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and he contemplated its proportions, from time, with , too; and there is no laughing at so sharp a jest, infinite satisfaction.
when it is dinned into your ears on all sides. So, The conversation between these worthies was so disgraced is the author; and but for his Grace of interesting, that we propose to assign to it another Buckingham, the Court would be as dull as my chapter.
Lord Chancellor's wig."
“Or as the head it covers.-Well, my lord, the
fewer at Court, there is the more room for those that CHAPTER XXVII.
can bustle there. But there are two mainstrings of This is some creature of the elements,
Shaftesbury's fiddle_broken-the Popish Plot fallen Most like your sea gull. He can wheel and whistle into discredit-and Rochester disgraced. Changeful His screaming song, e'en when the storm is loudest
times-but here is to the little man who shall mend Take for his sheeted couch the restless foam of the wild wave-crest-slumber in the calm,
them." And dally with the storm. Yet 'tis a gull,
"I apprehend you,” replied his lordship; "and An arrant gull, with all this. - The Crefrain.
meet your health with my love. Trust me, my lord "And here is to thee,” said the fashionable gallant loves you, and longs for you. Nay, I have done yo: whom we have described," honest Tom; and a cup reason.-By your leave, the cup is with me. Here is of welcome to thee out of Lobby-land. Why, thou to his buxom Grace of Bucks. hast been so long in the country, ihat thou hast got a "As blithe a peer,” said Smith, as ever turned bumpkinly clod-compelling sort of look thyself. That night to day. Nay, it shall be an overflowing bumper, greasy doublet fits thee as if it were thine reserved an you will; and I will drink it super naculum.-Sunday's apparel; and the points seem as if they And how stands the great Madam ?"* were stay-laces bought for thy true-love Marjory. I “Stoutly against all change," answered my lordmarvel thou canst still relish a ragout. Methinks "Little Anthonyt can make naught of her.” now, to a stomach bound in such a jacket, eggs and "Then he shall bring her influence to naught. bacon were a diet more conforming."
Hark in thine ear. Thou knowest"—(Here he "Rally away, my good lord, while wit lasts," whispered so low that Julian could not catch the answered his companion; yours is not the sort sound.) of ammunition which will bear much expenditure. Know him ?" answered the other-"Know Ned Or rather, tell me news from Court, since we have of the Island ?-To be sure I do." met so opportunely."
"He is the man that shall knot the great fiddleYou would have asked me these an hour ago," strings that have snapped. Say I told you so; and said the lord, "had not your very soul been under thereupon I give thee his health." Chaubert's covered dishes. You remembered King's "And thereupon I pledge thee,” said the young affairs will keep cool, and entrements must be eaten nobleman, "wlrich on any other argument I were
loath to do---thinking of Ned as somewhat the cut "Not so, my lord; I only kept common talk whilst of a villain.” that eavesdropping rascal' of a landlord was in the “Granted, man-granted,” said the other,"a room; so that, now the coast is clear once more, I very thorough-paced rascal, but able, my lord, able pray you for news from Court."
and necessary; and, in this plan, indispensable. "The Plot is nonsuited,” answered the courtier-Pshaw!- This champagne turns sironger as it gets "Sir George Wakeman acquitted *-the witnesses older, I think.” discredited by the jury-Scroggs, who ranted on one “Hark, mine honest fellow," said the courtier ; side, is now ranting on t'other."
"I would thou wouldst give me some item of all this "Rat the Plot, Wakeman, witnesses, Papists, and mystery. Thou hast it, I know; for whom do men Protestants, all together! Do you think I care for intrust but trusty Chiffinch ?". such trash as that ?-Till the Plot comes up the palace " It is your pleasure to say so, my lord," answered back-stair, and gets possession of old Rowley's own Smith, (whom we shall hereafter call by his real imagination, I care pot a farthing who believes or name of Chiffinch,), with much drunken gȚavity, disbelieves. I hang by him will bear me out. for his speech had become a little altered by his
"Well, then," said my lord, "the next news is copious libations in the course of the evening, Rochester's disgrace.”
few men know more, or say less, than I do; and “Disgraced !-How, and for what? The morning it well becomes my station. Conticucre omnes, as I came off, he stood as fair as any one."
the grammar hath it-all men should learn to hold "That's over-the epitapht has broken his neck, their tongue." and now he may write one for his own Court favour, Except with a friend, Tom--except with a friend, for it is dead and buried."
