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it, in all probability, swerve away, and lose the cast." dlesticks which my grandsıre gave to be placed on Having spoken this with a sententious air, the the altar at Martindale-Moultrassie; and which his Doctor took his shovel-shaped hat, and went down crop-eared friends, like sacrilegious villains as they to the Castle green, to conclude a match of bowls are, stole and melted down. And in like manner. with Whitaker, who had probably suggested this the only breaking I know of, was when they pulled notable illustration of the uncertain course of human down the rails of the communion-lable, (for which events.
some of their fingers are hot enough by this time,) Two days afterwards, Sir Geoffrey arrived. He and when the brass ornaments were torn down from had waited at Vale-Royal till he heard of the the Peveril monuments; and that was breaking and Countess's being safely embarked for Man, and then removing with a vengeance. However, dame, the had posted homeward to his castle and Dame Mar- upshot is, that poor Bridgenorth is going to leave the garet. On his way, he learned from some of his neighbourhood. I am truly sorry for it, though I attendants, the mode in which his lady had con- never saw him oftener than once a-day, and never ducted the entertainment which she had given to the spoke to him above two words. But I see how it is neighbourhood at his order; and notwithstanding the -that little shake by the shoulder sticks in his great deference he usually showed in cases where stomach ; and yet, Meg, I did but lift him out of the Lady Peveril was concerned, he heard of her liberali- saddle as I might have lifted thee into it
, Margaret ty towards the Presbyterian party with great indig- --I was careful not to hurt him; and I did not think nation.
him so tender in point of honour as to mind such a "I could have admitted Bridgenorth,” he said, thing much. But I see plainly where his sore lies; "for he always bore him in neighbourly and kindly and I warrant you I will manage that he stays ai fashion till this last career-I could have endured the Hall, and that you get back Julian's little comhim, so he would have drunk the King's health, like panion. Faith, I am sorry myself at the thought of a true man--but to bring that snuffling scoundrel losing the baby, and of having to choose another ride Solsgrace, with all his beggarly, long-eared con- when it is not hunting weather, than round by the gregation, to hold a conventicle in my father's Hall, with a word at the window." house-to let them domineer it as they listed- "I should be very glad, Sir Geoffrey," said Lady why, I would not have permitted them such liberty, Peveril, “that you could come to a reconciliation when they held their head the highest! They never, with this worthy man, for such I must hold Master in the worst of times, found any way into Martin Bridgenorth to be." dale Castle but what Noll's cannon made for them; "But for his dissenting, principles, as good a and, that they should come and cant there, when neighbour as ever lived," said Sir Geoffrey. good King Charles is returned-By my hand, Dame "But I scarce see,
continued the lady, any Margaret shall hear of it!"'
possibility of bringing about a conclusion so deBut, notwithstanding these ireful resolutions, re- sirable." sentment altogether subsided in the honest Knight's “Tush, dame," answered the Knight, “thou breast, when he saw the fair features of his lady knowest little of such matters. I know the foot he lightened with affectionate joy at his return in safety. halts upon, and you shall see him go as sound as As he took her in his arms and kissed her, he forgave ever.' her ere he mentioned her offence.
Lady Peveril had, from her sincere affection and "Thou hast played the knave with me, Meg,” he sound sense, as good a right to claim the full consaid, shaking his head, and smiling at the same time, fidence of her husband, as any woman in Derby
and thou knowest in what matter ; but I think shire; and, upon this occasion, to confess the truth, thou art true churchwoman, and didst only act from she had more anxiety to know his purpose than her some silly womanish fancy of keeping fair with these sense of their mutual and separate duties permitted roguish Roundheads. But let me have no more of her in general to entertain. She could not imagine this. I had rather Martindale Castle were again what mode of reconciliation with his neighbour, Sir sent by their bullets, than receive any of the knaves Geoffrey (no very acute judge of mankind or their in the way of friendship-I always except Ralph peculiarities) could have devised, which might not Bridgenorth of the Hall, if he should come to his be disclosed to her; and she felt some secret anxiety senses again.
