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The Two Captains by La Motte-Fouque, Friedrich Heinrich Karl, Freiherr de

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by Friedrich de La Motte-Fouque was scanned and proofed
by Sandra Laythorpe, slaythorpe@cwcom.net.


by Friedrich Heinrich Karl, Freiherr de La Motte-Fouque


A Mild summer evening was resting on the shores of Malaga, awakening
the guitar of many a merry singer among the ships in the harbor, and
in the city houses, and in many an ornamental garden villa.
Emulating the voices of the birds, the melodious tones greeted the
refreshing coolness, and floated like perfumed exhalations from
meadow and water, over the enchanting region. Some troops of
infantry who were on the shore, and who purposed to spend the night
there, that they might be ready for embarkation early on the
following morning, forgot amid the charms of the pleasant eventide
that they ought to devote these last few hours on European soil to
ease and slumber; they began to sing military songs, to drink to each
other with their flasks filled to the brim with the rich wine of
Xeres, toasting to the long life of the mighty Emperor Charles V.,
who was now besieging the pirate-nest Tunis, and to whose assistance
they were about to sail. The merry soldiers were not all of one
race. Only two companies consisted of Spaniards; the third was
formed of pure Germans, and now and then among the various fellow-
combatants the difference of manners and language had given rise to
much bantering. Now, however, the fellowship of the approaching sea-
voyage and of the glorious perils to be shared, as well as the
refreshing feeling which the soft southern evening poured over soul
and sense, united the band of comrades in perfect and undisturbed
harmony. The Germans tried to speak Castilian, and the Spaniards to
speak German, without its occurring to any one to make a fuss about
the mistakes and confusions that happened. They mutually helped each
other, thinking of nothing else but the good-will of their
companions, each drawing near to his fellow by means of his own

Somewhat apart from the merry tumult, a young German captain, Sir
Heimbert of Waldhausen, was reclining under a cork-tree, gazing
earnestly up at the stars, apparently in a very different mood to the
fresh, merry sociability which his comrades knew and loved in him.
Presently the Spanish captain, Don Fadrique Mendez, approached him;
he was a youth like the other, and was equally skilled in martial
exercises, but he was generally as austere and thoughtful as Heimbert
was cheerful and gentle. "Pardon, Senor," began the solemn Spaniard,
"if I disturb you in your meditations. But as I have had the honor
of often seeing you as a courageous warrior and faithful brother in
amrs in many a hot encounter, I would gladly solicit you above all
others to do me a knightly service, if it does not interfere with
your own plans and projects for this night." "Dear sir," returned
Heimbert courteously, "I have certainly an affair of importance to
attend to before sunrise, but till midnight I am perfectly free, and
ready to render you any assistance as a brother in aims." "Enough,"
said Fadrique, "for at midnight the tones must long have ceased with
which I shall have taken farewell of the dearest being I have ever
known in this my native city. But that you may be as fully
acquainted with the whole affair as behoves a noble companion, listen
to me attentively for a few moments.

"Some time before I left Malaga to join the army of our great emperor
and to aid in spreading the glory of his arms through Italy, I was
devoted, after the fashion of young knights, to the service of a
beautiful girl in this city, named Lucila. She had at that time
scarcely reached the period which separates childhood from ripe
maidenhood, and as I--a boy only just capable of bearing arms--
offered my homage with a childlike, friendly feeling, it was also
received by my young mistress in a similar childlike manner. I
marched at length to Italy, and as you yourself know, for we have
been companions since then, I was in many a hot fight and in many an
enchantingly alluring region in that luxurious land. Amid all our
changes, I held unalterably within me the image of my gentle
mistress, never pausing in the honorable service I had vowed to her,
although I cannot conceal from you that in so doing it was rather to
fulfil the word I had pledged at my departure than from any impelling
and immoderately ardent feeling in my heart. When we returned to my
native city from our foreign wanderings, a few weeks ago, I found my
mistress married to a rich and noble knight residing here. Fiercer
far than love had been was the jealousy--that almost almighty child
of heaven and hell--which now spurred me on to follow Lucila's steps,
from her home to the church, from thence to the house of a friend,
from thence again to her home or to some noble circle of knights and
ladies, and all this as unweariedly and as closely as was possible.
When I had at length assured myself that no other young knight
attended her, and that she devoted herself entirely to the husband
chosen for her by her parents rather than desired by herself, I felt
perfectly satisfied, and I should not have troubled you at this
moment had not Lucila approached me the day before yesterday and
whispered in my ear that I must not provoke her husband, for he was
very passionate and bold; that not the slightest danger threatened
her in the matter, because he loved and honored her above everything,
but that his wrath would vent itself all the more furiously upon me.
You can readily understand, my noble comrade, that I could not help
proving my contempt of all personal danger by following Lucila more
closely than ever, and singing nightly serenades beneath her flower-
decked windows till the morning star began to be reflected in the
sea. This very night Lucila's husband sets out at midnight for
Madrid, and from that hour I will in every way avoid the street in
which they live; until then, however, as soon as it is sufficiently
dark to be suitable for a serenade, I will have love-romances
unceasingly sang before his house. It is true I have information
that not only he but Lucila's brothers are really to enter upon a
quarrel with me, and it is for this reason, Senor, that I have
requested you to bear me company with your good sword in this short

Heimbert seized the Spaniard's hand as a pledge of his readiness,
saying as he did so, "To show you, dear sir, how gladly I will do
what you desire of me, I will requite your confidence with
confidence, and will relate a little incident which occurred to me in
this city, and will beg you after midnight also to render me a small
service. My story is short, and will not detain us longer than we
must wait before the twilight has become deeper and more gloomy.

"On the day after we arrived here I amused myself with walking in the
beautiful gardens with which the place abounds. I have now been long
in these southern lands, but I cannot but believe that the dreams
which transport me nightly back to my German home are the cause for
my feeling everything here so strange and astonishing. At all
events, every morning when I wake I wonder anew, as if I were only
just arrived. So I was walking then, like one infatuated, among the
aloe trees, which were scattered among the laurels and oleanders.
Suddenly a cry sounded near me, and a slender girl, dressed in white,
fled into my arms, fainting, while her companions dispersed past us
in every direction. A soldier can always tolerably soon gather his
senses together, and I speedily perceived a furious bull was pursuing
the beautiful maiden. I threw her quickly over a thickly planted
hedge, and followed her myself, upon which the beast, blind with
rage, passed us by, and I have heard no more of it since, except that
some young knights in an adjacent courtyard had been making a trial
with it previous to a bull-fight, and that it was on this account
that it had broken so furiously through the gardens.

"I was now standing quite alone, with the fainting lady in my arms,
and she was so wonderfully beautiful to look at that I have never in
my life felt happier than I then did, and also never sadder. At last
I laid her down on the turf, and sprinkled her angelic brow, with
water from a neighboring little fountain. And so she came to herself
again, and when she opened her bright and lovely eyes I thought I
could imagine how the glorified spirits must feel in heaven.

"She thanked me with graceful and courteous words, and called me her
knight; but in my state of enchantment I could not utter a syllable,
and she must have almost thought me dumb. At length my speech
returned, and the prayer at once was breathed forth from my heart,
that the sweet lady would often again allow me to see her in this
garden; for that in a few weeks the service of the emperor would
drive me into the burning land of Africa, and that until then she
should vouchsafe me the happiness of beholding her. She looked at me
half smiling, half sadly, and said, 'Yes.' And she has kept her word
and has appeared almost daily, without our having yet spoken much to
each other. For although she has been sometimes quite alone, I
could never begin any other topic but that of the happiness of
walking by her side. Often she has sung to me, and I have sung to
her also. When I told her yesterday that our departure was so near,
her heavenly eyes seemed to me suffused with tears. I must also have
looked sorrowful, for she said to me, in a consoling tone, 'Oh,
pious, childlike warrior! one may trust you as one trusts an angel.'
After midnight, before the morning dawn breaks for your departure, I
give you leave to take farewell of me in this very spot. If you
could, however, find a true and discreet comrade to watch the
entrance from the street, it would be well, for many a soldier may be
passing at that hour through the city on his way from some farewell
carouse. Providence has now sent me such a comrade, and at one
o'clock I shall go joyfully to the lovely maiden."

"I only wish the service on which you require me were more rich in
danger," rejoined Fadrique, "so that I might better prove to you that
I am yours with life and limb. But come, noble brother, the hour for
my adventure is arrived."

And wrapped in their mantles, the youths walked hastily toward the
city, Fadrique carrying his beautiful guitar under his arm.


The night-smelling flowers in Lucila's window were already beginning
to emit their refreshing perfume when Fadrique, leaning in the shadow
of the angle of an old church opposite, began to tune his guitar.
Heimbert had stationed himself not far from him, behind a pillar, his
drawn sword under his mantle, and his clear blue eyes, like two
watching stars, looking calmly and penetrating around. Fadrique

"Upon a meadow green with spring,
A little flower was blossoming,
With petals red and snowy white;
To me, a youth, my soul's delight
Within that blossom lay,
And I have loved my song to indite
And flattering homage pay.

"Since then a wanderer I have been,
And many a bloody strife have seen;
And now returned, I see
The little floweret stands no more
Upon the meadow as before;
Transplanted by a gardener's care,
And hedged by golden trellis there,
It is denied to me.

"I grudge him not his trelllsed guard,
His bolts of iron, strongly barred;
Yet, wandering in the cool night-air,
I touch my zither's string,
And as afore her beauties rare,
Her wondrous graces sing,
And e'en the gardener shall not dare
Refuse the praise I bring."

