Page images

"He brought me nothing, that was pleasant, I madam,” said Earl Philip; " but spare me the revi-
wot well," said the Earl. 'I expected something sion of what you are much more capable to decide
from St. Evremond or Hamilton-some new plays upon. I am, you know, a most complete Roi faine-
by Dryden or Lee, and some waggery or lampoons ant, and never once interfered with my Maire de
from the Rose Coffee-house; and the fellow has palais in her proceedings."
brought me nothing, but a parcel of tracts about The Countess made signs to her little train-bear-
Protestants and Papists, and a folio play-book, one er, who immediately went to seek for wax and a
of the conceptions, as she calls them, of that old light, with which she presently returned.
mad-woman the Duchess of Newcastle."

In the meanwhile, the Countess continued, address"Hush, my lord, for Heaven's sake," said Peve- | ing Peveril. “Philip does himself less than justice. ril; "here comes the Countess; and you know she When you were absent, Julian, (for if you had been takes fire at the least slight to her ancient friend.". here I would have given you the credit of prompting

"Let her read her ancient friend's works herself, your friend,) he had a spirited controversy with the
then," said the Earl, "and think her as wise as she Bishop, for an attempt io enforce spiritual censures
can; but I would not give one of Waller's songs, against a poor wretch, by confining her in the vault
or Denham's satires, for a whole care-load of her under the chapel."*
Grace's trash.-But here comes our mother, with "Do not think better of me than I deserve," said
care on her brow.”

the Earl to Peveril; " my mother has onnitted to tell
The Countess of Derby entered the apartment you the culprit was pretty Peggy of Ramsey, and her
accordingly, holding in her hand a number of papers. crime what in Cupid's courts would have been called
Her dress was a mourning habit, with a deep train a peccadillo."
of black velvet, which was borne by a little favourite 'Do not make yourself worse than you are," re-
attendant, a deaf and dumb girl, whom, in compas- plied Peveril, who observed the Countess's cheek
sion to her misfortune, the Countess had educated redden, -"you know you would have done as much
about her person for some years. Upon this un- for the oldest and poorest cripple in the island. Why,
fortunate being, with the touch of romance which the vault is under the burial ground of the chapel,
marked many of her proceedings, Lady Derby had and, for aught I know, under the ocean itself, such
conferred the name of Fenella, after some ancient a roaring do the waves make in its vicinity. I think
princess of the island. The Countess herself was no one could remain there long, and retain his
not much changed since we last presented her to reason."
our readers. Age had rendered her step more slow, " It is an infernal hole," answered the Earl, "and I
but not less majestic; and while it traced some will have it built up one day-that is full certain. -
wrinkles on her brow, had failed to quench the But hold-hold--for God's sake, madam-what are
sedate fre of her dark eye. The young men rose to you going to do ?-Look at the seal before you put it
receive her with the formal reverence which they to the warrant--you will see it is a choice antique
knew she loved, and were greeted by her with equal cameo Cupid, riding on a Aying fiskı-1 had it for

twenty zechins, from Signor Furabosco at Rome-a Cousin Peveril,” she said, (for so she always most curious matter for an antiquary, but which will called Julian, in respect of his mother being a kins- add little faith to a Manx warrant.' woman of her husband,) ".

you were ill abroad last How can you trifle thus, you simple boy ?" said night, when we much needed your counsel.”

the Countess, with vexation in her tone and look. Julian answered with a blush which he could not "Let me have your signet, or rather, take these prevent, "That he had followed his sport among warrants, and sign them yourself.” the mountains too far-had returned late and find- “My signet-mny signet-Oh! you mean that with ing her ladyship was removed from Castletown, had the three monstrous legs, which I suppose was deinstantly followed the family hither; but as the vised as the most preposterous device, to represent night-bell was rung, and the watch set, he had our most absurd Majesty of Man.-The signet-1 deemed it more respectful to lodge for the night in have not seen it since I gave it to Gibbon, my monthe town."

key, to play with.-He did whine for it most piteous“It is well," said the Countess ; "and, to do you ly-I hope he has not gemmed the green breast of justice, Julian, you are seldom a truani neglecter ocean with my symbol of sovereignty !" of appointed hours, though, like the rest of the "Now, by Heaven," said the Countess, trembling, youth of this age, you sometimes suffer your sports and colouring deeply with anger, to consume too much of time that should be spent father's signet ! the last pledge which he sent, with otherwise. But for your friend Philip, he is an his love to me, and his blessing to thee, the night avowed contemner of good order, and seems to find before they murdered him at Bolton!" pleasure in wasting time, even when he does not "Mother, dearest mother," said the Earl, startled enjoy it."