lest the means resorted to might be so ill chosen as Lady Peveril was here under the necessity of ex- to render the breach rather wider. But Sir Geoffrey plaining what she had heard of Master Bridgenorth would give no opening for farther inquiry. He had the disappearance of the governante with his been long enough colonel of a regiment abroad, to daughter, and placed Bridgenorth's letter in his value himself on the right of absolute command at hand. Sir Geoffrey shook his head at first, and home; and to all the hints which his lady's ingethen laughed extremely, at the idea that there was nuity could devise and throw out, he only answered, some little love-intrigue between Bridgenorth and 'Patience, Dame Margaret, patience. This is no Mistress Deborah.
case for thy handling. Thou shalt know enough "It is the true end of ε dissenter," he said, " to on’t by and by, dame.--Go, look to Julian. Will the marry his own maid-servant, or some other person's. boy never have done crying for lack of that little Deborah is a good likely wench, and on the merrier sprout of a Roundhead? But we will have little side of thirty, as I should think.”
Alice back with us in two or three days, and all will "Nay, nay,” said the Lady Peveril, you are as be well again." uncharitable as Ellesmere-I believe it but to be As the good Knight spoke these words, a post affection to his child."
winded his horn in the court, and a large packet was "Pshaw! pshaw!" answered the Knight, “women brought in, addressed to the worshipful Sir Geoffrey are eternally thinking of children; but among men, Peveril, Justice of the Peace, and so forth ; for he dame, many one caresses the infant that he may kiss had been placed in authority so soon as the King's the child's-maid; and where's the wonder or the Restoration was put upon a settled basis. Upon harm either, if Bridgenorth should marry the wench? opening the packet, which he did with no small Her father is a substantial yeoman; his family has feeling of importance, he found that it contained the had the same farm since Bosworth-field-as good a warrant which he had solicited for replacing Doctor pedigree as that of the great grandson of a Chester- Dummerar in the parish, from which he had been field brewer, I trow. But let us hear what he forcibly ejected during the usurpation.* says for himself-I shall spell it out if there is any Few incidents could have given more delight to roguery in the letter about love and liking, though it might escape your innocence, Dame Margaret.' * The ejection of the Presbyterian clergy took place on Saint
The Knight of the Peak began to peruse the letter Bartholomew's day, thence called Black Bartholomew. Two accordingly, but was much embarrassed by the pecu- 1 silenced throughout England. The preachers indeed had only the liar language in which it was couched. What he alternative to renounce their principles, or subscribe certain arti means by moving of candlesticks, and breaking cles of uniformity: And to their great honour, Calamy, Baxter, down of carved work in the church, I cannot guess; ministers declined deaneries and other preferments, and submitted unless he means to bring back the large silver can. I to deprivation in preference.
Sir Geoffrey. He could forgive a stout able-bodied for so they might be termed, safely through the sectary or nonconformist, who enforced his doc- tumult; and accordingly conveyed theni in person, trines in the field by downright blows on the casques through much noise and clamour, as far as the and cuirasses of himself and other Cavaliers. But avenue of Moultrassie-Hall, which they chose for he remembered, with most vindictive accuracy, the the place of their retreat. triumphant entrance of Hugh Peters through the But the absence of Sir Geoffrey gave the rein to breach of his Castle ; and for his sake, without nicely some disorders, which, if present, he would assudistinguishing betwixt sects or their teachers, he redly have restrained. Some of the minister's books held all who mounted a pulpit without warrant from were torn and Aung about as treasonable and sedithe Church of England-perhaps he might also in tious trash, by the zealous parish-officers or their private except that of Rome-to be disturbers of the assistants. A quantity of his ale was drunk up in public tranquillity-seducers of the congregation from healths to the King, and Peveril of the Peak. And their lawful preachers-instigators of the late Civil finally, the boys, who bore the ex-parson no good War-and men well disposed to risk the fate of a will for his tyrannical interference with their games new one.
