He saw but two methods of extricating himself from his difficulties. The one was to resign
his dominions to the Marquis-pride, ambition
, and his reliance
prophecies, which had pointed out a possibility
of his preserving them to his posterity
, combated that thought
. The other was to press his marriage
with Isabella. After long ruminating on these anxious
thoughts, as he marched silently with Hippolita to the castle, he at last discoursed with that Princess on the subject
of his disquiet
, and used every insinuating and plausible argument
to her consent
to, even her promise
of promoting the divorce
. Hippolita needed little persuasions to bend her to his pleasure. She endeavoured to win him over to the measure
of resigning his dominions; but finding her exhortations fruitless
, she assured him, that as far as her conscience
, she would raise
to a separation, though without better founded scruples than what he yet alleged
, she would not engage
to be active
in demanding it.
Dismissing Hippolita to her apartment, he repaired to that of the Marquis; but crossing the great hall through
which he was to pass he met Bianca. The damsel
he knew was in the confidence
of both the young ladies. It immediately
occurred to him to sift
her on the subject
of Isabella and Theodore. Calling her aside
into the recess
of the oriel window of the hall, and soothing
her with many fair
words and promises, he demanded of her whether she knew aught of the state
of Isabella's affections.
"I! my Lord! no my Lord-yes my Lord-poor Lady! she is wonderfully alarmed about her father's wounds; but I tell her he will do well; don't your Highness think so?"
"I do not ask you," replied Manfred, "what she thinks about her father; but you are in her secrets. Come, be a good girl and tell me; is there any young man-ha!-you understand
"Lord bless me! understand
your Highness? no, not I. I told her a few vulnerary herbs and repose
"I am not talking," replied the Prince, impatiently, "about her father; I know he will do well."
"Bless me, I rejoice
to hear your Highness say so; for though I thought
it not right
to let my young Lady despond, methought his greatness had a wan
look, and a something-I remember
when young Ferdinand was wounded by the Venetian-"
"Thou answerest from the point," interrupted Manfred; "but here, take this jewel, perhaps that may fix thy attention-nay, no reverences; my favour shall not stop here-come, tell me truly; how stands Isabella's heart
"Well! your Highness has such a way!" said Bianca, "to be sure-but can your Highness keep a secret? if it should ever come out of your lips-"
"It shall not, it shall not," cried Manfred.
"Nay, but swear
, your Highness."
"By my halidame, if it should ever be known that I said it-"
"Why, truth is truth, I do not think my Lady Isabella ever much affectioned my young Lord your son; yet he was a sweet youth as one should see; I am sure, if I had been a Princess-but bless me! I must attend
my Lady Matilda; she will marvel
what is become of me."
"Stay," cried Manfred; "thou hast not satisfied
my question. Hast thou ever carried any message
, any letter?"
"I! good gracious
!" cried Bianca; "I carry
a letter? I would not to be a Queen. I hope your Highness thinks, though I am poor, I am honest
. Did your Highness never hear what Count Marsigli offered me, when he came a wooing to my Lady Matilda?"
"I have not leisure
," said Manfred, "to listen to thy tale
. I do not question thy honesty
. But it is thy duty
nothing from me. How long has Isabella been acquainted with Theodore?"
"Nay, there is nothing can escape
your Highness!" said Bianca; "not that I know any thing of the matter
. Theodore, to be sure, is a proper
young man, and, as my Lady Matilda says, the very image
of good Alfonso. Has not your Highness remarked it?"
"Yes, yes,-No-thou torturest me," said Manfred. "Where did they meet? when?"
"Who! my Lady Matilda?" said Bianca.
"No, no, not Matilda: Isabella; when did Isabella first become acquainted with this Theodore!"
"Virgin Mary!" said Bianca, "how should I know?"
"Thou dost know," said Manfred; "and I must know; I will-"
"Lord! your Highness is not jealous
of young Theodore!" said Bianca.
"Jealous! no, no. Why should I be jealous
? perhaps I mean
them-If I were sure Isabella would have no repugnance
"Repugnance! no, I'll warrant
her," said Bianca; "he is as comely
a youth as ever trod on Christian ground. We are all in love with him; there is not a soul
in the castle but would be rejoiced to have him for our Prince-I mean
, when it shall please heaven to call your Highness to itself."
