senseless clod of clay, till
it should be resolved into its original elements. By this time, some of
the servants of the castle, who had been summoned by Brian, approached;
and the old Earl of Warwick, in whose castle the fatal scene had taken
place, rushed upon the terrace, calling wildly upon his people to save
the Queen.

“Is it the Lady Elvira that ye mane?” asked Brian; “Och an’t plase
yere honour, and she’s safe, every inch of her.”

“And what has been the matter?” asked the Earl.

“Och and your lordship may well ask that; but the divil a bit any body
can tell you but one, and that’s myself. Ye see, my master, his most
gracious Majesty, and me were walking in the garden; that is, he was
walking and I was watching, for fear any harm should happen to him;
for the life of such as he isn’t to be trusted to chance in a strange
country, and I guess he was thinking of the Queen, though he never
said nothing about it. And so when we came near the terrace, it was so
dark, ye couldn’t see yere hand before you. And then the moon peeped
through the clouds, like a pretty face looking through a ground-glass
window. And then she came out as bright as a silver mirror; and the
Queen looked so pretty as she stood praying, that my master couldn’t
find it in his heart to interrupt her; and for me, I wasn’t the man to
be even thinking of such a thing. And then two black-looking spalpeens,
bad luck to them! stole out behind her, and there wasn’t two, for
there were three of them–with never a livin’ soul beside, to be seen
in respect of being near her: but God never would suffer a rale lady
like herself to want a friend to comfort her when she’d be in naad–and
my master wouldn’t let her be after coming to harm, for he jumped upon
the terrace entirely like a hound springing at the deer–and saved her,
which nobody but himself could have done like it, for the very life
of ’em. And when I came, there was the man lying dead that would have
killed the princess, and it turned out he wasn’t a man at all, but a

The story of Zoe is soon told. Bred in a warm climate, and naturally
enthusiastic in her disposition, she was the child of passion. The
misfortunes she had experienced in Greece, by depriving her of all she
loved, had thrown her affections back upon her own bosom, and they had
preyed upon themselves.

To give vent to the feelings that oppressed her, she created an image
of perfection in her own mind, and this she worshipped in secret.
When she saw Roderick, however, all was changed; a new world seemed
to open upon her. The idol of her fancy, indeed, stood before her;
for Roderick realized all her wildest dreams. He became her god.
His heroism, his person, his talents, caught her imagination, and
the violence of her passions completed the delirium of her soul.
Notwithstanding, however, the intensity of her feelings, no thought of
grosser texture contaminated her mind. Her love was as that of angels,
pure and undefiled:–she regarded Roderick as a thing enshrined, almost
too holy for mortal vows to worship; and she would have considered it
sacrilege to dare even to think of him as a husband.

With these feelings, she had watched over him, with almost a mother’s
love; and when she informed him of the conspiracy against him, she
resolved, with all the romantic self-devotion of a fond woman, to
follow him unknown and in disguise; without any plan, however, but
that of being near him, or any hope but that of contributing to his
happiness. Money, and the assistance of one or two devoted servants,
who contrived to follow in Roderick’s train, had enabled her to
accomplish this. She had felt a momentary jealousy at his anxiety
for Pauline, and she had been half induced to favour the plots of
the Spanish general, to take Roderick prisoner; but that feeling had
worn away, when she discovered the mutual passion of Edric and the
fair Swiss. Now the case was different, and, maddened by the thought
of Roderick’s devotion to Elvira, she had determined to destroy her.
Her trusty Greeks would have assisted her plan, but they fled at her

Inexpressibly shocked at what had taken place, Roderick could scarcely
bear again to separate himself, even for an instant, from Elvira.
“Do not bid me leave you,” said he, looking at her with the fondest
affection; “You shall accompany me, even to the field. Oh! would to
Heaven you would give me a right to be near you for ever.”

“Alas! alas!” replied Elvira; “I tremble for the result of this fatal
contest. Oh that I were but a humble peasant!”

“Would to Heaven you were!” cried Roderick, with enthusiasm; “for
happy as I always am in your presence, never do I feel so much so,
as when we seem, as at present, secluded from the world. Then I could
forget your rank, and all the artificial restraints grandeur has thrown
around you; and without remembering that I am Roderick, and you Elvira,
think only of a pair of simple lovers, whose weightiest care was their
attendance upon their flocks, and whose only happiness consisted in
loving and being beloved.”

“Alas, Roderick!” replied Elvira; “do not speak of love. After the
dreadful scene we have just witnessed, I tremble at the passion. No,
be my friend, Roderick. Friendship is more sure than love. On that, we
may confidently rely; but passion destroys itself with what it feeds
upon–intense feelings cannot last.”