Thou wilt never be such a dog-bolt as to refuse a “The epitaph!" exclaimed Tom; "why, I was by hint to a friend ? Come, you get too wise and states. when it was made; and it passed for an excellent manlike for your office-The ligatures of thy most good jest with him whom it was made upon." peasantly jacket there are like to burst with thy
Ay, so it did, among ourselves," answered his secret. Come, undo a button, man; it is for the companion; “but it got abroad, and had a run like health of thy constitution-Let out a reef; and, let a mill-race. It was in every coffeehouse, and in half thy chosen friend know what is meditating. Thou the diurnals. Grammont translated it into French knowest I am as true as thyself to little Anthony, if • The first check received by Doctor Oates and his colleagues
he can but get uppermost." in the task of supporting the Plot by their testimony, was in
" If, thou lordly infidel!” said Chiffinch-"talk'st this manner :-After a good deal of prevarication, the prime thou to me of ifs ?-There is neither if nor and in witness at length made a direct charge against Sir George the matter. The great Madam shall be pulled a peg Wakeman, the Queen's physician, of an attempt to poison the down-the great plot screwed a peg or two up, Thou whom he represented ng Wakeman's accomplice. This last knowest Ned ?--Honest Ned had a brother's death piece of effrontery recalled the King to some generous senti. to revenge." inents. “The villains," said Charles, "think I am tired of my wife ; .but they shall find I will not permit an innocent woman
"I have heard so," said the pobleman; "and that to be persecuted." Scroggs, the Lord Chief Justice, accord his persevering resentment of that injury was one of ingly received instructions to be favourable to the accused; the few points which seemed to be a sort of heathenish and, for the first time, he was so. Wakeman was acquitted, virtue in him." but thought it more for huis safety to retire abroad. His ac
"Well," continued Chiffinch, "in maneuvring to quittal, however, indicated a turn of the tide, which had so Jong set in favour of the Plot, and of the witnesses by whom bring about this revenge, which he hath laboured at it had hitherto been supported.
many a day, he hath discovered a treasure." + The epitaph alludea to is the celebrated epigram made by What!-In the Isle of Man ?” said his companRochester on Charles II. It was composed at the King's re- ion. quest, who nevertheless resented its poignancy. The lines are well known :
Assure yourself of it.-She is a creature so lovely,
* The Duchess of Portsmouth, Charles II's favourite mistress; "Here lics our sovereign lord the King,
very unpopular at the time of the Popish Plot, as well from her Whose word no man relies on:
religion as her country, being a French woman and a Catholic. Who never said a foolish thing,
| Anthony Ashly Cooper, Earl of Shanesbury, the politician And never did a wise one."
I and intriguer of the period.
that she needs but be scen to put down every one sent down-he owes her an old accompt, thou of the favourites, from Portsmouth and Cleaveland knowest--with private instructions to possess himdown to that three-penny baggage, Mistress Nelly.' self of the island, if he could, by help of some of his
"By my word, Chiffinch," said my lord, " that is a old friends. He hath ever kept up spies upon her; reinforcement after the fashion of thine own best and happy man was he, to think his hour of ventactics. But bethink thee, man! To make such a geance was come so nigh. But he missed his blow; conquest, there wants more than a cherry-cheek and and the old girl being placed on her guard, was soon a bright eye-there must be wit-wit, man, and man- in a condition to make Ned smoke for it. Out of the ners, and a little sense besides, to keep influence when island he came with little advantage for having it is gotten."
entered it; when, by some means-for the devil, "Pshaw! will you tell me what goes to this voca- think, stands ever his friend-- he obtained information tion ?" said Chiffinch. “Here, pledge me her health concerning a messenger, whom her old Majesty of in a brimmer.-Nay, you shall do it on knees, 100.- Man had sent to London to make party in her behalf. Never such a triumphant beauty was seen-I went Ned stuck himself to this fellow-a raw, half-bred to church on purpose, for the first time these ten years lad, son of an old blundering Cavalier of the old -Yet I lie, it was not to church neither-it was to stamp, down in Derbyshire-and so managed the chapel."
swain, that he broughi him to the place where I was * To chapel !–What the devil, is she a puritan ?" waiting in anxious expectation of the pretty one I exclaimed the other courtier.
