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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 406 pages of information about The Knight of the Golden Melice.

CHAPTER XI.

  Oh! he sits high in all the people’s hearts.

  SHAKESPEARE.

It was evident that, so far from anything being to be expected from the interposition of the Governor, he was opposed to the marriage of Arundel as long as the latter should remain outside of the charmed circle of the Church—­a full communion with which was necessary, even to the exercise of the rights of a citizen.  But the young man was incapable of deception.  His ingenuous mind turned, displeased, away from the bait the wily Governor had presented; and, dearly as he loved his mistress, he would have preferred to renounce her rather than play the hypocrite to obtain the prize.  He was not much cast down, for, having sought the interview, not from the promptings of his own judgment, but out of deference to the wishes of the knight, he was not greatly disappointed.  He remained firm in the resolution, whatever might be the risk, to release Eveline from the constraint exercised over her by her guardian.  Silent, with the Indian silent following in his footsteps, he returned to his lodgings to brood over his prospects and to devise schemes.

The next day was the time fixed for receiving the Taranteens; and not without interest, notwithstanding the pre-occupation of his mind, did Arundel look forward to the event.  Such deputations or embassies were, indeed, not uncommon, and the young man had already been present at more than one occasion of the kind; but great consequence was attached to the present, and unusual preparations were made to convert the ceremony into a scene that should be imposing to the imagination of the savages, and forcibly impress them with an idea of the power of the English.

The name Taranteen was given to the natives living on the banks of the river Kennebec, in the present state of Maine, and embraced a number of tribes, among whom were those called by the French Abenakis.  They were a fierce and proud race, and had spread the terror of their arms to a wide distance from their hunting grounds.  There was a perpetual feud betwixt them and the Aberginians, as the Indians on Massachusetts Bay were styled, who, in consequence of wars with their northern neighbors, as well as of the pestilence which had desolated their wigwams, had become reduced from the condition of a powerful people to comparative insignificance.  These Taranteens had, at the beginning of the settlement of the colony, occasionally done some mischief, descending these rivers in canoes in small bands, plundering the cabins of exposed settlers, and sometimes murdering the inmates.  As the power of the whites increased, and their name became more terrible, these forays had almost ceased, and in most instances the colonists were able, in one way and another, to obtain satisfaction for the wrongs committed.  There was no defined state of hostilities existing betwixt them and the Taranteens, nor could it be said

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