"Indeed!" said Manfred, "has it gone so far! oh! this cursed Friar!-but I must not lose time-go, Bianca, attend
Isabella; but I charge thee, not a word of what has passed. Find out how she is affected
towards Theodore; bring me good news, and that ring has a companion
. Wait at the foot of the winding staircase: I am going to visit the Marquis, and will talk further with thee at my return."
"Oh! my Lord, my Lord!" cried she; "we are all undone! it is come again! it is come again!"
"What is come again?" cried Manfred amazed
"Oh! the hand! the Giant! the hand!-support
me! I am terrified out of my senses," cried Bianca. "I will not sleep in the castle to-night. Where shall I go? my things may come after me to-morrow-would I had been content
to wed Francesco! this comes of ambition
"What has terrified thee thus
, young woman?" said the Marquis. "Thou art safe here; be not alarmed."
"Oh! your Greatness is wonderfully good," said Bianca, "but I dare
let me go-I had rather leave everything behind me, than stay another hour under this roof."
"Go to, thou hast lost
thy senses," said Manfred. "Interrupt us not; we were communing on important matters-My Lord, this wench
to fits-Come with me, Bianca."
"Oh! the Saints! No," said Bianca, "for certain
it comes to warn
your Highness; why should it appear to me else? I say my prayers morning and evening-oh! if your Highness had believed Diego! 'Tis the same hand that he saw the foot to in the gallery-chamber
-Father Jerome has often told us the prophecy
would be out one of these days-'Bianca,' said he, 'mark my words-'"
"Thou ravest," said Manfred, in a rage
; "be gone, and keep these fooleries to frighten
"What! my Lord," cried Bianca, "do you think I have seen nothing? go to the foot of the great stairs yourself-as I live I saw it."
"Saw what? tell us, fair
maid, what thou hast seen," said Frederic.
"Can your Highness listen," said Manfred, "to the delirium
of a silly wench
, who has heard stories of apparitions until she believes them?"
"This is more than fancy
," said the Marquis; "her terror
is too natural
and too strongly impressed
to be the work of imagination
. Tell us, fair maiden
, what it is has moved thee thus
"Yes, my Lord, thank your Greatness," said Bianca; "I believe I look very pale
; I shall be better when I have recovered myself-I was going to my Lady Isabella's chamber
, by his Highness's order-"
"We do not want the circumstances," interrupted Manfred. "Since his Highness will have it so, proceed
; but be brief
"Lord! your Highness thwarts one so!" replied Bianca; "I fear my hair-I am sure I never in my life-well! as I was telling your Greatness, I was going by his Highness's order to my Lady Isabella's chamber
; she lies in the watchet-coloured chamber
, on the right
hand, one pair
of stairs: so when I came to the great stairs-I was looking on his Highness's present here-"
"Grant me patience
!" said Manfred, "will this wench
never come to the point? what imports it to the Marquis, that I gave thee a bauble
for thy faithful attendance
on my daughter? we want to know what thou sawest."
"I was going to tell your Highness," said Bianca, "if you would permit
me. So as I was rubbing the ring-I am sure I had not gone up three steps, but I heard the rattling
of armour; for all the world such a clatter
as Diego says he heard when the Giant turned him about in the gallery-chamber
"What Giant is this, my Lord?" said the Marquis; "is your castle haunted by giants and goblins?"
"Lord! what, has not your Greatness heard the story of the Giant in the gallery-chamber
?" cried Bianca. "I marvel
his Highness has not told you; mayhap you do not know there is a prophecy
," interrupted Manfred. "Let us dismiss
this silly wench
, my Lord! we have more important affairs to discuss
"By your favour," said Frederic, "these are no trifles. The enormous
sabre I was directed to in the wood, yon casque, its fellow-are these visions of this poor maiden
"So Jaquez thinks, may it please your Greatness," said Bianca. "He says this moon will not be out without our seeing some strange revolution
. For my part, I should not be surprised if it was to happen to-morrow; for, as I was saying, when I heard the clattering of armour, I was all in a cold sweat. I looked up, and, if your Greatness will believe me, I saw upon the uppermost banister of the great stairs a hand in armour as big as big. I thought
I should have swooned. I never stopped until I came hither
-would I were well out of this castle. My Lady Matilda told me but yester-morning that her Highness Hippolita knows something."
"Thou art an insolent
!" cried Manfred. "Lord Marquis, it much misgives me that this scene
me. Are my own domestics suborned to spread
to my honour? Pursue your claim
by manly daring
; or let us bury
our feuds, as was proposed, by the intermarriage of our children. But trust
me, it ill becomes a Prince of your bearing
to practise on mercenary
," said Frederic. "Until this hour I never set eyes on this damsel
: I have given her no jewel. My Lord, my Lord, your conscience
, your guilt
accuses you, and would throw
on me; but keep your daughter, and think no more of Isabella. The judgments already fallen
on your house forbid
me matching into it."
