Page images
PDF
EPUB

Ruminating thus, he essayed another door, which sense, conceive why I should suffer for refusing my admitted him to a bed-room, where lay another har- confidence to a stranger, who seems to require that I monious slumberer. The mean utensils, pewter mea- should submit me blindfold to his guidance.". sures, empty cans and casks, with which this room "Farewell, then, Sir Julian of the Peak--that was lumbered, proclaimed it that of the host, who may soon be said the stranger, removing the hand slept surrounded by his professional implements of which he had as yet left carelessly on the horse's hospitality and stock in trade.

bridle. This discovery relieved Peveril from some de' cate "How mean you by that phrase ?" said Julian; embarrassment which he formerly entertained. “and why apply such a title to me?" He put upon the table a piece of money, sufficient, The stranger smiled, and only answered, "Here our as he judged, to pay his share of the preceding night's conference ends. The way is before you. You will reckoning; not caring to be indebted for his enter- find it longer and rougher than that by which I would tainment to the strangers, whom he was leaving have guided you." without the formality of an adieu.

So saying, Ganlesse turned his back and walked His conscience cleared of this gentlemanlike scru- towards the house. On the threshold he turned ple, Peveril proceeded with a light heart, though some about once more, and seeing that Peveril had not what a dizzy head, to the stable, which he easily yet moved from the spot, he again smiled and beckrecognised among a few other paltry outhouses. His oned to him; but Julian, recalled by that sign to horse, refreshed with rest, and perhaps not unmind- recollection, spurred his horse, and set forward on his ful of his services the evening before, neighed as his journey. master entered the stable; and Peveril accepted the It was not long ere his local acquaintance with sound as an omen of a prosperous journey. He paid the country enabled him to regain the road to Mar the augury with a sieveful of corn ; and, while his tindale, from which he had diverged on the preceding palfrey profited by his attention, walked into the fresh evening for about two miles. But the roads, or rather air to cool his heated blood, and consider what course the paths of this wild country, so much satirized by he should pursue in order to reach the Castle of Mar their native poet, Cotton, were so complicated in tindale before sunset. His acquaintance with the some places, so difficult to be traced in others, and so country in general, gave him confidence that he could unfit for hasty travelling in almost all, that, in spite not have greatly deviated from the nearest road; and of Julian's utmost exertions, and though he made no with his horse in good condition, he conceived he longer delay upon the journey than was necessary to might easily reach Martindale before nightfall. bait his horse at a small hamlet through which he

Having adjusted his route in his mind, he returned passed at noon, it was nightfall ere he reached an into the stable to prepare his steed for the journey, eminence, from which, an hour sooner, the battleand soon led him into the ruinous court-yard of the ments of Martindale Castle would have been visible; inn, bridled, saddled, and ready to be mounted. But and where, when they were hid in night, their situaas Peveril's hand was upon the mane, and his left tion was indicated by a light constantly maintained foot in the stirrup, a hand touched his cloak, and the in a lofty tower, called the Warder's Turret; and which voice of Ganlesse said, "What, Master Peveril, is domestic beacon had acquired, through all the neighthis your foreign breeding? or have you learned in bourhood, the name of Peveril's Pole-star. France to take French leave of your friends ?” This was regularly kindled at curfew toll, and sur

Julian started like a guilty thing, although a mo- plied with as much wood and charcoal as maintained ment's reflection assured him that he was neither the light till sunrise; and at no period was the cerewrong nor in danger. "I cared not to disturb you,'

,"monial omitted, saving during the space intervening he said, "although I did come as far as the door of between the death of a Lord of the Castle and his your chamber. I supposed your friend and you might interment. When this last event had taken place, require, after our last night's revel, rather sleep than the nightly beacon was rekindled with some cereceremony. I left my own bed, though a rough one, mony, and continued till fate called the successor to with more reluctance than usual; and as my occa- sleep with his fathers. It is not known from what sions oblige me to be an early traveller, I thought it circumstance the practice of maintaining this light best to depart without leave-taking. I have left a originally sprung. "Tradition spoke of it doubtfully. token for mine host, on the table of his apartment.' Some thought it was the signal of general hospi