told you of. By Saint Anthony, for I will swear "To be sure she is. Do you think I would be by no meaner oath, I stared when I saw this great accessary to bringing a Papist into favour in these lout-not that the fellow is so ill looked neithertimes, when, as my good Lord said in the House, I stared like-like--good now, help me to a simile. there should not be a Popish man-servant, nor a Like Saint Anthony's pig, an it were sleek," said Popish maid-servant, not so much as dog or cat left, the young lord; "your eyes, Chiffie, have the very blink to bark or mew about the King !"*
of one. But what hath all this to do with the Plot. "But consider, Chiffie, the dislikelihood of her Hold-I have had wine enough.' pleasing," said the noble courtier.-"What! old "You shall not baulk me," said Chiffinch; and a Rowley, with his wit, and love of wit--his wildness, jingling was heard, as if he were filling his comrade's and love of wildness-he form a league with a silly; glass with a very unsteady hand. “Hey-What the scrupulous, unidea'd Puritan!-notif she were Venus. devil is the matter?-I used to carry my glass steady
Thou knowest naught of the matter," answered -very steady." Chiffinch. "I tell thee, the fine contrast between "Well, but this stranger ?" the seeming saint and falling sinner will give zest "Why, he swept at game and ragout as he would to the old gentleman's inclinations. If I do not at spring beef or summer mutton. Never saw so know him, who does ?-Her health, my lord, on unnurtured a cub-Knew no more what he eat than your bare knee, as you would live to be of the bed- an infidel -I cursed him by my gods when I saw Chauchamber!"
beri's chef-d'æuvres gluited down so indifferent a "I pledge you most devoutly," answered his friend. throat. We took the freedom to spice his goblet a “But you have not told me how the acquaintance is little, and ease him of his packet of letters; and the to be made; for you cannot, I think, carry her 10 fool went on his way the next morning with a budget Whitehall."
artificially filled with gray paper. Ned would have Aha, my dear lord, you would have the whole kept him, in hopes to have made a witness of him, secret! but that I cannot afford-I can spare a friend but the boy was not of that mettle." a peep at my ends, but no one must look on the "How will you prove your letters ?" said the uneans by which they are achieved.”—So saying, he courtier. shook his drunken head most wisely.
"La you there, my lord,” said Chiffinch; " one may The villanous design which this discourse implied, see with half an eye, for all your laced doublet, that and which his heart told him was designed against you have been of the family of Furnival's, before your Alice Bridgenorth, stirred Julian so extremly, that he brother's death sent you to Court. How prove the involuntarily shifted his posture, and laid his hand on letters ?-Why, we have but let the sparrow fly with his sword hilt.
a string round his foot-We have him again so soon Chiffinch heard a rustling, and broke off, exclaim as we list." îng, “Hark!--Zounds, something moyed—I trust I "Why, thou art turned a very Machiavel, Chiffinch," have told the tale to no ears but thine."
said his friend. "But how if the youth proved restiff? I will cut off any which have drunk in but a -I have heard these Peak men have hot heads and syllable of thy words, said the nobleman; and raising hard hands." a candle, he took a hasty survey of the apartment. "Trouble not yourself—that was cared for, my lord,"; Seeing nothing that could incur his menaced resent said Chiffinch—"his pistols might bark, but they could ment, he replaced the light and continued :-"Well, not bite." suppose the Belle Louise de Querouaillet shoots "Most exquisite Chiffinch, thou art turned micher from her high station in the firmament, how will you as well as padder-Canst both rob a man and kidnali rear up the down-fallen Plot again--for without that him!" same plot, think of it as thou wilt, we have no “Micher and padder-what terms be these?" said change of hands--and matters remain as they were, Chiffinch. “Methinks these are sounds to lug out with a Protestant courtesan instead of a Papist- upon. You will have me angry to the degree of fallLittle Anthony can but little speed without thai Plot ing foul-robber and kidnapper!" of his-I believe, in my conscience, he begot it him- You mistake verb for noun-substantive," replied self.''I
his lordship; "I said rob and kidnap--a man may do "Whoever begot it,” said Chiffinch, "he hath either once and away without being professional.", adopted it; and a thriving babe it has been to him. “But not without spilling a little foolish noble Well, then, though it lies out of my way, I will play blood, or some such red-coloured gear,” said Chiffinch, Saint Peter again-up with t'other key, and unlock starting up. t'other mystery.”
