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quarter where his poor sister-in-law lived and starved with her babes. He thumped on the door till they roused and dressed, and then he placed them in the carriage, after having begged Grace's pardon with his eyes full of tears and a husky voice.
He gave money right and left, and gladdened more than one sorrowful heart that day.
When the children, all confused and delighted, were led in to see the Christmas-tree in all its glory, little Nellie turned to Sammy, and said in a sort of frightened whisper
"Do you think he is God, Sammy?"
"No, dear, but I think God sent him!"
"All this was long years ago. Sammy is a man, and Nellie a lovely young girl. The mother has long since lain asleep in the land of gold with her dear young husband and baby Charlie, where Lone Mountain's graves are watered by the fog from the fair Pacific. Adam White has grown rosy and rotund, and as he smiles serenely on his adopted children, he thanks God for the vision that opened his eyes and heart. He calmly waits the day now in a humble spirit when he may hear, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these ye have done it unto me."
STRANGE EVENTS THAT OCCURRED AT THE DEATH OF CHARLES THE FIFTH OF SPAIN.
Ir is curious to remark how closely cruelty and superstition are allied to bigotry. All past history may be said to attest to this connection, which is further peculiarly instanced in the case of Charles the Fifth, who, withdrawn from public life, and dwelling in seclusion in the monastery of Yuste-a sweet retirement amid the chestnut forests of Estramadura-allowed his latter days to be embittered by the intelligence of the spread of free inquiry in his dominions, and so inexorable was his hostility to religious freedom, that he bequeathed the duty of exterminating the "heretics" to his successors, in a codicil, the sad behest of which were subsequently carried out in four different "acts of faith" (auto da fé), two at Seville, and two at Valladolid.
But it is with superstition as inseparable from religious darkness that we have at present to do. The extent to which such was carried by the monks of Yuste will be scarcely credible in the present day. Yet do their authenticity rest on the testimony both of the prior and of the monks of the said monastery, as handed down by one Thos. Gonzalez, whose manuscript, entitled, "Retiro estancia y muerte del Emperador Carlos Quinto en el Monasterio de Yuste," was considered to be of such historical value that it was purchased by the French Government for the equivalent of one hundred and sixty pounds in English money, from Manuel Gonzalez, keeper of the archives of Simancas. This work, with various additions obtained from the archives of Simancas themselves, the archives of the Feudal Court of Brabant, and the records of the monks of Yuste, furnished the principal materials for Mignet's " Charles Quint, son abdication, son séjour et sa mort au Monastère de Yuste;" as also for Amedée Pichot's charming" Chronique de la vie interieure et politique de Charles Quint ;" and for our own countryman, Mr. Stirling's sparkling account of "The Cloister Life of the Emperor Charles the Fifth."
It appears from these chronicles, that shortly previous to his decease the Emperor had spent an hour in his own apartment absorbed in prayer; he deemed himself to be alone, when, on raising up his eyes, he saw standing close by him a silent figure enveloped in a great mantle. "Who are you?" exclaimed the monarch, observing something strange in the aspect of the unknown visitor. Whereupon the mantle unfolded itself, and the Emperor saw the image of another self, as if he had stood before a mirror.
was, according to the narrative, his spectre which appeared to him in order to warn him that his last hour was not far off, and that he must prepare to die. The story which is also related in the "Histoire des faits et gestes heroiques et plaisants de l'empereur Charles Quint," Bruxelles 1699, must have come from the monarch himself; and that his mind was diseased, as well as his body, before his dissolution is shown by the account of his having gone through the ceremony of his own funeral during his lifetime, an event the authenticity of which is, however, doubted by some historians.
The notion of a "double" is common alike to Spain and Scotland, and no doubt Charles had heard of such a thing. The spectre, enveloped in a mantle (el capotado), is met with in a Spanish drama which is often quoted by Shelley. Sir Walter Scott makes mention of the same kind of apparition in "Waverley." To the readers of Plutarch and of Shakespeare, the Spanish spectre may seem most like that which appeared to Brutus, bearer of the fatal summous to Philippi :
"Thy euill spirit, Brutus,"
in the orthography of the edition of 1623.
