I found them winding of Marcello's corpse.
And there was such a solemn melody,
'Twixt doleful songs, tears, and sad elegies,---
Such as old grandames, watching by the dead,
Are wont to outwear the night with.
The mode of entering the great tower of Coningsburgh Castle is
very peculiar, and partakes of the rude simplicity of the early
times in which it was erected. A flight of steps, so deep and
narrow as to be almost precipitous, leads up to a low portal in
the south side of the tower, by which the adventurous antiquary
may still, or at least could a few years since, gain access to a
small stair within the thickness of the main wall of the tower,
which leads up to the third story of the building,---the two
lower being dungeons or vaults, which neither receive air nor
light, save by a square hole in the third story, with which they
seem to have communicated by a ladder. The access to the upper
apartments in the tower which consist in all of four stories, is
given by stairs which are carried up through the external
By this difficult and complicated entrance, the good King
Richard, followed by his faithful Ivanhoe, was ushered into the
round apartment which occupies the whole of the third story from
the ground. Wilfred, by the difficulties of the ascent, gained
time to muffle his face in his mantle, as it had been held
expedient that he should not present himself to his father until
the King should give him the signal.
There were assembled in this apartment, around a large oaken
table, about a dozen of the most distinguished representatives of
the Saxon families in the adjacent counties. They were all old,
or, at least, elderly men; for the younger race, to the great
displeasure of the seniors, had, like Ivanhoe, broken down many
of the barriers which separated for half a century the Norman
victors from the vanquished Saxons. The downcast and sorrowful
looks of these venerable men, their silence and their mournful
posture, formed a strong contrast to the levity of the revellers
on the outside of the castle. Their grey locks and long full
beards, together with their antique tunics and loose black
mantles, suited well with the singular and rude apartment in
which they were seated, and gave the appearance of a band of
ancient worshippers of Woden, recalled to life to mourn over the
decay of their national glory.
Cedric, seated in equal rank among his countrymen, seemed yet, by
common consent, to act as chief of the assembly. Upon the
entrance of Richard (only known to him as the valorous Knight of
the Fetterlock) he arose gravely, and gave him welcome by the
ordinary salutation, "Waes hael", raising at the same time a
goblet to his head. The King, no stranger to the customs of his
English subjects, returned the greeting with the appropriate
words, "Drinc hael", and partook of a cup which was handed to him
by the sewer. The same courtesy was offered to Ivanhoe, who
pledged his father in silence, supplying the usual speech by an
inclination of his head, lest his voice should have been
When this introductory ceremony was performed, Cedric arose, and,
extending his hand to Richard, conducted him into a small and
very rude chapel, which was excavated, as it were, out of one of
the external buttresses. As there was no opening, saving a
little narrow loop-hole, the place would have been nearly quite
dark but for two flambeaux or torches, which showed, by a red and
smoky light, the arched roof and naked walls, the rude altar of
stone, and the crucifix of the same material.
Before this altar was placed a bier, and on each side of this
bier kneeled three priests, who told their beads, and muttered
their prayers, with the greatest signs of external devotion. For
this service a splendid "soul-scat" was paid to the convent of
Saint Edmund's by the mother of the deceased; and, that it might
be fully deserved, the whole brethren, saving the lame Sacristan,
had transferred themselves to Coningsburgh, where, while six of
their number were constantly on guard in the performance of
divine rites by the bier of Athelstane, the others failed not to
take their share of the refreshments and amusements which went on
at the castle. In maintaining this pious watch and ward, the
good monks were particularly careful not to interrupt their hymns
for an instant, lest Zernebock, the ancient Saxon Apollyon,
should lay his clutches on the departed Athelstane. Nor were
they less careful to prevent any unhallowed layman from touching
the pall, which, having been that used at the funeral of Saint
Edmund, was liable to be desecrated, if handled by the profane.
If, in truth, these attentions could be of any use to the
deceased, he had some right to expect them at the hands of the
brethren of Saint Edmund's, since, besides a hundred mancuses of
gold paid down as the soul-ransom, the mother of Athelstane had
announced her intention of endowing that foundation with the
better part of the lands of the deceased, in order to maintain
perpetual prayers for his soul, and that of her departed husband.
Richard and Wilfred followed the Saxon Cedric into the apartment
of death, where, as their guide pointed with solemn air to the
untimely bier of Athelstane, they followed his example in
devoutly crossing themselves, and muttering a brief prayer for
the weal of the departed soul.
