Part 3 out of 8
and politeness, professed that the pleasure of making my
acquaintance amply compensated for the delay in her journey, and
gave me a pressing invitation to make some stay at the Castle of
Lindenberg. As She spoke thus, the Youths exchanged a malicious
smile, which declared that She would be fortunate if She ever
reached that Castle herself. This action did not escape me; But
I concealed the emotion which it excited in my breast. I
continued to converse with the Lady; But my discourse was so
frequently incoherent, that as She has since informed me, She
began to doubt whether I was in my right senses. The fact was,
that while my conversation turned upon one subject, my thoughts
were entirely occupied by another. I meditated upon the means of
quitting the Cottage, finding my way to the Barn, and giving the
Domestics information of our Host's designs. I was soon
convinced, how impracticable was the attempt. Jacques and Robert
watched my every movement with an attentive eye, and I was
obliged to abandon the idea. All my hopes now rested upon
Claude's not finding the Banditti: In that case, according to
what I had overheard, we should be permitted to depart unhurt.
I shuddered involuntarily as Baptiste entered the room. He made
many apologies for his long absence, but 'He had been detained by
affairs impossible to be delayed.' He then entreated permission
for his family to sup at the same table with us, without which,
respect would not authorize his taking such a liberty. Oh! how
in my heart I cursed the Hypocrite! How I loathed his presence,
who was on the point of depriving me of an existence, at that
time infinitely dear! I had every reason to be satisfied with
life; I had youth, wealth, rank, and education; and the fairest
prospects presented themselves before me. I saw those prospects
on the point of closing in the most horrible manner: Yet was I
obliged to dissimulate, and to receive with a semblance of
gratitude the false civilities of him who held the dagger to my
The permission which our Host demanded, was easily obtained. We
seated ourselves at the Table. The Baroness and myself occupied
one side: The Sons were opposite to us with their backs to the
door. Baptiste took his seat by the Baroness at the upper end,
and the place next to him was left for his Wife. She soon
entered the room, and placed before us a plain but comfortable
Peasant's repast. Our Host thought it necessary to apologize for
the poorness of the supper: 'He had not been apprized of our
coming; He could only offer us such fare as had been intended for
his own family:'
'But,' added He, 'should any accident detain my noble Guests
longer than they at present intend, I hope to give them a better
The Villain! I well knew the accident to which He alluded; I
shuddered at the treatment which He taught us to expect!
My Companion in danger seemed entirely to have got rid of her
chagrin at being delayed. She laughed, and conversed with the
family with infinite gaiety. I strove but in vain to follow her
example. My spirits were evidently forced, and the constraint
which I put upon myself escaped not Baptiste's observation.
'Come, come, Monsieur, cheer up!' said He; 'You seem not quite
recovered from your fatigue. To raise your spirits, what say you
to a glass of excellent old wine which was left me by my Father?
God rest his soul, He is in a better world! I seldom produce
this wine; But as I am not honoured with such Guests every day,
this is an occasion which deserves a Bottle.'
He then gave his Wife a Key, and instructed her where to find the
wine of which He spoke. She seemed by no means pleased with the
commission; She took the Key with an embarrassed air, and
hesitated to quit the Table.
'Did you hear me?' said Baptiste in an angry tone.
Marguerite darted upon him a look of mingled anger and fear, and
left the chamber. His eyes followed her suspiciously, till She
had closed the door.
She soon returned with a bottle sealed with yellow wax. She
placed it upon the table, and gave the Key back to her Husband.
I suspected that this liquor was not presented to us without
design, and I watched Marguerite's movements with inquietude.
She was employed in rinsing some small horn Goblets. As She
placed them before Baptiste, She saw that my eye was fixed upon
her; and at the moment when She thought herself unobserved by the
Banditti, She motioned to me with her head not to taste the
liquor, She then resumed her place.
In the mean while our Host had drawn the Cork, and filling two of
the Goblets, offered them to the Lady and myself. She at first
made some objections, but the instances of Baptiste were so
urgent, that She was obliged to comply. Fearing to excite
suspicion, I hesitated not to take the Goblet presented to me.
By its smell and colour I guessed it to be Champagne; But some
grains of powder floating upon the top convinced me that it was
not unadulterated. However, I dared not to express my repugnance
to drinking it; I lifted it to my lips, and seemed to be
swallowing it: Suddenly starting from my chair, I made the best
of my way towards a Vase of water at some distance, in which
Marguerite had been rinsing the Goblets. I pretended to spit out
the wine with disgust, and took an opportunity unperceived of
emptying the liquor into the Vase.
