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THE WHITE DOVE.BY THE AUTHOR OF"THE BASKET OF FLOWERS," ETC.N. TIBBALS & SON,87 PARK ROW, AND 145 NASSAU STREET,NEW YORK.1871.
EDINBURGH:PRINTED BY SCHENCK AND M'FARLANE,ST JAMES' SQUARE.
THE WHITE DOVE.CHAPTER I.HOW AGNES GOT HER WHITE DOVE.N the old castle of Falkenbourg,on the Rhine, there lived, manyyears ago, a Knight named Theo-bald, with Othilia his wife. The Knightwas generous and brave. His powerfulprotection was extended to all around.The Countess Othilia distributed aroundher numerous alms. She visited the sickin the neighbouring villages; and the castlewas the unfailing refuge of all unfortunate
4 THE WHITE DO VE.persons who had need of succour. Theonly child of these excellent parents, Agnes,about eight years of age, was, for goodnessand for gentleness, without an equal in thewhole world. Her highest enjoyment wasto do good. Parents and daughter wereheld in veneration throughout the wholecountry; and the traveller, who perceivedfrom a distance the lofty towers of Fal-kenbourg, blessed, from the bottom of hisheart, the benevolent persons who in-habited it. The blessing of God seemedto rest, in a visible manner, upon the headof Theobald, and of his family. Howevernumerous were the alms that they distri-buted, they never themselves experiencedwant.One bright, hot summer day, the Coun-tess and Agnes, on rising from luncheon,opened a little door in the wall of thecourt-yard, and descended the long stonestaircase that led to a garden, which wassituated on the declivity of the hill. Whenthe'arrived there, they saw with pleasure
THE WHITE DO VE. 5that the tender buds of the rose were be-ginning to open, and the sweet violets tobloom.They stopped for a moment near a foun-tain that was situated in the middle of thegarden; and they amused themselves withwatching the play of the water, which roseto a great height, reflecting the rays of thesun, and falling back into the basin in athousand little drops, glittering with allthe colours of the rainbow. They seatedthemselves beneath the shade of an arbourthat was closed in with an elegant trellis,and set to work, upon a garment that wasdestined for a poor orphan. All was silentand peaceable in the garden, and the deepcalm was interrupted only by the voice ofthe linnet, that from the top of the neigh-bouring tree, mingled, from time to time,its melodious notes with the gentle murmurof the fountain.Suddenly, something caused a rustlingin the midst of the foliage that surroundedthem; but the movement was so rapid,
6 THE WHITE DO VE.that they could not perceive the causethat produced it; and they looked aroundwith affright. Soon, a large bird camebounding against the entrance to thearbour, and remained for some momentssuspended in the air, with its broad wingsspread out to the winds; but, as soon asit perceived that some persons were there,it took flight with the utmost rapidity.Agnes was so much frightened, that shehad not courage enough to lift up hereyes, to see what had occasioned the noisethat she had just heard. Her mothersmiled, and said to her:"Don't be afraid, Agnes. Perhaps itis only a poor little bird flying from thetalons of a vulture."Agnes then took courage and lookedaround her. "Ah! see!" she exclaimed,"it is a dove as white as snow. In itsfright it has come and taken refuge be-hind you."Othilia took it in her hands, and, look-ing at Agnes with earnestness, said to her,
THE WHITE DOVE. 7"This evening, I will have it roasted foryour supper.""Roasted," exclaimed Agnes, with as-tonishment, and she attempted to seizethe dove. "No, good mother," she said;"you are not talking seriously. The poorlittle creature has come to put itself underour protection, and how can you have itkilled ? See how pretty it is! It is aswhite as snow; and its feet are red, andas bright as coral. Ah see how its littleheart is beating! It looks at me witheyes full of innocence: and their suppli-cating expression seems to say, 'Don't dome any ill!' No, charming little bird!I will not harm you.""Very well, my der child!" said hermother tenderly. "You have compre-hended my thought. I only wished to tryyou. Take the dove into your chamber,and give it some food. Do not driveaway the unhappy who come to seekrefuge with us. We ought to extend ourpity to every creature that is suffering,
8 THE WHITE DO VE.and even animals themselves have a rightto our compassion."Agnes had a dove-cage made. The topwas red, and the sides were wooden trellis-work painted green. The dove was placedin it, and she set it in a corner of herchamber. Every day she gave it a goodsupply of food and fresh water, and fromtime to time she renewed the sand at thebottom of the cage. The dove soon be-came accustomed to Agnes, and beganto be very familiar with her. Wheneverits young mistress opened the door of thepretty cage, the bird would take its flight,and would come and peck from the handof the child the little grains of wheat thatshe presented to i; It became no longernecessary to close the door of the cage, asthe dove never attempted to fly away.At daybreak, while Agnes was yetasleep, the dove would come flying andalight on her pillow. It would peck ather until she had risen and given it somefood. Agnes complained of it to her
THE WHITE DOVE. 9mother, and said to her: "I know whatI shall do. In future, I will carefullyshut the door of the cage every evening,and then it will be unable to get out inthe morning.""Do no such thing, Agnes," replied hermother. "Learn rather, by its example,to rise at an early hour yourself. Earlyrising is good for the health, and makesthe heart light and joyful. Do you notblush to be idler than a dove ?"One day Agnes was sitting at an openwindow, and sewing. The dove was peck-ing crumbs that were scattered upon theground, and suddenly it took flight, andperched upon an adjoining roof. Agneswas frightened, and uttered a piercing cry.Her mother came into the room, and askedher the cause of her fright. "Ah, mydove has flown !" exclaimed Agnes, weep-ing; and she pointed to the roof wherethe bird was perched, basking itself in thesun."Call it," said the Countess. Agnes
10 THE WHITE DOVE.did so; and in an instant the dove re-turned to the chamber, and alighted onthe trembling hand of the child. Agneswas delighted with its docility, and hermother said to her."Be always as obedient to my will asthat dove is to yours; and my satisfactionwill be much greater than that which you.have just felt. Will you not for the futuregive me that satisfaction?" Agnes pro-mised to do so, and she kept her word.One day she had been watering theplants and the flowers in the garden, and,fatigued with her work, she seated herselfby the side of her mother upon a grassybank near the fountain. The dove hadbecome so tame that Agnes allowed itfull liberty to fly anywhere as it pleased,and the dove fled from her side to drinkat the fountain. "Look, mother !" saidAgnes, "how cautiously it steps from onestone to another over the moss that coversthem, and how carefully it guards itselffrom the mud that it finds amongst the
THE WHITE DO VE. 11stones! How clean it is! White is themost difficult of all colours to preserve inall its purity, and yet I never perceive theleast spot upon the shining feathers of mypretty dove.""And how careless Agnes is some-- times!" replied her mother, casting hereyes upon the white dress of the child.Agnes, in fact, had not taken care of hergarments, when, with the watering-pot inher hand, she had drawn water from thefountain. She blushed; and, from thattime, her white frock always rivalled thenewly-fallen snow in purity.On another occasion Agnes had takena walk, which had given her much plea-sure, and when she came back to thecastle the dove immediately flew to meether, and testified great pleasure in seeingher again."All day," said a servant, "it has ap-peared sorrowful about your absence, andhas been seeking for you everywhere. Iam astonished that a creature without
12 THE WHITE DO VE.reason should recognise its benefactress,and become so attached to her."" It is true," replied Agnes; "it is thusgrateful to me for the little food that Igive it every day."" But," said her mother to her, " are youyourself always as grateful ? See Youhave enjoyed a great deal of pleasure thisday, and have you returned thanks to Godfor it ? Let the conduct of the bird makeyou ashamed of your own.",Agnes had not yet indeed even thoughtof returning thanks to God; but fromthat time she never gave herself up torepose until she had poured forth her pro-found gratitude to God for all the enjoy-ments and the blessings that He hadheaped upon her during the day.