“Oh Elvira! say not so,” cried Roderick, fixing his eyes earnestly upon
her blushing countenance–whilst she, trembling and agitated, betrayed
by her confusion the passion she would have fain concealed.

How feeble are words to express the transports of such a moment! ‘Tis
the oasis in the desert of life–the bright gem that casts a radiance
even upon the dross with which it is surrounded. Man is born to
misery–thick clouds hang over him, and obscure his path–dangers
await him at every step. One single ray alone breaks through the
gloom–bright as the fairy dreams of childhood; but, alas! equally
fleeting. ‘Tis love–pure, passionate, unsophisticated love–the only
glimpse of heaven vouchsafed on earth to man. And this was what was now
felt by Roderick and Elvira, as he, throwing himself at her feet, vowed
eternal constancy, and persuaded her to acknowledge that her hopes of
earthly happiness centered in him alone.

But why do I profane such a scene, by attempting to describe it? Those
who have loved, have only to recollect what they felt upon a similar
occasion; and to those who have not,–Heaven help them!–not all the
eloquence of Cicero himself could give the least idea of any thing of
the kind. Suffice it to say, that before Roderick and Elvira parted,
she consented, if success should crown their efforts, to become his

The state of England, at this moment, defies description. The death
of Sir Ambrose and the insanity of the Duke of Cornwall were events
so shocking in themselves, that it was not surprising they produced a
violent effect upon the minds of the people. Edmund had disappeared,
and Rosabella, instigated by Father Morris and Marianne, became every
day more rapacious and tyrannical; whilst even they quarrelled amongst
themselves, and wretchedness prevailed throughout the kingdom.

This was the state of the public mind, when the news of the invasion of
Roderick first reached the ears of Rosabella.

“Marianne!” she exclaimed, “summon Father Morris. We are ruined,”
continued she, as the reverend father entered–“absolutely ruined.
Roderick is invincible, and he supports Elvira! Where is Cheops?”

“Ay!” returned Father Morris, “where _is_ Cheops? It is that accursed
fiend that has led us on to destruction! His counsels have destroyed
us; for, though plausible in appearance, they have been as deceitful as
the oracles of old.”

“Yet you trusted him!” said Rosabella. “I hated him from the first;
but you trusted him. You thought him all perfection: he flattered your
vanity, and you weakly believed every thing that he asserted.”

“Weakly!” cried Father Morris, his lips quivering with rage.

“Yes, weakly!” returned Rosabella; “for a child would have seen through
his artifices; but you were deceived by them, and have been his dupe,
his tool, his plaything.”

“This to me!” cried Father Morris, gnashing his teeth together with

“Yes, to you,” returned Rosabella coolly; “for why should I longer
conceal my sentiments? I will no longer be your slave. You have made me
deserted by my husband–hated by my subjects–and detested by myself.
I will, therefore, no longer follow your councils; from henceforward I
will act for myself. Adieu, we meet no more as friends!”

And as she spoke, she walked out of the room, leaving the priest
motionless with astonishment.–“This to me!” cried he to Marianne, as
soon as he recovered himself sufficiently to speak–“to me, who have
sacrificed every thing for her! Did I not place her on the throne?
Have I scrupled even to imbrue my hands in blood for her sake? Have I
not committed crimes for her that weigh heavily upon my soul? Did I not
poison Claudia? and should I not also have destroyed Elvira, if Cheops
had not saved her? Oh, Marianne, am I awake? Is it not a cruel dream?
Is it possible it can be Rosabella! Rosabella! _my_ Rosabella! _my
child!_ my own Rosabella! that uses me thus?”

“Hush! hush!” cried Marianne; “’tis but the passion of a moment. Be
composed. Rosabella still loves you; but, irritated by the desertion of
Edmund, and the news she has just heard–”

“Oh, Marianne!” interrupted the friar in agony, “you may easily reason,
for you never had a child; but if Heaven had blessed us with one, you
might have felt for my anguish.”

“I do feel for you,” returned Marianne; “but does she not treat me with
equal scorn? Since the absence of Edmund she has become distracted,
and I, who know the agonies a woman endures when she finds herself
deserted by the man she adores, can feel for her.”

“And who first gained her Edmund? Would he ever have become her
husband, had not I induced him?”

“I believe not; neither would she have been Queen but for you.”

“No–no. Oh! how I have toiled for that ungrateful girl! How I have
adored her!”

“You have been a devoted father.”

