Page images
PDF
EPUB

too.

folk."

66

out with our spare hand here high and dry with him them get the lad between us on a quiet horse, and

What's that?-the galloping of horse! Oh, I we will keep him upright, I warrant. hear the jingle of the packsaddles—they are our own As they raised Fairford from the ground, he groan

ed heavily, and asked faintly where they were taking By this time all the boat's load was ashore, con him to. sisting of the little barrels ; and the boat's crew, * To a place where you will be as snug and quiet as standing to their arms, ranged themselves in front, a mouse in his hole," said Nanty, "if so be that we waiting the advance of the horses which came clat- can get you there safely.-Good by, Father Crackentering along the beach. A man, overgrown with cor- thorp-poison the quartermaster, if you can. pulence, who might be distinguished in the moon- The loaded horses then sprang forward at a hard light, panting with his own exertions, appeared at trot, following each other in a line, and every second the head of the cavalcade, which consisted of horses horse being mounted by a stout fellow in a smocklinked together, and accommodated with packsad- frock, which served to conceal the arms with which dles, and chains for securing the kegs, which made a most of these desperate men were provided. Ewart dreadful clattering.

followed in the rear of the line, and, with the occaHow now, Father Crackenthorp?" said Ewart sional assistance of old Jephson, kept his young -"Why this hurry with your horses?-We mean to charge erect in the saddle. He groaned heavily from stay a night with you, and taste your old brandy, and time to time; and Ewart, more moved with compasmy dame's home-brewed. This signal is up, man, sion for his situation than might have been expected and all is right.”

from his own habits, endeavoured to amuse him and “All is wrong, Captain Nanty,” cried the man to comfort him, by some account of the place to which whom he spoke;'“and you are the lad that is like to they were conveying him--his words of consolation find it so, unless you bundle off-there are new brooms being, however, frequently interrupted by the necessity bought at Carlisle yesterday to sweep the country of of calling to his people, and many of them being lost you and the like of you-so you were better be jogging amongst the rattling of the barrels, and clinking of inland.”

the tackle and small chains by which they are secured How many rogues are the officers ?-If not more on such occasions. than ten, I will make fight."

"And you see, brother, you will be in safe quarters "The devil you will !" answered Crackenthorp: at Fairladies--good old scrambling house-good old "You were better not, for they have the bloody-backed maids enough, if they were not Papists.-Hollo, you dragoons from Carlisle with them."

Jack Lowther; keep the line, can'ı ye, and shut your "Nay, then, said Nanty, we must make sail. - rattle-trap, you broih of a-! And so, being of a Come, Master Fairlord, you must mount and ride. good family, and having enough, the old lasses have - He does not hear me--he has fainted, I believe-turned a kind of saints, and nuns, and so forth. The What the devil shall I do?-Father Crackenthorp, I place they live in was some sort of a nun-shop long must leave this young fellow with you till the gale ago, as they have them still in Flanders; so folk cal blows oul-hark ye-goes between the Laird and the them theVestals of Fairladies--that may be or may not t'other old one; he can neither ride nor walk-I must be; and I care not whether it be or no.--Blinkinsop, send him up to you."

hold your tongue, and be d-d!-And so, betwixt "Send him up to the gallows!” said Cracken- great alms and good dinners, they are well thought of thorp ; there is Quartermaster Thwacker, with by rich and poor, and their trucking with Papists is twenty men, up yonder; an he had not some kind- looked over. There are plenty of priests, and stout ness for Doll, i had never got hither for a start-young scholars, and such like, about the house-it's but you must get off, or they will be here to seek us, a hive of them-More shame that government send for his orders are woundy particular; and these kegs dragoons out after a few honest fellows that bring the contain worse than whisky-a hanging matter, I old women of England a drop of brandy, and let these take it."

ragamuffins smuggle in as much papistry and I wish they were at the bottom of Wampool river, Hark!-was that a whistle ?-No, it's only a plover. with them they belong to,” said Nanty Ewart. But You, Jem Collier, keep a look-out a-head-we'll meet they are part of cargo, and what to do with the poor them at the High Whins, or Brotthole bottom, or noyoung fellow"

where. Go a furlong a-head, I say, and look sharp. "Why, many a better fellow has roughed it on - These Miss Arthurets feed the hungry, and clothe the grass, with a cloak o'er him," said Crackenthorp. the naked, and such like acts--which my poor father “If he hath a fever, nothing is so cooling as the used to say were filthy rags, but he dressed himself night air.”

out with as many of them as most folk.-D-n that Yes, he would be cold enough in the morning, stumbling horse! Father Crackenthorp should be no doubt; but it's a kind heart, and shall not cool so d-d himself for putting an honest fellow's neck in soon, if I can help it," answered the captain of the such jeopardy.”. Jumping Jenny.