out of his apathy, and taking her hand, which he "I have been enjoying my time just now at least,” kissed tenderly, I did but jest-the signet is safe said the Earl, rising from the table, and picking his Peveril knows that it is so.-Go fetch it, Julian, for teeth carelessly; These fresh mullets are delicious, Heaven's sake-here are my keys—it is in the leftand so is the Lachrymæ Christi. I pray you to sit hand drawer of my travelling cabinet.-Nay, mother, down to breakfast, Julian, and partake the goods my forgive me-it was but a mauvaise plaisanterie royal foresight has provided. Never was King of only an ill-imagined jest, ungracious, and in bad Man nearer being left to the mercy of the execrable taste, I allow-but only one of Philip's follies. Look brandy of his dominions. Old Griffiths would never, at ine, dearest mother, and forgive me!"! in the midst of our speedy retreat of last night, have The Countess turned her eyes towards him, from had sense enough to secure a few flasks, had' I not which the tears were fast falling. given him a hint on that important subject. But "Philip,” she said, "you try me too unkindly, and presence of mind amid danger and tumult, is a jewel too severely: If times are changed, as I have heard I have always possessed."

you allege-if the dignity of rank, and the high feel"I wish, then, Philip, you would exert it to better ings of honour and duty, are now drowned in giddy purpose," said the Countess, half smiling, half dis- jests and trifling pursuits, let me at least, who live pleased; for she doted upon her son with all a mo- secluded from all others, die without perceiving the iher's fondness, even when she was most angry with him for being deficient in the peculiar and chivalrous, which is or was kept a liule in repair, is a prison or dungeon, for

* Beneath the only one of the four churches in Castle Rushin, disposition which had distinguished his father, and ecclesiastical offenders. "This," says Waldron,“ is certainly one which was so analogous to her own romantic and of the most dreadful places that imagination can form; the sea high-minded character. "Lend me your signet,"

rung under it through the hollows of the rock with such a conshe added with a sigh; "for it were, I fear, vain to in upon you, and over it are the vaults for burying the dead. The

tinual roar, that you would think it were every moment breaking ask you to read over these despatches from England, stairs descending to this place of terrors are not above thirty, but and execute the warrants which I have thought ne- so steep and narrow, that they are very difficult to go down. A cessary to prepare in consequence."

child of eight or nine years not being able to pass them but side"My signet you shall command with all my heart, I Works, p. 105, folio.

ways."-WALDRON'S Description of the Isle of Man, in his

[ocr errors]

it was your

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

change which has happened, and, above all, without pestilent pamphlets, that she has cocked her tail, perceiving it in mine own son. Let me not learn the Aung up her heels, taken the bit between her teeth, general prevalence of this levity, which laughs at and is as furiously unmanageable as in the year 1642.' every sense of dignity or duty, through your personal "All this you must have known already," said disrespect--Let me not think that when I die". Peveril; "I wonder you told me not of news so im

Speak nothing of it, mother," said the Earl, in- portant." terrupting her affectionately. "It is true, I cannot “It would have taken long to tell,” said the Earl; promise be all my father and his fathers were; moreover, I desired to have you solus ; thirdly, for we wear silk vests for their steel coals, and was about to speak when my mother entered; and, feathered beavers for their crested helmets. But to conclude, it was no business of mine. But these believe me, though to be an absolute Palmerin of despatches of my politic mother's private corres. England is not in my nature, no son ever loved a pondent put a new face on the whole matter; for it mother more dearly, or would do more to oblige her. seems some of the informers-a trade which, having And that you may own this, I will forth with not only become a thriving one, is now pursued by manyseal the warrants, to the great endangerment of my have dared to glance at the Countess herself as an precious fingers, but also read the same from end to agent in this same plot-ay, and have found those end, as well as the despatches thereunto appertain that are willing enough to believe their report." ing."

"On mine honour," said Peveril, "you both tako A mother is easily appeased, even when most of it with great coolness. I think the Countess the fended; and it was with an expanding heart that more composed of the two; for, except her movethe Countess saw her son's very handsome features, ment hither, she exhibited no mark of alarm, and, while reading these papers, setile into an expression moreover, seemed no way more anxious to commuof deep seriousness, such as they seldom wore, It nicate the matter to your lordship than decency seemed to her as if the family likeness to his gallant rendered necessary. but unfortunate father increased, when the expres- “My good mother," said the Earl, "loves power, sion of their countenances became similar in gra- though it has cost her dear. I wish I could truly vity. The Earl had no sooner perused the despatches, say that my neglect of business is entirely assumed which he did with great attention, than he rose and in order to leave it in her hands, but that better said, "Julian, come with me.

