A sun hath set-a star hath risen,
O, Geraldine! since arms of thine
Have been the lovely lady’s prison.
Popular fame had erred in assigning to Eveline Berenger, after the capture of her castle, any confinement more severe than that of her aunt the Lady Abbess of the Cistertians’ convent afforded. Yet that was severe enough; for maiden aunts, whether abbesses or no, are not tolerant of the species of errors of which Eveline was accused; and the innocent damosel was brought in many ways to eat her bread in shame of countenance and bitterness of heart. Every day of her confinement was rendered less and less endurable by taunts, in the various forms of sympathy, consolation, and exhortation; but which, stript of their assumed forms, were undisguised anger and insult. The company of Rose was all which Eveline had to sustain her under these inflictions, and that was at length withdrawn on the very morning when so many important events took place at the Garde Doloureuse.
The unfortunate young lady inquired in vain of a grim-faced nun. who appeared in Rose’s place to assist her to dress, why her companion and friend was debarred attendance. The nun observed on that score an obstinate silence, but threw out many hints on the importance attached to the vain ornaments of a frail child of clay, and on the hardship that even a spouse of Heaven was compelled to divert her thoughts from her higher duties, and condescend to fasten clasps and adjust veils.
The Lady Abbess, however, told her niece after matins, that her attendant had not been withdrawn from her for a space only, but was likely to be shut up in a house of the severest profession, for having afforded her mistress assistance in receiving Damian de Lacy into her sleeping apartment at the castle of Baldringham.
A soldier of De Lacy’s band, who had hitherto kept what he had observed a secret, being off his post that night, had now in Damian’s disgrace found he might benefit himself by telling the story. This new blow, so unexpected, so afflictive — this new charge, which it was so difficult to explain, and so impossible utterly to deny, seemed to Eveline to seal Damian’s fate and her own; while the thought that she had involved in ruin her single-hearted and high-soul’d attendant, was all that had been wanting to produce a state which approached to the apathy of despair. “Think of me what you will,” she said to her aunt, “I will no longer defend myself — say what you will, I will no longer reply — carry me where you will, I will no longer resist — God will, in his good time, clear my fame — may he forgive my persecutors!”
After this, and during several hours of that unhappy day, the Lady Eveline, pale, cold, silent, glided from chapel to refectory, from refectory to chapel again, at the slightest beck of the Abbess or her official sisters, and seemed to regard the various privations, penances, admonitions, and repreaches, of which she, in the course of that day, was subjected to an extraordinary share, no more than a marble statue minds the inclemency of the external air, or the rain-drops which fall upon it, though they must in time waste and consume it.
The Abbess, who loved her niece, although her affection showed itself often in a vexatious manner, became at length alarmed — countermanded her orders for removing Eveline to an inferior cell — attended herself to see her laid in bed, (in which, as in every thing else, the young lady seemed entirely passive,) and, with something like reviving tenderness, kissed and blessed her on leaving the apartment. Slight as the mark of kindness was, it was unexpected, and, like the rod of Moses, opened the hidden fountains of waters. Eveline wept, a resource which had been that day denied to her — she prayed — and, finally, sobbed herself to sleep, like an infant, with a mind somewhat tranquillized by having given way to this tide of natural emotion.
She awoke more than once in the night to recall mingled and gloomy dreams of cells and of castles, of funerals and of bridals, of coronets and of racks and gibbets; but towards morning she fell into sleep more sound than she had hitherto enjoyed, and her visions partook of its soothing character. The Lady of the Garde Doloureuse seemed to smile on her amid her dreams, and to promise her votaress protection. The shade of her father was there also; and with the boldness of a dreamer, she saw the paternal resemblance with awe, but without fear: his lips moved, and she heard words-their import she did not fully comprehend, save that they spoke of hope, consolation, and approaching happiness. There also glided in, with bright blue eyes fixed upon hers, dressed in a tunic of saffron-coloured silk, with a mantle of cerulean blue of antique fashion, the form of a female, resplendent in that delicate species of beauty which attends the fairest complexion. It was, she thought, the Britoness Vanda; but her countenance was no longer resentful — her long yellow hair flew not loose on her shoulders, but was mysteriously braided with oak and mistletoe; above all, her right hand was gracefully disposed of under her mantle; and it was an unmutilated, unspotted, and beautifully formed hand which crossed the brow of Eveline. Yet, under these assurances of favour, a thrill of fear passed over her as the vision seemed to repeat, or chant,
“Widow’d wife and wedded maid,
Betrothed, betrayer, and betray’d,
All is done that has been said;
Vanda’s wrong has been wroken —
Take her pardon by this token.”
