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the dusty papers?” said Sir Henry, who seemed to dread a revival of political discussion.
“My investigation amongst them led to reflections which I have just now binted,” said Maxwell; “and I think they are pretty strongly exemplified by a story which I have been endeavouring to arrange from some of your family manuscripts."
“ You are welcome to make what use of them you please,” said Sir Henry; “they have been undisturbed for many a day, and I have often wished for some person as well skilled as you in these old pot-hooks, to tell me their meaning.”
“Those I just mentioned," answered Maxwell, “relate to a piece of private history, savouring not a little of the marvellous, and intimately connected with your family; if it is agreeable, I can read to you the anecdotes in the modern shape into which I have been endeavouring to throw them, and you can then judge of the value of the originals.”
There was something in this proposal, agreeable to all parties. Sir Henry had family pride, which prepared him to take an interest in whatever related to his ancestors. The ladies had dipped deeply into the fashionable reading of the present day. Lady Ratcliff and her fair daughters had climbed every pass, viewed every pine-shrouded ruin, heard every groan, and lifted every trap-door, in company with the noted heroine of Udolpho. They had been heard, however, to observe, that the famous incident of the Black Veil singularly resembled the ancient apologue of the Mountain in labour, so that they were unquestionably critics as well as admirers. Besides all this, they had valorously mounted en croupe behind the ghostly horseman of Prague, through all his seven translators, and followed the footsteps of Moor through the forest of Bohemia. Moreover, it was even hinted,(but this was a greater mystery than all the rest,) that a certain performance, called the Monk, in three neat volumes, had been seen, by a prying eye, in the right-hand drawer of the Indian cabinet of Lady Ratcliff's dressing room. Thus predisposed for wonders and signs, Lady Ratcliff and her nymphs 'drew their chairs round a large blazing wood-fire, and arranged themselves to listen to the tale. To that fire I also approached, moved thereunto partly by the inclemency of the season, and partly that my deafness, which you know, cousin, I acquired during my campaign under Prince Charles Edward, might be no obstacle to the gratification of my curiosity, which was awakened by what had any reference to the fate of such faithful followers of royalty, as you well know the house of Ratcliff have ever been. To this wood-fire the Vicar likewise drew near, and reclined himself conveniently in his chair seemingly disposed to testify his disrespect for the narration and
narrator by falling asleep as soon as he conveniently could. By the side of Maxwell (by the way, I cannot learn that he is in the least related to the Nithsdale family) was placed a small table and a couple of lights, by the assistance of which he read as follows:
Journal of Jan Von Eulen.
“On the 6th November, 1645, I, Jan Von-Eulen, merchant in Rotterdam, embarked with my only daughter. on board of the good vessel Vryheid of Amsterdam, in order to pass into the unhappy and disturbed kingdom of England. 7th November-a brisk gale—daughter sea-sick-myself unable to complete the calculation which I have begun, of the inheritance left by Jane Lansache of Carlisle, my late dear wife's sister, the collection of which is the object of my voyage.-8th November --wind still stormy and adverse-a horrid disaster nearly happened-my dear child washed overboard as the vessel lurched to leeward.Memorandum, to reward the young sailor who saved her, out of the first moneys which I can recover from the inheritance of her aunt Lansache.-9th November, calm-P. M. light breezes from N. N. W. I talked with the captain about the inheritance of my sister-in-law, Jane Lansache.—He says he knows the principal subject, which will not exceed L. 1000 in value. N. B. He is a cousin-to a family of Petersons, which was the name of the husband of my sister-in-law; so there is room to hope it may be worth more than he reports,-10th November, 10 A.M. May God pardon all our sins-An English frigate, bearing the Parliament flag, has appeared in the offing, and gives chase.-11 A.M. She nears us every moment, and the captain of our vessel prepares to clear for action.—May God again have mercy upon
“Here,” said Maxwell," the journal with which I have opened the narration ends somewhat abruptly."
"I am glad of it," said Lady Ratcliff.
“But, Mr. Maxwell,” said young Frank, Sir Henry's grandchild," shall we not hear how the battle ended?"
I do not know, cousin, whether I have not formerly made you acquainted with the abilities of Frank Ratcliff. There is not a battle fought belween the troops of the Prince and of the Government, during the years 1745-6, of which he is not able to give an account. It is true, I have taken particular pains to fix the events of this important period upon his memcy by frequent repetition.
