« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
“But when all the other tribes of languages, where he was edufell away, with treachery and jeal. cated, to speak the English lanousy, and bribery, and cowardice, guage as well as many others, and Shamyl himself was betrayed German, French, Italian, Russian, in his stronghold, my father, who Arabic, almost every tongue, for had been called to take the place which he has a talent not granted of his father who died in battle, to his daughter. But above all, at the head of the Christian and he loves his own Lesghian words; higher division of the race, could and the rest of his life, if he ever not prolong the war. Not that he goes home, will be spent for the was vanquished, that could never education of the Lesghian people. happen to him ; but because all the He will never conspire against Mohammedans, who had made what Russia any more. He they call a holy war of it, would the tribes of the Caucasus are made not go on under the command up of every race under the sun, of a Christian, and they showed are always in conflict with one themselves so treacherous that they another, and speak, I forget how betrayed him, for money no doubt, many languages, and have I forget of which they were too loving, how many forms of religion, wheninto the hands of the Russian ever they have any religion at all. General. Everyone expected that But though he sees all these things, he would be destroyed on account and is of the largest mind ever of the bitterness between them, vouchsafed to a man, he is filled and the many times when he had in his heart with perpetual longing been victorious. But the Russian to be among the mountains of his Commander much pleased early days, and to finish all his with him, from the nobility of his wanderings in his first home. The manners, and treated him very fourteen years of his exile will exgently, and finding that he was a pire very soon; and then what a Christian and descended from Eng- joy there would be for him! I lish Crusaders, according to the also long more than it is possible red cross which we always wear, to explain, to see the most noble as the badge of our lineage against land the Lord has ever made, the Moslem tribes, he obtained though I only behold it in dreams permission from Moscow to release sometimes, according to his descriphim upon very generous condi- tion. For although I was born in tions. His great extent of pro- the noblest part under the shadow perty was not taken from him, as of Kazbek and in the most magniwas done to most of the other ficent Pass of the earth, from which chiefs, who had fought so long my name is taken, I was but a against Russia, but was placed in babe, when my father took me the hands of a kinsman as his with him." steward, and he was only banished “If it must be so, if you must for fourteen years, until there leave England," I asked with a
, should be no chance of any further very grim smile, for what on earth
would become of me without her, “My father made the best of and I did not even belong to the all these things. He collected all Alpine Club; "why should you be the relics of his patrimony, and so unhappy about it. I fear there travelled to many other lands and is no one in this country, whom it then settled in England, having would pain you much to leave. I learned while a boy in the City fear that you find all English people
rather dull, and cold, and uninter- away sobbing, yet concealing it, esting, and you will be too glad to as if it could be no concern of be quit of them.”
mine. And this made me feel—I “I hear that they are cold, but should be sorry to say how. I do not perceive it." Her glance I believe that there is a bit of as she said this was beyond inter- sulkiness in love, even with a man; pretation; could it mean any cruel and perhaps a large lump in a check to me? “ They are the first woman; because they are obliged nation of all mankind, my father to let it grow. At any rate I held has declared to me, many times; my tongue. If her ladyship did but of such matters I have not yet not think me worthy of her conarrived to think. The thing that fidence after all I felt, perhaps there makes me full of fear about going was somebody else who deserved from this safe land is, that though it. I knocked my stick against the people may be dull and cold, as my trousers; and it almost seemed you do describe them, among them to me as if I should like to whistle, there is law and justice, and the if I mattered so little to the wind wicked men are hanged whenever and sky. they require it. But alas my
“You are offended ! father says that among his noble angry
with me!” cried Dariel, turnpeople, no
be sure of ing round, as if she were the larger that."
part of me recoiling upon all the “Dariel,” I exclaimed with amaze- littleness. “But I cannot tell you ment, having made up my mind what I do not know. Everything that her nature was all softness and is so dark to me.” all sweetness, “surely you would Now whether it was mean of me, never wish to be sure of anybody or noble, depends upon the right being hanged.”
