外语教育网
您的位置:外语教育网 > 英语文化视窗 > 文学与艺术 > 小说 正文
  • 站内搜索:

Beltane The Smith (Chapter22)

2006-08-28 16:30

  Chapter XXII. Concerning the Wiles of Winfrida the Fair

  Now in these days did my Beltane know more of joy and come more nigh to happiness than ever in his life before. All day, from morn till eve, the Duchess was beside him; each hour her changing moods won him to deeper love, each day her glowing beauty enthralled him the more, so that as his strength grew so grew his love for her.

  Oft would they sit together in her garden amid the flowers, and she, busied with her broidering needle, would question him of his doings, and betimes her breast would heave and her dexterous hand tremble and falter to hear of dangers past; or, talking of the future, her gracious head would droop with cheeks that flushed most maidenly, until Beltane, kneeling to her loveliness, would clasp her in his arms, while she, soft-voiced, would bid him beware her needle.

  To him all tender sweetness, yet to all others within the manor was she the Duchess, proud and stately; moreover, when she met the lady Winfrida in hall or bower, her slender brows would wrinkle faintly and her voice sound cold and distant, whereat the fair Winfrida would bow her meek head, and sighing, wring her shapely fingers.

  Now it befell upon a drowsy afternoon, that, waking from slumber within the garden, Beltane found himself alone. So he arose and walked amid the flowers thinking of many things, but of the Duchess Helen most of all. As he wandered slowly thus, his head bent and eyes a-dream, he came unto a certain shady arbour where fragrant herb and climbing blooms wrought a tender twilight apt to blissful musing. Now standing within this perfumed shade he heard of a sudden a light step behind him, and turning swift about, his eager arms closed upon a soft and yielding form, and behold——it was Winfrida! Then Beltane would have loosed his clasp, but her white hands reached up and clung upon his broad shoulders, yet when she spake her voice was low and humble.

  "My lord Beltane," she sighed, "happy art thou to have won the love of our noble lady——aye, happy art thou! But as for me, alas! messire, meseemeth her heart is turned 'gainst me these days; I, who was her loved companion and childish play-fellow! So now am I very desolate, wherefore I pray you speak with her on my behalf and win her to forgiveness. Ah, messire, when thou shalt be Duke indeed, think kindly on the poor Winfrida, for as I most truly love the Duchess——" here needs must she sigh amain and turn aside her shapely head, and thereafter spake, clear and loud: "so will I love thee also!" Then, while he yet stood abashed by the touch of her and the look in her eyes, she caught his hand to her lips and fled away out of the arbour.

  But now as he stood staring after her beyond all thought amazed, a white hand parted the leafy screen and the Duchess stood before him. And behold! her slender brows were wrinkled faintly, and when she spake her voice was cold and distant.

  "Saw you the lady Winfrida, my lord?"

  "Why truly," stammered Beltane, "truly I——she was here but now——"

  "Here, my lord? Alone?"

  "She besought me speak thee for her forgiveness; to remind thee of her love aforetime, to——"

  "Would'st plead for her, in sooth?"

  "I would but have thee do her justice, Helen——"

  "Think you I am so unjust, my lord?"

  "Not so indeed. But she is so young——so fair——"

  "Aye, she is very fair, my lord——there be——others think the same."

  "Helen?" said he, "O Helen!"

  "And thou dost plead for her——and to me, my lord! And with her kisses yet burning thee!"

  "She did but kiss my hand——"

  "Thy hand, my lord! O aye, thy hand forsooth!"

  "Aye, my hand, lady, and therewith named me 'Duke'!" quoth Beltane, beginning to frown. Whereat needs must the Duchess laugh, very soft and sweet yet with eyes aglow beneath her lashes.

  "'Duke,' messire? She names thee so betimes, meseemeth. Thou art not Duke yet, nor can'st thou ever be but of my favour!"

  "And the time flieth apace," sighed Beltane, "and I have mighty things to do. O, methinks I have tarried here overlong!"

  "Ah——and would'st be going, messire?"

  "'Tis so methinks my duty."

  "Go you alone, messire——or goeth she with thee?"

  "Ah, God! How dare ye so think?" cried Beltane, in anger so fierce and sudden that though she fronted him yet smiling, she drew back a pace. Whereat his anger fell from him and he reached out his hands.

  "Helen!" said he, "O my Helen, what madness is this? Thou art she I love——doth not thine heart tell thee so?" and fain would he have caught her to him.

  "Ah——touch me not!" she cried, and steel flickered in her hand.

  "This——to me?" quoth he, and laughed short and bitter, and catching her wrist, shook the dagger from her grasp and set his foot upon it.

  "And hath it come to this——'twixt thee and me?" he sighed.

  "O," she panted, "I have loved thee nor shamed to show thee my love. Yet because my love is so great, so, methinks, an need be I might hate thee more than any man!" Then, quick-breathing, flushed and trembling, she turned and sped away, leaving Beltane heavy-hearted, and with the dagger gleaming beneath his foot.

相关热词:小说
栏目相关课程表
科目名称 主讲老师 课时 免费试听 优惠价 购买课程
英语零起点 郭俊霞 30课时 试听 150元/门 购买
综艺乐园 ------ 15课时 试听 100元/门 购买
边玩边学 ------ 10课时 试听 60元/门 购买
情景喜剧 ------ 15课时 试听 100元/门 购买
欢乐课堂 ------ 35课时 试听 150元/门 购买
趣味英语速成 钟 平 18课时 试听 179元/门 购买
剑桥少儿英语预备级 (Pre-Starters) ------ ------ 试听 200元/门 购买
剑桥少儿英语一级 (Starters) ------ ------ 试听 200元/门 购买
剑桥少儿英语二级 (Movers) ------ ------ 试听 200元/门 购买
剑桥少儿英语三级 (Flyers) ------ ------ 试听 200元/门 购买
初级英语口语 ------ 55课时 ------ 350元/门 购买
中级英语口语 ------ 83课时 ------ 350元/门 购买
高级英语口语 ------ 122课时 ------ 350元/门 购买
基础英语辅导课程
郭俊霞 北京语言大学毕业,国内某知名中学英语教研组长,教学标兵……详情>>
郭俊霞:零基础英语网上辅导名师
钟平 北大才俊,英语辅导专家,累计从事英语教学八年,机械化翻译公式发明人……详情>>
钟平:趣味英语速成网上辅导名师

  1、凡本网注明 “来源:外语教育网”的所有作品,版权均属外语教育网所有,未经本网授权不得转载、链接、转贴或以其他方式使用;已经本网授权的,应在授权范围内使用,且必须注明“来源:外语教育网”。违反上述声明者,本网将追究其法律责任。
  2、本网部分资料为网上搜集转载,均尽力标明作者和出处。对于本网刊载作品涉及版权等问题的,请作者与本网站联系,本网站核实确认后会尽快予以处理。本网转载之作品,并不意味着认同该作品的观点或真实性。如其他媒体、网站或个人转载使用,请与著作权人联系,并自负法律责任。
  3、联系方式
  编辑信箱:for68@chinaacc.com
  电话:010-82319999-2371