Manfred, alarmed at the resolute tone
in which Frederic delivered these words, endeavoured to pacify
him. Dismissing Bianca, he made such submissions to the Marquis, and threw in such artful
encomiums on Matilda, that Frederic was once more staggered. However, as his passion
was of so recent
a date, it could not at once surmount
the scruples he had conceived. He had gathered enough from Bianca's discourse
him that heaven declared itself against Manfred. The proposed marriages too removed his claim
to a distance
; and the principality of Otranto was a stronger temptation
than the contingent
reversion of it with Matilda. Still he would not absolutely recede
from his engagements; but purposing to gain
time, he demanded of Manfred if it was true in fact
that Hippolita consented to the divorce
. The Prince, transported to find no other obstacle
, and depending on his influence
over his wife, assured the Marquis it was so, and that he might satisfy
himself of the truth from her own mouth.
As they were thus
discoursing, word was brought that the banquet
was prepared. Manfred conducted Frederic to the great hall, where they were received by Hippolita and the young Princesses. Manfred placed the Marquis next to Matilda, and seated himself between his wife and Isabella. Hippolita comported herself with an easy gravity
; but the young ladies were silent and melancholy
. Manfred, who was determined
his point with the Marquis in the remainder
of the evening, pushed on the feast
until it waxed late; affecting unrestrained gaiety
, and plying Frederic with repeated
goblets of wine. The latter
, more upon his guard
than Manfred wished, declined his frequent
challenges, on pretence of his late loss of blood; while the Prince, to raise
his own disordered spirits, and to counterfeit
unconcern, indulged himself in plentiful
draughts, though not to the intoxication of his senses.
The evening being far advanced, the banquet
concluded. Manfred would have withdrawn
with Frederic; but the latter
pleading weakness and want of repose
, retired to his chamber
telling the Prince that his daughter should amuse
his Highness until himself could attend
him. Manfred accepted the party, and to the no small grief
of Isabella, accompanied her to her apartment. Matilda waited on her mother to enjoy
the freshness of the evening on the ramparts of the castle.
Soon as the company were dispersed their several
ways, Frederic, quitting his chamber
, inquired if Hippolita was alone, and was told by one of her attendants, who had not noticed her going forth, that at that hour she generally withdrew to her oratory
, where he probably
would find her. The Marquis, during the repast
, had beheld Matilda with increase
. He now wished to find Hippolita in the disposition
her Lord had promised. The portents that had alarmed him were forgotten in his desires. Stealing softly and unobserved to the apartment of Hippolita, he entered it with a resolution
to the divorce
, having perceived that Manfred was resolved to make the possession
of Isabella an unalterable condition
, before he would grant
Matilda to his wishes.
The Marquis was not surprised at the silence
that reigned in the Princess's apartment. Concluding her, as he had been advertised, in her oratory
, he passed on. The door was ajar
; the evening gloomy
. Pushing open the door gently, he saw a person kneeling before the altar
. As he approached nearer, it seemed not a woman, but one in a long woollen weed, whose back was towards him. The person seemed absorbed in prayer. The Marquis was about to return, when the figure
, rising, stood some moments fixed in meditation
, without regarding him. The Marquis, expecting the holy
person to come forth, and meaning
his uncivil interruption, said,
"Reverend Father, I sought the Lady Hippolita."
"Hippolita!" replied a hollow
voice; "camest thou to this castle to seek
Hippolita?" and then the figure
, turning slowly round, discovered to Frederic the fleshless jaws and empty
sockets of a skeleton
, wrapt in a hermit
"Angels of grace protect
me!" cried Frederic, recoiling.
"Deserve their protection
!" said the Spectre. Frederic, falling on his knees, adjured the phantom
to take pity
"Dost thou not remember
me?" said the apparition
. "Remember the wood of Joppa!"
"Art thou that holy hermit
?" cried Frederic, trembling. "Can I do aught for thy eternal
"Wast thou delivered from bondage
," said the spectre, "to pursue carnal
delights? Hast thou forgotten the buried sabre, and the behest
of Heaven engraven on it?"
"I have not, I have not," said Frederic; "but say, blest spirit
, what is thy errand
to me? What remains to be done?"