THE WHITE DO VE. 13CHAPTER II.THE WIDOW AND HER CHILD.E Knight Theobald had returnedto his castle from a successfulexpedition against a band ofrobbers, who had been spreading terrorthroughout the country. Satisfied withthe happy result of his expedition, he satdown to take refreshment, and, with a cupof wine before him, began to relate to hisfamily how he had captured many of therobbers, and delivered them up to justice,and how those that remained had beendispersed in such a way that repose andtranquillity would in the future reignthroughout the country.The narrative continued for a long time.The Countess and Agnes had seated them-selves before their spinning-wheels, andapplied-themselves to their work, listeninghowever to the Knight with the greatest
14 THE WHITE DOVE.attention at the same time. It was grow-ing late, and the lighted lamp was burningon the table, when a beautiful femaleentered the apartment with an imposingair, but paleness on her cheeks. Thestranger was clothed in mourning, andled by the hand a little girl also dressedin black. The Knight, his wife, and Agnesarose and saluted their unknown visitor,who said, in a voice interrupted by sobs:"God preserve you, most noble Knight !Although I have never seen fou before, Icome nevertheless to take refuge with you.I am Rosalind of Hohenbourg, and thischild is my daughter, Emma. You areno doubt acquainted with the afflictionwith which God has visited my house.My beloved husband, the brave Adalric,was killed in the bloody battle fought lastyear. Oh, how much I have lost in him!He was a noble knight, a good and affec-tionate husband, the best of fathers. Youyourself were acquainted with him. Hewas so good to the poor that he has left
THE WHITE DOVE. 15us only a slender inheritance; but, behold,two knights, my neighbours, covetous ofriches, are violently persecuting me, andthey now wish to rob us even of thatwhich is necessary to sustain our exist-ence. One of them wishes to take fromme the fields and the meadows that extendto the foot of the castle; the other wishesto appropriate to himself the extensiveforests that adjoin it on the other side.Since the death of my husband, their dis-positions towards me have totally changed.My beloved husband had a presentimentof what was to happen, and, in dying, hepronounced your name: 'Trust in God,'he said, 'and confide in the Knight Theo-bald, and no enemy shall hurt you!'Prove to me the truth of these last wordsof my dying husband. Ah what willbecome of me if I should lose all my pro-perty? If, some day-but may God pre-serve you from it-you should undergothe fate of my husband, and your wife andthat dear child should find themselves re-
16 THE WHITE DOVE.duced to distress like mine, may they alsothen find an arm to save them."Little Emma, who was about the sameage as Agnes, approached Theobald, andsaid to him, with tears, " Generous knight,be my father, and do not drive me awayfrom you."He preserved a grave and serious de-meanour. As he was accustomed to do,he sat in silence supporting his chin uponhis hand, with his eyes fixed upon theground. Agnes said to him, weeping,"My dear father, have pity upon them.See when my dove, flying from the talonsof a bird of prey, came and put itselfunder my protection, my mother said tome: 'We must not drive away the un-happy who come to put themselves underour protection;' and she rejoiced on seeingmy humanity towards the poor little crea-ture. And this child and her mother, donot they deserve still more compassionand pity than a dove ? Save them fromthe clutches of these worthless knights."