"It was unnecessary,” said Ganlesse; the rascal tality, which, in ancient times, guided the wandering is already overpaid. - But are you not rather prema- knight, or the weary pilgrim, to rest and refreshture in your purpose of departing? My mind tells me ment. Others spoke of it as a "love-lighted watchthat Master Julian Peveril had better proceed with fire,” by which the provident anxiety of a former lady me to London, than turn aside for any purpose what- of Martindale guided her husband homeward through ever. You may see already that I am no ordinary the terrors of a midnight storm. The less favourable person, but a master-spirit of the time. For the construction of unfriendly neighbours of the dissentcuckoo I travel with, and whom I indulge in his pro- ing persuasion, ascribed ihe origin and continuance digal follies, he also has his uses. But you are of a of this practice, to the assuming pride of the family different cast; and I not only would serve you, but of Peveril,

who thereby chose to intimate their ancient even wish you to be my own.

suzerainte over the whole country, in the manner Julian gazed on this singular person when he spoke of the admiral, who carries the lantern in the poop, We have already said his figure was mean and slight, for the guidance of the fleet. And in the former with very ordinary and unmarked features, unless we times, our old friend, Master Solsgrace, dealt from were to distinguish the lightnings of a keen gray eye, the pulpit many a hard hit against Sir Geoffrey, as which corresponded, in its careless and prideful glance, he that had raised his horn and set up his candlestick with the haughty superiority which the stranger as- on high. Certain it is, that all the Peverils, from sumed in bis conversation. It was not till after a father to son, had been especially attentive to the momentary pause, that Julian replied, " Can you maintenance of this custom, as something intimately wonder, sir, that in my circumstances-if they are connected with the dignity of their family, and in the indeed known to you so well as they seem-I should hands of Sir Geoffrey, the observance was not likely decline unnecessary confidence on the affairs of to be omitted. moment which have called me hither, or refuse the Accordingly, the polar-star of Peveril had continued company of a stranger, who assigns no reason for to beam more or less brightly

during all the vicissidesiring mine?"

tudes of the Civil War; and glimmered, however "Be it as you list, young man," answered Ganleşse; faintly, during the subsequent period of Sir Geoffrey's "only remember hereafter, you had a fair offer--it is depression. But he was often heard to say, and somenot every one to whom I would have made it. If we times to swear, that while there was a perch of woodshould meet hereafter, on other, and on worse terms, land left to the estate, the old beacon-grate should impute it to yourself, and not to me."

not lack replenishing. All this his son Julian well I understand not your threat,” answered Peveril, knew; and therefore it was with no ordinary feelings "if a threat be indeed implied. I have done no evil- of surprise and anxiety, that looking in the direction I feel no apprehension--and I cannot,

in common of the Castle, he perceived that the light was not Vol. IV. 2D

visible. He halted--rubbed his eyes-shifted his posi- "The Castle--lack-a-day !-Chamberlain—Maltion-and endeavoured, in vain, to persuade himself thew Chamberlain-I say, Maļi!” that he had mistaken the point from which the polar- Matt Chamberlain apparently was at no great disstar of his house was visible, or that some newly tance, for he presently answered her call, and Peveintervening obstacle, the growth of a plantation, per ril, as he stood close to the door, could hear them haps, or the erection of some building, intercepted whispering to each other, and distinguish in a great the light of the beacon. But a moment's reflection measure what they said. And here it may be noticed assured him, that from the high and free situation that Dame Raine, accustomed to submit to the authowhich Martindale-Castle bore in reference to the sur-rity of old Roger, who vindicated as well the bus. rounding, country, this could not have taken place; band's domestic prerogative, as that of the monarch and the inference necessarily forced itself upon his in the state, þad, when left a buxom widow, been so mind, that Sir Geoffrey, his father, was either de- far incommoded by the exercise of her newly acquired ceased, or that the family must have been disturbed independence, that she had recourse, upon all occaby some strange calamity under the pressure of sions, to the advice of Matt Chamberlain; and as which their wonted custom and solemn usage had Matt began no longer to go slipshod, and in a red been neglected.