Thus, and with much more to the same purpose, "Well, Captain, an ye will risk your own neck for Nanty ran on, increasing, by his well-intended annoyanother man's, why not take him to the old girls at ance, the agony of Alan Fairford, who, tormented by Fairladies ?''

racking pain along the back and loins, which made "What, the Miss Arthurets !-The Papist jades! the rough trot of the horse torture to him, had his But never mind; it will do-I have known them aching head still further rendered and split by the take in a whole sloop's crew that were stranded on hoarse voice of the sailor, close to his ear. Perfectly the sands."

passive, however, he did not even essay to give any "You may run some risk, though, by turning up to answer; and indeed his own bodily distress was now Fairladies; for I tell you they are all up through the so great and engrossing, that to think of his situation country

was impossible, even if he could have mended it by "Never mind-I may chance to put some of them doing so. down again," said Nanty, cheerfully.-"Come, lads, Their course was inland; but in what direction, bustle to your tackle. Are you all loaded ?"

Alan had no means of ascertaining. They passed at Ay, ay, Captain ; we will be ready in a jiffy," an- first over heaths and sandy downs; they crossed more swered the gang,

than one brook, or beck, as they are called in that "D-n your captains !-Have you a mind to country-some of them of considerable depth-and at have me hanged if I am taken ?-All's hail-fellow, length reached a cultivated country, divided, according here."

to the English fashion of agriculture, into very small “A sup at parting," said Father Crackenthorp, fields or closes, by high banks, overgrown with unextending a flask to Nanty Ewart.

derwood, and surmounted by hedge-row trees, amongst "Not the twentieth part of a drop,” said Nanty. which winded a number of impracticable and com“No Dutch courage for me-my heart is always high plicated lanes, where the boughs projecting from the enough when there's a chance of fighting; besides, embankments on each side, intercepted the light of if I live drunk, I should like to die sober. – Here, old the moon, and endangered the safety of the horsemen. Jephson-you are the best-natured brute amongst But, through this labyrinth the experience of the guides conducted them without a blunder, and without even trum, and thereby," answered Skelton; "Jack Low: the slackening of their pace. In many places, how- ther, and old Jephson, and broad Will Lamplagh, and ever, it was impossible for three men to ride abreast; such like." and therefore the burden of supporting

Alan Fairford “Well,” said Dick Gardener, "as sure as there is fell alternately to old Jephson, and to Nanty; and it savour in salt, and scent in rosemary, I thought it was with much difficulty that they could keep him had been the troopers from Carlisle and Wigton, and upright in his saddle.

the sound broughi my heart to my mouth." Ai length when his powers of sufferance were quite "Had thought thou wouldst have known the clatter worn out, and he was about to implore them to leave of a cask from the clash of a broadsword, as well as him to his fate in the first cottage or shed--or under e'er a quaffer in Cumberland," answered Skelton. a haystack or a hedge-or any where, so he was left "Come, brother, less of your jaw, and more of your at ease, Collier, who rode a-head, passed back the legs, if you please," said Nanty; "every moment we word that they were at the avenue to Fairladies-- Stay is a moment lost. Go to the ladies, and tell them "Was he to turn up ?''

that Nanty Ewart, of the Jumping Jenny, has brought Committing the charge of Fairford to Jephson, a young gentleman, charged with letters from ScotNanty dashed up to the head of the troop, and gave land, to a certain gentleman of consequence in Cum his orders.-"Who knows the house best ?''

berland-that the soldiers are out, and the gentleman "Sam Skelton's a Catholic," said Lowther. is very ill, and if he is not received at Fairladies, he

