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trymen prove victorious, she would be restored in triumph to her father.
“ Ah ! cruel Arnold," she exclaimed, “what is the safety you offer ? what safety can there be for me if you are in danger >>
Arnold stood transfixed with wonder and joy, and scarcely could he suppress his agitation, while he inquired if it indeed were true that he was beloved ?
Mariana, with downcast eyes and burning cheeks, owned that she loved him more than life ; and, casting herself on her knees, implored him to fly from the camp to seek protection from her father, whose gratitude for her restoration would induce him to consent to their union, when perpetual happiness should await them. She conjured him to spare her the agony of beholding him a lifeless, corpse :
Think, Arnold, think, the woes that I may suffer.
Arnold was in a delirium of transport at this confession of Mariana's regard ; but it could not take from him his sense of honour. He pointed out to her the shame and disgrace which would attend his flight; that by such conduct he should prove himself unworthy her love, a blessing he prized beyond all
earthly treasures : but Mariana was deaf to all remonstrances, she was insensible to every thing but Arnold's danger. His honour, his integrity, his fame, all were lost sight of ; her distracted mind could not behold any other object than Arnold, streaming with blood, and dying in her arms; and, with tears and entreaties, amounting almost to frenzy, she implored him to listen to her prayers and grant her request. Still Arnold remained firm ; torn with anguish by her afflictions, yet urging the impossibility of compliance : till at length Mariana, desponding at his obstinacy, reproached him with cruelty, injustice, and falsehood ; vowing, if he refused her, she never would behold him more! Arnold, unable to sustain the variety of emotions which oppressed him, sunk almost insensible on the ground; Mariana raised him, supported his head upon
her breast, wiped the cold dew from his forehead, while her tears fell upon his neck ; and when he was able to move, supported him to his tent. Resolving not to
lose the advantage she had gained over him, she still assailed his heart, prevailing at length ; when he conducted her, under cover of the night, to the French camp, and gave his lovely and beloved captive to the arms of her father.
Lord Charney received his child with joy unspeakable ; but, filled with hatred towards the English, and disgusted with the desertion of Arnold, he sternly refused to give her hand in marriage : and the wretched youth, too late awakened to a full sense of his own weakness and irresolution, beheld himself deprived of that reward, which to obtain he had forfeited fame and every thing dear and valuable to the heart of man. Like a forsaken, forlorn wretch, he wandered about the French camp, his arms folded, his eyes fixed on the ground, and his whole demeanour indicating shame, remorse, and despair. In this state of painful feeling he was met by the brave Lord Ribemont, the noble soldier who at the siege of Calais had encountered Edward the Third ; where, steel to steel, and buckler to buckler, they had contended, and long the victory remained doubtful, till Edward's arm eventually proved victorious, and Ribemont became his prize. The' monarch, charmed with such valour even in a foe, gave him liberty without ransom, and, as a token of his admiration, took a string of jewels from his own brow and placed it upon Ribemont, a trophy which he ever after wore ; and though, as a Frenchman, true to his king and to his native land, his sword was at all times ready for their defence, yet he honoured the English beyond all other nations. The valour of the
young Edward was equal to his father's, and his shining qualities, his great and noble virtues, while they rendered him an object of idolatry to his countrymen, secured the admiration even of his enemies. A deserter from his standard was, in the eyes of the lofty-minded Ribemont, therefore, an object of contempt and abhorrence ; and he inquired, with much disdain, of Arnold, if he were not an Englishman? He shrunk at the question, “ Once,” he replied,
I had that name, but I have lost it now.” “ Lost it, indeed !" returned Ribemont, eyeing, him with a look of such ineffable disdain, that Ar
nold shuddered, and hid his face in his mantic, Ribemont inquired what could induce him to forsake such a master as Edward ? and Arnold, though blushing the crimson die of shame, owned that the cause was love. This sunk him still deeper in the opinion of Ribemont; who, though sensible to the allurements of beauty, would have spurned the woman capable of having tempted him to forego hishonour, or suffered him to encounter disgrace, in order to prove his love: he consequently loaded Arnold with reproach, which he, stung with a sense of shame, was compelled to endure ; his manly spirit fell before the dignity of virtue, and his sword remained unsheathed. Arnold, the brave Arnold, who a few months before had performed deeds which called forth universal admiration, now stood abashed in the presence of an enemy, and bore his taunts without the
power of resentment. Stung to madness in this interview, conscious of his infamy, and scorning the feminine weakness which had wrought his destruction, he stood appalled when Mariana sought him, to tell the joyful news that her proud father relented, and that she yet dared to hope he would bestow her on her preserver. Not daring to look upon her, not daring to encounter her soft beaming eye, he turned his head away, and bade her leave a wretch driven almost to madness. In vain she sought to sooth his troubled mind; she flung her arms around him, and strove to hold him in her fond embrace,
Hear me, she cried,
but in vain : he fled from her with precipitation, while she threw herself on the ground in a state of frenzy
and despair ; and in this dreadful situation was found by her father, who bore her insensible to his tent.
Whilst Arnold was a prey to remorse, and Mariana plunged in the deepest affliction, every heart in the camp of Edward was full of anxiety. At this critical moment despatches were received to inform Edward, that Cardinal Perigort was just arrived at Poictiers, with the intention of interposing in behalf of the English ; the Prince, much pleased at the cardinal's kindness, and desirous to save the lives of his brave soldiers, if it could be done with honour, commissioned this amiable prelate to treat with King John of France, and the terms to be offered were, the restoration of all the castles, towns, and plunder taken from the time his army first marched out of Bordeaux ; he pledging his faith, that the sword of warfare should not be drawn against them for seven successive years.
To these propositions. John, inspired with confidence at the idea that Edward, Prince of England, should be compelled to sue for peace, returned a decided negative : proud of his own powerful numbers, and presuming on the disadvantageous situation in which the adversary was placed, he proudly demanded that the Prince, with a hundred chosen