This act of pious charity performed, Cedric again motioned them
to follow him, gliding over the stone floor with a noiseless
tread; and, after ascending a few steps, opened with great
caution the door of a small oratory, which adjoined to the
chapel. It was about eight feet square, hollowed, like the
chapel itself, out of the thickness of the wall; and the
loop-hole, which enlightened it, being to the west, and widening
considerably as it sloped inward, a beam of the setting sun found
its way into its dark recess, and showed a female of a dignified
mien, and whose countenance retained the marked remains of
majestic beauty. Her long mourning robes and her flowing wimple
of black cypress, enhanced the whiteness of her skin, and the
beauty of her light-coloured and flowing tresses, which time had
neither thinned nor mingled with silver. Her countenance
expressed the deepest sorrow that is consistent with resignation.
On the stone table before her stood a crucifix of ivory, beside
which was laid a missal, having its pages richly illuminated, and
its boards adorned with clasps of gold, and bosses of the same
"Noble Edith," said Cedric, after having stood a moment silent,
as if to give Richard and Wilfred time to look upon the lady of
the mansion, "these are worthy strangers, come to take a part in
thy sorrows. And this, in especial, is the valiant Knight who
fought so bravely for the deliverance of him for whom we this day
"His bravery has my thanks," returned the lady; "although it be
the will of Heaven that it should be displayed in vain. I thank,
too, his courtesy, and that of his companion, which hath brought
them hither to behold the widow of Adeling, the mother of
Athelstane, in her deep hour of sorrow and lamentation. To your
care, kind kinsman, I intrust them, satisfied that they will
want no hospitality which these sad walls can yet afford."
The guests bowed deeply to the mourning parent, and withdrew from
their hospitable guide.
Another winding stair conducted them to an apartment of the same
size with that which they had first entered, occupying indeed the
story immediately above. From this room, ere yet the door was
opened, proceeded a low and melancholy strain of vocal music.
When they entered, they found themselves in the presence of about
twenty matrons and maidens of distinguished Saxon lineage. Four
maidens, Rowena leading the choir, raised a hymn for the soul of
the deceased, of which we have only been able to decipher two or
Dust unto dust,
To this all must;
The tenant hath resign'd
The faded form
To waste and worm---
Corruption claims her kind.
Through paths unknown
Thy soul hath flown,
To seek the realms of woe,
Where fiery pain
Shall purge the stain
Of actions done below.
In that sad place,
By Mary's grace,
Brief may thy dwelling be
Till prayers and alms,
And holy psalms,
Shall set the captive free.
While this dirge was sung, in a low and melancholy tone, by the
female choristers, the others were divided into two bands, of
which one was engaged in bedecking, with such embroidery as their
skill and taste could compass, a large silken pall, destined to
cover the bier of Athelstane, while the others busied themselves
in selecting, from baskets of flowers placed before them,
garlands, which they intended for the same mournful purpose. The
behaviour of the maidens was decorous, if not marked with deep
affliction; but now and then a whisper or a smile called forth
the rebuke of the severer matrons, and here and there might be
seen a damsel more interested in endeavouring to find out how her
mourning-robe became her, than in the dismal ceremony for which
they were preparing. Neither was this propensity (if we must
needs confess the truth) at all diminished by the appearance of
two strange knights, which occasioned some looking up, peeping,
and whispering. Rowena alone, too proud to be vain, paid her
greeting to her deliverer with a graceful courtesy. Her
demeanour was serious, but not dejected; and it may be doubted
whether thoughts of Ivanhoe, and of the uncertainty of his fate,
did not claim as great a share in her gravity as the death of her
To Cedric, however, who, as we have observed, was not remarkably
clear-sighted on such occasions, the sorrow of his ward seemed so
much deeper than any of the other maidens, that he deemed it
proper to whisper the explanation---"She was the affianced bride
of the noble Athelstane."---It may be doubted whether this
communication went a far way to increase Wilfred's disposition to
sympathize with the mourners of Coningsburgh.
Having thus formally introduced the guests to the different
chambers in which the obsequies of Athelstane were celebrated
under different forms, Cedric conducted them into a small room,
destined, as he informed them, for the exclusive accomodation of
honourable guests, whose more slight connexion with the deceased
might render them unwilling to join those who were immediately
effected by the unhappy event. He assured them of every
accommodation, and was about to withdraw when the Black Knight
took his hand.