THE WHITE DO VE. 17The Knight, who was deeply moved,answered:. "Very well, my dear Agnes.With the assistance of God, I will savethem. My silence was not from hesita-tion, but I was thinking of the best meansof succouring this noble lady and herchild." The Knight rose, and offered Rosa-lind a chair. Agnes reached one for Emma,and they seated themselves. Othilia leftthe room, and went to prepare a suitablerepast for her unexpected guests; for then,according to the usage of that period, thelady of the house attended to the cares ofthe cookery.Theobald then proceeded to ascertainexactly a knowledge of the principlesupon which the two knights supportedpretensions so lofty; and concluded bysaying: "Madame, as far as I am able tosee, your rights are perfectly established.To-morrow morning at break of day 1 willset out, accompanied by some knights, toexamine into the feasibility of the claimsof your foes. As for you, remain hereB
18 THE WHITE DOVE.with your child until my return, and youshall soon learn the good news that I hopeto return with."The next morning the Knight and hiscompanions departed. At the end of a fewdays Theobald and his followers returned."Good news!" he exclaimed, on enter-ing the apartment. "Your enemies haverenounced their claims, and the dispute isat an end. I must admit, however, thatmy words would have had little effectupon them; but when I declared waragainst either of them who should refuse,they immediately yielded to your claims.And now, noble lady, take courage; nostranger shall in future dare to expel youfrom your domains: consider yourself asunder my protection, and rely upon me atall times."The lady was overwhelmed with joy,and tears of gratitude rose in her eyes."May God," she exclaimed, "repay youfor what you have done for my child andmyself May He preserve you from mis-
THE WHITE DOVE. 19fortune, prosper you, and save you fromall danger."She then made preparations to return toHohenbourg. Agnes and Emma, on part-ing, were bathed in tears. Agnes wishedto give her young friend some token ofremembrance. Emma had often expresseda desire to possess so tame and gentle adove, and Agnes went to fetch it. Shepressed it for a moment against her cheeks,that were wet with tears; and, notwith-standing her strong attachment to thebeautiful bird, she presented it to herfriend. Emma was unwilling to acceptit, and there was a strife of generositybetween the two young girls. At lengthEmma accepted it. Agnes gave her alsothe pretty cage, and commended the doveto her with all the earnestness of an at-tentive mother when confiding a child tothe hanids of strangers.After Emma's departure, however, Agnesseemed to repent of having made her apresent of her beloved dove.
20 THE WHITE DO VE." I should rather have given her mygold ear-rings as a token of remembrance,"she said to her mother." You can do that another time, Agnes,my dear," replied her mother, " whenEmma comes again. You could not havemade her a more suitable present at thistime. A more costly token of remem-brance would not have been so agreeableto her, and might have been consideredhumiliating. The gift of an article thatis most dear to you, even though it shouldbe of little value, is more complimentary,and a stronger proof of friendship. Donot repent, then, of what you have done.Your father was ready to expose his lifethat he might assist the widow in heraffliction; and it was very good of youto give your dove, the object of your mostcherished delights, that you might affordjoy to the sorrowful orphan. Those whodo not learn betimes to sacrifice, for thebenefit of their fellow-creatures, all goods,however precious they may be, will never
THE WHITE DOVE. 21truly love their neighbours. But thesesacrifices are amongst the greatest that wecan offer to God; and God, my child, willsoon recompense ypu for what you havedone to-day."CHAPTER III.THE ROBBERS.NE evening, shortly after Rosalindand her daughter were againliving within the walls of theirown castle, two strangers presented them-selves at the gate of the castle, and re-quested hospitality for the night. Theywore, like pilgrims, plain brown garments.They carried long staves in their hands,and their broad hats were ornamented withcockle shells. The servant who openedthe gate to them, having announced theirarrival, was ordered to introduce theminto the lower hall, and to serve them
22 THE WHITE DOVE.with supper. Each of them was also tobe supplied with a goblet of wine. Whenthey had finished their repast, Rosalindherself descended, with Emma, to seethem.The strangers began to converse aboutthe Holy Land, and every one listened withthe most lively attention. Emma espe-cially derived great pleasure from theirwonderful narrative. There immediatelyarose in her infantile heart a pious desireto behold those happy lands where ourSaviour formerly trod, but she feared thatthe wish was one that could never be ac-complished."Emma, my dear," said her mother,"we are able every hour of the day tovisit that country, and see the mountainsof Olivet and Calvary, as well as the HolySepulchre. We have only to read theBible. By it we can accompany Jesus atevery step of His career, and hear His verywords. We see Him suffering, dying, andrising again. If we know how to profit by
THE WHITE DOVE. 23the lessons and example of His sufferingsand death, we may live also in the countrythat witnessed so many wonders; and thewhole universe will become to us a newHoly Land."The pilgrims then sought for informa-tion about the surrounding country, andspoke much with regard to the castle ofFalkenbourg. They extolled beyondmeasure the Knight Theobald. "If hiscastle was not so far from our way," saidthe elder of the two, "and we had anyhope of finding him at home, we wouldwillingly go out of our way, that we mightsee him."Rosalind assured them that the roadthey were about to take passed near toFalkenbourg; and that the Knight Theo-bald, who had only just returned to hiscastle, would now be found at home." I am delighted to hear of it," exclaimedthe pilgrim. "It will be great pleasure tome to meet him at his castle. I have im-portant matters to arrange with him; and
24 THE WHITE DOVE.to-morrow morning we will set out forFalkenbourg."After the morning meal, and as the pil-grims were departing, Rosalind and Emmasent their affectionate compliments to theKnight Theobald, Othilia, and Agnes.Each of the pilgrims had a small piece ofmoney given to them; and Emma veryurgently requested them to tell the littleAgnes that the white dove was well.Rosalind had understood, from thewords of the pilgrims, that they were notacquainted with the road; and she there-fore ordered one of her servants to pointout to them the road that crossed themountain.The servant accordingly accompaniedthem, and also offered to carry their wal-lets. The pilgrims, however, paid very littleattention to him, and, in silence, pursuedtheir way. After having passed over asteep mountain, their way became plainbefore them; and they then began to con-verse in Italian. The boy who accom--