at skittles, football, and so forth, and, moreover, Then, on the other hand, besides gratifying his remembered the unmerciful length of his sermons, dislike to Solsgrace, he saw much satisfaction in dressed up an effigy with his Geneva gown and the task of replacing his old friend and associate in band, and his steeple-crowned hat, which they sport and in danger, the worthy Doctor Dummerar, paraded through the village, and burnt on the
spot in his legitimate rights, and in the ease and comforts whilom occupied by a stately Maypole, which Solsof his vicarage. He communicated the contents of grace had formerly hewed down with his own the packet, with great triumph, to his lady, who now reverend hands. perceived the sense of the mysterious paragraph in Sir Geoffrey was vexed at all this, and sent to Mr. Major Bridgenorth's letter, concerning the removal Solsgrace, offering satisfaction for the goods which of the candlestick, and the extinction of light and he had lost; but the Calvinistical divine replied, doctrine in the land. She pointed this out to Sir “From a thread to a shoe-latchet, I will not take Geoffrey, and endeavoured to persuade him that any thing that is thine. Let the shame of the work a door was now opened to reconciliation with his of thy hands abide with thee.” neighbour, by executing the commission which he Considerable scandal, indeed, arose against Sir had received in an easy and moderate manner, after Geoffrey Peveril, as having proceeded with indecent due delay, and with all respect to the feelings both severity and haste upon this occasion ; and rumour of Solsgrace and his congregation, which circum, took care to make the usual additions to the reality. stances admitted of. This, the lady argued, would be It was currently reported, that the desperate Cavadoing no injury whatever to Doctor Dummerar lier, Peveril of the Peak, had fallen on a Presbyterian nay, might be the means of reconciling many to his congregation, while engaged in the peaceable exerministry, who might otherwise be disgusted with it cise of religion, with a band of armed men-had for ever, by the premature expulsion of a favourite slain some, desperately wounded many more, and preacher.
finally pursued the preacher to his vicarage, which There was much wisdom, as well as moderation, he burnt to the ground. Some alleged the clergyin this advice; and, at another time, Sir Geoffrey man had perished in the flames; and the most would have had sense enough to have adopted it
. mitigated report bore, that he had only been able to But who can act composedly or prudently in the escape, by disposing his gown, cap, and band, near hour of triumph? The ejection of Mr. Solsgrace a window, in such a manner as to deceive them with was so hastily executed, as to give it some appearance the idea of his person being still surrounded by of persecution; though, more justly considered, it Aames, while he himself Aed by the back part of the was the restoring of his predecessor to his legal house. And although few people believed in the rights. Solsgrace himself seemed to be desirous to extent of the atrocities thus imputed to our honest make his sufferings as manifest as possible. He Cavalier, yet still enough of obloquy attached to him held out to the last; and on the Sabbath after he had to infer very serious consequences, as the reader will received intimation of his ejection, attempted to make learn at a future period of our history. his way to the pulpit, as usual, supported by Master Bridgenorth's attorney, Win-the-Fight, and a few zealous followers.
CHAPTER IX. Just as this party came into the churchyard on the Bessus. "Tis a challenge, sir, is it not ? one side, Dr. Dummerar, dressed in full pontifi- Gentleman. 'Tis an inviting to the field. cals, in a sort of triumphal procession, accompanied
King and No King. by Peveril of the Peak, Sir Jasper Cranbourne, and For a day or two after this forcible expulsion from other Cavaliers of distinction, entered at the other. the vicarage, Mr. Solsgrace continued his residence
To prevent an actual struggle in the church, the at Moultrassie-Hall, where the natural melancholy parish-officers were sent to prevent the farther ap- attendant on his situation added to the gloom of the proach of the Presbyterian minister; which was owner of the mansion. In the morning, the ejected effected without farther damage than a broken head, divine made excursions to different families in the inflicted by Roger Raine, the drunken innkeeper of neighbourhood, to whom his ministry had been acthe Peveril Arms, upon the Presbyterian attorney of ceptable in the days of his prosperity, and from Chesterfield.