nightcap, but wore Spanish shoes, and a high-crowned Under the influence of undefinable apprehension, beaver, (at least of a Sunday,) and moreover was young Peveril now struck the spurs into his jaded called Master Matthew, by his fellow-servants, the steed, and forcing him down the broken and steep path neighbours in the village argued a speedy change of the at a pace which set safety at defiance, he arrived at name on the sign-post ; nay, perhaps of the very sign the village of Martindale-Moultrassie, eagerly desir- itself, for Mauhew was a bit of a Puritan, and no ous to ascertain the cause of this ominous eclipse. friend to Peveril of the Peak. The street, through which his tired horse paced slow "Now counsel me, an you be a man, Matt Chamand reluctantly, was now deserted and empty; and berlain," said Widow Raine; "for never stir, if scarcely a candle twinkled from a casement, except here be not Master Julian's own self, and he wants a from the latticed window of the little inn, called the horse, and what not, and all as if things were as they Peveril Arms, from which a broad light shone, and wont to be." several voices were heard in rude festivity:

"Why, dame, an ye will walk by my counsel," said Before the door of this inn, the jaded palfrey, guided the Chamberlain, "e'en shake him off-let him

be by the instinct or experience which makes a hackney jogging while his boots are green. This is no world well acquainted with the outside of a house of enter for folks to scald their fingers in other folks' broth." tainment, made so sudden and determined a pause, "And that is well spoken, truly," answered Dame that, notwithstanding his haste, the rider thoughi Raine; "but then, look you, Matt, we have eaten it best to dismount, expecting to be readily supplied their bread, and, as my poor goodman used to with

a fresh horse by Roger Raine, the landlord, the say ancient dependant of his family. He also wished ' Ņay, nay, dame, they that walk by the counsel of to relieve his anxiety, by inquiring concerning the the dead, shall have none of the living; and so you state of things at the Castle, when he was surprised may do as you list; but if you will walk by mine, to hear, bursting from the tap-room of the loyal old drop latch, and draw bolt, and bid him seek quarters host, a well known song of the Commonwealth farther-that is my counsel." time, which some puritanical wag had written in "I desire nothing of you, sirrah," said Peveril, reprehension of the Cavaliers, and their dissolute“,

save but to know how Sir Geoffrey and his lady courses, and in which his father came in for a lash of do?" the satirist.

"Lack-a-day!-lack-a-day!" in a tone of sympa

thy, was the only answer he received from the land“Ye thought in the world there was no power to tame ye, lady; and the conversation betwixt her and her * Forsooth, and Ne'er stir," -sir, havdo vanquished: G-d-o chamberlain was resumed, but in a tone too low to be

overheard. me, Which nobody can deny. At length, Matt Chamberlain spoke aloud, and with

a tone of authority: "We undo no doors at this time " There was bluff old Sir Geoffrey loved brands and mum well, of night, for it is against the Justices' orders, and And to see a beer-glass turn'd over the thumb well;

might cost us our license; and for the Castle, the But he fled like the wind, before Fairfax and Cromwell,

Which nobody can deny.

road to it lies before you, and I think you know it

as well as we do." Some strange revolution, Julian was aware, must "And I know you," said Peveril, remounting his have taken place, both in the village, and in the Cas- wearied horse, "for an ungrateful churl, whom, on tle, ere these sounds of unseemly insult could have the first opportunity, I will assuredly cudgel to a been poured forth in the very inn which was decorated mummy." with the armorial bearings of his family; and not To this menace Matthew made no reply, and Peveknowing how far it might be advisable to intrude on ril presently heard him leave the apartment, after a these unfriendly

revellers, without the power of re- few earnest words betwixt him and his mistress. pelling or chastising their insolence, he led his horse Impatient at this delay, and at the evil omen imto a back-door, which, as he recollected, communi- plied in these people's conversation and deportment, cated with the landlord's apartment, having deter- Peveril, after some vain spurring of his horse, which mined to make private inquiry of him concerning positively refused to move a step farther, dismounted the state of matters at the Castle. He knocked once more, and was about to pursue his journey on repeatedly, and as often called on Roger Raine with foot, notwithstanding the extreme disadvantage unan earnest hut stifled voice. At length a female voice der which the high riding-boots of the period laid replied, by the usual inquiry, "Who is there?" those who attempted to walk with such encum

'It is Y, Dame Raine-1, Julian Peveril-tell your brances, when he was stopped by a gentle call from husband to come to me presently."

the window. "Alack, and a well-a-day, Master Julian, if it be Her counsellor was no sooner gone, than the goodreally you-you are to know my poor goodnian has nature and habitual veneration of the dame for the gone where he can come to no one; but, doubtless, house of Peveril, and perhaps some fear for her counwe shall all go to him, as Matthew Chamberlain sellor's bones, induced her to open the casement, and says.”

cry, but in a low and timid tone, "Hist! hist! Mas• He is dead, then ?" said Julian. “I am extremely ter Julian-be you gone ?"