THE WHITE DOVE. 25panied them was himself an Italian. Atthe castle, they called him little Linhard.He was an orphan, of good family; andthe knight Adalric, touched with com-passion, had taken him into his service,and brought him to Germany. Althoughthe youth had learned to converse in Ger-man, he nevertheless still understood hisnative tongue. He listened attentively;and was about to testify to the joy that hefelt at hearing the pilgrims speak the lan-guage of his country, when their conversa-tion filled him with horror and affright.He learned that they were not pilgrims,but that they merely wore the dress as adisguise; that the country they were pass-ing through was not so little known tothem as they had given to understand;that they belonged to a band of robbers thatTheobald had gone against with so muchsuccess; and that their hearts breathednothing but vengeance. They wished,under disguise of the saintly dress, to getintroduced into the castle, to request hospi-
26 THE WHITE DO E.tality, and then to rise during the night,and massacre the Knight, his wife, hisdaughter, and all the household, to plunderthe castle, and to give it up to the flames.When Falkenbourg appeared to them inthe distance, between two hills that werecovered with forests, the elder of the rob-bers, who was named Lupo, said to Orso,his comrade, "See there the dwelling ofthat ruffian who has caused so many ofour brave companions to perish upon thescaffold. He shall soon die the death ofthe tyrant."" But the enterprise is not without somedanger," replied Orso. "If it should failwe shall find ourselves badly off. Thetreasures, it is true, that the knight haslaid up, are well worth some risk to obtainthem."To kill him," exclaimed Lupo, in afurious outburst of rage, "will be a joy athousand times greater than to carry awaywith me all his riches; although I am farfrom despising them. Let but our attack
THE WHIE DO VE. 27succeed, and we shall be rich enough. Wewill abandon our profession, and choose amore tranquil kind of life. Hold! Anidea has just crossed my mind. We shallfind in -the wardrobe of the Knight hismost magnificent garments, and we willclothe ourselves in them. You shall puton his chain of gold, and I his coronetof knighthood, ornamented with preciousstones. We will then set out for a far dis-tant land, where no persons will know us.We will give ourselves out for great lords,and we will enjoy in peace the treasuresthat we shall have captured.""All that will be very well," repliedOrso; "but, I know not why, this affaircauses me much terror.""What terror?" exclaimed Lupo. "Isnot everything well prepared-well under-stood? Have we not enough accomplicesin the country ? When three lightedStorches shall appear in the window of thechamber occupied by the pilgrims, sevenbrave and vigorous youths, who have this
28 THE WHITE DOVE.long time been watching nightly for thatsignal, will immediately come to our as-sistance. They can enter by the gardendoor, which is easy to open from the in-side, into .the court-yard of the castle.There is one of them who knows all theturnings, and all the apartments, as wellas his own house. Nine of us will easilyovercome men who are asleep. Takecourage then. Success is certain."Little Linhard was almost overcome withaffright when he heard the details of thishorrible plot; but he took care not to letthem see that he understood their conver-sation. He began to walk behind them,gathering flowers and plants, and whistlinga tune; but from the bottom of his soulhe was praying to God that he would notpermit this project of the two robbers tosucceed. He resolved to accompany themas far as Falkenbourg, and reveal thewhole to the Knight Theobald.While the two robbers were conversingupon the different means suitable for the
THE WHITE DOVE. 29success of their project, the foot of the elderone slipped off the narrow path on whichhe was walking; and he would have-fallendown a precipice, but he remained sus-pended upon some bushes, that tore hisclothes. Linhard saw that under his longbrown robe, he wore a scarlet d6ublet, anda polished and brilliant cuirass. There wasbesides a poignard, that had become de-tached from the robber's girdle. Linhard,however, seemed as though he had seennothing. The aged robber hastened to re-place his poignard, and to fold over hisrobe. He then fixed his eyes upon theaffrighted boy, looking at him again andagain, from different aspects, but Linharddid not flinch.They soon arrived at a terrible gulf, atthe bottom of which roared a deep andnoisy torrent. Two rocks, covered withbushes, overhung the sides of the gulf; anda long and narrow pine tree, that had onlybeen smoothed upon one side, joined thetwo -sides, and served as a bridge. The
30 THE WHITE DOVE.elder of the robbers said to his companion,"It is possible that the boy has noticedmy arms, and he may suspect us. Whenhe is passing over this bridge, I will givehim a push that will send him to thebottom of the abyss. We shall then beperfectly secure."At these words poor Linhard was readyto drop with fear. He stood still, somepaces before he came to the terrible pas-sage, and cried," I shall never dare to passto the other side. My head is giddyalready."But the elder of the robbers said to him,"Don't be afraid, my lad! Come here! Iwill carry you over to the other bank."He advanced towards the boy, with hisarms extended to take hold of him; butLinhard shrunk back, crying and lament-ing; and he was already prepared to takeflight into the neighbouring wood as soonas the robber should be within a few pacesof him."Ah !" cried the poor youth, trembling;
THE WHITE DOVE. 31"let me go back again. We shall both fallinto the gulf; or, if I should have thehappiness to reach the other side, howshall I be able to pass back again on myreturn ? Let me go back to the castle, youhave no more need of a guide. See, thereis the road; and the castle of Falkenbourgis not very far off. You cannot miss yourway.The younger of the robbers attributedthe fright of the guide solely to the sightof the terrible passage, at which he himselfshuddered; and he said in Italian to hiscompanion, "Let him go, Lupo, the boyhas seen nothing; even if he had perceivedyour cuirass and your poignard, what doesit matter to us? He does not understandour language, and cannot know our pro-jects. Would any one pay attention to hiswords, without consequence? Let the poorfool run, then.""Well, be it so," replied the other; "but,for greater security, we will destroy thebridge. We would then be sure that he
32 THE WHITE DOVE.would not be able to interpose any ob-stacle to our enterprise. Falkenbourg isyonder. There would be many leagues togo.in order to pass the torrent up aboveand over the lower part there is not abridge. It is then impossible for any oneto bring news from the other side beforeour plan will be executed."The two robbers resumed their wallets,and left Linhard free to go back, but with-out even thanking him for having con-ducted them. When they were on theother side of the torrent, Lupo called outto him, in German: "My boy, you areright! It is a very bad road. The bridgeis mossy with age, and is half rotten. Onemight easily lose one's life here. To pre-vent any misfortune of that kind we willdestroy it. The people of the countrywill soon be able to construct a better."The two robbers detached the beam,and it rolled with a crash to the bottomof the abyss, where the foaming torrent,beating upon it, soon tore it to shivers.