"That depends, Senor," said a man, stepping close, and as he thought
unobserved, before Fadrique; but the latter had already been informed
of his approach by a sign from his watchful friend, and he was
therefore ready to answer with the greater coolness, "If you wish,
Senor, to commence a suit with my guitar, she has, at all events, a
tongue of steel, which has already on many occasions done her
excellent service. With whom is it your pleasure to speak, with the
guitar or the advocate?"

While the stranger was silent from embarrassment, two mantled figures
had approached Heimbert and remained standing a few steps from him,
as if to cut off Fadrique's flight in case he intended to escape.
"I believe, dear sirs," said Heimbert in a courteous tone, "we are
here on the same errand--namely, to prevent any intrusion upon the
conference of yonder knights. At least, as far as I am concerned,
you may rely upon it that any one who attempts to interfere in their
affair will receive my dagger in his heart. Be of good cheer,
therefore; I think we shall both do our duty." The two gentlemen
bowed courteously and were silent.

The quiet self-possession with which the two soldiers carried on the
whole affair was most embarrassing to their three adversaries, and
they were at a loss to know how they should begin the dispute. At
last Fadrique again touched the strings of his guitar, and was
preparing to begin another song. This mark of contempt and apparent
disregard of danger and hazard so enraged Lucila's husband (for it
was he who had taken his stand by Don Fadrique) that without further
delay he drew his sword from his sheath, and with a voice of
suppressed rage called out, "Draw, or I shall stab you!" "Very
gladly, Senor," replied Fadrique quietly; "you need not threaten me;
you might as well have said so calmly." And so saying he placed his
guitar carefully in a niche in the church wall, seized bis sword,
and, bowing gracefully to his opponent, the fight, began.

At first the two figures by Heimbert's side, who were Lucila's
brothers, remained quite quiet; but when Fadrique began to get the
better of their brother-in-law they appeared as if they intended to
take part in the fight. Heimbert therefore made his mighty sword
gleam in the moonlight, and said, "Dear sirs, you will not surely
oblige me to execute that of which I previously assured you? I pray
you not to compel me to do so; but if it cannot be otherwise, I must
honorably keep my word, you may rely upon it." The two young men
remained from that time motionless, surprised both at the decision
and at the true-hearted friendliness that lay in Heimbert's words.

Meanwhile Don Fadrique, although pressing hard upon his adversary,
had generously avoided wounding him, and when at last by a dexterous
movement he wrested his sword from him. Lucila's husband, surprised
at the unexpected advantage, and in alarm at being thus disarmed,
retreated a few steps. But Fadrique threw the weapon adroitly into
the air, and catching it again near the point of the blade, he said,
as he gracefully presented the hilt to his opponent, "Take it, Senor,
and I hope our affair of honor is now settled, as you will grant
under these circumstances that I am only here to show that I fear no
sword-thrust in the world. The bell of the old cathedral is now
ringing twelve o'clock, and I give you my word of honor as a knight
and a soldier that neither is Dona Lucila pleased with my attentions
nor am I pleased with paying them; from henceforth, and were I to
remain a hundred years in Malaga, I would not continue to serenade
her in this spot. So proceed on your journey, and God be with you."
He then once more greeted his conquered adversary with serious and
solemn courtesy, and withdrew. Heimbert followed him, after having
cordially shaken hands with the two youths, saying, "No, dear young
sirs, do not let it ever again enter your heads to interfere in any
honorable contest. Do you understand me?"

He soon overtook his companion, and walked on by his side so full of
ardent expectation, and with his heart beating so joyfully and yet so
painfully, that he could not utter a single word. Don Fadrique
Mendez was also silent; it was not till Heimbert paused before an
ornamented garden-gate, and pointed cheerfully to the pomegranate
boughs richly laden with fruits which overhung it, saying, "This is
the place, dear comrade," that the Spaniard appeared as if about to
ask a question, but turning quickly round he merely said, "I am
pledged to guard this entrance for you till dawn. You have my word
of honor for it." So saying he began walking to and fro before the
gate, with drawn sword, like a sentinel, and Heimbert, trembling with
joy, glided within the gloomy and aromatic shrubberies.


He was not long in seeking the bright star, which he indeed felt was
destined henceforth to guide the course of his whole life. The
delicate form approached him not far from the entrance; weeping
softly, it seemed to him, in the light of the full moon which was
just rising, and yet smiling with such infinite grace, that her tears
were rather like a pearly ornament than a veil of sorrow. In deep
and infinite joy and sorrow the two lovers wandered silently together
through the flowery groves; now and then a branch waving in the
night-air would touch the guitar on the lady's arm, and it would
breathe forth a slight murmur which blended with the song of the
nightingale, or the delicate fingers of the girl would tremble over
the strings and awaken a few scattered chords, while the shooting
stars seemed as if following the tones of the instrument as they died
away. Oh, truly happy was this night both to the youth and the
maiden, for no rash wish or impure desire passed even fleetingly
across their minds. They walked on side by side, happy that
Providence had allowed them this delight, and so little desiring any
other blessing that even the transitoriness of that they were now
enjoying floated away into the background of their thoughts.

In the middle ot the beautiful garden there was a large open lawn,
ornamented with statues and surrounding a beautiful and splashing
fountain. The two lovers sat down on its brink, now gazing at the
waters sparkling in the moonlight, and now delighting in the
contemplation of each other's beauty. The maiden touched her guitar,
and Heimbert, impelled by a feeling scarcely intelligible to himself,
sang the following words to it:

"There is a sweet life linked with mine,
But I cannot tell its name;
Oh, would it but to me consign
The secret of that life divine,
That so my lips in whispers sweet
And gentle songs might e'en repeat
All that my heart would fain proclaim!"

He suddenly paused, and blushed deeply, fearing he had been too bold.
The lady blushed also, touched her guitar-strings with a half-
abstracted air, and at last sang as if dreamily:

"By the spring where moonlight's gleams
O'er the sparkling waters pass,
Who is sitting by the youth,
Singing on the soft green grass?
Shall the maiden tell her name,
When though all unknown it be,
Her heart is glowing with her shame,
And her cheeks burn anxiously,
First, let the youthful knight be named.
'Tis he that on that glorious day
Fought in Castilla's proud array;

'Tis he the youth of sixteen years,
At Pavia, who his fortunes tried,
The Frenchman's fear, the Spaniard's pride.
Heimbert is the hero's name,
Victorious in many a fight!
And beside the valiant knight,
Sitting in the soft green grass,
Though her name her lips shall pass,
Dona Clara feels no shame "

"Oh!" said Heimbert, blushing from another cause than before, "oh,
Dona Clara, that affair at Pavia was nothing but a merry and
victorious tournament, and even if occasionally since then I have
been engaged in a tougher contest, how have I ever merited as a
reward the overwhelming bliss I am now enjoying! Now I know what
your name is, and I may in future address you by it, my angelic Dona
Clara, my blessed and beautiful Dona Clara! But tell me now, who has
given you such a favorable report of my achievements, that I may ever
regard him with grateful affection?"

"Does the noble Heimbert of Waldhausen suppose," rejoined Clara,
"that the noble houses of Spain had none of their sons where he stood
in the battle? You must have surely seen them fighting by your side,
and must I not have heard of your glories through the lips of my own

The silvery tones of a little bell sounded just then from a
neighboring palace, and Clara whispered, "It is time to part. Adieu,
my hero!" And she smiled on the youth through her gushing tears, and
bent toward him, and he almost fancied he felt a sweet kiss breathed
from her lips. When he fully recovered himself Clara had
disappeared, the morning clouds were beginning to wear the rosy hue
of dawn, and Heimbert, with a heaven of love's proud happiness in his
heart, returned to his watchful friend at the garden gate.


"Halt!" exclaimed Fadrique, as Heimbert appeared from the garden,
holding his drawn sword toward him ready for attack. "Stop, you are
mistaken, my good comrade," said the German, smiling, "it is I whom
you see before you." "Do not imagine, Knight Heimbert of
Waldhausen," said Fadrique, "that I mistake you. But my promise is
discharged, my hour of guard has been honorably kept, and now I beg
you without further delay to prepare yourself, and fight for your
life until heart's blood has ceased to flow through these veins."
"Good heavens!" sighed Heimbert, "I have often heard that in these
southern lands there are witches, who deprive people of their senses
by magic arts and incantations. But I have never experienced
anything of the sort until to-day. Compose yourself, my dear good
comrade, and go with me back to the shore." Fadrique laughed
fiercely, and answered, "Set aside your silly delusion, and if you
must have everything explained to you, word by word, in order to
understand it, know then that the lady whom you came to meet in the
shrubbery of this my garden is Dona Clara Mendez, my only sister.
Quick, therefore, and without further preamble, draw!" "God forbid!"
exclaimed the German, not touching his weapon. "You shall be my
brother-in-law, Fadrique, and not my murderer, and still less will I
be yours." Fadrique only shook his head indignantly, and advanced
toward his comrade with measured steps for an encounter. Heimbert,
however, still remained immovable, and said, "No, Fadrique, I cannot
now or ever do you harm. For besides the love I bear your sister, it
must certainly have been you who has spoken to her so honorably of my
military expeditions in Italy." "When I did so," replied Fadiique in
a fury, "I was a fool. But, dallying coward, out with your sword,

Before Fadrique had finished speaking, Heimbert, burning with
indignation, exclaimed, "The devil himself could not bear that!" and
drawing his sword from the scabbard, the two young captains rushed
fiercely and resolutely to the attack.

