Page images
[ocr errors]

thinks I could persuade your father that in ordinary | manner quite unusual, and which, now that his eyes our alliance is not undesirable. My family have health is somewhat impaired, is sometimes alarming fortune, rank, long descent-all that fathers look for to me. For Heaven's sake then, my dear Julian, when they bestow a daughter's hand."

avoid upon all occasions the slightest allusion to All this would avail you nothing,” said Alice. Moultrassie, or any of its inhabitants." “The spirit of my father is bent upon the things of This warning was so seriously given, that Julian another world; and if he listened to hear you out, it himself saw that mentioning his secret purpose would would be but to tell you that he spurned your offers.": be the sure way to render it abortive, and therefore

"You know noi-you know not, Alice,” said he returned disconsolate to the Isle Julian. . “Fire can soften iron-thy 'father's heart Peveril had the boldness, however, to make the cannot be so hard, or his prejudices so strong, but I best he could of what had happened, by requesting shall find some means to meli him. Forbid me not an interview with Alice, in order to inform her what -, forbid me not at least the experiment !" had passed betwixt his parents and him on her

"I can but advise,” said Alice; "I can forbid you account. It was with great difficulty that this boon nothing; for, to forbid, implies power to command was obtained : and Alice Bridgenorth showed no obedience. But if you will be wise, and listen to slight degree of displeasure, when she discovered, me-Here, and on this spot, we part for ever!'' after much circumlocution, and many efforts to give

"Not so, by Heaven !" said Julian, whose bold an air of importance to what he had to communicate and sanguine temper scarce saw difficulty in attain that all amounted but to this, that Lady Peveril ing aught which he desired. “We now part indeed, continued to retain a favourable opinion of her but it is that I may return armed with my parents' father, Major Bridgenorth, which Julian would fain consent. They desire that I should marry--in their have represented as an omen of their future more last letters they pressed it more openly-they shall perfect reconciliation. have their desire; and such a bride as I will present "I did not think you would thus have trifled with to them, has not graced their house since the Con- me, Master Peveril,” said Alice, assuming an air of queror gave it origin. Farewell, Alice! Farewell, dignity; " but I will take care to avoid such intrufor a brief space!!!

sion in future-I request you will not again visit She replied, Farewell, Julian! Farewell for the Black Fort; and I entreat of you, good Mistress ever

Debbitch, that you will no longer either encourage Julian, within a week of this interview, was at or permit this gentleman's visits, as the result of Martindale Castle, with the view of communicating such persecution will be to compel me to appeal to his purpose.

But the task which seems easy at a my aunt and father for another place of residence, distance, proves as difficult upon a nearer approach, and perhaps also for another and more prudent comas the fording of a river, which from afar appeared panion." only a brook. There l'acked not opportunities of This last hint struck Mistress Deborah with so entering upon the subject; for in the first ride which much terror, that she joined her ward in requiring he took with his father, the Knight resumed the and demanding Julian's instant absence, and he subject of his son's marriage, and liberally left the was obliged to comply with their request.' But the ladý to his choice; but under the strict proviso, that courage of a youthful lover is not easily subdued she was of a loyal and an honourable family ;-if she and Julian, after having gone through the usual had fortune, it was good and well, or rather, it was round of trying to forget his ungrateful mistress, better than well; but if she was poor, why, "there is and again entertaining his passion with augmented still some picking,” said Sir Geoffrey, on the bones violence, ended by the visit to the Black Fort, the of the old estate; and Dame Margaret and I will be beginning of which we narrated in the last chapter. content with the less, that you young folks may We then left him anxious for, yet almost fearful of, have your share of it. "I am turned frugal already, an interview with Alice, which he had prevailed upon Julian. You see what a north-country shambling Deborah to solicit; and such was the tumult of his bit of a galloway nag I ride upon-a different beast, mind, that while he traversed the parlour, it seemed I wol, from my old Black Hastings, who had but to him that the dark melancholy eyes of the slaughone fault, and that was his wish to turn down Moul- tered Christian's portrait followed him wherever he trassie-avenue.”

went, with the fixed, chill, and ominous glance, "Was that so great a fault ?” said Julian, affecting which announced to the enemy of his race mishap indifference, while his heart was trembling, as it and misfortune. deemed to him, almost in his very throat.