The Banditti seemed alarmed at my action. Jacques half rose from
his chair, put his hand into his bosom, and I discovered the haft
of a dagger. I returned to my seat with tranquillity, and
affected not to have observed their confusion.
'You have not suited my taste, honest Friend,' said I, addressing
myself to Baptiste. 'I never can drink Champagne without its
producing a violent illness. I swallowed a few mouthfuls ere I
was aware of its quality, and fear that I shall suffer for my
Baptiste and Jacques exchanged looks of distrust.
'Perhaps,' said Robert, 'the smell may be disagreeable to you.'
He quitted his chair, and removed the Goblet. I observed, that
He examined, whether it was nearly empty.
'He must have drank sufficient,' said He to his Brother in a low
voice, while He reseated himself.
Marguerite looked apprehensive, that I had tasted the liquor: A
glance from my eye reassured her.
I waited with anxiety for the effects which the Beverage would
produce upon the Lady. I doubted not but the grains which I had
observed were poisonous, and lamented that it had been
impossible for me to warn her of the danger. But a few minutes
had elapsed before I perceived her eyes grow heavy; Her head
sank upon her shoulder, and She fell into a deep sleep. I
affected not to attend to this circumstance, and continued my
conversation with Baptiste, with all the outward gaiety in my
power to assume. But He no longer answered me without
constraint. He eyed me with distrust and astonishment, and I saw
that the Banditti were frequently whispering among themselves.
My situation became every moment more painful; I sustained the
character of confidence with a worse grace than ever. Equally
afraid of the arrival of their Accomplices and of their
suspecting my knowledge of their designs, I knew not how to
dissipate the distrust which the Banditti evidently entertained
for me. In this new dilemma the friendly Marguerite again
assisted me. She passed behind the Chairs of her Stepsons,
stopped for a moment opposite to me, closed her eyes, and
reclined her head upon her shoulder. This hint immediately
dispelled my incertitude. It told me, that I ought to imitate
the Baroness, and pretend that the liquor had taken its full
effect upon me. I did so, and in a few minutes seemed perfectly
overcome with slumber.
'So!' cried Baptiste, as I fell back in my chair; 'At last He
sleeps! I began to think that He had scented our design, and
that we should have been forced to dispatch him at all events.'
'And why not dispatch him at all events?' enquired the ferocious
Jacques. 'Why leave him the possibility of betraying our secret?
Marguerite, give me one of my Pistols: A single touch of the
trigger will finish him at once.'
'And supposing,' rejoined the Father, 'Supposing that our Friends
should not arrive tonight, a pretty figure we should make when
the Servants enquire for him in the Morning! No, no, Jacques; We
must wait for our Associates. If they join us, we are strong
enough to dispatch the Domestics as well as their Masters, and
the booty is our own; If Claude does not find the Troop, we must
take patience, and suffer the prey to slip through our fingers.
Ah! Boys, Boys, had you arrived but five minutes sooner, the
Spaniard would have been done for, and two thousand Pistoles our
own. But you are always out of the way when you are most wanted.
You are the most unlucky Rogues!'
'Well, well, Father!' answered Jacques; 'Had you been of my mind,
all would have been over by this time. You, Robert, Claude, and
myself, why the Strangers were but double the number, and I
warrant you we might have mastered them. However, Claude is
gone; 'Tis too late to think of it now. We must wait patiently
for the arrival of the Gang; and if the Travellers escape us
tonight, we must take care to waylay them tomorrow.'
'True! True!' said Baptiste; 'Marguerite, have you given the
sleeping-draught to the Waiting-women?'
She replied in the affirmative.
'All then is safe. Come, come, Boys; Whatever falls out, we have
no reason to complain of this adventure. We run no danger, may
gain much, and can lose nothing.'
At this moment I heard a trampling of Horses. Oh! how dreadful
was the sound to my ears. A cold sweat flowed down my forehead,
and I felt all the terrors of impending death. I was by no means
reassured by hearing the compassionate Marguerite exclaim in the
accents of despair,
'Almighty God! They are lost!'
Luckily the Wood-man and his Sons were too much occupied by the
arrival of their Associates to attend to me, or the violence of
my agitation would have convinced them that my sleep was
'Open! Open!' exclaimed several voices on the outside of the
'Yes! Yes!' cried Baptiste joyfully; 'They are our Friends sure
enough! Now then our booty is certain. Away! Lads, Away! Lead
them to the Barn; You know what is to be done there.'