STHE WHITE DOVE. 33As soon as they had disappeared behind"the hill around which the road ascended,Linhard began to run with all his strengththat he might announce the frightful newsto his worthy mistress; for he did notknow any one in the country to whomhe could with safety confide his terriblesecretCHAPTER IV.THE DOVE'S MESSAGE.OSALIND, residing tranquillyin her castle at Hohenbourg,little thought of the danger thatmenaced her protector, the noble Theo-bald. Emma was incessantly talking ofthe wonderful narratives of the pilgrims,and asking her mother a crowd of ques-tions about the celebrated country of whichthey had spoken. During the whole ofthe day each of them gave herself up0
34 THE WHITE DOVE.peacefully to her own occupations. To-wards evening, when the rays of the sunwere less scorching, and there was a gentleand refreshing breeze, they descended intothe valley to visit their fields. The cropspresented a magnificent appearance, andsome fields of wheat, with the golden earsshining in the sun, promised a rich har-vest.At that time Linhard came up, coveredwith perspiration, and almost out of breath."Oh, my good mistress !" he cried, joininghis hands, "I have horrible news to tell.These two men are not pilgrims, but rob-bers. They wish to murder the KnightTheobald and all his household, and torob and burn his castle." Linhard was somuch excited that he could not say anymore. Quite out of breath, and entirelyexhausted, he sank down at the foot of apear-tree that stood in the road, and heremained thus a long time before he wasable to continue his narrative.Rosalind and Emma trembled at this
THE WHITE DOVE. 35dreadful intelligence. "Oh!" exclaimedRosalind, "what frightful news his is!what a misfortune threatens the noble, thegenerous Knight, and his excellent wife!""And the good Agnes," added Emma,frightened, and as pale as death. "Ah!if she and her parents should perish, Ishould die of grief.""Oh, Emma!" said Rosalind, "go beforeme. Run to the castle. I will follow youwith poor Linhard as quickly as I can.Run with all your strength, and call ourpeople. Let them mount their horses, andfly to Falkenbourg to inform Theobald ofthe danger that threatens him. Let themhasten at their uttermost speed. Letthem kill their horses with fatigue, if itshould be necessary."Emma ascended, as rapidly and aslightly as a chamois, the steep acclivityof the mountain, and she very soon ar-rived at the gate of the castle. At herpiercing cries all the domestics assembledin the court-yard, trembling with fright.
36 THE WHITE DO E.Emma related to them in a few words thedanger in which Falkenbourg was placedof being subjected to fire and slaughter.They were all seized with terror, andpoured forth a thousand imprecationsagainst the pilgrims-lamenting as muchas if they saw their own castle consumedin the flames.A moment afterwards Rosalind cameup, and entered the court-yard with theboy, whom she had questioned on the wayrespecting the circumstances of his recital."What are you doing there," she ex-claimed, "groaning, and with your armsfolded? To horse with you! Fly andsave them!""It is impossible, my good mistress!"replied the old esquire of the deceasedknight. "The robbers are too much inadvance. By this time they are not morethan a league distant from Falkenbourg,while one must travel fifteen to get thereby the high road, and it is nearly night.Is it possible to go rapidly enough over so
THE VWHITE DOVE. 37long a.road in the midst of thick dark-ness, and over a road that has been floodedby the long rains? Even with the besthorse, it would be with difficulty that Icould get there before sunrise. Our olddraught-horses are not fit for the saddle;and, since the death of your husband, ourwar-horses have been sold. Throughoutthe whole district it would be impossibleto find a steed that would be able to goabove half the distance."Rosalind stood petrified, with her handsjoined together. She lifted up her eyes toheaven, and tears chased each other downher cheeks."There is then no other succour butfrom Thee, oh! my God!" she exclaimed,lifting up her hands. "Be Thou as cha-ritable to that family as they have been tome! Oh! Emma! pray to God, my child;pray that He will cause the plot of thesevillains to fail."Emma joined her hands, and, with hereyes full of tears, exclaimed: "God of
38 THE WHITE DO VE.mercy! come to their assistance, as theycame to our assistance." All those whowere then in the court-yard of the castlejoined their hands, and united their prayersto that of Emma:" Oh you -all of you that stand roundme-my brave servants," said Rosalind,"however difficult, however impossible,even, it may be to arrive at Falkenbourgthis night, try to do so nevertheless. Afew words might save their lives. Ah! ifpoor Linhard were not so fatigued withhis rapid flight he would set out withoutdelay; but you, Martin," she continued,addressing a young attendant, "you alsohave good legs. Set out on your way.The foot-road is one-third shorter thanthe other. I will give you a hundredpieces of gold if you arrive at Falken-bourg in time to be useful.""It is impossible, my lady," he replied."Who could find on a dark night thenarrow path across the mountains withoutfalling a dozen times down the precipice?"
THE WHITE DOVE. 39"Besides," added Linhard, "the onlybridge that there was to pass the torrentis destroyed; and one had need of wingsnow to cross it.""Wings !" exclaimed Emma, with joyshining in her eyes. " Now I know howto send a message to Falkenbourg. TheKnight Theobald told me to keep my dovecarefully shut up for the first few days,for without precaution it would take itsflight back again towards the castle; andhowever distant it may be," she added,"it will certainly find its way back. Letus attach a little note to its neck, and itwill very soon be at Falkenbourg.""Oh, my God, I thank Thee!" ex-claimed Rosalind: "Thou hast heard ourprayers. Emma, it was your good angelthat inspired you with that thought."Emma ran to fetch her dove, and Rosa-lind hastened to write a few lines. Shethen rolled up the little note, and attachedit to the red ribbon with which Emmahad ornamented the neck of the dove.