The door of the apartment opened at length, and * It used to remind me of that base, dishonour these visions were dissipated. able Presbyterian fellow, Bridgenorth,” said Sir Geoffrey: "and I would as lief think of a toad :they say he has turned Independent, to accomplish the full degree of rascality.-İ tell you, Gill, I turned

CHAPTER XIII. off the cow-boy, for gathering nuts in his woods-1 Parents have flinty hearts! No tears can move them. would hang a dog that would so much as kill a hare there.-But what is the matter with you? You look WHEN Alice Bridgenorth at length entered the pale."

parlour where her anxious lover had so long expectJulian made some indifferent answer, but too well ed her, it was with a slow step, and a composed understood, from the language and tone which his manner. Her dress was arranged with an accurate father used, that his prejudices against Alice's father attention to form, which at once enhanced the apwere both deep and envenomed, as those of country pearance of its puritanic simplicity, and struck Julian gentlemen often become, who, having little to do or as a bad omen; for although the time bestowed upon think of, are but 100 apt to spend their time in nur- the toilet may, in many cases, intimate the wish to sing and cherishing petty causes of wrath against appear advantageously at such an interview, yet a their next neighbours.

ceremonious arrangement of attire is very much In the course of the same day, he mentioned the allied with formality, and a preconceived determinaBridgenorths to his mother, as if in a casual manner. tion to treat a lover with cold politeness, But the Lady Peveril instantly conjured him never The sad-coloured gown--the pinched and plaited to mention the name, especially in his father's pre- cap, which carefully obscured the profusion of long sence.

dark brown hair--the small ruff, and the long sleeves, "Was that Major Bridgenorth, of whom I have would have appeared to great disadvantage on a shape heard the name mentioned," said Julian, "so very less graceful than Alice Bridgenorth’s; but an exquibad a neighbour?"

site form, though not, as yet, sufficiently rounded in "I do not say so," said Lady Peveril; "nay, we the outlines to produce the perfection of female were more than once obliged to him, in the former beauty, was able to sustain and give grace even to unhappy times; but your father and he took some this unbecoming dress. Her countenance, fair and passages so ill at each other's hands, that the least delicate, with eyes

of hazel, and a brow of alabaster allusion to him disturbs Sir Geoffrey's temper in a had, notwithstanding, less regular beauty than her

Vol. IV. Y


form, and might have been justly subjected to criti- of residence; and in the meanwhile I will take shel. cism. There was, however, a life and spirit in her ter with my aunt at Kirk-Truagh." gayety, and a depth of sentiment in her gravity, which "Hear me, unpitying girl,” said Peveril, "hear me, made Alice, in conversation with the very few per- and you shall see how devoted I am to obedience, in sons with whom she associated, so fascinating in her all that I can do to oblige vou! You say you were manners and expression, whether of language or happy when we spoke not on such topics-well-at countenance---so touching, also, in her simplicity all expense of my own suppressed feelings, that hapand purity of thought, that brighter beauties might py period shall return. I will meet you-walk with have been overlooked in her company. It was no you-read with you-but only as a brother would wonder, therefore, that an ardent character like Julian, with his sister, or a friend with his friend; the influenced by these charms, as well as by the secrecy thoughts I may nourish, be they of hope or of des. and mystery attending his intercourse with Alice, pair, my tongue shall not give birth to, and therefore should prefer the recluse of the Black Fort to all I cannot offend; Deborah shall be ever by your side, others with whom he had become acquainted in and her presence shall prevent my even hinting at general society.

what might displease you-only do not make a crime His heart beat high as she came into the apart, to me of those thoughts which are the dearest part of ment, and it was almost without an attempt to speak my existence; for believe me it were better and that his profound obeisance acknowledged her en- kinder to rob me of existence itself.” trance.

