yo e o.-c
THE WHITE DOVE.
BY THE AUTHOR OP
"THE BASKET OF FLOWERS," ETC.
OLIPIIANT, ANDERSON, & FERRIER.
M'Farlane & Erskine, Edinburgh,
Ohphant, Anderson, &' Ferrier.
London ; hfamilton, Adams, & Co.
THE WHITE DOVE.
HOW AGNES GOT HER WHITE DOVE.
N the old castle of Falkenbourg,
on the Rhine, there lived, many
years ago, a Knight named Theo-
bald, with Othilia his wife. The Knight
was generous and brave. His powerful
protection was extended to all around.
The Countess Othilia distributed around
her numerous alms. She visited the sick
in the neighboring villages; and the castle
was the unfailing refuge of all unfortunate
4 THE WHITE DOVE.
persons who had need of succour. The
only child of these excellent parents, Agnes,
about eight years of age, was, for goodness
and for gentleness, without an equal in the
whole world. Her highest enjoyment was
to do good. Parents and daughter were
held in veneration throughout the whole
country; and the traveller, who perceived
from a distance the lofty towers of Fal-
kenbourg, blessed, from the bottom of his
heart, the benevolent persons who in-
habited it. The blessing of God seemed
to rest, in a visible manner, upon the head
of Theobald, and of his family. However
numerous were the alms that they distri-
buted, they never themselves experienced
One bright, hot summer day, the Coun-
tess and Agnes, on rising from luncheon,
opened a little door in the wall of the
court-yard, and descended the long stone
staircase that led to a garden, which was
situated on the declivity of the hill. When
they arrived there, they saw with pleasure
THE WHITE DO E.
that the tender buds of the rose were be-
ginning to open, and the sweet violets to
They stopped for a moment near a foun-
tain that was situated in the middle of the
garden; and they amused themselves with
watching the play of the water, which rose
to a great height, reflecting the rays of the
sun, and falling back into the basin in a
thousand little drops, glittering with all
the colours of the rainbow. They seated
themselves beneath the shade of an arbour
that was closed in with an elegant trellis,
and set to work, upon a garment that was
destined for a poor orphan. All was silent
and peaceable in the garden, and the deep
calm was interrupted only by the voice of
the linnet, that from the top of the neigh-
bouring tree, mingled, from time to time,
its melodious notes with the gentle murmur
of the fountain.
Suddenly, something caused a rustling
in the midst of the foliage that surrounded
them; but the movement was so rapid,
6 THE WHITE DO V.
that they could not perceive the cause
that produced it; and they looked around
with affright. Soon, a large bird came
bounding against the entrance to the
arbour, and remained for some moments
suspended in the air, with its broad wings
spread out to the winds; but, as soon as
it perceived that some persons were there,
it took flight with the utmost rapidity.
Agnes was so much frightened, that she
had not courage enough to lift up her
eyes, to see what had occasioned the noise
that she had just heard. Her mother
smiled, and said to her:
"Don't be afraid, Agnes. Perhaps it
is only a poor little bird flying from the
talons of a vulture."
Agnes then took courage and looked
around her. "Ah! see!" she exclaimed,
"it is a dove as white as snow. In its
fright it has come and taken refuge be-
Othilia took it in her hands, and, look-
ing at Agnes with earnestness, said to her,
THE WHITE DO E.
"This evening, I will have it roasted for
"Roasted," exclaimed Agnes, with as-
tonishment, and she attempted to seize
the dove. "No, good mother," she said;
"you are not talking seriously. The poor
little creature has come to put itself under
our protection, and how can you have it
killed? See how pretty it is! It is as
white as snow; and its feet are red, and
as bright as coral. Ah see how its little
heart is beating! It looks at me with
eyes full of innocence: and their suppli-
cating expression seems to say, Don't do
me any ill!' No, charming little bird!
I will not harm you."
"Very well, my dear child!" said her
mother tenderly. You have compre-
hended my thought. I only wished to try
you. Take the dove into your chamber,
and give it some food. Do not drive
away the unhappy who come to seek
refuge with us. We ought to extend our
pity to every creature that is suffering,
8 THE WHITE DO VE.
and even animals themselves have a right
to our compassion."
Agnes had a dove-cage made. The top
was red, and the sides were wooden trellis-
work painted green. The dove was placed
in it, and she set it in a corner of her
chamber. Every day she gave it a good
supply of food and fresh water, and from
time to time she renewed the sand at the
bottom of the cage. The dove soon be-
came accustomed to Agnes, and began
to be very familiar with her. Whenever
its young mistress opened the door of the
pretty cage, the bird would take its flight,
and would come and peck from the hand
of the child the little grains of wheat that
she presented to it. It became no longer
necessary to close the door of the cage, as
the dove never attempted to fly away.
At daybreak, while Agnes was yet
asleep, the dove would come flying and
alight on her pillow. It would peck at
her until she had risen and given it some
food. Agnes complained of it to her
THE WHITE DOVE.
mother, and said to her: "I know what
I shall do. In future, I will carefully
shut the door of the cage every evening,
and then it will be unable to get out in
"Do no such thing, Agnes," replied her
mother. "Learn rather, by its example,
to rise at an early hour yourself. Early
rising is good for the health, and makes
the heart light and joyful. Do you not
blush to be idler than a dove?"
One day Agnes was sitting at an open
window, and sewing. The dove was peck-
ing crumbs that were scattered upon the
ground, and suddenly it took flight, and
perched upon an adjoining roof. Agnes
was frightened, and uttered a piercing cry.
Her mother came into the room, and asked
her the cause of her fright. "Ah, my
dove has flown !" exclaimed Agnes, weep-
ing; and she pointed to the roof where
the bird was perched, basking itself in the
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 on
the trembling hand of the child. Agnes
was delighted with its docility, and her
mother said to her.