"I crave to remind you, noble Thane," he said, "that when we last
parted, you promised, for the service I had the fortune to render
you, to grant me a boon."
"It is granted ere named, noble Knight," said Cedric; "yet, at
this sad moment------"
"Of that also," said the King, "I have bethought me---but my time
is brief---neither does it seem to me unfit, that, when closing
the grave on the noble Athelstane, we should deposit therein
certain prejudices and hasty opinions."
"Sir Knight of the Fetterlock," said Cedric, colouring, and
interrupting the King in his turn, "I trust your boon regards
yourself and no other; for in that which concerns the honour of
my house, it is scarce fitting that a stranger should mingle."
"Nor do I wish to mingle," said the King, mildly, "unless in so
far as you will admit me to have an interest. As yet you have
known me but as the Black Knight of the Fetterlock---Know me now
as Richard Plantagenet."
"Richard of Anjou!" exclaimed Cedric, stepping backward with the
"No, noble Cedric---Richard of England!---whose deepest interest
---whose deepest wish, is to see her sons united with each other.
---And, how now, worthy Thane! hast thou no knee for thy prince?"
"To Norman blood," said Cedric, "it hath never bended."
"Reserve thine homage then," said the Monarch, "until I shall
prove my right to it by my equal protection of Normans and
"Prince," answered Cedric, "I have ever done justice to thy
bravery and thy worth---Nor am I ignorant of thy claim to the
crown through thy descent from Matilda, niece to Edgar Atheling,
and daughter to Malcolm of Scotland. But Matilda, though of the
royal Saxon blood, was not the heir to the monarchy."
"I will not dispute my title with thee, noble Thane," said
Richard, calmly; "but I will bid thee look around thee, and see
where thou wilt find another to be put into the scale against
"And hast thou wandered hither, Prince, to tell me so?" said
Cedric---"To upbraid me with the ruin of my race, ere the grave
has closed o'er the last scion of Saxon royalty?"---His
countenance darkened as he spoke.---"It was boldly---it was
"Not so, by the holy rood!" replied the King; "it was done in the
frank confidence which one brave man may repose in another,
without a shadow of danger."
"Thou sayest well, Sir King---for King I own thou art, and wilt
be, despite of my feeble opposition.---I dare not take the only
mode to prevent it, though thou hast placed the strong temptation
within my reach!"
"And now to my boon," said the King, "which I ask not with one
jot the less confidence, that thou hast refused to acknowledge my
lawful sovereignty. I require of thee, as a man of thy word, on
pain of being held faithless, man-sworn, and 'nidering',*
to forgive and receive to thy paternal affection the good knight,
Wilfred of Ivanhoe. In this reconciliation thou wilt own I have
an interest---the happiness of my friend, and the quelling of
dissension among my faithful people."
"And this is Wilfred!" said Cedric, pointing to his son.
"My father!---my father!" said Ivanhoe, prostrating himself at
Cedric's feet, "grant me thy forgiveness!"
"Thou hast it, my son," said Cedric, raising him up. "The son of
Hereward knows how to keep his word, even when it has been passed
to a Norman. But let me see thee use the dress and costume of
thy English ancestry---no short cloaks, no gay bonnets, no
fantastic plumage in my decent household. He that would be the
son of Cedric, must show himself of English ancestry.---Thou art
about to speak," he added, sternly, "and I guess the topic. The
Lady Rowena must complete two years' mourning, as for a betrothed
husband---all our Saxon ancestors would disown us were we to
treat of a new union for her ere the grave of him she should have
wedded---him, so much the most worthy of her hand by birth and
ancestry---is yet closed. The ghost of Athelstane himself would
burst his bloody cerements and stand before us to forbid such
dishonour to his memory."
It seemed as if Cedric's words had raised a spectre; for, scarce
had he uttered them ere the door flew open, and Athelstane,
arrayed in the garments of the grave, stood before them, pale,
haggard, and like something arisen from the dead! *
* The resuscitation of Athelstane has been much criticised,
as too violent a breach of probability, even for a work of
such fantastic character. It was a "tour-de-force", to
which the author was compelled to have recourse, by the
vehement entreaties of his friend and printer, who was
inconsolable on the Saxon being conveyed to the tomb.