This is the mere ecstacy of passion, Julian," This is a mockery, Master Peveril,” said Alice, answered Alice Bridgenorth that which is unwith an effort to speak firmly, which yet was dis- pleasant, our selfish and stubborn will represents concerted by a slightly tremulous inflection of voice as impossible. I have no confidence in the plan you

a mockery, and a cruel one. You come to this propose-no confidence in your resolution, and less lone place, inhabited only by two women, too simple than none in the protection of Deborah. Till you to command your absence--too weak to enforce it- can renounce, honestly and explicitly, the wishes you you come in spite of my earnest request to the neg. have lately expressed, we must be strangers ;-and lect of your own time-to the prejudice, I may fear, could you renounce them even at this moment, it of my character-you abuse the influence you possess were better that we should part for a long time; and, over the simple person to whom I am intrusted-All for Heaven's sake, let it be as soon as possible this you do, and think to make it up by low reveren- perhaps it is even now too late to prevent some unces and constrained courtesy! Is this honourable, or pleasant accident-I thought I heard a noise." is it fair?-Is it,” she added, after a moment's hesi- "It was Deborah," answered Julian.

Be not tation-"is it kind ?"

afraid, Alice; we are secure against surprise." The tremulous accent fell especially on the last “I know not,” said Alice, “what you mean by word she uttered, and it was spoken in a low tone of such security-I have nothing to hide. I sought not gentle reproach, which went to Julian's heart. this interview; on the contrary, averted it as long as

"If,” said he, "there were a mode by which, at the I could-and am now most desirous to break it off.” peril of my life, Alice, I could show my regard-my "And wherefore, Alice, since you say it must be respect-my devoted tenderness-the danger would our last? Why should you shake the sand which be dearer to me than ever was pleasure.”'

is passing so fast ? the very executioner hurries not "You have said such things often," said Alice, the prayers of the wretches upon the scaffold. And "and they are such as I ought not to hear, and do see you not-I will argue as coldly as you can desire not desire to hear. I have no tasks to impose on you- --see you not that you are breaking your own word, no enemies to be destroyed-no need or desire of pro- and recalling the hope which yourselfheld out to me?" tection-no wish, Heaven knows, to expose you 10 "What hope have I suggested? What word have danger-It is your visits here alone to which danger I given, Julian ?” answered Alice. "You yourself attaches. You have but to rule your own wilful build wild hopes in the air, and accuse me of detemper-to turn your thoughts and your cares else- stroying what had never any earthly foundation, where, and I can have nothing to ask-nothing to Spare yourself, Julian-spare me--and in mercy to wish for. Use your own reason-consider the injury us both, depart, and return not again till you can be you do yourself-the injustice you do us--and let me, more reasonable." once more, in fair terms, entreat you to absent your- “Reasonable?" replied Julian; "it is you, Alice, self from this place-till-till”.

who will deprive me altogether of reason. Did you not She paused, and Julian eagerly interrupted her. say, that if our parents could be brought to consent -"Till when, Alice?-till when ?-impose on me to our union, you would no longer oppose my suit ?" any length of absence which your severity can in- “No-no-no,” said Alice, eagerly, and blushing flict, short of a final separation-Say, Begone for deeply, -"I did not say so, Julian-it was your own years, but return when these years are over;, and, wild imagination which put construction on my slow and wearily as they must pass away, still the silence and my confusion." thought, that they must at length have their period, will enable me to live through them. Let me, then, and if all other obstacles were removed, I should

"You do not say so, then ?" answered Julian; conjure thee, Alice, to name a date—to fix a term- find one in the cold Ainty bosom of her, who repays to say till when!"

the most devoted and sincere affection with con"Till you can bear to think of me only as a friend tempt and dislike ?-Is that," he added, in a deep and sister.

tone of feeling,"is that what Alice Bridgenorth "That is a sentence of eternal banishment in- says to Julian Peveril?" deed!" said Julian; "it is seeming, no doubt, to fix Indeed-indeed, Julian," said the almost weeping a term of exile, but attaching it to an impossible con- girl, "I do not say so—I 'say nothing, and I ought dition.”