"Be always as obedient to my will as
that dove is to yours; and my satisfaction
will be much greater than that which you
have just felt. Will you not for the future
give me that satisfaction? Agnes pro-
mised to do so, and she kept her word.
One day she had been watering the
plants and the flowers in the garden, and,
fatigued with her work, she seated herself
by the side of her mother upon a grassy
bank near the fountain. The dove had
become so tame that Agnes allowed it
full liberty to fly anywhere as it pleased,
and the dove fled from her side to drink
at the fountain. "Look, mother !" said
Agnes, "how cautiously it steps from one
stone to another over the moss that covers
them, and how carefully it guards itself
from the mud that it finds amongst the
THE WHITE DO V.
stones! How clean it is! White is the
most difficult of all colours to preserve in
all its purity, and yet I never perceive the
least spot upon the shining feathers of my
And how careless Agnes is some-
times !" replied her mother, casting her
eyes upon the white dress of the child.
Agnes, in fact, had not taken care of her
garments, when, with the watering-pot in
her hand, she had drawn water from the
fountain. She blushed; and, from that
time, her white frock always rivalled the
newly-fallen snow in purity.
On another occasion Agnes had taken
a walk, which had given her much plea-
sure, and when she came back to the
castle the dove immediately flew to meet
her, and testified great pleasure in seeing
"All day," said a servant, "it has ap-
peared sorrowful about your absence, and
has been seeking for you everywhere. I
am astonished that a creature without
12 THE WHITE DO VE.
reason should recognize its benefactress,
and become so attached to her."
"It is true," replied Agnes; "it is thus
grateful to me for the little food that I
give it every day."
"But," said her mother to her, "are you
yourself always as grateful? See! You
have enjoyed a great deal of pleasure this
day, and have you returned thanks to God
for it ? Let the conduct of the bird make
you ashamed of your own."
Agnes had not yet indeed even thought
of returning thanks to God; but from
that time she never gave herself up to
repose until she had poured forth her pro-
found gratitude to God for all the enjoy-
ments and the blessings that He had
heaped upon her during the day.
THE WHITE DOVE.
THE WIDOW AND HER CHILD.
HE Knight Theobald had returned
to his castle from a successful
expedition against a band of
robbers, who had been spreading terror
throughout the country. Satisfied with
the happy result of his expedition, he sat
down to take refreshment, and, with a cup
of wine before him, began to relate to his
family how he had captured many of the
robbers, and delivered them up to justice,
and how those that remained had been
dispersed in such a way that repose and
tranquillity would in the future reign
throughout the country.
The narrative continued for a long time.
The Countess and Agnes had seated them-
selves before their spinning-wheels, and
applied themselves to their work, listening
however 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 burning
on the table, when a beautiful female
entered the apartment with an imposing
air, but paleness on her cheeks. The
stranger was clothed in mourning, and
led by the hand a little girl also dressed
in black. The Knight, his wife, and Agnes
arose and saluted their unknown visitor,
who said, in a voice interrupted by sobs:
God preserve you, most noble Knight!
Although I have never seen you before, I
come nevertheless to take refuge with you.
I am Rosalind of Hohenbourg, and this
child is my daughter, Emma. You are
no doubt acquainted with the affliction
with which God has visited my house.
My beloved husband, the brave Adalric,
was killed in the bloody battle fought last
year. Oh, how much I have lost in him!
He was a noble knight, a good and affec-
tionate husband, the best of fathers. You
yourself were acquainted with him. He
was so good to the poor that he has left
THE WHITE DOVE.
us only a slender inheritance; but, behold,
two knights, my neighbours, covetous of
riches, are violently persecuting me, and
they now wish to rob us even of that
which is necessary to sustain our exist-
ence. One of them wishes to take from
me the fields and the meadows that extend
to the foot of the castle; the other wishes
to appropriate to himself the extensive
forests 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 presentiment
of what was to happen, and, in dying, he
pronounced 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 words
of my dying husband. Ah! what will
become of me if I should lose all my pro-
perty? If, some day-but may God pre-
serve you from it-you should undergo
the fate of my husband, and your wife and
that dear child should find themselves re-
16 THE WHITE DO VE.
duced to distress like mine, may they also
then find an arm to save them."
Little Emma, who was about the same
age as Agnes, approached Theobald, and
said to him, with tears, Generous knight,
be my father, and do not drive me away
He preserved a grave and serious de-
meanour. As he was accustomed to do,
he sat in silence supporting his chin upon
his hand, with his eyes fixed upon the
ground. Agnes said to him, weeping,
"My dear father, have pity upon them.
See when my dove, flying from the talons
of a bird of prey, came and put itself
under my protection, my mother said to
me: 'We must not drive away the un-
happy who come to put themselves under
our protection;' and she rejoiced on seeing
my humanity towards the poor little crea-
ture. And this child and her mother, do
not they deserve still more compassion
and pity than a dove ? Save them from
the clutches of these worthless knights."
THE WHITE DO VE.
The Knight, who was deeply moved,
answered: "Very well, my dear Agnes.
With the assistance of God, I will save
them. My silence was not from hesita-
tion, but I was thinking of the best means
of succouring this noble lady and her
child." The Knight rose, and offered Rosa-
lind a chair. Agnes reached one for Emma,
and they seated themselves. Othilia left
the room, and went to prepare a suitable
repast for her unexpected guests; for then,
according to the usage of that period, the
lady of the house attended to the cares of
Theobald then proceeded to ascertain
exactly a knowledge of the principles
upon which the two knights supported
pretensions so lofty; and concluded by
saying: "Madame, as far as I am able to
see, your rights are perfectly established.
To-morrow morning at break of day 1 will
set out, accompanied by some knights, to
examine into the feasibility of the claims
of your foes. As for you, remain here
18 THE WHITE DOVE.
with your child until my return, and you
shall soon learn the good news that I hope
to return with."