whose grateful recollections of that period he now Unsubdued in spirit, though compelled to retreat found sympathy and consolation. He did not reby superior force, the undaunted Mr. Solsgrace require to be condoled with, because he was deprived tired to the vicarage; where, under some legal pre- of an easy and competent maintenance, and thrust text which had been started by Mr. Win-the-Fight, out
upon the common of life, after he had reason to in that day unaptly named,) he attempted to main suppose he would be no longer liable to such mutatain himsel-bolted gates-barred windows-and, as tions of fortune. The piety of Mr. Solsgrace was report said, (though falsely,) made provision of fire- sincere; and if he had many of the uncharitable prearms to resis: the officers. A scene of clamour and judices against other sects, which polemical controscandal accordingly took place, which being re- versy had generated, and the Civil War brought to a ported to Sir Geoffrey, he came in person, with head, he had also that deep sense of duty, by which some of his attendants carrying arms-forced the enthusiasm is so often dignified, and held his very outer-gate and inner-doors of the house; and, pro-life little, if called upon to lay it down in attestation ceeding to the study, found no other garrison save of the doctrines in which he believed. But he was the Presbyterian parson, with the attorney, who soon to prepare for leaving the district which Heaven, gave up possession of the premises, after making he conceived, had assigned to him as his corner of protestation against the violence that had been used the vineyard'; he was to abandon his flock to the
The rabble of the village being by this time all in wolf-was to forsake those with whom he had held motion, Sir Geoffrey, both in prudence and in good sweet counsel in religious communion-was to leave nature, saw the propriety of escorting his prisoners, I the recently converted to relapse into false doctrines, and forsake the wavering, whom his continued cares by gratitude towards Lady Peveril, and by her special might have directed into the right path-these were of arguments in favour of a mutual and tolerating themselves deep causes of sorrow, and were aggrava- liberality of sentiments, into an action which had ted, doubtless, by those natural feelings with which all tendency to compromise his religious and political men, especially those whose duties or habits have principles. confined them to a limited circle, regard the sepa- One morning, as Major Bridgenorth had wearied ration from wonted scenes, and their accustomed himself with several details respecting the arrangehaunts of solitary musing, or social intercourse. ment of his affairs, he was reposing in the leathern
There was, indeed, a plan of placing Mr. Sols- easy-chair, beside the latticed window, a posture grace at the head of a nonconforming, congregation which, by natural association, recalled to him the in his present parish, which his followers would memory of former times, and the feelings with have readily consented to endow with a sufficient which he was wont to expect the recurring visit of revenue. But
although the act for universal con- Sir Geoffrey, who brought him news of his child's formity was not yet passed, such a measure was welfare, "Surely,” he said, thinking as it were, understood to be impending, and there existed a aloud, "there was no sin in the kindness with which general opinion among the Presbyterians, that in no I then regarded that man. hands was it likely to be more strictly enforced, than Solsgrace who was in the apartment, and guessed in those of Peveril of the Peak. Solsgrace himself what passed through his friend's mind, acquainted considered not only his personal danger as being as he was with every point of his history, replied considerable,-for, assuming perhaps more conse" When God caused Elijah to be fed by ravens, quence than was actually attached to him or his while hiding at the brook Cherith, we hear not of his productions, he conceived the honest Knight to be fondling the unclean birds, whom, contrary to their ra: his mortal and determined enemy,, but he also con vening nature, a miracle compelled to ministerto him." ceived that he should serve the cause of his church "It may be so," answered Bridgenorth, "yet the by absenting himself from Derbyshire.
flap of their wings must have been gracious in the " Less known pastors," he said, "though perhaps ear of the famished prophet, like the tread of his more worthy of ihe name, may be permitted to as- horse in mine. The ravens, doubtless, resumed their semble the scattered Aocks in caverns or in secret nature when the season was passed, and even so it wilds, and to them shall the gleaning of the grapes has fared with him.-Hark!" he exclaimed, startof Ephraim be better than the vintage of Abiezer. ing, "I hear his horse's hoof tramp even now.”' But I, that have so often carried the banner forth It was seldom that the echoes of that silent house against the mighty-1, whose tongue hath testified, and court-yard were awakened by the trampling of morning and evening, like the watchman upon the horses, but such was now the case. tower, against Popery, Prelacy, and the tyrant of the Both Bridgenorth and Solsgrace were surprised Peak-for me to abide here, were but to bring the at the sound, and even disposed to anticipate sword of bloody, vengeance amongst you, that the some farther oppression on the part of government, shepherd might be smitten, and the sheep scattered. when the Major's old servant introduced, with liule The shedders of blood have already assailed me, ceremony, (for his manners were nearly as plain as even within that ground which they themselves call his master's,) a tall gentleman on the farther side of consecrated; and yourselves have seen the scalp of middle life, whose vest and cloak, long hair, slouchthe righteous broken, as he defended my cause. ed hat, and drooping, feather, announced him as a Therefore, I will put on my sandals, and gird my Cavalier. He bowed formally, but courteously, to loins, and depart to a far country, and there do as both gentlemen, and said, that he was Sir Jasper my duty shall call upon me, whether it be to act or Cranbourne, charged with an especial message to to suffer-to bear testimony at the stake or in the Master Ralph Bridgenorth of Moultrassie-Hall
, by pulpit.”
