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thrown her. The owner of the house, a weaver's widow, who bad formerly been a servant to her, and who had been indebted to her liberality for her comfortable establishment, stood at the head of her bed with a phial and spoon in her hand, and with a countenance expressive of the tenderest sympathy. Before the bed sat Oswald and the weeping Faith.
Compose yourself, my daughter,” said the matron. “I sball surely recover from this illness. Alas, one may suffer much before the thread of life will break! I feel much better to-day than I did yesterday, and I hope not to be the cause of anxiety much longer."
“God grant it !” sobbed Faith, sinking upon her knees before the bed, and covering her dear mother's hand with her kisses and tears.
At that moment she was interrupted by a disturbance out of doors very unusual for that quiet and retired village. People were running to and fro and calling to each other in the streets, and Oswald, alarmed, sprang for his sword which lay in the recess of the window.
“Go out and see what is the cause of this disturbance," said he to a servant, and bring us word as soon as possible.”
The man obeyed, and his mother observed, “ something very dreadful must have happened ; for the people are running and screaming, as if a fire had broken out or an enemy were at the gates."
“ Protect us, Oswald,” begged Faith, leaning tremblingły upon the youth.
“While I live !" answered he, grasping his sword.
“ Save yourself—the converters are coming !" cried the servant, rushing into the room.
“ It must be a false alarm," cried Oswald. " You must be mistaken."
“I was told so by a farmer who had just returned from Waldenburg. He was about to leave that city, when a squadron of the Lichtenstein dragoons entered it. They dismounted for breakfast, and he had it from the mouth of one of the soldiers that this village was their place of destination. Whereupon he immediately left the city and drove home as fast as possible to give the alarm.'
" Then we must have at least an hour's start of them," said Oswald ; and turning to madam Rosen, "if you feel able to travel, I will immediately provide a conveyance in Bohemia."
' No, my son,” said the matron, with a melancholy smile. " For this time I must remain here and await the providence
of God. I should only hinder you in your flight, and you would at last have only a corpse to convey across the border."
“1 stir not from your side !" sobbed the tender Faith clasp'ing her mother with anxious affection.
It is my will,” said the mother, with decision. “Will you, my daughter, increase the sorrows of your sick mother by disobedience, and betray by your presence what otherwise may remain undiscovered? Would you see your lover fall before your eyes, unable to defend you against superior force ?"
“I obey,” sighed Faith ; and she hastened to pack a small bundle and put on her cloak.
With bright eyes the mother placed her daughter's hand in that of Oswald. " Be ye one, here and hereafter !" cried she. “That is my blessing upon your espousals ; and now let me beg of you to go directly, without any leave-taking, for which I have not strength, and which will rob you of time, every moment of which is invaluable."
Faith attempted to speak again, but her mother pointed towards the door, and Oswald led her forth.
(To be Continued.)
Of their own praise to rise,
We but the more despise :
Doth but the less appear,
But to be lost in air!
THE CHRISTIAN SOLDIER.
Was the battle of Self in the conguest of Sin.
A TALE OF THE TWELFTH CENTURY.
The history of past ages abounds in records of religious devotees who, either in penance for their crimes, or disgust with the world, bave chosen to pass the remainder of their lives in self-denial and solitude. Among these was a sect denominated the Beguines, instituted by a Priest of Liege named Lambert de Regne, somewhere about the end of the twelfth century, and peculiar, as it seems, to Flanders and its vicinity. There were various establishments—one at Ghent, founded by Jane Countess of Hainault and Flanders ; another at Nivelles con. sisting of two thousand nuns, and—not to be prolix in our enumeration--another at Brussels so extensive as to occupy thirty two streets ; from which circumstance, our readers will readily surmise the fact that the Beguines were not compelled to reside all under one roof, or suffered much restraint as regarded their personal liberty. Thus much by way of preface ; and now to our narrative.
In a small cottage, situated on the outskirts of Nivelles, dwelt a Nun of the order. The building consisted but of two apartments, a dormitory and sitting room ; the latter remarkable fer the gaudily coloured pictures of Saints and other pious or holy personages whose supposed likenesses were hung against its walls. Here at her vesper orisons, knelt a female, whose person was enshrouded in a black robe which, as she knelt, spread itself in thick folds around her feet. Her forehead was bound in a white band, and her head was covered with a black veil pinned closely at each temple, and lined with snow white lawn. Her prayers concluded, she rose, and with tears streaming down her cheeks, turned to seek her chamber for the night, At a glance, it was easy to perceive that, when young, she had been beautiful, and that although sorrow and snffering had cast on her countenance the semblance of age, she had really advanced but a year or two beyond the prime of womanhood. Her eyes were black and piercing, her mouth small, her chin ronnd and dimpled, her lips thin, aud of ad ashy paleness, contrasting strangely with teeth, the regularity and whiteness of which would have attracted admiration even in one many years younger. Such was the Lady Ada, a descendant of a noble lineage, but known by no other title in Nivelles and the Beguinage than “ Ada the Wanderer,” a name which she received in consequence of her being often absent from the town for many days, passed as was believed, in the deep solitudes of the forest of Soignies.