"Not yet, dame," said Julian; "though it seems “Dead six months and more, Master Julian; and my stay is unwelcome.” let me tell you, it is a long time for a lone woman, Nay, but good young master, it is because men as Matt Chamberlain says.

counsel so differenily; for here was my poor old "Well, do you or your chamberlain undo the door. Roger Raine would have thought the chimneyI want a fresh horse, and I want to know how things corner too cold for you; and here is Matt Chamare at the Castle."

berlain thinks the cold court-yard is warm enough."

sorry''.

[graphic]

"Never mind that, dame," said Julian; "do but belt drawn tight round them, and made fast behind; only tell me what has happened at Martindale Castle ? two ruffianly-looking men, anparently his guards, had I see the beacon is extinguished.”

hold of his doublet. The scabbardless sword which "Is it in troth ?-ay, like enough-then good Sir lay on the floor, and the empty sheath

which hung by Geoffrey is gone to Heaven with my old Roger Sir Geoffrey's side, showed the stout old Cavalier had Raine!

not been reduced to this state of bondage without an "Sacred Heaven !” exclaimed Peveril; " when was attempt at resistance. Two or three persons,

having my father taken ill?”

their backs turned towards Julian, sat round a table, * Never, as I knows of,” said the dame; "but, and appeared engaged in writing-the voices which about three hours since, arrived a party at the Castle, he had heard were theirs, as they murmured to each with buff-coats and bandoleers, and one of the Parlia-other. Lady Peveril--the emblem of death, so pallid ment's folks, like in Oliver's time. My old Roger was her countenance-stood at the distance of a yard Raine would have shut the gates of the inn against or two from her husband, upon whom her eyes were them, but he is in the churchyard, and Matt says it is fixed with an intenseness of gaze, like that of one who against law; and so they came in and refreshed men looks her last on the object which she loves the best. and horse, and sent for Master Bridgenorth, that is at She was the first to perceive Julian; and she exclaimMoultrassie-Hall even now, and so they went up to ed, "Merciful Heaven !-my son !-the misery of our the Castle, and there was a fray, it is like, as the old house is complete !" Knight was no man to take napping, as poor Roger "My son !" echoed Sir Geoffrey, starting from the Raine used to say. Always the officers had the best sullen state of dejection, and swearing a deep oathon't; and reason there is, since they had law of their "thou art come in the right time, Julian. Strike me side, as our Matthew says. But since the pole-star one good blow-cleave me that traitorous thief from of the Castle is out, as your honour says why, doubt the crown to the brisket! and that done, I care not less the old gentleman is dead."

what comes next.” "Gracious Heaven!-Dear Dame, for love or gold, The sight of his father's situation made the son let me have a horse to make for the Castle !" forget the inequality of the contest which he was about

"The Castle ?" said the Dame; "the Roundheads, to provoke. as my poor Roger called them, will kill you as they Villains," he said, "unhand him!" and, rushing have killed your father! Better creep into the wood- on the guards with

his drawn sword, compelled

them house, and I will send Bett with a blanket and some to let go Sir Geoffrey, and stand on their own desupper-Or stay-my old Dobbin stands in the little fence. stable beside the hen-coop-e'en take him, and make Sir Geoffrey thus far liberated, shouted to his lady, the best of your way out of the country, for there is no "Undo

the belt

, dame, and we will have three good safety here for you. Hear what songs some of them blows for it yet-they must fight well that beat both are singing at the tap!--so take Dobbin, and do not father and son !" forget to leave your own horse instead.'