No, my dear,” said Maxwell, in answer to young Frank
Ratcliff.-“No, my dear, I cannot tell you the exact particulars of the engagement, but its consequences appear from the following letter, dispatched by Garbonete Von Eulen, daughter of our journalist, to a relation in England, from whom she implored assistance. After some general account of the purpose of the voyage, and of the engagement, her narrative proceeds thus:
“ The noise of the cannon had hardly ceased, before the sounds of a language to me but half known, and the confusion on board our vessel, informed me that the captors had boarded us, and taken possession of our vessel. I went on deck, where the first spectacle that met my eyes was a young man, mate of our vessel, who, though disfigured and covered with blood, was loaded with irons, and whom they were forcing over the side of the vessel into a boat. The two principal persons among our enemies appeared to be a man of a tall thin figure, with a highcrowned bat and long neckband, and short-cropped head of hair, accompanied by a bluff open-looking elderly man in a naval uniform. “Yarely! yarely! pull away, my hearts,' said the latter, and the boat bearing the unlucky young man soon carried him on board the frigate. Perhaps you will blame me for mentioning this circumstance; but consider, my dear cousin, this man saved my life, and his fate, even when my own and my father's were in the balance, could not but affect me nearly.
"In the name of him who is jealous, even to staying,' said the first”.
CONCLUSION OF MR. STRUTT'S ROMANCE OF
BY THE AUTHOR OF WAVERLEY.
A HUNTING PARTY.-AN ADVENTURE.—Ą DELIVERANCE.
The next morning the bugles were sounded by day-break in the court of Lord Boteler's mansion, to call the inhabitants from their slumbers, to assist in a splendid chase, with which the Baron had resolved to entertain his neighbour Fitzallen, and his noble visitor St Clere. Peter Lanaret, the falconer, was in attendance, with falcons for the knights, and teircelets for the ladies, if they should choose to vary their sport from hunting to hawking. Five stout yeomen keepers, with their attendants, called Ragged Robins, all meetly arrayed in Kendal green, with bugles and short hangers by their sides, and quarter-staffs in their hands, led the slow-hounds or brachets, by which the deer were to be put up. Ten brace of gallant greyhounds, each of which was fit to pluck down, singly, the tallest red deer, were led in leaslies by as many of Lord Boteler's foresters. The pages, squires, and other attendants of feudal splendour, well attired in their best hunting-gear, upon horseback or foot, according to their rank, with their boar-spears, long bows, and cross-bows, were in seemly waiting.
A numerous train of yeomen, called in the language of the times, retainers, who yearly received a livery coat, and a small pension for their attendance on such solemn occasions, appeared in cassocks of blue, bearing upon their arms the cognizance of the house of Boteler, as a badge of their adherence. They were the tallest men of their bands that the neighbouring villages could supply, with every man his good buckler on his shoulder and a bright burnished broadsword dangling from his leathern belt. On this occasion, they acted as rangers for beating up the thickets, and rousing the game. These attendants filled up the court of the castle, spacious as it was.
On the green without, you might have seen the motley assemblage of peasantry convened by report of the splendid hunting,
including most of our old acquaintances from Tewin, as well as the jolly partakers of good cheer at Hob Filcher's. Gregory the jester, it may well be guessed, had no great mind to exhibit himself in public, after his recent disaster; but Oswald the steward, a great formalist in whatever concerned the public exhibition of his master's household state, had positively enjoined his attendance. “ What," quoth he, “shall the house of the brave Lord Boteler, on such a brave day as this, be without a fool ? Certes, the good Lord St Clere, and his fair lady sister, might think our housekeeping as niggardly as that of their churlish kinsman at Gay Bowers, who sent his father's jester to the hospital, sold the poor sot's bells for hawk-jesses, and made a nightcap of his long-eared bonnet. And, sirrah, let me see thee fool handsomely- speak squibs and crackers, instead of that dry, barren, musty gibing, which thou hast used of late; or, by the bones! the porter shall have thee to his lodge, and cob thee with thine own wooden sword, till thy skin is as motley as thy doublet.”
To this stern injunction, Gregory made no reply, any more than to the courteous offer of old Albert Drawslot, the chief parkkeeper, who proposed to blow vinegar in his nose, to sharpen his wit, as he had done that blessed morning to Bragger, the old hound, whose scent was failing. There was indeed little time for reply, for the bugles, after a lively flourish, were now silent, and Peretto, with his two attendant minstrels, stepping beneath the windows of the strangers' apartments, joined in the following roundelay, the deep voices of the rangers and falconers making up a chorus that caused the very battlements to ring again.
Waken, lords and ladies gay,
Waken, lords and ladies gay,
Waken, lords and ladies gay,