Page images

The strictness of his cast and manners permitted him Jasper exhorted the company to whet their appetites not to sink on his knee, and kiss the hand which to the dinner by a brimming cup to his Majesty's held his little orphan; but the deepness of his obei- health, filled as high and as deep as their goblets sance--the faltering tremor of his voice-and the would permit. In a moment all was bustle, with the glistening of his eye, showed a grateful respect for clang of wine-cups and of flagons. In another moine lady whom he addressed-deeper and more reve- ment the guests were on their feet like so many rential than could have been expressed even by Per-statues, all hushed as death, but with eyes glancing sian prostration. A few courteous and mild words, with expectation, and hands outstretched, which disexpressive of the pleasure she found in once more played their loyal brimmers. The voice of Sir Jasper, seeing her neighbours as her friends-a few kind in- clear, sonorous, and emphatic, as the sound of his quiries, addressed to the principal individuals among war-trumpet, announced the health of the restored her guests, concerning their families and connexions, Monarch, hastily echoed back by the assemblage, completed her triumph over angry thoughts and dan- impatient to render it due homage. Another briet gerous recollections, and disposed men's bosoms to pause was filled by the draining of their cups, and sympathize with the purposes of the meeting. ihe mustering breath to join in a shout so loud, that

Even Solsgrace himself, although imagining him not only the rafters of the old hall trembled while self bound by his office and duty to watch over and they echoed it back, but the garlands of oaken boughs counteract the wiles of the "Amalekitish woman,' and flowers with which they were decorated, waved did not escape the sympathetic infection; being so wildly, and rustled as if agitated by a sudden whirlmuch struck with the marks of peace and good-will wind." This rite observed, the company proceeded to exhibited by Lady Peveril, that he immediately raised assail the good cheer with which the table groaned, the psalm,

animated as they were to the attack both by mirth O what a happy thing it is,

and melody, for they were attended by all the minAnd joyful, tor to see

strels of the district, who, like the Episcopal clergy, Brethren to dwell together in

had been put to silence during the reign of the selfFriendship and unity !"

entitled saints of the Commonwealth. The social Accepting this salutation as a mark of courtesy re- occupation of good eating and drinking, the exchange paid, the Lady Peveril marshalled in person this party of pledges betwixt old neighbours who had been felof her guests to the apartment, where ample good low-soldiers in the moment of resistance--fellowcheer was provided for them; and had even the pa- sufferers in the time of depression and subjugation, tience to remain while Master Nehemiah Solsgrace and were now partners in the same general subject pronounced a benediction of portentous length, as of congratulation, soon wiped from their memory the an introduction to the banquet. Her presence was trifling cause of complaint, which in the minds of in some measure a restraini on the worthy divine, some had darkened the festivity of the day; so that whose prolusion lasted the longer, and was the more when the Lady Peveril walked into the hall, acconiintricate and embarrassed, that he felt himself de- panied as before with the children and her femalo barred from rounding it off by his usual alliterative attendants, she was welcomed with the acclamations petition for deliverance from Popery, Prelacy, and due to the mistress of the banquet and of the Castle Peveril of the Peak, which had become so habi- the dame of the noble Knight, who had led most of tual to him, that, after various attempts to conclude them to battle with an undaunted and persevering with some other form of words, he found himself at valour, which was worthy of better success. last obliged to pronounce the first words of his usual Her address to them was brief and matronly, yet formula aloud, and mutter the rest in such a man- spoken with so much feeling as found its way to ner as not to be intelligible even by those who stood every bosom. She apologized for the lateness of her nearest to him.

personal welcome, by reminding them that there were The minister's silence was followed by all the then present in Martindale Castle that day, persons various sounds which announce the onset of a hungry whom recent happy events had converted from enecompany on a well-furnished table; and at the same mies into friends, but on whom the latter character time gave the lady an opportunity

to leave the apart- was so recently imposed, that she dared not neglect ment, and look to the accommodation of her other with them any point of ceremonial. But those whom company. She felt, indeed, that it was high time to she now addressed, were the best, the dearest, the do so; and that the royalist guests might be disposed most faithful friends of her husband's house, to whom to misapprehend, or even to resent, the prior atten- and to their valour Peveril had not only owed those tions which she had thought it prudent to offer to the successes which had given them and him fame during Puritans.