not to say any thing concerning what I might do, in * And why impossible, Julian ?” said Alice, in a a state of things which can never take place. Indeed, tone of persuasion; "were we not happier ere you Julian, you ought not thus to press me. Unprotected threw the mask from your own countenance, and as I am-wishing you well-very well-why should tore the veil from my foolish eyes? Did we not you urge me to say or do what would lessen me in meet with joy, spend our time happily, and part iny own eyes? to own affection for one from whom cheerily, because we transgressed no duty, and in- fate has separated me for ever? It is ungenerouscurred no self-reproach? Bring back that state of it is cruel-it is seeking a momentary and selfish happy ignorance, and you shall have no reason to gratification to yourself, at the expense of every feel. call me unkind. But while you form schemes which ing which I ought to entertain.' I know to be visionary, and use language of such You have said enough, Alice,” said Julian, with violence and passion, you shall excuse me if I now sparkling eyes ; you have said enough in depreand once for all, declare, that since Deborah shows cating my urgency, and I will press you no farther. herself unfit for the trust reposed in her, and must But you overrate the impediments which lie betwixt needs expose me to persecutions of this nature, I will us--they must and shall give way." writs to my father, that he may fix me another place So you said before," answered Alice, “and with

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

what probability, your own account may show. You to Julian to take a seat, and assumed one himself. dared not to mention the subject to your own father After which, he opened the conversation in the fol-how should you venture to mention it to mine?" lowing manner :-

"That I will soon enable you to decide upon. You seemed but now, young gentleman, anxious Major Bridgenorth, by my mother's account, is a to learn where I was to be found. Such I at least worthy and an estimable man. I will remind him, conjectured, from the few expressions which I that to my mother's care he owes the dearest trea- chanced to overhear; for I made bold, though it may sure and comfort of his life; and I will ask him if it be contrary to the code of modern courtesy, to listen is a just retribution to make that mother childless. 4 a moment or two, in order to gather upon what subLet me but know where to find him, Alice, and you ject so young a man as you entertained so young a shall soon hear if I have feared to plead my cause woman as Alice, in a private interview." with him."

"I trust, sir," said Julian, rallying spirits in what “Alas!" answered Alice,, “ you well know my he felt to be a case of extremity, .* you have heard uncertainty as to my dear father's residence. How nothing on my part which has given offence to a often has it been my earnest request to him that he gentleman, whom, though unknown, I am bound to would let me share his solitary abode, or his ob- respect so highly.' scure wanderings! But the short and infrequent On the contrary,” said Bridgenorth, with the visits which he makes to this house are all that he same formal gravity, “I am pleased to find that your permits me of his society. Something I might sure business is, or appears to be with me, rather than ly do, however little to alleviate the melancholy by with my daughter. I only think you had done better which he is oppressed."

to have intrusted it to me in the first instance, as my * Something we might both do," said Peveril. sole concern." "How willingly would I aid you in so pleasing a The utmost sharpness of attention which Julian task! All old griefs should be forgotten--all old applied, could not discover if Bridgenorth spoke friendships revived. My father's prejudices are those seriously or ironically to the above purpose. He was, of an Englishman-strong, indeed, but not insur- however, quick-witted beyond his experience, and mountable by reason. Tell me, then, where Major was internally determined to endeavour to discover Bridgenorth is, and leave the rest to me; or let me something of the character and the temper of him but know by what address your letters reach him, with whom he spoke. For that purpose, regulating and I will forth with essay to discover his dwelling." This reply in the same tone with Bridgenorth's ob

"Do not attempt it, I charge you," said Alice. servation, he said, that not having the advantage to "He is already a man of sorrows; and what would know his place of residence, he had applied for inhe think were I capable of entertaining a suit so formation to his daughter. likely to add to them? Besides, I could not tell you, "Who is now known to you for the first time ?" if I would, where he is now to be found. My letters said Bridgenorth. Am I so to understand you?" reach him from time to time, by means of my aunt By no means," answered Julian, looking down; Christian ; but of his address I am entirely ignorant." ("I have been known to your daughter for many

"Then, by Heaven," answered Julian, "I will years; and what I wished to say, respects both her watch his arrival in this island, and in this house; happiness and my own." and ere he has locked thee in his arms, he shall "I must understand you," said Bridgenorth, “even answer to me on the subject of my suit."

as carnal men understand each other on the matters " Then demand that answer nowo--said a voice of this world. You are attached to my daughter by from without the door, which was at the same time the cords of love; I have long known this." slowly opened - Demand that answer now, for "You, Master Bridgenorth ?" exclaimed Peverilhere stands Ralph Bridgenorth."