his honourable friend Sir Geoffrey Peveril of the Such were the sentiments which Mr. Solsgrace Peak, and that he requested to know whether Masexpressed to his desponding friends, and which he ter Bridgenorth would be pleased to receive his expatiated upon at more length with Major Bridge- acquittal of commission here or elsewhere." north ; not failing, with friendly zeal, to rebuke the 'Any thing which Sir Geoffrey Peveril can have haste which the latter had shown to thrust out to say to me," said Major Bridgenorth, "may be the hand of fellowship to the Amalekite woman, told instantly, and before my friend, from whom I whereby he reminded him, "He had been rendered have no secrets.' her slave and bondsman for a season, like Samson, "The presence of any other friend were, instead of betrayed by Delilah, and might have remained being objectionable, the thing in the world most to longer in the house of Dagon, had not Heaven point- be desired," said Sir Jasper, after a moment's hesied to him a way out of the snare. Also, it sprung tation, and looking at Mr. Solsgrace; " but this originally from the Major's going up to feast in the gentleman seems to be a sort of clergyman.” high place of Baal, that he who was the champion "I am not conscious of any secrets," answered of the truth was striken down, and put to shame by Bridgenorth," nor do I desire to have any, in wbich the enemy, even in the presence of the host.”' a clergyman is an unfitting confidant."
These objurgations seeming to give some offence "At your pleasure," replied Sir Jasper. “The to Major Bridgenorth, who liked, no better than any confidence, for aught I know, may be well enough other man, to hear of his own mishaps, and at the chosen, for your divines (always under your favour) same time to have them imputed to his own mis- have proved no enemies to such matters as I am to conduct, the worthy divine proceeded to take shame treat with you upon." to himself for his own sinful compliance in that "Proceed, sir,'' answered Mr. Bridgenorth, gravematter; for to the vengeance justly due for that ly; "and I pray you to be seated, unless it is rather unhappy dinner at Martindale Castle, (which was, your pleasure to stand.” he said, a crying of peace when there was no peace, "I must, in the first place, deliver myself of my and a dwelling in the tents of sin,) he imputed his small commission," answered Sir Jasper, drawing ejection from his living, with the destruction of some himself up; and it will be after I have seen the of his most pithy and highly prized volumes of reception thereof, that I shall know whether I am, or divinity, with the loss of his cap, gown, and band, am not, to sit down at Moultrassie-Hall. ---Sir Geofand a double hogshead of choice Derby ale. frey Peveril, Master Bridgenorth, hath carefully
The mind of Major Bridgenorth was strongly considered with himself the unhappy circumstances tinged with devotional feeling, which his late mis- which at present separate you as neighbours. And fortunes had rendered more deep and solemn; and he remembers many passages in former timesit is therefore no wonder, that, when he heard these I speak his very words- which incline him to do arguments urged again and again, by a pastor whom all that can possibly consist with his honour, to he so much respected, and who was now a sufferer wipe out unkindness between you; and for this in the cause of their joint faith, he began to look desirable object he is willing to condescend in a back with disapproval on his own conduct, and to degree, which, as you could not have expected, it will suspect that he had permitted himself to be seduced no doubt give you great pleasure to learn."
"Allow me to say, Sir Jasper," said Bridgenorth, for the space of some few minutes, and you will " that this is unnecessary. I have made no com either live or die a noble and honoured gentleman. plaints of Sir Geoffrey-I have required no sub- Besides, that the Knight's exquisite skill of fence mission from him-I am about to leave this country; may enable him, as his good-nature will incline him, and what affairs we may have together, can be as to disarm you with soine Aesh wound, little to the well settled by others as by ourselves."
damage of your person, and greatly to the benefit of "In a word," said the divine, "the worthy Major your reputation.' Bridgenorth hath had enough of trafficking with "The tender mercies of the wicked,” said Master the ungodly, and will no longer, on any terms, con- Solsgrace, emphatically, by way of commenting on sort with them.''
