An Outline Sketch
by Theodore S. Fay
The young Lord D. yawned. Why did the young lord yawn? He had
recently come into ten thousand a year. His home was a palace His
sisters were angels. His cousin was—in love with him. He, himself,
was an Apollo. His horses might have drawn the chariot of Phoebus, but
in their journey around the globe, would never have crossed above
grounds more Eden-like than his. Around him were streams, lawns,
groves, and fountains. He could hunt, fish, ride, read, flirt, sleep,
swim, drink, muse, write, or lounge. All the appliances of affluence
were at his command. The young Lord D. was the admiration and envy of
all the country. The young Lord D.'s step sent a palpitating flutter
through many a lovely bosom. His smile awakened many a dream of bliss
and wealth. The Lady S.,—that queenly woman, with her majestic
bearing, and her train of dying adorers, grew lovelier and livelier
beneath the spell of his smile; and even Ellen B.,—the modest,
beautiful creature, with her large, timid, tender blue eyes, and her
pouting red lips—that rosebud— sighed audibly, only the day before,
when he left the room—and yet—and yet—the young Lord D. yawned.
It was a rich still hour. The afternoon sunlight overspread all
nature. Earth, sky, lake, and air were full of its dying glory, as it
streamed into the apartment where they were sitting, through the
foliage of a magnificent oak, and the caressing tendrils of a profuse
vine, that half buried the verandah beneath its heavy masses of foliage.
"I am tired to death," said the sleepy lord.
His cousin Rosalie sighed.
"The package of papers from London is full of news, and —"
murmured her sweet voice timidly.
"I hate news."
"The poetry in the New Monthly is —"
"You set my teeth on edge. I have had a surfeit of poetry."
"Ellen B. is to spend the day with us, to-morrow."
Rosalie lifted her hazel eyes full upon his face.
"Ellen B.?" drawled the youth, "she is a child, a pretty child. I
shall ride over to Lord A's."
Rosalie's face betrayed that a mountain was off her heart.
"Lord A. starts for Italy in a few weeks," said Rosalie.
"He will be delighted with Rome and Naples."
"Rome and Naples," echoed D., in a musing voice.
"Italy is a delightful heavenly spot," continued his cousin, anxious
to lead him into conversation.
"So I'm told," said Lord D., abstractedly.
"It is the garden of the world," rejoined Rosalie.
Lord D. opened his eyes. He evidently was just struck with an idea.
Young lords with ten thousand a year are not often troubled with ideas.
He sprang from his seat. He paced the apartment twice. His countenance
glowed. His eyes sparkled.
What a beautiful break. Rose trembled to the heart. Could it be
possible that he was —.
He took her hand. He kissed it, eagerly, earnestly, and
She blushed and turned away her face in graceful confusion.
"Dear, dear cousin!"—
"I have made up my mind."
"I will start for Italy."
Ocean! Superb—endless—sublime, rolling, tumbling, dashing,
heaving, foaming—coelum undique et undique pontus. Lord D.
gazed around. The white cliffs of Dover were fading in the distance.
Farewell, England. It is a sweet melancholy, this bidding adieu to a
mass—a speck in the horizon— a mere cloud, yet which contains in
its airy and dim outline all that you ever knew of existence.
"Noble England!" ejaculated Lord D., "and dear mother—Ellen
B.—pretty fawn—Rose too— sweet pretty dear Rose—what could mean
those glittering drops that hung upon her lashes when I said adieu? Can
it be that?—pshaw—I am a coxcomb. What! Rose? the little sunshiny
Rose— the cheerful philososopher—the logical—the studious—
Alas! alas! What are logic, study, cheerfulness, philosophy,
sunshine, to a warm hearted girl of twenty—in love?
Lord D. went below.
Italy is a paradise. Surely Adam looked on such skies, such
rivers, such woods, such mountains, such fields. How lavish, how
bright, how rich is every thing around. Lord D. guided his horse up a
mountain near Rome. The sun had just set; the warm heavens stretched
above him perfectly unclouded; what a time to muse! what a place! The
young nobleman fell into a reverie, which, the next moment, was broken
by a shout of terror— the clashing of arms—a pistol shot, and a
groan. He flew to the spot. A youth of twenty lay at the root of a tall
tree, weltering in his blood. The assassin, terrified at the sight of a
"I die," murmured the youth, with ashy lips.
"Can I aid you?" asked Lord D., thrilling with horror and compassion.
"Take this box. It contains jewels, and a secret, which I
would not have revealed for the world. Carry it to England, to the Duke
of R—. Open it not, no matter what happens. Swear never to reveal to
any human being that you possess it— swear."
Lord D. hesitated.
"My life-blood ebbs away apace. Speak, oh speak, and bless a dying
"Enough. I thank you—hide it in your bosom. God bless
you—my—England—never see— home—again—never, nev—."