motive combines with natural indolence. But she The Countess looked surprised. "I was wont to seems to have feared I should not think exactly like share your father's counsels, my son," she said; her in this emergency, and she was right in sup"but do not think that I wish to intrude myself upon posing so.' yours. I am too well pleased to see you assume the How comes the emergency upon you ?" said power and the duty of thinking for yourself, which is Julian; "and what form does the danger assume?" what I have so long urged you to do. Nevertheless, "Marry, thus it is," said the Earl : "I need not iny experience, who have been so long administrator bid you remember the affair of Colonel Christian. of your authority in Man, might not, I think, be That man, besides his widow, who is possessed of superfluous to the matter in hand."

large property-Dame Christian of Kirk-Truagh, Hold me excused, dearest mother,” said the whom you have often heard of, and perhaps seenEarl, gravely; The interference was none of my left a brother called Edward Christian, whom you seeking; had you taken your own course, without never saw at all. Now this brother-but I dare say consulting me, it had been well; but since I have you know all about it?" entered on the affair--and it appears sufficiently im- Not I, on my honour," said Peveril; " you know portant-I must transact it to the best of my own the Countess seldom or never alludes to the subject." ability."

"Why,” replied the Earl, “I believe in her heart “Go, then, my son," said the Countess," and may she is something ashamed of that gallant act of Heaven enlighten thee with its counsel, since thou royalty and supreme jurisdiction, the consequences wilt have none of mine.--I ļrust that you, Master of which maimed my estate so cruelly.-Well, couPeveril, will remind him of what is fit for his own sin, this same Edward Christian was one of the honour; and that only a coward abandons his rights, dempsters at the time, and, naturally enough, was and only a fool trusts his enemies."

unwilling to concur in the sentence which adjudged The Earl answered not, but, taking Peveril by the his ainé to be shot like a dog. My mother, who arm, led him up a winding stair to his own apart was then in high force, and not to be controlled by ment, and from thence into a projecting turret, where, any one, would have served the dempster with the amidst the roar of waves and sea-mews' clang, he same sauce with which she dressed his brother, had held with him the following conversation.

he not been wise enough to fly from the island. “Peveril, it is well I looked into these warrants. Since that time, the thing has slept on all hands; My mother queens it at such a rate as may cost me and though we knew that Dempster Christian made not only iny crown, which I care little for, but per occasionally secret visits to his friends in the island, haps my head, which, though others may think little along with two or three other Puritans of the same of it, I would feel it an inconvenience to be deprived stamp, and particularly a prick-eared rogue, called

Bridgenorth, brother-in-law to the deceased, yet my "What on earth is the matter ?" said Peveril, with mother, thank Heaven, has hitherto had the sense considerable anxiety.

to connive at them, though, for some reason or other, It seems,

," said the Earl of Derby, " that Old she holds this Bridgenorth in especial disfavour." England, who takes a frolicsome brain-fever once “And why,” said Peveril, forcing himself to speak, every two or three years, for the benefit of her doc- in order to conceal the very unpleasant surprise which tors, and the purification of the torpid lethargy he felt, "why does the Countess now depart from so brought on by peace and prosperity, is now gone prudent a line of conduct ?" stark staring mad on the subject of a real or supposed "You must know the case is now different. The Popish Plot. I read one programme on the subject, rogues are not satisfied with toleration-they would by a fellow called Oates, and thought it the most have supremacy. They have found friends in the absurd foolery I ever perused. But that cunning present heat of the popular mind. My mother's fellow Shaftesbury, and some others amongst the name, and especially that of her confessor, Aldrick great ones, have taken it up, and are driving on at the Jesuit, have been mentioned in this beautiful such a rate as makes harness crack, and horses maze of a plot, which, if any such at all exists, she smoke for it. The King, who has sworn never to knows as little of as you or I. However, she is a kiss the pillow his father went to sleep on, tempo- Catholic, and that is enough; and I have little doubt, rizes and gives way to the current; the Duke of that if the fellows could seize on our scrap of a king. York, suspected and hated on account of his religion, dom here, and cut all our throats, they would have is about to be driven to the continent; several prin the thanks of the present house of Commons, as cipal Catholic nobles are in the Tower already; and willingly as old Christian had those of the Rump, for the nation, like a bull at Tutbury-running, is per a similar service.” secuted with so many inflammatory rumours and "From whence did you receive all this informa


tion ?" said Peveril, again speaking, though by the Meanwhile the letter impressed on Peveril a differsame effort which a man makes who talks in his sleep. ent train of thoughts from what his companion