"Ad-d bad religion," said Nanty, of whose Pres- must be left either to die at the gate, or to be taken, byterian education, a hatred of Popery seemed to be with all his papers about him, by the redcoats." the only remnant. “But I am glad there is one Away ran Dick Gardener with this message; and, amongst us, any how.-You, Sam, being a Papist, in a few minutes, lights were seen to fit about, which know Fairladies, and the old maidens, I dare say; so convinced Fairford, who was now, in consequence of do you fall out of the line, and wait here with me; the halt, a little restored to self-possession, that they and do you Collier, carry on to Walinford bottom, then were traversing the front of a tolerably large mansionturn down the beck till you come to the old mill, and house. Goodman Grist the Miller or old Peel-the-Causeway, "What if thy friend, Dick Gardener, comes not will tell you where to stow; but I will be up with you back again ?" said Jephson to Skelton. before that."

"Why, then," said the person addressed, "I shall The string of loaded horses then struck forward at owe him just 'such a licking as thou, old Jephson, their former pace, while Nanty, with Sam Skelton, hadst from Dan Cooke, and will pay as duly and truly waited by the road-side till the rear came up, when as he did." Jephson and Fairford joined them, and, to the great The old man was about to make an angry reply, relief of the latter, they began to proceed at an easier when his doubts were silenced by the return of Dick pace than formerly, suffering the gang to precede Gardener who announced that Miss Arthuret was ihem, till the clatter and clang attending their pro- coming herself as far as the gateway to speak with gress began to die away in the distance. They had them. not proceeded a pistol-shot from the place where they Nanty Ewart cursed, in a low tone, the suspicion parted, when a short turning brought them in front of old maids and the churlish scruples of Catholics, of an old mouldering gate-way, whose heavy pinna- that made so many obstacles to helping a fellow cles were decorated in the style of the seventeenth creature, and wished Miss Arthuret a hearty rhet. century, with clumsy architectural ornaments ; several matism or toothache

as the reward of her excursion; of which had fallen down from decay, and lay scat- but the lady presently appeared, to cut short farther tered about, no further care having been taken than grumbling. She was attended by a waiting-maid just to remove them out of the direct approach to the with a lantern, by means of which she examined avenue. The great stone pillars, glimmering white in the party on the outside, as closely as the imperfect the moonlighi, had some fanciful resemblance to light, and the spars of the newly-erected gate, would supernatural apparitions, and the air of neglect all permit. around, gave an uncomfortable idea

of the habitation "I am sorry, we have disturbed you so late, Madam to those who passed its avenue.

Arthuret,” said Nanty; " but the case is this""There used to be no gate here,” said Skelton, find- "Holy Virgin," said she "why do you speak so ing their way unexpectedly stopped.

loud? Pray, are you not the Captain of the Sainte But there is a gate now, and a porter too,” said a Genevieve ?" rough voice from within. "Who be you, and what "Why, ay, ma'am," answered Ewart, "they call the do you want at this time of night ?".

þrig so at Dunkirk, sure enough; but along shore We want to come to speech of the ladies of the here, they call her the Jumping Jenny." Miss Arthurets," said Nanty; "and to ask lodging "You brought over the holy Father Buonaventure, for a sick man.

did you not ?" "There is no speech to be had of the Miss Arthurets 'Ay, ay, madam, I have brought over enough o at this time of night, and you may carry your sick them black cattle," answered Nanty. man to the doctor," answered the fellow from within, "Fie! fie! friend," said Miss Arthuret ; "it is a pity gruffly.; "for as sure as there is savour in salt, and that the saints should commit these good men to scent in rosemary, you will get no entrance-put your heretic's care." pipes up and be jogging on.

no more they would, ma'am," answerex then turned portes ?" 'Why, Dick Gardener,” said Skelton, “be thou Nanty, "could they find a Papish lubber that knew

the coast as I do; then I am trusty as steel to owners "What do you know who I am?" said the domestic and always look after cargo-live lumber, or dead flesh sharply.

or spirits, all is one to me; and your Catholics have “I know you, by your by-word,” answered the such d-d large hoods, with pardon, ma'am, that they other; “What, have you forgot little Sam Skelton, can sometimes hide two faces under them. But here and the brock in the barrel ?".