The next morning the Knight and his
companions departed. At the end of a few
days Theobald and his followers returned.
"Good news !" he exclaimed, on enter-
ing the apartment. "Your enemies have
renounced their claims, and the dispute is
at an end. I must admit, however, that
my words would have had little effect
upon them; but when I declared war
against either of them who should refuse,
they immediately yielded to your claims.
And now, noble lady, take courage; no
stranger shall in future dare to expel you
from your domains: consider yourself as
under my protection, and rely upon me at
The lady was overwhelmed with joy,
and tears of gratitude rose in her eyes.
May God," she exclaimed, "repay you
for what you have done for my child and
myself May He preserve you from mis-
THE WHITE DO VE.
fortune, prosper you, and save you from
She then made preparations to return to
Hohenbourg. Agnes and Emma, on part-
ing, were bathed in tears. Agnes wished
to give her young friend some token of
remembrance. Emma had often expressed
a desire to possess so tame and gentle a
dove, and Agnes went to fetch it. She
pressed it for a moment against her cheeks,
that were wet with tears; and, notwith-
standing her strong attachment to the
beautiful bird, she presented it to her
friend. Emma was unwilling to accept
it, and there was a strife of generosity
between the two young girls. At length
Emma accepted it. Agnes gave her also
the pretty cage, and commended the dove
to her with all the earnestness of an at-
tentive mother when confiding a child to
the hands of strangers.
After Emma's departure, however, Agnes
seemed to repent of having made her a
present of her beloved dove.
20 THE WHITE DOVE.
I should rather have given her my
gold ear-rings as a token of remembrance,"
she said to her mother.
"You can do that another time, Agnes,
my dear," replied her mother, when
Emma comes again. You could not have
made her a more suitable present at this
time. A more costly token of remem-
brance would not have been so agreeable
to her, and might have been considered
humiliating. The gift of an article that
is most dear to you, even though it should
be of little value, is more complimentary,
and a stronger proof of friendship. Do
not repent, then, of what you have done.
Your father w&a ready to expose his life
that he might assist the widow in her
affliction; and it was very good of you
to give your dove, the object of your most
cherished delights, that you might afford
joy to the sorrowful orphan. Those who
do not learn betimes to sacrifice, for the
benefit of their fellow-creatures, all goods,
however precious they may be, will never
THE WHITE DO VE.
truly love their neighbours. But these
sacrifices are amongst the greatest that we
can offer to God; and God, my child, will
soon recompense you for what you have
NE evening, shortly after Rosalind
and her daughter were again
living within the walls of their
own castle, two strangers presented them-
selves at the gate of the castle, and re-
quested hospitality for the night. They
wore, like pilgrims, plain brown garments.
They carried long staves in their hands,
and their broad hats were ornamented with
cockle shells. The servant who opened
the gate to them, having announced their
arrival, was ordered to introduce them
into the lower hall, and to serve them
22 THE WHITE DOVE.
with supper. Each of them was also to
be supplied with a goblet of wine. When
they had finished their repast, Rosalind
herself descended, with Emma, to see
The strangers began to converse about
the Holy Land, and every one listened with
the most lively attention. Emma espe-
cially derived great pleasure from their
wonderful narrative. There immediately
arose in her infantile heart a pious desire
to behold those happy lands where our
Saviour formerly trod, but she feared that
the wish was one that could never be ac-
"Emma, my dear," said her mother,
"we are able every hour of the day to
visit that country, and see the mountains
of Olivet and Calvary, as well as the Holy
Sepulchre. We have only to read the
Bible. By it we can accompany Jesus at
every step of His career, and hear His very
words. We see Him suffering, dying, and
rising again. If we know how to profit by
THE WHITE DO VE.
the lessons and example of His sufferings
and death, we may live also in the country
that witnessed so many wonders; and the
whole universe will become to us a new
The pilgrims then sought for informa-
tion about the surrounding country, and
spoke much with regard to the castle of
Falkenbourg. They extolled beyond
measure the Knight Theobald. "If his
castle was not so far from our way," said
the elder of the two, "and we had any
hope of finding him at home, we would
willingly go out of our way, that we might
Rosalind assured them that the road
they were about to take passed near to
Falkenbourg; and that the Knight Theo-
bald, who had only just returned to his
castle, would now be found at home.
I am delighted to hear of it," exclaimed
the pilgrim. "It will be great pleasure to
me 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 for
After the morning meal, and as the pil-
grims were departing, Rosalind and Emma
sent their affectionate compliments to the
Knight Theobald, Othilia, and Agnes.
Each of the pilgrims had a small piece of
money given to them; and Emma very
urgently requested them to tell the little
Agnes that the white dove was well.
Rosalind had understood, from the
words of the pilgrims, that they were not
acquainted with the road; and she there-
fore ordered one of her servants to point
out to them the road that crossed the
The servant accordingly accompanied
them, and also offered to carry their wal-
lets. The pilgrims, however, paid very little
attention to him, and, in silence, pursued
their way. After having passed over a
steep mountain, their way became plain
before them; and they then began to con-
verse in Italian. The boy who accom-
THE WHITE DO E.
panied them was himself an Italian. At
the castle, they called him little Linhard.
He was an orphan, of good family; and
the knight Adalric, touched with com-
passion, had taken him into his service,
and brought him to Germany. Although
the youth had learned to converse in Ger-
man, he nevertheless still understood his
native tongue. He listened attentively;
and was about to testify to the joy that he
felt 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 a
disguise; that the country they were pass-
ing through was not so little known to
them as they had given to understand;
that they belonged to a band of robbers that
Theobald had gone against with so much
success; and that their hearts breathed
nothing but vengeance. They wished,
under disguise of the saintly dress, to get
introduced into the castle, to request hospi-
26 THE WHITE DO VE.
tality, and then to rise during the night,
and massacre the Knight, his wife, his
daughter, and all the household, to plunder
the castle, and to give it up to the flames.