the late unhappy times, but to whose courage she in These apprehensions were not altogether ill-found- particular had owed the preservation of their leader's ed. It was in vain that the steward had displayed the life, even when it could not avert defeat. A word or royal standard, with its proud motto of Tandum two of heartfelt congratulation on the happy restora, Triumphans, on one of the great towers which tion of the royal line and authority, completed all Aanked the main entrance of the Castle; while, from which she had boldness to add, and, bowing gracethe other, floated the banner of Peveril of the Peak, fully round her, she lifted a cup to her lips as if to under which many of those who now approached welcome her guests. had fought during all the vicissitudes of civil war. There still remained, and especially amongst the It was in vain he repeated his clamorous “Wel-old Cavaliers of the period, some glimmering of that come, noble Cavaliers! welcome, generous gentle-spirit which inspired Froissart, when he declares that men!" There was a slight murmur amongst them, a knight hath double courage at need, when animated that their welcome ought to have come from the by the looks and words of a beautiful and virtuous mouth of the Colonel's lady-not from that of a woman. It was not until the reign which was commenial. Sir Jasper Cranbourne, who had sense as mencing at the moment we are treating of, that the well as spirit and courage, and who was aware of unbounded license of the age, introducing a general his fair cousin's motives, having been indeed consult- course of profligacy, degraded the female sex into ed by her upon all the arrangements which she had mere servants of pleasure, and, in so doing, deprived adopted, saw matters were in such a state that no society of that noble tone of feeling towards the sex, time ought to be lost in conducting the guests to the which, considered as a spur to "raise the clear spibanqueting apartment, where a fortunate diversion rit,” is superior to every other impulse, save those of from all these topics of rising discontent might be religion and of patriotism. The beams of the ancient made, at the expense of the good cheer of all sorts, hall of Martindale Castle instantly rung with a shout which the lady's care had so liberally provided. louder and shriller than that at which they had so

The stratagem of the old soldier succeeded in its lately trembled, and the names of the Knight of the utmost extent. He assumed the great oaken-chair Peak and his lady were proclaimed amid waving of usually occupied by the stewart at his audits; and caps and hats, and universal wishes for their health' Dr. Dummerar having pronounced a brief Latin and happiness. benediction, (which was not the less esteemed by Under these auspices the Lady Peveril glided from the the hearers ihat none of them understood it,) Sir hall, and left free space for the revelry of the evening. That of the Cavaliers may be casily conceived, consequences of late hours, and potations pottlesince it had the usual accompaniments of singing, deep. The tumult of the exulting royalists at last jesting, quaffing of healths, and playing of tunes, sunk into silence, and the moon and the owl were which have in almost every age and quarter of the left in undisturbed sovereignty over the old tower of world been the accompaniments of festive cheer. the village church, which, rising white above a circle The enjoyments of the Puritans were of a different of knotiy oaks, was tenanted by the bird, and silvered and less noisy character. They neither sung, jested, by the planet.* heard music, nor drank healths; and yet they seemed not the less, in their own phrase, to enjoy the creature-comforts which the frailty of humanity rendered

CHAPTER V. grateful to their outward man. Old Whitaker even protested, that though much the smaller party in

'Twas when they raised, 'mid sap and siege,

The banners of iheir rightful liege, point of numbers, they discussed nearly as much

At their she-captain's call,, sack and claret as his own more jovial associates.

Who, miracle of womankind ! But those who considered the steward's prejudices,

Lent mettle to the meanest hind were inclined to think, that, in order to produce such

That mann'd her castle wall. --WILLIAM S. Rose. a result, he must have thrown in his own by-drink- On the morning succeeding the seast, the Lady ings-no inconsiderable item-to the sum total of the Peveril, fatigued with the exertions and the apprePresbyterian potations.