She bent down, as if to kiss Eveline, who started at that instant, and then awoke. Her hand was indeed gently pressed, by one as pure and white as her own. The blue eyes and fair hair of a lovely female face, with half-veiled bosom and dishevelled locks, flitted through her vision, and indeed its lips approached to those of the lovely sleeper at the moment of her awakening; but it was Rose in whose arms her mistress found herself pressed, and who moistened her face with tears, as in a passion of affection she covered it with kisses.
“What means this, Rose?” said Eveline; “thank God, you are restored to me! — But what mean these bursts of weeping?”
“Let me weep — let me weep,” said Rose; “it is long since I have wept for joy, and long, I trust, it will be ere I again weep for sorrow. News are come on the spur from the Garde Doloureuse — Amelot has brought them — he is at liberty — so is his master, and in high favour with Henry. Hear yet more, but let me not tell it too hastily — You grow pale.”
“No, no,” said Eveline; “go on — go on — I think I understand you — I think I do.”
“The villain Randal de Lacy, the master-mover of all our sorrows, will plague you no more; he was slain by an honest Welshman, and grieved am I that they have hanged the poor man for his good service. Above all, the stout old Constable is himself returned from Palestine, as worthy, and somewhat wiser, than he was; for it is thought he will renounce his contract with your ladyship.”
“Silly girl,” said Eveline, crimsoning as high as she had been before pale, “jest not amidst such a tale. — But can this be reality? — Is Randal indeed slain? — and the Constable returned?”
These were hasty and hurried questions, answered as hastily and confusedly, and broken with ejaculations of surprise and thanks to Heaven, and to Our Lady, until the ecstasy of delight sobered down into a sort of tranquil wonder.
Meanwhile Damian Lacy also had his explanations to receive, and the mode in which they were conveyed had something remarkable. Damian had for some time been the inhabitant of what our age would have termed a dungeon, but which, in the ancient days, they called a prison. We are perhaps censurable in making the dwelling and the food of acknowledged and convicted guilt more comfortable and palatable than what the parties could have gained by any exertions when at large, and supporting themselves by honest labour; but this is a venial error compared to that of our ancestors, who, considering a charge and a conviction as synonymous, treated the accused before sentence in a manner which would have been of itself a severe punishment after he was found guilty. Damian, therefore, notwithstanding his high birth and distinguished rank, was confined after the manner of the most atrocious criminal, was heavily fettered, fed on the coarsest food, and experienced only this alleviation, that he was permitted to indulge his misery in a solitary and separate cell, the wretched furniture of which was a mean bedstead, and a broken table and chair. A coffin — and his own arms and initials were painted upon it — stood in one corner, to remind him of his approaching fate; and a crucifix was placed in another, to intimate to him that there was a world beyond that which must soon close upon him. No noise could penetrate into the iron silence of his prison — no rumour, either touching his own fate or that of his friends. Charged with being taken in open arms against the King, he was subject to military law, and to be put to death even without the formality of a hearing; and he foresaw no milder conclusion to his imprisonment.
This melancholy dwelling had been the abode of Damian for nearly a month, when, strange as it may seem, his health, which had suffered much from his wounds, began gradually to improve, either benefited by the abstemious diet to which he was reduced, or that certainty, however melancholy, is an evil better endured by many constitutions than the feverish contrast betwixt passion and duty. But the term of his imprisonment seemed drawing speedily to a close; his jailer, a sullen Saxon of the lowest order, in more words than he had yet used to him, warned him to look to a speedy change of dwelling; and the tone in which he spoke convinced the prisoner there was no time to be lost. He demanded a confessor, and the jailer, though he withdrew without reply, seemed to intimate by his manner that the boon would be granted.
Next morning, at an unusually early hour, the chains and bolts of the cell were heard to clash and groan, and Damian was startled from a broken sleep, which he had not enjoyed for above two hours. His eyes were bent on the slowly opening door, as if he had expected the headsman and his assistants; but the jailer ushered in a stout man in a pilgrim’s habit. “Is it a priest whom you bring me, warden?” said the unhappy prisoner.