“Have I not, Marianne? I have at least endeavoured to expiate my sin.
I have done penance–I have spent nights unnumbered in painful vigils.
I have scourged my body, till the feeble flesh has shrunk beneath the
torture; yet still my mind remains unappeased. Remorse still gnaws my
vitals! Oh, Marianne! how poor is earthly grandeur to a mind diseased!”

In this manner did these companions in iniquity confer; till at length,
hating each other and themselves, they gave vent to mutual upbraiding,
and parted with undisguised hatred and contempt. Such, indeed, is the
disgusting nature of sin, that though a man may shut his eyes to his
own defects, or rather, see them through the magic prism of self-love;
yet he almost always abhors them when he sees them reflected in another.

Thus it was with Father Morris.–Marianne had been his associate in
many scenes of vice; he had, in fact, first led her from the paths of
virtue, and, as usual in such cases, he now hated the creature he had

Father Morris was indeed that brother of the Duke of Cornwall,
whose crimes and punishment have been before slightly hinted at. He
had married in early life a beautiful and accomplished woman; but,
instigated by the machinations of Marianne, whom he had previously
seduced and abandoned, he had become jealous of her, and, in a paroxysm
of rage, had deprived her of life. This was the crime he had since
endeavoured to expiate by the penance of his whole life. Vain, however,
had been his endeavour! The mortification of the body avails little,
where the humiliation of the spirit is wanting; and Father Morris,
notwithstanding his apparent repentance, was proud, envious, and

In a fit of remorse, after the death of his wife, he had embraced a
monastic life, and in order to subject himself to a perpetual penance,
had placed himself as father confessor to Sir Ambrose. No situation,
in fact, could have been more painful to a proud spirit than this; yet
this daily misery Father Morris felt a pride in supporting without

It is strange, but true, that haughty spirits sometimes feel almost
pleasure in trying their powers of endurance to the utmost; for there
is a self-satisfaction in thinking we have borne what seems almost too
much for mortals, that often consoles a man under the acutest agonies.

This was the case with Father Morris, and the daily tortures which he
endured without shrinking, almost reconciled him to himself. Ambition,
however, was still his master-passion, and as his monastic vows
prevented its indulgence in his own person, he devoted himself to the
advancement of his child. How he succeeded, and how he was rewarded,
has been already shown.

“Have you heard the news?” asked Lord Maysworth one morning, bustling
into the breakfast-room of Lord Gustavus de Montfort.

“What is it?” demanded that noble lord, who was sitting at breakfast
with his usual satellites.

“The King of Ireland has arrived at Oxford with an immense army,
intending to re-establish Elvira.”

“Impossible!” cried Lord Gustavus.

“Impossible!” echoed the satellites.

“Something must be done,” said Lord Maysworth.

“Thinking as I think, and as I am confident every one who hears me
must think, or at least, ought to think,” said Lord Gustavus; “no
government can be worse than the one we have at present.”

“The Queen has not performed one of her promises,” subjoined Dr.
Hardman; “and her caprice and cruelty are beyond endurance.”

“Her extravagance is unbounded,” said Lord Maysworth.

“And her arrogance extreme,” rejoined Lord Gustavus.

The satellites shook their heads in chorus.

“In my opinion,” said Lord Maysworth, “we had better seek Elvira and
try to propitiate her. She was used to be mild and gentle.”

“But will she not be too much exasperated with our former desertion, to
listen to us?” asked Dr. Hardman.

“I think not,” said Lord Gustavus pompously.

The result of this conference may be easily imagined. Rosabella found
herself deserted; many who would not have had courage to abandon her
cause, had they not found precedents for their conduct, fled in the
suite of the rebel lords. Roderick rapidly advanced, and his army was
every day augmented by the discontented English.

“I am lost, Marianne!” cried the Queen, when she found the enemy was
within a day’s march of her capital; “I am ruined past redemption.”

“Do not desert yourself,” said Marianne, “and you may yet be saved. If
you despair, it is a virtual acknowledgment of the weakness of your

“What will become of me?” continued Rosabella, wringing her hands; “no
earthly help can save me.”

“But courage may,” said the deep voice of Cheops, who had entered the
room unobserved.

“Ah!” screamed Rosabella; “it is the fiend!”

Cheops laughed, and the unearthly sound rang hoarsely in the ears of
his auditors.

“Speak, demon! or whatever thou art,” cried Marianne; “shall we perish?”

“You shall meet with your reward!” said the Mummy calmly: “Are you

“Oh, Rosabella!” screamed Father Morris, rushing into the room in an
agony of despair; “save her! save my child!”

“Your child?” cried Rosabella; “can it be possible that _you_ are _my_

“I am–I am;–but fly–fly–and I forgive every thing; only let us fly!”

“Alas!” cried Marianne; “he has but too much reason for his agony. The
enemy have entered the city.”