Different indeed was this contest to that previously fought by
Fadrique with Lucila's husband. The two young soldiers well
understood their weapons, and strove with each other with equal
boldness, their swords flashing like rays of light as now this one
now that one hurled a lightning thrust at his adversary, which was
with similar speed and dexterity turned aside. Firmly they pressed
the left foot, as if rooted in the ground, while the right advanced
to the bold onset and then again they quickly retired to the safer
attitude of defence. From the self-possession and the quiet
unremitting anger with which both the combatants fought, it was
evident that one of the two would find his grave under the
overhanging branches of the orange-tree, which were now tinged with
the red glow of morning, and this would undoubtedly have been the
case had not the report of a cannon from the harbor sounded through
the silence of the twilight.

The combatants paused, as if at some word of command to be obeyed by
both, and listened, counting to themselves; then, as each uttered the
number thirty, a second gun was heard. "It is the signal for
immediate embarkation, Senor," said Don Fadrique; "we are now in the
emperor's service, and all dispute ceases which is not against the
foes of Charles the Fifth." "Right," replied Heimbert, "but when
there is an end of Tunis and the whole war. I shall demand
satisfaction for that 'dallying coward.'" "And I for that in
intercourse with my sister," said Fadrique. "Certainly," rejoined
the other; and, so saying, the two captains hurried down to the
strand and arranged the embarkation of their troops; while the sun,
rising over the sea, shone upon them both in the same vessel.


The voyagers had for some time to battle with contrary winds, and
when at length they came in sight of the coasts of Barbary the
darkness of evening had closed so deeply over the sea that no pilot
in the little squadron ventured to ride at anchor on the shallow
shore. They cruised about on the calm waters, waiting for the
morning; and the soldiers, full of laudable ambition for combat,
stood impatiently in crowds on the deck, straining their longing
eyes to see the theatre of their future deeds.

Meanwhile the heavy firing of besiegers and besieged thundered
unceasingly from the fortress of Goletta, and as the night darkened
the scene with massy clouds, the flames of burning fragments became
more visible, and the fiery course of the red bullets was perceptible
as they crossed each other in their path, while their effects in fire
and devastation were fearful to behold. It was evident that the
Mussulmans had been attempting a sally, for a sharp fire of musketry
burst forth suddenly amid the roaring of the cannon. The fight was
approaching the trenches of the Christians, and on board the vessels
none were agreed whether the besiegers were in danger or not. At
length they saw that the Turks were driven back into the fortress;
the Christian army pursued them, and a shout was heard from the
Spanish camp as of one loud Victory! and the cry, Goletta was taken!

How the troops on board the vessels--consisting of young and courage-
tried men--burned with ardor and their hearts beat at the glorious
spectacle, need not be detailed to those who carry a brave heart
within their own bosoms, and to all others any description would be
lost. Heimbert and Fadrique stood close to each other. "I do not
know," said the latter, speaking to himself, "but I feel as if to-
morrow I must plant my standard upon yonder height which is now
lighted up with the red glow of the bullets and burning flames in
Goletta." "That is just what I feel!" said Heimbert. The two angry
captains then relapsed into silence and turned indignantly away.

The longed-for morning at length dawned, the vessels approached the
shore, and the landing of the troops began, while an officer was at
once dispatched to the camp to announce the arrival of the
reinforcements to the mighty general Alba. The soldiers were hastily
ranged on the beach, they put themselves and their weapons in order,
and were soon standing in battle array, ready for their great leader.
Clouds of dust rose in the gray twilight, the returning officer
announced the approach of the general, and as Alba signifies
"morning" in the Castilian tongue, the Spaniards raised a shout of
rejoicing at the coincidence, as at some favorable omen, for as the
knightly train approached the first beams of the rising sun became

The grave and haggard form of the general was seen mounted on a tall
Andalusian charger of the deepest black. Having galloped once up and
down the lines, he stopped his powerful horse in the middle, and
looking along the ranks with an air of grave satisfaction, he said,
"You pass muster well. That is well. I like it to be so. It is
plain to see that you are tried soldiers, in spite of your youth.
We will first hold a review, and then I will lead you to something
more agreeable."

So saying, he dismounted, and walking toward the right wing he began
to inspect one troop after another in the closest manner, with the
captain of each company at his side, that he might receive from him
accurate account upon the minutest particulars. Sometimes a cannon-
ball from the fortress would whizz over the heads of the men; then
Alba would stand still and cast a keen glance over the soldiers
before him. But when he saw that not an eyelash moved, a smile of
satisfaction passed over his severe pale face.

When he had inspected both divisions he again mounted his horse and
once more galloped into the middle. Then, stroking his long beard,
he said, "You are in good order, soldiers, and therefore you shall
take your part in this glorious day, which is just dawning for our
whole Christian armada. We will attack Barbarossa, soldiers. Do you
not already hear the drums and fifes in the camp? Do you see him
advancing yonder to meet the emperor? That side of his position is
assigned to you!"

"Vivat Carolus Quintus!" resounded through the ranks. Alba beckoned
the captains to him, and assigned to each his duty. He usually
mingled German and Spanish troops together, in order to stimulate the
courage of the combatants still higher by emulation. So it happened
even now that Heimbert and Fadrique were commanded to storm the very
same height, which, now gleaming with the morning light, they at once
recognized as that which had shone out so fiercely and full of
promise the night before.


Thrice had Fadrique and Heimbert almost forced their way to a rampart
in the fortifications, and thrice had they been repulsed with their
men into the valley below by the fierce opposition of the Turks. The
Mussulmans shouted after the retreating foe, clashed their weapons
with the triumph of victory, and with a scornful laugh asked whether
they would not come up again to give heart and brain to the scimitar
and their limbs to the falling beams of wood. The two captains,
gnashing their teeth with fury, arranged their ranks anew; for after
three vain assaults they had to move closer together to fill the
places of the slain and the mortally wounded. Meanwhile a murmur ran
through the Christian army that a witch was fighting among their foes
and helping them to conquer.

Duke Alba rode to the point of attack, and looked scrutinizingly at
the breach they had made. "Not yet broken through the enemy here!"
said he, shaking his head, "I am surprised. From two such youths,
and such troops, I should have expected it." "Do you hear that?
Do you hear that?" exclaimed the two captains, as they paced along
their lines repeating the general's words. The soldiers shouted
loudly, and demanded to be once more led against the enemy; even
those who were mortally wounded shouted, with a last effort,
"Forward, comrades!" The great Alba at once sprang like an arrow
from his horse, wrested a partisan from the stiff hand of one of the
slain, and standing in front of the two companies he cried, "I will
take part in your glory. In the name of God and of the blessed
Virgin, forward, my children!"

And joyfully they rushed up the hill, every heart beating with
confidence, while the war-cry was raised triumphantly; some even
began already to shout "Victory! victory!" and the Mussulmans paused
and wavered. Suddenly, like the vision of an avenging angel, a
maiden, dressed in purple garments embroidered with gold appeared in
the Turkish ranks, and those who were terrified before again shouted
"Allah!" calling at the same time, "Zelinda, Zelinda!" The maiden,
however, drew a small box from under her arm, and opening it she
breathed into it and hurled it down among the Christian troops. And
forth from the fatal chest there burst a whole fire of rockets,
grenades, and other fearful messengers of death. The startled
soldiers paused in their assault. "Forward!" cried Alba. "Forward!"
cried the two captains; but a flaming arrow just then fastened on the
duke's plumed hat and hissed and crackled round his head, so that the
general fell fainting down the height. Then the German and Spanish
infantry fled uncontrollably from the fearful ascent. Again the
storm had been repulsed. The Mussulmans shouted, and like a fatal
star Zelinda's beauty shone in the midst of the flying troops.

When Alba opened his eyes, Heimbert was standing over him, with his
mantle, arm, and face scorched with the fire, which he had not only
just extinguished on his general's head, but by throwing himself over
him he had saved him from a second body of flame rolled down the
height in the same direction. The duke was thanking his youthful
deliverer when some soldiers came up, looking for him, to apprise him
that the Saracen power was beginning an attack on the opposite wing
of the army. Without losing a word Alba threw himself on the first
horse brought him and galloped away to the spot where the most
threatening danger summoned him.

Fadrique stood with his glowing eye fixed on the rampart, where the
brilliant form of Zelinda might be seen, with a two-edged spear,
ready to be hurled, uplifted by her snow-white arm, and raising her
voice, now in encouraging tones to the Mussulmans in Arabic, and
again speaking scornfully to the Christians in Spanish. At last
Fadrique exclaimed, "Oh, foolish being! she thinks to daunt me, and
yet she places herself before me, an alluring and irresistible war-

And as if magic wings had sprung from his shoulders, he began to fly
up the height with such rapidity that Alba's violent descent seemed
but a lazy snail's pace. Before any one was aware, he was already on
the height, and wresting spear and shield from the maiden, he had
seized her in his arms and was attempting to bear her away, while
Zelinda in anxious despair clung to the palisade with both her hands.
Her cry for help was unavailing, partly because the Turks imagined
that the magic power of the maiden was annihilated by the almost
equally wondrous deed of the youth, and partly also because the
faithful Heimbert, quickly perceiving his comrade's daring feat, had
led both troops to a renewed attack, and now stood by his side on the
height, fighting hand to hand with the defenders. This time the fury
of the Mussulmans, weakened as they were by superstition and
surprise, could avail nothing against the heroic advance of the
Christian soldiers. The Spaniards and Germans speedily broke through
the enemy, assisted by the watchful squadrons of their army. The
Mohammedans fled with frightful howling, the battle with its stream
of victory rolled ever on, and the banner of the holy German empire
and that of the royal house of Castile waved victorious over the
glorious battle-field before the walls of Tunis.


