Author: Lang, Andrew, 1844-1912
France — History — Louis XI
1461-1483 — Fiction
Anne of Geierstein; Or, The Maiden of the Mist. Volume 2 (of 2)
Obvious typographical errors have been corrected. Inconsistent spelling, hyphenation, and capitalization (e.g. his grace/Grace) in the original document have been preserved.
The Introductory Essays and Notes by Andrew Lang to this Edition of the Waverley Novels are Copyright
Drawn and Etched by R. de Los Rios.
Anne of Geierstein
Sir WALTER SCOTT, Bart.
WITH INTRODUCTORY ESSAY AND NOTES
By ANDREW LANG
JOHN C. NIMMO
14, KING WILLIAM STREET, STRAND
Printed by Ballantyne, Hanson & Co.
At the Ballantyne Press, Edinburgh
LIST OF ETCHINGS.
PRINTED BY F. GOULDING, LONDON.
VOLUME THE SECOND.
|King René. Drawn and Etched by R. de Los Rios (p. 213)||Frontispiece|
|The Secret Tribunal. Drawn and Etched by R. de Los Rios||To face page 32|
|Arthur before the Queen. Drawn and Etched by R. de Los Rios||112|
|The Defiance. Drawn and Etched by R. de Los Rios||182|
|The Funeral of the Queen. Drawn and Etched by R. de Los Rios||288|
ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN;
THE MAIDEN OF THE MIST.
What! will the aspiring blood of Lancaster
Sink in the ground?
ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN;
THE MAIDEN OF THE MIST.
1st Carrier. What, ostler!—a plague on thee, hast never an eye in thy head? Canst thou not hear? An ’twere not as good a deed as drink to break the pate of thee, I am a very villain—Come, and be hanged—Hast thou no faith in thee?
Gadshill. I pray thee, lend me thy lantern, to see my gelding in the stable.
2d Carrier. Nay, soft, I pray you—I know a trick worth two of that.
Gadshill. I prithee lend me thine.
3d Carrier. Ay, when? Canst tell?—Lend thee my lantern, quotha? Marry, I’ll see thee hanged first.
The social spirit peculiar to the French nation had already introduced into the inns of that country the gay and cheerful character of welcome upon which Erasmus, at a later period, dwells with strong emphasis, as a contrast to the saturnine and sullen reception which strangers were apt to meet with at a German caravansera. Philipson was, therefore, in expectation of being received by the busy, civil, and talkative host—by the hostess and her daughter, all softness, coquetry, and glee—the smiling and supple waiter—the officious and dimpled chambermaid. The better inns in France boast also separate rooms, where strangers could change or put in order their dress, where they might sleep without company in their bedroom, and where they could deposit their baggage in privacy and safety. But all these luxuries were as yet unknown in Germany; and in Alsace, where the scene now lies, as well as in the other dependencies of the Empire, they regarded as effeminacy everything beyond such provisions as were absolutely necessary for the supply of the wants of travellers; and even these were coarse and indifferent, and, excepting in the article of wine, sparingly ministered.
The Englishman, finding that no one appeared at the gate, began to make his presence known by calling aloud, and finally by alighting, and smiting with all his might on the doors of the hostelry for a long time, without attracting the least attention. At length the head of a grizzled servitor was thrust out at a small window, who, in a voice which sounded like that of one displeased at the interruption, rather than hopeful of advantage from the arrival of a guest, demanded what he wanted.
“Is this an inn?” replied Philipson.
“Yes,” bluntly replied the domestic, and was about to withdraw from the window, when the traveller added,—
“And if it be, can I have lodgings?”
“You may come in,” was the short and dry answer.
“Send some one to take the horses,” replied Philipson.
“No one is at leisure,” replied this most repulsive of waiters; “you must litter down your horses yourself, in the way that likes you best.”
“Where is the stable?” said the merchant, whose prudence and temper were scarce proof against this Dutch phlegm.