But one of those men who had started up from the Peveril waited to hear no farther, only, that just as writing-table when the fray commenced, prevented he turned to go off to the stable, the compassionate Lady

Peveril from rendering her husband this assistfemale was heard to exclaim,- "O Lord! what will ance; while another easily mastered the hampered Matthew Chamberlain say?" but instantly added, Knight, though not without receiving several severe "Let him say what he will, I may dispose of what's kicks from his heavy boots--his condition permitting my own.

him no other mode of defence. A third, who saw that With the haste of a double-feed hostler did Julian Julian, young, active, and animated with the fury of exchange the equipments of his

jaded brute with

poor a son who fights for his parents, was compelling the Dobbin who stood quietly tugging at his rackful of two guards

to give ground, seized on his collar, and hay, without dreaming of the business which was attempted to master his sword. Suddenly dropping that night destined for him. Notwithstanding the that weapon, and snatching one of his pistols, Julian darkness of the place, Julian succeeded marvellous fired it at the head of the person by whom he was quickly in preparing for his journey; and leaving his thus assailed. He did not drop, but, staggering back own horse to find its way

to Dobbin's rack by instinct, as if he had received a severe blow, showed Peveril, as he leaped upon his new acquisition, and spurred him he sunk into a chair, the features of old Bridgenorth, sharply against the hill, which rises steeply from the blackened with the explosion, which had even set fire village to the Castle. Dobbin, little accustomed to to a part of his gray hair. A cry of astonishment such exertions, snorted, panted, and trotted as briskly escaped from Julian; and in the alarm and horror of as he could, until at length he brought his rider before the moment, he was easily secured and disarmed by the entrance-gate of his father's ancient seat. those with whom he had been at first engaged.

The moon was now rising, but the portal was hid- "Heed it not, Julian,” said Sir Geoffrey ; "heed den from its beams, being situated as we have men-it rot, my brave boy-that shot has balanced all tioned elsewhere, in a deep recess betwixt two large accompts !-but how-what the devil-he lives ! flanking towers. Peveril dismounted, turned his horse Was your pistol loaded with chaff? or has the foul loose, and advanced to the gate, which, contrary to fiend given him proof against lead ?" his expectation, he found open. He entered the large There was some reason for Sir Geoffrey's surprise, court-yard; and could then perceive that lights

yet since, as he spoke, Major Bridgenorth collected himtwinkled in the lower part of the building, although self-sat up in the chair as one who recovers from a he had not before observed them, owing to the height stunning blow-then rose, and wiping with his handof the outward walls. The main door, or great hall- kerchief the marks of the explosion from his face, gate, as it was called, was, since the partially

decayed he approached

Julian, and said, in the same cold unstate of the family, seldom opened, save on occasions altered tone in which he usually expressed himself, of particular ceremony. A smaller postern door served - Young man, you have reason to bless God, who the purpose of ordinary entrance; and to that Julian has this day saved you from the commission of a now repaired. This also was open-a circumstance great crime. which would of itself have alarmed him, had he not "Bless the devil, ye crop-eared knave!" exclaimed already had so many causes for apprehension. His Sir Geoffrey ; " for nothing less than the father of all heart sunk within him as he turned to the left, through fanatics saved your brains from being blown about a small outward hall, towards the great parlour,

which like the rinsings of Beelzebub's

porridge-pot!". the family usually occupied as a sitting apartment; “Sir Geoffrey," said Major Bridgenorth, “I have and his alarm became still greater, when, on a nearer already told you, that with you I will hold no arguapproach, he heard proceeding from thence the mur-ment; for to you I am not accountable for any of my mur of several voices. He threw the door of the apart-actions." ment wide; and the sight which was thus displayed, "Master Bridgenorth,” said the lady, making a warranted all the evil bodings which he had enter- strong effort to speak, and to speak with calmness, iained.

"whatever revenge your Christian state of conIn front of him stood the old Knight, whose arms science may permit you to take on my husband-1were strongly secured, over the elbows, by a leathern I, who have some right to experience compassion at

[ocr errors]

your hand, for most sincerely did I compassionate "And here," said the Captain's yoke-fellow, Eve-
you when the hand of Heaven was heavy on you-I rett, "are proper priest's trappings-antiphoners, and
implore you not to involve my son in our common missals, and copes, I warrant you-ay, and proper
ruin !--Let the destruction of the father and mother, pictures, too, for Papists to mutter and bow over.
with the ruin of our ancient house, satisfy your re- "Now plague on thy snuffling whine," said Sir
sentment for any wrong which you have ever received Geoffrey here is a rascal will swear my grand-
at my husband's hand."

mother's old farthingale to be priest's vestments, and "Hold your peace, housewife," said the Knight; the story book of Owlenspiegel, a Popish missa!!"

you speak like a fool, and meddle with what con- "But how's this, Master Bridgenorth ?'' said Topcerns you not.-Wrong at my hand? The cowardly i ham, addressing the magistrate; "your honour has knave has ever had but even too much right. Had I been as busy as we have;

and you have caught another cudgelled the cur soundly when he first bayed at me, knave while we recovered these toys.' the cowardly mongrel had been now crouching ai "I think, sir," said Julian, "if you look into your my feet, instead of Hying at my throat. But if I get warrant, which, if I mistake not, names the persons through this action, as I have got through worse whom you are directed to arrest, you will find you weather, I will pay off old scores, as far as tough have no title to apprehend me.” crab-tree and cold iron will bear me out.