"Aldrick has seen the Duke of York in secret, apprehended. It was in Alice's hand, and contained and his Royal Highness, who wept while he con- these few words :fessed his want of power to protect his friends-and “I fear what I am going to do is wrong; but I it is no trifle will wring tears from him-told him to must see you. Meet me at noon at Goddard Crosend us information that we should look to our safe- van's Stone, with as much secrecy as you may.". ty, for that Dempster Christian and Bridgenorth were The letter was signed only with the initials A. B.; in the island, with secret and severe orders; that but Julian had no difficulty in recognising the handthey had formed a considerable party there, and were writing, which he had often seen, and which was likely to be owned and protected in any thing they remarkably beautiful. He stood suspended, for he mighe undertake against us. The people of Ramsey saw the difficulty and impropriety of withdrawing and Castletown are unluckily discontented about himself from the Countess and his friend at this some new regulation of the imposts; and, to tell moment of impending danger ; and yet, to neglect you the truth, though I thought yesterday's sudden this invitation was not to be thought of. He paused remove a whim of my mother's, I am almost satis in the utmost perplexity. fied they would have blockaded us in Rushin Castle, “Shall I read your riddle ?'' said the Earl. “Go where we could not have held out for lack of pro- where love calls you-I will make an excuse to my visions. Here we are better supplied, and, as we are mother-only, most grave anchorite, be hereafter on our guard, it is likely the intended rising will not more indulgent to the failings of others than you take place.”

have been hitherto, and blaspheme not the power of “And what is to be done in this emergency ?" said the little deity." Peveril.

"Nay, but, Cousin Derby'- said Peveril and "That is the very question, my gentle coz," an- stopped short, for he really knew not what to say. swered the Earl. My mother sees but one way of Secured himself by a virtuous passion from the congoing to work, and that is by royal authority. Here tagious influence of the time, he had seen with regret are the warrants she had prepared, to search for, take, his noble kinsman mingle more in its irregularities and apprehend the bodies of Edward Christian and than he approved of, and had sometimes played the Robert-no, Ralph Bridgenorth, and bring them to part of a monitor. Circumstances seemed at preinstant trial. No doubt, she would soon have had sent to give the Earl a right of retaliation. He kept them in the Castle court, with a dozen of the old his eye fixed on his friend, as if he waited till he matchlocka levelled against them-that is her way should complete his sentence, and at length exclaimof solving all sudden difficulties."

ed, “What! cousin, quite a-la-mort! 0, most judi. "But in which I trust you do not acquiesce, my cious Julian! 0, most precise Peveril! have you lord," answered Peveril, whose thoughts instantly bestowed so much wisdom on me that you have reveried to Alice, if they could ever be said to be ab- none left for yourself? Come, be frank-tell me name sent from her.

and place or say but the colour of the eyes of the "Truly, I acquiesce in no such matter," said the most emphatic she-or do but let me have the pleaEarl. William Christian's death cost me a fair sure to hear thee say, 'I love !--confess one touch of half of my inheritance. I have no fancy to fall under human frailty-conjugate the verb amo, and I will the displeasure of my royal brother, King Charles, be a gentle school-master, and you shall have, as for a new escapade of the same kind. But how to father Richards used to say, when we were under his pacify my mother, I know not. I wish the insurrec- ferule, licentia e.reundi.' tion would take place, and then, as we are better pro- "Enjoy your pleasant humour at my expense, my vided than they can be, we might knock the knaves lord,” said Peveril; "I fairly will confess thus much, on the head; and yet, since they began the fray, we that I would fain, if it consisted with my honour should keep the law on our side.

and your safety, have two hours at my own disposal; "Were it not belter," said Peveril, "if by any the more especially as the manner in which I shall means these men could be induced to quit the island ?" employ them may much concern the safety of the

"Surely," replied the Earl; "but that will be no island." easy matter--they are stubborn on principle, and Very likely, I dare say," answered the Earl, still empty threats will not move them. This storm-blast laughing. No doubt you are summoned out by in London is wind in their sails, and they will run some Lady Politic Wouldbe of the isle, to talk over their length, you may depend on it. I have sent some of the breast-laws; but never mind-go, and orders, however, to clap up the Manxmen upon go speedily, that you may return as quick as possi: whose assistance they depended, and if I can find ble. I expect no immediate explosion of this grand the two worthies themselves, here are sloops enough conspiracy: When the rogues see us on our guard, in the harbour-I will take the freedom to send they wil be cautious how they break out. Only, them on a pretty distant voyage, and I hope matters once more, make haste.". will be setiled before they return to give an account Peveril thought this last advice was not to be of it."

neglected; and, glad to extricate himself from the At this moment a soldier belonging to the garri- raillery of his cousin, walked down towards the gate son approached the two young men, with many bows of the Castle, meaning to cross over to the village, and tokens of respect. "How now, friend?" said and there take horse at the Earl's stables, for the the Earl to him. * Leave off thy courtesies, and place of rendezvous. tell thy business."

