The leading incidents upon which the present work is founded, are chiefly historical.

With the pages of history, however, we have had to do, only so far as they could be made subservient to our tale, which does not profess to be, exclusively a tale, or history, of the times to which it is referred, but of an individual in some degree connected with them.

Nor with the faithfulness of a biographer, have we portrayed the life of the personage whom we have taken for our hero. We have woven for our purpose a web of fact and fiction, unsolicitous to dye each thread with its own peculiar hue, to enable the curious reader thereby, the more readily to say which is which. But if he chooses to draw out either thread, to inspect it by itself, thinking thereby to judge better of the texture of the whole, we have only to say—the web is his own; and, that if his humour prompt him to break up the watch, the pieces may perhaps reward his curiosity, if they do not demonstrate his wisdom.

New-York, June, 1836.



Childe Harold was he hight:—but whence his name

And lineage long, it suits me not to say ;

Suffice it, that perchance they were of fame,

And had been glorious in another day:

But one sad losel soils a name for aye,

However mighty in the olden time ;

Nor all that heralds rake from coffin'd clay,

Nor florid prose, nor honied lines of rhyme,

Can blazon evil deeds, or consecrate a crime.

* *

Oh, Love! what is it in this world of ours Which makes it fatal to be loved!

* *

The Childe departed from his father's halls.






" Fame sometimes gives her votaries visions of their future destiny, while yet in early life. There is then a sort of sympathy created between their youthful aspirations and coming deeds—a reflection of the future upon the present."— Edgwokth.


In a secluded and richly-wooded amphitheatre, formed by a crescent of green-clad hills, among which the romantic Kennebeck wanders to the ocean, there stood, until within a recent period, the ruinss of a stately mansion. Its blackened walls were enamelled with dark-green velvet moss, and mantled with creeping vines, as if Nature, with a gentle hand, had striven to conceal the devastations of ruthless Time.

Huge chimneys, terminating in fantastic turrets, heavy cornices, deep mouldings and panel-work, combined with the costly and elaborate architecture of the whole venerable structure, indicated a relic of that substantial age immediately subsequent to the revolutionary war:—an age, although then in its decline, as eminently characterised by moral and physical stability as the present by their opposites. That, was an age of iron—this, of tinsel

At the period with which our tale is more intimately connected, the handsome edifice of which these melancholy ruins were both the monument and mausoleum, reared its lofty walls amid a grove of oaks whose hoary bodies, and the majestic spread of their gnarled and giant limbs, while they told of their great age—numbered by centuries, not years- bore testimony to the dignity and grandeur of the primeval forest, of which they were alone the representatives. Here and there, among these sylvan patriarchs, glistened the silvery trunk of the classic beech, intermingled with the dark cone of the gloomy pine and the tall, spiral poplar, swaying Its graceful head in the breeze.

Beneath the thickly interlaced branches of these trees, and sloping gently to the pebbly shore of the river, lay, out-rolled, a lawn of the thickest verdure Its green and quiet beauty was relieved and en-livened by half a score of ruminating, well-conditioned cows, standing or reclining in those luxurious attitudes indicative of comfort and repose, and a small flock of long-fleeced sheep, of a rare and valued breed, was dispersed in picturesque groups under the more venerable trees. A gracefully formed jennet, conjuring up visions of lovely woman, in veivet hat nodding plumes and generous robes sweeping the earth, which the-spirited animal beneath her disdains with his delicate hoofs-a beautiful, slender-hmbed saddle-horse—and a brace of

coal black ponies, wiih long tails and flowing manes, which are at once associated with boys and holidays-stood together in a social group beside a small but romantic lake in the midst of the wood They were mutually rechning their heads upon one another's necks, each manifesting his sportive feelings, by occasionally fixing his large white teeth into the glossy hide of his neighbour.

This pellucid sheet of water was spanned by a fantastic bridge of tressel-work, suspended with the lightness of a spider's web, from one green bank to the other. It connected a broad gravelled avenue, which, commencing at the river, wound among the trees, yielding to the natural undulations of the grounds, and teiminated at a spacious flight of steps leading to the piazza of the mansion, the two fronts of which were ornamented by a light colonnade of eight slender Ionic colunms. Tall windows—hung with rich curtains of orange-coloured damask and snowy muslin, costly with deep broideries of oak leaves, large as the life, and curiously wrought with silken floss, in their autumn hues of green and yellow—extended quite to the floor of the piazza, and, defended by Venetian blinds, served as the only entrances to the interior, from the front.

The house faced to the west, and commanded an extensive prospect of the river, sweeping boldly around the peninsula upon which it was situated, and forming at the distance of half a mile, and directly in front, a noble bend, remarkable for the extreme beauty of its curvature. Beyond, ascending to the horizon, as they retreated from the eye, spread cultivated farms, studded with low, black, farm-houses and huge barns ; more remotely, dense black forests blended with the bases of a chain of low, blue mountains, known as the Monmouth hills, which, while they confined the prospect, constituted a magnificent back-ground to the picture.

At the north and south, the view was shut in by alternately cultivated or thickly-wooded hills and rocky eminences, retreating on either hand from the river in a semicircular from, to a little less than a mile in the rear, and enclosing the dwelling and grounds in a spacious vale or glen, which, also embraced on the western side by the curve of the river, presented an area nearly circular in its shape.

Political events in sunny France,—that great political index of this revolutionizing age—in which the proprietor of this lovely domain bore no ordinary share, compelled him to seek a land v/here he could cherish his liberal principles with safety, and educate his twin-sons to act their part honourably and with distinction on the theatre of life. And where should the expatriated old soldier bend his footsteps but to the shores of America ? Daughter of Europe ! Yet she opens her arms to receive her exiled children, with the affection of a young mother. Noble and glorious land ! the errors of the old world shall be redeemed in thee—and, although the continents of the east have been enrolled, cen-tmy after century, upon the scroll of history, yet their history is ended—thine only begun ; and dark and guilty as are its pages, shall thine be bright and pure !

Orphans from their birth, his sons never knew ihek mother. The hour which ushered them into existence ushered her spirit into heaven. Strangers to maternal love, and educated, since the exile of their stern parent, in almost monastic seclusion, they early attained an uncommon maturity of mind and firmness of character, combined with manly sentiments and a habit of thinking independently, early taught them by their father's example, and inculcated, cultivated, and wrought out to maturity by him, with untiring assiduity.

Their fifteenth birth-day arrived, and although in years they numbered equally, both in mind, and person, and habits, they were wholly dissimilar. Achille, the eldest of the twins, had attained dignity of mind and manly beauty of person, far in advance of his years. Tall and finely proportioned, he was the youthful hnage of his noble father.

Proud, aspiring and ambitious, with a spirit that spurned severity, but yielded to gentleness, he acted from impulse ratlier than from reflection or a sense of duty, while a mine of passions, never yet sprung, existed like a slumbering volcano in his bosom. It required but a spark to produce a conflagration that should feed upon and torture him like another Prometheus, or burn on, extinguishable only Avith life.

That spark was at length ehcited by his brother, an amiable boy of a gentler nature, retiring in his habits, mild and quiet in disposition. The reverse of Achille, he was apparently as meek as his brother w^as spirited. The former resembled his father; but Henri represented his mother and all her gentler virtues. Not only did he represent the excellences of her heart and mind, but her lovely image was revived in his beautiful countenance ; and, as year after year unfolded in his youthful face the more striking and perfect resemblance his graceful features bore to those of his deceased mother, the father recognized the features of the fair girl who had won his early affections, and whom, during the few short months he had owned her as a bride, he had worshipped with religious devotion.

Notwithstanding the contrarieties of character exhibited by the brothers, they grew up together, mutually interchanging all those amiable kindnesses which are the offspring of fraternal affection. Achille was the stronger, physically and intellectually, and unconsciously to the subject, exerted that wonderful influence over Henri which mind often asserts over mind. He was his guide in his studies, his leader in sports, his enticer into dangers, and his assistant in the thousand petty difficulties of childhood. He loved him with a sincere and devoted attachment, fervently reciprocated by his warm-hearted and unsophisticated brother. But their mutual affection was the principle which unites the vine and the oak. His brother's love was to Henri sufficient happiness, the stay of his chnging affections; and on the other hand, his kind and endearing attachment, by drawing out the kindher feehngs of his brother's sterner nature, rendered him better and happier.

The morning which ushered in their fifteenth birth-day was bright and cloudless—a more beautiful never dawned upon the earth. Could the tempter have chosen such a day to enter paradise 1 Yet on this day his presence was first felt in their peaceful home.

Achille was standing in the south window of his father's library, which opened upon the piazza, his person half-concealed by the rich drapery, gazing out upon the limpid river as it glided silently past, bearing upon its waveless bosom the single-masted sloop with its huge mainsail, the more graceful and bird-like schooner, her white canvass extended on either side like wings, the lofty, square-rigged merchantman, and swan-like sail-boat; their sails flashing back the morning sun, or changing to a dark hue as they moved in the black shadows thrown from overhanging cliffs.

The green meadows l^eyond the river, sprinkled with flocks, faded into the blue haze which floated around the distant hills. The air was alive with melody from a myriad of glad birds, climbing the rosy skies, and emulating the poised lark thrilling forth his matin-song to the rising sun. There was a charm of beauty, peace and rural happiness thrown over nature. Her works breathed inspiration, and spoke that morning in the sweetest accents to his heart. But he heeded not her language. A voice, softer-toned and more eloquent pleaded to his soul. It was the voice of ambition. Of boyish ambition it is true, but still ambition in her loftiest mood. In years but a boy, the sterner spirit of a man dwelt in the sweUing bosom of the youthful aspirant. Visions of the unveiled fature, wherein appeared pageants of conquering armies, thrones, and scenes of vast dominion floated before his youthful imagination ; and in the leader of the armies, the occupant of the thrones, the controller of empires, he recognized himself !


" The love or hatred of brothers and sisters, is more intense than the iove or haired existing between any other persons of the same sexes,-Probably, nothing so frequently causes divisions between those whom nature has blessed with the holy relatiorship of brother and sister, perhaps that it may be the depository of pure iiffection, as an unequat distribution of the affection of parents."—H. More.



The young aspirant started from the contemplation of scenes of triumph and empire, carnage and blood^-the last too soon to be realized—and beheld his father standing by his side, who had entered the library and approached him unperceived. Seating himself in the recess of the window he motioned his son to a chair, placed opposite to his own. The bearing of the veteran exile, was at all times in the highest degree dignified and imposing. His was the brow, eye, and presence to command respect and receive homage.

The affection of Achille towards his father wa& not unmingled with sentiments of fear. But he was the only being before whom the proud eye of the boy quailed !

That his father loved him he had never doubted. He knew that he was proud of him, " his noble, fearless boy," as he would term him, while parting the dark clustering locks from his handsome fore-head, after he had performed some daring feat of boyhood. But when he spoke to Henri, the gratified and proud expression of his eye softened under the influence of a milder feehng, and his smile would fade into a sweet but melancholy expression; nor would Achille have exchanged his inspiring language to him, " his daring boy !" for the Jdnd tone, and manner he invokmtarily assumed when he w^ould say, " Henri, my beloved child, come and amuse me with your prattle!"—nor would the tearful eye, as he gazed down into the upturned face of the amiable boy^have pleased his wild spirit like the enkindling glance of that admiring eye, when turned upon him in paternal pride. Achille translated his glance of pride into an expression of love, and-sympa-thized with one so evidently regarded wnth an air of sorrow, if not pity, as his brother. If he gave the subject a moment's reflection it resulted in the flattering conviction that he himself was the favotirite son.

But on the morning which introduces him to our notice, he had to learn too painfully^ that Henri was the favourite child of the old soldier's aflTection, and that so far from loving him but a little less, beloved him not. That look of affection which he had translated as an expression of compassion for the gentler nature of his brother, he had to learn was an expression of the intensest parental affection. in his brother, his father worshiped the image of his departed wife, and all his affection for her, which the cold hand of death had withered in its beauty and bloom, was renewed in his beloved Henri. He 'was doubly loved—for his mother and for himself— and there remained for Achille, so the sensitive and high spirited boy learned that day,—no place in the affections of his sole surviving parent. His father being seated, addressed him : " Achille, you are now of an age to enter the university, for admission to which the nature and extent of your studies eminently qualify you. In a few days the annual examination of candidates will take place, and in the interval you can select and arrange a library for your room, and collect what other conveniences you may require. You will leave in the first packet that passes down the river."

This was a delightful announcement to the subject of ity and not wholly unexpected. To the university, that world in miniature, he had long looked forward with pleasurable anticipations. It was a field of action, at least, and he panted to enter upon it.

The two brothers had both prepared for admission into the same class, and he inquired if Henri was to'accompany him.

'' He is not," replied the father, coldly and firmly.

" He is certainly prepared, sir! "

" Undoubtedly 1 But I have decided that he is to be my companion to Europe this season, as I fear his delicate constitution will not admit of his confining himself at present to sedentary pursuits."

" I was anticipating that happiness for myself/' replied Achille, chagrined at his father's preference for his brother, so unexpectedly manifested, not only by the words he uttered but by his tone and manner. He had long known his intention to visit his native land, and expected to accompany him, although his expectations were founded rather on his own wishes than any encouragement he had received from his parent.

No that he learned his intention of taking Henri, instead of himself, he felt keenly the preference ; and the coldness, if not severity, of manner he assumed in communicating his determination, offended his pride, whilst his decided partiality for his brother wounded his self-love. The old soldier was a man of few words, and his son was well aware, that, his res(5!ution once formed, he was unbending. He knew that his brother was to go, and and that he was to remain ; and with a bitter and wounded spirit he turned his darkening brow from the penetrating gaze of his father, and looked forth upon the beautiful scene which lay out-spread beneath the windows of the library.

A closing door roused him from his gloomy and sinful reverie, and turning, he found himself once more alone ! No—not quite alone! An evil spirit— Jealousy! pregnant with dark thoughts and evil imaginings was his companion, A long hour passed away, during which, his first fierce conflict with his hitherto slumbering passions took place. The first suspicion that his brother was best loved, then entered his thoughts. Once admitted, it underminded, by its subtle logic, the better feelings of his heart. Doi^bts were strengthened to confirmations, suspicions magnified to certainties, in the rapid and prejudiced retrospect he took of his father's bearing towards his brother and himself, from the earliest period of his recollection.

But an hour—one short, but momentous hour,— for then was fixed the lever which moved the world of passions within him, with all their evil consequences, had expired, and the canker-worm of hatred with its venemous fangs, was gnawing at the last slender fibre that bound him to his brother, when the hall door was thrown open and the unsuspecting and innocent subject of his dark meditations bounded into the room, holding in his extended hand a gemmed locket.