this speech, which Sir Jasper had ultered very pa"Gentlemen both,” said Sir Jasper, with imper-thetically, are cruel." turbable politeness, bowing, "you greatly mistake "I pray to have no farther interruption from your the tenor of my commission, which you will do as reverence,” said Sir Jasper ; "especially as I think well to hear out, before making any reply to it. I this affair very little concerns you; and I entreat think, Master Bridgenorth, you cannot but remember that you permit me to discharge myself regularly of your letter to the Lady Peveril
, of which I have here my commission from my worthy friend." a rough copy, in which you complain of the hard So saying, he took his sheathed rapier from his measure which you have received at Sir Geoffrey's belt, and passing the point through the silk thread hand, and in particular, when he pulled you from which secured the leiter, he once more, and litervour horse at or near Hartley-nick. Now, Sir ally, at sword point, gracefully tendered it to Major Geoffrey thinks so well of you, as to believe, that, Bridgenorth, who again waved it aside, though cowere it not for the wide difference betwixt his de- louring deeply at the same time, as if he was scent and rank and your own, you would have putting a marked constraint upon himself-drew sought to bring this matter to a gentlemanlike back, and made Sir Jasper Cranbourne a deep bow. arbitrement, as the only mode whereby your stain “Since it is to be thus,” said Sir Jasper, " I must may be honourably wiped away. Wherefore, in this myself do violence to the seal of Sir Geoffrey's letter, slight note, he gives you, in his generosity, the offer and read it to you, that I may fully acquit myself of of what you, in your modesty, (for to nothing else the charge intrusted to me, and make you, Master does he impute your acquiescence) have declined to Bridgenorth,
equally aware of the generous intendemand of him. And withal, I bring you the mea- tions of Sir Geoffrey on your behalf." sure of his weapon; and when you have accepted the "If,” said Major Bridgenorth, “the contents of cartel which I now offer you, I shall be ready to the letter be to no other purpose than you have intisettle the time, place, and other circumstances of mated, methinks farther ceremony is unnecessary on your meeting."
this occasion, as I have already taken my course." "And I," said Solsgrace, with a solemn voice, "Nevertheless,” said Sir Jasper, breaking open "should the Author of Evil 'tempt my friend to ac- the letter, it is fitting that I read to you the letter cept of so bloodthirsty a proposal, would be the first of my worshipful friend.” And he read accordingly to pronounce against him sentence of the greater as follows:excommunication."
"For the worthy hands of Ralph Bridgenorth "It is not you whom I address, reverend sir," re
Esquire, of Moultrassic-Hall- These : plied the envoy;"your interest, not unnaturally, may determine you to be more anxious about your pa
By the honoured conveyance of the Worshipful Sir tron's life ihan about his honour. I must know,
Jasper Cranbourne, Knight, of Long-Mallington. from himself, to which he is disposed to give the "MASTER BRIDGENORTH, preference."
"We have been given to understand by your letter So saying, and with a graceful bow, he again to our loving wife, Dame Margaret Peveril, that you tendered the challenge to Major Bridgenorth. There hold hard construction of certain passages betwixt was obviously a struggle in that gentleman's bosom, you and I, of a late date, as if your honour should between the suggestions of human honour and those have been, in some sort, prejudiced by what then of religious principle; but the latter prevailed. He took place. And although you have not thought it calmly waived receiving the paper which Sir Jasper fit to have direct recourse to me, to request such offered to him, and spoke to the following purpose :
satisfaction as is due from one gentleman of con"It may not be known to you, Sir Jasper, that since dition to another, yet I am fully minded that this the general pouring out of Christian light upon this proceeds only from modesty, arising out of the diskingdom, many solid men have been led to doubt tinction of our degree, and from no lack of that whether the shedding human blood by the hand of a courage which you have heretofore displayed, I fellow-creature be in any respect justifiable. And would I could say in a good cause. Wherefore I am although this rule appears to me to be scarcely purposed to give you, by my friend Sir Jasper Cranapplicable to our state in this stage of trial, seeing bourne, a meeting for the sake of doing that which that such non-resistance, if general, would surrender doubtless you entirely long for. Sir Jasper will deour civil and religious rights into the hands of what liver you the length of my weapon, and appoint soever daring tyrants might usurp the same; yet I circumstances and an hour for our meeting; which, am, and have been, inclined to limit the use of carnal whether early or late-on foot or horseback --with arms to the case of necessary self-defence, whether rapier or backsword-I refer to yourself, with all the such regards our own person, or the protection of other privileges of a challenged person; only desiring, our country against invasion; or of our rights of that if you decline to match my weapon, you will property, and the freedom of our laws and of our send me forth with the length and breadth of your conscience, against usurping power. And as I have own. And nothing doubting that the issue of this never shown myself unwilling to draw my sword in meeting must needs be to end, in one way or other, any of the latter causes, so you shall excuse my suf- all unkindness betwixt two near neighbours, fering it now to remain in the scabbard, when, "I remain, your humble servant to command, having sustained a grievous injury, the man who
GEOFFREY PEVERIL OF THE PEAR. inflicted it gummons me to combat, either upon an Given from my poor house of Martindale Castle, idle punctilio, or, as is more likely, in mere bravado.” | this same of sixteen hundred and sixty.”