The effect of this apparition on the persons present was utterly
appalling. Cedric started back as far as the wall of the
apartment would permit, and, leaning against it as one unable to
support himself, gazed on the figure of his friend with eyes that
seemed fixed, and a mouth which he appeared incapable of
shutting. Ivanhoe crossed himself, repeating prayers in Saxon,
Latin, or Norman-French, as they occurred to his memory, while
Richard alternately said, "Benedicite", and swore, "Mort de ma
In the meantime, a horrible noise was heard below stairs, some
crying, "Secure the treacherous monks!"---others, "Down with them
into the dungeon!"---others, "Pitch them from the highest
"In the name of God!" said Cedric, addressing what seemed the
spectre of his departed friend, "if thou art mortal, speak!---if
a departed spirit, say for what cause thou dost revisit us, or if
I can do aught that can set thy spirit at repose.---Living or
dead, noble Athelstane, speak to Cedric!"
"I will," said the spectre, very composedly, "when I have
collected breath, and when you give me time---Alive, saidst thou?
---I am as much alive as he can be who has fed on bread and water
for three days, which seem three ages---Yes, bread and water,
Father Cedric! By Heaven, and all saints in it, better food hath
not passed my weasand for three livelong days, and by God's
providence it is that I am now here to tell it."
"Why, noble Athelstane," said the Black Knight, "I myself saw you
struck down by the fierce Templar towards the end of the storm at
Torquilstone, and as I thought, and Wamba reported, your skull
was cloven through the teeth."
"You thought amiss, Sir Knight," said Athelstane, "and Wamba
lied. My teeth are in good order, and that my supper shall
presently find---No thanks to the Templar though, whose sword
turned in his hand, so that the blade struck me flatlings, being
averted by the handle of the good mace with which I warded the
blow; had my steel-cap been on, I had not valued it a rush, and
had dealt him such a counter-buff as would have spoilt his
retreat. But as it was, down I went, stunned, indeed, but
unwounded. Others, of both sides, were beaten down and
slaughtered above me, so that I never recovered my senses until I
found myself in a coffin---(an open one, by good luck)---placed
before the altar of the church of Saint Edmund's. I sneezed
repeatedly---groaned---awakened and would have arisen, when the
Sacristan and Abbot, full of terror, came running at the noise,
surprised, doubtless, and no way pleased to find the man alive,
whose heirs they had proposed themselves to be. I asked for wine
---they gave me some, but it must have been highly medicated, for
I slept yet more deeply than before, and wakened not for many
hours. I found my arms swathed down---my feet tied so fast that
mine ankles ache at the very remembrance---the place was utterly
dark---the oubliette, as I suppose, of their accursed convent,
and from the close, stifled, damp smell, I conceive it is also
used for a place of sepulture. I had strange thoughts of what
had befallen me, when the door of my dungeon creaked, and two
villain monks entered. They would have persuaded me I was in
purgatory, but I knew too well the pursy short-breathed voice of
the Father Abbot.---Saint Jeremy! how different from that tone
with which he used to ask me for another slice of the haunch!
---the dog has feasted with me from Christmas to Twelfth-night."
"Have patience, noble Athelstane," said the King, "take breath
---tell your story at leisure---beshrew me but such a tale is as
well worth listening to as a romance."
"Ay but, by the rood of Bromeholm, there was no romance in the
matter!" said Athelstane.---"A barley loaf and a pitcher of water
---that THEY gave me, the niggardly traitors, whom my father, and
I myself, had enriched, when their best resources were the
flitches of bacon and measures of corn, out of which they
wheedled poor serfs and bondsmen, in exchange for their prayers
---the nest of foul ungrateful vipers---barley bread and ditch
water to such a patron as I had been! I will smoke them out of
their nest, though I be excommunicated!"
"But, in the name of Our Lady, noble Athelstane," said Cedric,
grasping the hand of his friend, "how didst thou escape this
imminent danger---did their hearts relent?"
"Did their hearts relent!" echoed Athelstane.---"Do rocks melt
with the sun? I should have been there still, had not some stir
in the Convent, which I find was their procession hitherward to
eat my funeral feast, when they well knew how and where I had
been buried alive, summoned the swarm out of their hive. I
heard them droning out their death-psalms, little judging they
were sung in respect for my soul by those who were thus famishing
my body. They went, however, and I waited long for food---no
wonder---the gouty Sacristan was even too busy with his own
provender to mind mine. At length down he came, with an unstable
step and a strong flavour of wine and spices about his person.