The full round moon, beautifully bright, went solemnly up the azure
track of sky.
Lord D. dashed a tear from his eye, as he gazed on the pallid
features of the youth, who stretched himself out in the last shuddering
agony and convulsion of death. He placed, his hand upon the stranger's
bosom. The heart had ceased to beat. No longer the crimson gore flowed
from the wound. The light foam stood on his pale lips.
"And he has a mother," said the chilled nobleman— "and a once
happy home. For their sake, as well as his, his wishes shall be obeyed."
The tread of horses' feet came to his ear, and shouts and confused
Lord D. thought the fugitive ruffian was returning with more of the
"Shall I fly like a coward?" was his first thought; but again, he
said, "why should I waste my life upon a set of banditti?"
He sprang to his saddle, in his hurry, leaving behind him a
kerchief—dashed the rowels into the flanks of the snorting steed, and
was presently lost in the winding paths of the forest.
The midnight moon was shining silently into the apartment, as Lord
D.'s eyes closed in sleep, after having lain for some time lost in
thought upon his couch. His senses gradually melted into dreams.
"Ah, Rosalie. Dear Rosalie."
The maiden suddenly grasped his throat with the ferocity of a fiend,
when—hah! no Rosalie— but the iron gripe of a muscular arm dragged
him from the bed, and shook his idle dreams to air.
"Bind the villain!" said a hoarse voice.
"Away, away to the duke's!"
Bewildered, indignant, alarmed, the astonished lord found himself
bound, and borne to a carriage— the beautiful and soft fragments of
Italian scenery flew by the coach windows.
If you would freeze the heart of an Englishman, and yet suffocate
him with anger, thrust him into a dungeon. Lord D. never was so
unceremoniously assisted to a change of location. A black-browed,
dark-complexioned, mustachio-lipped soldier hurled him down a flight of
broken steps, and threw after him a bundle of clothes.
"By St. George, my friend, if I had you on the side of a green
English hill, I would make your brains and bones acquainted with an
oaken cudgel. The uncivilized knave."
He lay for hours on a little straw. By-and-by some one came in with
"Pray, friend, where am I?"
The stranger loosened his cord, and motioned him to put on his
clothes. He did so—unable to repress the occasional explosion of an
honest, heart-felt execration. When his toilet was completed, his guide
took him by the arm, and led him through a long corridor, till, lo! a
blaze of sunshiny daylight dazzled his eyes.
"You are accused of murder," said the duke, in French.
"Merciful Providence!" ejaculated D.
"Your victim was found weltering in his blood, at your feet. You
left this kerchief on his body. It bears your name. By your hand he
fell. You have been traced to your lodgings. You must die."
A witness rushed forward to bear testimony in favor of the prisoner.
Lord D. could not be the perpetrator of such a crime. He was a
nobleman of honor and wealth.
"Where are his letters?"
He had brought none.
"What is the result of the search which I ordered to be made at his
"This box, my lord duke, an—"
The box was opened. It contained a set of superb jewels, the
miniature of the murdered youth, and of a fair creature, probably his
Lord D. started.
"By heavens, it is Rosalie! I am thunderstruck."
"Enough," said the duke, "guilt is written in every feature. Wretch,
murderer! To the block with him. To-morrow at daybreak let his doom be
executed. Nay, sir, lower that high bearing, those fiery and flashing
eyes, that haughty and commanding frown. Not thus should you meet your
Night, deep night. How silent! How sublime! The fated lord lay
watching the sky, through the iron grating of his cell.
"Ah, flash on, myriads of overhanging worlds— ye suns, whose blaze
is quenched by immeasurable distance. To-morrow just so with your calm,
bright, everlasting faces, ye will look down upon my grave. Jupiter,
brilliant orb! How lustrous! How wonderful! Ha! the north star—ever
constant! Axis on which revolves this stupendous, heavenly globe. How
often at home I have watched thy beams, with Rosalie on my arm.
Rosalie, dear Rosalie—"
"I come to save you," said a soft, sweet voice.
"What! Boy—who art thou? Why dost—"
The young stranger took off his cap.
"No—yes! That forehead—those eyes—enchanting girl—angel—"
"Hush!" said Rosalie, laying her finger upon her lip.
Ocean—again—the deep, magnificent ocean— and life and freedom.
"Blow, grateful breeze—on, on, over the washing billows,
light-winged bark. Ha! land ahead! England! Rosalie, my girl, see—"
Again on her lashes tears stood glittering.
How different from those that—
Onward, like the wind, revolve the rattling wheels. The setting sun
reveals the tall groves, the great oak, the lawns, the meadows, the
A package from the duke.
"The murderer of — is discovered, and has paid the forfeit of his
crimes. Will Lord D. again visit Italy?"
"Ay, with my wife—with Rosalie."
"And with letters and a good character," said Rosalie,