Robert hastened to open the door of the Cottage.
'But first,' said Jacques, taking up his arms; 'first let me
dispatch these Sleepers.'
'No, no, no!' replied his Father; 'Go you to the Barn, where your
presence is wanted. Leave me to take care of these and the Women
Jacques obeyed, and followed his Brother. They seemed to
converse with the New-Comers for a few minutes: After which I
heard the Robbers dismount, and as I conjectured, bend their
course towards the Barn.
'So! That is wisely done!' muttered Baptiste; 'They have quitted
their Horses, that They may fall upon the Strangers by surprise.
Good! Good! and now to business.'
I heard him approach a small Cupboard which was fixed up in a
distant part of the room, and unlock it. At this moment I felt
myself shaken gently.
'Now! Now!' whispered Marguerite.
I opened my eyes. Baptiste stood with his back towards me. No
one else was in the room save Marguerite and the sleeping Lady.
The Villain had taken a dagger from the Cupboard and seemed
examining whether it was sufficiently sharp. I had neglected to
furnish myself with arms; But I perceived this to be my only
chance of escaping, and resolved not to lose the opportunity. I
sprang from my seat, darted suddenly upon Baptiste, and clasping
my hands round his throat, pressed it so forcibly as to prevent
his uttering a single cry. You may remember that I was
remarkable at Salamanca for the power of my arm: It now rendered
me an essential service. Surprised, terrified, and breathless,
the Villain was by no means an equal Antagonist. I threw him
upon the ground; I grasped him still tighter; and while I fixed
him without motion upon the floor, Marguerite, wresting the
dagger from his hand, plunged it repeatedly in his heart till He
No sooner was this horrible but necessary act perpetrated than
Marguerite called on me to follow her.
'Flight is our only refuge!' said She; 'Quick! Quick! Away!'
I hesitated not to obey her: but unwilling to leave the Baroness
a victim to the vengeance of the Robbers, I raised her in my arms
still sleeping, and hastened after Marguerite. The Horses of the
Banditti were fastened near the door: My Conductress sprang upon
one of them. I followed her example, placed the Baroness before
me, and spurred on my Horse. Our only hope was to reach
Strasbourg, which was much nearer than the perfidious Claude had
assured me. Marguerite was well acquainted with the road, and
galloped on before me. We were obliged to pass by the Barn,
where the Robbers were slaughtering our Domestics. The door was
open: We distinguished the shrieks of the dying and imprecations
of the Murderers! What I felt at that moment language is unable
Jacques heard the trampling of our Horses as we rushed by the
Barn. He flew to the Door with a burning Torch in his hand, and
easily recognised the Fugitives.
'Betrayed! Betrayed!' He shouted to his Companions.
Instantly they left their bloody work, and hastened to regain
their Horses. We heard no more. I buried my spurs in the sides
of my Courser, and Marguerite goaded on hers with the poignard,
which had already rendered us such good service. We flew like
lightning, and gained the open plains. Already was Strasbourg's
Steeple in sight, when we heard the Robbers pursuing us.
Marguerite looked back, and distinguished our followers
descending a small Hill at no great distance. It was in vain
that we urged on our Horses; The noise approached nearer with
'We are lost!' She exclaimed; 'The Villains gain upon us!'
'On! On!' replied I; 'I hear the trampling of Horses coming from
We redoubled our exertions, and were soon aware of a numerous
band of Cavaliers, who came towards us at full speed. They were
on the point of passing us.
'Stay! Stay!' shrieked Marguerite; 'Save us! For God's sake,
The Foremost, who seemed to act as Guide, immediately reined in
' 'Tis She! 'Tis She!' exclaimed He, springing upon the ground;
'Stop, my Lord, stop! They are safe! 'Tis my Mother!'
At the same moment Marguerite threw herself from her Horse,
clasped him in her arms, and covered him with Kisses. The other
Cavaliers stopped at the exclamation.
'The Baroness Lindenberg?' cried another of the Strangers
eagerly; 'Where is She? Is She not with you?'
He stopped on beholding her lying senseless in my arms. Hastily
He caught her from me. The profound sleep in which She was
plunged made him at first tremble for her life; but the beating
of her heart soon reassured him.
'God be thanked!' said He; 'She has escaped unhurt.'