The man, who was a native islander, answered in Manx, that he had a letter for his honour, Master Julian Peveril. Julian snatched the billet hastily,

CHAPTER XVI. and asked whence it came.

Acasto. Can she not speak? " It was delivered to him by a young woman,” the Oswald. If speech be only in accented sounds, soldier replied, “who had given him a piece of money Framed by the tongue and lips, the maiden's dumb; to deliver it into Master Peveril's own hand."

But if by quick and apprehensive look, "Thou art a lucky fellow, Julian," said the Earl.

By motion, sign, and glance, to give each meaning,

Express as clothed in language, be term'd speech, "With that grave brow of thine, and thy character She hath that wondrous faculty; for her eyes, for sobriety, and early, wisdom, you set the girls

Like the bright stars of heaven, can hold discourse, a-wooing without waiting till they are asked; whilst

Though it be mute and soundless.

Old Play. I, their drudge and vassal, waste both language and Ar the head of the first Aight of steps which leisure, without getting a kind word or look, far less descended towards the difficult and well-defended a billet-doux."

entrance of the Castle of Holm-Peel, Peveril was This the young Earl said with a smile of conscious met and stopped by the Countess's train-bearer, triumph, as in fact he valued himself not a little upon The little creature--for she was of the least and the interest which he supposed himself to possess slightest size of womankind-was exquisitely well with the fair sex.

formed in all her limbs, which the dress she usually wore (a green silk tunic, of a peculiar form) set off display itself in language, had something even frightto the best advantage. Her face was darker than ful, so singular were the tones, contoruons, and the usual hue of Europeans; and the profusion of gestures, to which she had recourse. The lower dolong and silken hair, which, when she undid the mestics, to whom she was liberal almost beyond her braids in which she commonly wore it, fell down apparent means, observed her with much deference almost to her ankles, was also rather a foreign and respect, but much more from fear than from any attribute. Her countenance resembled a most beau- real attachment; for the caprices of her temper distiful miniature; and there was a quickness, decision, played themselves even in her gifts; and those who and fire, in Fenella's look, and especially in her eyes, most frequently shared her bounty, seemed by, no which was probably rendered yet more alert and means assured of the benevolence of the motives acute, because, through the imperfection of her other which dictated her liberality. organs, it was only by sight that she could obtain All these peculiarities led to a conclusion consoinformation of what passed around her.

nant with Manx superstition. Devout believers in The pretty mute was mistress of many little ac- all the legends of fairies so dear to the Celtic tribes, complishments, which the Countess had caused to the Manx people held it for certainty that the elves be taught to her in compassion for her forlorn situa- were in the habit of carrying off mortal children tion, and which she learned with the most surprising before baptism, and leaving in the cradle of the newquickness. Thus, for example, she was exquisite in babe one of their own brood, which was almost the use of the needle, and so ready and ingenious as always imperfect in some one or other of the organs draughtswoman, that, like the ancient Mexicans, proper to humanity. Such a being they conceived she sometimes made a hasty sketch with her pencil Fenella to be; and the smallness of her size, her the means of conveying her ideas, either by direct or dark complexion, her long locks of silken hair, the emblematical representation. Above all, in the art singularity of her manners and tones, as well as the of ornamental writing, much studied at that period, caprices of her temper, were to their thinking all Fenella was so great a proficient, as to rival the atiributes of the irritable, fickle, and dangerous race fame of Messrs. Snow, Shelley, and other masters from which they supposed her to be sprung. And it of the pen, whose copy-books, preserved in the libra- seemed, that although no jest appeared to offend her ries of the curious, still show the artists smiling on more than when Lord Derby called her in sport the the frontispiece in all the honours of flowing gowns Elfin Queen, or otherwise alluded to her supposed and full-bottomed wigs, to the eternal glory of calli- connexion with “the pigmy folk," yet still her pergraphy:

petually affecting to wear the colour of green, proper The little maiden had, besides these accomplish to the fairies, as well as some other peculiarities, ments, much ready wit and acuteness of intellect. seemed voluntarily assumed by her, in order to counWith Lady Derby, and with the two young gentle- tenance the superstition, perhaps because it gave her men, she was a great favourite, and used much free- more authority among the lower orders. dom in conversing with them, by means of a system Many were the tales circulated respecting the of signs which had been gradually established Countess's Elf, as Fenella was currently called in amongst them, and which served all ordinary pur- the island; and the malecontents of the siricter perposes of communication.