"Oh yes," said his lordship; "all this may be with Now ihou speakest like a good fellow; and I will, out these direful consequences, and so you will find with my own hands, unwire this fresh flask, to begin to-morrow, when you return to England; for at prea brimmer to the success of thy achievement." sent you are in the land of Champagne, Chiffie; and
"Well, then," continued the communicative Chif- that you may continue so, I drink thee this parting finch, thou knowest that they have long had a cup to line thy nightcap.". nibbling at the old Countess of Derby.-So Ned was
*I do not refuse your pledge,” said Chiffinch; “but * Such was the extravagance of Shaftesbury's eloquence. I drink to thee in dudgeon and in hostility-It is a cup + Charles's principal mistress en titre. She was created of wrath
and a gage of battle. To-morrow, by dawn, Duchess of Portsmouth. : Shaftesbury himself is supposed to have said that he knew I will have thee at point
of fox, wert thou the last of not who was the inventor of the Plot, but that he himself had the Savilles.- What the devil! think you I fear you all the advantage of the discovery.
because you are a lord ?” VOL. IV.
"Not so, Chiffinch," answered his companion. "IL. "Spoken like a most gallant Outram," said Julian; know thou fearest nothing but beans and bacon, wash- "and were we but rid of that puppy lord and his ed down with bumpkin-like beer.---Adieu, sweet Chif- retinue, we two could easily deal with the other three." finch-to bed-Chiffinch-10 bed."
"Two Londoners and a Frenchman ?" said Lance, So saying, he listed a candle, and left the apartment. _“I would take them in mine own hand. And as for And Chiffinch, whom the last draught had nearly my Lord Saville, as they call him, I heard word last overpowered, had just strength enough left to do the night that he and all his men of gilded gingerbreadsame, muttering, as he staggered out, “Yes, he shall that looked at an honest fellow like me, as if they answer it.-Dawn of day? D-n me-It is come were the ore and I the dross-are all to be off this already-Yonder's the dawn-No, d-n me, 'tis the morning to some races, or such like junketings, about fire glancing on the cursed red lattice-I am whistled Tutbury. It was that brought him down here, where drunk, I think - This comes of a country inn-It he met this other civet-cat by accident." is the smell of the brandy in this cursed room-It In truth, even as Lance spoke, a trampling was could not be the wine-Well, old Rowley shall send heard of horses in the yard; and from the hatch of me no more errands to the country again-Steady, their hay-loft, they beheld Lord Saville's attendants steady."
mustered, and ready to set out as soon as he should So saying he reeled out of the apartment, leaving make his appearance. Peveril to think over the extraordinary conversation So ho, Master Jeremy,'' said one of the fellows, he had just heard.
to a sort of principal attendant, who just came out of The name of Chiffinch, the well-known minister the house, "methinks the wine has proved a sleeping of Charles's pleasures, was nearly allied to the part cup to my lord this morning; which he seemed about to play in the present intrigue; "No," answered Jeremy," he hath been up before but that Christian, whom he had always supposed a light, writing letters for London; and to punish thy Puritan as strict as his brother-in-law Bridgenorth, irreverence, thou, Jonathan, shalt be the man to ride should be associated with him in a plot so infamous, back with ihen.'' seemed alike unnatural and monstrous. The near "And so to miss the race ?” said Jonathan, sulkily; relationship might blind Bridgenorth, and warrant "I thank you for this good turn, good Master Jeremy him in confiding his daughter to such a man's charge; and hang me if I forget it." but what a wretch he must be, that could coolly Further discussion was cut short by the appearance meditate such an ignominious abuse of his trust! In of the young nobleman, who, as he came out of the doubt whether he could credit for a moment the tale inn, said to Jeremy, "These be the letters. Let one which Chiffinch had revealed, he hastily examined of the knaves ride to London for life and death, and his packet, and found that the sealskin case in which deliver them as directed; and the rest of them get to it had been wrapt up, now only contained an equal horse and follow me." quantity of waste paper. If he had wanted further Jeremy gave Jonathan the packet with a malicions confirmation, the failure of the shot which he had smile; and the disappointed groom turned his horse's fired at Bridgenorth, and of which the wadding only head sullenly towards London, while Lord Saville, struck him, showed that his arms had been tampered and the rest of his retinue, fode briskly off in an op: with. He examined the pistol which still remained posite direction, pursued by the benedictions of the hosi charged, and found that the ball had been drawn. and his family, who stood bowing and curtseying at “May I perish," said he to himself, "amid these vil the door, in gratitude, doubtless, for the receipt of an lanous intrigues, but