When Falkenbourg appeared to them in
the distance, between two hills that were
covered with forests, the elder of the rob-
bers, who was named Lupo, said to Orso,
his comrade, See there the dwelling of
that ruffian who has caused so many of
our brave companions to perish upon the
scaffold. He shall soon die the death of
But the enterprise is not without some
danger," replied Orso. "If it should fail
we shall find ourselves badly off. The
treasures, it is true, that the knight has
laid up, are well worth some risk to obtain
"To kill him," exclaimed Lupo, in a
furious outburst of rage, "will be a joy a
thousand times greater than to carry away
with me all his riches; although I am far
from despising them. Let but our attack
THE WHITE DOVE.
succeed, and we shall be rich enough. We
will abandon our profession, and choose a
more tranquil kind of life. Hold! An
idea has just crossed my mind. We shall
find in the wardrobe of the Knight his
most magnificent garments, and we will
clothe ourselves in them. You shall put
on his chain of gold, and I his coronet
of knighthood, ornamented with precious
stones. 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 treasures
that we shall have captured."
"All that will be very well," replied
Orso; "but, I know not why, this affair
causes me much terror."
"What terror ?" exclaimed Lupo. "Is
not everything well prepared-well under-
stood? Have we not enough accomplices
in the country ? When three lighted
torches shall appear in the window of the
chamber occupied by the pilgrims, seven
brave and vigorous youths, who have this
28 THE WHITE DOYE.
long time been watching nightly for that
signal, will immediately come to our as-
sistance. They can enter by the garden
door, which is easy to open from the in-
side, into the court-yard of the castle.
There is one of them who knows all the
turnings, and all the apartments, as well
as his own house. Nine of us will easily
overcome men who are asleep. Take
courage then. Success is certain."
Little Linhard was almost overcomewith
affright when he heard the details of this
horrible plot; but he took care not to let
them see that he understood their conver-
sation. He began to walk behind them,
gathering flowers and plants, and whistling
a tune; but from the bottom of his soul
he was praying to God that he would not
permit this project of the two robbers to
succeed. He resolved to accompany them
as far as Falkenbourg, and reveal the
whole to the Knight Theobald.
While the two robbers were conversing
upon the different means suitable for the
THE WHITE DO VE.
success of their project, the foot of the elder
one slipped off the narrow path on which
he was walking; and he would have fallen
down a precipice, but he remained sus-
pended upon some bushes, that tore his
clothes. Linhard saw that under his long
brown robe, he wore a scarlet doublet, and
a polished and brilliant cuirass. There was
besides a poignard, that had become de-
tached from the robber's girdle. Linhard,
however, seemed as though he had seen
nothing. The aged robber hastened to re-
place his poignard, and to fold over his
robe. He then fixed his eyes upon the
affrighted boy, looking at him again and
again, from different aspects, but Linhard
did not flinch.
They soon arrived at a terrible gulf, at
the bottom of which roared a deep and
noisy torrent. Two rocks, covered with
bushes, overhung the sides of the gulf; and
a long and narrow pine tree, that had only
been smoothed upon one side, joined the
two 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 noticed
my arms, and he may suspect us. When
he is passing over this bridge, I will give
him a push that will send him to the
bottom of the abyss. We shall then be
At these words poor Linhard was ready
to drop with fear. He stood still, some
paces before he came to the terrible pas-
sage, and cried, I shall never dare to pass
to the other side. My head is giddy
But the elder of the robbers said to him,
"Don't be afraid, my lad! Come here! I
will carry you over to the other bank."
He advanced towards the boy, with his
arms extended to take hold of him; but
Linhard shrunk back, crying and lament-
ing; and he was already prepared to take
flight into the neighboring wood as soon
as the robber should be within a few paces
Ah !" cried the poor youth, trembling;
THE WHITE DOyVE.
"let me go back again. We shall both fall
into the gulf; or, if I should have the
happiness to reach the other side, how
shall I be able to pass back again on my
return ? Let me go back to the castle, you
have no more need of a guide. See, there
is the road; and the castle of Falkenbourg
is not very far off. You cannot miss your
The younger of the robbers attributed
the fright of the guide solely to the sight
of the terrible passage, at which he himself
shuddered; and he said in Italian to his
companion, "Let him go, Lupo, the boy
has seen nothing; even if he had perceived
your cuirass and your poignard, what does
it matter to us ? He does not understand
our language, and cannot know our pro-
jects. Would any one pay attention to his
words, without consequence? Let the poor
fool run, then."
"Well, be it so," replied the other; "but,
for greater security, we will destroy the
bridge. We would then be sure that he
32 THE WHITE DOVE.
would not be able to interpose any ob-
stacle to our enterprise. Falkenbourg is
yonder. There would be many leagues to
go in order to pass the torrent up above
and over the lower part there is not a
bridge. It is then impossible for any one
to bring news from the other side before
our 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 the
other side of the torrent, Lupo called out
to him, in German: My boy, you are
right! It is a very bad road. The bridge
is mossy with age, and is half rotten. One
might easily lose one's life here. To pre-
vent any misfortune of that kind we will
destroy it. The people of the country
will soon be able to construct a better."
The two robbers detached the beam,
and it rolled with a crash to the bottom
of the abyss, where the foaming torrent,
beating upon it, soon tore it to shivers.
THE WHITE DO VE.
As soon as they had disappeared behind
the hill around which the road ascended,
Linhard began to run with all his strength
that he might announce the frightful news
to his worthy mistress; for he did not
know any one in the country to whom
he could with safety confide his terrible
THE DOVE'S MESSAGE.