" See brother, see!" he exclaimed, in a loud and delighted tone, '• see what my dear father has presented me as a birth-day's gift! "

Achille raised his eyes and fixed them upon the sparkhng locket which enclosed the miniature of anexceedingly beautiful female, with a form, cheek, and eye, radiant with feminine loveliness.

He recognized the portrait of their mother, which till that moment had ever been worn, as the holy pilgrim wears the sacred cross, next to the heart of his father. So dearly treasured had that sacred memento of his departed wife ever been, that he never was permitted to remove it from the mourning ribbon by which it was dependant from his neck. Now, he saw the cherished relic in the possession of his brother, a gift from him. His lip curled, and his dark eye became darker still at this stronger confirmation of his father's partiality, yet he neither spoke nor betrayed his feelings by any risible emotion ; but the fires w^ithin his breast raged deeper still. Like pent up tiames, his passions gained vigour by the very efforts niade to smother them.

For the first time in his life he looked upon Henri coldl}^, and w^ithout a smile of tenderness. He felt indeed; although his lips moved not with the biting words that rose to them, that the poison of his heart must have been communicated to his eyes, for, as his brother caught their unwonted expression, he suddenly checked himself, and the gay tones of his voice sunk subdued to a strange whisper, as he faintly inquired, at the same time placing his delicate hand upon his shoulder, " if he were ill ?"

^' NoP'' he replied, with an involuntary sternness that startled even liimself.

The next moment he would have given w^orlds to recall that fatal monosyllable, and pronounce it over again, more gently ; but it was too late. The sensitive boy recoiled as though he had encountered the eye of a basilisk; his forehead changed to a deadly hue, the blood fled from his cheeks, and he seemed about to sink upon the floor; but, suddenly recovering himself, he laughed, and the rich blood came back again, and his eye glanced brightly a» lie exclaimed, but half-assured,

" Brother, you did but try to frighten me—you were liot in earnest angry with me.'"

His heart melted for a moment at this affectionate appeal, but with a strange perverseness he steeled it to insensibihty.

" Leave me to myself," he roughly replied, " I am not in the himiour to be trifled with."

Mysterious inconsistency of will and action ! He w^ould have given his right hand or plucked out his right eye, to have recalled the first angry word he uttered. In his own mind he did not will to speak thus harshly ; yet, by a singular yet frequent anomaly, his words and manner were directly in opposition to his will. The first word spoken in an angry mood, hewed out a broad pathw^ay for legions.

As he uttered his last w^ords, the tears gushed into Henris eyes, and yielding to the influence of affection, he sprung forward and threw himself into his elder and beloved brother's arms, wept aloud, and sobbed out amidst his tears,

" Brother! Achille! w^ierein has Henri offended you ?"

An evil spirit now seemed indeed to have taken possession of him. With angry violence he thrust Henri from his embrace, while a curse sprung to his hps. The poor youth tottered and reeled fell forward, striking his forehead as he fell, violently against a marble pedestal upon which stood an alabaster statue of the Madonna, and the warm blood spouted from his gashed temples over the cold, white robes of the image.

It was a spectacle of horror ! and the guilty being-gazed wildly upon his prostrate brother, and thought of Abel and his murderer—upon the red-sprinkled image, and laughed, " Ha ! ha ! ha!" as maniacs laugh, at the fitness of his first offering—a mangled brother—at the shrine of the virgin moher.

The momentary but terrific spell upon his reason passed away ; and throwing himself upon the senseless boy, he attempted to stop the ebbing current of life as it trickled in a small red stream down his pale forehead, steeping his auburn curls in gore, at the same time, calling loudly and madly for assistance.

His father followed by the servants rushed into the hbrary.

" Help sir, my brother is dying !" he cried wildly. ^

The old man sprang forward and caught his bleeding child in his arms. His practised eye at once comprehended the extent of the injur}^ he had sustained. He had received a deep cut in the shape of a crescent over the left eyebrow, yet not severe enough to endanger life. The free flow of the blood soon restored him to his senses, and opening his eyes, as his father with a tender hand staunched the bubbling blood, he fixed them upon his brother with an expression that eloquently spoke forgiveness.

'^ God pity me!" exclaimed the repentant and now broken-spirited boy ; for that look went to his heart: and burying his face inhishands, he piecipi-tately left the room.

The long and bitter hours of grief, remorse and shame, he suffered in the solitude of his own room, no tongue, but his wiio has felt like him, can utter. He experienced sentiments of hatred for himself, a loathing and detestation that tempted him to put a period at once to his own existence. When he recalled the reproving yet forgiving look of his suffering and magnanimous brother, he felt degraded in . his own eyes, fallen, lowly fallen in his own self-esteem. That he must be in his brother's he was painfully aware, and for the first time he felt that the gentle-natured Henri was his superior.



" Place the lever of Archimedes in the hands of love, and he will find the point on which to rest it. Perhaps love has caused more evil than ambition. Let us search from the cot of the humblest villager to the tent of Mark Antony, and we shall find it has been the pivot upon which some of the most affecting domestic, and many of the greatest historical, events have turned. Doubtless, that love which is elicited at the first sight of the object, is the most legitimate, the purest, and the most enduring."— Anonymous.


Day closed in night, and night opened into morning, for many long and tedious weeks, and still the old soldier sat by the bed-side of his wounded child.

The generous boy, too honourable to prevaricate, yet too forgiving and fond of his brother to expose all the truth, had told him that he had fallen against the pedestal, but not that Achiile had thrust him against it.

Their father never knew the agency of Achiile in the accident; yet, bearing testimony to the truth of the maxim, that suspicion is the handmaiden of guilt, Achiile suspected that he was informed of all the circumstances connected with the act. This suspicion, giving its own tinge to the medium through which he viewed and commented upon his father's deportment towards him after the accident, led him to conclusions as unjust as they were unmerited by

VOL I.—3

his parent. Acting from these conclusions he shunned his society, and never entered bis presence but with a sullen air of defiance.

Occasionally he visited the chamber of his brother^ when, in answer to his frequent inquiries of the nurse, he learned that he slept; and pressing the fevered hand, or kissing the cheek of the sleeping sufferer, he would watch over him with the tenderness of a mother till the restless motions of the invalid, indicating the termination of his slumbers, or the heavy footsteps of his father ascending the stairway in the hall, warned him to return to the seclusion of his own room, or the deeper solitudes of the forests.

A few months passed away, during which Achille became a student within the walls of a university not far from his paternal home ; while his brother, entirely recovered, accompanied his parent on his transatlantic voyage.

The period of Achille's residence at the university afforded no incidents which exerted any influence over his subsequent years. It glided away pleasantly and rapidly. He was known by the professors as one, who, never in his study, or a consumer of midnight oil, yet always prepared for the recitation room ; and by his fellows, as a young man of violent passions, honourable feelings, chivalrous in points of honour, a warm friend and magnanimous enemy. Often violent and headstrong in his actions, he was just and equitable in his intercourse with those around him. With a love for hilarity and Tuscan pleasures, he never descended to mingle in the low debauches and nightly sallies, which, from time imme-memorial have characterized the varieties of college Mfe.

At the early age of nineteen, he received its ho-noiu's, and bidding adieu to the classic walls within which he had passed so many happy hours—the-

happiest of his life—he proceeded to an adjacent port where he expected his father to disembark, on his return from his long residence abroad.

The little green coasting packet—in that early day, when steam navigation had not superseded those teachers of patience to domestic voyagers, the sloop and schooner—had passed up the river the previous evening. He crossed to the opposite shore, in a broad flat wherry, whose representative, in the shape of a neatly painted horse-boat, propelled by the Ixion-like labour of a blind Rosi-nante, may still be seen plying frequently between the opposite shores.

The sun had just set in a sea of gold and crimson, and a rich mellow light hung like a veil of transparent gauze over land and water, when, after winding round one of the graceful bends of the romantic Kennebec, and ascending an abrupt and rocky eminence, up which the road wound, the beautiful and wooded glen, with the turretted chimnies of his paternal roof appeared, lifting themselves above the oaks, in the midst of which it stood. Reining in his horse upon the brow of the hill, he gazed down upon the lovely scene, with its sweeping river, relieved by a little vessel at anchor upon its black glassy flood—its surrounding hills, its venerable oaks, and serpentine walks— with a thoughtful eye.

Gradually as he gazed, the scene before him faded into indistinctness, in the approaching twilight, and the young moon had launched her silver barque upon the western sky—a timid sailor, venturing each night, farther and farther up into the heavens, and spreading her shining sail broader and broader as she gains confidence from temerity —before the young horseman shook off the spell which had rendered him indifferent to external objects—a spell, whose workings, to judge from the

knitted brow, compressed lips, and pale cheeks, were of no pleasant nature. We will not attempt to analyze his thoughts,—he dared not do it himself—nor will we. Spurring his restless horse down the precipice before him, as he perceived the shades of night thickly gathering, he soon gained the winding avenue leading to his paternal dwelling.

Nearly four years had elapsed, and its halls had echoed to the fall of no familiar footstep. During that period, he had never visited it but once, when scenes and events he would fain forget, were too vividly revived, and he shunned a second time to recall such unwelcome associations.

Now, as he rode forward the retrospection of the past Avas clouded by a reminiscence that weighed depressingly upon his spirits. Entering the bridlepath which led to the dwelling, he slackened his rein and moved slowly onward, musing upon the approaching interview with his long absent parent and brother, when the sudden glare of a light flashed from one of the windows of the library full upon his face, and roused him from his meditations.

Dismounting at the spacious gateway, he traversed the broad gravelled walk to the house, with a rapid step, anxious to hasten the meeting, which his heart foreboded, would be tinged with both pleasure and pain. He had placed his foot upon the first step, to ascend to the portico, Avhen the apparition of a graceful female figure, gliding past the brightly-illumined Avindow, stayed liis ascent, while emotions of surprise and curiosity usurped for the moment every other feehng.

" Who can she be ?" was his mental interrogation as her retreating figure disappeared. But he had no time for conjectures, for the old greyheaded gardener Phillipe, who had followed his

exiled master, through all his fortunes, recognized him as he was taking his evening round about the grounds, and by a loud exclamation of joy, intimated his arrival to the whole Household. The next moment he stood in the presence of his father and brother!

We will briefly pass over the interview between them. By the former, his reception was dignified and condescending ; yet there was absence of affection in his manner as he received his congratulations, imperceptible to an ordinary observer, but to which the lively feelings of the young man, were keenly sensitive—a cold politeness in his look and tone, such as a father should not wear to greet a long absent son. And such was the proud spirit of Achille, that he assumed a bearing of hauteur and distant respect, which measured his parent's coldness. -

Henri, whose slight form and girlish beauty were lost in a manlier elegance of person, met him as brother should meet brother—frankly, affectionately, and ardently. Achille returned his embrace as cordially and sincerely as it was bestowed; but a cold chill curdled the blood in his veins, as unfolding him from his arms, the purple scar glaring, half-hid by his flowing hair, upon his beautiful forehead, caught his eye.

Days and weeks glided by, and Achille loved !

M. Langueville, a distinguished Frenchman, his maternal uncle, and the only brother of his mother, had married an American lady of eminent beauty, and princely fortune. They both* died within a short period of each other, leaving an only daughter, appointing his father the guardian both of her person and inheritance. To receive this trust, was the object of his visit to Europe ; and on his return, his ward accompanied him to make her uncle's mansion her future home. 3*

The lovely vision of the library was this cousin. Gertrude Langueville, at the period of our tale, was a noble creature, with a form of faultless symmetry, voluptuously rounded, and just developing into woman-hood—a rich bud bursting into a full-blown rose.

Neither too tall, nor too short, her figure was of that indefinite size, which a graceful poet has termed " beautifully less." In her manner she combined the dignity of a woman with the naturalness and infantile grace of a wayward child. The infinite delicacy of her chiselled features, and the finely turned contour of her expressive head, were unsurpassed.

Just turned sixteen, she knew the power to charm, while she seemed not to use it, as, with the bewitching grace of a girl and the refinement of a woman, she enchained the admiration of those around her, while they bent forward to listen to the rich, harp-like tones of her voice in conversation. Her eyes were of the mildest blue of heaven—the indices of a pure and faultless mind. They spoke of a spirit mild and gentle; yet her lofty forehead told that also a ^spirit proud and high, slumbered within their gentle radiance. Intellectual, she was both romantic and imaginative. Few of her sex were gifted with a mind of higher order, or more accurately cultivated.

Obedient to the waywardness and contrarieties H^f her character, she was at one moment a Hebe, d^arming by her grace and vivacity, heightened by the sparkling expression of her eloquent eyes and beaming face, upon which every thought brilliantly played, like the reflection of sunny landscapes upon a shadowed lake, mantling it with a richer beauty— or, now a Minerva, commanding admiration and esteem by her originality of thought, and the lofty character of her mind.

Achille admired—loved—worshipped her !

We will not linger over the recital of his first meeting with this charming girl, and the wild impassioned progress of his love. With the impetuosity of a mountain torrent, it merged every passion in itself, absorbing, all the faculties of his soul.

His love was unrequited.



"Your true lover is a monopolizer. He must himself receive all favours and do all favours. He can bear no particij)ator. He will sooner forgive acts of indignity against himself, than the man who steps between him and his mistress' danger. If he cannot aid her himself, he would rather lose her than that another should boast of the honour. If I wished to make him my enemy, I would save his mistress' life."



Spring was just opening in that enlivening and rapid manner peculiar to northern latitudes, when Achille and his brother accompanied their cousin on a morning excursion along the beautiful shores of the river. The earth was clothed with the mantle of green and grey, Avhich young spring loves to throw around her, and the morning was bright and warm for the season, as if .Tune had usurped the wand of rude and blustering March.

They had reined in their horses on the verge of a lofty cliff overhanging the river, and remained gazing upon its icy surface, which, as far as the eye could reach, north and south, presented one vast plain of chrystal. The lateness of the season rendered it imprudent to venture upon it, although, except in its soft, white appearance, under the warm sun, it presented no indication of weakness. Gertrude, excited by the gay canter along the cliff, and

in unusually high spirits, proposed galloping across the river, which, during the Avinter they had frequently done, and ascend a hill on the opposite side, from whose summit there was an extensive prospect she had repeatedly admired.

"By no means, Gertrude," exclaimed Achille, " it would be rashness to attempt it."

" I think not, cousin," she replied, with that love of opposition which is the prescriptive right of the sex. "It is evidently very firm; only three days ago, I saw several horsemen passing down the river at a hand gallop."