hensions of the former day, kept her apartment for Without adopting such a partial and scandalous re- two or three hours later than her own active habits, port, we shall only say, that on this occasion, as on and the matutinal custom of the time, rendered usual. most others, the rareness of indulgence promoted the Meanwhile, Mistress Ellesmere, a person of great sense of enjoyment, and that those who made absti- trust in the family, and who assumed much authority nence, or at least moderation, a point of religious in her mistress's absence, laid her orders upon Deprinciple, enjoyed their social meeting the better that borah, the governante, immediately to carry the such opportunities rarely presented themselves. If children to their airing in the park, and not to let any they did not actually drink each other's healths, they one enter the gilded chamber, which was usually at least showed, by looking and nodding to each other their sporting-place. Deborah, who often rebelled, as they raised their glasses, that they all were sharing and sometimes successfully, against the deputed authe same festive gratification of the appetite, and felt thority of Ellesmere, privately resolved that it was ît enhanced, because it was at the same time enjoyed about to rain, and that the gilded chamber was a by their friends and neighbours. Religion, as it was more suitable place for the children's exercise than the principal topic of their thoughts, became also the the wet grass of the park on a raw morning. chief subject of their conversation, and as they sat together in small separate knots, they discussed doc- * The attempt to contrast the manners of the jovial Cavaliers, trinal and metaphysical points of belief, balanced the and enthusiastic, yet firm and courageous. Puritans, was partly merits of various preachers, compared the creeds of humour with great force, although they hung heavy on his pencil contendings sects, and fortified by scriptural quota- when he attempted to finish them for the stage. tions those which they favoured. Some contests

In a dull play namod the Volunteers, or the Stock-Jobbers, arose in the course of these debates, which might valier officer, somewhat rough in speech, but very brave and

the drama is persona present Major General Blunt, an old ca: have proceeded farther than was seemly, but for the honest, and of good understanding, and a good patriot." A concautious interference of Major Bridgenorth. He sup-trast to the General is “ Colonel Hackwell, senior, an old Anapressed also, in the very bud, a dispute betwixt Gafler baptist Colonel of Cromwell's, very slout and godly, but somewhat

immoral." Hodgeson of Charnelycot and the reverend Mr. Sols- These worthies, so characterized, hold a dialogue together, grace, upon the tender subject of lay-preaching, and which will form a good example of shadwell's power of dramati lay-ministering; nor did he think it altogether pru- zing. The stage is filled by Major General Blunt and some of his dent or decent to indulge the wishes of some of the old acquaintance cavaliers, and Hackwell, the ancient parliawarmer enthusiasts of the party, who felt disposed * Major-General Blunt. Fear not, my old cavaliers. According to make the rest partakers of their gifts in extempo- to your laudable customs, you shall be drunk, swagger, and fight raneous prayer and exposition. These were absurdi- over all your battles, from Edgehill to Brentford. ties that belonged to the time, which, however, the his demure pealm-singing fellows used to drub us ?

forgotten how this gentleman (point: 10 Colonel Hackwell) and Major had sense enough to perceive were unfitted, Ist Cavalier. No, 'gad! I felt 'em once to purpose. whether the offspring of hypocrisy or enthusiasm, M.-G. Blunt. Ah! a-dod, in high-crowned hats, collared bands, for the present time and place.

great loose coats, long lucks under 'em, and calves-leather boots, The major was also instrumental in breaking up the they used to sing a psalm, fall on, and beat us to the devili party at an early and decorous hour, so that they left the cause, the spiritual cause, did not sufler under our carnal the Castle long before their rivals, the Cavaliers, bad weapons, but the enemy was discomfited, and lo: they used to

flee before us. reached the spring-lide of their merriment; an arrangement which afforded the greatest satisfaction ing puppy would fight : But these godly fellows would lay about

1st Cavalier. Who would think such a snivelling, psalm-sing. to the lady, who dreaded the consequences which 'em as if the devil were in 'em. might not improbably have taken place, had both par

Sir Nicholas. What a filthy slovenly army was this! I war

rant you not a well-dre: sed man among the Roundheads. ties met at the same period and point of retreat.

M-G. Blunt. But these plain fellows would so thrash your It was near midnight ere the greater part of the swearing, drinking, fine fellows in laced coats-just such as you Cavaliers, meaning such as were able to effect their of the drawing room and Locket's fellows are now--and so strip departure without assistance, withdrew to the vill them, by the Lord Harry, that afier a battle those saints looked lage of Martindale-Moultrassie, with the benefit of the like to Israelites loaden with the Egyptian bugenges broad moon, to prevent the chance of accidents. turn the penny, and advanced the cause thereby ; we fought upon Their shouts, and the burden of their roaring chorus a principle that carried us through. of

M. G. Bluni. Prithee, Colonel, we know thy principle-tvas

not right : thou foughtest against children's baptism, and not for “ The King shall enjoy his own again !"

liberty, but who should be your tyrant ; done so zealous for Cromwas heard with no small pleasure by the lady, heartily well as thou wert then, nor such a furious agitator and test-man glad that the riot of the day was over without the


