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- Margery, Volume 4. - 9/9 -


Up in our chamber I found Ann greatly disturbed.

She, who was commonly so calm, was walking up and down the narrow space without pause or ceasing; and seeing how sorely her fears and her conscience were distressing her, pity compelled me to forego my intent of not giving her any hopes; I revealed to her that I had discovered that my Herdegen's heart was yet hers in spite of Ursula.

This comforted her somewhat; but yet could it not restore her peace of mind. Meseemed that the ruthless work she had done that day had but now come home to her; she could not refrain herself from tears when she confessed that Herdegen had privily besought her to grant him brief speech with her, and that she had brought herself to refuse him.

All this was told in a whisper; only a thin wall of wood parted Ursula's chamber from ours. As yet there was no hope of sleep, inasmuch as that the noise made, by the gentlemen at their carouse came up loud and clear through the open window and, the later it grew, the louder waxed Herdegen's voice and the Junker's, above all others. And I knew what hour the clocks must have told when my brother shouted louder than ever the old chorus:

"Bibit heres, bibit herus Bibit miles, bibit clerus Bibit ille, bibit illa Bibit servus cum ancilla. Bibit soror, bibit frater Bibit anus, bibit mater Bibit ista, bibit ille: Bibunt centem, bibunt milee."

[The heir drinks, the owner drinks, The soldier and the clerk, He drinks, she drinks, The servant and the wench. The sister drinks and eke the brother, The grand dam and the gaffer, This one drinks, that one drinks, A hundred drink--a thousand!]

Nor was this the end. The Latin tongue of this song may peradventure have roused Junker Henning to make a display of learning on his part, and in a voice which had won no mellowness from the stout Brandenburg ale --which is yclept "Death and murder"--or from the fiery Hippocras he had been drinking he carolled forth the wanton verse:

"Per transivit clericus [Beneath the greenwood shade;] Invenit ibi stantent, [A fair and pleasant maid;] Salve mi puella, [Hail thou sweetest she;] Dico tibi vere [Thou my love shalt be!]"

The rest of the song was not to be understood whereas Herdegen likewise sang at the same time, as though he would fain silence the other:

"Fair Lady, oh, my Lady! I would I were with thee, But two deep rolling rivers Flow down 'twixt thee and me."

And as Herdegen sang the last lines:

"But time may change, my Lady, And joy may yet be mine, And sorrow turn to gladness My sweetest Elselein!"

I heard the Junker roar out "Annelein;" and thereupon a great tumult, and my Uncle Conrad's voice, and then again much turmoil and moving of benches till all was silence.

Even then sleep visited us not, and that which had been doing below was as great a distress to me as my fears for my lover. That Ann likewise never closed an eye is beyond all doubt, for when the riot beneath us waxed so loud she wailed in grief: "Oh, merciful Virgin!" or "How shall all this end?" again and again.

Nay, nor did Ursula sleep; and through the boarded wall I could not fail to hear well-nigh every word of the prayers in which she entreated her patron saint, beseeching her fervently to grant her to be loved by Herdegen, whose heart from his youth up had by right been hers alone, and invoking ruin on the false wench who had dared to rob her of that treasure.

I was right frightened to hear this and, in truth, for the first time I felt honest pity for Ursula.

[End of the original Volume One of the print edition]

ETEXT EDITOR'S BOOKMARKS:

Love which is able and ready to endure all things Wonder we leave for the most part to children and fools


Margery, Volume 4. - 9/9

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