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and was slain by that merciless chieftain. Arthur asks, though with much anxiety and apprehension, if his friend be yet living; an inquiry which calls forth from the affectionate Cradoc the following tender and sympathising tribute:
If that may life be call’d, the knight replies,
Arthur compassionately declares, that as soon as he is blessed with the hand of Inogen, who never saw distress without striving to relieve it, it shall be their joint endeavour to share and to soothe the sorrows of the unhappy Lionel ; and saying this, whilst the tear started to his eyes, they issue from the wood together, but had scarcely left its precincts, when they behold on the adjoining heath a female who, from her attitude and manner, appears to be suffering from some sudden calamity. She starts as they approach, and the prince immediately recollecting with joy the features of Ellena, the dear companion of his Inogen, is about to ask her a thousand questions, when she tells him with anguish depicted on her countenance, that she has a dreadful tale to unfold; for that not longer ago than yesterday morning, his Inogen had quitted the enchanted bower in which she had been placed by her father, never to return! She had walked, it seems, as was her custom, to the boundary which encircles her abode, but not returning as the day advanced, her friend had gone in search of her, and ascending the mound which forms a lofty barrier to the magic landscape, she had beheld her at a distance borne off on the courser of a stately knight, whilst at the same moment a storm agitated the air, and, to her inexpressible terror, she heard the demons rejoicing that they had foiled the power of Merlin, and that Inogen was the Saxon's prize. Ellena declares that, on hearing these exultations, she sunk to the earth senseless, and only recovered her faculties through the humane care of an old shepherd, whom she points out as approaching, and who, she adds, can communicate further particulars, though such as she is apprehensive will rather increase than allay his grief.
The consternation and agony of the prince, which, during this recital, had been in some degree soothed by the hope that Inogen's flight was involuntary, the result of force or fraud, are much augmented by the peasant's tale, who relates that on the preceding evening he had seen a knight and lady on a milk-white courser, crossing the valley with the utmost rapidity; that they were met midway by a young warrior, who appeared to address them in a very friendly manner, when presently the knight plunged his sword into the body of the youth, who instantly fell, whilst loud shrieks were heard. He adds, that the knight and lady were soon afterwards lost to his sight by the intervening wood, and that this morning he had conducted the damsel, whom he had found last night apparently lifeless on the heath, to the spot where the youth had fallen, and that she exclaimed on seeing him,
that his death would prove an additional source of grief to Britain's lord.
Arthur now demands to be led to the fatal scene, and on his way discovers a golden bracelet on the ground which he had formerly given to Inogen. He at first presses it to his lips—then starting from it as if a scorpion had stung him, he flings it away, declaring that it is but too sure a sign of her infidelity. As he says this, he comes within sight of the body of his friend, an object which the poet has, with great skill, connected with a very tender and romantic circumstance of legendary lore:
Now Cador's corse he view'd,'
In days of old, not yet did we invade
B. vii. p. 232.
Kneeling by the clay-cold relics of his friend, he deplores with loud lamentations his untimely fate, and accuses Inogen of being accessary to it; the thought drives him almost to distraction, and he throws himself in despair on the ground. Cradoc, though sympathising deeply in his distress, endeavours to rouse him, by declaring that he will himself track the destroyer of Cador, and inflict that vengeance which ought properly to flow from the arm of Arthur. The prince starts from the earth at this intimation, and hastily expressing his displeasure, vaults on his steed, and pursues the path which he supposes Inogen to have taken, whilst Cradoc, recommending Ellena to the further protection of the shepherd, follows his unhappy friend.
Inogen in the mean time, on her release from Hengist, having passed through the forest, though not without much suffering and hazard, enters, as the morning dawns, on a champaign country, and, exhausted with fatigue, rests herself beneath a little grove of pines on the brow of a gentle ascent. Hither, very shortly afterwards, arrive Hacon and his warrior minstrels, Oswald and Eric, bearing the body of Sweno, whom they are about to inter. They had just committed the gallant youth to the ground, and were chanting the funeral dirge, when their attention is attracted by a rustling noise, and presently they behold the unhappy Inogen timidly and slowly