is a gentleman dying, with letters about him from the “No, I have not forgotten you," answered the ac- Laird of Summertrees to the Laird of the Lochs, as quaintance of Sam Skelton; "but my orders are pe- they call him, along Solway, and every minute he lies remptory, to let no one up the avenue this night, and here is a nail in his coffin." therefore"

"Saint Mary! what shall we do ?” said Miss But we are armed, and will not be kept back," Arthuret; " we must admit him, I think, at all risks. said Nanty. "Hark ye, fellow, were it not better for You, Richard Gardener, help one of these men to carry you to take a guinea and let us in, than to have us the gentleman

up to the Place; and you, Selby, see break the door first, and thy pate afterwards? for I him lodged a: the end of the long gallery-You are a won't see my comrade die at your door-be assured heretic, Captain, but I think you are trusty, and I know of that."

you have been trusted—but if you are imposing on “Why, I dunna know," said the fellow; " but what me”. cattle were those that rode by in such hurry?" "Not I, madam-never attempt to impose on ladies

"Why, some of our folk from Bowness, Stoniecul- 1 of your experience-my practice that way has been all

[ocr errors]

among the young ones. ---Come, cheerly, Mr. Fairford She lowered her voice as she mumbled over the last --you will be taken good care of-try to walk." words.

Alan did so; and, refreshed by his halt, declared "Nay, then, there is no help,” said Angelica ; " but himself able to walk to the house with the sole assist- it is unlucky.” ance of the gardener.

During this dialogue between the vestals of Fair"Why, that's hearty. Thank thee, Dick, for lend- ladies, Dick Gardener deposited his burden in a chair, ing him thine arm,"--and Nanty slipped into his hand where the young lady, after a moment of hesitation, the guinea he had promised. -"Farewell then, Mr. expressing a becoming reluctance to touch the hand Fairford, and farewell, Madam Arthuret, for I have of a stranger, put her finger and thumb upon Fairbeen too long here."

ford's wrist, and counted his pulse. So saying, he and his two companions threw them- "There is fever here, sister,” she said; "Richard selves on horseback, and went off at a gallop. Yet, must call Ambrose, and we must send some of the even above the clatter of their hoofs did the incorrigi- febrifuge." ble Nanty halloo out the old ballad

Ambrose arrived presently, a plausible and respect“A lovely lass to a friar came,

able-looking old servant, bred in the family, and who To confession a-morning early ;

had risen from rank to rank in the Arthuret service, 'lu what, my dear, are you to blame?

till he was become half-physician, half-almoner, halfCome tell me most sincerely ?' * Alas! my fault I dare not pame

butler, and entire governor; that is, when the Father But my lad he loved me dearly."".

Confessor, who frequently eased him of the toils of

government, chanced to be abroad. Under the direc"Holy Virgin!" exclaimed Miss Seraphina, as the tion, and with the assistance, of this venerable perunhallowed sounds reached her ears;, "what profane sonage, the unlucky Alan Fairford was conveyed to heathens be these men, and what frights and pinches a decent apartment at the end of a long gallery, and, we be put to among them! The saints be good to us, to his inexpressible relief, consigned to a comfortable what a night has this been the like never seen at bed. He did not attempt to resist the prescription of Fairladies.--Help me to make fast the gate, Richard, Mr. Ambrose, who not only presented him with the and thou shalt come down again to wait on it, lest proposed draught, but proceeded so far as to take a there come more unwelcome visiters-Not that you considerable quantity of blood from him, by which are unwelcome young gentleman, for it is sufficient last operation he probably did his patient much that you need such assistance as we can give you, to service. make you welcome to Fairladies--only, another time would have done as well-but, hem! I'dare say it is all for the best. The avenue is none of the smoothest, sir, look to your feet. Richard Gardener should have

CHAPTER XVI. had it mown and levelled, but he was obliged to go on a pilgrimage to Saint Winifred's Well, in Wales.":