I interrupted his joy by pointing out the Brigands, who continued
to approach. No sooner had I mentioned them than the greatest
part of the Company, which appeared to be chiefly composed of
soldiers, hastened forward to meet them. The Villains stayed not
to receive their attack: Perceiving their danger they turned the
heads of their Horses, and fled into the wood, whither they were
followed by our Preservers. In the mean while the Stranger, whom
I guessed to be the Baron Lindenberg, after thanking me for my
care of his Lady, proposed our returning with all speed to the
Town. The Baroness, on whom the effects of the opiate had not
ceased to operate, was placed before him; Marguerite and her Son
remounted their Horses; the Baron's Domestics followed, and we
soon arrived at the Inn, where He had taken his apartments.
This was at the Austrian Eagle, where my Banker, whom before my
quitting Paris I had apprised of my intention to visit
Strasbourg, had prepared Lodgings for me. I rejoiced at this
circumstance. It gave me an opportunity of cultivating the
Baron's acquaintance, which I foresaw would be of use to me in
Germany. Immediately upon our arrival the Lady was conveyed to
bed; A Physician was sent for, who prescribed a medicine likely
to counteract the effects of the sleepy potion, and after it had
been poured down her throat, She was committed to the care of the
Hostess. The Baron then addressed himself to me, and entreated
me to recount the particulars of this adventure. I complied with
his request instantaneously; for in pain respecting Stephano's
fate, whom I had been compelled to abandon to the cruelty of the
Banditti, I found it impossible for me to repose, till I had some
news of him. I received but too soon the intelligence, that my
trusty Servant had perished. The Soldiers who had pursued the
Brigands returned while I was employed in relating my adventure
to the Baron. By their account I found that the Robbers had been
overtaken: Guilt and true courage are incompatible; They had
thrown themselves at the feet of their Pursuers, had surrendered
themselves without striking a blow, had discovered their secret
retreat, made known their signals by which the rest of the Gang
might be seized, and in short had betrayed ever mark of cowardice
and baseness. By this means the whole of the Band, consisting of
near sixty persons, had been made Prisoners, bound, and conducted
to Strasbourg. Some of the Soldiers hastened to the Cottage, One
of the Banditti serving them as Guide. Their first visit was to
the fatal Barn, where they were fortunate enough to find two of
the Baron's Servants still alive, though desperately wounded.
The rest had expired beneath the swords of the Robbers, and of
these my unhappy Stephano was one.
Alarmed at our escape, the Robbers in their haste to overtake
us, had neglected to visit the Cottage. In consequence, the
Soldiers found the two Waiting-women unhurt, and buried in the
same death-like slumber which had overpowered their Mistress.
There was nobody else found in the Cottage, except a child not
above four years old, which the Soldiers brought away with them.
We were busying ourselves with conjectures respecting the birth
of this little unfortunate, when Marguerite rushed into the room
with the Baby in her arms. She fell at the feet of the Officer
who was making us this report, and blessed him a thousand times
for the preservation of her Child.
When the first burst of maternal tenderness was over, I besought
her to declare, by what means She had been united to a Man whose
principles seemed so totally discordant with her own. She bent
her eyes downwards, and wiped a few tears from her cheek.
'Gentlemen,' said She after a silence of some minutes, 'I would
request a favour of you: You have a right to know on whom you
confer an obligation. I will not therefore stifle a confession
which covers me with shame; But permit me to comprise it in as
few words as possible.
'I was born in Strasbourg of respectable Parents; Their names I
must at present conceal: My Father still lives, and deserves not
to be involved in my infamy; If you grant my request, you shall
be informed of my family name. A Villain made himself Master of
my affections, and to follow him I quitted my Father's House.
Yet though my passions overpowered my virtue, I sank not into
that degeneracy of vice, but too commonly the lot of Women who
make the first false step. I loved my Seducer; dearly loved him!
I was true to his Bed; this Baby, and the Youth who warned you,
my Lord Baron, of your Lady's danger, are the pledges of our
affection. Even at this moment I lament his loss, though 'tis to
him that I owe all the miseries of my existence.
'He was of noble birth, but He had squandered away his paternal
inheritance. His Relations considered him as a disgrace to their
name, and utterly discarded him. His excesses drew upon him the
indignation of the Police. He was obliged to fly from
Strasbourg, and saw no other resource from beggary than an union
with the Banditti who infested the neighbouring Forest, and
whose Troop was chiefly composed of Young Men of family in the
same predicament with himself. I was determined not to forsake
him. I followed him to the Cavern of the Brigands, and shared
with him the misery inseparable from a life of pillage. But
though I was aware that our existence was supported by plunder, I
knew not all the horrible circumstances attached to my Lover's
profession. These He concealed from me with the utmost care; He
was conscious that my sentiments were not sufficiently depraved
to look without horror upon assassination: He supposed, and with
justice, that I should fly with detestation from the embraces of
a Murderer. Eight years of possession had not abated his love
for me; and He cautiously removed from my knowledge every
circumstance, which might lead me to suspect the crimes in which
He but too often participated. He succeeded perfectly: It was
not till after my Seducer's death, that I discovered his hands to
have been stained with the blood of innocence.