suasion were convinced, that no one but a Papist But, though happy in the indulgence and favour and a malignant would have kept near lier person a of her mistress, from whom indeed she was seldom creature of such doubtful origin. They conceived separate, Fenella was by no means a favourite with that Fenella's deafness and dumbness were only the rest of the household. In fact, it seemed that towards those of this world, and that she had been her temper, exasperated perhaps by a sense of her heard talking, and singing, and laughing most elvish misfortune, was by no means equal to her abilities. ly, with the invisibles of her own race. They alShe was very haughty in her demeanour, even to- leged, also, that she had a Doublc, a sort of appawards the upper domestics, who in that establish- rition resembling her, which slept in the Countess's ment were of a much higher rank and better_birth anteroom, or bore her train, or wrought in her cabithan in the families of the nobility in general. These net, while the real Fenella joined the song of the often complained, not only of her pride and reserve, mermaids on the moonlight sands, or the dance of but of her high and irascible temper and vindictive the fairies in the haunted valley of Glenmoy, or on disposition. Her passionate propensity had been the heights of Snowfell and 'Barool. The sentiindeed idly encouraged by the young men, and parti- nels, too, would have sworn they had seen the little cularly by the Earl, who sometimes amused himself maiden trip past them in their solitary night-walks, with teazing her, that he might enjoy the various without their having it in their power to challenge singular motions and murmurs by which she express- her, any more than if they had been as mute as hered her resentment. Towards him, these were of self. To all this mass of absurdities the better incourse only petulant and whimsical indications of formed paid no more attention than to the usual pettish anger. But when she was angry with others idle exaggerations of the vulgar, which so frequently of inferior degree-before whom she did not control connect that which is unusual with what is superherself—the expression of her passion, unable to natural.*

* The story often alludes to the various superstitions which are, all the houses are blest where they visit, for they fly vice. A per. or at least were, received by the inhabitants of the Isle of Man, son would be thought impudently profane, who should suffer his an ancient Celtic race, slill speaking the language of their fathers family to go to bed without having first set a tub, or pail, full of They retained a plentiful stock of those wild legends which over- clean water, for these guests to bathe themselves in, which the awed the reason of a dark age, and in our own time annoy the natives aver they constantly do, as soon as ever the eyes of the imagination of those who listen to the fascination of the tale, family are closed, wherever they vouchsafe to come, l'any thing while they despise its clains to belief. The following curious le happen to be inislaid, and found again in some place where it gendary traditions are extracted from Waldron, a huge mine, in was not expected, they presently tell you a fairy took it and re. which I have attempted to discover some spocimens ot spar, if I turned it ; if you chance to get a fall and hurt yourself, a fairy cannot find treasure.

laid something in your way to throw you down, as a punishment 'Tis this ignorance," meaning that of the islanders, " which for some sin you have committed. I have heard many of them is the occasion of the excessive superstition which reigns among protest they have been carried insensibly great distances from them. I have already given some hints of it, but not enough to home, and, without knowing how they came there, found themshow the world what a Manksman truly is, and whnt power the selves on the top of a mountain. One story in particular was prejudice of education has over weak minds. If books were of told me of a man who had been led by invisible musicians for any use among them, one would swear the Count of Gabalis had several miles together; and not being able to resist the harmony. been not only translated into the Manks tongue, but that it was followed tillit conducted him to a large common, where were a a sort of rule of faith to them, since there is no fictitious being great number of little people sitting round a table, anıl eating and mentioned by him, in his book of absurdities, which they would drinking in a very jovial manner. Among them were some faces not readily give credit to. I know not, idolizers as they are of the whom he thought he had formerly seen, but forbore taking any Clergy, whether they would not be even refractory to them, were notice or they of him, till the little people, offering lam drink, they to prcach against the existence of fairies, or even against one of them, whose features seemed not unknown to him, pluck their being commonly seen; for though the pricsthood are a kind ed him by the coat, and forbade him, whatever he did, to taste of gods among them, yet still tradition is a greater god than they; any thing he saw before him ; for if you do, added he, you will be and as they confidently assert that the first inhabitants of their as I am, and return no more to your family: The poor man was island were fairies, so do they maintain that thor little people much aftrightod. but resolved to obey the injunction ; accordingly have will their resilence among them. They call them the Good large silver cup, filled with some sort of liquor, being put into People, and say they live in wild, and forests, and on mountains, bis hand, he found an opportunity to throw what it contained on And shun great cities because of the wickedness acted therein ; the ground. Soon after the music ceasing, all the company dis

Such, in form and habits, was the little female, usually shown much greater deference to him than to who, holding in her hand a small old-fashioned any of the household, her mistress, the countess, ebony rod, which might have passed for a divining always excepted. wand, confronted Julian on the top of the flight of On the present occasion, planting herself in the steps which led down the rock from the Castle-court. very midst of the narrow descent, so as to make it We ought to observe, that as Julian's manner to the impossible for Peveril to pass by her