OSALIND, residing tranquilly
in her castle at Hohenbourg,
little thought of the danger that
menaced her protector, the noble Theo-
bald. Emma was incessantly talking of
the wonderful narratives of the pilgrims,
and asking her mother a crowd of ques-
tions about the celebrated country of which
they had spoken. During the whole ot
the day each of them gave herself up
34 THE WHITE DOVE.
peacefully to her own occupations. To-
wards evening, when the rays of the sun
were less scorching, and there was a gentle
and refreshing breeze, they descended into
the valley to visit their fields. The crops
presented a magnificent appearance, and
some fields of wheat, with the golden ears
shining in the sun, promised a rich har-
At that time Linhard came up, covered
with perspiration, and almost out of breath.
"Oh, my good mistress !" he cried, joining
his hands, "I have horrible news to tell.
These two men are not pilgrims, but rob-
bers. They wish to murder the Knight
Theobald and all his household, and to
rob and burn his castle." Linhard was so
much excited that he could not say any
more. Quite out of breath, and entirely
exhausted, he sank down at the foot of a
pear-tree that stood in the road, and he
remained thus a long time before he was
able to continue his narrative.
Rosalind and Emma trembled at this
THE WHITE DOVE.
dreadful intelligence. "Oh !" exclaimed
Rosalind, what frightful news his is!
what a misfortune threatens the noble, the
generous 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, I
should die of grief."
"Oh, Emma!" said Rosalind, "go before
me. Run to the castle. I will follow you
with poor Linhard as quicldy as I can.
Run with all your strength, and call our
people. Let them mount their horses, and
fly to Falkenbourg to inform Theobald of
the danger that threatens him. Let them
hasten at their uttermost speed. Let
them kill their horses with fatigue, if it
should be necessary."
Emma ascended, as rapidly and as
lightly as a chamois, the steep acclivity
of the mountain, and she very soon ar-
rived at the gate of the castle. At her
piercing cries all the domestics assembled
in the court-yard, trembling with fright.
36 THE WHITE DOYE.
Emma related to them in a few words the
danger in which Falkenbourg was placed
of being subjected to fire and slaughter.
They were all seized with terror, and
poured forth a thousand imprecations
against the pilgrims-lamenting as much
as if they saw their own castle consumed
in the flames.
A moment afterwards Rosalind came
up, and entered the court-yard with the
boy, whom she had questioned on the way
respecting the circumstances of his recital.
"What are you doing there," she ex-
claimed, "groaning, and with your arms
folded? To horse with you! Fly and
"It is impossible, my good mistress!"
replied the old esquire of the deceased
knight. "The robbers are too much in
advance. By this time they are not more
than a league distant from Falkenbourg,
while one must travel fifteen to get there
by the high road, and it is nearly night.
Is it possible to go rapidly enough over so
THE WHITE DO VE
long a road in the midst of thick dark-
ness, and over a road that has been flooded
by the long rains ? Even with the best
horse, it would be with difficulty that I
could get there before sunrise. Our old
draught-horses are not fit for the saddle;
and, since the death of your husband, our
war-horses have been sold. Throughout
the whole district it would be impossible
to find a steed that would be able to go
above half the distance."
Rosalind stood petrified, with her hands
joined together. She lifted up her eyes to
heaven, and tears chased each other down
"There is then no other succour but
from Thee, oh! my God!" she exclaimed,
lifting up her hands. "Be Thou as cha-
ritable to that family as they have been to
me Oh! Emma! pray to God, my child;
pray that He will cause the plot of these
villains to fail."
Emma joined her hands, and, with her
eyes full of tears, exclaimed: "God of
38 THE WHITE DOVE.
mercy! come to their assistance, as they
came to our assistance." All those who
were then in the court-yard of the castle
joined their hands, and united their prayers
to that of Emma.,
Oh you !-all of you that stand round
me-my brave servants," said Rosalind,
"however difficult, however impossible,
even, it may be to arrive at Falkenbourg
this night, try to do so nevertheless. A
few words might save their lives. Ah! if
poor Linhard were not so fatigued with
his rapid flight he would set out without
delay; but you, Martin," she continued,
addressing a young attendant, "you also
have good legs. Set out on your way.
The foot-road is one-third shorter than
the other. I will give you a hundred
pieces 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 the
narrow path across the mountains without
falling a dozen times down the precipice?"
THE WHITE DO VE.
"Besides," added Linhard, "thle only
bridge that there was io pass the torrent
is destroyed; and one had need of wings
now to cross it."
"Wings !" exclaimed Emma, with joy
shining in her eyes. "Now I know how
to send a message to Falkenbourg. The
Knight Theobald told me to keep my dove
carefully shut up for the first few days,
for without precaution it would take its
flight back again towards the castle; and
however distant it may be," she added,
"it will certainly find its way back. Let
us attach a little note to its neck, and it
will very soon be at Falkenbourg."
"Oh, my God, I thank Thee!" ex-
claimed Rosalind: "Thou hast heard our
prayers. Emma, it was your good angel
that inspired you with that thought."
Emma ran to fetch her dove, and Rosa-
lind hastened to write a few lines. She
then rolled up the little note, and attached
it to the red ribbon with which Emma
had ornamented the neck of the dove.
40 THE WHITE DO VE
Then Emma, accompanied by her mother
and all the servants, went out of the
castle, and descended into the plain, where
they set the dove at liberty to take its
flight as it pleased. The dove rose high
in the air, when it hovered a few moments
from right to left, and took its flight to-
wards Falkenbourg with all the rapidity
with which its wings could carry it. All
the inhabitants of Hohenbourg were de-
lighted at the happy idea of the little
girl. They all followed the liberated bird
with their eyes, and addressed a thousand
vows and a thousand prayers. Never did
a vessel laden with gold set sail in the
midst of a more ardent confluence of bene-
Rosalind and Emma could not avoid
feeling the acutest mental anguish.