view of the case; but before she “I would never go to see it, as could repent of being kind, I got the people do in England, and I hold of her hand, and kissed it so am not at all convinced that it as to assure her of my forgiveness. ought to be done here. But in Then the loveliest colour ever seen lands where the law of men's lives on earth arose in her face, and in is revenge, even upon those of their her eyes there was the sweetest own family, what else is there to light just for a moment, and then prevent them from committing she trembled, and I was afraid of murder? And that which terrifies myself. me from all pleasure of seeing the By mutual accord we dropped land of my birth consists of that. that point. But I knew that she Our family, the highest of the felt for the first time in her heart Lesghian race, have not that most that the whole of mine belonged to wicked rule of blood-revenge ; but it. Crafty love and maiden fear all the other tribes around them combined to let that bide a while. have; and I am in the most dread- “I fear that it is too selfish of ful alarm that my father has done me, and too great trespass upon something to make him subject to your good-will,” she said, without that barbarous, abominable, hor- looking at me again, “if I ask you rible—oh what shall I do? what to help me in this matter. But you shall I do?"
do admire my father, I think. NoOnce more, I made offer to ad- body can meet him without that.” minister to her the kindest and “He is the noblest and the grandsoftest consolation ; but she turned est man I have ever had the honour
of speaking to. I wish that I could it is anything, Mr Cran-lee, of a only do something for him. There proposal unpleasant to you, and can be no trespass on my good-will. offering unkindness to my father, Only tell me plainly."
it is the very last thing I would “This is all I know, and I dare desire you to do. And what would not ask more, for it is not considered become of you, when he regarded good to tell me. There is one day you, as he has the power of doing in the year of great sorrow and to those-to those—who show him bitterness, through something that what you call impertinence? What
, has happened in my father's life. I was thinking of was quite differIt is something that he himself has ent to that. And though it would done, though no one could believe give some trouble, which I have no that he would ever commit a sin. right to seek from you, there could Last year, and every year before not be anything unbecoming in it. that until now, I was away and saw I thought of it last night, when I nothing of it, being under education was in such sorrow, that I could with good ladies of our race. But not sleep with any happiness. My now that is finished, and it was not father has one great friend in Lonpossible for the tribulation to be don, a gentleman known to him, in concealed from me.
Long before our native land, and who was that I had known there was some- great part of his coming to this counthing of very great misfortune and try. He understands everything of calamity to us; but I have never our situation here, and I have seen been permitted to hear more about him several times. My father has
and how can I learn, of whom told me to make application to him, can I enquire? Stepan knows, I if anything should arise, beyond his am almost sure of that; and perhaps own assistance. The gentleman is Baboushka does—but as for telling not of our own rank in life, because me—it appears that with our people, he is of commerce, which we do not the young maidens are kept out of understand. Nevertheless he is reach of all knowledge, but I have very wealthy, and nothing can be been brought up in England, and it more respected than that point in is not curiosity, Mr Cran-lee, you England. He is now entitled Signor must not be in such error as to Nicolo, because it is better among think that I have curiosity. It is the nations with whom he has anxiety, and love of my dear father, dealings with the precious stones. which anyone of any age or nation But by birth, and of language, and has a right to; and if he is to go the ways of thinking, he has always back into that land of danger with- been an Englishman of the name of out my knowing what I have to Nickols. And he is of an integrity dread, or what to save him from, beyond all common foreign names. how can I be of any use? He had He resides in the best part of Lonbetter have no daughter."
don, mentioned by your great “Shall I go and ask him all about Shakespeare, and still called Hatton it? He may think what he likes of Garden." me; if it will be of any good to you. “And you would like me to go No, that is not exactly what I mean. and see him ?” I enquired with the What I mean is, that I will take greatest alacrity, perceiving a good any row upon myself.”
chance now of discovering many “I can scarcely understand what things still mysterious; “Dariel, it the English is of that.” Oh Dariel, shall be done to-morrow. Don't can even you tell fibs? “But if talk of trouble, I beseech you.”
“It is not only that,” she an- maidens. Signor Nicolo desires swered, already assuming her right much to see it; and I will lend it to my services, which women are to you, Mr Cran-lee ; and then he never very slow to do; “but also will know that you have a right to the difficulty that Signor Nicolo ask concerning the questions of my will have to perceive in what auth- father. And the great question that ority you come. It is not as if you you go to inquire of is this, whether bore any message, or power of in- he can go back to the land belonging quiry from my father, for he would to him, without the greatest peril to not wish at all that I should so his own dear life.” employ myself. And if you do “It is my determination," I rethis for me, Mr Cran-lee, you must plied, with some infection of her bear in mind that my dear father freely imported English, so sweet will perhaps be much displeased was the voice conveying it, "not to that it has been done; and then leave this matter now, until I have although he is so just and righteous, got to the bottom of it. Is there he will inflict the whole of the any other Prince, or Jeweller, or blame upon you, because he can Crusader, whose ins and outs I never find
fault with me. And ought to know, before I can deal then perhaps you would never come with him properly?" My wrath here any more."