" But you forget the warmth of the sun, Gertrude !"

" Not enough to affect this solid mass before us," she replied, " at all events, I can but try it."

So, slightly shaking her bridle, she cantered down the smooth road to the foot of the cliff, rapidly followed by the brothers.

" Do not venture upon the ice, cousin Gertrude, I beseech," mildly remonstrated Achille, when they gained the beach, "you will certainly endanger your life!"

"How very pathetic and careful, cousin of mine," she replied, with a playful, yet half-vexing air; " if you really think there is so much danger, we will excuse ^y our attendance. lam fearless as to the result, and quite confident that the ice will bear Leon and me. See, now," added she, as her beautiful jennet bounded forward on hearing his name, "' Leon is more obedient to fayre ladies' commands than their sworn esquires ;'" and her fine eyes glanced mischievously as she spoke.

This badinage touched Achille, who was sensitively alive to ridicule, especially from the lips of the lady of his love. Biting his lip to suppress his feelings, he calmly observed, " I regard not myself, .Gertrude, it is for you I speak. If you are resolved

to go, I shall certainly accompany you, although the greater the weight, the more imminent will be the danger."

" So will Henri, will you not, Henri ? " she said, half-assuredly, half-inquiringly; and a sweet smile, such as maidens love to bestow on their favoured swains, dwelt, while she spoke, upon her pretty lips, and mantled her cheeks, with a scarcely perceptilile shade of crimson.

Henri, who had remained silent during this brief colloquy, though always close to his cousin's rein, replied,

" Certainly, Gertrude, although I think wdth brother, that there is a spice of temerity in the attempt. Allow me to dis—"

^^ Allons then," she gaily cried, placing her gloved finger upon her cousin's mouth, and exciting the spirited animal upon which she was mounted to spring forward on to the crumbling verge of the ice.

Achille buried his spurs in the sides of his horse, and, in one bound, was the next moment at the head of her palfrey and dismounted—with the rein in his grasp.

" For God's sake, Gertrude, stop ! you must not venture so rashly," he cried, with energy, " do not go, I beg of you !"

" Loose my rein, Achille, and don't be so earnest about a mere trifle," she said, hastily.

"Nay, cousin," said Achille, in a softer tone, " the life of Gertrude can be—"

" Now don't be sentimental, cousin Achille;" she laughingly interrupted, " do be just good enough to free Leon's head. See how impatient he is."

" Do, cousin, allow me to plead ! "

" No, no, you know how I hate pleading;" and, without replying further, she dexterously extricated her bridle from his grasp, touched her impatient

horse smartly with the whip, and gaily crying, " Native qui peut,'^ sprung forward like an arrow.

" Achille ! your horse ! " exclaimed Henri. " Mad girl, she is lost!" he added, and spurring after her, was in an instant galloping by her side. Achille turned on the instant to vault into his saddle, and beheld his horse, which he had left unsecured on dismounting, coursing, with his mane flowing, and the stirrups wildly flying, at full speed on his way homeward.

"Holy devil!" ejaculated he, through his clenched teeth, at the same time uttering a malediction upon the flying animal; then turning to look after the rash girl, he scarcely forbore repeating it, as he saw her with his brother'at her side, cantering over the brittle and transparent surface of the river.

They were more than" half-way to the opposite shore, Avhen a loud report, deadened like the subterranean discharge of cannon, or the first rumbling of an earthquake, struck his ears, accompanied by a white streak, flashing, like lightning, along the surface of the ice, from shore to shore.

" God of heaven !" he exclaimed, uttering a cry of horror, as he saw the vast field of ice shivered along its whole extent. With a loud voice he shouted for them to return for their lives. Yet they heard him not, although now evidently aware of their danger ; for they increased the speed of their horses, and made for the opposite shore, to which they were nearest, as the only chance for safety.

Suddenly, sharp reports, in rapid succession, like the near explosion of musketry, reverberated along the ice, which began to swell and heave like the surface of the ocean in a calm. Save the agitation on the river, all else was still. The skies wore the pure blue of spring, the winds were hushed, the air was close and sultry, and a deep silence, hke that of night, reigned over nature.

A wild cry of terror suddenly reached his ears,— fearfully breaking the stillness of the morning. His heart echoed the cry, but his arm could bring no aid. The adventurers had diminished their furious speed, and were hovering on the verge of a yawning chasm5 which had suddenly opened before them. To advance was destruction; to retrace iheir way equally threatening. There was a moment's hesitancy, Achille observed from the summit of a pyramid of ice, which had been thrown upon the beach, and then he saw them turn their horses' heads, and, with a rapid flight, seek, over the moving, unsteady surface of the heaving flood, the shore they had left.

Onward they flew, like the wind. The labouring ice shivered and groaned in their rear, heaving itself in huge masses of wild and fantastic shapes into the air behind them. Near the shore towards which they were now directing their fearful course, the ice had yet remained firm. But, as they advanced, it groaned, heaved, and rose in vast piles in their path, while a yawning chasm gaped wide before them. Loudly and despairingly Achille shouted, as he indicated with his riding-whip, the surer way of escape from this chasm, which was momently enlarging ; otherwise he could render them no assistance.

They saw their danger, but too late. Their impetus was too powerful to be resisted by the slight fingers of the maiden, as she drew in her reins with painful and terrified exertion, and her horse dashed in among the broken and heaving masses of ice, as they were agitated by the swelling current, and hurled, crashing and grinding with a loud noise, against each other. A wild cry pierced the ears of the paralyzed Achille, and horse and rider disappeared beneath the terrific surface.


Henri, who with a stronger arm had reined in his "fiery animal, no sooner witnessed the fearful plunge, than, springing from his horse, he flew to the verge from which she had leaped, and for an instant gazed down into the cold, black flood, which had closed like a pall over the lovely girl. The next moment the deep waters received his descending form into their bosom!

A moment of intense suffering, during which Achille's heart distended almost to bursting, passed, and the waters were agitated, and the head of her favourite Leon came to the surface. The afiiighted animal glaring around, his dilated eyes intelligent with almost human expression, uttered a loud and terrific scream, and pawing with his fore-feet upon the cakes of ice floating near him, made several violent and ineffectual attempts, with the exercise of extraordinary muscular exertion, to draw himtelf up. on to them ; while the big veins swelled and stglrted out in bold relief from his glossy hide, his nostrils expanded and gushed forth blood upon the white ice, and audible groans came from his burst-ing chest.

In vain were the tremendous and sublime efforts of the noble animal—his strength gradually failed, and he could at last retain his hold only with one hoof upon the crumbling verge: that at last fell into the water. The dying steed gave an appalling cry, which the other horse, who stood gazing on liim with a look of sympathy, repeated, and the shores caught up and re-echoed from cliff" to cliff*, till it died away in the distance, like the wailing notes of suffering fiends. Then, roUing his large eyes round in terror and despair, he sunk from the sight ^f the horror-stricken Achille.

" She is lost, lost, lost!" he exclaimed, mentally

VOL. I.—4

imprecating his situation, which rendered it impossible for him to assist her.

Vast cakes of ice, between the elevation upon which he stood and the place where they had disappeared, constantly rolled by, tossed and whirled, like egg shells, tumultuously upon the fierce torrent. Conscious of his total inability to afford the least aid, he stood gazing like a rivetted statue upon the dark sepulchre which had entombed the only being he loved.

" Merciful providence, I thank thee!" he exclaimed, dropping impulsively upon one knee, with clasped and uplifted hands, as he saw appear above the water, far below the spot where Leon sunk, one after another, the heads of his cousin and brother. She was lifeless in his arms, her luxuriant tresses floating upon the waves, her beautiful head pillowed upon his shoulder !

With a cry of joy he sprang forward to the point towards which he was swimming among the floating ice v/ith his lovely burden. Henri was a bold and experienced swimmer. In boyhood it was the only amusement in which he delighted or fearlessly engaged. Achille stood upon the utmost verge of the ice, and cast his riding cloak out upon the water, retaining the tassel that he might draw them, now almost exhausted, to the shore.

" No, brother," said Henri faintly, yet firmly. And a triumphant smile hghted his pale cheek as he declined the proferred aid. In a moment afterwards he laid the fair girl upon the bank— the j)Te-server of her life !

Achille cursed in his heart the fortune that had blessed his brother. When as he swam with her, he saw her marble cheek reposing against his, his arm encircling her waist,

" Would to God," he muttered, in the dark chambers of his bosom, " that she had made the cold

waters her tomb than be saved thus! But no, no, too blessed a death for tliat proud boy to die. His death shall be less sacred."

His lip curled bitterly as he spoke, and his blood fired with the dark thoughts his new-born hatred and revenge called up. The passions which had slumbered for years were once more roused within him, hydra-headed and terrible.

Like a superior being, his brother gently laid the breathless form of his cousin upon the bank. Achille gazed upon them both for an instant in silence, and while he gazed, felt his bosom torn with conflicting emotions of love and hatred.

As he bent over the lifeless girl, chafing her slender fingers and snowy arm, he half breathed the wish that she might not return to consciousness to be told that Henri was her preserver. He looked upon his brother as he assisted him in restoring her to animation, and felt that hatred, malice, and revenge burned in the concentrated expression of his glowing dark eyes; but as he encountered the proud glance of his brother, and witnessed the calm dignity <o{ his demeanor, he withdrew his gaze from his face, but hated him the more.

But a few minutes elapsed after she had been laid upon the bank, when, accompanied by the old gardener and one or two of the servants, their father advanced rapidly towards them, having been alarmed by the appearance of Achille's horse flying riderless to the stables.

The breathless old man, instinctively comprehending the whole scene, kneeled by the side of his beloved niece, and by their united efforts she was soon resuscitated. Then, for the first time, he looked up, and observing the dripping garments of Henri, he smiled upon him with that comprehensive and aifec-tionate smile, he wore when he looked upon those he loved. But as he turned upon Achille, there was

no glance of affection, no smile of approval^—his eye was cold, severe and passionless.

Gertrude at length unclosed her eyes, gazed intelligently upon those around her, and then resting them for an instant upon the saturated dress of her cousin, slowly dropped the lids again to shade them from the light, while her hps, gently parted, and almost inaudibly pronounced,

" Henri!"

Achille sprung as though a serpent had stung him, and a fearful imprecation thrilled upon his tongue. His father frowned menacingly, while a smile, just such a one as passed over his face wherfe he rejected the proferred cloak, and which, from its proud and happy, if not exulting expression, entered hi& bosom like a poisoned barb, re-opening the w^ound years had not healed, lighted up his brother's features, and the glance accompanying the smile was a glance of conscious victory.


** As is the lion in the hunter's toils, thou art caged in. Thy dooni is settled ; ay, as sealed as if the genius of your star had writ it." " I am prepared." " 'Tis well. The hour is fitting for a traitor's death."


" The first crime is the Rubicon of guilt already crossed. Man, like that beast of prey which tasting human blood will touch no other, if perchance he stain his finger in his fellows' blood, is not content till he wash both hands in it. The first crime, give it leisure and convenience, will have its second."


But a few days had expired since the events just related, and the fields of ice had been swept to the ocean. The beautiful river flowed onward silently and maiestically, gently meandering along the verge of green meadows, or darting swiftly with noise and foam around projecting rocks—its pellucid bosom dotted with white sails, its sloping hills bursting into green luxuriance, and its overhanging forests enveloping themselves in their verdant robes.

Achille had passed the day ostensibly in hunting, but really to prey undisturbed^ in the deep-wooded solitude of the cliffs, upon his diseased spiiit.

The approach of night found him leaning on his hunting piece, his empty game-bag lying at his feet, standing upon the summit of a cliff which oT'erhung the river. The sun had just gone down beyond the hills of Monmouth in his own created sea of sapphire, the western star hung tremb-4*

lingly in the heavens, while the crescent moon^ half unveiling her chaste face, shed a holy light down upon the earth, mingling her pale rays with the ffolden hues of twilisrht.

The scene of his cousin's rash adventure and his brother's triumph lay beneath him. A calm and hallowed silence, broken only by the gurghng of the waters as they swept by among the loose rocks at the base of the cliff, or the siofhinsr of the trees as they waved heavily to the low^ night wdnd, reigned around him. The wildest spirit becomes gentler under the soothhig influence of such a time ! But the bosom of the 3^oung man was insensible to every external impression. With a troubled brow and trembling lip, while he crushed a starting tear beneath his eyelids, he communed with his own wounded spirit.

" Virgin mother! have I not loved her ! loved her as man seldom loves ! Loved her did I say?—was she not the object of my thoughts by day—the bright spirit of my dreams ! Did I not adore, (forgive me, Mary mother!) worship her next to thee l Wag not her image enshrined within the inner and'most hallowed temple of my soul ? Oh God, oh God !" and he leaned his head upon his gun, and the big tears coursed down his manly cheek.

The momentary weakness—if sorrow for shattered hopes, and crushed aspirations be weakness—soon passed away, and he stood up with a firm and collected manner. His brow gradually became set, his eye glowed, and a withering expression of rage, curled and agitated his lip, while he continued in a changed voice—

" Burning, burning truth! my thoughts will consume me! I would not have profaned her hand by a careless touch—yet I have beheld her in my brother's arms !"' With fearful calmness he uttered "^lese last words and ia, the same tone, added,

" The cheek by me held sacred—its profanation sacrilege ! I have seen laid upon his bosom. Nay ! I will think of it—turn each minute circumstance over and round that I may survey it well—for it feeds a passion 1 must let live, or die myself! Yes, that cheek, that rich, dehcate cheek,with the hue of a rosy cloud, have I seen reposing upon my brother's— imbibing from it life and warmth! I have beheld her tresses mingled with his, her sylph-like waist encircled in his embrace, and knew that their throbbing hearts beat together, as in one bosom, beneath the wave. And I remained silent!—calm !—for myself— calm. Calm! I burned,—my glowing bosom was in flames—yet— "

His dark meditations were interrupted by the hum of low voices, ascending from the beach at the foot of the cliffupon which he stood. Leaning over the precipice he looked down, but the deep shadows at the base obscured every object. Yet he listened with every sense dilated and resolved into one single one, as the wily Indian watches for the light footfall of his foe; his expanded ear alone the organ of communication with external objects.

A low melodious voice rose upon the still air like music. It fell upon the heart of the listener, not as melody falls upon the soul; soothingly, but with the unholy influence of a spell, withering it to its core.

" Nay, Henri, I love him not, I fear his wild and ungovernable spirit— I fear, but I love him not!"