You have long known it?" As he spoke, he entered the apartment with his "Yes, young man. Think you, that as the father usual slow and sedate step-raised his fapp'd and of an only child, I could have suffered Alice Bridgesteeple-crowned hat from his brows, and, standing north-the only living pledge of her who is now an in the midst of the room, eyed alternately his daugh- angel in Heaven-to have remained in this seclusion ter and Julian Peveril with a fixed and penetrating without the surest knowledge of all her material glance.

actions? I have, in person, seen more, both of her "Father!" said Alice, utterly astonished, and ter- and of you, than you could be aware of; and when rified besides, by his sudden appearance at such a absent in the body, I had the means of maintaining conjuncture, -"Father, I am not to blame." the same superintendence. Young man, they say that

"Of that anon, Alice," said Bridgenorth ; "mean-such love as you entertain for my daughter teaches time retire to your apartment-I have that to say to much subtilty ; but believe not tnat it can overreach this youth which will not endure your presence.

the affection which a widowed father bears to an Indeed-indeed, father," said Alice, alarmed at only child." what she supposed these words indicated, “Julian is "'Íf," said Julian, his heart beating thick and joyas little to be blamed as I! It was chance, it was fully, "if you have known this intercourse so long, fortune, which caused our meeting together." Then may I not hope that it has not met your disapprobasuddenly rushing forward, she threw her arms tion?" around her father, saying, "O do him no injury-he The Major paused for an instant, and then answermeant me no wrong! Father, you were wont to be ed, “In some respects, certainly not. Had it done a man of reason and of religious peace.”

so—had there seemed aught on your side, or on my "And wherefore should I not be so now, Alice?" |daughter's, to have rendered your visits here dangersaid Bridgenorth, raising his daughter from the ous to her, or displeasing to me, she had not been ground, on which she had almost sunk in the ear long the inhabitant of this solitude, or of this island. nestness of her supplication. Dost thou know But be not so hasty as to presume, that all which you aught, maiden, which should inflame my anger may desire in this matter can be either easily or speediagainst this young man, more than reason or reli- ly accomplished.” gion may bridle? Go-go to thy chamber. Com- “ I foresee, indeed, difficulties," answered Julian; Peave . thine own passions-learn to rule these-and" but with your kind acquiescence, they are such as I

is candid and liberal. They loved you once; I trust Alice arose, and with her eyes fixed on the ground, they will love you agnin. I will be the mediator beretired slowly from the apartment. Julian followed twixt you-peace and harmony shall once more inher steps with his eyes till the last wave of her gar- habit our neighbourhood, and" ment was visible at the closing door; then turned Bridgenorth interrupted him with a grim smile, his looks to Major Bridgenorth, and then sunk them for such it seemed, as it passed over a face of deep on the ground. The Major contimied to regard him melancholy, “My daughter well said, but a short in profound silence; his looks were melancholy and while past, that you were a dreamer of dreams-an even austere; but there was nothing which indicated architect of plans and hopes fantastic as the visions either agitation or keen resentment. He motioned ' of the night. It is a great thing you ask of me;-the hand of my only child-the sum of my worldly sub- speakest of thou knowest not what. To forgive our stance, though that is but dross in comparison. You human wrongs is Christian-like and commendable; ask the key of the only fountain from which I may but we have no commission to forgive those which yet hope to drink one pleasant draught; you ask to have been done to the cause of religion and of liberty; be the sole and absolute keeper of my earthly happi- we have no right to grant immunity, or to shake ness--and what have you offered, or what have you hands with those, who have poured forth the blood to offer, in return of the surrender you require of me?" | of our brethren." He looked at the picture of Chris


“I am but too sensible," said Peveril, abashed at tian, and was silent for a few minutes, as if he feared his own hasty conclusions, "how difficult it may be." to give too violent way to his own impetuosity, and