“What will become of us?” ejaculated the friar. “Fiend! monster!
barbarian!” cried he, addressing Cheops, and seizing him roughly by the
arm; “deliver us! It was thy accursed counsels which involved us in
ruin. Save us!”

“My counsels that led you to ruin!” returned Cheops, with one of his
bitter laughs; “say rather, your own passions. Did I urge you to murder
Claudia? Nay, did I not save Elvira? Did I not warn you that the throne
and misery were inseparably connected? And have not all my promises
been fulfilled to the very letter?”

“Yes, yes; to the letter,” returned Father Morris; “but not in spirit.”

“By the sacred hawks of Osiris kept at Edfou! I swore Rosabella should
be Queen, and you her favourite minister.”

“Talk not of what is past,” cried the priest impatiently; “tell me how
to act. The foe is at the gates of the palace.”

“Did you not say there was a secret passage, leading from this chamber?”

“There is! there is!” cried Father Morris, with rapture; “we will there
lie concealed, and may surprise them.”

Cheops laughed:–“Am I still your foe?” asked he, with his usual

“Name it not, name it not!” cried Father Morris; “we have not an
instant to lose. Hurry into the subterranean passage. I hear the horses
of the enemy in the court of the palace!”

“Thebes was perforated with passages, yet she has fallen,” muttered
Cheops, as he followed the friar and Rosabella through the opening into
the secret chamber; Marianne joined them, and the spring pannel closed.

Nothing could be more flattering than the reception Elvira met with
from her people. Roderick had placed her at the head of his army, and
the people hailed her appearance with rapture. Not a blow had been
struck, for the army of Rosabella had joined her banners; and Elvira
advanced to London without opposition. Too mild and forgiving to
indulge a single feeling of revenge, she felt rejoiced that her rival
had escaped, and wished no pursuit to be instituted.

Edric, however, was not so quiescent. A thousand circumstances flashed
upon his mind, to prove that the accession of Rosabella had been long
planned by Father Morris, and he felt convinced he had been the dupe of
the plans they had laid to induce him to quit the kingdom.

“I will find him,” said he, “and expose his infamy. He shall not escape
me thus.”

Vain, however, was his search, and he returned to the room so lately
occupied by Rosabella restless and dispirited. Elvira was now in this
splendid chamber, surrounded by her friends; and, trembling with
agitation, was awaiting the expected arrival of her father.

“Oh, Heavens!” exclaimed she, as the poor old man was led in;
“Roderick! my beloved Roderick! can we not save him!”

“Alas,” returned Roderick, “I fear–but compose yourself, my dearest
girl; all may yet go well.”

“Where is Elvira? my child, my darling Elvira!” cried the old man:
“I did not kill her! No,” whispered he, drawing near to Roderick; “I
killed _him_, it is true, but it was for her sake. He slandered my
child, and I could not bear that.”

“Oh God! oh God!” cried Elvira! “have mercy upon him! It breaks my
heart to see him thus. Leave us, I implore you,” she continued,
addressing her friends; “I cannot bear that even you should see the
extent of his malady. Leave him with me, and perhaps my presence may
recall his lost recollection.”

Finding opposition only increased her anxiety, her friends at length
consented; and Elvira was left alone with her father. Kneeling by
his side as he lay stretched upon a sofa, the Queen endeavoured to
console him; but he knew her not, and wrung her heart by calling
vehemently upon Elvira. “If I could see my child,” said he, “I should
die contented. Call my child! where is Elvira? Yes, yes, I know she is
a Queen, and cannot come to me! Yet I think even a Queen might look at
her poor old father: I only want her to look at me!”

Whilst this scene was passing, Rosabella and her friends lay concealed
in the secret chamber; and, through the moveable pannel, watched every
thing that passed.

“Now is the time,” cried Father Morris; when he saw that Elvira,
exhausted by her grief, had hidden her face in her hands, to indulge
her tears unrestrainedly.

“You ensure your own destruction if you kill her!” said Cheops.

“I care not,” returned Father Morris; and removing the pannel, he
approached. Elvira saw him not: and the shining dagger already
was aimed at her breast, when it caught the eye of the maniac; and
returning reason flashed through his mind.

“Edgar!” cried he, with a piercing scream, “spare my child!”

The cry roused the friends of Elvira, who had remained in the
antechamber, and they rushed in. In an instant the room was crowded;
Father Morris was secured; and his confederates (from his having left
the pannel open) discovered.

“Edgar!” cried the duke; “yes, it is Edgar! my brother! my only
brother! and this is Elvira. She is not fled; I knew she was not! She
is safe!”