grew as its tongue rolled on; and "Oh that wouldn't do at all ! ”I what tongue but our own can tell it exclaimed, hoping that I saw a little then ? sadness in her eyes; “I shall put "There is another gentleman who old Nickols under a frightful pledge, has expressed a desire for a knowpenalty of his very biggest diamond, ledge of our position here, and a never to let that cat out of the little interview with me;" she bag."
spoke as if she lived without any “ He is not old Nickols. He is dogs, or walls, or river, and I requite a young man, very clever and solved at once to make Kubun and very agreeable. And he has pro- Orla as savage as Grab himself was ; mised to do anything in the world “but him I have not as yet beheld
Signor Nicolo is a gentle- at all. And he is a Prince, as you man you would be much delighted suppose so well, possessed of great to converse with."
power already, even while he is so “Now you must know much young, because of his courage and better than that,” thought I; “the noble appearance, and desire to die more delightful he is, the more hate- for his country. He is a cousin of ful to me.” However, she did not mine ; and I have heard—but my seem to catch that clue ; but went father is most righteous in whatever on, as unconscious as the wire in he proposes." the air is of its own significance. She dropped her beautiful eyes
“The last time he was here, I with a blush ; and it was lucky told him of my ancient ruby cross,
that she did not see me grind my the one which I wear most fre- teeth, for verily I must have looked quently, when I come to pray for however I controlled myself. my father here. It has been pre- “ What's the fellow's name?” was served in our family from the period the only thing I said. of the Crusades; when the noble “Prince Hafer, the Chief of the prisoners escaping to our mountains Ossets," she answered, looking with converted our tribe from idolatry, great surprise at me. and married the fairest of the “Ossets! If I don't make bones
of him," I muttered; "but pardon you shall hear of that young
Can I have the cross at once ? Nickols." I cannot go to see your dear father Probably she thought I was mad,
Important business — I and she was not far wrong, if she had quite forgotten. But yours did so. She gave me the cross, to shall be the first attended to. Oh get rid of me perhaps; and I Dariel, Dariel, I must be off, be- snatched her hand and kissed it, fore I say anything to vex you. and was out of sight in no time. Send Allai to-morrow night, and
CHAPTER XIV. -THE RUBY CROSS.
In all matters of love there is a What an idiot I must be, to even vast amount of luck. That there think of that, when I remember is of course in all human affairs, as where it has been so often! Oh far as we can interpret them ; but Dariel, Dariel! When I first saw what I mean is a larger element of your beautiful, enchanting, ravishluck than in any of our other ing, idolatrous—idolised I mean, miseries ; unless it be the still finer confound it all-who could have conflict, and far more enduring one, imagined that I should ever hold for money. Any one might have this badge of your faith - this concluded, as I did, that it was all symbol of your own high-minded, up now with every little hope I lofty-souled archetype-pish there might have nursed of winning the is no word to come near her! But favour of Dariel. Yielding to a
oh shall I never come near her sudden rush of jealousy, I had again ?” quitted her hastily and almost To cut short all discussion, I rudely, and broken my appoint- found myself in a frightful state ment with her father. It was true both of head and of heart, and that her calmness and perfect indif- ready to do anything to bring ference were enough to provoke a matters to the crisis. Accordsaint-if he ever falls in love—but ingly I said to Slemmick, who how could she know that? Though was in his right mind now, “Just certainly she ought to know it, if look after things to-day; I'm she ever thought of me in at all obliged to go to London.” He the proper vein. “What a fool I grinned, and I knew that he am! It will serve me quite right would be a tiger to any man lying if she never even condescends to down under a rick. glance at me again," I thought, As yet my conceptions about as I wandered about in the dark, jewellers, diamond-merchants, and after going home at a great pace the like were little more than a upon the wings of rage; confusion of the Arabian Nights just as I was getting on so nicely and Bond Street; so that it seemed too! What is the use of my going to be quite a mistake when the to see that Nickols? A rogue no policeman in a little dingy street doubt, almost sure to be a rogue, pointed out a very common-looking for sticking a foreign tail on to his house as the abode of Signor Nicolo.
No doubt he cheats them There was nothing to show that it of their diamonds and rubies. That contained as much as
paste shoeis why he wants to see this cross. buckle or a coral pin, and it struck Worth a lot of money, I dare say. me that if diamonds were tested