In the confusion of the conquering and the conquered, Zelinda had
wrested herself from Fadrique's arms and had fled from him with such
swiftness that, however much love and desire might have given wings
to his pursuit, she was soon out of sight in a spot so well known to
her. All the more vehement was the fury of the excited Spaniard
against the infidel foe. Wherever a little host made a fresh stand
to oppose the Christians, he would hasten forward with the troops,
who ranged themselves round him, resistless as he was, as round a
banner of victory, while Heimbert ever remained at his side like a
faithful shield, guarding off many a danger to which the youth,
intoxicated with rage and success, exposed himself without
consideration. The following day they heard of Barbarossa's flight
from the city, and the victorious troops advanced without resistance
through the gates of Tunis. Fadrique's and Heimbert's companies were
always together.

Thick clouds of smoke began to curl through the streets; the soldiers
were obliged to shake off the glowing and dusty flakes from their
mantles and richly plumed helmets, where they often rested
smouldering. "I trust the enemy in his despair has not set fire to
some magazine full of powder!" exclaimed the thoughtful Heimbert; and
Fadrique, allowing by a sign that he agreed with his surmise,
hastened on to the spot from whence the smoke proceeded, the troops
courageously pressing after him.

The sudden turn of a street brought them in view of a magnificent
palace, from the beautifully ornamented windows of which the flames
were emerging, looking like torches of death in their fitful glow,
and lighting up the splendid building in the hour of its ruin in the
grandest manner, now illuminating this and now that part of the
gigantic structure, and then again relapsing into a fearful darkness
of smoke and vapor.

And like some faultless statue, the ornament of the whole edifice,
there stood Zelinda upon a high and giddy projection, while the
tongues of flame wreathed around her from below, calling to her
companions in the faith to help her in saving the wisdom of centuries
which was preserved in this building. The projection on which she
stood began to totter from the fervent heat raging beneath it, and a
few stones gave way; Fadrique called with a voice full of anguish to
the endangered lady, and scarcely had she withdrawn her foot from the
spot, when the stone on which she had been standing broke away and
came rattling down on the pavement. Zelinda disappeared within the
burning palace, and Fadrique rushed up its marble staircase,
Heimbert, his faithful companion, following him.

Their hasty steps carried them through lofty resounding halls; the
architecture over their heads was a maze of high arches, and one
chamber led into another almost like a labyrinth. The walls
displayed on all sides magnificent shelves, in which were to be seen
stored rolls of parchment, papyrus, and palm-leaf, partly inscribed
with the characters of long-vanished centuries, and which were now to
perish themselves. For the flames were already crackling among them
and stretching their serpent-like and fiery heads from one case of
treasures to another; while some Spanish soldiers, barbarous in their
fury, and hoping for plunder, and finding nothing but inscribed rolls
within the gorgeous building, passed from disappointment to rage, and
aided the flames; the more so as they regarded the inscriptions as
the work of evil magicians. Fadrique flew as in a dream through the
strange half-consumed halls, ever calling Zelinda! thinking and
regarding nothing but her enchanting beauty. Long did Heimbert
remain at his side, until at length they both reached a cedar
staircase leading to an upper story; here Fadrique paused to listen,
and exclaiming, "She is speaking up there! she is speaking loud! she
needs my help!" he dashed up the already burning steps. Heimbert
hesitated a moment; he saw the staircase already tottering, and he
thought to give a warning cry to his companion; but at the same
moment the light ornamental ascent gave way and burst into flames.
He could just see Fadrique clinging above to a brass grating and
swinging himself up to it, but all means of following him were
destroyed. Quickly recollecting himself, Heimbert lost no time in
idly gazing, but hastened through the adjacent halls in search of
another flight of steps which would lead him to his vanished friend.

Meanwhile Fadrique, following the enchanting voice, had reached a
gallery in the midst of which, the floor having fallen in, there was
a fearful abyss of flames, though the pillars on each side were still
standing. Opposite to him the youth perceived the longed-for maiden,
clinging with one hand to a pillar, while with the other she was
threatening back some Spanish soldiers, who seemed ready at any
moment to seize her, and her delicate foot was already hovering over
the edge of the glowing ruins. For Fadrique to go to her was
impossible; the breadth of the opening rendered even a desperate leap
unavailing. Trembling lest his call might make the maiden
precipitate herself into the abyss, either in terror or despairing
anger, he only softly raised his voice and whispered as with a breath
over the flaming gulf, "Oh, Zelinda, Zelinda! do not give way to such
frightful thoughts! Your preserver is here!" The maiden turned her
queenly head, and when Fadrique saw her calm and composed demeanor,
he cried to the soldiers on the other side, with all the thunder of
his warrior's voice, "Back, ye insolent plunderers! Whoever advances
but one step to the lady shall feel the vengeance of my arm!" They
started and seemed on the point of withdrawing, when one of their
number said, "The knight cannot touch us, the gulf between us is too
broad for that. And as for the lady's throwing herself down--it
almost looks as if the young knight were her lover, and whoever has a
lover is not likely to be so hasty about throwing herself down." All
laughed at this and again advanced. Zelinda tottered at the edge of
the abyss. But with the courage of a lion Fadrique had torn his
target from his arm, and hurling it with his right hand he flung it
at the soldiers with such a sure aim that the rash leader, struck on
the head, fell senseless to the ground. The rest again stood still.
"Away with you!" cried Fadrique authoritatively, "or my dagger shall
strike the next as surely, and then I swear I will never rest till I
have found out your whole gang and appeased my rage." The dagger
gleamed in the youth's hand, but yet more fearfully gleamed the fury
in his eyes, and the soldiers fled. Then Zelinda bowed gratefully to
her preserver, took up a roll of palm-leaves which lay at her feet,
and which must have previously slipped from her hand, and then
vanished hastily through a side-door of the gallery. Henceforth
Fadrique sought her in vain in the burning palace.


The great Alba held a council with his chief officers in an open
place in the middle of the conquered city, and, by means of
interpreters, sent question after question to the Turkish prisoners
as to the fate of the beautiful woman who had been seen animating
them on the ramparts, and who was certainly the most exquisite
enchantress that had ever visited the earth. Nothing very distinct
was to be gained from the answers, for although the interrogated all
knew of the the beautiful Zelinda as a noble lady versed in magic
lore, and acknowledged by the whole people, they were utterly unable
to state from whence she had come to Tunis and whither she had now
fled. When at last they began to threaten the prisoners as
obstinate, an old Dervish, hitherto unnoticed, pressed forward and
said, with a gloomy smile, "Whoever has a desire to seek the lady may
set out when he chooses; I will conceal nothing from him of what I
know of her direction, and I know something. But I must first of all
receive the promise that I shall not be compelled to accompany as
guide. My lips otherwise will remain sealed forever, and you may do
with me as you will."

He looked like one who intended to keep his word, and Alba, pleased
with the firmness of the man, which harmonized well with his own
mind, gave him the desired assurance, and the Dervish began his
relation. He was once, he said, wandering in the almost infinite
desert of Sahara, impelled perhaps by rash curiosity, perhaps by
higher motives; he had lost his way there, and had at last, wearied
to death, reached one of those fertile islands of that sea of sand
which are called oases. Then followed, sparkling with oriental
vivacity, a description of the wonderful things seen there, now
filling the hearts of his hearers with sweet longing, and then again
making their hair stand on end with horror, though from the strange
pronunciation of the speaker and the flowing rapidity of his words
the half was scarcely understood. The end of all this at length was
that Zelinda dwelt on that oasis, in the midst of the pathless sand-
plains of the desert, surrounded by magic horrors; and also, as the
Dervish knew for certain, that she had left about half an hour ago on
her way thither. The almost contemptuous words with which he
concluded his narration plainly showed that he desired nothing more
earnestly than to seduce some Christians to undertake a journey which
must terminate inevitably in their destruction. At the same time he
added a solemn oath that everything was truly as he had stated it,
and he did this in a firm and grave manner, as a man who knows that
he is speaking the most indubitable truth. Surprised and thoughtful,
the circle of officers held their council round him.

Then Heimbert stepped forward with an air as if of request; he had
just received a summons to leave the burning palace, where he had
been seeking his friend, and had been appointed to the place of
council because it was necessary to arrange the troops here in
readiness for any possible rising in the conquered city. "What do
you wish, my young hero?" said Alba, recognizing him as he appeared.
"I know your smiling, blooming countenance well. You were but lately
sheltering me like a protecting angel. I am so sure that you make no
request but what is honorable and knightly that anything you may
possibly desire is granted beforehand." "My great Duke," replied
Heimbert, with cheeks glowing with pleasure, "if I may then venture
to ask a favor, will you grant me permission to follow the beautiful
Zelinda at once in the direction which this wonderful Dervish has
pointed out?" The great general bowed in assent, and added, "So
noble an adventure could not be consigned to a more noble knight!"

"I do not know that!" said an angry voice from the throng. "But well
do I know that to me above all others this adventure belongs, even
were it assigned as a reward for the capture of Tunis. For who was
the first on the height and within the city?" "That was Don Fadrique
Mendez," said Heimbert, taking the speaker by the hand and leading
him before the general. "If I now for his sake must forfeit my
promised reward, I must patiently submit; for he has rendered better
service than I have done to the emperor and the army."

"Neither of you shall forfeit his reward," said the great Alba.
"Each has permission from this moment to seek the maiden in whatever
way it seems to him most advisable."

And swift as lightning the two young captains quitted the circle of
officers in opposite directions.