“And is it possible,” cried Edric, “that you can be Duke Edgar!”

“I am that wretch!” said Father Morris.

“Then Rosabella is–”

“My child! and for her I have become the wretch I am! Yet to her I have
done my duty; and if she be spared?”

“Ah!” cried M. de Mallet; “it is, it is–yes, I am not deceived,
_that_ is the woman who sold us Pauline.”

“Who, which–” exclaimed Edric eagerly.

“There,” cried the Swiss, pointing to Marianne.

“Marianne!” exclaimed Edric.

“Yes,” said she, “Marianne! He is right; it was I, and now is the
moment of my vengeance. Seduced and deserted by this man,” pointing to
Father Morris, “my passions, always impetuous, panted for revenge. _I_
instigated him to murder the wife for whom he had abandoned me–_I_
stole his child and sold her to a stranger–and _I_ substituted my own
wretched offspring, whom I had had by a man he abhorred, in its place.”

“What!” cried Father Morris, his livid lips quivering with anguish; “is
not Rosabella my child?”

“No,” said Marianne; “twenty years ago I sold your child to this
gentleman,” pointing to M. de Mallet. “He was a foreigner, and I
believed, by placing her in his hands, you would never see her more.”

“Then who is Rosabella?”

“_My_ child, and by your servant Jacques.”

“Curses on thee, woman! What! have I then destroyed myself here and
hereafter for the offspring of that wretch? A man I detested, abhorred,

“Yes,” said Marianne, with a fiendish laugh. “You abandoned me, and I
swore to be revenged: he heard my oath, and by promising to assist me
obtained my consent to be his paramour. By his aid I effected all the
rest. He has long been dead, but still I have pursued my plan; and when
I saw you risking body and soul for Rosabella, I have gloried, for I
was revenged.”

“Fiend!” cried the priest; and rushing upon her before any one
could prevent him, he stabbed her to the heart, and then instantly
withdrawing the dagger buried it in his own bosom. “Still I am
revenged!” cried Marianne, as heaving a deep sigh she expired. Father
Morris never spoke again.

My tale is nearly closed, for dull must be the mind that cannot picture
all the rest. The duke recovered his reason, and enjoyed all the
happiness his bosom was yet capable of, in witnessing the union of his
daughter and Roderick, whom he had loved as Henry Seymour, and now
adored as the hero of Ireland. He gave Pauline a noble fortune, as
his niece, and she married Edric; who, in the absence of his brother,
took possession of his father’s wealth, and fixed his residence in his
former dwelling, where, after all his troubles, Dr. Entwerfen found
himself comfortably re-established in his ancient chamber; whilst
Clara, by becoming the bride of Prince Ferdinand, enchanted her mother,
and secured her own happiness.

The coronation of Roderick and Elvira, as King and Queen of the United
Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland, was superb, and far excelled
that in which Elvira had previously been an actress. Taught wisdom by
experience, however, she no longer placed implicit reliance upon the
shouts of applause that followed her footsteps;–yet, even with the
reflection that all the promises she received might be evanescent, she
could not resist the emotion of pleasure that swelled her breast,
when, after the priest had pronounced the nuptial benediction, she
walked with Roderick, the chosen of her heart, through a long line of
kneeling subjects, and heard every mouth implore blessings on their
heads, and bestow praises on her choice.

Proudly did Elvira look around as she reached the entrance of
Westminster Hall; yet, ere she entered it, a rush and bustle in the
crowd attracted her attention, and a man, clad like a monk, threw
himself before her. Elvira screamed; when the man, throwing back his
cowl, fixed his heavy eyes upon her and exclaimed, “Do you not know me,
Elvira?” It was Edmund.

“Alas! alas!” cried he, “the demon was right; I trusted in my own
strength, and I have fallen, miserably fallen. Though I knew it not,
ambition was my god–and every thing else weighed lightly in the scale.
Yet, even when my ambition was gratified, I was wretched; for I loved
you, Elvira, even whilst I plotted against you;–and as my own heart
reproached me, I felt every wrong you suffered far more poignantly
than you could yourself. My poor father too!–but all is over now, and
I am doomed to bitter expiation of my sins,–bitter indeed, for oh,
how far beyond all other sufferings are the never-dying tortures of
remorse. One thought alone haunted my mind,–one image alone floated
before my senses. I could not die till I had obtained your pardon.
Pardon me then, Elvira! See! thus humbly, at thy feet I implore thy
forgiveness; crouching in the dust, and bending my neck to be thy

“Rise, I entreat you, rise!” said Elvira; “and be assured I forgive
you–nay, that I pity you from my inmost soul.”