"Will the dove be able to arrive at the
castle ?" said the mother. "It may be
that it will fall into the talons of a bird of
prey; or it may be that it cannot fly so
great a distance without taking breath,
THE WHITE DOVE.
and it may be thereby delayed, or it may
be that its arrival at Falkenbourg will not
be noticed, and that it may not be allowed
to enter. What a frightful misfortune will
be the consequence !"
They both went to the window that
looked towards Falkenbourg, and' strained
their eager eyes over the whole district,
praying from the bottom of their hearts.
An unspeakable terror froze up all their
senses; and they scarcely dared to reflect
upon their situation. The shining of a
fire in the horizon would inform them
that their messenger had not arrived in
good time. They did not quit the window,
and sleep did not close their eyes. It was
already midnight. A stormy and terrible
wind rose in the woods; and all the country
in the neighbourhood of Falkenbourg was
plunged in profound darkness. Suddenly,
a bright light came to add to their terror.
They both trembled with fear, and began
Oh, mother !" cried Emma, "the flame
42 THE WHITE DO VE.
is rising higher, and still higher! See how
the tempestuous wind blows this way!"
They both sank into a swoon; but,
to their great joy, they soon discovered
their error. That supposed fire was no-
thing but the moon in its last quarter,
and which was dispersing the vapours of
the night. The luminary soon arose in
the sky, clear and brilliant, and, shaped
like a sickle, shone afar over the summit
of the mountains. They remained at the
window; but they could not perceive any
appearance of a fire in the distance. At
length the day dawned, and it was with
a lively burst of joy, and with heartfelt
thanks to God, that they hailed the
approach, after a terrible night of anguish,
of the sweet light of the morning.
THE WHITE DO VE.
THE GUILTY PUNISHED.
felt that the robbers had not
succeeded in reducing Falken-
bourg to ashes; but they were, never-
theless, very uneasy, as they were ignorant
whether any misfortune had happened to
the Knight and his family.
"What would I give to receive good
news!" Rosalind frequently exclaimed.
"I would willingly give all my jewels."
In the meantime, the events that had
taken place at Falkenbourg during the
preceding night were still a secret to
them; and there remained nothing for
them but to wait with patience till they
could learn the remainder of what had
The Knight, Othilia, and their daughter
Agnes, were sitting round the table, in
44 THE WHITE DO VE.
the evening, with contented hearts, and
free from all anxiety. The sun was already
approaching the horizon. Its brilliant
rays .shone through the windows, and
illuminated the interior of the ancient
dining hall. An esquire came to an-
nounce the arrival of two pilgrims; and
the Knight ordered them to be well lodged.
"After supper," he said, "I will con-
verse with them. They come from a
distance, and will relate to us the par-
ticulars of their pilgrimage."
The esquire left the room. Agnes re-
joiced in anticipation of the pleasure she
should derive from their conversation.
Alas! there was nothing to give them
any presentiment of the catastrophe that
Seated around the table, they were con-
versing pleasantly with one another, when
Agnes exclaimed, in the utmost astonish-
ment, "Ah! my dove !" It was indeed
the dove, with its wings spread out before
the windows: it pecked at the glass with
THE WHITE DOVE.
its bill, and seemed to entreat that it
might be admitted. Agnes opened the
window; and immediately the dove flew
in, and, alighting upon her shoulder, began
to caress her.
"See what a pretty red ribbon it has
round its neck," said Othilia; "and a roll
of paper is attached to it. I suppose it is
a letter. Children have strange notions
The Knight looked at the paper more
closely, and read the superscription, which
was thus worded: "Read this without the
least delay." "Let us see," said he, laugh-
ing, "what the speed so much recom-
mended is worth." He unrolled the slip
of paper, and cast his eyes upon it. His
countenance changed. "Great Heaven!"
he exclaimed, what is it ?"
"What is the matter?" asked Othilia
and 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 DOVE.
robbers. They belong to the numerous
band that you have so often dispersed.
Under their dress as pilgrims they wear
cuirasses and poignards. This night, they
intend to assassinate you, your wife, and
child, and all your people; to pillage your
castle, and to give it up to the flames.
Seven other robbers, spread over the
country, are expecting the signal agreed
amongst them. Three torches exposed in
the window of the chamber of the pilgrims,
will indicate to them the moment when to
penetrate into the interior of the castle,
that they may afford them assistance.
The two robbers will open to them the
garden door, and admit them into the
interior. God grant that the dove may
arrive in good time, and that you may be
all saved. To send you a message by any
other means was impossible. Despatch
to me immediately a courier, to apprise
me of your deliverance.-Yours devotedly,
"Oh !" said Othilia, with emotion, "that
THE WHITE DOVE.
dove is a messenger from heaven, as for-
merly that of Noah was, that brought him
the olive branch. Agnes, let us kneel,
and thank God, as those pious men that
were inclosed in the ark knelt. God
saves us in a manner not less miraculous."
The Knight also bent his knee upon the
ground, and, with his hands joined together,
and his eyes uplifted to heaven, exclaimed,
" 0 my God, thanks be rendered unto
He requested Othilia and his daughter
to go into another apartment. He then
put on his cuirass, and ordered some of
his 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 entered
the apartment with an humble air and
many salutations. Lupo, who acted as
spokesman, commenced in these words, in
a gentle voice, and with a manner of
"Powerful and generous Lord and Knight!
48 THE WHITE DOVE.
We come direct from Hohenbourg; and
we are the bearers of affectionate compli-
ments to your family. How happy we
esteem ourselves in being able to behold,
face to face, the hero who fills the world
with his glory-the man upon whom all
the unhappy, the widows, and the orphans,
heap their benedictions; and whom the
pious Rosalind could not sufficiently praise
and sufficiently exalt as her glorious pro-
tector! Ah! what a pious lady! She
has loaded us with honours, that we have
by no means merited. And her charming
daughter, Emma, how good and gracious
she is The poor little angel was bathed
in tears at the recital of our pilgrimage in
the Holy Land. We could converse for
whole hours with you and your beloved
family of your friends at Hohenbourg.