'■' But now, you said, dear Gertrude, that you could not refuse your admiration for what you have termed my fiery brother's noble nature and chivalrous spirit. Are not these the qualities that win a maiden's heart ? "

"How little you are skilled, my dear Henri, in that riddle,—a woman's heart! Such qualities may allure, but never win. Achille can, and will command,

but never win, esteem. He may elicit admiration^ but never love ! "

This was the language of the being Achille so madly worshipped. And did he listen to the silvery tones of her voice, thus crushing forever all his hopes, in silence ? Yes. such silence as precedes the earthquake before it bursts. The voices had died a-way, but they still rung with fearful echoes through his bosom. In a few moments, whilst he stood transfixed, overwhelmed by a wave of passions, a winding in their path, brought the voices of his brother and cousin again within reach of his ear, and as they walked slowly along, he saw the white garments of Gertrude glancing through the branches of the intervening trees.

'' Then, then it shall be yours, if the gift be worth accepting !" he heard, in a scarcely audible voice.

'•' Rich—lovely treasure ! " warmly exclaimed the happy and favoured youth, seizing the graceful hand she had ingenuously given him, and pressing it passionately to his lips.

" Hell and devils !" muttered Achille through his set teeth, and striking his forehead with his clenched hand.

He had stood till now, with suppressed breath, a burning eye and expanded ear, like a statue of stone. But he could endure no more; and scarcely suppressing a fierce cry, he sprung, leaping and bounding like a mad-man, down the face of the precipitous rock, in a direction opposite to that taken by the lovers, and in a moment stood upon the beach.

Hour after hour he paced the hard white terrace of sand, and strove to calm the raging tempest in his bosom. He bared his head to the cool night-breeze— bathed his heated brow in the clear flood at his feet. He gazed upon the placid moon and wooed its soothing influence—upon the solemn forests and peacefully

flowing river ; but the low voice of nature spoke to> his warring spirit in vain. Hour after hour passed away, and he had given himself up to the guidance of the dark spirit he could not control, and had purposed revenge.

'- The exulting boy shall feel what it is to cross my path. He shall die ! by heaven, he shall die ! " he whispered, through his compressed hps. At the same instant a loud voice from the cliff rung in his ear.

" Achille ! Achille ! are you there ? " It was his brother. Ascending the cliff with rapidity, the next moment Achille was at his side.

" No, brother," he sarcastically replied, with his mouth close to his ear, " I am not there, but here! " and as he spoke his voice sounded hoarse and unearthly.

Henri started ; but observed, without further noticing his brother's singidar manner, that his father having apprehensions for his safety, from his remain.-ing so long abroad, had requested him to seek him.

<• Have you met with any game, brother 7 " he enquired.

*>'Yes brother, a sweet dove and a cunning hawk."

" Did you secure the birds ? "

" Aye, the hawk, but the dove,—the dove, although it wounded me with its angry bill, I could not stain its snow-white plumage with red blood,. But the subtler bird I have meshed."

" Brother, your language and manner is strange and unwonted, and your face by this faint light looks pale and haggard. Have you met with aught to embitter your spirit during the day ? "

They now, having walked slowly forward while speaking, stood upon the spot where Henri and Gertrude plighted their loves in the sight of Achille. He made no reply to his brother's inquiry, but stop-

ping suddenly, seized him with energy by the arm^ and gazed fixedly and revengefully upon his face.

" What mean you, brother? unhand me Achille! "^ exclaimed Henri, alarmed.

The fires within, smothered for a brief space, now raged tumultuously and fierce, breaking out like a volcano, long pent up in the iSosom of the earth.

"Know you where you stand?" he loudly and angrily demanded.

" Release me, brother—what is your mad purpose ? "

" Aye, mad ! " he reiterated. '• Yes, I am mad. Know you where you stand ? " he repeated, in a harsh voice, while his eyes gloAved visibly even in the darkness of the deep shadows in which they stood.

" God of heaven ! " he shouted fiercely on receiving no reply. " Speak, craven, or thns^ I'll crush you!" and with his iron fingers he pressed the throat of his victim.

" Unhand me, brother !" cried Henri, till now unresisting in the grasp of one, from whom he apprehended no real injury, and whose violent rage he supposed would soon subside. But he knew not the irresistible power of the stream Avhich he himself^ perhaps unconsciously, had contributed to swell. He had not traced it from the'fountain through all its devious and subterranean windings, fed by a thousand hidden springs, until it approached the precipice over which it wag about to thunder a terrible and mighty cataract.

"Oo me no harm, Achille, I am your brother ! '^ he exclaimed, and with a strong effort freed his throat from his grasp.

" So was Abel his brother's brother, and so— " and his lip withered with scorn and hatred as he spoke:—''and so is Henri mine! but revenge—I love dearer still. Henri, I hate you ? Know you this accursed spot, I again repeat ? "

Henri now released from his violent hold stood proudly up, and bareing his pale brow to the moonlight, which fell down upon it through an opening in the foliage like the visible presence of a blessing, answered,

"I do, sir; it is consecrated ground ; and I learn from your strange language and manner, that you have witnessed the sacred ceremony which hallowed it!"

He spoke calmly, and in a tone of dignity, while a proud, if not sarcastic smile played faintly over his lips. Achille already insane with passion, fiercely shouted,

" And it shall be doubly consecrated by a sacra-fice of blood ! Proud fool, your mockery has sealed your fate. I needed only this^^^ and springing fiercely upon him, he seized him by the breast with one hand, and, glancing in the moon while he brandished it in the air, his glittering hunting-knife descended like hghtning into the bosom of his victim. The warm blood spouted into the face of the fratricide, and bathed his hand in gore.

" Oh, Gertrude—my father—God—brother ! I for-forgive," he faintly articulated, and with a groan that sunk to the heart of the murderer, fell heavily to the ground.

For a few moments the guilty being stood over the prostrate body, with nis arm outstretched in the position in which he had given the fatal blow, his features rigid his eyes glazed, and his whole person as motionless as marble—the statue of a murderer chiselled to the life ' During that brief moment he €;ndured an eternity of suffering. The torments of ages were expressed into one single drop of time !

Who may tell the feelings of the impulsive mur-4erer as he sees the life-blood gush out—the features pale and stiffen, and the strong man become

at once a cold corpse at his feet, and when con* science asks, who has done this—" I, I, I,"—oh^ how bitterly is the confession wrung from his bosom.

But we will not dwell upon this scene. The fratricide fled, beneath the cold moon and glittering stars, which like eyes of intelligence seemed to look down reprovingly upon him. On he fled, nor dared to look up to them ; the little light they shed became hateful, and he felt as though he would draw darkness around him like a garment, hiding himself from both God and man.

" Oh that the rocks would fall upon me and hide me ever from myself!" he groaned inwardly ; and a loud voice within cried, " Vain, vain ! live on ! hve on forever !" And he buried his face in his cloak and fled still onward.

The morning broke, and the miserable fugitive still pursued the path which led along the shores of the river to the sea. As the light increased, he saw, for the first time, that his dress was sprinkled with his brother's blood. He shuddered, and the fatal scene rushed once more upon his mind in all its horrors. ^ Hastily plunging into the river, (alas ! for the tales of blood, of which river and sea are the dumb repositories !) he removed all traces of the deed he had committed, from his person.

Two hours before sunset he came in sight of the bay, its bosom relieved by many green islands and dotted with white sails. He hailed the broad ocean in the distance with a thrill of pleasure.

Hastening to the coast, which was guarded by lofty mural precipices, he swung himself down their sides with that daring wrecklessness which is often the surest means of success, and throwing himself into a small boat which had been left in a cove by some one of the fishermen, whose huts were scattered in picturesque sites along the cliffs of the romantic and rock-bound coast, he raised the little sail, and steered out to sea.



He had an only daughter,

The greatest heiress of the eastern isles ;

Besides so very beautiful was she, Her dowry was nothing to her smiles:

Still in her teens and like a lovely tree So grew to womanhood '

***** Irad. I loved her well—I would have loved her better. Had love been met with love ; as 'tis, I leave hef To brighter destinies, if so she deems them. Japh. What destinies? Irad. I have some cause to think She loves another. * • * + * *

But who that chief? His name on every shore Is famed and feared ?


VOL. I.—5.





"** Smuggling or frauds practised against the revenues originated in ■certain vices or imperfections in our laws, by which, as they are not yet reformed, this system of piracy is still pursued. Smuggling is at best but a school of piracy ; but wiser legislation might prevent much crime and render the navigation of the high seas more secure."

Letters on Political Economy.

*' Circumstances sometimes impel men to crimes against which fneir nature revolts, yet they are not the less guilty."— Ibid.


About one-fifth of the brief term of years to which Divine Wisdom has Umited the hfe of man we have suffered to roll unrecorded down the tide of time.

Our tale now opens in a new theatre, with scenes of fresher and more exciting interest, before which characters move and act who have borne no inconsiderable part in the great drama of the second, and last war of independence, between the United States of the North and Great Britain.

A few years before the commencement of this memorable and decisive war, a daring band of privateers-men, inured to every hardship to be encoun-


tered iij^orms of battle, or of the elements, and as free as the winds Avhich filled their flowing sheets, had obtained commissions from the new government of Carthagena, then first strugghng for independence, to cruise against the royalists, or vessels sailing under the flag of Spain. By the authority of these commissions, they not only made numerous captures on the great highway of nations, but blockaded many ports of the royalists in the Mexican and West India seas.

Giving a latitude to their commissions which the government from which they received them did not recognize or foresee, they embraced in them, besides the ships of the royalists, such other vessels as they might fall in with, which, on trial, proved unable to withstand their superior force. From privateers-men, sailing under the flag of a South American state, emboldened by success and power, they became rovers of the wide blue sea, independent of every flag but their own bright-red banner, and acknowledging no commission but that written upon the edge of their gleaming sabres. The flags of every nation struck to their own, and the broad waters of the Mexican sea became at the same time their empire, their battle-field, and tlieir home.

The prizes, their lawless mode of translating special commissions, and that delusion of the visual organs which led them to see in every flag, the gorgeous blazonry of his Majesty of Spain, against whom they had declared open war, enabled them to seize, were taken into the secret bayous and creeks adjacent to the mouth of the Mississippi, where they were elTectually concealed and safe from capture or pursuit.

The most important passes made use of by these buccaneers, and with which the scenes of our tale are more immediately connected, lie about twenty leagues to the west of the delta of the Mississippi,

and about forty miles south-west of the city of New-Orleans. Here, an arm of the Mexican gulf extends four or five leagues inland, terminating in the mouths of several bayous or creeks, which, by many devious and intricate windings, known only to the smugglers, reached to within a few miles of New-Orleans. They were navigable only for boats, which here were accustomed to discharge their unlawful freights taken from captured vessels, from whence, through other and more commercial hands, it obtained a rapid and secret conveyance to the city.

This arm of the gulf is termed the bay of Bar-ritaria, so called, from that system of naval barratry which characterized the class of men which usually frequented it. The mouth of |his bay, or lake, as it is more generally denominated, from being nearly encircled by the land, is defended by a small island about two leagues i^ length and three miles in breadth, Avhich lies in a' direction east and west, and nearly parallel with the line of the coast, leaving two narrow passes or entrances to the lake from the gulf

That, on the east, at the period with which we are to identify our tale, was exceedingly shallow, allowing only the passage of boats of light draught; the western and main pass only admitted vessels drawing nine and ten feet of water. This island, which is called indiscriminately, Grande Ter-re and Barritaria, is not an unbroken level, like the surrounding low lands, or prairies, constituting the southern section of Louisiana, but, with a striking geological feature in reference to the aspect of this region, it rises abruptly from the sea, with bold and precipitous sides, sometimes swelling into slight eminences several feet in height, covered with dense forests of trees, among which, superior to all, towers the live-oak in its iron strength. It also abounds in 5*

a great variety of game ; and an abundance of excellently-flavoured fish are taken in its waters. Each extremity of this islan ', at the time of which we speak, was strongly fortified and bristly with cannon, completely commanding both entrances to the inner bay or lake.

Close within the western and deeper inlet to the right, and eifectually concealed by the intervening islands from the open sea. from which it was about three leagues distant, was a safe and commodious anchorage; the only secure harbour for many leagues along that dangerous coast.

This island, Avith its anchorage, was the principal resort of the Carthagenian smugglers. From their little territory, which in the face of the government of the Nortii United States, they had boldly usurped, the fame of their extraordinary deeds went abroad over sea and land, till the name of Barrataria was associated in the minds of men, with crimes and deeds of outlawry, unparalleled in the history of l^anned and out-cast men.

For better security, and more efficient operations, these men, at first sailing singly, each upon his own desperate enterprise, ultimately associated themselves into one body, conferring the command of their squadron on an individual of their number, whose distinguished qualifications as a commander over such a fleet, and such men, manifested on many a bloody deck and many a desperate fight, marked him singularly as their leader.

Besides this rendevous of the buccaneers of Bar-ritaria, in Louisiana, there were two others of less importance ; one of which was situated in an uninhabited- part of the coast, in the neighbourhood of Carthagena, and the other in the West India seas, on the west coast of the island of St. Domingo. In these seas, and ultimately in this last-mentioned spot, are laid the scenes of our second book.

In one of the romantic bays, with which the southern shore of the island of Jamaica is indented, and on one of the rich autumn evenings pecuhar to the Indian seas, about fifteen years subsequent to the period embraced by the last book, a long, low, black schooner, very taunt and sharp in the bows, with all light sail drawing freely, and a red and blue signal fluttering aloft, might have been seen bowling gallantly over the miniature waves of the bay, which glittered in the sun-light as though overlaid with golden mail.

On the deck of the little vessel, which Avas heavily armed and full of men, stood one of commanding person, whose features, as he lea;ned over the quarter-railing, were partially concealed by the drooping front of his broad palmetto hat; that portion of his face, however, which could be discerned, displayed a black silken mustacho, curving like cupid's bow, over a fine mouth, whose general expression was resolution. Now, however, a yellow segar severed his lips, which languidly embraced it, while an occasional cloud of blue smoke emitted from beneath his overshadowing hat, curled above his head, and floating to leeward, blended with the evening haze.

Listlessly, like one familiar with the scenery, he gazed upon the glorious prospect spread out before and around him, rising from the shores of the bay and retreating backward and higher, till the distant clouds bounded the view—a scene of gorgeous sublimity. Precipice on precipice, avalanche on avalanche rose, piled one upon the other—a theatre of magnificent desolation; while the soaring ridges of the Blue Mountains, half mantled in clouds, and the lofty peak of St. Catharine, elevating her summit several thousand feet above the sea, towered proudly above all.