According to our monkish authorities, a comet also showed itself in the heavens upon the first day of Charles the Fifth's illness, moving in a northerly direction till it stopped over Yuste, and it only ceased to be visible with his death. It was reported to be the seventh comet, or the seventh time that the same meteor Id appeared in the course of his reign; and in those days, when heavenly phenomena danced attendance upon poor humanity clad in purple, a hairy comet, preceded by an eclipse, is also said to have predicted the death of the Empress in the spring of the year 1539,
The stem of a lily, which grew in the garden immediately under the Emperor's window, had, in the month of May, two buds-one only of which bloomed; the petals of the other remaining closed, although they wanted neither water nor sunshine. But, suddenly, at the expiration of three months, the very night of the Emperor's death, the tardy buds bloomed like the first, and exhaled the sweet perfume so characteristic of the lovely plant in question. The monks, filled with admiration, cut them off by the orders of the Archbishop of Toledo, with the greatest respect, and fastened them to the crape that veiled the chief altar in a garb of mourning; and they continued to bloom there for several days, preserving their brilliant white hue unchanged, and mingling their perfume with the incense, "thus offering to all an emblem of the soul, which, delivered from its mortal prison, was no doubt blossoming in the sanctuary of celestial mercy." It is to be hoped it was so; it is not in man to judge of the boundless mercy of the Creator; but
the burnings at Seville and Valladolid were a sad legacy to bequeath at the footsteps of that sanctuary.
There was at Vililla, in the kingdom of Arragon, a famous bell. It was famous because it was endowed with marvellous properties, more particularly the gift of prophecy, and which it derived, according to some, from an angel that had stood sponsor to it; but, according to others, from the circumstance that at the moment of its being cast, the wandering Jew, or some other mysterious personage, who was passing by at the time, threw into the metal, then in a state of ebullition, one of the thirty pieces of silver given to Judas Iscariot as the price of Our Saviour.
This prophetic bell of Vililla tolled of its own free will whenever a King of Aragon died. It had been tolled at the death of NTIL Ferdinand the Catholic. It likewise tolled at the death of the
Emperor Charles the Fifth, his grandson. This is recorded by DonRARY."
Juan de Quinones, in his Discurso de la Campana de Vililla, Madrid, 1625.
The night of the 27th of September, which corresponded to the seventh after the death of the Emperor Charles the Fifth, at a moment when the moon rose, the Prior, Father Martin de Angulo, heard a sound like barking. Believing it arose from some little dog which belonged to the Flemish attendants upon the late monarch, he went forth from his cell, when his attention was at once attracted to several monks assembled in the gallery of the cloister, and who were leaning over the balustrade.
"Brethren," he said to them, "this dog will annoy us all night if we do not drive it away." But the monks answered :—
"Father, it is not a dog; it is that bird which you can see on the top of the roof of the chapel, and which came from the direc tion of the Levant. It has already made that noise five times, with an interval between each."
The astonished prior went forward to look at the bird. It was as large as a swan, black from the head to the middle of the body, and white from thence to the tail. It remained for a few minutes longer on the chapel roof, and then flew away in the direction of Gargenta la Olla; it was seen almost as distinctly as in daylight, the moon was shining so brightly. The monks separated, and went to their cells without saying anything further that night. But the next day, the same bird came back, from the same direction, once more alighted on the roof of the chapel, immediately over the spot where the remains of Charles the Fifth lay in state, uttered the same strange verses, and then flew away as it had done the previous evening. It came back a third time, a fourth, and a fifth, and then never came again. The monks all agreed that a bird of the same description had never been seen in the country. The
bishop of Pampeluna (Sandoval) who relates this apparition, as told him by the Prior, Fray Martin de Angulo himself, expresses his doubts as to whether it was a strange bird or a marvellous creation, and he inclines to the latter view of the case, on account of its five regular appearances and disappearances.
Shorn of all mysterious associations, the bird in question would appear to have been simply a stork in search of a roosting place. The black part of the body was the wings. When this female stork selects a place for roosting, it calls the male by throwing back the head and striking the long mandibles of its bill against one another, by which means it makes a loud noise almost like a dog barking. But the male bird does not always like the spot selected by the lady bird; and it would appear that on this occasion, it was in vain that the female endeavoured five different times to entice its companion to adopt the roof of the chapel as a resting or an abiding place. The Easterns, it is well known, attach a superstitious idea in connection with the spot favoured by the selection of the stork for roosting or for its nest, as the Romans did with regard to swallows. On the other hand, it has always been held as a sign of misfortune when the same birds overlooked or abandoned a place, as the storks did the Monastery of Yuste.
An anonymous monkish chronicler, attached to the same monastery, and who both saw and heard the above recorded ornithological prodigy, does not hesitate, however, to assign to it an altogether supernatural origin, and he was all the more strengthened in his absurd conviction, because, he says, another monk assured him that this swan, half-black and half-white, had appeared a second time at the death of the Queen of Hungary. The worthy monk arrived, therefore, at the natural and logical conclusion, that Heaven by a comet, the earth by a lily, and the air by a bird, had united to celebrate the death of the Emperor.