Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter VI / Love's Last Supper; A True Story of the Troubadours >> Page 82

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 82 SOUTHWARD 110
giving in society ; and while he compelled the respect of men
by his frank and fearless manhood, he won the hearts of the
other sex by those gentle graces which, always prompt and
ready, are never obtrusive, and which leave us only to the just
appreciation of their value, when they are withdrawn from our
knowledge and enjoyment.
It happened, unfortunately for our troubadour, that he won
too many hearts. Raised by the lord of Roussillon to the rank
of gentleman-usher to the Lady Marguerite, his young and beau-
tiful wife, the graces and accomplishments of Guillaume de
Cabestaign, soon became quite as apparent and agreeable to her
as to the meanest of the damsels in her train. She was never
so well satisfied as in his society ; and her young and ardent
soul, repelled rather than solicited by the stern nature of Ray-
mond, her lord, was better prepared and pleased to sympathize
with the more beguiling and accessible spirit of the page. The
tenderest impressions of love, without her own knowledge, soon
seized upon her heart ; and she had learned to sigh as she gazed
upon the person that she favored, long before she entertained
the slightest consciousness that he was at all precious to her
eyes. IIe himself, dutiful as devoted, for a long season beheld
none of these proofs of favor on the part of his noble mistress.
She called him her servant, it is true, and he, as such, sung daily
in her praises the equal language of the lover and the knight.
These were words, however, of a vague conventional meaning,
to which her husband listened with indifferent ear. In those
days every noble lady entertained a lover, who was called her
servant. It was a prerogative of nobility that such should be
the case. It spoke for the courtliness and aristocracy of the
party ; and to be without a lover, though in the possession of a
husband, was to be an object of scornful sympathy in the eyes
of the sex. Fashion, in other words, had taken the name of
chivalry ; and it was one of her regulations that the noble lady
should possess a lover, who should of necessity be other than
her lord. In this capacity, Raymond of Roussillon, found noth-
ing of which to complain in the devotion of Guillaume de Cabes-
taign to Marguerite, his wife. But the courtiers who gathered
in her train were not so indulgent, or were of keener sight. They
soon felt the preference which she gave, over all others, to our