Immediately on his left, rose, to a lesser height, a

chaos of inaccessible cliffs, abrupt rocks, shooting ' upward like towers and craggy peaks, exhibiting the stern aspect of some great convulsion which had laid nature in ruins. As the schooner shot farther into the bay, these wild features were concealed by intervening wooded hills, which, with round green summits, swelled from the shore ; and as she still lessened her distance from the land, nu-mei'ous verdurous spots sprinkled along the precipitous side of the mountains, or laid, like green carpets, upon the rocks, and among the trees, softened and relieved the harsher character of the scenery ; while the traces of human ingenuity, taste and labour, were discerned on every hand. Majestic forests, groves of palmetto, and pastures like the softest lawns, now lining the shore and overhanging the water, were rapidly passed; and vast savannas, covered with variegated cane, as far as the eye could distinguish, displayed, in their changing tints, the verdure of spring, blended with the exuberance of autumn.

As the rover sailed farther into the bay, his eye, as he glanced with momentary animation along the land, rested upon the cots and hamlets of the negroes, the walls of a distant military post, and the white villas of the planters, dispersed picturesquely on the precipices, and in every green nook along the sides of the receding hills. The schooner, after running about a league into the land, suddenly altered her course, and stood for the entrance of a little harbour or recess of the bay ; and now, under her mainsail and jib alone, coasted along a bold shore, dotted here and there with a magnificent pimento—groves of Avhich clothed the distant eminences. The summits of the cliffs, beneath which it sailed, were verdant with trees of thickest foliage, while, from their over-hanging brows, tiny cataracts, like slender threads of silver, leaped down into the

sea, ringing musically as they fell, or struck upon the deck of the vessel, sprinkling a cool shower upon the seamen.

The inlet towards which she was rapidly advancing, was nearly enclosed by a chain of isolated rocks, towering hke gigantic pinnacles; and a craggy promontory overhanging the basin, half encircled it on the west. Between the termination of this promontory, and the chain of rocks, was visible a narrow passage, by which craft of small size only could pass, one at the time, into the dark, circular pool, sleeping calm and deep within its rocky sides, which, frowning terrifically over it, cast beneath a black shadow, even whilst the sun hung high in the heavens. Now the shadows were deepened in the approaching twilight, and a mysterious gloom gathered over the spot as the day receded, presenting to the imagination dark caverns and horrid ravines on every side.

Into this secret nook the little vessel rapidly shot, under the guidance of a skilful hand, and running into its farthest extremity, towards the main land, came to anchor under a projecting rock, which, cleft to its base, admitted a footway from the water to the highland plantations in the interior. In a few minutes the white sails disappeared, and the tall, black masts of the vessel relieved against the sky, alone betrayed her presence ; for the dark hull itself was invisible in the deep shadow of the cliff. Not a sound was heard from her deck after she entered, save an occasional order given in a suppressed voice, and the rubbing of the cable as the anchor sunk noiselessly into the water. The trees were motionless, and not a breath ruffled the limpid surface of the basin.

" List!" said a low, deep voice, from the stern of the vessel; and the distant wail of a bugle fell,

with a melancholy cadence, upon the ears of the listening seamen.

Again it rose and fell, low and plaintive ; and hardly had the sound died in the ah* when three sharp blasts were blown in rapid succession.

" That's the signal! Valasquez is as true as steel to his own avarice !" exclaimed the commander of the schooner, whom we have just introduced to the reader.

" Be ready all! Ten of you go with me. See to your pistols, and let every other man take a dark lantern and a cutlass, and have two oars slung for a barrow. The rest of you be still as the grave, and on the alert to obey m}^ signals. Three pistols, Ricardo," he continued, addressing one of his officers, " fired in succession will be our signal for a reinforcement, should the old Don be too hard for us. Now ashore, my men, all," he added with rapidity and energy.

Accompanied by a handsome youth, and a deformed slave, and followed by ten of his men*, in red woollen caps and shirts, and without jackets, he sprung on to a projecting point of rock, heavily armed, and the next moment stood in the mouth of the cleft or defile, terminating at the top of the chff.

" Madre de Dios !" exclaimed one, in a suppressed whisper, to his comrade by his side, casting his eyes up the narrow and precipitous pass, which they were slowly ascending, " this must be the upstairs to purgatory."

'• Rather, Mister Spaniard," drawled his companion—a tall, light-haired, ungainly seaman-^-tlirough his generous nasal organ, " rather, it may be another guess sort of a road."

" And what may that be ?" inquired a Spanish sailor, gruffly, who toiled on just before him.

^^ The road to the good place, I guess, Senyore."

" Gif proof o' dat !" said a lank Frenchman, by trade a frissieur, but who had now taken to cutting men's throats instead of their beards. " Gif proof o' dat, by Gar, Monsieur Yenkee !"

" Why, Mister Parley-voo, you see," articulated the other slowly, in reply, " I can prove it to a demonstration from scriptur, if ye happen to know what that are is. Don't it say, ' strait is the gate and narrow is the way that goes up to heaven?'" and the scriptural quoter cleared his throat emphatically, and w^iped his loose lips upon his red woollen sleeve, with an air of self-complacency.

" Give preacher Sol a quid o' tobacco for that sarmont," said one; " blast my eyes if he haint arnt it;" and a low suppressed laugh w^as heard from two or three of his comrades.

" Silence there," said their leader, in a low, distinct voice; and the rest of their way up the defile was effected, only occasionally interrupted by the splash of a loose fragment, which, agitated by their feet, fell into the water, or the whispered execration of some one, as a false step had nearly sent him headlong down upon his companions, and into the dark gulf beneath.

" Now, my brave fellows," said the leader of this night-party, as he stood at the head of the defile, upon the summit of the cliff, whilst his men filed past him, and gathered in a group, beneath the dark shadow of a cluster of palm, cocoa-nut and bamboo-cane trees, which crowned the heights. " Now, my good men, we are on an expedition, which, if successful, and its success depends on your own wills, and sharp cutlasses, will redeem all our past losses, which tempted the crew to mutiny. These wars have made all craft, but those who show their teeth, full timid enough in venturing on our legitimate empire ; but this henceforward shall be no cause of

complaint. I have yielded to your wishes on this occasion, not, you well know, because I feared to withstand them, although it is against my own feelings to rob an old man of his hoarded ingots. The free flag, a flowing sheet, and open sea for me. But be ready. I will lead you on this adventure. Ho, Cudjoe!" he said to his slave, " give the answering signal to Velasquez—clearly and well, now, for your boar's head may pay the forfeiture for bungling;" and the clear, wild and discordant cry of the galena, when alarmed, suddenly broke the stillness of the night, now prolonged and low, now sharp and loud—then suddenly ceased.

" Well done, my Guinea-bird," said his master ; '^ your beldam mother, Cndjoe, must have fed you on guinea-eggs."

" Hark ! it is answered;" and a similar cry came from the depths of the wood. In a few moments afterwards it was repeated nearer, and then ceased.

The silence which succeeded, was interrupted by a screech and rustling on the left, in the direction of a patch of coarse grass, terminated by clumps of aloes, torch-thistle, and palmetto, which formed the boundary of the cultivated portion of the estate. Every eye turned instantly in that direction, and every man's hand was laid upon the butt of his pistol.

" Ho I Leon, my fine creature, but you are a welcome pioneer !" exclaimed the chief, as a noble dog, of majestic size, bounded into their midst, and sprung fawningly against his master's breast. '' But down, sir, down, you hug like a Greenland bear! What news bring you from my trusty spy ?"

The sagacious animal, as if the careless question of his master had been intelligible, looked into the face of the querist, and strove to draw his attention

by raising his forcTpaw to his neck and striking once or twice forcibly the broad, studded collar encircling it.

" Ha ! it is so ? Theodore, open your lantern," said the chief to the youth ; '• cautiously, though :" and the pirate bent over the collar and examined it, while the dog stood w^agging his huge tail with a motion expressive of much satisfaction.

" Nay. Leon, you are a cheat, sir ! " said his master, angrily, after a close examination of the collar, which on other occasions had served him for the transmission of billets relating to both love and battle. •' Go, sir ! " but the noble animal crouched at his feet, forced his paw under the collar, and struggled to break it frcm his neck.

" The key ! the key, Cudjoe !" he cried; and the slave thrust his huge hand into a kind of Pandora's box made in his lower garm.ents, from which, among a heterogeneous display of broken pipes, chicken breast-bones, beads, ebony hearts, broken dirk-knobs, charmed rehcks, and spells against obeahs, fetahs, and melay men, he produced tiie key to the collar.

His master unlocked it, and stepping aside with his back to his men, he secretly slid aside the sm^ooth plate which constituted its inner surface, and displayed an opening jiearly the whole length and breath of the collar. Frcm this concealed repository, which he thought known only to himself and a fair inamorata, then in a distant land, he took a folded scrap of paper.

" Curse this prying knave Velasquez !" he muttered ; " how in the devil's name could he have learned this secret? But how or when, he has made good use of it," he cast his eyes over the note upon which the rays of the lamp fell brightly through a carefully opened crevice in the sides of the lantern.

" Well, men," he said, turning to his party, " I

VOL. I.—6


find Leon has been a trusty messenger; Velas^ quez has written upon his eoUar what chances await us at the old villa. There are but two old slaves^ the old man and his daughter, besides his trusty nephew and secretary, Heberto Velasquez! Onward. Lead, Qiy trusty Leon !"

" How I do hate such treacherous tools," he said mentally, as, preceded by his dog and followed by his men, he threaded the forest; '• open villany were virtue to such secret machinations. And against an uncle too! w ho has been but too indulgent—that he may a little earlier have his heaps of gold to squander upon his debaucheries. Holy father ! if I did not fear a general mutiny throughout my squadron, by reason of our late scanty harvest on the seas, I would not lift a finger to help this roue to his wishes. But fate, fate 1 I am the football of circumstances! How often have I been led by my destiny to do deeds at which my soul revolted I Oh, God ! oh, God ! that I could be at peace with my own heart! Peace ! there remains no peace for me! I have bathed my hand in blood, and there i» no retracing^ my footsteps. My first mad crime has been the prolific parent of all my subsequent ones. If my arm had been staid at that fatal period by some good angel, I should have been an honourable—perhaps, a good man ! That deed ruled my after destinies. My hand is now red— red! and nothing but my own blood can ever wash out the stains which crimson it. And is there a future, too, where men must give account of their earthly deeds? Is there a day of retribution for the murderer ? Do the innocent and the guilty go alike to one destiny —to one reward or punishment ? Oh, God ! No, no!—There was one pure spirit released by this same bloody hand from the snowy bosom which confined it, panting to be free—and shall our destiny—mine and hers—be the same in the coming world? Oh,:

no ! Oh, no! she must be glorious and happy there! and I— there is surely a hell for thee^ Lafitte 1" he exclaimed bitterly. The wretched and guilty man pressed his temples for a moment, and turned to cheer his followers, striving in the action of the time to forget his own miserable thoughts.

The party had now issued from the dark recesses of the Avood, the vivid green of whose fohage was was just tinged with silver from the rising moon, and after passing with a swift tread around a hedge, or border of bamboo and orange trees, came at once in front of a large, old mansion, situated on the side of a gentle eminence facing the bay.

From the point where they first beheld the house, several avenues, overgrown with rank and luxuriant grass, diverged in various directions. One of these paths immediately in front of them was broader, and by the light of the newly-risen moon, which ■glanced along its whole length, seemed some worn by recent use. This avenue, which afforded to the freebooters a glimpse of the house containing their prey, was bordered by the rich-leaved oleander, numerous beautiful trees bearing roses of every dye; with the jessamine, and grenadilla, yielding to the caprice of nature, entwining its luxuriant vines into gracefully-formed alcoves. At a gateway, obscured by the shade of many large trees standing around it, the party made a halt.

" Now listen to my instructions, each man of you," said their leader, as they paused here, awaiting their guide. " There is to be no violence ; the persons of the old man and his family shall be held sacred. It is his wealth, not his hfe you seek. Let no man pull a trigger, if he love his life, this night. If we are attacked by the patrol, then, and only in the last emergency, use your fire-arms; for one report of a pistol, would bring the neighbouring garrison down jupoja us in force; and our little Gertrude, lying so

snugly in the Devil's Bowl below, would be intercepted by a king's cruiser before she could gain the open sea. Be cool and discreet, and we succeed,'^ he added, as the men were about to murmur their assent; " be imprudent, and it will be a short grace from the red coats, and a swing from the nearest tree."

" Hist! here comes our guide. What, ho, there, the word !"

Creeping on his hands and knees, as he spoke, appeared from beneath a clump of bushes growing by the gate, a low, square figure, naked to the waist, from which, to his bony knees descended a garment equally participating in the honours of the petticoat and small-clothes. As he emerged from the shadow of the hedge into the moonlight, his black glossy hide glistened like a polished boot.

Gathering himself up to his full height, which was perhaps a little exceeding three feet eleven inches, he replied, with rapid, nervous articulation, while his teeth, and the white of his eye glittered in the moonlight,

'• De word, mass' buckra ? de word, mass' 'berto tell me say be, ' de collar.' "

" You are my man," he exclaimed ; -^ lead on to your young master. Where does he await us ?"

" Close by de l^ig tam'rind tree, mass'! 'hind de soute wing ob de house."

" On, my beauty !" said he, gaily; the momentarj^ depression having passed aAvay; " lead on, we follow."

The guide darted again under the hedge, where the ground had been burrowed, leaving room for a full sized man to draw himself under with ease, by putting aside the lower branches of the armed hedge, encircling the grounds. Through this opening, each man, after getting upon his knees, passed through into the garden, followed by their leader,

who hewed with his cutlass a broad passage, through which to retreat. Here, forming his men into a Une, he placed himself at their head, and with rapid and noiseless footsteps the whole party followed their «able guide through many dark and devious labyrinths, towards the rear of the villa.



"There exists no treachery so criijiinal as that of youth against old age. But when with grey hairs are united the ties of benefactor and kindred, it becomes the blackest of crimes, claiming neither extenuation nor forgiveness. The man who would be thus guilty, is the basest of men—the most accomplished of demons." M. Rollin.

"A lovely girl watching over the dying pillow of a venerable father, must be a scene over which angels love to linger."

Hamilton's Essays.



While the band of piratical marauders were winding their way through the intricate paths which led through the grounds, we will precede them to the villa.