Hackicell, senior. Look you, Colonel, we but proceeded in occurrence of any unpleasing, accident. The re- the way of liberty of worship. joicing was not, however, entirely ended; for the "MG Blunt. A dod, there is something more in it. This was elevated Cavaliers, finding some of the villagers still thy principle, Colonel - Dominion is founded in grace, and the on foot around a bonfire on the street, struck merrily didst so; thou gottest three thousand pounds a year by fighting in with them--sent to Roger Raine, of the Peveril against the Court, and I lost a thousand by fighting for it."508 Arms, the loyal publican whom we have already The Volunteers, or Stock-Jobbers, SHADWELL's Works, vol. iv., mentioned, for two tubs of merry stingo, (as it was termed,) and lent their own powerful assistance at the himself offended by one of the dramatis persona, says, with

In a former scene, Hackwell, the old fanatic officer, conceiving dusting it off to the health of the King and the loyal great naivete-"1 prithee, friend, put me not to use the camal General Monk. Their shouts for a long time dis- weapon in my own detence." Such are the traits of phraseology turbed, and even alarmed, the little village ; but no enthusiasm is able to withstand for ever the natural imbis -no mean observer of human nature-must have known


You have not

[ocr errors]

p. 437.

[ocr errors]


But a woman's brain is sometimes as inconstant The stately lady, however, advanced to him, and as a popular assembly; and presently after she had said, "Are not you the little Peveril ?" voted the morning was like to be rainy, and that the Yes,” said the boy, reddening, not altogether gilded chamber was the fittest play-room for the without a juvenile feeling of that rule of chivalry children, Mistress Deborah came to the somewhat which forbade any one to disown his name, whatever inconsistent resolution, that the park was the fittest danger might be annexed to the avowal of it. place for her own morning walk. It is certain, that "Then," said the stately stranger, go to your during the unrestrained joviality of the preceding mother's room, and tell her to come instantly to speak evening, she had danced till midnight with Lance with me. Outram, the park-keeper ; but how far the seeing him "I wo'not," said the little Julian. just pass the window in his woodland trim, with a How !" said the lady, so young and so disobefeather in his hat, and a crossbow under his arm, in- dient ?- but you do but follow the fashion of the time. fluenced the discrepancy of the opinions Mrs. Deborah Why will you not go, my pretty boy, when I ask it of formed concerning the weather, we are far from pre- you as a favour?" suming to guess. It is enough for us, that so soon "I would go, madam," said the boy, “but”-and as Mistress Ellesmere's back was turned, Mistress he stopped short, still drawing back as the lady adDeborah carried the children into the gilded chamber, vanced on him, but still holding by the hand Alice not without a strict charge (for we must do her jus- Bridgenorth, who, too young to understand the natice) to Master Julian to take care of his little wife, ture of the dialogue, clung, trembling, to her comMistress Alice; and then, having taken so satisfac- panion. tory a precaution, she herself glided into the park by The stranger saw his embarrassment, smiled, and the glass-door of the still-room, which was nearly remained standing fast, while she asked the child opposite to the great breach.

once more, " What are you afraid of, my brave boy, The gilded chamber in which the children were, by-and why should you not go to your mother on my this arrangement, left to amuse themselves, without errand ?" better guardianship than what Julian's manhood afforded, was a large apartment, hung with stamped President, whose daughter was the heroine of that melancholy Spanish leather, curiously gilded, representing, in a

tragedy. manner now obsolete, but far from unpleasing, a ciently striking, when told by an eyewitness. Aunt Margaret was,

The present tale, though of a different character, was also suffiseries of tilts and combats betwixt the Saracens of I suppose, seven or eight years old, when residing in the old man Grenada, and the Spaniards under the command of sion-house of Swinton, and already displayed the firmness and King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, during that sagacity which distinguished her throueh life. Being one of a memorable siege, which was terminated by the over- one day when the rest of the family went to church, with Sir John throw of the last fragments of the Moorish empire and Lady Swinton, their parents. Before leaving the little invalid, in Spain.

The little Julian was careering about the room for party had breakfasted. But when she found herself alone in the the amusement of his infant friend, as well as his possession of my Aunt Margaret, and forth she went to examine own, mimicking with a reed the menacing attitude the parlour in question. She was struck with admiration and fear of the Abencerrages and

Zegrisengaged in the Eastern at what she saw there. A lady," beautiful exceedingly," was sport of hurling the JERID, or javelin , and at times which had been used. Little Margaret would have had no doubt sitting down beside her, and caressing her into silence in accounting this singular vision an emanation from the angelical and good humour, when the petulant or timid child world, but for her employment, which she could not so easily rechose to become tired of remaining an inactive spec

concile to her ideas of angels.