The fellow, who seemed as sparing of his words as if, like the Princess in the fairy tale, he had dropped ducats with each of them, only pointed to a door in an outer building, more resembling that of a cellar than of a stable, and, as if weary of the conference, drew in his head, and shut the window sharply against the guest, as he would against an importunate beggar.
Cursing the spirit of independence which left a traveller to his own resources and exertions, Philipson, making a virtue of necessity, led the two nags towards the door pointed out as that of the stable, and was rejoiced at heart to see light glimmering through its chinks. He entered with his charge into a place very like the dungeon vault of an ancient castle, rudely fitted up with some racks and mangers. It was of considerable extent in point of length, and at the lower end two or three persons were engaged in tying up their horses, dressing them, and dispensing them their provender.
This last article was delivered by the ostler, a very old lame man, who neither put his hand to wisp or curry-comb, but sat weighing forth hay by the pound, and counting out corn, as it seemed, by the grain, so anxiously did he bend over his task, by the aid of a blinking light enclosed within a horn lantern. He did not even turn his head at the noise which the Englishman made on entering the place with two additional horses, far less did he seem disposed to give himself the least trouble, or the stranger the smallest assistance.
In respect of cleanliness, the stable of Augeas bore no small resemblance to that of this Alsatian dorf, and it would have been an exploit worthy of Hercules to have restored it to such a state of cleanliness as would have made it barely decent in the eyes, and tolerable to the nostrils, of the punctilious Englishman. But this was a matter which disgusted Philipson himself much more than those of his party which were principally concerned. They, videlicet the two horses, seeming perfectly to understand that the rule of the place was “first come first served,” hastened to occupy the empty stalls which happened to be nearest to them. In this one of them at least was disappointed, being received by a groom with a blow across the face with a switch.
“Take that,” said the fellow, “for forcing thyself into the place taken up for the horses of the Baron of Randelsheim.”
Never in the course of his life had the English merchant more pain to retain possession of his temper than at that moment. Reflecting, however, on the discredit of quarrelling with such a man in such a cause, he contented himself with placing the animal, thus repulsed from the stall he had chosen, into one next to that of his companion, to which no one seemed to lay claim.
The merchant then proceeded, notwithstanding the fatigue of the day, to pay all that attention to the mute companions of his journey which they deserve from every traveller who has any share of prudence, to say nothing of humanity. The unusual degree of trouble which Philipson took to arrange his horses, although his dress, and much more his demeanour, seemed to place him above this species of servile labour, appeared to make an impression even upon the iron insensibility of the old ostler himself. He showed some alacrity in furnishing the traveller, who knew the business of a groom so well, with corn, straw, and hay, though in small quantity, and at exorbitant rates, which were instantly to be paid; nay, he even went as far as the door of the stable, that he might point across the court to the well, from which Philipson was obliged to fetch water with his own hands. The duties of the stable being finished, the merchant concluded that he had gained such an interest with the grim master of the horse, as to learn of him whether he might leave his bales safely in the stable.
“You may leave them if you will,” said the ostler; “but touching their safety, you will do much more wisely if you take them with you, and give no temptation to any one by suffering them to pass from under your own eyes.”
So saying, the man of oats closed his oracular jaws, nor could he be prevailed upon to unlock them again by any inquiry which his customer could devise.
In the course of this cold and comfortless reception, Philipson recollected the necessity of supporting the character of a prudent and wary trader, which he had forgotten once before in the course of the day; and, imitating what he saw the others do, who had been, like himself, engaged in taking charge of their horses, he took up his baggage, and removed himself and his property to the inn. Here he was suffered to enter, rather than admitted, into the general or public stube, or room of entertainment, which, like the ark of the patriarch, received all ranks without distinction, whether clean or unclean.
The stube, or stove, of a German inn, derived its name from the great hypocaust, which is always strongly heated to secure the warmth of the apartment in which it is placed. There travellers of every age and description assembled—there their upper garments were indiscriminately hung up around the stove to dry or to air—and the guests themselves were seen employed in various acts of ablution or personal arrangement, which are generally, in modern times, referred to the privacy of the dressing-room.