Nay, but interrupt me not,” replied Bridgenorth, resumed the discourse in a milder tone. "till I show you the amount of what you offer me in These things I point out to you, Julian, that I exchange for a boon, which, whatever may be its in- may show you how impossible, in the eyes of a merely trinsic value, is earnestly desired by you, and com- worldly man, would be the union which you are deprehends all that is valuable on earth which I have sirous of. But Heaven bath at times opened a door, it in my power to bestow.-You may have heard, that where man beholds no means of issue.' Julian, your in the late times I was the antagonist of your father's mother, for one to whom the truth is unknown, is, principles and his profane faction, but not the enemy after the fashion of the world, one of the best, and of his person.'

one of the wisest of women; and Providence, which "I have ever heard,” replied Julian, “much the gave her so fair a form, and tenanted that form with contrary, and it was but now that I reminded you a mind as pure as the original frailty of our vile nathat you had been his friend."'

ture will permit

, means not, I trust, that she shall con"Ay. When he was in affliction and I in prosperi- tinue to the end to be a vessel of wrath and perdity, I was neither unwilling, nor altogether unable, to tion. Of your father I say nothing-he is what the show myself such. Well, the tables are turned--the times and example of others, and the counsels of his times are changed. A peaceful and unoffending man lordly priest, have made him; and of him, once more, might have expected from a neighbour, now power- I say nothing, save that I have power over him, ful in his turn, such protection, when walking in the which ere now he might have felt, but that there is paths of the law, as all men, subjects of the same one within his chambers, who might have suffered realm, have a right to expect even from perfect stran- in his suffering. Nor do I wish to root up your angers. What chances ? I pursue, with the warrant cient family. If I prize not your boast of family hoof the King and law, a murderess, bearing on her nours and pedigree, I would not willingly destroy hand the blood of my near connexion, and I had, in them; more than I would pull down a moss-grown such a case, a right to call on every liege subject to tower, or hew to the ground an ancient oak, save render assistance to the execution. My late friendly for the straightening of the common path, and the neighbour, bound, as a man and a magistrate, to advantage of the public. I have, therefore, no regive ready assistance to a legal action-bound, as a sentment against the humbled House of Peveril-grateful and obliged friend, to respect my rights and nay, I have regard to it in its depression." my person-thrusts himself betwixt me--me, the He here made a second pause, as if he expected avenger of blood-and my lawful captive; beats me Julian to say something. But notwithstanding the to the earth, at once endangering my life, and, in ardour with which the young man had pressed his mere human eyes, sullying mine honour; and, under suit, he was too much trained in ideas of the imhis protection, the Midianitish woman reaches, like portance of his family, and in the better habit of a sea-eagle, the nest which she hath made in the respect for his parents, to hear, without displeasure, wave-surrounded rocks, and remains there till gold, some part of Bridgenorth's discourse. duly administered at Court, wipes out all memory of "The House of Peveril,” he replied, "was never her crime, and baffles the vengeance due to the me- humbled." mory of the best and bravest of men.-But,” he added, "Had you said the sons of that House had never apostrophizing the portrait of Christian, " thou art been humble," answered Bridgenorth, you would not yet forgotten, my fair-haired William! The ven- have come nearer the truth.- Are you not humbled? geance which dogs thy murderers is slow,-but it is Live you not here, the lackey of a haughty woman,