thou shalt be more surely loaded, unconscionable reckoning. and to better purpose! The contents of these papers It was full three hours after their departure, that Chif may undo my benefactress--their having been found finch lounged into the room in which they had supped, on me, may ruin my father--that I have been the in a brocade nightgown, and green velvet cap, turned bearer of them, may cost, in these fiery times, my up with the most costly Brussels lace. He seemed own life--that I care least for-they form a branch of but half awake; and it was with drowsy voice that the scheme laid against the honour and happiness of he called for a cup of cold small beer. His manner a creature so innocent, that it is almost şin to think and appearance were those of a man who had wrest of her within the neighbourhood of such infamous led hard with Bacchus on the preceding evening, and knaves. I will recover the letters at all risks—But had scarce recovered the effects of his contest with how?-that is to be thought on.-Lance is stout and the jolly god. Lance, instructed by his master to trusty; and when a bold deed is once resolved upon, watch the motions of the courtier, officiously
attended there never yet lacked the means of executing it. with the cooling beverage he called for, pleading, as
His host now entered, with an apology for his long an excuse to the landlord, his wish to see a Londoner absence; and after providing Peveril with some re- in his morning-gown and cap. freshments
, invited him to accept, for his night-quar- No sooner had Chiffinch taken his morning draught, ters, the accommodation of a remote hay-loft, which than be inquired after Lord Saville. he was to share with his comrade; professing, at the "His lordship was mounted and away by peep of same time, he could hardly have afforded them this dawn," was Lance's reply: courtesy, but out of deference to the exquisite talents "What the devil!" exclaimed Chiffinch;" why, this of Lance Outram, as assistant at the tap; where, is scarce civil. –What! off for the races with his whole indeed, it seems probable that he, as well as the admir- retinue ?''. ing landlord, did that evening contrive to drink nearly "All but one," replied Lance, "whom his lordship as much liquor as they drew.
sent back to London with letters." But Lance was a seasoned vessel, on whom liquor “ To London with letters !'' said Chiffinch. “Why. made no lasting impression; so that when Peveril I am for London, and could have saved his express a awaked that trusty follower at dawn, he found him labour.--But stop-hold-I begin to recollect--dcool enough to comprehend and enter into the design can I have blabbed ?-I have I have-I remember it which he expressed, of recovering the letters which all now-I have blabbed ; and to the very weazel of had been abstracted from his person.
the Court, who sucks the yolk out of every man's Having considered the whole matter with much secret. Furies and fire--that my afternoons should attention, Lance shrugged, grinned, and scratched ruin my mornings thus !-I must turn boon companhis head; and at length manfully expressed his ion and good fellow in my cups--and have my conresolution. Well, my naunt speaks truth in her old fidences and my quarrels--my friends and my enemies, saw,
with a plague io me, as if any one could do a man 'He that serves Peveril maunna be slack,
much good or harm but his own self! His messenger Neither for weather nor yet for wrack.'
must be stopped, though-I will put a spoke in his
wheel.-Hark ye, drawer-fellow-call my groom And then again, my good dame was wont to say, hither--call Tom Beacon." that whenever Peveril was in a broil, Outram was in Lance obeyed; but failed not, when he had in a stew; so I will never bear a base mind, but even troduced the domestic, to remain in the apartment. hold a part with you, as my fathers have done with in order to hear what should pass betwixt him and his yours, for four generations, whatever more."
"Hark ye, Tom," said Chiffinch, "here are five them, lay tumbled upon the highway in strange dis pieces for you."
order; while Lance, springing from his palfrey, com "What's to be done now, I trow?" said Tom, with manded his foeman to be still
, under no less a penalty out even the ceremony of returning thanks, which he than that of death, if he attempted to rise. was probably well aware would not be received even Before Chitfinch could avenge his trusty follower's in part payment of the debt he was incurring. downfall, his own bridle was seized by Julian, who
Mount your fleet nag, Tom--ride like the devil - presented a pistol with the other hand, and comovertake the groom whom Lord Saville despatched to manded him to stand or die. London this morning-lame his horse-break his Chiffinch, thoguh effeminate, was no coward. He bones-fill him as drunk as the Baltic sea; or do what stood still as commanded, and said, with firmness, ever may best and most effectually stop his journey.- Rogue, you have taken me at surprise. If you are Why does the lout stand there without answering me? a highwayman, there is my purse. "Do us no bodily Dost understand me?".