This was a long, low, steep-roofed edifice, with a dilapidated and sunken gallery running along its front, supported by a row of heavy, dark-coloured columns, some of wliich leaned inward while one or two were lying prostrate upon the green sward before the house. At either end of the gaUery, stood a bronze statue of some classic hero, while in various points in front of the building and half-concealed by the wild and neglected shrubbery, were several marble statues, a few standing, but more broken into pieces and thrown down, fragments of which were scattered in every direction over the grounds. A green terrace, fronting the bay and bound with marble, up to which a ruined flight of steps ascended

from the shore, extended the whole length of the parterre, or ornamented garden, before the villa. The chimneys, and in many places the walls of the house had crumbled and fallen ; windows were without shutters—the ascent to the piazza, the entrances to the dwelling, and the various walks diverging from it, were choked up with tall coarse grass, and fragments of brick, stone and marble. The whole premises presented a scene of melancholy desolation—the sad record of past opulence and grandeur.

The northern wing of the building, alone withstood the devastations of decay, and at this time, served as the abode of the family whose reported wealth, had held forth temptations to a band of pirates to invade the sanctity of its domestic circle. The opulent proprietor, an old Castillian soldier, lived in the enjoyment of vast possessions in Mexico, when one of the many revolutions in that ill-fated land, sent him forth an exile to other shores. With the value of his estates exchanged for Spanish coin and vessels of gold and silver, or melted dow^n into ingots, and accompanied by his only child, a beautiful dark-eyed Castillian girl—a nephew whom he had adopted, and one or two faithful servants, he came to Jamaica, and purchased the estate on which he now dwelt, from one of those old, ruined planters, who once lived princes of the island.

The old Spaniard's heart was broken by his exile. His proud spirit was fallen, and he had become again a child, and the child of his bosom, the young Constanza Velasquez, w^as the only solace of his age and solitude. But the nephew, turned vipon his benefactor, and like the serpent, stung the bosom that nourished him.

The hour of vespers had long passed, and Con-stanza kneeled by the couch of her father.

Her figure was round, finely developed, and dis-

played to advantage by a laced jacket, or bodice of black satin, enriched with a deep lace border closely fitting her shape. The curve of her shoulders was faultless, terminating in arms that would have haunted Canova in his dreams. On either wrist sparkled a diamond button confining the bodice at the cuffs. At both shoulders it was also clasped by a star of emeralds. Her fine raven hair was drawn back, and arranged in the form of a crest of tresses faUing around her finely-turned head. A single white flower was secured in a rich curl above her forehead, by a gold-wrought comb, in* laid with many coloured stones. Over her head was thrown a white mantilla or veil, fastened on the comb by a pearl pin, so disposed as to fall down the back, to the feet of the wearer; yet it could be readily brought forward and dropped over the whole person. At this time, it was gathered in folds, and hung gracefully on her left arm.

Beneath her robe of white satin, worn under the bodice, and richly flowered with net Avork of silver, appeared, fitted in a neat Spanish slipper, a foot—such as poets of the northern clime see in dreams—of the most perfect and fascinating symmetry. The complexion of the maiden was a rich olive tinge, mellowed by the suns of sixteen Indian summers. Her eyes were large, dark, and expressive, shaded by long silken lashes, even darker than her dark shining hair, giving them, when in repose, that dreamy look, which the pencils of the old Italian masters loved to dwell upon with lingering touches. They spoke of deep passion and gentleness, while a smile of light danced perpetually in their radiant beams. The general character of her extremely lovely featmes indicated great sweetness of disposition and ingenuousness. The timid expression of her eye, evincing indecision, was relieved by a firmness about the mouth and the maid-


enly dignity which sat upon her beautiful forehead. In her left hand, she held a diamond crucifix suspended from her neck by a massive gold chain, each link in the shape of a cross. Upon her right arm, reposed the majestic head of her venerable parent, her delicate fingers playing with the silvery, shining ringlets that flowed about his neck, and curled upon his massive forehead. His features were sharp and rigid with illness and settled grief; and his dark eye was lustreless as he gazed up into the face of his child.

" Have you said your prayers to night, my child ? "

" I have, dear father ; and they ascended for your recovery. Oh, that the sweet mother of our Saviour would grant ansAvers to my prayers ! " she said looking upward devotionally.

" She will, she will, Constanza," replied the aged man, " for yourself, but not for me ! I have hved my allotted space. I must soon leave you, child. Be prepared for it, my daughter ! Listen ! I dreamed this afternoon that I saw the blessed Virgin, and she was the image of yourself."

. " Nay, father, let not your love for poor sinful Constanza lead you to sin in your language," interrupted his daughter, blushing at the unintentional flattery, while she trembled at its seeming impiety.

" So, so, but yet hear me, child," he interrupted impatiently ; " when I gazed upon her, wondering she was so like you, she changed, and instead of you, I saw your mother ! How much like her you look just now my child! Bend down and let me kiss your brow." The fair girl bent her brow to her father's cheek, her dark locks mingling with his white hair.

" You do not remember your mother," uttered he, after a moment's aflfectionate embrace; " poor child ! she was very beautiful. Your lofty brow is hers, the same pencilled arch—the same drooping lid—

and when you smile, I almost call you, ' my Isabel!'"

" Am I so like my sainted mother, father ? I wish I could recollect her or recall a feature," she said, placing her finger on her lips in the attitude of thought—" but no, no, it is vain ! " she added, shaking her head mournfully, '• her image is gone forever."

" Oh no, not forever, my child, you shall meet her again in heaven."

All at once a cloud of sorrow passed across his troubled features, and grasping in his trembling and withered fingers, the soft, round hand of his daughter, he said in an earnest manner,

"Constanza, I feel that I cannot leave you, my unprotected dove ! in this sinful world alone. What will become of you, my child, when I am gone ? Heberto ! " and the old man's eye flashed with anger as he repeated the name, " Beware of Heberto ! Oh, that the proud name of Velasquez should be dishonoured by such a branch! Fear him, my child, fear him as you would the adder thatw^inds his ghstening folds along your path;" and the old man clasped his skeleton fingers upon the sparkhng crucifix which lay upon his breast and after remaining silent for a few moments, he lifted his aged eyes to heaven and said, " Holy Mary ! take her ! she is thy child, thy sister ! Be a mother to my child, dear Mary, Mother of Jesus ! and as thy beloved son surrendered thee to the care of his beloved disciple while he hung expiring on the cross," and he pressed fervently and devotionally the jewelled representative to his lips, " so do I, a poor penitent worm of the dust, here and on my dying bed, give up to thee, my child—my only beloved child ! Thou hast her mother in heaven. Oh keep her daughter while on earth ! Mary, Mother ! in the language of thy idying son, I say, ' Mother, behold thy daughter !' '*

The venerable man, Avho in his momentary devotion had raised himself from the sustaining arm of his daughter, as he uttered the last words, fell back upon the pillow exhausted.

" Oh, Agata! Agata!" shrieked the deeply-affected and terrified girl, " Come ! hasten ! my father is dying."

The door of the anti-chamber burst open, and the tall figure of young Heberto Velasquez stood before her as she turned to look for her aged attendant, wrapped in a dark blue cloak, and his features shaded by a drooping sombrero.

" Ha, my charming cousin ! what has tuned that pretty voice so high." he said in a gay, yet unpleasant tone ; at the same time coming forward and bending gracefully down, he passed his arm around the waist of the lovely girl.

The maiden sprung as if a demon had laid his polluted hand upon her person. " Heberto ! Seiior Velasquez ! " and she stood before him as she spoke—her eye flashing with maidenly indignation— her cheek glowing with insulted modesty, and her majestic figure and attitude like that of a seraph whom Satan had dared to tempt. " What mean you, sir ? begone ! Would you press your hateful suit to the daughter, over the corpse of her father ? Begone, I hate you !—more than I have ever loved —I now hate you ! Oh shame, shame! that I should ever have loved thee!" and her lip, eye and brow, expressed withering scorn.

" Leave me, sir !" she added, as she saw that he moved not. But the bold and unblushing intruder^ although his eye quailed before the proud look of the maiden, stood with folded arms, a fierce brow, and malicious, lip, gazing upon her, as she turned to bathe the aged temples of the unconscious invalid and restore him to animation. " Ijeave me, sir ; Ohj let not my father revive and find you here. It

will kill him. You know he cannot endure you, soulless man, since you brought that fatal will for him to sign."

'' Ha, do you throw it in my teeth, pretty one ! But prithee tell me, when first learned you the part of tragedy queen? Nombre de Dios, my pretty cousin ! but you play your part excellently w ell."

" Scorner ! Insulter ! away—Oh that the count were here to chastise insolence 1"

" The count," sloAvly repeated Velasquez, grinding the hated appellation betAveen his glittering teeth, as he slowly articulated it.

At this moment the old man unclosed his eyes. " Go, sir, go—Avould 3?^ou murder him ? " she exclaimed, while her dark eye flashed with anger.

" He will die full soon enough Avhen his ingots are gone," repeated Velasquez, scornfully. " I will go, my queenly cousin ; but the time perhaps may not be far off, when you will sue for this same Velasquez to stay, and with clasped hands and tearful eyes pray him to speak you kindly; then Avill he remember this evening. Adios, estrella mia !" he added Avith a mock, sentimental air, and kissing his hand, a\ hile he cast oxer the Aoluptuous outline of her shoulders, as, in her sacred duty she bent affectionately OA^er her father's form, a glance of mingled desire and hatred, he pressed his hat OA^er his eyes, folded his cloak closelier about his form, and left the apartment.

VV^ith a firm and rapid pace he passed through the hall, and traAcrsed the deserted apartments of the large mansion, his aa ay hghted by the moon, which poured in floods of radiance at the open and shutterless AA^ndoAAs. Opening, and closing carefully after him, a door AA^iich communicated AA^th the opposite AA^ng, he descended a broken staircase, into a dark Aault beneath, and unlocking a small door

concealed on the outside by thick shrubbery, he pushed aside the bushes, and stood in the moonUght.

"By the blessed Baptista !" he exclaimed, as he emerged from the secret portal, '' if these men betray me! Yet, without me they cannot hunt out the old dotard's hoard. But if I am the buccaneer's tool, you have lost your wits, Velasquez, if he shall not be yours." And the dark plotter against a helpless old man, and his lovely and unprotected child, smiled inwardly at the pleasant thought his fertile brain conjured up, as he paced to and fro, beneath the shade of a large tamarind tree, which grew near that wing of the mansion.

"What can keep them?" he muttered, as a fancied sound in a clump of bushes, upon which his eye was often turned, stayed for a moment his footsteps.

"It is a full half hour since they answered my signal. Cesar has been long absent! The black loiterer shoidd have had them here, ere now."

" A shrine to thee, patron saint!" he suddenly exclaimed, devoutly kissing a medal, suspended to his collar, "there is the square figure of my naked Adonis; and that tall figure! I know it well; once seen it is not soon forgotten ; and there follow his sturdy villains. Now, Herberto Velasquez, thou art a made man !"

" Senores, buenos tardes," he said, gaily advancing a few steps to meet the approaching party, as it emerged from the avenue, and traversed the terrace to the place of appointment. "My good sir captain, you are right gladly welcome to my poor domicil. If it please you, draw up your men in this shade, while we walk aside," he added, proffering his hand to the leader of the party.

" Sir Spaniard, pardon me that I grasp not the hand of a villain/' replied the chief, without removing his hand from the cutlass hilt, upon which it

VOL. I.—7

mechanically rested. " Nay, start not \ and leave that rapier in peace. I know you, though we have met but seldom. Thanks, or courtesy, I owe you not. This adventure is not of my seeking ; it is the ill-begotten offspring of mutiny on the part of my men, who v/ill be in no other way appeased, and of treachery, ingratitude, and base villany on your own. Now, Seiior, to business ; but let there be no friendship, and but few words between us."

Velasquez bit his lip in silence, and his inferior spirit shrunk within him, as these biting words rung upon his ear; and the penetrating, self-powered gaze of the pirate rested, while he spoke, full upon his features. But his love of wealth overcame any momentary struggles of wounded pride, and he replied in a less assured tone than he had used, when first addressing his companion.

" It is well, Senor," he said, carelessly, " if you choose to be captious on so slight a matter. But ^tis a blessed chance my pretty cousin heard not your romancing. I w^ould wager my gold-headed rapier against the iron one you wear, that she would have loved you outright."

" Your sword is more likely to be lost in such a wager, than in one of battle," was the contemptuous reply; "but I came not here to lay wagers with you, Don Velasquez, either of coin or battle. To the matter in hand. We have no time for idle dallying, and I am not given to bandying words. For the privilege of taking possession of the large sum of money in the possession of your uncle, you are to be allowed one-half for your own personal use, on condition, that without turmoil or bloodshed, injury to persons or property, you conduct my men to your uncle's strong-hold. These," he added, after a moment's silence, " are the terms we made in Kingston. Say I not w^ell, Seiior?"

"There remains one other condition," replied

Yelasquez, with the caution of practised villany; ^' that mutual secrecy be sacredly observed between us, in relation to the removal of the treasures."

'• Even so, wary Senor Velasquez ; that the robbed old man may lay all censure upon the pirates, whom you would make the scape-goat of your treachery to your uncle, and curse them when he talks of his loss to his sympathizing nephew, if, haply, he lives to relate the sad story. Well, lead on, Seiior, we follow," he added, sternly.

" Call two of your strongest men," said Velasquez, " let them accompany us, and command the rest to stand as close as possible with their weapons ready for use, in case of alarm; and enjoin upon them to observe the strictest silence. Now, sir ! shall we move ? "

" Theodore, be alert, our lives depend upon it," said the chief to his young attendant; and, followed by two of his men, he approached the secret opening, guided by Velasquez, who had constructed it for his own private admission into the vault, when his lavish purse required replenishing ; although, a certain indefinable respect for his name and respectal^iUty among men, prevented him from openly robbing his benefactor, or removing sufficiently large sums to excite suspicion.

Accident, in some of his \'isits to Jamaica, had thrown him into the company of the commander of the schooner, with whom, from a supposed congeniality of character, he sought to cultivate an intimacy. Ignorant of human nature, whose outward seeming is often the most false, and anxious to be regarded by the outlaw as a caballero of mettle; Avithout knowing his exact character, and thinking he must assimilate himself to the false standard of an outlaw set up in his own mind, he threw into his manner a reckless mss, lawlessness, and ferocity, which was, however,

jaatural to him, disgusting to the chief, who took no pains to conceal his contempt for him. Subsequently, a knowledge of a threatened mutiny among his men, suggested to the dark-minded man a scheme, not only to gain wealth himself, without suspicion, or rather, proof of illegal acquisition, but to do the pirate, whose fellowship, like the cur who is beaten, he coveted the more he was spurned, a favour that should purchase his good will.