For the present, we will remain content
with acquitting ourselves of the com-
mission that has been given to us, by
announcing that Rosalind, Emma, and
the pretty, dearly-beloved dove, are all
THE WHITE DO VE.
three at this time in the enjoyment of
The Knight Theobald was greatly exas-
perated by these exaggerated flatteries,
under which they disguised their criminal
intentions. He restrained himself, how-
ever, and asked them gravely, in a voice
of great calmness, "Who are you ?"
"Poor pilgrims," replied Orso, "we are
returning from the Holy Land, and going
back to Thuringia, where we were born."
"What do they call you ?" demanded
the Knight, raising his voice.
"I am called Hermann," said Lupo;
"and my young companion that you see
is named Burkhard."
"What are you come to seek in this
castle ?" continued the Knight.
"Nothing but hospitality for one night,"
they replied, bowing. "To-morrow morn-
ing, at the first crowing of the cock, we
shall depart. Oh! how great will be the
joy of our mothers, on seeing us again !"
"You lie!" the Knight then exclaimed,
50 THE WHITE DO VE.
in a voice of thunder. "You are not
called Hermann, nor you Burkhard; but
you are called Lupo; and you, young
robber, you are named Orso. You do
not come from the Holy Land. You are
not pilgrims, but robbers, assassins, in-
cendiaries. Thuringia is not your country.
Germany has not given you birth. It is
not hospitality for one night that you
come here to seek. You are come here
to murder, to pillage, and to burn. You
shall have the recompense that your deeds
merit. 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 their
proper costume. Disarm them. Load
them with chains, and shut them up in
The attendants then seized the robbers,
and despoiled them of their pilgrim's gar-
ments. They then appeared each with a
cuirass, and strongly armed.
"Oh infamous ruffians !" exclaimed
THE WHITE DO YE.
the Knight, "to borrow the mask of piety,
in order to deceive pious souls. That
crime alone deserves death."
They were both of them strongly bound,
and immediately cast into the dungeon.
When they were shut up, the younger
robber said to his companion: "How has
the Knight been able to become acquainted
with our project, even to the minutest
details ? He knows even the conversation
that we had on the road. The youth who
accompanied us, could he have understood
our language, and have betrayed us ?"
"He has, then, passed through the
windows of the mansion," replied Lupo.
"I have paid particular attention; and I
have not, for a single moment, lost sight
of the gates of the castle. No one has
passed over the drawbridge since we
arrived here. Most certainly, all this is
not natural. Theobald must have made
a compact with the devil."
He then threw himself into a horrible
passion, and uttered the most frightful
52 THE WHITE DO VE.
imprecations against the Knight. "The
cruel Theobald," he cried, his mouth foam-
ing with rage, "is the only cause of our
misfortune." In his hardness of heart,
Lupo would not see that it was he himself
who, by his frightful crimes, had plunged
himself into that abyss.
Orso, the younger of the two, on the
contrary, began to weep, and to despair,
and to address reproaches to his com-
panion. Would to God," he said, "that
I had not put faith in the false illusions
with which you befooled me! You pro-
mised me a joyous life, in the midst of
honours and abundance; and now I have
nothing to expect but the most horrible
death. You were always persuading me
that our actions were not criminal, and
that God would leave them unpunished in
the other world, and often even in this;
but a voice within me was always telling
me the contrary, and announcing to me
a future punishment. Oh! that I had
listened to it! Of what avail to me, at
THE WHITE DO E.
present, are the treasures that we have
stolen ? I should have honestly earned
my livelihood in felling timber, and then
my conscience would have been at peace.
How much happier my condition would
have been, compared with my present
situation But the hand of the Almighty,
who sees and punishes the most secret
crimes, is laid heavily upon me, and has
cast me into this dark prison. All is
finished for me in this world."
In the meantime, by order of Theobald,
the servants took measures to seize their
companions. As soon as night approached,
and the stars were shining upon the dark
azure of the sky, they placed three lighted
torches in the window of the chamber that
had 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 the
castle, with seven companions well armed.
They placed themselves in ambuscade near
54 THE WHITE DOVE.
the little door that had been constructed
in the wall; and there they lay in wait
for the robbers. They waited a long time
in vain. Midnight had already struck.
The moon had risen, and was now illumi-
nating the battlements of the tower. This
circumstance discouraged the watchers.
"All our labours will be lost," said they.
"The robbers will perceive us, and will
An idea has crossed my mind," said
the keeper of the gate, by which we may
attract them here more surely." He im-
mediately ran off; but it was not long
before he came back, clothed in one of the
dresses of the pilgrims, and wearing one
of their hats. "They will not recognize
me thus," he said. "As for you, conceal
yourselves there, behind the pilasters of
the walls, in order that they may not per-
ceive you immediately." They waited with
At length, there was a very light tap at
the door, which was opened very gently.
THE WHITE DO V.
One of the robbers passed the threshold,
ar:d looked at the porter, whom, in his dis-
guise, he took for one of his companions;
an 1 he said to him, in a low voice, "Have
we arrived in time?" "Just in time,"
re lied the porter, in the same tone. "Be
quiet. Enter all of you."
The seven robbers entered, one after an-
other, in silence, and upon tiptoe. They
brought with them some brimstone, and
some hoops besmeared with pitch, and each
of them was armed with a sword. As soon
as the last had entered, the porter shut the
door and took the key. He then called
out, in a loud voice, Help, now !"