"I have heard you with patience," said Sir Jasper ; * and now, Master Bridgenorth, take it not amiss, if Bear back my respects to Sir Geoffrey Peveril," I beseech you to bethink yourself better on this said Major Bridgenorih. “According to his light, matter. I vow to Heaven, sır, that your honour lies his meaning may be fair towards me; but tell him a-bleeding; and that in condescending to afford you that our quarrel had its rise in his own wilful ag. this fair meeting, and thereby giving you some chance gression towards me; and that though I wish to be to stop its wounds, Sir Geoffrey has been moved by in charity with all mankind, I am not so wedded to a tender sense of your condition, and an earnest his friendship as to break the laws of God, and run wish to redeem your dishonour. And it will be but the risk of suffering or committing murder, in order be crossing of your blade with his honoured sword I to regain it. And, for you, sir, methinks your ad
vanced years and past misfortunes might teach you This match was soon arranged; and Dame Marthe folly of coming on such idle errands."
garet overheard the good Knight's resentment mut"I shall do your message, Master Ralph Bridge- ter itself off, with those feelings with which we listen north,” said Sir Jasper ; "and shall then endeavour to the last growling of the thunder-storm; which, as to forget your name, as a sound unfit to be pro- the black cloud sinks behind the hill, at once assures nounced, or even remembered, by a man of honour. us that there has been danger, and that the peril is In the meanwhile, in return for your uncivil advice, over. She could not, indeed, but marvel in her own be pleased to accept of mine ; namely, that as your mind at the singular path of reconciliation with his religion prevents your giving a gentleman satisfac- neighbour which her husband had, with so much tion, it ought to make you very cautious of offering confidence, and in the actual sincerity of his goodhim provocation."
will to Bridgenorth, attempted to open ; and she So saying, and with a look of haughty scorn, first blessed God internally that it had not terminated in at the Major and then at the divine, the envoy of Sir bloodshed. But these reflections she locked careGeoffrey put his hat on his head, replaced his rapier fully within her own bosom, well knowing that they in its belt, and left the apartment. In a few minutes referred to subjects in which the Knight of the Peak afterwards, the tread of his horse died away at a would neither permit his sagacity to be called in considerable distance.
question, nor his will to be controlled. Bridgenorth had held his hand upon his brow ever The progress of the history hath hitherto been since his departure, and a tear of anger and shame slow; but after this period so little matter worthy of was on his face as he raised it when the sound was mark occurred at Martindale, that we must húrry
"He carries this answer to Martindale over hastily the transactions of several years. Castle,” he said. "Men will hereafter think of me as a whipped, beaten, dishonourable fellow, whom every one may baffle and insult at their pleasure. It
CHAPTER X. is well I am leaving the house of my father.”
Cleopatra. Give me to drink mandragora, Master Solsgrace approached his friend with much That I may sleep away this gap of time. sympathy, and grasped him by the hand.