Good cheer had opened his heart, for he left me a nook of pasty
and a flask of wine, instead of my former fare. I ate, drank,
and was invigorated; when, to add to my good luck, the Sacristan,
too totty to discharge his duty of turnkey fitly, locked the
door beside the staple, so that it fell ajar. The light, the
food, the wine, set my invention to work. The staple to which my
chains were fixed, was more rusted than I or the villain Abbot
had supposed. Even iron could not remain without consuming in
the damps of that infernal dungeon."
"Take breath, noble Athelstane," said Richard, "and partake of
some refreshment, ere you proceed with a tale so dreadful."
"Partake!" quoth Athelstane; "I have been partaking five times
to-day---and yet a morsel of that savoury ham were not altogether
foreign to the matter; and I pray you, fair sir, to do me reason
in a cup of wine."
The guests, though still agape with astonishment, pledged their
resuscitated landlord, who thus proceeded in his story:---He had
indeed now many more auditors than those to whom it was
commenced, for Edith, having given certain necessary orders for
arranging matters within the Castle, had followed the dead-alive
up to the stranger's apartment attended by as many of the guests,
male and female, as could squeeze into the small room, while
others, crowding the staircase, caught up an erroneous edition of
the story, and transmitted it still more inaccurately to those
beneath, who again sent it forth to the vulgar without, in a
fashion totally irreconcilable to the real fact. Athelstane,
however, went on as follows, with the history of his escape:---
"Finding myself freed from the staple, I dragged myself up stairs
as well as a man loaded with shackles, and emaciated with
fasting, might; and after much groping about, I was at length
directed, by the sound of a jolly roundelay, to the apartment
where the worthy Sacristan, an it so please ye, was holding a
devil's mass with a huge beetle-browed, broad-shouldered brother
of the grey-frock and cowl, who looked much more like a thief
than a clergyman. I burst in upon them, and the fashion of my
grave-clothes, as well as the clanking of my chains, made me more
resemble an inhabitant of the other world than of this. Both
stood aghast; but when I knocked down the Sacristan with my fist,
the other fellow, his pot-companion, fetched a blow at me with a
"This must be our Friar Tuck, for a count's ransom," said
Richard, looking at Ivanhoe.
"He may be the devil, an he will," said Athelstane. "Fortunately
he missed the aim; and on my approaching to grapple with him,
took to his heels and ran for it. I failed not to set my own
heels at liberty by means of the fetter-key, which hung amongst
others at the sexton's belt; and I had thoughts of beating out
the knave's brains with the bunch of keys, but gratitude for the
nook of pasty and the flask of wine which the rascal had imparted
to my captivity, came over my heart; so, with a brace of hearty
kicks, I left him on the floor, pouched some baked meat, and a
leathern bottle of wine, with which the two venerable brethren
had been regaling, went to the stable, and found in a private
stall mine own best palfrey, which, doubtless, had been set apart
for the holy Father Abbot's particular use. Hither I came with
all the speed the beast could compass---man and mother's son
flying before me wherever I came, taking me for a spectre, the
more especially as, to prevent my being recognised, I drew the
corpse-hood over my face. I had not gained admittance into my
own castle, had I not been supposed to be the attendant of a
juggler who is making the people in the castle-yard very merry,
considering they are assembled to celebrate their lord's funeral
---I say the sewer thought I was dressed to bear a part in the
tregetour's mummery, and so I got admission, and did but disclose
myself to my mother, and eat a hasty morsel, ere I came in quest
of you, my noble friend."
"And you have found me," said Cedric, "ready to resume our brave
projects of honour and liberty. I tell thee, never will dawn a
morrow so auspicious as the next, for the deliverance of the
noble Saxon race."
"Talk not to me of delivering any one," said Athelstane; "it is
well I am delivered myself. I am more intent on punishing that
villain Abbot. He shall hang on the top of this Castle of
Coningsburgh, in his cope and stole; and if the stairs be too
strait to admit his fat carcass, I will have him craned up from
"But, my son," said Edith, "consider his sacred office."
"Consider my three days' fast," replied Athelstane; "I will have
their blood every one of them. Front-de-Boeuf was burnt alive
for a less matter, for he kept a good table for his prisoners,
only put too much garlic in his last dish of pottage. But these
hypocritical, ungrateful slaves, so often the self-invited
flatterers at my board, who gave me neither pottage nor garlic,
more or less, they die, by the soul of Hengist!"