harm, and spare the budget of spices and sauces.' "Why, ay, Master Chiffinch," said Tom; "and so “Look you, Master Chiffinch," said Peveril, " this I am thinking doth this honest man here, who need is no time for dallying. I am no highwayman, but a not have heard quite so much of your counsel, an it man of honour. Give me back that packet which you had been your will."
stole from me the other night; or, by all that is good, “I am bewitched this morning,” said Chiffinch to I will send a brace of balls through you, and search himself, " or else the champagne runs in my head still
, for it at leisure." My brain has become the very lowlands of Holland "What night?-What packet ?" answered Chif-a gill cup would inundate it-Hark thee, fellow," he finch, confused; yet willing to protract the time for added, addressing Lance, "keep my counsel-there is the chance of assistance, or to put Peveril off his a wager betwixt Lord Saville and me, which of us guard. "I know nothing of what you mean. If you shall first have a letter in London. Here is to drink are a man of honour, let me draw my sword, and my health, and bring luck on my side. Say nothing I will do you right, as a gentleman should do to anof it; but help Tom to his nag:--Tom, ere thou stari- other.'' est, come for thy credentials--I will give thee a letter “Dishonourable rascal!" said Peveril, "you escape to the Duke of Bucks, that may be evidence thou wert not in this manner. You plundered me when you first in town."
had me at odds; and I am not the fool to let my adTom Beacon ducked and exit ; and Lance, after vantage escape, now that my turn is come. Yield up having made some show of helping him to horse, ran the packet; and then, if you will, I will fight you on back to tell his master the joyful intelligence, that a equal terms. But first," he reiterated, “yield up the lucky accident had abated Chiffinch's party to their packet, or I will instantly send you where the tenor own number.
of your life will be hard to answer for." Peveril immediately ordered his horses to be got The tone of Peveril's voice, the fierceness of his eye, ready; and, so soon as Tom Beacon was despatched and the manner in which he held the loaded weapon, towards London on a rapid trot, had the satisfaction within a hand's-breadth of Chiffinch's head, convinced to observe Chiffinch, with his favourite Chaubert. the last there was neither room for compromise, nor mount to pursue the same journey, though at a more time for trilling. He thrust his hand into a side-pocket moderate rate. He permitted them to attain such a of his cloak, and with visible reluctance produced distance, that they might be dogged without suspicion; those papers and despatches, with which Julian had then paid his reckoning, mounted his horse, and fol- been intrusted by the Countess of Derby. lowed, keeping his men carefully in view, until he "They are five in number," said Julian; "and you should come to a place proper for the enterprise which have given me only four. Your life depends on full he meditated.
restitution." It had been Peveril's intention, that when they came "It escaped from my hand,” said Chiffinch, proto some solitary part of the road, they should grad- ducing the missing document-"There it is. Now wally mend their pace, until they overtook Chaubert- sir, your pleasure is fulfilled, unless," he added, şulkily that Lance Outram should then drop behind, in order * you design either murder or farther robbery." to assail the man of spits and stoves, while he himself, ** Base wretch !" said Peveril, withdrawing his pisspurring onward, should grapple with Chiffinch. But tol, yet keeping a watchful eye on Chiffinch's motions, this scheme presupposed that the master and servant " thou art unworthy any honest man's sword; and should travel in the usual manner-the latter riding a yet, if you dare draw your own, as you proposed but few yards behind the former. Whereas, such and so interesting were the subjects of discussion betwixt equality of terms.
now, I am willing to give you a chance upon fair Chiffinch and the French cook, that, without heeding "Equality !" said Chiffinch, sneeringly; "yes, a the rules of etiquette, they rode on together, amicably proper equality-sword and pistol against single rapier, abreast, carrying on a conversation on the mysteries and two men upon one, for Chaubert is no fighter. of the iable, which the ancient Comus, or a modern No, sir; I shall seek amends upon some more fitting gastronome, might have listened to with pleasure. It occasion, and with more equal weapons." was, therefore, necessary to venture on them both at By backbiting, or by poison, base pander !" said once.