40 THE WHITE DOVE.Then Emma, accompanied by her motherand all the servants, went out of thecastle, and descended into the plain, where"they set the dove at liberty to take itsflight as it pleased. The dove rose highin the air, when it hovered a few momentsfrom right to left, and took its flight to-wards Falkenbourg with all the rapiditywith which its wings could carry it. Allthe inhabitants of Hohenbourg were .de-lighted at the happy idea of the littlegirl. They all followed the liberated birdwith their eyes, and addressed a thousand,vows and a thousand prayers. Never dida vessel laden with gold set sail in themidst of a more ardent confluence of bene-dictions.Rosalind and Emma could not avoidfeeling the acutest mental anguish."Will the dove be able to arrive at thecastle ?" said the mother. "It may bethat it will fall into the talons of a bird ofprey; or it may be that it cannot fly sogreat a distance without taking breath,
THE WHITE DO VE. 41and it may be thereby delayed, or it maybe that its arrival at Falkenbourg will notbe noticed, and that it may not be allowedto enter. What a frightful misfortune willbe the consequence !"They both went to the window thatlooked towards Falkenbourg, and'strainedtheir eager eyes over the whole district,praying from the bottom of their hearts.An unspeakable terror froze up all theirsenses; and they scarcely dared to reflectupon their situation. The shining of afire in the horizon would inform themthat their messenger had not arrived ingood time. They did not quit the window,and sleep did not close their eyes. It wasalready midnight. A stormy and terriblewind rose in the woods; and all the countryin the neighbourhood of Falkenbourg wasplunged in profound darkness. Suddenly,a bright light came to add to their terror.They both trembled with fear, and beganto pray."Oh, mother!" cried Emma, "the flame
42 THE WHITE DOVE.is rising higher, and still higher! See howthe tempestuous wind blows this way I"They both sank into a swoon; but,to their great joy, they soon discoveredtheir error. That supposed fire was no-thing but the moon in its last quarter,and which was dispersing the vapours ofthe night. The luminary soon arose inthe sky, clear and brilliant, and, shapedlike a sickle, shone afar over the summitof the mountains. They remained at thewindow; but they could not perceive anyappearance of a fire in the distance. Atlength the day dawned, and it was witha lively burst of joy, and with heartfeltthanks to God, that they hailed theapproach, after a terrible night of anguish,of the sweet light of the morning.
THE WHITE DO VE. 43CHAPTER V.THE GUILTY PUNISHED.HE residents of Hohenbourg nowfelt that the robbers had notsucceeded in reducing Falken-bourg to ashes; but they were, never-theless, very uneasy, as they were ignorant"whether any misfortune had happened tothe Knight and his family."What would I give to receive goodnews!" Rosalind frequently exclaimed."I would willingly give all my jewels."In the meantime, the events that hadtaken place at Falkenbourg during thepreceding night were still a secret tothem; and there remained nothing forthem but to wait with patience till theycould learn the remainder of what hadtaken place.The Knight, Othilia, and their daughterAgnes, were sitting round the table, in
44 THE WHITE DOVE.the evening, with contented hearts, andfree from all anxiety. The sun was alreadyapproaching the horizon. Its brilliantrays shone through the windows, andilluminated the interior of the ancientdining hall. An esquire came to an-nounce the arrival of two pilgrim's; andthe Knight ordered them to be well lodged."After supper," he said, "I will con-verse with them. They come from adistance, and will relate to us the par-ticulars of their pilgrimage."The esquire left the room. Agnes re-joiced in anticipation of the pleasure sheshould derive from their conversation.Alas! there was nothing to give themany presentiment of the catastrophe thatmenaced them.Seated around the table, they were con-versing pleasantly with one another, whenAgnes exclaimed, in the utmost astonish-ment, "Ah! my dove !" It was indeedthe dove, with its wings spread out beforethe windows: it pecked at the glass with
THE WHITE DOVE. 45its bill, and seemed to entreat that itmight be admitted. Agnes opened thewindow; and immediately the dove flewin, and, alighting upon her shoulder, beganto caress her."See what a pretty red ribbon it has"round its neck," said Othilia; "and a rollof paper is attached to it. I suppose it isa letter. Children have strange notionssometimes."The Knight looked at the paper moreclosely, and read the superscription, whichwas thus worded: "Read this without theleast delay." " Let us see," said he, laugh-ing, "what the speed so much recom-mended is worth." He unrolled the slipof paper, and cast his eyes upon it. Hiscountenance changed. "Great Heaven!"he exclaimed, "what is it.?""What is the matter?" asked Othiliaand her daughter, in terror.Theobald read: "Most noble Knight,the two pilgrims who will present them-selves this evening at your castle are
46 THE WHITE DO VE.robbers. They belong to the numerousband that you have so often dispersed.Under their dress as pilgrims they wearcuirasses and poignards. This night, theyintend to assassinate you, your wife, andchild, and all your people; to pillage yourcastle, and to give it up to the flames.Seven other robbers, spread over thecountry, are expecting the signal agreedamongst them. Three torches exposed inthe window of the chamber of the pilgrims,will indicate to them the moment when topenetrate into the interior of the castle,that they may afford them assistance.The two robbers will open to them thegarden door, and admit them into theinterior. God grant that the dove mayarrive in good time, and that you may beall saved. To send you a message by anyother means was impossible. Despatchto me immediately a courier, to appriseme of your deliverance.-'-Yours devotedly,ROSALIND."" Oh!" said Othilia, with emotion, "that
THE WHITE DOVE. 47dove is a messenger from heaven, as for-merly that of Noah was, that brought himthe olive branch. Agnes, let us kneel,and thank God, as those pious men thatwere inclosed in the ark knelt. Godsaves us in a manner not less miraculous."The Knight also bent his knee upon theground, and, with his hands joined together,and his eyes uplifted to heaven, exclaimed,"0 my God, thanks be rendered untoThee!"He requested Othilia and his daughterto go into another apartment. He thenput on his cuirass, and ordered some ofhis attendants to hold themselves in readi-ness at the first signal.The Knight then sent word to the pil-grims to ascend; and they both enteredthe apartment with an humble air andmany salutations. Lupo, who acted asspokesman, commenced in these words, ina gentle voice, and with a manner ofexquisite politeness:"PowerfulandgenerousLord and Knight r