the play-companion of an empty youth? If you leave There was a pause of some moments, which Julian this Isle, and go to the Court of England, see what Peveril, willing to hear to what conclusion Major regard will there be paid to the old pedigree that deBridgenorth was finally to arrive, did not care to duces your descent from kings and conquerors. A interrupt. Accordingly, in a few minutes, the latter scurril or obscene jest, an impudent carriage, a laced proceeded.— "These things,” he said, "I recall not cloak, a handful of gold, and the readiness to wager in bitterness, so far as they are personal to me. I re- it on a card, or a die, will better advance you at the call them not in spite of heart, though they have been Court of Charles, than your father's ancient name, the means of banishing me from my place of resi-- and slavish devotion of blood and fortune to the dence, where my fathers dwelt, and where my earthly cause of his father.' comforts lie interred. But the public cause sets farther "That is, indeed, but too probable," said Peveril ; strife betwixt your father and me. Who so active as " but the Court shall be no element of mine. I will he to execute the fatal edict of black St. Bartholomew's live like my fathers, among my people, care for their day, when so many hundreds of gospel-preachers comforts, decide their differences". were expelled from house and home--from hearth "Build Maypoles, and dance around them," said and altar-from church and parish, to make room for Bridgenorth, with another of those grim smiles which belly-gods and thieves ? Who, when a devoted few of passed over his features like the light of a sexton's the Lord's people were united to lift the fallen stand- torch, as it glares and is reflected by the window of ard, and once more advance the good cause, was the the church, when he comes from locking a funeral readiest to break their purpose-to search for, perse- vault. "No, Julian, these are not times in which, by cute, and apprehend them? Whose breath did I feel the dreaming drudgery of a country magistrate, and warm on my neck-whose naked sword was thrust the petty cares of a country proprietor, a man can within a foot of my body, whilst I lurked darkling, serve his unhappy country. There are mighty de like a thief in concealment, in the house of my fa- signs afloat, and men are called to make their choice thers ?-It was Geoffrey Peveril's-it was your fa- betwixt God and Baal. The ancient superstitionther's!-What can you answer to all this, or how can the abomination of our fathers-is raising its head, you reconcile it with your present wishes ?"

and flinging abroad its snares, under the protection Julian, in reply, could only remark, "That these of the princes of the earth; but she raises not her injuries had been of long standing-that they had head unmarked or unwatched; the true English been done in heat of times, and heat of temper, and hearts are as thousands, which wait but a signal to that Master Bridgenorth, in Christian kindness, arise as one man, and show the kings of the earth should not entertain a keen resentment of them, that they have combined in vain! We will cast when a door was open for reconciliation."

their cords from us—the cup of their abominations "Peace, young man," said Bridgenortlı, "thou we will not taste."

sure !"


"You speak in darkness, Master Bridgenorth,” | sumed to lend it a hand forward? I trust I know my said Peveril. “Knowing so much of me, you may, duty better. Hear if I ever asked another youngster perhaps, also be aware, that I at least have seen too into the house, save himself-for I knew your honour much of the delusions of Rome to desire that they was wise, and quarrels cannot last for ever, and love should be propagated at home.'

begins where hatred ends; and, to be sure, they look "Else, wherefore do I speak to thee friendly and so as if they were born one for the other--and then, the free?" said Bridgenorth. “Do I not know, with estates of Moultrassie and Martindale suit each other what readiness of early wit you baffled the wily at- like sheath and knife.” tempts of the woman's priest, to seduce thee from the "Parrot of a woman, hold your tongue !" said Protestant faith? Do I not know, how thou was beset Bridgenorth, his patience almost completely exwhen abroad, and that thou didst both hold thine own hausted; "or, if you will prate, let it be to your playfaith and secure the wavering belief of thy friend ? fellows in the kitchen, and bid them get ready some Said I not, this was done like the son of Margaret dinner presently, for Master Peveril is far from home.” Peveril ? Said I not, he holdeth, as yet, but the dead “That I will, and with all my heart," said Deboletter-but the seed' which is sown shall one day rah; "and if there are a pair of fatter fowls in Man sprout and quicken?- Enough, however, of this. For than shall clap, their wings on the table presently, to-day this is thy habitation. I will see in thee your honour shall call me goose as well as parrot. neither the servant of that daughter of Eshbaal, por She then left the apartment. the son of him who pursued my life, and blemished 'It is to such a woman as that,” said Bridgenorth, my honours; but thou shalt be to me, for this day, as looking after her significantly, "that you conceived the child of her without whom my house had been me to have abandoned the charge of my only child? extinct."