Julian; "these are thy means of vengeance. But For this purpose, when they saw a long tract of mark me--I know your vile purpose respecting a lady road before them, unvaried by the least appearance of who is too worthy that her name should be uttered in man, beast, or human habitation, they began to mend such a worthless ear. Thou hast done me one injury, their pace, that they might come up to Chiffinch, and thou see'st I have repaid it. But prosecute this without giving him any alarm, by a sudden and sus- farther villany, and be assured I will put thee to death picious increase of haste. In this manner, they less like a foul reptile, whose very slaver is fatal to huened the distance which separated them till they were manity. Rely upon this, as if Machiavel had sworn within about twenty yards, when Peveril, afraid that it; for so surely as you keep your purpose, so surely Chiffinch might recognise him at a nearer approach, will I prosecute my revenge. -Follow me, Lance, and and so trust to his horse's heels, made Lance the leave him to think on what I have told him.” signal to charge.
Lance had, after the first shock, sustained a very At the sudden increase of their speed, and the noise easy part in this rencontre; for all he had to do, was with which it was necessarily attended, Chiffinch to point the butt of his whip, in the manner of a gun, looked around, but had time to do no more for Lance, at the intimidated Frenchman, who, lying on his back, who had pricked his pony (which was much more and gazing at random on the skies, had as little the speedy than Julian's horse) into full gallop, pushed, power or purpose of resistance, as any pig which had without ceremony, betwixt the courtier and his attend ever come under his own slaughter-knife. ant; and ere Chaubert had time for more than one Summoned by his master from the easy duty of exclamation, he upset both horse and Frenchman; guarding such an unresisting prisoner, Lance renorbleu ! thrilling from his tongue as he rolled on the mounted his horse, and they both rode ott, leaving ground amongst the various articles of his occupation, their discomfited antagonists to console themselves which, escaping from the budget in which he bore for their misadventure as they best could. But consolation was hard to come by in the circumstances. I and designs a palace, the expense of which may The French artist had to lament the dispersion of his transfer his employer to a jail. But uppermost of spices, and the destruction of his magazine of sauces all, the favourite musician, or singer, who wails on -an enchanter despoiled of his magic wand and talis- my lord to receive, in solid gold, the value of the dulman, could scarce have been in more desperate ex- cet sounds which solaced the banquet of the precedtremity. Chiffinch had to mourn the downfall of his ing evening. intrigue, and its premature discovery. “To this fel- Such, and many such like, were the morning attend. low, at least," he thought, "I can have bragged none ants of the Duke of Buckingham-all genuine de-here my evil genius alone has betrayed me. With scendants of the daughter of the horse-leech, whose this infernal discovery, which may cost me so dear on cry is “Give, give." all hands, champagne had naught to do. If there be But the levee of his Grace contained other and very a flask left unbroken, I will drink it after dinner, and different characters; and was indeed as various as try if it may not even yet suggest some scheme of re- his own opinions and pursuits. Besides many of the demption and of revenge.”
young nobility and wealthy gentry of England, who With this manly resolution, he prosecuted his jour-made his Grace the glass at which they dressed ney to London.
themselves for the day, and who learned from him how to travel, with the newest and best grace, the
general Road to Ruin; there were others of a graver CHAPTER XXVIII.
character-discarded statesmen, political spies, oppoA man so various, that he seemed to be
sition orators, servile tools of administration, men Not one, but all mankind's epitome;
who met not elsewhere, but who regarded the Duke's Stiff in opinions-always in the wrong
mansion as a sort of neutral ground; sure, that if he Was every thing by starts-but nothing long ; Who, in the course of one revolving moon,
was not of their opinion to-day, this very circumstance Was chymist, fiddler, statesman, and buffoon;
rendered it most likely he should think with them 10Then, all for women, painting, fiddling, drinking;
morrow. The Puritans themselves did not shun Besides a thousand freaks that died in thinking.
intercourse with a man whose talents must have renDRYDEN.