The lady, with great presence of mind, called the astonished tator of his boisterous sport; when, on a sudden, he child to her, fondled her with much tenderness, and judiciously observed one of the panel compartments of the lea- avoiding to render the necessity of secrecy too severe, she told the ther hangings slide apart, so as to show a fair hand, girl she must not let any one except her mother know that she had with its fingers rasting upon its edge, prepared, it curiosity, the mysterious stranger desired the little girl to look from would seem, to push it still farther back. Julian was the window of the parlour to see if her mother was returning from much surprised, and somewhat frightened, at what church. When she turned her head again, the fair vision had vahe witnessed, for the tales of the nursery had strongly nished, but by what means Miss Margaret was unable to form a impressed on his mind the terrors of the invisible Long watched, and eagerly waited for, the Lady Swinton at last world. Yet, naturally bold and high spirited, the returned from church, and her daughter lost no time in telling her little champion placed himself beside

his defenceless ed her mother, for if you had spoken of that poor lady to any one sister, continuing to brandish his weapon in her debut me, it might have cost her her life. But now I will not be afraid fence, as boldly as if he had himself been an Abencer- of trusting you with any secret, and I will show you where the poor rage of Grenada.

The panel, on which his eye was fixed, gradually opening by a sliding panel from the parlour, and showed her the continued to slide back, and display more and more passing, that there were few Scottish houses belonging to families the form to which the hand appertained, until, in the of rank which had not such contrivances, the political incidents of dark aperture which was disclosed, the children saw the times often calling them into occupation. the figure of a lady in a mourning dress, past the mebloody, and though I have seen various accounts of the story, I do

The history of the lady of the closet was both melancholy and ridian of life, but whose countenance still retained not pretend to distinguish the right edition. She was a young wo traces of great beauty, although the predominant cha- man of extreme beauty, who had been married to an old man, a racter both of her features and person was an air of writer, named MacFarlane. Her situation, and perhaps her manalmost royal dignity. After pausing a moment on the ners, gave courage to some who desired to be accounted her suitthreshold of the portal which she had thus unexpect- was a commissioner of government upon the estates forfeited in edly disclosed, and looking with some surprise at the the rebellion of 1715. In 1716, Mr. Cayley visited this lady in her children, whom she had not probably observed while lodgings, when they quarrelled, either on account of his having engaged with the management of the panel, the stran- reproached him with having boasted of former favours. It ended ger stepped into the apartment, and the panel, upon in her seizing upon a pair of pistols, which lay loaded in a closet, a touch of a spring, closed behind her so suddenly, her husband intonding to take them with him on a journey. The that Julian almost doubted it had ever been open, and gallant commissioner

approached with an air of drollery, saying, began to apprehend that the whole apparition had shall find it a tragedy," answered the lady; and fired both pistols, been a delusion.*

by which Commissioner Cayley fell dead.

She fled, and remained concealed for a certain time. Her claim • The concealment and discovery of the Countess of Derby, is of refuge in Swinton House, I do not know-it arose probably from taken from a picturesque account of a similar event,

described to some of the indescribable genealogical filaments which connect me by the person by whom it was witnessed in childhood. This Scottish families. A very small cause would even at any time lady, by pame Mrs. Margaret Swinton, and a daughter of that have been a reason for interfering between an individual and the ancient house, was a sister of my maternal grandmother, and of law. course my grandaunt. She was, as often happens on such occa- Whatever were the circumstances of Mrs. MacFarlane's case, sions, our cunstant resource in sickness, or when we tired of noisy it is certain that she returned, and lived and died in Edinburgh, play, and closed around her to listen to her tales. As she might without being brought to trial. Indeed, considering the times, there be supposed to look back to the beginning of the last century, the was no great wonder ; for, to one strong party, the death of an fund which supplied us with amusement often related to events of English commissioner was not a circumstance to require much that period. I may here notice that she told me the unhappy story apology. The Swintons, however, could

not be of that opinion, the of the Bride of Lammermoor, being nearly related to the Lord family being of Presbyterian and Whig principles.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

"Because," answered Julian, firmly, "if I go, little rather than alarm, towards the strange lady. Julian Alice must stay alone with you."