The more refined feelings of the Englishman were disgusted with this scene, and he was reluctant to mingle in it. For this reason he inquired for the private retreat of the landlord himself, trusting that, by some of the arguments powerful among his tribe, he might obtain separate quarters from the crowd, and a morsel of food, to be eaten in private. A grey-haired Ganymede, to whom he put the question where the landlord was, indicated a recess behind the huge stove, where, veiling his glory in a very dark and extremely hot corner, it pleased the great man to obscure himself from vulgar gaze. There was something remarkable about this person. Short, stout, bandylegged, and consequential, he was in these respects like many brethren of the profession in all countries. But the countenance of the man, and still more his manners, differed more from the merry host of France or England than even the experienced Philipson was prepared to expect. He knew German customs too well to expect the suppliant and serviceable qualities of the master of a French inn, or even the more blunt and frank manners of an English landlord. But such German innkeepers as he had yet seen, though indeed arbitrary and peremptory in their country fashions, yet, being humoured in these, they, like tyrants in their hours of relaxation, dealt kindly with the guests over whom their sway extended, and mitigated, by jest and jollity, the harshness of their absolute power. But this man’s brow was like a tragic volume, in which you were as unlikely to find anything of jest or amusement, as in a hermit’s breviary. His answers were short, sudden, and repulsive, and the air and manner with which they were delivered was as surly as their tenor; which will appear from the following dialogue betwixt him and his guest:—
“Good host,” said Philipson, in the mildest tone he could assume, “I am fatigued, and far from well—May I request to have a separate apartment, a cup of wine, and a morsel of food, in my private chamber?”
“You may,” answered the landlord; but with a look strangely at variance with the apparent acquiescence which his words naturally implied.
“Let me have such accommodation, then, with your earliest convenience.”
“Soft!” replied the innkeeper. “I have said that you may request these things, but not that I would grant them. If you would insist on being served differently from others, it must be at another inn than mine.”
“Well, then,” said the traveller, “I will shift without supper for a night—nay, more, I will be content to pay for a supper which I do not eat, if you will cause me to be accommodated with a private apartment.”
“Seignor traveller,” said the innkeeper, “every one here must be accommodated as well as you, since all pay alike. Whoso comes to this house of entertainment must eat as others eat, drink as others drink, sit at table with the rest of my guests, and go to bed when the company have done drinking.”
“All this,” said Philipson, humbling himself where anger would have been ridiculous, “is highly reasonable; and I do not oppose myself to your laws or customs. But,” added he, taking his purse from his girdle, “sickness craves some privilege; and when the patient is willing to pay for it, methinks the rigour of your laws may admit of some mitigation?”
“I keep an inn, Seignor, and not a hospital. If you remain here, you shall be served with the same attention as others,—if you are not willing to do as others do, leave my house and seek another inn.”
On receiving this decisive rebuff, Philipson gave up the contest, and retired from the sanctum sanctorum of his ungracious host, to await the arrival of supper, penned up like a bullock in a pound, amongst the crowded inhabitants of the stube. Some of these, exhausted by fatigue, snored away the interval between their own arrival and that of the expected repast; others conversed together on the news of the country, and others again played at dice, or such games as might serve to consume the time. The company were of various ranks, from those who were apparently wealthy and well appointed, to some whose garments and manners indicated that they were but just beyond the grasp of poverty.
A begging friar, a man apparently of a gay and pleasant temper, approached Philipson, and engaged him in conversation. The Englishman was well enough acquainted with the world to be aware, that whatever of his character and purpose it was desirable to conceal would be best hidden under a sociable and open demeanour. He, therefore, received the friar’s approaches graciously, and conversed with him upon the state of Lorraine, and the interest which the Duke of Burgundy’s attempt to seize that fief into his own hands was likely to create both in France and Germany. On these subjects, satisfied with hearing his fellow-traveller’s sentiments, Philipson expressed no opinion of his own, but, after receiving such intelligence as the friar chose to communicate, preferred rather to talk upon the geography of the country, the facilities afforded to commerce, and the rules which obstructed or favoured trade.