48 THE WHITE DO E.We come direct from Hohenbourg; andwe are the bearers of affectionate compli-ments to your family. How happy weesteem ourselves in being able to behold,face to face, the hero who fills the worldwith his glory-the man upon whom allthe unhappy, the widows, and the orphans,heap their benedictions; and whom thepious Rosalind could not sufficiently praiseand sufficiently exalt as her glorious pro-tector! Ah what a pious lady! Shehas loaded us with honours, that we haveby no means merited. And her charmingdaughter, Emma, how good and graciousshe is The poor little angel was bathedin-tears at the recital of our pilgrimage inthe Holy Land. We could converse forwhole hours with you and your belovedfamily of your friends at Hohenbourg.For the present, we will remain contentwith acquitting ourselves of the com-mission that has been given to us, byannouncing that Rosalind, Emma, andthe pretty, dearly-beloved dove, are all
THE WHITE DO V. 49three at this time in the enjoyment ofperfect health."The Knight Theobald was greatly exas-perated by these exaggerated flatteries,under which they disguised their criminalintentions. He restrained himself, how-ever, and asked them gravely, in a voiceof great calmness,-" Who are you ?"" Poor pilgrims," replied Orso, "we arereturning from the Holy Land, and goingback to Thuringia, where we were born.""What do they call you?" demandedthe Knight, raising his voice."I am called Hermann," said Lupo;"and my young companion that you seeis named Burkhard.""What are you come to seek in thiscastle ?" continued the Knight."Nothing but hospitality for one night,"they replied, bowing. " To-morrow iorn-ing, at the first crowing of the cock, weshall depart. Oh how great will be thejoy of our mothers, on seeing us again I""You lie I" the Knight then exclaimed,D
50 THE WHITE DOVE.in a voice of thunder. "You are notcalled Hermann, fior you Burkhard; butyou are called Lupo; and you, youngrobber, you are named Orso. You donot come from the Holy Land. You arenot pilgrims, but robbers, assassins, in-cendiaries. Thuringia is not your country.Germany has not given you birth. It isnot, hospitality for one night that youcome here to seek. You are come hereto murder, to pillage, and to burn. Youshall have the recompense that your deedsmerit. You shall perish by sword and fire.Holla! servants, take from them the gar-ments that they have no right to wear,and let them show themselves in theirproper costume. Disarm them. Loadthem with chains, and shut them up inthe dungeon."The attendants then seized the robbers,and despoiled them of their pilgrim's gar-ments. They then appeared each with acuirass, and strongly armed."Oh infamous ruffians !" exclaimed
THE WHITE DOVE. 51the Knight, "to borrow the mask of piety,in order to deceive pious souls. Thatcrime alone deserves death."They were both of them strongly bound,and immediately cast into the dungeon.When they were shut up, the youngerrobber said to his companion: "How hasthe Knight been able to become acquaintedwith our project, even to the minutestdetails ? He knows even the conversationthat we had on the road. The youth whoaccompanied us, could he have understoodour language, and have betrayed us ? ""He has, then, passed through thewindows of the mansion," replied Lupo."I have paid particular attention; and Ihave not, for a single moment, lost sightof the gates of the castle. No one haspassed over the drawbridge since wearrived here. Most certainly, all this isnot natural Theobald must have madea compact with the devil."He then threw himself into a horriblepassion, and uttered the most frightful
52 THE WHITE DO VE.imprecations against the Knight. "Thecruel Theobald," he cried, his mouth foam-ing with rage, "is the only cause of ourmisfortune." In his hardness of heart,Lupo would not see that it was he himselfwho, by his frightful crimes, had plungedhimself into that abyss.Orso, the younger of the two, on thecontrary, began to weep, and to despair,and to address reproaches to his com-panion. "Would to God," he said, "thatI had not put faith in the false illusionswith which you befooled me! You pro-mised me a joyous life, in the midst ofhonours and abundance; and now I havenothing to expect but the most horribledeath. You were always persuading methat our actions were not criminal, andthat God would leave them unpunished inthe other world, and often even in this;but a voice within me was always tellingme the contrary, and announcing to mea future punishment. Oh! that I hadlistened to it! Of what avail to me, at
THE WHITE DOVE. 53present, are the treasures that we havestolen? I should have honestly earnedmy livelihood in felling timber, and thenmy conscience would have been at peace.How much happier my condition wouldhave been, compared with my presentsituation But the hand of the Almighty,who sees and punishes the most secretcrimes, is laid heavily upon me, and hascast me into this dark prison. All isfinished for me in this world."In the meantime, by order of Theobald,the servants took measures to seize theircompanions. As soon as night approached,and the stars were shining upon the darkazure of the sky, they placed three lightedtorches in the window of the chamber thathad usually been assigned, for the night,to pilgrims and travellers.The keeper of the gate, upon whose pru-dence the Knight was able to place reli-ance, then went into the court-yard of thecastle, with seven companions well armed.They placed themselves in ambuscade near
54 THE WHITE -DOVE.the little door that had been constructedin the wall; and there they lay in waitfor the robbers. They waited a long timein vain. Midnight had already struck.The moon had risen, and was now illumi-nating the battlements of the tower. Thiscircumstance discouraged the watchers."All our labours will be lost," said they."The robbers will perceive us, and willtake flight."" An idea has crossed my mind," saidthe keeper of the gate, " by which we mayattract them here more surely." He im-mediately ran off; but it was not longbefore he came back, clothed in one of thedresses of the pilgrims, and wearing oneof their hats. "They will not recogniseme thus," he said. "As for you, concealyourselves there, behind the pilasters ofthe walls, in order that they may not per-ceive you immediately." They waited withpatience.At length, there was a very light tap atthe door, which was opened very gently.