Matilda!" said the apparition
; and vanished.
Princess!" said the Marquis, penetrated with grief
, and stopped.
"For the love of Heaven, my Lord," said Hippolita, "disclose
of this transport
! What mean
sounds, this alarming exclamation
on my name? What woes has heaven still in store
for the wretched
Hippolita? Yet silent! By every pitying angel, I adjure
Prince," continued she, falling at his feet, "to disclose
of what lies at thy heart
. I see thou feelest for me; thou feelest the sharp
pangs that thou inflictest-speak, for pity
! Does aught thou knowest concern
"I cannot speak," cried Frederic, bursting from her. "Oh, Matilda!"
Quitting the Princess thus abruptly
, he hastened to his own apartment. At the door of it he was accosted by Manfred, who flushed by wine and love had come to seek
him, and to propose
some hours of the night in music and revelling. Frederic, offended at an invitation
from the mood
of his soul
, pushed him rudely aside
, and entering his chamber
, flung the door intemperately against Manfred, and bolted it inwards. The haughty
at this unaccountable
behaviour, withdrew in a frame of mind capable
of the most fatal
excesses. As he crossed the court
, he was met by the domestic
whom he had planted at the convent
as a spy on Jerome and Theodore. This man, almost breathless with the haste
he had made, informed his Lord that Theodore, and some lady from the castle were, at that instant
, in private conference
at the tomb
of Alfonso in St. Nicholas's church. He had dogged
, but the gloominess of the night had prevented his discovering who the woman was.
Manfred, whose spirits were inflamed, and whom Isabella had driven from her on his urging his passion
with too little reserve
, did not doubt
but the inquietude
she had expressed had been occasioned by her impatience
to meet Theodore. Provoked by this conjecture
, and enraged
at her father, he hastened secretly to the great church. Gliding softly between the aisles, and guided by an imperfect gleam
of moonshine that shone faintly through
the illuminated windows, he stole
towards the tomb
of Alfonso, to which he was directed by indistinct
whispers of the persons he sought. The first sounds he could distinguish
"Does it, alas! depend
on me? Manfred will never permit
"No, this shall prevent
it!" cried the tyrant
, drawing his dagger
, and plunging it over her shoulder into the bosom of the person that spoke
"Ah, me, I am slain!" cried Matilda, sinking. "Good heaven, receive
"Savage, inhuman monster
, what hast thou done!" cried Theodore, rushing on him, and wrenching his dagger
"Stop, stop thy impious
hand!" cried Matilda; "it is my father!"
Manfred, waking as from a trance
, beat his breast, twisted his hands in his locks, and endeavoured to recover
from Theodore to despatch himself. Theodore, scarce
, and only mastering the transports of his grief
Matilda, had now by his cries drawn some of the monks to his aid
. While part of them endeavoured, in concert
with the afflicted Theodore, to stop the blood of the dying Princess, the rest prevented Manfred from laying violent
hands on himself.
Matilda, resigning herself patiently to her fate
, acknowledged with looks of grateful
love the zeal
of Theodore. Yet oft as her faintness would permit
its way, she begged the assistants to comfort
her father. Jerome, by this time, had learnt the fatal
news, and reached the church. His looks seemed to reproach
Theodore, but turning to Manfred, he said,
fulfilled on thy impious
head! The blood of Alfonso cried to heaven for vengeance
; and heaven has permitted its altar
to be polluted by assassination
, that thou mightest shed
thy own blood at the foot of that Prince's sepulchre!"
"Cruel man!" cried Matilda, "to aggravate
the woes of a parent; may heaven bless my father, and forgive him as I do! My Lord, my gracious
Sire, dost thou forgive thy child? Indeed, I came not hither
to meet Theodore. I found him praying at this tomb
, whither my mother sent me to intercede
for thee, for her-dearest father, bless your child, and say you forgive her."
"Forgive thee! Murderous monster
!" cried Manfred, "can assassins forgive? I took thee for Isabella; but heaven directed my bloody hand to the heart
of my child. Oh, Matilda!-I cannot utter
it-canst thou forgive the blindness of my rage
"I can, I do; and may heaven confirm
it!" said Matilda; "but while I have life to ask it-oh! my mother! what will she feel? Will you comfort
her, my Lord? Will you not put her away? Indeed she loves you! Oh, I am faint
! bear me to the castle. Can I live to have her close my eyes?"