Putting aside the thick clumps of the oleander, concealing the secret opening into the vault of the building, Yelasquez and his companions entered the low-arched room communicating with the apartment above, by the shattered stair-case he had descended on quitting his cousin.

'• It is too dark to place a foot! Are you provided with a lantern ? " he inquired, in a whisper, carefully and without noise, closing the door, as the last man entered.

"Here is one," said the seaman nearest him, opening, at the same time, one side of the night lantern, with which nearly every man was provided.

The guide took it from him, and passing round the stairs, opened a door he had purposely left unlocked, and entered a long damp passage, the extremity of which lay in total darkness. The outlaw placed his hand upon his stiletto, and glanced, with habitual watchfulness, around him, as he approached its obscure and suspicious termination. At the end of the passage, which they crossed Avith light footsteps, they passed through another door, the key of which was in the lock, and entered a low-vaulted room, directly under the inhabited wing of the mansion.

The floor was paved with large flat stones, and

besides the door, through which they entered, there was no perceptible outlet.

" Here is the room adjoining the money," said Velasquez, in a low, husky voice, with his face averted from the gaze of him whom he addressed. " Be silent; the least noise will betray us :— Hark ! did you not hear the report of a gun ? No, it was a movement overhead." The momentary suspicion and apprehension of detection, which are the attendants of guilt, passed off, ajid he continued,—

" Look at this wall, sir! you see it is perfectly smooth ; yet through it we pass to my uncle's gold bags," said he, Avith a forced smile, as he shook off his fears, and those qualms of conscience which tortured even his hardened spirit. Then, pressing' against one of the sides of a large square stone, it turned half way round, on a concealed pivot, and displayed a narrow opening on either side.

" This is too small; we cannot pass through it," said the pirate, now speaking for the first time since entering the vault.

Without replying, Velasquez pressed the sides of the two lower stones in the same manner, and two dark, narrow passages, nearly the height of a man, and so wide, that one could pass sideways, were opened in the wall.

Holding the lamp, so that it would illuminate the interior, a narrow, spiral stair-case was discovered, leading both into the upper room, where the outlet was concealed by a private door, and from the spot where they stood, into a subterranean vault beneath—constituting a medium of communication between the upper room and the vault, and from the stair-case, by revolving the stones, to the exterior of the building, by the way the party had entered. ' " You see, my uncle is a true Spaniard, senor captain, in his taste for subterranean and secret 7*

passages !" said Velasquez. " Pity ' tis, his ingenuity should not have had eyes to admire it before. He should thank me, by our Lady's benison, for making known to a man of judgment, like yourself, his passing skill. See! how secretly he can descend hom his chamber to count his ingots! though to do the old dotard justice, he possesses not a miserly soul. This passage in the wall must, however, be set down to his nephew's ingenuity. It w^ould astonish the old man, as much as if a new Roman miracle were hatched, (the saints pardon my impiety!) if he should press too heavily against the sides of his stair-way, and pitch, at once, into this room. I would give half I expect to possess this night, to see his aghast features, w^hen he made the discovery. But I see you are impatient, seiior captain,—let us proceed," he added hastily, as his companion sprung into the opening on the staircase ; and following him, they descended into the vault, over which the lamp cast a dim and uncertain light.

The little room, or cell, in which they now w^ere, was arched over-head—the walls were constructed of solid masonry, and there was visible neither outlet nor inlet, save, at the foot of the stall's, that which admitted them.

Around the room, which was about eight feet square, stood several antique marble urns, blackened by age and dampness, which had once constituted a part of the ornaments of the villa grounds in the days of its pride. These urns were covered with slabs, once capitals and pedestals.

A heavy cedar box, with a cover loosely thrown over it, stood on one side, while, on a raised floor, were candlesticks, urns, a tall crucifix, and many vessels for the altar and festal board, all of massive silver.

'' Mines of Peru! but here is a goodly display of

wealth !" said the pirate, glancing his eye over the glittering array before him. " Let us see what these urns contain. Coin of silver ! coin of silver ! chains of gold! bracelets! glittering stones, and gems of price!" said he, as he removed one after another of the slabs which covered them. " And ^ here, in this strong box," he continued, removing the lid, " what have we here ? Holy Saint Peter ! but here is a prince's ransom indeed;" and the rough corners of a heap of ingots sparkled with a thousand points in the rays of the lamp.

'•Here, Senor Captain, is the prize you seek," said Velasquez, exultingly, after waiting until he had surveyed the costly heaps. " Let your men take the box of ingots, the vessels of silver, and the urn of golden chains, gems, and bracelets; for my portion, leave me the remaining urns of dollars —though something less than what you share—I am content with them. But remember your oath of secrecy."

" That will I, Senor Velasquez," said the outlaw, in a lively tone ; " and I consent to this division."

The sight of so much Avealth, which he had to lay his hands upon only to possess, and the prospect of restoring discipline in his fleet, overcame for the moment his contempt for the tool that served him, and his regret at taking possession of the wealth of a defenceless old man. " But," he argued, as he and others, under similar circumstances, had argued before, " if I do not take it, Velasquez will; but I have sworn on bended knee that a sacred portion should be reserved for the daughter-! Innocence has been too long the victim of guilt! The last shall now be subservient to the first. Come, Senor Velasquez," he said abruptly, aloud, " let us to work. Here^ Gaspar, you and Nicolas raise this box; it is weighty, but you were not blessed with the neck and shoulders of bulls for nothing. No!

not move it 7 Then lighten it—there—thats' well. Now bear it to the outside, and bid Theodore send Mateo and Carlos back with you—be silent and speedy."

The men, placing an open lantern upon the cover of the box to light them through the dark passage of the building, disappeared slowly up the stairs with their heavy burden, while the two principals who remained, the one—Avith folded arms leaning against the side of the vault, and the other, with his right hand thrust into his bosom, the left resting upon a slab—stood silently and in darkness awaiting theii* return.


" The wealth in gold, silver, and jewels, brought away from Mexico by the Spanish exiles, exceeds belief. Their riches, ultimately, by pre-aeniing temptation to the lawless and vicious, became the instrumenta of their destruction. In some of the West India islands, the military were often called from their posts to defend remote dwelhngs, inhabited by these Spanish Dons, against bands of freebooters."


" A strong proof of Divine oversight in relation to human affairs, ia the entrapping of the guilty in the gins they have set for others. This retributive system is daily presented to our knowledge. The most perfect consummation of Divine justice on earth, is, no doubt, when the criminal receives his just punishment, accidentally, by the hand of his intended victim."


After Velasquez left the apartment of the insulted and distressed maiden, her firmness and womanly indignation forsook her with the object that called it into existence, and burying her face in the pillow of her father's couch, she wept bitterly.

" Daughter ! Constanza ! why do you not speak to me ?" called the old man in a tremulous voice, his consciousness gradually returning. '' My child weeping ! do not weep for me, my dear Constanza. I—am—better—better—much—quite—quite well," he feebly articulated in a broken voice, which contradicted his words. " It grieves me to see your

eyes in tears ; let me take your hand in mine, mi alma! Tell me why those tears ?" he inquii'ed, with parental kindness.

" Nay, I weep not, father," replied the lovely girl, brushing the fast falling tears from her eye-lashes ; " now that you are well, I am happy, very happy," and she laid affectionately her dimpled hand upon her parent's fevered brow. " Oh, I have di-eamed a fearful dream, mi alma," suddenly spoke her father, starting with the recollection. " I dreamed that Velasquez, with a guilty lip, sought to desecrate your virgin cheek—"

" Nay, nay, my dear father, it was but a dream," interrupted the blushing girl, with a nervous rapidity in the tones of her voice. " Will you not sleep ? the hour wears late, and I would see you sleep. Oh, my father, try and sleep for your Constanza's sake —live for your child." she said, as a sense of her loneliness, if he should be taken from her, coming vividly to her mind, alarmed her. %

" I will, I will, daughter. Do you not recollect, siveet wife, when first I called you mine ; you were young, then, and beautiful; 'tis a great while ago, and yet you are still as lovely as when crowned a virgin bride. But methinks time has changed me strangely ! Why do you weep, Isabel ? We are not all alone. Our Uttle daughter is with us. Shall Constanza not be our earthly blessing ? When I am old and feeble will she not bless our pillow ?"

" Father ! father ! oh, my dear, dear father ! do you not know your daughter ? your own beloved Constanza, who speaks to you ?" cried the distressed girl, as from his wandering language, the conviction of her father's danger pressed upon her mind.

" Yes, my child," said the aged parent, recovering from his temporary alienation of mind, " you are indeed Constanza !" and she kneeled by his pillow, and was pressed affectionately to his bosom.


Whilst father and daughter, locked in each other's arms, presented this lovely and touching picture of filial and parental love, a low murmuring, apparently from the vault beneath, aroused them from their endearing interchange of affection.

''Hist, child! what sounds are those?" She raised her head and hstened; and the ringing of metal, and whispered words came up from below.

"Blessed Virgin! there is mischief near," she cried, in alarm.

'' Jesu, Jesu Maria! my ingots! my gold ! " exclaimed the old man, chnging with the penurious characteristic of opulent old age, to that wealth he could no longer use. '' There are robbers below! my child, oh, my child, you are a beggar !"

With suddenly bestowed strength he sprang from his couch, and seizing a pistol hanging near him, he pressed with his thumb the knob from which he took it, and a narrow door, hitherto concealed bv the peculiar architecture of the room, flew open, displaying the winding stairway leading to the vault, and at the same instant a light flashed full in his haggard face from the aperture.

" We are discovered!" shouted a voice from below.

"It is the old man!" exclaimed Velasquez: " finish him-dead men tell no tales;" and a click of a pistol followed the words of the speaker.

"What mean you, sir Spaniard," interposed the deep, manly voice of the pirate ; " would you do murder? What fear you from a childish old man ? For shame ! put up your pistol. Be livelv, men," he added, with a quicker tone, " and convey this last load to the men without.—Stand back, Senor Velasquez," he cried in a loud voice; " attempt to pass this stair, and, by St. Barabbas! little service shall this night's treachery do you. Cielos ! what is this ! he exclaimed, as the blood spouted from the temples

of the Spaniard, whilst the report of a pistol, levelled by the old man at the scarcely seen marauders, thundered in the close vault like the explosion of a mine. The Spaniard sprung backward, and fell dead upon the urns of silver, for which he had sold both honour and life, with a fearful execration upon his livid hp.

" Thus perish treachery by the hand of its victim," exclaimed the pirate. " This is likely to be no small night's work ; stand where you are Seii-or," he added, addressing Don Yelasquez, who was descending the stair-case, " there shall no harm come nigh you ; the man you had most to fear has received the reward of his deeds. Stay your hand, old man ! do you dare me with steel ?" he demanded, as he struck up from his hands a glittering rapier, he had seized to defend the stairAvay after discharging the pistol.

" Mother of God ! what noise is that without 1 one—two—three, pistols ! my signal! Ho, Carlos, Mateo, what ?" he emphatically demanded, as his two assistants rushed past the old man and leaped into the vault. " What, villains^ what 7" and big voice rung through the passages.

" We are surprised, sir ! The report of the pistol, and the shrieks of some old slaves, were answered by a shout from a distance. Immediately a blue light illuminated the barracks, and a musket was discharged to give the alarm. Just as I came in, I could already hear the tramp of horses, and the clanging of armour along the highway. There must have been mounted troops abroad to be on horse so soon." This information was given with rapidity and energy by the seaman.

" It is as I feared," said the chief, calmly, ''the dragoons are upon us !" and drawing his cutlass, " follow !" he cried to his men. And as the speediest way of gaining the outside of the building, he sprang

Up the stalls into the room above, gently putting the old man aside, as he emerged into the chamber.

" Save, oh save my father !" shrieked his daughter, who had clung to his neck during the scene we have described, striving to prevent him from rushing below, and, who now threw herself upon his breast, intervening her person as a shield between the pirate's cutlass and her parent's bosom. " Save, oh spare his life !" and she extended her arms imploringly. '• Take, take all, but let my father Uve."

" Fear not, fair maiden," repUed the chief in a tone of deep respect, that fell like the voice of hope upon her heart, struck with her extraordinary loveliness ; '• do not be alarmed, your lives and honour are sacred in the hands of Lafitte !"

'• Lafitte ! oh God !" shrieked the maiden ; and raised her eyes to heaven, clasped her snowy fingers and would have fallen, had not the outlaw caught her in his arms.

" Oh my daughter, my daughter !" cried the helpless old man, weakened and nervous from excitement, " what will become of you ?" and falling upon his knees before the pirate, he supphcat-ed his mercy.

" Oh, take all, take all—gold, jewels, all, but leave me my Constanza—my only child ! the blest image of her mother !" and the furrowed cheeks of the old father, as he pleaded for his child, were running with tears. " For the sake of thy mother," he continued, with energy, '' for the sake of the blessed Virgin, take not away my only child!" and the old man clasped the knees of the buccaneer, and fell upon his face and wept.

" Venerable Seiior, rise up, your daughter shall not be taken from you," replied Lafitte, raising tenderly the prostrate old man from' the ground.

VOL I.—8

Constanza, when she felt that the pirate supported her form, at once, by a strong mental effort, rose superior to her Aveakness, and was preparing to bound from him ; but when she saw that he did not detain her, and that he spoke kindly and soothingly to her father, she thought a voice of so much tenderness, could not belong to so bad a man as the pirate had been represented to her. And when he placed her father's form in her arms, she looked up into the outlaw's face with greater confidence.

" Senor, I will believe you, w^e wall trust in you, for, oh ! what else can we do ? but go, do go from us ! take the gold you came for, and depart! Leave me and my father; we can be happy w^ithout wealth ; he is too old to use it, and, I—I care not for it—take it; it is yours, freely bestowed."

" Maiden," he repUed, with an embarrassed air, and a flush like shame suffusing his brow, whilst the shouts of the dragoons approaching the villa, rung unheeded in his ears. '• Maiden, I thank you, and feel grateful for your confidence; it is not ill placed. The treasure it is out of my power to command, or I would return it; it is in the hands of my men, arid at their disposal, not mine. But here," he added, after an instant's hesitation, kneeling, and taking her hand, which she instantly withdrew, " here is a treasure dearer to me than all else beside!" and he gazed with impassioned, yet respectful tenderness, upon the pale features of the surprised girl.

" Pardon me/' he added with earnestness, as he observed the maidenly embarrassment, his abrupt address produced, " pardon me, that I make use of such untimely language, at this moment, but there is a tumult abroad—I hear the ringing of steel, the shouts of fighting men, and the firing of musketry. I must speak to you now ! Listen to me, lady, I beseech ! See, I am a suppliant at your feet I"

*' Oh Senor, I implore you, think not of me ! go ! your men call their chief ! Go, you will be taken, and your life will be sacrificed."