“She pities me!” cried Edmund; “yet I can bear even this: even pity.
And am I indeed fallen so low as to be pitied! Yes, yes, I am indeed to
be pitied.”

“I did not mean to wound your feelings,” returned Elvira, “believe me,
Edmund. Tell me, what is there I can do for you?”

“Nothing!” cried he wildly; “the world is nothing for me now. Pity that
unhappy woman that was my wife; and as for me, forget me!”

“Never!” said Elvira; “for never can I forget your disinterested love
and your devoted affection. The heart, however, is capricious; and
mine, though sensible to your merits, was destined for another.”

“And well does that other deserve your love;–for even jealousy itself
must own that Roderick is worthy to be your husband. Yes, to him I
_can_ resign you. Farewell, Elvira! you shall never see me more! Let my
brother take my inheritance! May you be happy! God bless you! God bless

And starting from his knees, he disappeared, before she could reply.

The spirits of Elvira were agitated by this event, which threw a
damp over the remaining festivities of the day; and, trembling and
unnerved, she proceeded to the magnificent hall, where a sumptuous
banquet was prepared for her reception. For some days after this event,
the attention of Roderick and Elvira was occupied in arranging the
different affairs of the kingdom; whilst Edric and Pauline, with the
old Duke of Cornwall, M. de Mallet, and Father Murphy retired to the
house of the former in the country, where Dr. Entwerfen was already
comfortably established.

A thousand emotions swelled in the heart of Edric as he approached this
venerable mansion, and saw again its well-known turrets peeping through
the trees. Strange, indeed, are the feelings that oppress the mind,
when the wanderer returns, after a long absence, to the habitation
of his forefathers. A mingled crowd of contradictory sensations, of
disappointed hopes, of undefined fears, float through his fancy;
and, as well-remembered objects recall the visions that formerly
delighted him, he starts at the difference the experience of their
fallacy has made in himself, and he sighs in vain for a return of the
blissful ignorance he formerly despised. All too appears changed! As
the human mind judges only by comparison, the eyes become dazzled by
distant splendours, and that which to the eyes of youth had appeared
superb, seems to the maturer judgment of manhood, tame, vapid, and
insipid,–whilst the imagination which had fondly cherished the
favourite dreams of childhood, and decked them in all the vivid colours
of fancy, feels disappointed and disgusted, though it scarce knows why,
to find the reality so different from the image it had pictured to

Such were the feelings of Edric as he entered the grand hall of this
residence of his ancestors, and gazed upon the well-remembered faces
of the crowd of servants assembled to meet him. At the head of these
was Davis; his tall thin figure waving to and fro, and his long thin
white hair floating upon his shoulders; and the more spruce and gallant
aspects of Abelard and his devoted Eloisa, the late Mrs. Russell, who
had blest him with the possession of her fair hand a few days before,
and now stood blushing and simpering, with all the affected modesty of
a bride of sixty, to receive the congratulations of those around her.

“Welcome! welcome, my dear Edric!” cried Dr. Entwerfen, rushing
down-stairs to meet them, his sleeves tucked up, and his wig thrown
back, in a very experimental-philosophic manner; “rejoice with me
too, for I have recovered my balloon! My darling caoutchouc bottle
of inflammability! My immortalizing snuff, and, more than all, my
adored galvanic battery! Yes, my compendium of science, my epitome of
talent, and my most inestimable treasure, is safe! Not, indeed, that
which was employed in galvanizing the Mummy, but its counterpart, its
duplicate, its prototype. The Mummy came to England, and the balloon
being recognized to be mine, it was placed in my apartment, where it
has remained ever since, stowed up in safe but inglorious obscurity,
till my return.”

“Och! and that’s a clear case!” said Father Murphy; “and there’s no
doubt of it.”

Leaving the delighted doctor to show the treasures of his laboratory
to M. de Mallet, Edric retired to his chamber, and after surveying
again and again the well-known objects it contained, he hurried to his
favourite grove.

It is singular how inanimate objects, which have been long unseen,
recall the thoughts and train of feelings indulged in when one last
beheld them: thus, the house, the groves, the walks, the gardens,
and the river, recalled all its former longings to Edric’s mind; and
he again burnt to converse with a disembodied spirit, as he entered
the grove where he had formerly so often ruminated, and indulged
dreams wild and improbable as the delusions of delirium. The day was
beautiful; it was one of those bright glowing mornings in April, when
dew drops hang upon every thorn, when the sun shines brightly through
the clear pure air, and all nature seems awaking to new life and vigour
from repose.