Şir," said the officer, puffing with importance, "Sir Geoffrey," replied Bridgenorth, "if the birth | "I do not know who you are; but I would you were you boast of has made you blind to better principles, the best man in England, that I might teach you the it might have at least taught you civility. What do respect due to the warrant of the House. Sir, there you complain of? I am a magistrate; and I execute steps not the man within the British seas, but I will a warrant, addressed to me by the first authority

in arrest him on authority of this bit of parchment; and the state. I am a creditor also of yours; and law I do arrest you accordingly.-What do you accuse arms me with powers to recover my own property him of, gentlemen ?" from the hands of an improvident debtor;"

Dangerfield swaggered forward, and peeping under "You a magistrate!" said the Knight;, "much Julian's hat, “Stop my vital breath," he exclaimed, such a magistrate as Noll was a monarch. Your "but I have seen you before, my friend, an I could heart is up,

1 warrant, because you have the King's but think where; but my memory is not worth a bean, pardon; and are replaced on the bench, forsooth, to since I have been obliged to use it so much of late, in persecute

the poor Papist. There was never turmoil the behalf of the poor state. But I do know the felin the state but knaves had their vantage by it--never low; and I have seen him amongst the Papists-I'll pot boiled, but the scum was cast uppermost.”, take that on my assured damnation.”

"For God's sake, my dearest husband," said Lady "Why, Captain Dangerfield," said the Captain's Peveril, cease this wild talk! It cannot but incense smoother, but more dangerous associate, -" verily, it Master Bridgenorth, who might otherwise consider, is the same youth whom we saw at the horse-merthat in common charity!'

chant's yesterday, and we had matter against him “Incense him!” said Sir Geoffrey, impatiently then, only Master Topham did not desire us to bring interrupting her; “God's-death, madam, you will it out. drive me mad! Have you lived so long in this world, Ye may bring out what ye will against him now," and yet expect consideration and charity from an old said Topham, "for he hath blasphemed the warrant starved wolf like that? And if he had it, do you think of the House. I think ye said ye saw him somethat I, or you, madam, as my wife, are subjects for where ?" his charity ?-Julian, my poor fellow, I am sorry thou Ay, verily," said Everett, "I have seen him hast come so unluckily, since thy petronel was not amongst the seminary pupils at Saint Omer's-he better loaded-but thy credit is lost for ever as a was who but he with the regents there." marksman.

Nay, Master Everett

, collect yourself," said TopThis angry colloquy passed so rapidly on all sides, ham; "for, as I think, you said you saw him at a that Julian, scarce recovered from the extremity of consult of the Jesuits in London." astonishment with which he was overwhelmed at "It was I said so, Master Tophạm," said the unfinding himself suddenly plunged into a situation of daunted Dangerfield; "and mine is the tongue that such extremity, had no time to consider in what way will swear it." he could most effectually act for the succour of his Good Master Topham,” said Bridgenorth, "you parents. To speak Bridgenorth fair, seemed the more may suspend farther inquiry at present, as it doth prudent course; but to this his pride could hardly but fatigue and perplex the memory of the King's stoop; yet he forced himself to say, with as much witnesses." calmness as he could assume, "Master Bridgenorth, “You are wrong, Master Bridgenorth-clearly since you act as a magistrate, I desire to be treated

It doth but keep them in wind-only according to the laws of England; and demand to breathes them like greyhounds before a coursing know of what we are accused, and by whose authority match.” we are arrested ?"