NARRATIVE OF ALAN FAIRFORD, CONTINUED. (Here Dick gave a short dry cough, which, as if he On the next morning, when Fairford awoke, after had found it betrayed some internal feeling a little at no very refreshing slumbers, in which were mingled variance with what the lady said, he converted into a many wild dreams of his father, and of Darsie Latimuttered Sancta Winifreda, ora pro nobis. Miss mer,--of the damsel in the green mantle, and the Arthuret, mean time, proceeded)—"We never interfere vestals of Fairladies--of drinking small beer with with our servants' vows or penances, Master Fairford Nanty Ewart, and being immersed in the Solway -I know a very worthy father of your name, perhaps with the Jumping Jenny, --he found himself in no a relation-I say, we never interfere with our servants' condition to dispute

the order of Mr. Ambrose, that vows. Our Lady forbid they should not know some he should keep his bed, from which, indeed, he could difference between our service and a heretic's.-Take not have raised himself without assistance. He becare, sir

, you will fall if you have not a care. Alas! came sensible that his anxiety, and his constant by night and day there are many stumbling-blocks in efforts for some days past, had been too much for his our paths!

health, and that, whatever might be his impatience, With more talk to the same purpose, all of which he could not proceed in his undertaking until his tended to show a charitable, and somewhat silly wo- strength was re-established. man, with a strong inclination to her superstitious In the mean while, no better quarters could have devotion, Miss Arthuret entertained her new guest, as, been found for an invalid. The attendants spoke stumbling at every obstacle which ihe devotion of his under their breath, and moved only on tiptoe--noguide, Richard, had left in the path, he at last, by thing was done unless par ordonnance du medecinascending some stone steps, decorated on the side with Esculapius reigned paramount in the premises at griffins, or some such heraldic anomalies, attained a Fairladies. Once a-day, the ladies came in great terrace extending in front of the Place of Fairladies; state to wait upon him, and inquire after his health, an old-fashioned gentleman's house of some conse- and it was then that Alan's natural civility, and the quence, with its range of notched gable-ends and nar- thankfulness which he expressed for their timely and row windows, relieved by here and there an old turret charitable assistance, raised him considerably in their about the size of a pepper-box. The door was locked, esteem. He was on the third day removed to a betduring the brief absence of the mistress; a dim light ter apartment than that in which he had been at first glimmered through the sashed door of the hall, which accommodated. When he was permitted to drink a opened beneath a huge stone porch, loaded with jessa glass of wine, it was of the first quality; one of those mine and other creepers. All the windows were dark curious old-fashioned cob-webbed bottles being proas pitch,

duced on the occasion, which are only to be found Mrs. Arthuret tapped at the door. "Sister, sister in the crypts of old country seats, where they may Angelica ?"

have lurked undisturbed for more than half a cen"Who is there?" was answered from within; "is tury. it you, sister Seraphina ?

But however delightful a residence for an invalid, Yes, yes, undo the door; do you not know my Fairladies, as its present inmate became soon aware, voice ?"

was not so agreeable to a convalescent. When he No doubt, sister,” said Angelica, undoing bolt and dragged himself to the window so soon as he could bar; "but you know our charge, and the enemy is crawl from bed, behold it was closely grated, and watchful to surprise us--incedit sicut leo vorans, saith commanded no view except of a little paved court. the breviary.-Whom have you brought here? Oh, This was nothing remarkable, most old Bordersister, what have you done?

houses having their windows so secured; but then "It is a young man,” said Seraphina, hastening Fairford observed, that whoever entered or left the to interrupt her sister's remonstrance, "a relation, 1 room, always locked the door with great care and cirbelieve, of our worthy Father Fairford; left at the cumspection; and some proposals which he made gate by the captain of that blessed vessel the Saint to take a walk in the gallery, or even in the garden, Genevieve--almost dead--and

charged with despatches were so coldly received, both by the ladies and their 10"

prime minister, Mr. Ambrose, that he saw plainly such an extension of his privileges as a guest would "Come away," said Sister Angelica. "Holy Vira not be permitted.