“He can best answer the question himself,” said the surly official, and presently withdrew.
The pilgrim remained standing on the floor, with his back to the small window, or rather loophole, by which the cell was imperfectly lighted, and gazed intently upon. Damian, who was seated oil the side of his bed; his pale cheek and dishevelled hair bearing a melancholy correspondence to his heavy irons. He returned the pilgrim’s gaze, but the imperfect light only showed him that his visiter was a stout old man, who wore the scallop-shell on his bonnet, as a token that he had passed the sea, and carried a palm branch in his hand, to show he had visited the Holy Land.
“Benedictine, reverend father,” said the unhappy young man; “are you a priest come to unburden my conscience?”
“I am not a priest,” replied the Palmer, “but one who brings you news of discomfort.”
“You bring them to one to whom comfort has been long a stranger, and to a place which perchance never knew it,” replied Damian.
“I may be the bolder in my communication,” said the Palmer; “those in sorrow will better hear ill news than those whom they surprise in the possession of content and happiness.”
“Yet even the situation of the wretched,” said Damian, “can be rendered more wretched by suspense. I pray you, reverend sir, to speak the worst at once — if you come to announce the doom of this poor frame, may God be gracious to the spirit which must be violently dismissed from it!”
“I have no such charge,” said the Palmer. “I come from the Holy Laud, and have the more grief in finding you thus, because my message to you was one addressed to a free man, and a wealthy one.”
“For my freedom,” said Damian, “let these fetters speak, and this apartment for my wealth. — But speak out thy news — should my uncle — for I fear thy tale regards him — want either my arm or my fortune, this dungeon and my degradation have farther pangs than I had yet supposed, as they render me unable to aid him.”
“Your uncle, young man,” said the Palmer, “is prisoner, I should rather say slave, to the great Soldan, taken in a battle in which he did his duty, though unable to avert the defeat of the Christians, with which it was concluded. He was made prisoner while covering the retreat, but not until he had slain with his own hand, for his misfortune as it has proved, Hassan Ali, a favourite of the Soldan. The cruel pagan has caused the worthy knight to be loaded with irons heavier than those you wear, and the dungeon to which he is confined would make this seem a palace. The infidel’s first resolution was to put the valiant Constable to the most dreadful death which his tormentors could devise. But fame told him that Hugo de Lacy was a man of great power and wealth; and he has demanded a ransom of ten thousand bezants of gold. Your uncle replied that the payment would totally impoverish him, and oblige him to dispose of his whole estates; even then he pleaded, time must be allowed him to convert them into money. The Soldan replied, that it imported little to him whether a hound like the Constable were fat or lean, and that he therefore insisted upon the full amount of the ransom. But he so far relaxed as to make it payable in three portions, on condition that, along with the first portion of the price, the nearest of kin and heir of De Lacy must be placed in his hands as a hostage for what remained due. On these conditions he consented your uncle should be put at liberty so soon as you arrive in Palestine with the gold.”
“Now may I indeed call myself unhappy,” said Damian, “that I cannot show my love and duty to my noble uncle, who hath ever been a father to me in my orphan state.”
“It will be a heavy disappointment, doubtless, to the Constable,” said the Palmer, “because he was eager to return to this happy country, to fulfil a contract of marriage which he had formed with a lady of great beauty and fortune.”
Damian shrunk together in such sort that his fetters clashed, but he made no answer.
“Were he not your uncle,” continued the Pilgrim, “and well known as a wise man, I should think he is not quite prudent in this matter. Whatever he was before he left England, two summers spent in the wars of Palestine, and another amid the tortures and restraints of a heathen prison, have made him a sorry bridegroom.”
“Peace, pilgrim,” said De Lacy, with a commanding tone. “It is not thy part to censure such a noble knight as my uncle, nor is it meet that I should listen to your strictures.”
“I crave your pardon, young man,” said the Palmer. “I spoke not without some view to your interest, which, methinks, does not so well consort with thine uncle having an heir of his body.”
“Peace, base man!” said Damian. “By Heaven, I think worse of my cell than I did before, since its doors opened to such a counsellor, and of my chains, since they restrain me from chastising him. — Depart, I pray thee.”