Theodore and the monks besought her earnestly
herself to be borne into the convent
; but her instances were so pressing to be carried to the castle, that placing her on a litter
, they conveyed her thither
as she requested. Theodore, supporting her head with his arm, and hanging over her in an agony
of despairing love, still endeavoured to inspire
her with hopes of life. Jerome, on the other side, comforted her with discourses of heaven, and holding a crucifix before her, which she bathed with innocent
tears, prepared her for her passage
. Manfred, plunged in the deepest affliction
, followed the litter
Ordering the litter
to stop, as soon as Hippolita was brought to herself, she asked for her father. He approached, unable to speak. Matilda, seizing his hand and her mother's, locked them in her own, and then clasped them to her heart
. Manfred could not support
this act of pathetic piety
. He dashed himself on the ground, and cursed the day he was born. Isabella, apprehensive
that these struggles of passion
were more than Matilda could support
, took upon herself to order Manfred to be borne to his apartment, while she caused Matilda to be conveyed to the nearest chamber
. Hippolita, scarce
more alive than her daughter, was regardless
of everything but her; but when the tender
Isabella's care would have likewise removed her, while the surgeons examined Matilda's wound
, she cried,
"Remove me! never, never! I lived but in her, and will expire
Matilda raised her eyes at her mother's voice, but closed them again without speaking. Her sinking pulse
and the damp
coldness of her hand soon dispelled all hopes of recovery
. Theodore followed the surgeons into the outer chamber
, and heard them pronounce
the fatal sentence
with a transport equal
"Since she cannot live mine
," cried he, "at least she shall be mine
in death! Father! Jerome! will you not join our hands?" cried he to the Friar, who, with the Marquis, had accompanied the surgeons.
"What means thy distracted
rashness?" said Jerome. "Is this an hour for marriage
"It is, it is," cried Theodore. "Alas! there is no other!"
"Young man, thou art too unadvised," said Frederic. "Dost thou think we are to listen to thy fond
transports in this hour of fate
? What pretensions hast thou to the Princess?"
"Those of a Prince," said Theodore; "of the sovereign
of Otranto. This reverend
man, my father, has informed me who I am."
"Thou ravest," said the Marquis. "There is no Prince of Otranto but myself, now Manfred, by murder
, by sacrilegious murder
, has forfeited all pretensions."
"My Lord," said Jerome, assuming
an air of command
, "he tells you true. It was not my purpose
the secret should have been divulged so soon, but fate
presses onward to its work. What his hot-headed passion
has revealed, my tongue confirms. Know, Prince, that when Alfonso set sail
for the Holy Land-"
"Is this a season for explanations?" cried Theodore. "Father, come and unite
me to the Princess; she shall be mine
! In every other thing I will dutifully obey
you. My life! my adored Matilda!" continued Theodore, rushing back into the inner chamber
, "will you not be mine
? Will you not bless your-"
Isabella made signs to him to be silent, apprehending the Princess was near her end.
"What, is she dead?" cried Theodore; "is it possible
of his exclamations brought Matilda to herself. Lifting up her eyes, she looked round for her mother.
"Life of my soul
, I am here!" cried Hippolita; "think not I will quit
"Oh! you are too good," said Matilda. "But weep
not for me, my mother! I am going where sorrow
never dwells-Isabella, thou hast loved me; wouldst thou not supply
to this dear, dear woman? Indeed I am faint
"Oh! my child! my child!" said Hippolita in a flood
of tears, "can I not withhold
thee a moment
"It will not be," said Matilda; "commend
me to heaven-Where is my father? forgive him, dearest mother-forgive him my death; it was an error. Oh! I had forgotten-dearest mother, I vowed never to see Theodore more-perhaps that has drawn down this calamity-but it was not intentional-can you pardon
not my agonising soul
!" said Hippolita; "thou never couldst offend
me-Alas! she faints! help! help!"
"I would say something more," said Matilda, struggling, "but it cannot be-Isabella-Theodore-for my sake-Oh!-" she expired.
Isabella and her women tore Hippolita from the corse; but Theodore threatened destruction
to all who attempted to remove
him from it. He printed a thousand kisses on her clay-cold hands, and uttered every expression
that despairing love could dictate
Isabella, in the meantime, was accompanying
the afflicted Hippolita to her apartment; but, in the middle of the court
, they were met by Manfred, who, distracted
with his own thoughts, and anxious
once more to behold
his daughter, was advancing to the chamber
where she lay. As the moon was now at its height
, he read in the countenances of this unhappy company the event
"What! is she dead?" cried he in wild confusion
. A clap
of thunder at that instant
shook the castle to its foundations; the earth
rocked, and the clank of more than mortal
armour was heard behind. Frederic and Jerome thought
the last day was at hand. The latter
, forcing Theodore along with them, rushed into the court
. The moment
Theodore appeared, the walls of the castle behind Manfred were thrown down with a mighty force
, and the form of Alfonso, dilated to an immense magnitude
, appeared in the centre of the ruins.