gin, how you do talk !-What has Mr. Fairford to do Anxious to ascertain whether this excessive hospi- with Father Buonaventure's rank?-Only, sir, you tality would permit him his proper privilege of free will remember that the Father has been always agency, he announced to this important functionary, accustomed to be treated with the most profound with grateful thanks for the care with which he had deference ;-indeed”? been attended, his purpose to leave Fairladies next "Come away, sister," said Sister Seraphina in morning, requesting only, as a continuance of the her turn; "who talks now, I pray you? Mr. Fairford favours with which he had been loaded, the loan of a will know how to comport himself.” horse to the next town; and, assuring Mr. Ambrose "And we had best both leave the room," said the that his gratitude would not be limited by such a tri- younger lady, "for here his Eminence comes." fe, he slipped three guineas into his hand, by way of She lowered her voice to a whisper as she proseconding his proposal. The fingers of that worthy nounced the last words; and as Fairford was about domestic closed as naturally upon the honorarium, to reply, by assuring her that any friend of hers as if a degree in the learned faculty had given him a should be treated by him with all the ceremony he right to clutch it; but his answer concerning Alan's could expect, she imposed silence on him, by holding proposed departure was at first evasive, and when he up her finger. was pushed, it amounted to a peremptory assurance A solemn and stately step was now heard in the that he could not be permitted to depart to-morrow; gallery; it might have proclaimed the approach not it was as much as his life was worth, and his ladies merely of a bishop or cardinal, but of the Sovereign would not authorize it.

Pontiff himself. Nor could the sound have been "I know best what my own life is worth,” said more respectfully listened to by the two ladies, had Alan; "and I do not value it in comparison to the it announced that the Head of the Church was apbusiness which requires my instant attention." proaching in person. They drew themselves, like

Receiving still no satisfactory answer from Mr. Am- sentinels on duty, one on each side of the door by brose, Fairford thought it best to state his resolution to which the long gallery communicated with Fairford's the ladies themselves in the most measured, respectful, apartment, and stood there immoveable, and with and grateful terms; but still such as expressed a firm countenances expressive of the deepest reverence. determination to depart on the morrow, or next day The approach of Father Buonaventure was so at farthest. After some attempts to induce him to slow, that Fairford had time to notice all this, and stay, on the alleged score of health, which were so to marvel in his mind what wily and ambitious priest expressed that he was convinced they were only could have contrived to subject his worthy but simpleused to delay his departure, Fairford plainly told them minded hostesses to such superstitious trammels. that he was intrusted with despatches of consequence Father Buonaventure's entrance and appearance in to the gentleman known by the name of Herries, some degree accounted for the whole. Redgauntlet, and the Laird of the Lochs; and that He was a man of middle life, about forty or upit was matter of life and death to deliver them early. wards; but either care, or fatigue, or indulgence, had

"I dare say, Sister Angelica,” said the elder Miss brought on the appearance of premature old age, and Arthuret, " that the gentleman is honest; and if he given to his fine features a cast of seriousness or is really a relation of Father Fairford, we can run no even sadness. A noble countenance, however, still risk."

remained; and though his complexion was allerede “Jesu Maria !” exclaimed the younger. “Oh fie, and wrinkles stamped upon his brow in many a Sister Seraphina! Fie, fie!— Vade retro-get thee melancholy fold, still the lofty forehead, the full and behind me!"

well-opened eye, and the well-formed nose, showed "Well, well; but sister-Sister Angelica-let me how handsome in better days he must have been. He speak with you in the gallery.".

was tall, but lost the advantage of his height by So out the ladies rustled in their silks and tissues, stooping; and the cane which he wore always in his and it was a good half hour ere they rustled in again, hand, and occasionally used, as well as his slow with importance and awe on their countenances. though majestic gait, seemed to intimate that bis

"To tell you the truth, Mr. Fairford, the cause form and limbs felt already some touch of infirmuty. of our desire to delay you is-there is a religious The colour of his hair could not be discovered, as, gentleman in this house at present”

according to the fashion, he wore a periwig. He was “A most excellent person indeed"-said the sister handsomely, though gravely dressed in a secular Angelica

habit, and had a cockade in his hat; circumstances "An anointed of his Master !" echoed Seraphina, which did not surprise Fairford, who knew that a "and we should be glad that, for conscience' sake, military disguise was very often assumed by the semiyou would hold some discourse with him before your nary priests, whose visits to England, or residence departure.”