"Be it so," said Bridgenorth, with his usual indif"Here is another howlet for ye!" exclaimed the ference of manner; "but at present this youth must impetuous old Knight; "his mother speaks to a stand committed upon a warrant, which I will prePuritan of charity; and thou must talk of law to a sently sign, of having assaulted me while in discharge roundheaded rebel, with a wannion to you! What of my duty as a magistrate, for the rescue of a perwarrant hath he think ye, beyond the Parliament's or son legally attached. Did you not hear the report of the devil's ?"

a pistol?'' Who speaks of the Parliament?" said a person "I will swear to it," said Everett. entering, whom Peveril recognised as the official “And 1,” said Dangerfield. " While we were person whom he had before seen at the horse-dealer's, making search in the cellar, I heard something very and who now bustled

in with all the conscious dig- like a pistol-shot; but I conceived it to be the drawnity of plenary authority,-"Who talks of the Par-ing of a long-corked bottle of sack, to see whether liament?" he exclaimed. “I promise you, enough there were any Popish relics, in the inside on't." has been found in this house to convict iwenty plot. "A pistol-shot!" exclaimed Topham; "here might ters-Here be arms, and that good store. Bring them have been a second Sir Edmondsbury Godfrey's matin, Captain."

ter.-Oh, thou real spawn of the red old dragon! for The very same," exclaimed the Captain, ap- he too would have resisted the House's warrant, proaching, "which I mention in my printed Narra- had we not taken him something at unawares.-Mastive of Information, lodged before the Honourable ter Bridgenorth, you are a judicious magistrate, and a House of Commons; they were commissioned from worthy servant of the state-I would we had many

ld Vander Huys of Rotterdam, by orders of Don such sound Protestant justices. Shall I have this John of Austria, for the service of the Jesuits.” young fellow away with his parents-what think

“Now, by this light,” said Sir Geoffrey," they are you ?-or will you keep him for re-examination ?" the pikes, musketoons, and pistols, thai have been "Master Bridgenorih," said Lady Peveril, in spite hidden in the garret ever since Naseby fight!" of her husband's efforts to interrupt her, "for God's

wrong

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

CRAP. XXII.)
PEVERIL OF THE PEAK.

97 sake, if ever you knew what it was to love one of the I wish my hands ever to be unbound again, it is bemany children you have lost, or her who is now left cause I hope for one downright blow at a gray head, to you, do not pursue your vengeance to the blood of that has hatched more treason than the whole Long my poor boy! I will forgive you all the rest-all the Parliament." distress you have wrought-all the yet greater misery "Away with thee !" said the zealous officer; "is with which you threaten us; but do not be extreme Parliament a word for so foul a mouth as thine ?with one who never can have offended you! Believe, Gentlemen," he added, turning to Everett and Danthat if your ears are shut against the cry of a de- gerfield, you will bear witness to this." spairing mother, those which are open to the com- "To his having reviled the House of Commonsplaint of all who sorrow, will hear my petition and by G-d, that I will !" said Dangerfield; "I will take your answer!"

it on my damnation." The agony of mind and of voice with which Lady "And verily," said Everett, "as he spoke of ParliaPeveril uttered these words, seemed to thrill through ment generally, he hath even contemned the House all present, though most of them were but too much of Lords also. inured to such scenes. Every one was silent, when, "Why, ye poor insignificant wretches,” said Sir eeasing to speak, she fixed on Bridgenorth her eyes, Geoffrey, whose very life is a lie-and whose bread glistening with

tears, with the eager anxiety of one is perjury-would you pervert my innocent words whose life or death seemed to depend upon the an- almost as soon as they have quitted my lips? I tell swer to be returned. Even Bridgenorth's inflexibility you the country is well weary of you; and should seemed to be shaken į and his

voice was tremulous, Englishmen come to their senses, the jail, the pillory, as he answered, "Madam, I would to God I had the the whipping-post, and the gibbet,

will be too good present means of relieving your great distress, other-preferment for such base blood-suckers.-And now, wise than by recommending to you a reliance upon Master Bridgenorth, you and they may do your worst Providence; and that you take heed to your spirit, for I will not open my mouth to utter a single word that it murmur not under this crook in your lot. For while I am in the company

of such knaves. me, I am but as a rod in the hand of the strong man, "Perhaps, Sir Geoffrey," answered Bridgenorth, which smites not of itself, but because it is wielded "you would better have consulted your own safety in by the arm of him who holds the same."

adopting that resolution a little sooner-the tongue “Even as I and my black rod are guided by the is a little member, but it causes much strife.-You, Commons of England," said Master Topham, who Master Julian, will please to follow me, and without seemed marvellously pleased with the illustration. remonstrance or resistance; for you must be aware