Edric entered the grove, and threw himself upon that very bank where he
had reclined only a few months before, under such different feelings.
The river, the grove, the bank, were all the same; he only was changed.
“And yet,” said he, “is not my mind still as unsettled as before? Am I
not still wandering in a labyrinth of doubts? Unknowing where to turn;
and yet tormented with a restless desire to discover my way. What can
have become of the Mummy, I so strangely resuscitated? It is strange,
that since the restoration of Elvira it seems to have vanished, and yet
all here speak of it as of a living animated being. Would that I could
see it. O Cheops! Cheops–”

Suddenly a strange unearthly voice seemed to murmur harshly in his
ear–“Go to the Pyramid! There and there only can thy hopes be
gratified.” Edric started upon his feet–no one was near him, and not
a sound broke the awful stillness that reigned around, save the gentle
rippling of the river that flowed at his feet. He gazed wildly on every
side, hoping, yet fearing to behold the ghastly being, he fancied
his words had conjured up. It was in vain; no dark figure interposed
between him and the clear bright sunshine; no gloomy shadow stretched
along the plain; all looked gay as youth and happiness; yet still that
awful voice rang in his ears, and thrilled through every nerve.

“I _will_ go the Pyramid,” cried he energetically; “I will again enter
that horrid tomb–but I will go alone.”

In pursuance of this sudden, but irresistible desire, Edric hastily
prepared to return to Egypt; and feigning that he was called to London
by business of importance, to satisfy the anxious curiosity of Pauline,
he departed. Indescribable emotions throbbed in his bosom as he
took his seat in the stage balloon which was to convey him to Egypt;
but when he saw the towers and temples, and, above all, the pyramids
of this mysterious country, lying beneath his feet, his agitation
increased almost to agony. It was with infinite difficulty that he
obtained permission again to visit the objects of his journey; as,
since the mysterious disappearance of the Mummy, the tomb of Cheops had
been closed from mortal eyes. The interference of the British consul,
however, at length obviated all objections, and Edric (whose impatience
had become absolute torture from the delay) once more entered that
awful receptacle of fallen greatness.

Scarcely a twelvemonth had elapsed since he had last trodden those
solemn vaults, yet what a change had taken place in his destiny! When
he considered the number and variety of the events that had befallen
him, he could scarcely fancy it possible that they had been crowded
into so short a space of time; and, instead of a year, centuries seemed
to have rolled over his head. His feeling of personal identity seemed
confused–his senses became bewildered, and he mechanically followed
his conductor almost without knowing whither he was going.

At last the guide stopped–“This is the tomb of Cheops,” said he; “I
suppose, Sir, you will enter it alone.”

Edric started–the words of the guide seemed to ring in his ears as the
knell of death, and he shuddered as the thought crossed his mind that
some horrid and appalling punishment might even now await him for his
presumption. Desperately he snatched the torch from the hands of his
guide and advanced ALONE.

Darkly did those gloomy vaults seem to frown at his approach, and
fearfully did his footsteps resound as he slowly penetrated into their
deep recesses. At length, he reached the tomb, but the brazen gates
were closed, and he attempted in vain to open them. He placed the
torch upon the ground, and again tried to unclose the fatal portal;
he exerted his whole strength, but still it resisted his efforts.
Rendered desperate, he now threw himself against the gates with almost
superhuman force. Suddenly a hollow sound murmured through the cavern,
and a current of wind rushed by with mighty and resistless fury. The
brazen gates flew open with a fearful clang, and the torch fell and was
extinguished. The next moment the sepulchral lamp shot forth a faint
gleaming light, which brightened by degrees into a steady flame, whilst
heavenly music sounded faintly upon the ear, dying gradually away in
murmurs, soft as those of the Æolian harp.

The brilliant light of the lamp now glowed with noon-day radiance,
and showed distinctly every corner of the fatal chamber. Edric looked
timidly around, and shuddered as each well-remembered object met his
eyes; but what was his horror and surprise when, glancing at the marble
sarcophagus of Cheops, he beheld the gigantic figure of the Mummy
standing erect beside it! It was again simply wrapped in the garments
of the tomb, and its glassy eyes, rigid features, and statue-like form,
chilled Edric to the heart. He looked at it a few moments in silence,
till it raised its arm and seemed about to address him; when, shrinking
back with indescribable horror, he uttered a faint shriek, and hid his
face in his hands.

“Why dost thou tremble?” asked the Mummy in a deep hollow voice that
thrilled through Edric’s very soul. “Didst thou not come here to seek
me, and dost thou shudder to behold my form? I am now before thee. Ask
what thou wilt, I am permitted to reply. Why art thou silent? Why does
thy heart seem to wither in my presence? Alas! alas! is no mortal to be
found free from the debasing influence of fear? Thou art called bold,
courageous, and noble. Thou hast dared to soar above thy fellow-men,
and thou hast ardently wished to see me. Behold I am here, and now,
weak, fearful, and inconsistent as thou art, thou shunnest my approach.”