'One fatal night He was brought back to the Cavern covered with
wounds: He received them in attacking an English Traveller, whom
his Companions immediately sacrificed to their resentment. He
had only time to entreat my pardon for all the sorrows which He
had caused me: He pressed my hand to his lips, and expired. My
grief was inexpressible. As soon as its violence abated, I
resolved to return to Strasbourg, to throw myself with my two
Children at my Father's feet, and implore his forgiveness, though
I little hoped to obtain it. What was my consternation when
informed that no one entrusted with the secret of their retreat
was ever permitted to quit the troop of the Banditti; That I must
give up all hopes of ever rejoining society, and consent
instantly to accepting one of their Band for my Husband! My
prayers and remonstrances were vain. They cast lots to decide to
whose possession I should fall; I became the property of the
infamous Baptiste. A Robber, who had once been a Monk,
pronounced over us a burlesque rather than a religious Ceremony:
I and my Children were delivered into the hands of my new
Husband, and He conveyed us immediately to his home.
'He assured me that He had long entertained for me the most
ardent regard; But that Friendship for my deceased Lover had
obliged him to stifle his desires. He endeavoured to reconcile
me to my fate, and for some time treated me with respect and
gentleness: At length finding that my aversion rather increased
than diminished, He obtained those favours by violence, which I
persisted to refuse him. No resource remained for me but to bear
my sorrows with patience; I was conscious that I deserved them
but too well. Flight was forbidden: My Children were in the
power of Baptiste, and He had sworn that if I attempted to
escape, their lives should pay for it. I had had too many
opportunities of witnessing the barbarity of his nature to doubt
his fulfilling his oath to the very letter. Sad experience had
convinced me of the horrors of my situation: My first Lover had
carefully concealed them from me; Baptiste rather rejoiced in
opening my eyes to the cruelties of his profession, and strove to
familiarise me with blood and slaughter.
'My nature was licentious and warm, but not cruel: My conduct had
been imprudent, but my heart was not unprincipled. Judge then
what I must have felt at being a continual witness of crimes the
most horrible and revolting! Judge how I must have grieved at
being united to a Man who received the unsuspecting Guest with
an air of openness and hospitality, at the very moment that He
meditated his destruction. Chagrin and discontent preyed upon my
constitution: The few charms bestowed on me by nature withered
away, and the dejection of my countenance denoted the sufferings
of my heart. I was tempted a thousand times to put an end to my
existence; But the remembrance of my Children held my hand. I
trembled to leave my dear Boys in my Tyrant's power, and trembled
yet more for their virtue than their lives. The Second was still
too young to benefit by my instructions; But in the heart of my
Eldest I laboured unceasingly to plant those principles, which
might enable him to avoid the crimes of his Parents. He listened
to me with docility, or rather with eagerness. Even at his early
age, He showed that He was not calculated for the society of
Villains; and the only comfort which I enjoyed among my sorrows,
was to witness the dawning virtues of my Theodore.
'Such was my situation, when the perfidy of Don Alphonso's
postillion conducted him to the Cottage. His youth, air, and
manners interested me most forcibly in his behalf. The absence
of my Husband's Sons gave me an opportunity which I had long
wished to find, and I resolved to risque every thing to preserve
the Stranger. The vigilance of Baptiste prevented me from
warning Don Alphonso of his danger: I knew that my betraying the
secret would be immediately punished with death; and however
embittered was my life by calamities, I wanted courage to
sacrifice it for the sake of preserving that of another Person.