"Behold in Theodore the true heir
of Alfonso!" said the vision
: And having pronounced those words, accompanied by a clap
of thunder, it ascended solemnly
towards heaven, where the clouds parting asunder
, the form of St. Nicholas was seen, and receiving Alfonso's shade, they were soon wrapt from mortal
eyes in a blaze
The beholders fell prostrate
on their faces, acknowledging the divine
will. The first that broke silence
"My Lord," said she to the desponding Manfred, "behold
greatness! Conrad is gone! Matilda is no more! In Theodore we view the true Prince of Otranto. By what miracle
he is so I know not-suffice it to us, our doom
is pronounced! shall we not, can we but dedicate
the few deplorable
hours we have to live, in deprecating the further wrath
of heaven? heaven ejects us-whither can we fly, but to yon holy
cells that yet offer us a retreat
"Thou guiltless but unhappy woman! unhappy by my crimes!" replied Manfred, "my heart
at last is open to thy devout
admonitions. Oh! could-but it cannot be-ye are lost
in wonder-let me at last do justice
on myself! To heap shame
on my own head is all the satisfaction
I have left to offer to offended heaven. My story has drawn down these judgments: Let my confession atone
-but, ah! what can atone
and a murdered child? a child murdered in a consecrated
place? List, sirs, and may this bloody record
be a warning
"Alfonso, ye all know, died in the Holy Land-ye would interrupt
me; ye would say he came not fairly to his end-it is most true-why else this bitter
cup which Manfred must drink to the dregs
. Ricardo, my grandfather, was his chamberlain-I would draw a veil
over my ancestor
's crimes-but it is in vain
! Alfonso died by poison
. A fictitious
will declared Ricardo his heir
. His crimes pursued him-yet he lost
no Conrad, no Matilda! I pay the price of usurpation
for all! A storm overtook him. Haunted by his guilt
he vowed to St. Nicholas to found a church and two convents, if he lived to reach Otranto. The sacrifice
was accepted: the saint appeared to him in a dream
, and promised that Ricardo's posterity
in Otranto until the rightful owner should be grown too large to inhabit
the castle, and as long as issue
male from Ricardo's loins should remain
it-alas! alas! nor male nor female, except myself, remains of all his wretched
race! I have done-the woes of these three days speak the rest. How this young man can be Alfonso's heir
I know not-yet I do not doubt
it. His are these dominions; I resign
them-yet I knew not Alfonso had an heir
-I question not the will of heaven-poverty and prayer must fill up the woeful
space, until Manfred shall be summoned to Ricardo."
"What remains is my part to declare
," said Jerome. "When Alfonso set sail
for the Holy Land he was driven by a storm to the coast
of Sicily. The other vessel
, which bore
Ricardo and his train
, as your Lordship must have heard, was separated from him."
"It is most true," said Manfred; "and the title
you give me is more than an outcast
-well! be it so-proceed
Jerome blushed, and continued. "For three months Lord Alfonso was wind-bound
in Sicily. There he became enamoured of a fair
virgin named Victoria. He was too pious
her to forbidden
pleasures. They were married. Yet deeming this amour incongruous
with the holy vow
of arms by which he was bound
, he determined
their nuptials until his return from the Crusade, when he purposed to seek
her for his lawful
wife. He left her pregnant. During his absence
she was delivered of a daughter. But scarce
had she felt a mother's pangs ere she heard the fatal
rumour of her Lord's death, and the succession
of Ricardo. What could a friendless, helpless woman do? Would her testimony avail
?-yet, my lord, I have an authentic
"It needs not," said Manfred; "the horrors of these days, the vision
we have but now seen, all corroborate
beyond a thousand parchments. Matilda's death and my expulsion
, my Lord," said Hippolita; "this holy
man did not mean
your griefs." Jerome proceeded.
"I shall not dwell
on what is needless
. The daughter of which Victoria was delivered, was at her maturity
bestowed in marriage
on me. Victoria died; and the secret remained locked in my breast. Theodore's narrative
has told the rest."