The watchers immediately ran up, and
sprang upon the robbers, each seizing his
man. At the same moment, Theobald him-
self arrived in the court-yard, armed from
head to foot, and attended by a number of
followers, who carried lighted torches, and
had drawn swords in their hands. The
moon just then gave to the night the clear-
ness of day. The robbers were half dead
56 THE WHITE DOVE.
with fear, and did not even find time to
draw their swords. They were overcome
without the least difficulty, loaded with
chains, and cast into the prison, that they
might there receive the reward of their
"It is thus," said the Knight, "that every
malefactor terminates his career. He who
passes his life in digging a pit for the feet
of others, ends by falling into it himself."
HUT up in their castle, Rosalind
and Emma were waiting, with
the most painful suspense, the
arrival of the messenger that they expected
from Falkenbourg. More than ten times
in less than an hour Emma ascended the
stone steps of the winding stair-case that
led to the keeper's tower, that she might
THE WHITE DOVE.
see with her own eyes whether the so-much
desired messenger was coming; but she
discovered nothing. Noon came, and still
no news of any kind had reached them.
They then relapsed into a state of the
greatest uneasiness, and every hour seemed
to them so long, that they thought they
should not live long enough to see it come
to a close.
At last, at the approach of evening, while
Emma was still keeping watch at the top
of the tower, she saw a carriage, escorted
by a number of horsemen, come out of the
forest, and take the road that led to the
castle. She descended the stair-case in
great haste, and ran to her mother, ex-
claiming, in a transport of joy:
"Behold them! They are saved !" They
immediately went out of the castle, and
hastened to meet tfeir friends.
The Knight Theobald, with his wife and
Agnes, had set out on their journey before
sunrise, that they might themselves carry
to 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 and
Agnes also descended from the carriage.
They saluted their friends with the most
lively affection, and thanked them with
an overflow of feeling that no words can
possibly express. They were in the height
of delight, and asked questions without
number; relating a thousand things, while
they were ascending from the foot of the
hill upon which the castle was situated.
This happy interview, after the deliver-
ance from so great a danger, was celebrated
in the evening by a banquet, over which
the most unreserved cheerfulness presided.
Every one was merry, and nothing was
spoken of but the late events. Linhard,
who waited at table, was ordered to repeat,
word for word, the conversation of the
robbers, and he did so willingly. Amongst
other things, he related how, when they
had to pass the torrent, the younger of the
robbers had interceded in his favour, and
THE WHITE DO VE.
prevented his being cast into it. It is
for that reason," continued Linhard, "that
I would entreat you on behalf of Orso: he
has shown himself not so wicked as his
companion, and he ought to be treated
with more humanity." Every one ap-
proved of the sentiments of the poor
After supper, the Knight Theobald, hold-
ing up his silver cup, exclaimed:
To the health of Emma It is owing
to her happy idea of making the dove a
messenger, that your guests from Falken-
bourg are able, at this moment, to thank
her that they are not buried under the
burning ruins of their castle."
No," replied Emma, blushing; "it is
to the tender compassion that Agnes tes-
tified towards her poor dove, and to the
goodness that she gave me a proof of, when
she presented it to me. It is to her, then,
that the honour returns."
"Blessed be God!" added Rosalind,
"who has been so kind as to give us chil-
60 THE WHITE DOVE.
dren such as you. Be not, however, too
proud, my children; for see the poor Italian
orphan Linhard, who, filled with gratitude
and with love for his benefactors, has-
tened to the castle out of breath and well
nigh dead. Has not he done more than
"In truth," exclaimed the Knight Theo-
bald, "you are right!" Having replenished
his cup, he put it to his lips, and presented
it to the youth. Come," said he, "drink
to our health. I will make you a page,
for your generous heart ennobles you, and
gives you every right to that distinction."
We owe tears of gratitude," said
Othilia, "to the generous, the beneficent
Adalric, the deceased husband of Rosa-
lind, for if, in his goodness, he had not
received the poor orphan into his castle,
where should we have been to-day ?"
It is true," replied Rosalind; your
safety, which causes us so much joy, that
we feel as if we ourselves had escaped
from peril, amply recompenses to-day for
THE WHITE DO VE.
the beneficence that my generous Adalric
showed towards poor Linhard. But the
Knight Theobald has conducted himself no
less nobly towards me, and towards Emma,
who also is an orphan. The benevolence
with which he entertained us, and pro-
tected us from our enemies, could not re-
main without a recompense; and he who
saved us, God has, in his turn, saved him.
He, the faithful rewarder of all good ac-
tions, has recompensed Othilia and Agnes
for their friendship to us. To Him be all
praise and thanksgiving !"
Yes," said the Knight; "it is to God
that we should address now, as always,
our first thanksgiving. He has showed
Himself good to us, and has employed an
innocent dove to work a miracle in our
favour. To Him be everlasting gratitude;
but we should not be ungrateful to our
noble friends. That which my sword could
not 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 from
ruin. Thus women, even young girls, are
able to do good, if they have good hearts,
and if, like Rosalind and Emma, they put
all their confidence in their sovereign
Master. And since Emma will some day
possess this castle, and since she has, not-
withstanding her youth, been able, without
the assistance of the sword, to preserve to
the throne a powerful fortress, I will, in
order to recompense her, ask of the Em-
peror permission to bear in her arms a
white dove perched upon a green olive-
Othilia replied, Your idea is very good,
and it must be put in execution. In the
meantime, I have a surprise for my dear
She made a sign to her daughter, and
Agnes left the room. In a few minutes
she returned with the dove. The latter
had 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 DO VE.
diately came and stood on the hand that
Emma held out to it. The latter, in a rap-
ture of delight, noticed with astonishment
that the bird carried in its bill an olive
branch, in gold, and with light leaves of
the same metal.
Othilia then said to her, "Let this olive
branch, 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 I
have always worn it as an ornament for
my hair, the only use for which it is suit-
able. My mother, when she gave it me,
repeated some lines, which may very well
be applied to the events of which we have
just 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 threatening power.
Gathering tempests do not dread;
He shall always guard thy head."