"But the Pope, my noble friend,"---said Cedric---
"But the devil, my noble friend,"---answered Athelstane; "they
die, and no more of them. Were they the best monks upon earth,
the world would go on without them."
"For shame, noble Athelstane," said Cedric; "forget such wretches
in the career of glory which lies open before thee. Tell this
Norman prince, Richard of Anjou, that, lion-hearted as he is, he
shall not hold undisputed the throne of Alfred, while a male
descendant of the Holy Confessor lives to dispute it."
"How!" said Athelstane, "is this the noble King Richard?"
"It is Richard Plantagenet himself," said Cedric; "yet I need not
remind thee that, coming hither a guest of free-will, he may
neither be injured nor detained prisoner---thou well knowest thy
duty to him as his host."
"Ay, by my faith!" said Athelstane; "and my duty as a subject
besides, for I here tender him my allegiance, heart and hand."
"My son," said Edith, "think on thy royal rights!"
"Think on the freedom of England, degenerate Prince!" said
"Mother and friend," said Athelstane, "a truce to your
upbraidings---bread and water and a dungeon are marvellous
mortifiers of ambition, and I rise from the tomb a wiser man than
I descended into it. One half of those vain follies were puffed
into mine ear by that perfidious Abbot Wolfram, and you may now
judge if he is a counsellor to be trusted. Since these plots
were set in agitation, I have had nothing but hurried journeys,
indigestions, blows and bruises, imprisonments and starvation;
besides that they can only end in the murder of some thousands of
quiet folk. I tell you, I will be king in my own domains, and
nowhere else; and my first act of dominion shall be to hang the
"And my ward Rowena," said Cedric---"I trust you intend not to
"Father Cedric," said Athelstane, "be reasonable. The Lady
Rowena cares not for me---she loves the little finger of my
kinsman Wilfred's glove better than my whole person. There she
stands to avouch it---Nay, blush not, kinswoman, there is no
shame in loving a courtly knight better than a country franklin
---and do not laugh neither, Rowena, for grave-clothes and a thin
visage are, God knows, no matter of merriment---Nay, an thou wilt
needs laugh, I will find thee a better jest---Give me thy hand,
or rather lend it me, for I but ask it in the way of friendship.
---Here, cousin Wilfred of Ivanhoe, in thy favour I renounce and
abjure------Hey! by Saint Dunstan, our cousin Wilfred hath
vanished!---Yet, unless my eyes are still dazzled with the
fasting I have undergone, I saw him stand there but even now."
All now looked around and enquired for Ivanhoe, but he had
vanished. It was at length discovered that a Jew had been to
seek him; and that, after very brief conference, he had called
for Gurth and his armour, and had left the castle.
"Fair cousin," said Athelstane to Rowena, "could I think that
this sudden disappearance of Ivanhoe was occasioned by other than
the weightiest reason, I would myself resume---"
But he had no sooner let go her hand, on first observing that
Ivanhoe had disappeared, than Rowena, who had found her situation
extremely embarrassing, had taken the first opportunity to escape
from the apartment.
"Certainly," quoth Athelstane, "women are the least to be trusted
of all animals, monks and abbots excepted. I am an infidel, if I
expected not thanks from her, and perhaps a kiss to boot---These
cursed grave-clothes have surely a spell on them, every one flies
from me.---To you I turn, noble King Richard, with the vows of
allegiance, which, as a liege-subject---"
But King Richard was gone also, and no one knew whither. At
length it was learned that he had hastened to the court-yard,
summoned to his presence the Jew who had spoken with Ivanhoe, and
after a moment's speech with him, had called vehemently to horse,
thrown himself upon a steed, compelled the Jew to mount another,
and set off at a rate, which, according to Wamba, rendered the
old Jew's neck not worth a penny's purchase.
"By my halidome!" said Athelstane, "it is certain that Zernebock
hath possessed himself of my castle in my absence. I return in
my grave-clothes, a pledge restored from the very sepulchre, and
every one I speak to vanishes as soon as they hear my voice!
---But it skills not talking of it. Come, my friends---such of
you as are left, follow me to the banquet-hall, lest any more of
us disappear---it is, I trust, as yet tolerably furnished, as
becomes the obsequies of an ancient Saxon noble; and should we
tarry any longer, who knows but the devil may fly off with the