Julian now thought it time to say something in his that I have the means of compelling." own behalf; and he endeavoured to temper it with Julian was, indeed, but too sensible, that he had no as much composure as it was possible for him to as- other course but that of submission to superior force;

"Master Bridgenorth,” he said, "I neither but ere he left the apartment, he kneeled down to dispute your authority, nor this gentleman's war-receive his father's blessing, which the old man berant"

stowed not without a tear in his eye, and in the em"You do not ?" said Topham.."O ho, master phatic words, "God bless thee, my boy; and keep youngster, I thought we should bring you to your thee good and true to Church and King, whatever senses presently!

wind shall bring foul weather!" you so will it, Master Topham," said His mother was only able to pass her hand over Bridgenorth, thus it shall be. You shall set out his head, and to implore him, in a low tone of voice, with early day, taking with you, towards London, not to be rash or violent in any attempt to render the persons of Sir Geoffrey and Lady Peveril; and them assistance. "We are innocent," she said, "my that they may travel according to their quality, you son-we are innocent-and we are in God's hands. will allow them their coach, sufficiently guarded. Be the thought our best comfort and protection."

"I will travel with them myself,” said Topham; Bridgenorth now signed to Julian to follow him, "for these rough Derbyshire roads are no easy rid- which he did, accompanied, or rather conducted, by ing; and my very eyes are weary with looking on the two guards who had first disarmed him. When these bleak hills. In the coach

I can sleep as sound they had passed from the apartment, and were at the as if I were in the House, and Master Bodderbrains door of the outward hall, Bridgenorth asked Julian on his legs."

whether he should consider him as under parole; in "It will become you so to take your ease, Master which

case, he said, he would dispense with all other Topham," answered Bridgenorth." For this youth, security but his own promise. I will take him under my charge, and bring him up Peveril

, who could not help hoping somewhat from myself."

the favourable and unresentful manner in which he "I may not be answerable for that, worthy Master was treated by one whose life he had so recently Bridgenorth," said Topham, "since he comes within attempted, replied, without hesitation, that he would the warrant of the House."

give his parole for twenty-four hours, neither to at"Nay, but,” said Bridgenorth, "he is only under tempt to escape by force nor by flight. custody for an assault, with the purpose of a rescue; "It is wisely said,” replied Bridgenorth ; . " for and I counsel you against meddling with him, unless though you might cause bloodshed, be assured that you have stronger guard. Sir Geoffrey is now old your utmost efforts could do no service to your paand broken, but this young fellow is in the flower of rents.-Horses there-horses to the court-yard !" his youth, and hath at his beck all the debauched The trampling of the horses was soon heard; and young Cavaliers of the neighbourhood-You will in obedience to Bridgenorth's signal, and in compliscarce cross the country without a rescue."

ance with his promise, Julian mounted one which Topham eyed Julian wistfully, as a spider may be was presented to him, and prepared to leave the supposed to look upon a stray wasp which has got house of his fathers, in which his parents were now into his web, and which he longs to secure, though prisoners, and to go, he knew not whither, under the he fears the consequences of attempting him. custody of one known to be the ancient enemy of his

Julian himself replied, “I know not if this separa- family. He was rather surprised at observing, that tion be well or ill meant on your part, Master Bridge-Bridgenorth and he were about to travel without any north ; but on mine, I am only desirous to share the other attendants. fate of my parents; and therefore I will give my When they were mounted, and as they rode slowly word of honour to attempt neither rescue nor escape towards the outer gate of the court-yard, Bridgenorth on condition you do not separate me from them." said to him, "It is not every one who would thus un"Do not say so, Julian," said his mother;

"abide reservedly commit his safety, by travelling at night, with Master Bridgenorth--my mind tells me he can- and unaided, with the hot-brained youth who so not mean so ill by us as his rough conduct would now lately attempted his life." lead us to infer."

"Master Bridgenorth,” said Julian, "I might tell you "And I," said Sir Geoffrey, "know, that between truly that I knew you not at the time when I directed the doors of my father's house and the gates of hell, my weapon against you; but I must also add, that the there steps not such a villain on the ground! And if cause in which I used' it might have rendered me

[graphic]
« PreviousContinue »