manfully brandished his reed, a weapon which he "You are a gallant fellow," said the lady, "and had never parted with during the whole alarm, and will not disgrace your blood, which never left the stood prepared to assist his mother if there should be weak without protection.”

danger in the encounter betwixt her and the stranger. The boy understood her not, and still gazed with In fact, it might have puzzled an older person to anxious apprehension, first on her who addressed account for the sudden and confused pause which him, and then upon his little companion, whose eyes, the Lady Peveril made, as she gazed on her unexwith the vacant glance of infancy, wandered from pected guest, as if dubious whether she did or did not the figure of the Lady to that of her companion and recognated features, a countenance which she had

in her still beautiful though wasted and fear which the latter's magnanimous efforts could known well under far different circumstances. not entirely conceal, she flew into Julian's arms, and, The stranger seemed to understand her cause of clinging to him, greatly augmented his alarm, and, by hesitation, for she said in that heart-thrilling voice screaming aloud, rendered it very difficult for him to which was peculiarly her ownavoid the sympathetic fear which impelled him to do “ Time and misfortune have changed me much, the same.

Margaret-that every mirror tells me-yet, methinks, There was something in the manner and bearing Margaret Stanley might still have known Charlotte of this unexpected inmate, which might justify awe de la Tremouille." at least, if not fear, when joined to the singular and The Lady Peveril was little in the custom of giving mysterious mode in which she had made her appear, way to sudden emotion, but in the present case she ance. Her dress was not remarkable, being the hood threw herself on her knees in a rapture of mingled and female riding attire of the time, such as was joy and grief, and, half embracing those of the worn by the inferior class of gentlewomen; but her stranger, exclaimed, in broken languageblack hair was very long, and, several locks having "My kind, my noble benefactress-the princely escaped from under her hood,

hung down dishevelled Countess of Derby-the royal Queen in Man-could on her neck and shoulders. Her eyes were deep black, I doubt your voice, your features, for a moment-0, keen, and piercing, and her features had something of forgive, forgive me!" a foreign expression. When she spoke, her language The Countess raised the suppliant kinswoman of was marked by a slight foreign accent, although, in her husband's house, with all the grace of one accusconstruction, it was pure English. Her slightest tomed from early birth to receive homage and to grant tone and gesture had the air of one accustomed to protection. She kissed the Lady Peveril's forehead, command and to be obeyed; the recollection of which and passed her hand in a caressing manner over her probably

suggested to Julian the apology he after- face as she said, wards made for being frightened, that he took the “You too are changed, my fair cousin, but it is a stranger for an "enchanted queen."

change becomes you, from a pretty and timid maiden While the stranger lady and the children thus con- to a sage and comely matron. But my own memory, fronted each other, two persons entered almost at the which I once held a good one, has failed me strangely, same instant, but from different doors, whose haste if this gentleman be Sir Geoffrey Peveril." showed that they had been alarmed by the screams of A kind and good neighbour only, madam," said the latter.

Lady Peveril ; "Sir Geoffrey

, is at Court." The first was Major Bridgenorth, whose ears had "I understood so much," said the Countess of been alarmed with the cries of his child as he entered Derby, “when I arrived here last night." the Hall, which corresponded with what was called "How, madam !'' said Lady Peveril-"Did you arthe gilded chamber. His intention had been to re- rive at Martindale Castle--at the house of Margaret main in the more public apartment, until the Lady Stanley, where you have such right to command, Peveril should make her appearance, with the good and did not announce your presence to her ?" natured purpose of assuring her that the preceding "O, I know you are a dutiful subject, Margaret,” day of tumult had passed in every respect agreeably answered the Countess, "though it be in these days to his friends, and without any of those alarming a rare character-but it was our pleasure,” she added consequences which might have been apprehended with a smile, "to travel incognito-and finding you from a collision betwixt the parties. But when it is engaged in general hospitality, we desired not to considered how severely he had been agitated by ap- disturb you with our royal presence.' prehensions for his child's safety and health, too well " But how and where were you lodged, madam ?" justified by the fate of those who had preceded her, it said Lady Peveril ; or why should you have kept will not be thought surprising that the infantine secret a visit which would, if made, have augmented screams of Alice induced him to break through the tenfold the happiness of every true heart that rejoiced barriers of form, and intrude farther into the interior here yesterday?" of the house than a sense of strict propriety might "My lodging was well cared for by Ellesmerehave warranted.

