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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 fol
« Journal of Jan Von Eulen. « On the 6th November, 1645, 1, 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-sickmyself 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 £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 chace.—A.M. She nears us every moment, and the captain of our vessel prepares to clear for action.May God again have mercy upon us!»
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 batıle fought between 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 memory 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 EngTand, from whom she implored assistance.
After some general account of the
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 aniong our enemies appeared to be a man of a tall thin figure, with a highcrowned hat and long neck-band, and short-cropped head of hair, accompanied by a bluff open-looking elderly man in 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 slaying,' said the first »
CONCLUSION OF MR STRUTT'S ROMANCE OF
BY THE AUTHOR OF WAVERLEY.
A HUNTING PARTY.-AN ADVENTURE.ADELIVERANCE.
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 chuse to vary
their sport from hunting to hawking. Five stout yeoman 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 whịch 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 leashes by as many of Lord Boteler's foresters. The pages, squires, and other attendants of feudal splendour, well atiired 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 hands 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 night cap of his longeared 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 park-keeper, who proposed to blow vinegar in