dered him formidable, even if they had not been We must now transport the reader to the magni.united with high rank and an immense fortune. ficent hotel in Street, inhabited at this time by Several grave personages, with black suits, short the celebrated George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, cloaks, and bandstrings of a formal cut, were mingled, whom Dryden has doomed to a painful immortality as we see their portraits in a gallery of paintings, by the few lines which we have prefixed to this chap- among the gallants who ruffled in silk and embroiter. Amid the gay and the licentious of the laughing dery. It is true they, escaped the scandal of being court of Charles, the Duke was the most licentious thought intimates of ihe Duke, by their business being and most gay; yet, while expending, a princely supposed to refer to money matiers. Whether these forlune, a strong constitution, and excellent talents, grave and professing citizens mixed politics with in pursuit of frivolous pleasures, he nevertheless money-lending, was not known; but it had been long nourished deeper and more extensive designs; in observed, that the Jews, who in general confine which he only failed from want of that fixed purpose themselves to the latter department, had become and regulated perseverance essential to all important for some time faithful attendants at the Duke's enterprises, but particularly in politics.
levee. It was long past noon; and the usual hour of the It was high-tide in the antechamber, and had been Duke's levee-if any thing could be termed usual so for more than an hour, ere the Duke's gentleman where all was irregular-had been long past. His in ordinary ventured into his bedchamber, carefully hall was filled with lackeys and footmen, in the most darkened, so as to make midnight at noonday, to splendid liveries ; the interior apartments, with the know his Grace's pleasure. His soft and serene gentlemen and pages of his household, arrayed as whisper, in which he asked whether it were his persons of the first quality, and, in that respect, rather Grace's pleasure to rise, was briefly and sharply anexceeding than falling short of the Duke in personal swered by the counter questions, "Who waiis ?splendour. But his antechamber, in particular, might What's o'clock ??? be compared to a gathering of eagles to the slaughter, "It is Jerningham, your Grace," said the attendwere not the simile too dignified to express that vile ant. "It is one afternoon; and your Grace appointed race, who, by a hundred devices, all tending to one some of the people without at eleven.” common end, live upon the wants of needy great- "Who are ihey?-What do they want ?" ness, or administer to the pleasures of summer-teem- A message from Whitehall, your Grace." ing luxury, or stimulate the wild wishes of lavish and "Pshaw! it will keep cold. Those who make all wasteful extravagance, by devising new modes and others wait, will be the better of waiting in their turn. fresh motives of profusion. There stood the Pro- Were I to be guilty of ill-breeding, it should rather be jector, with his mysterious brow, promising unbounded to a King than a beggar.". wealth to whomsoever might choose to furnish the "The gentlemen from the city." small preliminary sum necessary to change egg. "I am tired of them--tired of their all cant, and no shells into the great arcanum. There was Captain religion-all Protestantism and no charity. Tell them Seagull, undertaker for a foreign settlement, with the to go to Shaftesbury-to Aldersgate Street with them map under his arm of Indian or American kingdoms, -that's the best market for their wares.' beautiful as the primitive Eden, waiting the bold "Jockey, my lord, from Newmarket." occupants, for whom a generous patron should equip "Let him ride to the devil-he has horse of mine, two brigantines and a Ay-boat. Thither came, fast and spurs of his own. Any more?" and frequent, the gamesters, in their different forms "The whole antechamber is full
, my lord-knights and calling; This, light, young, gay in appearance, and squires, doctors and dicers.” the thoughtless youth of wit and pleasure—the pigeon "The dicers, with their doctors in their pockets, I rather than the rook-but at heart the same sly, presume.". shrewd, cold blooded calculator, as yonder old hard- * Counts, captains, and clergymen." featured professor of the same science, whose eyes are "You are alliterative, Jerningham," said the Duke; grown dim with watching the dice at midnight, and "and that is a proof you are poetical. Hand me my whose fingers are even now assisting his mental com- writing things. putation of chances and of odds. The fine arts, too- Getting half out of bed-thrusting one arm into a I would it were otherwise-have their professors brocade nightgown, deeply furred with sables, and one amongst this sordid train. The poor poet, half foot into a velvet slipper, while the other pressed in ashamed, in spite of habit, of the part which he is primitive nudity the rich carpet--bis Grace, without about to perform, and abashed by consciousness at thinking farther on the assembly without, began to once of his base motive and his shabby black coat, pen a few lines of a satirical poem; then suddenly lurks in yonder corner for the favourable moment to stopped-threw the pen into the chimney-exclaimed offer his dedication. Much better attired, the archi- that the humour was past-and asked his attendant tect presents his splendid vision of front and wings,
* Doctor, a cant name for false dice.