your Ellesmere now, as she was formerly mine-she
He burst into the gilded chamber, therefore, by a has acted as quartermaster ere now, you know, and
side-door and narrow passage, which communicated on a broader scale ; you must excuse her--she had
betwixt that apartment and the hall, and, snatching my positive order to lodge me in the most secret part
the child up in his arms, endeavoured, by a thousand of your Castle":-(here she pointed to the sliding
caresses, to stifle the screams which burst yet more panel)—" she obeyed orders in that, and I suppose
violently from the little girl, on beholding herself in also in sending you now hither."
the arms of one to whose voice and manner she was, " Indeed I have not yet seen her," said the lady,
but for one brief interview, an entire stranger. "and therefore was totally ignorant of a visit so joy-

Of course, Alice's shrieks were redoubled, and ful, so surprising."
seconded by those of Julian Peveril, who, on the And I," said the Countess, was equally sur-
appearance of this second intruder, was frightened prised to find none but these beautiful children in the
into resignation of every more manly idea of rescue apartment where I thought I heard you moving.
than that which consisted in invoking assistance at Our Ellesmere has become silly-your good-nature
the very top of his lungs.

has spoiled her-she has forgotten ihe discipline she
Alarmed' by this noise, which in half a minute learned under me."
became very clamorous, Lady Peveril, with whose " I saw her run through the wood," said the Lady
apartment the gilded chamber was connec!ed by a Peveril, after a moment's recollection, " undoubtedly
private door of communication opening into her ward to seek the person who has charge of the children,
robe, entered on the scene. The instant she appeared, in order to remove them.".
the little Alice, extricating herself from the grasp of "Your own darlings, I doubt not," said the Count-
her father, ran towards her protectress, and when she ess, looking at the children. “Margaret, Providence
had once taken hold of her skirts, not only became has blessed you."
silent, but turned her large blue eyes, in which the "Thai is my son," said Lady Peveril, pointing to
tears were still glistening, with a look of wonder Julian, who stood devouring their discourse with

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]


greedy ear; "the little girl--I may call mine too.” | fold at Bolton-le-Moor, should make it his first act Major Bridgenorth, who had in the meantime again of restored monarchy to complete the destruction of taken up his infant, and was engaged in caressing it, our property, already well-nigh ruined in the royal set it down as the Countess of Derby spoke, sighed cause, and to persecute me his widow!" deeply, and walked towards the oriel window. He "You astonish me, madam!" said the Lady Pewas well aware that the ordinary rules of courtesy veril. “It cannot be, that you-that you, the wife would have rendered it proper that he should withdraw of the gallant, the faithful, ihe murdered Earl-you, entirely, or at least ofler to do so; but he was not a Countess of Derby, and Queen in Man-you, who man of ceremonious politeness, and he had a particu- took on you even the character of a soldier, and Jar interest in the subjects on which the Countess's seemed a man when so many men proved womendiscourse was likely to turn, which induced him to that you should sustain evil from the event which has dispense with ceremony. The ladies seemed indeed fulfilled-exceeded--the hopes of every faithful subscarce to notice his presence. The Countess had ject-it cannot be!" now assumed a chair, and motioned to the Lady " Thou art as simple, I see, in this world's knowPeveril to sit upon a stool which was placed by ledge as ever, my fair cousin,", answered the Counther side. “We will have old times once inore, ess. "This restoration, which has given others sethough there are here no roaring of rebel guns to curity, has placed me in danger-this change which drive you to take refuge at my side, and almost in my relieved other royalists, scarce less zealous, I prepocket."

sume to think, than 1-has sent me here a fugitive, “I have a gun, madam,” said little Julian, " and and in concealment, to beg shelter and assistance the park-keeper is to teach me how to fire it next from you, fair cousin." year."

“From me," answered the Lady Peveril—"from "I will list you for my soldier, then," said the Count- me, whose youth your kindness sheltered-from the

wife of Peveril, your gallant Lord's companion in "Ladies have no soldiers," said the boy, looking arms-you have a right to command every thing! wistfully at her.

but, alas! that you should need such assistance as I "He has the true masculine contempt of our frail can render-forgive me, but it seems like some illsex, I see," said the Countess; "it is born with the omened vision of the night-I listen to your words insolent varlets of mankind, and shows itself as soon as if I hoped to be relieved from their painful import as they are out of their long clothes.-Did Ellesmere by awaking." never tell you of Latham-House and Charlotte of " It is indeed a dream--a vision," said the Countess Derby, my little master ?".

of Derby ; “but it needs no seer to read it, the ex"A thousand thousand times," said the boy, colour- planation hath been long since given-Put not your ing; "and how the Queen of Man defended it șix faith in princes. I can soon remove your surprise. weeks against three thousand Roundheads, under This gentleman, your friend, is doubtless honest ?'' Rogue Harrison the butcher."