A sea of sand, stretching out in the distant horizon, without one
object to mark its extensive surface, white and desolate in its
vastness--such is the scene which proclaims the fearful desert of
Sahara to the eye of the wanderer who has lost himself in these
frightful regions. In this also it resembles the sea, that it casts
up waves, and often a misty vapor bangs over its surface. But there
is not the soft play of waves which unite all the coasts of the
earth; each wave as it rolls in bringing a message from the remotest
and fairest island kingdoms, and again rolling back as it were with
an answer, in a sort of love-flowing dance. No; there is here only
the melancholy sporting of the hot wind with the faithless dust which
ever falls back again into its joyless basin, and never reaches the
rest of the solid land with its happy human dwellings. There is here
none of the sweet cool sea-breeze in which kindly fairies seem
carrying on their graceful sport, forming blooming gardens and
pillared palaces--there is only a suffocating vapor, rebelliously
given back to the glowing sun from the unfruitful sands.

Hither the two youths arrived at the same time, and paused, gazing
with dismay at the pathless chaos before them. Zelinda's track,
which was not easily hidden or lost, had hitherto obliged them almost
always to remain together, dissatisfied as Fadrique was at the
circumstance, and angry as were the glances he cast at his unwelcome
companion. Each had hoped to overtake Zelinda before she had reached
the desert, feeling how almost impossible it would be to find her
once she had entered it. That hope was now at an end; and although
in answer to the inquiries they made in the Barbary villages on the
frontier, they heard that a wanderer going southward in the desert
and guiding his course by the stars would, according to tradition,
arrive at length at a wonderfully fertile oasis, the abode of a
divinely beautiful enchantress, yet everything appeared highly
uncertain and dispiriting, and was rendered still more so by the
avalanches of dust before the travellers' view.

The youths looked sadly at the prospect before them, and their horses
snorted and started back at the horrible plain, as though it were
some insidious quicksand, and even the riders themselves were seized
with doubt and dismay. Suddenly they sprung from their saddles, as
at some word of command, unbridled their horses, loosened their
girths, and turned them loose on the desert, that they might find
their way back to some happier dwelling place. Then, taking some
provision from their saddle-bags, they placed it on their shoulders,
and casting aside their heavy riding boots they plunged like two
courageous swimmers into the trackless waste.


With no other guide than the sun by day, and by night the host of
stars, the two captains soon lost sight of each other, and all the
sooner, as Fadrique avoided intentionally the object of his aversion.
Heimbert, on the other hand, had no thought but the attainment of his
aim; and, full of joyful confidence in God's assistance, he pursued
his course in a southerly direction.

Many nights and many days had passed, when one evening, as the
twilight was coming on, Heimbert was standing alone in the endless
desert, unable to descry a single object all round on which his eye
could rest. His light flask was empty, and the evening brought with
it, instead or the hoped-for coolness, a suffocating whirlwind of
sand, so that the exhausted wanderer was obliged to press his burning
face to the burning soil in order to escape in some measure the fatal
cloud. Now and then he heard something passing him, or rustling over
him as with the sound of a sweeping mantle, and he would raise
himself in anxious haste; but he only saw what he had already too
often seen in the daylime--the wild beasts of the wilderness roaming
at liberty through the desert waste. Sometimes it was an ugly camel,
then it was a long-necked and disproportioned giraffe, and then again
a long-legged ostrich hastening away with its wings outspread. They
all appeared to scorn him, and he had already taken his resolve to
open his eyes no more, and to give himself up to his fate, without
allowing these horrible and strange creatures to disturb his mind in
the hour of death.

Presently it seemed to him as if he heard the hoofs and neighing of a
horse, and suddenly something halted close beside him, and he thought
he caught the sound of a man's voice. Half unwilling, he could not
resist raising himself wearily, and he saw before him a rider in an
Arab's dress mounted on a slender Arabian horse. Overcome with joy
at finding himself within reach of human help, he exclaimed,
"Welcome, oh, man, in this fearful solitude! If thou canst, succor
me, thy fellow-man, who must otherwise perish with thirst!" Then
remembering that the tones of his dear German mother tongue were not
intelligible in this joyless region, he repeated the same words in
the mixed dialect, generally called the Lingua Romana, universally
used by heathens, Mohammedans, and Christians in those parts of the
world where they have most intercourse with each other.

The Arab still remained silent, and looked as if scornfully laughing
at his strange discovery. At length he replied, in the same dialect,
"I was also in Barbarossa's fight; and if, Sir Knight, our overthrow
bitterly enraged me then, I find no small compensation for it in the
fact of seeing one of the conquerors lying so pitifully before me."
"Pitifully!" exclaimed Heimbert angrily, and his wounded sense of
honor giving him back for a moment all his strength, he seized his
sword and stood ready for an encounter. "Oho!" laughed the Arab,
"does the Christian viper still hiss so strongly? Then it only
behooves me to put spurs to my horse and leave thee to perish here,
thou lost creeping worm!" "Ride to the devil, thou dog of a
heathen!" retorted Heimbert; "rather than entreat a crumb of thee I
will die here, unless the good God sends me manna in the wilderness."

And the Arab spurred forward his swift steed and galloped away a
couple of hundred paces, laughing with scorn. Then he paused, and
looking round to Heimbert he trotted back and said, "Thou seemest too
good, methinks, to perish here of hunger and thirst. Beware! my good
sabre shall touch thee."

Heimbert, who had again stretched himself hopelessly on the burning
sand, was quickly roused to his feet by these words, and seized his
sword; and sudden as was the spring with which the Arab's horse flew
toward him, the stout German warrior stood ready to parry the blow,
and the thrust which the Arab aimed at him in the Mohammedan manner
he warded off with certainty and skill.

Again and again the Arab sprung; similarly here and there, vainly
hoping to give his antagonist a death-blow. At last, overcome by
impatience, he approached so boldly that Heimbert, warding off the
threatening weapon, had time to seize the Arab by the girdle and drag
him from the fast-galloping horse. The violence of the movement
threw Heimbert also on the ground, but he lay above his opponent, and
holding close before his eyes a dagger, which he had dexterously
drawn from his girdle, he exclaimed, "Wilt thou have mercy or death?"
The Arab, trembling, cast down his eyes before the gleaming and
murderous weapon, and said, "Show mercy to me, mighty warrior; I
surrender to thee." Heimbert then ordered him to throw away the
sabre he still held in his right hand. He did so, and both
combatants rose, and again sunk down upon the sand, for the victor
was far more weary than the vanquished.

The Arab's good horse meanwhile had trotted toward them, according to
the habit of those noble animals, who never forsake their fallen
master. It now stood behind the two men, stretching out its long
slender neck affectionately toward them. "Arab," said Heimbert with
exhausted voice, "take from thy horse what provision thou hast with
thee and place it before me." The vanquished man humbly did as he
was commanded, now just as much submitting to the will of the
conqueror as he had before exhibited his animosity in anger and
revenge. After a few draughts of palm-wine from the skin, Heimbert
looked at the youth under a new aspect; he then partook of some
fruits, drank more of the palm-wine, and at length said, "You are
going to ride still farther to-night, young man?" "Yes, indeed,"
replied the Arab sadly; "on a distant oasis there dwells my aged
father and my blooming bride. Now--even if you set me at full
liberty--I must perish in the heat of this barren desert, for want
of sustenance, before I can reach my lovely home."

"Is it, perhaps," asked Heimbert, "the oasis on which the mighty
enchantress, Zelinda, dwells?"

"Allah protect me!" cried the Arab, clasping his hands. "Zelinda's
wondrous isle offers no hospitable shelter to any but magicians.
It lies far away in the scorching south, while our friendly oasis
is toward the cooler west."

"I only asked in case we might be travelling companions," said
Heimbert courteously. "If that cannot be, we must certainly divide
the provisions; for I would not have so brave a warrior as you
perish, with hunger and thirst."

So saying, the young captain began to arrange the provisions in two
portions, placing the larger on his left and the smaller at his
right; he then desired the Arab to take the former, and added, to his
astonished companion, "See, good sir, I have either not much farther
to travel or I shall perish in the desert; I feel that it will be so.
Besides, I cannot carry half so much on foot as you can on horse-

"Knight! victorious knight!" cried the amazed Mussulman, "am I then
to keep my horse?"

"It were a sin and shame indeed," said Heimbert, smiling, "to
separate such a faithful steed from such a skilful rider. Ride
on, in God's name, and get safely to your people."

He then helped him to mount, and the Arab was on the point of
uttering a few words of gratitude, when he suddenly exclaimed, "The
magic maiden!" and, swift as the wind, he flew over the dusty plain.
Heimbert, however, turning round, saw close beside him in the now
bright moonlight a shining figure, which he at once perceived to be


The maiden looked fixedly at the young soldier, and seemed
considering with what words to address him, while he, after his long
search and now unexpected success, was equally at a loss. At last
she said in Spanish, "Thou wonderful enigma, I have been witness of
all that has passed between thee and the Arab; and these affairs
confuse my head like a whirlwind. Speak, therefore, plainly, that
I may know whether thou art a madman or an angel?"

"I am neither, dear lady," replied Heimbert, with his wonted
friendliness. "I am only a poor wanderer, who has just been putting
into practice one of the commands of his Master, Jesus Christ."

"Sit down," said Zelinda, "and tell me of thy Master; he must be
himself unprecedented to have such a servant. The night is cool and
still, and at my side thou hast no cause to fear the dangers of the

"Lady," replied Heimbert, smiling, "I am not of a fearful nature, and
when I am speaking of my dear Saviour my mind is perfectly free from
all alarm."