Antony and Cleopatra. brother," he said, with unwonted kindness of man- THERE passed, as we hinted at the conclusion of ner, " though a man of peace, I can judge what this the last chapter, four or five years after the period we sacrifice hath cost to ihy manly spirit. But God have dilated upon; the events of which scarcely rewill not have from us an imperfect obedience. We quire to be discussed, so far as our present purpose is must not, like Ananias and Sapphira, reserve be- concerned, in as many lines. The Knight and his hind some darling lust, some favourite sin, while we lady continued to reside at their Castle--she, with pretend to make sacrifice of our worldly affections. prudence and with patience, endeavouring to repair What avails it to say that we have but secreted a the damages which the Civil Wars had inflicted upon little matter, if the slightest remnant of the accursed their fortune; and murmuring a little when her plans thing remain hidden in our tent? Would it be a of economy were interrupted by the liberal hospitality defence in thy prayers to say, I have not murdered which was her husband's principal expense, and to this man for the lucre of gain, like a robber-nor for which he was attached, not only from his own Engthe acquisition of power, like a tyrant, --nor for the lish heartiness of disposition, but from ideas of maingratification of revenge, like a darkened savage; but taining the dignity of his ancestry-- no less remarkabecause the imperious voice of worldly honour said, ble, according to the tradition of their buttery, kitchen, Go forth-kill or be killed—is it not I that have and cellar, for the fat beeves which they roasted, and sent thee? Bethink thee, my worthy friend, how the mighty ale which they brewed, than for their thou couldst frame such a vindication in thy prayers; extensive estates, and the number of their retainers. and if thou art forced to tremble at the blasphemy The world, however, upon the whole, went hapof such an excuse, remember in thy prayers the pily and easily with the worthy couple. Sir Geoffrey's thanks due to Heaven, which enabled thee to resist debt to his neighbour Bridgenorth continued, it is the strong temptation.”
true, unabated; but he was the only creditor upon Reverend and dear friend," answered Bridge- the Martindale estate—all others being paid off. It north, “I feel that you speak the truth. Bitterer would have been most desirable that this encumindeed, and harder, to the old Adam, is the text brance also should be cleared, and it was the great which ordains him to suffer shame, than that which object of Dame Margaret's economy to effect the disbids him to do valiantly for the truth. But happy am charge; for although interest was regularly settled I that my path through the wilderness of this world with Master Win-the-Fight, the Chesterfield attorney, will, for some space at least, be along with one, yet the principal sum, which was a large one, mighi whose zeal and friendship are so active to support be called for at an inconvenient time. The man, me when I am fainting in the way."
too, was gloomy, important, and mysterious, and While the inhabitants of Moultrassie-Hall thus always seemed as if he was thinking upon his broken communicated together upon the purport of Sir head in the churchyard of Martindale cum MoulJasper Cranbourne's visit, that worthy Knight trassie. greatly excited the surprise of Sir Geoffrey Peveril, Dame Margaret sometimes transacted the necesby reporting the manner in which his embassy had sary business with him in person; and when he came been received.
to the Castle on these occasions, she thought she saw "I took him for a man of other metal,” said Sir a malicious and disobliging expression in his manGeoffrey ;-"nay, I would have sworn it, had any ner and countenance. Yet his actual conduct was one asked my testimony. But there is no making a not only fair, but liberal; for indulgence was given silken purse out of a sow's ear. I have done a folly in the way of delay of payment, whenever circumfor him that I will never do for another; and that is, stances rendered it necessary to the debtor to require to think that a Presbyterian would fight without his it. It seemed to Lady Peveril, that the agent, in such preacher's permission. Give them a two hour's cases, was acting under the strict orders of his absent sermon, and let them howl a psalm to a tune that is employer, concerning whose welfare she could not worse than the cries of a fogged hound, and the help feeling a certain anxiety., villains will lay on like threshers; but for a calm, Shortly after the failure of the singular negotiation cool, gentlemanlike turn upon the sod, hand to hand, for attaining peace by combat, which Peveril had in a neighbourly way, they have not honour enough attempted to open with Major Bridgenorth, that gento undertake it. But enough of our crop-eared cur of tleman left his seat at Moultrassie-Hall in the care a neighbour. --Sir Jasper, you will tarry with us to of his old housekeeper, and departed, no one knew dine, and see how Dame Margaret's kitchen smokes; whither, having in company with him his daughter and after dinner I will show you a long-winged Alice and Mrs. Deborah Debbitch, now formally infalcon Ay. She is not mine, but the Countess's, stalled in all the duties of a governante; to these were who brought her from London on her fist almost the added the Reverend Master Solsgrace. For some whole way, for all the haste she was in, and left her time public rụmour persisted in asserting, that
Major with me to keep the perch for a season.'
Bridgenorth had only retreated to a distant part of