“Not till I have your answer for your uncle,” answered the Palmer. “My age scorns the anger of thy youth, as the rock despises the foam of the rivulet dashed against it.”
“Then, say to my uncle,” answered Damian, “I am a prisoner, or I would have come to him — I am a confiscated beggar, or I would have sent him my all.”
“Such virtuous purposes are easily and boldly announced,” said the Palmer, “when he who speaks them knows that he cannot be called upon, to make good the boast of his tongue. But could I tell thee of thy restoration to freedom and wealth, I trow thou wouldst consider twice ere thy act confirmed the sacrifice thou hast in thy present state promised so glibly.”
“Leave me, I prithee, old man,” said Damian; “thy thought cannot comprehend the tenor of mine — go, and add not to my distress insults which I have not the means to avenge.”
“But what if I had it in my power to place thee in the situation of a free and wealthy man, would it please thee then to be reminded of thy present boast? for if not, thou may’st rely on my discretion never to mention the difference of sentiment between Damian bound and Damian at liberty.”
“How meanest thou?-or hast thou any meaning, save to torment me?” said the youth.
“Not so,” replied the old Palmer, plucking from his bosom, a parchment scroll to which a heavy seal was attached. —“Know that thy cousin Randal hath been strangely slain, and his treacheries towards the Constable and thee as strangely discovered. The King, in requital of thy sufferings, hath sent thee this full pardon, and endowed thee with a third part of those ample estates, which, by his death, revert to the crown.”
“And hath the King also restored my freedom and my right of blood?” exclaimed Damian.
“From this moment, forthwith,” said the Palmer —“look upon the parchment — behold the royal hand and seal.”
“I must have better proof. — Here,” he exclaimed, loudly clashing his irons at the same time, “Here, thou Dogget-warder, son of a Saxon wolfhound!”
The Palmer, striking on the door, seconded the previous exertions for summoning the jailer, who entered accordingly.
“Warder,” said Damian de Lacy, in a stern tone, “am I yet thy prisoner, or no?”
The sullen jailer consulted the Palmer by a look, and then answered to Damian that he was a free man.
“Then, death of thy heart, slave,” said Damian, impatiently, “why hang these fetters on the free limbs of a Norman noble? each moment they confine him are worth a lifetime of bondage to such a serf as thou!”
“They are soon rid of, Sir Damian,” said the man; “and I pray you to take some patience, when you remember that ten minutes since you had little right to think these bracelets would have been removed for any other purpose than your progress to the scaffold.”
“Peace, ban-dog,” said Damian, “and be speedy; — And thou, who hast brought me these good tidings, I forgive thy former bearing — thou thoughtest, doubtless, that it was prudent to extort from me professions during my bondage which might in honour decide my conduct when at large. The suspicion inferred in it was somewhat offensive, but thy motive was to ensure my uncle’s liberty.”
“And it is really your purpose,” said the Palmer, “to employ your newly-gained freedom in a voyage to Syria, and to exchange your English prison for the dungeon of the Soldan?”
“If thou thyself wilt act as my guide,” answered the undaunted youth, “you shall not say I dally by the way.”
“And the ransom,” said the Palmer, “how is that to be provided?”
“How, but from the estates, which, nominally restored to me, remain in truth and justice my uncle’s, and must be applied to his use in the first instance? If I mistake not greatly, there is not a Jew or Lombard who would not advance the necessary sums on such security. — Therefore, dog,” he continued, addressing the jailer, “hasten thy unclenching and undoing of rivets, and be not dainty of giving me a little pain, so thou break no limb, for I cannot afford to be stayed on my journey.”
The Palmer looked on a little while, as if surprised at Damian’s determination, then exclaimed, “I can keep the old man’s secret no longer — such high-souled generosity must not be sacrificed. — Hark thee, brave Sir Damian, I have a mighty secret still to impart, and as this Saxon churl understands no French, this is no unfit opportunity to communicate it. Know that thine uncle is a changed man in mind, as he is debilitated and broken down in body. Peevishness and jealousy have possessed themselves of a heart which was once strong and generous; his life is now on the dregs, and I grieve to speak it, these dregs are foul and bitter.”
“Is this thy mighty secret?” said Damian. “That men grow old, I know; and if with infirmity of body comes infirmity of temper and mind, their case the more strongly claims the dutiful observance of those who are bound to them in blood or affection.”