Thus saying, they both sat down on the now cooled sand and began a
wondrous conversation, while the full moon shone upon them from the
deep-blue heavens above like a magic lamp.

Heimbert's words, full of divine love, truth, and simplicity sank
like soft sunbeams, gently and surely, into Zelinda's, heart, driving
away the mysterious magic power which dwelt there, and wrestling for
the dominion of the noble territory of her soul. When morning began
to dawn she said, "Thou wouldst not be called an angel last evening,
but thou art truly one. For what else are angels than messengers of
the Most High God?" "In that sense," rejoined Heimbert, "I am well
satisfied with the name, for I certainly hope that I am the bearer of
my Master's message. Yes, if he bestows on me further grace and
strength, it may even be that you also may become my companion in the
pious work." "It is not impossible," said Zelinda thoughtfully.
"Thou must, however, come with me to my island, and there thou shalt
be regaled as is befitting such an ambassador, far better than here
on the desolate sand, with the miserable palm-wine that thou hast so
laboriously obtained."

"Pardon me," replied Heimbert; "it is difficult to me to refuse the
request of a lady, but on this occasion it cannot be otherwise. In
your island many glorious things have been conjured together by your
forbidden art, and many lovely forms which the good God has created
have been transformed. These might dazzle my senses, and at last
delude them. If you will, therefore, hear the best and purest things
which I can relate to you, you must rather come out to me on this
desert sand. The palm-wine and the dates of the Arab will suffice
for me for many a day to come." "You would do better to come with
me," said Zelinda, shaking her head with somewhat of a scornful
smile. "You were certainly neither born nor brought up to be a
hermit, and there is nothing on my oasis so destructive as you
imagine. What is there more than shrubs and flowers and beasts
gathered together from different quarters of the world, perhaps a
little strangely interwoven; each, that is to say, partaking of the
nature of the other, in a similar manner to that which you must have
seen in our Arabian carving! A moving flower, a bird growing on a
branch, a fountain gleaming with fiery sparks, a singing twig--these
are truly no hateful things!" "He must avoid temptation who does not
wish to be overcome by it," said Heimbert very gravely; "I am for the
desert. Will it please you to come out to visit me again?" Zelinda
looked down somewhat displeased. Then suddenly bending her head
still lower she replied, "Yes; toward evening I shall be here again."
And, turning away, she at once disappeared in the rising whirlwind of
the desert.


With the evening twilight the lovely lady returned and spent the
night in converse with the pious youth, leaving him in the morning
with her mind more humble, pure, and devout; and thus matters went on
for many days. "Thy palm-wine and thy dates must be coming to an
end," said Zelinda one evening as she presented the youth with a
flask of rich wine and some costly fruits. He, however, gently put
aside the gift and said, "Noble lady, I would accept your gift
gladly, but I fear some of your magic arts may perhaps cleave to it.
Or could you assure me to the contrary by Him whom you are now
beginning to know?" Zelinda cast down her eyes in silent confusion
and took her presents back. On the following evening, however, she
brought similar gifts, and, smiling confidently, gave the desired
assurance. Heimbert then partook of them without hesitation, and
from henceforth the disciple carefully provided for the sustenance of
her teacher in the wilderness.

And so, as the blessed knowledge of the truth sank more and more
deeply into Zelinda's soul, so that she was often sitting till dawn
before the youth, with cheeks glowing and hair dishevelled, her eyes
gleaming with delight and her hands folded, unable to withdraw
herself from his words, he, on his part, endeavored to make her
sensible at all times that it was only Fadrique's love for her which
had urged him, his friend, into this fatal desert, and that it was
this same love that had thus become the means for the attainment of
her highest spiritual good. She still well remembered the handsome
and terrible captain who had stormed the height that he might clasp
her in his arms; and she related to her friend how the same hero had
afterward saved her in the burning library. Heimbert too had many
pleasant things to tell of Fadrique--of his high knightly courage, of
his grave and noble manners, and of his love to Zelinda, which in the
night after the battle of Tunis was no longer concealed within his
passionate breast, but was betrayed to the young German in a thousand
unconscious expressions between sleeping and waking. Divine truth
and the image of her loving hero both at once sank deep within
Zelinda's heart, and struck root there with tender but indestructible
power. Heimbert's presence and the almost adoring admiration with
which his pupil regarded him did not disturb these feelings, for from
the first moment his appearance had something in it so pure and
heavenly that no thoughts of earthly love intruded. When Heimbert
was alone he would often smile happily within himself, saying in his
own beloved German tongue, "It is indeed delightful that I am now
able consciously to do the same service for Fadrique as he did for
me, unconsciously, with his angelic sister." And then he would sing
some German song of Clara's grace and beauty, the sound of which rang
with strange sweetness through the desert, while it happily beguiled
his solitary hours.

Once when Zelinda came in the evening twilight, gracefully bearing on
her beautiful head a basket of provisions for Heimbert, he smiled at
her and shook his head, saying, "It is inconceivable to me, sweet
maiden, why you ever give yourself the trouble of coming to me out
here in the desert. You can indeed no longer find pleasure in magic
arts, since the spirit of truth and love dwells within you. If you
would only transform the oasis into the natural form in which the
good God created it, I would go there with you, and we should have
far more time for holy converse." "Sir," replied Zelinda, "you speak
truly. I too have thought for some days of doing so and the matter
would have been already set on foot, but a strange visitor fetters my
power. The Dervish whom you saw in Tunis is with me, and as in
former times we have practised many magic tricks with each other, he
would like again to play the old game. He perceives the change in
me, and on that account urges me all the more vehemently and

"He must either be driven away or converted," said Heimbert, girding
on his shoulder-belt more firmly, and taking up his shield from the
ground. "Have the goodness, dear maiden," he continued, "to lead me
to your enchanted isle."

"You avoided it so before," said the astonished Zeiinda," and it is
still unchanged in its fantastic form."

"Formerly it would have been only inconsiderate curiosity to have
ventured there," replied Heimbert. "You came too out here to me, and
that was better for us both. But now the old enemy might lay snares
for the ruin of all that the Lord has been working in you, and so it
is a knightly duty to go. In God's name, then, to the work!"

And they hastened forward together, through the ever-increasing
darkness of the plain, on their way to the blooming island.


A charming breeze began to cool the heated brows of the travellers,
and the twinkling starlight revealed in the distance a grove, waving
to and fro with the gentle motion of the air. Heimbert cast his eyes
to the ground and said, "Go before me, sweet maiden, and guide my
path to the spot where I shall find this threatening Dervish. I do
not wish unnecessarily to see anything of these ensnaring

Zelinda did as he desired, and the relation of the two was for a
moment changed; the maiden had become the guide, and Heimbert, full
of confidence, allowed himself to be led upon the unknown path.
Branches were even now touching his cheeks, half caressingly and
playfully; wonderful birds, growing out of bushes, sang joyful songs;
over the velvet turf, upon which Heimbert ever kept his eyes fixed,
there glided gleaming serpents of green and gold, with little golden
crowns, and brilliant stones glittered on the mossy carpet. When the
serpents touched the jewels, they gave forth a silvery sound. But
Heimbert let the serpents creep and the gems sparkle, without
troubling himself about them, intent alone on following the footsteps
of his guide.

"We are there!" said she with suppressed voice; and looking up he saw
a shining grotto of shells, within which he perceived a man asleep
clad in golden scale-armor of the old Numidian fashion. "Is that
also a phantom, there yonder in the golden scales?" inquired
Heimbert, smiling; but Zelinda looked very grave and replied, "Oh,
no! that is the Dervish himself, and his having put on this coat-of-
mail, which has been rendered invulnerable by dragon's blood, is a
proof that by his magic he has become aware of our intention." "What
does that signify?" said Heimbert; "he would have to know it at
last." And he began at once to call out, with a cheerful voice,
"Wake up, old sir, wake up! Here is an acquaintance of yours, who
has matters upon which he must speak to you."

And as the Dervish opened his large rolling eyes, everything in the
magic grove began to move, the water began to dance, and the branches
to intertwine in wild emulation, and at the same time the precious
stones and the shells and corals emitted strange and confusing

"Roll and turn, thunder and play as you like!" exclaimed Heimbert,
looking fixedly at the maze around him; "you shall not divert me from
my own good path, and Almighty God has given me a good far-sounding
soldier's voice which can make itself heard above all this tumult."
Then turning to the Dervish he said, "It appears, old man, that you
already know everything which has passed between Zelinda and me. In
case, however, that it is not so, I will tell you briefly that she is
already as good as a Christian, and that she is the betrothed of a
noble Spanish knight. Place nothing in the way of her good
intention; I advise you for your own sake. But still better for your
own sake would it be if you would become a Christian yourself.
Discuss the matter with me, and first bid all this mad devilish show
to cease, for our religion, dear sir, speaks of far too tender and
divine things to be talked of with violence or with the loud voice
necessary on the field of war."

But the Dervish, burning with hatred to the Christians, had not
waited to hear the knight's last words when he rushed at him with his
drawn scimitar. Heimbert merely parried his thrust, saying, "Take
care of yourself, sir! I have heard something of your weapons being
charmed, but that will avail but little before my sword. It has been
consecrated in holy places."