, she proceeded unfortunate girl had been always, gentle, and free to put him to the question by a series of gestures, from those teazing jests in which his gay friend in which we will endeavour to describe. She comdulged, with less regard to the peculiarity of her menced by extending her hand slightly, accompanied situation and feelings; so Fenella, on her part, had with the sharp inquisitive look which served her as appeared, leaving the cup in his hand, and he returned home, her husband, and those who had accompanied him, returned, they though much wearied and fatigued. He went the next day and found her wringing her hands, and uttering the most piteous la communicater to the minister of the parish all that had happen mentations for the loss of her child ; on which, said the husband, ed, and asked his advice how he should dispose of the cup; to looking into the bed. The woman is mad, do not you see the child which the parson replied, he could not do better than devote it to lies by you ? On which she turned, and saw indeed soinething like the service of the church; and this very cup, they tell me, is that a child, but far different from her own, who was a very beautiful, which is now used for the consecrated wine in Kirk-Merlugh. fat, well-featured babe ; whereas, what was now in the room of

Another instance they gave me to prove the reality of fairies, it, was a poor, lean, withered, deformed creature. It lay quito was of a fiddler, who, having agreed with a person, who was a naked, but the clothes belonging to the child that was exchanged stranger, for so much money, to play to some company he should for it, lay wrapt up altogether on the bed. This creature lived with bring hun to, all the twelve days of Christmas, and received eamest them near the space of nine years, in all which time it eat nothing for it, saw his new master vanish into the earth the moment he except a few herbe, nor was ever seen to void any other excre. had made the bargain. Nothing could be more terrified than was ment than water. It neither spoke, nor could stand or go, but The poor tiddler; he found hu had entered himself into the devil's seemed enervate in every joint, like the changeling I mentioned service, and looked on himself as already damned; but having before, and in all its actions showed itself to be of the same narecvarse also to a clergyman, he received some hope; he ordered ture. lum, however, as he had taken eamest, to go when he should be A woman, who lived about two miles distant from Ballasalli, called, but that whatever tunes should be called for, to play none and used to serve my family with butter, made me once very but psalms. On the day appointed, the saine person appeared, merry with a story she told me of her daughter, a girl of about ten with whom he went, though with what inward reluctance 'tis years old, who being sent over the fields to the town, for a penny. easy to guess; but punctually obeying the minister's directions, worth of tobacco for her father, was on the top of a mountain surthe company to whom he played were so angry, that they all rounded by a great number of little men, who would not suffer her vanished at once, leaving him at the top of a high hill, and so to pass any farther. Some of them said she should go with them, bruised and hurt, though he was not sensible when, or from what and accordingly laid hold of her; but one seeming more pitiful, hand he received the blows, that he got not home without the ut- desired they would let her alone; which they refusing, there en most difficulty. The old story of infants being changed in their sued a quarrel, and the person who took her part fought bravely cradles, is here in such credit, that mothers are in continual terror in her defence. This so incensed the others, that to be revenged at the thoughts of it. I was prevailed upon myself to go and see on her for being the cause, two or three of them seized ber, and a child, who they told me was one of these changelings; and, in pulling up her clothes, whipped her heartily, atter which, it seems, deed, must own was not a little surprised, as well as shocked, at they had no farther power over her, and she nin home directly, the sight: nothing under heaven could have a more beautiful face; telling what had befallen her, and showing her buttocks, on which but though between five and six years old, and seemingly healthy, were the prints of several small hands. Several of the towns. he was so far from being able to walk or stand, that he could not people went with her to the mountain, and she conducting them so much as move any one joint; his limbs were vastly long for to the spot, the little antagonists were gone, but had left behind his age, but smaller than an infant's of six months ; his complexion them proofs (as the good woman said that what the giri had inwas perfectly delicate, and he had the finest bair in the world; formed them was true, for there was a great deal of blood to be he never spoke nor cried, eat scarce any thing, and was

very sel seen on the stones. This did she aver with all the solemnity dom geen to smile; but if any one called him a fairy-elf, he would imaginable. frown and fix his eyes so carnestly on those who said it, as if he * Another woman, equally superstitious and fanciful as the would look them through. His mother, or at least his supposed former, told me, that being great with child, and expecting every mother, being very poor, frequently went out a chairing, and left moment the good hour, as she lay awake one night in her bed. him a whole day together; the neighbours, out of curiosity, have she saw geven or eight little women come into her chamber, one often looked in at the window to see how he behaved when alone; of whom had an infant in her arms; they were followed by a which, whenever they did, they were sure to find hina laughing, man of the same size with themselves, but in the habit of a miand in the utmost delight. This made them judge that he was not nister. One of them went to the pail, and finding no water in it, without company more pleasing to bim than any mortals could be ; cried out to the others, what must they do to christen the child i and what made this conjecture seem the more reasonable, was. On which they replied, it should be done in beer. With that the that, if he were left

ever so dirty, the woman, at her return, saw seeming parson took the child in his army, and performed the cehim with a clean face, and his hair combed with the utmost ex- remony of baptism, dipping his hand into a great tub of strong actress and nicety.