The Lady Peveril well knew that the Cavaliers, " It was your mother defended Latham-House," | like other factions, usurped to themselves the exclusaid the Countess, pot I, my little soldier-Hadst sive denomination of the honest party, and she felt thou been there, thou hadst been the best captain of some difficulty in explaining that her visiter was not the three."

honest in that sense of the word. *Do not say so, madam," said the boy, " for mam- "Had we not better retire, madam," she said to ma would not touch a gun for all the universe." the Countess, rising, as if in order to attend her. But

"Not I, indeed, Julian," said his mother; "there the Countess retained her seat. I was for certain, but as useless a part of the garri. "It was but a question of habit,” she said ; "the gen

tleman's principles are nothing to me, for what I You forget," said the Countess, "you nursed our have to tell you is widely blazed, and I care not who hospital, and made lint for the soldiers' wounds.'' hears my share of it. You remember-you must

“ But did not papa come to help you ?” said Julian. have heard, for I think Margaret Stanley would not “Papa came at last," said the Countess, "and so did be indifferent to my fate--that after my husband's Prince Rupert-but not, I think, till they were both murder at Bolton, I took up the standard which he heartily wished for.-Do you remember that morning, never dropped until his death, and displayed it with Margaret, when the roundheaded knaves, that kept us my own hand in our Sovereignty of Man." pent up so long, retreated without bag or baggage, at " I did indeed hear so, madam," said the Lady the first glance of the Prince's standards appearing Peveril; "and that you had bidden a bold defiance on the hill--and how you took every high-crested cap- to the rebel government, even after all other parts of tain you saw for Peveril of the Peak, that had been Britain had submitted to them. My husband, Sir your partner three months before at the Queen's Geoffrey, designed at one time to have gone to your maskNay, never blush for the thought of it-it assistance with some few followers; but we learned was an honest affection--and though it was the music that the island was rendered to the Parliament party, of trumpets that accompanied you both to the old and that you, dearest lady, were thrown into prison. chapel, which was almost entirely ruined by the “But you heard not,'' said the Countess, "how that enemy's bullets; and though Prince Rupert, when disaster befell me.--Margaret, I would have held out he gave you away at the altar, was clad in buff and that island against the knaves as long as the sea conbandalier, with pistols in his belt, yet I trust these tinued to flow around it. Till the shoals which surwarlike signs were no type of future discord ?" round it had become safe anchorage-tillits precipices

"Heaven has been kind to me," said Lady Pe: had melted beneath the sunshine-till of all its strong veril, "in blessing me with an affectionate husband." abodes and castles, not one stone remained upon

And in preserving him to you," said the Countess, another, would I have defended against these villanwith a deep sigh; while mine, alas! sealed with ous hypocritical rebels my dear husband's hereditary his blood his devotion to his king*-0, had he lived dominion. The little kingdom of Man should have to see this day!"

been yielded only when not an arm was left to wield Alas! alas! that he was not permitted !" an- a sword, not a finger to draw a trigger in its defence. swered Lady Peveril; "how had that brave and noble But treachery did what force could never have done. Earl rejoiced in the unhoped-for redemption of our When we had foiled various attempts upon the island captivity!"

by open force-treason accomplished what Blake and The Countess looked on Lady Peveril with an air Lawson, with their foating castles, had found too of surprise.

hazardous an enterprise--a base rebel, whom we had "Thou hast not then heard, cousin, how it stands nursed in our own bosoms, betrayed us to the enemy. with our house?-How indeed had my noble lord This wretch was named Christian". wondered, had he been told that the very monarch Major Bridgenorth started and turned towards the for whom he had laid down his noble life on the scaf- speaker, but instantly seemed to recollect himself,

"The Earl of Derby and King in Man was beheaded at Bolton and again averted his face. The Countess proceeded, on the Moors, after having been made prisoner in a previous skir: without noticing the interruption, which, however, mish in Wiggan Lane.

rather surprised Lady Peveril, who was acquainted



« PreviousContinue »