“Ay,” replied the Pilgrim, “but the Constable’s mind has been poisoned against thee by rumours which have reached his ear from England, that there have been thoughts of affection betwixt thee and his betrothed bride, Eveline Berenger. — Ha! have I touched you now?”
“Not a whit,” said Damian, putting on the strongest resolution with which his virtue could supply him —“it was but this fellow who struck my shin-bone somewhat sharply with his hammer. Proceed. My uncle heard such a report, and believed it?”
“He did,” said the Palmer —“I can well aver it, since he concealed no thought from me. But he prayed me carefully to hide his suspicions from you, ‘otherwise,’ said he, ‘the young wolf-cub will never thrust himself into the trap for the deliverance of the old he-wolf. Were he once in my prison-house,’ your uncle continued to speak of you, ‘he should rot and die ere I sent one penny of ransom to set at liberty the lover of my betrothed bride.’”
“Could this be my uncle’s sincere purpose?” said Damian, all aghast. “Could he plan so much treachery towards me as to leave me in the captivity into which I threw myself for his redemption? — Tush! it cannot be.”
“Flatter not yourself with such a vain opinion,” said the Palmer — “if you go to Syria, you go to eternal captivity, while your uncle returns to possession of wealth little diminished — and of Eveline Berenger.”
“Ha!” ejaculated Damian; and looking down for an instant, demanded of the Palmer, in a subdued voice, what he would have him do in such an extremity.
“The case is plain, according to my poor judgment,” replied the Palmer. “No one is bound to faith with those who mean to observe none with him. Anticipate this treachery of your uncle, and let his now short and infirm existence moulder out in the pestiferous cell to which he would condemn your youthful strength. The royal grant has assigned you lands enough for your honourable support; and wherefore not unite with them those of the Garde Doloureuse? — Eveline Berenger, if I do not greatly mistake, will scarcely say nay. Ay, more — I vouch it on my soul that she will say yes, for I have sure information of her mind; and for her precontract, a word from Henry to his Holiness, now that they are in the heyday of their reconciliation, will obliterate the name Hugh from the parchment, and insert Damian in its stead.”
“Now, by my faith,” said Damian, arising and placing his foot upon the stool, that the warder might more easily strike off the last ring by which he was encumbered — “I have heard of such things as this — I have heard of beings who, with seeming gravity of word and aspect — with subtle counsels, artfully applied to the frailties of human nature — have haunted the cells of despairing men, and made them many a fair promise, if they would but exchange for their by-ways the paths of salvation. Such are the fiend’s dearest agents, and in such a guise hath the fiend himself been known to appear. In the name of God, old man, if human thou art, begone! — I like not thy words or thy presence — I spit at thy counsels. And mark me,” he added, with a menacing gesture, “Look to thine own safety — I shall presently be at liberty!”
“Boy,” replied the Palmer, folding his arms contemptuously in his cloak, “I scorn thy menaces — I leave thee not till we know each other better!”
“I too,” said Damian, “would fain know whether thou be’st man or fiend; and now for the trial!” As he spoke, the last shackle fell from his leg, and clashed on the pavement, and at the same moment he sprung on the Palmer, caught him by the waist, and exclaimed, as he made three distinct and separate attempts to lift him up, and dash him headlong to the earth, “This for maligning a nobleman — this for doubting the honour of a knight — and this (with a yet more violent exertion) for belying a lady!”
Each effort of Damian seemed equal to have rooted up a tree; yet though they staggered the old man, they overthrew him not; and while Damian panted with his last exertion, he replied, “And take this, for so roughly entreating thy father’s brother.”
As he spoke, Damian de Lacy, the best youthful wrestler in Cheshire, received no soft fall on the floor of the dungeon. He arose slowly and astounded; but the Palmer had now thrown back both hood and dalmatique, and the features, though bearing marks of age and climate, were those of his uncle the Constable, who calmly observed, “I think, Damian, thou art become stronger, or I weaker, since my breast was last pressed against yours in our country’s celebrated sport. Thou hadst nigh had me down in that last turn, but that I knew the old De Lacy’s back-trip as well as thou. — But wherefore kneel, man?” He raised him with much kindness, kissed his cheek, and proceeded; “Think not, my dearest nephew, that I meant in my late disguise to try your faith, which I myself never doubted. But evil tongues had been busy, and it was this which made me resolve on an experiment, the result of which has been, as I expected, most honourable for you. And know, (for these walls have sometimes ears, even according to the letter,) there are ears and eyes not far distant which have heard and seen the whole. Marry, I wish though, thy last hug had not been so severe a one. My ribs still feel the impression of thy knuckles.”