beer, which the woman bad brewed the day before to be ready for A second account of this nature I had from a woman to whose her lying-in. She told me that they baptized the infant by the offspring the fairies seemed to have taken a particular fancy. The name of Joan, which made her know she was pregnant of a girl, fourth of fifth night after she was delivered of her first child, the as it proved a few days after, when she was delivered. She added family were alarmed with a most terrible cry of fire, on which also, that it was common for the fairies to make a mock christenesers borty ran out of the bouse to see whence it proceeded, not ing when any person was near her time, and that according to exeepting the nurse, who, being as much frighted as the others, what child, inale or female, they brought, such should the woman made one of the number. The poor woman lay trembling in her bring into the world. bed alone, unable to help herself, and her back being turned to the * But I cannot give over this subject without mentioning what infant, saw not that it was taken away by an invisible hand they say befell a young sailor, who, coming off a long voyage, Thoxe who had left her baving inquired about the neighbourhood, though it was late at night, chose to land rather than be another and finding there was no cause for the outcry they had heard, night in the vessel ; being permitted to do so, he was set on shore laughed at each other for the mistake ; but as they were going to at Douglas. It happened to be a fine moonlight night, and very rr-enter the house, the poor babe lay on the threshold, and by its dry, being a small frost; he therefore forebore going into any cries preserved itselt from being trodd upon. This exceedingly house to refresh himself, but made the best of his way to the amazed all that saw it, and the mother being still in bed, they house of a sister he had at Kirk - Merlugh. As he was going over a could ascribe no reason for finding it there, but having been re. pretty high mountain, he heard the noise of horses, the holla of a moved by faunes, who, by their sudden return, had been presented huntsman, and the finest hom in the world. He was a little sur. from carrying it any farther. About a year after, the same woprised that any body pursued those kind of sports in the night, man was brought to bed of a second child, which had not been but he had not time for much reflection, before ihey all passed by born many nights before a great noise was heard in the house him, so near, that he was able to count what number there was where they kept their cattle ; (for in this island, where there is no of them, which, be paid, was thirteen, and that they were all shelter in the fields from the excessive cold and damps, they put dressed in green, and gallantly mounted He was so well pleaall their milch-kine into a bam, which they call a cattle-house.) sed with the sight, that he would gladly have followed, could be Every body that was stirring ran to see what was the matter, be- have kept pace with them: he crossed the footway, however, lieving that the cows had got loose: the nurse was as ready as the that he might see them again, which he did more than once, and test, but, finding all safe, and the barn door close, immediately re- lost not the sound of the hom for some miles. At length, being tumed, but not so suddenly but that the new born babe was taken arrived at his sister's, he tells her this story, who presently clapout of the led, is the former had been, and dropt on their coming, ped her hands for joy that he was come home safe ; for, said she, in the middle of tho entry. This was enough to prove the fainies ihose you saw were fairies, and 'tis well they did not take you away had made o second attempt, and the parents sending for a minis- with them. There is no persuading them but that these huntings ter, joined with him in thanksgiving to God, who had twice de are frequent in the island, and that these little pontry, being too livered thair children from bring taken from them. But in the proud to ride on Mapks horses, which they might find in the field, time of her thint lying in, every body seemed to have forgot what make use of the English and Irish ones, which are brought over had happened in the first and seronil, and on a noise in the cattle and kept by gentlemen. They say that nothing is more common Enise, ran out to know what had occasioned it. The nuse was than to find these poor beasts, in a morning, all over in a sweat the only person, excepting the woman in the straw, who stay'd and foam, and tired almost to death, when their owners have bein the horie, nor was she detained through care or want of ciri- lieved they have never been out of the stable. A gentleman of osity, but by the bonds of sleep. having drank a little too plenti Ballafletcher assured me he had three or four of his best horses tully Il preceding day. The mother, who was broad awake saw killed with these nocturnal joumors. ber child lifted out of the bed, and carried out of the chamber, * At my first coming into the island, and hearing these sort of though she could not see any person touch it; on which she cried stories, I imputed the giving credit to them merely to the simpli. out as loud as she could, Nurse, nure! my child, my child is city of the poor creatures who related them; but was strangely taken away! but the old woman was too fast to he awakened by surprised when I heard other narratives of this kind, and altoge the noise she made, and the infani was irretrievably gone. When ther us absurd, allested by men who passed for persons of sound

« PreviousContinue »