THE WHITE DOVE. 55One of the robbers passed the threshold,and looked at the porter, whom, in his dis-'guise, he took for one of his companions;and he said to him, in a low voice, " Havewe arrived in time?" "Just in time,"replied the porter, in the same tone. "Bequiet. Enter all of you."The seven robbers entered, one after an-other, in silence, and upon tiptoe: Theybrought with them some brimstone, andsome hoops besmeared with pitch, and eachof them was armed with a sword. As soonas the last had entered, the porter shut thedoor and took the key. He then calledout, in a loud voice, " Help, now !"The watchers immediately ran up, andsprang upon the robbers, each seizing hisman. At the same moment, Theobald him-self arrived in the court-yard, armed fromhead to foot, and attended by a number offollowers, who carried lighted torches, andhad drawn swords in their hands. Themoon just then gave to the night the clear-ness of day. The robbers were half dead
56 THE WHITE DO VE.with fear, and did not even find time todraw their swords. They were overcomewithout the least difficulty, loaded with.chains, and cast into the prison, that theymight there receive the reward of theircrimes."It is thus," said the Knight, "that everymalefactor terminates his career. He whopasses his life in digging a pit for the feetof others, ends by falling into it himself."CHAPTER VLCONCLUSION.HUT up in their castle, Rosalindand Emma were waiting, withthe most painful suspense, thearrival of the messenger that they expectedfrom Falkenbourg. More than ten timesin less than an hour Emma ascended thestone sfeps of the winding stair-case thatled to the keeper's tower, that she might
THE WHITE DOVE. 57see with her own eyes whether the so-muchdesired messenger was coming; but shediscovered nothing. Noon came, and stillno news of any kind had reached them.They then relapsed into a state of thegreatest uneasiness, and every hour seemedto them so long, that they thought theyshould not live long enough to see it cometo a close.At last, at the approach of evening, whileEmma was still keeping watch at the topof the tower, she saw a carriage, escortedby a number of horsemen, come out of theforest, and take the road that led to thecastle. She descended the stair-case ingreat haste, and ran to her mother, ex-claiming, in a transport of joy:"Behold them! They are saved I" Theyimmediately went out of the castle, andhastened to meet their friends.The Knight Theobald, with his wife andAgnes, had set out on their journey beforesunrise, that they might themselves carryto Rosalind and Emma the good news of
58 THE WHITE DO VE.their deliverance, and thank them in per-son. As soon as the Knight perceived them,he sprang to the ground, and Othilia andAgnes also descended from the carriage.They saluted their friends with the mostlively affection, and thanked them withan overflow of feeling that no words canpossibly express. They were in the heightof delight, and asked questions withoutnumber; relating a thousand things, whilethey were ascending from the foot of thehill upon which the castle was situated.This happy interview, after the deliver-ance from so great a danger, was celebratedin the evening by a banquet, over whichthe most unreserved cheerfulness presided.Every one was merry, and nothing wasspoken of but the lite events. Linhard,who waited at table, was ordered to repeat,word for word, the conversation of therobbers, and he did so willingly. Amongstother things, he related how, when theyhad to pass the torrent, the younger of therobbers had interceded in his favour, and
THE WHITE DO VE. 59prevented his being cast into it. "It isfor that reason," continued Linhard, "thatI would entreat you on behalf of Orso: hehas shown himself not so wicked as hiscompanion, and he ought to be treatedwith more humanity." Every one ap-proved of the sentiments of the pooryouth.After supper, the Knight Theobald, hold-ing up his silver cup, exclaimed:" To the health of Emma! It is owingto her happy idea of making the dove amessenger, that your guests from Falken-bourg are able, at this moment, to thankher that they are not buried under theburning ruins of their castle."" No," replied Emma, blushing; "it isto the tender compassion that Agnes tes-tified towards her poor dove, and to thegoodness that she gave me a proof of, whenshe presented it to me. It is to her, then,that the honour returns."" Blessed be God 1" added Rosalind,"who has been so kind as to give us chil-
60 THE WHITE DO VE.dren such as you. Be not, however, tooproud, my children; for see the poor Italianorphan Linhard, who, filled with gratitudeand with love for his benefactors, has-tened to the castle out of breath and wellnigh dead. Has not he done more thanyou ? "" In truth," exclaimed the Knight Theo-bald, "you are right!" Having replenishedhis cup, he put it to his lips, and presentedit to the youth. " Come," said he, "drinkto our health. I will make you a page,for your generous heart ennobles you, andgives you every right to that distinction."" We owe tears of gratitude," saidOthilia, "to the generous, the beneficentAdalric, the deceased husband of Rosa-lind, "for if, in his goodness, he had notreceived the poor orphan into his castle,where should we have been to-day ?"" It is true," replied Rosalind; " yoursafety, which causes us so much joy, thatwe feel as if we ourselves had escapedfrom peril, amply recompenses to-day for
THE WHITE DO VE. '61the beneficence that my generous Adalricshowed towards poor Linhard. But theKnight Theobald has conducted himself noless nobly towards me, and towards Emma,who also is an orphan. The benevolencewith which he entertained us, and pro-tected-us from our enemies, could not re-main without a recompense; and he whosaved us, God has, in his turn, saved him.He, the faithful rewarder of all good ac-tions, has recompensed Othilia and Agnesfor their friendship to us. To Him be allpraise and thanksgiving 1"" Yes," said the Knight; "it is to Godthat we should address now, as always,our first thanksgiving. He has showedHimself good to us, and has employed aninnocent dove to work a miracle in ourfavour. To Him be everlasting gratitude;but we should not be ungrateful to ournoble friends. That which my sword couldnot have done, the young Emma has ac-complished by the assistance of a dove.She has protected my castle from treachery
62 THE WHITE DOVE.and pillage. She has preserved it fromruin. Thus women, even young girls, areable to do good, if they have good hearts,and if, like Rosalind and Emma, they putall their confidence in their sovereignMaster. And since Emma will some daypossess this castle, and since she has, not-withstanding her youth, been able, withoutthe assistance of the sword, to preserve tothe throne a powerful fortress, I will, inorder to recompense her, ask of the Em-peror permission to bear in her arms awhite dove perched upon a green olive-branch."Othilia replied, " Your idea is very good,and it must be put in execution. In themeantime, I have a surprise for my dearEmma."She made a sign to her daughter, andAgnes left the room. In a few minutesshe returned with the. dove. The latterhad brought it to the castle in a little cage;but she had not mentioned the circum-stance to her young friend. The dove im-
THE WHITE DOVE. 63diately came and stood on the hand thatEmma held out to it. The latter, in a rap-ture of delight, noticed with astonishmentthat the bird carried in its bill an olivebranch, in gold, and with light leaves ofthe same metal.Othilia then said to her, "Let this olivebranch, the glorious symbol of our safety,be to you, my dear Emma, a feeble tes-timonial of our gratitude. It was a pre-sent from my deceased mother; and Ihave always worn it as an ornament formy hair, the only use for which it is suit-able. My mother, when she gave it me,repeated some lines, which may very.wellbe applied to the events of which we havejust been witnesses. They are these:" Child, put thou in God above,All thy faith and all thy love.Raise His temple in thy heart;From His worship ne'er depart.Should the hour of danger lower,Fear not then its threat'ning power,Gathering tempests do not dread;He shall always guard thy head."
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