It was a dark, stormy night, towards the end of winter, when little Pepin, the fool in the service of one Count de Walden, found himself journeying on foot across the borders of the forest on bis return from Nivelles. The snow lay deep, the darkness had caused Pepin to lose his path, and be went stumbling along, now half buried in a drift, and then stumbling against the trunk of some tree that had fallen before the axe of the woodmap. “By the petticoat of the Holy virgin,” muttered Pepio, “this is much too perplexing a dilemma for the wits of any fool to help him out of the saints save me this night from being buried above ground instead of under it!" and, scarcely had his prayer been uttered, ere the moon burst forth and discovered a female in the attire of a Beguine standing before him. “Wbat mutterest thou ?" enquired the nun;
“а blessing on thy head, most pious and benevolent Ada," stammered Pepin, “ for the love of heaven show me the way out of this comfortless place and I'll send you lights enough to illumine for a month two or three images of the Blessed Virgin." “ Peace, irreverend blockhead! who art thou?" "A fool" replied Pepin, "noted for his large wit and little body, both of which are nourished and retained at the expense of his master the Count de Walden, whose castle lies on the verge of this forest."
“Tbine errand here?" demanded the nun., “No errand here, for this place is much too chilly” responded the fool, breathing hard on the palms of bis bauds and then striving to warm them by vigorous rubbing; “no errand here in this chilly place, may it please your piety, but at the town yon. der. The lady Marie, my lord's only daughter, is to be married to-morrow to Sir Louis de Roden, and, everybody being busy, they were forced to send me to Soignies to barter for some additional provisions—I've got a sample of the wine in my pocket, but I suppose it's no use to ask you to taste it-in fact, it wouldn't be proper that you should ;” and then, as if to prevent the possibility of his offer being accepted, or bis affirmation disputed, little Pepin clapped the bottle to his mouth and drained it of its contents. " Ah! to be married to Sir Louis de Rodep! say you ?" murmured Ada, “heaven pour its blessings upon him !" " I wish I could pour some more wive into my bottle,” mumbled the fool, “but it's time I was at home; will you oblige me, most holy Sister, by shewing me the road homewards ?” “ By yonder sturdy tree which the tempest hath stripped of its finest branches,” exclaimed the Beguine, thou'lt
find the path-away! thou'lt meet no friend in the forest save myself—if ill befall, there is bùt one who can protect thee" and pointing with uplifted arm, she seemed to glide among the trees and was instantly lost to sight, leaving Pepin to basten home as fast as his fears and his legs would take bim.
So zigzag and circuitous had been the course of the benighted Pepin, and so many downfalls had he met with to impede him in bis journey prior to meeting with some one to point out the right path, that when he at last reached the castle he found its iomates had retired to rest ; all except the lady Marie, who was yet lingering on the terrace with her lover bidding bim farewell and receiving the assurance of his return to claim her hand at the altar early on the ensuing morning. They parted, he to pursue his journey home, and sbe to the solitude of her chamber, there to pour forth a fond and earnest prayer that no peril might befall him, The vext morning, at sunrise, the maiden was on the battlements eagerly looking for the approach of her betrothed; but alas! he came not: the hour arrived and passed that had been appointed for the nuptial ceremony—but still he came not. The chapel of the castle was thronged with relatives, friends, and vassals, all lost in vain and idle conjectures as tothe cause of the bridegroom's tardiness; and when the horn sounded to proclaim the arrival of each new visitor, the eyes of the assema bled multitude were turned anxiously towards the door, while a murmur ran round “'tis he ! 'tis he !” but still Sir Louis came not.
At last, the suspense of the bride and her father grew so unbearable that a messenger was despatched to ascertain, if possible, the cause of the knight's absence; a cause but too painfully explained by the vassal's speedy return and the horror. stricken countenance with which he rushed into the chapel, hearing in his hand the fragment of a blood-stained sword and part of a gold chain, that was immediately recognized as one worn by the knight under his tunic, with a miniature of his mistress suspended from it-proofs sufficient to convince the minds of all that the gallant youth had been murdered on his road home-a conjecture exceedingly reasonable, but nevertheless far from being correct, as will be immediately seen by the ensuing part of our narrative.
The same day, during a brief interval of the attacks of deli. rium to which the weight and suddenness of her calamity had subjected her, the happiness of the distracted Marie was again in some degree restored by the receipt of a packet which contained a scroll in a female hand, bearing these words : “Maiden be of good cheer and put tby trust in heaven-Sir Louis de Roden