But enough of this subject-we will walk abroad, if So saying, he stretched out his thin, bony hand, you will, while she is engaged in a province fitter for and grasped that of Julian Peveril; but there was her understanding." such a look of mourning in his welcome, that what- So saying, he left the house, accompanied by Julian ever delight the youth anticipated, spending so long Peveril, and they were soon walking side by side, as a time in the neighbourhood of Alice Bridgenorth, if they had been old acquaintances. perhaps in her society, or however strongly he felt the It may have happened to many of our readers, as it prudence of conciliating her father's good-will

, he has done to ourselves to be thrown by accident into could not help feeling as if his heart was chilled in society with some individual whose claims to what his company.

is called a serious character stand considerably higher than our own, and with whom, therefore, we

have conceived ourselves likely to spend our time in a CHAPTER XIV.

very stiff and constrained manner; while, on the

other hand, our destined companion may have apThis day at least is friendship’s-on the morrow prehended some disgust at the supposed levity and Let strite come an she will.

thoughtless gayety of a disposition so different from

his own. Now it has frequently happened, that DEBORAH DEBBITCH, summoned by her master, when we, with that urbanity and good-humour which now made her appearance, with her handkerchief at is our principal characteristic, have accommodated her eyes, and an appearance of great mental trouble. ourself to our companion, by throwing as much "It was not my fault, Major Bridgenorth," she said ; seriousness into our conversation as our habits will “how could I help it? like will to like-the boy would admit, he on the other hand, moved by our liberal come--the girl would see him.".

example, hath divested his manners of a part of their “Peace, foolish woman,” said Bridgenorth, "and austerity; and our conversation has, in consequence, hear what I have got to say."

been of that pleasant texture, betwixt the useful and “I know what your honour has to say well agreeable, which best resembles "the fairy web of enough,” said Deborah. "Service, I wot, is no in- night and day," usually called in prose the twilight. It heritance now-a-days--some are wiser than other is probable both parties may, on such occasions, have some-If I had not been wheedled away from Mar- been the better for their encounter, even if it went no tindale, I might have had a house of mine own by farther than to establish for the time a community of this time."

feeling between men, who, separated more perhaps "Peace, idiot!" said Bridgenorth; but so intent by temper than by principle, are too apt to charge each was Deborah on her vindication, that he could but other with profane frivolity on the one hand, or fathrust the interjection, as it were edgewise, between naticism on the other. her exclamations, which followed as thick as is usual It fared thus in Peveril's walk with Bridgenorth, in cases where folk endeavour to avert deserved cen- and in the conversation which he held with him. gure by a clamorous justification ere the charge be Carefully avoiding the subject on which he had brought.

already spoken, Major Bridgenorth turned his con"No wonder she was cheated,” she said, "out of versation chiefly on foreign travel

, and on the wonsight of her own interest, when it was to wait onders he had seen in distant countries, and which he pretty Miss Alice. All your honour's gold should appeared to have marked with a curious and obnever have tempted me, but that I knew she was but servant eye. This discourse made the time fly light a dead castaway, poor innocent, if she were taken away; for although the anecdotes and observations away from my lady or me.-And so this is the end thus communicated, were all tinged with the serious on't!-up early, and down late and this is all my and almost gloomy spirit of the narrator, they, yet thanks! But your

honour had better take care what contained traits of interest and of wonder, such as you do--she has the short cough yet sometimes-and are usually captivating to a youthful ear, and were should take physic spring and


particularly so to Julian, who had in his disposition "Peace, chattering fool!” said her master, so soon some cast of the romantic and adventurous. as her failing breath gave him an opportunity to It appeared that Bridgenorth knew the south of strike in, " thinkest thou I knew not of this young France, and could tell many stories of the French gentleman's visits to the Black Fort, and that, if Huguenots,

who already began to sustain those vexathey had displeased me, I would not have known tions which a few years afterwards were summed up how to stop them ?"

by the revocation of the Edict of Nanız. He had "Did I know that your honour knew of his visits!" even been in Hungary, for he spoke as from personal exclaimed Deborah, in a triumphant tone,--for like knowledge of the character of several of the heads most of her condition, she never sought farther for of the great Protestant insurrection, which at this her defence than a lie, however inconsistent and im- time had taken place under the celebrated Tekeli; probable-"Did I know that your honour knew of and laid down solid reasons why they were entitled it?-Why, how should I have permitted his visits to make common cause with the Great Turk, rather else?-I wonder what your honour takes me for! than submit to the Pope of Rome. He talked also Had I not been sure it was the thing in this world of Savoy, where those of the reformed religion still that your honour most desired, would I have pre- suffered a cruel persecution; and he mentioned, with

« PreviousContinue »