As she spoke, a rich colour played over her cheek, and mantled her brow, and her dark, up-raised eye, betrayed deep and strange interest, in the safety of the pirate—the fruit of a struggle between resentment, and kindness, in her bosom ; and her dishevelled hair, fell, a dark cloud of ringlets, over her neck and bosom, which heaved like a gently agitated billow.

" Maiden, unless your lips pronounce forgiveness, —without one ray of hope I cannot go. Speak, Senora, but one word !"

" I do forgive you, senor, but leave me. Hark, that shout! delay another moment, and you are lost."

'• I will obey you, lady, and leave my cause to you and heaven !" he said, seizing, and pressing her hand to his lips ; then, as the noise without increased, he drew a pistol from his belt, and casting back a lingering look, expressive of mingled hope and fear, while a smile mantled his handsome features, he rushed from the apartment on to the terrace. The next moment, she heard his footsteps dying away, in the direction of the sounds of contest, which from the firing and cries of the combatants, seemed to be already fierce and bloody.

Constanza, as the pirate disappeared, laid her father's head upon a pillow, and leaving him to the troubled sleep, into v/hich he had sunk from exhaustion, leaned from the window, and looked forth upon the lovely moon, which, in its nightly watch, never shone upon a sweeter face.

The sounds of conflict had receded till they were lost in the distance; and all was still and motionless, save a few white clouds sailing along tlie blue heavens, a slight waving of the foUage

about the window ; and the irregular heaving of her bosom.

She stood, and communed with her own thoughts. " Strange! stange/' said she, mentally, " but that voice, so rich, and full of tenderness ! how my heart bounded, when I heard him address my poor father! where can I have heard it ? How singularly it affected me 1 and can he be Lafitte ? that dreadful man! proscribed among men—a price set upon his head! hated, shunned, and feared by all ! Yet, how very noble looking he is, and so humane! And his eyes, how dark and pierciijg. He is certainly, very handsome! But,*" and her cheek paled, as she gave utterance to her thoughts, " oh, holy Virgin, I fear him, the language he used ! oh, lost, lost Constanza! If beloved by this outlaw, better have been the bride of Velasquez, than the—the—oh, dear Madonna, help now, for I know not what to do !" and she covered her face with her hands, and the tears forced their Avay through her taper fingers.

" Oh that Alphonse were here," she at length continued ; " my own Alphonse ! Dreary weeks he has been absent, and yet he comes not. How have I Avatched day after day, for the glimmer of his white sails, upon the horizon. Oh, that he were here to-night'! when, Avhen, will he come ? ' and she rung her hands, and leaned despondingly upon the window.

Suddenly, the report of a pistol, followed by the sound of running feet, and now and then, a cry, as of men pursuing and pursued, startled her from her reverie ; and instantly, the scenes she had gone through, passed vividly before her mind, and she awoke, at once, to a full consciousness of the loneliness, and utter helplessness of her situation.

Hastening, instantly, as the noise increased, to the side of her father, as though protection could

be found in his feeble arm, she awaited, Hke the panting fawn, with throbbing heart, and alarmed eye, the coming danger. The sounds came nearer and nearer, and the hasty tread of armed men was heard upon the terrace, followed by a heavy sound, as if one had leaped, at a bound, from the ground on to the piazza. Hardly had Con-stanza time to move from the surprised attitude in which those appalling sounds arrested her, or conjecture their nature, when, springing in through the window, which she had just left to cling to her father, Lafitte once more stood before her.

His eye was illuminative with a fierce light, his lip was compressed, and blood was upon his brow and hand, which grasped a dripping cutlass.

'• Oh God ! oh God !" shrieked the terrified girl, as this sudden apparition appeared before her, and fell senseless upon the floor. The outlaw though closely pursued, paused for an instant, with indecision, and then, hastily raised her with the air of one, who had, at the moment, decided upon a certain mode of conduct. Scarcely had he lifted her drooping form upon his muscular arm, when the window was filled with soldiers, thirsty for the blood of the daring outlaw.

" Back, sirs ; or, by the holy God, I will bury this weapon in this maiden's bosom !" he cried in a resolute tone; and he grasped his cutlass near the point, shortening it, hke a stiletto, and elevated his arm.

The soldiers hesitated to enter.

" What, cowards ! do you value a girl's life, when Lafitte is the prize ? " said the fierce voice of their leader ; " follow me ! " and he sprung in at the window—to fall back upon his men, a stiffened corpse; while the report of a pistol, discharged behind Lafitte, rung through the room.

" Ha Carlos ! is that you 'I " said Lafitte, as he 8*

looked round to see from whence the shot was fired.

"Yes, Senor," he hastily replied, " escape through the old man's door—down the stairs—and out through the passage. I have just passed through, and the coast is clear. I will keep the red devils at bay," said he quickly.

" Good, my Carlos—but the old man! we cannot leave him," and he pointed to the couch.

'• Little will he know whether he be taken or left. The old man's commission has run out," said he, laying his rough hand upon the cold temples of the old Spaniard—" Dead, dead enough, senor !"

" Poor, poor child, how will she bear it!" said Lafitte with interest—" How now," he added quickly, " here they come like so many blood-hounds."

The soldiers without, who were engaged in loud and noisy altercation among themselves, as to who should first enter and seize the outlaw, now hailed with a shout the sound of hoofs, and the ringing of sabres and spurs, announcing a reinforcement.

" This fair girl must be my breast-plate—dash out that light, and follow me !" cried the pirate ; and springing through the secret door, he disappeared with his lovely burden. Carlos darted after him and hastily closed the door, which received a shower of bullets from half a dozen horse pistols, levelled at his retreating form.

'' Well done, Carlos," said Lafitte, approvingly; " now open your lantern and lead the way."

Rapidly traversing the dark passages, they soon left behind them the sounds of rage and disappointment, vented by their pursuers on entering the room, and finding their victims had escaped in some mysterious manner.

" That torch here, William ! " said the dragoon officer," how in the ^devil could he have escaped!

There is no sign of an outlet here—he must be in league with Beelzebub to have slipped away thus. Ha ! who is this ?—old Don Velasquez I—and dead too!—Poor old soldier—money, daughter, life,— all in one hour! But mount men, mount! to horse !—this outlaw has escaped by some subterranean passage in this old Spanish house—and will double upon us like an old hare—Ho ! surround the house —to horse ! " Leaping from the window he bounded across the gallery, and mounted, followed by half a score of his followers; and putting spurs to his horse, he made a rapid sweep around the dwelling.

But before his pursuers had taken horse, Lafitte threaded the subterranean passages of the building, and emerged from the secret door into the bright moonlight, and with the speed of the hunted «tag, crossed the open lawn and entered the avenue which led towards the sea-shore. This path was exposed for some distance, to the eye of an observer, from the piazza of the villa, and as the dragoons completed their survey of the grounds immediately surrounding the house, and met at the end of the wing, near the tamarind tree,—the white robes of the maiden glared upon the eyes of the leader.

" As I thought—on I there is our game," he cried, burying his spurs deep into the horses flanks, and dashing down the avenue, like the wind, followed at speed by his troop.

'^Carlos," cried Lafitte, as he heard the shout, announcing to him that they were on his track. " Now we must put forth all our energies, my brave man. You know the path—go before and we will yet distance them—fly !"—and on they went with the rapidity of deer, with the hounds but a bound behind them,—passing under trees—crossing from avenue to avenue, and endeavouring, by a

straight line, to gain the cliff instead of following the windings of the paths which were open to the cavalry. Breathless they flew, and at every turn, and opening in the shrubbery, the feet and voices of their pursuers were heard nearer and nearer.

" Now, captain, we are at the end of the grounds, and here is the gate—stoop, sir," said Carlos, darting under the hedge, from which their ebony guide had crawled early in the evening, to conduct them on their expedition.

" Thank God ! we are safe at last—they cannot pass that barrier," exclaimed Lalitte, as he paused a moment, to breathe on the outer side of the hedge, ^' and this fair maiden! " he added wdth sympathy, " she is yet unconscious !"

" Now^, Carlos, once through this wood, without being intercepted, and w^e are safe—forward ! " he said, in an assured tone ; and raising his lifeless burden, he moved swiftly through the forest, while the shouts and execrations of their pursuers, as they found their prey had eluded their pursuit, rung in their ears.

The fugitives had nearly gained the cliff, when a sudden galloping on their left, told them that their pursuers had found a way to clear the hedge. Looking back, they discovered tlieir arms gleaming through the trees, and the whole troop dashing forward in full cry.

Drawing his belt tighter around him, bringing his cutlass hilt to his grasp, and changmg his still lifeless burden to the other arm, with renewed speed, the outlaw bounded through the dark glades of the forest. Every moment lessened his distance from his pursuers—and just as he was ascending a slight eminence, commanding a view of the sea, and near the verge of the cliff, beneath which their vessel lay—the foremost horseman was w^ithin pistol shot of them.

"Surrender, sir pirate! surrender!" he shouted as he levelled his long pistol, and deeper plunged his spurs into the sides of his foaming steed ; the next instant horse and rider would have been upon the buccaneer, when drawing a pistol from his.girdle, and half turning in his flight, he fired upon the dragoon. The ball sunk into the forehead of his horse, which, with one plunge forward, fell lifeless upon his rider—and the ball of his pistol, which he discharged while falling, passed through the cap of the pirate. The remainder of the troop were close upon him. but the fate of their comrade, for a moment checked their speed.

" Hold there, for your Uves, men!" shouted their commmding officer who had been outridden by his troop—and now came up—" hold, do not fire, but surround and take him. It were better that he should escape, than that fair girl should be injured."

"A hundred guineas to him," he added "who captures him, dead or alive—but if the lady suffer harm, let him who gives the blow, beware ! "

The so'diers sullenly returned their pistols to their holsters and drew their swords. But there were now other objects on which to exercise them ; for at the same moment appeared a party of the pirate s crew, armed with cutlasses and fire-arms, who, leaving the schooner, and marchinsr inland,on hearing: the sitJfnal for succour made by their comrades, were returning, without meeting with them—they having, with the exception of Lafitte, gained the shore by another route, with the loss of two of their number, shot down by the dragoons, and a portion of their booty. Striking their cutlasses against their pistols, with a loud noise—and cheering each other with shouts, they came on at a rapid pace, and before the dragoons could draw and cock their fire-arms to meet this new enemy, they were fired upon with fatal

effect, by the advancing buccaaeers. Here and there, a rider fell from his steed at the discharge, while the wounded animals fled with wild cries through the forest.

" On, on ! revenge for our comrades !" cried the pirates, pressing forward to close with them; creeping under the horses, and passing their cutlasses up through their bodies—dragging the riders, by main force from their seats, or springing behind them, and hurling them bodily to the ground. For a few moments men and horse, were mingled iu a sanguinary and dreadful melee.

The leader of the buccaneers did not, however, derive any personal advantage from this reinforcement; for the captain of dragoons, dismounting, as the pirates made their desperate charge, cried, " Have at you, sir pirate, for my own pleasure, and rescue of that lady;" advancing, as he spoke, with his drawn sword upon his antagonist, who, from the time he had killed the horse and dismounted the dragoon—for a moment checking the pursuit—had stood at bay, and facing his foes, determined to fight his way, step by step, to his vessel.

His eye lighted up with pleasure, as he heard the challenge of the leader of the dragoons—a tall gentlemanly-looking Englishman, with an herculean frame, and a strikingly military air.

Anxious to get safe to his schooner his lovely shield, whom he internally resolved should be forever his, although he had first taken her up to favour his own escape, when, closely pursued, he retreated to the villa—he still moved slowly backward, facing his advancing foe. In his left arm he supported Constanza, her unconscious head laid upon his shoulder, while he wnelded his formidable cutlass in his right hand, upon which he received the ringing steel of the officer.

In vain the Englishman used every device of art,

and each favourite ruse, and as uselessly did he follow blow on blow, with tremendous force. The pirate coolly received his descending weapon upon his cutlass at every stroke, and acting only on the defensive, still retreated steadily to the verge of the chff.

" Now have at you, sir Englishman!" he cried, as he reached the head of the defile leading to his vessel. " Now have at you, in my turn. If you love Lafitte so well, he will give you a lasting mark of his friendship. So, there !" he added, suddenly and emphatically, as the officer, at first making a feint, aimed a heavy blow at his head, which he intended should be his coup de grace. " So. there ! " and while he received his antagonist's sword upon his own guard, by a peculiar motion of his cutlass, with the same movement of his arm, he whirled it from his grasp high into the air, and making a sweep over his head, his rapid cutlass whistling through the air, descended and nearly severed the left arm of the Enghshman from his body. The officer groaned, and fell heavily upon the ground, while Lafitte descended with rapidity the narrow defile to his schooner.

"Ho! Theodore ! are you there, my boy ?"^ he said, as he saw the slight form of the youth upon the deck ; " receive this lady, and convey her to the starboard state-room, and try to restore her. Jacques, be out of this place as soon as possible."

" The anchor is apeak, sir," replied his lieutenant; " and the boat is ahead with a tow-fine : shall we move, sir?"

" No, no! hold on, here come the men! Spring aboard, every one of you! " The seamen came hastily down the gorge, leaving two-thirds of their number behind them, while the voices of the soldiers were heard in full cry in pursuit, some bearing wounded comrades, and others portions of the booty,

the most of which, was already safely got on board. As soon as the last man touched the deck, the commander uttered his orders for making sail with rapidity.

" Hoist away the jib and mainsail; set the topgallant-sails and royals ; ^ve must make every thing tell! Give w^ay, men ! " he shouted to the manned boat ahead ; " steadily ! there she moves ! bear off from that crag ! bend to those spars, men ! now she moves ! Pull heartily and cheerily, men, or we shall be intercepted by a guarda costa !"

" A curse upon this night's work," he said to himself, turning and walking aft as the schooner yielded to the efforts of the crew. " This is well called the Devil's Punch Bowl, and he is likely to have us all for ingredients, for his next bumper."

In a few moments the dark-hulled schooner, under the sweeps, the slightly drawing royals, and by the aid of the tow-boat, glided swiftly over the black, glassy flood, and in a few minutes, moved through the narrow entrance of the basin into the open bay. Rapidly passing, with a strengthening breeze, the needles or pinnacles of rock which girted the little harbour, her tall masts covered with clouds of canvass, and bounding with a lively motion before the night-breeze, she left behind her the land, and the scenes of death and desolation her presence had created, and swiftly and steadily stood for the open sea.