The Dervish sprang wildly back before the sword, but equally wildly
did he spring to the other side of his adversary, who only with
difficulty caught the terrible cuts of his weapon upon his shield.
Like a gold-scaled dragon the Mohammedan swung himself round his
antagonist with an agility which, with his long flowing white beard,
was ghostly and horrible to witness. Heimbert was prepared to meet
him on all sides, ever keeping a watchful eye for some opening in the
scales made by the violence of his movements. At last it happened as
he desired; between the arm and breast on the left side the dark
garments of the Dervish became visible, and quick as lightning the
German made a deadly thrust. The old man exclaimed aloud, "Allah!
Allah!" and fell forward, fearful even in his fall, a senseless

"I pity him!" sighed Heimbert, leaning on his sword and looking down
on his fallen foe." He has fought nobly, and even in death he called
upon his Allah, whom he looked upon as the true God. He must not
lack honorable burial." He then dug a grave with the broad scimitar
of his adversary, laid the corpse within it, covered it over with
turf, and knelt on the spot in silent heartfelt prayer for the soul
of the departed.


Heimbert rose from his pious duty, and his first glance fell on
Zelinda, who stood smiling by his side, and his second upon the
wholly changed scene around. The rocky cavern and grotto had
disappeared, the distorted forms of trees and beasts, half terrible
and half charming as they were, had vanished also; a gentle grassy
hill sloped down on every side of the point where he stood, toward
the sandy waste; springs gushed out here and there in refreshing
beauty; date-trees bent over the little paths--everything, indeed,
in the now opening day was full of sweet and simple peace.

"Thank God!" said Heimbert, turning to his companion, "you can now
surely feel how infinitely more lovely, grand, and beautiful is
everything as our dear Father has created it than it can be when
transformed by the highest human art. The Heavenly Gardener has
indeed permitted us, his beloved children, in his abundant mercy, to
help forward his gracious works, that we may thus become happier and
better; but we must take care that we change nothing to suit our own
rash wilful fancies; else it is as if we were expelling ourselves a
second time from Paradise." "It shall not happen again," said
Zelinda humbly. "But may you in this solitary region, where we are
not likely to meet with any priest of our faith, may you not bestow
on me, as one born anew, the blessing of Holy Baptism?"

Heimbert, after some consideration, replied, "I hope I may do so.
And if I am wrong, God will pardon me. It is surely done in the
desire to bring to him so worthy a soul as soon as possible."

So they walked together, silently praying and full of smiling
happiness, down to one of the pleasant springs of the oasis, and just
as they reached the edge and prepared themselves for the holy work
the sun rose before them as if to confirm and strengthen their
purpose, and the two beaming countenances looked at each other with
joy and confidence. Heimbert had not thought of the Christian name
he should bestow on his disciple, but as he scooped up the water, and
the desert lay around him so solemn in the rosy glow of morning, he
remembered the pious hermit Antony in his Egyptian solitude, and he
baptized the lovely convert, Antonia.

They spent the day in holy conversation, and Antonia showed her
friend a little cave, in which she had concealed all sorts of store
for her sustenance when she first dwelt on the oasis. "For," said
she, "the good God is my witness that I came hither only that I
might, in solitude, become better acquainted with him and his created
works, without knowing at that time in the least of any magic
expedients. Subsequently the Dervish came, tempting me, and the
horrors of the desert joined in a fearful league with his terrible
power, and then by degrees followed all that alluring spirits showed
me either in dreams or awake."

Heimbert had no scruple to take with him for the journey any of the
wine and fruits that were still fit for use, and Antonia assured him
that by the direct way, well known to her, they would reach the
fruitful shore of this waterless ocean in a few days. So with the
approach of evening coolness they set out on their journey.


The travellers had almost traversed the pathless plain when one day
they saw a figure wandering in the distance, for in the desolate
Sahara every object is visible to the very horizon if the whirlwind
of dust does not conceal it from view. The wanderer seemed doubtful
of his course, sometimes taking this, sometimes that direction, and
Antonia's eastern falcon eye could discern that it was no Arab, but
a man in knightly garb.

"Oh, dear sister," exclaimed Heimbert, full of anxious joy, "then it
is our poor Fadrique, who is in search of thee. For pity's sake, let
as hasten before he loses us, and perhaps at last his own life also,
in this immeasurable waste." They strained every effort to reach the
distant object, but it was now midday and the sun shone burningly
upon them, Antonia could not long endure this rapid progress; added
to which the fearful whirlwind soon arose, and the figure that had
been scarcely visible before faded from their eyes, like some phantom
of the mist in autumn.

With the rising moon they began anew to hasten forward, calling
loudly upon the unfortunate wanderer, and fluttering white
handkerchiefs tied to their walking-staffs, as signal flags, hut it
was all in vain. The object that had disappeared remained lost to
view. Only a few giraffes sprang shyly past them, and the ostriches
quickened their speed.

At length, as morning dawned, Antonia paused and said, "Thou canst
not leave me, brother, in this solitude, and I cannot go a single
step farther. God will protect the noble Fadrique. How could a
father forsake such a model of knightly excellence?" "The disciple
shames the teacher," replied Heimbert, his sad face brightening into
a smile. "We have done our part, and we may confidently hope that
God will come to the aid of our failing powers and do what is
necessary." As he spoke he spread his mantle on the sand, that
Antonia might rest more comfortably. Suddenly looking up, he
exclaimed, "Oh, God! yonder lies a man, completely buried in the
sand. Oh, that he may not be already dead!"

He immediately began to sprinkle wine, from the flask he carried, on
the brow of the fainting traveller, and to chafe his temples with it.
The man at last slowly opened his eyes and said, "I had hoped the
morning dew would not again have fallen on me, but that unknown and
unlamented I might have perished here in the desert, as must be the
case in the end." So saying he closed his eyes again, like one
intoxicated with sleep, but Heimbert continued his restoratives
unwearyingly, and at length the refreshed wanderer half raised
himself from the sand with an exclamation of astonishment.

He looked from Heimbert to his companion, and from her again at
Heimbert, and suddenly exclaimed, gnashing his teeth, "Ha, was it to
he thus! I was not even to be allowed to die in the dull happiness
of quiet solitude! I was to be first doomed to see my rival's
success and my sister's shame!" At the same time he sprang to his
feet with a violent effort and rushed forward upon Heimbert with
drawn sword. But Heimbert moved neither sword nor arm, and merely
said, in a gentle voice, "Wearied out, as you now are, I cannot
possibly fight with you; besides, I must first place this lady in
security." Antonia, who had at first gazed with much emotion at the
angry knight, now stepped suddenly between the two men and cried out,
"Oh, Fadrique, neither misery nor anger can utterly disfigure you.
But what has my noble brother done to you?" "Brother?" said
Fadrique, with astonishment. "Or godfather, or confessor,"
interrupted Heimbert, "as you will. Only do not call her Zelinda,
for her name is now Antonia; she is a Christian, and waits to be your
bride." Fadrique stood fixed with surprise, but Heimbert's true-
hearted words and Antonia's lovely blushes soon revealed the happy
enigma to him. He sank down before the longed-for form with a sense
of exquisite delight, and in the midst of the inhospitable desert the
flowers of love and gratitude and confidence sent their sweetness

The excitement of this happy surprise at last gave way to bodily
fatigue. Antonia, like some drooping blossom, stretched her fair
form on the again burning sand, and slumbered under the protection of
her lover and her chosen brother. "Sleep also," said Heimbert softly
to Fadrique; "you must have wandered about wildly and wearily, for
exhaustion is pressing down your eyelids with leaden weight. I am
quite fresh, and I will watch meanwhile." "Ah, Heimbert," sighed the
noble Castilian, "my sister is thine, thou messenger from Heaven;
that is an understood thing. But now for our affair of honor!"
"Certainly," said Heimbert, very gravely, "as soon as we are again in
Spain, you must give me satisfaction for that over-hasty expression.
Till then, however, I beg you not to mention it. An unfinished
quarrel is no good subject for conversation."

Fadrique laid himself sadly down to rest, overcome by long-resisted
sleep, and Heimbert knelt down with a glad heart, thanking the good
God for having given him success, and for blessing, him with a future
full of joyful assurance.


The next day the three travellers reached the edge of the desert, and
refreshed themselves for a week in an adjacent village, which, with
its shady trees and green pastures, seemed like a little paradise in
contrast to the joyless Sahara. Fadrique's condition especially made
this rest necessary. He had never left the desert during the whole
time, gaining his subsistence by fighting with wandering Arabs, and
often almost exhausted by the utter want of all food and drink. At
length he had become so thoroughly confused that the stars could no
longer guide him, and he had been driven about, sadly and objectless,
like the dust clouds of the desert.

Even now, at times, when he would fall asleep after the midday meal,
and Antonia and Heimbert would watch his slumbers like two smiling
angels, he would suddenly start up and gaze round him with a
terrified air, and then it was not till he had refreshed himself by
looking at the two friendly faces that he would sink back again into
quiet repose. When questioned on the matter, after he was fully
awake, he told them that in his wanderings nothing had been more
terrible to him than the deluding dreams which had transported him,
sometimes to his own home, sometimes to the merry camp of his
comrades, and sometimes into Zelinda's presence, and then leaving him
doubly helpless and miserable in the horrible solitude as the
delusion vanished. It was on this account that even now waking was
fearful to him, and even in sleep a vague consciousness of his past
sufferings would often disturb him. "You cannot imagine it," he
added. "To be suddenly transported from well-known scenes into the
boundless desert! And instead of the longed-for enchanting face of
my beloved, to see an ugly camel's head stretched over me
inquisitively with its long neck, starting back as I rose with still
more ugly timidity!"

This, with all other painful consequences of his past miseries, soon
wholly vanished, from Fadrique's mind, and they cheerfully set out on
their journey to Tunis. The consciousness, indeed, of his injustice
to Heimbert and its unavoidable results often lay like a cloud upon
the noble Spaniard's brow, but it also softened the natural proud
severity of his nature, and Antonia could cling the more tenderly and
closely to him with her loving heart.