My only hope rested upon procuring succour from Strasbourg: At
this I resolved to try; and should an opportunity offer of
warning Don Alphonso of his danger unobserved, I was determined
to seize it with avidity. By Baptiste's orders I went upstairs
to make the Stranger's Bed: I spread upon it Sheets in which a
Traveller had been murdered but a few nights before, and which
still were stained with blood. I hoped that these marks would
not escape the vigilance of our Guest, and that He would collect
from them the designs of my perfidious Husband. Neither was this
the only step which I took to preserve the Stranger. Theodore
was confined to his bed by illness. I stole into his room
unobserved by my Tyrant, communicated to him my project, and He
entered into it with eagerness. He rose in spite of his malady,
and dressed himself with all speed. I fastened one of the Sheets
round his arms, and lowered him from the Window. He flew to the
Stable, took Claude's Horse, and hastened to Strasbourg. Had He
been accosted by the Banditti, He was to have declared himself
sent upon a message by Baptiste, but fortunately He reached the
Town without meeting any obstacle. Immediately upon his arrival
at Strasbourg, He entreated assistance from the Magistrature:
His Story passed from mouth to mouth, and at length came to the
knowledge of my Lord the Baron. Anxious for the safety of his
Lady, whom He knew would be upon the road that Evening, it struck
him that She might have fallen into the power of the Robbers. He
accompanied Theodore who guided the Soldiers towards the Cottage,
and arrived just in time to save us from falling once more into
the hands of our Enemies.'
Here I interrupted Marguerite to enquire why the sleepy potion
had been presented to me. She said that Baptiste supposed me to
have arms about me, and wished to incapacitate me from making
resistance: It was a precaution which He always took, since as
the Travellers had no hopes of escaping, Despair would have
incited them to sell their lives dearly.
The Baron then desired Marguerite to inform him, what were her
present plans. I joined him in declaring my readiness to show my
gratitude to her for the preservation of my life.
'Disgusted with a world,' She replied, 'in which I have met with
nothing but misfortunes, my only wish is to retire into a
Convent. But first I must provide for my Children. I find that
my Mother is no more, probably driven to an untimely grave by my
desertion! My Father is still living; He is not an hard Man;
Perhaps, Gentlemen, in spite of my ingratitude and imprudence,
your intercessions may induce him to forgive me, and to take
charge of his unfortunate Grand-sons. If you obtain this boon
for me, you will repay my services a thousand-fold!'
Both the Baron and myself assured Marguerite, that we would spare
no pains to obtain her pardon: and that even should her Father be
inflexible, She need be under no apprehensions respecting the
fate of her Children. I engaged myself to provide for Theodore,
and the Baron promised to take the youngest under his protection.
The grateful Mother thanked us with tears for what She called
generosity, but which in fact was no more than a proper sense of
our obligations to her. She then left the room to put her little
Boy to bed, whom fatigue and sleep had compleatly overpowered.
The Baroness, on recovering and being informed from what dangers
I had rescued her, set no bounds to the expressions of her
gratitude. She was joined so warmly by her Husband in pressing
me to accompany them to their Castle in Bavaria, that I found it
impossible to resist their entreaties. During a week which we
passed at Strasbourg, the interests of Marguerite were not
forgotten: In our application to her Father we succeeded as amply
as we could wish. The good old Man had lost his Wife: He had no
Children but this unfortunate Daughter, of whom He had received
no news for almost fourteen years. He was surrounded by distant
Relations, who waited with impatience for his decease in order to
get possession of his money. When therefore Marguerite appeared
again so unexpectedly, He considered her as a gift from heaven:
He received her and her Children with open arms, and insisted
upon their establishing themselves in his House without delay.
The disappointed Cousins were obliged to give place. The old Man
would not hear of his Daughter's retiring into a Convent: He
said that She was too necessary to his happiness, and She was
easily persuaded to relinquish her design. But no persuasions
could induce Theodore to give up the plan which I had at first
marked out for him. He had attached himself to me most
sincerely during my stay at Strasbourg; and when I was on the
point of leaving it, He besought me with tears to take him into
my service: He set forth all his little talents in the most
favourable colours, and tried to convince me that I should find
him of infinite use to me upon the road. I was unwilling to
charge myself with a Lad but scarcely turned of thirteen, whom I
knew could only be a burthen to me: However, I could not resist
the entreaties of this affectionate Youth, who in fact possessed
a thousand estimable qualities. With some difficulty He
persuaded his relations to let him follow me, and that permission
once obtained, He was dubbed with the title of my Page. Having
passed a week at Strasbourg, Theodore and myself set out for
Bavaria in company with the Baron and his Lady. These Latter as
well as myself had forced Marguerite to accept several presents
of value, both for herself, and her youngest Son: On leaving
her, I promised his Mother faithfully that I would restore
Theodore to her within the year.
I have related this adventure at length, Lorenzo, that you might
understand the means by which 'The Adventurer, Alphonso
d'Alvarada got introduced into the Castle of Lindenberg.' Judge
from this specimen how much faith should be given to your Aunt's
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