there subjected them to legal penalties. 'Oho!" thought Fairford, "the murder is out- As this stately person entered the apartment, the here is a design of conversion!-I must not affront two ladies facing inward, like soldiers on their post the good old ladies, but I shall soon send off the when about to salute a superior officer, dropped on priest, I think.”—He then answered aloud, "that either hand of the Father a courtesy so profound, that he should be happy to converse with any friend of the hoop petticoats which

performed the feat seemed theirs-that in religious matters he had the greatest to sink down to the very floor, nay, through is as if a respect for every modification of Christianity, though, trapdoor had opened for the descent of the dames he must say, his belief was made up to that in which who performed ihis act of reverence. he had been educated; nevertheless, if his seeing the The Father seemed accustomed to such homage, religious person they recommended could in the least profound as it was; he turned his person a little way show his respect”

first towards one sister, and then towards the other, “It is not quite that,” said Sister Seraphina, "al- while, with a gracious inclination of his person though I am sure the day is too short to hear him, which certainly did not amount to a bow, he acknowFather Buonaventure, I mean-speak upon the con- ledged their courtesy. But he passed forward without cerns of our souls; but":

addressing them, and seemed by doing so, to intimate “Come, come, sister Seraphina," said the younger, that their presence in the apartment was unnecessary. “it is needless to talk so much about it. His-his They accordingly glided out of the room, retreatEminence-I mean Father Buonaventure-will him; ing backwards, with hands clasped and eyes cast self explain what he wants this gentleman to know.upwards, as if imploring blessings on the religious

"His Eminence,” said Fairford, surprised -"Is man whom they veneraled so highly. The door of this gentleman so high in the Catholic Church ?- the apartment was shut after them, but not before The title is given only to Cardinals, I think." Fairford had perceived that there were one or two

"He is not a Cardinal as yet," answered Sera- men in the gallery, and that, contrary to what be phina; “but I assure you, Mr. Fairford, he is as high had before observed, the door, though shul, was not in rank as he is eminently endowed with good gifts, locked on the outside. and".

Can the good souls apprehend danger from me

ment.

to this god of their idolatry ?" thought Fairford. But ill founded. But before running into politics, give he had no time to make farther observations, for the me leave to say, that I am surprised to find a gentlestranger had already reached the middle of the apart- man of your opinions in habits of intimacy with Mr.

Maxwell of Summertrees and Mr. Redgauntlet, and Fairford rose to receive him respectfully, but as he the medium of conducting the intercourse betwixt fixed his eyes on the visiter, he thought that the them." Father avoided his looks. His reasons for remaining "Pardon me, sir," replied Alan Fairford; "I do not incognito were cogent enough to account for this, aspire to the honour of being reputed their confidant and Fairford hastened to relieve him, by looking or go-between. My concern with those gentlemen is downwards in his turn; but when again he raised limited to one matter of business, dearly interesting to his face, he found the broad light eye of the stranger me, because it concerns the safeiy-perhaps the life-so fixed on him, that he was almost put out of coun- of my dearest friend." tenance by the steadiness of his gaze. During this "Would you have any objections to intrust me time they remained standing.

with the cause of your journey?" said Father Buona"Take your seat, sir," said the Father ; "you have venture. My advice may be of service to you, and been an invalid."

my influence with one or both these gentlemen is He spoke with the tone of one who desires an in- considerable." ferior to be seated in his presence, and his voice was Fairford hesitated a moment, and hastily revolving full and melodious.

all circumstances, concluded that he might perhaps Fairford, somewhat surprised to find himself over- receive some advantage from propitiating this personawed by the airs of superiority, which could be only age; while, on the other hand, he endangered nothing properly exercised towards one over whom religion by communicating to him the occasion of his journey. gave the speaker influence, sat down at his bidding, He, therefore, after stating shortly, that he hoped Mr. as if moved by springs, and was at a loss how to Buonaventure would render him ihe same confidence assert the footing of equality on which he felt that which he required on his part, gave a short account they ought to stand. The stranger kept the advan- of Darsie Latimer-of the mystery which hung over tage which he had obtained.

his family--and of the disasier which had befallen Your name, sir, I am informed, is Fairford ?” said him. Finally, of his own resolution to seek for his the Father.

friend, and to deliver him, at the peril of his own life. Alan answered by a bow.