Tunis, which had been before so amazed at Zelinda's magic power and
enthusiastic hostility against the Christians, now witnessed
Antonia's solemn baptism in a newly-consecrated edifice, and soon
after the three companions took ship with a favorable wind for


Beside the fountain where she had parted from Heimbert, Dona Clara
was sitting one evening in deep thought. The guitar on her knees
gave forth a few solitary chords, dreamily drawn from it, as it were,
by her delicate hands, and at length forming themselves into a
melody, while the following words dropped softly from her partly
opened lips:

"Far away, 'fore Tunis ramparts,
Where the Christian army lies,
Paynim host are fiercely fighting
With Spanish troops and Spain's allies.
Who from bloodstained lilies there,
And death's roses pale and fair--
Who has borne the conquerer's prize?

"Ask Duke Alba, ask Duke Alba,
Which two knights their fame have proved,
One was my own valiant brother,
The other was my heart's beloved.
And I thought that I should crown them,
Doubly bright with glory's prize,
And a widow's veil is falling
Doubly o'er my weeping eyes,
For the brave knights ne'er again
Will be found mid living men."

The music paused, and soft dew-drops fell from her heavenly eyes.
Heimbert, who was concealed under the neighboring orange-trees, felt
sympathetic tears rolling down his cheeks, and Fadrique, who had led
him and Antonia there, could no longer delay the joy of meeting, but
stepping forward with his two companions he presented himself before
his sister, like some angelic messsenger.

Such moments of extreme and sudden delight, the heavenly blessings
long expected and rarely vouchsafed, are better imagined by each
after his own fashion, and it is doing but an ill service to recount
all that this one did and that one said. Picture it therefore to
yourself, dear reader, after your own fancy, as you are certainly far
better able to do, if the two loving pairs in my story have become
dear to you and you have grown intimite with them. If that, however,
be not the case, what is the use of wasting unnecessary words? For
the benefit of those who with heart-felt pleasure could have lingered
over this meeting of the sister with her brother and her lover, I
will proceed with increased confidence. Although Heimbert, casting
a significant look at Fadrique, was on the point of retiring as soon
as Antonia had been placed under Dona Clara's protection, the noble
Spaniard would not permit him. He detained his companion-in-arms
with courteous and brotherly requests that he would remain till the
evening repast, at which some relatives of the Mendez family joined
the party, and in their presence Fadrique declared the brave Heimbert
of Waldhausen to be Dona Clara's fiance, sealing the betrothal with
the most solemn words, so that it might remain indissoluble, whatever
might afterward occur which should seem inimical to their union. The
witnesses were somewhat astonished at these strange precautionary
measures, but at Fadrique's desire they unhesitatingly gave their
word that all should be carried out as he wished, and they did this
the more unhesitatingly as the Duke of Alba, who had just been in
Malaga on some trivial business, had filled the whole city with the
praises of the two young captains.

As the richest wine was now passing round the table in the tall
crystal goblets, Fadrique stepped behind Heimbert's chair and
whispered to him, "If it please you, Senor--the moon is just risen
and is shining as bright as day--I am ready to give you
satisfaction." Heimbert nodded in assent, and the two youths quitted
the hall, followed by the sweet salulations of the unsuspecting

As they passed through the beautiful garden, Fadrique said, with a
sigh, "We could have wandered here so happily together, but for my
over-rashness!" "Yes, indeed," said Heimbert, "but so it is, and it
cannot be otherwise, if we would continue to look upon each other as
a soldier and a nobleman." "True!" replied Fadrique, and they
hastened to reach a distant part of the garden, where the sound of
their clashing swords could not reach the gay hall of betrothal they
had left.


Secret and inclosed, with blooming shrubs planted around, with not a
sound to be heard of the merry company, nor of the animated streets
of the city, with the full moon shining overhead and brightening the
solemn circle with its clear brilliancy--such was the spot. The two
captains unsheathed their gleaming swords and stood opposite each
other, ready for the encounter. But before they began the combat a
nobler feeling drew them to each other's arms; they lowered their
weapons and embraced in the most fraternal manner. They then tore
themselves away and the fearful contest began.

They were now no longer brothers-in-arms, no longer friends, no
longer brothers-in-law, who directed their sharp steels against each
other. With the most resolute boldness, but with the coolest
collectedness, each fell upon his adversary, guarding his own breast
at the same time. After a few hot and dangerous passes the
combatants were obliged to rest, and during the pause they regarded
each other with increased love, each rejoicing to find his comrade so
valiant and so honorable. And then the fatal strife began anew.

With his left hand Heimbert dashed aside Fadrique's sword, which had
been aimed at him with a thrust in tierce, sideward, but the keen
edge had penetrated his leathern glove, and the red blood gushed out.
"Hold!" cried Fadrique, and they searched for the wound, but soon
perceiving that it was of no importance, and binding it up, they both
began the combat with undiminished vigor.

It was not long before Heimbert's blade pierced Fadrique's right
shoulder, and the German, feeling that he had wounded his opponent,
now on his side called out to halt. At first Fadrique would not
acknowledge to the injury, but soon the blood began to trickle down,
and he was obliged to accept his friend's careful assistance. Still
this wound also appeared insignificant, the noble Spaniard still felt
power to wield his sword, and again the deadly contest was renewed
with knightly ardor.

Presently the garden-gate clanked, and the sound of a horse's step
was heard advancing through the shrubbery. Both combatants paused in
their stern work and turned toward the unwelcome disturber. The next
moment through the slender pines a horseman was visible whose dress
and bearing proclaimed him a warrior and Fadrique, as master of the
house, at once addressed him. "Senor," said he, "why you come here,
intruding into a strange garden, we will inquire at another time.
For the present I will only request you to leave us free from further
interruption by immediately retiring, and to favor me with your
name." "Retire I will not," replied the stranger, "but my name I
will gladly tell you. I am the Duke of Alba." And as he spoke, by a
movement of his charger a bright moonbeam fell upon his pale thin
face, the dwelling-place of all that was grand and worthy and
terrible. The two captains bowed low and dropped their weapons.

"I ought to know you," continued Alba, looking at them with his
sparkling eyes. "Yes, truly, I know you well, you are the two young
heroes at the battle of Tunis. God be praised that two such brave
warriors, whom I had given up for lost, are still alive; but tell me,
what is this affair of honor that has turned your good swords against
each other? For I hope you will not hesitate to declare to me the
cause of your knightly contest."

They complied with the great duke's behest. Both the noble youths
related the whole circumstances, from the evening previous to their
embarkation up to the present moment, while Alba remained between
them, in silent thought, almost motionless, like some equestrian


The Captains had already long finished their story, and the duke
still remained silent and motionless, in deep reflection. At last he
began to speak, and addressed them as follows:

"May God and his holy word help me, my young knights, when I say that
I consider, after my best and most conscientious belief, that this
affair of yours is now honorably at an end. Twice have you met each
other in contest on account of those irritating words which escaped
the lips of Don Fadrique Mendez and if indeed the slight wounds you
have hitherto received are not sufficient compensation for the angry
expression, there is still your common fight before Tunis, and the
rescue in the desert afforded by Sir Heimbert of Waldhausen to Don
Fadrique Mendez, after he had gained his bride for him. From all
this, I consider that the Knight of Waldhausen is entitled to pardon
any offence of an adversary to whom he has shown himself so well
inclined. Old Roman history tells us of two captains of the great
Julius Caesar who settled a dispute and cemented a hearty friendship
with each other when engaged in the same bold fight, delivering each
other in the midst of a Gallic army. I affirm, however, that you two
have done more for each other: and therefore I declare your affair of
honor to be settled, and at an end. Sheathe your swords, and embrace
each other in my presence."

Obedient to the command of their general, the young knights for the
present sheathed their weapons; but anxious lest the slightest
possible shadow should fall on their honor they yet delayed the
reconciling embrace.

The great Alba looked at them with somewhat of an indignant air, and
said, "Do you then suppose, young knights, that I could wish to save
the lives of two heroes at the expense of their honor? I would
rather at once have struck you dead, both of you at once. But I see
plainly that with such obstinate minds one must have recourse to
other measures."

And, dismounting from his horse, he fastened it to a tree, and then
stepped forward between the two captains with a drawn sword in his
right hand, crying out, "Whoever will deny in any wise that the
quarrel between Sir Heimbert of Waldhausen and Don Fadrique Mendez is
honorably and gloriously settled must settle the matter at the peril
of his life with the Duke of Alba; and should the present knights
have any objection to raise to this, let them declare it. I stand
here as champion for my own conviction."

The youths bowed submissively before the great umpire, and fell into
each other's arms. The duke, however, embraced them both with hearty
affection, which appeared all the more charming and refreshing as it
rarely burst forth from this stern character. Then he led the
reconciled friends back to their betrothed, and when these, after the
first joyful surprise was over at the presence of the honored
general, started back at seeing drops of blood on the garments of the
youths, the duke said, smiling, "Oh, ye brides elect of soldiers, you
must not shrink from such jewels of honor. Your lovers could bring
you no fairer wedding gift."

The great Alba was not not be deprived of the pleasure of enacting
the office of father to the two happy brides, and the festival of
their union was fixed for the following day. From that time forth
they lived in undisturbed and joyful concord; and though the Knight
Heimbert was recalled soon afterward with his lovely consort to the
bosom of his German Fatherland, he and Fadrique kept up the link
between them by letters and messages; and even in after times the
descendants of the lord of Waldhausen boasted of their connection
with the noble house of Mendez, while the latter have ever sacredly
preserved the tradition of the brave and magnanimous Heimbert.

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