While he was thus engaged in the conversation which seemed most to belong to his profession, the landlord suddenly entered the room, and, mounting on the head of an old barrel, glanced his eye slowly and steadily round the crowded apartment, and when he had completed his survey, pronounced, in a decisive tone, the double command,—”Shut the gates! Spread the table!”
“The Baron St. Antonio be praised!” said the friar. “Our landlord has given up hope of any more guests to-night, until which blessed time we might have starved for want of food before he had relieved us. Ay, here comes the cloth. The old gates of the courtyard are now bolted fast enough; and when Johann Mengs has once said, ‘Shut the gates,’ the stranger may knock on the outside as he will, but we may rest assured that it shall not be opened to him.”
“Meinherr Mengs maintains strict discipline in his house,” said the Englishman.
“As absolute as the Duke of Burgundy,” answered the friar. “After ten o’clock, no admittance—the ‘seek another inn,’ which is before that a conditional hint, becomes, after the clock has struck, and the watchmen have begun their rounds, an absolute order of exclusion. He that is without remains without, and he that is within must, in like manner, continue there until the gates open at break of day. Till then the house is almost like a beleaguered citadel, John Mengs its seneschal”—
“And we its captives, good father,” said Philipson. “Well, content am I. A wise traveller must submit to the control of the leaders of the people when he travels; and I hope a goodly fat potentate, like John Mengs, will be as clement as his station and dignity admit of.”
While they were talking in this manner, the aged waiter, with many a weary sigh and many a groan, had drawn out certain boards, by which a table that stood in the midst of the stube had the capacity of being extended, so as to contain the company present, and covered it with a cloth, which was neither distinguished by extreme cleanliness nor fineness of texture. On this table, when it had been accommodated to receive the necessary number of guests, a wooden trencher and spoon, together with a glass drinking-cup, were placed before each, he being expected to serve himself with his own knife for the other purposes of the table. As for forks, they were unknown until a much later period, all the Europeans of that day making the same use of the fingers to select their morsels and transport them to the mouth which the Asiatics now practise.
The board was no sooner arranged than the hungry guests hastened to occupy their seats around it; for which purpose the sleepers were awakened, the dicers resigned their game, and the idlers and politicians broke off their sage debates, in order to secure their station at the supper-table, and be ready to perform their part in the interesting solemnity which seemed about to take place. But there is much between the cup and the lip, and not less sometimes between the covering of a table and the placing food upon it. The guests sat in order, each with his knife drawn, already menacing the victuals which were still subject to the operations of the cook. They had waited, with various degrees of patience, for full half an hour, when at length the old attendant before mentioned entered with a pitcher of thin Moselle wine, so light and so sharp-tasted that Philipson put down his cup with every tooth in his head set on edge by the slender portion which he had swallowed. The landlord, John Mengs, who had assumed a seat somewhat elevated at the head of the table, did not omit to observe this mark of insubordination, and to animadvert upon it.
“The wine likes you not, I think, my master?” said he to the English merchant.
“For wine, no,” answered Philipson; “but could I see anything requiring such sauce, I have seldom seen better vinegar.”
This jest, though uttered in the most calm and composed manner, seemed to drive the innkeeper to fury.
“Who are you,” he exclaimed, “for a foreign pedlar, that ventures to quarrel with my wine, which has been approved of by so many princes, dukes, reigning dukes, graves, rhinegraves, counts, barons, and knights of the Empire, whose shoes you are altogether unworthy even to clean? Was it not of this wine that the Count Palatine of Nimmersatt drank six quarts before he ever rose from the blessed chair in which I now sit?”
“I doubt it not, mine host,” said Philipson; “nor should I think of scandalising the sobriety of your honourable guest, even if he had drunken twice the quantity.”
“Silence, thou malicious railer!” said the host; “and let instant apology be made to me, and the wine which you have calumniated, or I will instantly command the supper to be postponed till midnight.”
Here there was a general alarm among the guests, all abjuring any part in the censures of Philipson, and most of them proposing that John