The Catholic Priest, whose manner it seemed to be "Called to the Scottish bar," continued his visiter. to avoid all conversation which did not arise from his "There is, I believe, in the West, a family of birth own express motion, made no remarks upon what he and rank called Fairford of Fairford."

had heard, but only asked one or two abrupt quesAlan thought this a strange observation from a tions, where Alan's narrative appeared less clear to foreign ecclesiastic, as his name intimated Father him; then rising from his seat, he took two turns Buonaventure to be; but only answered, he believed through the apartment, muttering between his teeth, there was such a family.

with emphasis, the word " Madman!" But appa“Do you count kindred with them, Mr. Fairford ?"' rently he was in the habit of keeping all violen! continued the inquirer.

emotions under restraint; for he presently addressed "I have not the honour to lay such a claim," said Fairford with the most perfect indifference. Fairford. “My father's industry has raised his family "If,” said he," you thought you could do so with from a low and obscure situation-1 have no heredi- out breach of confidence, I wish you would have the tary claim to distinction of any kind.-May I ask the goodness to show me the letter of Mr. Maxwell of cause of these inquiries ?"

Summertrees. I desire to look particularly at the ad" You will learn it presently,” said Father Buona- dress.” venture, who had given a dry and dissatisfied hem at Seeing no cause to decline this extension of his the young man's acknowledging, a plebeian descent confidence, Alan, without hesitati n, put the letter into He then motioned him to be silent, and proceeded his hand. Having turned it round as old Trumbull with his queries.

and Nanty Ewart had formerly done, and, like them, “ Although not of condition, you are, doubtless, by having examined the address with much minuteness, sentiments and education, a man of honour and a he asked whether he had observed these words, pointgentleman ?”

ing to a pencil-writing upon the under side of the let“I hope so, sir," said Alan, colouring with dis- ter. Fairford answered in the negative, and, looking pleasure. "I have not been accustomed to have it at the letter, read with surprise, “ Care ne literas Bela questioned."

lerophontis adfcrres;" a caution which coincided so Patience, young man,” said the unperturbed que- exactly with the Provost's admonition, that he would rist-"we are on serious business, and no idle eli- do well to inspect the letter of which he was bearer, quette must prevent its being discussed seriously.- that he was about to spring up and attempt an escape, You are probably aware, that you speak to a person he knew not wherefore or from whom. proscribed by the severe and unjust laws of the pre- “Sit still, young man," said the Father, with the sent government ?"

same tone of authority which reigned in his whole "I am aware of the statnte 1700, chapter 3," said manner, although mingled with stately courtesy. Alan, "banishing from the realm Priests and traffick-"You are in no danger--my character shall be a ing Papists, and punishing by death, on summary pledge for your safety.-By whom do you suppose conviction, any such person who being so banished ihese words have been written?" may return. The English law, I believe, is equally Fairford could have answered, “by Nanty Ewart," severe. But I have no means of knowing you, sir, for he remembered seeing that person scribble someto be one of those persons; and I think your prudence thing with a pencil, although he was not well enough may recommend to you to keep your own counsel." to observe with accuracy where, or upon what. But

* It is sufficient, sir; and I have no apprehensions not knowing what suspicions, or what worse conseof disagreeable consequences from your having seen quences, the seaman's interest in his affairs might me in this house," said the Priest.

draw upon him, he judged it best to answer that he Assuredly no said Alan. “I consider myself as knew not the hand. indebted for my life to the Mistresses of Fairladies; Father Buonaventure was again silent for a moment and it would be a vile requital on my part to pry into or two, which he employed in surveying the letter or make known what I may have seen or heard with the strictest attention; then stepped to the winunder this hospitable roof. If I were to meet the dow, as if to examine the address and writing of the Pretender

himself in such a situation, he should, even envelope with the assistance of a stronger light, and at the risk of a little stretch to my loyalty, be free Alan Fairford beheld hiin, with no less amazement from any danger from my indiscretion.'

than high displeasure, coolly and deliberately break “The Pretender!' said the Priest, with some angry the seal, open the letter, and peruse the contents. emphasis; but immediately softened his tone and "Stop, sir, hold !” he exclaimed, so soon as his added, "No doubt, however, that person is a preten- astonishment permitted him to express his resentment der; and some people think his pretensions are not l in words : " by what right do you dare”

« PreviousContinue »