“I do not shun thee,” said Edric, removing his hands, and endeavouring
to look calmly on the fearful being before him, though the flesh seemed
to quiver on his bones with the effort–“I do not shun thee; but the
nerves will shrink though the mind be firm. I did wish to see thee;
for ardently do I still desire to know the secrets of the tomb.”

Cheops burst into one of his fearful laughs. “Weak, silly worm! are
you not satisfied then? How would this knowledge avail you? Has any
thing but misery attended your former researches? And can any thing but
misery attend the knowledge you now covet? Learn wisdom by experience!
Seek not to pry into secrets denied to man! If you wish still, however,
to be resolved of your doubts, behold me ready to satisfy them; but, I
warn you, wretchedness will wait upon my words.”

“Then I no longer seek to hear them; for, even weak as you esteem me,
I can learn wisdom from experience. Thus, then, I tear the tormenting
doubts, that have so long haunted me, from my mind, and bid them
farewell for ever!”

“It is well,” said Cheops, his eyes beaming with joy. “Then my task is
accomplished. I have at last found a reasonable man. I honour you, for
you can command yourself, and now you may command me.”

“I wish it not,” said Edric.

“Have you no curiosity?” asked the Mummy, with a ghastly smile.

“None,” returned Edric; “unless it be that I would fain know your
history, and the meaning of the sculptures upon your tomb.”

“What are they?” demanded Cheops.

“A youthful warrior is bearing off a beautiful woman in his arms,
whilst an old man laments bitterly in the distance.”

“I was the warrior,” said Cheops; “and the beautiful female was
Arsinoë. I loved her, and to gratify my impetuous passion I tore her
from the arms of her father by force.”

“The warrior is afterwards contending with the old man who falls
beneath his blows–”

“He did, he did,” cried Cheops; “he died by my hand; and eternal misery
haunts me for the deed.”

“And this old man was–”

“My father!” cried the Mummy, writhing in agony.

“And Arsinoë–”

“My sister–my own, my beloved sister!”

A solemn pause followed this speech, for Edric was too much shocked to
speak again to the awful being who had avowed such crimes, and upon
whose face were traced passions too horrible to be imagined. After a
short silence Cheops again exclaimed–

“Yes, yes; I see your horror, and it is just; but think you that I
do not suffer? know that a fiend–a wild, never-dying fiend rages
here,” continued he, pressing his hand upon his breast. “It gnaws my
vitals–it burns with unquenchable fire and never ceasing torment.
Permitted for a time to revisit earth, I have made use of the powers
entrusted to me to assist the good and punish the malevolent. Under
pretence of aiding them, I gave them counsels which only plunged them
yet deeper in destruction, whilst the evil that my advice appeared to
bring upon the good was only like a passing cloud before the sun: it
gave lustre to the success that followed. My task is now finished;–be
happy, Edric, for happiness is in your power; be wise, for wisdom may
be obtained by reflection; and be merciful, for unless we give, how can
we expect mercy? Rely not on your own strength–seek not to pry into
mysteries designed to be concealed from man; and enjoy the comforts
within your reach–for know, that knowledge, above the sphere of man’s
capacity, produces only wretchedness; and that to be contented with our
station, and to make ourselves useful to our fellow-creatures, is the
only true path to happiness.”

The Mummy ceased to speak, and his features, which had appeared wild
and animated during his conversation with Edric, became fixed–the
unearthly lustre that had flashed from his eyes, faded away, and gave
place to a glassy deadness–his limbs became rigid, and as the light
of the lamp gradually sunk to less distinctness, the ghastly form of
the Mummy seemed rapidly changing into stone. Edric felt that the
moment when it was possible for him to hold communion with this strange
being was rapidly passing away, and almost shrieked as he exclaimed,
“One question! only one ere it be too late.” The Mummy feebly raised
his languid eyelids, but Edric felt his blood freeze at the unnatural
glare. With a violent effort, however, he roused himself to speak.
“Was it a human power that dragged you from the tomb?”

“The power that gave me life could alone restore it,” replied the Mummy
in slow measured accents, as it sank gradually back into its former
tomb. Edric shuddered, and involuntarily rushed forward, but the Mummy
no longer lived or breathed. Cold, pale, and inanimate it lay, as
though its sleep of two thousand years had never been broken.

“Oblivion laid him down upon his hearse!”

and no mortal ever more could boast of holding converse with THE MUMMY.