“Dearest and honoured uncle,” said Damian —“excuse ——”
“There is nothing to excuse,” replied his uncle, interrupting him. “Have we not wrestled a turn before now? — But there remains yet one trial for thee to go through — Get thee out of this hole speedily — don thy best array to accompany me to the Church at noon; for, Damian, thou must be present at the marriage of the Lady Eveline Berenger.”
This proposal at once struck to the earth the unhappy young man. “For mercy’s sake,” he exclaimed, “hold me excused in this, my gracious uncle! — I have been of late severely wounded, and am very weak.”
“As my bones can testify,” said his uncle. “Why, man, thou hast the strength of a Norway bear.”
“Passion,” answered Damian, “might give me strength for a moment; but, dearest uncle, ask any thing of me rather than this. Methinks, if I have been faulty, some other punishment might suffice.”
“I tell thee,” said the Constable, “thy presence is necessary — indispensably necessary. Strange reports have been abroad, which thy absence on this occasion would go far to confirm, Eveline’s character and mine own are concerned in this.”
“If so,” said Damian, “if it be indeed so, no task will be too hard for me. But I trust, when the ceremony is over, you will not refuse me your consent to take the cross, unless you should prefer my joining the troops destined, as I heard, for the conquest of Ireland.”
“Ay, ay,” said the Constable; “if Eveline grant you permission, I will not withhold mine.”
“Uncle,” said Damian, somewhat sternly, “you do not know the feelings which you jest with.”
“Nay,” said the Constable, “I compel nothing; for if thou goest to the church, and likest not the match, thou may’st put a stop to it if thou wilt — the sacrament cannot proceed without the bridegroom’s consent.”
“I understand you not, uncle,” said Damian; “you have already consented.”
“Yes, Damian,” he said, “I have — to withdraw my claim, and to relinquish it in thy favour; for if Eveline Berenger is wedded today, thou art her bridegroom! The Church has given her sanction — the King his approbation — the lady says not nay — and the question only now remains, whether the bridegroom will say yes.”
The nature of the answer may be easily conceived; nor is it necessary to dwell upon the splendour of the ceremonial, which, to atone for his late unmerited severity, Henry honoured with his own presence. Amelot and Rose were shortly afterwards united, old Flammock having been previously created a gentleman of coat armour, that the gentle Norman blood might without utter derogation, mingle with the meaner stream that coloured the cheek with crimson, and meandered in azure over the lovely neck and bosom of the fair Fleming. There was nothing in the manner of the Constable towards his nephew and his bride, which could infer a regret of the generous self-denial which he had exercised in favour of their youthful passion. But he soon after accepted a high command in the troops destined to invade Ireland; and his name is found amongst the highest in the roll of the chivalrous Normans who first united that fair island to the English crown.
Eveline, restored to her own fair castle and domains, failed not to provide for her Confessor, as well as for her old soldiers, servants, and retainers, forgetting their errors, and remembering their fidelity. The Confessor was restored to the flesh-pots of Egypt, more congenial to his habits than the meagre fare of his convent. Even Gillian had the means of subsistence, since to punish her would have been to distress the faithful Raoul. They quarrelled for the future part of their lives in plenty, just as they had formerly quarrelled in poverty; for wrangling curs will fight over a banquet as fiercely as over a bare bone. Raoul died first, and Gillian having lost her whetstone, found that as her youthful looks decayed her wit turned somewhat blunt. She therefore prudently commenced devotee, and spent hours in long panegyrics on her departed husband.
The only serious cause of vexation which I can trace the Lady Eveline having been tried with, arose from a visit of her Saxon relative, made with much form, but, unfortunately, at the very time which the Lady Abbess had selected for that same purpose. The discord which arose between these honoured personages was of a double character, for they were Norman and Saxon, and, moreover, differed in opinion concerning the time of holding Easter. This, however, was but a slight gale to disturb the general serenity of Eveline; for with her unhoped-for union with Damian, ended the trials and sorrows of THE BETROTHED.
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